Judge delivers ultimatum to flotilla activists: Confess or face 2 months without trial
PNN 9 Nov — Fifteen of the activists from the Freedom Waves to Gaza flotilla came before an Israeli court on Tuesday, and were advised they could be held for up to 2 months without charges or a trial. One Australian, one British, two Canadians, and 14 Irish activists remain imprisoned by Israel after five days. In order to avoid further incarceration, the judge told the detainees they could sign a statement declaring that they entered Israel voluntarily and illegally. Some of the Freedom Waves to Gaza participants have already been deported at their own expense.
Violent tactics by Israel almost sank Gaza-bound boats
EI 6 Nov — The two Gaza-bound boats intercepted by Israel on Friday almost sunk because of the violent tactics used, passengers have stated in phone messages from prison. Both the Tahrir from Canada and the MV Saoirse from Ireland collided with each other during Israel’s three-hour operation, according to Fintan Lane, coordinator of the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign.“It began with Israeli forces hosing down the boats with high pressure hoses and pointing guns at the passengers through the windows,” Lane, who was onboard the Saoirse, said. “I was hosed down the stairs of the boat. Windows were smashed and the bridge of the boat nearly caught fire.” Lane is one of 14 Irish people now being held in Givon prison. In a telephone call from there, he has described the Israeli conduct as “dangerous to human life,” adding: “The Israeli forces initially wanted to leave the boats at sea, but the abductees demanded that they not be left to float at sea, for they would have been lost and possibly sunk. All belongings of the passengers and crew were taken from them and they still do not know if and what they will get back.”
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Land & resources theft / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Tafakji: Palestinians will constitute only 12% of Jerusalem residents in 2030
RAMALLAH (PIC) 8 Nov — Khalil al-Tafakji, geographer at the Arab Studies Society in Jerusalem, said that the Zionist plan to build 60,000 settlement units in the next 20 years in occupied Jerusalem, aims to change the demography of the city. In an interview with the “Sawt Falastin” newspaper on Tuesday he said that in the year 2030 according to this plan, the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem would drop to 12% and the Jewish presence would rise to 88% which means the concept of dividing Jerusalem between two states will be impossible. He added that these settlement units will be built all over Jerusalem, in settlements built after the occupation in 1967 as well as Arab neighbourhoods to change the demographic facts of the city.
link to Palestinian Information Cente
Netanyahu orders expediting settlement building in Jerusalem
NAZARETH (PIC) 8 Nov — The Israeli occupation Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the expediting of settlement building in occupied Jerusalem after the Israeli High Court ruled to dismantle some settlement outposts in the West Bank, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday. The paper said that Likud party members criticised Netanyahu, during a party meeting, because of a high court decision ordering the dismantlement of a number of settlement outposts in the West Bank. In his reply to them he said that he ordered expediting settlement expansion in Jerusalem, Maleh Adumim and some West Bank settlement.
link to Palestinian Information Center
[Palestinian land apparently wanted by Israeli water company]
PNN 9 Nov – …Also in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces gave Hebron-area farmer Ali Jaber a warning on Wednesday that they would soon bulldoze his land, located in the area of al-Buqa’a. The small patch of land, about four dunums (a dunum is a quarter of an acre), is thought to be wanted by the Israeli Makrot water company, as Jaber reported that the soldiers who delivered the warning were accompanied by Makrot employees. He said there are now 10 settler caravans in al-Buqa’a and he and his neighbors have begun to face settler attacks every day.
Father of 5 run over and killed by settler
ISM 9 Nov — This afternoon, 45 year old Abdullah Mutaled Al-Mashni, father of 5, was run over and killed by an illegal settler. Whilst returning from collecting his olives, Abdullah was last seen riding his donkey back towards his village of Deir Istia – 7km northwest of Salfit. Soon after the killing, Israeli Occupation Forces arrived to shield the scene from photographers and journalists gathered to report on the crime. It is believed the settler was a resident in the nearby illegal colony of Revava – established on occupied Palestinian land in 1991.
