A woman holds a torn Koran
taken from the rubble of her home (Photo: AFP)
Israel demolishes 2 homes in East Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday, locals said. In Beit Hanina, troops bulldozed the temporary residence of a man who took shelter there after he could not get a permit from the Israeli municipality to build his house, the official PA news agency Wafa reported. In Silwan, Israeli forces tore down the house of Burhan Burqan, that was home to nine people. “Israeli troops came at five in the morning to demolish the house and were done by 7 am. They also demolished our barn that had some poultry in it,” Burqan said.
Israeli municipality demolishes residential barracks east of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 5 Dec – Bulldozers of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished Palestinian residential barracks Monday in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, claiming it was built without permit, according to the head of Beit Hanina Club, Hazem Gharably. He said the owner of the barracks was forced to live in it when he could not obtain a permit from the Israeli municipality to build his house; nevertheless, Israeli forces demolished the barracks. The demolition led to confrontations between neighborhood residents and Israeli forces accompanying the bulldozers.
Israeli forces destroy stone-cutting facility in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Israeli forces on Monday demolished a manufacturing facility used to cut stone in Qalqiliya. Witnesses told Ma‘an that various military vehicles and bulldozers arrived at the village of Azzun and destroyed the structure, claiming that it was unlicensed. Hussain Ghannam, the owner of the stone-cutting plant, said that the structure is located in Area C and has been there since 2008. The manufacturing facility was the source of income for eight families, he told Ma‘an. The Israeli civil administration had asked Ghannam to produce a title deed for the property and he was working with lawyers to have one issued. The decision to destroy his property was completely unexpected, he said.
Israeli forces give eviction ultimatum to a Palestinian in Qalandiya
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 4 Dec – Israeli occupation forces Sunday gave an eviction ultimatum to Palestinian resident Sharif Awad Allah, from Qalandia, a village north of Jerusalem, according to witnesses. Witnesses told WAFA that the Israeli forces threatened Awad Allah that his house will be behind the Separation Wall, which they are building. The Israeli forces gave Sharif Awad Allah an ultimatum until Monday to evacuate his home, which includes a garden and storage and through which the Wall will pass. Confrontations erupted between the villages’ residents and the occupation forces causing five suffocation cases and a number of arrests,
Advocacy group protest plan to seize Arab-owned land
NAZARETH (WAFA) 3 Dec – The Higher Follow-up Committee for the Arabs in Israel organized on Saturday several demonstrations in the Galilee and Triangle in northern Israel to protest the so-called Goldberg-Braver plan, according to Arab activists. The plan calls on the Israeli government to seize 800,000 dunums of Arab-owned land in the Naqab desert, south of Israel, which would displace around 30,000 Arab residents.
1948 Palestinians demonstrate against land confiscation in Negev
NAZARETH (PIC) 3 Dec — Hundreds of Palestinians living in the 1948-occupied lands demonstrated for the second week running at a number of crossroads in Galilee and the triangle area in solidarity with Negev Palestinians who are threatened with home demolition, exile and confiscation of their land under the Israeli desert plan which means uprooting 30,000 Palestinians.
link to Palestinian Information Center
UNRWA: Israel’s displacement of Palestinians ‘doubles’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — The number of Palestinians displaced by Israeli demolitions this year has already more than doubled that of 2010, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said Monday. Research by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees found that 990 people — including 507 children — have lost their homes so far this year, Gunness told Ma‘an. In 2010, 445 people — including 235 children — were displaced by Israeli demolitions.
Israel hands Palestinians 75 demolishing notices, says rights group
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Dec – Rabbis for Human Rights attorney, Qamar Masharki Asaad, Sunday said the number of Israeli demolishing notices handed to residents of Khirbet Dakika locale east of Hebron has exceeded 75. She told Voice of Palestine that the Israeli policy aims to drive out residents and steal their land … Governor of Hebron Kamil Hameed said the Palestinian Authority is following this case through international organizations and by organizing media campaigns to expose the Israeli policies. He said the Israeli army has demolished nine tents and one classroom under the pretext of building with no permits. About 400 Palestinians live in Khirbet Dakika.
Israel to forcibly remove bedouin communities in settlements push / Harriet Sherwood
Khan al-Ahmar (Guardian) 5 Dec — …The removal of around 2,300 members of the bedouin Jahalin tribe, two-thirds of whom are children, is due to begin next month. The Israeli authorities plan to relocate the families from the West Bank to a site close to a municipal rubbish dump on the edge of Jerusalem … The area on which the Jahalin live has been designated by Israel for the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim. Many Palestinians see this as part of a strategic plan to close a ring of Jewish settlements that would cut East Jerusalem off from the West Bank. By stretching down to the Jordan valley, an expanded Ma’ale Adumim would also bisect the West Bank, making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.
