Video: Burying Ayoub
ISM 11 Mar by Nathan Stuckey — Twelve year old Ayoub Assalya was murdered today. He was walking to school when an Israeli missile landed next to him. It was seven A.M. He is another casualty of Israel’s latest attack on Gaza. For three days now Gaza has been under bombardment. Eighteen people have been killed. Dozens have been injured. His funeral was held today in Jabalia, the refugee camp where he lived. We waited outside the mosque for midday prayers to end. The street outside was crowded with people waiting for the funeral. A bus was parked to carry those who could not walk the several kilometers to the cemetery … As we approached the cemetery you could see the border. This is the same border where the Israel shot four men yesterday. The four men had been attending the funeral of yesterday’s martyrs. The land leading up the border is barren, there are no trees, Israel bulldozed them all years ago
Medics: 2 killed in Israeli airstrike east of Gaza City
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar 22:15 — Two Palestinians were killed Monday evening in Israeli shelling east of Gaza City, bringing the death toll in Gaza to 25 since Friday, medics said. Bassam al-Ajla and Muhammad Thaher were killed in an airstrike on the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, medical officials told Ma‘an. They were members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, a Ma‘an reporter said. [Keep up on Twitter using #GazaUnderAttack. The attacks are continuing as of this writing.]
PCHR: IOF continues offensive on Gaza for 4th consecutive day: 5 Palestinians, including an old man and his daughter, killed and 38 others wounded since yesterday afternoon, raising deaths to 23 and injuries to 73
12 Mar — Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) into alleged crimes committed by IOF from Friday evening, 09 March 2012 until Monday noon, 12 March 2012, indicate as follows: At approximately 01:40 on Monday, 12 March 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural plot on ‘Oujan Street in the east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. A number of nearby houses were damaged, and Ahlam ‘Arraf Jundiya, 18, was injured in her forehead by fragments of glass while she was at home. At approximately 02:00 also on Monday, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house belonging to Bahjat Mohammed Hammad near Jabalya Martyrs Elementary School in ‘Izbat ‘Abed Rabbu in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. The missile hit the first floor of the three-storey house, where 9 individuals, including 3 children live. As a result, the house was completely destroyed and 7 members of the family, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded. Eighteen neighboring houses were also affected by the missile, 3 of them sustained heavy damages….
5 killed, 46 injured in fourth day of Gaza airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli airstrikes killed two Islamic Jihad militants and three civilians on Monday, bringing the death toll since Friday to 23 people, medics and Ma‘an’s correspondent said. An airstrike on Monday afternoon in Beit Lahiya killed Muhammad al-Hasoumi, 65, and his daughter, 30, medical spokesperson in Gaza Abu Salmiya said.
Earlier, hospital officials said a 15-year-old schoolboy was killed in a separate air strike during the day on Monday. Nayif Shaaban Qarmout was killed in Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, Ma‘an’s correspondent said. Witnesses said that the 15-year-old was playing with friends in a play ground near his school when an Israeli missile hit the area. Five others were injured and taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City…
Earlier, Israeli airstrikes had hit two homes in the northern Gaza Strip, injuring 33 civilians, most of whom were women and children, Abu Salmiya said….
A 17-year-old girl and another man were also injured as Israeli missiles struck a home in Gaza City, Abu Salmiya said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said aircraft had carried out six strikes on Monday. At least 20 rockets have been fired at Israel on Monday, she said.
Lessons canceled in northern Gaza amid Israeli strikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — The Ministry of Education in Gaza announced Monday that afternoon classes will be canceled after Israeli forces bombed a school playground killing a student … Officials at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City told Ma‘an that Nayif Shaaban Qarmout, 15, was killed and five were injured Monday in an Israeli airstrike on Beit Lahiya. Witnesses said the teenager was playing with friends in a playground near his school when an Israeli missile hit the area … On Saturday, an Israeli missile killed Mahdi Abu Shawish, 24, and injured three others near Rabia al-Adawiya school in southern Gaza.
Gaza militants claim rocket fire into Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Militant groups in Gaza announced responsibility for firing rockets across the border as the Israeli army said 42 projectiles landed in Israel. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said it fired 30 rockets into Israel. The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, said it fired four Grad rockets toward Ashdod, while the An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades — affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committees — said it launched three Nasser rockets and four projectiles at Israeli targets … The projectiles caused no casualties but Israeli police said three people were wounded.
