Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israeli authorities destroy olive groves, wells, barns near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) — Israeli authorities on Wednesday leveled olive groves and demolished irrigation wells and barns near Hebron in the southern West Bank, the Land Research Center said. Israeli forces escorted a civil administration crew with bulldozers to Wadi al-Qatami in Beit Ula where they dug up olive fields, destroyed three wells used for irrigation and demolished three sheds that farmers used as storehouses, the center said in a statement. They uprooted around 1,000 olive saplings and loaded them on a truck, the center added. Beit Ula mayor Muhammad al-Amlah told Ma‘an that Israeli forces stole the olive trees.
Settlers pump wastewater into Palestinians’ lands
PNN — On Wednesday 28th November, settlers pumped wastewater into Palestinian agricultural lands in Husan, Wadi Fukin and Nahalin villages in Bethlehem.Head of Wadi Fukin village council, Ahmed Sukar, said that settlers pumped wastewater into an agricultural land of Bab al-Fawar area, south of the village.Sukar confirmed that wastewater flooded large areas of the village land planted with olives, grapes, and almond trees, causing severe damage to the crops. He said that this is not the first attack by settlers against the village,
Palestinians: 20 vehicles vandalized in West Bank
Ynet 28 Nov — Palestinians from the West Bank village of Sinjil said more than 20 cars were vandalized overnight. The local council head said all of the vehicles’ tires were punctured and added that eye witnesses reported they noticed a group of 10, some of them dressed in army uniform, who slashed the cars’ tries. The council head stressed he did not blame the army for these acts.
Raids / Violence / Illegal arrests
Soldiers storm Jenin villages
JENIN (PIC) 28 Nov — Israeli occupation forces stormed four villages in Jenin province at dawn Wednesday and questioned citizens after searching their homes. Local sources told the PIC reporter that soldiers prevented worshipers from heading to dawn prayers in Maythalon village and burst into homes and forced their inhabitants out for field questioning.
Other units set ambushes among bushes in nearby Sirees village and searched Sanur Valley and deployed near its greenhouses and installed roadblocks in its streets.
Soldiers also stormed the Zababde village and broke into a hostel of the Arab American University students and searched it, but no arrests were made.
Israeli forces detain 9 in West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli forces detained nine people Tuesday in the West Bank, Israel’s army and a prisoners group said … An Israeli army spokesman said five people were detained in Hebron, two in Bethlehem and two in Ramallah
Israeli occupation summons a Palestinian…
PNN — On Tuesday 27th November, Israeli occupation forces handed a young Palestinians from al-Obeidyeh village, a notice to meet with the Israeli intelligence … Security source said that soldiers from Israeli army raided al-Obeidyeh village, broke into Mahmoud Radayda’s house, searched it and handed his son Shadi, 24, a notice to meet with the Israeli intelligence at Gush Etzion Settlement compound, south of Bethlehem.
Confrontations and arrests in Sawane area
[photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 Nov — Israeli forces arrested three citizens from al Sawane during confrontations between locals and Israeli forces in the area. Two children Muntaser Abu Assab (15), Mahmood Abu Lafi (14) were arrested whilst playing in their garden.One adult, Eyad al Imam (35), was also arrested. Locals said that the confrontations started after Intelligence forces, special forces and Border guards raided the area to arrest locals after stones were thrown at Israeli forces during the day. Locals then responded with further stone and firework throwing whilst sound bombs and rubber bullets were then used against locals, in an attempt to disperse them.
So much for the cessation of administrative detention promised in order to end the hunger strikes….
IOA renews MP Rajoub’s administrative detention for the fifth time
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 28 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) renewed on Tuesday afternoon the administrative detention of MP Sheikh Nayef Rajoub, affiliated to the Change and Reform Bloc and former Minister of Awqaf, for the fifth time in a row … Rajoub received assurances from the Israeli prosecutor through his lawyer at the fourth extension that there was no intention to extend his detention further, but the prosecutor reneged on his word.
Occupation renews former minister’s administrative detention for 4th time
JENIN (PIC) 28 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities extended the administrative detention of Wasfi Kabaha, former Minister of prisoners’ affairs and leader in Hamas movement from the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank.
