My husband Khader Adnan has shed a light on Israel’s disregard for human rights / Randa Musa
MEMO 22 Feb — The name of my husband, Khader Adnan, has now become known across the world. Four months ago he was unknown outside of our homeland, Palestine. His hunger strike of 66 days has transformed him into a global figure and a shining symbol of my people’s struggle. Our life was turned upside down on 17 December 2011 when Israeli troops raided our home in Araba village, south of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. It was about 3am when they broke down the doors and stormed into our house. The havoc they wreaked would always remain etched on the minds of our two daughters, Ma’ali, aged four and Baysan, one and a half years old.
Visualizing Palestine debuts with stunning graphic illustrating context of Khader Adnan’s hunger strike
EI Asa Winstanley blog 22 Feb — Visualizing Palestine is a new project whose website is yet to fully launch but already they have used their Twitter account to release this amazing graphic. It combines a history of hunger strikes around the world with a factual illustration of what Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan must have been going through since he started the 66-day hunger strike that concluded yesterday after a deal to release him in April was reached.
Administrative detainees to boycott military courts
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — The Palestinian prisoners society said Wednesday that administrative detainees are set to boycott Israeli military courts in protest against the practice of detention without charge. Detainees told the group that Khader Adnan’s struggle has created an opportunity for them to fight against the practice of administrative detention. It is unclear exactly what action prisoners are planning to take. There are an estimated 307 Palestinians in Israeli administrative detention — held without charge — in Israeli jails.
Administrative arrests: Months to years without due process
972mag 21 Feb by Noam Sheizaf — At any given moment, hundreds of Palestinians are held by Israel without charges or trial. Of the Palestinians currently under administrative arrest, 88 have been held for more than a year. One has been held for more than five years. Some advocacy groups and Israeli officials have recently claimed that Khader Adnan, the 33-year-old Palestinian on a hunger strike for more than two months now, “is no saint,” and that real security concerns led to his arrest. But we can never know for sure, since Adnan is held under administrative arrest, a measure that contradicts the logic at the heart of the rule of law: it aims to put people in prisons not for what they did or conspired to do, but for what they might do. In other words, he is guilty until proven innocent. And there is no way to try and prove he is innocent, since Adnan won’t face trial. This is the heart of the matter
Khader Adnan ends hunger strike in triumph / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 21 Feb — …It is a huge victory on behalf of prisoners’ rights and against the Occupation. My guess is that the IDF knew that in Thursday’s previously scheduled hearing the Israeli Supreme Court would likely set the victim free, possibly on the spot. So tactical retreat was the better part of valor and common sense, in order to avoid a far more embarrassing strategic defeat. The Army may also have feared an even more devastating ruling, which might’ve undermined the entire apparatus of administrative detention. Though it’s unlikely the Supreme Court, which is normally extremely deferential on security matters, would’ve gone that far. In this case, the Court proved it had a useful purpose in the system. Merely having the threat of judicial review hanging over its head made the otherwise immovable security system move, albeit incrementally.
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Israeli forces issue evacuation orders in Hebron village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Israeli forces on Wednesday delivered evacuation orders to residents of Beit Ula village in Hebron. Land owners told Ma‘an they found the orders in their fields, dated Feb. 21. The orders said that the family had illegally obtained the land and must leave the property within 45 days. Coordinator of the popular committee against the wall, Isa al-Omla, told official news agency Wafa that the army would evict them by force and make them pay the costs of their eviction if they had not left the land within the given time period.
State approves housing units in Shilo post factum
Ynet 22 Feb — The Civil Administration approved Wednesday the construction of 505 new housing units and legalized 190 units previously built in the West Bank settlement of Shilo … The Civil Administration’s approval was granted following a petition filed by Peace Now claiming that the housing unites in question were illegal. The State was pressed to provide the court with an official answer and worked to get the necessary permits – even post factum. “It wouldn’t have happened without the petition,” the settlers said.