Israel army launches military maneuvers in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 5 Dec – The Israeli army Monday launched large-scale military training maneuvers in the northern Jordan Valley, east of the West Bank, according to local sources. Head of Al-Maleh village council, Aref Daraghmeh, told WAFA that convoys of tanks and hundreds of Israeli soldiers spread in several areas for the military exercise, while the Israeli army shut off large areas in the Jordan Valley as “closed military zones.” In addition, heavy artillery engaged in the training as bombardment continued around the grazing fields since dawn, he added. Israeli maneuvers usually result in the burning of wide areas of grazing fields.
Israel launches fresh ad campaign in UK
[map] PressTV 5 Dec — The Israeli regime has launched a systematic attempt to redraw the map of the occupied Palestinian territories by advertising tourism maps in the UK newspapers. An Israeli tourism map appearing in the London-based newspaper The Guardian last weekend rendered occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories as part of “Israel … On Monday the Guardian issued a correction stating the ad “did not distinguish clearly between Israel” and the occupied Arab territories … The website [thinkisrael.com] to this campaign contains an even more offensive and racist map. The West Bank appears even more solidly absorbed into “Israel proper” (without even a dotted line), with mysteriously empty pink and yellow blobs appearing where Palestinians live in built-up areas. There is no clue that the Golan is anything more than a part of “northern Israel.” The website’s home page also offers links to “Christian themes” and “Jewish themes” but no “Muslim themes.” wiping the Islamic heritage of Palestine off the map.
IOA blocks travel of UNESCO employee
NABLUS (PIC) 4 Dec … Palestinian sources said that the IOA held Ghassan Khader, the director of the UNESCO-affiliated Yaffa club, for four hours on Saturday at the bridge linking West Bank with Jordan where he was interrogated on reasons for his travel after which he was informed of the travel ban. Khader, for his part, was surprised at the step, saying that he travelled a lot and this was the first time he was blocked from travel. He noted that the ban was imposed after Palestine was admitted as a full-fledged member of UNESCO. Khader is the brother of MP Husam Khader, who was held in Israeli administrative detention since last June and whose detention was renewed for six more months a few days ago.
link to Palestinian Information Center
Prisoners group: Israel bars 20 families from visiting exiles
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Dec – Israeli authorities are blocking the families of 20 freed prisoners from traveling outside the West Bank, a prisoner rights groups said on Sunday. The European Network to Support Rights of Palestinian Prisoners said in November 20 families were turned away from the Allenby crossing into Jordan by Israeli forces, who cited “security reasons” without clarification. The families, which included children, women and the elderly, were trying to visit relatives who were freed in October under Israel’s exchange deal with Hamas, but exiled to third countries under the terms of the exchange.
PA: Settlers kidnap shepherd near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Israeli settlers on Monday kidnapped a 60-year-old shepherd after attacking him in Orif village south of Nablus, officials said. Village council head Fawzi Shehadeh said six residents of Yitzhar settlement attacked Salim Jamil Shehadeh near the local high school and took him away in a car. The settlers stole all 50 of his sheep, the councilor added. Palestinian Authority settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas told Ma’an the government was conducting intensive negotiations with Israeli officials to secure the shepherd’s release.
On Saturday, settlers from Itamar violently assaulted elderly shepherd Najih Abdul-Qadir as he worked on his land east of Nablus, Doughlas said.
Jewish settlers attack Palestinians and their cars near Beit Ummar town
AL-KHALIL(PIC) 4 Dec — A group of Jewish settlers savagely on Saturday evening threw stones at Palestinian drivers and their cars at the entrance to Beit Ummar town north of Al-Khalil city causing damage to some of them. Eyewitnesses said more than 25 settlers under military protection gathered at the entrance to the town while Israeli soldiers stood idly watching them hurling stones at the passing cars. Palestinian young men from Beit Ummar rushed to the entrance in order to fend off the settlers and prevent them from attacking homes.