Israeli authorities transfer three prisoners to administrative detention
PNN — On Tuesday 28th November, Israeli authorities transferred three prisoners from Araba and Qabatiya villages in Jenin to administrative detention. Israeli authorities sentenced the three prisoners: Ja’far Ibrahim Izz al-Deen, 38, Tareq Hussein Gadan , 40, from Araba village and Saleh Kamel, 44, from Qabatiya village to three months in administrative detention.
Amnesty urges Israel to free prisoner of conscience
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Amnesty International on Wednesday urged Israel to release a non-violent demonstrator who was detained in mid-November in the occupied West Bank. The group expressed concern for Nabi Saleh’s Bassem Tamimi, “a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression”, and called for his release. Tamimi was sentenced to four months in prison in early November for his part in a demonstration a month earlier …
Amnesty is also urging Israeli authorities to carry out “prompt and independent” investigations into the killing of Rushdi Tamimi and Hamdi Fallah in the West Bank during the latest Gaza assault.
Sick prisoners complain of miserable conditions at Ramla prison hospital
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 28 Nov — Two sick Palestinian prisoners, transferred recently to the Israeli Ramle prison hospital, complained about the bad treatment they face by the Israeli jailers despite their deteriorated health condition … The letter stated that the prisoner Iyad Alwan, sentenced to 10 years, suffers from heart and kidney disease, and the prisoner Mahmoud Sabra, sentenced to 12 years, suffers from nerve damage and headaches, were both transferred last Friday to receive treatment in Ramla prison hospital, where they were subjected to a torrent of insults and bad treatment from the Israeli officers and prison guards, and threatened with death directly by the director of the prison, and then dumped in an isolated room deprived of water and electricity.
Israel’s navy arrests 9 fishermen off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli forces detained nine fishermen off Gaza’s north coast on Wednesday, a local official said. The head of Gaza’s fishing association, Mahfouth al-Kabriti, told Ma‘an that Israel’s navy opened fire at two Palestinian fishing boats six miles off the coast. The navy then seized both boats and detained nine fishermen, al-Kabriti added. The boats belong to Murad al-Hassi and the Baker family … The passengers were taken for questioning in the Israeli city of Ashdod, he added.
As part of a ceasefire to end Israel’s recent eight-day war on Gaza, Israel agreed to allow fishermen to sail six nautical miles off the coast of Gaza instead of three, which had been the limit under Israel’s siege
Israeli naval forces arrest six Palestinian fishermen
MEMO 28 Nov — Israeli naval forces today, Wednesday, abducted six Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast and blew up one fishing boat. By so doing, Israel has breached the recent truce it reached with the Palestinians for the second time in just over a week … The head of the Gaza Fishermen’s Syndication, Nizar Ayyash, has said that, “In a clear breach of the truce, Israeli warships commandeered a boat and abducted the six fishermen on board.” He went on to add, “The boat did not exceed the six mile zone agreed upon in the truce.” Five fishermen from the Al-Hissi family were arrested and their fishing boat was drawn to the Ashdod Seaport. Meanwhile, another boat with one fisherman was approached by Israeli warships. The fisherman, who is from the Baker family, was arrested and his boat was blown up.
7 hurt in new breach of Gaza ceasefire
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Nov – Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and injured seven Palestinians near the border in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. Seven people were shot at east of al-Maghazi and al-Bureij refugee camps and transferred to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. One man sustained serious injuries, medical officials told Ma‘an.
Earlier, 27-year-old Hassan Ahmad Nseir was shot by Israeli forces near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip while collecting iron and gravel, medics told Ma‘an.
