Israel approved more than 4,300 new illegal settlement units last month
MEMO 4 June — The monthly report issued by the PLO’s Department of International Relations has revealed that Israel approved the construction of more than 4,300 new illegal settlement units in May. “A people under occupation” also gives details of Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and their property, which are ongoing.
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Restrictions on movement / Attacks on Palestinian culture
Occupation prevents dozens of students from studying in Yemen
RAMALLAH (PIC) 4 June — Hebrew media sources revealed that the Israeli General Security Service (Shabak) had prevented in recent months dozens of students from the West Bank and Al-Khalil in particular, from traveling to Yemen to complete their university studies claiming that their travel represents a real danger. The Shabak has prevented the students from traveling to Yemen on the pretext of fearing that they might join Al Qaeda organization which reemerged in Yemen and which will help them to target Israeli interests, according to the second Israeli TV channel.
Occupation prevents calling for prayer in Ibrahimi Mosque 52 times in May
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 May — The Israeli occupation forces had prevented the calling for prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque fifty-two times during last month. Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs issued a report in which they confirmed that occupation has prevented calling for prayer in the holy Ibrahimi Mosque under the pretext of disturbing the settlers, who had seized a part of the mosque, in total violation to the international laws and norms that maintain freedom of access to and freedom of worship at the holy sites.
Between Qaryut and Jaloud: systematic ethnic cleansing
ISM posted 4 June by ‘Maria Erdely’ — …According to the villagers, every Israeli settlement is surrounded by cameras that monitor every move of nearby Palestinians. Dogs kept off leash ‘guard’ the illegal colonies. The Israeli military is present and many of the civilian settlers are heavily armed. Last week however, a 13-year old boy managed to defy these and lit fire to some of the electric wires and cameras with the intention of allowing his family to work their land. As a response, Israeli soldiers raided Qaryut later in the day, and damaged several houses of the village while searching for the boy.
Palestine: Demolition crew vigilant as order threatens occupation’s chaos
CPT 3 June — Israel military officials stymied efforts by Palestinian and international volunteers to build a house for Um Fagarah villagers on 2 June. Acting on government orders, the military had demolished their homes on 24 November 2011. The displaced villagers have been living in tents since then. Volunteer builders from four international organizations arrived to find the village surrounded by military trucks and soldiers. Faced with the prospect of arrest and immediate demolition of what they would build, the team did not bring bricks into the village, but postponed their efforts to another day. The volunteers, from Christian Peacemakers Teams (CPT), Project Dove, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) and the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), spent their time instead moving stones from the demolished homes and listening to villagers’ stories of life since the demolitions.
AG expected to green-light Netanyahu’s plan to relocate Ulpana settlers
Haaretz 4 June — Likud officials say Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein prefers relocating homes, built on private Palestinian land, to legalizing them.
Ulpana settlers march on Jerusalem
Ynet 4 June — Hundreds of settlers from Ulpana beganmarching from the Beit El neighborhood towards Jerusalem on Monday, in protest of their impending eviction. The marchers, most of them teenage girls, plan to march the protest tent set up outside the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem, where dozens of Ulpana residents are staging a hunger strike.
PM: Defending settlements in int’l arena difficult
Ynet 4 June — During a Likud faction meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of his reasons for opposing the ratification of a bill that aims to circumvent a high court ruling that calls for the removal of the Ulpana neighborhoods. The PM said that “defending the settlements in the international arena is difficult” while emphasizing that he does not disregard the ruling of the International Court of Justice.
The Wall, 10 years on — Part 8: a working class under siege / Haggai Matar
972mag 1 June — The wall was built to stop suicide bombers from entering Israel, so they say. But the people who do enter Israel on a daily basis are the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work here. Some go through hours of waiting at checkpoints, others climb the wall and risk injury or arrest – but all have experienced a dramatic change for the worse in their lives … “More and more workers are now forced to sneak through parts of the wall still unbuilt, climb over it, or pay a lot of money for truck drivers to hide them in their cargo,” says Ahmad Sub-Laban of the organization Ir Amim, which focuses on the political future of Jerusalem. “They have to get up very early to dodge army patrols, while people who have permits must get up earlier for the long lines at the checkpoint — so that everybody starts their day at around 2 or 3 a.m…”
UNESCO mulls first Palestinian site for Heritage list
AFP 4 June — UNESCO said Monday it will for the first time consider a Palestinian site for its World Heritage List, after the Palestinians controversially joined the UN heritage body last year. UNESCO said in a statement that its World Heritage Committee will consider Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity for inclusion on the prestigious list during its next meeting, from June 24 to July 6, in Saint Petersburg … The full site to be listed would be the “Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem,” UNESCO said. The church is the most visited tourist site in the Palestinian Territories, welcoming 1.5 million visitors in 2010.
