European Union Trades More With Israeli Settlements Than With Palestinians, Says Report
Fruits, vegetables, wine, beauty products and at-home carbonation devices: These are among the many products Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem export all over the world. According to a new report, the European Union imports 15 times more from these Israeli settlements than from Palestinians, effectively undermining its own aid efforts. The report, drafted by a coalition of 22 NGOs, including Christian Aid and the International Federation for Human Rights, writes that while the EU has been one of the Palestinians’ largest benefactors, EU nations imported $300 million of goods from settlements last year, approximately 15 times the volume of imports from Palestinians.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities demolished a house in the West Bank village of Anata for the sixth time early on Thursday, an Israeli group said. The house, northeast of Jerusalem, was last torn down on Jan. 23, and rebuilt by volunteers in the summer, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions said. It belongs to Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh, and is used as a peace center by ICAHD, the group said.
Israeli authorities issue eviction notices to Jerusalemites
The Israeli occupation authorities issued on Wednesday eviction notices to a number of Jerusalemite families telling them to leave their homes, which will be demolished shortly. Inhabitants in the Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque, said that employees from the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem, accompanied by civil and military police arrived at their homes at 7.30 am and handed the notices to them. Member of the Homes Defence Committee in Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab, confirmed the handover of the eviction notices. Mr Abu Diab called for the protection of inhabitants in Silwan and building of more houses for them, instead of demolishing them. ”Inhabitants in Silwan need 5,000 homes each year to meet the natural population growth, but since 2010 the occupation has prevented the construction of new Palestinian homes.
IOF soldiers raze five installations in Tobas
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed five installations used by Bedouin shepherds in Khirbit Ebzeiq north of Tobas city on Wednesday.
IOF soldiers delay passage of thousands of citizens at Container barrier
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed the Container roadblock on Wednesday morning practically isolating the northern West Bank from its southern areas.
Crossing Hizma, the other Jerusalem checkpoint, Allison Deger
Sitting on the number 18 bus riding from Ramallah to Qalandia I only see Palestinian life. The roads run through the valleys, and even with a discerning eye, there are no settlements in sight. But while Qalandia is the main route out of the West Bank for Palestinians, Hizma, another checkpoint a few kilometers to the south, is the entry point into “Judea and Samaria” for settlers. I crossed Hizma by accident for the first time on Sunday, the third day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, when I traveled three and a half hours from Ramallah to Jerusalem to have lunch with a friend and her family. Normally the trip takes between 40 minutes and an hour and a half despite Ramallah and Jerusalem being only about a 20-minute drive apart. But the distance between the two cities no longer determines the time it takes to travel there. Instead what matters are the whims of the soldiers manning the checkpoint who seem to change their rules everyday.
Fatah official Imad al-Saadi was assassinated in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el Helweh Thursday, according to the Lebanese news agency el-Nashra. Residents nearby said they heard extensive gunfire at the time of the killing.
BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian rebels said on Wednesday they had begun arming sympathetic Palestinians to fight a pro-Assad faction in a Palestinian enclave in Damascus – a move which could fuel spiraling intra-Palestinian violence. Two rebel commanders told Reuters they expected their Palestinian allies to fight the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command which dominates the Yarmouk refugee camp.
HR activist confirms deterioration of refugee camps’ conditions in Syria
Tarek Hammoud, the coordinator of the international working group for Palestinian refugees in Syria, confirmed that the conditions in the Palestinian camps are getting worse day after day.
Hamas holds Britain responsible for the suffering of Palestinian refugees
The refugees department in Hamas movement held Britain politically and morally responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people.
To live in a refugee camp is the daily reality for thousands of people in occupied Palestine, which has a total of 29 camps in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Aida refugee camp, situated two kilometers north of Bethlehem, is home to the Al Rowwad Cultural & Theater Society Center which was established by Dr. Abdelfattah Abu Srour. The Center was founded in 1998, where it started in Abu Srour parents’ house, operating from two small rooms. It was then moved to a building in the middle of the camp. During the first and second Intifadas the Center functioned as an emergency clinic and storage and distributed food. In May 2002, the Israeli occupation forces attacked the Al Rowward Center and destroyed almost everything, as well as arresting one employee.
