Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Officials call for action as Bethlehem villages run dry
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 June — Rural villages near Bethlehem are facing a water crisis despite sitting on top of the second largest reservoir in the West Bank, an official delegation to the area said on Monday. Seven villages have not had running water for more than 15 days, in an area with a population of 30,000, the joint services council for development and planning said.
Bedouin are ‘squatters’ on their own land
The National 11 June by Hugh Naylor — HURA, ISRAEL // Nuri Al Okbi’s home is an archive of his futile campaign to prove to Israel that he owns land he says has been in his family for centuries. Tucked away in boxes and stacked on bookshelves are maps and land deeds dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The collection, he says, is evidence of the Okbi clan’s ownership of land in the Al Araqib area of Israel’s Negev desert. Shortly after its founding in 1948, Israel seized huge swathes of Bedouin land in the Negev, including Al Araqib. Thousands of Bedouin, such as the Okbis, were expelled or confined to urban slums. They became squatters on their ancestral land. Mr Al Okbi, 69, says he has spent decades trying to convince Israeli courts that he owns a piece of the Al Araqib land.
Timeline: Bedouin in the Negev desert
TheNational 11 June — First World War After the war, the British Mandate in Palestine brings order to the Negev. The changes hurt the Bedouin financially. 1927 A report describes the Bedouin as the “untamed denizens of the Arabian deserts.” The British establish the first formal schools for the Bedouin. 1948 During the Arab-Israeli War, most Bedouin in the Negev flee or are expelled to Egypt or Jordan. Of the 65,000 who lived in the area before the war, about 11,000 remain. 1949 The Israeli army moves thousands of Bedouin to a small area east of Beersheva. In November, 500 families are expelled to Jordan. 1950s – 1960s Israel moves Bedouin to the Siyagh (Arabic for ‘permitted area’) in the north-east. The government deports many who try to return. Based on an 1858 Ottoman Land Law, Israel declares that most of the land in the Negev is government-owned. 1963 Moshe Dayan says: “We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat …
Four men arrested on suspicion of sabotaging West Bank Bedouin water supply / Amira Hass
Haaretz 11 June — Residents of Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem say their water supply sabotaged five times during May — The police announced on Thursday it had arrested four Israelis on suspicion they had sabotaged the water supply to a cluster of Bedouin settlement in Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem. The four were arrested in Sunday night close to the place where the sabotage had taken place, after the Bedouins called the police.
The IOF set fire to Jordan Valley natural area
JVS 9 June — On 8th June 2012 the IOF and the occupation environmental officer set fire to a large grazing area in the northern Jordan Valley. The area is located to the north of Marj Na’ja and is called Shwaeer. Thousands of hectares of natural habitat and Bedouin grazing land were destroyed by the fire. This will make it even harder than ever for bedouin to sustain themselves, as it was one of the last areas in the valley where they could graze their livestock without having to pay. This is part of the occupier’s policy, which started years ago, of cleansing the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian presence. Today 95% of the Valley is under the occupier’s full control.
The IOF return to Al Maleh
JVS 9 June — On 8th June 2012 the IOF returned once again to harass the bedouin community of Al Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley. They told the 4 families – who had to evacuate few days ago for military training – to leave yet again.
Rights group: The absentee law is an Israeli tool to seize Jerusalemite property
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 June — The national coalition for the defense of Jerusalemites’ rights said the absentee property law is one of Israel’s tools to seize Palestinian lands and real estate in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem. According to this law, the Palestinians who were present outside Jerusalem during the census that was conducted by Israel after its occupation of the holy city in 1967 are considered absentees and thus it is allowed for the Jewish users of these real estate and lands to transfer this property to their ownership. The coalition said that since 1967, Israel has established 15 Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and brought more than 210, 000 settlers to live in this eastern part.
