Israeli disruptions as olive harvest begins
Israeli soldiers prevent farmers from accessing land
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli soldiers prevented farmers from tending their land in Hebron on Saturday, medics said. Soldiers stopped over 50 farmers from accessing their olive trees on land near Adora settlement and fired tear gas to disperse them, Red Crescent official Abdul Haleem al-Jaafreh told Ma‘an.
Settlers cut down olive trees, vines near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli settlers on Friday destroyed 100 newly-planted olive saplings and at least 60 vine trees on private Palestinian land in Al-Khader village near Bethlehem … Younis Mahfouzh Mousa, the owner of the vineyard, said that as he went to his field early on Saturday morning, he found that more than 60 trees had started to wither. When he got closer, he found that the main trunks were cut with scissors, while the trees remained on the steel support. “This vandalism is clear evidence that settlers are devoid of any human characteristic. They attack every Palestinian property including trees and stones.” … “This settlement assault against the Palestinian land in al-Khader and other places is part of a governmental plan to Judaise the land,” says Ahmad Salah. Newe Daniyyel settlement considers the surrounding lands an area for the settlement’s natural expansion, he added.
Official: Settlers uproot olive trees in Ramallah village
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Israeli settlers uprooted around 40 olive trees in a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, a local official said on Sunday. Villagers from Ras Karkar, northwest of Ramallah, discovered the trees had been destroyed on Sunday morning, village council head Riziq Nofel told Ma‘an. A group of 10 villagers went to pick the olives and were assaulted by residents of the Nerya settler outpost which is built on Ras Karkar’s land, he said. Israeli forces came to stop the attack and briefly held two men from the village, Nofel added.
Settlers attack Palestinian near Ramallah, leading to confrontations
RAMALLAH, Oct 7 (WAFA) – Confrontations Sunday erupted between Palestinians and Jewish settlers after settlers attacked them and burned tens of olive trees in the village of Beitillu, northwest of Ramallah, according to witnesses. They told WAFA that settlers from Nhaliel settlement, built illegally on the village land, attacked several Palestinians while they were picking olives, as well as burned tens of olive trees, leading to confrontations between them and the settlers. Israeli forces interfered to protect the settlers and prevent violent clashes. One of the farmers said that the village residents and their land are constantly targeted by settlers’ attacks; around 300 olive trees were uprooted during the last month of September.
Israeli soldiers and settlers attack Palestinian farmers in al-Khalil, Nablus
NABLUS/AL-KHALIL,(PIC)– Israeli settlers continued their attacks in various parts of the West Bank, where they attacked this morning Palestinian farmers in the village of Kufr Qaddoum while on their way to their fields west of Nablus. Local sources said that the settlers attacked the farmers in their fields, throwing stones and threatening them at gunpoint under the protection of Israeli soldiers, in the land located along the street that links the districts of Qalqilya and Nablus.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and a large number of settlers from the settlement of Ma’oun established on lands confiscated from Palestinians east of Yatta, near al-Khalil, attacked on Saturday Palestinian farmers, while picking their olive trees in the Hamra area and Alrakiz and Srorah areas east of Yatta town.
Haj Mahmoud Yatim Rob’i told PIC’s correspondent that settlers came to their fields and begun threatening them to leave their lands or the Israeli army will be called and that is what the settlers did, where Israeli soldiers came to the scene accompanied with police dogs and threatened the farmers to leave their land or the dogs would be unleashed on them.
Al-Aqsa and other places of worship
1948 Palestinians perform historic Friday prayer in Beersheba mosque
NEGEV (PIC) 6 Oct — Palestinians from 1948-occupied Palestine performed Friday prayers in Beersheba’s mosque and then participated in a rally in response to Israeli Wines Festival which took place in the mosque two weeks ago. This week’s Friday was called “Friday of the Liberation of Beersheba’s Mosque”, and yesterday’s prayer was described by the citizens as historic; having been denied praying in this mosque since the Israeli announcement of the Declaration of Independence in 1948 … The Friday congregation was attended by a number of leading figures from the 1948-occupied Palestine and some Arab members of Knesset, who all affirmed the Palestinians’ right to this mosque, pointing to their intention to resume prayers in the mosque, which the Israeli occupation had banned prayers in
Israeli forces ‘deploy at Al-Aqsa after clashes’
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Hundreds of Israeli forces deployed around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning, a local foundation said, as tensions continued at the Jerusalem religious site amid Jewish holidays. Israeli troops confiscated the identity documents of worshipers in al-Aqsa and ordered a large number of youth to leave the compound, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Islamic Endowments said. Israeli news site Ynet reported that a Palestinian was detained at the site on suspicion of organizing unrest at the compound in recent days. Another two Jews were detained after they performed prayers at the site, the report said. The Al-Aqsa foundation said dozens of Israelis had entered the al-Aqsa compound to perform religious rituals.