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
A 41-year-old Gaza man, Maher Atia Abed Abu Ghaba, was arrested on suspicion of selling iron to Hamas’ military wing. According to the Shin Bet, Hamas used the metal to build tunnels, posts and bunkers. The arrest was made last month. Around the same time the authorities at the Ashdod Port intercepted some 3,000 tons of iron, which Abu Ghaba meant to transfer to the Gaza Strip.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Travelers hoping to exit the Gaza Strip must register in advance, a border official said Wednesday. Crossings director Maher Abu Sabha told Ma’an that the registration process was temporarily cancelled during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, but the policy is back in force now. Abu Sabha described a “state of chaos” during the holiday which prompted the reversal. Hundreds of people traveled through the crossing during Eid, so the process was suspended. Starting Saturday and until Wednesday, the crossing expects to welcome nearly 4,000 Hajj pilgrims. They will return in batches of 500, Abu Sabha said.
Hurricane Sandy knocked out electricity to New York University’s Langone Hospital,
which had to evacuate its patients. Bellevue Hospital also had to be cleared and the patients sent elsewhere. This story is a horrible one, and one’s heart goes out to the patients, already ill, who lost electricity under these frightening circumstances and had to be moved. But imagine if hospitals going dark were not a result of a calamity of nature, but of deliberate government policy. That is the situation of patients in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Strip’s major power generator was damaged by an Israeli bombing raid in 2005 and it has never been properly repaired, so that it creaks along not able to provide enough juice for the 1.7 million Palestinians trapped there by the Israeli blockade. Egypt provides some fuel, but last spring it cracked down on smuggling, which would have interfered with its formal contracts, plunging Gaza into a power emergency that threatened the hospitals’ ability to function.
On Thursday 1st November, Israeli occupation warships opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast opposite As-Sudaniya area in North Gaza to force them leave the sea. No casualties were reported. Last month, Fahmi Salah Abu Rayash, a Palestinian fisherman, was killed by Israeli bullets at the coast of northern Gaza.
11-year-old Palestinian girl in critical condition after settler runs over her
A Palestinian child was in serious condition after a hit-and-run incident near Beit Ummar village in Al-Khalil on Wednesday.
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A group of settlers from Kedumim settlement assaulted farmers in Jeit village east of Qalqiliya, locals said Thursday. Farmers were harvesting olives, and suddenly a group of settlers attacked them, they said. Israeli soldiers also assaulted farmers when they arrived. The farmers are Fakhri Yameen, 65, Alaa Yameen, Mohammad Yameen, Thaer Yameen, Issa Yameen, and Mahmud Izz al-Din.
IOF raid houses of Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials in Jenin
The Israeli occupation forces raided at dawn Thursday the towns of Yamoun and Silat Al-Harithiya to the west of Jenin city and interrogated Palestinian senior leaders from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
292 Palestinians arrested during October
According to the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights, 292 Palestinians were arrested by Israel in October 2012 in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An additional 15 Palestinians were killed in Gaza Strip. Ahrar Center says that 103 Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, out of whom 17 were minors, five women and five journalists.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday detained two Palestinian women in separate incidents at West Bank checkpoints, relatives said. Shirin Halahleh, the 29-year-old wife of former long-term hunger striker Thaer, was arrested at the “container” checkpoint between Bethlehem and Ramallah, Thaer said. Shirin was held for four hours at the Israeli terminal on her return from Jordan for an Eid visit earlier Thursday, her husband said.
Palestinian beaten and arrested in Ar Rakeez, South Hebron Hills
Operation Dove – Press Release – While the soldiers and the policemen were holding the man, kneeled and handcuffed, around sixty Palestinians from nearby villages rushed on the scene. At 6.45 pm the Palestinian was brought to Kiryat Arba Police Station charged of aggression to soldiers. His daughter, 21 years old, was hospitalized because of a hit received during the military aggression. She didn`t suffer any internal damage, but she continues to have abdominal pain
Soldiers Kidnap Eleven In West Bank, Desecrate Mosque
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, the West Bank Districts of Hebron, Bethlehem and Tulkarem, and Ramallah, broke into and searched several homes, searched them, and kidnapped eleven residents. The army also desecrated a mosque in Ithna, near Hebron.
Other Prisoner News
Israeli authorities must release Palestinian prisoner of conscience in West Bank
The Israeli military authorities must end their campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention against a Palestinian activist in the occupied West Bank, Amnesty International said. Bassem Tamimi, who has been detained since his arrest at non-violent protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers onto Palestinian land last week, faces a further prison sentence after appearing before the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday. ”Once again, Bassem Tamimi is being held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly. We believe he is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.
