Free Fadi Quran

Israel/Palestine
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US students campaign for release of nonviolent activist Fadi Quran
IMEMC 27 Feb — After Israeli forces pepper sprayed and abducted US citizen and non-violent activist Fadi Quran on Friday, a group of students at Quran’s alma mater Stanford University have spearheaded a campaign for his release … Fadi Quran was involved in a non-violent march in the southern West Bank City of Hebron on Friday, organized by Youth Against Settlements. Israeli troops attacked the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, and also pepper sprayed a number of protesters at close range. Quran was one of those who was pepper sprayed directly in the eyes. He was then pushed to the ground by Israeli soldiers, hitting his head on the bumper of an Israeli military transport vehicle and passing out briefly on the ground. A video of the protest shows Quran briefly regaining consciousness and calling for an ambulance, saying he couldn’t breathe. Instead he was handcuffed and put into the back of an Israeli military vehicle, which took him to the Ofer military prison.
http://www.imemc.org/article/63067

Sign petition: Free Fadi Quran
[with video of him being assaulted] On February 24, 2012, a 24-year old Palestinian American, Fadi Quran, was assaulted and arrested by Israeli security forces during a non-violent protest in the West Bank for allegedly pushing an Israeli soldier. Video footage strongly indicates that Fadi was doing nothing more than arguing with armed soldiers at the time they grabbed him, attacked him with pepper spray, and smashed his face against the metal bar of a jeep. [hearing is supposed to be tomorrow, 28 Feb]
http://www.freefadi.org/

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Official: Israel to confiscate Salfit village land
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Israeli military authorities have issued an order for the confiscation of a northern West Bank village’s land, local officials told Ma‘an on Sunday. The military order confiscates 21.3 dunams of Qarawat Bani Hassan village in Salfit, citing security reasons. The village is bordered by three Israeli settlements.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463324

Israel draws plan for 475-kilometer rail network in West Bank
Haaretz 27 Feb — Israel Railways has prepared a major plan for providing train service throughout the West Bank to serve both Israelis and Palestinians. The plan, prepared at the request of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, calls for establishing 11 new rail lines, according to a map that Haaretz has obtained … Except for the proposed line from Rosh Ha’ayin to the West Bank settlement of Ariel, the prospects for actually carrying out the entire scheme are seen as slim. .
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-draws-plan-for-475-kilometer-rail-network-in-west-bank-1.414976

Palestinians force Israeli group to stop work on Jerusalem land
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 Feb — The Israeli Nature Authority Monday stopped work on land between the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiyeh and al-Tur after area residents got court order to stop the work, according to local activists. They presented workers from the Nature Authority with the court decision, which orders temporary halt to the work. he Israeli municipality of Jerusalem is planning to take over more than 700 dunums of Palestinian land near the two neighborhoods to build what is believed to be a Talmudic garden and to serve area Jewish settlements
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19121

Silwan entrance shut down as extremists demonstrate
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — During each  first day of each month according to the ancient Hebrew calendar the northern entrance to Silwan is shut down by Israeli forces, with local traffic denied entry and Israeli buses permitted sole access. The blockade enables the free passage of Israeli extremists as they publicly call for the construction of a Third Jewish Temple where Al Aqsa Mosque currently stands.
http://silwanic.net/?p=24999

Abbas: Israel carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 26 Feb — President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Sunday of trying to erase any Arabic identity from Jerusalem, drawing a strong response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas, speaking at a conference in Qatar, said that for the past few years Israel has been waging a “final battle” aimed at erasing the Arab, Muslim and Christian character of East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan during the 1967 Middle East war.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463405

Report: Israel denies 14,000 Arabs Jerusalem residency
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 27 Feb — Israel has denied over 14,000 Arab residents of occupied East Jerusalem the right to live in their city of birth, a report by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) said Monday. It also demolished 3,300 Palestinian-owned homes in the city, it added. The NAD report monitored Israeli unilateral measures in East Jerusalem since its occupation in 1967. The report said Israel withdrew right to live in the city from 14,000 Palestinians, around 50% of them from 2006 and 2008. The Israeli action affected more than 20% of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19122

