and other news from Today in Palestine:
Israeli Violence / Raids / Arrests
One protester critically wounded, dozens treated for tear gas in five anti-Wall protests Friday
IMEMC 11 Aug — Despite the hot weather and fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, hundreds of people came out for the weekly non-violent demonstrations against the Wall in five different villages on Friday …Two civilians were injured on Friday in Kufer Kadum [Kafr Qaddum] when Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the villagers and their international supporters. Soldiers stopped the Kufer Kadum protesters at the entrance of the village then fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. One young man was critically injured in the head by a tear gas bomb and another man was injured in his leg by rubber-coated steel bullet. Many others were treated for tear gas inhalation.
In the central West Bank, troops also used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against Bil‘in, Ni‘lin and Nabi Saleh and their international and Israeli supporters. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at all three locations.
Elsewhere on Friday, in southern West Bank, Al Ma‘sara villagers also held their weekly anti-wall protest. Israeli forces stationed there forced people back into the village using rifle-butts and batons. No injuries were reported.
Twilight Zone — Death at a roadblock, on the way to work / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 10 Aug — Mohammed Bader recounts how his father was shot to death by Border Police while trying to reach his job in Israel — It was late at night on Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, on Sunday, July 29. On that night, as every night, thousands of Palestinian laborers were sneaking into Israel. By sneaking in, they essentially proved wrong the ridiculous mantra that says the separation barrier is “preventing terror.” All the illegal sojourners (as Israel calls them ) want to do is work in Israel. And one of these workers, not the first, was “neutralized” on the night of Tisha B’Av by Border Police. The policemen did not bother to approach the van he was traveling in, or even arrest its passengers; first they fired scores of bullets at it. Hassan Bader was killed before his son’s eyes … Mohammed, Hassan’s bereaved son, sat with us this week on the porch of the family home in the village of Bitilu, not far from Ramallah, and reconstructed the events of that night for us and Iyad Hadad, an investigator from the B’Tselem human rights organization.
Locals: Man detained in South Hebron amid clashes
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man in a village in the south Hebron hills early Sunday, a local official said. Munther Khader Al-Omor, 20, was detained in an army raid on his home in al-Tuwani village, prompting clashes between residents and soldiers, popular committee coordinator Rateb al-Jabour told Ma’an.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was not aware of the incident. She said three people were detained overnight in Rakhme, near Bethlehem, three from Beit Awwa, west of Hebron, and others in Silwad and Hizma, near Ramallah.
Israeli settlers poison grazing fields, kill cattle near Hebron
HEBRON, August 12, 2012 (WAFA) – Livestock that belong to a Palestinian farmer from Yatta, a town south of Hebron, died Saturday night after they have been poisoned by Israeli settlers, according to the Popular Committee coordinator in Yatta, Rateb al-Jabour. He told WAFA that Israeli settlers from Sosiya settlement illegally built on the town’s land, sprayed toxic poison on wild grass in grazing fields surrounding the settlement, causing the death of 13 sheep.
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian worshipers; 8 injured
IMEMC 11 Aug — A busload of Palestinians returning from Ramadan prayers in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem late Friday night were attacked by a group of heavily armed settlers who threw rocks at the bus, injuring 8 … The attack took place on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus in the northern West Bank, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Shilo, around 1:30 in the morning. The settlers apparently laid in waiting for the bus of worshippers, then emerged fully-armed and throwing rocks. Eight people injured by rocks and broken glass were taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus. Following the attack, the Israeli military closed the road, which is the main artery from the northern to the central West Bank, for more than two hours. No one was arrested in the attack, and no investigation is being made into the incident. But Israeli soldiers have set up new checkpoints along the road, which is mainly used by Palestinians.
Asira al-Qibliya: Terrorizing settler attacks
ISM 6 Aug by ‘Saffron’ — Armed Israeli settlers reinforced by the Israeli military regularly assault the villagers of Asira al-Qibliya. The settlers come from nearby colonies built in violation of International law, raid Asira al-Qibliya, throw stones, and shoot live ammunition. The illegal settlers often enter Asira al-Qibliya, scream and knock on doors and windows simply for the psychological terror impact it has on the residents. At the same time, wheat and farmland is burned, olive trees are uprooted, and vital farmland is annexed by the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, making it difficult for Palestinians to secure a livelihood. These threats have become a part of daily life in Asira al-Qibliya, a village located in the northern West Bank. “A culture of fear.” This is how Nabila Saleh, a resident of the village, sees it. “I never sleep more than a couple of hours each night. I jump at every sound,” says Nabila, “that is the way it is. Everybody fears a settler attack, even if they have not yet been attacked directly themselves.” Nabila sits in her living room. Instead of glass panes in the windows are metal grids. This is the physical memory of a settler attack in November of last year, when settlers broke the windows of the Salehs’ and their neighbours’ homes, and the Israeli army followed by shooting tear-gas directly into the houses.
Hebron: Settler illegally enters Palestinian home
ISM 9 Aug by ‘Lucy Diamond’ — On the evening of August 2, an Israeli settler illegally entered a Palestinian home in Hebron, drawing the presence of the Israeli army which encouraged her to leave. Rather than face any consequences, the settler left the scene and a Palestinian man was arbitrarily arrested … This unequal treatment of the settler who forced her way into a home, and Sami who attempted only to hide his face from her camera, caused a controversial reaction. Many people arrived to observe and document the event, causing several soldiers to group. Some 13 soldiers were surrounding Sami as he was detained. Eventually Sami was handcuffed and taken away. Before being released later that night, he suffered hits and mistreatment in the soldiers’ hands.
Officials: 2 Palestinians wounded in settler collision near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Two Palestinians were moderately injured when Israeli settlers drove into their parked car near Nablus on Sunday, a local official said. Majdi Yousef Hanini 26, and Zayed Adel Hanini 24 from Beit Furik were transferred to Rafidya hospital in Nablus, an official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, told Ma‘an. They were sitting in a parked car near the village when an Israeli collided with them in his vehicle, Daghlas said.
