Video: House demolished in Al-Jab‘a
Interview (in English) with the owner of the house – PSP 12 Oct — In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli army bulldozers demolished a house in Al-Jab‘a, not far from the illegal settlement of Bet Ayin. The owner Naser Hassan Salim Alin Athous witnessed the demolition from his fields. His family have lived in the area for many generations. The demolished home was planned to house 14 persons. No reason was given for the demolition (report here).
UNRWA: Israel becoming ‘more efficient’ at displacing Palestinians
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Oct — Israeli demolitions affected 990 Palestinians in the West Bank in September, showing that Israeli authorities “are becoming more efficient,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said. The latest report from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees shows a dramatic rise in the number of people displaced or affected by Israeli demolitions. In July, the figure stood at 247.
Netanyahu launches effort to legalize outposts built on private Palestinian land
Haaretz 11 Oct — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday the launch of a task force geared at legalizing West Bank outposts built on private Palestinian land. The premier’s announcement came after, earlier Tuesday, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to set up a task force to explore ways to legalize houses in the settlements that were built on private Palestinian land.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers storm al-Aqsa, IOF closes Silwan for Jewish festivities
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 Oct — A large group of settlers, under the heavy protection of IOF troops, stormed the Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday morning and provocatively toured the plazas of the Mosque. The Aqsa Mosque guards said that the storming started about 7:00 am when settlers started entering the Aqsa Mosque compound in small groups and touring the holy site, in response to calls made by settlers leaders and extremist Jewish groups which stressed the importance of participating in what it called “raids to salvage the temple mount from the hands of the Muslims.”
At the same time, the IOF started closing the main entrances to the Silwan Jerusalem suburb, to the south of the Aqsa Mosque and deployed large numbers of troops in preparation for the Jewish Sukkot festival which lasts for seven days.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Israel closes Gaza border crossing for Jewish holiday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — Israeli authorities on Wednesday announced that the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Gaza border would close until Sunday because of a Jewish holiday. The southern crossing is the sole entry point for goods into the Gaza Strip since Israel closed all other terminals. The Rafah crossing on Gaza’s border with Egypt is not equipped for the transfer of goods.
Settlers ‘attack Palestinian near Nablus’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — A Palestinian man was moderately injured on Wednesday as a group of Israeli settlers attacked farmers in the Jit village near Nablus, witnesses said. The settlers were armed and they damaged farmland in the village, residents said. They also attacked a Palestinian resident while he was picking olives, they said. The unidentified man was taken to hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.
Settlers grab more land in Salfit and install mobile homes
SALFIT (PIC) 12 Oct — Jewish settlers continue to grab Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Israeli occupation bulldozers leveled agricultural fields in between the villages of Eskaka and Yasuf to east of Salfit in the northern West Bank to expand a settlement outpost there. Nabil Haris, the head of Eskaka village council, said the bulldozers prepared the land between the villages of Eskaka and Yasuf, then large caravans carried on lories were brought to the area to set them up for settlers.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Settlers set fire to olive trees west of Ramallah
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Oct — Jewish settlers set fire on Tuesday to olive trees in Palestinian land in Ras Karkar, Beitillu and Deir Ammar, villages west of Ramallah, according to local sources. The Department of humanitarian and public relations in the civil defense said that their crews hurried from Ramallah, Ni‘lin and Birzeit to the locations to put out the fires burning the olive trees.
