Exile / Ethnic cleansing / Land, property theft & destruction
Israel detains 2 more lawmakers
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — Israeli forces on Monday detained two Palestinian MPs during a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross. Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs’ minister Khalid Abu Arafa are being questioned by Israeli police on suspicion of conducting “Hamas activities inside Jerusalem,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an. The elected officials took refuge at the Red Cross building in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah in July 2010 along with lawmaker Ahmad Attoun after Israel revoked their residency permits. Attoun was detained at the ICRC office in September by paramilitary police disguised as Palestinians, a security guard at the building said. The ICRC said Tawtah and Abu Arafa were arrested inside its premises, and said a relative of one of the men was also detained in a statement Monday. The ICRC has said it told Israeli authorities that international humanitarian law prohibited the forcible transfer of Palestinian residents from their homes, for whatever reason … At the ICRC compound, a crowd of Palestinians smashed its gate to protest against what they saw as the failure of the organization to protect the MPs. Hamas noted the two men were legislators and should enjoy immunity from arrest.
Official: Israel to confiscate farmer’s land near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — Israeli authorities notified a Palestinian farmer in south Nablus on Sunday they will confiscate 20 dunams of his land and ordered the destruction of two wells in the area. PA official monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank Ghassan Daghlas said forces told Farhan Abdul Raziq of the confiscation order on lands in Jurish village near Israel’s Magdalim settlement. He was also instructed to demolish two water wells on his land within 45 days, Daghlas said.
Despite renovations to neighborhood infrastructure, the problem of electricity worsens
[photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 23 Jan — Despite all of the claims that the Jerusalem Municipality has made improvements to the infrastructure in Wadi Hilweh to improve the standard of living in the neighborhood, the facts on the ground indicate the contrary. The streets are in very poor condition and excavation work has increased, as have traffic jams. The telephone lines need to be replaced and the internet service is deteriorating. Most frustrating to Palestinian residents of the neighborhood is the electricity crises, the worst in the last 15 years. Two days ago the electricity went out for more than 18 hours continuously. Considering the cold winter temperatures, the frequent electricity cuts are especially difficult for children and elderly residents. At times, when electricity is cut unexpectedly, electrical equipment is damaged or destroyed.One resident of Silwan said, “We knew from the beginning that all this work didn’t aim to improve the living situation here, but the real aim was to empower the settlers’ tourism project, and to allow for new excavations as in the Wadi Hilweh street which will also happen in the Martyr Samir Sirhan Street in the coming weeks. We don’t believe the Israeli Authorities because they have declared that they were constructing a school for girls, then suddenly the building turned out to be the base for the Israeli Interior Ministry, and this is happening daily so we won’t believe them at all.”
Israeli court stays building plan in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — An Israeli court in occupied Jerusalem has issued an injunction to freeze construction on 740 dunams of land in two villages, al-Tour and al-Issawiyyeh, an attorney said Monday. The decision follows a petition by the Jerusalem Center for Legal Assistance and Human Rights, and it demands a response from the municipality and environmental authority by February. The attorney, Muin Odeh of the Jerusalem center, says the initiative is to establish a national park on 740 dunams of land in the two villages of al-Tour and al-Issawiyyeh.
Settlers / Right-wing extremists
Israeli ministers backing West Bank outpost evacuation receive death threats
23 Jan — Authorities are investigating a threatening email sent to a number of coalition MKs and ministers, in the wake of cabinet statements that it is willing to evacuate illegal settlements … Lawmakers who received the emails informed the head of the Knesset Guard, Yossi Griff, who informed the police and the Shin Bet security service, who have launched an investigation. Meanwhile, the coalition has not yet decided whether to hold a vote on Wednesday, against the wishes of the government, on a bill to retroactively legalize illegal outposts. The coalition leaders are threatening to bring the bill to a vote and allow MKs and ministers to vote their conscience, which is likely to garner the bill a majority.