Hebron: Palestinian streets closed for Israeli settlers
ISM 6 Aug by ‘Jonas Ravn’ — In Hebron on the evening of July 29, almost 100 Israeli settlers from the illegal settlements occupying the centre of the city crossed into the Palestinian-controlled area H1. The settlers illegally entered H1 supported by a heavy Israeli military presence … Shortly before 7 p.m., Checkpoint 56 was closed to all Palestinians. Soon after, the Israeli military escorted the settlers through the checkpoint into the Bab al-Zawiyeh neighbourhood of area H1. After the group of settlers passed through, Checkpoint 56 was reopened to Palestinians but the streets of Bab al-Zawiyeh were closed to Palestinian pedestrians and cars who were told to use a parallel street … Several Palestinians attempted to enter to their homes in H2, as they regularly would, but were aggressively refused at the checkpoint and directed to a lengthy detour. The detour is made kilometres longer by the fact that Palestinians are denied access to Shuhada street. At 7:30 p.m., just before eftar when most Palestinians would be breaking the day’s fast, a group of about 30 settlers gathered at Checkpoint 56. A short while later, this group was escorted down the closed-off street to join the other settlers now numbering almost 100. 20 minutes later, a group of 20 settlers returned back towards H2. As they passed the empty square of Bab al-Zawiyeh they clapped their hands and started chanting in Hebrew, celebrating the empty Palestinian streets. Several pointed, laughed, and made rude gestures at the few Palestinians remaining on the edges of the street.
B’Tselem Video: If you smile, the world will smile with you
posted 8 Aug — On the afternoon of 16 January 2012, there was a Palestinian protest in the orchards of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron. During the protest, B’Tselem video volunteer Diaa al-Hadad, age 19, was detained for a few minutes and released. That same night, a unit of soldiers commanded by a first lieutenant came to the family’s house and conducted a search. During the search, they made Diaa stand against a wall for quite some time. Diaa and his father, ‘Abd al-Karim Hadad, documented the incident with their cameras. B’Tselem does not know the reason for the search, but what is known is that the soldiers did not take anything from the house, and no one in the family was arrested. ['just' threatened and humiliated]
Teen arrested in connection to mosque arson
Ynet 12 Aug — A Jerusalem teen was arrested Sunday on suspicion of involvement in the torching of a mosque near Ramallah two months ago. The suspect was detained while on vacation at the Kinneret Lake. In June, unknown assailants torched the Jaba village mosque and left graffiti messages which read “Ulpana war” and “price tag” shortly before Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood was evacuated. Last month, two other teens were arrested in connection with the case but were released for lack of evidence.
PCHR Weekly Report: 1 killed, 3 wounded; 10 abducted by Israeli military this week [2-8 August]
IMEMC 10 Aug — …Israeli attacks in the West Bank: During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. In those invasions, Israeli forces abducted 17 Palestinians, including 4 children. Israeli forces also abducted two children at a checkpoint in the old town of Hebron … Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: During the reporting period, a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed and another was wounded when an Israeli forces aircraft targeted them in the south of the Gaza Strip … On Sunday 05 August 2012, the Israeli forces positioned at the border with Israel near Karm Abu Salem crossing in the south of Rafah fired shells at the vicinity of Gaza International Airport and the eastern outskirts of Rafah. Helicopters flying in the sky of the area also opened fire for approximately two hours. The local population panicked, but no casualties were reported … Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On Thursday morning, 02 August 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from the “Giv’at Ariel” settlement, north of Ramallah, tried to blow up a car belonging to a Palestinian…. Full Report
Detention / Court actions
Israeli soldier wins plea bargain over Cast Lead charges
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — An Israeli soldier was sentenced to 45 days in jail in a plea bargain which accepted he was not responsible for killing a Palestinian mother and daughter during Israel’s 2009 war on Gaza, Israeli media and human rights groups said Sunday. Raya Abu Hajaj, 64, and her daughter Majdi, 36, were killed in the central Gaza village of Juhor al-Dik on Jan. 4, 2009, the first day of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. According to a UN-sponsored report by South African justice Richard Goldstone they were shot while bearing a white flag. The soldier, referred to as S’, was originally charged with killing by the Israeli military advocate general, but reached a plea bargain for the lesser offense ‘illegal use of weapons,’ Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
Press release: Reopen investigation into the killing of Majedah and Raya Abu Hajaj in Operation Cast Lead
B’Tselem 12 Aug — Following the signing of a plea bargain with a soldier charged with manslaughter during operation Cast Lead, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem demands that the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) reopen the file into the killing of Majedah and Rayah Abu Hajaj. B’Tselem says that if the military prosecution accepted the claim brought by the soldier’s lawyers, that there is no connection between the shooting he admitted to and the killing of the Palestinian mother and daughter, this means that the investigation into this incident was never completed. The MPIU must therefore solve the case and pursuant to the finding, hold accountable those responsible. It must be stressed that in contrast to media reports, the charges against the soldiers did not relate to the killing of the two women, but rather to the killing of an unidentified individual. The IDF spokesperson’s office, which reported the indictment in July 2010, explained this discrepancy based on contradictions found between the versions of soldiers and those of the Palestinian witnesses….
Israel to release 123 prisoners held since before the Oslo agreement
IMEMC 10 Aug — Senior Palestinian political sources reported Friday that the Israeli government agreed to release 123 Palestinian political prisoners, held before the Oslo peace agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993. The sources informed the Quds Net News Agency that Russia played an essential role by repeatedly urging Israel to release the 123 detainees, and that the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama also called on Israel to approve the release in order to facilitate the resumption of the stalled peace talks. The 123 detainees will be released on several phases starting this coming October and ending in June 2013.
