Child dragged out of his house by his throat as Israel demolishes homes near Qalqiliya

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Child in the the Shaour family whose house was demolished. Israeli soldiers pulled him out of the house by his neck. (Photo: ISM)

Home Demolitions: Child dragged out by his throat

On Monday the 5th of December, in the Azzun district of Qalqiliya, a stone factory was destroyed at 6:00 am. The owner, Hussain Anam, explained to us that the factory was built 3 years ago, but his only demolition notice was when the bulldozer came this morning. The demolition order stated that the building was built without permission. The bulldozer was accompanied by 15 jeeps and 50 soldiers to destroy the property. This factory employed 10 people and now they are asking,”Where will we work today?”  In Arab an Ramadin al Janubi, two houses were destroyed at approximately 7:30 in the morning. The demolition was executed by 50 soldiers using 2 bulldozers.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement

Residents and leftists claim plan designed to block development of two Palestinian neighborhoods in eastern half of city.

New Jerusalem Park To Be Built Mainly On Arab Land
The so-called Regional Construction and Planning Committee at the Jerusalem Municipality prepared a plan for the construction of a new “National Park” in Al Masharef Mountain (Mount Scopus area). Rights activists in Palestine and Israel said that the plan aims at preventing the development of Al Esawiyya and At-Tour Arab neighborhoods.

Israeli government to relocate 2300 Bedouin in order to expand settlement
Israeli officials have announced a plan to displace twenty Bedouin Arab communities from their homes in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Jericho, and move the residents to a site along the Jerusalem municipal garbage dump.

Jerusalem lawmaker to be deported to Ramallah
Ma`an – Ahmad Attoun, a Jerusalemite, was detained in front of the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jerusalem in September. He had taken shelter in the ICRC building along with another Hamas legislator, Muhammad Abu Teir, and former PA minister Khalid Abu Arafa, after Israeli authorities revoked their Jerusalem residency permits.

AICafe 6.12.11: Israeli appropriation of Jordan Valley water
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday, 6 December at 8:00 pm, for a discussion with Fathi Khidrat of the Jordan Valley Popular Committee as he addresses water exploitation and increasing water scarcity in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley.

New AIC Jerusalem fact sheet
The Alternative Information Center’s new fact sheet on Jerusalem details the Israeli government’s attempts to Judaicize the city, to break apart Palestinian communities, to create isolated Palestinian enclaves–building physical and psychic barriers against Palestinian self-determination.

Israeli aggression
PCBS: Half of Households Exposed to Israeli Violence
RAMALLAH, December 6, 2011 (WAFA) – About half of the Palestinian households were directly exposed to violence by occupation forces and settlers before July 2010, the highest in Gaza Strip, 49.1% compared to 47.8% in the West Bank.  On the other hand this percentage was the highest in Qalqiliya governorate; 60.0%, according the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) report published on Tuesday. PCBS said about 6% of youths of the age 18-29 years were exposed to psychological violence by occupation forces and settlers during the period of 12 months before July 2011; about 10% among males and 1.4% among females.

Army Invades Beit Hanoun
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and opened fire at random, media sources in Gaza reported.

IOF troops enter northern Gaza, gunboats fire at fishermen
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced hundreds of meters into northern Gaza Strip, to the east of Beit Hanun town, at dawn Tuesday, local sources said.

IOF soldiers storm offices of Hamas MPs
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed offices of Hamas MPs in Tulkarem on Tuesday morning and confiscated computers of three of them along with work documents.

Extremist settlers hurl blocks at Hebron’s Old Market

Settlers from Avraham Avino  targeted Palestinians in the Old Souq in Hebron during the Saturday market on December 3rd 2011. At approximately 11 AM  Five unmasked settlers, aged around 20-30, threw concrete blocks down from a roof above the Old City at the booths outside of the shops, and at the people passing. The blocks were of considerable size – each weighing around 5-10 kilos. As they were thrown from a height of eight meters, anyone hit would be severely maimed or killed. Some of the blocks became lodged in the roof above the shops while some landed in the street.

Settler Sentenced 3 Months Public Service For Repeatedly Ramming Palestinian
The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem sentenced a settler who rammed a wounded Palestinian with his vehicle, and drove his car over him back and forth, to three months “Public Service”.

Detention / Court actions / Prisoner Exchange

Preventive security rounds up 12 Hamas supporters including 5 students
Elements of the PA preventive security apparatus rounded up 12 Hamas supporters in the past 24 hours in the West Bank including five students, locals said.

