ICC won’t probe Gaza war because Palestine is ‘not a state’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — The International Criminal Court will not investigate Israel’s conduct during its December 2008 offensive on Gaza because Palestine is not a state, the world prosecutor said Tuesday. In a statement, the ICC prosecutor acknowledged that over 130 countries and some UN bodies recognize Palestine as a state. But, Palestine still holds observer status in the UN, and so the ICC cannot at this time investigate allegations of war crimes committed on Palestinian territory, the prosecutor said. President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full UN membership in September at the UN Security Council. The US vowed to use its veto to block the bid and the council has not yet made any recommendation to admit Palestine…
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that diplomats had worked against the Palestinian request for an ICC investigation into Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 3-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that left nearly 1,400 Palestinians dead, including 300 children. Commenting on the ICC’s rejection of the bid for a tribunal, Lieberman said: “Not many understand how much work has been put into this issue,” the Israeli news site Ynet reported.
ICC decision not to pursue justice for victims of Israeli war crimes ‘dangerous’ and ‘political’ says Amnesty
EI 4 Apr by Ali Abunimah — Amnesty International today condemned a declaration by the office of International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor that it cannot pursue allegations of war crimes related to Israel’s December 2008 – January 2009 ‘Operation Cast Lead‘ attack on Gaza which claimed over 1400 Palestinian lives. The ICC prosecutor’s decision, Amnesty said in a statement, “means Palestinian and Israeli victims seem likely to be denied justice.” Amnesty’s criticism stemmed from the fact that the prosecutor’s office claimed that ““it cannot consider allegations of crimes committed during the conflict unless the relevant UN bodies or ICC states parties determine that the Palestinian Authority is a state.” However, Amnesty said, this determination is one that belongs in the hands of judges, not the prosecutor
International court rejects Palestinian appeal — and Palestinian statehood / Dahlia Scheindlin
972mag 4 Apr — The International Criminal Court released a statement on Tuesday rejecting Palestine’s petition to investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes in the 2009 Gaza war, known as Cast Lead. With the fairly predictable decision, Israel avoids another round of international opprobrium. But there is also a symbolic meaning: another failure for Palestine’s unilateral statehood bid. The decision is a clear political signal, not just a purely legal decision reflecting ‘objective’ international norms.
Land theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel demolishes buildings, pylons near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — Israeli forces demolished four ancient buildings and uprooted 52 electricity poles in lands near Bethlehem on Tuesday morning, locals said. The electricity line that connects the Al-Makhrour neighborhood to nearby Beit Jala was destroyed by bulldozers, local anti-wall committee coordinator Mazin al-Azza told Ma‘an … Al-Makhrour, west of Bethlehem, is considered a natural heritage site by the Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation. The hillside neighborhood is slated to be cut off from Beit Jala by Israel’s separation wall, the center says.
Video: Struggle of Lifta families
AIC 4 Apr — 13 families of the Lifta neighborhood in Jerusalem, have received eviction orders. After having lived there for the past 60 years, the state of Israel has now declared them as “invaders” in their own homes. The story of this neighbourhood is another chapter in Israel’s evil policy of intentional discrimination which commenced with the eviction of Lifta’s original Palestinian residents in 1948, the settling of Mizrachi Jews (of Middle Eastern or Muslim country origin) here as human shields in inhuman condition, (when the border ran alongside the neighbourhood until 1967) criminal neglect of the area over the years and finally, the vicious trampling of the neighbourhood residents’ basic rights in an attempt to banish them from their homes, claiming they are squatters.
In Photos: Jordan Valley demolitions
AIC 4 Apr — On the eve of Palestinian Land Day, Israel demolished homes and animal shelters in three Bedouin-Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley. Several houses and animal shelters were demolished in the small communities of El Hemmi, Al Farisiya and Khirbet Homse in Area C of the Jordan Valley on 26 March 2012. “They want to be the masters of everything,” the wife of a farmer living in Al Farisiya says to Electronic Intifada. “Look, they destroy even animal shelters. The Ottomans, the British and the Jordanians have all occupied this land – but not one of them treated us in this way.”
Settlers ‘plant trees on privately owned land’ near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — …Popular committee spokesman Ahmad Salah told Ma‘an that a group of settlers planted tree saplings on 2,000 square meters of land in the Ein al-Qassis area of al-Khader. The land belongs to Hasan Mousa Hasan, who had planted wheat on the fields. Salah said Hasan discovered the saplings when he went to work on his land. An extremist settler established an illegal outpost in the area around 10 years ago and several Israeli families now live in the outpost, Salah said. It is likely that settlers from the outpost planted the saplings in an attempt to confiscate more land, he added. Salah noted that Israeli courts have ordered the evacuation of the outpost several times but none of the orders have been carried out.