PA identifies remains of 2 Palestinians returned by Israel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Justice on Sunday identified the remains of two Palestinians returned by Israel in May, an official said. The general director of forensics in the ministry of justice told a press conference that DNA tests in Jordan identified two of the bodies as Ramzi Jamal Shaine and Anis Rafuq Khalil from Ramallah. Minister of prisoners Issa Qaraqe called on the PA to investigate the circumstances behind the deaths of Palestinians returned by Israel. The PA official also called for an investigation into the case of missing Palestinian fighter Abdul Naser al-Bouz from Nablus, adding that the PA must develop facilities for DNA testing instead of sending samples to Jordan. In May, Israel returned the remains of 91 Palestinian bodies interred in numbered graves … Seventeen bodies were buried in a mass grave in Ramallah because their families could not be identified. Since the 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in a cemetery in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley. The hand-over of Palestinian remains was promised by Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a “gesture” to President Mahmoud Abbas, in the wake of a deal to end a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Two Palestinians, killed in 1991, to be buried Monday
IMEMC 13 Aug — Two Palestinians, one Muslim and one Christian, killed by the Israeli army on November 11, 1991, and their bodies were held at the “Numbers Graveyard” will be buried Monday after Israel agreed to release their remains. The two, Ramzi Jamal Attallah Shahin and Anis Rafiq Shukri Mousa, topped Israel’s “Wanted List” since the beginning of the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, for their activities in the popular uprising in Palestine. They managed to leave Palestine through Sinai to receive military training at an undisclosed location, and on their way back to the country, they were killed in armed confrontations with Israeli occupation soldiers in the Negev desert. Their bodies were buried nameless at the Numbers Graveyard, a graveyard used by Israel to bury hundreds of Palestinian fighters nameless; Israel assigns a number to each grave, the number refers to a secret file in the Israeli Intelligence database.
IOA renews administrative detention of Sawafte
TOBAS (PIC) 11 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has renewed the administrative detention of Faze’ Sawafte, a Hamas leader, for the second time running, the Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights said. Fuad Al-Khafsh, director of the center, said that Sawafte was arrested on 9/2/2012 and held in administrative custody immediately after his arrest without leveling any charge against him. He was transferred from Megiddo jail to Gilboa for heading a committee of prisoners to activate the issue of administrative detainees.
Ex-detainee says Palestinian women in Hasharon jail are treated inhumanely
JENIN (PIC) 12 Aug — Female ex-detainee Islam Bashiti, released a few days ago from an Israeli jail, said the incarceration conditions of Palestinian women in Hasharon prison are very harsh and inhumane. Bashiti told the Palestinian prisoner center for studies that the female prisoners in Hasharon jail are exposed to constant harassment and provocative actions by the prison administration and its jailers. She said seven women are being held in two cells numbered 1 and 8, and the latter is the worst because it is near the room of Israeli female criminals who keep shouting annoyingly and cursing Palestinian women all the time. She added that the presence of Israeli felons in the same jail with Palestinian women poses a threat to their lives especially after Palestinian detainee Ala Al-Jawba was almost strangled to death by an Israeli convict. She noted that the Palestinian women in Hasharon jails are also medically neglected and two of them, Lina Jarbouni and Salwa Hassan, are awfully sick and in very bad shape without proper medication or treatment.
Incarcerated inside Israel: Palestinians tortured and isolated
IMEMC 12 Aug by Graham Peebles – Detention without trial, the presumption of guilt, denial of family visits, solitary confinement, torture, violent interrogation and denial of access to appropriate health care — such is the Israeli judicial system and prison confinement experienced by Palestinian men, women and indeed children. Currently there are, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem (http://www.btselem.org/), “4,484 Palestinians – security detainees, confined in Israeli prisons”. Family contact is virtually impossible for prisoners, most of whom are held inside Israel. This contravenes international law,
Gaza & Sinai
Medical official: Farmer shot by soldiers in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — A young man was injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a medical official said. Spokesman for the ministry of health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidrah told Ma‘an that a man was shot in his right hand by Israeli soldiers stationed in a watchtower along the Gaza border. The man was tending his land, east of Khan Younis, and sustained moderate wounds, al-Qidrah said.
Israeli navy opens fire at fishermen in Gaza
GAZA, August 11, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli navy boats Saturday opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City coast in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to local sources. They said the Israeli navy targeted fishermen’s boats with heavy machinegun fire forcing the fishermen to leave the area. No injuries were reported.
Egypt-Gaza’s tunnels partially back to work
Al Ahram 12 Aug — The tunnels used to smuggle goods and people between Gaza and Egypt are partially back to work, amid attempts by the Egyptian military to shut them down … Sinai residents reported to Ahram Online that heavy machinery from the state-owned Arab Contractors Company is being used to destroy the tunnels under the supervision of Egyptian military forces. Senior Hamas figure and spokesperson Mahmoud Al-Zahar confirmed that the Egyptian military was shutting down the tunnels and would abort any attempt to build new ones.
Hamas ‘ready to close tunnels’ if Egypt reopens Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Hamas is prepared to shut down smuggling tunnels under its shared border if Egypt opens the Rafah crossing permanently, a senior Hamas official said Sunday … The Hamas official said Gaza has not received any direct accusations from Egypt concerning the Sinai attack, and repeated his party’s denial that there was any Palestinian involvement. Hamas is prepared to cooperate with Egyptian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators behind the attack are found, he said, adding that Israel is the only party to benefit from a deterioration in the relationship between Gaza and Egypt.
