Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Competing historical narratives
Israel planned 11,096 housing units in 2011-2012, says report
RAMALLAH 16 Oct (WAFA) – Between September 2011 and 2012 Israel planned, in different stages (tendering, approvals), at least 11,096 housing units for settlements in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, said a report by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department on Monday. The report which lists key facts about illegal Israeli policies and violations of international law stated that the new housing units, if approved, would house around 44,000 new Israeli settlers. There are over half a million settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (OPT) today.
Israel to ‘legalize’ illegal settlement outposts
IMEMC 18 Oct — Israeli media sources reported that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to submit recommendations for ‘legalizing’ illegal Israeli settlement outpost, built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in the West Bank. Netanyahu will soon be submitting the recommendation to his ministerial council; once approved, illegal and random Israeli settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank , including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, will be considered ‘legal’ under Israeli law and will start receiving services from the government.
Hebron committee condemns handing building back to settlers
HEBRON 17 Oct (WAFA) – The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, in a statement Wednesday, condemned the Israeli Jerusalem District Court’s arbitrary decision on September 13th to place Al Rajabi Building back in the hands of Jewish settlers … It said that this decision implies that there is collaboration between the Israeli judicial system and the occupation government in violating the rights of Palestinian residents in order to facilitate further colonization of Hebron by radical Jewish settlers.
Israeli forces demolish village structures in Hebron hills
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Israeli forces on Tuesday destroyed structures in the village of al-Seefer in the South Hebron Hills, a peace group said. “On Tuesday 16th, at 10 a.m. a bulldozer together with 3 Border Police cars and 2 DCO cars arrived in the Palestinian village of A Seefer,” a statement from Italian peace group Operation Dove said. “The Army demolished: a bathroom, a roof with sheep under it, a fence for sheep and a structure. During the demolitions a sheep was killed under the rubble and, according to Palestinian witnesses, a Border Police member kicked another one until it was limping,” it added. Al-Seefer village is surrounded by the settlement of Mezadot Yehuda and lies between the green line and Israel’s separation wall. There are around 60 people living in the village.
Israel issues 6 stop-work orders in Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an)17 Oct — Israeli forces on Wednesday issued orders to villagers to stop construction on their homes near Bethlehem, locals said. The orders state that construction work on the homes in Tuqu‘ is illegal, as they are located in Area C, locals told Ma‘an. The villagers have until Nov. 7 to visit Israeli civil administration offices. The homes belong to Khalil Suliman, Mahmoud Suliman, Salim Suliman, Rebhi Suliman, Adnan Subeih, and Kamal Suliman.
Area C covers 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000.
Municipality orders Silwan house demolished
JERUSALEM 16 Oct (WAFA) – Members of the all-Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday handed a Palestinian family living in Silwan an order to demolish their home, according to the house owner. Dawood Siam told WAFA that an Israeli force handed him five demolition orders, three of them concern his family home and the other two for his brothers’ homes … “We have been trying for years without success to obtain a building permit from the Israeli authority, which does not grant it because it wants the Palestinian residents to leave the area as a prelude to take over the land and give it to Jewish settlers,” said Siam.
so, apparently E. J’lem streets are not all to be renamed with Hebrew names, as feared
Jerusalem street to be named after Egypt’s Umm Kulthum
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — After decades of refusal, the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem has agreed to grant names to more than 100 roads in East Jerusalem starting Wednesday. One of the roads will be named after famed Egyptian singer Umm Kulthoum in a ceremony Wednesday at the entrance to the street, near Abdul-Hamid Shoman Street 20. Palestinian singer from Israel Nisreen Kader will sing one of Umm Kulthoum’s most popular songs Inta Umri (“you are my life”) during the ceremony…
The new Umm Kulthoum street will be among 145 new names authorized in Jerusalem. The plan was approved in 2011 and the names will appear in Sur Bahir, Beit Hanina, Shufat, Eisawiya, al-Thuri, Silwan and Ras al-Amoud.