Netanyahu: Israeli is prepared to step up fighting against Gaza if rockets continue
Haaretz 12 Mar — Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israeli is prepared to step up its activities in the Gaza Strip if rocket fire continues. Speaking in the morning at a Likud faction meeting, the Prime Minister said, “The Israel Defense Forces is prepared to expand its activities [in the Gaza Strip] as much as is necessary.”… Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog on Monday also expressed support for the decision to assassinate Zuhir al-Qaisi, the Popular Resistance Committee leader, on Friday, which ignited the current flare-up. “We hope that the current round of violence will end soon,” he added.
IDF official: Army ready for ground op in Gaza
Ynet 12 Mar — Iran encouraging Islamic Jihad to fire rockets at Israel, escalation could prompt ground incursion, senior officer says. IDF hasn’t used all measures at its disposal, he says
‘Iron Dome has its failings’
Ynet 11 Mar — With Beersheba suffering two direct hits in less than an hour, Air Force tries to lower public’s expectations of rocket interception system. ‘There is no hermetic seal’
Egypt negotiating between Israel and Gaza factons for ceasefire, diplomats say
Haaretz 12 Mar — Egyptian diplomats in talks to bring about a ceasefire by Tuesday morning; Strategic Affairs Minister Ya’alon: Hamas approached Egypt to pass message to Israel about renewal of calm — …”We do not carry out negotiations with Hamas,” Ya’alon said. “Our response through the Egyptians was very simple, this is basically our policy since the beginning of the current administration: if you are quiet, we will be quiet, if you shoot, or plot attacks, we will hit you, and so the ball is certainly in their court.”
Hamas: Egypt offered fuel in exchange for calm
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Egypt offered to provide fuel to Gaza if militants agree to a ceasefire with Israel, Hamas-affiliated MP Younis al-Astal said Monday. The Gaza Strip has faced up to 18-hour blackouts per day since Egypt cut fuel supplies through an underground tunnel network … Speaking at a sit-in protest in Gaza, al-Astal said the Hamas-led government told Egyptian mediators that Israel had initiated the escalation and must also end it, echoing senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar, who said earlier the timing of a ceasefire would depend on Israel … Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees said that they would not accept a ceasefire with Israel while Israeli warplanes continued to kill Palestinians.
8 trucks of medicine arrive in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Mar – Eight truckloads of medicine arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday from the West Bank, a crossings official said. Amidst Israeli airstrikes that have killed 23 Palestinians and wounded more than 80 in four days, Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya had appealed for medical supplies to the blockaded coastal enclave.
Rights group says targeted killing a crime
GENEVA (WAFA)10 Mar – The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights (EMOHR) Saturday stressed that the continued Israeli policy of what it called ‘assassination of wanted people’ is a blatant violation of international law, describing it as a murder outside the law and without trial, said a press release issued by EMOHR … The center added that the Israeli killing of the two activists was similar to previous assassinations; where the victims were not in a situation of armed confrontation with the Israeli forces but were tracked down and pursued while they were exercising their ordinary life.
Ashrawi: Israel is committing extrajudicial executions”
IMEMC 11 Mar — Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, stated Saturday that Israel is committing crimes and extrajudicial assassinations against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking further provocation in order to destabilize the region, and to provoke the Palestinians into further retaliation.
China calls on Israel to cease fire in Gaza
BEIJING (WAFA) 12 Mar – The Chinese government Monday called on Israel to stop its airstrikes on Gaza, demanding an immediate cease-fire, according to a statement by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin.
British Foreign Office urges restraint in Gaza
LONDON (WAFA) 12 Mar – British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt Monday urged restraint following four days of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and rocket attacks by armed Palestinian groups on Israel
Opinion on / Analysis of Gaza attacks
‘Mowing the lawn’: On Israeli’s latest massacre in Gaza and the lies behind it / Ali Abunimah
EI 11 Mar — By this Sunday evening in Gaza, a weekend of relentless Israeli bombing has left 18 people dead and dozens wounded. Israeli propaganda insists that the attacks are about preventing ‘terrorism’ and stopping ‘rockets’. But in fact, Israel provoked this violence and according to some Israeli commentators its goals are to escalate pressure for war with Iran and to drag Hamas away from diplomacy and back into violence. The latest of Israel’s victims today include Ayoub Useila, 12, of Jabalya refugee camp, whose seven year-old cousin was injured, and Adel al-Issi, 52, a farmer near Gaza City. Others suffered horrifying injuries, as recounted by doctors at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital.