Settlers

Settler opens fire on farmers near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 27 Feb — A Jewish settler Monday opened fire at Palestinian farmers and their livestock in Khirbet Janba, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, after failed attempts to steal their sheep, according to a local resident. Khader al-Amour, a school principal in Janba, told WAFA the settler tried to steal some of the sheep using several dogs to scare off the farmers and when failed, he opened fire at the farmers that led to a fistfight between them. Members of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) arrived at the scene and seized several sheep and told their owners they must pay for them if they wanted them back, he added.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities also imposed almost $2000 on a Palestinian farmer from Khirbet Janba under the pretext that he was herding the sheep in an Israeli army-control area.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19123

Nablus village stoned, clashes with settlers
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Dozens of Israelis threw stones at a Palestinian house near an illegal settlement in the northern West Bank on Monday, witnesses told Ma‘an. Umm Ayman Sufan said more than 40 residents of Yitzhar settlement pelted her house with stones and bottles, before cutting down olive trees surrounding the home. Her house, south of Burin village in the Nablus governorate, lies just a few dozen meters from the settlement. The group left when Palestinians came down from Burin to her house, she said.
In a separate incident, Israelis from the settlement on the other side of the village, Bracha, approached the village from the east earlier Monday, and clashes broke out with residents, PA official Ghassan Daghlas said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463692

Settlers reject Israel deal to regulate evacuation of West Bank outpost
Haaretz 27 Feb — Representatives to talks with Israel government deflect proposed deal to move to state-owned land after consulting with rabbis; Minister Begin: Residents have mere hours to decide on deal.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/settlers-reject-israel-deal-to-regulate-evacuation-of-west-bank-outpost-1.415061

Jewish settler deliberately runs over Palestinian
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 26 Feb — A Jewish settler driving a Mazda car ran over a Palestinian young man near the entrance to the village of Beit Ummar, north of Al-Khalil, on Saturday then sped away. Medical sources said that the accident was deliberate, adding that the 25-year-old Ali Ekhlil is the chairman of the village’s local council for youth. Ibrahim, the young man’s brother, said that Ali was injured in his right hand and taken to Al-Khalil government hospital where his condition was described as light to moderate.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/

Arsonists burn local council building in Hebron village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Unidentified arsonists set fire to a local council building on Sunday in the Hebron village of al-Ramadin. Head of the village council Ahmad Zagharnah told Ma‘an that the “perpetrators wanted to cause confusion and chaos in the village.” Director of Hebron police Ramadan Awad visited the village, despite the fact that it is in Area C, and an investigation has been opened. The identity of the perpetrators is still unclear [so perhaps not settlers]. The village, which is located in the furthest southwestern corner of the West Bank, is flanked by settlements on its northwestern and southeastern side.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463512

Vatican asks Peres to help find ‘price tag’ culprits
Haaretz 27 Feb — A senior official in the Catholic Church has called on President Shimon Peres to use the power of his office to apprehend those responsible for a number of incidents in the past few weeks in which Christian sites in Jerusalem were vandalized.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/vatican-asks-peres-to-help-find-price-tag-culprits-1.414975

Israeli forces

During Israel invasions: Medic injured, eight Palestinians arrested
IMEMC 27 Feb — The Palestinian Civil Defense announced on Monday that ambulance teams and medic came under attack on Sunday evening by Israeli troops as they were evacuating civilians near Qalandiya checkpoint at the entrance of Ramallah city in central West Bank.  According to the Civil Defense, Israeli troops fired tear gas at residents’ homes trapping families inside, soldiers then fired rubber-coated steel bullets at medics who arrived to evacuate residents. A fire engine also sustained damage by the Israeli military attack, the Palestinian Civil Defense reported.
http://www.imemc.org/article/63062

