FM: Israel will eventually need to overthrow Hamas
JPost 22 Nov — Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday that despite the government’s decision to agree to a cease-fire on Wednesday, Israel would “eventually need to overthrow the Hamas regime” in Gaza. Liberman said in an interview with Channel 2 that a ground operation in Gaza would entail reoccupying the Gaza Strip, and partaking in such an effort only two months before an election was the wrong move. “The occupation of Gaza and the overthrow of Hamas is a process that would take more than four months.” Liberman added that the government decided to agree to the cease-fire despite the fact that they knew “the public was against it.” The foreign minister said that the cease-fire was the best agreement Israel could have made at this time. He said that Israel had met its three goals for the mission: stopping rocket fire on the South, regaining Israel’s power of deterrence and destroying Hamas’s stock of long-range Fajr 5 missiles.
Assault on Gaza / Aftermath
Medics: Man killed by Israeli fire near Gaza border
[with VIDEO] GAZA CITY (Ma‘an/Reuters) 23 Nov 11:04 — Israeli forces killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man near the Israeli border in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday morning, medical officials said. Medics said Anwar Abdul Hadi Qudaih, 20, was hit in the head with a live bullet east of Khan Younis. Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 19 others were wounded by Israeli fire in the border area. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of violating the Egypt-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo. “We will contact the Egyptian mediator to discuss the incident,” he said.Witnesses told Ma‘an a group of citizens were gathering to perform Friday prayer on their land near the border. A relative of the dead man, who was at the scene, told Reuters that Qudaih had been trying to place a Hamas flag on the fence. He added that an Israeli soldier had fired into the air three times before Qdeih was hit in the head by a bullet … According to the terms of the accord, both Israelis and Palestinians agreed to stop their hostilities. However, the brief document left details on access to the tense border zone to be worked out in the days ahead.
Palestinian killed in Gaza tunnel, three injured
IMEMC 23 Nov 21:43 — Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Friday that one resident was killed, and three more were injured, after they inhaled toxic gas fired by the Israeli army at a border tunnel in Rafah, in the southern part of the coastal region. The sources said that the three youths went to conduct maintenance works to the tunnel that was bombarded during the war, but the tunnel was filled with toxic gas resulting from Israeli missiles. Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health in Gaza stated that Bassam Ash-Sha’er, 26, died due to toxic gas inhalation in the tunnel, and that the three wounded residents have been hospitalized at the Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Their health condition was described as moderate.
Medics: Israeli gunfire injures Palestinian in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip late Thursday after he approached a fence on the border, medics said. Haitham Abu Daqqa, 23, had approached the fence with a group of people carrying flags and celebrating the end of the conflict as Palestinians rallied for a second day. The Israeli army described the demonstration as a riot.
Hamas deploys at Gaza border after Israeli kills Palestinian
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — The Hamas government in Gaza has deployed security forces near the border with Israel after two shooting incidents in the aftermath of Wednesday’s ceasefire. A Reuters photographer and other witnesses said Hamas officials, coming closer to the Israeli border fence than ever before, escorted Palestinians away from the site. A security source confirmed the move: “Yes, there are instructions to implement the agreement and at the same time protect the people. The instruction is not to allow people to approach the border fence.”
Earlier Friday Israeli forces killed Anwar Abdul Hadi Qudaih, 20, near the Israeli border in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said. He was hit in the head with a live bullet east of Khan Younis, medics said.
On Thursday medics said four Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire near the fence.
Hamas: We’re committed to truce despite Israeli violation
Ynet 23 Nov — Hamas spokesman Razi Hamad said that even though “Israel violated the ceasefire, we’re committed to the truce,” the Gaza Now news agency reported. Hamad addressed reports that a Palestinian was killed and 19 were injured by Israeli gunfire near the Gaza border on Friday.
Medics: 2 Palestinians die of wounds from Gaza airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Two Palestinians died on Friday morning from wounds sustained in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in the past week, medical officials said. Judeh Suliman Shamlakh, who was wounded in an airstrike on the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, succumbed to his injuries, spokesman of the Gaza health ministry Ashraf al-Qidra said. Mohammad Abu Msameh also died after he was wounded in an earlier airstrike on al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
Body found in rubble of al-Dalou family home
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Civil defense crews on Thursday retrieved the body of a 29-year-old man from the rubble of the al-Dalou family home in Gaza City. Family members identified the body as Mohammad al-Dalou. The body of Yara al-Dalou, 17, is still missing. An Israeli airstrike flattened the al-Dalou family home in the Shujaiyya neighborhood on Sunday, killing a mother and her four children — 1-year-old Ibrahim, Yousef, 4, Jamal, 6, Sarah, 7 — a grandmother, great grandmother and two aunts. The father of the family, a grocer, was at a local shop with his young son when the house was attacked. He returned to the wreckage to find most of his loved ones dead and trapped in its battered shell…
On Thursday, the Israeli military said it could not provide an explanation for the strike. An army spokeswoman said the incident was still being examined. The Israeli newspapers Haaretz and Maariv said the army had fired at the wrong house, while Israel’s top-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported the al-Dalou home was indeed the target and that it housed a Hamas militant.
EWASH condemns killing of Gaza water vendor
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A coalition of humanitarian agencies on Wednesday condemned Israel’s killing of a water vendor as he delivered water in the northern Gaza Strip. Suhail Hammad and his 10-year-old son were hit by an Israeli airstrike while driving a water distribution truck in northern Gaza on Sunday. Both were killed instantly. After the incident, other water vendors stopped operating fearing they would be targeted, causing shortages in drinking water. The Emergency Water and Sanitation/Hygiene group condemned the attack and called on Israel to take all precautions to protect civilians and their infrastructure.