NGO: Tourism center part of plan to Judaize Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 June — A plan by Israel’s Interior Ministry to build a tourism center in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan is part of the government’s efforts to Judaize the city, a local NGO said Monday. Khalil Tufakji from the Arab Studies Society told Ma‘an that the tourist center is part of a plan to “brainwash tourists” by only showing them the Israeli narrative of the conflict. The Israeli Interior Ministry gave initial approval to the tourist center on Monday, and the 9,000-square-meter Kedem Center will contain exhibition areas, an events hall, underground parking and other facilities for tourists, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli policies blocking aid to Palestinians
Deutsche Welle 11 June — Israeli restrictions on construction and movement of goods and people in the West Bank are hampering much-needed infrastructure projects for Palestinians, many of which are financed by Germany.
Israel’s West Bank wall annexes Palestinian land the size of Chicago: Help bring it down
[with video] EI 11 June — Did you know that the wall Israel is building across the occupied West Bank annexes an area of Palestinian land the size of Chicago, the third most populous city in the US after New York and Los Angeles? That 530 square kms of seized Palestinian land — almost 10% of the 1967 occupied territories — is home to 350,000 Palestinians who are trapped between the wall and the 1949 Rhodes Armistice line which some call the ‘Green Line’ or the ‘1967 boundary’. Marking ten years since Israel began construction of the wall, Al-Haq has launched a month-long campaign called 10 Years Too Long to urge enforcement of the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling that the wall is illegal and must be torn down.
Settler attacks and Ulpana
Committee: Settlers chop down 30 trees near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 June — Israeli settlers destroyed 30 olive trees in the southern West Bank on Sunday morning, a local official said. Residents of Maon settlement chopped down the orchard in al-Tuwani village, south of Hebron, belonging to locals Jibreel and Fadel Ribi, local committee against settlement activity coordinator Ratib al-Jabour said. On Friday, settlers felled dozens of trees belonging to Ali al-Arda from the nearby town of Yatta, al-Jabour said.
Official: Settlers burn wheat fields in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 June — Settlers set fire to wheat fields in Palestinian villages near Nablus on Sunday, witnesses said. Four locations were set alight in the villages of al-Sawiya and al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, located by Eli settlement. Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Daghlas said the arson attacks were designed to destroy the entire fields, adding that settlers attempt to burn Palestinian agricultural crops at the beginning of every summer. Last Monday, a group of settlers set fire to wheat fields in the Hebron town of Yatta. Palestinians from nearby village Susiya found seven piles of harvested grain had been torched in a field near an Israeli settlement earlier last week.
Settlers ‘throw rocks at farmer’ near Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 June — Settlers on Monday threw rocks at a Palestinian farmer working on his land near Hebron, a local official said. Hamdi Abu Maria was working in his tractor when residents of Karmi Tzur settlement attacked him, spokesman of the Beit Ummar popular committee Yousef Abu Maria told Ma‘an. International activists and Beit Ummar residents intervened to help the farmer, and Israeli soldiers arrived and detained committee member Mousa Abu Maria, the spokesman said.
Farmers: Wild boars damage crops near Salfit
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 11 June — Wild boars on Sunday damaged farm land near Salfit, farmers said. Farmers told Ma‘an the boars damaged apricot trees, wheat crops and seedlings. They said the boars were released onto their land by settlers.
Palestinian cars vandalized in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 11 June — Suspected Israeli pro-settler activists vandalized Palestinian cars in Jerusalem on Monday, their second attack in a week in apparent retribution for plans to move 30 settler families from illegally built homes. Israeli police are concerned there could be further attacks before a July 1 deadline to move the families.
Caravillas arrive at Beit El ahead of Ulpana eviction
Ynet 11 June – The residents of the West Bank settlement of Beit El reported Monday that six caravillas had arrived at the military base in the settlement, ahead of the impending eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood. The housing units were delivered under disguise, in an effort to stop the settlers from preventing their arrival and stationing.
Israel to house Ulpana evictees in unauthorized outpost buildings
Haaretz 11 June — Deputy AG cites ‘urgent military requirements’ to waive the need for any building permit for the mobile homes to which the occupants of the West Bank homes are slated to move … In so doing, Balas has broken a 33-year tradition of not citing military requirements to justify the construction of civilian housing.