Man dies of injuries from Gaza assault
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — A man died on Wednesday from injuries sustained in Israel’s eight day assault on the Gaza Strip, Egyptian medics said. Mahmoud Sami Shaath, 21, was seriously wounded by shrapnel in an Israeli airstrike targeting a car in Rafah during last week’s war on the coastal enclave. Shaat was transferred to an Egyptian hospital for treatment but passed away Wednesday. His body will be transferred to Gaza for the funeral. Several people have died from their injuries since a ceasefire agreement was signed last Wednesday to end violence in Gaza. [PIC: now 176 martyrs and more than 1300 wounded]
Operation Pillar of Death: Naming Gaza’s dead
28 Nov — a film by Harry Fear for GazaReport.com.
Official: Egypt to crack down on Gaza tunnels
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Egyptian security services are planning an “extraordinary” crackdown on smuggling tunnels under the Gaza border, a security source said Wednesday. The Egyptian security official said tunnels were operating at 5 percent of previous levels, and were mostly smuggling construction material to Gaza … The official said Egypt’s planned campaign to end smuggling was part of the truce agreement brokered by Cairo. Israel bans the import of construction materials for the private sector in Gaza, so residents seeking to rebuild their destroyed homes and businesses are reliant on building materials smuggled through tunnels. According to Israeli NGO Gisha, around 47 percent of civilian goods entering Gaza arrive through the tunnels
Egyptian shipment of medicine to Gaza on Friday
CAIRO (PIC) 28 Nov — Two Egyptian relief committees are to send badly needed medicines to the Gaza Strip next Friday to the tune of 1.5 million Egyptian pounds. The relief and medicine committee in the Egyptian pharmacists syndicate and the relief and the humanitarian relief committee in the Egyptian doctors syndicate have jointly secured the medicines.
Lebanese parliamentary delegation visits Gaza
MEMO 28 Nov — On Tuesday, a senior Lebanese parliamentary delegation visited the Gaza Strip holding several meetings with Palestinian officials. The delegation, which met the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, included three members from the 14th March Coalition … A number of Lebanese journalists accompanied the official delegation, which entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Crossing.
Hamas confirms: Mashaal will arrive in Gaza next week
AFP 28 Nov – According to Hamas officials, head of Hamas’s Politburo Khaled Mashaal will visit the Gaza Strip next week. The visit is planned in light of celebratory events marking 25 years since the movement’s founding. Earlier it was reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would arrive in Gaza on December 5th together with Mashaal.
50 years of hard work and labour shattered within hours
PCHR Narratives 28 Nov — During the recent Israeli offensive, Operation Pillar of Defence (14 – 21 November 2012), Israeli forces attacked streets, family homes, and civilian buildings in densely populated areas, causing extensive destruction to civilian property in Gaza Strip. At around 05:30 on Friday, 16 November, the al-Bahtetee family home in the Tel al-Hawa area in southern Gaza City was shaken by one missile from an Israeli airstrike. The target was the Civil Department of the Ministry of Interior, which is just 15 feet away from the al-Bahtetee house. The family of 27, 13 of them children, managed to escape their 2-storey house, which sustained minor damage in the attack. However, later that day at around 21:30, Israeli warplanes fired 4 more missiles at the same target. The impact of the second attack severely damaged the al-Bahtetee home, as well as their automobile workshop which is on the ground floor of the building … Mahmoud expressed the grief he feels after these attacks, saying, “Watching my grandchildren crying and injured was the most horrifying part for me. One of my grandsons, who is just one and a half years old, has not spoken since the day the attack happened, and my 16 year old daughter is traumatized by the whole experience. Now, every time she hears a loud noise she runs up to my wife and starts crying on her shoulder.” This is not the first time the al-Bahtetee family has been the victim of such military attacks. Mahmoud’s previous workshop, which was located in the al-Zaytoun area, was shelled during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ and so badly damaged that it could no longer be used.
A tearful reunion with my grandmother in Gaza / Linah Alsaafin
EI 28 Nov — …Our first day in Gaza started by visiting my grandfather’s grave. My grandfather, 84-year-old Ibrahim Hasan Alsaafin, was older than the Zionist State of Israel when he died on 27 February in the Khan Younis refugee camp, still yearning 64 years on to return to his village of Fallujah, a mere 15 miles away. We entered the graveyard. Since 80 percent of Gaza’s population are refugees, the graveyard is divided up into plots of land belonging to each ethnically-cleansed village or neighborhood, complete with gates. We missed the Fallujah gravesite by a few meters and found ourselves next to the Yaffa gravesite … We parked next to an old Roman hill called Tel Reedan. I stood for a long time on the slippery seaweed covered rocks, marveling at the frothy waves and the emerald and periwinkle sea. So this is Gaza, where resistance is called resistance, and not nonviolent or popular or unarmed or peaceful resistance. This is Gaza, away from the donor-aid congested bubble of Ramallah and the hilarious but sad show of the fake statehood bid at the UN.
