Settlers stone elderly Palestinian lady
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 31 Oct — A group of Jewish settlers Monday stoned an elderly Palestinian lady as she was picking olives in Mukhmas, a village southeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, according to local sources. The 80-year-old woman was reported to be injured in the head and transferred to hospital for treatment.
And other news from Today in Palestine:
Spokesman for Jerusalem mayor dismisses NGO report as based on “misleading facts, blatant lies and political spin”.
Mufti calls for the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli attacks
The Mufti of Egypt has condemned the “regular and continuous abusive practices” of the Israeli occupation authorities “which violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque” in occupied Jerusalem. The mosque is the third holiest place in Islam, said Dr. Ali Gomaa, and he appealed to the world’s Muslims “to protect Al-Aqsa and stop Israel’s violations” there.
NGO: Settlers destroyed 2,600 olive trees in October
NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees released a report on Tuesday which found that over 2,600 olive trees were destroyed by settlers in October. The report by the Gaza-based NGO issued findings on settler violence and attacks against Palestinian agriculture in October. According to the report, 55 attacks took place across 37 villages and in eight cities. Over 53 percent of settler attacks took place in the Nablus district.
Request Filed for Further Inspection of the Read Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance Program
In July 2011, three civil society organizations filed a complaint with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel regarding the Bank’s studies for the Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance project that aims to divert water to the Dead Sea, which has been shrinking for years.
Resheq: Deporting Sheikh Salah undermines credibility of the British judiciary
Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has criticized the British judiciary for endorsing the deportation of Sheikh Raed Salah despite his proven innocence of charges leveled against him.
Israeli Authorities Prevent Farmers Reaching their Farmlands
On Tuesday, the Israeli authorities prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their farmlands, which are located behind the Annexation Wall in Kufr Jamal village, near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the Palestine News & Info Agency reported.
Irrigation Water Cut-off in Ayn al-Beida Village
Mekorot, the Israeli water company has stopped pumping irrigation water to Ayn al-Beida village in the northern Jordan valley yesterday morning. The village still remains without irrigation water today. On the same day the occupation forces attacked the village and raided homes in a search that began under the pretext of theft of surrounding settlers’ property. This property theft pretext has been used many times by the occupation forces even though it has been proven in the past that thefts occur between the settlers themselves.
Impact on Palestinian Workers under Israeli Occupation
Since the beginning of this Intifada in 2000, Israel has transformed the already harsh conditions under occupation into a nightmare of destruction and imprisonment. Economic life has severely suffered and unemployment has skyrocketed. Since September 2000, over 432 factories and 9,735 small shops and street seller stalls have been destroyed while Gaza’s industry has suffered complete breakdown due the destruction wrecked upon the Strip in the 2008/9 attack by Israel and the ongoing siege.
Israeli MK calls for targeting resistance leaders in Gaza
Member of the Israeli Knesset Shaul Mofaz has called for liquidating commanders of Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza in retaliation to the firing of rockets at Israeli targets from the Strip.
Shalom: We’re nearing dramatic decision to end rocket fire
Egyptian official says Israel agreed to delay expanding Gaza offensive for 24 hours to allow Cairo to try to bring all factions into informal cease-fire.
Settler Terrorism Against Palestinians
Beit Ummar: Settlers throw stones from behind military tear gas
What started as a peaceful demonstration soon erupted into violence when soldiers and settlers from Karmei Tzur settlement attacked a demonstration in Beit Ummar today. The demonstration of around 30 Palestinians and internationals started from the outskirts of the village and continued through a field of olive trees to a fence which separates the village from the settlement.
IOF troops detain nine Palestinians including two children
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up nine Palestinians in various West Bank areas including two children one of them a Jerusalemite in Silwan.
Israel rearrests West Bank Hamas leader
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Israeli troops rearrested a senior Hamas official overnight, along with his son, a military spokeswoman told AFP Tuesday. She said the two were detained due to their “links to Hamas.” Hassan Yusef was released from prison in early August after serving a six-year term for “membership of a terrorist organisation,” but was rearrested in early September and then released a week later.
Campaign of arrests continues
A huge force of military and intelligence officers raided several districts of Silwan on Sunday, 30 October. Four people were arrested, one of whom had only been arrested and released the previous week. Details to follow.
UN report: Israel must end its illegal blockade on Gaza
A UN report has affirmed that Israel’s blockade on the impoverished Gaza Strip is illegal and demanded an immediate end to it.
Police destroy 4 smuggling tunnels at Gaza border
Police forces on Tuesday destroyed four smuggling tunnels at Egypt’s border with Gaza, a source said. The tunnels were discovered over the past two days in the districts of Salah Eddin and Barahma in Rafah. The same source said Palestinian authorities were notified before the procedure to ensure that there were no people in the tunnels.
Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
“Our Resistance Exists Because of Israeli Occupation”
“We shouldn’t link our popular resistance to a time-bound goal. It should continue as long as its main reason exists, which is the Israeli Occupation.” The occupation forces oppressed the Anti-apartheid Wall and -settlement weekly protest around the West Bank by using metal bullets covered with rubber, gas, and sound bombs against Palestinian and international protesters, which caused dozens of suffocation cases.