During Israel’s 8-day war on Gaza, which ended with a ceasefire Wednesday, the water networks in Khan Younis and Rafah were damaged and maintenance staff were unable to access the area for repairs. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed a water reservoir under construction which was intended to serve 150,000 people. Israel’s blockade of Gaza gas prevented the rehabilitation of Gaza’s sole source of fresh water, the coastal aquifer, which the UN says may become unusable by 2016.
Egyptian hospitals still receiving Gaza wounded
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Two Palestinians critically wounded in Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip were taken to hospitals in Egypt on Thursday. Ahmad Saed, 13, and Nidal Hussien, 37, were transferred through Rafah crossing, a Ma‘an reporter said. Egyptian hospitals in Sinai’s el-Arish and in Cairo are treating 37 Palestinians wounded in Israeli attacks. One Palestinian, Ahmad Daghmash, died el-Arish hospital died on Tuesday. He was wounded in an airstrike no Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City.
Video by Egypt revolutionary media group shows scenes of distress at Gaza City’s main hospital
EI 21 Nov — A video by Mosireen (website), the independent media and citizen journalism collective born during the Egyptian revolution, shows the disturbing and horrifying scenes in Gaza City’s main hospital amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The video, titled “A Night in Gaza Under the Bombs,” was shot on 18 November, the fifth day of the Israeli attack during the visit by 500 Egyptians in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza, who spent the night at al-Shifa hospital. The video contains some disturbing scenes, including severely injured and dead children, and distressed family members.
In Gaza, another eight days of killing / Mohammed Omer
GAZA CITY 22 Nov (IPS) – Fouad Hijazi was watching the 7 p.m. news with his wife and eight children when a missile fired by an Israeli F-16 hit their house in Jabalyia refugee camp, Gaza’s most densely populated area. Fouad, 46, was killed. So were his sons Mohammed, 3, and Suhaib, 2. Fouad’s wife Amna is in Shifa hospital, and her two daughters and four other sons are also in the hospital. Eighteen others from the neighbourhood were injured in the airstrike. Following the airstrike, two firefighters and a rescue team worker were wounded when a wall of the home fell on them. Neighbours told IPS that Fouad Hijazi did not belong to any militant group, nor has any organisation claimed him as a member. Relatives took the dead for burial at the Jabalyia cemetery on Wednesday. Bodies are usually brought home from hospital for a last farewell. In the case of the Hijazi family, there was no house left to take them to. “Just an ordinary man, sitting peacefully with his wife and children in their home. What did they do to deserve this?” cried Umm Mohammed, a cousin of the father
From under the bombs: our catastrophe and our hope in Gaza / Ayah Abubasheer
Gaza Strip (EI) 23 Nov — …Attack on my family –At 7am on 19 November, two people from my extended family and a neighbor were hit by an Israeli missile. All three (Tamer, Amin and Rashid) were martyred at once. It was Amin’s birthday. Charred, shrunken and torn into pieces, piled up upon one another as they were covered by their white coffin shrouds. The three weren’t going to fire rockets on Israel, they weren’t going to kill Israeli children or women or even soldiers. They hadn’t got weapons, they were not “terrorists.” I knew two of my relatives Tamer and Amin personally and am certain that they had never been involved in armed resistance. The three were farmers who grew tomatoes on their land — this was their work. Their van was open and the Israeli jet, with its high technology, could easily recognize the tomatoes in the back. It hit them with a missile that not only killed them, but terribly deformed their figures. Nothing happened to the tomatoes because they were not the target. Through their high level of technology and an expertise in killing, the computerized missile wasn’t dropped vertically as you might imagine, but from the side direction to penetrate the front door and kill the three sitting beside each other.
“United in resistance,” Palestinians in Gaza remain steadfast / Joe Catron
Gaza City (EI) 22 Nov — Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip displaced tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. Others refused to leave, even after Israeli warplanes dropped threatening leaflets on their neighborhoods on Tuesday. Before a ceasefire took place on Wednesday night, Palestinians in Gaza scrambled to find a safer place for their families. Walaa al-Ghussein, an English education student at Gaza City’s al-Azhar University, lives in Altwam. Her family of eight evacuated the northern village on Wednesday, 14 November, the first night of increased bombings, and came to Gaza City. “My neighbors and relatives left with us,” she said. “They are staying somewhere near the seaport. It was the whole neighborhood, not just us.” “They say it would be much safer here, but it’s not,” she added.” here are so many air bombardments here, and so much rumbling around us every night.” Like many families living near the barrier dividing Israel from the Gaza Strip, the al-Ghusseins have left their homes to avoid attacks before.
Israeli drones still hovering over Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli drones continued to hover over the Gaza Strip on Thursday, despite a ceasefire brokered the previous evening. Residents on Thursday complained that despite the ceasefire, the noise of Israeli reconnaissance planes continued to disturb them. “We do not want to feel that we still under the Israeli authorities’ sight, and we do not want to feel that we still in a war,” said Rana Matar. Other residents said they couldn’t sleep because of the constant noise. Political analyst Mustafa al-Sawaf told Ma‘an the drones were part of Israel’s occupation, and would not stop despite the truce.
