Amnesty: Release prisoner of conscience Bassam Tamimi
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Anti-wall protest organizer Bassem Tamimi is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International reiterated Friday. Tamimi was arrested in March and charged with “incitement and support of a hostile organization, organizing and participating in unauthorized processions, incitement to throwing objects against a person or property”. Amnesty says Tamimi, detained for his role in organizing protests against the encroachment onto Palestinian lands by Israeli settlers, denies the charges and should be considered a prisoner of conscience.
Land theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Rights groups: Lift travel ban on Al-Haq director
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on Thursday called on Israel to revoke a travel ban on Palestinian rights activist Shawan Jabarin, after allowing him to travel temporarily. Israel’s state prosecutor agreed to a ‘temporary exception’ to the ban allowing Jabarin to travel to Geneva at the invitation of the UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. But the two rights groups said Thursday that Israel never produced any evidence to justify banning Jabarin from traveling, and should follow this belated exception by lifting the arbitrary ban entirely.
Abandoned by their own city
Haaretz 3 Mar by Yehudit Oppenheimer – Jerusalem city hall and Israel’s Education Ministry have an obligation to provide Jerusalem children with a decent education that endangers neither their lives or their future …the infrastructures and services in these neighborhoods – Shoafat camp, Dahiyat al-Salam, Ras Hamis, New Anata – in which more than 35,000 people live in unbearably crowded conditions, are on the verge of collapse. These neighborhoods have no emergency services whatsoever, neither medical first aid nor firefighting services … The attempt to fix the boundaries of Jerusalem through unilateral steps, rather than agreed-upon political negotiations, has created enclaves that are constantly in peril. In general, the almost 70,000 Palestinian residents of neighborhoods beyond the separation fence but still within Jerusalem’s jurisdiction (in the areas of Shoafat in the northeast and in the Qalandiyah area in the north) live under inhuman conditions today.
Hamas warns Israel against Judaizing Buraq plaza
GAZA (PIC) 1 Mar — Hamas warned the Israeli occupation authority on Wednesday against Judaizing the Buraq plaza, south of the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem. It said in a statement that any such plan would constitute a violation of the holy Aqsa mosque. Hamas was commenting on a news report that settlement organizations, with Israeli official support, were planning to build two centers in the Buraq plaza.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Occupation forces demolish a protest tent in Khirbet Sousya
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Mar – IOF troops on Thursday afternoon dispersed a protest held by the residents of Khirbet Sousya and Khirbet Um Nir, to the east of Yatta in the southern West Bank district of al-Khalil, to protest the demolition notices handed to residents of the two hamlets by the IOF. The IOF troops also demolished a protest tent and threatened the protestors with arrest on the pretext of hampering the work of the army; scuffles broke out between the residents and the occupation troops. Jewish settlers on Tuesday warned the residents of Khirbet Sousya that they should leave their lands so that it can be annexed to the nearby Jewish settlement. The settlers have already applied to court to annex an area of 1000 Dunums (1 Dunum=1000 square meters, 1/4 acre) which is owned by the residents of Khirbet Sousya.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
State, settlers reach deal to evacuate West Bank outpost of Migron
Haaretz 1 Mar — Tentative agreement, a written version of which still has to be approved by both the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court, states outposts’ residents must relocate to nearby hill by 2015.
Rightist NGO ranks Israel MKs according to support of settlement building
Haaretz 1 Mar — According to report by Mattot Arim, there has been a 50 percent increase in ‘activities’ which support the settlement movement and the ‘national camp’ as a whole.