There is no salvation army in Judea and Samaria / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 10 June — The settlers have a nerve now to ask for compassion and solidarity from those with whom they never identified nor felt anything for. They are not worthy of this — So let us assume that the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood did not know they were living on stolen land … Let us assume that these are families who fell victim to con men, like the people who bought apartments from the Heftzibah construction company that went bankrupt. Let us assume we can believe all of this, even though it is not very easy. Now the settlers are demanding compassion for, and solidarity with, those settlers who have to evacuate their homes. They send them to speak to the media, with their children, about the disaster that has suddenly befallen them, and they reveal their amputated stumps, like beggars in the streets do.
On Root / An unsettled question
Haaretz 10 June by Jeremy Benstein — The words Israelis use to talk about settlements reflect deep ideological divisions … But many settlers now protest the verbal distinction between settlements within and outside of Israel’s declared borders. This parallels another linguistic question: What do we call the land where these contentious settlements are being built? Settlers prefer the historical Jewish names of Yehuda ve’Shomron, “Judaea and Samaria.” Together with ‘Aza, the Gaza Strip, this gives us the acronym Yesha’ יש“ע. The settlers’ slogan Yesha’ Zeh Kan, “Yesha’ Is Here” expresses the idea that all of Israel is one big settlement, with uniform moral and political validity. Ironically, many Palestinian would agree with this all-or-nothing perspective.
Violence / Raids / Arrests
Witnesses: Hebron settler runs over child
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 June — A young boy was injured on Sunday after being run over by a settler car in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, witnesses told Ma‘an. Mamoun al-Saheb, 9, was treated at the scene by Israeli soldiers, before being taken to hospital. The settler was arrested.
MADA: Serious violations against journalists during May
PNN 11 June — Attacks against journalists continued in the occupied Palestinian territories during the month of May, some of which were life-threatening. [with details on violation of media freedoms by both Israel and the PA]
Israeli forces arrest 5 Palestinians, family
WEST BANK, June 11, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians in the West Bank, all teenagers, and an entire family from East Jerusalem, local sources and witnesses said Monday. A large police force and intelligence officers raided the house of Abu al-Homos family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya late Sunday and assaulted the family members before arresting the entire family [PIC: including daughter and two sons] … Forces also arrested two other Palestinians from the same neighborhood. No reason was given for the arrests…
A large military force also stormed the town of Azzoun, east of Qalqilia, firing tear gas and sound bombs and arrested three Palestinian teenagers – two 17-year-olds and one 18 years – after raiding and searching their houses.
Two children arrested in night raid on Beit Ommar
PSP 11 June — Last night, at 2:30am (Monday, June 11th, 2012), Israeli Occupation Forces based in the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur raided several houses in Beit Ommar, arresting two children. Hamouda Jamal Abu Hashim, aged 13, and Malik Jawad Za’aqiq, aged 15, were arrested from their homes by Israeli soldiers, who fired live ammunition, tear gas, and sound bombs during the assault on the town. Hamouda has since been released, after being subjected to intimidation and interrogated in the early hours of the morning, a tactic widely used by the Israeli military which has recently drawn the anger of several human rights groups. At the time of writing, Malik remains in detention.
West Bank theatre group caught in the middle
TheNational 10 June by Hugh Naylor — JERUSALEM // Members of a West Bank theatre, whose founder was assassinated a year ago, say they are increasingly caught between the Israeli military and Palestinian security forces.Last week, Israeli soldiers arrested Nabil Al Raee, the art director of Jenin’s Freedom Theatre, in a night-time raid. It came just weeks after Zakaria Zubeidi, a Palestinian fighter who helped found the theatre, was seized by Palestinian Authority (PA) forces. The arrests follow similar Israeli arrests and interrogations after the unresolved murder of the theatre’s founder Juliano Mer-Khamis last April. Gunmen shot Mer-Khamis, born to a Jewish mother and Palestinian father, in front of the theatre. Although a dozen of the theatre’s members have been either interrogated or arrested – or both – by Israel since the killing, not one has been charged. Micaela Miranda, a Portuguese national who works at the theatre, said members felt both besieged by Israel and threatened by the PA.