Fifty schools damaged due to the aggression
GAZA (PIC) 23 Nov — The Palestinian Minister of Education in Gaza, Osama Muzaini, said that 50 schools were damaged during the aggression on the Gaza Strip, which lasted eight days. The minister pointed out that the losses in the education sector amounted to about four million dollars, according to the initial estimates. He said, in a press conference held on Thursday after his tour of a number of damaged schools including UNRWA schools and the American School, that “five employees in the education sector were killed and more than 300 others, including students and teachers, were wounded during the aggression.” Muzaini added that most of the students killed during the aggression were from primary schools and kindergarten
Tunisia to demand compensation for Israeli bombing of its school in Gaza
TUNIS (PIC) 22 Nov — The Tunisian presidential advisor for international affairs, Anwar Al-Gharbi, has disclosed that his country was discussing means of retaliating to the Israeli bombing of its school in Gaza. He told Quds Press on Thursday that the Israeli occupation forces shelled the Tunisian school in Gaza shortly after a solidarity visit by a senior official delegation to the beleaguered Strip. He said that Tunis was studying retaliating to that act either by demanding compensation or filing a lawsuit with international courts.
After UNRWA protest, Israel hides video falsely alleging firing from Gaza schools
EI 21 Nov — The Israeli army has hidden from public view a YouTube video that suggested UN-run schools in Gaza were used as rocket launching bases after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) strongly denied the allegations. UNRWA had objected to the Israeli army’s “creation” of animations depicting firing from schools. A search of the Israeli army’s official YouTube account revealed that the video condemned by UNRWA were no longer accessible. Is this a tacit admission by Israel that the propaganda it posted was indeed false? No spokesperson from UNRWA was immediately available for comment.
Egypt-OPT: Contingency planning, despite ceasefire
CAIRO 23 Nov (IRIN) – Aid agencies in Egypt are updating contingency plans in case an uncertain ceasefire, agreed on 21 November between Israel and Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, does not hold. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) are preparing for the possible need to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance from Egypt into Gaza and to support potential Palestinian refugees entering Egypt, in case the ceasefire fails and the situation in the Gaza Strip escalates.
Russia ‘gears to evacuate’ its nationals in Gaza
AFP 23 Nov — While the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza factions appeared to hold for second day, Russia has ordered six of its warships to remain in the Mediterranean Sea to in order to help evacuate Russian nationals from the Strip in case the hostilities escalate again, news agencies in the European country said Friday, citing a source in the navy.
Schools to reopen in Gaza on Saturday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — The minister of education in the Gaza Strip Osama al-Mazini said Thursday that schools will reopen on Saturday.
Tunnelers, aid agencies begin resupplying battered Gaza
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) 22 Nov — Knee-deep in craters carved out by Israeli air strikes, Palestinians wielded shovels and sandbags to reopen tunnels used to smuggle in goods from Egypt to Gaza, while international aid agencies raced to replenish Gaza’s depleted supplies. They were same type of tunnels that Israel, which destroyed 140 of them in its air campaign, says were used to smuggle in rockets that lashed its cities and towns by the hundreds during the recent fighting. Gaza militant groups and Israel on Wednesday agreed to a truce, but the Jewish state will not lighten its blockade of the enclave, Israeli sources said, as some Hamas officials had hoped it might. The Rafah border crossing with Egypt also remained mostly closed to traffic … “Our job is to bring the children and families of Gaza rice, chocolate and a way of surviving,” said Hussein Seida, 21. “We were afraid for our lives to come out and work in the last few days, but now we rebuild. We’ll do anything to help our people, we’ll build a tunnel to China if we need to,” he said, clutching a hammer in his dirt-covered hands. None of the tunnel workers interviewed said they had handled military materiel, and all said they were eager to reopen them for the sake of Gaza’s civilians, and their own livelihoods.
Union of physicians in Jordan to send medical team to Gaza
AMMAN (PIC) 22 Nov — The Jordanian union of physicians said it would send a delegation of specialized doctors to the Gaza Strip to help the wounded and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people there. In a press release on Wednesday, the union affirmed that it coordinated with the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza to delegate a team of medical specialists including surgeons to help relieve the suffering of patients and war victims.
Iron Dome shootdowns of Gaza rockets cost $25-30 million
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 22 Nov — Israel’s Iron Dome interceptions of Palestinian rockets during eight days of Gaza fighting cost $25 million to $30 million, the government said on Thursday, arguing the US-backed system was well worth the money … Using radar-guided interceptor missiles, Israel’s five truck-towed Iron Dome batteries shot down 421 of some 1,500 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip between Nov. 14 and Wednesday’s Egyptian-brokered truce, the military said. It put Iron Dome’s success rate at 90 percent. To lower costs, the system engages only rockets that threaten populated areas, though it often fires two interceptor missiles at once.
Israeli soldier dies of injuries sustained in rocket attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israel on Thursday said an Israeli soldier from Netanya died after being injured by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip a day earlier. Boris Yarmulnik, 28, from Netanya, died of his wounds after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the Eshkol Regional Council Wednesday afternoon, army statement said.
Army: Air sirens ‘false alarm’, no rockets Thursday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — …No rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since 10 p.m. Wednesday, an hour after a truce deal came into effect, a military spokeswoman said … Israeli police said 12 rockets landed in open areas after 9 p.m. and caused neither damage or casualties.
Palestinians: Gaza had rockets supply for several more weeks
Ynet 23 Nov – Officials at the Gaza Strip told the al-Hayat newspaper that the Palestinians had a stock of rockets that could have lasted several more weeks, had Israel decided to mount a ground invasion of the enclave.The Palestinians only agreed to a ceasefire in order to prevent further damage in the Gaza strip, the officials said.