BDS: Occupy Brisbane’s ‘Free University’ gets creative
“The second Sunday forum of the Free University of Occupied Brisbane discussed “creative forms of protest” on October 30 in Post Office Square. Phil Monsour fromJustice for Palestine talked about the boycott divestment and sanctions campaign against apartheid Israel. He discussed the creative nature of the campaign, including the use of flash mobs to highlight the need to boycott Israeli companies, all around the world. He said “the most successful action” staged by Justice for Palestine Brisbane had been the “We will boycott Israel” flash mob taken against the Israeli Dead Sea cosmetics company Seacret, in the Myer Centre, earlier this year.”
Notes from the SJP Conference
Two weeks ago I spent the weekend with well over 300 student activists from over 100 campuses across the United States. There were a lot of people there who I don’t ordinarily get the chance to meet, and who usually exist as icons or avatars of some sort on the internet. I went for two reasons: (1) to gauge the political temperature of the most dynamic aspect of the Palestine solidarity movement, those who will be its future – or are its present – leaders: the youth and the students and (2) to share my own perspective. Happily, I was able to do a lot more of (1) than of (2) because the latter was mostly gratuitous.
BDS: Boycott The Creative Community for Peace
“Artists Against Apartheid calls on allies to boycott the Creative Community for Peace(CCFP), which is in fact a complicit propaganda institution seeking to normalize Israeli apartheid and strongarm entertainers into its service. Fearing encroaching pressure from the Palestinian led globalBDS movement, CCFP has mobilized to counteract the cultural boycott of Israel, making itself a target of the human rights campaign in the process. Capitalizing on ignorance, the CCFP proudly calls Israel “the only democracy in the region“ surrounded by states known for their human rights violations, while offering no solutions to any human rights violations anywhere in the Middle East. Of course CCFP does not acknowledge the human rights violations being carried out daily by the Israeli state throughout Palestine-Israel.”
BDS Success: Yardbirds cancel concert in Israel
“Many Yardbird fans are thrilled to hear that these British legends, famous for the unmatched single “For Your Love,” will not play in apartheid Israel. Professor Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman, Professor Adah Kay, and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, calling themselves “ancient geezers,” wrote an OPEN LETTER to the Yardbirds on August 30.
BDS: New Book calls for direct action against British companies complicit in Israeli apartheid
Corporate Watch has just released a book, Targeting Israeli Apartheid: A Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Handbook, encouraging campaigners to take direct action against the British companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, militarism and colonisation.
Racism & Discrimination
Eliminate Arabic as an official language, says draft law
A draft law has been proposed by former Shabak head and Kadima party member Avi Dakhtir that would see the elimination of Arabic as an official language of Israel, leaving Judaism as the sole identity officially recognized by the state, and an alteration to the constitution that grants construction permits only to those of Jewish heritage. The draft law has already been signed by one-third of Knesset members, including members of Dakhtir’s Kadima party, headed by opposition leader Tsipi Livni. The law stands amongst many to be discussed by MKs adjourning again after summer vacation. The coming winter is expected to be defined by a number of hot debates within the Knesset, notably new laws aimed at limiting minority rights for Muslims and Christians. While this and other proposed laws have come under attack by human rights organizations, the international community is yet to break its silence. Palestinians face serious institutional and cultural prejudice, despite constituting 19% of Israel’s population – not including the 280-300,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, who enjoy no right to elect Knesset Members. A child stands over the wreckage of his house demolished by Israeli bulldozers Wreckage of a Palestinian family home in Wadi Hilweh, Silwan Israeli settlers’ construction on land confiscated under the Absentee Property Law.
Hamas appreciated all countries which voted for the admission of Palestine as a full-fledged member of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
UNESCO Palestine decision sets off U.S.-U.N. confrontation
The move to admit Palestine as a member state triggers laws that bar the U.S. from funding any U.N. body that makes that move. The cutoff deprives UNESCO of 22% of its funding. A decision by the United Nations’ cultural organization to admit Palestine as a member state set off a confrontation between the U.S. and the U.N., threatening to strip Washington of influence in several key international agencies while cutting off a major source of contributions to the world body.
Israel, Palestinians, and UNESCO culture wars
UNESCO, a cultural heritage group at the United Nations, today gave Palestinians membership. Why is Israel angry about this symbolic step?
MJ Rosenberg: UNESCO Fiasco: Dancing to Netanyahu’s Tune
It was bound to happen sooner or later. At some point, both Obama and Congress would be faced with a clear choice between U.S. national interests and the demands made by Netanyahu and his powerful lobby.
UNESCO Palestine Vote Isolates US Further, Juan Cole
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognized Palestine as a full member on Monday setting off a crisis between the United States and the United Nations that seems likely to further isolate Washington in the world and reduce its influence. The UNESCO vote could start an avalanche of such acceptances among various UN bodies. Although Palestine is unlikely now to get a majority next month at the UN Security Council, there is always next year. And the admission of Palestine by large numbers of UNO organizations might anyway have a similar effect to a UNSC majority vote.
What Palestine’s UNESCO membership could mean on the ground, Ehab Zahriyeh
After years of deterrents from the United States via congressional legislation and diplomatic pressure, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has voted in favor of admitting Palestine as a full member. The move, viewed by many as symbolic, could have one of two separate major impacts: first regarding UNESCO’s relationship with the US; and second on the grounds for Palestinian communities threatened by Israeli occupation, especially in the Jordan Valley, West Bank.