On both Palestinians and migrants, Israel MKs are koshering the vermin / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 4 June — It is so easy to rip MK Miri Regev (Likud ) to pieces. She doesn’t even make an effort to mask her racism with twisted wording. She means what she says and what she says is repulsive: Expel the Sudanese, annex the settlements to Israel, and stop making us crazy with this talk of a “peace process.” … Meanwhile, at a time when the former Israel Defense Forces spokesman prattles on about the need to deport 60,000 African migrants, the former IDF chief of General Staff is quietly overseeing the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from their land … U.S. and European taxpayers are footing the bill for rehabilitating the infrastructure of the Palestinian villages that Israel has neglected in its 45 years of control in the West Bank. If not for German intervention, Barak’s inspectors would have destroyed the energy installations that the Germans donated to the cave-dwellers in the Hebron Hills. Fear of Jewish thugs and the seeming helplessness of the defense establishment is keeping Palestinian landowners and merchants away from their sources of livelihood. Right-wing activists joyfully report the negative Palestinian migration from the territories. This is the Barak version of “willing transfer.”
Israel airport email searches inspect suspected pro-Palestinian activity
JERUSALEM (AP) 4 June — When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport, she received an unusual request: A security agent pushed a computer screen in front of her, connected to Gmail and told her to “log in.” The agent, suspecting Tamari was involved in pro-Palestinian activism, wanted to inspect her private email account for incriminating evidence. The 42-year-old American of Palestinian descent refused and was swiftly expelled from the country. Tamari’s experience is not unique … [Diana] Butto said she has led three tour groups to the region over the past year, and in each case, at least one member of the group was asked to open their email. She said Muslims, Arabs and Indians were typically targeted, and in most cases, were denied entry … “The problem is there’s no way to honestly say you’re coming to visit the West Bank without falling into some type of security trap,” she said. “Either you lie and risk being caught in a lie, or you tell the truth … and it’s not clear whether you’ll be allowed in.”
Violence / Raids / Destruction
Monday: Palestinian man wounded in fresh Israeli raids on Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 4 June — A Palestinian man was wounded at dawn Monday when Israeli warplanes blasted a dairy factory in Zaitun suburb in Gaza city. Local sources told the PIC reporter that the Daloul Dairy factory caught fire in the raid and sustained severe damage. They recalled that the factory was the target of previous Israeli bombings … Another Israeli raid targeted an empty land lot near Jabal Al-Rayes to the north of the Gaza Strip.
Monday: Video: One Palestinian injured in overnight Israeli raids on Gaza
Al Arabiya 4 June — The Israeli military carried out air strikes on Gaza overnight Monday, injuring one Palestinian, after a rocket was fired at southern Israel, the army and Palestinian medical sources said.
Sunday: Israeli strikes in Gaza injure six Palestinians, including an infant
GAZA (WAFA) 3 June – Six Palestinians, including three children and an infant, Sunday were injured in a series of Israeli air strikes targeting several locations in the Gaza Strip at dawn, according to local sources. They said Israeli warplanes targeted a group of Palestinians in al-Nuseirat, a refugee camp south of Gaza city, but the missile hit a nearby house, injuring six family members including three children and an infant.
Saturday-Sunday: IOF launches seven attacks throughout Gaza Strip
Al-Mezan Center 3 June — In the early morning hours of Sunday 3 June 2012, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) escalated their aggression on the Gaza Strip, launching six aerial attacks and an artillery strike on Khan Younis. Over the last two days the IOF has launched a series of aerial attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, as a result of which two persons were killed and 12 injured, including seven children and a woman. Nine houses were partially damaged, and one house was destroyed; a poultry and cattle farm, a water well, a carpentry shop, and a storeroom were also damaged.