In Photos: Palestinians in Gaza celebrate victory, mourn those lost
EI 22 Nov — Celebrations have erupted across the Gaza Strip after a ceasefire – agreed between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions – came into effect on Wednesday night, giving Palestinians their first peaceful night after eight relentless days of Israeli bombardment … In the West Bank, celebrations at the achievement of the Gaza ceasefire broke out in several cities and villages, while Israeli occupation forces embarked on an intensified arrest campaign, detaining hundreds of people in raids over the past week as attention was focused on Gaza.
Sayyed Nasrallah congratulates Palestinians: This is a real victory
Al-Manar — Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah congratulated the Palestinian resistance and people, inside Palestine and abroad, and all the honorable people in the world for the victory against the Israeli enemy, considering that “once against blood had triumphed over the sword”. Speaking at the 9th eve of Ashura, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Israel was the one that waged a war on Gaza and not vice versa, indicating that “the resistance which lost a martyr was able to fight efficiently… resistance movements in the region no longer depend on individuals.” His eminence further said: “It is enough to look at the faces of the tripartite, Netanyahu, Obama, and Lieberman to see their defeat, they were similar to the faces of Livni, Peres, and Olmert after July war.”
PCHR Weekly Report: 158 Palestinians killed, including 33 children; 1,000 wounded in last week [14-21 Nov]
IMEMC 23 Nov — …the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that during the 8-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, 156 Palestinians, including 103 civilians were killed by Israeli forces. 33 children, 13 women and 3 journalists were among those civilians who were killed. 1,000 Palestinians, including 971 civilians, were wounded. 247 children, 162 women and 12 journalists were among those civilians who were wounded. Israeli forces carried out 1,350 airstrikes, in which 1,400 missiles were launched. 55 houses were completely destroyed, while hundreds of other houses sustained damages ranging between big damage and partial damage… [many details follow]
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank: Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. 2 Palestinian demonstrators were killed; one in Ramallah and the other one in Hebron. Israeli attacks in the West Bank: The Israeli forces conducted 77 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank The Israeli forces abducted 76 Palestinians, including 6 children, ex-prisoner Tha’er Halahla, and two women. 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded during incursions conducted by Israeli forces. In addition, 2 of the wounded persons were abducted. Full Report
Land theft / Apartheid
IOA completes separation wall encircling Shuafat
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities started building a new section of the separation wall around the Shufat refugee camp to the north of occupied Jerusalem. Locals said that Israeli occupation forces installed large cement cubes at Ras Khamis roadblock in preparation for completing the separation wall to the west of Shufat. They said that the camp is now surrounded by the wall or cement cubes from all directions. The wall would isolate the camp’s 55000 inhabitants, all carrying Jerusalemite IDs, from occupied Jerusalem, the locals said, noting that the camp inhabitants are linked to the holy city’s educational, health, and commercial sectors.
Solidarity for Gaza in the West Bank and Israel
Mass marches in Nablus, Tulkarm and al-Khalil celebrating the resistance’s victory
NABLUS (PIC) 23 Nov — In Nablus, thousands have participated in the marches, headed by leaders of various national and Islamic factions in the district, and Hamas cadres in the city, glorifying the Palestinian resistance, topped by al-Qassam Brigades, PIC reporter stated. In Tulkarem, a similar popular march was organized after Friday prayers, attended by a number of Islamist MPs, saluting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Gaza, and called for complete unity among all Palestinian factions….
Anti-wall marches celebrate the victory of Gaza
RAMALLAH (PIC) 23 Nov — Several marches were organized after Friday prayers in occupied West Bank’s cities and villages protesting against the Israeli arrest campaigns and praising the resistance’s victory in Gaza strip. The Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in al-Ma‘asara village. The protesters marched towards the Wall while raising Palestinian flags and chanting for resisting the illegal occupation of Palestine, the removal of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank, the liberation of all Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, and condemning the Israeli war and aggression on Gaza; they also chanted for unity among all Palestinian factions.The Israeli occupation forces attacked the protesters with batons and rifle butts, and prevented them from reaching to the annexation wall.
B’Tselem protests Israel’s use of live fire at West Bank protests
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has written to Israeli army officials protesting the firing of live ammunition against protesters in the West Bank. Two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured at protests in the West Bank against Israel’s war on Gaza. B’Tselem executive director Jessica Montell demanded that it be made unequivocally clear to soldiers and commanders that there is an absolute prohibition on shooting live ammunition at stone throwers. “B’Tselem also demanded that crowd control weapons like tear gas and rubber-coated bullets be utilized in accordance with open-fire regulations and in a manner that does not endanger human life,” the group said in a statement.
Dweik: The West Bank and Gaza share the same fate
AL-KHALIL(PIC) 22 Nov — The head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Aziz Dweik, stated that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip share the same fate at all levels despite the continuing Israeli attempts to divide them. Dweik told PIC reporter that the protests and clashes in the West Bank are evidence that the Palestinians are one people and share the same destiny, stressing that the whole nation stands by the Palestinian people…
Regarding the national reconciliation and political arrests, Dweik said that our people are waiting for a PA clear position to release all political prisoners immediately, noting that the continuing political arrests could not be accepted in light of the unity talks.
Palestinian youth activists in Haifa, Akka: “Gaza is not alone in this struggle” / Sawsan Khalife‘
The Galilee (EI) 21 Nov — Following Israel’s brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip that began on 14 November, Palestinian youths with Israeli citizenship gathered for urgent meetings to organize their activism in solidarity with Gaza. Last Thursday, 15 November, on the Haifa University campus, dozens of Palestinian students stood for a few minutes in solidarity with the people of Gaza. In response, some Israeli students gathered and started singing the national Israeli song. On Monday, the Arab Student Board, which is the elected committee for Arab students at Haifa University, was told by the dean that they could not organize a solidarity gathering on the university campus. However, just the day before, the Jewish Israeli student board held their student activity to support the attacks on Gaza. In that action, Jewish Israeli students danced while chanting “Death to the Arabs” and praised the Israeli army for its “courageous” attacks on the Gaza Strip.