Political Developments / Diplomatic News
Palestinians aim to join 16 other UN agencies (AP)
AP – It’s not just UNESCO: The Palestinians’ top envoy in Geneva said Tuesday he believes that joining the U.N. agency for culture, education and science will “open the door” to joining 16 other U.N. agencies within weeks.
U.S. Jewish group appeals against placing ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on passports
Americans for Peace Now files amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court to oppose listing Israel as home country of Jerusalem-born Americans; U.S. has never recognized any sovereignty over Jerusalem, be it Israel, Palestinian or Jordanian.
Arab League says will look at UN bid alternatives
DOHA (AFP) — Arab League foreign ministers said Sunday they would look into alternative action if their efforts fail to secure full Palestinian membership of the United Nations. ”We support the Palestinian demand for full UN membership,” ministers said in a statement after talks in Doha. But the Arab League agreed to form a “committee of experts to study legal and political alternatives.” President Mahmoud Abbas, who attended Sunday’s meeting, officially submitted the request for Palestinian membership in September, a move which the US has threatened to veto if it comes to a vote in the UN Security Council.
Abbas aide: Israel isn’t serious about peace
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, which the Israeli government is said to be considering, would be a clear violation of international conventions and initiatives, a political adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday. Nimir Hammad says that as Israel is reported to be considering sanctions because Palestine won membership in UNESCO on Monday, that means Israel is not taking the peace process seriously.
Ma’areef: “Israel Suggested Secret Conversations, Which Were Rejected By Palestinian Officials”
During the Quartet visit to Palestine last week, Israel submitted a proposal to break the current impasse of the peace process. This is by initiating secret direct negotiations, which were immediately rejected by Palestinian officials. This rejection, however, upset Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stated that Palestinian President Abu Mazen is against peace, the Ma’an News Agency reported.
Sources: Mishaal to visit Jordan before Eid
The political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal is to visit Amman soon for a series of meetings with Jordanian officials topped by King Abdullah II.
Anat Kam sentenced to 4.5 years in prison
Former IDF soldier sentenced to prison term after two years under house arrest; she was convicted of illegal possession of classified IDF materials and their subsequent handover to a reporter.
Israel’s incompetent police officers
Comptroller’s report: Israel Police hired candidates who failed to meet minimal standards.
Seven Killed in Iraq Violence
At least seven Iraqis were killed and 15 more were wounded in new violence.
Maliki orders Army to ban unauthorized demonstrations in Salahuddin
Iraq Army 4th division positioned in Tikrit received an order from General Commander of the Armed Forces Nuri Al Maliki stipulating to ban demonstrations in the province if they don’t have an authorization from Iraq Ministry of Interior.
Egypt: Prominent blogger and activist detained
The authorities must stop trying civilians before unfair military courts, Amnesty International said today, after a prominent Egyptian blogger and activist was detained. Alaa Abdel Fattah appeared before military prosecutors on Sunday, but refused to answer questions because of his opposition to civilians being tried before military courts. The prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days pending further investigation. Activist Bahaa Saber, who was interrogated at the same time, also refused to be questioned and was released on bail. Both men criticized the fact that the military is in charge of investigating the killing of at least 27 people on 9 October, when troops and riot police violently dispersed protests around the state television building, known as Maspero. The demonstrations were sparked by attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.
Should Egypt repay its $35 billion debt?, Yasmine Gado
Since Mubarak’s fall, steps are being taken to address the widespread corruption that occurred during his 30-year rule. The Illicit Gains Authority established for this purpose is working to recover assets owned by the Mubarak family and their associates. Last week the authority froze the family’s assets after Switzerland revealed Mubarak’s sons held US$340 million in Swiss banks. Estimates of the family’s wealth are as high as US$70 billion. Corruption trials of former regime figures are ongoing. To date, Mubarak’s closest advisor Hussein Salem and his family, worth over US$4 billion, were convicted in absentia of corruption and money laundering. Billionaire Ahmed Ezz was convicted of corruption last month and is facing trial for profiteering on 2 November.
Arab League hands Syria plan to end unrest
Plan involves talks between authorities and the opposition to end the uprising against President Assad’s rule.
NATO rules out Syria intervention
While Rasmussen says military action was out of question, Arab League calls for tanks to be withdrawn from the streets.
Witnesses say officers beat prominent Muslim leader from Edmonton who had travelled to the kingdom for pilgrimage.
Libya: Militias Terrorizing Residents of ‘Loyalist’ Town
Militias from the city of Misrata are terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha, accusing them of having committed atrocities with Gaddafi forces in Misrata. The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned – some of it ransacked and burned – and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return. (New York) – Militias from the city of Misrata are terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha, accusing them of having committed atrocities with Gaddafi forces in Misrata, Human Rights Watch said today.
Finland must further investigate USA rendition flights
The Finnish authorities must further investigate newly released data to determine if USA rendition flights landed in the country, Amnesty International said today. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs published information last week revealing some 150 landings in Finland by aircraft connected to the CIA’s rendition and secret detention programmes but said they were only seeking clarification from the USA on one flight despite questions over a number of flights.
Oakland braces for Occupy ‘general strike’
(10-31) 19:10 PDT OAKLAND – From schools and downtown stores to the nation’s fifth busiest port, Oakland is bracing for Wednesday’s citywide “general strike,” a hastily planned and ambitious action called by Occupy protesters a day after police forcibly removed their City Hall encampment last week.