In the morning hours of Friday 1 June 2012, the IOF announced that it had killed Ahmed Ahmed Abu Naser, 19, as he tried to sneak across the separation fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The IOF transferred the body to Gaza via Erez crossing, and then launched a series of attacks on civilian objects and in disregard of civilians’ lives.
Al Mezan’s field workers monitored and documented these attacks, which took place chronologically as follows, starting with the most recent incident:
Sunday: Young man hospitalized after IOF assault
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 June — A Palestinian young man from Samu‘ village, south of Al-Khalil, was hospitalized on Sunday after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacked him. Local sources said that Raed Humaidat was rushed to Yatta government hospital after the IOF soldiers severely beat him.
In another incident, the IOF served a demolition notice to a Palestinian living near Kiryat Arba settlement, claiming that his house was built without permit.
Sunday: (IOF raids towns in Jenin area)
PIC 4 June — In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers invaded on Sunday afternoon the towns of Methlon, Jaba, Sanur and Zababdeh in Jenin city and questioned Palestinian citizens randomly. Eyewitnesses said an Israeli intelligence officer escorted by soldiers was seen interrogating citizens, including storekeepers and university students, on the streets of these towns.
Saturday: Settlers post ‘evacuation notices in Hebron area’
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 June — Israeli settlers posted leaflets in Palestinian communities near Hebron on Saturday night that warn owners to evacuate their homes and halt building work, residents said. The group of settlers from Kiryat Arba posted the threats around the Wadi Al-Husain and Hay Jaber areas east of Hebron city, sparking clashes with residents.
Sunday: Settlers destroy olive trees in southern West Bank
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 June — Settlers destroyed dozens of olive trees in the Hebron town of Yatta on Sunday, a local official said. Ratib al-Jubrour, the coordinator of a local committee against settlements and the wall, said settlers from Maon damaged trees belonging to the al-Jabarin family. Israeli forces reportedly arrived at the scene and asked the family to file an official complaint. The land owners told Ma‘an that there would be no point, as a complaint would be “mere ink on paper.”
Meanwhile, Palestinians from nearby village Susiya on Sunday morning found seven piles of harvested grain had been torched in a field near an Israeli settlement, an Italian peace group said. Operation Dove said the crops, on land belonging to Jamil Awad and harvested on Saturday evening, are a main source of income for the community.
Monday: Official: Settlers torch agricultural field near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 June — A group of settlers set fire to wheat fields on Monday in the Hebron town of Yatta, a local official said.
Ratib al-Jubrour, the coordinator of a local committee against settlements and the wall, said Israeli soldiers looked on as the settlers torched the field belonging to Khalid Mousa Najjar. Najjar was shot by settlers in 2002, al-Jubrour added.
Sunday: Two Molotov cocktails hurled at a home in Jerusalem settlement
IMEMC 4 June — Israeli sources reported Monday that two Molotov cocktails were hurled at a home that belongs to Jewish settlers in Ma’ale HaZeitim settlement in Ras al-Amoud Palestinian neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli Police spokesperson, Luba Samri, stated that the incident took place late on Sunday at night, and added that the impact caused property damage but no injuries.
In other news, a shell was fired into the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council in the Western Negev. Israeli military sources reported that Palestinian fighters fired the shell from Gaza, adding that no injuries or damages were reported.
Sunday night: Young men clash with Israeli troops north of Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 June — Violent clashes broke out on Sunday evening after Palestinian young men hurled stones at an Israeli armored vehicle near Negohot settlement that was built on Palestinians’ lands southwest of Al-Khalil city. More Israeli military reinforcements were sent to the nearby village of Kharsa to confront the young men. The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) also erected barriers near the eastern entrance of Halhoul area north of Al-Khalil city and embarked on searching Palestinian vehicles without any reported arrests.