Two years since the murder of Ziad Jilani
Mondoweiss 11 June by Craig Higgins — May 31st marked the second anniversary of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotila and the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara vessel … Less than two weeks after that fateful last day in May, a Palestinian man named Ziad Jilani got in a minor car accident in east Jerusalem and was shot to death shortly thereafter by a member of Israel’s Border Police, or as it’s known in Israel the Magav. As usual, excuses of terrorism were offered by the authorities as to why this happened, and the name and identity of the officer were withheld up until a month ago. There was no formal inquiry, and the media spin on the lonesome death of Ziad Jilani–that he had run over four Magav officers with his car and was a terrorist–eventually morphed into the rationale of a tragic misunderstanding … All of Israel’s security forces have done bad in the alleged defense of the nation against the monster of terrorism, but the consistently worst offender is the Magav.
IOF soldiers open heavy machinegun fire at southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 11 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened heavy machinegun fire at the eastern outskirts of Khan Younis city, to the south of the Gaza Strip, on Monday. Local sources told the PIC reporter that the machinegun fire hit areas in Abasan, Qarara, Fakhari, and Khuza‘a at dawn at a time there was heavy fog engulfing the area. They said that the shooting did not cause casualties but spread panic among the civilians especially women and children.
IOF troops bulldoze land inside Gaza Strip
GAZA (PIC) 11 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced 500 meters into south east of Gaza city on Monday afternoon amidst heavy firing, local sources said. They told Quds Press that four armored vehicles and five bulldozers infiltrated into an area east of Juhr Al-Deek and leveled vast tracts of cultivated land while shooting in all directions.
‘Miles of Smiles 13′ convoy arrives in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 11 June — “Miles of Smiles 13″ aid convoy crossed Rafah border into Gaza on Sunday evening led by the head of the Jordanian branch of the Muslim brotherhood Sheikh Hammam Saeed. PIC reporter stated that the convoy includes 110 human rights activists most of them are Islamic movements’ leaders and the Arab spring leaders from 17 Arab countries carrying 10 tons of medical supplies to the hospitals in the besieged strip. They were received by Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza Mohammad Awadh and several Palestinian MPs and leaders of Hamas movement.
Haneyya: The ongoing convoys reflect we are not alone in our struggle
GAZA (PIC) 11 June — Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya said that the solidarity and aid convoys that keep coming to the Gaza Strip reflect that the Palestinian people are not alone in their struggle against the Israeli occupation … The premier expressed his thanks to the participants in this convoy for their sincere sentiments towards the Palestinian people and their stated readiness to participate in the liberation of Palestine. Haneyya reassured the delegation that the Palestinian resistance is stronger than it was during wartime
Israel allows third shipment of Qatari fuel into Gaza
RAFAH, June 10, 2012 (WAFA) –The Israeli authorities Sunday allowed the entry of the third shipment of fuel donated by the Qatari government into the Gaza Strip through Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, according to crossing officials. aed Fattouh, who heads a committee in charge of entry of products into Gaza, told WAFA that Israel will allow the entry of around 300,000 liters of the Qatari fuel, which will be used to operate Gaza’s only power plant that supplies a large area of the Strip with electricity. This is the third shipment of Qatari fuel to enter the Gaza Strip after the first 135,000 liters of fuel were allowed into Gaza on Thursday after a month delay, then followed with another shipment on Friday.
Again and again we hear from the Israelis that Hamas deliberately embeds its fighters in civilian areas. But what do they do?
Does the presence of the IDF’s HQ in Tel Aviv endanger the city’s population?
9 June by Nir Mann — No one has ever seriously addressed the possibility of removing the base from the heart of the city. Haaretz investigates the legal and historical implications of the Kirya’s location.