Gaza pays the price for Rafah attack
Al Ahram 9-15 Aug issue — Hamas politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk tells Amira Howeidy he suspects Israel infiltrated the terrorist group which killed 16 Egyptian border guards in Rafah — Following the slaying of 16 Egyptian border guards at Al-Masoura border point in Rafah on Sunday Hamas politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk — the 61-year-old has been based in Cairo since Hamas’s leadership in exile left its headquarters in Damascus — finds himself in the eye of the storm. While no evidence has emerged to identify the perpetrators — several of whom were killed in Israeli air strikes — Egypt’s media has been quick to blame the massacre on Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and, by extension, Hamas. A statement released by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Monday pointed the finger at Palestinian involvement in the attack, claiming the assault was accompanied by mortar fire from “Gaza elements” in the area around the Israeli-controlled Karam Abu Salem border crossing. “How is that possible?” asks a clearly disgruntled Abu Marzouk. “They’re not in the same place.” Al-Masoura and Karam Abu Salem, he points out, are five kilometres apart.
Haniyeh: No proof of Gaza connection to Sinai attack
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — It has not been proved that any Palestinian from Gaza was involved in the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, says prime minister of the Hamas-run government Ismail Haniyeh. During a meeting with a delegation from Islamic Jihad, Haniyeh noted that Hamas and the government in Gaza did not receive any official notification or list of names of suspects from the Gaza Strip.
Former Fatah strongman Dahlan accused of taking part in Sinai attack
MEMO 10 Aug — Advocate Mostafa Olwan has submitted a notice to the Egyptian Attorney General in which he accuses former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan of passing maps of Egyptian security posts to Israel. According to Olwan, maps of the army post targeted in northern Sinai were handed over to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency by Dahlan. In a second notice, also submitted to the authorities in Cairo, Mr Olwan said that there is an organisation led by Dahlan in Sinai which is supported by Mossad.
Ministry: 1,500 return to Gaza via Rafah crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Aug — Some 1,500 Palestinians returned to the Gaza Strip on Friday as Egypt’s border partially reopened after a four-day closure, the interior ministry in Gaza said. Maher Abu Sbeiha, director of crossings in the Hamas-run ministry, told Ma‘an that the Rafah crossing would open again Saturday for people traveling into Gaza, but would remain closed to those trying to leave the enclave.
Egypt opened the Rafah border on Friday to allow the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia and those stranded on their way back to Gaza, the state news agency Mena said, citing a high-ranking official, without saying how long it would stay open. Egypt closed the crossing Sunday night after militants attacked a police station killing 16 Egyptian officers in Rafah, near the Gaza border.
Gaza families call on Egypt to release imprisoned relatives
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — A group of Gazan families appealed to Egypt’s president on Saturday to release relatives being held in Egyptian jails, Ma‘an’s correspondent said. The families made the appeal in a statement, calling on Egypt’s interior ministry and President Mursi to release imprisoned relatives to spend time in Gaza during the last week of Ramadan. Some of the detainees are students with expired visas, people that entered Egypt illegally and patients who stayed in Egyptian hospitals to continue medical treatment. Dozens of Palestinians are being held in detention centers in el-Arish and are awaiting deportation to Gaza, the families added.
3 Gaza brothers held after entering Egypt via tunnels
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — The Egyptian army detained three Palestinians on Friday night who had crossed the borders from the Gaza Strip into Egyptian territory illegally through smuggling tunnels in Rafah … The three were identified as A.A. Nawakha, 25, his brother Muhammad, 28, and their brother Abdul-Nasser, 21. They confessed that they entered the country illegally, according to Egyptian authorities. They allegedly told interrogators they were compelled to cross illegally to Egypt to take a female relative to see a doctor in Egypt. They were referred to the general prosecution for further questioning.
Report: Egypt ministry says electricity to Gaza remains constant
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — An Egyptian Energy Ministry official said Sunday that fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip would not affect Egyptian energy consumption, and were not responsible for Gaza’s recent power outages, Egyptian media reported. An Egypt company, al-Qanal, supplies Gaza with 22 megawatts of electricity according to an agreement signed five years ago to ease Israel’s blockade on the coastal enclave, ministry undersecretary Aktham Abu Ala told Egypt daily al-Youm al-Sabe … Widespread power outages in the Gaza Strip this year are the fault of illegal siphoning of fuel and increased consumption in Gaza, he added. Muhammad al-Aadleh, a member of the administrative board of fuel companies in Gaza, said Sunday that there is no fuel crisis in Gaza and fuel is available to all citizens for the time being [!]
Occupied Lives: I have no future
PCHR 9 Aug — Mamoun Ahmad Dalloul (36) lives in Tel-el-hawa with his wife and 9 children. Until recently, he owned a dairy-products factory that produced milk, cheese and yoghurt. Since December 2008, Mamoun has re-built his factory 4 times after it was repeatedly targeted and destroyed by Israel’s forces. On 04 June 2012, at around 1:00, his factory was targeted and destroyed by Israel’s forces for the 5th time. On the evening of the most recent attack, Mamoun received a call from his brother, who lives adjacent to the factory, informing him that the factory had been destroyed by a missile from an F16 … After 5 attacks on his factory, Mamoun is devastated: “The first time my factory was destroyed was in December 2008 during Operation Cast Lead. The factory was very big and on the ground floor of our residential apartment. I received a call from Israel’s forces, who told me that the building would be targeted in the next 15 minutes. My family and I fled immediately. 3 missiles were fired from an F16 and the building was completely destroyed. In just a few minutes, we lost everything. We were suddenly homeless and I had lost my only source of a livelihood.”
Gaza’s new-look corniche
MEMO 13 Aug — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are continuing to challenge the Israeli blockade with a number of impressive development projects. Following a grant of $3.5 million from the Palestine Contact Group, Gaza’s municipality has developed the 2 kilometre corniche in the area of Shaykh Ajlan along the coast. Gazans have welcomed the development, which allows them to enjoy one of the few sources of relaxation in the huge prison that is the Gaza Strip.