Tension running high in Aqsa vicinity
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 Oct — Tension is running high in the Aqsa mosque and its vicinity in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday after a new batch of settlers stormed its plazas. Local sources said that Israeli police forced out of the mosque worshipers and a group of Palestinian young men before allowing in 35 Jewish settlers. They said that police forces secured the ‘extremist’ settlers and restricted the entry of Palestinian Arabs even the elderly people. The sources pointed out that the police were allowing Jerusalemite women into the mosque on condition they hand their IDs at the gates.
Vicious Friday attacks on Al Aqsa
Mondoweiss 6 Oct — Friday’s violence against Al-Aqsa (Israeli police storm al-Aqsa compound, throw sound bombs / Israelis celebrating Sukkot beat Palestinian worshipers – also see video here) is the result of a months long public campaign by Israeli forces against both the mosque and Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Electronic Intifada documented as early as February 10th, 2012 that Israeli politicians and their proxy army of settlers were actively attempting to destroy Al-Aqsa: Israel media publish, retract, then confirm calls for destruction of Al-Aqsa, “cleansing” of Israel’s “enemies”. Earlier this week, the same Israeli politician who published calls in February to destroy Al-Aqsa organized a rampage of the mosque …
Here’s what’s been happening for the last 4 weeks, most recent on top:
Temple Mount Faithful: From the fringes to the mainstream
Haaretz 4 Oct — Once consigned to messianic extremist fringes, movements fighting the ban on Jewish prayers on Temple Mount are now endorsed by moderate rabbis. Even the Education Ministry has taken sides by encouraging pupils to visit the site … It was also the first time activists for repealing the ban on Jewish ritual on the Temple Mount have managed to translate their predominantly theological campaign into a concrete political program. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has tabled a bill, and MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) made a public statement, both calling for changing the legal status of the Temple Mount for the first time since 1967, the year Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering the compound, as well as allocating prayer times for Jews.
Meanwhile, based on information recently gathered by a prison informant, police believe “price tag” attacks on Muslims at the Temple Mount are imminent. A suspect arrested in connection to other “price tag” attacks told the informant that he was planning to “go and do something big” at Temple Mount.
Following the dream of a third temple in Jerusalem
Haaretz 4 Oct — More than 90 percent of Israel’s religious public wants to be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Some groups, though, wish to go even further and build a Third Temple in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. What fuels the dreams of these Jewish extremists? …
The Haredim are known to be absolutely against visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. But Rabbi Yosef Elboim, a Belz Hasid and the founder of the Movement for the Establishment of the Temple, broke that taboo some years ago. Although reviled for it by many in his community, he continues to promote the idea of renewing animal sacrifice on the Temple Mount, and in the meantime to visit the site at every opportunity …
For [Arnon] Segal and his colleagues, the Temple is the crowning glory of a whole way of life they want to restore. It includes animal sacrifices, the institution of the Sanhedrin (the judicial, legislative and executive authority) and many more elements of a Jewish society that existed two millennia ago….
Israeli violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Israeli air strike wounds 2 militants, 8 bystanders in Gaza Strip
GAZA (Reuters) 7 Oct — A missile fired by an Israeli aircraft hit and wounded two Palestinian militants and eight bystanders in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian hospital officials said. The militants were riding a motorcycle near the town of Rafah which borders Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. One of them and a bystander were in a critical condition, the officials said. The bystanders included three children, a woman and an elderly man. The Israeli military said the two militants were members of “Global Jihadist” groups based in the Gaza Strip who had for years attacked Israeli civilians and troops and were also involved in weapons manufacturing. The military named the two men as Talat Jarbi and Mohammed Makawi and indicated the strike was aimed specifically at them.