Hunger strikes / Other prisoner news
Palestinian footballer fighting for his life is not a story but Netanyahu’s football injury is
Mondoweiss 11 June by Ira Glunts — While news is scarce about the health condition of Palestinian footballer, Mahmoud Sarsak, who has been on an 88-day hunger strike, ironically there are numerous reports about the Israeli PM pulling a tendon during a staged football event for an upcoming travel documentary. Middle East Online is reporting that Mahmoud Sarsak is now negotiating with the Israeli authorities who have agreed to his release. The web news site claims that Sarsak is demanding that he be given a release date in writing. Sarsak is said to have previously rejected a proposal of exile to Norway. Earlier AFP reported that the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) announced today that Sarsak had ended his hunger strike, but gave no further details. The prisoner’s family in Gaza reacted to the report by denying that the footballer had agreed to end his fast.
The occupation offers the deportation of five Palestinian prisoners for two years
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 June — Palestinian human rights sources unveiled occupation efforts to deport a number of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied territories, after their release. The Palestinian Prisoner Committee said in a press release on Monday, that the Israeli occupation intelligence service the “Shin Bet” is keeping five Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement cells in Jalama prison, despite the end of their interrogation with them, with no charge. The Committee stated that the court gave the occupation investigators from the “Shin Bet” one week to provide it with an indictment against the five detainees, if not the prisoners should be released. Thus, the intelligence officers proposed the prisoners an offer requiring their deportation for two years in exchange for their release. The statement stressed on the prisoners’ complete rejection of the deportation and their determination to stick to their position.
Wa‘ed expects the release of Abu Sisi from solitary confinement on Wednesday
GAZA (PIC) 11 June — Wa‘ed said in a statement that the strike leadership Committee continues to follow up the implementation of the agreement signed following the prisoners’ hunger strike which compels the prison administration to release Abu Sisi from the solitary confinement, noting that Dirar is the last prisoner held in isolation. Wa‘ed society also pointed out that, according to the available information; Abu Sisi will be released next Wednesday and he will be, likely, transferred to Hadarim prison … It is noted that the Zionist external intelligence service “Mossad” had kidnapped Abu Sisi, a deputy director of the power plant in Gaza, in March 2011, in the Ukraine [off a train].
Protest held in solidarity with hunger strikers
IMEMC 11 June — Dozens of activists, religious figures and families of Palestinian detainees held by Israel, participated Monday in a protest held in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Jerusalem, in solidarity with the hunger striking detainees … Archbishop Attallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Nasser Qaws, head of the Jerusalem branch of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, participated in the protest.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
A life brutally cut short: new book collects Tom Hurndall’s photos of Palestine
EI 11 June by Asa Winstanley — In 2003, photography student Tom Hurndall joined first the Human Shields project in Iraq and later the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. On 11 April that year, while rescuing two Palestinian children from Israeli gunfire in Rafah, Gaza, he was shot in the head by Israeli army sniper Taysir Hayb. Hurndall was eventually transferred to a British hospital where, nine months later, he died from the wound. He was 22 years old. Tom Hurndall was clearly murdered … A new book, The Only House Left Standing: The Middle East Journals of Tom Hurndall, is a collection of Hurndall’s work and includes photographs taken just a few hours before he was shot.
Refusenik sentenced to 20 days in prison on his birthday
972mag 11 June by Haggai Matar — Yaniv Mazor was sentenced this morning by his commander to twenty days in prison for refusing to fulfill his reserve service duties. “This is an army whose main purpose is the maintenance of the occupation regime imposed on millions of people on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip – and I cannot serve in it,” said Mazor, hoping that others would join him.
Cultural boycott biting, but quietly, Israel Festival’s classical music adviser admits
EI 11 June — Gil Shohat, an Israeli composer and conductor, who is also the Classical Music Advisor to the Israel Festival and Artistic Advisor to Israel’s Red Sea International Classical Music Festival, told Israeli reporter Sharon Dubkin: In the world of classical music things are neither in-your-face nor crass, by the very nature of classical art, which is more noble, quiet, and introverted, but there are choirs and opera companies which are not interested in coming to Israel. Even if they don’t say it’s because of the political issue, they prefer not to get involved in such a sticky situation. As a composer active on the world scene, I can testify that more than once projects have been cancelled or postponed based on their ‘Israeliness.’