In a separate incident, another group of fanatic Jewish settlers broke into and ransacked the Arab elementary school in Beersheba town in the 1984 occupied lands. The settlers wrote racist slurs against Arabs and Muslims on walls calling for killing and expelling them.
link to Palestinian Information Center
Teenage girls suspected of West Bank sabotage
Ynet 4 Dec – Six underage girls and one woman were arrested on suspicion of cutting down hundreds of olive trees and damaging IDF property during the month of October. They are suspected of trying to prevent the evacuation of a West Bank outpost and are facing a remand hearing at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.The suspicions fall under the category of “nationalistic crime” – the new name given to “price tag” acts. Police claim the suspects caused damage to equipment in a military tent near the Esh Kodesh community in October. They are also suspected of taking part in the cutting down of hundreds of Palestinians’ olive trees near the village of Kusra.
Court extends ‘price tag’ suspects’ remand
Ynet 4 Dec – -The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Sunday extended the remand of two of the six teenage girls who, along with another woman, are suspected of damaging army equipment and uprooting olive trees belonging to Palestinians in the West Bank. Police confirmed that the girls, who are both known right-wing activists, are suspected of infiltrating an IDF base, where they allegedly slashed the tires of army vehicles and spray-painted slogans against the evacuation of West Bank outposts. A source who is close to the girls said they have denied any connection to the crimes and said police have no proof linking them to the acts. The girls have been arrested in the past on suspicion of torching a Palestinian vehicle, but they were released after 10 days due to lack of evidence.
Clashes with Israeli police injure 16 Palestinians in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 4 Dec – Sixteen Palestinians were injured Saturday in clashes that broke out between Palestinians and Israeli police manning the checkpoint just outside Shu‘fat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, according to local sources. Witnesses said the clashes broke out late Saturday evening after Israeli forces closed the only checkpoint crossing to Jerusalem for several hours, as well as provocatively and slowly inspecting Palestinian vehicles and passengers crossing the checkpoint. A Palestinian was shot with a rubber bullet in the eye and 15 others suffered from gunshot injuries, added the local sources.
OCHA: Israeli forces injure 9 Palestinians last week of November
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 3 Dec – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territory (OCHA) said in its Protection of Civilians weekly report published Saturday that nine Palestinians were injured in clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank between November 23 and 29. Most of the Palestinian casualties were sustained during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians, most in the context of protests against settlement expansion, Barrier construction or demolitions, said OCHA. It said Israeli settlers stoned Palestinian vehicles driving on a main road in the West Bank, injuring a female passenger. In addition, Israeli settlers, accompanied by their dogs, attacked Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep; one of the shepherds was bitten by a dog
Gaza hopes electricity line repair will ease blackouts
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Dec — The main electricity line supplying Gaza has been repaired after two weeks of partial blackout in the blockaded strip, officials said Sunday. The Israeli Electric Company which controls the sea line has fixed the broken connection that plunged Gaza residents into more than eight hour of power outages per day, Media Director at Gaza’s electricity company Jamal al-Dardasawi told Ma‘an … The coastal energy line cut out after 20 hours when it was last fixed on Nov. 17. Gaza residents had warned that the electricity crisis was disastrous during the cold winter months, and complained that they are still being charged for electricity that they do not have access to.
Ramallah union protests Gaza govt treatment of journalists
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — The Ramallah-based journalists union demonstrated on Sunday against the government in Gaza’s treatment of journalists. Journalists called for the end of detention of journalists and called for the European Union to intervene to allay pressure on Gaza-based media workers. The union had accused the government in the coastal strip of detaining five journalists last week. Government media officials denied those detained were journalists and accused them of being “security agents” for the rival Ramallah administration. Several were later released, officials and a Ma‘an reporter said.
Rafah comes under Israeli occupation fire from land and sea
RAFAH (PIC) 3 Dec — Israeli occupation forces on Saturday evening shelled Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip without reports of any casualties. Local sources told PIC correspondent that Israeli occupation navy boats opened machinegun fire at fishing boats opposite the Rafah coast, while troops stationed near the Karm Abu Salem crossing fired at farmers and shepherds to the east of Rafah, without reports of casualties in either incident.
link to Palestinian Information Center
In Gaza, lives shaped by drones / Scott Wilson
[photo gallery] Gaza City (WaPo) 3 Dec — The buzz began near midnight on a cool evening last month, a dull distant purr that within moments swelled into the rattling sound of an outboard motor common on the fishing boats working just offshore. At a busy downtown traffic circle not far from the dormant port, a pickup truck full of police pulled up abruptly. The half-dozen men spilled into the streets. “Inside, inside,” the officers, all of them bearded in the style favored by the Hamas movement that runs Gaza, urged passersby. Then, pointing to the sky, one muttered, “Zenana, zenana.” The word is the Arabic term that Gazans have given to Israel’s drone aircraft, a ubiquitous and frightening feature of daily life in this crowded strip of land along the sea..