Activists: 15-year-old injured by Israeli gunfire
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces fired a rubber-coated bullet at protesters Friday in the occupied West Bank, injuring a 15 year old boy, activists in the Nabi Saleh village said. Soldiers fired so-called skunk water, rubber bullets, and high-velocity tear gas canisters at demonstrators protesting the loss of access to their land due to a nearby settlement. Activists identified the 15-year-old as Waed Tamimi. They said in a statement he was shot in his side by a rubber-coated bullet after soldiers invaded the village. The boy was treated by Red Crescent medics on the scene, they said.
Soldiers attack weekly protest in Kufr Qaddoum
IMEMC 6 Oct — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements, in Kufr Qaddoum village, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and kidnapped an international solidarity activist. Hundreds of residents, Israeli and international supporters marched against the illegal Wall and Israel’s illegal settlements, and in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, subject to frequent attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers and settlers…
Also on Friday, soldiers attacked nonviolent protesters in several parts of the West Bank, including in the villages of Bil‘in and Ni‘lin, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Beit Ummar near Hebron, in addition to Al-Ma‘sara and Al-Walaja near Bethlehem.
Teenager injured by tear gas canister at weekly protest in Nabi Saleh
ISM 6 Oct — Waed Bassim Tamimi, a 15 year old boy was hit in the side of his body by a tear gas canister in Nabi Saleh today. There was excessive use of live ammunition by Israeli forces in and around the village during the weekly non violent demonstration against the illegal occupation of their lands … Waed, aged 15, was on a road between houses inside the village when he was hit. He was treated by people from the village who said he was “taking the injury bravely and did not want to make a fuss.” During the last three years that Nabi Saleh has been holding its weekly non violent demonstrations Waed has been hit five times by tear gas grenades or rubber coated steel bullets. At 3.45 pm the village was rocked by the sound of the sharp crack of live ammunition being fired. Some demonstrators had managed to make their way down the hill towards the village spring. A group of Israeli soldiers were in the field below and fired at least twenty live rounds in a couple of minutes at the demonstrators.
Settlers storm al-Khalil under IOF protection
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 6 Oct — Groups of settlers stormed, on Friday, the alleys of the Old City of al-Khalil under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF). Eyewitnesses told the PIC that the settlers provocatively roamed the neighborhoods and alleys in the Old City and Shuhada street and threatened residents in their homes. The settlers were escorted by scores of IOF soldiers who have been imposing tight security measures on the residents of al-Khalil and preventing them from entering the Ibrahimi Mosque under the pretext of “Jewish holidays.”
Meanwhile, IOF forces stormed on Friday evening the regions of Kharsa and Tabka south of Dura, southern al-Khalil, which led to confrontations between dozens of youths and those forces, said local sources.
Settlers allegedly beat cops posing as Palestinians
JPost 7 Oct — The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday extended by two days the remand of three settlers arrested last week for attacking three undercover Israel Police posing as Palestinian shepherds on a hilltop outside Susiya in the West Bank. According to the court protocol, on October 4th, three cops dressed as Palestinian shepherds were standing on a hill outside Susiya when they were approached by a settler who told them they had one minute to leave. Police said the suspect then made a phone call and within moments, the three suspects arrived armed with sticks, with their t-shirts pulled over their faces as masks. Police said the men immediately began attacking the police, who began yelling “police! police!” and fighting back, using pepper spray and arresting the three suspects … According to police, the undercover operation was called after a long series of attacks in the south Hebron Hills by settlers against Palestinian shepherds and left-wing activists working with them.
Israeli army turns Palestinian homes in Hebron into military barracks
MEMO 4 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces have turned the roofs of Palestinian homes in the ancient city of Hebron, south of the West Bank, into military barracks and control points under the pretext of providing security for Jewish settlers during the Hebrew celebrations of the Sukkot Feast. Human rights sources in the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee reported that a large number of Israeli forces took over the roofs of several Palestinian homes along the lanes of the old town. These houses, including the family home of the Islam Al-Fakhouri in Al-Sahla area, have been turned into military barracks and control towers while the families have been forced to leave. Israeli soldiers also commandeered the roofs of the Abdulmutallab Abu Sunaina, Imran Abu Rumaila, Daoud Jaber, Nader Salaymeh and AliAl-Rajabi households turning them into control points.
