Detention of human rights researcher extended
MEMO 8 Nov — An Israeli military court has extended the detention of human rights researcher Ayman Nasser for a further seven days. Nasser, 42, is a researcher for Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights. He was detained at his house in Safa village near Ramallah in the middle of October. Nasser’s advocate said that he has been exposed to extensive and abusive interrogation by the Israelis.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israel evacuates hundreds of Palestinians to conduct army training
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 9 Nov – Hundreds of Palestinians are being evacuated from the northern Jordan Valley to make way for an Israeli military training exercise, local officials told Ma‘an. Villagers received orders this week from the Israeli army to leave their homes for the duration of the exercise, which begins on Sunday. Aqaba and Yarza village council head Mukhlas Masaid told Ma‘an on Wednesday that Ein al-Hilweh, Yarza, Ras al-Ahmar, al-Malih and al-Meiteh villages received orders, displacing a population of 1,000. Al-Malih and al-Madareb council chief Aref Daraghmeh said 57 families in al-Hamamat, al-Burj and Humsa received the orders. Further south, 40 families in the Jordan Valley village Khirbet Tana also received orders this week to evacuate while the army conducts training.
Daraghmeh said some families would be permitted to return after a two-day exercise, while others were told to leave their homes permanently. He said several Israeli departments were working together to pressure Palestinians to leave the Jordan Valley in order to build Jewish settlements and military bases.
Israeli want Palestinians to remove power grid near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM 8 Nov (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday informed the Husan village council, west of Bethlehem, to remove the power grid that supplies their residences with electricity under the pretext of being built in area C, which falls under full Israeli control, according to member of the village council Taha Hamamreh … They also handed two residents notices to demolish their two 150-square-meter houses.
Photo story: House demolitions and tear gas in Hares
Palestine Monitor 8 Nov — On November 7, approximately 50 Israeli soldiers overran the West Bank village of Hares yesterday near the illegal settlement of Ariel, clashing with residents and demolishing two houses. Israeli soldiers evicted the two families of Hamam Yousef and Omar Jaber who had recently built their houses despite not being able to acquire building permits out of necessity for their growing family … “We need building permits to be able to build extensions on our houses,” says Jalileh Jaber, Omar’s wife. “There are 80 people living in this neighborhood with no room. In each family there are 10 people sharing one room with only one bathroom.” “I have six daughters and three sons living with me and my husband in one room. We married our oldest son but the whole family lives in one room in the house….
Alameda’s Buena Vista Methodist Church, others aiding Palestinian village
ALAMEDA (California) 8 Nov — Wadi Foquin boasts a history that goes back centuries, and with it, a long-standing reputation as a small but very productive Palestinian agricultural village. Even today, Wadi Foquin (estimated population 1,200) grows some high-quality fruits and vegetables and has become especially noted for its organic farming. But Wadi Foquin’s existence is threatened … Currently, Wadi Foquin has seen much of its land annexed and much of its remaining area damaged by runoffs of construction debris and raw sewage from an encroaching — and what many call an illegal — settlement.
A leader in Fatah opposes Abbas’s position on visiting occupied Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 9 Nov– Fatah official in charge of the Jerusalem file, Hatem Abdel Qader, has considered the non-Palestinian visits to occupied Jerusalem as a recognition to the legitimacy of Israeli occupation. He praised the position of the newly elected Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, who called on his church’s followers not to visit Christian holy sites in Jerusalem until after its liberation. Abdul Qadir rejected PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s position, who invites everyone to visit Jerusalem.
PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, 14 wounded by Israeli forces in last two weeks [24 Oct – 7 Nov]
IMEMC 9 Nov — Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian suffering from epilepsy in the central Gaza Strip. In addition, they killed 2 Palestinian resistance members by airstrike and wounded a third, in addition to wounding a Palestinian policeman at the Customs checkpoint in the north of the Gaza Strip. [here follows a list of Israeli attacks with gunfire, tank shells, bombs…] Israeli attacks in the West Bank: During the reporting period, the Israeli forces conducted at least 92 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, the Israeli forces abducted at least 60 Palestinians, including 5 children and 2 women, one of whom is wife of the Palestinian prisoner, Bassam al-Sa’di, a leader in Islamic Jihad movement. FULL REPORT
A week in photos: November 1-6
8 Nov — Protests in Nabi Saleh, Ma‘asara and Kfer Qaddum; Beit Arabiya is demolished; arrest raid on remaining South Sudanese refugees in Israel; and more. Activestills images tell the stories of the week.
