Farmers in the West Bank village of Salem have only been allowed access their olive groves for four days this year.
Human rights campaigners say Israeli settlers have uprooted more than 7,000 Palestinian olive trees this year. That is down on last year, but farmers say they are still frequently attacked and harassed. In the Occupied West Bank, foreign volunteers are joining the harvest, hoping their presence will help protect farmers and their trees. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Biddo.
The war on the Palestinian olive harvest
Some 80,000 Palestinians families depend on the annual olive harvest for their livelihoods. This year alone, settlers, with the backing of the army, have destroyed or damaged thousands of olive trees, threatening both a major source of income and an age-old agricultural custom.
Syria: Clashes erupt in Palestinian refugee camp
Activists say Syrian troops and rebels are clashing in a Palestinian refugee camp in the capital, Damascus.
Resheq extends condolences to families of Palestinian martyrs in Syria
Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has extended heartfelt condolences to families of Palestinian victims of the ongoing unrest in Syria.
The Gaza camp in Jordan, near the northwestern historical ruins of Jerrash where the Greco Roman Empire once flourished, was set up by the UN as an emergency measure in 1968. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli War war, about 12,000 refugees fled from Gaza to this area. It now has a population of about 30,000 Gazans. Hidden in the outskirts of Jerrash, connected to the rest of civilization by a single neglected dirt road, most tourists have no idea about the camp. Locals are known to respond to visitors’ inquiries with a suspicious: “Why do you want to go there?!”
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
Two bodies recovered from under tunnel rubble
The body of a third Palestinian was located under the rubble of a tunnel that collapsed, last Wednesday, on the border with Egypt. Two bodies were located earlier on Saturday and Thursday.
Israeli occupation forces have blocked repairs to power lines near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Technicians from the Palestinian Electricity Distribution Company (PEDC) were fired at by Israeli troops using live ammunition as they tried to carry out the repairs. Cables in northern Gaza which transfer 12 megawatts of power from Israel are in need of urgent repair as the system has been broken for two weeks. Another cable in Khan Younis which supplies 12 megawatts to the city is also off-line.
Israeli tanks on Monday evening pounded the northern Gaza Strip without any reported casualties.
Israeli army choppers fire at residential quarters in southern Gaza
Israeli army choppers opened machinegun fire at Palestinian residential quarters to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday.
Army Invades Azzoun, Imposes Curfew
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday evening, the village of Azzoun, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, sealed the village, and imposed curfew forcing the residents under house arrest.
Israel’s security service, Shin Bet, has arrested about 30 Palestinians in the West Bank over the past few months on suspicion of working to rebuild the local infrastructure of Hamas, the Islamic militant group, according to a statement issued Monday. Hamas won legislative elections in the West Bank and Gaza in 2006 and took full control of Gaza a year later. Its rival, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, has limited control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has also worked to suppress Hamas there. Israeli security officials said those arrested were members of a “field command” responsible for strengthening Hamas’s presence in some West Bank universities.
On Tuesday 30th October, Israeli occupation forces arrested a girl near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron Governorate, south of the West Bank. Head custodian in the Ebrahimi Mosque, Hijazi Abu Sneineh, said that Israeli forces arrested Asma’ Jaber Odeh al-Hroub, 22, from Deir Samet village, southwest of Hebron.
Three Children, One Woman, Kidnaped In Hebron
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday evening, three Palestinian children in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, after claiming that they painted parts of a settlers’ vehicle with white paint. The soldiers also kidnapped a woman near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city, after claiming that she carried a knife.
Soldiers Attack, Kidnap Woman, Trying To De-arrest Her Son
A video that was captured by local residents, and was broadcast by activists of the nonviolent group Youth Coalition Against Settlements, shows Israeli soldiers kidnapping a nonviolent activist, an and attacking his mother, who tried to de-arrest him, and eventually the soldiers kidnapped the mother.
Israeli forces have detained eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including three minors and a mother with her 20-year-old son. The arrests took place in Bethlehem and Hebron. Witnesses in Hebron said that soldiers looted the home of Mohammad al-Najjar, a former prisoner, and assaulted him severely in front of his family before shackling and detaining him. Al-Najjar is a member of Islamic Jihad.
At approximately 2am Israeli occupation forces climbed down from the roof at the back of a family complex on Shuhada street to apprehend student Abed Al Salayma, age 20. Abed was blindfolded and led from his home a short time thereafter while his distraught mother remonstrated with the soldiers. Thirty minutes later his mother Jamille Hassan Shalaldh, age 50, was handcuffed, arrested and taken away.