Palestinian labor expresses solidarity with European trade unions resisting austerity, supporting BDS measures
EI 11 June by Michael Deas — The Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PTUC-BDS) has issued a statement of solidarity with European trade unions resisting public spending cuts and job losses. Founded at a conference in Ramallah last year, PTUC-BDS is made up of all of the political blocs making up the PGFTU and all of the other major Palestinian trade unions.
Potential BDS target:
ISS operating in illegal Israeli settlements
Copenhagen Post 11 June — Outsourcing firm criticised for breaking corporate social responsibility pledges by operating in a conflict area — Copenhagen-based ISS provides a range of services to settlements in the Golan Heights and the West Bank that are considered illegal by the United Nations. According to investigative organisation DanWatch, ISS acknowledged that it provides cleaning, pest control and security in the illegal settlements though it denies that it is doing anything wrong.
Political & economic news
PLO official denies holding quiet talks with Israel
CAIRO, June 10, 2012 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat Sunday denied the Israeli media allegations regarding the holding of a new meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, according to a press release published by Erekat’s office. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday that ‘a line of communication between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas is established quietly.’ Erekat described these allegations as a “trial balloon,” stressing that the communications that took place with the Israeli side were to coordinate the exchange of letters between Abbas and Netanyahu.
‘world’ meaning the U.S., apparently:
Abbas offer of Israel talks is ‘retreat under world pressure’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 June — President Mahmoud Abbas’ offer to talk to Israel if it freed prisoners and allows more arms to Palestinian security forces represents a retreat from his previous demand for a settlement freeze, Palestinian political analysts told Ma‘an … Palestinian analyst Talal Ukal said Abbas’ stance “represented a retreat” in the Palestinian Authority’s long-standing position that talks cannot resume without a settlement freeze. The move came after great pressure from the United States on Abbas, a president who “believes there is no other choice but negotiations,” Ukal said. Meanwhile, he added, Israel’s continued settlement building and Judaization of all Jerusalem indicates its government is indifferent about negotiations.
Washington threatens to cut off aid if the PA goes to the UN
MEMO 11 June — The Palestinian Authority’s Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has said that the US Administration has threatened to cut off aid to the PA if the Authority seeks UN recognition as a non-member state. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) bureau in Washing would also be closed down, alleges Dr. Erekat. If Palestine is granted such status it would make it an occupied country, instead of “disputed territories” as Israel claims. UN recognition would also confirm further the illegality of Israel’s settlements.
Quarter of Palestinians suffer from poverty, says Statistics Bureau
RAMALLAH, June 11, 2012 (WAFA) – Around 25.8% of Palestinians suffered from poverty in the Palestinian Territory in 2011, said a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Monday. It showed that slightly more than one out of four individuals was living below poverty line in 2011, 17.8% in the West Bank and 38.8% in Gaza Strip. Similarly about 12.9% of individuals were living below the deep poverty line in 2011, 7.8% in the West Bank and 21.1% in Gaza Strip. In 2011, the poverty line and deep poverty line for the reference household (two adults and three children) stood at 2,293 Israeli shekels ($637) and 1,832 shekels ($509) respectively.
Government borrowing from banks reaches limit, says Monetary Authority
RAMALLAH, June 11, 2012 (WAFA) – Government borrowing from the Palestinian banking system has reached the maximum tolerable risk limit as per the sound banking principles, governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority Jihad Al-Wazir said Monday.
UK supports Palestinian refugee agency
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 June — The United Kingdom announced a three-year aid package for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees on Monday, an UNRWA statement said … The aid, which will fund education, ante-natal care, and cash transfers, amounts to £7.5 million already confirmed for 2012 and up to an additional £99.5 million by 2015, the statement said.
