Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe
Haaretz 26 Mar — Israel decided Monday to sever all contact with the United Nations human rights council and with its chief commissioner Navi Pillay, after the international body decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements. The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel’s ambassador to Geneva to cut off contact immediately, instructing him to ignore phone calls from the commissioner, a senior Israeli official said. Israel will also bar a fact-finding team dispatched by the council from entering Israel and the West Bank to investigate settlement construction.
Israel considers steps against PA, Human Rights Council
Ynet 25 Mar — Israeli state officials said that Israel is considering “penal” measures against the Palestinian Authority as well as various steps against the United Nations Human Rights Council, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday … The cabinet will reportedly consider freezing tax money Israel collects for the PA, as well as halting joint financial projects such as an initiative to grant 5,000 extra work permits for Palestinians. It is nevertheless unlikely that Israel will opt to freeze funds. This option was last employed in November in response to UNESCO’s decision to upgrade the PA’s status. This prompted worldwide condemnation and Israel was forced to release the funds a month and a half later.
Meanwhile, Israel is also working to soften a UN report on the treatment of children in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The UN’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict includes a special chapter on Israel.
B’Tselem 25 March 2012: Civil Administration threatens alternative energy projects in southern Hebron Hills
[map, photos] In January and February, the Civil Administration issued demolition orders against alternative energy structures – 95 solar panels and six wind turbines – in six villages in the Masafer Yatta area of the southern Hebron Hills … The structures cost some 216,000 euros to build. The villages are in Area C, under full Israeli control. Construction of these alternative energy structures began in 2009 in ten additional villages in this area, all by the Israeli organization Comet-ME, with German government funding and aid from the New Zealand government and Danish and Swiss NGOs. The structures supply villagers’ basic electricity needs using renewable solar and wind energy and do not pollute like diesel generators and kerosene lamps. Because Israel has avoided preparing master plans for these 16 villages, as for many other Palestinian communities, all structures, including these simple ones for clean energy, are built without a permit. Nor does Israel allow these villages to connect to the advanced water and electricity grids it has built for nearby Israeli settlements, hence the village residents are forced to rely on water brought in by water tankers and on electricity from generators. This precludes even medical clinics; residents must travel outside the area for health services.
UN panel urges Israel to shelve racist Bedouin relocation plan
Haaretz 26 Mar — UN committee says Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev is discriminatory and would legalize racist practices.
Negev Beduin file objection to IDF complex
JPost 22 Mar — A group of Negev Beduin residents and their supporters filed an objection this week to the establishment of a military intelligence complex in their neighborhoods. The residents are contesting an IDF plan to establish an “Intelligence City” that would move its intelligence units from the country’s center and concentrate a number of different bases into one. They argued to the Southern District Planning and Building Council that the IDF is choosing to move the intelligence units from one populated place to another, and that it could choose to relocate the base in an unoccupied region that is within the army’s authority.
Israelis demolish shacks in Jordan Valley
TOUBAS (WAFA) 26 Mar – Israeli authorities Monday demolished a number of Palestinian shacks in al-Himma area in the southern parts of the occupied Jordan Valley, according to a local official. Aref Daraghmeh, head of Wadi al-Maleh village council, said Israeli forces stormed al-Himma area and demolished shacks used as dwellings by local farmers and shepherds.
OCHA: IOA demolished 20 Palestinian homes in West Bank last week
RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Mar — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has demolished 20 Palestinian homes in the West Bank over the past week, a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian land said on Sunday. It said that the demolition streak took place in the Jordan Valley and displaced 60 people including 26 children. It said that IOA bulldozers damaged 100 dunums in Salfit’s Kufr Al-Deek village and uprooted 100 olive saplings in Beit Dajan village in Nablus at the pretext they were planted in a military area.
Latest strip of West Bank security fence to hinder Palestinian access to agricultural land
Haaretz 26 Mar — The unfinished separation fence around the West Bank will run between a Palestinian village and a large park proposed for Jerusalem’s southern edge – a move that would make it tougher for local Palestinians to reach their agricultural land.
Court gives settlers 4 months to clear outpost
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 24 Mar — Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday gave settlers four months to evacuate the largest illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank, rejecting a government petition to allow them to stay on the Palestinian-owned land until 2015. “All must adhere to the law and this is the moment of truth,” the court said. Migron is one of more than 100 outposts built without Israeli government authorization in the West Bank … Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the court’s decision would be adhered to.