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement
Report: Israel army chief orders Salfit outpost legal
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — Israeli Central Command Chief Nitzan Alon signed an order ‘legalizing’ an outpost in Salfit, Hebrew language Yediot Ahronot reported Sunday. The settlement outpost of Brukhin, located near the Salfit village of Bruqin, was one of three outposts which an Israeli government committee sanctioned in April.
Israel calls on West Bank outpost residents to evacuate by end of August
Haaretz 11 Aug — The government demanded on Saturday that 30 residents of the Migron outpost evacuate to a temporary site by the end of August — otherwise, it will not support the request of 17 residents to remain on the land they claimed to have purchased recently.
Otherwise Occupied: A zoning intifada / Amira Hass
Haaretz 13 Aug — As European diplomats and Israeli courts deliberate the future of Palestinians in Area C, the Palestinian Authority is taking action it hopes will secure that future – “How can you watch this and keep on using diplomatic language?” I asked, not expecting an answer from the three European Union diplomats in whose car I rode through the southern Hebron hills last Wednesday. By “this” I meant the sickening disparity between the lush green vegetation and the abundance of new homes in the Jewish settlements and the avalanche of demolition orders issued against tents and jury-rigged shanties where Palestinians live on their own land and 30 liters of water per person (because of Israel’s refusal to connect them to the water grid ). This question broke the silence in the car as we left the cave village of Jinba, two or three times as old as the State of Israel, currently facing a demolition threat. To my surprise, one of the three answered: “It’s very hard.”
Photo essay: Al-Araqib Bedouins’ ongoing struggle for their land
972mag 11 Aug – Al-Araqib is one of the 45 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Since July 27, 2010, the village has been demolished 39 times. Despite daily harassment, ongoing house demolitions and the Israeli government’s determination to forcefully transfer the Bedouin population out of their historical land, the residents of Al-Araqib continue to struggle … The issue of Al-Arakib is part of a larger story concerning 35 unrecognized villages inside Israel. According to a 2011 report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, approximately half the Bedouin population in the Negev, about 90,000 people—live in quasi-recognized or unrecognized villages similar to al-Arakib. The government adoption of the Prawer Plan last September calls for the uprooting of 30,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel and their relocation to established Bedouin towns (with financial compensation), thereby denying the community’s connection to the land and way of life.
Palestinian adolescents celebrate the ‘International Youth Year’ by making effort to bid a stronger society
Aqaba, West Bank (UNICEF) 10 August 2012 by Monica Awad — Gathered around a table, 14-year-old Majd Dabak and several adolescent girls are busy completing an intricate piece of artwork using the coloured wedges of broken floor tiles. “This piece of art represents our lifestyle. We live under constant threat of settler violence, and our houses risk being demolished. Despite the stress, we are determined to make our society better,” said Majd. Nestled at the edge of the Jordan valley, Aqaba village lies between two military bases. Located in Area ‘C’ of the West, which is under Israeli administrative and security control, the village has received several demolition orders for structures built without a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration.
Photo: Settlers deleting Arabic place names on road signs
JVS 10 Aug — Settlers have been painting out the Arabic place names on road signs in the Jordan Valley.
Village council: Israel confiscating livestock in Tubas
TUBAS (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces have been confiscating livestock from shepherds in the Jordan valley and imposing high fines on owners, a local village council said Saturday. The village council of al-Maleh and al-Madareb told Ma‘an that Israeli forces recently confiscated livestock from shepherds and farmers and imposed a fine of 15,000 NIS for them to be returned. Adel Eilan said that Israeli forces fined him and his brother and then did not return the full number of confiscated livestock. Israel is taking livestock and equipment from farmers and shepherds to force them to leave the area, the village council added…
In March, Bedouin village council head Aref Daraghmeh said that Israel’s Nature Authority was threatening Palestinian residents with fines of more than 5,000 shekels for picking tumbleweed in the area.
The Wall, 10 years on — Part 12: Where do we go from here? / Haggai Matar
972mag 11 Aug — Ten years have passed since Israel started building the wall, probably the largest and most expensive construction project in its history, which does not seem to be going anywhere. For four months now I’ve been presenting its story, and now it is time to offer some breaking updates, look into the future, and conclude. The final chapter of the series … But before we conclude, some recent important developments must be shared. In the first and eleventh chapters, I mentioned the massive gaps in the wall: dozens of unbuilt miles of the route in the eastern part of Gush Etzion and the Adumim plains near Jerusalem. About four years ago, the state stopped construction in these parts due to the pause in hostilities, insufficient funds, and a fear that U.S. pressure and High Court intervention would make it harder to complete the approved route which effectively annexes huge swaths of Palestinian West Bank lands. This pause in construction is now coming to an end. A recent statement made in court by the head of the wall project, Colonel Ofer Hindi, indicates that Israel is getting ready to resume construction in these two parts … Click here to view the embedded video. This is big news. Alongside the resumption of deliberation of two petitions pending in the High Court, this could also prompt a revival of the popular Palestinian struggle in the villages south of Bethlehem, possible resistance by settlers in the Gush area, and perhaps even a renewed international interest in the route deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice.