Israel evicts settlers from Hebron building
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 4 Apr — Israeli police evicted Jewish settlers Wednesday from a building they said they had bought from a Palestinian in the heart of the West Bank city of Hebron. The presence of the 15 settlers in the two-story structure had caused divisions within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mainly right-wing cabinet, where Defense Minister Ehud Barak, leader of a centrist party, has pushed for eviction … Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police and paramilitary border police carried out the eviction in accordance with a government decision. There was no violence. The settlers had sought to expand an illegal settlement of some 500 Israelis in the heart of Hebron, a city that is home to about 250,000 Palestinians.
Netanyahu: No choice but to order Israeli security forces to evacuate settlers from Hebron house
Haaretz 4 Apr — Following the surprise evacuation of house invaded by settlers over two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Lieberman says authority over West Bank settlement should be taken away from Defense Minister Ehud Barak … Netanyahu’s aides went on the defensive against right-wing criticism and said that the prime minister had no choice but to approve the evacuation out of security and legal consideration … Lieberman even suggested that if no changes are made in this respect, the coalition’s stability may come under threat.
Netanyahu working to prevent demolition of new outpost in West Bank
Haaretz 4 Apr — PM tells cabinet ministers he asked Attorney General to find solution that would prevent planned demolition of Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El settlement in May, also says he wants three other outposts to be legalized.
After Hebron eviction, legalising West Bank outposts
AIC 4 Apr – Following this afternoon’s eviction of settlers from a downtown Hebron building they occupied last week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced he is working to “legalise” the three West Bank outposts of Bruchin, Sansana, and Rachalim … The principle which guides me is strengthening the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said this evening. “We are strengthening the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and strengthening the Jewish presence in Hebron, the city of our forefathers.” Netanyahu added that “there is one principle that we keep – we do all of this while obeying the law, and we will continue to do this.” As seen with the aforementioned three outposts, “obeying” the law often means changing the law.
Israel unveils tenders for 1,121 new settler homes
AFP 4 Apr — Israel’s government on Wednesday published tenders for 1,121 new settler homes as it faced settler anger over its decision to evict Israeli families from a disputed home in the Palestinian city of Hebron. Documents published on the Israeli housing ministry website showed the government had issued tenders for 872 new homes in Har Homa, a contentious settlement neighbourhood in the southern part of Arab east Jerusalem. Another 180 are to be built in Givat Zeev, just to the north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, while the remaining 69 are to be built in Katzrin in the occupied Golan Heights, the documents showed. Contacted by AFP, a ministry spokesman dismissed the tenders as “nothing new,” but settlement activists said it was the first time the offers had been made public.
New settlement outpost secretly constructed in Jerusalem
PNN 4 Apr — On Tuesday 3rd April, Head of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab, revealed the Israeli authorities final settlement outpost that was constructed under the Seven Arches Hotel in Jabal al-Zaytoun (mountain of Olives), which overlooks al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli authorities finished the final preparations of the outpost and took some photographs of the units. Abu Diab said that Israeli Security Services was running a number of offices in this region, but they turned the offices to a settlement outpost that they secretly constructed at night, in the most sensitive area in Jerusalem.
Settlement expanded despite court evacuation order
HEBRON (WAFA) 4 Apr — Settlers from Avigal, east of Yatta in Hebron area, started work on expanding the settlement despite an Israeli court ruling to evacuate it, a local activist said Wednesday. Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Yatta, said the settlers began expansion work on the settlement by building foundations for new structures despite a decision by an Israeli court to evacuate the land, owned by three different Palestinian families.
Gambling money finances new East Jerusalem settlement / Sergio Yahni
AIC 3 Apr — With revenues extracted from an impoverished community in southern California, the Irving Moskowitz Foundation deepens the Judaisation of Jerusalem … Irving Moskowitz is a Florida-based businessman who built a business purchasing and selling hospitals, as well as investing in gambling in the American state of California. In 1988 he took over the Bingo parlor of Hawaiian Gardens, a small town in Los Angeles County, California. The town agreed to accept 1% of gross receipts, and Moskowitz kept the rest. California state law demands that bingos should be run on a not-for-profit basis, and Moskowitz thus established the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation to administer the operation in Hawaiian Gardens. The bingo parlor is open 363 days a year and staffed by “volunteers,” many of them reported to be undocumented workers who work six or seven days a week for tips.