Video: Hundreds of Israeli soldiers show up in village targeted for demolition
27 Feb by Morgan — At dawn last Wednesday, February 22nd, between 250 and 300 Israeli soldiers came through the occupied Palestinian village, Al Aqaba, as part of their training. They were going on little to no sleep, so they took the opportunity to sleep in their jeeps, on the street, and between village houses. After they awoke, they proceeded eastward towards the valley. I’ve posted an account of their presence in the village in my blog, FilisteeNola
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/hundreds-of-israeli-soldiers-show-up-in-village-targeted-for-demolition.html

Israeli forces prevent farmer from entering his land
HEBRON (WAFA) 26 Feb – Israeli forces Sunday prevented a Palestinian farmer from Beit Ummar, a town north of the northern West Bank city of Hebron, from entering his land under the pretext of declaring it a closed military zone, according to a local activist … Al-Alami said that he was surprised by a number of Israeli soldiers present at his five dunums of land planted with grape and almond trees and told him under gun point to immediately leave the land under the pretext of declaring it closed military zone although he showed documents that proof his ownership of the land
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19114

Detention

Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian eighth-grader near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 27 Feb — Israeli soldiers Monday detained a Palestinian school student in an area near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron’s old city, according to local sources. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers assaulted eighth-grader Muhannad al-Bakri on his way to school, and ripped his bag before arresting and detaining him in a police station in Kiryat Arba settlement, near Hebron. Al-Bakri was later released after the International Red Cross intervened.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19125

Israeli forces make multiple overnight arrests in West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Israeli forces made multiple arrests overnight Sunday, witnesses and Israel’s army said. Six people were detained in the Hebron district for security questioning, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. Local witnesses told Ma‘an that eight people were detained in Nablus overnight Sunday. Israeli military vehicles raided the village of Kafr Qalil after midnight, locals said. Three people in the village were also issued summons orders to report to Israeli intelligence.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463494

Detainees in Israeli jails announce strike action
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Detainees in Israeli jails on Sunday announced a series of measures to undertake strike action in protest against the practice of administrative detention, the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said. A report produced by the ministry said that prisoners in Nafha, Ramon, Ofer and Eshel jails would initiate a hunger strike one day a week until March 13. From March 14, prisoners said that they would escalate their hunger strike to two days a week, and combine it with a campaign of sending letters to Israeli officials.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463342

Israel issues third consecutive detention order against prisoner of conscience Ahmad
EI 27 Feb by Maureen — The Palestinian prisoners advocacy group Addameer announced on Twitter yesterday that Israel had renewed administrative detention orders against Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamesh for an additional six months. This is the third consecutive administrative detention order issued against Qatamesh. The Palestinian writer and academic has been held without charge since 21 April 2011, when Israeli soldiers raided his family’s home, holding his family members hostage at gunpoint until Qatamesh, who was not home at the time, surrendered himself. Ahmad’s daughter, Hanin Ahmad Qatamesh, described in harrowing detail how Israeli soldiers raided her family’s home in the middle of the night, searching for her father, in an article for The Electronic Intifada.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen/israel-issues-third-consecutive-detention-order-against-prisoner-conscience-ahmad

University students stage sit-in against political detentions
MEMO 27 Feb — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES Students at Birzeit University have staged a sit-in on campus in protest at political detentions and summonses being issued against them by the Palestinian Authority’s Security Forces in the West Bank. The students are members of parties belonging to the Islamic Bloc. The sit-ins began last Thursday after officers from Preventative Security arrested one of the leaders of the group, a student by the name of Omran Mazloum, as he left the university.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/3460-university-students-stage-sit-in-against-political-detentions

Prisoners exiled to Turkey reflect on swap deal
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Palestinians released by Israel in an October prisoner swap, and exiled to Turkey, told Ma‘an on Saturday of the mixed blessings that came with freedom. “No one can know the suffering of imprisonment except those who experience it. Neither can anyone describe the feeling being in exile,” Haroon Nasser told Ma‘an at a meeting with journalists in Istanbul.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463234