Israeli settlers reject Netanyahu’s request to evacuate largest outpost in West Bank
23 Jan — The ongoing controversy about the evacuation of the Migron outpost hit a new high Sunday, as settlers angrily rejected a compromise proposal offered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu asked the Migron settlers to voluntarily evacuate the outpost and receive in return support to establish a community on nearby state land. The settlers rejected the proposal and demanded that Netanyahu authorize the Migron outpost’s settlement by legislation. They threatened that a Migron evacuation would cost Netanyahu his job, because the national religious public will not tolerate a forcible evacuation of the outpost. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-settlers-reject-netanyahu-s-request-to-evacuate-largest-outpost-in-west-bank-1.408689
PM, settlers reach compromise on Migron
Ynet 23 Jan — Settlers agree to vacate structures in West Bank outpost; gov’t agrees to turn homes into farm instead of razing them
Video: ‘Each Arab dog will have his day': Military raids Khalil youth center
ISM 22 Jan — In an action that appears to have been carried out purely for the entertainment and satisfaction of Israeli settlers, the center of the activist group, Youth Against Settlements, in Tel Rumeida, Al Khalil (also known as Hebron) was stormed by Israeli soldiers at 3pm on the afternoon of Saturday 21st January. Organisation leader Issa Amro was briefly arrested and taken away without reason … Amro was forcefully handcuffed behind his back, despite his having a medical condition which means that this should be prohibited; a fact of which Israeli authorities are well aware having detained him on fifteen different occasions last year. He was then blindfolded and taken away to a military base, where he was beaten. Soldiers also threatened to kill him. Soldiers then proceeded to assault several other activists who were attempting to document the incident, including Badia Dwaik, Tamer Atrash, Hamad Israir and Sundos Assilay, an eighteen-year old girl. As Amro was taken away, settlers who had gathered for the show cheered triumphantly, spat at him and chanted slogans such as “each Arab dog will have his day.” No reason was given for the arrest and no provocation was made. He was subsequently released without any kind of charge less than half-an-hour later. Many more Jews were visiting the city for Shabbat and the Settler Tour of the old city, and it seems that the army wanted to put on a show for the settlers..
Videos: Week of military invasions in Ni‘lin village
Ni‘lin Sons 23 Jan — Invasion of Ni‘lin 18 Jan; Weekly demonstration 20 Jan.
Witnesses: Forces raid football match near Salfit
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank village Kifl Haris on Sunday evening, shutting down a football match with tear gas, witnesses said. Five military jeeps surrounded the pitch and launched gas and “sound bombs” as the players and spectators, onlookers at the Salfit village football game said. An Israeli military spokesman said he was looking into the incident.
Soldiers raid home of man shot at Qalandia
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 Jan — Israeli forces on Sunday raided the home of a Palestinian man who was shot in the leg earlier in the day by an Israeli soldier. According to Israeli media, Abdul Hakim Ghawadra, 29, was carrying an axe and tried to attack a soldier at Qalandiya checkpoint, which separates northern Jerusalem from Ramallah … Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that later on Sunday six Israeli military patrols ransacked the Jenin home of Ghawadra. Soldiers also raided the homes of his brothers. One of Ghawadra’s relatives told Ma‘an that he had been working as a teacher in the village school before quitting his job and moving to Ramallah eight months ago. He was apparently suffering from a mental disorder and the relative said he was isolated and needed psychological help.
Police conduct patrols using civilian cars, pursuing Palestinians and issuing traffic tickets
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 22 Jan — Israeli Authorities began using a new technique to pursue Palestinians in order to issue expensive traffic tickets. Police have begun to rent civilian cars to pursue Palestinian drivers in Silwan. One Silwan resident stated that “they forgot to write ‘only for harassing Palestinians,’ on their civilian car.” … The only signs that currently exist in Silwan provide information about excavation and tourist activities run by the settlement association ELAD, which is forcing Palestinian residents of Silwan out of their homes and off their land. The Palestinians in Silwan are using very old, damaged streets.