PCHR Weekly Report: One civilian killed, 6 wounded by Israeli troops this week
IMEMC 2 Mar — …a Palestinian civilian was killed in a peaceful demonstration in al-Ram village, north of Jerusalem, protesting Israeli forces attempts to raid the al-Aqsa Mosque. In addition, 5 protesters, including an Israeli Knesset Member and a member of the Palestinian National Council, were wounded in 2 peaceful demonstrations in the center of Hebron. Israeli forces have continued bombardments and shootings in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian resistance fighter was wounded in the east of Gaza City … A tunnel and a container were destroyed in Rafah and damages were caused to 3 houses and offices of the International Federation of Football in the north of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces also fired at Palestinian fishermen and their fishing boats….Full report
The silence of the lambs: On the violence of the security forces against animals and people during the destruction of the village of Ta’ale in South Hebron Hills
Rabbis for Human Rights 28 Feb — When the security forces demolished structures in Ta’ale, violating the Supreme Court’s order, they did not pity the animals. A horrifying story of destruction and death. Please tell people this story so they will know the conduct of the security forces in South Hebron Hills. The community in Ta’ale was left without a future and a chance to survive … Many animals were injured during the demolitions when they were recklessly evacuated, and if they were not evacuated they were injured and died from the destruction itself. During the demolitions, some of them were seen running frightened and helpless. Rabbis for Human Rights activists were told that the soldiers kicked and hurt some animals.
link to rhr.org.il/eng/
Ministry says Israeli reasons for raid on TV station baseless
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Mar – The Palestinian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTIT) Thursday denied Israeli claims that Palestinian television broadcast frequencies disrupt airport and wireless communications. It said these claims were baseless and stressed that there is no way TV transmission could technically affect airport operations or wireless devices … Undersecretary of MTIT Suleiman Zuhairi told Voice of Palestine radio that the Israeli allegations are a prelude to stealing Palestinian frequencies for the benefit of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He said the Palestinians were never officially informed of this matter, explaining that there is a joint Palestinian-Israeli committee that regularly works on the issue of frequencies and it was never informed of the existence of any problems.
Israel environment ministry: IDF getting away with pollution
Haaretz 1 Mar — The Israel Defense Forces is ignoring the requirement to submit environmental quality reports with apparent impunity, according to a senior Environmental Protection Ministry official. Eighteen months ago, on a tour of IDF bases in the West Bank, Itzhak Ben-David, the Environmental Protection Ministry’s deputy director general for enforcement, observed that fuel and oil were leaking into the ground. Such fuel leaks threaten ground water and soil quality.
Haniyeh blames power crisis on Egypt
GAZA CITY (Reuters) 2 Mar — Gaza’s top political leader blamed Egypt on Friday for causing a power crisis that has triggered lengthy blackouts in the Palestinian enclave, laying bare tensions between his Islamist group Hamas and Cairo. The outages started in mid February, leaving households with just six hours of electricity a day, provoking widespread criticism within the territory of Hamas, which governs Gaza … “Is it reasonable that Gaza remains without electricity a year after the revolution in Egypt?” Haniyeh said in a weekly address, accusing Cairo of trying to force Gazans to accept their energy supplies via arch foe Israel. “Is it reasonable that Gaza remains blockaded a year after the dismissal of the tyrant (Mubarak) regime?” he said. There was no immediate comment from Egypt.
Flooding damages 8 homes in north Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Heavy rainfall and icy temperatures have damaged eight homes in the northern Gaza Strip since Thursday, a civil defense spokesman told Ma‘an. Six homes in Jabalia city were flooded with water on Friday morning, and two others were under water in Gaza City, Muhammad Yousef said. Further, seven people were injured in car crashes across the Gaza Strip amid the stormy weather, Yousef added. Many streets have suffered damage and the civil defense force has been inundated with calls about falling trees and billboards toppling, he said, adding that the service is prepared to attend all emergencies.
Egypt’s parliament recommends supplying Gaza with electricity, fuel
IMEMC 2 Mar — The Arab Affairs Committee at the Egyptian People’s Assembly of the Parliament recommended on Thursday conducting a legal study to determine and improve the operational methods of border terminals between Gaza and Egypt, and also recommended providing the coastal region with power and fuel supplies should Israel refrain from implementing its commitments regarding providing services to the area as part of its responsibility as an occupying force.
Gaza children run marathon to raise funds for UN summer camps
DPA 1 Mar — Thousands of children ignored rain and wind Thursday to run the length of the Gaza Strip in a marathon organized by the United Nations Relief aid Works Agency (UNRWA) to draw attention to their situation … “The marathon sends two messages; the first is that Gaza children are seeking to enjoy a normal life equal to other children in the world and the second that UNRWA is in real need from Arab and international countries to keep providing services to the Strip’s people,” Nordahl said.