Jewish settlers assault Palestinian teen, steal olive harvest
NABLUS (PIC) 17 Oct — A group of Jewish settlers attacked and beat up a Palestinian teen in Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus, on Wednesday, local sources said. Ghassan Daghlass, in charge of monitoring settlement activity north of the West Bank, said that settlers from Bracha settlement attacked Dheeb Qadoos, 18, and severely beat him in an olive field near the village. He said that the teenager was hospitalized.
Meanwhile, Jewish settlers stole the fruit of 12 olive trees in Qaryut village, also to the south of Nablus, at dawn Wednesday before the farmers arrived to harvest the crop.Jewish settlers have been on the rampage in villages south of Nablus recently to disrupt their olive harvesting season.
Photos: Citizens of Jama‘in remove roadblock
ISM 16 Oct — About thirty citizens from Jama‘in, accompanied by around 15 international solidarity activists commenced the first stage in the removal of a roadblock on an agricultural road near to the village, just south of Nablus. The earth mound was built on the road by the Israeli occupation forces in May of this year. It restricts the freedom of movement of Palestinian farmers to access their lands to olive groves owned by farmers in the village. As the olive harvest season is starting, access to the fields for farmers’ vehicles has become ever more essential … Jama‘in is a village south of Nablus in the West Bank, which lies directly in between the illegal settlements of Ari’el and Kfar Tappuah.
Hamas rejects UNRWA’s decision to re-teach ‘Holocaust’
GAZA (PIC) 17 Oct — Hamas’s Office for Refugee Affairs denounced the decision taken by UNRWA to teach the Holocaust to refugee school children, saying it is “a crime targeting the Palestinian refugee issue and the right of return.” … UNRWA students do not need to learn about the Holocaust, as much as they need to be taught about their history and geography, the statement added, stressing on “the students’ right to know about the massacres committed by the Zionist enemy against the Palestinian people since the Nakba until now”.
Between anger and denial: Israeli collective memory and the Nakba
972mag 16 Oct by Noam Sheizaf — A new documentary aims to decipher some of the anxiety that accompanies the Israeli debate over the events of 1948 — A strange thing regarding the debate on the Nakba: the responses it generates in Israeli society are becoming more and more hostile, while at the same time, the Nakba is mentioned more and more often. Those contradicting elements live side by side, as if the more we work to forget the Nakba, the harder it gets – the recent campaign regarding “the Jewish refugees” that the Foreign Office launched is just one example.
Violence / Raids / Illegal arrests / Provocations
The occupation arrests 10 Palestinians in the Negev
NAZARETH (PIC) 17 Oct — Palestinian sources in the southern Negev in the 48-occupied Palestine reported that large forces of Israeli police, special units and border guards, stormed at dawn Wednesday the village of “Bir Hadaj”, in southern Negev, raided the houses and arrested about 10 citizens. Saqr Abu Salouk, member in the media committee of the High Steering Committee of the Arabs of the Negev, stated that the arrests took place at dawn after raiding the houses. He said that it is for the first time this occupied region witnesses the arrests of such a number of inhabitants, considering this procedure an escalation by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Arabs of the Negev.
Report: IOF arrested 20 Palestinian children in two weeks
RAMALLAH (PIC) 17 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested during the first half of October at least twenty Palestinian children during arrest campaigns carried out in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, a Palestinian report revealed. The report, issued by the “Child Information Department” in Ramallah … released on Wednesday, stated that over the past two weeks have witnessed the arrest of twenty Palestinian children by Israeli occupation forces and settlers groups, pointing out that most of the arrests were concentrated in al-Khalil and neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.
The report said that a number of children in the Gaza Strip have been subjected to Israeli attacks during the first half of October, where five children were injured in the bombing carried out by Israeli warplanes.
IOF storms Silwan, arrests citizens
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 17 Oct — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Silwan town in occupied Jerusalem at dawn Wednesday and rounded up a number of young men including two brothers. Wadi Hilwa information center said that a joint force of the Israeli army, police and intelligence stormed the town and launched an arrest campaign, mentioning the names of three youths who were taken in the process.
