Thousands of protesters call for ‘downfall of the regime’ in Jordan

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
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Thousands of Jordan protesters tell Abdullah to ‘go down’
Reuters 16 Nov — Thousands of protesters chanted the Arab Spring slogan “the people want the downfall of the regime” in Jordan’s capital on Friday, as demonstrations against rising prices gather force in a country so far spared the brunt of Middle East unrest. The mainly urban Muslim Brotherhood joined hitherto largely rural protests that have erupted in the last few days, raising the spectre of lasting instability in the kingdom, a staunch US ally with the longest border with Israel.

Jordan vows ‘iron fist’ response to unrest
Al Jazeera 15 Nov — Authorities warn of heavy crackdown on riots after attack on police during protests over fuel price rises.

Gaza attacks

Gaza live report: Day 4 (17 Nov) – Ma‘an News Agency
06:20 Israeli warplanes attack the headquarters of the government in Gaza.
05:10 An Israeli army spokesman confirms reports of air attacks and says operations are ongoing in the north and south of Gaza.
04:35 Reports of airstrikes in the Rafah tunnel area between Egypt and Gaza.
04:01: A US-based Palestinian non-profit group posted a collection of first-person accounts about the situation on the ground in the Gaza Strip.
04:00 Massive explosion reported in Gaza City.
03:34 More details about the killing of a suspected spy in Gaza City.
03:26 Israeli officials are preparing the ground for a possible Gaza invasion after rockets hit major Israeli cities for the first time in decades….
New explosions heard in Gaza City.
00:01 Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip has entered its fourth day. Follow this live report for minute-by-minute updates of events as they happen. Friday’s coverage is here.
You can also follow Ma‘an on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. To receive SMS updates on your Jawwal mobile, text “sub news” to 37192.

Israel, Gaza fires continues during Egypt PM visit
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov 10:40 — Israel and Gaza continued to exchange fire during the visit of the Egyptian premier on Friday morning, witnesses said, with two Palestinians reported killed in northern Gaza. A military spokesman said he was not familiar with any army operations during this time. Israel had said it would suspend all military action during Hisham Kandil’s three-hour visit, so long as Gaza militant groups also halt fire. Israel’s army said more than 50 rockets landed in south Israel over two hours on Friday morning, with no reports of injuries.
During Kandil’s visit to Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the bodies of two Palestinians were brought in after an airstrike on Jabalia, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Seven people, mostly children, were injured in the strike on the home of the Abu Warda family, medics said. In south Gaza, Hamas said the Israeli air force bombed the house of Hamas’s commander for southern Gaza…
In Gaza’s Shifa hospital, the Egyptian premier denounced Israel’s attacks. “This tragedy cannot pass in silence and the world should take responsibility in stopping this aggression,” Kandil said.

Woman dies of wounds suffered during Friday morning Israeli strike
IMEMC 16 Nov 14:44 — Palestinian medical sources in Gaza reported that a Palestinian woman died of serious injuries sustained on Friday morning, when the army bombarded Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip … The sources said that Tahrir Suleiman, 22, succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital in the area. She was injured when the Israeli army bombarded a home that belongs to Salman family in Beit Lahia; medics and rescue teams managed to rescue five of her family members who were buried under the rubble.
Earlier on Friday, the army fired several missiles into Jabalia town, in northern Gaza, killing two Palestinians, including one child
[Warning: horrific photo of child burned to death at the end of this article]

4 killed in Israeli attack on Gaza refugee camp
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 16 Nov 15:15 — Israeli warplanes continued aerial attacks on the central Gaza Strip late Friday, killing four Palestinians including a Hamas military leader. The attack on al-Maghazi refugee camp, which killed al-Qassam Brigades leader Ahmad Abu Jalal and three others, brought the death toll to 28 since Israel’s assault on Gaza began Wednesday. A Ma‘an reporter in Gaza City identified the victims as Abu Jalal, 43, his brother Majd Abu Jalal, 33, Ziad Farhan Abu Jalal, 23, and Hasan Salim al-Hulei, 27.