Palestinian who was repeatedly rammed by settler vehicle sentenced to 12.5 years
[with video of his being run over] The Israeli Ofer Military Court sentenced on Sunday resident Waseem Maswada, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, to twelve and a half years as he faced “attempted murder” charges for stabbing two settlers. After the stabbing, Waseem was attacked by several settlers, one of whom rammed him with his vehicle, and ran over him three times; the settler was sentenced to 3.5 months community service.
http://www.imemc.org/article/63061

Hana Shalabi

Palestinian hunger striker’s brother: She won’t eat until she’s free
Al Akhbar 27 Feb — Hana Shalabi has refused to eat since she was arrested in a violent raid and held without trial 12 days ago. Since beginning her strike she has kept in solitary confinement without access to her family, her lawyers said on Monday. Taking strength from the success of Khader Adnan’s campaign, Shalabi’s brother said she had sworn to continue until she is released.
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/female-palestinian-hunger-strikers-brother-she-will-continue-until-she-free

Palestinian woman on 11th day of hunger strike, as parents join her to protest no-charge detention by Israel
EI 26 Feb — As Palestinian “administrative detainee” Hana Al-Shalabi, 29, entered her eleventh day on hunger strike, her parents continued their own hunger strike in solidarity, against their daughter’s imprisonment without charge or trial by Israel … al-Shalabi’s parents have been on hunger strike for three days, in a solidarity tent near next to their home in Burqin, and have called for international intervention to free their daughter and end the policy of administrative detention. Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, has issued an action alert calling for people to take action to bring attention to Hana Al-Shalabi’s case.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/palestinian-woman-11th-day-hunger-strike-parents-join-her-protest-no-charge

School children organize solidarity protest with detainee Shalabi
IMEMC 27 Feb — …Protesters today marched from the local school carrying Ash-Shalabi photos and demanded her immediate release. The march ended at the protest tent outside Ash-Shalabi’s home in the northern west Bank village of Borqeen near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Ash-Shalabi, 28, is the first female detainee who was released under the Shalit prisoner-swap deal to be re-arrested by the army. She was taken prisoner on February 16, 2012, and was ordered under Administrative Detention for six months.
http://www.imemc.org/article/63064

Gaza

Israeli strikes destroy tunnel, injure 2 Palestinians in Gaza
RAFAH (WAFA) 26 Feb — Israeli warplanes Sunday launched a strike targeting a smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah near the borderline between Gaza and Egypt, according to witnesses. They said the raid completely destroyed the tunnel and caused damage to the surrounding area. No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, two Palestinians were injured late Saturday nights when Israeli F-16 warplanes shelled an area west of Rafah, causing severe damage to the targeted location.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19106

Rockets hit south; Air Force bombs Gaza
Ynet 26 Feb – The Air Force bombed several targets in the Gaza Strip after three Qassam rockets were fired at Israel Saturday, Palestinian sources told Ynet early Sunday. According to other reports, Hamas security officials decided to evacuate all headquarters in the Strip for fear of further Israeli strikes.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4194650,00.html

Electricity crisis brings ‘dark times’ for women in Gaza
GAZA (Alresalah.ps, Oxfam) 27 Feb — For 40-year-old Naima Abu Shawareb living in Al Shaati refugee camp, the electricity crisis has brought increased hardships over and above what she was facing already. Not able to afford a portable generator, when the power is cut her house is only lit by candles and she huddles together for warmth with her four children and husband in one room” By the afternoon our house is completely dark and there is not much we can do except sleep,” she said. “My children can barely read and do their homework, and I’ve had to borrow money to buy a pair of glasses for one of my girls because her eyesight keeps getting worse.” Naima told Oxfam that she has almost stopped cooking, in order to preserve the little cooking gas that she has left, while many others have reported resorting to cooking on firewood.
http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=226