In 3 separate attacks, Israeli settlers torch cars, kill Palestinian with car, shoot gas at family
IMEMC 9 Nov — Three separate settler attacks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning resulted in one Palestinian dead and three injured in different parts of the West Bank. On Tuesday evening, a Palestinian man identified as Abdul Muttaleb Hakim was rammed by an Israeli settler in a car, killing him instantly. The settler left the scene without being identified, and Israeli police called to the scene made no effort to identify the perpetrator.
In a separate incident on Wednesday just before dawn, a group of Israeli settlers set fire to parked Palestinian cars near Hebron, in the southern West Bank.
And in another attack by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning, a group of settlers from Etzion settlement near Bethlehem fired tear gas on a family of Palestinians in Artas village. A ten-year child was among those attacked, and he was transferred to a hospital in Beit Jala after being rendered unconscious from breathing in the gas. The family attacked by the tear gas were relatives of Jamal Jaber Asa‘ad, who was abducted along with his wife and sister Monday and charged with ‘trespassing’ on their family’s ancestral land. The Asa‘ad family’s land has become a flashpoint for certain settlers in the Etzion bloc of settlements, who want to expand their settlement further onto the land of the village of Artas.
In September, the Israeli government issued tear gas and other weapons to Israeli settlers living illegally throughout the West Bank, and authorized the settlers to use the weapons against the indigenous Palestinian population. This was in anticipation of expected violence from Palestinians after the United Nations considered the issue of Palestinian statehood. Although there was no Palestinian violence, the settlers were allowed to keep the weapons, which are now stockpiled in settlements all over the West Bank.
Jerusalem police arrest suspect in ‘price tag’ attacks on Peace Now offices
Haaretz 9 Nov — Jerusalem District Police arrested late Tuesday a man suspected of vandalizing Peace Now offices in Jerusalem. Police are also checking whether the suspect, 21 and a resident of a settlement near Jerusalem, was involved in the spraying of death threats on the apartment building of Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran, in what has been classified as a “Price Tag” attack. A gag order on the case was lifted on Wednesday. The suspect is currently undergoing a hearing as to whether his arrest will be extended … Ofran woke up Tuesday to find calls for her death on the walls of her apartment building in Jerusalem. Sprayed in red were the words, “Ofran, Rabin is waiting for you.”
Minister: ‘Price tag’ gangs a cancerous tumor
Ynet 9 Nov — Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar made harsh statements against violence targeting soldiers, Palestinians and leftist activists in what is referred to as the “price tag” phenomenon. Speaking at a youth rally marking 16 years since the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Sa’ar said: “The ‘price tag’ gangs which scheme against innocents, damage property, hurt IDF soldiers and members of the security forces, burn mosque and generally terrorize (the public) are a dangerous and cancerous tumor which must be removed.” He added that “price tag” vandals were “enemies of Judaism” and urged law enforcement authorities to curb the phenomenon.
Medical treatment delayed for hours after army shoots boy in the eye
EI 8 Nov — Before noon on 21 September, an Israeli soldier shot 14-year-old Ahed Wahdan in the face with a high-speed tear gas canister. Ahed was shot from a distance of 25 meters as he prepared to throw an empty bottle from a storefront near the Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. He lost his right eye … Neither Ahed’s treatment nor his rehabilitation are over yet. After emergency bone surgery to repair the fractures in his nose and skull caused by the aluminum canister and removal of what remained of his eye, Ahed says he remembered nothing for three days … Ahed’s mother recounted the afternoon of 21 September, after Ahed was rushed from Qalandiya to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. ““Four and half hours we were [outside St. John] in the ambulance while they ignored us,” she explained. “The [paramedic] named Bashar, a young man, said he’d done everything he could. He called someone named Dalya at Hadassa [hospital in Jerusalem], responsible for those coming from the West Bank, but she said she needed to speak to the PA …” Finally, a surgeon from Sakhnin in northern Israel arrived with a permit and volunteered to perform the necessary surgery at al-Makassed Hospital. The operation to repair Ahed’s skull took five hours, about as long as he had waited in the ambulance … .Like many Palestinians, Ahed’s mother and father are confined to the West Bank on the grounds of Israeli security .They say they’ve tried to get a permit for Ahed to go back to St. John of Jerusalem but were denied for security reasons.