Israeli forces ‘arrest municipal council member’ near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested a member of a local council near Nablus on Monday evening, local officials said. Soldiers detained Ali Tayyib Faraj, 28, at a flying checkpoint while he was heading to Ramallah, head of the Madama village municipal council Eyhab al-Qut told Ma’an. Israeli soldiers detained Faraj for three hours before taking him to an unknown destination, al-Qut added.

Troops Kidnap Four Palestinians Near Qalqilia
Israeli troops invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, Kufr Qaddoum village, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, broke into several homes, and kidnapped three residents.

French Minister slams Israel’s jailing of Palestinian protest organizer
In a letter to the French-Palestine Solidarity Association, French Foreign Minister Juppé slams Israel’s treatment of West Bank protest organizer, and its settlement policy.

Over the past week, Israeli Naval forces arrested 14 fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip. These arrests represent a continuation of the sharp increase in the arrest of Palestinian fishermen by Israel during the month of November. Since 1 January at least 32 fishermen were arrested off the coast of the Gaza Strip, 17 of whom were arrested in November. According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 8:00 on Monday, 28 November 2011, the Israeli navy arrested two fishermen and confiscated their boat and fishing equipment. The fishermen, Mahmoud Yasser Al-Nahal (20) and Mohammed Khamis Kaloub (18), both from Gaza City, were located within the Israeli imposed 3 nautical mile limit off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip when they were approached by the navy and ordered to jump of their boat and swim towards the army vessel. Both men were taken to Ashdod Port where they were detained. Al-Nahal was released the same evening at around 23:30 while Kaloub remains in detention. The boat and equipment have not been returned.
Israeli forces detain Palestinian youth en route to hospital
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) manning the Erez crossing to the north of Gaza Strip detained a Palestinian youth while crossing the terminal en route to a hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

One Palestinian journalist from the  Associated Press was arrested while the Occupation Forces invaded the village of An Nabi Saleh. Before the beginning of Friday’s traditional protest in An Nabi Saleh, the Occupation Forces placed soldiers at the entrance gate to the village and began searching all cars entering the village, registrating the names of the passengers. Two protesters were hunted for several hundred meters by the Occupation Forces when trying to avoid this checkpoint, escaping a potential arrest.
Israel to reward Abbas in phase 2 of Shalit deal?
Some 550 prisoners to be freed by Israel in December; Jerusalem seeks to boost Abbas’ status vis-?-vis Hamas via release of Fatah detainees.

On Monday 05 December 2011, the Permanent Military Court in Gaza held the ninth session in Gaza City to consider the case relating to the death of the Italian solidarity activist, Vittorio Arrigoni. Lawyers from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) attended the session in their capacity as legal representatives of the Arrigoni family.

Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor recently staged a walkout on Israeli Bedouin diplomat and Ministry of Foreign Affairs apologist Ishmael Khaldi. He came to our campus at the invitation of Israel lobby group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) to whitewash the marginalization of minorities in Israel. I’ve included a video of our walkout.

Festival organizers attributed Milani’s departure to her father’s ill health, but Tehran newspapers claimed that Milani left the festival due to political pressure from Iranian elements.
South African activist: “Palestine casts light on our own history”, Adri Nieuwhof
A South African activist working for the global boycott movement against Israeli apartheid connects the ongoing anti-colonialist struggles from Johannesburg to Palestine.

Breaking the Silence: An interview with Yehuda Shaul
“If you don’t look nice, you don’t spend too many hours in front of the mirror,”  says Yehuda Shaul,  one of the founders and Executive Directors of Israeli NGO, Breaking the Silence. “What we demand of our society is to look in the mirror, so no wonder no one likes it.” Breaking the Silence was founded in 2004 by Israeli soldiers and veterans who collect and publish testimonies from soldiers who have served in the West Bank,Gaza and East Jerusalem since September 2000.  They also hold lectures and conduct tours inHebronand the South Hebron Hills area “with the aim of giving the Israeli public access to the reality which exists minutes from their own homes, yet is rarely portrayed in the media.”

Israeli Repression / Discrimination & Racism

Israel jails asylum seekers, labels them “infiltrators”
An amendment to Israel’s “Prevention of Infiltration” law will mean prison time for asylum seekers and their children — as well as for those who offer them humanitarian aid.

Israeli ministers prickle at Clinton critique
US secretary of state’s concern over gender segregation and limits on NGO funding called “totally exaggerated”.