Confrontations at Hitta gate in occupied Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 Oct — Clashes have erupted at Hitta Gate neighborhood and Silsla Gate street in the old town of Jerusalem, on Saturday night, between the occupation forces and settlers and Jerusalemite traders. A number of settlers in the street Silsla Gate have provoked traders insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, which led to verbal altercations and then a fistfight between the two parties. The Israeli police came to the scene and assaulted the merchant Said Salhi, 55, and his brother Ali, 46, and his son Abbas, 25, who were beaten and pepper-sprayed, locals told PIC. Ali Salhi and Abbas were transferred to “Chara Tsidaq” hospital, while Said was arrested under the pretext of attacking an Israeli policeman.
Prominent Israeli figures hold send-off for a settler who abused Palestinian teen
Haaretz 7 Oct — Prominent rabbis, public officials and a Knesset member, on Saturday, held a send-off for a criminal about to enter prison after being convicted of abusing a Palestinian youth. The event was held in the West Bank Shilo settlement in honor of Zvi Struck, who was convicted of abusing a Palestinian youth in July 2007, together with another man whose identity remains unknown. The two beat the youth up, bound him, fired their guns close to him, undressed him and threw him naked at the roadside. Three months earlier the two men had beaten up the same youth and killed a young goat.
Israel detains 4 fishermen off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Israeli forces detained four men fishing off the northern Gaza shore on Sunday morning. Head of Gaza’s fishing association Mahfouth al-Kabriti said gunboats seized Majed Fadel Baker, and his three sons Omran 26, Fadi 23, and Muhammad, 19, while they were on a fishing trip. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the boat breached the designated fishing zone and did not respond to warning shots by the Israeli navy. The boat was taken to Israeli port Ashdod and the men are being held for security questioning, she said. A week ago, 22-year-old fisherman Fahmi Salah Abu Rayash died after he was shot by Israeli snipers stationed near the shore, Hamas officials said.
Ansar 3 convoy arrives in Gaza
IMEMC 7 Oct — The Ansar 3 Jordanian solidarity convoy managed to enter the Gaza Strip, Sunday, through the Rafah Border Terminal between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, the Palestinian Information Center reported. The convoy, headed by Jordanian solidarity activist, Basheer Az-Zameely, includes 67 activists, most of them are Jordanians … On his part, Az-Zameely said that convoy members came from Jordan “to break this unjust siege, and to tell the Gazans that they are not alone”. He added that convoy members include Engineers, Physicians and Pharmacists who came to Gaza to provide scientific and consultation services to the Palestinian people in the coastal region.
Mishaal discusses alternatives to Rafah tunnels with Egyptian officials
CAIRO (PIC) 6 Oct — Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal discussed with Egyptian officials alternatives to the closing of Rafah tunnels that supply besieged Gaza Strip with vital supplies. Mishaal met with Egyptian intelligence chief Ra’fat Shehada along with other officials over the past two days in Cairo and discussed Arab and Palestinian developments. Well informed Palestinian sources told the PIC reporter in Cairo that Gaza developments topped the agenda of Mishaal’s talks in light of the continuation of the siege and the scarcity of medicines and food supplies. The Hamas leader called for opening the Rafah border crossing on permanent basis.
Egypt seizes fuel headed to Gaza tunnels in Sinai
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Egyptian authorities seized 6,500 liters of fuel in northern Sinai that were headed to Gaza via underground border tunnels, security sources said. Forces stopped three trucks in Bir al-Abed and detained two smugglers, while a third escaped, the sources said. Gaza’s only border crossing not controlled by Israel, Egypt’s Rafah terminal, is not equipped for the transfer of goods.
Gaza, Israel officials meet at Erez crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — A meeting was held recently at Erez crossing between Palestinian officials from the Hamas-run government and Israeli officials, Ma‘an has learned … Representatives of the union of Palestinian contractors attended the meeting along with officials from Palestinian banks and the transportation sector. On the Israeli side, the meeting was attended by the southern command chief Tal Russo and his deputy, a Ma‘an reporter said. The Palestinian side requested that Israel allow a Qatari project to reconstruct the Gaza Strip just like other projects funded by international organizations in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s southern command chief replied that the Palestinian Authority should submit an official application to the Israeli side who will study the application “positively” and determine the mechanism to allow entry of construction material for the Qatari projects.