Al-Khalil: IOA re-arrests human rights activist Osama Shaheen
The Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies confirmed that the Israeli occupation has arrested the liberated prisoner and the human right activist Osama Shahin, 31, after storming his house.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested a man in the south Hebron hills on Monday after ordering villagers to stop construction work on a water tank, an Italian peace group said. Operation Dove said that Israeli forces entered al-Mufaqarah village on Monday evening and arrested a local man who refused to stop work on a village water tank. The man, identified as Said, was beaten by soldiers and taken away, the group said. Palestinian farmers living in the south Hebron hills complain of constant attacks by settlers living in formal settlements and a crop of illegal outposts in the area. Israeli authorities have outlined plans to demolish and evacuate eight villages in the area to make space for a military training zone.
Night clashes reported in Shufat
Israeli occupation forces arrested a number of young men and wounded a man in his car during violent clashes in Shufat refugee camp to the north of occupied Jerusalem on Monday night.
Other Prisoner News
Palestinian Activist, Bassem Tamimi, Faces Another Imprisonment
Wednesday 31st October, Bassem Tamimi, 45, a Palestinian protest organizer and grassroots activist from the village of Nabi Saleh, was arrested last Wednesday, October 24, during a demonstration inside Sha’ar Benyamin settlement, east of Ramallah. As the demonstration came to an end, several Israeli police officers violently detained Tamimi, breaking three of his ribs in the process. He was subsequently interrogated on participating in an unauthorized demonstration and assault of a police officer. During his latest prison stint, which ended only in March, Tamimi was recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union and pronounced a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. He was convicted of protest-organizing related charges, and sentenced to 13 months of imprisonment, as well as a 17-month suspended sentence that now looms over his head.
Fatah Movement criticized the firing of rockets by the resistance factions in the Gaza Strip at Israeli targets in response to the occupation bombing and assassination operations.
American and Israeli Injustice System
The interior minister sent a letter to the PM contradicting an earlier assertion by the State Prosecution that there is no legal basis for arresting Sudanese migrants before they are deported from the country.
African migrants ‘denied entry’ to Israel
Human rights groups criticise Israel for the treatment of migrants trying to enter the country from Egypt.
Arab citizens in Israel bemoan lack of policing
As gang violence increases, residents rethink their past resistance to welcoming Israeli police into their Arab communities.
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
Druze youth faces jail for refusing to serve in Israel’s army
Omar Saad, a Palestinian musician and high school senior from the Druze minority religious community, faces imprisonment over his refusal to take part in a recruitment test for the Israeli military on Wednesday (31 October). Saad has bravely made his views known to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and Ehud Barak, its defense minister. In a letter to both men, Saad stated: “I will not be fuel to the fire of your war” (“I’m Omar Saad and I will not be a soldier in your army,” Abir Kopty’s blog, 27 October).
BRUSSELS (Reuters) — Twenty-two religious groups and charities have called on the European Union to ban products made by Israeli settlers in the occupied territories, saying a boycott would undercut their economic reason for staying there. The EU is Israel’s biggest trading partner but imports 15 times more from West Bank-based Israeli settlers than from Palestinians, a group of 22 non-governmental organizations said Tuesday.
The Israeli government has criticised the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. Richard Falk has called for a boycott of all companies doing business in and with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel’s UN Mission said that it was “disturbed” by the report presented by Falk to the UN General Assembly last Friday. Falk’s report documents Israel’s ongoing violations against Palestinian citizens in the Occupied Territories. A spokeswoman for the Israeli UN Mission, Karaen Peretz, claimed that the report damages the UN’s credibility and shows that it is “grossly biased” and “completely divorced from reality”.
A Message from Young Palestinians in Gaza to the World!
A message from the Palestinians in Gaza to people of conscience,to attend the upcoming protests to boycott Batsheva.
Help Palestinian Farmers Remain Steadfast on Their Land
By shopping at our fair trade store, you’re not only supporting this extraordinary community of Palestinian farming families, you’re getting some of the best olive oil and fair trade products in the world.
The direction Clarion has taken with this pro-Israel project indicates a further mainstreaming of Israeli ultra-nationalism. Where previous projects were vicious, slashing attacks on Arabs, Shore and his comrades no longer have anything left to prove on that score. The settler movement they represent (Clarion was a dead-ringer for Aish HaTorah, one of the major groups seeking to render East Jerusalem Arab-rein) have won their battle for dominance in Israeli society. They are now kings of the roost. There is no reason to rail against Arabs when they now own the whole kit and caboodle that is Israel, including the means of production (of hasbara and everything related to it).