Diary of a war: A journey home / Ahmed Ferwana
This is the first in a series of journal entries documenting life in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Cloud. November 14: Smiling from exhaustion as I wished my colleagues and students a good weekend, I left the American International School in Gaza, where I teach language and literature, to my apartment on al-Shuhada Street — which I consider the most beautiful road in the Gaza Strip. It was a lovely Wednesday, followed by a three-day vacation, and I made a plan to meet some friends for a barbeque. Suddenly, I heard noises in the street. I looked out the window, curious about the loud ambulance sirens and firetrucks, to see journalists rushing out of a nearby building. I checked local news websites to investigate what was happening. A few minutes later, the mystery was solved. At 4 p.m. on Nov. 14, Israeli forces assassinated the leader of the al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, Ahmed al-Jaabari.
Diary of a war: A balloon-like fortress / Ahmed Ferwana
November 15: …Although that military operation caused immeasurable destruction to so many houses, mosques, families, factories, farms, schools, and hospitals in the Gaza Strip, it also left behind Gazans who became experts at dealing with war. I began to think about what damage I could avoid. I started by opening all the windows and keeping the doors ajar in the house because in the last war those windows and doors flew off the walls from the pressure caused by the explosions of the airstrikes. Then, I urged my family to evacuate the part of the house facing the main street — a precaution to avoid flying bullets or shrapnel. After that, I made sure to deter my brothers’ and sisters’ curiosity about leaving the house or looking through the windows to see what was happening outside. These precautions served as an insecure balloon-like fortress, yet it was a small relief knowing that my family clutched onto that little feeling of security … I chose to end a tiring night of endless thinking by checking up on my family one by one and kissing them good night as I hoped tomorrow would come and I’d be able to see them alive
EU representative visits UNRWA facilities in Gaza, contributes additional €11.5 million
MEMO 28 Nov — Representative to the European Union John Gatt-Rutter visited the Gaza Strip today to commend the outstanding work done by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) during the recent eight-day conflict. In a meeting at UNRWA’s Rimal Health Centre in Gaza City, Mr. Gatt-Rutter and Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza Robert Turner signed a new €11.5 million agreement to support the Agency’s core activities in the areas of health, education and social services. This latest contribution comes on top of an €80 million contribution provided earlier in the year … The visit was an opportunity for the EU to express its deep concern about the situation of the civilian population in Gaza, emphasizing the importance of consolidating the current ceasefire.
Arab Bedouins suspected to have aided Hamas: Israeli security services
Al Arabiya 28 Nov — Israeli security services speculate that Hamas may have been aided by Arab Bedouins during the eight-day battle between Gaza and Israel, according to the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv. According to the report, Arab Bedouins may have assisted Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements of Israel’s military movement in the Gaza Strip. It added that they also reported on the location of missiles that had fallen there by entering prohibited Israeli military areas.
In north Lebanon, Palestinians celebrate Gaza victory
Al-Akhbar 28 Nov — On 21 November 2012, the night the cease-fire in Gaza was declared, the people of the Baddawi Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon did not pause for analysts to explain it. The sound of celebratory fireworks and gunfire echoed throughout the night, with nearby residents suspecting renewed clashes between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen. For the Baddawi and Nahr al-Bared camps in northern Lebanon, Palestine is alive again. Many saw the ceasefire as a victory reflecting the determination of the Palestinian armed resistance. It has allowed many in Baddawi to turn their backs on the senseless conflict that plagues the camp, while the people of Nahr al-Bared seem to have put aside the tragedy of their virtually razed camp.
Fatah, Hamas jointly mourn Gaza dead
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 Nov — A Fatah delegation on Tuesday joined premier of the Hamas-run government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh in a ceremony to honor families bereaved in the latest Israeli military offensive. A Fatah delegation encompassed visiting West Bank-based members of the movement’s revolutionary council in addition to Fatah media commissioner in the Gaza Strip Yahya Rabah. A delegation representing the Islamic Jihad movement attended the ceremony, too.
