Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Road destruction isolates village in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 3 May — Israeli forces Thursday destroyed the only road connecting the village of Khirbet Yarza, in the West Bank mountain ridges of the eastern slopes in the Jordan Valley, to Toubas completely isolating the village, according to a local official. Head of Khirbet Yarza village council Mokhles Masa’ed told WAFA that two Israeli bulldozers under army protection destroyed the entire road. Toubas governor Marwan Toubasi condemned the destruction of the road … He stressed that the Palestinian Authority will rebuild the road for the second time as part of “its policy of supporting Palestinians to remain steadfast in their homes and on their land,” he said.
West Bank villagers refuse to sell ancient pools
GulfNews 5 May — Ramallah: Three ancient West Bank pools amid rocks are in danger of being seized by neighbouring Israeli colonists. The Israelis living in the colony of Alfae Manachie are planning to take over the pools by force or by offering money to buy the land or rent it for a century. The pools, which date back to the Byzantine era, are located in villages including Kufr Thelth, Ezbat Al Ashqar, Saniriyah and Al Mudawar of the Salfit Governorate. Mohammad Al Shaikh who heads the villages’ council told Gulf News that the colonists have repeatedly tried to seize the area under false claims that the pools are located on state-owned lands.
Farmers walled in by irrigation costs
GulfNews 5 May — Ramallah: Palestinian farmers with land behind the Israeli separation wall are being forced to abandon them due to the backbreaking cost of irrigating their farms using water wells. The discrepancy in costs is astounding. To irrigate their land, Palestinian farmers on the other side of the wall have to pay 130 shekels (Dh126) per cubic metre while farmers with land within the wall have to pay 40 shekels (Dh38) per cubic metre. Colonists living illegally in the West Bank have to pay only 20 shekels (Dh19) per cubic metre to irrigate their land … While the farmers are losing money by cultivating their land, they have also had lucrative offers to work on Israeli land. Farmers are confused as to why the Palestinian National Authority has not stepped in to solve the problem, when doing so will benefit the government. “It does not make any sense. We started to believe in conspiracy theories after this,” Zaid said.
Video: Water access spurs resentment in West Bank
MSNBC 4 May — JORDAN VALLEY — Faisel Njoom undoubtedly has the best house in Auja. Drinking iced tea in the shade of his garden he talks with pride at being the biggest land owner in the village and the oranges and bananas that he once grew on his farm. Only later, standing in one of his dry and dusty fields in the Jordan Valley, does he become angry. “Life without water is not a life,” he said as the sun began to set. “This land without water is like all the other deserts. We were born working this land.” He says he couldn’t keep farming because the irrigation channels to his land began drying up in 2000. He, and many charities, blame the digging of a new well near the Auja Spring, designed to serve a nearby Israeli settlement. For first time in many years there is water flowing in the spring long after winter has finished because rainfall has increased by a fifth over the last year. Otherwise, the spring would now be dry. Almotaz Abadi, a consultant to the Palestinian Water Authority, explained that, rainfall is the biggest factor contributing to water availability, but the Auja Spring has been adversely affected by other factors, principally the new well. The reminder of how plentiful water used to be in Auja has reignited resentment — a feeling shared widely among Palestinians in the occupied territories. The World Bank and international charities accuse Israel of denying enough water to the Palestinians. Ironically, it’s a situation made worse by the Oslo Peace Accords.
IDF hands over former West Bank base to Israeli settlers
Haaretz 3 May — Structure to be used by South Hebron Hills regional council as emergency center; leading left-wing activist: Foundation of new outpost shows settlers can use system for their needs — …The IDF base in Adoraim, once the home of the army’s Engineering Corps training school, and a reserve base since the early 2000s, has been deserted for the last two years … Since being deserted, the structure has been the center of a struggle by local residents for a “Jewish Adoraim,” with activists saying they feared the abandoned structure could be seized by Palestinians … According to leading left-wing activist Dror Etkes, the agreement was part of a past trend in which the army took over land in the West Bank for security reasons, only to later pass it on to settlers.