Fuel tankers arrive in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — A delivery of fuel arrived in Gaza on Wednesday at the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Israeli border, a Palestinian official said. Liaison officer Raed Fattouh said he expected around 400,000 liters of fuel to be delivered on Wednesday, adding that the terminal was equipped to receive double that amount. The delivery follows a deal announced Tuesday between the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to end the power crisis in the coastal enclave. Gaza government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said the power authority had transferred 2 million shekels ($537,000) to the PA to pay for the fuel, purchased from Israel … [PA spokesman Ghassan] Al-Khatib said daily deliveries of fuel would continue as long as the Gaza power authority continued to send payment. It is hoped the interim deal, which allows Hamas to buy fuel from Israel through PA intermediaries, will ease the power crisis which has plagued the Gaza Strip since February.
Medics identify body found east of Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Medical authorities on Wednesday identified a man found dead after Israeli forces fired near the Gaza Strip border as a teenager from Gaza City. Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya said the body found earlier Wednesday was Hisham Misbah Saad, 17, from the city’s Shujaiyeh neighborhood … An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that forces on the border late Tuesday fired toward a “suspect crawling toward the security fence” in the northern Gaza Strip. She said explosive devices were found on the border last week. The shooting occurred hours after Israel returned the body of Bilal Yousef al-Saayed, who was killed Saturday under similar circumstances, medics said.
IOF soldiers wound Palestinian, arrest two others in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 4 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired a tank shell at a Palestinian who was seen approaching the border fence to the east of Gaza city at dawn Wednesday. The Israeli radio said that the man was wounded in the shelling, but no official Palestinian report was announced on the incident. It said that two other Palestinians were arrested at the hands of IOF soldiers in a nearby area while trying to infiltrate through the borders.
Father of two martyrs survives shelling
GAZA (PIC) 3 Apr — A 67-year-old Palestinian man survived on Tuesday an Israeli shelling of his home to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, human rights sources said. They told the PIC reporter that Mohammed Sharab was in his home, which is only 350 meters away from the separation barrier, when the Israeli occupation forces opened machinegun fire from their tanks. They said that many bullets penetrated the house’s windows and rooms, adding that Sharab knew that the Israelis wanted him to abandon his house but was adamant on staying in it. Sharab was seriously wounded during the Israeli war on Gaza on 16/1/2009 and his two sons were killed in the same war.
Neither threats nor murders will stop our demonstrations
ISM Gaza by Nathan Stuckey — Over the weekend Israeli planes dropped flyers over Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia warning that anyone who approached within three hundred meters of the border would be shot. It is not as though the people don’t know of this policy. As the following conversation between Israeli soldiers makes clear, this has been policy for many years. The soldiers in this conversation are discussing the murder of a thirteen year old girl, Iman Darweesh Al Hams. She was murdered in October 2004 on her way to school. The chilling transcript relating her murder is still fresh in the minds of Gazans … Capt R then ‘clarifies’ why he killed Iman: This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.
Stop the Wall 2 Apr by Manal Tamimi — The Zionist IDF arrested the child Anan Naji Tamimi for the third time during the last forty days. Anan was arrested last month from his home at 3:00 am in the morning. His charges were participating in illegal protest and throwing stones, according to a picture one of the soldiers took during the protest for one of the children while he threw stones. The lawyer has proved that the pictures the army has are not of Anan and they released him after [his] paying a guaranteed $500. The general attorney threaten him that he will arrest him again. After one month, they arrested him again from his house at 2:00 am in the morning, interrogated him for two hours, beat him and showed him the same picture they showed the first time.
IOA summons 80-year-old mother of prisoner for interrogation
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Apr — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) summoned the 80-year-old mother of a Palestinian prisoner and interrogated her for five hours in Kiryat Arba settlement in Al-Khalil on Tuesday night. Local sources said that the old woman is the mother of Noor Jaber who is serving 17 life sentences in Israeli jails. Meanwhile, Wasfiya, the sister of Jaber, is to attend a trial hearing on Wednesday over the charge of attempting to smuggle a sim card to her brother in Eshel prison … relatives affirmed that the charge was a lie and was fabricated to block family visits to Jaber, an Islamic Jihad affiliate.