Illegal arrests / Violence
Israeli army detains over 50 in West Bank
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov 11:11 — The Israeli army launched an arrest sweep throughout the West Bank overnight Wednesday, citing “recent violent and terrorist activity.” A military statement said 55 Palestinians were seized overnight in order to “restore calm.” The arrests were made as Israel agreed a truce Wednesday evening ending eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip. The deadly bombardment, which killed some 170 Palestinians in Gaza, prompted an outpouring of grief and anger across the West Bank. Protesters held vigils for the dead, while other rallies in villages and cities ended in violent confrontation with Israeli forces. During the clashes, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces…
The army said its arrest campaign Wednesday night targeted various Palestinian factions and included “senior operatives.” According to local accounts, the arrests included mid-level figures from various Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Meanwhile, dozens of other Palestinians were held. Israeli forces detained Omar Dyab in Qalqiliya and, Faysal and Samer Sabaneh in Qabatiya, south of Jenin. Israel’s army said three were detained in Qabatiya … The Israeli army vowed to “continue to maintain order … and prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli communities.”
Israel transfers 30 Palestinians to administrative detention
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 22 Nov 18:55 — Israeli authorities on Thursday transferred some 30 Palestinian prisoners to administrative detention, without charge or trial, a human rights group said. Osama Makboul, an attorney for the International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, said Israeli prosecutors expected to transfer the prisoners within 48 hours. Israeli authorities claimed the 30 prisoners were involved in solidarity events for Gaza, Makboul said. The 30 detainees are leaders from Hamas and Islamic Jihad and university students among others, he noted. Moayed Sharab, Tahseen Shuli and Anas Joud Allah, all from Nablus, were transferred to administrative detention for six months, he said. Israel’s policy of administrative detention allows the country to hold prisoners for renewable terms of six months without pressing charges.
Israeli forces detain MPs around West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces detained at least five members of the Palestinian parliament in the West Bank who are affiliated to Hamas, among 28 Palestinians detained at dawn Friday. In Ramallah, soldiers detained the secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council Mahmoud al-Ramahi. MP Basem Zairir was detained in Samua, south of Hebron, along with other leaders in the Change and Reform party, which is affiliated to Hamas, Nidal Oref Zairi and Jamal Yusuf Musa Abu Jaydal. In Tulkarem, forces detained two lawmakers, Fathi Qarawi and Riyad Radid. Another MP, Emad Nofal, was seized in Qalqiliya.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said 28 Palestinians were detained in the West Bank overnight. Four MPs were detained in a joint police-Shin Bet-army operation as they “attempted to rehabilitate Hamas infrastructure in the region posing a clear threat to safety and stability,” she said. In Nablus, Israeli vehicles deployed around the city and detained 25-year-old Baha Mahmud Marshoud, who is a Fatah member, after raiding his house in Balata refugee camp. In Azzun, east of Qalqiliya, Israeli forces detained Seif Hisham Odwan, and Aref Samer Shbeta who are affiliated to Fatah.
Prisoners rights group Addameer said on Thursday it had documented more than 200 detentions by Israel in the West Bank since the bombardment of Gaza started, including scores at protests against the war. In one case, Addameer said, a man had been knocked unconscious, and was still detained by forces.
Witnesses: Tear gas burned car in Ithna clashes
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A car was burned out by a [red-hot] tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces during clashes in the Hebron village Ithna on Wednesday, witnesses said. Abed al-Hadi al-Jabawi, the owner of the car, said the canister smashed the window and set the car alight, and soldiers prevented civil defense from putting out the flames.
Owner: 400 olive trees uprooted in south Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli settlers in the south Hebron hills uprooted around 400 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian farmer, locals said. Abu Iyad Housheh visited his land near the Carmiel settlement on Thursday and found the two to three-year old trees had been destroyed overnight. He has filed a complaint to the Israeli police. Police, soldiers and Israeli civil administration officers were summoned to the land to witnesses the destruction, he said. Abu Housheh told Ma‘an he will replant the trees, and will not be intimidated by settlers. [Ynet: Nearby, a ‘price tag’ graffiti was discovered reading “Beersheba and Tel Aviv say hello”, referring to Operation Pillar of Defense.]
Political and other news
Mashaal: I accept a Palestinian state on ’67 borders
JPost 22 Nov — Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared a position on Palestinian statehood that is nearly identical to that of his Fatah rival, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview with CNN aired Wednesday. “I accept a Palestinian state according [to] the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return,” the Hamas leader told Christiane Amanpour in Cairo.
Envoy: China supports Palestinians, gives $1M aid
AP 23 Nov — A Palestinian envoy says China has expressed support to the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel and bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations, and is giving them $1 million in aid. Bassam al-Salhi told reporters following talks Friday in Beijing with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi that China supported “stopping any kind of aggression from the Israelis against the Palestinian people.”
Hamas, Jihad affirm support for UN bid
RAMALLAH 22 Nov (WAFA) – Three top Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza separately called President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday and affirmed their support for the Palestinian United Nations bid to become a non-member state. Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, called Abbas to brief him on the situation in Gaza following the ceasefire. Abbas also received calls from the deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmad Bahr, from Hamas, and Islamic Jihad leader Mohammad al-Hindi also to talk about the situation in Gaza.