Egypt increases power supply to Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Egypt increased its energy supply to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, director of the Hamas-run energy authority told Ma‘an, adding that more is required to solve the crisis. “In light of the serious power shortage in the Gaza Strip, the additional five megawatts have not resulted in a major improvement, and so further steps from Egypt would be necessary,” Abu al-Amreen said on Monday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463565

Owners of destroyed homes close UNRWA offices
GAZA (PIC) 26 Feb — Angry Palestinian demonstrators closed the UNRWA offices in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on Sunday to protest the delay in rebuilding their destroyed homes … They lost their homes in the Israeli aggression on Rafah in 2003 where more than 2700 houses were destroyed.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

In protest … Director-general of Gaza border crossing resigns office
Gaza (Alresalah.ps) 22 Feb — Director-General of  Border Crossing at Interior Ministry in Gaza Maher Abu Sabha resigned from his office in protest of the Egyptian humiliation of the Palestinian travelers at the Rafah crossing. “Shortly speaking, I have resigned out of the Egyptian authorities’ treatment of us like slaves and working practices of the Mubarak regime at the Rafah crossing,” he justified. “Palestinians are being blackmailed and debased even after Egypt’s spring has been come; Rafah crossing is semi-closed with a large number of Gaza travelers there awaiting its opening since yesterday after having their four buses turned away,” the official added.
http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=208

NGO director issued arrest warrant by Hamas
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — The director of a Gaza-based human rights organization said Sunday that he received an arrest warrant from the Hamas government, after he criticized the state-run energy authority. Al-Dameer director Khalil Abu Shamala, who is also a member of the public freedoms committee, said the arrest warrant included accusations from the Hamas-run energy authority that he had blamed them for the current energy crisis in Gaza.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463362

Japan grants project to support agriculture sector in Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 27 Feb — Japan Monday granted $824,075 for a project to support the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement by Japan representative office to PA … The project will include training sessions for Palestinian agricultural engineers and farmers in three greenhouses established by the Agricultural Relief Committees in the Strip.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=19124

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

West Bank villages protest in solidarity with Hebron
[with photos] 972mag 26 Feb by Haggai Matar — While hundreds of people took to the streets of Hebron in two mass demonstrations, hundreds more dedicated the weekly Friday demonstrations against the wall and the settlements to solidarity with residents of Hebron, joining the demand that Shuhada Street be opened to Palestinians … In Ma‘asara, several dozen demonstrators marched towards lands appropriated by the construction of the “separation fence” – which has recently been restarted after a halt that lasted roughly three years. Protesters carried signs and chanted slogans referring to the policy of segregation in Hebron. They were stopped at the entrance to the village by soldiers, and eventually returned into the village…
http://972mag.com/west-bank-villages-protest-in-solidarity-with-hebron/36443/

Tel Rumeida: As locals march for rights, Israel sprays funeral procession and injures journalist
ISM 26 Feb — The divided city of Al Khalil (Hebron) was transformed into a war zone this Friday, as thousands of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists attempted to peacefully reopen the segregated Shuhada Street and were violently attacked by the Israeli military. Soldiers and riot police used tear gas, sound bombs, sonic weapons, and foul-smelling ‘skunk water’ to break up demonstrations at three different locations, resulting in numerous injuries that sent at least 95 to area hospitals. The demonstrations were the culmination of a week of protest against the closure of Shuhada Street and commemorated the 1994 Goldstein Massacre, in which a Zionist extremist murdered 29 and seriously wounded over 150 Muslims praying at the nearby Mosque Al-Ibrahimi. The call for this Third Annual Global Day of Action to Open Shuhada Street resulted in over 35 actions internationally, organized by scores of groups. In Al Khalil, two local demonstrations (organized by Youth Against Settlements and Hebron Defense Committee) directly confronted the racist laws preventing them access to their once-main street in the heart of the City.
http://palsolidarity.org/2012/02/tel-rumeida-as-locals-march-for-rights-israel-sprays-funeral-procession-and-injures-journalist/