Settlers stop Palestinian families from visiting captive in Shatta jail
NAZARETH (PIC) 11 Oct — A group of Jewish settlers calling themselves organise under “the struggle to free Gilad Shalit” stopped on Tuesday morning a coach transporting Palestinian families from the West Bank to visit their loved in Shatta jail, near the city of Bisan in north Palestine. Israeli radio said that more than thirty settlers stopped the coach and handed leaflets to those families saying that if they should be allowed to visit their imprisoned relatives then Gilad Shalit should be allowed visits too. The coach was then was forced to turn back to the West Bank. On previous occasions, settlers attacked coaches carrying Palestinians on their way to visit relatives in Israeli occupation jails.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
One arrested in Beit Ommar
Beit Ommar 11 October — Yousef Ahmad Halil Abu Hashem was arrested along with his father, Ahmad Abu Hashem, at 02:30 Tuesday morning in the old city of Beit Ommar. Ahamd Abu Hashem is an active member of the popular committee in Beit Ommar. The Israeli army came to Ahmad Abu Hashem house in the middle of the night with more than a hundred soldiers, seven jeeps and two buses, including three dogs. The soldiers used a ladder to climb the wall, and established a commando point on the roof, after having broken open the front door of the house on the ground floor. All family members had to lie on the floor, while the soldiers brought in the three dogs which were sneaking around the family and their belongings. Many members of the family were beaten. Ahmad Abu Hashem had bruises on his hands and Yousef was beaten outside the house. The soldiers also threatened to take with them the nine year old son! The soldiers took Ahmad and Yousef with them. Ahmad was released after some hours, while his son was sent off to a prison near Ashkelon. There was given no reason for arresting Yousef. The young man is 18 years old and would like to be in school. The father was told to pay 800 NIS to bail out his son.
Israeli soldiers shoot, arrest Palestinian during confrontations in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 12 Oct – A Palestinian, Ameer Sabarneh, 20, Wednesday was shot and arrested during confrontations that erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at the entrance of the town of Beit Ummar, south of Hebron, according to local activists. Spokesman of the National Committee against the Wall and settlement, Mohammed Awad said that the Israeli soldiers fired at Sabarneh from a distance of few meters after already arresting him, injuring him in the back. He added that soldiers fired rubber bullets, tear gas and acoustic bombs toward Palestinians, causing suffocation cases among several Palestinians. They were all treated on the spot. Short video here
Confrontations erupt south of Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 12 Oct — Confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians Wednesday erupted at a road junction near the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, according to Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the popular committee against the Wall and settlements in the east of Hebron. He said that the Israeli soldiers, who were there to protect Jewish settlers from several settlements, built illegally on Palestinian land, fired rubber bullets, tear gas and acoustic bombs at Palestinians, causing suffocation cases among several Palestinians and arresting two Palestinian youths. The injured were treated on the spot.
UN: Israel used ‘excessive force’ in West Bank
GENEVA (Reuters) 11 Oct — Israeli security forces escorting settlers into West Bank villages appear to have used excessive force against Palestinians, the UN human rights office said Tuesday. The global body called on Israel to protect Palestinians and investigate a surge of attacks by Israeli settlers against civilians in the West Bank, particularly in the village of Qusra, near Nablus.
Detention / Court actions
Israel court orders release of suspect in ‘price tag’ mosque attack
Haaretz 11 Oct — Petah Tikva judge orders police to release suspect accused of setting fire to Galilee mosque due to lack of new evidence; West Bank resident accused of abetting attack also set to be released later this week.
Police baffled by mosque arson case
Ynet 11 Oct — …Judge Maimon noted that “the investigation is complex and there are deliberate attempts to obstruct it. Releasing the suspect at this time could contribute to that. I believe that should there be no significant development in the investigation, the suspect should be released while the investigation continues.”
Apparently Palestinians are a lot easier to catch and hold onto:
2 teens arrested on suspicion of spraying hate slogans on synagogues
Ynet 12 Oct — Two 16-year-old teens were arrested in suspicion of spraying slogans reading “death to Jews” on four synagogues and vehicles in Safed. During their investigation, the two admitted committing the acts and claimed they did it to protest the mosque arson in Tuba Zangaria. The two will be brought in front of a judge on Thursday for a remand hearing.
Israeli army arrests youth at container checkpoint
PNN 12 Oct — On Wednesday, Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian youth at the container checkpoint to the southeast of Jerusalem. According to a secure local source reporting to Palestinian state-run news wire Wafa, the arrested man was 22-year-old Basel Yousef al-Fakeh of the village of Dura, near Hebron.
Israeli forces detain child in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — Confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children erupted Wednesday at a junction south of Hebron, local activist Ratib Al-Jabour said. Al-Jabour said soldiers fired rubber bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at the Palestinians. One Palestinian child was arrested at the event but was not immediately identified.