Tel Aviv bombing suspected remanded
Ynet 23 Nov — The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Friday remanded an Israeli citizen who is suspected of helping perpetrate a bus bombing that injured 29 people in Tel Aviv earlier this week. He is to remain in custody for at least 10 more days. The Tayibe resident was arrested at the Modiin train station just hours after the attack on Wednesday alongside a resident of the Palestinian Authority. Three other residents of the PA were arrested shortly thereafter.
PA to pay remainder of govt salaries
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — The Palestinian Authority said Thursday it would be paying the remainder of October salaries to government employees by the end of the day. Public sector employees received 52 percent of their salaries on Nov. 11 … The PA has repeatedly failed to pay salaries on time and in full as it faces mounting debts.
Aide: Arafat exhumation to go ahead Monday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — French forensic experts arrived in the West Bank on Thursday to oversee the exhumation of former President Yasser Arafat, the president’s legal adviser said. A French court in August opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on the Palestinian leader’s clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha. The French judiciary has formally tasked the Palestinian public prosecution will collecting evidence for the inquiry, and the French experts will act as advisers to Palestinian forensic staff, Abbas legal aide Hassan al-Arouri told Ma‘an.
PFLP-GC leader ‘injured in assassination attempt’ in Damascus
DAMASCUS (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command was critically injured and four people were killed in an attempted assassination in Damascus on Wednesday, a senior official in the movement said. A PFLP-GC source said Liwa al-Asifah Brigade fighters planted a bomb in Khalid Atteiq’s car, injuring him and killing four others, in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. He accused the Liwa al-Asifah Brigades of trying to stir strife and drag Palestinians into Syria’s uprising … Yarmouk camp is largely under the control of PFLP-GC, which is aligned with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. Syrian rebels accuse PFLP-GC of cracking down on dissent in Yarmouk. In October, rebels announced they had begun arming Palestinians to establish the Liwa al-Asifah to wrest control of the camp.
Egypt’s Morsi grants himself far-reaching power
AP 22 Nov — Egypt’s president has issued constitutional amendments granting himself far-reaching powers and ordering the retrial of leaders of Hosni Mubarak’s regime for the killing of protesters in last year’s uprising. Mohammed Morsi also decreed immunity for the panel drafting a new constitution from any possible court decisions to dissolve it. He granted the same protection to the upper chamber of parliament. Both bodies are dominated by Morsi’s Islamist allies
Egypt clashes as president defends his new powers
Cairo (AP) 24 Nov — Supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi clashed Friday in the worst violence since he took office, while he defended a decision to give himself near-absolute power to root out what he called “weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt.” The edicts by Morsi, which were issued Thursday, have turned months of growing polarization into an open battle between his Muslim Brotherhood and liberals who fear a new dictatorship. Some in the opposition, which has been divided and weakened, were now speaking of a sustained street campaign against the man who nearly five months ago became Egypt’s first freely elected president.
Egypt‘s Brotherhood leader blasts peace with Israel
AP 22 Nov — The leader and top cleric of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has denounced peace efforts with Israel, urging holy war to liberate Palestinian territories. Mohammed Badei’s call Thursday comes just a day after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who also hails from the Brotherhood, succeeded in brokering a truce to end eight days of Israel-Hamas fighting.
Lebanon army dismantles rocket aimed at Israel
Reuters 22 Nov – The Lebanese army disabled a rocket on Thursday which was primed to be fired into northern Israel and said two others were launched late on Wednesday but fell short of the border. An army statement said the incidents all took place near the southern Lebanese town of Marjayoun, about five km (three miles) from Israel’s northern border.
Analysis / Opinion / Interviews
Despite Gaza suffering, Hamas’ status is on the rise / Amira Hass
Haaretz 22 Nov — Hamas declared victory after Cast Lead, but did not manage to convince the general public in the Gaza Strip. This time, however, even those who aren’t supporters of the organization respect its political achievement — It’s natural that each of the two clashing sides would claim to be the winner in the cease-fire. Considering the balance of fatalities and the dimensions of the destruction, it’s clear who won — and there are those who are still making those cynical calculations, while blurring the large number of Palestinian women and children counted among the dead and wounded. But if ‘victory’ is measured by the support each side has for its leadership, apparently it can be said that the trophy indeed went to Hamas … This time, even those who are not supporters of Hamas admire the political achievement manifested in the military surprises Hamas had up its sleeve. The ability to continue firing even under the intensive attack indicated the planning prowess of the movement, and its ability to learn from its mistakes.
Two powers, Qatar and Iran, try to sway Hamas
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) 23 Nov by Brian Murphy — The courtship of Hamas between rivals Iran and Qatar has been one of the Middle East’s intriguing subplots of the Arab Spring. The bloodshed in Gaza has now sharpened their competition for influence with the Palestinian militant group and the direction it takes in the future. Qatar has sought to use its vast wealth to win over Hamas with investments and humanitarian aid and encouraging Arab partners to do the same — part of the hyper-rich U.S.-allied nation’s broader campaign to bring under its wing Islamist movements that have risen to power in the region the past two years. Qatar’s influence with Hamas could edge it away from armed action toward diplomacy. Iran, meanwhile, is invigorating its longtime role as the builder of the rocket arsenal for Hamas’ military wing. For Hamas, there are benefits in both directions — and it’s happy to play both sides. During a celebration rally in Gaza City after an Egyptian-mediated cease-fire came into place ending fighting between Israel and Hamas, Gazans wildly waved flags of Qatar, along with those of Egypt and Turkey, in gratitude for those countries’ diplomatic support.