Liberate the Illés Relief
[with photo] AJE 12 Aug by Dr Maryvelma Smith O’Neil — Deep within an ancient citadel in Jerusalem rests an extraordinarily rare relief map. It tells an intriguing tale of two cities – Jerusalem and Geneva – a tale which deserves to be heard by a wider audience. The model relief was made by Stephan Illés, an enterprising young Hungarian Catholic who arrived in Jerusalem in 1864 … From 1872 to 1873, he painstakingly crafted a 4.5 by 5 metre (15 by 16ft) 3D model to make what came to be known as the Illés Relief – a 19th century Google Map of Jerusalem. Night after night, Illés and his two assistants cut, melted and shaped beaten zinc (at the scale of 1:500), then painted thousands of pieces to simulate the natural and built topography of the city. Pastel paint suggested Jerusalem stone; subtle shifts in tone gave the effect of luminous shadow on buildings. The large scale model offers rare and revealing insights into the material reality of the city that Arab speakers call al-Quds al-Sharif. It is a rare and revealing large scale model of the geographical, spiritual, political and administrative centre of Palestine under late Ottoman rule, and remains the envy of contemporary cartographers and digital mappers alike
Official: Israel to allow Palestinians into Jerusalem on Tuesday
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Israeli authorities will allow Palestinians from the West Bank into Jerusalem on Tuesday to celebrate Laylat al-Qadr, a Palestinian official said Sunday. Jihad Jayyousi, the chief Palestinian liaison officer, told official news agency Wafa that Palestinians will be allowed to cross checkpoints from 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Laylat al-Qadr is one of the holiest nights in Ramadan, and marks the anniversary of the night when Muslims believe the Qur’an was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
Gaza Christians can pray in Israel, not Muslims: court
AFP 7 Aug — An Israeli court on Tuesday backed an Israeli government policy of allowing Christians from the Gaza Strip to pray at Israeli and West Bank holy sites, and denying the enclave’s Muslims the same right. The Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged by six Gaza Muslims and Israeli non-governmental organisation Gisha to challenge a ruling of the Beersheba District Court, which refused to intervene against the policy. The six women were prevented from going to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site in east Jerusalem, to pray during a Muslim festival.
Political / Economic / Diplomatic News
Abbas urges Egypt to destroy underground tunnels
JPost 11 Aug — Buoyed by growing tensions between Hamas and Cairo in wake of last week’s terrorist attack in Sinai, the Palestinian Authority on Saturday called on the Egyptians to tighten the blockade on Gaza by destroying all tunnels under their border with the Strip. The PA said the tunnels did not contribute to the economy in the Gaza Strip and were being used only by a small number of people for personal gain. This was the first time the PA has called publicly for the destruction of the tunnels. The appeal came as PA officials continued to insist that some of the terrorists who killed 16 Egyptian border guards had come from the Gaza Strip. The officials hope that tough Egyptian security measures in Sinai, including the destruction of the tunnels, will undermine Hamas’s rule in Gaza and possibly bring about its collapse. In the past few days, senior officials in Ramallah have been working hard to convince the Egyptians that Hamas and other radical groups in the Gaza Strip were linked — in one way or another — to last Sunday’s attack. The PA has also provided the Egyptian authorities with the names of several suspects from the Gaza Strip, a PA security source in Ramallah disclosed.
PA backs Egypt closing Gaza tunnels, to Hamas outrage
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — A senior Fatah official said Saturday that the Palestinian Authority supports Egypt’s efforts to shut down a tunnel network under the border with the Gaza Strip, prompting outrage from the territory’s Hamas government. Fatah’s Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, who also heads the president’s office, said the PA considers the tunnels “pathways of vandalism,” and backs Egypt’s fight against terrorist groups in the Sinai by closing them down.
Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil immediately hit back decrying the PA position as “despicable opportunism which contradicts all values and ethics and national responsibilities.”
Liberal Egyptian party opposes security cooperation with Hamas
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — The leader of an Egyptian political party has stated his opposition to security coordination between the Egyptian government and Gaza rulers Hamas following an attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in the border region. Al-Sayed al-Badawi, head of the liberal Wafd party, said at a press conference Saturday that Egypt does not need Hamas’ cooperation, and working with the faction would harm the reconciliation process with Fatah, which dominates the West Bank government. “The criminal and terrorist attack on Sinai is an Egyptian affair only, and the Egyptian army know how to respond to this crime,” he said, in comments broadcast by al-Hayah TV, which al-Badawi heads.
Gaza ‘increasingly cut off’ from territories: Fayyad
AFP 7 Aug — Gaza is becoming more and more cut off from the rest of the Palestinian territories as hopes of sealing a Fatah-Hamas unity deal fade, Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad has warned. “With each day that passes without practical steps towards achieving reconciliation, Gaza is starting to become a distinct entity,” he told reporters late on Monday. “Not a country nor sovereign territory, only a distinct entity.” And in parallel, hopes of achieving a Palestinian state were also fading as it was not possible to have an independent state in the West Bank alone, he said.”There is no Palestinian state without Gaza,” he admitted.
Abbas to seek major aid package at Islamic summit
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — President Mahmoud Abbas will present a multi-sector aid plan to lift the Palestinian Authority out of its financial crisis when he addresses the Organization of Islamic Countries this week, a PA minister said Sunday. The plan “needs hundreds of millions of dollars to be implemented, and we hope that Islamic countries will support us,” Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habash told Ma‘an.
Official media: Abbas met peace envoy in Jordan
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met on Saturday with the US special envoy to the Middle East peace process David Hale in Jordan, official Palestinian Authority media reported. Wafa news agency said the pair discussed developments in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis at Abbas’ residence in the Jordanian capital.
Lebanon Fatah leader says brigade ready to aid Palestinians in Syria
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — A Fatah leader in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp on Saturday said the group is ready to provide assistance to Palestinians in Syria in case of an escalation in the conflict. “We will not get involved in the Syrian situation because the Syrian government is responsible to protect Palestinian refugees, but in case this doesn’t happen we will be ready with a brigade and weapons to reach Palestinian refugee camps in Syria,” Munir al-Makdah, a leader in ‘Ain al-Hilweh camp, told Ma‘an. The Fatah leader said he has reformed a 400 man brigade called ‘Al-Yarmouk forces’ which is ready to head to Syria to provide protection for Palestinian refugees. “We have thousands of Palestinian soldiers who have been trained in Lebanon,” he added.