London calling a runner from Gaza
Sydney Morning Herald 3 Mar — GAZA CITY: Bahaa al-Farra was up early on Thursday morning to join hundreds of others in the second Gaza marathon, spanning the length of the tiny Palestinian enclave … for Farra it’s not about fun or politics but a passion for running that has gripped him for six years and which will reach its highest point so far when the 20-year-old from Gaza City represents Palestine at this year’s London Olympics … Farra will be one of a four-strong Palestinian team and is the only one from Gaza. The others – two swimmers, including a woman from Bethlehem, and another runner – live in the West Bank.
Going to Palestine after a lifetime of longing / Doha Shams
Al Akhbar 2 Mar — The road to Rafah is reminiscent of the road to Baghdad. The trees and shrubs lining the road dwindle as we approach the province of North Sinai in Egypt. To the right, there are high voltage power lines. The driver points to them saying: “This electricity is going to Jordan.” It is my first trip into Palestine.
PA-controlled office in Gaza ransacked
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Unidentified assailants raided the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority-controlled Civil Administration building in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday. Headquarters chief Maher Abu al-Quf told Ma’an that the Israeli side of the office alerted them to an attempted robbery at 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday evening. Personnel rushed to the site but the suspects had left the scene after damaging the offices and ransacking its contents. It is the 11th time such an incident has taken place, Abu al-Quf said. Hamas police have opened an investigation. The Civil Administration, which in Gaza remains under the control of the West Bank Palestinian Authority government, is charged with coordinating with Israel on matters relating to the crossing terminals.
PFLP armed wing claims rocket attack
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility Thursday for firing three mortar shells at an Israeli force east of Gaza … Earlier, Israeli media reported that three rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open area in the Ashkelon Regional Council of southern Israel. There were no reports of injury or damage, Israel’s Ynet news service said.
Hanaa’ al-Shalabi, hunger-striking for 16 days
Profile of hunger-striking prisoner Hanaa Shalabi
AIC 2 Mar — The fight against Israeli administrative detention continues. Meet Hanaa Shalabi, a female administrative detainee entering her 16th day of hunger strike … Like many Palestinian families, al-Shalabi’s is not new to Israel’s display of force. Samir Shalabi, Hanaa’s 24-year-old brother, was shot by Israeli occupation forces in September 2005 and both her sister Huda and two other brothers have been detained in Israeli prisons for various periods of time. In the past, the Palestinian NGO Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association contended that allegations of Hanaa’s involvement in a “terrorist attack” were not proven. After as many as seventeen days of interrogation, including eight days of non-stop questioning, Israeli security gathered no proof of al-Shalabi’s affiliation with any Palestinian political and armed group. Nevertheless, an Israeli military judge condemned her in the past to six months of administrative detention because, according to a ‘secret file’ none of al-Shalabi’s attorneys could see, she represented a danger to the “security of the area”.
Protest outside Hasharon Prison in solidarity with Shalaby on Sunday
RAMALLAH (PIC) 1 Mar — Popular and human rights activists called for a protest outside Hasharon prison on Sunday to express solidarity with Hana’ al-Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike for the past two weeks to protest her administrative detention. The organisations calling for the protest said that it will start on the afternoon of Sunday 4 March 2012 stressing on the importance of participation of large numbers to support Shalabi (30 years) and Palestinian captives in occupation jails in general.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Shalabi ‘patient, steadfast’ until demands met
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi said Thursday from Hasharon prison that she is continuing her open hunger strike and remains patient and steadfast until her demands are met. A Palestinian prisoner society lawyer, Fawaz Shalludy who visited Shalabi, said the prisoner had suffered as the Israeli prison administration put her in an open area in the cold in Ofer detention center. Shalludy pointed out that the prisoner’s spirits are high although there are signs of fatigue and weakness on her because of the strike.