IOA confiscates 30 dunums of Palestinian land near Yatta
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 22 Feb — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has decided to expropriate 30 dunums of Palestinian cultivated land to the east of Yatta village south of Al-Khalil. Quds Press quoted Ratib Al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular anti settlement committee, as saying that the IOA told owners of those land that their land, which was confiscated weeks ago, were transferred into state property and that they would never be allowed back into it. Jabour said that groups of Jewish settlers stormed this land about two weeks ago and took photos of its water wells and caves then declared it would not be in the hands of Palestinians for long.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Israeli bulldozers damage wheat fields in the Negev
NEGEV (PIC) 22 Feb — Bulldozers of the land of Israel department leveled Palestinian wheat and barley fields in the Negev region, the Israeli radio said on Wednesday. The radio said that the bulldozers destroyed hundreds of dunums under heavy police protection fearing angry reaction of Palestinian farmers.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Israel threatens to demolish East Jerusalem home
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — Israeli forces handed a demolition order to a Palestinian home-owner in an East Jerusalem neighborhood on Tuesday, threatening to displace 10 people. Muhammad Amira from Sur Bahir told Ma‘an he received a court notice that his house would be demolished in one year unless he pays 15,000 shekels for allegedly building without a license. Amira said he paid 80,000 shekels eight years ago to save his house from demolition, which was constructed more than 15 years ago.
Palestinians hear the water / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
JERUSALEM (IPS) 21 Feb — After a recent Israeli Supreme Court decision allowed Israeli companies to maintain quarrying and mining activities in the occupied West Bank, local human rights groups and activists say the decision has opened the door dangerously to Israel’s pillaging of other Palestinian resources. “On its face, the new rule allows the occupier (in a long-term occupation) to make endless use of the variety of objects found in the occupied territory,” Israeli human rights group Yesh Din stated. “To pump its water sources, to transfer its archaeological artifacts to elsewhere outside the territory, to use areas within it for garbage disposal, to sell public real estate, and more.”
Bethlehem’s shepherds a dying breed
BBC 23 Dec 2011 — “I love my sheep. I’ve lived all my life amongst them,” chuckled Carlos Sarras, a spritely 74 year old with a twinkle in his eye. But Mr Sarras is part of dying breed. He is one of the few remaining Christian shepherds in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. He has been tending flocks of sheep and goats for more than six decades. On the day we visited his small farm in Beit Jala, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, there had been good news. “One day old!” beamed Mr Sarras as he cradled a newborn lamb in his arms … He said Jewish settlements had had a major impact on his life and work. “Thirty years ago, there were no buildings here. I used to take my sheep all over the area. But now I cannot because of all the building and that damned wall.” Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian territory dot the hilltops around Bethlehem. During Carlos’s lifetime they have expanded dramatically … Mr Sarras told me the settlements were taking valuable water and cutting off land for his sheep to graze on.
In Photos: Remains of Palestinian Lifta village saved for now
AIC 20 Feb — …Few villages captured the tragedy of the Nakba, the 1948 dispossession of the Palestinian people, – like the village of Lifta. Before that dramatic year, Lifta was known to be among the wealthiest communities in the Jerusalem area and its embroiderers among the most artistic. As 1948 came, most of the 3,000 Palestinians living in Lifta fled their homes in fear of being victims of a massacre like the one enacted by the Jewish militia in the nearby village of Deir Yassin. The few people remaining in Lifta were evicted soon afterwards … The Palestinians received no due process, no notice and no compensation. Nowadays many of the landowners live just 500 meters from the village, but they have no legal title over their lands.
Rivlin to gov’t: Sign deal to move Migron 2 km.
JPost 22 Feb — Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) on Tuesday called on the government to sign an agreement with Migron settlers that would prevent the demolition of their West Bank outpost next month … An unofficial agreement was reached earlier this month to relocate the outpost some 2 kilometers away from its present location, to an area of the same hilltop located next to winery. But Migron residents have yet to receive a formal agreement to that effect from the government. The High Court of Justice has ordered the state to demolish the outpost, which is home to 50 families, by the end of March.