Migron settlers: Netanyahu’s government must repeal unjust outpost demolition
Haaretz 26 Mar — ‘The government encouraged us to come here, and we demand that justice be done,’ Migron leader says, following court’s rejection of compromise which would have left the outpost in place until 2015 … Noting that former Gaza settlers evacuated by the government in 2005 were still living in temporary housing, Hamo added that Migron residents would not be party to such an agreement.
Rightist MKs blast court over Migron ruling
Ynet 25 Mar — Decision to evacuate West Bank outpost by August 1 ‘proves High Court favors Arab interests over Jewish settlement,’ National Union’s Aryeh Eldad says. Peace Now: Step in the right direction
Court favors right-wing settler group on City of David park
JPost 26 Mar — The High Court of Justice dismissed a petition to stop the City of David Foundation (Elad) from operating the City of David Archaeological Park outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls, concluding a three-year legal saga. Left-wing activist organization Ir Amim filed the petition in July 2010, alleging that the contract between the National Parks Authority and the private Elad organization was illegal because the area is a national park and should be public.
Right-wing activist says will evacuate Palestinian family from East Jerusalem home
Haaretz 25 Mar — Aryeh King, of the Israel Land Fund, publishes ad calling for able-bodied Jews to assist court-ordered evacuation following what he says is the police’s refusal to secure the move.
Foundation: Israeli group breaks Jerusalem gravestones
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 24 Mar — A group of Israelis broke two Muslim gravestones in a Jerusalem cemetery on Saturday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said. More than 20 Israelis gathered in Bab al-Rahmah cemetery near the eastern wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform prayers, the Foundation for Waqf (Endowment) and Heritage said. A cemetery guard told the foundation he shouted at them to leave, and the group responded by insulting him and jumping on graves, breaking two gravestones belonging to the Nayroukh and Abu Sbeih families … The Al-Aqsa Foundation warned that Israeli authorities plan to convert the cemetery into a Jewish park.
Committee: Settlers uproot 85 olive trees near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Mar — Settlers uprooted dozens of olive trees in the Bethlehem village of al-Khader on Saturday, a local anti-separation wall committee said. The group of Israelis destroyed 85 olive trees in a field belonging to Khader Ali Au Ghalyoun, committee coordinator Ahmad Salah told Ma‘an. The settlers, according to Salah, have been illegally living on hilltop called Ein el-Qassis for more than ten years, during which time they have committed multiple assaults on local farmers.
Violence / Incursions
Farmer injured in Nablus settler attack
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — A farmer was injured on Monday after being attacked by settlers in the northern West Bank, a PA official said. Ayman Loay, 24, was moderately injured near Yizhar settlement when a settler threw rocks at him, Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, said. Settlers attacked the farmer as he tended to his land in the village of Iraq Burin, south of Nablus.He was transferred to Rufaida hospital in Nablus to be treated for head injuries.
Settlers attack a resident in Hebron
IMEMC 25 Mar — Palestinian medical sources reported, Sunday, that one resident was injured after being attacked by a group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers near Yatta, in the southern Bank city of Hebron. The sources added that resident Mohammad al-Adra, 33 years old, from at-Tiwana village, was bleeding from his head after the settlers attacked him as he was plowing his land. The settlers came from the Karmiel illegal settlement outpost, close to at-Tiwana. They tried to stop the resident from plowing his land, and tried to remove him by force. They proceeded to attack him with batons, and repeatedly punched him until local residents rushed to save him. Following the attack the settlers ran back to their outpost. Israeli soldiers did not intervene and the Israeli police force did not order an investigation, media sources reported.
Jewish minor charged in West Bank price tag attack
Jerusalem (JTA) 22 Mar — A Jewish minor from the West Bank was charged with a price tag attack in a Palestinian village. According to an indictment filed Thursday, the minor and several others in February set fire to cars and a home in the Palestinian village of Nabi Elias and spray-painted the words “Price Tag” on a wall near the attack. “Price tag” refers to the strategy that extremist settlers have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians and Arabs in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions, or for Palestinian attacks on Jews. During a car chase with police, the charged minor tossed items from his car that linked him to the vandalism. He was forced to abandon his car and flee on foot. The minor indicted Thursday was traced through his car, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Israeli forces raid Yabad village overnight
JENIN (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — Israeli forces raided several homes in Ya‘bad in the northern West Bank before dawn Monday, witnesses said. Jamal Abu Bakr said Israeli soldiers and an intelligence officer ransacked his home and the homes of Nizar Abu Bakr and Abdul Abu Bakr at around 2 a.m. He told Ma‘an his relatives were held in one room while his eldest son was interrogated and accused of throwing stones at Israeli patrols. He added that Israeli forces threatened his son and other youths that they would be shot if they were seen throwing stones.