PA sentences three Palestinians for affiliation to Hamas
TULKAREM (PIC) 28 Nov — The PA security courts in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm, sentenced in absentia three members of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas for six months for belonging to the movement despite the reconciliation efforts. Local sources in the city, said the court sentenced Ja’far Umar Mustafa Awda, 24, a student at An-Najah National University, and Rushdie Hosni Nimer Jayousi, 43, an employee at the health ministry in Tulkarem, who spent long periods in the PA prisons, and Tamer Mohammed Rasim Abdul-Jabbar Numan, 30, a mosque muezzin in Younis Mosque.
Abu Zuhri blasts Ramallah for sentencing Hamas supporters
GAZA, (PIC)– Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, has blasted the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah for putting on trial and sentencing Hamas political activists … He also criticized the PA for continuing arrest campaigns and summonses against Hamas supporters and activists. The spokesman said that such practices foil the positive atmosphere that followed the victory over the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza.
Video: Palestinians to renew statehood bid
Al Jazeera 29 Nov 1 min 50 sec — The Palestinians have been “permanent observers” at the general assembly since 1974. They are now seeking to upgrade their status to a non-member observer state, putting it in the same category as the Vatican. Reporting from Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s Renee Odeh explains how recognition from the UN will open other doors for Palestine.
Diplomatic triumph, cash losses await Palestinians at UN
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) 28 Nov — The Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition on Thursday could bring president Mahmud Abbas new diplomatic weight and tools but also cost his people hundreds of millions of dollars in much-needed cash … Victory will not give the Palestinians a vote at the 193-member assembly. But they will be able to join a number of U.N. agencies and sign treaties for which the U.N. secretary general is the record keeper … The Palestinians will be able to go to U.N. conferences open to all states and to vote like other states … The most valuable prize for Abbas, however, could be recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The prospect of an ICC prosecutor looking into Israeli actions in Gaza and the occupied West Bank is one of the Israeli government’s major worries from Thursday’s vote, according to diplomats. And it is a threat which Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour dangled at the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday … The United States and Israel could also inflict financial damage on the Palestinians — who are suffering from a grave economic crisis — and any U.N. agency where the Palestinian Authority gains membership. US law bans financing for any international body which recognizes a Palestinian state. When the Palestinians were voted onto the U.N. Cultural and Educational Organization (UNESCO) last year, the US administration had to cut more than $70 million in funding. The United States is also the biggest single provider of development funds to the Palestinians. But about $200 million have been blocked by Congress, and the State Department warned this week that it could be difficult to release the money if the U.N. vote is successful.
Abbas to address UN ahead of upgrade vote
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas will address the UN General Assembly in New York before it votes on upgrading the PLO’s status on Thursday, a Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday. Omar Awadallah, who heads the ministry’s UN department, told Ma‘an the vote was expected at around midnight Jerusalem time. Representatives of some member states will also address the assembly before voting to explain their positions, Awadallah said.
Awadallah said 132 countries had already recognized the state of Palestine, and the number is increasing. Six states — including Israel, the United States, Canada, Micronesia, and Nauru — are expected to vote against the resolution. Germany said Wednesday that it was opposing the diplomatic upgrade … Australia, which usually votes in support of Israel at the UN, will abstain from the vote on Thursday, Australian media reported Wednesday. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard failed to get cabinet support for a “no” vote … Britain held back, saying it wanted an assurance that Palestine would not pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court … Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Spain and Austria said they would vote for the upgrade. France gave its approval on Tuesday.
Finland supports Palestinian UN bid
AFP 28 Nov — Finland has announced Wednesday it will support the Palestinian UN bid to upgrade its status to that of a non-member state. Russia will support the Palestinian bid to upgrade its UN status to a non-member state, said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Will UK support Palestine at UN?