Palestinian Media Forum condemns arrest of Journalist
The Palestinian Media Forum strongly condemned the arrest of the Jerusalemite photojournalist Iyad Rifai by the Israeli forces after raiding his house in Jerusalem.
Hunger-striking prisoner stops drinking water
A Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails stopped drinking water on Wednesday one week after starting a hunger strike protesting his incarceration along with Israeli homicide convicts.
Palestinian detainee launches Hunger Strike protesting administrative detention
The Palestinian prisoner Odai Jihad Mahfouz al-Kilani from Tubas Governorates launched his open hunger strike protesting against the extension of his administrative detention.
IOA turns the prisoner Abu Maria to administrative detention
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) have decided to turn the leader in the Islamic Jihad, Wahid Hamdi Abu Maria, 45, from Beit Ummar village, north of al-Khalil, to administrative detention.
The Israeli military court extended the solitary confinement of Palestinian engineer and political prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi, kidnapped from the Ukraine, for six months on October 31, despite his lawyer’s appeal that this treatment is illegal. Abu Sisi, 42, is in isolation in Ashkelon prison, and suffers from untreated anemia and back, hearing and vision problems. He was abducted from the Ukraine on February 19, 2011 by the Mossad. He is married (to a Ukrainian citizen), the father of six children, and holds a graduate degree in electrical engineering. He was the key engineer of Gaza’s power plants.
Ayman Nasser’s detention extended additional eight days
Addameer reported that researcher Ayman Nasser’s detention was extended an additional eight days today, November 1, for continued interrogation, by an Israeli military court in the Moskobiya interrogation centre.
The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel in Palestine ’48 expressed its solidarity with its member, Mohammed Kana’aneh of the Abnaa el-Balad Movement, imprisoned in Shatta prison and currently in an open hunger strike for over 1 week to struggle for dignity, human rights and to protest the fascist practices of the prison administration. The committee denounced the prison administration’s targeting of Kana’aneh, including placing him with Israeli criminal prisoners while at the same time placing on him all of the restrictions of a ‘security’ prisoner, and refusing to transfer him to Gilboa prison with other Palestinian political prisoners.
IOF assaults prisoners in Raymond prison
The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies confirmed that the prison administration deliberately continued provocative and humiliating intrusions and hostilities against prisoners in Raymond.
IOA prevents again prisoners’ visits from Gaza
Palestinian human rights center denounced preventing prisoners’ families’ visits from Gaza again without justification after they were resumed recently.
Prisoner Zabin meets his child Muhannad for the first time
Ms. Dalal, the prisoner Ammar Zabin’s wife, confirmed that her husband, 37, from Jenin district sentenced to 26 life terms with 25 years, has met his son Mohannad for the first time since his birth.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority minister of national economy welcomed on Wednesday a report by 22 non-governmental organizations calling to boycott settlements. Jawad al-Naji said he hoped the report by religious groups and charities would have an impact on imports to Europe. The NGO report, issued Tuesday, called on the European Union to ban products made by settlers in the occupied territories, saying a boycott would undercut their economic reason for staying there.
Our Greatest Strength is When We Come Together
The African Heritage Delegation to Palestine/Israel, organized by our member group Interfaith Peace-Builders, arrived in Jerusalem last week. Below are some early impressions from participants.
Israeli Racism and Discrimination
Israelis vs. Africans (Goldstein Dawn)
Israel protest demanding the expulsion of all non-Jewish African asylum-seekers
Political Developments / Other News
U.S. warns Israel against preemptive strike on Iran
US military commanders have warned their Israeli counterparts that any action against Iran would severely limit the ability of American forces in the region to mount their own operations against the Iranian nuclear programme by cutting off vital logistical support from Gulf Arab allies. US naval, air and ground forces are dependent for bases, refuelling and supplies on Gulf Arab rulers who are deeply concerned about the progress Iran has made in its nuclear programme, but also about the rising challenge to their regimes posed by the Arab spring and the galvanising impact on popular unrest of an Israeli attack on Iran.