Clashes erupt during Israeli raid into the town of al-Yamoun
JININ (PIC) 9 Nov — Clashes erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli occupation soldiers who raided the town of al-Yamoun west of Jenin. The IOF soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. Local sources said that six military vehicles raided the town, and took position in the vicinity of schools at the center of the village where youths threw stones at the soldiers, who in turn fired warning shots in the air without injuries. Israeli occupation forces broke into the villages of Aerqh and Zububa west of the city, and roamed the streets, trying to provoke the citizens but no arrests were reported.
Settler attacks Palestinian man in Hebron — Israeli soldiers look on
ISM 9 Nov — On Thursday in Hebron, Palestinian activist Imad Al Atrash was beaten by an illegal Israeli settler whilst two soldiers watched, without intervening. Imad reports that he was walking through an olive grove in Tel Rumeida when a man from a nearby illegal settlement shouted abuse at him. Imad called for a nearby Israeli soldier to witness the abuse, but two soldiers merely watched as the settler began attacking Imad, at one point using a stone as a weapon. Imad suffered blows to the head, back and leg. Following this, his attacker fled the scene … A group of soldiers who then arrived at the scene denied that it was possible for CCTV footage of the attack to be reviewed. The two soldiers who had witnessed the attack would not provide their names or military identification numbers, to ensure that they could be called to provide evidence against the settler.
Armed settlers attack farmers near Hebron
HEBRON 8 Nov (WAFA) – Armed Jewish settlers Thursday attacked Palestinian farmers while they were picking olives and stole their olive crops in Al-Reheya village, south of Hebron, according to an expert on settlements. Cartographer and settlement expert Abdul Hadi Hantash told WAFA that armed settlers from the settlement of Beit Hagai, built illegally on the village’s land, attacked the farmers, uprooted a number of olive trees and destroyed others as well as stole their olive crops.
Palestinian girl who cursed Israel troops ‘hit with rubber bullet’
Ynet 9 Nov — The mother of a Palestinian girl who was filmed cursing Israeli troops during a protest in Nabi Saleh last week says her daughter was shot with a rubber bullet during another demonstration on Friday. According to the mom, the girl, Waad Tamimi, was sitting at the entrance to her home when troops fired gas grenades and rubber bullets at the direction of the house. She was lightly injured and taken to a Ramallah hospital.
2 Internationals hit by tear gas canisters at the Bil‘in weekly demonstration
ISM 9 Nov — Today, during the weekly demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, 2 international activists were struck by tear gas canisters shot by the Israeli army. One Italian activist was struck by a canister in the leg and an American activist was struck by a canister in the foot. The demonstration started as usual and marched through the olive groves towards the separation wall. There, lies a path running parallel to the wall with razor wire on either side of it. The peaceful demonstration marched up the path next to the wall to a gate at the top, where the army was waiting on the other side and used tear gas and sound bombs to disperse the protest.
Israeli forces stop weekly Kufr Qaddoum protest
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — Israeli forces on Friday suppressed a weekly march in Kufr Qadoum against settlements. The march was organized by Fatah on the eighth anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death, and as part of a campaign leading up to Palestine’s UN upgrade in status this month. Israeli soldiers attacked participants and fired stun grenades and tear gas. Clashes erupted between soldiers and youths, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Protest spokesman Murad Ishtewi said the event proved “Arafat is alive in every Palestinian.”
Prisoners / Court actions
Ahmad Mousa’s killer walks free
Ni‘lin Sons 9 Nov– Omri Abu, the Israeli border police officer charged for the murder of 10 year old Ahmad Mousa of Ni’lin has been acquitted. The ruling came this Tuesday on there grounds of there being “reasonable doubts” to Abu’s guilt. It was Omri Abu’s unit that 2008 was called in to suppress a demonstration against the apartheid wall being built on Ni‘lin land. When their army jeep was met by stone throwing Abu fired two shots out the window. One of these bullets hit Ahmad Mousa in the forehead. He was dead before he could reach the hospital. — I ran towards the ambulance with Ahmad in me hands, says Saeed Amireh of the Ni‘lin Popular Comittee, but when his insides started falling out of his skull I could not bear it any longer.
