Likud party members issue call to storm al-Aqsa mosque next Sunday

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

Israeli Likud party calls to storm al-Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Feb – Members of the Israeli right-wing Likud party Thursday called to  storm al-Aqsa mosque next Sunday to build the alleged temple on the ruins of the mosque, according to Israeli right wing websites. Several websites of the Israeli right wing published an announcement on behalf of the Likud party, calling on thousands of the Likud members to storm al-Aqsa mosque along with a delegation headed by Moshe Feiglin, who ran against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for leadership of the party and received 25% of the votes of party members. The announcement said: “We call upon everyone to go up the Temple Mound, the Haram Ash-Sharif, one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, to declare a proper leadership which insures our full control of the mount in order to build the temple on the ruins of al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Nunu: Settlers’ plan to storm Aqsa reincarnates Sharon war
GAZA (PIC) 9 Feb — The Jewish settlers’ plan to storm the Aqsa mosque next Sunday would constitute a reincarnation of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon’s war on the holy site, Taher Al-Nunu, the Gaza government’s spokesman, said. Nunu warned in a terse statement on Thursday of the repercussions of this crime, recalling that a previous “tour” for Sharon in the Aqsa plazas had ignited the Aqsa intifada.
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AFEH warns of increased violation of Aqsa sanctity
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 9 Feb — The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage has warned of the Israeli occupation authority’s increased violation of the holy Aqsa Mosque’s sanctity. It warned in a statement on Wednesday of the goals behind allowing Israeli soldiers, males and females, to roam freely in the Aqsa plazas while wearing their uniform. It said that those soldiers were provocatively strolling inside the holy compound and taking photos, noting that they were previously not allowed into the mosque in their uniform since 2000. The foundation pointed out that 26 soldiers entered the Aqsa compound in two groups on Wednesday morning.
It also condemned the IOA for allowing tourists to enter the holy compound without any consideration to its holiness, recalling that one of them urinated at one of its corners a couple of days earlier in total disregard to the sanctity of the place.
In another incident, 12 Israeli intelligence officers, men and women, entered the Aqsa mosque on Thursday morning and toured its internal compound, while Jewish settlers continue to storm the holy site and try to perform rituals inside it.
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Israeli forces deliver eviction summons in Tubas
PNN 10 Feb — On Thursday, Israeli forces summoned the citizens of Khirbet Wad Bazeq in Tubas governorate with eviction notices, as the IDF prepares to raze large tracts of local land. Reliable sources stated that “Israeli authorities have summoned the citizens with notices to vacate their residences so Israel could construct roads, under the pretext of security reasons.”

Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian home, tin shack in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Feb – Israeli Forces Thursday demolished a Palestinian house and tin shack in Jerusalem, according to local sources. They said that Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian house in an area in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, in addition to a residential shed in al-Khalayleh, a neighborhood in the village of al-Jib northwest of Jerusalem, razing the entire land on which the shack is built and destroying all plants and trees. Forces also destroyed a wall built around the land under the pretext of building without permit.

Israel to mull tax exemptions on donations to Zionist settlement
Haaretz 9 Feb — The Ministerial Committee on Legislation will discuss on Sunday a bill recognizing donations to “Zionist settlement” for tax purposes. The bill would confer a tax exemption of up to thirty-five percent on such donations. The bill did not specify whether “Zionist settlement” referred to settlement in the West Bank or anywhere in Israel, although in practice it most likely means giving assistance to organizations that promote settlement beyond the Green Line.

Lifta’s imaginary future
Haaretz 9 Feb by Esther Zandberg — Plans for a luxury development in an abandoned Arab village may have been scrapped – but dreams of restoring Lifta to its former glory are likely to remain just that … Lifta, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is the only abandoned Arab village in Israel that has remained intact since the War of Independence, and it has become a symbol of the destruction of the Palestinian community in this country. The only thing left to do now is to protect Lifta from architecture lovers and preservationists who paradoxically may cause the Palestinian memory of this place to vanish into oblivion, specifically as they attempt to preserve it.