PNN 28 Nov by Martin Linton — Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has 48 hours to decide how to vote in the United Nations on enhanced status for the Palestinians after the failure of a UK-US-Israeli attempt to impose a condition that the Palestinians would never apply to join the International Criminal Court or Court of Justice … The UK supported an attempt at the weekend to make the Palestinians accept three conditions: that they would resume peace talks “without pre-conditions”, that they would not ask for UN membership and that they would not apply to join the ICC or ICJ … Britain has a long history of promising the Palestinians independence, going back to 1948 when Britain handed the Palestine Mandate back to the UN with the promise that they would support an independent state for the Palestinians … British public opinion is already overwhelmingly on the side of the Palestinians. 71% supported Palestinian statehood in an Avaaz poll and 59% said the UK should vote ‘yes’ to statehood at the UN with and only 8% saying ‘no’.
William Hague’s statement to House of Commons on Palestinian resolution at the UN General Assembly
PNN 28 Nov — …We explained that while there is no question of the United Kingdom voting against the resolution, in order to vote for it we would need certain assurances or amendments. The first is that the Palestinian Authority should indicate a clear commitment to return immediately to negotiations without preconditions … The second assurance relates to membership of other specialised UN agencies and action in the International Criminal Court … Up until the time of the vote itself we will remain open to voting in favour of the resolution, if we see public assurances by the Palestinians on these points. However in the absence of these assurances, the United Kingdom would abstain on the vote.
Tibi: UN bid will change future negotiations
NEW YORK (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Knesset member Ahmad Tibi said Wednesday that the PLO’s bid to upgrade its UN status will be successful, and will change future negotiations. “It is still a long and hard way, but it is becoming shorter and the world will witness the birth of the state of Palestine in the United Nations,” Tibi told Ma’an in New York, where he joined a Palestinian delegation at the UN. “The future political situation will be completely different for (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu, and even if there will be rounds of negotiations, Netanyahu will not meet with President Abu Mazen (Abbas) to take photos only,” Tibi added.
Palestinians facing intensive pressure not to sue Israel
AFP 28 Nov — The Palestinians are facing “intensive pressure” not to sue Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court should they win upgraded UN status this week, an official said on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said the Palestinian leadership had not given in to heavy international pressure to commit that they would not sue Israeli officials at the ICC should they win recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations. “We have not succumbed to pressure, we did not give any commitment,” she said
Report: MKs plan to burn Palestinian flags in Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Knesset members plan to burn Palestinian flags in Jerusalem on Thursday to protest a UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s status, Israeli media reported Wednesday. MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari, of the new Power to Israel party, will burn Palestinian flags outside UN headquarters, the settler news site Arutz Sheva reported … Eldad said Benjamin Netanyahu had not reacted forcefully enough to Palestine’s bid for “observer state” status at the UN, and said the Israeli prime minister was behaving like “a dishrag.”
52 leading international figures call for a military embargo on Israel
Occupied Palestine 28 Nov — On the eve of the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, 52 international notables issued a statement calling for “urgent … international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel.” Though directly motivated by Israel’s latest war of aggression against the 1.6 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, the statement is also a reaction to Israel’s decades-old military occupation and persistent denial of the UN-sanctioned rights of the Palestinian people … The statement signed by Nobel Peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquível, former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters, Directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, international best-seller Naomi Klein and co-drafter of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Holocaust survivor Stéphane Hessel, among others….[full list given]
Will Israeli apartheid steal Stevie Wonder’s soul?
EI 28 Nov — There are a few moments in Stevie Wonder’s career when droves of fans have thrown in the towel on him. To many it was “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (seriously, a lot of people hate that song). To those of us who are aware that Stevie used to actually represent something much bigger in music, it was his meeting with George W. Bush. Now that he’s playing a large concert in support of one of the world’s most vicious occupying armies, one wonders whether he has any soul left at all. On Sunday, it was announced that Stevie will play the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) gala on 6 December in Los Angeles. This is one of the largest annual events connected to the Israeli military to be held in America, with more than 1,000 supporters of the state of Israel in attendance, and normally raking in tens of millions of dollars to support the Israeli army.