Israeli forces seal off occupied West Bank town
MEMO 23 Jan — Israeli occupation forces sealed the entrances to the town of Azzun, east of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, on Saturday, isolating it from the surrounding area for a short time. In a telephone interview with the local media, the Mayor of Azzun said that the closure was effected by several Israeli military vehicles. During the closure, said Mayor Ahmed Omran, the free movement of the town’s residents was hindered. The Mayor added that the Israeli occupation forces have been taking such action frequently on the pretext of “maintaining the security of the main road” which runs close by. He pointed out that hundreds of cars had to alter their routes going to three West Bank cities – Nablus, Qalqilya and Tulkarem – as Azzun is the gateway to all three. “Such Israeli measures are meant to crack down on the Palestinians,” added Mayor Omran, “especially at the beginning of the week when Palestinians try to go to their jobs and students head for their universities.”
Israeli judge to visit military checkpoint in Silwan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 23 Jan — A group of Israeli judges organized a visit to an Israeli Military Checkpoint at 10:00 am Sunday to assess whether its presence is necessary. The judges will be accompanied by the lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud who has taken on the case on behalf of local residents who would like the checkpoint removed due to the obstacles it presents. The checkpoint has been positioned on the roof of a Palestinian home for more than a year. The checkpoint is manned for 24 hours and has proven to escalate confrontations and has caused the arrest of a large number of young people.
OCHA: 21 Palestinians injured, 12 structures razed last week
WEST BANk (PIC) 22 Jan — 21 Palestinians were wounded and 12 homes and buildings were demolished in the occupied West Bank last week, according to a report on Israeli violations issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The report stated the income sources of 36 Palestinians were affected by Israel’s demolition of nine buildings last week. The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) also issued demolition orders against two homes in occupied Jerusalem and Jericho, and other five structures in Nablus city, the report said…
As part of their weekly attacks, the Jewish settlers sabotaged 40 olive trees near Kfar Tapuah settlement, damaged or burnt eight Palestinian vehicles in Salfit, Nablus, Ramallah and Al-Khalil cities and painted racist slurs on the walls of Deir Estia village near Salfit.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Ex-IDF investigator accused of abuse, torture of Mustafa Dirani to sue state
Haaretz 23 Jan — Military Intelligence investigator says Defense Ministry endangered him by leaking his identity and depicting him as a ‘despicable sex offender.’
Child dies of wounds suffered three years ago
IMEMC 22 Jan — Palestinian medical sources reported on Sunday that Hanin Kamal Abu Jalala, 16 years old, died of wounds suffered during the Israeli offensive on Gaza three years ago. The child was severely wounded by phosphorus shells fired by the Israeli army into civilian areas in Gaza. Abu Jalala lived with her family in al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip. Her injury also resulted in lung fibrosis. She was hospitalized at the Hadassah Israeli hospital, and fell into a coma nearly twelve days ago after undergoing surgery.
2 youth dead in attack on Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip
ISM 22 Jan by Rosa. Israeli Apaches and land forces shelled an area east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning, January 18 2012. Two young men were killed and another was injured … Family members and friends told us that the two young men went near the border to find building materials to sell. The poorest youth of Gaza frequently go to the border, in the so-called no go zone of 300 meters imposed by Israel, to find building material to sell. They also told us that the two young men were catching birds. The body of Ahmed was at about 300-400 meters from the border … Then we went to the other mourning tent. Here, the brother of Mohammed, Zahor Abu Auda, told us that the two young men were catching birds to sell them for pets. If they were lucky, they made 100 shekels from the sale of the birds (100 shekels are equivalent to about 20 euros). His mother can’t walk, Mohammed took care of her. Zahor told us, “Let the world know that the Israelis killed a man that was only trying to get money to live…”
Two wounded in tunnel accident
IMEMC 23 Jan — Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that two Palestinians were injured on Saturday, when a tunnel partially collapsed while they were in it. The tunnel is located south of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Dr. Ahmad Abu Salmiyya, spokesperson of the Medical and Emergency Services in Gaza, stated that the two suffered moderate injuries and were moved to Abu Yousef an-Najjar Hospital.