Rocket fired from Gaza lands near Jerusalem
[news video] Al Jazeera 17 Nov — A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has struck an uninhabited area outside of Jerusalem, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli army has said, shortly after air raid sirens wailed across the city. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the rocket landed on Friday in an open area near Gush Ezion, which includes several Jewish settlements and Arab villages in the occupied West Bank southeast of the city. The unprecedented attack came as Israel pounded the Gaza Strip for a third day in fighting that has left 29 Palestinians and three Israelis dead. The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement confirmed it had fired a Qassam rocket towards Jerusalem. An attack on Israel’s self-declared capital marks a major escalation by Gaza fighters, both for its symbolism and its distance from the Palestinian territory. Located roughly 75km away from the Gaza border, Jerusalem had been thought to be beyond the range of Gaza rocket squads…
Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Gaza, said: “We have seen an intensification of firing from both sides. “If the Israeli army is seeking to kill those firing rockets, the fighters are not in those locations. We are seeing the fighters have far more sophisticated weapons now, especially in the actual launching systems. “They are able to operate them via remote control. They have been buried in the ground either days or weeks ago, so trying to target these locations is rather futile.”

Palestinian killed, 2 hurt in Israeli airstrike on Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 16 Nov 17:00 — An Israeli airstrike on Rafah has killed one Palestinian and seriously injured two others, bringing the death toll to 29 in the Gaza Strip. The strike hit three men riding a motorcycle, killing Khalid Khalil al-Shayer, 28, and seriously injuring two others … Witnesses reported continuous raids throughout the Gaza Strip. Around 388 rockets have hit Israel and an additional 197 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome defense shield, the Israeli military says.

Israel bombs Gaza govt HQ
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Nov 06:43 — A massive Israeli air assault targeted Gaza City on Saturday, damaging the headquarters of the government and a police station. Israeli warplanes also bombed the home of a member of Hamas’ armed wing in Rafah and a mosque in Bureij refugee camp, injuring five civilians. Israeli warplanes launched multiple raids on the tunnel area between Gaza and Egypt south of Rafah. There were no reports of injury in those attacks. Warplanes also bombed farmland in Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya as well as in Khan Younis.

Video: Deaths as Israel expands air assaults on Gaza
Al Jazeera 17 Nov 08:19 — Four Palestinians are killed, as Israeli warplanes hit Hamas government compounds, tunnels and power transformers

As Israeli missiles fall, Gaza residents in border areas flee / Amira Hass
Haaretz 16 Nov — Palestinians in the northern and eastern Gaza Strip began leaving their homes Friday due to the heavy air attacks on the third day of Israel’s Gaza offensive. Area residents say bombardments from the land and sea as well are carrying on with little letup as shells fall a few meters away and shake the ground and walls. Among the people who fled are members of the Samouni family, who live east of Gaza’s Zeitoun area. During Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-09, 21 members of the Samouni family were killed when the commander of the Givati Brigade, Ilan Malka, ordered the bombing of a building. Based on photos from a pilotless plane, Malka had concluded that the building was sheltering armed Palestinians. A mother in the Samouni family says she and her children are now living the combined traumas of 2009 and 2012.

Gaza: A people under siege
Al Jazeera 15 Nov — Interactive map of Gaza shows how different cities in the besieged strip are impacted by Israeli air attacks.

Dichter: Israel spent unprecedented horrible night
Almanar 16 Nov — The Zionist home front minister, Avi Dichter, said Friday that “Israel has passed yesterday horrible eve which is not witnessed before.” In newspaper remarks, Dichter said that “Israel has not lived in this state of terror since the establishment of the state.” … News websites quoted Palestinian witnesses as saying that “Israelis were hysterically shot by terror and fear, and many of them began to cry when they heard the sirens, which started in the city, followed by the sound of explosions in nearby from their place of work.”

Israel cabinet authorizes mobilization of up to 75,000 reservists
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 16 Nov — Israel’s cabinet authorized on Friday mobilization of up to 75,000 reserve troops for a Gaza campaign, more than doubling the number of potential call-ups approved after the offensive began, political sources said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a four-hour strategy session with a clutch of senior ministers in Tel Aviv, while other cabinet members were polled by telephone on raising the mobilization level.

Home Front Command: Prepare for 7 weeks of fighting
Ynet 16 Nov —  In discussions held between Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, regional commanders and heads of local authorities in the center and in the south, authorities have been instructed to prepare for a seven-week period of combat as part of Operation Pillar of Defense and to prepare emergency supplies, accordingly.,7340,L-4306834,00.html

Minister: Haniyeh, Zahar legitimate targets
Ynet 16 Nov — Speaking to Ynet on Friday Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that “Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar are legitimate targets for assassination and if they continue to back the firing of rockets on Israelthey will pay the price.”,7340,L-4306565,00.html

Watch: Hamas UAV that can reach Tel Aviv
Ynet 16 Nov — IDF releases documentation of UAV test flight conducted by Hamas. During Operation Pillar of Defense, army attacks 8 UAV development and storage facilities, says ‘extremely significant strategic capabilities destroyed’,7340,L-4306887,00.html

Senior Hamas leader: No truce with Israel
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Hamas is rejecting calls for a ceasefire, the movement’s deputy chief said Friday. “There are many calls for truce but it will not be soon,” said Mousa Abu Marzouq, who lives in Cairo. Abu Marzouq said Hamas demands an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza and to the assassination of Hamas leaders.