Though ads featuring women will appear on bus stops and billboards, they will not go on the sides of buses, at least for now.
In many instances, the separation phenomenon has been taking place in recent years contrary to the Education Ministry’s official practices.
Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to human rights groups, says he only meant Senator McCarthy was proven right by exposing Soviet agents in the U.S., but adds he strongly opposes McCarthyism.
Political Developments & Diplomacy

Israel trades $100 million in frozen PA funds for nuke-ready submarine, Allison Deger

This week, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reports Israel’s change in heart to release the $100 million in frozen tax revenue, was a result of Germany withholding the sale of a nuclear-capable dolphin submarine to Israel. Netanyahu stated the rational for releasing the funds was a result of the PA halting their statehood efforts at the UN, and the lack of feasible reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. However, the German report calls the release of funds a pre-approved condition to the submarine sale.

Abbas aide: PA won’t yield to ‘extortion’
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority “will not yield to extortion,” presidential adviser Nimir Hammad said Tuesday of threats by Israeli officials to withhold Palestinian money again. Hammad’s comments followed reports in Israel that the government would refuse to pay Palestinian tax revenues if the PLO applied again for full UN membership.

Palestinian reconciliation has failed to advance despite a recent meeting between Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah official said Monday.  The official, who participated in the meeting but spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ma’an the talks were promising but said bold decisions were needed to implement the reconciliation agreement signed in May.   He said party leaders must agree on a date to release all prisoners held for their political affiliation, reopen all institutes closed due to the feud and issue passports to people in Gaza who have been unable to apply for them because of the division. 

Denmark’s foreign minister shuns Israel
Danish minister and harsh Israel critic avoids Jewish state’s envoy for two months, finds time to meet reps of leftist West Bank groups.

Envoy to Belgium comes under fire after linking Israel’s policies to spread of anti-Semitism in the Mideast; U.S. official: Ambassador was expressing his own views.

Obama seeks Jewish vote
President working to court Jewish voters as Republicans seek to chip away at support.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on Egypt’s future rulers to preserve a peace treaty with Israel after Islamists took the lead in the Arab country’s first round of elections. ”We hope any future government in Egypt will recognize the importance of keeping the peace treaty with Israel in its own right and as a basis for regional security and economic stability,” Netanyahu said in his first public comments on the issue since the Egyptian vote.
Egyptian police detained seven people celebrating the Shia Muslim festival of Ashura on Monday in front of the Hussein Mosque in Cairo’s Islamic quarter, a security source said.  The detained were among 2,000 to 3,000 people from the minority Shia community in overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim Egypt, who were celebrating the festival that marks the martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hussein in the battle of Karbala in Iraq in the year 680.  The Shia had gathered from different parts of Egypt without obtaining a permit to mark the holiday, the security source said, adding the detained included the Egyptian Shia leader Mohamed al-Darini.
Egypt vote turnout downgraded amid run-off
Election authority cites mistake in first round of counting, lowering figure to 52 per cent, as run-off voting begins.

A strong Islamist showing in Egypt’s election need not be cause for panic, Issandr El Amrani
It is depressing Islamists have garnered such support, but all is not lost if the Muslim Brotherhood is serious about democracy. The results from the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections paint a fairly clear picture: Islamists will be a majority in the next parliament, led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party (FJP), and Salafists have exceeded expectations to be, perhaps, the second party in Egypt.


Syria ‘positive’ on Arab League monitors plan
Damascus says its FM has “responded positively” to Arab League demand for observers to be allowed into country.

Leaked Syrian letter to Arab League lists demands
The letter sent by Syria to the Arab League on Sunday night accepting the regional body’s request to send observers has been leaked on social media. Syria announced on Monday it responded positively to the Arab League’s request, stipulating a set of conditions in the letter. The Syrians have demanded that the Arab League rescind its decisions on Syria — in reference to the nation’s suspended membership from the League and Arab sanctions — upon the signing of the protocol.


The Lede Blog: Syria Reportedly Detains Outspoken Blogger
An outspoken Syrian blogger was reportedly arrested on Sunday on her way to a conference in neighboring Jordan on press freedom in the Arab world.