PCHR slams Israeli detention of Gaza patients
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — A Palestinian rights group has warned that Israel’s detention of invalids seeking treatment outside of Gaza breaches international law. “Targeting patients, exploiting their need for medical treatment at hospitals in Israel or the West Bank and blackmailing them [into becoming informers] constitute serious illegal actions,” the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in a statement Monday. Israeli forces on Thursday detained Bassam Rehan, 25, from Jabaliya refugee camp, at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza. PCHR said it was concerned Rehan would be subject to torture as he was due to undergo surgery in the West Bank.
Gaza govt constructs, refurbishes 50 security buildings
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — The Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip has managed to construct 50 buildings used as headquarters for different security services, interior minister Fathi Hammad said Monday. Hammad says 25 of the buildings are new, while the other 25 have been reconstructed after they sustained either partial damage or major destruction during Israel’s 2008-2009 military offensive. Construction and reconstruction will continue until all the security services have modern buildings and are equipped with modern technologies, Hammad said at the inauguration of a Beit Hanoun fire station.
Turkish banks ‘interested in Gaza branches’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Jan — The head of the Palestine Monetary Authority said Saturday that Turkish banks have expressed an interest in opening branches in Palestine. Jihad al-Wazir told reporters that the PMA has requested financial data and banking system information from the Turkish banks, which he did not name.
[U.S.A.] ‘I am one of the proud daughters of the Holy Land Five’ / Joe Catron
23 Jan — The daughters of Mohammad El Mezain, Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh, the Holy Land Five essentially imprisoned for giving charity to Palestinians, have released two new videos marking ten years of their fathers’ persecution at the hands of the United States government. Many Palestinians remember the help the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) once offered them. As I wrote in his Gaza City office this afternoon, my friend Yousef Aljamal, sitting next to me, unexpectedly commented, “My sister was 18 when the HLF was closed. She had just gotten a scholarship from them, but because they were shut down, she wasn’t able to use it.” And I am reminded of the relief the HLF gave families struggling under apartheid every time I pass a worn sign marking one of their former sites here.
Family travels to Gaza for freed son’s wedding
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Jan — The West Bank family of a prisoner released and deported under an exchange deal with Israel will attend their freed son’s wedding in the Gaza Strip this week. Kifah Nawahda was exiled to Gaza following his release
Political detention / Court actions
9 Palestinians detained in pre-dawn raids
Nine Palestinian men have been detained in pre-dawn raids on Monday across the West Bank. In the village of Anabta, in the district of Tulkarem, five men were detained by the Israeli military … In Marka village, Jenin, two men were detained along with 22 year old Ali Abdul-Wahhab Hamamrah, from Hanoun, near Bethlehem, and Yousif Sharayaa from the Balata Refugee Camp, near Nablus. Both Ma‘an and the WAFA News Agency reported that the home of Sharayaa was ransacked during the detention.
Trial of Dr. Dweik delayed until Tuesday
IMEMC 23 Jan — The Israeli “Ofer” Military Court, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, decided Sunday to stay the deliberations on the case of the detained head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, until this coming Tuesday. Representing Dr. Dweik, attorney Fadi Qawasmi stated that the Sunday court session was held to look into a request for Dweik’s release. The court decided to delay the deliberations until this coming Tuesday, and will be deliberating the possibility of transferring him to administrative detention due to the military prosecution’s failure to file charges against him. With the abduction of Dweik, the number of detained elected Palestinians legislators arrives at 26; both Dr. Dweik and legislator Khaled Tafesh, from Hebron, were taken on Friday.