Israeli forces detain 15 in West Bank overnight
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Israeli forces detained 15 Palestinians overnight Tuesday during raids on the central and southern West Bank, the army said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said 10 people were detained in the Hebron district and five from villages around Ramallah. Four people were detained in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, she said. Beit Ummar popular committee spokesman Muhammad Awad told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the village in 10 military jeeps at dawn and detained two former prisoners and two teenagers…
Meanwhile in Beit Awwa, west of Hebron, Israeli forces ransacked several homes before detaining Diyaa Masalmah, 18, Yaser Masalmah, 17, and Bahaa Masalmah, 17, locals said….
Lawyer: 3rd hunger-striker hospitalized in Israel jail
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — A Palestinian detainee who has been on hunger strike for 28 days was moved to Israel’s Ramla prison hospital, a lawyer said Wednesday. Omar Abu Shalal, 55, from Nablus, has refused food for four weeks in protest over his detention without charge, Prisoner Society lawyer Jawwad Boulous told Ma‘an. Abu Shalal is being held in the same hospital room as detainees Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla who have been on hunger strike for 36 days, Boulous said.
Marwan Barghouti ‘in solitary for 3 weeks’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The Israeli prison service will keep Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in solitary confinement for three weeks over his statements to the press, his wife said Tuesday. Fadwa Barghouthi said she tried to visit her husband on Tuesday but was told he will not be allowed visitors for two months … On March 26, Barghouti issued a call from his cell for a new wave of popular resistance and to end “all forms of security and economic coordination (with Israel) in all areas immediately.” He said negotiations with Israel had “failed miserably” to end the occupation and achieve a state and urged for “a renewal of efforts” to seek statehood at the United Nations.
IOF soldiers arrest 109 Palestinians in al-Khalil in March, including 17 children
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 109 Palestinians in Al-Khalil province during the past month of March including 17 children under 17 years old. The Palestinian prisoner’s society in Al-Khalil said in a statement on Wednesday that the IOF soldiers used violence in storming Palestinian homes and deliberately humiliated detainees. It said that two women were among the detainees, both are mothers, in addition to students, liberated prisoners, and sick people.
Nahr el-Bared: The blurry line between life and death
Al Akhbar 3 Apr by Robert Abdallah — Life never went back to normal after the destruction of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in battles between the Lebanese Army and Islamist militants. Ever since that fateful summer in 2007, death has become all too common in the embattled camp.
Activism / Solidarity
Video: Israeli military shooting directly at press in Kufr Qaddoum
ISM 4 Apr — On Friday the 30th of March the weekly demonstration was held in the village Kufr Qaddoum outside of Nablus. This day was however the same day as the Global March to Jerusalem, meaning less media attention than normal, and also less internationals present … The situation was also more tense than usual, as it was only two weeks ago the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) released attack dogs on the demonstrators, resulting in savage attacks and severe injuries … “I was standing on the side of the demonstration, filming when I saw one of the soldiers aiming at me. I had nowhere to run, so I just covered my head with one of my arms,” said Al-Jumah. Luckily he was fast enough. The tear gas canister would have hit him right in the face, but instead it hit his arm and then ricocheted down to his chest. Tear gas canisters are a fatal weapon used by Israel against nonviolent protesters, using the crowd dispersion weapon as a projectile directed at destroying human life
Bethlehem man ‘remains in critical condition’ after Land Day
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — A Palestinian man injured in Jerusalem during Land Day last week remains in a critical condition in hospital, locals said Wednesday. Moussa Harun Abu Mahameed, 30, from Al-Fureidis village in south Bethlehem was injured on Friday and is still in a serious condition in Hadasa hospital in Ein Kerem, the villagers said.
PSP activists join farmers in Surif to plant olive trees
PSP 3 Apr — On Sunday, April 1, 2012, PSP volunteers joined farmer Arsalon Abu Ikhdair in Surif to plant olive trees. Volunteers planted around twenty trees in an area called Al-Deir, which is close to the Darit settlement. An Israeli-only road and separation fence prevents Abu Ikhdair from accessing the land that used to belong to his family before 1948. On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, activists from the Hebron district and Beit Ommar joined the municipality from Surif to assist farmer Yousef Hamad in planting olive trees on his land. Activists planted olive trees on six dunams of land in an area called Wad Assour. Wad Assour is very close to the Israeli settlements, and the separation fence is only 200 meters from Hamad’s farmland
Arab sports council boycotts Adidas over Jerusalem event
AFP 4 Apr — Arab youth and sports ministers on Wednesday announced their boycott of sports apparel manufacturer Adidas over the company’s sponsorship of last month’s Jerusalem marathon. “All companies that have sponsored the marathon of Jerusalem, including Adidas, will be boycotted,” said Saudi Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, chairman of the Arab youth and sports council of ministers, after a meeting in Jeddah.