‘Occupy Denver’ spokeswoman says police injustice only boosts protest
“Occupy Denver” media coordinator Jeannie Harley said on Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann that she did not witness any protesters being unruly during the violent arrests at Saturday’s rally in Civic Center Park. “We’d had a perfectly peaceful march, a perfectly peaceful rally, and it turned into something much worse,” she said.
Bishop of London appeals to Occupy protesters
Anti-capitalist protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London say they will stay put, despite a personal appeal from the Bishop of London. The Occupy London camp, set up two weeks ago, has divided public opinion – and the church. Two clergymen from St Paul’s resigned over the threat that the camp will be forcibly removed while those who want the protestors moved argue that St Paul’s is not just a church, but a national monument and a Unesco World Heritage site as well. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from London.
Judge Richard Goldstone has written an op-ed in The New York Times denying Israeli apartheid as a “slander.” But Goldstone ignores key facts in order to make a shameless defense of Israel.
Goldstone contra Goldstone, Jamie Stern-Weiner
From the New Left Project: The degeneration of Judge Richard Goldstone continues. In April, you’ll recall, he penned an op-ed for the Washington Post that said essentially nothing, but gave the strong impression of retracting the central conclusions of the Goldstone Report on the 2008-9 Gaza massacre. The key point, documented in Norman Finkelstein‘s comprehensive dissection of the recantation, is that, whatever the reasons for Goldstone’s reversal, it wasn’t based on new evidence.
President Obama’s descent to Israel-groveling was fast and furious, considering it’s been a short time from his June 2009 Cairo speech to his September 2011 UN speech. MJ Rosenberg dubbed Obama as the most Israel-subservient president ever: “Obama isn’t lying about his ‘pro-Israel’ record… This administration has been the most one-sided supporter of everything Israel asks for since 1948. There is no competition. Not even George W Bush comes close.” Maybe, but it’s clear this president, as every president before him, will do anything to get re-elected. What humiliation: the American president, elected by wide mandate, rendered supine by a pair of fanatics like Benjamin Netanyahu and his gloating neo-fascist cohort Avigdor Lieberman. The road to Washington runs through Tel Aviv.
Israel’s Manuscript Theft: Appropriating Jewish Arab History
A pigeon perches on stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments in Hebrew on top of the Magen Abraham Synagogue, currently undergoing restoration, in downtown Beirut. Located in the former Jewish quarter of Wadi Abu Jamil, the synagogue was abandoned during Lebanon’s civil war
In four simple slides:
Slide 1. Punish Ramallah.
Slide 2. Topple Hamas.
Slide 3. ????
Slide 4. Mideast Peace!
The law and practice of apartheid in South Africa and Palestine, John Dugard
I spent most of my adult life in South Africa opposing apartheid, as an advocate, legal academic and, from 1978-1990, director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies( a research institute engaged in human rights advocacy and litigation). In my work I compared and contrasted apartheid with international human rights standards and advocated a Constitution with a Bill of Rights in a democratic South Africa. Unlike many other South Africans, I was never imprisoned but I was prosecuted, arrested and threatened by the security police. My major book, Human Rights and the South African Legal Order (1978), the most comprehensive account of the law and practice of apartheid, was initially banned.
Living Under Israel’s Boot, Stephen Lendman
Like occupied people everywhere, Palestinians understand oppression better than experts. Ask them. They’ll explain. In Gaza, it means living under siege and Israeli air, land and sea attacks. West Bank communities face day and night incursions. In the week ending October 27, 58 were conducted, nearly 10 a day. Israel arrests Palestinians while releasing others. Every Palestinian wonders when their loved ones may be taken in middle of the night raids, including children young as ten. International law doesn’t restrain Israeli persecution. Peaceful protestors taste tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, beatings and other abusive tactics to disperse them.
Elegantly dressed and perfectly made up, Ruth Dayan, 95, receives me with a wide smile in her Tel Aviv home overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The charismatic, alert, and extremely intelligent Dayan is the widow of Moshe Dayan, legendary chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and a key leader in the war of independence in 1948. Indeed, Moshe Dayan was transformed into a symbol of national strength during the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The Israelis felt invincible with this imposing figure at the helm. Having lost his eye in battle, he chose to wear a black eye patch, which became his trademark. In the years since his death, Ruth has continued to act as one of Israel’s most outspoken elder statesmen.
Yasmine lets out a moan and rocks sideways while sitting on a wooden chair in the middle of a dirt road in one of Cairo’s poor neighborhoods. The body of her brother, Issam Atallah, may come out of the morgue’s gates facing her any minute now. “Issam: my phone won’t ring again,” she says as she grabs her black headcover and her eyes swell with tears. “I won’t hear your voice asking about my latest anymore.”
As pro-Palestinian discourse begins to make its voice heard in the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement, right-wing organizations and individuals in the United States, including the Republican National Committee and the Emergency Committee for Israel, have denounced the protests as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
Occupy the Treasury!
Reclaim the monetary system with the NEED Act – HR 2990. With all the hysteria about government debt and deficit spending, ostensible pretexts for annihilating the public sector, why is no one scrutinizing the source of the problem ~ the monetary system?
Neither Revolution Nor Reform: A New Strategy for the Left
Quietly, a different kind of progressive change is emerging, one that involves a transformation in institutional structures and power, a process one could call “evolutionary reconstruction.”