Monday: Palestinian wounded after stabbing Israeli policeman
AFP 5 June — A Palestinian was in moderate condition after being shot by an Israeli border policeman he stabbed in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday evening, a police spokesman told AFP. “A Palestinian attempted to stab a border policeman on duty at the Cave of the Patriarchs,” Micky Rosenfeld said. “The policeman was injured lightly. He responded by opening fire in self-defence toward the lower body of the attacker, who was injured moderately, and received initial treatment at the site.” The Palestinian was identified by Hebron sources as Laith Meshaal, 27, of Halhul, a town just north of Hebron. Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency services said in a statement that the Palestinian used a nail to stab the border policeman, who was evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem with a light head wound
The old man and the ‘strip and swim’ procedure in Gaza / Amira Hass
Haaretz 4 June — “Take off your clothes,” ordered the soldier over his megaphone. The old man and his son removed their clothing. “Get into the water,” the soldier continued shouting into the megaphone. The son, 18, entered the water from the fishing skiff and swam over to the Israeli navy gunboat … On May 30, four fishermen were detained; on May 27, a little before midnight, our forces fired on a fishing boat in the vicinity of Rafah. Our soldiers told the two fishermen, aged 59 and 65, to undress, jump into the water and climb onto the gunboat. The older one was allowed to return to the boat. The second was detained and released the next afternoon. On May 22, our forces fired on a fishing boat near Dir al-Balah. There were no injuries to our soldiers. The enemy hurried to the shore without food or money for his family …
Compared to earlier months, the attacks grew in May, Al-Mezan reports. The organization surmises that there are two reasons for the escalation of such attacks: to reduce the three-mile limit further, and to supply the Shin Bet security services with people who can be interrogated and pressured for some kind of information.
Al Mezan condemns escalation of Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen….
Al Mezan Center 30 May — Israeli abuses against Palestinian fishermen in Gazan waters have escalated in recent weeks, as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have adopted new tactics causing increased physical damage to Palestinian fishing boats. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has noted that the IOF has recently begun opening fire directly on the boats’ engines, with no justifiable cause. In addition, Palestinian fishermen are subject to inhumane treatment when they are arrested.
Al Mezan’s field investigations indicate that the IOF has escalated its attacks on Palestinian fishermen over the course of May. In this month alone, the IOF carried out 13 attacks on fishermen, impounded four boats, and arrested nine, including two men who were arrested more than once. All those arrested were released several hours after their detention. These attacks took place chronologically as follows, starting with the most recent incident:
Owner of dairy factory hit by Israel urges world action
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 June — The owner of a dairy factory in the Gaza Strip, which was flattened by an Israeli airstrike before dawn Monday, called for an international committee to prove his business does not store weapons. The Dalloul dairy factory, in the al-Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, was destroyed in the third day of airstrikes on the coastal enclave, leaving one person moderately injured. Israel’s army said it had “targeted a weapon manufacturing facility…” … Factory owner Abu Haroun Dalloul told Ma‘an the bombing was the fourth time his factory has been targeted in recent years. The facility was previously destroyed in Israel’s war on Gaza in January 2009. The business sustained an estimated loss of $300,000 after Sunday’s strike, Dalloul said, noting he had just purchased a new processor at a cost of $80,000. “We call on the whole world to protect us. My factory makes food and yogurt. Why is it being bombed like this?” he said.
The Qatari fuel not allowed to Gaza, PENRA said
GAZA (Alresalah.ps) 3 June — Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authority (PENRA) condemned actions, undertaken by both the Egyptian authorities and Israel, to delay the arrival of the Qatari fuel shipment to Gaza. The shipment was scheduled to get into Gaza today, Sunday, but both Egypt and Israel have held up the arrival of the fuel to Gaza to punish people, PENRA said. “It is weird how Egypt seeks to prevent the Palestinians from the Arab fuel, and tries to prolong the suffering of the Palestinian people,” said PENRA in a press release. “All actions needed to ease the movement of the fuel into Gaza were completed a half a month ago,” the press release said.
Illegal arrests / Hunger strikes / Prisoner news
Monday: Israeli forces ‘detain al-Aqsa official’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 June — Israeli forces detained an Al-Aqsa Mosque official early Monday from his East Jerusalem home, locals said. Najeh Bkeirat, the head of the manuscripts and heritage department at Al-Aqsa, was detained in Sur Bahir, they told Ma‘an. Official PA news agency Wafa reported that Bkeirat was charged with disobeying a gag order which banned him from talking to the press about the situation in Jerusalem.