VIDEO: Gaza’s children: Defying death under blockade
Russia Today 5 Dec — [see 2nd video here, "War and Peace in the Language of Doctors"] …I’m sharing three of the most optimistic stories among those we witnessed in Gaza. Abderrahman is 10. He was seven and a half when a missile hit a house he was passing on his way to school. His face was burned by the flames. His family doesn’t belong to HAMAS, it hasn’t taken part in war. Their son was just on his way to school. Israel never offered any compensation for his medical care. When he was released from the Sawlef hospital, the boy’s father took all the mirrors out of their house … Ibtisam Umm Mohammad, a happy mother of six girls and one boy, was a healthy-looking young woman when I first met her a year and a half ago. Back then, she had just finished writing a book about the casualties of the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2009. Defying the still raging air strikes, Ibtisam would go around local neighborhoods, paying a visit to every bereaved family, collecting photographs and writing the bios of every slaughtered Palestinian – babies and school pupils, teenagers and old people, adolescent girls and mothers. Then Ibtisam fell sick, and doctors told her the ailment was caused by inhaling the vapors from chemical ordnance used by the Israelis, as well as being exposed to radiation from Israeli projectiles. She was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and had to undergo therapy. Ibtisam was lucky enough to be treated in a Turkish hospital
UNRWA to Abbas: Israel prevents entering construction material into Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Dec – UNRWA Commissioner General, Filippo Grandi, Sunday informed President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel continues to prevent entering construction material into the Gaza Strip to rebuild constructions financed by a number of Arab and friendly states … Grandi praised Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s support to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, especially in terms of supporting students, building Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, and supporting UNRWA efforts there.
Kuwait Fund signs USD 9.55 mln deal with UNRWA for schools in Gaza
GAZA (KUNA) 5 Dec — The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) have signed an agreement to build five schools in Gaza worth USD 9.55 million. The agreement was signed at the Jordanian capital of Amman by the Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB) Mansour Bin Fattan, who are representing the KFAED, and UNRWA envoy, Peter Ford, according to an UNRWA statement.
30 dunums allocated to build regional desalination plant in Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Dec – Upon the directives of President Mahmoud Abbas, the Land Authority informed the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Sunday of allocating 30 dunums (1 dunum=1000 square meters) of Al Mawasi land in Khan Yunis, a city south of Gaza, to build a regional desalination plant. Abbas formed a higher committee, whose mission is to carry out an Arab regional tour, to provide the necessary funding to build the desalination plant, which mounts up to $ 450 million.
Cast Lead criminal probe still open 3 years on
JPost 5 Dec — Col. Ilan Malka allegedly ordered an air-strike on a building he knew was occupied by civilians — Three years after Operation Cast Lead, one last criminal investigation remains open against former Givati Brigade commander Col. Ilan Malka, whose military career is still engulfed in controversy and overshadowed by criminal allegations after the Military Advocate General’s Office continues to drag its feet in ruling on the case.
Detention / Court actions
Nine Palestinians arrested in West Bank
WEST BANK (WAFA) 5 Dec – The Israeli army Monday arrested nine Palestinians from the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank and the cities of Bethlehem and Hebron in the southern West Bank, according to security and local sources. Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods in Nablus at dawn Monday and inspected a number of houses in the refugee camps of Balata and Ein Beit al-Maa, also known as Camp No.1.
Israeli forces detain 3 teens in northern West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) — Israeli soldiers detained three teenagers in the northern West Bank on Sunday evening, accusing them of trespassing in a nearby Jewish-only settlement. Locals told Ma‘an that the boys, all aged 15, were picking olives in lands by al-Luban al-Sharqiyya near the Eli settlement.