Attacks on non-Jewish religious institutions
Jerusalem Christians are latest targets in recent spate of ‘price tag’ attacks
Haaretz 21 Feb — “Price tag” graffiti was spray-painted in Jerusalem again Sunday night, with vandals this time targeting a downtown church. The attack on the Narkis Street Baptist Congregation marks the latest in a series of price tag attacks that have targeted Muslim, Christian and leftist institutions in the capital over the last two months … The attacks during the past two months have included the torching of cars belonging to Arab residents of Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood; spray-painting slogans on a Christian cemetery on Mount Zion; spray-painting slogans on Peace Now’s office in the capital, as well as the house of Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran; threats against Peace Now secretary general Yariv Oppenheimer; and an arson attack on an ancient mosque in the city’s Geula neighborhood. Over the last week alone, a bilingual school and two churches have been vandalized, including the Baptist church vandalized Sunday.
Price tag attack on J’lem church provokes religious condemnation
972mag 21 Feb by Marc Gopin and Aziz Abu Sarah — Yesterday, Pastor Chuck Kopp of the Baptist Church in West Jerusalem woke up to find his church vandalized … Graffiti left on the church walls included the famous term “price tag,” which has been used by settler extremists in attacks on mosques in the last few years. Other graffiti in Hebrew reads, “Death to Christianity,” “Jesus son of Mary, the whore.” …
The “price tag” radicals are well known to police as products of the most extremist settlements. The irony in this case is that right-wing Christian support for settlers is a major source of income for even the most radical settlements, constituting a thorn in the side of both the American government and the Israeli military for years now … So now we have Christian funds from the United States that have effectively supported the misguided second and third generation settler youth who are actively attacking churches and referring to Jesus as a son of a whore. If this is what Pastor John Hagee and other radical Christians intended, then it suggests a rather bizarre theology of interfaith love and care.
Al Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings attacked 100 times during 2011
MEMO 22 Feb — A study conducted by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage in Israel has revealed that Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area has been subjected to around 100 attacks and violations in 2011 alone. The study noted that the attacks varied between physical attacks and plots which pose threats to the sanctity and security of the mosque. The study also documented provocative statements constituting incitement by Israelis to damage the third holiest site in the Muslim world. The report claims that around 5,000 Israelis, including Jewish settlers and members of other extremist groups, stormed into Al-Aqsa in 2011. The intruders performed Talmudic rituals, sometimes in public, other times in secret, including carrying parts of the Torah inside the mosque. There has also been an escalation in the frequency of incursions by Israeli intelligence officers and political and official figures into Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Settlers try to rebuild illegal outpost in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Feb – Israeli security on Tuesday prevented dozens of settlers from rebuilding an illegal outpost near Kiryat Arba east of Hebron in the southern West Bank. The outpost, Mitzpe Avihai was evacuated earlier in February. Coordinator of a local coalition Youths Against Settlements in Hebron Issa Amr told Ma‘an that the settlers have been trying to build the outpost since 2007 as an expansion to the nearby Kiryat Arba and Kharsina settlements. This expansion, he added, will separate [the Palestinian] Baqa‘a and Buera [Al Bwayre] neighborhoods of Hebron from the city.
The massacre of 1929 and the War of Narratives
ISM 21 Feb by Aaron — If you ask an Israeli settler in or around Al-Khalil (Hebron) what calls them to live on contested land, most will speak to a religious connection to the city and the Cave of the Machpelach (“patriarchs”), where Jews, Muslims, and Christians come to revere the biblical figures believed to be buried there. A series of signs posted nearby along Shuhada Street, the once-main road and market district now closed to Palestinians, tell a story of Hebronite Jewish habitation dating from biblical times, brought to a sharp and bloody end with a 1929 pogrom, which resulted in the deaths of 67 Jewish residents and the displacement of the survivors. Citing this narrative, many of today’s settlers justify their occupation of the old city as a rebirth and continuation of this community, a story echoed in publications distributed by the Gutnick Center (a Jewish cultural center) and soldier-escorted weekly tours through the Palestinian market. The problem with this narrative is that no one, not even the survivors’ descendants, agrees on it.