Monday: IOF soldiers arrest seven West Bankers
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 June — Large numbers of Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed four West Bank provinces at dawn Monday and arrested seven citizens, local sources said. They said that the incursions included the cities of Al-Khalil, Salfit, Nablus, and Qalqilia.
Saturday night, Sunday: IOF arrest four citizens from Gaza, West Bank
GAZA (PIC) 3 June– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) nabbed four Palestinians including two near the Gaza borders at dawn Sunday. The Israeli radio said that two Palestinians were detected approaching the Gaza border fence near Kissufim military base, south of the Strip, and the soldiers apprehended them.
The IOF earlier announced that two others were detained on Saturday night in Jaba’a village, near Ramallah, and in Dura town, in Al-Khalil province.
Sunday: Hamas leader arrested in Al-Khalil village
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into the home of Hamas leader Sheikh Ismail Al-Nattah in Edhna village, to the west of Al-Khalil, in a pre-dawn raid on Sunday and took him away. Relatives told the PIC reporter that the soldiers searched the house before detaining the Sheikh, adding that an intelligence officer told them that Nattah would be held in administrative custody. Nattah, who was previously imprisoned by PA security apparatuses, is a secondary school teacher and an Imam in his village.
IOA renews administrative detention of Islamic Jihad leader
JENIN (PIC) 4 June– The Israeli military court in Ofer has imposed another six months of administrative detention on Sheikh Bassam Al-Saadi, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin. Local sources close to Saadi’s family told the PIC reporter on Monday that the court said the renewal of the administrative custody would be the final one on condition no more information against him were filed with the court. Sheikh Saadi, a prominent Jihad leader, has served 12 years in Israeli jails at separate intervals mostly in administrative detention, without charge.
The war on Palestinian soccer — Free Mahmoud Sarsak / Ramz Baroud
PressTV 4 June — Although the story of Palestinian prisoners in Israel speaks to a common reality of unlawful detentions and widespread mistreatment, Sarsak’s fate can also be viewed within its own unique context. The soccer player, who once sought to take the name and flag of his nation to international arenas, was arrested by Israeli soldiers in July 2009 while en route to join the national team in the West Bank. Sarsak was branded an ‘illegal combatant’ by Israel’s military judicial system, and was since imprisoned without any charges or trial.
Islamist MPs: The occupation continues disclaiming prisoners’ agreement
OCCUPIED WB (PIC) 4 June — The Islamist MPs confirmed that the Israeli occupation still disclaims the last agreement on prisoners, especially with the recent renewal of the prisoners’ administrative detention that included a number of MPs and former ministers and other prisoners … The MPs stressed that storming of Ofer prison and cutting electricity of one of its main sections are arbitrary measures aiming to create confrontations between detainees and the prison administration and to strip prisoners of their accomplishments which they had achieved during the strike of dignity,
Prisoner Sabha: Our deal with the Israeli prison authority is going well
JENIN (PIC) 4 June– Palestinian prisoner Mohamed Sabha said a meeting in Shatta prison between leaders of the captive movement and Israeli jailers was held on Sunday to discuss all points related to the Israeli pledges to improve the incarceration conditions of prisoners. Ahrar center of prisoner studies and human rights told the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Monday that it received a letter from prisoner Sabha affirming that the agreement that was signed between the Israeli prison authority and senior Palestinian prisoners to end their hunger strike is still effective and going well. The letter described the meeting as positive and affirmed that Gaza prisoners would be able to see their families within one month as Biton promised the prisoners….
Palestinian detainee warns of fresh hunger strike
Al Akhbar 4 June — The father of a Palestinian detainee who was on hunger strike for 77 days, but is due to be released on Tuesday, has said his son will refuse all food and water if Israel does not stand by its promises. Thaer Halahleh went on strike in protest at his continued imprisonment without trial under so-called administrative detention … Palestinians have accused the Israeli authorities of breaking promises, with dozens of administrative detention sentences renewed. Thaer’s father Aziz said he was not confident that his son would be released on Tuesday. “We have our concerns concerning the occupation’s commitment to its promise to release Thaer tomorrow. So far, the Israelis haven’t kept their promises entirely,” he said. “They promised to release all detainees from solitary confinement, however, one detainee was kept in solitary. They should have already organized a schedule for family visits, but until now it hasn’t happened.”