Israeli occupation sentences a Jordanian to 30 months in prison
PNN — On Friday 9th November, Israeli Central Court in Betah Tekfa issued decision to sentence 47-year-old Jordanian Iyad Rashid Abu Arja, who holds Australian citizenship, to 30 months in prison after being accused of providing Hamas movement with help and support. Israeli broadcast claimed that Abu Arja confessed that he was providing Hamas movement with secret information and different technological methods and expertise.
Tunisia: Arrangements for the Palestinian prisoners conference are complete
TUNISIA (PIC) 9 Nov — The General Director of the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies, Tareq Kahlaoui, confirmed that all arrangements relating to the International Conference on Palestinian prisoners have been completed, pointing out that the conference will be opened by the Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Saturday … The Tunisian President Dr. Moncef Marzouki will open the Conference on Saturday, in the presence of a number of Palestinian and Arab activists and international specialists in international law and the media, he added.
Report: 3 Palestinian shooting suspects in jail since October
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — The Israeli Security Agency and military said Thursday that they had arrested three Palestinians who shot at an Israeli vehicle in the occupied West Bank, reports said. Israel’s settler news agency Arutz Sheva said the Sept. 30 shooting occurred on an access road between the illegal settlements of Maale Shomron and Karnei Shomron. No one was injured. According to the report, three suspects were arrested three days after the incident.
Army: Patrol comes under fire on Gaza border
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Four Israeli military vehicles briefly penetrated the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, leading to clashes with Palestinian militants. Palestinian fighters said they detonated an explosive device by an Israeli military vehicle near Khuza‘a, east of Khan Younis. Witnesses said Israeli forces fired a shell at Palestinian farmers. A Ma‘an reporter said intensive gunfire could be heard in the area … No injuries were reported in the incident.
Soldiers injured as fighters target soldiers invading Khan Younis
IMEMC 9 Nov — Israeli media sources reported that several soldiers were injured on Thursday evening, after Palestinian fighters fired shells at Israeli forces who invaded an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Following the incident, Israeli military choppers and military ambulances arrived at the scene, and evacuated the wounded soldiers who suffered mild injuries, except for one soldier who was moderately wounded … The brigades said that its fighters spotted undercover Israeli soldiers invaded Khan Younis, and detonated an antipersonnel bomb near them.
Hamas brigades claim attack on Israeli military in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — The military wing of Hamas says it detonated a roadside bomb targeting the Israeli military in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday evening. The Al-Qassam Brigades said the bomb, east of Khan Younis, was a response to Israeli incursions into Gaza and attacks on Palestinians, particularly the killing of a 13-year-old boy earlier Thursday. An Israeli military spokesman said an “explosive tunnel” was detonated in the area lightly injuring a soldier and damaging a vacant army vehicle nearby. The army said in a statement that its forces were conducting “operational activity in the area” at the time.
Barak pledges response to Gaza tunnel blast
Occupied Jerusalem (AFP) 9 Nov — Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak blamed Hamas on Friday for the detonation of an explosives tunnel along the Gaza border which wounded a soldier, and said he was mulling how and when to respond. The blast, which was claimed by the armed wing of the ruling Islamist Hamas movement, took place several hours after a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by troops in the same area, just east of the southern city of Khan Yunis, Palestinian medical officials and witnesses said …The Israeli military said the blast had thrown an army vehicle 20 metres into the air, although no one was inside it at the time.
2 rockets hit Eshkol; none injured
Ynet 9 Nov — Two rockets that were fired from Gaza exploded in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council around 4:00 pm. No injuries or damage were reported.
Man wounded in Gaza explosion
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — A Palestinian man was wounded on Thursday morning when a home-made bomb exploded in central Gaza, a medical official said. Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza ministry of health spokesman, said that a 23-year-old was moderately wounded in al-Maghazi refugee camp.