Settler violence: Broken glass on Shuhada Street
ISM 21 Feb — Five years ago Abed Seder’s wife, Kefah, was shot five times in the chest by Israeli soldiers as she went onto her roof to check her water tank. She was 23 years old and left three sons motherless. He tells me his sons are afraid to go on the roof, which overlooks the illegal Zionist settlement of Beit Hadassah. To an international community, Abed’s struggle is one of trauma and loss, but he tells it with shockingly familiar regularity. Abed´s home is sandwiched inbetween Beit Hadassah and Beit HaShisha settlements, from which he receives regular torrents of abuse and violence … Perhaps the saddest victim of this has been Abed´s 6 year old son Wadia, who was left blind after Abed´s neighbours threw chloric acid from their rooftops two years ago. He was just four years old. Wadia has since been seeking treatment in a hospital in Jordan while Abed and his wife can only afford to visit him once every three months … Abed Seder’s home in the Old City of Hebron is four hundred years old. His brother and four children live above him and his great-grandfather lived here before them.
Closed shops, empty pockets: Israel’s policy of economic strangulation in Hebron
ISM 20 Feb — Walking down Shuhada Street in occupied Hebron (al-Khalil) is an eerie experience even during peek commercial hours in the rest of the city. Nearly empty streets are framed by rows of closed Palestinian shops, doors welded shut under Israeli military orders. Armed religious settlers walk freely through the streets, while Palestinian vehicular and pedestrian access is severely restricted. Signs in English and Hebrew assert a purely Jewish heritage in Hebron, telling a narrative that simultaneously erases the Palestinian history and rightful ownership, in an attempt to forge Israel’s illegal settlement in city center. The sight of closed shops is also common in the old city, as is the sound of young Palestinian children asking five shekels for the small tourist items they are selling from small plastic bags; perhaps beaded bracelets the color of the Palestinian flag or packs of chewing gum. Some are not selling anything but ask passersby to “give me one shekel.” Palestinians are a proud people, so the occurrence of begging, especially in the economic center of the southern West Bank, illustrates the extent of the economic devastation caused by Israeli policies.
Gaza bakeries face fuel shortage
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — The president of Gaza’s bakery owners association said Wednesday that bakeries in the coastal enclave are suffering from a lack of fuel … The Gazan ministry of economy provided enough fuel to bakeries to last for five days, al-Arjami said, with establishments now purchasing fuel on the black market.
Haniyya: ‘Gaza electricity crisis to be resolved soon’
IMEMC 22 Feb — … Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Energy Hasan Younis stated Tuesday that Egypt will be providing Gaza nearly 22 megawatts by the beginning of next week, the Middle East News Agency reported. Younis said that talks are being held in order to finish all technical arrangements to connect Gaza to the Egyptian electricity grid, adding that these arrangements would lead to establishing a new power station that would be feeding Rafah and other areas in southern Gaza, in addition to installing a new generator for Gaza that would be connected with the Gaza Power Plant. He further stated that these procedures aim at linking the Palestinian territories with a regional power station
Gaza, Ramallah swap accusations over fuel crisis
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 Feb – The chair of the Palestinian Authority energy authority Omar Kittana says the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip is politicizing the electricity crisis in an attempt to score political points. Asked about accusations that he threatened employees at the energy authority in Gaza, Kittana said, “I refuse to comment on this as we have reached an impermissible point. I was afraid of politicization of this issue.
How many trucks enter the Gaza Strip? Who cares?
Gaza Gateway 21 Feb — “Israel strives to allow normal civilian life in Gaza”. This may be the key statement in an item posted on the IDF Spokesperson’s website yesterday. How is Israel striving to allow normal civilian life in Gaza? According to the post, it allows “thousands of trucks” into the Strip every day. It’s not clear how the army can say it allows thousands of trucks into the Strip in one paragraph and in the next that 921 trucks entered over the last week, but who’s counting? Israel allows goods in and that’s what matters. Israel puts a lot of time and energy into showing how many goods enter Gaza each day … But “normal civilian life” can’t be based only on goods coming into Gaza. A normal civilian economy also needs export. For some reason, on this issue, there are no impressive infographics. Maybe this is because last week, only seven truckloads of goods left the Gaza Strip and that’s not a very impressive number.