Gaza crossing closes over Jewish holiday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Israeli authorities closed the sole goods crossing into the Gaza Strip for two days on Sunday during Jewish holidays, officials said. Palestinian officials in Gaza told Ma‘an the Kerem Shalom terminal would re-open on Tuesday, after the Sukkot holiday.
Rafah crossing to open 24 hours a day for Hajj pilgrims
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open 24 hours a day from Oct. 14 to cater for Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage, a Hamas official said Saturday. Crossings director Maher Abu Sabha told Ma‘an that the crossing will be open around the clock for six days to allow around 3,750 Gaza pilgrims to travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia … Four flights will leave el-Arish every day, with Saudi Arabia providing expenses for some 1,000 pilgrims, the Hamas official added.
Court upholds Gaza to W. Bank student exchange ban
JPost 7 Oct — The High Court of Justice recently upheld a government policy prohibiting a group of five Gazan women’s rights activists from majoring in gender studies at Bir Zeit University north of Ramallah. The women had been offered the opportunity to go to university through a US-sponsored scholarship program. The ruling was noteworthy since in two previous hearings the court had issued two interim orders seemingly demanding that the state allow the women to use their scholarships and study for their degree.
Swedish ship sets sail to challenge Gaza blockade
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — A Swedish ship set sail from Italy on Saturday in a bid to challenge Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip, the organizers said. Ship to Gaza Sweden said that several hundred participants gathered to bid the ship farewell at a quay in Naples. “In spite of Israeli pressure to stop Estelle from leaving the port the Italian authorities remained unmovable,” the group said.
Fishermen from Gaza risk their lives at work
Deutsche Welle 6 Oct — The fishermen from Gaza have a dangerous job. Israeli soldiers, often armed to the gills, obstruct their work. Last week, a 22-year-old fisherman was shot dead.
It’s early morning in Gaza, and the fish market is buzzing with activity. The fishermen have put their catch on display along the coastal road on the Mediterranean beach. Small sardines are shimmering silver in blue plastic tubs. There are also a few shrimp in the tubs, but there are hardly any bigger fish on sale at the improvised marketplace. Amid the haggling, Ahmed has brought 25 boxes of fish to the market today – he was only able to catch small sardines. And even for them he had to drive far to the south tip of the Gaza Strip. Here in the North off the coast of Gaza City, the sea is depleted. There are not even sardines here anymore. In order to catch anything Ahmed has his boat down in the harbour of Rafah, on the Egyptian border.
Gazans stage soccer protest at Israeli Shalit’s Barcelona visit
GAZA (Reuters) 7 Oct — Palestinians freed from Israeli jails held their own version of the Barcelona-Real Madrid soccer match on Sunday to protest at the presence of a former captive Israeli soldier at the actual fixture. The five-a-side kick-about in Gaza comprised mostly of Palestinian ex-prisoners that Israel swapped for Gilad Shalit … Wearing the shirts of the two Spanish giant clubs, the Palestinians called on hosts Barcelona to deny Shalit access to Sunday night”s match. They thought he had been invited by the club, although Barcelona has denied this. “Soccer is a sport that carries the message of freedom and love but we are against it when an (Israeli) soldier is invited, because it equates between the victim and the aggressor,” said Yasser Saleh, who spent 17 years in Israeli jails.
Security services in Gaza hold drills
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — The ministry of interior in the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip conducted a field drill for all the security services including police and national security on Saturday. A ministry statement said the maneuver was part of “normal drill” for all the ministry’s security services and in line with the ministry’s efforts to maintain security and stability in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza teachers inspire children against odds
ReliefWeb 5 Oct — The Gaza Strip is a difficult place to get an education. Amid a backdrop of violence, unemployment, and extreme poverty resulting from the ongoing Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave, the quality of children’s education in Gaza has declined in recent years. Years of underfunding have also left the education system overstretched, with 94 per cent of schools operating on double shifts: hosting one “school” of students in the morning and one in the afternoon. Many students in UNRWA’s schools live below the poverty line. But two teachers at UNRWA’s Gaza schools are setting an example for educators around the world.
Gaza govt tries to phase out motorcycles
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Gaza’s government has banned the entry of spare parts for motorcycles or old makes of car as a safety measure, transport minister Osama al-Assawi announced Sunday. Ministry official Hassan Akashed said the move aims to reduce the number of motorcycles, which he said are a main cause of car accidents in the coastal enclave.