Way to go, IDF! / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 11 Mar — The cyclical ritual of bloodletting between Israel and Gaza always prompts two questions: ‘Who started it?’ and ‘Whose is bigger?’ — Here we go again – a targeted killing; retaliation; retaliation to the retaliation. Here we go again – The reflexive act; the harsh rhetoric; the blindness. The Israel Defense Forces carries out a targeted killing. The Palestinian organizations avenge it – and it’s the Palestinians instigating war and terrorism. MK Danny Danon (Likud) has, of course, already called for “all of those in possession of weapons in the Gaza Strip” to be targeted because of the “million people living under fire.” Those million people, in case you failed to get it, are the residents of southern Israel. Only they live under fire.
Tolerable savagery: Israeli killing of Palestinians / As‘ad AbuKhalil
Al Akhbar 11 Mar — The carnage continues. Israel, or more accurately the Zionist movement, has not stopped its brutality and repression of Palestinians since the advent of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the late 19th century. Lately, we have been able to watch with disgust. Western hypocrisy knows no bounds in the Middle East …Western governments never expressed sympathy for the Syrian people: as victims of the Assad regime and as victims of Israeli occupation and brutality. Yet, Western governments were quick to call for arming the Syrian people only months after the uprising began. The Palestinians, however, have never been treated with such permissiveness. No matter how much massive violence is inflicted on them, and no matter how many massacres they suffer, Western governments insist that the Palestinian people (and any other people living under Israeli occupation) have no right to resort to arm to liberate their lands and to “protect their civilians.”
Escalation is good for Israel / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 11 Mar — Hamas’ continued preference for diplomatic action in the face of Israel’s attacks on Gaza is less than convenient for those who desire an Israeli strike on Iran — …There is no alternative to striking Iran and there is no better time than the present, when the weather permits and world diplomacy is preoccupied with Syria. For Israelis, there is no better proof that no harm will come to them as a result of an attack on Iran than the performance of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, which has demonstrated a 95% rate of effectiveness. The escalation in Gaza is good for Israel – that is, for that part of Israel that wants to strike Iran.
Israeli forces – West Bank
Israeli officer ‘can’t remember’ why Palestinian was left to die by side of road
Haaretz 12 Mar — A policewoman in the trial of two colleagues charged with dumping a Palestinian car thief on the side of a road, where he died of dehydration, on Sunday repeatedly responded to questions in court by saying she did not remember. The testimony phase in the trial over the death of Omar Abu Jariban in 2008 began in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday. The policewoman, who was the main witness on Sunday, replied more than 100 times to questions by stating that she did not remember, and her testimony in court conflicted with prior statements given to investigators.
Watch: YouTube video purports to show Israeli border police tossing gas grenade at Palestinians
Haaretz 12 Mar — In the video shot by freelance photographer, a tear gas grenade is tossed out of a Border Police jeep at a group of Palestinians who were apparently not involved in demonstrations; Border Police claims clip was staged … In early February, a French woman was injured during the weekly demonstration. After initially claiming that her injury was caused by rocks thrown by other protesters, the IDF later admitted that they may have been caused by a tear gas canister shot by the army after a video of the event was published..
Israeli forces storm Palestinian house, attack its residents
HEBRON (WAFA) 11 Mar – Israeli forces Sunday stormed a Palestinian house in the old city of the Southern West Bank city of Hebron and attacked its residents, according to security sources. They said that Israeli forces stormed the house of Ishaq al-Maharbeh, fired tear gas bombs inside it before storming the house and locking the family inside while searching it.