Despite video evidence, officer who shot Israeli demonstrator won’t be charged / Haggai Matar
972mag 22 Feb — The Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem received notification from the military prosecution yesterday, informing it that charges will not be filed against an officer who shot an Israeli activist during a 2008 demonstration in Bil‘in. B’Tselem intends to appeal the decision. The incident took place during the weekly demonstration against the separation fence in Bil‘in on March15, 2008 … This is in no way a unique case in the history of the popular and joint struggle. According to B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli, it is safe to say that on the whole, soldiers and border policemen are not charged with the wounding or even the killing of demonstrators. …
Army invades Al-Khader, clashes reported
IMEMC 22 Feb — Israeli troops invaded, on Tuesday afternoon, Al-Khader town, west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs at dozens of youth who hurled stones and empty bottles at them. The soldiers also attacked dozens of bystanders, and violently struck and beat a 15-year-old, youth identified as Issa Yousef Sbeih, before kidnapping him and taking him to an unknown destination.
In related news, soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday at dawn, three Palestinians who approached the border fence area, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses identified the three as Ashraf As-Sufi, Mohammad Abu Ghadra, and Saddam Abu Ghadra; all from Rafah.
How Israeli negligence led to the death of a Palestinian car thief
Haaretz 20 Feb by Chaim Levinson — After being seriously hurt in an accident, the thief was dumped in the middle of the night, shoeless and clad only in a thin hospital gown. Police and hospital staff blame everyone but themselves for his death that night.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Video: Why young Palestinians chant the word ‘thoura’ / Philip Weiss
22 Feb — … Last week in Palestine I went to one of those demonstrations, outside Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank. It was chaotic. Soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, ambulances flew up to the front lines and back to pick up young people stunned by rubber bullets, young women led thrilling chants, and young men threw rocks and burned tires. The video I made above of an interview with Doraed Hassona, 21, a student at Bir Zeit University, is probably the most important piece I will bring back from Israel and Palestine this visit. As I’m sure you will agree, this young man is the very best that comes out of his society– or any other society. He is polite, genuine, and highly articulate. His face is filled with sweetness. Having just heard women leading a chant that repeatedly called for “Thoura,” I asked Hassona what this word means, and he explains that it is revolution. We are “sick of Israeli policies” and sick of occupation, he says, and want revolutionary change. Why would a young man of such promise endorse revolution? Be sure to go to minute 5 when I ask Hassona, who is from Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank, if he has ever been to the sea, nine miles away.
Call for solidarity: Submit your photos for the liberation of Shuhada Street
ISM 21 Feb — Beginning this week local organizers in Al Khalil (Hebron), Hebron Defense Committee, and Youth Against Settlements have organized a series of events to commemorate the Baruch Goldstein Massacre and demand the re-opening of Shuhada Street, once the commercial heart of Al Khalil, now off limits to locals, Palestinians in general, and even international supporters following the massacre that claimed 29 Palestinian lives … we ask that the international community submits a photo of solidarity to International Solidarity Movement. This photo will be of a major street or landmark of your hometown with a display or sign of solidarity for Shuhada Street. Diversity in support for human rights can humanize the victims of Zionist oppression in Al Khalil and elsewhere. Get creative with your slogans and locations! … Please submit photos no later than February 28th
Singer Cassandra Wilson cancels Israel show
EI 21 Feb — US jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson has canceled her gig this weekend at the Women’s Festival in Holon, following appeals by boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists encouraging her to respect the Palestinian call for boycott. She took a public political stand just before she was due to board a plane to Tel Aviv. Israeli daily Ynet reported (in Hebrew, translated) that Wilson announced, “as a human rights activist, I identify with the cultural boycott of Israel.” The report also stated that concert promoters are considering legal action against her.
Never mind Johnny Rotten, real punks boycott Israel
EI 20 Feb by Alexander Billet — In the summer of 2011, Punks Against Apartheid came together as an ad hoc formation of BDS activists and punk fans (a formation that, in the interest of full-disclosure, includes this writer). The goal was initially modest: draft a letter and petition urging Jello Biafra, formerly of The Dead Kennedys, to cancel his gig in Tel Aviv with his band The Guantanamo School of Medicine … Now, Punks Against Apartheid has finally launched its official website: www.punksagainstapartheid.com … a glimpse of those who have signed on to Punks Against Apartheid’s “points of unity” so far will reveal a diverse swathe: “Spirit of ‘77” originators The Angelic Upstarts, anarcho-punk architects Oi Polloi and the Oppressed, riot-folk singer Mark Gunnery, radical torch-bearers Propagandhi and more.