Detainee Abu Sisi loses one third of his weight
RAMALLAH (PIC) 23 Jan — Dirar Abu Sisi, a Palestinian engineer detained in Israeli Askalan jail, said that he lost one third of his weight ever since his abduction by Israeli Mossad agents a year ago in the Ukraine. Abu Sisi, 43, told a lawyer for the Palestinian prisoner’s association that he was 98 kilograms before his arrest and now his weight is 66 kilograms. He said that he was still held in isolation since his detention and has been interrogated by 40 Israeli agents, adding that his confessions were taken under torture. The detainee, who has a doctorate in engineering, said that he was suffering from a number of ailments such as heart, kidney, and back problems in addition to pains in his left eye and stomach aches and that the prison administration only gives him sedatives.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Tale of sodomy and torture in occupation prison / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 23 Jan — Haaretz this week noted that the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has brought suit before the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of a Palestinian torture victim. Two police officers allegedly brutally abused their client in a prolonged police interrogation in 2007. After arresting him early one morning near al-Izarwiya, they stripped him naked, repeatedly beat him on every part of his body, kicked him, deafened him by firing a gun next to his ear, shoved a metal key into his eye, pushed his face into a substance smelling like insecticide, urinated on his face and the rest of his body, and for the torture piece de la resistance–sodomized him not once, but twice with a blunt instrument: … This appears to be a tactic common to such police interrogations as Doron “Captain George” Zahavi’s IDF intelligence unit used on Mustafa Dirani. Dirani has brought suit in Israel against Zahavi supported by a former guard in the facility who confirms the victim’s claim he was sodomized. In her blog, MK Haneen Zoabi notes that the first threat a policeman in a case which is the subject of her post issued to a Palestinian suspect was: “I’ll fuck you in the ass.”
List of accusations against the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center expanded
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 24 Jan — The Israeli General Prosecutor succeeded in expanding the list of accusations against Jawad Siyam the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center- Silwan . In an extraordinary event, the Israeli police requested that charges be filed against Siyam through the Israeli General Prosecutor adding a number of new accusations to the list filed against him in 2011. Magistrate Court Judge Shloomi accepted the police request. The accusations were filed with 9 police officers and a settler acting as witnesses. MQ, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, claimed that Siyam chased and severely assaulted him in Wadi Al Joz during the time that Siyam was under house arrest. MQ was taken to hospital at that time. MQ also claimed that Siyam physically assaulted him in another incident accompanied by 20 youth under the pretext of Siyam’s intention to help mobilize the ownership of Palestinians properties to the settlers (Elad)….
Health of detained mother deteriorates in captivity
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 23 Jan — The son of 53-year-old Salwa Hassan from Al-Khalil has appealed to human rights groups to demand the release of his mother from Israeli custody after her health badly deteriorated. Ibrahim said that Israel has banned visits to his mother ever since her arrest four months ago and that her health worsened in Hasharon jail after its administration refused to provide her with medical help.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
IOA extends detention of oldest serving administrative detainee
NABLUS (PIC) 23 Jan — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) extended for the tenth consecutive time the detention of the oldest serving administrative detainee Ahmed Nabhan Saqer for three months. Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher with the international Tadamun foundation for human rights, said that Saqer was held without trial or charge since his arrest on 28/11/2008 from his home in Asker refugee camp near Nablus.
Beitawi also said that the Salem military court extended the remand of journalist Amin Abu Warda for ten days for further questioning at the request of the Israeli military prosecution. He said that Abu Warda, 46, was still deprived of meeting a lawyer since his arrest on 28/12/2011, adding that he is slated to attend the first hearing in his case on 1/2/2012.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Israel’s Al Jalame prison: ‘Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks’ / Annie Robbins
23 Jan — The Guardian published a scathing article over the weekend by Harriet Sherwood on human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian children in Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. The report is a culmination of interviews conducted by the Guardian including descriptions of sworn testimonies of minors collected by Defence for Children International (DCI), a human rights organization that has collected hundreds of testimonies from Palestinian children since 2008. The Guardian also viewed rare audiovisual recordings of the interrogations of two boys from the village of Nabi Saleh. Their report is corroborated by B’Tselem’s study No Minor Matter, published last July. It’s a must read.