IOA blocks visit by medical team to hunger strikers
RAMALLAH (PIC) 6 Oct — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has blocked a visit by a committee of specialized foreign doctors to three Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike for long periods. The Palestinian prisoner’s committee said in a statement on Saturday that the medical team asked for permission to visit the three prisoners Samer Al-Barq, Hassan Safadi, and Samer Al-Issawi, on Friday but was denied permission. It said that Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 65 days, was suffering serious health problems including inability to walk and was being held under bad incarceration conditions in Nafha jail.
PA extends detention of journalist Walid Khalid
NABLUS (PIC) 6 Oct — Judge Emad Thabit extended detention of journalist and novelist Walid Khalid, former director of the bureau of “Filastin” daily newspaper in the West Bank, only one day after the decision to release him. A court in Nablus issued on Wednesday a ruling to release Khalid but the PA Preventive Security Service which arrested him refused to implement the verdict. Walid Khalid appeared the next day, Thursday, before the same judge Emad Thabit, who extended his detention for 15 additional days.
Ahras: 70 percent of Megiddo detainees jailed for taking and sending money
GAZA (PIC) 7 Oct — Ahrar center for prisoner studies and human rights said more than 70 percent of the Palestinians who were jailed in Megiddo prison in 2012 were arrested mainly on allegations of receiving and transferring money. In a report, the center noted that those detainees are mostly axed from their jobs by the Palestinian authority government for their affiliation with Hamas. It affirmed that all these detainees were detained after their telecommunications and internet lines were spied on.
Solidarity / BDS
Bypassing Israel, French capital endorses unprecedented agreement with East Jerusalem
The Times of Israel 4 Oct — France’s most populous administrative zone, encompassing the capital Paris, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinian district of Jerusalem, a move organizers say is designed to send a “political message” of solidarity with the Palestinians and their aspirations for a future capital in the city. The French region described the agreement as the “first of its kind.” The decision is a blow to Israel’s claim that the eastern sector is part of its united capital. A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said east Jerusalem “does not exist” as a separate entity and that the French council was “living in a make-believe world.”
Photos: Inspired by US, Palestine solidarity billboards go up across South Africa
EI 7 Oct — Twelve billboards have gone up across South Africa showing how Israeli colonization has gradually taken away Palestinian land … Visit BDS South Africa’s website: bdssouthafrica.com
Diamonds from Africa, ginger from the settlements / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 7 Oct — By opposing the marking of products from the settlements, Jerusalem is telling European consumers they should not make a distinction and in this way is exposing all Israeli produce to a boycott … Of course, every consumer with a conscience in the world is entitled to know whether he is buying blood diamonds from Africa; sneakers manufactured in the sweat shops of Asia; perfumes tested on animals; stolen goods, or products from stolen lands. Europe owes this to its citizens; they should know what they are buying. Just like they should know what the components and nutritional values are of every item, it is their right to know what their moral and legal values are. After that, every consumer can decide for himself whether to smear his body with cream from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea or to drink Merlot wine from the occupied Golan Heights. It is difficult to understand how the consumer organizations in Europe did not demand this obligatory information until now.
ELCA, other churches call for investigation of military aid to Israel
CHICAGO (ELCA) 5 Oct — Concerned about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and the commitment for a just peace, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and other U.S. Christian leaders are urging Congress to conduct an investigation into possible human rights and weapon violations by the government of Israel. In an Oct. 5 letter to Congress, the religious leaders cited possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which respectively excludes assistance to any country that engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limits the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.”
Apple does not recognize Jerusalem as capital of ‘Jewish state’
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 Oct — The Hebrew Maariv newspaper reported that many of the Israeli users of “iPhone 5” complained that the Maps application on Apple’s new iPhone does not list Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The newspaper added that “iPhone 5” users discovered that Apple’s new operating system does not show Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state although every other country on the map has its capital listed … It also pointed out that one other major app associated with the new system is the built-in World Clock app. Each city in the World Clock app is followed by its country; again, this is not the case when it comes to Jerusalem, which is listed as a city without an associated country.
West Bank doctors set to aid Syria refugees
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Doctors from the West Bank have formed a delegation to travel to Turkey in order to assist Palestinians fleeing Syria, the organizers said Sunday. The Al-Quds Medical Association said the delegation includes 25 doctors specialized in different fields. They are slated to spend two weeks in Turkey, but will stay longer if needed, the group said. Doctors are preparing to leave and are waiting for orders from President Mahmoud Abbas, who requested the delegation, it added. Some 225,000 Palestinian refugees have been directly affected by the 18-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.