Man acquitted after confession obtained by Shin Bet torture
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Dec — An Israeli military court at Ofer detention center has dismissed all charges against a Palestinian man detained since 2009 after it emerged his confession was obtained through torture. A report released Sunday by the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs in Ramallah said the military court had dropped 17 charges against Ayman Said Hamida, 37 … Hamida, from East Jerusalem, was detained on Oct. 19, 2009 and accused of possessing weapons, being affiliated to a militant group and attempting to murder Israeli citizens. The PA report said that the Israeli Shin Bet, or internal security service, had tortured Hamida over a two month period and forced him to admit to the charges. [with that logic, they ought to let most Palestinian prisoners go]
Family of Israeli Arab woman killed by IDF fire to get state compensation
Haaretz 5 Dec — Haifa District Court Judge Yitzhak Cohen ordered on Thursday the state to compensate the family of an Israeli Arab woman who was killed in a car as the result of misbegotten IDF gunfire. The verdict ruled that Sumayah Zidan, from the village of Yama in the center of the country, died as the result of the state’s police activity … Zidan, 47, was shot on May 17, 2002, in the area of Tulkarm. According to the verdict, she died as the result of IDF bullets fired at a car in which she traveled, together with her mother and sister. The women were en route to visit relatives.
Hunger strike begins against travel ban for sick ex-detainee
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — A group of former prisoners announced that they are beginning a hunger strike on Monday to demand that Israel allows an ex-detainee to leave the West Bank for vital medical treatment. Coordinator for female ex-prisoners Lina Jawabra told Ma‘an on Monday that a number of former detainees and their families across West Bank cities have begun an open hunger strike for one day, which may be extended depending on the Israeli response … Jumaa suffers from cancer of the uterus and other serious health issues complicated by her time in jail.
Detainee’s family appeals for information after assault report
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Dec — The family of a detainee in Israeli jail called on authorities to provide them with information about their son, after hearing that he was attacked by Israeli guards and transferred from his cell. Khalil Baraqah’s relatives said on Saturday that they were told he suffered injuries, including broken bones, after the assault in Israel’s Nafha prison. They said he has since been moved from the jail, where he is serving a life term, and appealed to the Ministry of Detainees Affairs to give them information about his location and health condition.
Occupation forces set up tent next to the home of liberated captive
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 Dec — Israeli occupation forces on Saturday afternoon set up a tent on the roof of a house adjacent to the house of liberated captive Randah Shahatit from the village of Abu Seif to the south of Dor in al-Khalil district in the southern Gaza Strip. Sources close to liberated captive Shahatit told the PIC correspondent: “IOF troops boarding four military vehicles raided the village in the afternoon and they built a tent on the roof of a house belonging to Ismail Shawamra, adjacent to the home of liberated captive Randah Shahatit.” The sources added that the soldiers were still on the roof at the time of the writing of this report and that when Shahatit went out of her home to visit a friend in the village the soldiers were watching.
link to Palestinian Information Center
Political / Diplomatic news
PA refuses fragmenting Quartet’s statement, says Erekat
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Dec — PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian Authority will not accept Israel taking parts of the international Quartet’s statement and leaving other parts out. He told Voice of Palestine, in response to US demands to resume negotiations, that “the Quartet’s statement clearly states that both Palestinians and Israelis must present proposals concerning borders and security issues within 90 days.” Erekat affirmed that the PA has submitted its proposal to the Quartet committee while Israel is still refusing to submit its proposal.
Iran threatening to cut Hamas funds, arms supply if it flees Syria
Haaretz 5 Dec — Palestinian sources tell Haaretz that Hamas is abandoning its headquarters in Syria and looking at other Arab states as alternative location for its political command center — Iran had applied intense pressure to Hamas in an effort to persuade it not to leave Damascus, threatening even to cut off funds to the organization if it did so, Palestinian sources have told Haaretz. The Iranian pressure also included an unprecedented ultimatum – namely, an explicit threat to stop supplying Hamas with arms and suspend the training of its military activists.
Hamas: No plans to leave Damascus
Al Bawaba 5 Dec — The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Monday categorically denied media reports about the departure from Damascus of families of the movement’s leaders. According to these reports, these families have secretly left to the Gaza Strip amid the violent events taking place across Syria. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement on Monday, “the movement (headquarters) are still in Syria, and continue to work as usual, following the Palestinian issues, without any significant change.” According to Barhoum, the reports about Hamas leaders leaving Syrian territory are just a “failed and miserable attempt to create the strained relationship between the movement and the Syrian regime,” pointing out that Hamas has not taken any decision on this matter until this moment.
German newspaper: Israel released PA money for sub
JERUSALEM (JTA) 4 Dec — Israel released withheld tax money to the Palestinian Authority after Germany said it was a condition for purchasing a submarine, according to a German newspaper. Germany told Israel it would not complete the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine to Israel unless it made the concession, Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday.