UN accuses Israel of hindering its reconstruction efforts in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 8 Nov — The UN accused Israel of obstructing its efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip and demanded it to end its blockade on the besieged enclave, according to its radio. The fourth committee of the UN general assembly said the task of rebuilding the Gaza Strip has become more difficult for the UNRWA because Israel is reluctant to approve project applications submitted by the agency. It added that the obstacles caused by Israel in this regard cost the UNRWA five million dollars of donor funds in 2011.
Israel: 3 stray rockets from Syria hit Golan
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Three Syrian mortars hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday morning, Israel’s army said. A military spokeswoman said they were “stray rockets from the internal conflict” in Syria … An Israeli army vehicle patrolling a border area was damaged late Monday by gunfire from Syria, Israeli media reported. On Saturday, three Syrian tanks entered a demilitarized zone of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli army said.
Israel warns Assad over stray Syrian fire on Golan
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 9 Nov — Israel warned Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday to prevent his anti-insurgency sweeps from spilling over into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, saying it was prepared to defend itself. The Golan, lost by Damascus in the 1967 Middle East war and mostly quiet for decades, was repeatedly hit by what the Israelis described as stray Syrian ordnance this week.
Report: Syrian teen arrested entering Golan
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 9 Nov — Israeli soldiers from a canine unit arrested a 17-year-old Syrian teen on Thursday morning after he crossed a ceasefire line into the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, reports said. The Israeli settler news agency Arutz Sheva said the army unit’s dogs caught the teenager and bit him. The report said the Syrian, who was not armed, was taken for questioning by security forces and was then given medical treatment at the Ziv Hospital in Safed. It quoted a military source saying that the detainee might have been trying to escape the fighting in Syria
UNRWA chief: Palestinian refugees sidelined, ignored, undermined
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — The sidelining of Palestinian refugees could have dire consequences for regional stability, UNRWA chief Filippo Grandi has warned. “Ignored and undermined, Palestinian hopes for a better future have never been as low as they are today. Predicting the outcome of collective hopelessness is not difficult; we all know what frustration and marginalization can breed in volatile regions,” Grandi told a committee of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. “At a time when the Arab Spring has brought dynamism and attention to the Middle East, Palestinians — and Palestine refugees in particular — remain sidelined, to all intents and purposes forgotten by the international community and increasingly vulnerable amidst both unresolved and fresh conflicts,” he added.
Yarmouk refugee camp divided over Syrian crisis
Al Akhbar 9 Nov — The situation in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria has deteriorated rapidly amid fears of violence between the camp’s pro and anti-government factions. Some are fighting alongside the Syrian army, while others have enlisted with the Free Syrian Army.
Political and other news
Official: 51 states ‘undecided’ over Palestinian UN bid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — Fifty-one countries are undecided over whether to support in its bid to become a non-member state of the UN, an Arab League official said Friday. Mohammad Sbeih, secretary-general of Palestinian affairs at the Arab League, said 115 states were expected to vote for the upgrade while 27 countries would not support the bid. Sbeih told Ma‘an that 51 states were hesitant to support Palestine because of US pressure. Washington has lobbied against the PLO’s UN bid.
Egypt’s FM supports Palestinian UN bid
CAIRO (UPI) 8 Nov — Cairo will support Palestinian efforts to seek non-member statehood recognition at the United Nations, Egypt’s foreign minister said Thursday. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said he had several telephone conversations with European Union leaders in recent days, asking them to support the Palestinian bid and to persuade others to follow suit, Israel Radio said.
PLO circulating UN draft resolution
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — A draft United Nations resolution asking the General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s status in the world body has been distributed to 192 states but not Israel. PLO sources say the draft is being discussed as the basis for the resolution which will seek to upgrade Palestine’s status to an “observer” state similar to the Vatican. A meeting of an Arab League committee which is going to be held in Cairo will determine the date of voting regarding the draft resolution, the sources say.
Hamas prohibits public commemoration of Yasser Arafat in Gaza
IMEMC 9 Nov — The Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, informed senior Fateh leaders in the coastal enclave that public commemorations and activities marking the eighth anniversary of the death of Fateh leader, and late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, will be prohibited [as in previous years]. Fateh sources in Gaza reported that the Hamas-run security forces detained member of the Higher Leadership Committee of the Fateh movement, Jamal Obeid, for several hours, and arrested several Fateh leaders, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.