BDS Roundup: From Vancouver to Ramallah, no love for Israeli apartheid
EI 17 Feb — A BDS motion passes at a Canadian university; the Olympia Food Co-op, heading to court, rallies supporters; Vancouver activists show no love for Israeli products on Valentine’s Day; an appeal to the Irish president to reject a state invitation to Israel; and Palestinian youth urge France to stop selling weaponry to the Israeli military.
Who’s who behind the Olympia Food Co-op lawsuit / Phan Nguyen
Mondoweiss 22 Feb — The first court hearing in the lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op will commence on Thursday, February 24. The lawsuit seeks to force the Olympia Food Co-op, the first US grocery store to publicly honor the boycott of Israeli products, to nullify the boycott and once again stock gluten-free ice cream cones specifically sourced from Israel … in order to conceal the censoring nature of the lawsuit, the five plaintiffs claim that the lawsuit is not politically motivated and is not about Israel. Instead, they contend that as Co-op members, they are simply opposed to the process in which the boycott was instituted and would have no problem if a boycott of Israel was instituted under an alternate method. Yet previous statements and actions belie such claims.
BDS Global Day of Action to mark Land Day on March 30
EI 17 Feb — Campaigners for Palestinian rights are again gearing up for the BDS Global Day of Action, an annual wave of protests, creative actions and media outreach in support of the movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law … First initiated in the wake of the 2008-09 Gaza massacre, the BDS Global Day of Action takes place each year on March 30 to coincide with Land Day, the anniversary of the 1976 killing by the Israeli army of six Palestinian citizens of Israel involved in popular protest against theft of Palestinian land.
PFLAG to take part in Israel embassy pinkwashing event in Washington
EI 20 Feb — The Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC and PFLAG (Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) will host Anat Avissar, the foreign policy director of The Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association (The Aguda) for an “informal conversation” this Wednesday on the topic of “equality” and “the cultural differences that impact support, education and advocacy in Israel.” Israel has been strongly criticized for promoting itself as a haven for LGBT rights and sex tourism in an attempt to co-opt what it sees as progressive support, and distract from its human rights abuses against millions of Palestinians, a tactic that has come to be known as “pinkwashing.”
The boycott Israel movement’s small victories are far from sweeping success / Anshel Pfeffer
Near & Apparent blog 22 Feb — Although BDS activists have convinced many to cancel performances here, the movement has not been able to exert the economic pressure on Israel it wishes to achieve.
Israeli Prison’s Authority move 120 prisoners to unknown location
IMEMC 22 Feb — One day after the deal between the Palestinian Prisoner Khader Adnan who ended his hunger-strike after 66 days, the Israeli prisons’ administration transferred approximately 120 prisoners from Negev Desert Prison to an unknown location. A press statement issued by the prisoners published by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, said that 120 prisoners were transferred without allowing them to take their belongings after two special military forces broke into the prison with weapons and dogs … It is still unclear whether this Israeli measure is related to Adnan’s deal in which Israel agreed to release him on April 17, without renewing his administrative detention.
Israeli troops storm Negev jail
RAMALLAH (PIC) 22 Feb — Heavy armed Israeli soldiers stormed ward 7 in the Negev desert prison assisted by dogs and assaulted prisoners on Tuesday evening. Quds Press quoted the minister of prisoners in the Ramallah government, Issa Qaraqe, as saying that the prisoners were forced out of their cells with their hands and feet shackled before searching the rooms. He said that the prisoners were left in the cold from 7 in the evening on Tuesday to 3 in the morning on Wednesday while forced to sit in awkward positions. They were not allowed to eat or use toilets … Qaraqe said that the procedure aimed at humiliating prisoners to avenge the victory of Khader and the great local and international rally behind the issue of Palestinian prisoners.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Israeli forces detain 5 people near Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Israeli forces detained five people who were reportedly approaching the border fence near Rafah, southern Gaza …
An Israeli army spokesman had no reports of the arrests in Gaza, but said that six people had been detained in the West Bank overnight Tuesday. Four people were detained in Jenin, one in Ramallah and one in Bethlehem. All were taken for security questioning.