Two Palestinians nabbed in Nablus refugee camp
NABLUS (PIC) 17 Oct — Two Palestinian citizens were nabbed in the Balata refugee camp to the east of Nablus at the hands of Israeli occupation forces (IOF), local sources said. The sources told PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers arrested Yazan Asy and Amir Sawalme after breaking into their homes on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, IOF soldiers raided Bani Naim and Halhul villages in Al-Khalil on Wednesday and searched vehicles in their main streets, locals reported.
Witnesses: Israeli forces raid Bethlehem homes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Israeli forces raided two homes in the center of Bethlehem on Wednesday, leading to clashes with local residents, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli military forces and sniffer dogs raided the home of Ayyad Jamal al-Hrimi, who was not on the premises at the time.Soldiers then searched the home of Muhammad Shahadeh.The raids led to confrontations with local residents, during which time soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs, locals said. Al-Hrimi’s home is located some 200 meters from the Church of the Nativity in the center of Bethlehem.
IOF soldiers raid al-Khalil villages
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 17 Oct — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided four villages surrounding Al-Khalil [Hebron] and searched many homes after occupying main roads leading to them. Eyewitnesses told the PIC that IOF soldiers used police dogs in the search campaign at dawn Wednesday and forced citizens out of their homes for hours. They said that IOF armored vehicles were stationed at the southern entrance to Dura town and searched some of the passing cars and checked IDs. Roadblocks were also seen at the northern entrance to Arub refugee camp and the Gush Etzion intersection to the north of Al-Khalil.
Israeli forces ‘detain man’ at Bethlehem checkpoint
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Israeli forces on Tuesday detained a 27-year-old former prisoner at a checkpoint near Bethlehem, a local official said. Muhammad Suleibi was detained on his way to Ofer military court in Ramallah to attend a court hearing for his 16-year-old brother, Ahmad, who has been detained for seven months, said Muhammad Awad, a spokesman for Beit Ummar popular committee. Suleibi, from Beit Ummar, has spent two years in Israeli jail and was released in Oct. 2011 in the prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.
PA arrests eight Hamas members and summons teachers who returned to their work
RAMALLAH (PIC) 17 Oct — PA security arrested eight Hamas cadres and summoned others in Nablus, al-Khalil, Ramallah, Tulkarem and Qalqiliya, while the occupation authorities arrested a liberated captive and sentenced another to imprisonment. The General Intelligence Service arrested two liberated captives and former prisoners in PA jails, in Nablus, and two cadres of Hamas in Tulkarem and Ramallah. The Preventive Security also detained, in Nablus, a former political prisoner after storming his house in the area of Jabal Fatayer as well as Sheikh Omar Ali Gebrini, a Hamas leading figure who had served many years in Israeli jails and who had been previously detained several times by PA security, in Balata refugee camp after raiding his workplace….
Kadoorie university threatens to use force against student protesters
TULKAREM (PIC) 17 Oct — The administration of Fatah-controlled “Palestine technical university-Kadoorie” in Tulkarem city threatened to use force to end the sit-in being held by students from the Islamic bloc inside the campus. The students have staged their sit-in to protest the political arrests launched against them by the Palestinian authority security forces especially during the exam seasons.
Army bombards a former military center in Gaza
IMEMC 18 Oct — The Israeli army, bombarded late on Wednesday evening a former security base south of Gaza City causing excessive damage. The Palestinian Information Center reported that an Israeli F-16 war jet fired one missile into the former Third Platoon security base, north of Ash-Shuhada junction, south of Gaza City. The missile caused damage but no injuries.
One hour after the first strike, the army fired another missile into the base causing further damage; no casualties were reported.
Israel targets site in north Gaza, no injuries
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Israeli warplanes targeted a training site belonging to Hamas’ military wing early Wednesday, witnesses said. Israel launched multiple airstrikes on the site in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, locals told Ma’an. No injuries were reported, but several buildings were damaged. Israel’s army said that it had targeted a “terror site” in north Gaza in response to rocket fire. Two rockets were fired at southern Israel overnight and landed near the city of Netivot, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. On Wednesday, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for firing three rockets towards Israel’s southern Eshkol region.