The political prisoner Akr is on hunger strike for nine days running
(PIC) 4 June –The family of the detainee Abd Allah Akr in PA prison in Nablus denied the news of transferring their son from Junaid prison to hospital, stressing that he is in urgent need to have his foot operated on. Sources have confirmed on Sunday that Abd Allah, 29, did not undergo the operation due to causes related to the hospital, despite suffering severe pain and inflammation
Report: PA authority arrest 40 Hamas supporters during May
PIC 3 May — Hamas’s information office issued its monthly report documenting the breaches of the PA in Ramallah. The report confirmed that the PA security services carried out an arrest campaign against the supporters and cadres of Hamas, where they arrested 40 citizens during May, most of them are liberated detainees, academics, university students, and activists in solidarity with striking prisoners.
Palestine: Finding the will to resist / Abir Kopty
Al-Akhbar 4 June — During the latest wave of hunger strikes, many Palestinian movements occurred in support of the strikers’ struggle. It is clear that there is persistent action on the ground, but it is still limited to the active circles connected to the families of the prisoners. At the peak of the strike, when it was crucial to have massive support, many voiced frustration with continued Palestinian apathy, especially when in Scotland and Spain, for instance, thousands marched for the prisoners. Meanwhile, in Ramallah and Nablus, only hundreds bothered to demonstrate. Despite the long history of Palestinian resistance, current popular action remains limited to small-scale participation. One has to ask, what went wrong? … At present, Palestinians are a separated and divided people. Half of the Palestinian population live in the diaspora and exile, the vast majority in squalid refugee camps in neighboring countries, denied their right of return to their homes and villages. Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and the West Bank, ruled by Fatah, are separated by the occupation. Within the occupied West Bank, divisions also exist. Jerusalem is isolated from the surrounding Palestinian population due to Israeli settlement expansion and occupation.
PNC election talks underway in Amman
AMMAN, Jordan (Ma‘an) 4 June — Factions on Monday began a three-day meeting in Amman to prepare for Palestinian National Council elections … All factions that signed the May 2011 national reconciliation agreement were represented in the talks which will conclude Wednesday, Zanoun said. The committee discussed conditions for candidates to stand for election and the role of women in the PNC, the legislative body of the PLO, he said. Last May’s reconciliation agreement — intended to end four years of division between the Hamas-run Gaza Strip government and the Fatah-dominated authority in the West Bank — included reform of the PLO.
Activists: All Palestinians must be included in PNC vote
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 June — As factions met Monday in Amman to discuss Palestinian National Council elections, activists insisted the body must represent all Palestinians. The PNC is the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was established to represent Palestinians in exile across the world as well as those living in the West Bank and Gaza.
Jihad envoy ‘denied entry to Jordan’ for PLO talks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 June — Jordan on Monday barred a representative of Islamic Jihad from entering the country for talks on reforming the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a Jihad official said. Abu Imad Rifaai was set to join a meeting of the committee preparing for the first elections to the Palestinian National Council, the parliament of the PLO, agreed as part of the reconciliation deal between factions last year. Jihad representatives to the talks were initially denied entry to Jordan for a prior meeting of the committee in January, before later being permitted to travel.
Racism / Discrimination / Intolerance
Shas to Sudanese: You’re ruining our dream
Ynet 3 June — Article in Shas journal addresses migrants, says ‘it’s best if we part as friends’ … Rabbi Moshe Shafir opened his letter with a seemingly appeasing tone. “We love you dear Sudanese,” he wrote. “The worst a Jew will ever do to you will be better than the live bullets fired at you at the Egyptian border.” He soon went on to explain why the two populations cannot cohabitate. “A society personifying a social time bomb of robbery, violence, sodomy as well as assimilation alongside the destruction of the institute of marriage and the proper family unit — such a society must be separate and distant, and the sooner the better.”