We’ve gone way beyond apartheid / Jeff Halper
AJ 2 May — I caught up with Jeff Halper, long time Israeli peace activist, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and author of numerous books, while he was on a European speaking tour. Here is what he had to say about the situation in Palestine/Israel: Jeff Halper: Well let me give you a broader picture about the whole thing and then we can go back and put it into context. I think what’s coming down the pipeline is that Israel today has basically finished this. We’ve gone beyond the occupation. The Palestinians have been pacified and from Israel’s point of view the whole conflict, the whole situation has been normalised … Israel could well annex Area C. Area C is 60 per cent of the West Bank … The Palestinian population has been brought down low enough, there is probably somewhere around 125,000 Palestinians in Area C, so Israel could annex Area C and give them full citizenship. In other words Israel can absorb 125,000 Palestinians without upsetting the demographic balance, you see. And then, what is the world going to say? It’s not apartheid; Israel has given them full citizenship. So I think that Israel feels it could get away with that.
Electricity pole sparks tension between Vatican and Jerusalem municipality
Haaretz 4 May — Six weeks ago, Franciscan monks discovered a huge, unsightly pylon in front of the impressive church overlooking the Garden of Gethsemane. The two electric lines leading from the pylon were labeled “Ir David,” and “Ma’aleh Zeitim,” the two large Jewish settlements in the area. The pylon was erected as part of a separate electricity infrastructure meant to serve East Jerusalem settlers, who demanded to be connected to the Israel Electric Corporation instead of the Palestinian East Jerusalem Electricity Company.” The huge pylon obstructs the view of the Old City from the prayer garden of the church used by pilgrims,” reads the petition. “One of the significant reasons for the popularity of the church is the unique view of the Temple Mount and the Old City, and the pylon utterly destroys this uniqueness.”
Violence / Incursions / Provocations
Clashes in Beit Ummar, 2 detained
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 May — Israeli forces detained two Palestinians and injured a third during clashes that erupted after Friday prayer in Beit Ummar village between the Israeli forces and Palestinians, activists said. Muhammad Awad, spokesman of the local popular committee, said Israeli forces who were at the entrances of the village interrupted a funeral march in the village and raided the cemetery. Forces shot rubber[-coated] bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, he said.
Israeli soldiers and vehicles invade Dora area near Hebron
IMEMC 4 May — The Palestinian News Network, PNN, reported that the Israeli army has concentrated dozens of soldiers and many vehicles in and around the city of Dora near Hebron in the southern West Bank since the early morning. In the Tarawseh area, the western entrance to the city of Dora, Israeli soldiers set up checkpoints. They also entered Dora’s city centre, and invaded the area between Dora and Hebron as well as the town of Der Samt [Dayr Samit].Furthermore, the military set up a checkpoint at the al-Fawwar crossroad which links Dora city and the al-Fawwar refugee camp and stopped Palestinians to check their ID cards.
Hunger strikes and popular support
The question is whether any of this will actually happen if the prisoners end their strike — and if so, how long the improvements will continue this time:
PA: Prisoners review Israeli offer to end strike
BETHLEHEM (Ma ‘an) 4 May — Israel’s prison administration has agreed to meet several demands made by Palestinian hunger-strikers, including allowing them to receive visitors and make phone calls, an official said Friday. Palestinian Authority prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe said a committee formed by the Israeli Prison Service decided to grant detainees one phone call per month, and allow them to spend 100 more shekels on personal items. Among several outstanding issues is visits for Gaza Strip detainees, he said. The committee has postponed its response for two weeks to make arrangements with the army and Red Cross. Prison officials will also form a committee to meet monthly and discuss four names at a time of prisoners who are in solitary confinement. They will review the files and determine if the punishment is necessary. Another outstanding issue is education. The prison service is awaiting the response of the High Court, which is reviewing a petition from a number of human rights organizations, he said. Qaraqe produced a list of what he said was offered by the committee:
Palestinian convicts on hunger strike must leave bed to see lawyer, Israel Prison Service says
Haaretz 3 May — Human rights groups demand hunger striking prisoners be allowed to see their attorneys, say that if matter isn’t resolved immediately they will appeal to the High Court — The Israeli Prison Service responded to criticism that it was withholding legal counsel from hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners on Thursday, by saying that the prisoners right s to an attorney was conditional on their getting out of bed to ask for a meeting with a lawyer.