Judge throws out Israel-backed lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op, upholds right to boycott
EI 27 Feb — In a major setback for Israeli efforts to suppress the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in the United States, a judge in Olympia, Washington today dismissed a lawsuit designed to force the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its boycott of Israeli goods. The judge ruled that the lawsuit, brought by opponents of the boycott, violated a Washington State law designed to prevent abusive lawsuits aimed at suppressing lawful public participation. The court said it would award the defendants attorneys’ fees, costs, and levy sanctions against the plaintiffs. While the lawsuit was brought by several individuals against present and former members of the Olympia Food Co-op Board, it was planned in collusion with StandWithUs, a national anti-Palestinian organization, working with the Israeli government, an Electronic Intifada investigation revealed last September.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/judge-throws-out-israel-backed-lawsuit-against-olympia-food-co-op-upholds-right

BDS victory: Ahava products spiked in Japan because of legal and ethical issues
EI 27 Feb — DaitoCrea, the Japanese distributor for Ahava’s cosmetics line, announced last week that they will immediately stop carrying Ahava products. This move comes after BDS activists with the Palestine Forum Japan began a campaign in 2010 to pressure the distributor and educate Japanese consumers about Ahava’s illegal practices, according to a press release sent to The Electronic Intifada by the Palestine Forum Japan. Ahava products are made in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, with resources taken from the Dead Sea in the West Bank.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora/bds-victory-ahava-products-spiked-japan-because-legal-and-ethical-issues

Paris university cancels radical anti-Israel conference
Ynet 27 Feb — The University of Paris 8, formerly a part of the Sorbonne, has decided to cancel a conference that was scheduled to be held by a pro-Palestinian group at the establishment on Monday. The group, Collectif Palestine Paris 8, initially received permission from the university’s president, Pascal Binczak, to hold the event titled “Israel: an apartheid state?” The authorization was withdrawn due to the concern that the event’s “highly polemic nature” could trigger “disturbances to the public order,” the school said in a statement released Sunday.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4195173,00.html

Politics / Diplomacy

Hamas rejects Abbas’s invitation to visit Jerusalem
JPost 27 Feb — Hamas rejected Monday an invitation by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for Arab leaders to visit Jerusalem, dismissing Abbas’s assertion that a visit to the city would not equal normalization with Israel. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Hamas officials would only enter Jerusalem in order to “deliver it from the occupation,” according to Al Jazeera.
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=259640

Fateh: Hamas must allow the elections committee to operate in Gaza
IMEMC 27 Feb — The Fateh movement of president Mahmoud Abbas, demanded on Monday that the Palestinian elections committee be allowed to conduct the necessary work in the Gaza Strip in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
http://www.imemc.org/article/63063

PA ambassador to Mauritius takes office
TANZANIA (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — The Palestinian envoy to Tanzania Nasri Abu Jeish submitted his credentials to the President of the Republic of Mauritius as a non-resident ambassador to the country on Sunday, official media said. Abu Jeish briefed President Anerood Jugnauth on the situation in the Palestinian territories, and the Mauritian leader stressed his support for Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence, PA agency Wafa said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463587

Analysis / Opinion / Human interest

Israel’s fateful blunder
MEMO 26 Feb — There is something ominous about the current wave of attacks on Christian and Muslim religious sites in and around Jerusalem. The pro-Israel media asserts that these attacks are the handiwork of an extremist fringe. This is not the case. They are part of a determined policy carried out by, for and with the approval of the Israeli government, under army and police protection. While Israel’s occupation authorities, as a matter of routine, obstruct Palestinians from worshipping in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most sacred in Islam, they allow illegal Jewish settlers to enter in order “to perform religious rites”. No right-thinking mind would accept this parody. And yet, last Friday, for the first time since the occupation began in 1967, soldiers were stationed on the rooftop of the main prayer area of Al-Aqsa (in the area of the silver dome).
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/resources/commentary-and-analysis/3459-israels-fateful-blunder