Diana Buttu: Russell Tribunal on Palestine
A speech on the US’s role in Palestine & the Middle East by Diana Buttu, at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
Dear Alanis Morissette, We are writing to you to ask that you not cross the Palestinian picket line by playing in Israel in December. As we write, the people of Gaza, who live in the world’s largest open-air prison, are being subjected to nightly airstrikes by Israel, a few miles from where you would be playing to a segregated audience. Last week, humanitarian activists trying to break the illegal, immoral siege of Gaza were kidnapped in international waters, tasered and imprisoned in Israel. Their crime? Showing solidarity to the Palestinian people…
Over the years, some of Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Politics and Government’s staffers have been labeled radical leftists and accused of calling for an international cultural, academic and political boycott of Israel.
Political Developments / Other News
Amid reports of link between Yarmouk weapons plant and Iran, statement by Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited by AFP, accuses Israel of spreading ‘fabricated’ information.
Hezbollah Military Might Undermines Zionist Plans for War
Hezbollah is strongly present in the Zionist decision making process regarding any future war, where its growing military capabilities pose a hard number to Tel Aviv rulers when thinking of any military adventure in the region.
DUBAI (Reuters) — Iran holds pictures of Israeli bases and other restricted areas obtained from a drone launched into Israeli airspace earlier this month, an Iranian lawmaker was quoted as saying on Monday. Earlier this month, Israel shot down a drone after it flew 25 miles into Israel. Lebanese group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the aircraft, saying its parts had been manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon. The drone transmitted pictures of Israel’s “sensitive bases” before it was shot down, said Esmail Kowsari, chair of parliament’s defense committee, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency. He was speaking to Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam, Mehr reported on Monday.
Israel Lobby Calls for an ‘Iranian Pearl Harbor’
When the Bush-Cheney administration was in power, Dick Cheney tried hard to find an excuse for military attacks on Iran. After all, according to Gen. Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO from 1997 to 2000, Cheney and other hawks had plans for attacking and destroying seven countries in the Middle East and [...]
Bibi Netanyahu will shortly touch down in Paris
where he’ll be feted by the French president at Elysee Palace. The photo ops there will show the world and voters back home that despite his promoting war with Iran he’s welcome in the world capitals. I’m not a mad dog after all, will be the message to voters.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey was in Israel on Monday to discuss a joint missile defense drill that began a week ago. An honor guard was to receive the US general at Israel’s defense headquarters in central Tel Aviv shortly after noon, an Israeli military statement said. Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz was scheduled to host the welcoming ceremony. Dempsey met Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv late Sunday. A statement from Barak’s office said the two discussed the largest-ever joint Israeli-U.S. drill, code-named Austere Challenge 12, scheduled to last about three weeks and which simulates missiles raining down on Israel from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The two also debated security issues in the region. ”Security relations between the United States and Israel are deeper and stronger than they have been in many years,” Barak said, according to the Hebrew statement. Some 3,500 US troops are participating in the drill testing anti-missile batteries, with 1,000 troops inside Israel, and the rest taking part from Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. A U.S. Aegis ballistic missile defense ship is joining from the northern Israeli port of Haifa. The drill is estimated to cost the US $30 million, and Israel some $8 million.
Former CBS’ ’60 minutes’ producer: Saudi Arabia bankrolling Mossad against Iran
A friend, with good sources in the Israeli government, claims that the head of Israel’s Mossad has made several trips to deal with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia—one of the results: an agreement that the Saudis would bankroll the series of assassinations of several of Iran’s top nuclear experts that have occurred over the past couple of years. The amount involved, my friend claims, was $1 billion dollars. A sum, he says, the Saudis considered cheap for the damage done to Iran’s nuclear program. At first blush, the tale sounds preposterous. On the other hand. it makes eminent sense. The murky swamp of Middle East politics has nothing to do with the easy slogans and 30 second sound bites of presidential debates.
As post-revolution Tunisia’s politicians try to draft a new constitution, a clause on normalising relations with Israel has created controversy. Article 2.27 of the latest draft reads: “All forms of normalisation with Zionism and the Zionist entity shall be deemed a crime punishable by law.” A number of political parties support this article but the ruling troika headed by Al-Nahda does not believe that it is necessary to include such a clause in the constitution. They argue that Tunisians refuse normalised relations with Israel quite naturally. Those in favour of the article are found among the nationalist and extreme left factions. Around 100 protesters held a demonstration last week threatening to unseat any government which supports normalisation with Israel.
Tunisia split on normalising relations with Israel
As post-revolution Tunisia’s politicians try to draft a new constitution, a clause on normalising relations with Israel has created controversy. Article 2.27 of the latest draft reads: “All forms of normalisation with Zionism and the Zionist entity shall be deemed a crime punishable by law.” A number of political parties support this article but the ruling troika headed by Al-Nahda does not believe that it is necessary to include such a clause in the constitution. They argue that Tunisians refuse normalised relations with Israel quite naturally.