Today in Palestine for Monday, October 31, 2011
Land, property theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Likud mulls ‘AG bypass’ on West Bank outposts
Ynet 31 Oct — Ministers support PM Netanyahu’s proposal to form review panel to retroactively sanction illegal outposts; suggest government retains independent counsel to go head to head with Attorney General’s Office on the matter
Cabinet advances plans to build new Negev towns
JPost 31 Oct — To the dismay of green groups, the government decided to move forward with an initiative to construct 10 new northern Negev communities in its weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday … The Settlements Division of the World Zionist Organization, which said it will be responsible for planning 10 new northern Negev communities as a result of the cabinet decision, argued that the development will “give life” to the region
Khan al-Ahmar homes demolished
[photos] ICAHD 31 Oct — Five family homes were demolished this morning … in the Jerusalem periphery Palestinian-Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar. 15 army jeeps and a bulldozer showed up at the rural community, in the hills east of Jerusalem this morning, and demolished five family homes, displacing 71 people, including some 60 children. ICAHD staff arrived at the community a few short hours after the demolition to find family members mourning the loss of their homes and property. Abu Khamis, a Khan al-Ahmar community activist told ICAHD staff: ‘We will not be forced off our land, if Israel demolishes, we will rebuild’.
Israel: Charging house demolition victims to pay costs of demolition equipment / Samir
ISM 31 Oct — … The families received the first demolition order 10 days ago and were then told to demolish their own houses. When this did not happened a final demolition order was sent three days ago. Around 10 AM today 15 military vehicles arrived and the army demolished the three houses … Not only did they lose their homes, but they will also be held responsible to pay for the rent of the bulldozer that demolished the houses. Only one woman and one child were present when the demolition happened. All the men stayed away from the location in order not to be held financially responsible.
New report says Israeli home demolitions in East Jerusalem violate international law, may constitute a war crime / Zack Resnick
Mondo 31 Oct — Earlier today The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions gave a press conference releasing its new report on Israeli housing demolition policy in East Jerusalem, and announcing that it will submit complaints to the U.N. A press release accompanying the report reads in part:
Jordanian farmers to sue Israeli premier for property damage
AMMAN (PIC) 31 Oct — Dean of Jordan Valley farmers Adnan Al-Khaddam said he intends to file a lawsuit against the Israeli premier with international courts and another one locally against his ambassador in Amman because of the fire damage that happened to their agricultural lands in border areas. The Jordanian newspaper Assabil quoted Khaddam as saying that deliberate fires caused by Israeli occupation forces on the Israeli occupied side of Jordan Valley region extended to their side damaging their property, and vast tracts of crops and trees.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
PA: Israel bans 19 people from undertaking Hajj
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — Israeli authorities on Sunday banned 29 West Bank Palestinians from traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, a PA official said. Issa Qaraqe, minister of prisoner affairs in Ramallah, said that all of the pilgrims banned from traveling were relatives of prisoners in Israeli jails … The minister slammed the policy, labeling it “aggressive behavior which violates the right to practice religious rites.”
Authorities block Silwanic photographer from Al-Aqsa
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — Silwanic photographer Ahmad Siyam was prevented by Israeli forces from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound yesterday, Thursday 27 October. Officers cited security reasons for the ban. Siyam was on an assignment documenting the delegation of released prisoners visiting the tomb of Faisal al-Husaini.
Journalists syndicate condemns withdrawal of reporter’s permit to Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 30 Oct — …PJS said Abdul Karim Abu Arqoub, a journalist in al-Quds daily, was stopped and detained at Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah without being given reasons; he was later informed that his permit was canceled. The press release said PJS considered the Israeli decision as breaching the freedom of the press and violating journalists.
Video: Syrian families divided by Golan fence
BBC 26 Oct — Israeli forces are continuing the construction of a fence started earlier this year to separate the occupied Golan Heights from Syrian territories. Israel says the barrier is aimed at preventing any infiltration by Palestinians or Syrians into Israeli lands. However, Syrian residents say the fence separates them from their families and mother land.Ghada Nassef reports.
Settler and right-wing Israeli terrorism
Settlers stone elderly Palestinian lady
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 31 Oct — A group of Jewish settlers Monday stoned an elderly Palestinian lady as she was picking olives in Mukhmas, a village southeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, according to local sources. The 80-year-old woman was reported to be injured in the head and transferred to hospital for treatment.
Report: Palestinian restaurant set alight in Jaffa
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — A Palestinian restaurant in Jaffa was set on fire in a suspected “price tag” attack, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday. A local official said that the terms “price tag” and “Kahane was right” were written on the walls. Jaffa residents reported the incident on Monday morning.
PARC: Settlers burn 2600 Palestinian olive trees in October
RAMALLAH (PIC) 31 Oct — The Palestinian agricultural relief committee (PARC) said that Jewish settlers had burnt 2600 Palestinian olive trees in October, assessing the Palestinian farmers’ damages as a result at around 156,000 dollars. The committee said in its monthly report issued on Monday that the Palestinians lost on average 3.5 olive trees per hour in October either through incineration or destruction. It noted that 53% of the losses were sustained in Nablus province followed by Salfit province at 24%, adding that most of the attacks were carried out by settlers with some of them committed by Israeli occupation soldiers.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
WATCH: Settler violence during olive harvest not just random fanaticism / Moriel Rothman
972mag 30 Oct — Notes and Stories from the Olive Harvest: Palestinian farmers tell stories of intimidation, vandalism and violence from settler neighbors, as they attempt to harvest their olives … the fact that the army has been somewhat willing to fulfill its legal obligation – established explicitly following a 2006 Supreme Court ruling - to protect Palestinian farmers during the olive season speaks more to successful pressure from media and civil society than it does to any change in policy. According to a report [Hebrew] recently published by the Israeli legal organization Yesh Din, out of the 127 cases Yesh Din has followed since 2005 against settlers guilty of destroying of Palestinian trees, only one has led to an indictment.