Shalabi determined to continue her hunger strike
IMEMC 2 Mar …her parents in Borqeen town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, are also hunger-striking in solidarity with their daughter, and voiced an appeal to local and international human rights groups to intervene and secure the release of their daughter. Speaking to the IMEMC on Thursday, Yahia Ash-Shalabi, the father of Hana’, stated that his daughter lost a lot of weight, and that she can barely stand due to a decline of her health condition. “Hana’ is losing a lot of weight; she can barely stand. I hold the Egyptian mediators of the prisoner-swap deal responsible for the well-being of my daughter,”
Shalabi supporter hospitalized after solidarity strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — A prisoner on hunger strike in solidarity with Hana Shalabi has been transferred to hospital after he was released from jail, a detainees center said Friday. Suheil Akram Al-Masri, 26, has refused food for 13 days to support the female detainee … Al-Masri was transferred to hospital after fainting on his arrival home to Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday night. His parents said they had expected his release from Israeli prison on April 20, after his four year term completed. From hospital, Al-Masri vowed to continue his hunger strike until Shalabi is released.
Israeli right rails against solidarity with Khader Adnan
AIC 2 Mar by Sergio Yahni — The Israeli right in parliament uses the global solidarity for Khader Adnan as a tool to promote ousting Palestinian MKs from Knesset and to criminalize Israelis who oppose Israeli policies. On 21 February, Khader Adnan agreed to end a hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention and inhuman treatment by Israeli authorities. On his 66th day of strike, Adnan’s lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israeli military prosecutor that Adnan will be released on 17 April instead of 8 May, and that his administrative detention order would not be renewed. Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon (Likud) railed against this deal, saying it “set a dangerous precedent.” Danon also called for an immediate Knesset debate on the matter, saying prosecutors “capitulated to terrorism” and that “this deal renders the Israeli values system meaningless.”
Israeli forces arrest seven Palestinians across West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Mar — Israeli forces Thursday arrested seven Palestinians across the West Bank, according to security sources. They said Israeli soldiers raided the town of Arrabeh, near Jenin, and arrested five Palestinians after raiding their homes and tampering with their contents. Israeli soldiers also raided Deir Estia, north of Salfit, and arrested two Palestinians
Activist: Palestinian detained with hunting rifle
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man who had a hunting rifle in Beit Ummar north of Hebron, a popular committee official said Friday. Muhammad Ayyad Awad said the man who was detained was not identified. He had taken advantage of the weather to go hunting but Israeli forces detained him.
Israeli police terrorize prisoners in Asqalan
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Mar – Over 300 heavily armed Israeli police officers raided late Wednesday cells of Palestinian prisoners in Asqalan prison [in the] south of Israel, terrorizing the prisoners who were protesting mistreatment of the prison administration, according to statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC). It said Israeli police searched the cells until early Thursday morning, held two prisoners in solitary confinement and took six others to an unknown location.
IOF troops storm Hamas captives’ ward
RAMALLAH (PIC) 1 Mar — IOF troops from the Mitsada unit, on Thursday morning raided and searched ward 12 of Ofer prison which has 120 Hamas prisoners. Well informed sources told PIC that the soldiers raided the ward around ten on the morning and detained prisoners who were in found in ward’s yard [and?] in toilets.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Report: Israel kidnapped 380 Palestinians in February
IMEMC 2 Mar — Palestinian researcher, specialized in Detainees’ Affairs, Riyadh Al-Ashqar, stated that Israel heightened the rate of its illegal arrests of the Palestinians in the occupied territories in February, and kidnapped more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in occupied East Jerusalem, and the 1948 territories. In a press release, Al-Ashqar said that among the kidnapped Palestinians in February were 54 children and six women, including one female detainee who was released under the Prisoner Swap deal. He said that 14 residents were kidnapped while working in their lands, close to the Israeli “security fence” along the border between Gaza and Israel. Troops also kidnapped a cancer patient identified as Hikmat At-Taramsy, 48, at the Erez (Beit Hanoun) Terminal while on his way to an Israeli hospital after receiving all needed permits….