East Jerusalem woman charged with incitement
Ynet 10 Oct — Indictment suggests Abir Abu Radir encouraged crowds to cry out anti-Israel slogans such as ‘Beloved Nasrallah will bomb Tel Aviv’ during protests
4 indicted for bomb attack near Jerusalem bus station
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — Four members of Hamas have been indicted for an attack in Jerusalem in March which killed a British citizen, the Israeli army said Tuesday. The incident took place on March 23, 2011 near the central bus station in West Jerusalem, killing Mary-Jane Gardner and injuring 67. The army said it was executed by a Hamas cell working in the West Bank city of Hebron.
6 years for E. J’lem man who threw Molotov cocktails at cops
JPost 11 Oct — A resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday after manufacturing gasoline bombs and throwing them at police. Louis Maswadeh, 20, confessed and was convicted in a plea bargain of manufacturing weapons and explosives, and attempting to attack a police officer in aggravating circumstances. The incidents took place as Arabs rioted outside Jewish homes in Silwan in 2010 … [A probation service] report also noted that Maswadeh had committed the acts for which he is charged in the context of a complex and tense situation between police and the Arabs in Silwan … he prosecution asked that the court imposed a sentence that would send a message of deterrence … Cohen said that though Maswadeh and his codefendants, who are being tried separately, had not injured anyone, they had nonetheless created a “real risk to human life.”
Abu Zunt laid to rest after 36 years of his body being detained by occupation
NABLUS, (PIC) 10 Oct — Hundreds of people participated in the funeral of Hafez Abu Zunt [or Zant] who was killed in a resistance attack against occupation in 1976 and whose body was detained by the occupation since then in an unmarked grave in what is known as the numbers cemeteries … Abu Zunt along with Mashoor Arouri and Khaled Abu Zeyad carried out an attack against occupation forces in the Jordan valley on 18 May 1976 in retaliation for the killing of schoolgirl Lina al-Nabulsi by IOF troops earlier that year. The three were killed and their corpses detained. Arouri’s corpse was released last year. [Listen to song “Fi al Dafa” (‘In the West Bank’, written by Hasan Daher) about Lina, killed at 15, and see famous painting of her called ‘Bride of the Homeland’]
Shin Bet chief: Israel got best security terms possible in Shalit swap deal
Shin Bet security service director Yoram Cohen said Wednesday that the prisoner swap agreement reached between Israel and Hamas, with Egyptian mediation, to free Gilad Shalit included the best terms possible for Israel with regards to security…
Under the agreement, the release of Gilad Shalit is expected to take place in about a week, along with the release of 479 Palestinian security prisoners. Of the released prisoners, 96 are West Bank residents who will be allowed to return to their homes. Fourteen East Jerusalem residents and six Israeli Arabs will also be allowed to return to their homes. The released prisoners also include 131 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
Twenty-seven women, all the women imprisoned in Israel for security offenses, will be released. Two will be deported, one to Gaza and one to Jordan. About half of the released prisoners, 203, will not be allowed to return to their homes. 40 will be deported abroad and the rest transferred to the Gaza Strip. Of the deportees, 165 will be allowed to return to the West Bank in 10-25 years. The other deportees will never be allowed to return to the West Bank. In two months, Israel will release another 550 prisoners that it chooses.
Egyptian intelligence services managed the process. In exchange for Hamas’ willingness to agree to a large number of deportees, as well as the fact that symbolic Hamas figures would not return to the West Bank, Israel agreed to release more East Jerusalem residents and Israeli Arabs, as well as 25 terrorists from a list that Israel had previously refused to release.
Right-wing minister Uzi Landau: Shalit swap deal is a great victory for terrorism
Haaretz 12 Oct — National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau – one of three ministers who voted against the Gilad Shalit deal – says prisoner swap will encourage additional murders, abductions — Landau was one of three ministers who voted against the proposal early Wednesday morning. Joining Landau were Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon of Likud. Twenty-six ministers voted in favor of the deal, which would see Shalit, the IDF soldier who has been in Hamas captivity for the last five years, return to Israel.