Israeli policemen arrest 18 Palestinians over Aqsa incidents
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Feb — Israeli policemen arrested 18 Palestinians for involvement in the recent Aqsa demonstrations, the Hebrew radio said on Wednesday. It said that the police extended the detention of ten of them and released the eight others with certain restrictions. Clashes were reported in the Aqsa mosque over the past few days after Jewish settlers stormed its plazas to offer Talmudic rituals under police protection.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Palestinian Authority accuses Red Cross of failing to protect prisoners
MEMO 21 Feb — An official Palestinian report has accused the International Committee of the Red Cross of failing to protect Palestinian prisoners “who are exposed to massive violations of their rights and dignity in Israel’s prisons and interrogation centres”. The report was issued on Monday 20th February. In it, the Ministry of Prisoners and Freed Detainees in Ramallah said, “Since the beginning of the [Israeli] occupation, the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been able to commit the Israelis to apply international humanitarian laws to Palestinian prisoners. Thus, Israel has succeeded in limiting the organisation’s role.” The report added that the ICRC “is facing a dilemma over how to fulfill its aims and objectives… as its negotiations with the occupation authorities determine the extent of its work”.
UNRWA clinic vandalized after Lebanese woman’s death
Daily Star 22 Feb — TYRE, Lebanon: Angry residents vandalized a health clinic in the Shabriha Palestinian camp near the southern coastal city of Tyre in retaliation for the death of a Lebanese woman whose husband says was killed by medical neglect … The attack was an apparent reaction to the death of a Lebanese woman in her ’40s, Nisreen Hussein Krayyem, who was married to Palestinian Kamal Saleh Sleiman. Her husband said UNRWA hospitals did not treat her despite serious distress and said the clinic will not be allowed to open in the camp until the U.N. body opens an investigation into the incident. The village of Shabriha sits at the northern entrance of the city of Tyre where Lebanese families reside. It is a Palestinian refugee camp with 1,800 residents and has a single clinic which offers health care two days a week.
Qalandia Refugee Camp struggling amidst power outages
IMEMC 21 Feb — Jerusalem Governor Abudallah Siam and the representative of the Jerusalem Electricity Company held a meeting to discuss the repeated power outages in Qalandia Refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and to try to find a solution to ongoing technical and financial issues.
Japan donates $10 million to UNRWA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Japan’s government announced on Wednesday that it would donate $10 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees … “At a time when the government and people of Japan are still under pressure to address needs nearer to home and to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami, their generosity towards the Agency and Palestine refugees is particularly touching,” Grandi said. Japan’s assistance to Palestinian refugees through the UN agency has amounted to more than $600 million.
Hamas end internal dispute over Doha
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Hamas officials met on Wednesday in Cairo and ended an internal dispute about the recent agreement signed in Doha, an official said … Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayyah had said on Monday that the Islamist movement is committed to the Doha agreement, but disputed President Abbas’ dual role of prime minister [and president].
Palestinian leaders to meet in Cairo
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Feb – President Mahmoud Abbas is set to chair a meeting Thursday in Cairo that will encompass chiefs of Palestinian factions, PLO leaders and the speaker of the Palestinian National Council. Selected independent figures will join the meeting, which is dedicated to discussing the latest political developments and the ongoing efforts toward Palestinian reconciliation.
Meshaal will be invited to visit Jordan again
MEMO 22 Feb — Jordan’s Prime Minister Awn Al Khasawneh has revealed his country’s intention to invite the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal to visit Jordan again. Meshaal was in Amman recently accompanied by Qatar’s Crown Prince. Speaking to the local media, Mr. Al Khasawneh said, “There will be another invitation for Mr. Meshaal to visit Amman again soon, but there is no intention to restore the relationship with Hamas in its previous organisational form; there will be no Hamas office here.”