18 years since massacre, Hebron’s Palestinians still under siege / Khalid Amayreh
Al Ahram 27 Feb — On the 18th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, Jewish settlers – backed by the Israeli political/security establishment – are still striving to make lives of Hebron’s Palestinians a living hell –  On 25 February 1994, as hundreds of Muslim worshipers performed dawn prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in downtown Hebron, Jewish-American terrorist Baruch Goldstein descended onto the mosque from the nearby Jewish-only settlement of Kiryat Arba and sprayed worshipers with machinegun fire, killing at least 29 and injuring many others … Goldstein was also a follower of the manifestly racist rabbi Meir Kahana, who called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In 1978, Kahana wrote a book to this effect entitled “They Must Go.” Fourteen years later, after giving a speech in a New York City hotel in which he called for expelling all Palestinians from Palestine/Israel, Kahana was assassinated. Now, 18 years later, while Goldstein and Kahana no longer exist, “Goldsteinism” — i.e., virulent anti-Palestinian hatred and violence — remains alive and well among most Jewish settlers.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentP/4/35417/Opinion/-years-since-massacre,-Hebrons-Palestinians-still-.aspx

Netanyahu’s latest Mideast peace push was nothing more than a swindle / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 27 Feb — During the Amman talks, the Palestinians were given 21 discussion topics that included borders, settlements, security, Jerusalem, water and archaeological sites, with not a hint as to Israel’s positions on these issues, and no map of any kind.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/netanyahu-s-latest-mideast-peace-push-was-nothing-more-than-a-swindle-1.415007

Caught in the crossfire: should musicians boycott Israel? / Jello Biafra
Al Jazeera 27 Feb — The former Dead Kennedys frontman goes to Israel and the West Bank, and shares his thoughts on the BDS movement — …bringing down this regime by boycott may be a much higher mountain to climb than the boycott of South Africa. The 1985 musician boycott of Sun City (a posh, government-owned golf resort and casino in South Africa) was just a promotional tool for the financial boycott, where banks, universities and corporations caved into pressure to pull their investments out of South Africa and broke the back of the white apartheid regime. With South Africa, there was not heavy-duty religion involved. There were not millions in the US and worldwide so emotionally attached to the other side for that reason. There was not a powerful Americans for Apartheid lobby in Washington DC or Students for a White South Africa on campus. Investors who pulled their money out did not risk an even bigger backlash from pro-Apartheid stockholders and customers … I am not saying the same tactics that brought down apartheid South Africa can’t be done. I am just saying that there are different and heavier obstacles this time and people need to be ready for them.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/20122198353750111.html

In Israeli city, a tribute to a Palestinian doctor
JAFFA, Israel (WaPo) 27 Feb — Freighted with memories, a bus carrying Najwa Dajani and her extended family pulled into this city by the sea that she had left under gathering clouds of war more than six decades ago. “We’re going home,” she said. Najwa, 75, had not been back since she left for Cairo with her mother and siblings in January 1948 as fighting raged between Arabs and Jews in the war that accompanied the creation of Israel. The departure, part of a mass Palestinian exodus, was supposed to be temporary, until the hostilities died down, but became a lifelong exile. On Sunday, Najwa, who lives in Amman, Jordan, was back in Jaffa by invitation with her sole surviving brother, Omar Dajani, who arrived from Baltimore, for an unusual tribute. The municipality of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa took the exceptional step of naming a square in memory of their father, Fouad Ismail Dajani, a respected Palestinian physician who founded the first private hospital in Jaffa in 1933 …  Sunday’s commemoration was a rare moment of recognition in Israel of its Palestinian past
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-israeli-city-tribute-to-a-palestinian-doctor/2012/02/27/gIQAJweJeR_story.html