Israeli intelligence: Prisoner swap deal doesn’t include Al-Barghouti, Saadat, nor As-Sayed
IMEMC 12 Oct — The prisoner swap deal, reached by the Hamas movement and Israel, does not include several senior political leaders of the major Palestinian factions, senior sources told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency early on Wednesday. The exchange does not include; Fatah senior leader, Marwan Al-Barghouti; the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat; several top Hamas leaders, including: Ibrahim Hamed, Hasan Salameh, Abdullah Al-Barghouthi, Jamal Abu El-Heija, Abbas As-Sayed. As well as several other senior Hamas officials, whose names are still anonymous, the Israeli Channel Two reported the Israeli Intelligence Chief saying.
Al Jazeera video: Preparing for Palestinian prisoners’ homecoming
Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston visits a Gazan family preparing the return of their daughter Wafa el-Bes, a Palestinian woman who has been in jail for the past 6 years.
Israel-OPT: Families relieved by prisoner swap
GAZA CITY (IRIN) 12 Oct — Palestinian families are eagerly awaiting the publication of the names of the more than 1,000 detainees that are to be released in a ground-breaking prisoner swap deal with Israel … Outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Gaza City, Um Mahmoud holds a large photograph of her son Mahmoud Rais, now aged 30. He was arrested in 2003. “He was detained at an Israeli checkpoint inside Gaza and we never learned why he was sentenced,” she says. “This release is a victory for Palestinians and for the government.” … It is not yet clear whether any children will be included in the release. At the end of June 2011, 209 Palestinian boys aged 12-17 were in Israeli detention, according to UNICEF.
Sources: First state will see release of all female captives
GAZA (PIC) 12 Oct — Well-informed sources said that the first stage of the prisoner-exchange deal which will be implemented in a few days will see the release of 450 male captives and all 27 female captives. The sources informed PIC correspondent that the amongst the 450 captives to be released in the first stage there are 315 who were serving life sentences and 135 serving long sentences.
The sources also said that five of the female captives are serving life sentences, including Ahlam al-Tamimi and Qahera al-Sa’di.
The first group to be released will also include 45 captives from Jerusalem, 5 captives from 1948-occupied Palestine, 1 captive from the Golan, 131 from the Gaza Strip and 268 from the West Bank, according to the sources.
Report: Prisoner list to be released Sunday
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — A list of prisoners to be released in the first phase of the prisoner exchange deal will be published by Sunday morning, Israel’s Justice Ministry said Wednesday. Israel’s Ynet news agency said the ministry indicated that the list would appear on the Israel Prisoner Service’s website, and the public will have 48 hours “to submit reservations and objections.”
In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate Shalit prisoner exchange deal
Haaretz 11 Oct — Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the northern Gaza Strip late Tuesday, celebrating the news that after years of on-and-off German and Egyptian-mediated negotiations, Israel and Hamas had reached a prisoners’ exchange deal. They handed out sweets, waved the green flags of the radical Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza, and chanted slogans in support of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing.
Questions remain over fate of imprisoned Palestinian leader
Reuters 12 Oct — Left out of a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti must now wait for a different type of deal to get him out of the Israeli jail where he is serving multiple life sentences. It may never happen. Hamas’s indirect negotiations with Israel to exchange the soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails were seen over the last few years as Barghouti’s best hope of release … Barghouti is a popular figure among Palestinians. His supporters have portrayed him as a Nelson Mandela-like figure who could galvanize and reunite a divided national movement.
Gilad Shalit to be returned to Israel within a week
Haaretz 12 Oct — Kidnapped IDF soldier to be transferred to Egypt through Rafah crossing, then to Israel, on Tuesday or Wednesday; Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo to finalize deal.
White House: Gilad Shalit release long overdue
Haaretz 12 Oct — White House officials say they are pleased by the report that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held for five years by Hamas, is to be freed. Press secretary Jay Carney called the release “long overdue.” He said President Barack Obama has called many times for Shalit’s release.