Palestinian officials worry about movement restrictions
PNN 9 Feb — On Wednesday, a high-rank Palestinian official told al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper that the VIP identity cards carried by Palestinian officials, including the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, will end in March. The news that Israel has refused to renew these cards has caused great concern within Palestinian governments’ departments in Ramallah. The VIP cards facilitate coordination of travel between the Israeli and Palestinian governments and allow holders to move freely in the West Bank and Israel. Oddly, the VIP card which the President Mahmoud Abbas holds does not allow him to enter to Eilat … An Israeli security source denied the news of withdrawing the VIP cards from Palestinian officials, especially from President Abbas, or that further restrictions were being placed on officials’ movements. The source said that for technical reasons the VIP cards were issued for all Palestinian officials for only two months.


Settlers ‘bulldoze 100 dunums’ of Yatta lands
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Ma’on settlers bulldozed 100 dunums [25 acres] of lands that belong to Kharoubeh village on Friday, the coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlement said. Rateb al-Jabour said the settlers began to bulldoze the lands early Friday in an attempt to expand the settlement. He added that Israeli authorities are implementing a settlement scheme south of Hebron that aims to surround residents who are living between the wall and settlement. These acts aim to “tighten the noose” on citizens and make them leave their land, he said

Settlers ‘raid Nablus village’
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Settlers raided a Nablus-district village overnight Thursday, sparking clashes with residents, a PA official said. Dozens of Israelis from Yitzhar settlement threw stones at a number of homes in Burin, Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an. No injuries have been reported. They smashed car windows on the main road from the Jewish-only settlement, he added. Youth from Burin gathered at the home of Ayman Sufan after it came under attack, and clashed with the group of settlers, Daghlas said.

West Bank village Qaryut clashes with settlers blocking land
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) — Palestinians clashed with a group of settlers blocking them from their lands in the central West Bank on Friday, with no injuries reported.  Dozens of residents of Qaryut village tried to enter lands under threat of confiscation near Shilo settlement, and a group of settlers fired on them, a Ma‘an correspondent said.

UN to probe Palestinian rights situation
GENEVA, Switzerland (UPI) 10 Feb — A tour of the Palestinian territories will provide a better understanding of the effects of “disturbing” violence from Israeli settlers, a U.N. envoy said. Richard Falk, the U.N. special envoy on human rights in the Palestinian territories, started his tour of the region Friday to assess the ramifications of human rights issues “connected to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”

Israeli forces

IDF soldier linked to ‘price tag’ attack in West Bank Palestinian village
Haaretz 10 Feb — An Israel Defense Forces soldier is suspected of perpetrating a so-called “price tag” attack in a Palestinian West Bank village, Haaretz learned on Friday, following recently intercepted security camera footage. The Golani Brigade soldier and resident of the Itamar settlement was arrested along with two young women after footage indicated the three vandalizing the Palestinian village of Luban al-Sharqiya near Nablus.

Israeli forces raid, vandalize Palestinian prisoner’s home
TULKAREM (WAFA) 9 Feb – Israeli forces at dawn Thursday raided and vandalized the house of Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails, Khalil Wajeeh from Atil, a town north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, according to witnesses. Khalil’s father, Abd al-Rahman Wajeeh, told WAFA that a large military force raided his house and fired sound grenades inside the house after surrounding it, forcing the family to stay outside in the freezing winter cold for almost three hours, during which the forces destroyed the entire house contents.

PCHR Weekly Report: 11 civilians wounded, 25 abducted by Israeli troops this week
IMEMC 10 Feb — In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 02 – 08 Feb. 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that 11 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces this week, including 4 children. In addition, Israeli forces destroyed four buildings, and damaged 28 houses, 2 shops, a legal firm, a sports club, a school and 4 civilian cars in Gaza; and abducted 25 civilians in 47 incursions in the West Bank.  Full Report here

IDF takes back Israeli general who left in shame after war with Hezbollah
Haaretz 10 Feb — Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, whose performance was widely criticized during the Second Lebanon War, has been appointed deputy head of a new IDF command tasked with “spearheading in-depth strategic operations.” The new command will consist of a small number of officers who will deal with operations carried out far from Israel, sources at the Israel Defense Forces said.