Parties say Israel-Vatican accord accepts occupation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 June — Palestinian political factions on Sunday condemned a draft economic agreement between Israel and the Vatican, saying it entails the Holy See recognizing Israeli legislation in East Jerusalem and occupied Palestinian territory. The document outlining an agreement between Israel and the Vatican on legal and fiscal issues has been circulating in different circles, the PLO said in a statement. By failing to distinguish between Israel and annexed East Jerusalem and Palestinian territory under occupation, the text would see the Vatican indirectly recognize Israel’s “exercise of powers and authorities in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the PLO said. The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission of Israel and the Vatican will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Rome on the draft, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
Campaign urges Americans in Israel to vote in 2012 US election
972mag 10 June by Mairav Zonszein — A new initiative to get Americans citizens living in Israel to vote in the upcoming presidential election claims it is not advocating a specific candidate. However, its strategic campaign manager admitted it is funded by the “Adelsons” of the philanthropic world.
Racism / Discrimination
Ben Gurion University students protest appreciation event for IDF reservists
Haaretz 10 June — Students at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva are protesting an upcoming student union-sponsored event that is especially for scholars who serve in the reserves … Students say the performance is particularly galling because the university last month denied a request by Arab students to hold a special cultural event in honor of Arab Student Day … “This is a sectoral, exclusive event particularly in relation to the Arabs,” said Hoda Abu-Obeid, chairwoman of Ben-Gurion’s forum for Arab students. “I did a year of national civil service in the Bedouin community; don’t I deserve an evening of appreciation?”
Immigration police arrest dozens of African migrants in Eilat, central Israel
Haaretz 11 June — …The Interior Ministry’s Oz Immigration Police raided a neighborhood in Eilat on Monday morning, arresting dozens of South Sudanese migrants in order to deport them back to their country of origin. Around 5:00 A.M., a large contingent of immigration police arrived at a neighborhood that is home to many African migrants. The police entered homes, demanding that their inhabitants pack their belongings and withdraw all of their money from the bank ahead of their deportation … An activist from Assaf, an NGO that aides African migrants, said Israeli police treated the migrants as criminals. “It is unclear why the police come at 5 A.M. and frighten families with small children,” Orit Rubin said.
Fear mounts among African migrants as Israel begins deportation
Haaretz 11 June — Many African migrants in the country are living now in a state of fear, more worried than ever about being deported. “They told us in January they were removing our collective protection, but it’s only now that we’re seeing action in the field, and it’s starting to close in on us,” said Bernard Abbot, who came to Israel 15 years ago from the Ivory Coast. “I’ve been living here many years and I never believed that there would come a day that they [the authorities] would start pursuing the few Ivory Coast citizens who live here,” he continued. “But this morning we understood that it will reach everyone, because they’ve arrested a woman and child from the community.
Israel opens doors to push South Sudanese out / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
EILAT, Israel, Jun 11, 2012 (IPS) – Moses Gadia speaks quietly, a detailed and colourful map of South Sudan on the wall next to him. In the courtyard outside, a group of six men, all South Sudanese refugees, chat in the shade of plastic tarps. “I’m 100 percent sure that by next month, this place won’t be here,” said Gadia, head of the South Sudanese Organisation for Development in Israel (SSODI), about the group’s office in Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel.
At home, Israelis attack Africans / Mya Guarnieri
TEL AVIV, Jun 9, 2012 (IPS) – It’s Saturday night in south Tel Aviv. Amine Zegata, a 36-year-old refugee from Eritrea is reopening the small bar he owns in the HaTikva neighbourhood. The pub was closed after Jewish Israelis smashed his windows and the bottles within during the race riots two weeks back. But Zegata has been assaulted twice since then … Four months before the race riots, Zegata was beaten up by a group of Jewish Israeli teenagers. He was hospitalised briefly … Zegata opened his bar eight months ago and has had trouble for six months. Several months ago, he also had problems at home. After returning from work late one night, someone opened the window and dropped lit matches into his apartment.