Extremist group targets released prisoners
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 30 Oct — Prisoners returned home to Jerusalem as part of the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap agreement have been targeted by an unnamed Israeli extremist group. The group has placed the freed prisoners under highly invasive surveillance in order to gather intelligence for the Israeli security apparatus. The group claims to “defend the lives of Israelis and Jews”, using a network of private detectives to track the prisoners’ moves and activities. Information gathered is then published to the Israeli media … Maps have been uploaded to the group’s Facebook page showing the residences of the released prisoners.
Elad demands apology from Arabic newspaper
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) – Settler association Elad has demanded an apology from Arabic daily The Jerusalem News for its reporting on Elad head David Biery’s abduction of 10-year old Silwan resident Mahmoud al-Khaseeb. Khaseeb was taken by Biery, assaulted by an Arab man and delivered to Israeli forces. Video evidence exists of the event.
4th suspect arrested in Tuba Zanghariya mosque torching
JPost 31 Oct — Police say man is 20-year-old from Samaria, who was arrested in W. Bank settlement of Yitzhar; remand extension to be requested … The investigation into the arson is being carried out by the Judea and Samaria police in collaboration with the special LAHAV investigative task force, which was launched to investigate suspected price tag’ attacks..
IDF razes four West Bank outpost homes near Bat Ayin
JPost 31 Oct — The IDF destroyed four unauthorized homes that were in the final stages of construction at an outpost just outside of the Bat Ayin settlement in the West Bank early Monday morning. The demolitions come as settlers and right-wing politicians have warned that the army intends to demolish hundreds of unauthorized West Bank settler homes. [so,more ‘price tag’ attacks on the way…]
VIDEOS: Literal buzzkills: What it feels like under an Israeli drone
ISM 30 Oct – Sami Kishawi — Unmanned Israeli drones have been circling over the Gaza Strip for more than a day now. Few people outside of Gaza realize just how psychologically torturing this can be. Not only are the drones loud and incessant, but they also instill fear: the drones are able to fire a projectile at you at any given moment, no warning necessary. An independent journalist by the Twitter handle @WelshInGaza recorded the following footage to give you an idea of what it feels like underneath an Israeli drone during the day and during the night.
Overnight airstrike brings Gaza deaths to 12
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Two militants were killed overnight Sunday as Israeli forces targeted the Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll in the coastal enclave to 12 since Saturday … The Al-Ansar brigades, a military wing of the Al-Ahrar movement, said in a statement that the victims were fighters in the group. They vowed to retaliate for the deaths.
Army: 2 rockets fired into southern Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Oct 21:37 — Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Monday afternoon, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli army said … As yet, no factions in Gaza have claimed the launches. Israeli airstrikes have killed 12 militants in three days, and a volley of rockets from Gaza killed one Israeli on Saturday.
Gaza militants renew rocket fire at Be’er Sheva, Sderot
Haaretz 31 Oct 19:31 — Palestinian militants in Gaza renewed rocket fire toward southern Israel on Monday, launching seven rockets at Be’er Sheva and Sderot … There were no casualties or damage done in any of the incidents.
Envoy: Egypt truce halted Israeli incursion into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — Egypt prevented Israel from launching a major military incursion into Gaza and succeeded in halting the ongoing tit-for-tat attacks across the border, the Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority said Monday. Yasser Othman told Ma‘an that Egyptian efforts would continue until a complete truce is reached in Gaza and Israeli violations stop.
Netanyahu: No ceasefire, no negotiations
Ynet 31 Oct — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the Likud faction on Monday, saying: “There is no ceasefire, no negotiations and the IDF continues its operations. Anytime someone disrupts the peace in the south — our response will be severe, just as it was on Saturday, and I’m telling you — even more severe.”
Netanyahu: We do not seek a deterioration
Ynet 30 Oct — PM says Israel’s policy in Gaza includes two main principles: ‘Kill or be killed’ and ‘Hurt us — on your own head be it’. Unaware army changed its version, Netanyahu mistakenly says terror cell gunned down Saturday was same cell that fired at Ashdod Wednesday
IDF explains terror cells’ rocket attack success
Ynet 30 Oct — Defense officials argue accurate rocket hits resulted from weather, entrenched launcher posts, training and advanced technology – including multi-barrel rockets. But what about the Iron Dome?
Environment official: 95 percent of the aquifer unfit for human use
GAZA (PIC) 31 Oct — Head of the environment authority Yousuf Ibrahim warned that about 95 percent of the water aquifer in the Gaza Strip unsuitable for human consumption due to high levels of salinity … The environment official suggested that the use of rainwater can provide some kind of solution to this problem if the ministry of local government demanded every home and institution to necessarily establish a big tank underground to store rainwater and then pump it directly to the aquifer … “We need 20 years of no use from the aquifer in order to rehabilitate it once again,” the official emphasized.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — Israeli authorities re-opened the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh. The southernmost border crossing is the only operating entry point for commercial goods and humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave, which is home to more than 1.6 million Palestinians. Israeli authorities closed the crossing on Sunday, as violence flared along the border.