The uprising in Syria along with the murder and rape of a Lebanese woman, has ignited yet another round of anti-Syrian hatred and suspicion among pro and anti-regime forces in Lebanon.
The foreign powers intervening in Syria to bring down President Bashar Assad want to speed things up. This has compelled oppositionists to show their hand, stripping them of yet more cards. It has long been clear that the most influential bloc in the Syrian offshore opposition had effectively joined forces with an American-led western alliance that is hostile to Arab resistance aimed at liberating occupied territory – whether from Israeli or American occupation.
Burhan Ghalyun went, in a matter of months, from categorically rejecting international military intervention, to saying that outside non-military intervention is acceptable, to saying that he won’t talk about the kind of outside military intervention that he is seeking.  This interview with Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal, says it all.  The fact that he chose the Hariri rag to express his views on Syrian and Lebanese matters really says it all, and also exposes the regional and international network of alliances (financial and otherwise) binding the the lousy Council that he heads.  It is a sad ending for the career of a man who once was courageous.  Notice that this man who only months ago kept insisting that he won’t in any way allow the Lebanese internal politics to burden him or to influence him, is now speaking like a fellow March 14 figure.  I never thought that I would find Burhan Ghalyun sounding like Ma`mun Humis (a stooge of Hariri family).  And you want me to support such a lousy council?  Syrian National Council is to revolution what Salam Fayyad is to liberation, or what Sa`d Hariri is to nuclear physics, or what Saudi Arabia is to feminism.

The Plot Thickens: Ghalyoun’s “Ill-Conceived” Statements in the WSJ Interview, Bassam Haddad
Leaving the problematic statements about Iran and Hizballah aside, in who’s interest is it for the head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) to talk about how the (possible) future Syrian leadership will or will not pursue its right for restoring it’s occupied Golan Heights territory from Israel? Is this what occupies the minds of protesters who are being shot daily by the Syrian regime? Is this something that will give them an edge in their pursuit of their basic political and other rights inside Syria? Even if statements about the Golan are appropriate, why should such declarations let aggressors off the hook so prematurely, so unnecessarily, so irresponsibly, and so recklessly, by emphasizing ill-conceived “liberal” and “feel-good” language? And where did all this positivity suddenly emerge about Syrian-Western relations?
Other Mideast News
Hezbollah chief makes rare public apperance
Hassan Nasrallah attends Beirut rally, telling supporters group is “increasing in numbers and in weapons”.

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah speaks in rare appearance
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a rare public appearance in Beirut on Tuesday to mark the Shia holy day of Ashoura. Nasrallah has made few public appearances since the month-long war with Israel in 2006 fearing he might be assassinated. “I wanted to be with you for few minutes…to renew our pledge and for the world to hear us,” Nasrallah said after he was seen walking through the crowd. From the podium Nasrallah added that his public appearance was a message to anyone who thought they could “threaten us.”

Bombs hit Shi’ite pilgrims In Iraq, kill 32 (Reuters)
Reuters – A series of bombs tore through crowds of Shi’ite pilgrims celebrating a major ritual across Iraq on Monday, killing at least 32 people, mostly women and children, and wounding scores more, local police and witnesses said.


IRAQ: Overall violence down – but attacks on minorities continue
BAGHDAD 05 December 2011 (IRIN) – While overall violence is decreasing in Iraq, the level of attacks and intimidation of religious minorities remains high, leading to increased displacement, a new report says.


In Taiz, Yemen, New Violence Erupts
Protesters said pro-government snipers opened fire on a demonstration on Monday in Taiz, Yemen, killing one woman.

A summary video.


Even Bahrain’s use of ‘Miami model’ policing will not stop the uprising, Matthew Cassel
Bahraini leaders have hired the architect of Miami’s brutal policing methods, showing their disregard for reform. In 2003, as a photography student in Chicago, I travelled to Miami to cover protests by trade unionists and other activists at a meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. I had just returned from witnessing the repressive tactics of the Israeli army against Palestinians – invasions, curfew, violent crackdown on unarmed protests – but never expected to see them deployed at home in a US city.

‘Saudi Arabia may join nuclear arms race’
Ex-spy chief says Saudi Arabia to consider acquiring atom weapons to match region rivals Israel, Iran.


Saudi Arabia seems keen to avert further eruptions of dissent on its soil through a combination of new legislation, unfair trials, and an ongoing muzzling of protest. A recent video posted on YouTube (24/11/11) apparently shows thousands of Saudi demonstrators, defiantly chanting , after four young protesters in Saudia Arabia’s Eastern Province were killed during skirmishes with police. The demonstration preceded an Amnesty International report on Saudi repression released Thursday, exposing a growing dissent that has been largely under-reported.