Israel texts Palestinians in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov 00:12 — Israel on Friday warned residents of the Gaza Strip to stay away from Hamas operatives, Palestinians who received the messages said and the army confirmed. “The messages were sent to 12,000 residents of the Gaza Strip,” an army spokeswoman told Ma‘an. “It warned them to stay away from Hamas operatives,” she said. Rana Baker, a Palestinian blogger in Gaza, said her father received one of the messages. She uploaded a picture of a message that showed the sender as “IDF”. “The next phase is on the way. Stay away from Hamas elements,” it read.

PNN warns: A painful video shows the suffering of a Palestinian baby killed by Israeli airstrike
On Thursday 15th November, Palestinian media sources and Palestinian citizens published a video and pictures of the Palestinian baby, Ranan Arafat, who was burned alive during Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, moaning on the hospital’s bed while leaving the life that she never had the chance to live. PNN apologizes for publishing the video in this way, but the administration publishes such photos and videos to show to the world, the Israeli brutal crimes that target Palestinian civilians and as a response to the attempts of the Israeli media and government to hide the truth about the suffering of Palestinians and only showing the scene of the Israeli suffering due to the Palestinian rockets. To See the Video click here

The PR policy – ‘civilizing’ the operation
Haaretz 16 Nov — The National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Information Ministry, the Foreign Ministry’s press operation, IDF Spokesman Unit and a long list of governmental and private volunteers are working together to mold the public perception of the operation in Israel and around the world … Operation “Pillar of Defense” is accompanied by a no less well-planned and orchestrated media operation … The national PR operation has a number of main components. Swift transfer of visual materials from the battlefield – IDF Spokesman Unit is still scarred by the lengthy delay in supplying the footage of the rioting on the decks of the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 … Emphasizing the civilian side of the operation – while the bombing videos are being distributed, the PR strategists are trying to deflect the world’s gaze from Israel’s military might towards the suffering of Israel’s citizens from the Palestinian missiles … Quick response to developments … Relative openness – In addition to the rich variety of material being offered by the hasbara machine to the international media, the decision was taken to allow foreign journalists based in Israel to move freely through the Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip and report from the other side

Popular support for Gaza

Jabari praised in Arab sector protests
Ynet 17 Nov — Hundreds of Israeli Arabs demonstrate against Operation Pillar of Defense, linking it to upcoming elections. ‘Gaza will not be humiliated,’ they say — Hundreds participated on Friday in a protest held by the Arab sector in the Triangle and Wadi Ara in the north, against Operation Pillars of Defense in the Gaza Strip.  The largest protest took place in Umm al-Fahm in which the Head of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) and MK Afu Aghbaria (Hadash) also participated.,7340,L-4306924,00.html

Thousands march in the West Bank [Friday], in solidarity with Gaza
IMEMC 16 Nov — Massive protests were held in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin and different areas in the occupied West Bank. The protesters, including members of different Palestinian factions, stated that the silence of the International Community while Israel continues its crimes against the civilians, including the children, is a clear sign of complicity with these crimes.
Israeli soldiers also invaded the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem after the residents marched in solidarity with Gaza. The army fired gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets.

Protests against Gaza violence in Ramallah
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Palestinians gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah to protest Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip which entered its third day Friday.

Night march in Nablus in support of Gaza
NABLUS (PIC) 16 Nov — Hundreds of citizens in the city of Nablus, Thursday evening have participated in a massive march in support of the Gaza Strip, where participants praised the heroic Palestinian resistance and called to free the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank.

Thousands protest in Egypt against Gaza attacks
CAIRO (Reuters) 16 Nov — Thousands gathered in Egyptian cities on Friday to protest against Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip as Egypt’s president vowed to support the enclave’s people in the face of “blatant aggression”. Western governments are watching Egypt’s response to the attacks for signs of a more assertive stance toward Israel since an Islamist came to power in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Tunisian civil society protests against Israeli aggression on Gaza
TUNISIA (PIC) 16 Nov — Thousands  of Tunisians demonstrated after Friday prayer in many Tunisian cities against the Israeli brutal attacks on Gaza, the PIC correspondent reported.