Syria welcomed them — now it has spat them out / Robert Fisk
Independent 10 Aug — The Palestinians caught in Syria’s crossfire have fled. Our writer met them in Bourj el-Barajneh, Beirut — Syria’s tragedy began 10 years before she was born. Her parents were driven from their home in Haifa — in that part of Palestine that became Israel — and fled to Lebanon in 1948, then to Syria in 1982. “God bless his soul, our Dad called me Syria and another sister he called Palestine,” she says, sitting in the corner of a hovel of oven-like heat in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut … Syria — the country — was a welcome place when Syria the refugee arrived there with her young husband as a refugee from the Lebanese civil war.
Racism / Discrimination
Tel Aviv municipality refuses to use Arabic in new logo
MEMO 8 Aug — The municipal council of Tel Aviv has rejected a proposal submitted by an Arab councillor from Jaffa to add the city’s name in Arabic to its new logo. Ahmed Masharawi submitted the proposal, saying that the proposed design ignores the significant Arab minority in the city. The municipality, however, said that 90 per cent of the city’s population are Jews and voted by a majority of fourteen to reject Masharawi’s suggestion.
Palestinian sources in Jaffa said that the rejection was “expected”, even though the inclusion of multilingual versions of city names on official signs and stationery is a policy adopted by all other so-called “mixed” cities.
Tel Aviv municipality censors speech by Arab city council member
Haaretz 10 Aug — A speech by Tel Aviv-Jaffa city council member Ahmed Mashharawi, in which he proposed that the city add an Arabic inscription to its official logo, was edited out of a recording of a recent city council meeting. The video was posted to city hall’s official YouTube page, where it regularly posts recordings of city council meetings. However, around 33 minutes into the video, after Mashharawi is called to the podium to give his speech, the recording abruptly skips to Mayor Ron Huldai’s response to his motion.
Photos: Refugees uprooted again in bid to expel foreigners
972mag 12 Aug — “Do you know, Rami, that I was in ‘Mustafa Mahmoud?’” Regina, a 12-year-old South Sudanese girl, asked me after she and her family were released from 27 days in an Israeli prison. Her father, a tall man with noticeable facial scars from the torture he underwent in Khartoum, affirms her words, handing me an old newspaper clipping from Egypt, dated 2005. I cannot read Arabic, but I can see her mother, laying on the ground, surrounded by police officers in one photo, and the little body of a child covered by a white sheet in another. “This was my cousin. He was killed by the police there,” adds Regina. ‘Mustafa Mahmoud’ refers to a massacre committed by the Cairo police during a peaceful demonstration by South Sudanese refugees near the UNHCR offices. The massacre sparked the first wave of African refugees fleeing to Israel, crossing the Sinai desert and reaching the promised land. For many of the members of the community, the years in Israel were the only calm years in their lives. For many of the children, these years were happy childhood years, spent living in multicultural neighborhoods, going to schools, learning a new language, meeting school teachers and staff who care for the well-being of any child regardless of gender, color, or nationality.
Activists: Israeli forces enter Egypt for migrants
CAIRO (AP) 10 Aug — Israel has been sending soldiers into Egypt’s Sinai desert to stop African migrants before they reach the border, handing them over to Egyptian forces, human rights groups charged in a report released Friday … The use of Israeli soldiers just inside Egyptian territory, with apparent Egyptian consent, would be a startling move, given widespread anti-Israeli sentiment among Egyptians and the strong sensitivities over Sinai, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and returned after the 1979 peace deal between the two countries. Cooperation with Israel is a touchy subject in Egypt, which has had cool relations with Israel since the peace treaty was signed … The three rights group called on Israel to stop the practice, saying it was aimed at preventing migrants from entering Israel, where the government would then have to consider their claims of asylum. The groups said repatriating asylum seekers who might be in danger in their home countries is a violation of international law.
Revised gov’t protocol gives PM unprecedented power
Ynet 12 Aug — Ministers approve dramatic amendments to government protocol which enable Netanyahu to root out opposition to fateful decisions, delay implementation of approved decisions
Mashaal attends funeral of Palestinian cleric in Jordan
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal on Saturday attended the funeral of a well-known Palestinian cleric who passed away in Jordan. Hundreds participated in the funeral of Sheikh Omar Suleiman al-Ashqar, 72, who is from Burqa village near Nablus, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. Al-Ashqar studied Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Cairo. He later lectured in Saudi Arabia before becoming chair of Islamic law in Al-Zarqaa University in Jordan.
Ramadan tradition brings jobs to Gaza youth
Gaza (Gulf News) 10 Aug by Ahmad Najjar — Masaharatis wake people up for pre-fasting meals — Every night just before dawn since the beginning of Ramadan on late August, Mohammad Bakhar, 20, and his brothers start their work, which happens only one month a year during the holy month of Ramadan. Mohammad and his brothers are called by the local residents as “Al Musaharati,” the man who roams the streets, beats the drum and sings songs during Ramadan to wake people up for their pre-fasting meals, better known as ‘Al Sahour’. They roam through the narrow streets and alleys of the beach refugee camp of over half a million population in Gaza city, breaking the silence by beating the drums, singing traditional Ramadan songs, call prayers, praise mighty Allah and prayers on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) … The Bakeer sons are not the only “Musaharatis” in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. In every neighbourhood, refugee camp or village, there are Musaharatis. [In 2002 Israeli soldiers shot one Ramadan drummer dead as he was making his rounds in a refugee camp in Nablus, a shocking crime.]
Some dodge Ramadan fast, indulge in secret
Ramallah, West Bank (AP) 12 Aug by Diaa Hadid — Alongside hundreds of millions of Muslims observing the sunrise-to-sundown fast of Ramadan, a minority goes underground each year during the holy month — which ends Saturday — sneaking sandwiches and cigarettes when no one is looking. They include Muslims ambivalent about their faith or outright atheists, nicotine addicts too hooked to quit for 15 hours straight or those who simply don’t want to deal with a day of being hungry. The Ramadan dodgers indulge in secret — mostly to avoid offending those who are fasting or to avoid embarrassment. Community pressure is powerful.