Detention / Court actions
Israeli court rules against bail for Beit Ummar teens
HEBRON (Ma’an) 26 Mar — An Israeli court ruled to keep seven children from Beit Ummar behind bars until the end of their trial, a lawyer and community spokesman said. The court agreed one other child from the Hebron-district town, Ahamd Mahmoud Isalibi, 16, could be released on bail with the guarantee of a Jerusalem citizen and 10,000 shekel payment, but the prosecution appealed this decision, lawyer Nery Ramati said. The eight teenagers are accused of resisting the Israeli occupation, local popular resistance committee spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awwad said.
Israeli forces storm Aissawiye, arrest 12-year-old child
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 26 Mar — Undercover Israeli forces arrested 12-year-old Mousa Darwish in Aissawiye suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Monday, local sources said. They said that the undercover agents also arrested 19-year-old Fadi Othman and took both away in a military vehicle. Violent clashes had erupted between the security forces that stormed the suburb and inhabitants.
Israel’s dogs will not keep Kufr Qaddoum from reaching justice
ISM 26 Mar by ‘Amal’ — Neither the attack dog or the dogs of the Israeli court system could keep Ahmed’s spirits down. He held his head up high as he walked into the courtroom, even while shackled by his feet and hands. His court hearing was rescheduled for a week from now. On Sunday, the Israeli courts will determine if Ahmed will be released or given a prison sentence. On March 17th Ahmed was the victim of Israel attack dogs as he peacefully demonstrated against the Israeli occupation and its implications on the village, which is located near Nablus. Kufr Qaddoum’s main road has been blocked off by Israeli military for the sake of a nearby illegal settlement. The Israeli apartheid regime is trying to charge Ahmed with ‘participating in an illegal protest’ and ‘throwing rocks at soldiers’.
Detention of Palestinian kids undermines future
[with AIC video interview of YMCA Rehabilitation Program Director Nader Abu Amsha] AIC 25 Mar — A new report documents how Israeli detention of Palestinian children undermines the future for these former detainees and their society.
Israeli forces detain 3 in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 25 Mar — Israeli troops stormed the northern West Bank city of Nablus early Sunday, detaining three men, witnesses and security officials said. Forces seized brothers Rami Subhi Khweira, 24, and Ahmad Subhi Khweira, 23, in the Old City, before detaining 36-year-old Yousif Abdul-Rahman Halabi from the city center. An Israeli army spokeswoman said three people were detained in Nablus overnight, while forces seized one person from Ramallah villages Al-Mazraa Al-Qibliya, Budrus and Deir Qaddis.
Local official: Israeli forces arrest man in Yatta
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 25 Mar — Israeli forces arrested a man in the southern West Bank town of Yatta on Sunday afternoon, a local committee member said. Ahmad Jaber Mohammad Nawaja, 22, was arrested by soldiers after they raided the Hebron town, coordinator of the popular resistance against settlements and the wall Rateb al-Nbour told Ma‘an. Israeli forces also verbally warned residents to evacuate their homes, al-Nbour said.
Teen skipped school to stab Israeli soldier
Ynet 26 Mar — Cleared for publication: An 18-year-old east Jerusalem resident has been identified as the assailant who stabbed Israeli soldier Yehudit Aharon in Jerusalem’s Light Rail earlier this month. His remand was extended until all legal proceedings against him are completed.
Rights group launch prisoners’ support campaign
GENEVA (WAFA) 26 Mar — The Euromid Observer for Human Rights (Euro-Mid) launched a wide campaign urging international human rights organizations to take action to support striking Palestinian prisoner and the eldest administrative detainee in Israeli jails, a press release said Monday.