A detainee at risk: Ongoing hunger strike since December 17 / Shahd Abusalama
EI 21 Jan — If you have the power, you can abuse it and no one will say a word in protest. At least this is the case for Israel, which openly violates international law and human rights feeling secure that one will stop it. But Khader Adnan, a detainee from Jenin, has decided not to stay silent and accept injustices against him and his fellow prisoners. He is battling armed jailers with his only weapon: his empty stomach. Khader started hunger striking the day of his arrest, December 18, to protest the unjust administrative detention he is serving and the indescribable cruelty he has experienced since then
Facebook shows its tyrannical face, blocks solidarity page of hunger striker
RAMALLAH (PIC) 22 Jan — The Facebook controllers erased a solidarity page protesting Israel’s arbitrary detention of Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan who has undergone open hunger strike since the first day of his arrest. Facebook claimed the page was blocked because it was used to incite against Israel. Information technology expert Ali Sa’eed said Zionist parties could be behind this unjust Facebook decision. He noted it was not the first time Facebook blocked pages supporting the Palestinian national cause and called for reopening other Facebook pages to challenge its racist behavior.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Political / Diplomatic news
Erekat calls on Israel to release Palestinian parliament speaker
Haaretz 22 Jan — Palestinian, Israeli envoys hold fourth meeting in Amman in effort to renew negotiations; senior Palestinian official says Erekat demanded Israel release Aziz Dweik and 23 Palestinian MPs.
Dweik: I was arrested to prevent the PLC from convening
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 20 Jan — Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Aziz Dweik, said on Friday that his arrest by the IOF aimed at stopping Palestinian reconciliation and to continue to disable the PLC. Dr. Dweik added, in a letter he sent with his lawyer from the Ofer military prison, that the IOF arrested him to stop the PLC convening in early February as was planned.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Palestinian elections ‘impossible’ in May
AFP 23 Jan — It is “impossible” for the Palestinians to hold presidential and legislative elections in May as planned, a senior Palestinian MP warned on Monday. Mustafa Barghuti, who heads the Freedom Committee set up to help implement a reconciliation deal between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, said the preparations necessary for holding a vote in May had not been made.
Hamas: Elections committee can reopen Gaza offices ‘anytime’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Hamas on Monday rejected criticism that it had failed to open the Central Election Commission’s headquarters in Gaza. CEC chairman Hanna Nasir said Monday that the Hamas-run government had not reopened elections offices in the Gaza Strip despite pledging to do so two weeks ago. The Interior Ministry in Gaza responded in a statement that no official had visited the office. “The CEC can open its headquarters anytime,” the Hamas-run ministry said.
Sources: Meshaal intends to visit Amman next week
IMEMC 23 Jan — Jordanian sources reported that Khalid Meshaal, the Chairman of the Hamas’ political bureau, would pay a visit to the Jordanian capital of Amman next Sunday along with the Qatari Crown Prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
British Jews cancel meeting with Abbas in wake of pressure from Netanyahu
Haaretz 23 Jan — Palestinian President Abbas is meeting with Jewish leaders around the world to increase pressure on Netanyahu’s government to move ahead with peace talks.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination / Suppression of dissent
State stalls on bringing agreed number of Ethiopian Jews into Israel
22 Jan — The government is bringing just 110 Ethiopian Jews into the country per month, 90 fewer than the agreed figure, despite recognizing that the official reason for the reduced intake no longer exists.
Tel Aviv orders subcontractors to stop employing asylum seekers
23 Jan — In 2011, the municipality employed over 800 contract workers, many of whom were asylum seekers from Sudan, Eritrea; state has decided not to deport them, but they are not allowed to work … Yuval Livnat, of the Refugee Rights Clinic says the authorities place asylum seekers in an impossible situation. “The efforts to intimidate employers on the one hand, and to prevent asylum seekers from opening businesses on the other, are in fact a pincer movement aimed at leaving asylum seekers unable to support themselves.”