Video: First Palestinian male ballet dancer battles prejudices
LONDON (BBC) 10 Aug — …As the only classically trained, male Palestinian dancer, 21-year-old Ayman Safiah has had to face huge opposition from within his own community. “My desire to study classical ballet was simply beyond the understanding of my classmates,” he explains. “They only knew that it was something women enjoyed. It was completely alien to them.” An Arab citizen of Israel, Ayman was born in Kafr Yassif in the Galilee — the pre-eminent cultural town from where well-known artists and writers such as Mahmoud Darwish have sprung on to the international stage … But now that he has graduated from the Rambert School he faces a new obstacle — a change in the Israeli government’s attitude towards “mixed” dance schools and ballet companies.
Genetics: Cystic fibrosis knows no borders
Jerusalem (The Forward) 12 Aug — For generations, one Palestinian village just east of Jerusalem watched young adult after young adult lose their lives to a disabling disease. Eventually, the villagers learned that the previously unnamed killer was cystic fibrosis, a recessive genetic disorder that thickens mucous in the lungs and leads to life-threatening infections. But they failed to grasp that its incidence was high because the village has a particularly high concentration of carriers — and people tended to marry within the village … Over the last ten years Eitan Kerem, a Jewish doctor from Jerusalem, has worked with a Palestinian physician in the village to create a culture of genetic testing, similar to what exists among Ashkenazi Jews for Tay Sachs disease.[rather condescending article, but interesting]
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
Romney, economic realities and one Palestinian’s story / Kristin Szremski
AJE 4 Aug — Murad’s story typifies Palestinians’ experience of running into proverbial roadblocks at every turn of their development — …By now, Romney’s comments have been thoroughly dissected, deconstructed and also, from Romney’s camp, even denied. But they bear looking into again in light of the personal story of a Palestinian agronomy student who wants to contribute positively to his society, finding himself thwarted by the occupation and the maze of rules governing international aid agencies. His story typifies Palestinians’ experience of running into proverbial and actual roadblocks at every turn of their personal development – while it also helps explain that economic problems are occupation-induced, not the result of a population devoid of a “divine Midas touch”, which Romney intimated “Providence” bestowed upon Israeli Jews.
The Palestine Romney doesn’t know / Zahi Khouri
WaPo 9 Aug – Zahi Khouri is a Palestinian American businessman and founder of Palestinian National Beverage Co. I am a proud American. I am a hardworking businessman and job creator. I am a faithful Christian. And I am Palestinian. Much as my multiple identities might drive Mitt Romney to head scratching, it is he who needs a lesson in, to borrow his recent words, “culture and a few other things.” Were he to spend a day with me in the Holy Land, I could take him to the Jerusalem neighborhood where my family home has stood for five centuries. I could show him the orange trees in Jaffa that my family helped introduce to the world in the 1930s. That’s right: Jaffa oranges are a Palestinian, not Israeli, trademark. Yet like so many “cultural” markers claimed by the self-professed Jewish state, even the fruit trees my people have tended for centuries have been expropriated.
Grace Halsell: De-bunker of Christian Zionist doctrine / Stuart Littlewood
Pal. Chron. 11 Aug — Not long ago I quoted American journalist Grace Halsell in an article about the damaging influence of the Scofield Bible, not realising how sorely she was made to suffer for setting out the truth. That article, ‘”The Zionist cuckoos in Christianity’s nest,” showed how Cyrus Scofield corrupted the Biblical message and produced a propaganda classic that has been working its evil for 100 years. Scofield, a convicted criminal and described by one American newspaper as “a shyster,” was commissioned to re-write the King James Bible by inserting Zionist-friendly notes. The idea was to change the Christian view of Zionism by creating and promoting a pro-Zionist sub-culture within Christianity. The Oxford University Press appointed Scofield as editor, and the Scofield Reference Bible was born. It introduced a new worship icon, the modern State of Israel, which did not exist until 1948 but was already being ‘prepped’ on the drawing board of the World Zionist movement.
Israel’s sinister attacks on Abbas / Dr. Daud Abdullah
MEMO 10 Aug — There is something very sinister about Israel’s attacks on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They bring back memories of the campaign that preceded the demise of the late Yasser Arafat … In a week when there were loud calls for an independent inquiry into Arafat’s death, Lieberman told his Australian counterpart Bob Carr, “There will be neither diplomatic progress nor an accord with the Palestinians as long as Abbas remains in power.” Lieberman’s remarks drew swift condemnation from the presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, who described them as “dangerous incitement”. He pointed out that what Lieberman said bore a sinister resemblance to those made by Sharon when he openly called for the murder of Arafat.
Book review: Unmasking the ‘Jewish and democratic’ state / Mya Guarnieri
972mag 12 Aug – Israel at once discriminates against Palestinian citizens of the state while trotting out their limited “rights” as proof positive of our “vibrant democracy.” Ben White’s latest book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination, and Democracy, is a response to this farce. Palestinians in Israel is a short but compelling read that teases out the tensions inherent in a “Jewish and democratic” state by revealing the multitude of ways Israel has historically treated and continues to treat its Palestinian minority as second-class citizens.
Book review: How Israeli school textbooks teach kids to hate / Asa Winstanley
London (EI) 11 Aug — At the height of Israel’s brutal 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip, then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni claimed that “Palestinians teach their children to hate us and we teach love thy neighbor” (232). The first part of this myth is propagated by people like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and more recently Newt Gingrich, who both spread the baseless claim that Palestinian schoolbooks teach anti-Semitism. This calumny originated with anti-Palestinian propagandandists such as Israeli settler Itamar Marcus and his “Palestinian Media Watch.” In an important new book, Palestine in Israeli School Books, Israeli language and education professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan buries the second part of Livni’s myth once and for all.