Israel targets Welcome to Palestine campaign
IMEMC 4 Apr — On Tuesday at dawn Israeli forces raided the city of Bethlehem and targeted the house of Jacques Nino, general coordinator of Children Play and Education. Nino’s organization is one of the associations [that are] part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign 2012, in which hundreds of European and American volunteers will arrive to the occupied Palestinian territories between the 15th and 21st if April to take part in building schools and volunteer in local peace building NGOs.
Why is Palestine solidarity being criminalized on California campuses? / Kristin Szremski
EI 3 Apr — Cooperation between academic authorities at the University of California at Davis and influential Zionist organizations could have an adverse impact on Palestine solidarity work there and on college campuses across the country. The implications of what is unfolding on the UC Davis campus go far beyond issues of free speech. Several pro-Israel forces and the institutionalized pro-Israel bias of university administrators have converged to create a formidable agenda that conflates support for Palestinian rights with the violation of Jewish students’ civil rights. If left unchallenged, this could create a nearly impossible environment on university campuses for the free exchange of ideas, especially those that include criticism of Israeli policy.
Freedom of the Press – in the PA and Israel
Gaza rally demands freedom for journalists held by PA
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Palestinian reporters called Wednesday for the government in the West Bank to stop arresting and prosecuting journalists, after four people were arrested in one week. The sit-in in Gaza City was organized by the Palestinian media forum, which represents journalists in Gaza.
PA says committed to free speech, press
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday affirmed its respect for freedom of speech and the press, but called on journalists to maintain “professional standards” on public affairs issues. Following a week of arrests and other acts of intimidation against the Palestinian press, ministers met for their regular cabinet meeting in Ramallah and insisted the PA would protect journalists’ right to work freely.
Press freedom group ‘shocked’ after Israel raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it was shocked by Monday’s raid by Israeli security forces on a Palestinian media network set up by Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem … “They are doing all they can to prevent the establishment of a free and independent Palestinian media in occupied Palestinian territory, in East Jerusalem in particular.” The group demanded that the network be allowed to reopen.
Committee To Protect Journalists: Israel ranks 2nd per capita in imprisoned journalists / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 4 Apr — The Committee to Protect Journalists has published its annual ranking of nations who imprison journalists. Israel has the dubious distinction of coming in second in the competition behind Eritrea, one of the most closed societies in the world. Per capita Israel has imprisoned more journalists than Iran. One aspect of this survey that really bugs me is that they excluded Anat Kamm from the list, possibly because she was serving as an IDF soldier when she committed the “crime” than got her sent to prison (but wasn’t then a working journalist). But Kamm was a journalist http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/04/04/committee-to-protect-journalists-israel-ranks-2nd-per-capita-in-imprisoned-journalists/
Woman jailed for Abbas insult ‘in isolation’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The condition of a woman arrested over her critical writings about President Mahmoud Abbas is deteriorating in isolation, a member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said Tuesday. Ismat Abdul Khaliq was seen by doctors late Tuesday before being returned to her cell, said Nihad Abu Ghosh, a member of the syndicate. He said the prosecution is refusing to let her see visitors. Prosecutors accuse Abdul Khaliq of writing a Facebook status update criticizing Abbas. She has been held since last week after a court extended her detention for 15 days along with a newspaper reporter.
HRW: PA detains another man over Facebook post
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — Palestinian Authority police on Monday detained Jamal Hlaihel over a Facebook post deemed critical of the government, Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday. Hlaihel is the fourth Palestinian to be arrested recently for criticizing the Ramallah-based government … While Palestinian journalists have been detained before, the arrest of four people within a week has raised concerns in the West Bank about media rights.
Fatah slams PFLP leader’s skepticism on unity deal
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Fatah hit back at the PFLP on Wednesday, after the leftist faction described their reconciliation initiative with former rivals Hamas as a sham. Popular Front politburo member Rabah Muhanna said in a statement Tuesday: “Hamas and Fatah are lying to each other, and to the Palestinian people.” “Any future meetings (between the parties) will be more lies and a waste of time.”Fatah leader Amin Maqboul said Wednesday Muhanna’s remarks were “inflammatory and defamatory,” and called on the PFLP leader to stop acting like a teacher or judge.