Israeli warplanes have killed eight Palestinians in a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in the last 10 days.
Israel ‘opens fire’ on olive harvesters in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Palestinian farmers said Israeli forces opened fire Tuesday while they harvested olives near the border in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, while Israel said it had no record of the incident. Farmers were harvesting the olives with volunteers from a local initiative as well as international activists. This campaign was organized to protect farmers by the Arab Center for Agricultural Development and in partnership with Norwegian Aid.
Islamic Jihad: No truce reached with Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — Islamic Jihad on Monday denied knowledge of a truce with Israel, but said Egypt was trying to negotiate a ceasefire after a bloody weekend in the Gaza Strip … Sources told the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen satellite network on Monday that an Egypt-brokered truce between factions in Gaza and Israel had taken hold at midnight on Sunday.
Israel calculated calories for Gaza blockade
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 17 Oct — Israel calculated the number of calories Palestinians would need to avoid malnutrition under its blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to a study which the Supreme Court forced the government to release … Release of the document, presented in January 2008, shed new light on the thinking that helped to shape the blockade that Israel tightened in 2007 after the Gaza Strip was seized by Hamas. [also see analysis by Amira Hass, end of this compilation]
Gaza-bound ship takes on food, activists off Greek coast
AFP 17 Oct — …The Estelle, which first set off from Sweden and left Naples in Italy on October 6, stopped in international waters off the island of Crete Tuesday afternoon, where it loaded up with food and passengers. The ship then continued its journey with five lawmakers on board — one from Sweden, one from Spain, two Greeks and a Norwegian, the spokesman for the Ship to Gaza Sweden movement, Mikael Loefgren, told AFP by telephone. Thirty doves that are to be freed when the boat arrives in Gaza were also on board.
Palestinians await ship attempting to break Gaza siege
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Civil society leaders and NGO representatives gathered at Gaza City’s port on Wednesday to show solidarity with the Estelle ship as it heads toward Gaza. Amjad al-Shawwa, director of the Gaza network of NGOs, said the boat was facing incitement campaigns and that Israel was pressuring governments of the activists’ countries to stop them reaching Gaza. The group gathered near a memorial for the Mavi Marmara, a 2010 flotilla that was raided by Israeli forces who killed nine passengers. Several small boats sailed off the coast as a symbolic reception for the Estelle, which is due to arrive Saturday.
Israel calls UN to prevent Estelle from reaching the Gaza Strip
PNN On Wednesday 17th October, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, called UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prevent the Swedish Ship Estelle from reaching the Gaza Strip. Prosor said, according to an Israeli broadcast, that the sailing ship to Gaza is a “provocative step” and that Israel insists on continuing the blockade on Gaza … There are 17 activists on board the ship, including people from Canada, Sweden, Norway, Israel, and the United States. They came to support Palestinians and to break the Israeli blockade. All of the activists aboard the Estelle were required to sign a non violence declaration. Yet, one of the activists said, “We do not hit, or yell. If IOF soldiers board the ship and try to prevent it from reaching Gaza, we will try to protect our vessel with our bodies.”
Qatar: Gaza aid to arrive via Egypt, not Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Material for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip is to be shipped via Egypt and not Israel, the Qatari ambassador in the coastal enclave said Tuesday … The Egyptians will receive a list from a Gaza reconstruction committee with details about specifications and quantities of the needed material, he said. The list will also include a timetable for shipments. Construction will start with a medical center for rehabilitation and surgery involving artificial limbs, construction of the Sheikh Hamad city, and rehabilitation of three streets, he added.
Gaza pilgrims to travel to Mecca on Saturday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Gaza pilgrims will leave for Mecca on Saturday via the Rafah crossing, a Hamas official said Wednesday. Crossings director Maher Abu Sabha told Ma‘an that two groups will leave the coastal enclave later this week, one at 1 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m.