Other news

11 years on, Palestinian Dura case stirs emotions
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Daily Star) 27 Feb — Controversy continues to stalk the memory of Mohammed al-Dura more than 11 years after the Palestinian boy was shot dead in an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters in Gaza. On Tuesday, France’s highest appeals court is to rule on a dispute between France 2, the channel whose iconic images of the incident were beamed around the world, and a French activist who claims the footage was staged. Since Dura’s death on September 30, 2000, the second day of the second intifada or uprising, 1,141 unarmed Palestinian minors have been killed, according to Israel rights group B’Tselem … But it is the death of 12-year-old Dura, who died in the arms of his father, that remains graven in the memories of most. The scene was captured on video by a France 2 cameraman, and quickly broadcast worldwide.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Feb-27/164777-11-years-on-palestinian-dura-case-stirs-emotions.ashx

On Mideast trip, US congresswomen see Israel, Palestinians in the eyes of J Street
JTA 27 Feb –…One Palestinian man strikes up a conversation. “I have American citizenship but I am not allowed to travel through Ben Gurion Airport because I have a Palestinian ID card,” Hamad Hindi of Louisiana tells the congresswomen. “We are seen as guilty of something because we are Palestinian.” After crossing to the Palestinian side, the congresswomen — part of a trip to Israel and the West Bank organized by the J Street Education Fund — head to Ramallah. “This is a ticking bomb waiting to go off,” says Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) “There must be some other way to do this. After so many years there should be some resolution for this issue.” The congresswomen clearly are moved by their experience at the checkpoint, and that’s the point.
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/02/27/3091869/on-mideast-trip-us-congresswomen-see-israel-palestinians-in-the-eyes-of-j-street

Initiative to support Palestinian exports launches
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Palestinian officials, business leaders and EU representatives launched a 3 million euro ($4 million) initiative to increase Palestinian exports on Monday. Funded by the European Union, the project will support the services sector, develop a national export strategy, and improve access to markets by promoting alternative trade routes to Israel, which exact a high cost on exporters, a press release said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=463717

Bumpy road in bid for landmark new Palestinian city
IC 26 Feb — Palestinian businessman Bashar al-Masri knew that building Rawabi, which aims to be the West Bank’s newest city, wasn’t going to be an easy project. But he never imagined it would take three long years to win Israeli approval for a single road of no more than a few kilometres (miles).
http://www.africasia.com/services/news_mideast/article.php?ID=CNG.252b6563a32447d99da0140e35d9f220.331

Technologies of control: the case of Hewlett-Packard
AIC 26 Feb — The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is maintained and preserved by daily practices of surveillance and control. In recent years, those practices have been increasingly relying on technological mechanisms provided by international and local corporations. Among those is Hewlett-Packard (HP). Through its subsidiary EDS Israel, HP is the prime contractor of the Basel system, an automated biometric access control system installed and maintained by HP in checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). Another control mechanism HP is involved in is Israel’s ID card system, which reflects and reinforces its political and economic asymmetries and tiered citizenship structure.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/economy-of-the-occupation/4168-technologies-of-control-case-of-hewlett-packard-

Israel enlists Azerbaijan as anti-Iran ally through weapons sales, bribes / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 26 Feb — AP reports that Israel’s leading aerospace contractor has inked a $1.6-billion deal to supply Azerbaijan with drones, missiles, and other advanced military hardware, which would be used to arm a potential frontline state in the war against Iran. Israel has used such arms deals to create intimate military and intelligence links with nations as varied as Georgia, Russia and India. Sheera Frenkel also reported recently on Azerbaijan as a Wild West outpost. It plays a major role in the war of nerves among Iran, Israel and the west.
http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/02/26/israel-enlists-azerbijian-as-anti-iran-ally-through-weapons-sales-bribes/

Israel, Kurdish fighters destroyed Iran nuclear facility, email released by WikiLeaks claims
Haaretz 27 Feb — In exchange released by website, worker at Stratfor intelligence firm doubts validity of a source claiming an Israeli ground force had already wiped out Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-kurdish-fighters-destroyed-iran-nuclear-facility-email-released-by-wikileaks-claims-1.415066

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