Khader Adnan

PA says Egypt intervening to free Khader Adnan
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Palestinian Authority prisoners affairs minister Issa Qaraqe said Friday that Egypt was intervening with Israel to free Khader Adnan, who is on hunger strike in administrative detention. [End]

UN tells Israel of concern for Palestinian hunger striker
AFP 10 Feb — A UN envoy called on Israel on Friday to do all it can for the health of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for the past 55 days in protest at his detention without charge. Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said he “follows with concern reports about the deteriorating conditions” of Khader Adnan, who has been refusing food since December 18 — longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him, according to Palestinian officials. Serry said he “calls on the government of Israel to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and resolve this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law.”

Israeli hospital: Khader Adnan risks dying
RAMALLAH (Reuters) 9 Feb — A Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for 55 days to protest against his detention without trial by Israel is refusing medical treatment and his life is in danger, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday. Khader Adnan, 33, a member of Islamic Jihad, has been refusing to eat since mid-December, shortly after his arrest in the occupied West Bank, and has only drunk liquids since then. “He is not in good shape. People on a hunger strike for more than 50 days are in real danger. The doctors are extremely concerned,” said Yael Shavit, spokeswoman for Sieff Hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, where Adnan has been taken. “He refuses to accept any treatment. He has not agreed to be hooked up to an IV,” she said, referring to intravenous infusion. Palestinian officials say it is the longest hunger strike yet undertaken by a Palestinian prisoner and if Adnan dies, they expect major protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Adnan’s wife, Randa, denies media reports that he is a leader of Islamic Jihad

Interview: Ex-prisoner reflects on friendship with Khader Adnan and his hunger strike for justice
EI 9 Feb by Bekah Wolf — Mousa Abu Maria spent nearly five years, from 1999 to 2003, in Israeli prisons. He spent an additional 14 months, from 2008 to 2009, in administrative detention (without charge or trial). He, like current hunger striker Khader Adnan, was subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment and torture as part of his interrogation. In 2001, he shared a cell with Adnan. Abu Maria, a member of the popular committee in the West Bank village Beit Ommar and co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Project, spoke to Bekah Wolf about Khader Adnan, who is being held by Israel without charge and has entered his 55th day of hunger strike.

IN PHOTOS: On hunger strike in Gaza / Mya Guarnieri
AIC 10 Feb — A number of Gazans have joined Khader Adnan’s hunger strike to protest the inhumane conditions that Palestinian political prisoners face in Israeli jails. Israel often holds Palestinians in administrative detention without charges, depriving detainees of their right to due process. Adnan has been on hunger strike for 55 days and is currently hospitalized in Israel. While Adnan and his lawyers is contesting his administrative detention, the Israeli judge who heard the case yesterday declined to issue an immediate decision. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said that the delay “may prove fatal.”  Here, Gazans fast at a protest tent in support of Adnan. Some lie in beds, with shackles, to simulate Adnan’s current condition.

Other political detention

Israeli military court extends administrative detention for civil right lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq
9 Feb — The Israel military court has extended administrative detention for two months in addition to three months already detained for civil rights lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a lecturer at An-Najah National University and the Cultural Coordinator for the Tanweer Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum, currently detained in Ofer Prison near Ramallah. Yousef Abdul Haq was arrested November 7th, 2011 at his home at 2:00 AM, suffering from illness which requires constant dosage of medicine,  forcing his transfer to a hospital immediately after his arrest in Ramla. He was sentenced to two months in administrative detention immediately.

IOF soldiers summon journalist, arrest his brother
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 9 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Arub refugee camp to the north of Al-Khalil at dawn Thursday and served a summons to journalist Ala’a Al-Titi and arrested his brother Abdul Qader. Local sources told the PIC reporter that a big number of IOF soldiers stormed the three-story building of Jabr Al-Titi and a shop that belongs to the family and searched them thoroughly.
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Israeli forces arrest three Palestinian minors
HEBRON (WAFA) 9 Feb – Israeli forces Thursday arrested three Palestinian minors from the old city of the northern West Bank city of Hebron, according to security sources. Sources told WAFA that Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian minors; two of them 14 years old and a 15-year-old, after storming the old city and raiding several Palestinian houses along with firing gas and sound bombs. Forces also stormed several towns in the Hebron area, including west of Ithna, south of Yatta and al-Samou‘, setting up military checkpoints at their entrances