Caught on tape: Drunk settlers in Al Khalil assault two international women; Israeli military admits special relationship with violent settlers
ISM 11 Mar — On March 9 2012, 6 volunteers of International Solidarity Movement were walking down Shuhada Street near Checkpoint 55 at approximately 11 AM, when drunk settlers attacked the group and injured one international volunteer. About 5 drunk male settlers began to scream at and surround the internationals, yelling “keffiyah,” the traditional Palestinian scarf, that two internationals were wearing. Settlers were visibly carrying bottles of alcohol. The drunk settlers shoved one woman from the back and then threw wine on her. At the point the group began filming the settlers continued to hit, shove and try to grab the cameras of all 6 people. A police car drove by and did not stop the attack. One settler, wearing a dinosaur tail costume on his back put a towel on his face before trying to grab the camera of a Canadian ISM volunteer and then punched a British ISM woman in the face. They then fled shouting.
IDF brass clash over how to deal with settlers on West Bank farmland
Haaretz 11 Mar — In 2007, then GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh signed an order authorizing the Civil Administration to remove agricultural encroachments by Israelis from Palestinian land – Two top officials in the Central Command of the Israel Defense Forces are at loggerheads over how to address encroachment by Jewish settlers in the West Bank on land farmed by Palestinians. The legal adviser for Judea and Samaria, Col. Eli Bar On, recently accused the head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Motti Elmoz, of dereliction of his legal duty to end the encroachments. In a kind of punitive measure, Bar On also informed Elmoz that his office would begin referring Palestinian complainants to Elmoz’ office so that it could exercise its authority in the matter.
Settlers attack Palestinian shepherds, international activists near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 11 Mar – A group of masked Jewish settlers Sunday attacked a group of Palestinian shepherds along with International solidarity activists in Khirbat Yanun, a village southeast of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to an official. Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of settlements file in the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the West Bank, told WAFA that a group of masked settlers from the settlements of Givat Ollam and Gidonim accompanied by dogs attacked the shepherds and the activists and threw stones at them.
Israeli flags hanged in Yanoun are a reminder of settler violence
ISM 7 Mar by ‘Ramon Garcia’ – The illegal settlement of Itamar, constructed illegally on the land of Aqraba, Awarta, and Beit Furik, has taken a provocative step of incitement in the village of Yanoun, from which Zionists have also stolen land. On 7 March 2012 illegal settlers entered the village of Yanoun and rose the flag of Israel over the home of village elder Abu Muhmad al Ajoori, who resides in the lower part of the village. Another flag was suspended over a water reservoir in the upper part of the village. The settlers were then seen by locals wandering off into the hills … Residents of Yanoun have suffered many years of terrifying violence at the hands of Itamar settlers — the murder of villagers, slaughter of their livestock, desecration of crops, property destruction and daily invasions and intimidation by armed settlers. The increasing brutality climaxed in 2002 … Unable to stand the fear – and indeed reality – of terrorism any longer, the entire village evacuated at the time, mostly families fleeing to the nearby village of Aqraba … Over the 2002-06 period the entirety of the village’s families eventually came back to their homes and attempted to start their life in the shadow of Itamar’s ever-increasing outposts that dot the hills surrounding the village.
Report from the Saturday morning settler ‘real estate tour’ in Hebron
Mondo 12 Mar by JoAnne Lingle, Christian Peacemaker Teams — …Every Saturday there is a “settler tour”. 100 plus Israeli settlers and their invited guests come through the Old City where our Palestinian friends live. The Israelis are escorted by a like number of IDF soldiers. I call this a “real estate tour” because they stop and ooh and ahh at the beautiful rehabilitation work that has been done by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC). There is no doubt they expect to take ALL of Hebron’s Old City. During this ‘tour’, the Palestinian residents are not permitted to walk to or from their homes. We follow the soldiers to observe that Palestinians are not mistreated. At one point, we yelled at a soldier to stop pointing his gun at us, and others who were waiting to pass. A small Palestinian girl walked by me and suddenly became aware of the soldiers – she almost walked right up to a soldier’s gun. She looked up at him and wailed, crying for her mama.
Settlers destroy dozens of trees in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Settlers uprooted dozens of trees in the town of Beit Ummar, Hebron on Monday, local officials said. Muhammad Awad, spokesman of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, said settlers destroyed more than 31 grape trees and 15 olive trees, together with other shrubbery. The land belongs to Hamad Salibi and his family. It is the tenth time in three years that his land has been damaged by settler attacks. Israeli forces were aware of the attack but did not intervene, Awad said. The land provides a source of livelihood for more than 70 people.