Abbas meets Gaza Fatah leaders in Cairo
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas met a delegation of Fatah leaders from Gaza during his recent visit to Cairo, a Fatah committee in Gaza said. The president told Abdullah Abu Samhadana, Hisham Abdul-Raziq and Thiab Al-Louh that Fatah remains committed to reconciliation with Hamas, the committee said in a statement. Abbas added that a government of technocrats would be established as soon as the Central Elections Commission is allowed to operate in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian delegation to deliver letter to Netanyahu
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — A delegation of Palestinian officials will deliver a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu next week, a presidential adviser said … In the letter, Abbas will outline the PLO’s position on the peace process and remind the Israeli government of previous accords and international agreements, Hammad said.
The unsolved murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis
UN envoy: Bring killers of Juliano Mer-Khamis to justice
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory called Wednesday for the murderer of Juliano Mer-Khamis to be brought to justice, on the anniversary of the death. “On the first anniversary of the murder,” Maxwell Gaylard said he would remember Mer-Khamis as a “visionary and courageous peacemaker and a champion of culture and freedom of expression”. He called “upon all concerned authorities to intensify the efforts to bring his murderers to justice.”
Juliano, one year later / Jen Marlowe
Counterpunch 4 Apr — … One year later, and Juliano’s murderer has not been apprehended. One year later, and Juliano’s colleagues and students at The Freedom Theatre are still dealing with the loss and the trauma, including the continued trauma of being targeted by the Israeli military in repeated attacks against the theatre and its staff and students. Yet one year later, remarkably, The Freedom Theatre continues. And continues to use art as a powerful form of protest andresistance. I hope you will take a moment to remember (or learn about) Juliano. I hope you will find ways to support and stand in solidarity with the courageous staff and students of The Freedom Theatre.
One year to murder of Juliano: Freedom Theatre actors speak / Elena Viola
AIC 4 Apr — By retracing the remarkable steps of Juliano’s life and work through accounts of friends and colleagues, one gleans insight into some of the most tragic events in contemporary Palestinian history.
Lawmaker, Islamic scholar Hamed al-Betawi dies
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Leading Palestinian Islamic scholar and member of parliament Hamed al-Betawi died on Wednesday after undergoing heart surgery, Hamas officials said. Sheikh Al-Betawi, 68, from Nablus, was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as a member of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc. A revered Allama (scholar), Al-Betawi was jailed by Israel several times. His son Fadel Beitawi, 33, was detained in an Israeli night raid on Nablus on Monday night, locals said.
Racist Israeli soccer team left in the dust
972blog 3 Apr – A small low-budget team from northern Israel with four Arab citizens of Israel on its team has just won the championship, while the Arab-free Israeli soccer club notorious for its racist fan base came out a loser.
Lieberman to propose new Druze village
Ynet 2 Apr — Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said while touring the north that he would find a solution to the housing shortage faced by the Druze sector, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday … “The Druze community is an important group that greatly contributes to Israel’s society,” Lieberman said.
New ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to be built in Israel’s north
Haaretz 3 Apr — A string of Haredi housing projects are being built in the north, prompting some locals to fear for the area’s future.
50,000 Holocaust survivors require aid
Ynet 1 Apr — Report published by Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel indicates 40% of Shoah survivors feel lonely, 12,000 lack proper heating and 5% suffer from shortage of food
Muslim leaders address Manhattan audience organized by Jews against Islamophobia / Elly Bulkin
Mondo 4 Apr — At a time of almost daily reports of new ways in which the NYPD violates the civil liberties of people in the Muslim and Arab American community, a standing-room-only crowd at Manhattan’s Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew last Thursday night heard five speakers describe the impact of Islamophobia and the work their groups are doing to combat it. The event was sponsored by Jews Against Islamophobia (JAI), a coalition of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews Say No!
Survey: 62% of US Jews would reelect Obama, 4% say Israel is most important issue
Haaretz 3 Apr — While “Birthright” trips to Israel might make participants more connected to the Jewish state, the survey showed that, overall, Israel is far from being the issue that defines Jewish identity among Americans. When asked which qualities are most important to their Jewish identity, 46% mentioned a commitment to social equality, 20% spoke of their support for Israel, and 17% cited religious observance.
Israel asks US for $700 million in military aid
Ynet 4 Apr — Jerusalem requests Washington to allocate funds for more Iron Dome, Magic Wand anti-missile batteries. Deal will provide Israel with near-complete missile defense until 2015