BEIRUT: An Israeli infantry unit kidnapped a shepherd who was tending his herd in Shebaa Wednesday. United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon initiated contacts to secure his release. “The [Israeli army] informed us about the event … we are in touch with the parties to secure the release of the shepherd,” UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told The Daily Star. “We are looking into the circumstances of the event right now.” The state-run National News Agency said that a unit of 12 Israeli soldiers grabbed shepherd Ismail Khalil Nabaa, who hails from the village of Shebaa, as he was tending his flock in Jabal Saddana, on the outskirts of Shebaa to the north of the Blue Line.
Israel confirms killing Arafat deputy in 1988
Lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy, Israel acknowledged Thursday that it killed the deputy of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a 1988 seaborne raid in Tunisia.
Egyptian presidency: supporting Gaza is a national duty
Spokesman for the Egyptian presidency Yaser Ali said his country is committed the support of Gaza, describing it as a national duty.
PA calls on Egypt to mobilise international support for UN move
The Palestinian Authority has asked Egypt to use all of its resources to mobilise international support for its bid for recognition at the United Nations. The PA aims to raise the status of Palestine to that of a non-member State based on the borders of June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. A member of the Fatah central committee of and president of its parliamentary block, Azzam al-Ahmad, has been holding talks with a number of Egyptian officials in this regard. “We asked the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to continue its efforts to mobilise votes for the Palestinian endeavour at the United Nations,” he said in a statement afterwards.
In an interview to Israel’s Channel 2, Mahmoud Abbas says although he is a refugee from Safed, he supports a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders; the rest, he says, is Israel.
Former U.S. president calls for investigation into Israel’s human rights record; Carter Center says it ‘has long been concerned about Israel’s disregard for stated U.S. policy.’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Political leaders joined Christian mourners at the funeral of a prominent Christian lawmaker in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh praised Husaam al-Tawil’s service to Palestine at the church ceremony in Gaza City. Al-Tawil died in Egypt on Wednesday after a long battle with poor health. He was elected to the PLC in 2005 as an independent candidate, but with the support of Hamas. Al-Tawil was also the secretary-general of the council of Arab Orthodox Churches. ”These are very sad moments,” Haniyeh said at the funeral. “We lost a national leader and a human being who was loved by all.”
Father Hanna slams attempts to recruit Christian Arabs in Israeli army
Father Attallah Hanna, the archbishop of Sebastia in Jerusalem, strongly denounced the Israeli army for its attempts to recruit Christian Palestinians from the 1948 occupied lands.
Hamas renews rejection of all forms of normalization with Israel
The Hamas Movement renewed its rejection of all forms of official and popular normalization with the Israeli regime and called for more action to isolate it at the international level.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas has handed a proposal to Egypt on mechanisms to implement reconciliation with Fatah, a Hamas leader said Wednesday. Salah Bardawil told Ma’an that he hoped the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority would respond to the proposal quickly to reunite the Palestinian people. He said the paper included a comprehensive strategy on how to implement reconciliation, adding that national unity was urgent in light of the growth of Israeli extremism.
On Thursday 1st November, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Rabah Mhanna, said that Hamas is unconcerned about achieving reconciliation at this time for several reasons: preparations for Hamas internal elections and its attempt pursuing a truce with Israel for 20 years. Dr. Mhanna called on Hamas Movement to deny news that a European country had welcomed an Israeli delegation with the participation of Hamas, saying that it is Israel’s pre-condition that a group of the Muslim Brothers must also participate, suggesting one of their leaders, Khayrat al-Shater.
Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad has proposed the formation a new coalition government to the PLO, Ma’an news agency reported Thursday. Two PLO executive committee members denied widely circulated reports Wednesday that Fayyad had resigned, saying that he was instead pushing for the creation of a government that includes “every faction.” It is not clear whether Fayyad’s vision includes Hamas, which the Palestinian Authority has been in a political deadlock with since fighting erupted between the two parties in Gaza in 2007, resulting in a Hamas take-over of the coastal strip. Committee member Wasel Abu Youssef quoted Fayyad as saying that a financial crisis in the strip, which triggered several protests as well as some self-immolation attempts, required a new government of all factions be formed.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A lawyer representing factions challenging the outcome of Bethlehem’s local elections say they filed a complaint in court on Wednesday. Attorney Majed Odeh told Ma’an that the group of five Palestinian factions are calling for a recount of votes from last month’s local elections in Bethlehem. The Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestine People’s Party, the Palestinian National Initiative and the Abu Nidal Organization are behind the challenge.