Former top IDF officer: Israel will have to take military action against Gaza terror
Haaretz 5 Dec — Israel’s neglect of terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip will eventually necessitate significant military action in the coastal enclave, a former top Israel Defense Forces officer said on Monday. Speaking at Tel Aviv university, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yoav Galant said that Israel’s decisive action against terror infrastructures in the West Bank has caused terror levels to “drop to zero,” while Gaza militants were allowed to thrive.
Palestinian church threatens to sue Israeli newspaper
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 4 Dec – The Palestinian Roman Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem threatened Sunday to sue Israeli newspaper Haaretz for publishing false reports about the patriarchate, according to a press release … Spokesman of the patriarchate, Father Issa Mousleh, said Haaretz published a series of false reports, the latest of which alleged that the patriarchate leased land in Galilee to a power company to build an electricity plant, despite the fact that the patriarchate does not own any property in that area.
Sinai – Egypt – Lebanon and Israel
‘Peace treaty with Israel won’t be revoked’
Ynet 4 Dec — Senior Egyptian journalist Mounir Mahmoud tells Ynet that Israeli public can be calm; harsh statements on TV only meant to draw public opinion – do not threaten relations with Jewish State
School trips in south canceled over security concerns
Ynet 5 Dec – The Education Ministry issued an irregular travel advisory on Monday, barring schools and youth movements’ excursions in southern Israel. The highly unusual move stems from security concerns following IDF intelligence assessments indicating an imminent threat of terror south of the Netafim crossing, south of Highway 12 and near Eilat.
Website presents photos of ‘Israeli espionage device’
Ynet 4 Dec — A Hezbollah-affiliated website uploaded photos of an alleged Israeli espionage device in south Lebanon which was supposedly exposed by Hezbollah on Friday. “This device, which was bombed by the Israeli Air Force, illustrates the extent of Israeli violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and a violation of Security Council resolution 1701 as well as Hezbollah’s achievement in exposing it,” the website said.
Qaeda-inspired group denies link to Israel rocket attack
BEIRUT (AFP) 5 Dec — An Al-Qaeda-inspired group has denied claiming responsibility for a recent rocket attack from southern Lebanon against Israel, instead blaming a group linked to Hezbollah, a US monitoring group said Monday. In a statement issued on jihadist forums, the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam said the Nov. 29 attack should be seen as a warning to the West and Israel from embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, the SITE Intelligence Group said.
Israel and the U.S.
‘Jew-hate’ stems from conflict
BRUSSELS (Ynet) 3 Dec — Growing global anti-Semitism is linked to Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, the American ambassador to Belgium told stunned Jewish conference attendants in Brussels earlier this week … A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gutman said. He also argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism. The American envoy, a lawyer by training, is Jewish and played a major role in fundraising for the Democratic Party. He was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama.
White House raps Belgium envoy’s anti-Semitism remarks
(JTA) 4 Dec — The White House distanced itself from its ambassador to Belgium after the envoy said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the cause of Muslim anti-Semitism. “We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, and that there is never any justification for prejudice against the Jewish people or Israel,” the White House said in a statement sent to Jewish leaders on Saturday night.
US warns Israel over bill to limit foreign funding to NGOs
Haaretz 4 Dec — U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro tells Israeli officials that Obama administration is concerned by proposed legislation; says it is much more extreme than similar laws in western countries.
Analysis / Opinion
The connection between a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist and a Palestinian housekeeper / Amira Hass
Haaretz 5 Dec — It is very likely that without the report last week about how Lynsey Addario was stripped at the Erez checkpoint and the subsequent apology of the Defense Ministry, Nabila’s story would not have been published .. .We won’t be writing here about a Pulitzer Prize winner, but about a housekeeper, a Palestinian woman with Israeli citizenship, and about what happened to her at the Sha’ar Eliyahu checkpoint on the occupied land of Qalqilyah. ..
After UN bid fanfare comes deadlock: Palestinians’ strategy in doubt / Pierre-Antoine Donnet
UN (MEO) 4 Dec –The Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations, launched amid fanfare in September, has hit a dead end and left the major powers wondering if President Mahmud Abbas has a strategy. The Palestinian leadership shows no sign of calling for a vote on the application for full membership at the UN Security Council and after getting acceptance by UNESCO there has been no followup to other international agencies.
US Jews, use your influence to stop Israeli incitement / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 5 Dec — It turns out that a little tension in relations with America’s ‘Jewish leadership’ troubles the prime minister more than a crisis in relations with President Obama.