Hebron man, teen ‘hospitalized after soldiers break up settler clash’
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Israeli forces broke up a dispute between Palestinians and Israeli settlers near Hebron on Sunday, briefly detaining three Palestinians. Izhaq Izzat Jaber, 40, said Israelis from the Kiryat Arba settlement seized his mule and cart, prompting a heated argument between him and his son, and the group from the settlement. Israeli soldiers arrived and violently apprehended Jaber, his 16-year-old son, and neighbor Nimir Ghaleb, 26, who came to help, Jaber told Ma‘an. The three were taken to Etzion detention center, and Jaber suffered heart problems when transferred to Ofer jail, he said.
Settlers agree to leave illegal West Bank outpost (Reuters)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 12 Mar — Settlers signed an agreement with the Israeli government on Sunday to leave the biggest illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank and move to a nearby site after months of negotiations to avoid their forced removal. But campaigners against settlements described the deal as a disgrace, as the families had been allowed to relocate to another already-established West Bank settlement a few kilometers away. Despite publicly endorsing the notion of an independent Palestinian nation, successive Israeli governments have nurtured settlements on the very land that the Palestinians claim as theirs. Over the past decade the government has spent at least 4 million shekels ($1.1 million) on establishing and maintaining the cluster of squat, prefab bungalows at Migron.
#HanaShalabi – Health of hunger striker badly deteriorates
RAMALLAH (PIC) 12 Mar – Palestinian captive Hana’ al-Shalabi who has been on hunger strike over the past 26 days is suffering a serious deterioration to her health according Physicians for Human Rights. A medical examination of the captive revealed a low heartbeat rate, low blood sugar, suffering stomach aches and headaches. In addition Shalabi lost a lot of weight and she cannot stand up. Lawyer Sherin Iraqi who visited the captive said that Dr. Metyal Nassar of PHR visited Shalabi and examined her and found that her condition was serious.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel doctor able to visit
#HanaShalabi for the second time today. Updates to come on her health condition.
Hana Shalabi: A brave act of Palestinian nonviolence / Richard Falk
10 Mar — No sooner had Khader Adnan ended his 66-day life-threatening hunger strike than new urgent concerns are being voiced for Hana Shalabi, another West Bank hunger striker now without food for more than 24 days. Both strikes were directed by Palestinian activists against the abusive use of administrative detention by Israeli West Bank occupying military forces, protesting both the practice of internment without charges or trial and the degrading and physically harsh treatment administered during the arrest, interrogation, and detention process. The case of Hana Shalabi should move even the most hardhearted. She seems a young tender and normal woman who is a member of Islamic Jihad, and is dedicated to her family, hopes for marriage, and simple pleasures of shopping.
Study: Children struggle to cope after Israeli detention
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Thousands of Palestinian children struggle with mental health problems and reintegration into society after they are detained by Israel, a new report on child detention says. According to the study released by Save the Children Sweden and YMCA-East Jerusalem on Monday, 90.6 percent of detained children suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after release. Released minors often are unable to return to school, experience bed-wetting, anxiety attacks and nightmares, the report says. Families and communities suffer from stigmatization, and become increasingly conservative as fear grows of further detentions, it adds.
Two teenagers arrested without evidence amidst clashes in Ras al-Amoud
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 12 Mar — Confrontations erupted in Ras al-Amoud district of Silwan on 8 March, as a heavy build-up of Israeli forces triggered a Molotov cocktail thrown at an Israeli settler compound. Two young brothers, Basel al-Zagal (14) and Ismail al-Zagal (15) were arrested by Israeli forces, despite no evidence of their involvement in the clashes. The two boys were running through the neighborhood to reach a maths tutorial … The Zagal brothers are only the most recent youngsters amongst 11 that have been arrested in the past 4 days in Silwan.
Israeli forces summon released prisoners near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank city of Yatta on Saturday evening, and delivered summons to three former prisoners to appear for questioning … All three were released under the October 2011 deal in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier in Gaza. Soldiers also raided the home of Muhammad Rashid, a 18-year-old detained on Thursday when forces surrounded the home of another released prisoner, Khaled Makhamreh … Since the prisoner swap last year, 16 of those released have been rearrested and at least seven are still in jail, according to latest figures from prisoners groups.