Interior minister approves residency for 257 foreign worker families, rejects 118 cases
23 Jan — Interior Minster Eli Yishai on Monday approved residency for 257 families of foreign workers whose children were born in Israel, and rejected a further 118 requests. The interior minister made the decision based on the recommendations of a committee set up to consider residency requests of families following a government decision in August 2010.
10 percent of Israeli academics labeled ‘anti-Zionist’ by campus watchdogs
22 Jan — Survey comes up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers — Three self-proclaimed watchdog organizations have labeled about 10 percent of Israeli academics as anti-Zionist, according to a recent study by a group of academics, artists and university students who aim to counter the categorizations. The organizations, which are open about their activities, are Im Tirtzu, IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor.
Human Rights Watch reports serious violations in Israel, Palestinian territories
DPA 22 Jan — Annual report lists Israel’s blockade of Gaza Strip, settlement expansion in West Bank, and home demolitions in East Jerusalem; report also accuses Hamas for carrying out judicial executions and for allegedly torturing detainees.
Mufti denies reports of incitement against Jews
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 23 Jan – The Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Monday denied Israeli media reports that he incited against Jews. He told Voice of Palestine radio that “these allegations come within the Israeli incitement campaign against Jerusalem and its figures.” Ahmad Rweidi, an advisor on Jerusalem in the president’s office, denounced accusations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against Sheikh Hussein and his call to interrogate him.
€10 million water supply agreement signed by the PA and France
IMEMC 23 Jan — WAFA states that the agreement was signed at the Palestinian-French Municipalities Conference in Hebron and intends to improve water services for 150,000 residents in the West Bank. The agreement follows a report published by the French government in which which they accuse the State of Israel of apartheid policies with regards to water supply in the West Bank with regards to Palestinian residents and the illegal settler population. The report states that water usage was “a weapon serving the new apartheid”.
Video: Palestinian girls rap it up
Al Arabiya 23 Jan — Two Palestinian girls have inspired the music scene in the city of Nazareth with the lyrics of their songs. Damar is now part of the once male-dominated world of hip-hop but this time in the Arab world. Damar, which means destruction in Arabic, is made up of two teenage girls, 16-year-old May Zarkawi and 17-year-old Amani Tatour.
Israel to reroute road parallel to Egypt border for security reasons
23 Jan — Green groups up in arms, citing expert who says region’s dunes are second most ecologically important area in Israel after Mount Hermon … A committee that heard the objection conceded that few area residents needed the road but that this did not mean wide roads should not be built there. “The area is one of the regions that the State of Israel has a prime interest in settling. It is a border area with Egypt and there is a real need to increase population there,” the committee said. [why? It’s too dangerous for a road but not for residences?]
Atlanta Jewish Times publisher resigns over Obama assassination column
Haaretz 23 Jan — Andrew Adler suggested Israel should assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Photos: White-out in Hebron
22 Jan — The city of Hebron and neighboring towns Halhul and Beit Ummar were blanketed by snow and hail on Sunday, after a fierce storm blew through the southern West Bank. Traffic jams accumulated on the main road linking Hebron and Bethlehem, as a heavy fog settled on the area.
Israel owes a great debt to Haaretz / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 22 Jan — This is the way they express themselves in private conversations and this is what they think. Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman calls Haaretz “Der Stürmer,” the notorious Nazi propaganda tabloid; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers Haaretz one of Israel’s two greatest enemies, along with The New York Times. Even the denial issued by Netanyahu’s bureau over the remarks by Jerusalem Post editor, Steve Linde, was weak and foggy: “Iran is the greatest enemy,” with nary a word about Haaretz … One day of Operation Cast Lead gave Israel a worse name than everything that has ever been written in Haaretz, including articles by this writer. One month of Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office and Neeman as justice minister will do more damage than all the critical articles combined … A great danger now threatens some of Israel’s media outlets, but the closure of only one of them will change this country’s image unrecognizably. It is not the most popular, far from it, but in certain respects it is the most important. Israel without Haaretz will be a different country. There are no other media outlets about which this can be said with such certainty.