Teibi: Bilal Dhiab at risk of dying any moment | #PalHunger
NAZARETH (PIC) 3 May 11:48 pm – Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Ahmad al-Tebi, on Thursday said: “captive Bilal Dhiab is facing real death, he has reached a stage where he should be released immediately and transferred to a specialised hospital to have comprehensive medical care.” Teibi who was allowed into the court room on Thursday said that the Israeli prison service brought the two captives, Dhiab and Halahleh (who have been on hunger strike for over two months) without any doctors. He also said that after examining Dhiab, he found that his tempreture was 35 degrees and his pulse rate is only 48 BPM.
#PalHunger | Hamas warns Israel: Expect the worst if hunger strikers die
Al-Akhbar 4 May — A leader of Hamas on Friday warned Israel there would be consequences if any of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike dies in jail. “You must realize that the hunger strike isn’t a party, and we could be surprised by the death of some of them,” Khalil al-Haya said at a solidarity tent for the strikers in the center of Gaza City. “If that happens, you can expect both the expected and the unexpected from us,” he said.
Palestine: Hunger strikers’ families wage own battles
Al-Akhbar 4 May — As soon the electricity comes on in her house in Gaza, the mother of Palestinian prisoner Ahmad al-Shamali rushes to the TV set to watch the latest news. She is eager to find out about the state of her son, particularly as it has been 16 days since he and his fellow prisoners began a hunger strike. Shamali’s mother lives in a state of constant apprehension and worry over her son, who has spent four of his 18-year prison sentence without seeing his own children. She is worried about Shamali, saying that she has not heard news about him for more than 14 days. She is slightly reassured when the daily news does not mention him as a martyr or among those who are in a critical condition as a result of the hunger strike.
Hundreds of Gaza women march to join hunger strikers / Julie Webb-Pullam
[includes VIDEO of girls singing at sit-in in Gaza City] Scoop 4 May — Gaza – Hundreds of women today marched to “Al Jundy,” the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City to join those already gathered in solidarity for the Palestinian hunger-strikers in Israeli jails. Some 40 released prisoners have set up beds in the solidarity tents, in an open-ended public hunger strike in support of the current prisoners, whose situation they know only too well. Thousands of locals pass through every day, staying a few hours or all day, to support them all in their demands for the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with international law.
PHOTOS: Growing solidarity in Gaza for prisoners’ hunger strike / Joe Catron
AIC 2 May — As the number of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli prisons reaches 2,500, the local center for their support has moved from the traditional protest tent outside Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to a much larger tent in Unknown Soldier’s Square (al-Jundi).
Negev prison hunger strike ‘being suppressed’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 May — Hamas detainees in the Negev prison said Friday that the prison administration has suppressed dozens of prisoners who are on hunger strike and placed them in isolation. The detainees said in a statement that the Negev prison administration isolated some 30 prisoners who are on hunger strike and confiscated their belongings in addition to other privileges. The detainees said that some sick detainees who are on hunger strike will stop taking their medicine in the next 48 hours. They appealed to local and international human rights groups to intervene.
Israeli forces suppress Bethlehem village demo
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 May — Israeli forces suppressed a demonstration Friday by the popular committee against the wall in al-Maasara, near Bethlehem, in support of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike. Participants held Palestinian flags in addition to yellow flags with the words “Freedom for detainees” on them. They chanted slogans condemning the occupation and treatment of prisoners. Soldiers blocked the entrance of the village and declared the area a closed military zone.
Israeli occupation arrest 7 protesters in front of Ofer prison
PNN 4 May — On Friday, 4th May, Arab Member of Knesset (MK), Jamal Zahalka, of the National Democratic Assembly, said during his participation in the solidarity protest with the prisoners in front of al-Ramlah prison, that it is expected that thousands of prisoners will join the hunger strike in the coming few days. Zahalka assured that prisoners don’t have new requests, what they ask for are rights they previously had and Israel prisons’ administration withdrew these rights from them … At the end of the demonstration, Israeli security forces arrested 7 protesters; Ward Kyal from Haifa, Mu’ath Musleh from Beit Safa, Iren Nasser from Jerusalem, Max Morgan, Lehi Rotshield, Eiden Dror, and Eido Ekhon..