UNRWA: Union chief redundancy allegations ‘not true’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees denied allegations that it intends to fire 2 percent of its employees, after the suspended head of UNRWA’s union said he had proof of planned mass redundancies.
Union: Strike at Gaza UNRWA school to last until Thursday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — UN-run schools in the Gaza Strip went on strike on Sunday, with protests planned to last until Thursday, a staff union said … The strike is in protest against UNRWA’s suspension of the head of the union, Suhail al-Hindi. Hamas sources said the UN agency had accused al-Hindi of meeting with Hamas political officials.
Detention / Court actions
Israeli court sentences Fatah lawmaker to 30 years
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced Fatah-affiliated lawmaker Jamal Tirawi to 30 years in jail, his brother said, after a trial which ran on for four years. Tirawi’s brother told Ma‘an that the court convicted the elected official of being a commander in Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Israeli forces detain 9 people across the West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 31 Oct — Israeli forces made multiple arrests overnight Sunday and Monday morning in several districts across the West Bank. Palestinian police said in a statement that nine people were detained after their homes were raided in the districts of Jerusalem, Qalqiliya, Bethlehem and Nablus.
Israeli military forces entered the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem and detained 14-year-old Abdul-Karim Shoyoukhi and 20-year-old Muhammad al-Qaq, the statement said.
Israeli prison industrial complex in motion
ISM 30 Oct — Lisa — During a settler tour around the old city in Hebron on Saturday, where dozens of Israelis were guided around in a sort of parade, a Palestinian man named Yousef Salim Issa Al Batch, passed by and was stopped by Israeli police. He had a small fruit knife in his pocket and had forgotten his ID. As a result he was arrested and taken to the police station at the Kiryat Arba settlement at 4:15 PM. Earlier in the day Al Batch had been cutting apples with a small knife and forgot to take it out of his pocket … Although Al Batch has never been arrested before and never been in trouble, the police officer decided to bring him to the police station anyways. Al Batch was released at 8:30 PM after his cousin paid 1,000 shekels in cash to the police.
Gilad Shalit: The Abusisi connection / Richard Silverstein
There has been much soul-searching in the Israeli media and within the intelligence and political echelons about the lessons learned from the Shalit affair. Among them there have been a few references to the Abusisi kidnapping which reinforce the impression that Mossad took him because it believed he had some connection to Shalit … [Abusisi] was abducted because Israeli intelligence thought he could provide information about Shalit and he didn’t. This means that all the other nonsense about Abusisi being Hamas’ chief rocket engineer trained at a Ukraine military engineering academy; or that the Gazan planned, with the support of Hamas’ military wing to create a military academy in Gaza – all this is utter nonsense. They took him because they thought he could lead them to Shalit and he didn’t and he couldn’t. Everything else is hot-air, including the claim that he had any close affiliation with Hamas. Let Israel’s spooks come down off their high horse and admit they screwed up. Abusisi doesn’t belong in prison. He belongs home with his wife and six children.
Tibi visits Barghouti in prison, calls for his release
JPost 30 Oct — MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) visited Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti at the Hadarim Detention Center in Even Yehuda on Sunday and called for his release from prison. “Barghouti is part of the Palestinian struggle, and should be a part of the leadership, instead of sitting behind bars,” Tibi said.
Israeli forces terrorism – West Bank
With children visible, Israeli military assaults Kufr Kaddoum
ISM 28 Oct – Rana H. — Soldiers fired teargas directly into crowd at peaceful protesters in Kufr Qaddoum. Internationals and Palestinians, including children, were gathered behind barbed wire that runs across their main road, and were not advancing when soldiers began to fire around ten canisters of tear gas at once from a short distance … They continued to shoot tear gas at the approximately 100 protesters for over an hour. Many civilians from the village were affected by the perpetual firing of tear gas. Protesters were holding signs calling on the International community not to support Illegal Israeli settlements when the tear gas began from a distance of only 25 metres. A Swedish International activist was not expecting such an assault on un-advancing protesters. “It was my first time at a protest here and I was shocked that they would fire tear gas directly at a peaceful crowd with children visibly among them.”
Israeli Racism / Discrimination
Safed landlord kicks out Druze students
Ynet 30 Oct – Almost a year after rabbis’ letter, racism strikes in Safed once again: Less than a day after four students from the Druze town of Buq’ata in the Golan Heights rented out an apartment in Safed, their landlord ordered them to pack their belongings and vacate the home. The landlord told them he received threats from ultra-Orthodox neighbors demanding he “not rent out the apartment to Arabs.”
UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership
Haaretz/Reuters 31 Oct — The United Nations’ cultural agency decided on Monday to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations.
Abbas: Granting Palestine membership in UNESCO supports our right to statehood
AMMAN, JORDAN (WAFA) 31 Oct – President Mahmoud Abbas told WAFA on Monday that voting in favor of Palestine to gain full membership in UNESCO “is for peace and represents an international consensus supporting our legitimate national rights, at the forefront our right to statehood. Abbas expressed his gratitude to all the countries that voted in favor of Palestine’s full membership in … UNESCO. He stressed that “this vote is not against anyone, it is only in support of freedom and justice.”