Reactions of other governments

Senior Tunisian delegation arrives in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 17 Nov — A senior level Tunisian delegation led by foreign minister Rafiq Abdul Salam arrived in Gaza on Saturday morning via the Rafah border terminal. A number of Palestinian ministers and officials received the delegation that comprised 12 ministers and took them to the council of ministers building that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike earlier today.

Tunisian foreign minister to visit Gaza on Saturday
TUNIS (Reuters) 16 Nov — Tunisia’s foreign minister will visit Gaza on Saturday as part of a delegation to offer support to Hamas and increase Arab pressure on Israel. “An official Tunisian high-level delegation led by the minister of foreign affairs (Rafik Abdesslem) and the director of the presidential cabinet will go to Gaza tomorrow in confirmation of its initial position to provide all political support for Gaza,” the spokesman for the Tunisian president, Moncef Marzouki, said in a statement on Friday.

Iraq envoy says Arabs should use oil to press Israel over Gaza
CAIRO (Reuters) 16 Nov — Iraq’s representative to the Arab League said on Friday that Arab states should use oil as a weapon to put pressure on the United States and Israel over the attacks on Gaza. “Iraq will invite (Arab) ministers to use the weapon of oil, with the aim of asserting real pressure on the United States and whoever stands with Israel,” Qais al-Azzawy told reporters in Cairo on Friday.

Nasrallah calls for regional support of Gaza
Al-Akhbar 16 Nov — Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah Thursday called on all Arab and Muslim countries to use all means possible to stop Israel’s vicious assault on the Gaza Strip, including raising oil prices. Nasrallah urged Arab nations to suspend relations with Israel and the US, saying the only solution is for the world to pressure the United States, which will press Israel to end its blockade on Gaza. He advocated the use of financial levers such as limiting oil production to push the West into stripping Israel of economic and political support. “Some say the Arabs don’t have the courage to stop oil production,” he said.

Arab states shy from using oil weapon against Israel
CAIRO (Reuters) 16 Nov — Iraq’s envoy to the Arab League said it would invite Arab states to use oil as a weapon to press for a halt to Israeli attacks on Gaza, but later appeared to withdraw the remark, saying Baghdad would make no particular proposal to a League meeting … Arab foreign ministers will meet on Saturday at the Cairo-based Arab League to discuss the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

Diplomat: UK asked Israel, Egypt, Jordan to end Gaza crisis
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — A British diplomat in Jerusalem told Ma‘an on Friday that the UK foreign minister has called Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in an effort to halt the crisis in Gaza. While William Hague has made clear that Hamas is responsible for the current assault, the government makes a distinction between Hamas and the 1.5 million civilians in Gaza, Jerusalem consulate Charge d’Affairs Ben Saol said.

Germany blames Hamas for Middle East escalation
BERLIN (Reuters) 16 Nov  — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “very worried” about an escalation of violence in the Middle East and calls on Hamas to immediately stop shooting rockets from Gaza into Israel, a government spokesman said on Friday. “Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence,” spokesman Georg Streiter told a news conference. “There is no justification for the shooting of rockets at Israel, which has led to massive suffering of the civilian population.

US fears a ground war in Gaza could hurt Israel and help Hamas
WASHINGTON (NY Times) 16 Nov by Helene Cooper — The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza, believing that a ground incursion by Israel there could lead to increased civilian casualties, play into the hands of the militant Palestinian group Hamas and inflict further damage to Israel’s standing in the region at an already tumultuous time. Though President Obama uttered immediate and firm public and private assurances that Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, administration officials have been privately urging Israeli officials not to extend the conflict,

White House: Obama commends Egyptian efforts on Israel-Gaza
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 17 Nov — US President Barack Obama called Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi on Friday to commend the country’s efforts to help calm the situation in Israel and Gaza and underscored his hope of restoring stability there, the White House said. Egypt’s prime minister, Hisham Kandil, has said Cairo is prepared to mediate a truce in the growing violence between Israel and Hamas. Egypt’s government is allied with Hamas, but is also party to a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Obama works to avert Israel-Egypt break as Gaza violence persists
Haaretz 15 Nov — In conversation with Egypt’s Morsi, American president condemns rocket fire from Strip, defends Israel’s right to self-defense; Egyptian FM to Clinton: Stop Israeli aggression.