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Israeli troops use gas to suppress anti-wall protests
IMEMC 2 Mar — On Friday many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as soldiers suppressed anti wall protests organized in a number of West Bank villages. The protests were in solidarity with political detainee in Israeli Jails Hana Ash-Shalabi, who is on hunger strike for 16 days in protest of her captivity. In central West Bank, troops attacked the weekly anti wall protests organized at the villages of Bil‘in, Ni‘lin and al Nabi Saleh. Israeli and international supporters joined villagers after the midday prayers at all three locations. Soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters in al Nabi Saleh before they left the village
Occupy AIPAC to protest Netanyahu’s US visit
WASHINGTON (WAFA) 2 Mar — Occupy AIPAC, which calls for a new American foreign policy in the Middle East, Thursday kicked off a week of actions to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the Unites States and his push for war on Iran, according to a statement issued by the group … Occupy AIPAC will urge Obama to reject the Israeli push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. Events and protests will also draw attention to the role of AIPAC, the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, in influencing US policy through its stranglehold over Congress.
Occupy AIPAC live-streaming summit tomorrow
2 Mar — Occupy AIPAC starts tonight! If you’re in DC this weekend we look forward to seeing you soon! See the UPDATED schedule of actions here. We will be live-streaming the Occupy AIPAC Summit tomorrow, Saturday, March 3, 9:00am-5:30pmEST – watch it live at www.occupyaipac.org or directly on Ustream http://ustre.am/Ic3b. Even if you can’t join us at Occupy AIPAC, we need your help in promoting this message far and wide. The 99% say NO to war on Iran and YES to diplomacy and respect for Palestinian rights. Please take a moment to spread the word with social media and send a message to Obama and Congress.
University of London launches Centre for Palestine Studies
LONDON (WAFA) 2 Mar — University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) launched on Thursday the Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) as a newly constituted center of its London Middle East Institute, according to a SOAS launch invitation. SOAS website on the new centre
Decade-long demise of Palestinian armed resistance
JPost 1 Mar — Despite the eruption of bloody clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem over the weekend, support by Palestinians for armed struggle against Israel has seen an unprecedented demise over the past decade, a new poll shows. Support for armed resistance is at a 14-year low as more and more Palestinians say they prefer using strikes, boycotts and demonstrations over rockets and suicide bombings to pursue their cause, according to a poll released by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC).
Boycott failed? D-9 bulldozers on way to IDF, sale ‘never frozen’
Arutz Sheva (settler site) 1 Mar — Dozens of new D-9 armored bulldozers have begun arriving in Israel, for use by the IDF’s Engineering Corps, the IDF Website reports. Caterpillar, the American company that manufactures the D-9, reportedly froze a deal to supply the bulldozers 16 months ago, following pressure by the ultra-leftist International Solidarity Movement. However, the Defense Ministry told Arutz Sheva Thursday Caterpillar had never frozen the sale.
Haniyeh: Leaders should meet in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — The prime minister in Gaza on Thursday called on Palestinian leaders to visit the Gaza Strip, saying they all have a right to visit the enclave as part of an undivided Palestine. Speaking during a lunch meeting with leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ismail Haniyeh said such a visit would demonstrate the unity of the land and Palestinian people.
Shaath ‘appreciates’ Haniyeh’s invitation to Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said Friday that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s invitation to party leaders to meet in the Gaza Strip was a positive step, saying he appreciates the move … Shaath said Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas loves Gaza and is excited to visit, although he is currently on an international tour. “At the same time, Abbas does not need an invitation to go to an area under his presidency,” Shaath commented.
Hamas deputy: Political operations out of Damascus
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Speaking from Cairo, the deputy head of Hamas’ politburo said Thursday that Hamas’ offices would remain in Syria despite the relocation of all political and media activities out of Damascus.
Israeli national anthem and non-Jews
Former judge backs Arab judge over Israeli anthem scandal
Haaretz 1 Mar — Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran received support from an unlikely source Thursday, in the wake of criticism leveled at him for refusing to sing Israel’s national anthem at a public event. Former Vice President of the Haifa District Court Menachem Ne’eman who is a member of the Religious-Zionist community and who served alongside Joubran, told Arutz Sheva that “we must remember that Israel has a 20 percent minority, and it is obvious that they cannot identify with the contents of the anthem.”