Palestinian hunger strikers
Update: Hana Shalabi reaches 40 days of hunger strike
Joint Press Release, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel — Ramallah-Jaffa 26 Mar … Today, a PHR-Israel volunteer doctor visited Ms. Shalabi in Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where she has been hospitalized since the night of 20 March. Following the visit, the doctor reported that on Saturday, 24 March, because of drastic deterioration in her blood test results, Ms. Shalabi agreed to receive calcium and Vitamin K, which protected her from immediate heart attack. Following this morning’s visit, the PHR-Israel doctor stated that Ms. Shalabi’s muscle atrophy and wasting have increased, which now includes her heart muscle. Ms. Shalabi still refuses nutrition aside from vitamins and salts in her water and is in danger of death. The hospital Ethics Committee is planning to meet early tomorrow morning and may consider the possibility of force-feeding, in disregard to the principles of medical ethics and the guidelines of the World Medical Association and the Israeli Medical Association.
Israeli court of appeals refuses to release hunger striker
RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Mar — The Israeli military court of appeals in Ofer detention center near Ramallah has turned down a request by lawyer of Hana’a Shalabi for her release despite being on hunger strike for the past 40 days. The Palestinian prisoner’s society said in a statement on Sunday that the appeal was against her four months’ administrative detention. Human rights sources said that the Israeli intelligence does not want to turn the case of Shalabi into one similar to that of Khader Adnan, the Islamic Jihad leader, whose detention was shortened after he was in danger of death due to his hunger strike.
Palestine: Inside the home of Hana Shalabi
Burqin, Occupied West Bank (Al Akhbar) 26 Mar by Linah Alsaafin – A tent, decorated with the flags of Palestinian political factions and posters of 29-year-old Hana, adorns the front yard of the Shalabi family home. On the eve of Mother’s Day, the tent had received a steady stream of visitors since the morning. Teachers and students from Burqin’s secondary school, members from the village’s women and farmers’ societies, and mothers of Palestinian martyrs gave the family long-stemmed roses and flowers, enough to form a huge bouquet. Hana’s elderly mother Badia spends most of her days sitting inside the tent. She can’t stand being inside the house – it reminds her too much of Hana’s presence.
Why the silence? Hana Shalabi on Day 40 of hunger strike as Israel rejects appeal / Ali Abunimah
EI 26 Mar — As Israeli officials defame and malign her on Twitter, Hana al-Shalabi lies critically ill and at risk of immediate death in Israeli detention on day 40 of her hunger strike … What will it take to get the media pundits – who constantly demand that Palestinians produce Gandhis – to pay heed to Hana al-Shalabi’s struggle? Over these 40 long, agonizing days for her and her family, attention from international media has been sparse. International officials – including the European Union’s ‘Foreign Minister’ Catherine Ashton – have remained silent. Even some prominent human rights groups, including B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have totally ignored Hana al-Shalabi. Yet through social media – at least – people are organizing and talking about their solidarity actions in Palestine and other countries
Detained young women on hunger strike in Israeli jails
NABLUS (PIC) 25 Mar — Amani Al-Khandakji has joined the long queue of Palestinian administrative detainees who have gone on hunger strike to protest their detention without trial or charge. Firas Sabah, a lawyer with the Dameer foundation for human rights, said on Sunday that Amani, 27, went on hunger strike on the first day of her arrest last Tuesday…
Meanwhile, The Israeli “Almagor Terror Victims Association” urged the Israeli government not to release Hana’a Shalabi who has been on hunger strike for almost 40 days protesting her administrative detention. It claimed that Shalabi was planning to kidnap Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and trade them for Palestinian prisoners. The organization said that anyone supporting Shalabi’s release was supporting “terrorism against Israelis and army soldiers”.
Megiddo prison administration blocks visits to hunger strikers
RAMALLAH (PIC) 26 Mar — The administration of the Israeli Megiddo prison has blocked visits by lawyers to their clients in the jail as a punishment for going on hunger strike. Human rights sources said that the administration cited trivial pretexts such as that detained hunger strikers were very weak and could not walk to the visitation room. They said that lawyer Fawzi Shalloudi demanded a written explanation for preventing him from seeing the hunger strikers since the Israeli law does not ban those prisoners from meeting their lawyers.