4 Palestinians injured in Ofer demonstration
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 May — Four Palestinians were injured Friday as Israeli forces suppressed a solidarity demonstration with Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 18 days. Israeli forces opened fire toward the participants and shot rubber bullets which led to the injury of four Palestinians, onlookers said. Israeli forces also fired tear gas and stun grenades towards the demonstration to disperse it, and Palestinian youths threw stones toward the soldiers, witnesses said.
#PalHunger | Tunisian minister on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners | #Tunisia
GAZA/TUNISIA (PIC) 4 May — Dr. Moncef Ben Salem, Minister of Higher Education in Tunisia, confirmed that he will join “We go hungry for a day, we support freedom fighters” campaign in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, praying for their victory and release … Meanwhile, the Tunisian delegation visiting Gaza called on the Arab and Muslim countries to support the prisoners’ issue, to stand behind them in their suffering, and to press the occupation to fulfill their demands. The head of the Tunisian delegation, Anwar Awlad Ali, said, in a press conference held on Thursday afternoon in a solidarity tent with the prisoners, that the delegation includes two groups, one medical to offer medical aid while the other is a juristic group who will raise cases against the occupation crimes against the Palestinian people.
“Their fate is in our hands” — a call to action for the striking prisoners by Khader Adnan
PSP 4 May – Khader Adnan writes in gratitude for the support he was given while on hunger-strike and calls for solidarity with the prisoners: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful … I am addressing you in my first letter following my release — praying it will not be the last — after Allah granted me freedom, pride and dignity. I was an “administrative detainee” in the jail of occupation for four months, out of which I have spent 66 days on hunger strike … I write today to thank all those who stood tall in support of my people, with our prisoners, with Hana al-Shalabi and with myself … Hundreds of defenders of freedom are on hunger strike inside the prisons, including the eight knights, Bilal Diab and Thaer Hlahalh, who are now on their 61st day of hunger strike, Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal, Mahmoud Sarsak, Mahmoud Sarsal, Mohammad Taj, Jaafar Azzedine (who was arrested solely for standing in solidarity with myself) and Ahmad haj Ali. Their lives now are in great danger. Qe are all responsible and we will all lose if we anything happen to them. Let us take immediate action to pressure the Occupation into releasing them immediately, or their children could never forgive us.
Palestinians go hungry to make their voices heard
KHARAS, West Bank (New York Times) 3 May — The newest heroes of the Palestinian cause are not burly young men hurling stones or wielding automatic weapons. They are gaunt adults, wrists in chains, starving themselves inside Israeli prisons. Each day since April 17, scores of Palestinian prisoners have joined a hunger strike that officials say now counts more than 1,500 participants. And on Thursday, the Palestinian Authority’s minister of detainees said that if Israel did not yield to their demands for improved prison conditions, the remaining 3,200 would soon join in … Prisoners play a crucial emotional and political role in Palestinian culture. Virtually every family has been touched by incarceration, experts say, and there is a visceral sense of allegiance to people viewed as suffering for the broader community’s rights. The prisoners are highly organized, and influential even on the outside.
In solitary confinement for 10 years, Palestinian prisoner sees family only once / Amira Hass
Haaretz 4 May — In February, Judge Yonatan Avraham denied Mahmoud Issa’s request for a visit from his 75-year-old mother, deeming such a visit a ‘great potential risk to state security.’ … The judge’s ruling was based on the Shin Bet security service’s opinion and secret material he was shown. However, attorneys, activists and Issa’s relatives question the reliability of the secret information used to justify his ongoing solitary confinement and that of others. They believe the use of solitary confinement is vindictive and comes from a desire to punish prisoners.
Israel should reduce use of administrative detentions for Palestinians, top official says
Haaretz Diplomania blog 3 May – Barak Ravid — Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch indicated that Israel should reduce its use of administrative detention against Palestinian suspects, a senior official said on Thursday, amid an ongoing wave of hunger strikes among Palestinian detainees. According to the official, Aharonovitch’s remarks were made during a special meeting he convened to discuss the hunger strikes on Tuesday, when he said “we have to make sure that we’re making suitable use [of administrative detention], according to need.”