Reporting on Saudi Arabia: underground
“The Arab Spring has yet to touch down on the sands of Saudi Arabia, and advocates face an uphill battle mobilizing an apathetic general public that seems to accept the country’s all-powerful monarchy. Now, however, young Saudi videographers are using YouTube to air a series of video reports that reveal the underside of life in the world’s biggest oil producer. The narratives are compelling and the journalism impassioned as they guide their audience through slums in the major cities, satirize the severe national housing shortage and ridicule the government’s failure to respond. Judging from the number of times the videos have been viewed and the comments posted by embittered viewers, the muckraking venture is a hit. The biggest testament to its success, however, comes from the Saudi interior ministry: Days after “Poverty in Saudi Arabia,” the latest video, was uploaded to YouTube, the ministry detained reporter Feros Boqna and two colleagues, Hussam al Drewesh and Khaled al Rasheed, and held them for almost two weeks for questioning. Since its posting, the Arabic version of “Poverty” has been viewed more than 1.5 million times. That would be equal to nearly one-tenth of Saudi Arabia’s population of 18 million.”

Iran’s armed forces shot down an American drone Sunday after it violated Iranian airspace, officials in Iran’s military told state television. ”An advanced RQ-170 unmanned American spy plane was shot down by Iran’s armed forces. It suffered minor damage and is now in possession of Iran’s armed forces,” the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. According to Iranian officials the unmanned American drone entered Iranian airspace to spy on Iran’s nuclear activity.
Analysis / Op-ed

It’s been over a decade since American graduate student and activist Dan Walsh conceived the Palestine Poster Project Archives. His early, more modest efforts had Walsh exhibiting hundreds of Palestine posters online. But since 2009, his fledgling collection – which served as a component of his Master’s thesis – has become a veritable archive of 6,000 posters and counting.

Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police
The extreme militarization of American police forces has been brought to public attention by the tactics employed against Occupy protesters, which often appear more appropriate to counter-terrorism operations than to the control of non-violent protest. According to investigative journalist Max Blumenthal, however, the proper term for this ruthless suppression of dissent should be “Israelification.”

The tax-deductible Occupation from Mondoweiss, Paul Mutter

There are good NGOs and bad NGOs in Tel Aviv’s eyes. The new Likud-Yisrael Beitenu NGO funding legislationis aimed at the bad ones. Bad ones criticize the Occupation. Good ones help it along. This bill will limit and tax foreign governments’ funding for Israeli NGOs, yet it is not a sweeping measure that will affect Israeli nonprofits’ funding from other sources (or from the Israeli government itself). It is targeted at left-wing organizations, particularly those that provided information for the Goldstone Commission – its supporters openly admit this. Israeli officials also do not want to create a wide-ranging law that could impact right-wing charitable organizations.Tel Aviv increasingly depends on these groups, and their U.S. donors, to help subsidize and, most importantly, legitimize the Occupation.

Israel as a spurned Facebook friend: the worst propaganda video ever?, Ali Abunimah
A new Israel propaganda video uses a Facebook motif to present Israel as the eternal victim of unremitting violence and enmity while skipping over Israel’s record of ethnic cleansing, occupation, colonization, violence and official hatred against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

If you want to check on the pulse of Israeli fashion–that is the “fashion” of Israeli racism–you can do no better than study MK Danny Danon’s legislative agenda.  I don’t usually write about individual bills since there are so many far-right imbeciles who must have their say and they come up with more nonsense than you can shake a stick at.  But for MK Danon, for whom Matan Lurey has developed an apt moniker, ‘MKKK,’ I make an exception.
How many of us, when we learned about Lynsey Addario’s humiliation–which was rightly condemned by the New York Times, Time magazine, and Tablet– thought of Palestinian women and wondered how many countless others had been similarly violated? Excuse the repetition, but it’s worth quoting Dahlia Scheindlin: The fact is this happens all the time… with no editor to write the IDF and stand up for them.

New Truthout Story on Assault on Israeli Democracy and Peace Now Intimidation Campaign, Richard Silverstein
I’ve just published a new piece in Truthout giving an overview of my latest reporting on the assault on Israeli democracy underway via the Knesset and Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The piece focuses on the death threats and vandalism directed at Peace Now by Dor Oved, who’s being protected by an Israeli judge’s gag order designed to protect his father, Shahar Oved from exposure since he’s a Shin Bet officer.  I think this is a major abuse of the rule of law in a democratic society and have therefore broken the gag.  I hope, as has happened with other stories of gags I broke involving Anat Kamm and Dirar Abusisi, that mainstream journalists will take up this worthy cause and begin reporting the story as well.  This is the only way the Israeli judicial and media system will think better of this short-sighted policy of protecting the powerful and well-connected.

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