Academic BDS: Tel Aviv U to investigate solidarity with Shalabi
AIC 25 Mar — Tel Aviv University will conduct an examination of senior lecturer Dr. Anat Matar for her participation in a solidarity demonstration with hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Hanaa Shalabi. The demonstration, which took place on the university campus on Wednesday March 21, called for the release of Hanaa Shalabi, who is imprisoned without charges after she was released as part of the Palestinian-Israeli prisoner exchange in October 2011. According to the Tel Aviv University security, the demonstration in solidarity with Shalabi was illegal. Im Tirzu, a radical right wing organization, carried on a counter demonstration in the area. Students affiliated with Im Tirzu later identified Dr. Anat Matar, a lecturer in the Tel Aviv University Department of Philosophy, as having participated in the solidarity act with Shalabi.
Medics: Explosion near Gaza City injures 2 children
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Mar — An explosion near Gaza City wounded two children on Saturday, medical officials said. Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said the five-year-olds were moderately injured by “Israeli remnants” east of Shujaiyeh neighborhood, and were evacuated to Shifa hospital.
Gaza power plant shuts as fuel delivery spent
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Mar — Gaza’s sole power station shut down on Sunday morning after two days of electricity production, as Palestinian officials in Cairo sought to end a fuel shortage in the coastal strip. Director of Gaza’s power company Walid Saad Sayil said the Palestinian Authority and Egypt were close to reaching a deal for six months fuel supply to the power plant from their southern neighbor. But while the agreement was being hammered out, a delivery of Israeli fuel into Gaza on Friday ran out, closing the station for the fourth time since mid-February when Egypt stopped supplies via an underground tunnel network.
Gaza ambulances stop responding to calls as fuel reserved hit zero
EI 25 Mar by Rami Almeghari – “Sir, I just received a notification from the central area prison that there is prison inmate with kidney pain. What shall I do, should I head for the place?”” “No, please hold on until I make sure myself that the case is urgent.” And so Sami Abu Shaira, in charge of the Deir al-Balah ambulance station in the central Gaza Strip, did not send an ambulance on the instructions of the headquarters of Gaza’s ambulance emergency service. As a fuel shortage has worsened across the coastal territory, the ambulance service has been forced to stop responding to all calls except the most critical cases, Abu Shaira told The Electronic Intifada.
Gaza doctors urge Cairo to solve power crisis
GAZA (PIC) 26 Mar — Dozens of doctors, paramedics, and ambulance drivers working in Gaza hospitals asked Cairo to pump fuel into the Gaza Strip to end its power and fuel crisis that threatens a big humanitarian tragedy. The call was voiced during a sit-in staged at the gate to the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Dr. Fuad Najm delivered a speech on behalf of the medical services asking the Egyptian authorities to end the siege on Gaza and to supply badly needed fuel. “Gaza is not on another planet”.
Political clash leaves Gaza without electricity
AFP 26 Mar — A political fight between Egypt, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is to blame for fuel shortages that have led to a major electricity crisis in Gaza, sources told AFP on Monday … “Unfortunately all the import routes for fuel have been cut, whether we’re talking about the tunnels, the official crossings or from Ramallah,” said Ahmad Abu al-Amrin, an official at Gaza’s energy authority … “There is a political problem with certain parties in Egypt, in coordination with the government in Ramallah, which is not interested in resolving the fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Abu al-Amrin said. In Ramallah, officials pointed the finger at Hamas for not sending anyone to join them at a meeting with Egyptian officials, which is currently under way in Cairo.
Bardawil: Hamas delegation in Cairo to discuss Gaza power crisis
GAZA (PIC) 26 Mar — A delegation of the Hamas movement led by its political bureau member Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar is currently in Cairo to discuss means of solving the Gaza power crisis with Egyptian officials, Dr. Salah Bardawil, a Hamas leader, said. He denied, in a statement to Quds Press on Monday, that the crisis was because the Gaza government did not pay the electricity bills, adding that the bill for the fuel to Gaza power station is paid by the European Union. Bardawil said that the Ramallah authority takes the EU money and pays for the employees who do not join work with the Gaza government and further takes the price of the electricity bills from Gaza.
Poll: Gazans hold Hamas responsible for fuel crisis
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 24 Mar — Majority of Gazans held Hamas responsible for the fuel crisis that led to severe power cuts in the Gaza Strip, according to a new Palestinian public opinion poll published Saturday. The poll results showed that while 46% of the overall West Bank and Gaza respondents blamed Israel for the ongoing fuel crisis in Gaza and 27% put the blame on Hamas, 48% of Gazans had actually blamed Hamas the most for the ongoing fuel crisis, followed by Israel with 21%.