Prisoners refuse strip search, clash with police
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 Mar – Israeli police Monday clashed with Palestinian prisoners held in Asqalan prison, south of Israel, after police tried to force prisoners to strip for search, according to Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqi. He said 11 prisoners were injured, including one seriously. Qaraqi told WAFA that prison police brought dogs along with them as they entered the prisoners’ cells early Monday and ordered them to strip for search. Prisoners refused and clashed with the police who attacked them with gas bombs and clubs.
Israeli forces arrest five Palestinians in the West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 Mar — Mohammad Awad, an activist with the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Hebron area, said forces arrested four Palestinians from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, during a late night raid on the town. Three of the arrested were minors under 16 years of age. Israeli forces also arrested one Palestinian from the town of Arrabeh, south of Jenin, after raiding his house and tampering with his belongings, said Palestinian security sources.
Political detainee in PA jail rushed to hospital
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 Mar – The PA intelligence apparatus carried political detainee Anas Abu Markhia to hospital after one week of going on hunger strike, local sources in Al-Khalil said on Sunday. The sources said that Abu Markhia had gone on hunger strike a week ago to protest his continued incarceration despite a ruling ordering his release passed by the Palestinian higher court. The intelligence apparatus had moved Abu Markhia, 24, to Jericho jail to pressure him to end his strike, but his relatives quoted him as saying that he would not end his strike until his release.
Fatah: Hamas responsible for militant leader’s life
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) 12 Mar — Fatah on Monday accused Hamas of detaining militant leader John Misleh and called for his immediate release. Misleh is a leader in the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He was detained by Hamas authorities as he returned to Gaza from Egypt on Sunday, Fatah said.
Land theft and destruction / Apartheid
I was born here, this is my land, if I die, I will die here
JVS 10 Mar — You can see our photos of IOF training on Palestinian land on Flickr here During the night of 8th March 2012, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) destroyed Palestinian agricultural land in the village of Al Farisiya. As women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day, the women of this community had their livelihoods destroyed. This was not an isolated incident – during the last week Israeli soldiers have been training extensively with tanks and armored vehicles in the northern Jordan Valley … The majority of families in Al Farisiya sustain themselves by raising animals. There are also farmers who grow vegetables and palm trees. For years they depended on a spring called Asshek in El Malih valley for irrigation. In 2008 the Occupation Authority stopped them from using Asshek spring, despite the spring being located on the villagers’ land and them having documentation to prove that they used the spring for generations. The Occupation Authority then issued demolition orders against everyone in the village.
Al Walajeh: Tunneling to get home
ISM 8 Mar by ‘Ramon Garcia’ — …The Apartheid Wall under construction in the village will leave the home of Omar and his family on the “wrong” side and separate it from the rest of the village. The Israeli military has thus constructed a ‘private’ tunnel for the family to use in order to access their home from the village. This tunnel is being dug up at the moment, and due to the heavy rains of last week, the family home was severely flooded. This is the price the family has to pay for having refused to leave their house. When the wall is finished, they will be surrounded by 4 electric fences. The constant harassment from the occupation forces and the construction of the wall seriously affected the health of a woman residing in the house. She had a nervous breakdown, and the stress made her lose her sight for 3 months. When asked what her biggest fear was, she responded, “The kind of men my children will grow up to be in these circumstances.” … As Al Walajeh is officially part of Jerusalem, military law does not apply here. The situation of the village is quite special, as the land was annexed to Jerusalem, but not the people, who are therefore considered as “present absentees”, staying illegally in their own houses. Two weeks ago, 14 demolition orders were handed out, and the village counts at least 100 in total.