A minister called on Israel yesterday to lift the five-year economic blockade of Gaza so that Palestinians can exploit their offshore gasfield in the Mediterraean and eventually pay their own way without aid from the international community. International development minister Alan Duncan blamed the Israeli blockade for the high levels of unemployment in Gaza (28%) and the 540 roadblocks and building ban in Area C of the West Bank for the unemployment level there (17%).
Democrats decry survey as ‘unscientific,’ citing ties to conservative backer Ronald Lauder.
The Kadima Party in Israel is planning a “shocking” election campaign. A report in newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth claims that the party is going to release scandalous photographs of Benjamin Netanyahu around which the campaign will be built.
Yitzhar settlers riot following outpost evacuation
IDF, police raze three structures in Kipa Sruga outpost; clashes ensue as settlers hurl stones, burn tires.
IDF captain indicted for multiple indecent acts
Former IDF officer believed to have used hidden pen cameras to take photos of women undressing.
Deputy health minister says it’s ‘absurd for both parents to work,’ praises Netanyahu policies.
Israeli farmers use banned pesticide
A report in the Israeli media has accused the country’s farmers of using the banned pesticide Methyl Bromide, leading to unusually high levels of poison in crops. Ma’ariv newspaper said that crops on Israeli farms have poison levels exceeding those in a number of developed countries, including Sweden (with the least toxic crops), Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Greece. The information analysed by Ma’ariv was supplied by the Israeli national statistics department.
Qatari Emir in Gaza, Elias Akleh
The so-called courageous Israeli-siege-breaking visit of Qatari Emir to the six years besieged Gaza carries with it so many controversial meanings and more questions than answers. One could not help but question the real motivations behind such a visit at this particular time: did it come as a solidarity visit with Hamas and as humanitarian aid to the devastated starving Palestinians or an attempt to contain Hamas under the pro-Zionist Qatari wing and a manipulation of the suffering Palestinians?
Knesset Speaker expresses concerns about Obama victory
The Speaker of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has expressed concern that Israel will face security and political obstacles over settlements if US President Barack Obama is re-elected. Reuben Rivlin told Israeli public radio that even though there will be cooperation, no matter what the new government of Israel looks like, if Obama wins there will be obstacles and difficulties as well. ”We know exactly the policy adopted by the Obama administration,” said Rivlin, “and in my estimation, if Obama wins a second term, we will face difficulties over our settlements.”
Exciting news: Israeli military opens up to vegans, offers them special boots to commit human rights abuses in, Sami Kishawi
Foodwashing? Dietwashing? We’re running out of names to categorize the Israeli military’s absurdity but here’s their latest attempt at improving their image. Basically, vegan occupation soldiers should now feel grateful that they finally get to tromp through Palestinian homes in really neat faux leather boots. Vegan accommodations are great and they are absolutely necessary. But the exploitation of veganism is unacceptable, especially when done as part of a comprehensive campaign to frame a human rights abuser as a human rights protector.
IDF Unit 8200: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You, Richard Silverstein
The U.S. Army ad slogan may be: “The Army needs a few good men.” But IDF Unit 8200′s slogan is: “The IDF needs a few good hackers.” Actually not a few, more like hundreds if not thousands. As I’ve reported here, Unit 8200, Israel’s equivalent to the NSA, is undergoing a massive expansion. Recent events–including Stuxnet, Flame, the sabotaging of Syria’s air defenses during the 2007 attack on that country’s purported nuclear facility, and the recent take-down of Sudan’s telecommunications system an hour before Israel’s recent attack on a munitions plant there–have proven how effective cyber-warfare can be in pursuit of Israeli interests. Just like in Hollywood, where success breeds endless imitation, Israel’s military strategic planners are stampeding after the latest cyber-war capabilities. Their thinking, as hot-rodders used to say, “let’s see what this baby can do.”
Gaza Strip – Gaza: Gateway to the Levant is unique among travel guides. Even the paper on which it is printed is a luxury due to the Israeli siege which prevents basic goods – not to mention tourists – from entering the strip. The book, published recently by the Hamas government’s Ministry of Tourism, features large photographs, bold headlines, and a detailed map, which, as a whole, give the impression of a peaceful coastal strip steeped in history. There is no mention of the whirr of Israeli helicopters or the wails of funeral processions.
Did you know? Obama eats hummus and other typical “Israeli” foods in the White House, Ali Abunimah
Is hummus an “Israeli” food? For US campaign purposes, it seems so.