Senior official at Suez Canal Authority says ships, escorted by Egyptian vessels, crossed the canal to an unknown destination.
The Israeli daily Ma’ariv has reported that Egypt has rejected an Israeli request to upgrade relations between the two countries. According to the newspaper, Israel is doing its best to upgrade bilateral relations but Egypt’s president has been “ignoring Israel’s requests”. Ma’ariv quoted a foreign diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying: “Egyptian-Israeli relations are frozen and the Egyptian government will not accept any change or upgrade in the bilateral relations as the situation is very sensitive.
PM: Strike on Iran – good for Arabs
Netanyahu tells French magazine that attack would benefit Arab states by removing potential threat, easing tension in Mideast; ‘Iran isn’t popular in Arab world,’ he says.
link to www.ynetnews.com
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Hamas spokesman in Gaza says a senior official from the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain will visit the territory. Taher Nunu said Tuesday that Mustafa al-Sayed, head of the Bahrain Royal Charity Organization, will lead a delegation to Gaza this week. He said al-Sayed will open schools funded by the charity. Last week Qatar’s ruler met with Hamas leaders in Gaza, the first visit by a head of state Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.
Official: High-level Arab delegations to visit Gaza soon
Advisor to the Palestinian premier Isam Da’lis said that high-level Arab delegations would arrive in the Gaza Strip soon.
MK Zoabi Sues MK Danon For Incitement
The Arabs48 news website revealed that Arab member of Israeli Knesset, (MK) Hanin Zoabi, filed Monday a lawsuit against Israeli MK of the Likud Party, Danny Dannon, accusing him of incitement against her under the pretext that she “supports terrorism”.
Despite party’s pride in Jewish-Arab cooperation, 13 years have passed since its last Arab lawmaker was elected.
RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Palestinians have launched a diplomatic blitz aimed at garnering a strong majority for a vote granting them non-member statehood at the United Nations slated for next month, officials said Tuesday. Despite heading for a sure victory in the UN General Assembly, mostly consisting of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians, West Bank diplomats are courting European countries to further burnish their campaign.
Palestinians Face ‘Harsh Retaliation’ for Seeking UN Recognition
Jason Ditz - antiwar.com - The Palestinian Authority is going to seek formal recognition as a “non-member state” at the UN General Assembly at some point in November. Israel opposes this, of course, but unlike efforts to get recognition from the UN Security Council the United States can’t veto this, so it is certain to pass with an overwhelming majority.
Sources in Israel have claimed that anger is spreading within the Likud Party following the Prime Minister’s declaration of the electoral alliance between his party and Yisrael Beiteinu, the far-right party led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. A number of activists and prominent figures in Likud have expressed their opposition to the coalition agreement and talked about leaving the party. They warn that the agreement will have a negative impact on Likud’s interests, not least because the number of Likud members in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) will be reduced. Lieberman said that there is no reason for Likud members, including Minister Dan Meridor, to withdraw from their party. “Quite the opposite, in fact,” he argued. The Foreign Minister told Hebrew Radio that his party will campaign as part of a joint electoral list with Likud. “The parties will not, however, form a united party but will continue to work separately after the elections.” Likud members will have the opportunity to vote on leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition decision in a meeting today (Monday).
Following unification of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, PM says Lieberman can choose between the defense, finance, or foreign portfolios; Netanyahu to attend Likud’s Central Committee to garner support for the move.
Yesh Atid party head attacks Netanyahu for saying Palestinians were not a ‘partner’ for peace, says Israel must retain control of an undivided Jerusalem.
French official: Arafat to be exhumed in November
Criminal investigators from France will exhume Yasser Arafat’s remains next month to try to find out how the Palestinian leader died, a French official said Tuesday.
Hebrew Media: Hamas triumphed in the latest round of escalation in Gaza
Haaretz Hebrew newspaper said that Al-Qassam Brigades the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, emerged victorious in the latest round of Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip.
Knesset speaker’s statements during plenum session dedicated to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin spark outrage among Labor, Meretz MKs. Yachimovich: This is dangerous for the Zionist vision
Former top White House official says he supports the U.S. president, and ascribes Jewish hostility toward the president as resulting from’disinformation and polarization.’
WASHINGTON (Ma’an) — As the countdown to the US presidential race nears, and polls show very close results, Palestinians both at popular and official levels are more concerned about an expected change in US foreign policy than about who will win. Whether the US will devote greater efforts to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and be more realistic and objective when dealing with Palestinian and Israeli affairs, is the major question the Palestinians need an answer to.