Resistance / Solidarity
In Photos: Ad-Dhahariya and Shuwika plant resistance
ISM 11 Oct — At 1 PM a demonstration went from the solidarity tent assembled for the prisoners’ strike in Al-Dhahiriya to the nearby village of Shuwika to plant trees. The demonstration was a solidarity action with the prisoners and also a protest against recent settler assaults in Shuweika where 120 olive trees were cut down. While the demonstrators were planting olive and eucalyptus trees, soldiers and settlers came down from the nearby outpost of Shima’a and threw sound bombs, firing tear gas at the demonstrators. A few demonstrators went to the valley dividing Shuwika from the outpost to try to remove stones placed by settlers which formed a star of David as a symbol of conquering Palestinian land. They were shot at directly with tear gas from the Israeli Occupation Forces.
Gaza: Planting the symbol of Palestinian livelihood
[photos] ISM Gaza 12 Oct — The zone of death, what Israel calls the buffer zone, to the north of Beit Hanoun isn’t shrinking but is a little less dead. For the last three years, the only life that has managed to survive here was a few scraggly plants that somehow manage to survive the IOF’s regular bulldozing of the land. These plants have been joined every Tuesday by a devoted group of activists from the Local Initiative of Beit Hanoun and the International Solidarity Movement. Israel had managed to wipe out all traces of what used to be here, houses, sprawling orchards, fields of vegetables, and grazing sheep. For two weeks the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative decided to leave behind something more than Palestinian flags when they went into the buffer zone. They left behind a grove of olive trees.
Urgent message – Anatot demo postponed
SJS 12 Oct — The Israeli police is giving in once more to settler terror. This afternoon (12.10.2011) we were informed by the police that they will not allow us to fulfill our right to demonstrate near the place where we were attacked, under the pretext of granting Anatot a two kilometer ‘security perimeter’. The commanding officer of Judiah and Samaria District police decided to issue a selective ‘closed military zone’ order in advance — in order to prevent the passage of ‘leftists’ to the area. We will fight this anti-democratic decision! It is becoming ever more urgent to reveal the close cooperation between ‘legal authorities’ and wanton criminals.
Prisoners’ hunger strike
In Photos: Palestinians unite to support hunger strike
ISM 12 Oct — On Tuesday the 27th of September, an open-ended hunger strike was initiated until the fulfillment of 9 demands by Palestinian prisoners, which include the right to family visits, end to the use of isolation as a punishment against detainees, and profiteering of Israeli prisons from financial penalties charged against prisoners. Approximately 3000 prisoners are taking part in the strike including all the different political fractions from eight different prisons.
Prisoners in Negev join on 16th day of hunger strike; Bethlehem holds solidarity march
PNN 12 Oct — Palestinian prisoners in the southern Negev desert joined a general hunger strike of more than 250 people on Wednesday as the strike entered its sixteenth day … In the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, hundreds of Palestinians marched in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners. The march began in the refugee camp of Dheisheh and moved toward the Red Cross office, where demonstrators flew Palestinian flags and held banners.Among the demonstrators were some Palestinians who had voluntarily begun their own hunger strikes.
Palestinian singer joins hunger strike
Sabr 12 Oct — BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian singer and activist Rim Banna is on hunger strike for third consecutive day in solidarity with the Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike for the past two weeks. “I am the Palestinian singer Rim Banna,” the famous singer wrote on her Facebook page. Monday in Nazareth, Banna said she began “a hunger strike in a solidarity with the 6000 Palestinian and Arab political detainees in their struggle ‘of the empty stomachs battle’ in Israeli prisons.”
Foreign nationals join hunger strike in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — Three foreign nationals living in the Gaza Strip entered their fifth day on hunger strike on Tuesday, a statement from the International Solidarity Movement said. Vera Macht from Germany, Silvia Todeschini from Italy, and US citizen Joe Catron have been stationed in front of the Gaza offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross while undertaking their hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.