African migrants targeted in Jerusalem arson attack
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 4 June — Israeli arsonists set fire on Monday to an apartment housing Eritrean migrants, spray-painting “get out of the neighborhood” over the entrance in the latest flare-up of violence against immigration.
Haifa threatens businesses that employ African migrants
Ynet 4 June – Municipality tells local business owners they must fire illegal workers or risk losing license. Employer: In the end they’ll have to roam Israel like gypsies … A local business owner said city inspectors began searching for illegal foreign workers last week. “I have an Eritrean worker who has both work and residency permits. I told this to the inspector, but it did not interest him. A few days later I received a phone call from a senior city official who warned that my license would be revoked if I didn’t fire (the worker), and yesterday I got the letter telling me that I have to fire him or risk losing my license.
New law allows Israel to jail migrants for up to 3 years
TEL AVIV (Ma’an) 4 June — Israel amended an immigration law on Sunday which will grant authorities the power to imprison asylum seekers for up to three years, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. The amended version of a 1954 law, entitled Prevention of Infiltration, will make asylum seekers liable to imprisonment without trial or deportation. Anyone caught helping migrants could also face a potential prison sentence of five to 15 years, Haaretz reported.
Netanyahu orders swift deportation of 25,000 illegal African migrants
Haaret 4 June — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his ministers to accelerate efforts to deport citizens of South Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia who are living in Israel illegally on Sunday. Speaking at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that while it is not possible to expel citizens of Eritrea and Sudan, whose lives would be at risk in their home countries, holding facilities for them must be built in the Negev as quickly as possible.
MK: Shoot everyone trying to cross Israel border
Haaretz 3 June — During a tour of the Israel-Egypt border on Sunday, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said that IDF forces should shoot at anyone that crosses into Israeli territory. “Anyone that penetrates Israel’s border should be shot, a Swedish tourist, Sudanese from Eritrea, Eritreans from Sudan, Asians from Sinai. Whoever touches Israel’s border — shot,” said Eldad.
In unprecedented move, Israel’s foreign ministry condemns violence against African migrants
Haaretz 4 June by Barak Ravid — FM issues statement saying that ‘Jewish history compels us to take exceptional caution on these matters’; Lieberman criticizes Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s statements against African migrants … Referring to an arson attack on Sunday against an apartment rented by Eritrean migrants, the statement said, “There is no justification [for] such a heinous crime that puts people’s lives in harm’s way… No person has the right to violate the law and resort to violence against others, certainly not to endanger lives, for any reason whatsoever.”
Fear and loathing in south Tel Aviv / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 3 June — Shopkeeper Ellen Barhat hides behind the closed iron louver of her shop. Only a narrow crack separates her from the street. Only a few customers enter the shop, which in any case has hardly anything left to sell. The refrigerator door has been ripped from its hinges, and Barhat has already cleared away the fragments of the many broken bottles. Only the red bricks resting on the floor – which had been hurled into the shop during last week’s anti-migrant demonstration – and the gaping hole in the plasterboard wall remain as evidence of what had happened in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv.
Man accused of spitting at ‘immodest’ women
Ynet 4 June — Ynet has learned that a 22-year-old young man from Jerusalem was arrested on Monday for assault and intimidation after he allegedly spat at two young women who he claims were not dressed modestly enough. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the man’s remand by three days.
Haredim riot at Yehud excavation site
Ynet 4 June — The rioters, who belong to the extremist Eda Haredit sect in Jerusalem, threw stones and allegedly attacked police. Other suspects fled the scene as soon as police arrived. Last Wednesday six ultra-Orthodoxmen were arrested for disrupting infrastructure works taking place near Habakkuk’s Tomb in the Galilee.
Israeli media worried over looming indictment
JERUSALEM (AP) 3 June — The Israeli government’s plans to indict an investigative reporter who exposed classified military practices for killing wanted Palestinian militants has sent a chill over Israel’s aggressive media and evoked dark warnings of a crusade to muzzle the press. Israeli journalists have repeatedly accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to stifle the press since he took office three years ago. Critics say the planned indictment of Uri Blau from the liberal Haaretz newspaper goes even further by undercutting the essence of journalism: keeping citizens informed of what their government is up to.