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
Israel is an apartheid state (no poll required), Ben White
A new Ha’aretz poll indicates a majority of Jewish Israelis favour apartheid – but that’s nothing new.
link to www.aljazeera.com
An Old Israeli Plan Resurrected to Recruit Palestinian Christians into the Israeli Military
Israeli Security Ministry sponsored a meeting with Palestinian Christians religious figures and youth groups aimed to discuss recruiting Palestinian Christians (state citizens) into the Israeli Army. The initiative was set forth by Ehab Shlayan, who serves as “advisor for Christian issues” in the Israeli police. The Mayor of Nazareth Illit, a member in Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, who attended and addressed the audience. The meeting took place in Nazareth Illit, a city which neighbors Nazareth, on October 16th, and was opened with the “Our Father” prayer by one of the clergymen (the meeting’s agenda is attached in Hebrew with an image of the proceedings). It included attendees of well-known Palestinian Christian religious and community figures as well as youth groups. Roughly ten Christian figures from Yaffa (near Nazareth), Nazareth, and al-Maghar have spoken at the stage.
VIDEO: Gaza’s green rooftops
A UN-led project has transformed grey and empty rooftops into vegetable gardens in the Gaza strip.
We’ve reached the stage at which much more than labeling produce from the settlements will be needed to make us understand that military superiority isn’t a permanent guarantee of our existence in a region where we are a minority, but act like the lord and master.
Israel’s viciousness against Bilin captured in “Five Broken Cameras” documentary
Emad Burnat’s house was declared a “closed military zone” by Israel — but that didn’t stop him from making a great film.
A decade has passed since construction began of a multi billion dollar separation wall from the West Bank by Israel that remains unfinished, mired in political debate.
In the days following President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in September 2012, administration officials and U.S. media seesawed over a post-convention “bump” that elevated his standing above Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Numerous polls, including a recent Fox News survey, marked a widening gap between the candidates on a variety of issues, with Obama largely taking the lead: education (+14), Medicare (+11), terrorism (+8 points) and foreign policy, where Obama rated 15 points higher than Romney.
Who gets to vote in Israel’s democracy?
If we exclude Gaza, one in every 4.5 people living under Israeli rule doesn’t have the right to vote in the coming elections; that one person is (almost) always Palestinian. If Gaza is included, it’s one in three who is not represented.
What do you call a Black man who rejects equal rights for his own people and others? A racist traitor. What do you call a rejectionist leader? A criminal who should be impeached, removed and prosecuted. Obama stands guilty on multiple counts. His rap sheet includes much more than spurning Palestinian rights. He’s complicit in grand theft and war crimes multiple times over. He’s unfit to serve. He should be in prison, not government. Throughout his tenure, he repeatedly violated international, constitutional, and US statute laws. He’s contemptuous of fundamental rights and other democratic values.
Instead of going for easily within reach full UN membership, Abbas prefers settling for less. Why he’ll have to explain. Others say it reflects his longtime collaboration with Israel. Doing so betrays his own people. Why they tolerate him, they’ll have to explain. If he follows through as planned, he’ll get what he asks for. He’ll upgrade Palestine from observer to non-member status. It’s like being club member with most rights but not all. Non-member states can’t vote. Full de jure status requires following simple procedures that work. Abbas categorically refuses. Who knows if he even follow through on his lesser pledge.
The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) is launching its month-long Nights of Tarab celebration as part of the Arab Jerusalem Festival which kicks off on November 8. Many singers and bands are expected to participate this year, affirming through music the city’s Arab identity in the face of relentless Israeli efforts to cleanse the city of its Arab history. Jerusalem’s cultural identity is more closely connected to the details of daily life than the city’s religious significance. The whole of Palestine and Jerusalem in particular is locked in a constant struggle with Israel’s colonization efforts which seek to erase Palestinian identity and culture from the occupied land. This year’s festival is scheduled to start in early November and last until December 1. The opening event will be held in Jerusalem before the festival moves on to Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Hebron, and, for the first time, Gaza.
Joseph Massad has written an op-ed for Al Jazeera, critiquing the popular Showtime program “Homeland.” The show has to do with the Middle East, Islam, and terrorism, so needless to say, Massad is no fan. I’ve never seen an episode so I can’t comment on whether his critique is accurate or not, but his larger point that representations of Arabs and Muslims in American media (and Western media, generally) reflect and enforce racist attitudes is undoubtedly true. Dr. Jack Shaheen documented these portrayals in cinema in his work Reel Bad Arabs, which was turned into a documentary that can be viewed here.