Other Gaza news

ICRC sending medicine, supplies to Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — The International Committee of the Red Cross is supplying medicine, disposables, infusions and dressing materials to hospitals and ambulances in the Gaza Strip … ICRC says it has been facilitating the entry of 10 trucks of medicines and disposables into Gaza “which will be available for distribution in the next few days.” Palestinian Authority Health Minister Hani Abdeen said late Thursday that 15 trucks of medical supplies sent from Ramallah were being held up at a Israeli checkpoint … The minister said international organizations had promised to help the PA get Israeli permission to deliver medicine to the Gaza Strip.

Qassam Brigades: We downed an Israeli warplane west of central Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 17 Nov — Hamas’s armed wing Al-Qassam Brigades said it shot down on Friday evening an Israeli warplane with a surface-to-air missile. In a communiqué, Al-Qassam Brigades added that that the warplane fell west of the central Gaza Strip where a search was conducted to look for the wreckage and the bodies of the pilots. It noted that other Israeli warplanes intensively bombed the area where the jet fighter fell to prevent the resistance from approaching the scene.Later, the Israeli army also announced officially that it lost contact with two pilots who were bombing Palestinian targets in Gaza.
There is yet no confirmation of the news from a third party.

Israel denies Hamas shot down plane
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — The Israeli military on Friday denied that Hamas’ military wing shot down an Israeli aircraft over the Gaza Strip. The al-Qassam Brigades said it shot down a warplane over Gaza and that Israel heavily shelled the area to destroy the wreckage. “It’s not true,” an Israeli military spokesman told Ma‘an.

The resistance security arrests a number of traitors and agents
GAZA (PIC) 16 Nov — The resistance security men in the Gaza Strip arrested a number of traitors and agents who have been delivering information to the Israeli occupation forces and the Israeli General Security Service, Shin Bet, during the Battle of “Shale Stones”.  An informed security source told the “al-Majd” security site, on Thursday that many of the agents had been arrested while trying to monitor the missiles launch sites and during spying on the members of the resistance, according to the orders they receive from the Shin Bet.

Accused collaborator executed on Gaza City street
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Palestinian resistance fighters publicly executed a man accused of providing intelligence to the Israeli army on a Gaza City street on Friday. The body of the suspected collaborator was taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. A note was attached to his body claiming he confessed to participating in 15 Israeli assassination operations.

In Gaza, new arsenals include ‘weaponized’ social media
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) 16 Nov — There have long been the tools of warfare associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: warplanes, mortars, Qassam rockets. Now that list includes Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. This week the worldwide audience got a vivid look at conflict in the social media era as the Israeli military unfurled an extensive campaign across several Internet channels after conducting an air strike that killed a top Hamas military commander in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Egypt security: 3 rockets fired from Sinai toward Israel
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai fired three rockets into Israel on Friday evening, an Egyptian security source said. Egyptian forces witnessed militants fire three rockets across the border from al-Ajrah, a desert area south of Rafah, a security official told Ma‘an. Egyptian security forces cannot reach al-Ajrah because it is controlled by Jihadist groups, he added.

Personal narratives

Message from ISM volunteer in Gaza
ISM 16 Nov — Gaza, Now — I’m writing this from near the Gaza seaport from where I can see smoke rising around me from the bombs that fall down on the Gaza Strip from the Israeli planes above. Words fail me. Despite the limits to life from Israel’s five-year siege on Gaza some kind of normality is attempted in Gaza. How could it be any other way when the majority of the population are children, do parents and older siblings have any other option? Yet this civilian population, most now holed out in the dense, tight refugee camp buildings and urban centers of Gaza are facing the wrath of some of the most powerful aerial warfare available to humankind. As I write, the constant bombardments consume your senses and shake the entirety of your surroundings … Twelve year old Abdullah Samouni, who I teach English to in Zeitoun camp called me a little while ago. “We’re really scared” he said. We moved to get away to Zeitoun and went to our grandmother’s house. Take care of yourself, there are so many bombs.” Abdullah lost his father and four year old brother, shot by Israeli soldiers entering their house in the land offensive of Israel’s Cast Lead attacks on Gaza over the new year of 2009.

Life goes on in Gaza, where no place is safe / Samah Sabawi
The Australian 17 Nov — A BOMB falls close to our neighbourhood in Gaza; I check Facebook to see if everyone has survived. A young cousin, Nihal, writes in her status: “Shoot, I should have had my nap earlier today, didn’t know it was going to be a sleepless night.”. Another cousin jokes: “We were happy it rained in Gaza but weren’t expecting the water falling to turn into bombs.” For the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza, humour helps to mask the terror they are experiencing. The bombs keep falling; they have nowhere to run and no place to hide.