Al-Qassam to publish Shalit documentary
IMEMC 18 Oct — The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated that it will publish Thursday, October 18 2012, a documentary documenting the abduction of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and the stages that followed until his release last year. The “Vanishing Illusion” will be published marking the first anniversary since the prisoner-swap deal was implemented and Shalit was released in exchange for the release of 1037 of Palestinian detainees … The Al-Qassam said that the documentary provides important details, from the planning stage, to the actual attack against the cross-border military base, the abduction and all stages the followed until Shalit was released.
Return of 18 Shalit deal prisoners delayed
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — The return to the West Bank of 18 released prisoners who were deported to the Gaza Strip has been postponed until after the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, Palestinian officials said Wednesday … Issa Qaraqe said Hamas had asked Egypt to delay the transfer until after the Muslim holiday, which begins Oct. 26, so ex-prisoners who have married women in Gaza could spend Eid with their wives. Abdullah Qandil, spokesman for the Gaza-based Waed Prisoner Association, told Ma’an that Israel has refused to allow the prisoners’ wives to accompany them to the West Bank. Hamas official Salih al-Arouri said the postponement was due to Israeli preconditions which breached the original agreement.
Rights center: Israel has re-jailed 8 prisoners freed as part of the swap deal
GAZA (PIC) 17 Oct — The Palestinian center for prisoner studies said the Israeli regime has violated its prisoner swap agreement with the resistance and re-jailed eight Palestinian prisoners after they were released as part of the deal. This came in a report issued on Tuesday on the first anniversary of the swap deal that were made between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation regime and led to the liberation of 1,027 Palestinian men and women from Israeli jails in October 2011. Information director of the center Riyadh Al-Ashqar said the Israeli regime justifies the recapture of these Palestinian ex-detainees by claiming there is a military order number 186 that was devised a few days before the signing of the swap deal and enable it to rearrest the released Palestinians based on confidential evidence.
Saadat: Israeli prison authority not abiding by prisoners deal
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Jailed PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat said Wednesday that Israeli prison authorities were not implementing the terms of a prisoners deal agreed in May. “The Israeli prison authority did not abide in the hunger strike agreement, especially since the prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi is still isolated,” Saadat said via a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoners Society.
Palestinian prisoners strip-searched, maltreated in Ramon jail
RAMALLAH (PIC) 17 Oct — The Palestinian prisoners in Ramon jail said they suffer from humiliating unjustified strip searches and noticeable medical neglect among other violations committed against them by the prison administration. The international Tadamun (solidarity) foundation for human rights said the Israeli administration of Ramon jail avoids the obligations it had undertaken following the hunger strike of prisoners, especially with regard to allowing Gaza detainees to see their families.
UFree starts an international campaign to release Palestinian-Ukrainian resident Dirar Abu Sisi from Israeli jails
PNN 17 Oct — An international petition has been announced by UFree Network to free a Ukrainian resident of Palestinian origin from Israeli jails, Dirar Abu Sisi. According to UFree Network, the petition seeks show the suffering of Abu Sisi who is suffering at the hands of Israeli occupation. It also aims at raising awareness of the flagrant violation committed by Israel where it kidnapped Abu Sisi from a European state.
Group concerned for life of detainee who resumed hunger strike
RAMALLAH 17 Oct (WAFA) – Addameer human rights organization Tuesday said it was deeply concerned for the life of Palestinian administrative detainee Samer al-Barq, who resumed his hunger strike on October 14, after Israel failed to honor its agreement to deport him to Egypt, according to a press release … An Addameer lawyer who visited Barq at Ramleh prison medical center, where he is currently held, said Barq has also stopped drinking water in protest at the failure of Israel to implement the agreement.
Addameer said it was also deeply concerned for the life of hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, who has entered 108 days of hunger strike.