Until Israel and Hamas meet again / Amos Harel
Haaretz 23 Nov — None of Israel’s political or military leaders imagines that this week’s confrontation with Hamas will be the last. But it did buy both sides vital time to prepare for future rounds … Israel seems to have two radical options for dealing with the insufferable reality along the Gaza border: It can overthrow the Hamas regime via an expansive, prolonged military action, or it can try to reach a long-term diplomatic arrangement with the Islamist organization. Notwithstanding the vociferous demands by the right wing during Operation Pillar of Defense, the first alternative is not viable at the moment. Israel is afraid of its implications, including: the deaths of many soldiers during a ground operation (an eventuality that Israelis seem increasingly unlikely to accept, despite the worsening security reality); mass, if unintentional, killing of Palestinian civilians that would precipitate another Goldstone report and complete loss of international legitimacy; long-term occupation of the Strip, with its 1.5 million civilians; and a palpable danger of total severance of relations with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Nor does the second option seem viable at this stage.
CNN’s Amanpour: Israel-Hamas ceasefire; interview with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal
Aired 21 Nov 2012 — Transcript: …AMANPOUR: Both sides are always blaming each other. You’re blaming the Israelis; the Israelis blame you. Is it useful to kill civilians? Is that useful to you? Is it useful to create terror on civilians inside Israel? MESHAAL (through translator): Let me — let me give you the truth. On the 8th of November, this month, the Israelis entered Gaza and killed a child, a Palestinian child. The resistance responded. Then the Egyptians interfered and tried, as you know, to create the truce. One day after the truce last week, in eight — nine days, the Israelis killed Ahmed al-Jabari, when he was coming from Hajj, from Saudi Arabia. The Israelis escalated the utmost fear in Gaza. So they bear the responsibility. We don’t target the civilians. I don’t like to shed any drop of blood. AMANPOUR: Do you think that it’s a legitimate part of what you call resistance to kill civilians inside Israel? MESHAAL (through translator): Resistance does not target the civilians. VIDEOs HERE
Getting facts right post-ceasefire / Yousef Munayyer
Permission to Narrate 22 Nov — Since the cease-fire between Israel and factions in Gaza was announced yesterday coverage has shifted to what the cease-fire means and if it will hold. Israeli spokespeople have over-saturated American media outlets with factually inaccurate talking points that continue to go unchallenged by anchors and journalists. Perhaps the lie being told most often is that Israeli fire into Gaza only came as a response to rocket fire and thus, as the Israeli spokespeople would like you to believe, the terms they agreed to in the cease-fire agreement is no different than their previous behavior and therefore not a concession of any sort. Of course the problem is that just doesn’t square with the facts. In previous posts we’ve graphed out both projectile fire from Gaza and Palestinian casualties in Gaza caused by Israeli fire over time. Two things are clear, projectile launches increase as a result of Palestinian casualties and, plenty of Palestinian casualties occur when there is no projectile fire. This graph showing the dynamics of fire through the first 9 months of 2012 makes that clear.
Where’s our humanity for Gaza? / Sara Roy
Boston Globe 23 Nov — …The current crisis is framed in terms devoid of any real context. The issue goes far beyond which side precipitated the terrible violence that has killed innocents on both sides. The issue — largely forgotten — is one of continued occupation and blockade, a grossly asymmetrical conflict that has deliberately and systematically disabled Gaza’s economy and people. The Gaza Strip is now in its 46th year of occupation, 22nd year of closure, and sixth year of intensified closure. The resulting normalization of the occupation assumes a dangerous form in the Gaza Strip, whose status as an occupied territory has ceased to matter in the West; the attention has shifted — after Hamas’s 2006 electoral victory and 2007 takeover of the territory — to Gaza’s containment and punishment, rendering illegitimate any notion of human rights or freedom for Palestinians.
Imbalance of power: Understanding weapons and casualties in Gaza and Israel
Permission to Narrate 19 Nov — Putting things into perspective, view this new infographic detailing the disparities in weapons arsenals of Palestinian groups in Gaza and Israel. Besides the massive killing powers of the Israeli weapons shown here, what are not displayed are the numerous naval battleships and Merkava tanks owned and operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel has submarines, missile boats, corvettes (the largest warships in Israel’s naval fleet), patrol boats, and numerous chasers and landing ships … From January through September 2012, Israeli weaponry caused 55 Palestinian deaths and 257 injuries … And where does this military might come from? Israel’s military arsenal is not due to the tax pressure on its citizens, but is largely funded by the United States. American citizens actually pay more money individually and overall to the Israeli military structure than Israeli citizens do.
Palestinians pay with their blood for Israeli government re-elections
(infographic) Operation date: War date: Election date:
Yalla, let’s drown Gaza in the sea / Oudeh Basharat
Haaretz 22 Nov — When planning the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas military leader, did Defense Minister Ehud Barak think this was a chess game that ends when you get rid of the king? Did Barak expect that after the assassination, the Palestinians would run around lost like a herd without a leader? Do those sitting up there making decisions genuinely believe that Gaza will be brought to its knees and wave a white flag to welcome the victors? People here don’t learn from history, and the word “capitulation,” especially for the residents of the Gaza Strip, exists only in the lexicon where archaic words are kept. Moreover the Palestinians have no other choice when Israel has no proposal other than to continue with the existing situation. Were the residents of Gaza to take to the streets en masse waving white flags, would Israel remove the maritime blockade? Would it solve the problem of the refugees that it created with its own hands – those refugees who have been living in hell for 63 years? Would the gates of Gaza – the biggest prison in history – be opened? What can be heard right now is the demand from Shas leader Eli Yishai to “send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Only the devil could think up a proposal like that.