Prisoners on hunger strike find new support / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
HAIFA, Northern Israel (IPS) 10 Oct — Sitting in the shade of a small lemon tree in the German Colony area of Haifa, eight Palestinian activists are on hunger strike since Saturday in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners who have been striking for nearly two weeks in protest against poor prison conditions and a lack of basic rights … “I think that one of the main goals of our strike is to encourage the political prisoners, the political heroes, in continuing with their strike, (and) to fight for their basic and essential right to live peacefully,” Nizar Jubran, a 22-year-old student and another hunger striker in Haifa tells IPS.
Hamas prisoners slammed for ‘stalling’ over hunger strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Oct — The head of the Palestinian Detainees Center has criticized prisoners affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad for stalling on joining a hunger strike to protest Israel’s prison conditions. Qadura Fares said the attitude of detainees affiliated with the Islamist groups was “astonishing” considering that the key demand of strikers was an end to solitary confinement, which is mostly imposed on senior Hamas cadres.
Red Cross makes regular checks on striking prisoners: official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Oct — Members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Palestinian Territory make regular checks on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are on hunger strike, Tuesday said an ICRC official. Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, ICRC spokeswoman Nadia Dibsy said her organization is continuously in contact with the Israeli prison administration to remind them of the importance to provide necessary health care to the prisoners during their strike … Dibsy said the ICRC understands the worry and concern of the prisoners’ families and that ICRC officials are in contact with every family to inform them of the situation of their family members in Israeli jails.
OPT: Tunnels boost Gaza mosque reconstruction
GAZA CITY (IRIN) 12 Oct — An increased flow of building materials entering the Gaza Strip via underground tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border has allowed reconstruction work to begin on hundreds of religious sites damaged or destroyed during the 23-day Israeli offensive which ended in January 2009. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 850 mosques were affected; 45 mosques were totally destroyed, 107 sustained major damage, and about another 50 had minor damage such as smashed windows and doors, according to the Gaza public works and housing ministry, the religious affairs ministry, and private mosque owners … Amnesty International reported the rampant destruction of Gaza mosques in its post-war assessment.
Egyptian security detain 5 Palestinians
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) 12 Oct — Egyptian security forces detained five Palestinians who entered the country through Gaza tunnels to film a documentary, officials said Wednesday. Egyptian authorities said five Palestinians, including a journalist, entered via tunnel in the Salad-Ad-Din area of Rafah in order to film a documentary about the border area. They are being held for investigation, Egyptian security said. The Palestinians were not immediately identified.
Hamas raids journalists syndicate office in Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Oct — Hamas forces Tuesday raided the main office of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in Gaza City seizing computers and cell phones of staff working there after ordering them to leave the premises, according to a PJS statement. The PJS, based in Ramallah, denounced the Hamas act describing it as a “blatant act of aggression by Hamas.”
Political / Diplomatic / International
US: Mideast Quartet seeks October 23 talks
WASHINGTON (AFP) 12 Oct — The Mideast Quartet seeking a peace settlement in the Middle East has called for Israel and the PLO to resume their talks on October 23 in Jordan, a US official said Tuesday.
Abbas: Palestinians will resume Mideast peace talks if Israel accepts Quartet statement
Haaretz 11 Oct — Speaking with TIME magazine, PA President says Israel’s acceptance of negotiations blueprint ‘with reservations’ was an attempt to end a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN.
Abbas falls short of Colombian support for UN bid
CARACAS (AFP) 12 Oct — President Mahmoud Abbas left Colombia empty-handed Tuesday after failing to secure support from President Juan Manuel Santos for his bid to gain state recognition at the United Nations.
Fayyad: PA won’t collapse without donor aid
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Oct — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday downplayed fears his government would collapse without donor aid. The Ramallah premier said the PA’s efforts to build state institutions over the last three years had contributed to significantly reducing the government’s dependence on foreign aid.
Hamas, Fatah to meet in Cairo today
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 Oct — Delegations from Hamas and Fatah will meet Wednesday in Cairo, said PLO Central Committee Member, Azzam al-Ahmad. Al-Ahmad, speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, said he will meet Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and his deputy Musa Abu Marzouk … He added that the meeting will discuss the details of the prisoners exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, which will release Shalit in exchange for the release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. The meeting will also discuss the implementation of the reconciliation agreement. Al-Ahmad noted that any obstacle against proceeding with the political process is gone, following the swap deal, since most Western countries had so far pressured the Palestinian leadership against the reconciliation because of the issue of the Israeli soldier, Shalit, held by Hamas.