The strangulation of a village
ISM 10 Mar by ‘Sylvia’ — Sheikh Nasri looks resigned as he describes his home as “the most terrorised village in the country”. With 34,000 uprooted trees in the last two years and some 4,800 dunams of land stolen, the village of Al Jab‘a has little to smile about. Eighteen of the one hundred houses in Jab‘a have demolition orders on them, their inhabitants unsure of when the Israeli army will storm their homes with bulldozers. Even the Mosque has a demolition order. Homes with licenses from the Israeli courts are none-the-less destroyed to make way for the ever expanding Israeli borders. Nasri laughs as he points out the demolished “Welcome to Al’ Jab‘a” sign … In 1997 Nasri’s wife was turned away from a checkpoint whilst in labor, forcing her to give birth at home. His 14 year old son was badly beaten by a soldier 6 months ago when he ask him not to turn his jeep around on his fathers crops. His 15 year old son was held for over 6 months in an Israeli prison for attempting to farm part of Nasri’s confiscated land. [with video interview uploaded to YouTube 10 Oct]
Idhna: A family without windows
ISM 12 Mar by ‘Peige’ — After three years of marriage Amani and Hussein Batran wanted a house of their own, somewhere to raise their two children, 4 year old Khalil and 3 year old Layali. They took out two loans from the bank and construction began. Now, three years later, the house is still unfinished and no new work has been done for over a year. One year ago, shortly after the Batran family moved into their nearly finished house, they received an order from the Israeli military forbidding further construction, followed seven months later by a demolition order. The reason given is that their house blocks the view of a camera mounted on the illegal segregation wall Israel has constructed inside of the West Bank. The sight of glass-less windows and wires protruding from half-sanded walls speaks of dreams put on hold, a family living in limbo.
Israel orders Jordan Valley ponds demolished
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 12 Mar – The Israeli military authorities in the West Bank Monday handed Palestinian farmers orders to demolish two ponds used for collecting rain water in the northern Jordan Valley, according to local sources. Aref Daraghme, head of Al-Maleh village council, said Israeli soldiers ordered the village residents to demolish the ponds that benefit local farmers and shepherds by the end of the month.
New military gate limits access to Beit Iksa land
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 Mar – A new military-controlled road gate the Israeli army had set up on Monday in the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, raised concern of possible takeover of almost 2000 dunums of land as it limits access to agricultural land, according to residents. The soldiers also took over a house in the area and turned it into a military outpost, said residents.
Activism / Solidarity
After much injustice, Beit Dajan debuts its peaceful resistance
ISM 9 Mar by ‘Jonas Weber’ — Several hundred villagers gathered today in Beit Dajan to the first ever demonstration against the roadblock that has been obstructing access to the village since the beginning of the second Intifada. The peaceful demonstration was met with a heavy tear gas from the Israeli military. Since 2000, the main road from Beit Dajan to Nablus [9 km away] has been blocked by the military … It wasn’t until 2009 that anyone could go to Nablus after 5 pm without coordination with the District Coordination Office, the link between the PA and the Israeli military. Not even ambulances have been let through at the checkpoint which has led to a lot of complications with the health care in the village. Education has also become a problem because of the logistical difficulties set by these Apartheid roads and checkpoints. And water supplies are cut because of the roadblock, forcing the village to now import expensive water from the Jordan Valley. And as if this is not enough, the village has suffered four deaths at the roadblock.
Al Ma‘sara demonstrates the meaning of peace
ISM 9 Mar by ‘Ramon Garcia’ — The people of Al Ma‘sara gathered after praying time to march to their land, confiscated for the nearby illegal settlement. Approximately 70 internationals were present, most of them Christians coming back from a conference in Bethlehem titled, “Christ at the Checkpoints.” The crowd marched peacefully to the end of the village, where occupation forces were waiting. As they outnumbered the military present, they were able to pass through the soldiers and march towards the land of locals. The marchers advanced peacefully and were stopped when reinforcement arrived. The crowd stood their ground, facing the army. Slogans against the occupation were chanted, and many demonstrators started talking to the soldiers. “A good way to start building bridges instead of walls,” said one of the activists. [a naive one, it appears]
Political / diplomatic news
US, Jordan urge Abbas to refrain from threats to dismantle Palestinian Authority
Haaretz 12 Mar — Both the U.S. and Jordan are working tirelessly to prevent Abbas from sending Netanyahu a letter that would put the burden of the occupation back in hands of the Israelis and could lead to a third intifada.
There can be no election without Jerusalem and Hamas / Oraib Rantisi
MEMO 11 Mar — It looks as if Israel intends to put many obstacles in the way of the proposed Palestinian election, not least that it does not want polling stations in Jerusalem – “the eternal capital of the unified state for Jews only” and it does not want Hamas to participate, directly or indirectly, until the movement accepts the Quartet’s conditions. In 1996 and 2006, Israel allowed the inclusion of occupied Jerusalem as a Palestinian electoral district; in 2006 it even allowed Hamas to take part. Nobody, especially the Israelis, expected Hamas to win, but win it did, taking a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Will, therefore, the Netanyahu government prohibit what previous Israeli governments have permitted?