Egyptian-Palestinian talks on Gaza’s power crisis
CAIRO (PIC) 10 Feb — A responsible source at the Egyptian ministry of electricity and energy said that an Egyptian-Palestinian meeting will take place next week to discuss the power crises in the Gaza Strip and the help that Egypt can provide to Gaza in this field. A Qatari media sources said on Thursday that a high level delegation headed by Kanaan Obaid who is in charge of electricity supply in Gaza is due to arrive in Cairo to hold talks with senior officials at the ministry of electricity and energy in Egypt. The source said that the energy authority of the Palestinian government in Gaza warned on Thursday that the Gaza Strip will suffer a blackout  in 27 hours unless fuel supplies are allowed into the Strip to run the sole power station.
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Gaza ministry announces end to passport denials
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Gaza’s ministry of interior called on Friday for all citizens who had been denied a passport to register for travel documents in the Gaza Strip. Fair access to travel documents was a tenet of the reconciliation deal agreed between Fatah and Hamas last May. A Gaza-based committee representing those without passports said on Sunday that thousands were still without travel documents.  The ministry said all citizens needing a passport should register at Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform party’s offices in Gaza before Saturday at noon. Payment will be requested after the passport is issued, the ministry added.

Qassam fired from Gaza; structures damaged
Ynet 10 Feb –  A Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel Friday night, and exploded in a community in Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. No injuries were reported, but a few structures sustained damage. Earlier, Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported that IDF forces opened fire at an Islamic Jihad military post in the northern Strip. According to the sources, one Palestinian was lightly injured and evacuated to a hospital.,7340,L-4188025,00.html

Activism / Solidarity

3rd annual Global Day of Action to open Shuhada (Apartheid) Street
10 Feb Youth against Settlements — This year, Palestinian activists in Hebron are planning a week of activities to commemorate the Baruch Goldstein Massacre and demand the opening of Shuhada [Martyrs] Street. The planned activities in Hebron are as follows: Monday 20/02/2012: Photo Exhibition about the Ibrahim Mosque Massacre and Non-violent Resistance in Palestine; Tuesday 21/02/2012: Tour For Israeli Parliament Members (if possible)….

Turtles in Aqraba
ISM 10 Feb by ‘Jonas Weber’ — …We were planting trees in the small village of Aqraba, putting up pictures of our missed friends Rachel Corrie and Vittario Arrigoni. Men and women, young and old were helping out with the planting, and we were treated to tea sweet as syrup. Aqaba has lost 144,000 dunums of land to the ten illegal settlements surrounding the village. A road is being built between the settlements of Itamar and Gittit, effectively grabbing even more of the 17,000 dunums still in the village’s possession. After the planting some villagers insisted on showing us something on the other side of the mountain adjacent to the hillside on which we were planting the trees. We went down the slope between the blooming red, yellow, and purple flowers. We crossed the road leading from Itamar to Gittit and started climbing around the hill on the other side. From a rock right next to the trail a turtle watched us wobble past a hyena’s nest with our arms stretched out to our sides, so as not to lose our balance.

Political developments

Fatah official: Palestine seeks Arab support for halt to Israel talks
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul said Friday that Palestinian leaders will seek Arab support for their decision not to return to direct negotiations with Israel, after exploratory talks ended last month without agreement. PLO officials are set to brief the Arab League follow-up committee on Sunday, after Palestinian and Israeli envoys met for a series of talks in Jordan before an international Quartet deadline of Jan. 26 to submit proposals on borders and security issues. Al-Aloul told Ma‘an: “There will not be any more meetings with the Israelis. No one has any illusion that negotiations will lead to results, and we will ask the Arab committee to support our position.”

Netanuyahu refuses EU demands to release detainees
IMEMC 10 Feb — Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected demands presented by representatives of the European Union (E.U.) to release a number of Palestinian political prisoners under a confidence-building measure that would also increase popular support to president Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestine News Network (PNN) reported that a number of E.U. counties also called for creating a “Blacklist” that would include the names of extremist Israeli settlers, in order to prevent them from traveling to E.U. countries. The settlers will likely be those who did not only attack Palestinians but also attacked Israeli soldiers and policemen.