Israeli troops charge Palestinian farming family with ‘trespassing’ on their own land
[with map of area: click to enlarge] IMEMC 9 Nov — A Palestinian farmer was detained, along with his wife and sister late on Monday, and charged with trespassing on his farmland – even though the farmer holds the title to the land, which has been in his family for generations. Jamal Jaber Asa‘ad, 58, was harvesting olives from his family’s grove in Artas village near Bethlehem, when an Israeli from the nearby settlement of Neve Daniel, called the Israeli Security Forces (ISF). The settlement is constructed on land taken from the village of Artas. The settler, Nadia Matar, told the ISF that she saw someone ‘trespassing’ on her land. Matar is one of around 1,000 residents of the settlement of Neve Daniel, which was established in 1982 in the ‘Gush Etzion’ bloc of settlements south of Bethlehem. This is not the first time that Matar has tried to provoke incidents with Palestinians living in the area. According to the spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, Awad Abu Sabi, Nadia Matar was one of a group of settlers who has damaged olive trees belonging to the Asa‘ad family, and has set fire to Asa‘ad’s home in a previous incident.
[Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinians, keep farmers from reaching their land in Deir Istiya]
HEBRON (Ma’an) 9 Nov — …Overnight, Israeli forces detained at least three Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinian security sources said a large Israeli force accompanied by a helicopter raided Qabatiya village in Jenin for over four hours, searching homes and neighborhoods. Security officials added that Israeli forces detained Anas Atta Camil, 27, and Ahmad Hisham Camil, 26, who is a university student and was released from an Israeli prison two months ago.
Meanwhile in Salfit on Wednesday, Israeli forces stopped farmers from reaching their lands to pick their olives near Revava settlement west of Deir Istiya, the local mayor said. Nathmi Salman, the mayor of Deir Istiya, told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers prevented Khaled Abdul Latif and Mufeed Abdullah from working on their land claiming they did not have permission. Salman added that residents were complaining that their lands had been soaked with sewage from the settlement and that they couldn’t harvest their olives.
Israeli military profiling and assaulting international observers in Hebron
ISM 5 Nov — For over a week now, ISM activists have been continually harassed, and on one occasion assaulted, by Israeli soldiers who have frequently demanded that internationals to hand over possessions of their passports. This ongoing situation has occurred within the ‘H2’ zone in the city of Hebron, which is notorious for its intense and illegal Israeli military presence due to a small number of Israeli citizens who have illegally invaded and occupied a historically significant part of the city. According to Israeli law, soldiers have limited jurisdiction over internationals as internationals are governed by civil law (unlike the Palestinians who suffer under unjust military rule) and therefore only the Israeli police have the legal authority to demand an international or Israeli citizen provide their passport for inspection. Despite this, the soldiers have continued to attempt to abuse their power … This recent change of approach from the Israeli military towards internationals appears to have coincided with a strong international presence at an olive harvest within the ‘H2’ zone during which Israeli soldiers refused Palestinians their inherent right to harvest their own land. It also appears that the arrival of a new commander, who infamously boasted, “I am the law, I am god” has also contributed to what incredibly may be a deterioration in the treatment of Palestinians and internationals…
On Tuesday 1st November the situation reached a new level of illegality and harassment. At approximately 11 AM a lone ISM activist attempted to pass through checkpoint 56 on their way to their apartment where they were staying. This activist appears to have been the attention for much of the soldiers’ harassment particularly when travelling alone, which has led activists to question whether this is due to the activist’s ethnicity (Black British)… [see soldier grab this activist by the throat: video]
Testimony: Soldiers fire at shepherdesses near Gaza perimeter fence, wounding elderly woman in leg
B’Tselem 9 Nov –Kifah al-Bahabseh, 14: I am 14 years old and am in the ninth grade. On Tuesday [9 Aug. 11] around 10:30 in the morning, I went with Haja [an honorific title for a woman who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca – O.G.] Salma a-Sawarkah to graze our flock. I have 22 head and she has about 30. I began to help her, for free, a few days earlier, since she is elderly and it is hard for her to run after the animals. When we were next to the refuse dump, east of Juhor a-Dik, and pretty far from the perimeter fence, we saw an Israeli army patrol of a few vehicles on Israeli territory. They ignored us and drove off, to where we couldn’t see them. About half an hour later, an army jeep burst toward us from the woods on the other side of the fence. It went behind a sand hill and dirt mounds, which made it impossible for me to see it. The two of us continued to sit next to the sheep. Suddenly, four soldiers who were walking next to the fence began to fire at us.