Solidarity sit-in with sick detainee
TOBAS (PIC) 17 Oct — A solidarity sit-in was staged on Wednesday in front of the home of Mohammed Al-Taj, who is held in Israeli detention and suffers a difficult health condition. The detainee’s mother told the rally and a press conference that her son’s health condition had seriously deteriorated.
Political and economic news
Public employees observe two-day general strike
RAMALLAH, 17 Oct (WAFA) – Public employees in the West Bank started Wednesday a two-day general strike to protest government delay in paying September salaries. The Union of Public Employees called for the strike and for two more days of general strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The union said if the government is unable to pay employees their salaries, then the employees, who number over 80,000, will not have any money to pay transportation from their hometowns to their work place. The Palestinian government decided on Tuesday to pay half salary to its employees but not exceeding 4000 Israeli shekels (app. $1000). It said the remaining salary will be paid before Eid al-Adha, which starts October 26.
In letter, Abbas tells Obama he still wants 2 states
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to US President Barack Obama on Tuesday insisting his government was still committed to the two-state solution. The letter, according to Abbas’ political adviser Nimir Hammad, explains that the intended bid to the UN General Assembly to obtain the status of a non-member state was not a unilateral move. Abbas explained in the letter that the UN bid was meant to maintain that the Palestinian people’s land was occupied rather than disputed, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Hammad as saying.
Fayyad invited to visit Egypt for talks with PM
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad received an invitation from his Egyptian counterpart Thursday to visit Cairo and discuss ways of developing relations. The invitation from Hisham Qandil was handed to Fayyad by Egypt’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, during a visit to the premier’s Ramallah office, a statement from his office said.
Israeli Racism / Sexism
Despite community support, boy to be deported
Ynet 18 Oct — A 12-year-old Sudanese boy who grew up in Israel is facing deportation despite an outpouring of support from the community that adopted him. The expulsion of the boy, Moses Jacob, and his mother Teresa, 52, has been postponed due to the latter’s deteriorating medical condition. But a recent attempt to extend their stay was rejected by the Interior Ministry, which allowed them two weeks to leave the country willingly before being forced to do so.
Palestinian labourers sexually harassed by Israeli women: report
Ramallah, Oct 16 (ANI): Almost 77 percent of the Palestinian labourers working in Israel had been subject to sexual harassment by Israeli women, a report has claimed. A recent field study conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics also claimed that Palestinian labourers working are at a high risk of sexual harassment by Israeli women. Shaher Saad, the President of the Union of the Palestinian Labourer Federations, pointed out Palestinians face a real problem with the labourers who work in Israel on permits other than the official legal work permits. According to Gulf News, he stressed that the problem increased further with the illegal labourers who are smuggled into Israel and spend days and weeks there for work.Saad said those labourers usually are blackmailed, harassed and forced to get involved in illicit and intimate affairs.
3 women arrested while praying at Western Wall in last 24 hours
972mag 17 Oct by Noam Sheizaf — Head of Women of the Wall was held in custody the entire night after trying to pray at the holy site while wearing a prayer shawl– a practice reserved only for men, according to Orthodox Judaism … According to the organization, Women of the Wall “seeks the right for Jewish women from Israel and around the world to conduct prayer services, read from a Torah scroll while wearing prayer shawls, and sing out loud at the Western Wall — Judaism’s most sacred holy site and the principal symbol of Jewish people hood and sovereignty.”
After delays, Palestinians to take SATs Saturday
JERUSALEM (AP) 17 Oct — The U.S. State Department said dozens of Palestinian students whose SAT exams were delayed because of Israeli customs will take the test this Saturday. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that about 100 students in the West Bank will sit the exam this weekend.
Israeli drone makes emergency landing near Nablus
IMEMC 18 Oct — Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth reported that an Israeli drone made, on Wednesday evening, an emergency landing near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The paper added that the drone completed what it called ‘a military operation’ before a technical malfunction forced it to land; the drone’s wing was cracked and the army retrieved the drone. The drone’s model is Sky Rider one of the smallest unmanned aerial vehicles in possession of the Israeli army; it is used for surveillance tasks.