Ashrawi calls on EU to rescue two-state solution
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 22 Feb — PLO Executive Committee member and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi Wednesday called on the European Union to rescue the two-state solution and the peace process, according to a statement issued by her office.
Palestinian journalists under pressure / Roy Greenslade
Guardian blog 21 Feb — The International Press Institute (IPI) has registered its concern over the treatment of Palestinian journalists by both Israeli forces and Palestinian security services. The press freedom watchdog says that since the beginning of 2012, at least five journalists working in the Palestinian territories have been subjected to arbitrary arrest. Two more have had their detention periods extended.
East Jerusalem cinema reopens after 25 years / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
JERUSALEM (IPS) 20 Feb — Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem can once again go to the movies, now that Al Quds Cinema has reopened its doors after being closed for 25 years. Organizers say this signals the rebirth for Palestinian arts and culture in the city. “We have been cut off for a while from the rest of the world, so I think that this is the perfect place for Palestinians to come,” Rima Essa, the cinema coordinator said. “I’m trying to bring a lot of films from areas that we never thought of bringing films from; from Iran, Syria, Lebanon. We hope that this center will give the Palestinians a different cultural experience.” Housed in the Yabous Cultural Center in East Jerusalem, Al Quds Cinema celebrated its relaunch with an inaugural film festival called “Freedom Films Week.”
Analysis / Opinion
‘The pursuit of a two-state solution is a fantasy’: an interview with Sari Nusseibeh
Der Speigel 21 Feb — A Palestinian Take on the Mideast Conflict — Prominent Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh believes it is too late for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. In a SPIEGEL interview, he outlines his vision for an Israeli-Palestinian confederation and why he mistrusts the new moderate stance taken by the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Sari Nusseibeh embraces one-state solution with civil but no political rights for West Bank Palestinians / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 22 Feb — The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can do a “number” on intellectuals. It can whipsaw them from left to right and back again. Benny Morris is an example of an intellectual who was mugged by the disturbing realities of the conflict during the Intifada, and who lost any hope that the Palestinians could be reasoned with. As a result, he’s turned into a caricature of his former self … Sari Nusseibeh represents a Palestinian example of the pre-eminent intellectual who seems to have become unnerved in a fundamental way by the conflict. An early supporter of a two-state solution and collaborator with well-intentioned Israeli peace crusaders including, at one time, Ami Ayalon, Nusseibeh has just published a new book offering some astonishing proposals for ending the conflict.
Israeli leader wrongly blames UN and Arab states for Palestinian refugees / Leila Hilal
The Atlantic 21 Feb — At the end of 2011, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, posted the third video in his YouTube series about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These polished presentations are produced by an Israeli public relations firm in collaboration with StandWithUs, a U.S.-based group that counters criticism of Israeli policies regarding Palestinian. The series is promoted as “explanations of the historical facts” of the core issues of the conflict — thus far covering the peace process, the West Bank, and most recently, refugees. (A fourth video on Jerusalem is said to be forthcoming.) … Ayalon’s refugee video — which was dropped from Le Poste (the French equivalent of the Huffington Post) for violating guidelines against racist postings — makes two main substantive assertions, claiming basis in facts and international law: first, that the Palestinian refugees are caught between Arab host governments who deny them basic rights and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which he says perpetuates their status rather than resolves their plight — which he believes should be done by resettling them to Arab countries outside of Israel; and second, that there were more Jewish refugees in 1948 than Palestinian refugees and they suffered more losses.
Peaceful protest can free Palestine / Mustafa Barghouthi
MEMO 22 Feb — OVER the past 64 years, Palestinians have tried armed struggle; we have tried negotiations; and we have tried peace conferences. Yet all we have seen is more Israeli settlements, more loss of lives and resources, and the emergence of a horrifying system of segregation. Khader Adnan, a Palestinian held in an Israeli prison, pursued a different path … Mr. Adnan has certainly achieved an individual victory. But it was also a broader triumph – unifying Palestinians and highlighting the power of nonviolent protest. Indeed, all Palestinians who seek an independent state and an end to the Israeli occupation would be wise to avoid violence and embrace the example of peaceful resistance.