Palestine to apply for full membership in WHO, says Minister of Health
RAMALLAH, (WAFA) 31 Oct — Minister of Health, Fathi Abu Moghli said on Monday that the ministry is preparing to apply an application for Palestine to gain full membership in the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a press release.
US: Palestinian membership is premature
AP/DPA/Haaretz 31 Oct — The White House said Monday that UNESCO’s approval of full Palestinian membership is “premature” and undermines the international community’s goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace plan. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Monday’s vote is also a distraction from the goal of restarting direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
VIDEO: State Department flack tacitly concedes that US opposition to Palestinian UNESCO membership stems from protecting Israeli interests / Richard Silverstein
Reporter Matt Lee sticks it to State Department spokesflack Victoria Nuland (who is married to neocon analyst Robert Kagan) as she argues that U.S. opposition to the Palestinian bid for UNESCO membership and our immediate defunding of that body arises from our concern for a “rise in tension” it would cause. After Lee repeatedly asks her what “tension” the vote creates except Israeli anger, she ends the interchange charging him with mounting a “polemic.”
US cuts off UNESCO funding after Palestinian vote
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 31 Oct — The United States said on Monday it had stopped funding UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, following its vote to grant the Palestinians full membership. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States had no choice but to halt funding because of longstanding U.S. law, saying Washington would not make a planned $60 million transfer that was due in November.
Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestinian membership
Haaretz 31 Oct — Israel rejects the decision of the General Assembly of UNESCO to grant the Palestinians full membership of the organization, the Foreign Ministry said Monday, and warned that Israel will now reconsider its future cooperation with the body.
Israel to mull sanctions on Palestinian Authority following UNESCO vote
Haaretz 31 Oct — Netanyahu to convene meeting with senior ministers to discuss punitive measures against Palestinians after they were granted full membership from the UN cultural body.
FM Lieberman: Israel must weigh cutting ties with Palestinian Authority
Haaretz 31 Oct — “We need to collect a price for the diatribes, campaigns and boycotts,” Lieberman said at a Yisrael Beiteinu party meeting at the Knesset. “We cannot leave it without a clear response and without collecting a price.” Lieberman also said that Israel “needs to topple the Hamas regime as possible.”
PA signs cooperation agreement with Germany
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 31 Oct — The Palestinian Authority Monday signed a cooperation agreement with the German government to support two water treatment projects in the northern West Bank cities of Tulkarm and Nablus … The project aims to solve the water shortage problems in Nablus through extending the water pipelines carrying water by a total of 15.6 kilometers, extending the water distribution networks and establishing water tanks and pumps at specified locations in Nablus.
Report: Israel seeking to upgrade its nuclear weapons capabilities
Haaretz 31 Oct –Israel is working on improving its nuclear weapons capabilities, according to a report by the independent Trident commission in the United Kingdom that was published in the Guardian newspaper on Monday. According to the report in the Guardian, Israel is extending the range of its Jericho 3 land-to-land missiles so they will have the capabilities of transcontinental missiles … The Guardian also reported that Israel is also striving to improve and expand the capabilities of its cruise missiles, designed to be launched from submarines.
Terror victims’ NGO to publish terrorist database
JPost 31 Oct — The Almagor Victims of Terror Association plans to launch an online database of the terrorists with descriptions of their crimes in an effort to prevent future prisoner swaps, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The head of Almagor, Meir Indor, believes by connecting the names of the terrorists to the specific terror attacks they committed, the public will be less likely to support prisoner swaps in the future.
73 get suspended terms for Israeli Embassy attack
AFP 31 Oct — An Egyptian military court on Monday handed down six-month suspended jail sentences to 73 people accused of involvement in the attack on the Israeli embassy in September, a military source said. Two other people were acquitted.
Tunisia issues arrest warrant for Arafat’s widow
TUNIS (Reuters) 31 Oct — Tunisian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Suha Arafat, widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as part of a corruption probe into Tunisia’s former first family, the justice ministry said on Monday.
Analysis / Opinion
Settlers succeeding in hostile takeover of Israel / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 30 Oct — Do you really want to live in a country where the heads of the settlement enterprise allocate its lands, plan its nature sites, rule on its laws and are increasingly controlling its lifestyles? — Phase I was long since declared an unqualified success: The settlers gained control of the occupied territories, using their power and their construction projects to thwart any just arrangement. But anyone who thought they would settle for controlling the West Bank should take a look at Phase II of the plan, which is at its height and already a success story. Now, after the hostile takeover of the West Bank, comes the takeover of the state.
Essays on the latest Quartet initiative
Bitter Lemons 31 Oct — Two Palestinian (‘The Quartet facade’ – Sam Bahour; ‘A serious challenge’ – Ghassan Khatib) and two Israeli (‘Pointless and depressing’ – Yossi Alpher; and ‘A dangerous illusion of conflict management’ – Akiva Eldar)
Israel’s blindness causing its decline / Yitzhak Laor
Haaretz 31 Oct — Netanyahu can call the prisoners he frees “murderers,” and emotionally eulogize Rehavam Ze’evi. He prefers a strong Hamas, since he prefers a dead end. This is why he prefers to leave in prison the two most important Palestinian leaders – Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat – behind bars.