Egypt – Israel
Barak apologizes for deaths of Egyptian officers
Ynet 11 Oct — Following conclusion of joint inquiry into terror attack at Israel-Egypt border, defense minister issues official apology for deaths of border guard officers from IDF fire
Report: Egypt slaps Grapel with new charges
Ynet 11 Oct — American-Israeli held on espionage charges now accused of incitement, setting fire to Egyptian government buildings during January’s riots
Tunisian athlete refuses to play against Israel
ROME (WAFA) 11 Oct — Sara Besbes, Tunis and Africa’s fencing champion, Tuesday refused to play against an Israeli player during the 2011 World Fencing Championship in Catania, southern Italy, according to Panorama.It website. It said Besbes, who comes from a family of great fame in fencing, reached the final round where she had to play against an Israeli player. However, she stood still on the platform, pointing her sword toward the ground and refusing to move as a sign she was boycotting the Israeli athlete but without officially announcing it to avoid punitive measures by the judges.
Photo gallery: Samaritans celebrate Succot atop Mount Gerizim
JPost 11 Oct — Members of the Samaritan community took part on Tuesday in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Succot atop Mount Gerizim near the West Bank city of Nablus. The Samaritan religion closely resembles Judaism, though it has several marked differences, including its own Samaritan Torah, written in the ancient Hebrew that is their language of liturgy. In addition, they believe that Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, is the holiest place on earth and the site of the temple, as well as where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God.
Analysis / Opinion
Yediot: Bibi did Shalit deal because he has something bigger prepared for Iran / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 11 Oct — A number of very peculiar things have happened or been published today that relate directly or indirectly to the Shalit deal … Perhaps the most ominous story coming out of today’s news, is this report by a well-placed, well-regarded Israeli journalist, Alex Fishman, who says the reason that Bibi did the Shalit deal now is that he has something really big up his sleeve. Read on: All Because of Iran –Bibi Netanyahu is dying to clear the table [“clean house”] and redecorate in preparation for something different, something bigger, something more important.
Burn, baby, burn / Yitzhak Laor
Haaretz 12 Oct –…It’s easy to describe Israel’s racism via its soccer stadiums. It’s simple to demonstrate it with the help of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inability to wholeheartedly denounce those who perpetrate mini-pogroms both in the territories and in Israel. After all, he is their idolized leader. Even criticizing the constitutional status of Arabs in Israel has become easier than in the past: It’s clear that racism is the state’s unwritten constitutional foundation. Israeli racism would not have become a real problem were Arabs equal citizens with somewhere to register complaints whenever their civil rights were violated. No description of the racism of the state would be complete, however, without characterizing the system behind it
Funding the messiah / Sefi Rachlevsky
Haaretz 12 Oct — Netanyahu, in praising the messiah from Lubavich, rabbis Dov Lior, Ovadia Yosef and Yitzhak Kaduri, knows exactly what kind of racist incitement he is supporting — …When school vacation is over, the children go back to what is known as the education system. Yoram Kaniuk’s grandson is not registered as a Jew, but most children are. Among the first-graders, 52.5 percent who are registered as Jews will be going to ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox schools. In most of them they will hear as obvious teachings close to those of Ben-Artzi. Extreme opinions about non-Jews are routine. Many of them will hear that the goyim have no souls, that they are not to be believed or given in to, as if it were fact, like a chair is a chair.
A burning house of God / David Rosen, Edward Rettig
Ynet 10 Oct –Op-ed: Israel’s leadership must unite to confront menace threatening very fabric of society … Let us make no mistake. The burning of a mosque will be a turning point. Either those responsible for the public safety will awaken to fully meet the challenge, or it will mark, God forbid, the opening round in internal civil strife whose catastrophic results none can foresee.