Man dies in Gaza tunnel collapse
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — A man died on Tuesday in a tunnel collapse in the southern Gaza Strip, medics said. Ramiz al-Shaer, 22, was working in the smuggling tunnel in Rafah near the Egyptian border when it collapsed, medical officials told Ma‘an.
Israel raids southern Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — Israeli warplanes raided the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, injuring one man and damaging greenhouses. Israeli forces fired two missiles north of Khan Younis which hit greenhouses and cut power to large areas of the city. One man suffered injuries caused by shrapnel from the missiles, a Ma‘an reporter said. An Israeli military spokesman said the raid was in response to a rocket fired at southern Israel late Tuesday … On Monday, Israeli forces shelled the eastern Shujaiyeh district of Gaza City. Medics said three people were injured. Low-level unrest has rumbled on in and around Gaza for the past 10 days but has not deteriorated into all-out fighting as it did on October 29-30 when violence left 12 Palestinian militants and an Israeli civilian dead.
Festive season highlights deprivation in Gaza / Erica Silverman
Al Jazeera 9 Nov — Aid agencies provide meat for Eid al-Adha holidays because 66 per cent of Gaza’s households face food insecurity — Crowds of women waving coupons worth two kilograms of beef line the stairwell to Secours Islamique France’s Gaza City office several hours before the aid agency begins its meat distribution for Eid. Aid workers struggle to climb the stairs, hauling large bags of fresh meat to assist impoverished families in Gaza this holiday season. Eid al-Adha — the Feast of Sacrifice — that fell Monday is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar. This usually festive season reveals the poverty and desperation still gripping most Palestinians in Gaza. International NGOs, many Islamic, have been purchasing sheep and cows this week in preparation for massive meat distribution projects across the Gaza Strip to assist the most vulnerable families. Several are providing gifts and warm clothing at the start of Gaza’s winter season.
Egypt to reopen border with Gaza on Thursday
Bikyamasr 9 Nov — CAIRO: Egypt with reopen its border with Gaza at the Rafah border crossing this Thursday following the conclusion of Eid al-Adha, according to The Jerusalem Post. The reopening of the Rafah crossing will allow a number of residents of Gaza to exit while allowing pilgrims on the annual Haj to reenter the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian government closed the border with neighboring Gaza last Saturday due to the holiday. Two tons of medical supplies will be transferred to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing under the auspices of Egyptian authorities. The aid package is a “gift from the Tunisian people to the Palestinians.”
Occupation transfers Sheikh Hasan Yousef and son to administrative detention
RAMALLAH (PIC) 8 Nov — Israeli occupation authorities on Tuesday morning transferred Sheikh Hasan Yousef and his son Owais to administrative detention for six months at Ofer prison near Ramallah. The family of Sheikh Yousef said that the occupation authorities informed him and his son, who arrested eight days ago, that the Israeli occupation intelligence decided to transfer them to administrative detention for six months based on “secret evidence” … that neither Sheikh Yousef, nor his lawyer are allowed to see.