‘Most’ killed in Gaza ‘deserved it’ even though they were children and civilians, says Israel’s Danny Ayalon / Ali Abunimah
EI 21 Nov — In a clear indication of Israel’s shocking callousness and disregard for civilian lives, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today told PRI’s The Takeaway that most of those killed and injured in Israel’s eight day long bombardment of the Gaza Strip “deserved it.” “If you compare the situation in Gaza to the situation in Syria today,” Ayalon said, “where the Assad regime just mercilessly butchers people and children there is a big difference and I would say that most of the people that were hit in Gaza deserved it as they were just armed terrorists.”
Killing hope: Why Israel targets sports / Dave Zirin
The Nation 19 Nov — …Why has the Palestinian sports infrastructure, not to mention Palestinian athletes, always been a target of the Israeli military? Why has the Palestinian domestic soccer league completed only seven seasons since its founding in 1977? Why are players commonly subjected to harassment and violence, not to mention curfews, checkpoints and all sorts of legal restrictions on their movement? Why were national team players Ayman Alkurd, Shadi Sbakhe and Wajeh Moshate killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during the 2009 military campaign? Why did imprisoned national team player Mahmoud Sarsak require a hunger strike, the international solidarity campaign of Amnesty International, and a formal protest from both FIFA and the 50,000-player soccer union FIFpro to just to win his freedom after three years behind bars? The answer is simple. Sports is more than loved in Gaza (and it is loved.) It’s an expression of humanity for those living under occupation. It’s not just soccer and it’s not just the boys. Everyone plays, with handball, volleyball and basketball joining soccer as the most popular choices. To have several thousand people gather to watch a girls sporting event is a way of life. It’s a community event designed not only to cheer those on the field, but cheer those in the stands. As one Palestinian man from Gaza said to me, “[Sports] is our time to forget where we are and remember who we are.” Attacking the athletic infrastructure is about attacking the idea that joy, normalcy or a universally recognizable humanity could ever be a part of life for a Palestinian child. This is a critical for Israel both internationally and at home.
IN MEMORIAM CARMI al-KHATIB — “When your child asks the most difficult question”
— namely, “Why the Soldiers Comes to our village? .. and we did not go to their homes!!” Here is a short video of five-year-old Carmi, son of the Bil‘in photographer Haitham al-Khatib who has contributed so much to that village’s nonviolent resistance. Carmi died a few days ago of another illness after previously overcoming leukemia. His father was prevented from visiting Carmi during his many hospital stays for four years on the grounds that he was ‘a threat to the state of Israel’, and finally got permission on 11 November after a campaign by supporters. Sadly, he didn’t get to see his son for long.
Haitham has a Facebook page under his own name for those who wish to send condolences. He also has a page called Images from Palestine with many of his amazing photos.
Meet Israel’s garbage collectors: Mahmoud, 15 and Ahmed, 17: No choice
22 Nov — For more than a month Haaretz followed the [Palestinian and Israeli, male and female] collectors of scrap metal, empty bottles and other waste. [This is one of the six stories in the collection about them] Mahmoud and Ahmed scurry around in the garbage, now becoming a sweltering mush under the broiling sun. The two wear identical shirts from the Israel Police. “We found them in the garbage of the Jews,” 15-year-old Mahmoud says. “Those are mine” — he points to seven sacks packed with iron refuse. “And those are mine,” his older brother, Ahmed, 17, says, indicating nine sacks arranged in orderly fashion across the way. “Sure there’s competition,” they admit with a shy laugh. “We are brothers, so how could there not be competition?” Ahmed asks. Their working day adds up to NIS 20-30, they say. Ahmed started to work in the dump four years ago, and two years later Mahmoud joined him. “Our father works with us, and we all sleep here in a tent,” Ahmed says. Mahmoud adds in a low voice, “Our life is garbage.” … Mahmoud and Ahmed say that their great hope is “to go to school.”
WATCH: Israelis from Sderot play Palestinians under the occupation / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 23 Nov — There has been a lot of nationalism, warmongering and even racism in the Israeli media this past week, and inflammatory militaristic statements are still heard everywhere. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to post this video by filmmaker Itamar Rose. Several months ago, Rose traveled with a Palestinian friend to Sderot, which has been hit by rockets more than any other Israeli town, and asked locals to play the role of Palestinians in front of the camera. The outcome is worth watching.
In treatment: Jewish shrink helps Israelis and Gazans deal with trauma
Haaretz 23 Nov — …It’s not often that a Jewish psychiatrist is spotted in the Gaza Strip. In the narrow territory home to more than 1.6 million people, psychiatrists and psychologists are rare and the public is wary of the mental-health professions − even if the practitioners are local. But a professor of psychiatry from Georgetown University medical school has won acceptance there. On Dr. James Gordon’s 18th visit to Gaza from his native Washington, D.C., as hostilities were starting to escalate in September, he was greeted warmly, he said, by high-school girls in hijabs, women in wheelchairs and groups of unemployed men. They share a problem that is exceedingly common in Gaza: post-traumatic stress disorder. More than 50 percent of the local children and adults suffer from it, Gordon says … Treating the silent casualties of war is urgent and transcends politics, Gordon, 71, told Haaretz. “Mental health is neglected, even in very good relief efforts.” … In Israeli communities along the Gaza border, PTSD and depression rates are high and are much worse after rocket attacks from the Strip, Gordon said. “In Gaza they are always high.”