Report: Stevie Wonder pulls out of IDF fundraiser after BDS activists wage campaign
Mondoweiss 28 Nov by Alex Kane — World famous singer Stevie Wonder has reportedly pulled out of performing at a fundraiser for the Israeli army that was scheduled to take place December 6, according to one anonymous source who spoke with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Exhumation of Arafat’s corpse went as planned, say officials
RAMALLAH, November 27, 2012 (WAFA) – Palestinian officials Tuesday said the exhumation of the corpse of the late leader Yasser Arafat to investigate the reasons behind his death went as planned without any problems and the results are expected to be known in three months. Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the official committee investigating Arafat’s death, said in the press conference after the opening of Arafat’s grave that the procedures of exhuming his remains went in accordance with law and were approved by the Swiss, French and Russian forensic experts. He said that Palestinian forensic experts were the only party to touch the remains, take samples from the corpse and pass them on to the three teams.
Haniya discusses developments in Gaza with Jordan’s premier
AMMAN (PIC) 27 Nov — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh telephoned the prime minister of Jordan Abdullah Nsour, on Monday evening to discuss the latest developments on the Palestinian arena in light of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. The official Jordanian Petra news agency reported that Haniyeh expressed his thanks and appreciation for Jordan for its position supporting the Palestinian people and their just cause and for the medical and humanitarian assistance provided by Jordan to the Gaza Strip.
Israel carries out ground incursion into Lebanon
Al -Akhbar 28 Nov — Eleven Israeli soldiers carried out a ground incursion into Lebanon Wednesday morning, breaking the border’s barbed wire fence near the village of Wazzani and mounting a sandbag barrier roughly 15 meters past the demarcation line. The soldiers reached a Lebanese military zone, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported. Ground and air incursions into Lebanon are direct breaches of UN resolution 1701 which ended Israel’s war on Lebanon in 2006. Israel has carried out more than 20,000 illegal surveillance flights over Lebanon since that ceasefire. The Lebanese Army and the UN’s international peacekeeping force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, are on high alert.
Clinton sued over Palestinian aid
WASHINGTON (AP) 28 Nov — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department are being sued for allegedly allowing American aid money meant for the Palestinian Authority to be used by terror groups like Hamas. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in Washington on behalf of 24 U.S. citizens living in Israel by the Israel Law Center, a Tel Aviv-based legal group that specializes in fighting “terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them,” according to its website. The suit accuses the defendants of having “authorized, sanctioned, encouraged, and/or facilitated funding to the Palestinian Authority without imposing the controls and oversight mandated by federal statute,” especially the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006.
Analysis / Opinion / Interviews / Human interest
November 29 / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 28 Nov — The writer Amos Oz recalls that day, 65 years ago, in his novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness”: “On Saturday morning, they said, the General Assembly would convene at a place called Lake Success and there they would determine our fate. ‘Who is for life and who for destruction,’ said Mr. Abramski.” Abramski was right. If he were alive today, he would have similar things to say about want will happen tonight in the UN General Assembly. Who is for life and who for destruction. If Israel was a wise and reasonable country, it would have to join the family of nations this evening, not including Micronesia, and vote proudly for the completion of the previous vote on November 29: two states for two peoples. And if there were a real peace camp in Israel, its members would flock en masse to the tiny rally being held in front of Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where this State of Israel was declared. But Israel, as usual, says no. First, hurling childish threats, with unparalleled chutzpah, bullying and condescension: we’ll punish the Palestinian Authority; we’ll hit it in its pocket; we’ll build 3,000 apartments in the settlements. And now, in a weaker voice, we’re “lowering our profile.” And no is still no.
Will Palestinian leadership keep the ball rolling toward statehood? / Amira Hass
Haaretz 29 Nov — The day after the UN vote on recognizing Palestine as a nonmember observer state, the leadership of the PLO/Palestinian Authority will discover that it’s easier to convince a few more European states to vote “yes” than it is to meet the high expectations it has created around this move and convince its own public that it’s capable of changing its modus operandi. To keep the “yes” vote from being a merely symbolic gesture, a temporary boost for outmoded political organizations and the hedonist elites that comprise them, will require vast internal changes that are hard to envision … Until very recently, it seemed many Palestinians didn’t believe their leadership would stand up to the threats and pressure of those whom Hanan Ashrawi terms Israel’s “proxies”: America, Canada and Britain … But as the day of the vote neared, it seemed that the excitement of those behind the move was finally beginning to percolate downward.