Israel to pay NIS 1.2 million to Palestinian convict killed in prison riot
Haaretz 3 May — The Prison Service has agreed to pay NIS 1.2 million to the family of an Islamic Jihad member shot fatally by guards during a riot touched off by a controversial 2007 search at Ketziot security prison. However, the State Prosecution’s Office closed the case against the guards involved in the search, which ended with a dead prisoner, 15 injured prisoners, 15 injured guards and a burned section of the jail.
Four Palestinians arrested in West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 3 May — Israeli forces Thursday arrested four Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Jenin and Hebron, according to security sources. They said that Israeli Forces stormed several areas in the governorate of Jenin, raided several houses, tampered with their contents and arrested two people. In southern Hebron, forces arrested two Palestinian teenagers, 18 and 19, from the town of Yatta.
Israeli forces arrest two Palestinians from Jenin
PNN 4 May — On Friday, 4th, Israeli forces arrest two Palestinians from Marka village, south of Jenin. Security sources told Palestinian News Agency Wafa that Israeli forces raided the village of Marka, arrested Mohammad Mansour Abu Jalboush, 21, and Mohammad Musatfa Abu Jalboush, 20, after they raided their houses and rummaged with the contents.
Occupied Lives: Fear at the border
PNN-PCHR 3 May — For families living near the Gaza-Israeli border, fear is a part of daily life. For Nabeel Al-Najjar, his wife, and their 6 children, the sound of gunshots is as normal as the bleating of their sheep. The Al-Najjaris located close to the 300 meter “bufferzone,” unilaterally imposed by the Israeli forces. Living only 500 meters from the Israeli border in the Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, has placed their home and lives in continuous danger. Set against the backdrop of his wheat field, with two Israeli watchtowers in sight, Nabeel discusses his new specially designed home with concrete slab walls instead of brick, constructed in the hopes of preventing Israeli bullets from entering his home. He was forced to rebuild the house after 4 Israeli bulldozers destroyed all of the homes in the area at 7am on 13 January 2009. It has been rebuilt with an underground floor, to help protect the family from future attacks. .After the last attack on 10 April 2012, Nabeel is considering putting iron sheets over the windows facing the border, and constructing a 3 foot concrete barrier around the house
‘Israel tightens inhuman siege of Gaza’
PressTV The Real Deal with MP George Galloway 3 May [this story at about minute 5:48 in the video] — Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to decent living, work, health and education. Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Ovenden, organizer of the Viva Palestina Arabia convoy to Gaza, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
AIC Café workshop: To exist is to resist
JVS 3 May — Upcoming Jordan Valley Solidarity workshop: To Exist is to Resist Workshop will be held in the AICafe on Saturday, May 5 at 8.00pm Activists from Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign will deliver the workshop, sharing their; personal experiences, political ideas and how they organize popular resistance in occupied Jordan Valley. Afterwards, the space will be opened up for questions and discussion.
Doughles calls for popular participation to cease settlement
PNN On Thursday, 3rd May, the official of the West Bank settlements file, Ghassan Douglas, called for a large popular uprising in protest against the settlement campaign; seizure of the lands and the uprooting of trees, which includes the recent uprooting of 1000 olive trees in Wadi Qana in Salfit. Douglas told the Voice of Palestine that the continuous presence and staging sit-ins in the threatened lands would destroy the Israeli authorities’ and settlers’ attempts to confiscate the Palestinians’ lands.
Voice from the Field: Counseling people feeling ‘vulnerable’ and ‘helpless’ in Hebron
Doctors without Borders 15 Apr posted 2 May — For the past nine months, Manuel Francisco Morantes, a clinical psychologist from Colombia, has been working in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project in Hebron … MSF’s project in Hebron provides mental health support to Palestinian families affected by the conflict. Some of the people who receive care have been directly affected by security operations launched by either Israeli or Palestinian forces. Others were wounded in fights with settlers or were victims of attacks by settlers. Still others have suffered through domestic or household violence … The mental health consequences for the people to whom we provide support are various: anxiety disorders, fear, stress, lack of hope, insomnia, the feeling that they are always under persecution, the thought that something bad will happen. We see children who suffer from nightmares and other sleep disorders, bed wetting, fear of being separated from their families, isolation, problems at school, increased aggressiveness.