US, Israel to begin major air defense drill
AP 17 Oct — Against backdrop of tension with Iran, US forces begin to arrive in Israel ahead of largest joint military exercise yet; drill to cost over $37 million
Eid al-Adha to begin Oct. 26
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Mohammad Hussein announced Tuesday that Eid al-Adha will begin in Palestine on Oct. 26. The mufti wished a happy and blessed Eid for all Muslims and Palestinians.
PLO, France to jointly repair roof of Holy Sepulcher
RAMALLAH 17 Oct (WAFA) – The Palestine Liberation Organization and France Wednesday signed an agreement to repair the roof of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City. The €200,000 agreement was signed in the Muqata‘a and in the presence of President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian and French officials … The French Consul General in Jerusalem, Frederic Desagneaux, who signed the agreement on behalf of his government, praised efforts by the PA to preserve Christian holy sites and heritage.
Analysis / Opinion
2,279 calories per person: How Israel made sure Gazans didn’t starve / Amira Hass
Haaretz 17 Oct — After a three-and-a-half-year legal battle waged by the Gisha human rights organization, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has finally released a 2008 document that detailed its “red lines” for “food consumption in the Gaza Strip.” The document calculates the minimum number of calories necessary, in COGAT’s view, to keep Gaza residents from malnutrition at a time when Israel was tightening its restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of the Strip, including food products and raw materials… The “red lines” document calculates the minimum number of calories needed by every age and gender group in Gaza, then uses this to determine the quantity of staple foods that must be allowed into the Strip every day, as well as the number of trucks needed to carry this quantity … From this quantity, the document’s authors then deducted 68.6 truckloads to account for the food produced locally in Gaza mainly vegetables, fruit, milk and meat … From this total, 13 truckloads were deducted to adjust for the “culture and experience” of food consumption in Gaza, though the document does not explain how this deduction was calculated. While this adjustment actually led to a higher figure for sugar (five truckloads, compared to only 2.6 under the Health Ministry’s original model), it reduced the quantity of fruits and vegetables (18 truckloads, compared to 28.5), milk (12 truckloads instead of 21.1), and meat and poultry (14 instead of 17.2). Full document
“I don’t seek out enemies” — a year since banishment to Gaza, a Palestinian fighter reflects
Elect. Int. 17 Oct — “Why doesn’t the international community support the fighters of Palestine?” Iyad Abu Khaizaran asked, sitting in his Gaza apartment. Abu Khaizaran, 41, was one of 477 detainees freed on 18 October 2011 in the first phase of Hamas’s prisoner exchange with Israel, and one of 205 banished by Israel from their homes in the West Bank. Like 163 others, Abu Khaizaran, a native of Tubas, was forcibly relocated to the Gaza Strip … Abu Khaizaran was less interested in discussing his own banishment than the Palestinian struggle. “I had the right to fight this occupation,” he said. “International law allowed me to do that.” “I didn’t care about the length of my sentence, or how many years I would spend inside Israeli jails,” he added. “Our struggle was just. For this reason, I was never sad during my imprisonment.” But the conversation eventually turned to Abu Khaizaran’s detention.
Almost / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 18 Oct — The most peace-loving state in the world believes the maker of peace is only in heaven, not in Jerusalem — Once every few years, usually before the elections, a story of this kind comes out. An Israeli statesman was a hairbreadth away from achieving peace. Had he only had two months more, even two weeks more, the great peace would have been signed, forever. Shimon Peres almost achieved peace with the London Agreement; Ehud Barak almost did so at Camp David; Ehud Olmert almost had it with Mahmoud Abbas, and with Bashar Assad too. Even Tzipi Livni came close with Ahmed Qureia, and the Oslo agreement was of course almost peace. The right wing is “enraged” at the story as usual; as far as it is concerned, reaching an agreement, any agreement, is obscene. Meanwhile, the almost-statesmen and their court pundits recount the almost-success of the almost-peace, until the denial comes and yet another almost-peace story dies a natural death.