The forgotten refugees of Gaza
5 Oct Siraj Davis and Yasmine Omar Mahmoud Lulu for Salem-News.com — The Gaza camp in Jordan, near the northwestern historical area of Jerrash where the ruins of the Greco Roman Empire flourished along with other civilizations, is a camp that originated from the 1967 Arab/Israeli War. During this war, about 12,000 refugees fled from the now blockaded city of Gaza in Palestine to this area. As of recent, it now has a populace of about 30,000 Gazan émigrés … The Gazan derived residents have no National ID or travel papers, like breathing and visible ghosts after 5 decades of Jordan being their domicile and giving birth to children inside of Jordan, they and their posterity don’t exist.
Hamas calls on UNRWA to teach pupils displaced from Syria
BEIRUT (PIC) 6 Oct — Hamas expressed concern about the situation of Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria to Lebanon, noting that UNRWA did not start yet to implement the resolution on displaced pupils’ education. Hamas’s refugees affairs bureau on Friday said in a statement that a number of families reported that their children went to UNRWA’s schools, and joined the classrooms, but were not offered lessons or educational programs like the other pupils.
Political, economic developments
Campaigning begins for West Bank elections
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Campaigning for upcoming local elections in the West Bank started on Saturday, two weeks ahead of the poll date. The Oct. 20 elections will be contested in only 94 of the West Bank’s 353 electoral districts, according to information released by the Central Elections Commission … Local councils in the West Bank will be elected using proportional representation, after a party reaches the threshold of 8 percent of votes. The full list of candidates is published on the Central Elections Commission website.
Hamas election boycott leaves West Bank Palestinians with only one choice
Nablus (CSM) 6 Oct — Campaigning begins today for West Bank local elections this month. Hamas might have done well in some cities, like Nablus, but its boycott means rival Fatah is already the de facto winner.
Abu Zuhri: Gaza is open for all
GAZA (PIC) 7 Oct — The spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on Fatah movement in the West Bank to stop its security persecution and political arrests and to release the detainees in PA prisons, and to enable Hamas movement to continue its political resistance to the occupation. “Gaza is open for all, but also there are legal measures required for political party visits”, Abu Zuhri told Quds Press, adding that Fatah Movement has to reconsider its position, because it works to regroup the movement in the Gaza Strip while at the same time it aims to eliminate Hamas from West Bank, he said considering it as an unaccepted situation.
PLO to start legal process against Lieberman indictment
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — The PLO has appointed a legal committee to begin the process of putting together a lawsuit against Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, an official said Sunday. Nimir Hammad, political adviser to President Abbas, told Ma‘an that lawyers will contact Israeli, American and European legal experts to start proceedings against Lieberman for inflammatory remarks made about Abbas, which they say put the president’s life at risk.
Palestinian water authority: West Bank prices will not increase
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — The Palestinian Water Authority will not increase water prices in the West Bank, even if Israel decides on a price hike, an official said Saturday. Shaddad al-Attili, director of the authority, told Ma‘an that they currently buy water from Israel for 2.6 shekels ($0.67) per cubic meter and sell it to local municipalities at the same price. Israel is planning to increase water prices to 3.30 shekels ($0.85), al-Attili said
Israel prevents Palestinian-Venezuelans from voting
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Palestinians with Venezuelan citizenship were prevented from casting their vote in the country’s presidential elections on Sunday because Israel withheld ballots from the Ramallah representative office, an official said … Hundreds of Palestinians with Venezuelan nationality went to the representative office to cast their votes, but found that Israeli authorities had not delivered the ballots to Ramallah. The ballots had arrived in Israel from Venezuela on Sept. 14, and have since been inspected, Logo said. The representative office complied with all Israeli procedural requests but the required voting material was not delivered, he added.
Israeli jets fly mock raids over south Lebanon
BEIRUT (AP) 7 Oct — Israeli warplanes swooped low over Lebanese villages Sunday in a menacing show of force apparently aimed at the Hezbollah guerrilla group after a mysterious raid by an unmanned aircraft that was shot out of Israeli skies over the weekend.