PA refuses to allow France and Switzerland to exhume Arafat
MEMO 9 Nov — Informed sources in Palestine have revealed that disagreements have arisen between the Swiss and French, on one side, and Palestinian security and medical teams on the other, regarding the proposed exhumation of the late Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat. It is understood that the Palestinian Authority wants a guarantee that it will be given a copy of the test results should an exhumation and subsequent examination of Arafat’s remains take place.
Arafat probe opens old wounds
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 9 Nov — The Palestinians’ most explosive secret may be lurking under the stone slab covering Yasser Arafat’s tomb where experts hope to explain his mysterious death eight years ago.
Jenin hosts festival for disabled
JENIN (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Palestinians in Jenin organized a festival for people with disabilities in Jenin on Thursday. The head of a federation for the disabled, Rafiq Abu Sifin, told Ma‘an that the event coincided with World Disability Day and was to bring awareness to the lack of job opportunities. Mahmoud Imour, an activist and member of the federation, said the disabled in Jenin suffer from a 74 percent unemployment rate despite most of them having degrees.
Israel ruling on Lieberman indictment ‘within a month’
JERUSALEM (AFP) 9 Nov — Israel’s attorney general and state prosecutor on Thursday announced that they would make a decision “within a month” on whether to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges … Lieberman has been investigated several times since 1996 on corruption charges, but denies any wrongdoing, claiming the police investigations are politically motivated. He has pledged to step down as both a minister and an MP if he is charged.
Haaretz poll shows 80% of Israelis do not believe in possibility of peace
MEMO 7 Nov — A survey conducted by Israeli newspaper Haaretz has shown that more than 80 per cent of Israelis do not believe in the possibility of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Nevertheless, two-thirds of respondents support a two-state solution, despite their belief that there is no Palestinian partner in the peace process. The results of the poll, in which 3,800 Israelis participated, including a number of settlers, showed that 87 per cent of secular Israelis believe in the importance of peace with the Palestinians, compared with only half of religious Jews.
Foundation suspends holocaust survivors’ benefits
Ynet 8 Nov — Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel fails to reimburse elderly beneficiaries for medical services, blames government for limited budget … Abas, 77, a resident of Kibbutz Hanita, was separated from his parents when he was five and survived War World II by hiding in a farm in the Netherlands. He filed a request for reimbursement back in May, for a hearing aid that cost him NIS 4,000 ($1,000). He has yet to be paid … Rony Kalinsky, the foundation’s general manager, placed the blame for the budget shortage on the government. “This problem wasn’t caused by the foundation, but by the government of Israel, which on the one hand says that it cares for the survivors, but on the other hand fails to allocate a budget,” he said.
Israel Enemy No. 1, Sudan’s Bashir says after surgery
Al Arabiya/Agencies 9 Nov — Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir threatened Israel with a “painful” response, after accusing it of bombing the Yarmouk military production complex in Sudan in Khartoum last month. “Israel will remain the number one enemy, and we will not call them anything except the Zionist enemy,” Bashir said in his speech, shown in footage dated Thursday, his first public appearance since undergoing surgery in Saudi Arabia. “I am in perfect health, and our response to Israel will be painful,” state radio quoted Bashir, 68, as saying in a text message.
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
Snapshot: (Palestinian) Girl Interrupted / Tal Niv
Haaretz 8 Nov — Everything is inverted in this sad, wrenching photograph taken by AP’s Majdi Mohammed on November 2. Inverted, because it is not possible to know whether the small, brazen, bold, desperate fist, held fearlessly and on the brink of mortal threat by the daughter of the Palestinian activist Nariman Tamimi, marks the moment in which a freedom fighter is forged and steeled, or the moment in which this girl is vanquished. Is this a trigger moment in her life, generating the self-image of a person who stands up for what she believes in, even in the face of an army? Or is it a moment of incalculable self-risk such as should not be foisted on children, and which deprives adults of their role as protectors?