Native American and Indigenous Studies scholars defend UCLA professor David Shorter and supporters of BDS
Mondoweiss 4 May — As Native American and Indigenous Studies scholars who endorse the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), we write in defense of our colleague Professor David Shorter. Shorter has been accused by representatives from the “AMCHA Initiative” of misusing campus resources for “the purpose of promoting the academic and cultural boycott of Israel” to students in his Winter 2012 course, “Tribal Worldviews” at UCLA. In its rhetoric, AMCHA equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, a spurious equation wielded by those who seek to suppress open discussion of Israel and its state policies.
The Methodist conference: Let’s call this victory what it is / Joe Catron
Mondoweiss 4 May — It says a lot about Israel’s declining status, and the rising influence of Palestinian-led civil society efforts to demand accountability for its crimes, that a boycott measure like the one United Methodists adopted at their General Conference 2012 this week could pass a major church body in the United States with minimal notice … Of course a majority of conference delegates voted to refuse divestment from military contractors bearing directly responsibility for atrocities against Palestinians. In doing so, they effectively absolved themselves of responsibility for implementing the very principles they had embraced only moments before. This decision was simply shameful
A marathon runner with a long-distance goal for Palestinian freedom
Haaretz 3 May — Israeli activist for Palestinian rights likens running to the struggle for freedom of movement between Gaza and the West Bank — Besides the obvious, what do people do while they run? … And then some just let their minds wander. Sari Bashi, the 37-year-old founder of the human rights organization Gisha that fights for freedom of movement for Palestinians, belongs in this last category … “I have an intuitive longing for movement,” she begins … “And I identify with people who are trapped – for whom boundaries mean deprivation.” Like, for example, the 1.7 million Palestinians who live in Gaza, most of whom, due to Israeli travel restrictions, are barred from leaving their 360 square kilometer strip to go to the West Bank, Israel or further afield, whether it be for work, study, seeing relatives, going to the hospital or most any other reason.
Fatah, Hamas unity meet ends without deal
CAIRO (AFP) 4 May — A Cairo meeting between Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and an official of the rival Fatah movement made no headway on the formation of a Palestinian national unity government, an official said on Thursday. Two hours of talks Wednesday night in the Egyptian capital produced “nothing new,” the Palestinian official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
On anniversary of reconciliation deal, unity remains elusive
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 May — One year on from the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, Ma’an asked party leaders why national unity still eludes Palestinian politics … Speaking from Cairo, Hamas leader Ahmad Youssef said the accord faced obstacles “beyond the two parties’ will.” Both parties tried to impose their position on the other, Youssef said, but Israel, the international community and “discouraging” statements from Fatah were also to blame for the ongoing division … Faisal Abu Shahla, a Fatah parliament member in Gaza, told Ma‘an that despite many meetings since the reconciliation deal, there has been no real progress on the ground. The Hamas government continues to arrest Fatah members in Gaza, he said. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Kayed al-Ghoul agreed that there had been no real progress toward unity. “It seems there are private interests that are still controlling the reconciliation path,” al-Ghoul told Ma‘an….
Adviser: Abbas to announce new cabinet by Tuesday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 May — …Nimir Hammad told Ma‘n the president’s office has received several requests for ministerial positions but he said names being circulated in the media were “rumors.”
Israel gets fourth Dolphin class submarine from Germany
Haaretz 3 May — Foreign reports claim German vessels provide Israel with ‘second strike’ capability in case of nuclear attack’; IDF official: Submarine has a ‘range for everything.’
Did IDF hold secret chemical drill?
Ynet 5 May — Army, police representatives say chlorine-like odor that caused scare in central Israel a result of ‘unknown gas’ used in military drill; IDF later issues official denial of reports … Israeli security forces held numerous drills nationwide in the past year, with some observers suggesting the exercises came in the framework of IDF preparations for a possible strike in Iran.