His son Owais, who only got married ten days before his arrest, was also transferred to administrative detention after dropping an indictment list prepared by the occupation police in which he was accused of participating in the legislative elections, only to discover that he was in detention at Negev desert prison at the time of elections.
link to Palestinian Information Center
Hamas: Israel to free 10 women ‘in weeks’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — A Hamas leader said Wednesday that more female detainees in Israeli prisons would be released as part of an exchange deal initiated last month. Saleh Arouri told the Hamas-affiliated Risala newspaper in Gaza that the release of the 10 detainees would be finalized in the next two weeks. He added that the talks regarding the deal were nearly over. Egyptian efforts are underway to secure the detainees’ release, he said.
UN bids, other political news
UK says would abstain in UN vote on Palestine
LONDON (AFP) 9 Nov — Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday Britain would abstain from a vote in the UN Security Council on Palestinian membership of the United Nations. “In common with France and in consultation with our European partners, the United Kingdom will abstain on any vote on full Palestinian membership of the UN,” Hague told parliament just days after France said it would abstain. “We reserve the right to recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at a moment of our choosing and when it can best help bring about peace,” he added.
UNESCO eyes emergency fund, savings after US cuts
PARIS (Reuters) 9 Nov — The United Nation’s cultural agency plans to cut costs and launch an emergency fund to raise cash after a vote to grant Palestine full membership led to a cutoff in vital US and Israeli funding, its director general said on Wednesday. UNESCO’s Irina Bokova said the organization, which promotes global education and press freedom among other tasks, has a $65 million shortfall in its 2011 budget, but has yet to receive any offers from other nations to fill the gap … President Barack Obama’s administration is talking to members of Congress about funding UNESCO, a UN agency for which there is little affection in an era of tight budgets, especially among some Republicans lawmakers. Bokova said she did not expect an imminent change in the law, but said she had been lobbying lawmakers to change their minds and convince them of the agency’s relevance to the United States.
Palestinians resigned to defeat in UN bid
RAMALLAH (AP) 9 Nov – The Palestinians are resigned to defeat in their quest for full membership at the United Nations, officials said Tuesday, and have started work on their backup plan — seeking an upgraded observer status that would give them access to key international organizations. Officials said they are already lobbying foreign governments, especially in western Europe, in hopes of rallying support for this alternate strategy … Speaking to The Associated Press, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki conceded the Palestinians would not be able to gain enough support in the council.”We knew that the Security Council would not be a picnic. But the most important thing here is who is going to win in the final round,” he said. “There will be other rounds, and we will never despair.”
Palestinians’ UN blow reveals US influenced by Israel / Omar Karmi
WASHINGTON (National) 10 Nov // With no consensus in the UN’s Security Council over a Palestinian statehood application, US efforts to avoid having to cast a veto on the issue appear to have paid off … But the Palestinian UN gambit has also thrown into sharp relief the extent to which years of lobbying by pro-Israel groups in the US has narrowed the room for manoeuvre a US administration has on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a situation exacerbated as campaigning for the 2012 presidential elections start to grind into gear.
White House tries to limit Netanyahu ‘liar’ damage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 9 Nov – The White House sought on Wednesday to limit damage to U.S.-Israel relations following revelations that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “a liar” in a private conversation with President Barack Obama. “Our record speaks very clearly about the president’s commitment to Israel and he has maintained a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters, referring to Obama. Obama has had a difficult relationship with Netanyahu, who criticized him for pushing Israel too hard in the drive for a Middle East peace deal, straining Obama’s standing with Jewish American voters as he campaigns for re-election next year.