The ‘Exodus’ effect: The monumentally fictional Israel that remade American Jewry / Bradley Burston
Haaretz 9 Nov — It’s hard to underestimate [overestimate?] the impact of this book – along with the Paul Newman film – on a generation of Americans and beyond … Tailoring, altering and radically sanitizing the history of the founding of the State of Israel to flatter the fantasies and prejudices of American Jews, Uris succeeded well beyond his own wildest dreams, essentially remaking his eager readers and himself as well. That is, he helped foment a significant change in his fellow Jews’ perceptions of Israel and, indeed, of themselves. “As a literary work it isn’t much,” sniffed David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister, still in power at the time “Exodus” was published. “But as a piece of propaganda, it’s the best thing ever written about Israel.” Some 40 years after the novel’s publication, the prominent Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said would ruefully remark of its demonized treatment of Arabs that “the main narrative model that dominates American thinking still seems to be Leon Uris’ 1958 novel ‘Exodus.'”
Palestinians hampered by obstacles to economic growth / Zeinab Badawi
BBC (Nablus) 9 Nov — Aya Mtalat has great ambitions. Only in her mid-20s, she studied sociology at university in Nablus but is now trying to make a living through sheep farming. This isn’t an inherited family business; her father is a taxi driver. Aya set up the farm herself and manages it with the help of her sisters and father … Aya Mtalat has been recognised by the PA for her enterprise but says she would like more investment for her farm. The PA allocates less than 1% of its budget to agriculture, compared to 30% on its security forces.
Palestinian farmers turn to organic farming
NUS JUBAIL, West Bank (AP) 9 Nov — The Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient autumn ritual in the West Bank, is going upscale. In an emerging back-to-the-land movement, Palestinian farmers are turning the rocky hills of the West Bank into organic olive groves, selling their oil to high-end grocers in the U.S. and Europe. The move is a reflection of the growing global demand for natural, sustainable and fairly traded products, albeit with a distinct Palestinian twist. The hardships faced by local farmers, ranging from a lack of rainfall to Israeli trade obstacles, mean that organic growing is one of the few ways Palestinians have to compete in outside markets … Farmers face other problems. More than 120 Jewish settlements dot the West Bank, often encroaching on Palestinian farmlands or preventing farmers from reaching their land.
Palatial homes cost Palestinians dearly
MAZRAA AL-SHARQIYA, Occupied West Bank (AFP) 9 Nov — Subhi Mustafa spent 35 years abroad, but now that he has built his dream home in his West Bank village he isn’t planning on going anywhere else. He’s one of a number of Palestinians who have spent years working overseas before returning to small villages like Mazraa al-Sharqiya and rewarding themselves with their ideal luxury home. “I left my village and lived with the pain of exile so that I could achieve a single goal – to build a beautiful home in my village for me, my children and grandchildren,” 60-year-old Mustafa says. “I’ve succeeded in doing that, and so I’m never going to leave again.” Mustafa’s dream home doesn’t exactly blend in with the traditional houses in Mazraa al-Sharqiya, northeast of the city of Ramallah.
Video: Palestinians build luxury houses in the ‘Miami of the West Bank’
BBC 9 Nov — Many expat Palestinians return to their hometown of Mazraa Sharqiya near Ramallah after seeking their fortunes abroad. The luxury houses they build for their families have earned the village the nickname the ‘Miami of the West Bank’. Murad Shishani reports.
Israeli buffet at Harvard Business School strikes a chord with Arabs
Al Arabiya 9 Nov — Globalization brings the world to your table; quite literally when it applies to international cuisine. However what is meant to be marketed as exotic may in fact come off as politically incorrect, such as with the case of the Harvard Business School dining room. What started off as a simple post shared on social networking site Facebook — Sara el-Yafi’s online clarification notice to the caterers on the University’s questionable Israeli Mezze Station — spread like wildfire … Hummus, Harrisa, and Halloumi, to name a few, were all historically fact-checked by Yafi, emphasizing with each bullet point that the food item was not Israeli, rendering the name of the station inaccurate. “If you insist on giving no honor to the Arabs (many of whom are Harvard students/alumni — ‘hi!’), and/or if you insist on never ever speaking of Arabs in culinary worth (since we’re only ever referred to as warmongers and terrorists), at least have the decency of calling it Mediterranean Mezze Station,” Yafi said in her post.