Report: PA rejects Israeli incentive package
Ynet 10 Feb –  The Palestinian Authority has recently rejected an Israeli “incentive package” meant to encourage the PA’s return to the negotiating table, Ynet learned Friday. A senior Palestinian official told Ynet that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the deal, which would have seen Israel free 30 Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were arrested prior to the Oslo Accords; as well as extend the Palestinian security forces’ authority in Area B.,7340,L-4187951,00.html

PLC chief: Not illegal for Abbas to head govt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — The secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament said Thursday that President Mahmoud Abbas faces no legal problems in taking on the role of prime minister, as agreed by Hamas and Fatah leaders last week. Hamas legislators and political analysts have critiqued the deal between ‘Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Masha‘al, which will see the president head an interim government to unite Gaza and the West Bank in preparation for fresh elections. But Palestinian Legislative Council head Ibrahim Khreisheh said the appointment does not break any Palestinian laws, and expressed his support of the deal.

Hamas leader visits Iran after outreach to Gulf
TEHRAN (AP) 10 Feb – An Iranian semiofficial news agency reports that the Hamas prime minister of Gaza has arrived in Tehran. The visit may be an attempt by the Palestinian militant movement to avoid snubbing Iran even as it cultivates ties with the wealthy Gulf. The Friday report by Fars says Ismail Haniyeh will meet Iranian leaders, despite what the agency claimed were efforts by Gulf countries like Qatar and Kuwait to stop the visit.


The ‘water occupation’ of Palestine / Stuart Littlewood
There are few crimes more despicable then stealing your neighbor’s water, and polluting what’s left, then watching him and his children suffer thirst, disease and ruin. Most of us would want nothing to do with the perpetrators of such evil. British Water describes itself as the voice of the water industry. It talks about best practice and corporate responsibility, and lobbies governments and regulators on behalf of its members. No doubt it does a good job. It also has international ambitions including in the Middle East. So presumably it knows what’s going on water-wise in the Holy Land … The Israeli newspaper Haaretz last month reported on the French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee findings on the geopolitical impact of water in confrontation zones like Israel-Palestine. According to the report water has become “a weapon serving the new apartheid… Some 450,000 Israeli settlers on the West Bank use more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians that live there. In times of drought, in contravention of international law, the [illegal] settlers get priority for water”.

UK helps Israel steal Palestinian water
PressTV 10 Feb –  Britain has decided to help the Israeli regime steal water from Palestinians, while even the Israeli press describe the act as a ‘water occupation.’  British Water, which represents the UK water industry supply chain, signed an agreement with Israel in December which received no media coverage. The agreement was not even published on British Water’s website. However, the Israeli regime’s embassy in London proudly reported the agreement.

Palestine, France discuss preparations for water forum
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Feb – Head of the Palestinian Water Authority Shaddad Attili and French Minister Henri de Raincourt Thursday discussed ways of cooperation between the two countries and preparations for the water forum. Spokesman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bernard Valero said, in a statement issued by the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem, that the two ministers discussed necessary steps needed to implement the right to access water in Palestine. De Raincourt welcomed Palestine’s constructive participation to prepare for the forum held in Marseille in March.

UNDP celebrates launching of Combat Desertification strategy in Palestine
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 9 Feb – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Thursday celebrated, in an official ceremony in Ramallah, the launching of the National Strategy to Combat Desertification in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPT). The Palestinian Ministry of agricultural in cooperation and full coordination with all relevant parties prepared the agricultural sector strategy; the ‘Shared Vision 2011-2013’ which focused on efficiently and sustainably managing the natural resources in Palestine through increasing water availability and supply management as well as through improving the demand for agricultural water … Mauring said that in February 2010, 193 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.  The Palestinian Authority was not among them, but now we are very close to the day where the Palestinian Authority will be the country 194.