State to court: IDF reducing use of white phosphorus shells
Ynet 9 Nov — In response to petition filed by leftist group, Prosecutor’s Office says IDF regulations forbid use of white phosphorus shells for any other purpose other than smoke-screening — …A few months ago human rights group Yesh Gvul petitioned the court demanding it ban the use of such shells for smoke-screening purposes in civilian areas. The petition claimed the IDF made use of white phosphorus shells during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (December 2008 – January 2009). Following the operation, Palestinians groups and human rights groups made similar claims.
Activism / Solidarity
Palestinian actions for the week against the apartheid wall
StoptheWall 9 Nov — Stop the Wall is organizing three demonstrations to add to the weekly Friday activities against the Wall in the different villages: The demonstration takes place to commemorate the massacre of the people of al Sammou, south of Hebron. Exactly 45 years ago, on November 13 1966 Israeli forces raided this village, destroyed 125 houses, the village clinic and school as well as 15 houses in a neighboring village. 18 people were killed and 54 wounded.
Global actions for the week against the apartheid wall
EUROPE – Austria – November 7, Vienna: Two hour vigil dedicated to the Protest against the Wall and in support of the recognition of the State of Palestine. November 9, Vienna: Showing the film “Bil’in Habibti” Contact: Women in Black; Belgium — November 10: In Brussels, Intal will organize a conference and debate in support of the Palestinian call for a comprehensive and mandatory military embargo on Israel by highlighting the fact that Belgium sells weapons to Israel. This conference will have as a goal to inform our members and their friends about the weapons business between Belgium and Israel…
West Bank settlement to apply Israeli law to Palestinian workers
Haaretz 9 Nov — Ma’aleh Adumim first town to contract municipal employees according to Israel directives, equalizing routine working conditions of Palestinian workers to those of Israel workers … Until now it was the Jordanian Labor Law from 1965 that was applied to the labor arrangements in this Jewish settlement beyond the Green Line, based on the local authority’s legal argument that it is that law that applies in the territories. The agreement is considered to be precedent-setting, because for the first time it relates to the routine employment conditions of Palestinian workers and their path to achieving equality of such conditions to those of Israeli workers … for decades Ma’aleh Adumim’s municipal employees, like most of the Palestinians hired in the Jewish settlements, were employed without any social benefits, pension arrangements or oversight of their conditions of employment, as the law requires inside Israeli territory. In most cases, the Palestinian workers also have not enjoyed the improvements made to the Jordanian [law] since 1965.
Gender segregation on rise in Israel
Jerusalem (AP) 8 Nov — Posters depicting women have become rare in the streets of Israel’s capital. In some areas women have been shunted onto separate sidewalks, and buses and health clinics have been gender-segregated. The military has considered reassigning some female combat soldiers because religious men don’t want to serve with them … The newly enforced separation is felt most strongly in Jerusalem, where ultra-Orthodox Jews are growing in numbers and strength. The phenomenon is starting to be seen elsewhere, though in the Tel Aviv region, Israel’s largest metropolis, secular Jews are the vast majority, and life there resembles most Western cities. Still, secular Jews there and elsewhere in Israel worry that their lifestyles could be targeted, too, because the ultra-Orthodox population, while still relatively small, is growing significantly. Their high birthrate of about seven children per family is forecast to send their proportion of the population, now estimated at 9 percent, to 15 percent by 2025.
Authorities see big rise in African ‘infiltrators’
JPost 9 Nov — Human rights organizations criticize as “Draconian and immoral,” Israeli plans to build large detention center for asylum seekers.