UPDATE: Hamas, family misled AP reporter on death of five month old child
Mondo 26 Mar — GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died two days ago after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, but the report was called into question after it emerged that the timing of the baby’s death was misrepresented. The baby’s death — which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official — would have been the first linked to the territory’s energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy. However, the AP later learned that news of Mohammed Helou’s death first appeared March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds, in an article written by a relative of the bereaved family.
Rights group says Gaza killed ‘claims honor defense’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — A man who shot dead a female relative in a Gaza hospital is claiming the murder was to preserve “family honor” to reduce his punishment, a rights group said Monday … While President Mahmoud Abbas ordered a legal amendment to end leniency in courts for so-called honor crimes in May 2011, the law has not been changed in the Gaza Strip, Al-Mezan said. Murder suspects continue to employ the honor defense in the Egyptian penal code to reduce their jail terms, the rights group said … According to Al-Mezan the victim, identified as K.K., was admitted to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis on Thursday night in a critical condition after having swallowed herbicide. She was registered by the hospital as having attempted suicide, the rights group said. At 1.30 a.m. Friday the relative entered the hospital and asked about her condition. When the doctor said she was improving, he threatened hospital staff with a handgun and shot the patient in the head, killing her. K.K., 22, was from Khan Younis refugee camp, married, and the mother of a 18-month-old child, according to research by Al-Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
Two stray bullets in Gaza
ISM 24 Mar by ‘Johnny Bravo’ — ..Baraka al-Morabi was not as lucky as Sohab Sultan. He lived in Zeitoun camp with his mother, father and two sisters as well as his grandmother and three aunts with their families … On Saturday March 17th there was a funeral in Zeitoun for three fighters who had been killed the day before in an Israeli bombing. Baraka was walking in the funeral procession. Many people were firing pistols and Kalashnikovs into the air, as they will during both funerals and celebrations. Suddenly Baraka stumbled to the ground. He was struck in the back of the head by a bullet falling from the sky. He was hospitalized for four days before he died. Mohammed tells us, “Baraka was a happy child. He did well in school and was always smiling.”
Police probe Israeli soccer mob’s anti-Arab racism
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 25 Mar — Israeli police have opened an investigation into the actions of soccer fans who chanted racist slogans and reportedly spat at Arabs after a match last week, they said on Sunday.
Abbas approves changes in Lebanon refugee camps
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 25 Mar — President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday gave his approval to several resolutions affecting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, a statement from the embassy in Beirut said … Abbas approved the meeting’s recommendation to integrate security and civil branches in refugee camps into one national security institution to be headed by Subhi Abu Arab and supervised by secretary general of camps in Lebanon Fathi Abu al-Aradat. There are currently over 400,000 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon and the fragile sectarian composition of Lebanese society makes their presence a sensitive issue. Refugees in the country have long suffered discrimination and are deprived of basic rights.
Land Day (30 March)
Israel warns Lebanon authorities ahead of planned Palestinian protests near border
Haaretz 25 Mar — Israel has asked Lebanon, using intermediaries, to stop its residents from approaching the Israeli border on Friday as part of Land Day protests. The forum of eight senior cabinet ministers will consider security preparations in Israel and the West Bank when they meet today.
Report: Israel issues warning as Land Day approaches
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 25 Mar — Israel is preparing for Palestinian Land Day on March 30 by putting its army on alert and urging protesters to stay away from its borders, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Israel called on surrounding countries to prevent demonstrators from approaching its borders, Israeli radio news station Reshet Bet said. The Israeli army has also increased its alert levels and drafted in extra battalions in case of any potential escalation, Israel’s Ynet news-site reported.
Gaza rally official says march to Jerusalem will be peaceful
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — The March to Jerusalem rally on Friday will be peaceful, a Gaza spokesman for the event reiterated on Sunday. Majid al-Zibdah said that the rally has been organized to protest against “ongoing Israeli assaults and efforts to judaize the city of Jerusalem, as well as the escalating threats against Palestinian land and the Palestinian people. “We urge Palestinian men, women, elderly people and children to join the rally which will set out from all districts of the Gaza Strip.” Organizers of the event want participants to avoid contact with Israeli forces, in order to save themselves from “possible harm,” he added.