Israeli racism / discrimination

Ethiopian Israelis face increasing discrimination
AIC 9 Feb — 1500 Israelis of Ethiopian origin demonstrated recently against Israeli racism and discrimination outside the parliament in Jerusalem. The protest took place after some landlords in Kiryat Malachi, which is home to a large Ethiopian Israeli population, refused to rent to Ethiopian Jews. “Israelis don’t want to have Ethiopians around,” says Shoko, an Israeli woman who provides counselling to Ethiopian youths in Haifa. “Their excuse to not rent flats to Ethiopians is that they are noisy…and they eat injera, which is a  ‘stinky’ bread, and its strong smell spreads all over the neighbouring area. In reality, Israelis don’t like Ethiopians because they are black…”

Other news

Palestine becomes member of International Council of Tourism Partners
HAWAII/BRUSSELS (WAFA) 9 Feb — The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced on Thursday that the Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity has become a member of this alliance of destinations, according to a press release issued by ICTP.ICTP president Geoffrey Lipman said: ‘We are particularly excited about Palestine joining ICTP…it is one of the most iconic destinations on the planet containing some of mankind’s great historical and cultural treasures…to support the evolution of its green growth future will be a privilege for our organization.’

Report: UN confirms Israeli fence near Lebanese village
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — A UN peacekeeping official said Israeli forces have erected a barbed wire fence along its frontier with Lebanon, Lebanese media reported on Thursday. The barrier lies in a disputed area near Lebanese village Adaisseh, Lebanon’s The Daily Star reported. “On the night of Feb. 7-8 in the general area of Adaysseh Israeli troops laid concertina wire to mark the mine field after prior notification to UNIFIL,” spokesperson Neeraj Singh said in a statement. Israeli media reported in early January that the Israeli army plans to build a new 5-meter high and 1-kilometer long wall on the country’s northern ceasefire line with Lebanon.

Israel boosts naval forces in natural gas fields
TEL AVIV (UPI) 9 Feb — The Israeli government plans to build a floating liquefied natural gas terminal with a sea-based defense radar system off its Mediterranean coast while forming a naval force to protect its rich offshore gas fields against terrorist attack. The terminal, which is scheduled to pump 87.25 billion cubic feet of imported gas into Israel’s energy network annually, is intended as a stopgap until the Jewish state’s new fields go on-stream in 2013 at the earliest. The new fields, Leviathan and the smaller Tamar field, hold an estimated 25 trillion cubic feet of gas. Major new strikes are expected as Noble Energy Co., which has its headquarters in Texas, and its Israelis partners, extend exploration … Israel’s big finds, which are likely to extend into Cypriot and Lebanese waters, significantly alter the strategic energy picture in the eastern Mediterranean … Lebanon, with which Israel is technically at war — they clashed in a 34-day war in the summer of 2006 — claims Israel’s Leviathan field extends into Lebanese waters.

‘Anonymous’ hacker group threatens ‘reign of terror’ against Israel
Haaretz 10 Feb — Group uploads video blaming Israel for committing ‘crimes against humanity,’ and criticizes its treatment of Palestinians … The video also makes reference to the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, claiming that Israel has “taken steps to ensure a nuclear holocaust,” and that it will not be allowed “to attack a sovereign country based upon a campaign of lies.” Moreover, the video threatens to start a crusade against Israel that will take the form of three steps, only revealing that the first of these steps will attempt to systematically remove Israel from the internet.

PA security detains 56 in Israeli-held Hebron zone
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 Feb — Palestinian security forces detained 56 Palestinians sheltering in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron early Friday, after coordination with Israeli authorities. The dawn raid was the second Palestinian incursion into Hebron’s H2 area in recent weeks, under full Israeli control since a 1997 deal split the city. A Palestinian security official told Ma‘an the sweep of arrests was permitted by Israeli authorities after pressure from Europe and the US. Residents told a Ma‘an correspondent they hoped the raid would end the use of the Israeli-zone as a refuge by criminals … A security official told Ma‘an at the time there was no longer any place to escape the law in Hebron. “Outlaws will have nowhere to go except Palestinian prison after today,” he said.

Egyptian military officers ‘kidnapped’
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) — The Azazma Bedouin tribe has kidnapped 17 Egyptian border officers after one of its members was killed trying to sneak into Israel, security sources said Thursday … A gas pipeline running from Egypt to Israel was targeted Sunday, and militant group Ansar al-Jihad claimed responsibility saying it was in retaliation for the death in Egyptian custody of the group’s leader … Ansar al-Jihad said it carried out the explosion in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of el-Arish. Gas pumping was stopped after the explosion on the pipeline, which supplies Israel and Jordan.

Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, US officials tell NBC News
MSNBC 9 Feb — Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders. The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980. The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement. (listserv) (archive)

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