Analysis / Opinion
Netanyahu: A perpetual liar / Mazin Qumsiyeh
AIC 9 Nov — Sarkozy called Netanyahu a liar. So what’s all the fuss about? Netanyahu has admitted this publicly. The question now is whether or not his lies will pull the region into a war with Iran–a conflict that some Arab leaders support behind closed doors. I do not know why people are surprised at what Sarkozy and Obama said to each other in private about Netanyahu as a liar. This is, after all, the same Netanyahu who gave a speech to dozens of Likud Party members in Eilat in which he admitted this is his strategy. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (15 July 2001): ”…giving his audience a bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Netanyahu said): ‘Always, irrespective of whether you’re right or not, you must always present your side as right.'” So Netanyahu admitted to lying and Sarkozy and Obama merely agreed with Netenyahu, and most of the Israeli public, that the current Israeli prime minister is a perpetual liar. And here is Netanyahu, thinking cameras are off, bragging about how easy it is to manipulate the US and go around the Oslo commitments (make sure to click CC for English subtitles).
Hacking Palestine: A digital occupation / Helga Tawil-Souri
Al Jazeera 9 Nov — Israel controls all Palestine’s digital infrastructure, limiting the use of phones, mobiles and internet at any time — In the aftermath of the near-total shutdown of the internet and telephone network in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is attempting to figure out how, why and by whom Palestine was hacked. Whether the PA ever comes to a conclusive finding is arguable, even if it manages to mobilise the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to conduct an investigation. The Palestinian Minister of Communications has been hinting that a state may be behind the concerted attack – by which he means Israel. No matter who the attack was waged by, that the Palestinian infrastructure is hacked into is indeed the responsibility of the Israeli regime, for it is with the latter that ultimate power and control over Palestinian telecommunications actually lies.
Challenging the Israeli army in court / Charlotte Silver
Al Jazeera 9 Nov — In 2009, the Israeli military shot US citizen Tristan Anderson in the head with a teargas canister, paralysing him — This month, hearings in Tristan Anderson’s civil case against the Israeli army will begin in Jerusalem. Like the families of Rachel Corrie, Brian Avery and countless Palestinians, Tristan and his family are seeking to hold the otherwise indemnified Israeli military responsible in Israeli courts. Tristan, a 39-year-old American, was shot in the head with an “extended range tear gas” canister on March 13, 2009 in the West Bank village of Nilin. The canister directly hit the right side of his forehead, breaking his skull, penetrating his right eye and devastating his frontal lobe. Today he remains almost entirely paralysed on his left side and blind in his right eye. Although he continues to slowly recover far beyond what was initially believed possible by his physicians – retrieving lost memories and gaining intellectual strength – he will be forever altered.
Truths, facts and facts on the ground / Joseph Massad
Al Jazeera 27 Oct — Much of the international support that Israel receives is based on several lies it tells and re-tells as “facts” … The core issues of the US and Israeli agenda were best articulated in the speeches delivered by Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the United Nations (UN) last month in response to the PLO’s bid for statehood at the UN. It is there where both Netanyahu and Obama invoked what they called “truths” and “facts” to assert Israeli facts on the ground. As I will show, their strategy is engineered to convert Israeli facts on the ground from antonyms of truths and facts to synonyms with them … Let me begin with what Zionists and the US have defined as the first “fact”, which is by definition not open to any doubt or question. Obama insists: “These facts cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland.” Netanyahu echoes Obama by listing this first “fact” as the first “truth,” … Now, this insistence that the first fact, nay the first truth, that Palestine is the historic homeland of modern European Jews who resided in Europe and not of the Palestinian people who lived in it for millennia, turns out to be neither factual nor truthful, though it indeed remains the primary and first claim made by Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Justice at Guantánamo? Jonathan Hafetz
Al Jazeera 9 Nov — Trials for Guantánamo detainees will be meaningless if the accused can be jailed regardless of the verdict — With their client facing trial in a military commission for his role in the 2000 USS Cole bombing, lawyers for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri have demanded the government answer this basic question: If al-Nashiri is acquitted, will he be released? Although the government refuses to say what it would do, it has made clear that it can continue to detain al-Nashiri regardless of the trial’s outcome. The defence’s request, which the military commission is expected to consider this week, highlights the continuing contradictions of law and justice at Guantánamo. The government’s explanation for post-acquittal detention is as follows.