Egyptian parliamentary committee urges recall of Israel envoy in response to IDF strikes on Gaza
Haaretz 12 Mar – Egyptian parliamentary committee for Arab affairs decides to urge government to recall ambassador to Israel from Tel Aviv, deport Israel’s ambassador in Egypt.
Israel MK delegation cannot travel to US after Ben Ari denied entry visa
Haaretz 12 Mar — Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced Monday he is banning a delegation of MKs from attending a women’s conference in Washington this month because the United States has denied entry to MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) … The U.S. refusal to grant entry to Ben Ari because of what it said are his ties to a terrorist group amounts to “an assault on the Knesset as a whole,” Rivlin said Monday. “The United States’ allegation that an MK is a terrorist is unacceptable.” Ben Ari is a long-time follower of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach party is outlawed in Israel and is considered a terrorist organization in the United States.
Report: Cairo airport officials warn Israeli bodyguard carrying weapon
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Egyptian security officials at Cairo airport remonstrated the bodyguard of the Israeli ambassador for flying on a civilian air carrier while carrying weapons, Egyptian press said on Monday. Israeli embassy staff arrived in Egypt from Tel Aviv on the Air Sinai airline on Sunday, when a gun and live ammunition were found in the possession of the bodyguard to Amb. Yakov Amitai, Egyptian news site Akbar Masr reported.
Al-Quds TV resumes broadcast
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 8 Mar – Al-Quds Educational Television resumed on Thursday broadcast, a week after Israeli soldiers raided the Ramallah-based TV station and seized its transmitters and other equipment. The resumption of broadcast was done in the presence of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who praised the station for resuming broadcast within a short time. Soldiers raided Al-Quds Educational Television, which is part of Al-Quds University and its media campus, and Wattan TV during the same night and seized their broadcast equipment … Wattan has not yet resumed broadcast.
The multiple deaths of Nisreen Karim
Al Akhbar 9 Mar by Qassam Qassam — Her name is Nisreen Karim. Her Nationality: Lebanese, from the village of Deir Siryan. She is 34 years old. Family status: Married to Palestinian Kamal Sulayman and mother of four. Social status: Died on the road traveling between hospitals. Her husband, Sulayman, accuses UNRWA of “negligence.” Um Hussein is not the first patient, and certainly not the last, to die because of the delay “by the UNRWA doctor in giving her a transfer slip to get into a hospital,” her husband said.
Other opinion / analysis
Israel’s Red Riding Hood and the Arab wolf / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 12 Mar — The prime minister is certainly correct that Israel has the right to defend itself. But don’t we have the right to know at long last which Israeli state he is referring to? — During a quiz show on Channel 2 television last week, a contestant was asked which of three towns – Kalansua, Tul Karm or Jenin – was located within the Green Line. The contestant, a nurse with an M.A., hesitated for quite a while and then said she thought the answer was Tul Karm. In order to verify her answer, she requested the assistance of 71 fellow contestants. Seventeen of them – almost one in four – responded that either Tul Karm or Jenin was an Israeli town. Kalansua, Tul Karm, Ariel, Hebron – they are all the same to them. Give us the Iron Dome missile defense system from the sea to the Jordan River, shell Gaza even harder and tell us the fable about the good Israeli that the wicked Palestinian wolf is waiting to devour.
Hillary Clinton, Gaza, and the right of civilians to self-defense / Ali Abunimah
EI 12 Mar — …It was however on Gaza that Hillary’s hypocrisy truly shone. Here’s what she said regarding Syria: “Now the United States believes firmly in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states, but we do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people, threatening regional peace and security in the process. And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense.” Clinton was explicitly supporting the right of Syrians to use armed struggle to resist the government, and even claimed that such armed struggle is morally superior. Very well. What did she say about Gaza, which has been under unprovoked Israeli bombardment for five days killing more than twenty people and injuring dozens? “And let me also condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel which continued over the weekend. We call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these attacks. We call on both sides – all sides – to make every effort to restore calm.” That was it. Not one word of sympathy for the families of Palestinian civilians killed in the Israeli attacks. She failed to mention that Israel began the round of violence on Friday with the premeditated murders by its military machine of Palestinians Israel accuses of ‘masterminding’ attacks.