Arab justice’s Hatikva silence was a song of protest / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 1 Mar — The refusal of Justice Salim Joubran, the first Arab to win a permanent appointment to the Supreme Court, to sing ‘Hatikva’ was an instructive lesson in Israeli democracy … A fifth of this country’s residents, the state’s Arab citizens, must now express their gratitude to their justice; in his silence, he gave expression to their voice. But lovers of democracy must be even more grateful, because he reminded all of them that the supreme test of democracy is how it treats those who don’t join the choir.
Haaretz editorial: Israel should consider altering its anthem to include non-Jews
2 Mar — …Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran has the right not to sing the national anthem, “Hatikva.” The law doesn’t oblige him to do so, and the song’s lyrics don’t enable him to do so … The lyrics of Israel’s anthem were written in 1878 by Naphtali Herz Imber as an expression of the national sentiments of the Jewish people, and the Jewish people only. No Arab citizen who had any self-respect, political awareness or national consciousness could sing these words without committing the sins of hypocrisy and falsehood.
Israeli Sectarianism / Discrimination
Put women in bus ads, state demands
JPost 2 Mar — Gov’t tells High Court that exclusion from public sphere affects women’s “dignity, right to equality, freedom of expression. “The exclusion of women from advertisements on buses and in public places is “a violation of the fundamental rights of women,” according to an opinion the state submitted to the High Court of Justice on Wednesday.
Second-class solidarity / Mike Prashker
Haaretz 2 Mar — In the face of the current hate-fest in the public sphere, what we need is unprecedented solidarity and cooperation across our internal divides — This past Tuesday, during a Knesset committee meeting on the status of women in Israel, MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism ), responding to the participation of Reform movement representatives in the hearing, proclaimed that “Reform Jews are even worse than Arabs.”
Ex-minister Benizri claims Israel ‘most anti-Semitic state’
Ynet 1 Mar — After release from prison, former Cabinet member says ‘incitement campaign’ against haredi public reminiscent of anti-Jewish propaganda during Holocaust — …During the interview, Benizri also criticized what he called an anti-haredi campaign in the media: “Almost every other item is about haredim, calling them ‘parasites.’
Feature: Government debt drives contracting sector to the verge of collapse
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Mar — Hasan Abu Hnoud, owner of Dar al-Bina’ contracting company, had to fire all his 72 employees because the Palestinian Authority (PA) did not pay him dues estimated at $6 million since 2010. Abu Hnoud put all his company’s equipment up for sale and plans to move his operation to Libya to pursue his livelihood in what he believes is a better job market. Dar al-Bina’ is one of 450 contracting companies in the Palestinian Territory suffering from the acute financial crisis that has been facing Dar al-Bina’ is one of 450 contracting companies in the Palestinian Territory suffering from the acute financial crisis that has been facing the Palestinian Authority for the past two years, which is threatening to bring down the entire contracting sector the Palestinian Authority for the past two years, which is threatening to bring down the entire contracting sector.
Schools reopen in Gaza, still closed in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Mar — Schools are reopening in the Gaza Strip while in the West Bank, some classes remain cancelled amid heavy snow and rainstorms across the occupied territories, officials said Friday.
Bulgaria: Bulgarian border police detain 6 illegal immigrants on freight train
Sofia News Agency 2 Mar — Border police from the southwestern city of Petrich have detained six illegal immigrants of Palestinian origin hidden in a freight train. The Palestinians were found during a routine inspection of an international freight train travelling from Greece to Croatia at the Kulata railway station … They had no identification documents but said they were Palestinians and their destination was Western Europe.
British lord forced to resign after ‘Israel will not last’ claim
Al Akhbar 29 Feb — A British Lord [peer] has been forced to resign from her party after saying that Israel would not last forever if it continued to oppress the Palestinians. Jenny Tonge, a former MP for the Liberal Democrats, which is the junior partner in the British government, made the comments in a speech at a British university. “Beware Israel,” she said. “Israel is not going to be there for ever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough.”