Illegal migrants ‘treated like animals’
Ynet 11 June — Population and Immigration Authority’s campaign to arrest illegal aliens reaches cities of Beersheba, Arad; officials say dozens have signed voluntary departure forms. South Sudanese migrant: ‘They fired everyone. We are left with no choice’ … South Sudanese citizens comprise only 1,500 out of the 60,000 illegal migrants living in Israel. The majority of infiltrators hail from Eritrea (some 35,000) and Sudan (some 15,000), but Israel cannot deport them due to international obligations.
African migrant: Where did IDF bury my baby?
Ynet 10 June — “I can’t leave Israel without seeing my daughter’s grave,” said African migrant John Mavin Mavin Jal, who claims IDF soldiers took his stillborn child and refused to tell him where she was buried. “I must know where she is buried so I can say goodbye.” … Addressing a recent court ruling which effectively allows the State to send some 1,500 South Sudanese migrants back to their home country, Jal said “I do not feel safe going back there. On the other hand, the situation here is bad as well. (Migrants) have lost their jobs and are living without gas or water, and landlords are threatening to kick them out to the street.
Israel: Amend ‘anti-infiltration’ law
Jerusalem 10 June — The Israeli parliament should immediately repeal or amend a newly revised law that punishes asylum seekers for irregularly crossing into Israel, in violation of their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Until the law is amended, Israeli officials should not enforce provisions that violate international refugee standards, Human Rights Watch said.
Employers of infiltrators to face tougher punishment
Ynet 10 June — Ministers approve bill imposing five year sentence on those aiding both infiltrators and illegal work migrants. Deputy AG opposes proposal
PA security service returns an Israeli infiltrator in Nablus
NABLUS (PIC) 11 June — The PA police force in Nablus handed, on Monday, a Zionist settler who had infiltrated to the tomb of Yusuf in the West Bank city of Nablus to Israeli Intelligence where they stopped him in that region because he had entered “without prior coordination between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.”
Former Israeli military man arrested at refugee camp, wants to give up Israeli citizenship
PNN 11 June –Andre Pshenichnikov, an Israeli who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, was arrested by the IDF after living for two months in the Dheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and kept in detention for eight days at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. He told his police interrogators that he wants to break all ties with Israel, to give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian citizenship instead. Eventually he was released under restrictive conditions and banned from entering the “A” areas of the West Bank pending the end of legal proceedings against him.
Yad Vashem entrance vandalized
Ynet 11 June — Walls of Holocaust Museum’s plaza defaced with multiple slogans lauding Nazis, slamming Israel. Police launch investigation; Neturei Karta, Eda Haredit extremists deny involvement
Operation Jonathan underway
Ynet 11 June — President Peres in US to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom, work to secure Jonathan Pollard’s release; some 70,000 Israelis sign a petition calling to free him
Former Israeli official: US suspects Jonathan Pollard was not only Israeli spy operating on US soil
Haaretz 11 June — United States officials suspect that Jonathan Pollard was not the only Israeli spy operating on U.S. grounds, former Israeli ambassador to Washington Itamar Rabinovich said on Monday in an interview with Israel Radio. Rabinovich, Israeli envoy to Washington from 1993 to 1996, said that officials in the U.S. intelligence community believe that Israel still conceals the full extent of its espionage activity on American soil.
US A-G called on to support flotilla lawsuit
JPost 11 June — A US citizen who filed a lawsuit asking the US authorities to seize the Mavi Marmara and 13 other Gaza flotilla ships has called on US Attorney-General Eric Holder to support the suit, The Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday. Dr. Alan J. Bauer, an American citizen living in Jerusalem, filed the suit last June in the US federal court in New York with the help of Shurat HaDin (The Israel Law Center). The precedent-setting lawsuit, which has since been transferred to the District of Columbia District Court, asks the US authorities to seize the flotilla vessels on the grounds that groups and individuals – including the Free Gaza and US to Gaza campaigns – violated US law by raising funds in the US to furnish and fit out the ships, whose intent was to commit hostilities against US ally Israel … The legislation entitles the informer to 50 percent of the proceeds of the forfeited ships