Activists worldwide to mark Land Day with global march to Jerusalem
972blog 26 Mar — To commemorate Land Day this year, Palestinians are planning a Global March to Jerusalem to highlight processes of land theft and dispossession in the city. Elsa Rassbach speaks with Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti on Jerusalem and the non-violent resistance movement.
Syndicate concerned over courts’ use of film to convict activists
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 26 Mar — The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) Monday expressed deep concern over use by Israeli courts of pictures and videos taken by Palestinian photojournalists as evidence to convict activists participating in non-violent protests against the occupation, said a PJS statement. it said that use of pictures and videos taken by Palestinian photojournalists in Israeli courts endangers the lives of the journalists. It also condemned attempts by the Israeli courts to summon photojournalists to testify against Palestinian activists who are on trial based on pictures and films they took. This Israeli measure “exposes an Israeli security policy aimed at discrediting journalists, particularly field photographers, in an attempt to shake public confidence in their work and mission in exposing crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation,” said the statement.
Iron Dome deployed in central Israel
Ynet 26 Mar — Israel’s Air Force has started deploying an Iron Dome battery in several locations in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, including Holon, for training purposes and adjustment to the region. The anti-missile system has already been deployed in various locations across Israel this year including Jerusalem and Haifa.
Christians called to serve Jewish settlers
Forward 25 Mar by Nathan Jeffay — Evangelicals Volunteer on West Bank Because the Bible Says So — Psagot, West Bank — It is a typical, even stereotypical, West Bank settlement scene: bearded young men pruning vines while enthusing about the Chosen People’s God-given right to this region. But in this case it is Jesus, and not Jewish identity, that animates these tillers. For years, Westerners have flocked to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to help Palestinians with their olive harvest, as part of left-wing activist groups like the International Solidarity Movement. Among other things, the activists seek to resist efforts by settlers to disrupt the Palestinians’ reaping. Now, the settlers have international harvest help of their own. The young Christians working in the Psagot Winery’s vineyards near Ramallah in mid-March were members of HaYovel. Last year, this Tennessee-based evangelical ministry started a large-scale operation to bring volunteers to tend and harvest settler grapes. They attach epic importance to their work.
US top court allows Jerusalem passport case to proceed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 26 Mar – American parents of a boy born in Jerusalem can go to court to argue that their son’s US passport can list Israel as his birthplace, the US Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a setback for the US government. Since the founding of Israel in 1948, successive American governments have declined to recognize any country as having sovereignty over Jerusalem, which is home to holy sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The State Department, applying long-standing US policy, insisted that 9-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky’s birth certificate, and thus his passport, show Jerusalem — with no country specified — as the place of birth.
Analysis / Opinion
Israel on human rights: It’s accountability for Palestinians but diplomatic terror for Israel / Porter Speakman, Jr.
Calev Myers, of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice traveled to Brussels on Thursday to hand the European Union a report urging future aid be based on the Palestinian Authority improving the human rights of Palestinians … back in Jerusalem…Haaretz reported on Sunday that: Israel is considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority after the United Nations’ Human Rights Council decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.
An Islamophobic ‘voice of the people’ / Larry Derfner
972mag 25 Mar — What does Eitan Haber’s Yedioth Ahronoth column, ’And the president of France will be named Mohammed,’ say about the political mentality in Israel? Eitan Haber is a consciously ‘representative’ Israeli. In his Yedioth Ahronoth columns, he’s cultivated himself as a ‘voice of the people’ — centrist, patriotic, worried about security, wishing for peace … So what does it say when such an Israeli writes a column today that’s about as insanely Islamophobic as anything one is likely to read this side of Pamela Geller? It says the political mentality in this country is pretty damn dark.
Between France and the Malha mall / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 25 Mar — The fact that such a hate crime is barely even reported in Israel is much more serious than the blows at the mall. The police allow it to happen, hundreds of eyewitness turn aside. No one saw, no one heard, who cares? … It’s not hard to imagine what would have happened had hundreds of people burst into a mall in Toulouse and beat up Jews who worked there. Israel and the Jewish community would have set up a hue and cry … It’s also not hard to imagine what would have happened had hundreds of Arabs stormed the Jerusalem mall, beating up Jewish workers.
UN probe of settlements is a Palestinian warning sign to Israel / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 25 Mar — While a vote in the UN General Assembly isn’t equivalent to a vote in the Security Council, it will make it a lot harder for Netanyahu to claim that the West Bank isn’t occupied.