Google Street View exposes secret Israeli base
Ynet 4 May — Images of classified Tel Aviv-area base, clearly visible license plates appear on Google service
Palestinian police summon Israeli [who] entered Palestinian territory
PNN 4 May — On Friday, 4th May, Palestinian police summoned an Israeli citizen and handed him to the Israeli army for violating a military order that prohibits them from entering the city of Qalqilya, according to the official website of the Voice of Israel. The Israeli citizen was transferred to the interrogation centre due to the violation of the states order that Israelis are prohibited from entering into Palestinian areas categorized as Areas A.
Israeli army: Man detained carrying knife
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 May — Israeli soldiers on Thursday arrested a Palestinian carrying a knife near a Jewish settlement in Nablus, the Israeli army said. The man was carrying a 14-cm [5.5"] blade near Elon Moreh settlement and was transferred to the custody of Israeli police, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.
West Bank settlement protests the planned arrival of Rabin assassination co-conspirator
Haaretz 4 May — Residents of a West Bank settlement are protesting the planned arrival of Hagai Amir, convicted of conspiring with his brother Yigal to kill Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, following his release from prison earlier Friday … residents of the West Bank settlement have been protesting Amir’s planned arrival, hanging signs reading, among others, “Thou shalt not kill,” and “Murder – that isn’t our way.”
Analysis / Opinion
The death of Netanyahu’s father is no cause for national mourning / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 3 May — Some analysts predicted that Netanyahu would change his political positions now that he was free of the fearful shadow of his father. Others were of the opposite opinion. Once again, Israel was made aware that its present prime minister is much more than just another politician. When his son goes on a date accompanied by armed guards and when his wife is involved in high politics to a far greater extent than most of the cabinet ministers; when every ride of the prime minister’s through the streets of Israel is like the journey of the ruler of a banana republic, accompanied by innumerable rumbling cars racing past traffic lights that have been stopped on his behalf; when his bureau becomes more and more like a Byzantine court with endless advisers and whisperers; and when even his vacations get wide media coverage – where he was and what he did, what he ate and what he drank – Israel is becoming more and more like a monarchy, headed by a royal family that is elevated high above the people. …
World wants settlers to go / Eitan Haber
Ynet 30 Apr — Op-ed: West feels relocating 300,000 Israelis could solve major Mideastern headache … For 45 years we’ve been fooling the world and deceiving everyone; we tricked the Arabs, Europe and the United States, while almost building another country – how could all that go down the drain? The anxiety among Israel’s decision-makers is growing, because they realize that time is running out, not only in the Iranian nuclear context but also in respect to the territories. In America, the president is expected to be elected for a second term in office; a president who owes nothing to nobody and may be the one to put an end to the games. And by the way, quite a few Jews in the US support him.
In a Palestinian village plagued by crime, a thin line runs between burglars and IDF soldiers / Gideon Levy & Alex Levac
Haaretz 4 May — On March 23, in the middle of the night, an undercover force of the Duvdevan special-ops unit entered the prosperous and serene Palestinian village of Kafr Ramun, reportedly as part of a training exercise. Three brothers woke up, alarmed, thinking the men outside were thieves, and tried to chase them away with sticks and kitchen knives on the street. Without identifying themselves – the members of this unit operate in the guise of Arabs – the special-ops force fired 11 bullets at the brothers, continuing to shoot even after they were injured. One of the brothers was killed and the other two were severely wounded. The soldiers also kicked one of the brothers, and for a long time prevented all of them from receiving medical attention. Army Radio initially reported that “terrorists” had tried to stab an Israel Defense Forces soldier; subsequently the IDF announced that the military Criminal Investigation Division would not be looking into the incident … About 3,000 residents remain in the village, while about 7,000 of their former neighbors are living in the diaspora, mainly in the United States – in Michigan, California and Florida. The expatriates’ summer homes, some of them splendid stone villas, are a frequent target of break-ins when the owners are not in residence
The Arab who saved my boy / Racheli Malek-Boda
Ynet 3 May — Op-ed: Settler wonders why we only trust Jews, despite presence of many good Arabs