Israel, alone and self-righteous / Rachel Shabi
Haaretz 28 Nov — Post-Gaza, pre-UN, Israel looks even more isolated in a region that it has antagonized and alienated with its relentless, grinding occupation of the Palestinian people … It’s palpable, the sense of dead-ends, blind tactics and an Israel pushing the same triggers, but expecting different outcomes … And from outside, it’s clear that what is going to shape Israeli lives now is an ever-increasing regional isolation. Across the Middle East, along with the rage at Israel’s latest deadly assault on Palestinians, there is something like ridicule for Israel’s repeatedly short-sighted and self-defeating military strategy. Well, to call it a ‘strategy’ is probably pushing it.
Israel’s repression of Palestinian students reached new level during Gaza attack / Yara Sa’di
EI 28 Nov — Right from the beginning of the latest Israeli attack on Gaza, Israel’s academic institutions displayed their boundless support of the military. This was not in itself surprising: Israel’s universities have a habit of rallying behind the military on these occasions. What was different this time was that the repression of Palestinian students in Israel reached a new level of ferocity … Israeli police brutally attacked Palestinian students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 20 November. The students were holding a peaceful demonstration against the assault on Gaza at the campus’ entrance. Four of them were arrested. As reported by the website Arabs 48, the authorities at Tel Aviv University banned protest activity by Palestinian students, citing “security reasons,” although similar protests have been allowed in the past. And at the University of Haifa, Palestinian students were widely denounced simply for exercising their right to protest.
Palestinian forces increasingly join Israeli repression of journalists / Jillian Kestler-D-Amours
EI 28 Nov — Only hours after being interrogated on libel charges, Jihad Harb was far from intimidated. “When I see anything that’s bad, I’ll write about it,” Harb told The Electronic Intifada. “We need to be united to fight this battle.” The Palestinian Authority’s Attorney General had called Harb in for interrogation on 31 October in Ramallah. The investigation was held to discuss an article Harb wrote which questioned the hiring and promotion processes employed by the PA … Violations of media freedoms are not only taking place in the West Bank, but have been increasingly widespread in the Gaza Strip as wellThe arrests and harassment of journalists, Human Rights Watch found, were largely political in nature, with PA security forces arresting Hamas-affiliated journalists in the West Bank, and Hamas security forces arresting journalists that are sympathetic to Fatah in Gaza.
Mainstream journalists’ failure to explain reasons for Gazan resistance is professional malpratice / Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss 28 Nov — Scott McConnell has a piece on Gaza up at the National Interest that emphasizes the ways that the American media have skewed our perception of Gaza’s plight: “If a man from Mars descended to observe Israel’s attack on the Gaza strip, he would have seen one group of humans trapped in a densely populated area, largely defenseless while a modern air force destroyed their buildings at will. He might have learned that the people in Gaza had been essentially enclosed for several years in a sort of ghetto, deprived by the Israeli navy of access to the fish in their sea, generally unable to travel or to trade with the outside world, barred by Israeli forces from much of their arable land, all the while surveyed continuously from the sky by a foe which could assassinate their leaders at will and often did … But our man from Mars is certainly not an American. And while empathy for the underdog is said to be an American trait, this is not true if the underdog is Palestinian.
Continental support for Palestinian cause in South America
MEMO 28 Nov — EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — The recent Israeli massacre on Gaza triggered a number of solidarity protests around the world; a significant number of these activities were organised in Latin America, home to thousands of Palestinian refugees. Mauricio Abu-Ghosh, a first generation Palestinian Chilean with ancestral roots in Beit Jala, who is also President of the Palestinian Federation of Chile, discusses the history of Palestinians in Chile and Latin America, the Chilean media’s portrayal of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, as well as the Federation’s struggle to highlight the Palestinian cause.
Art on the edge: Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour
Khaleej Times 23 Nov — Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour draws inspiration from the political occupation and dehumanising treatment witnessed during her childhood days, and transforms them into profoundly symbolic works of art. A Palestinian astronaut plants the national flag on the moon and then floats away into space. These sequences, bas-ed on iconic images from the US moon landing and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, are at once startling and moving beca-use they express both profound hope and sadness.