Irish citizen in Gaza reports from Gaza City hospital while Israeli airstrikes continue
PNN 16 Nov — Gisela Schmidt–Martin, a native of Cork, is an International Human Rights Law masters graduate from NUI Galway. She is currently living and working in Gaza with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights … This morning she called for an end to the attacks on the Gaza strip saying, “…Having visited Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, I can confirm that Palestinian civilians, including women and children, are bearing the brunt of these disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks. Israel is, once again, violating its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. The international community must intervene to put an end to these attacks and defend the rights of the people of Gaza.” The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) supports her call and asks our government to take decisive action to pressure Israel … IPSC spokesperson Freda Hughes said: “This is not a conflict of equals. We must remember that Israel is one of the best equipped military powers in the world while Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with no army, navy or air force. A morbid, but pertinent, fact is that more Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in Gaza in the last two days than Israelis have been killed by projectile fire from Gaza in the past three years.”

Opinion / Analysis / Human interest

A sign of shifting Egypt-Israel relations?
Al Jazeera 17 Nov — How significant is the Egyptian PM’s solidarity visit to Gaza in the midst of its heightened conflict with Israel? On Friday, Hisham Qandil, Egypt’s prime minister, visited the Gaza Strip. His mission was to show support for the Palestinians, and to try and broker a truce as the conflict with Israel threatens to escalate. But hopes for even a brief ceasefire while he was inside Gaza were immediately dashed. The violence on both sides just continued …  Inside Story, with presenter David Foster, is joined by guests: Gamal Abdel Gawad, a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, who is also a consultant to the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies; Eugene Rogan, a university lecturer of modern history of the Middle East, and a faculty member of oriental studies with the University of Oxford; and Nader Omran, a  member of the political committee of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party.

Israel’s shortsighted assassination
NYTimes Opinion 16 Nov by Gershon Baskin — AHMED AL-JABARI — the strongman of Hamas, the head of its military wing, the man responsible for the abduction of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit — was assassinated on Wednesday by Israeli missiles. Why? Israel’s government has declared that the aim of the current strikes against Gaza is to rebuild deterrence so that no rockets will be fired on Israel. Israel’s targeted killings of Hamas leaders in the past sent the Hamas leadership underground and prevented rocket attacks on Israel temporarily. According to Israeli leaders, deterrence will be achieved once again by targeting and killing military and political leaders in Gaza and hitting hard at Hamas’s military infrastructure. But this policy has never been effective in the long term, even when the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was killed by Israel.

Finally, Gaza humbly fights back / Dr. Akram Habeeb
Pal. Tel. 16 Nov — For long time, the Israelis have been boasting the fact that their elitist army is invincible. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have been helpless in front of the most sophisticated weaponry; the Zionist army is equipped with. During the First Intifada in 1987, the Palestinians started their resistance by marches and demonstrations and stone throwing. They believed that Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Models would avail in a civilized world. That did not work because the Israelis have been sadistic all the times; they never felt any sympathy for the Palestinian losing their innocent and unarmed children, men and women, by the most sophisticated American weapons given for the Israelis for free. The Israelis planes, drones, and predators would easily prey on the unarmed Palestinians at any moment. To counteract this supreme power, the Palestinian resistance men have started to develop home made rockets. At the beginning, these rockets were very ineffective; however, the Palestinian resistance manufacturing skills have witnessed tremendous progress; they succeeded in producing short, medium, and long range rockets. These have changed the formula on the ground.

Gaza lives on — a film by Ashraf Mashharawi
47:43 Al Jazeera World 16 Nov — “The more Israel thinks about wiping out our people and taking our land, the more we are determined to survive. Thank God we are still living. Some people ask how we can survive under this siege. Thank God, here we are.” — Abu Anwar, corn seller

West Bank

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08-13 Nov. 2012
PCHR 14 Nov — … IOF launched a series of aerial and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip A number of civilian facilities were destroyed and a number of houses were damaged.
The IOF used force to disperse peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. 6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, and an Italian human rights defender were wounded.
The IOF conducted 42 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited ones into the Gaza Strip.  The IOF arrested 16 Palestinians, including two children and two women, [the report continues with details of all violations]

Occupation re-arrest liberated captive Thaer Halahleh
Al-Khalil (PIC) 17 Nov — Sources close to the family of liberated captive Thaer Halahleh said that IOF soldiers raided at dawn Friday the house of Halahleh and arrested him. The soldiers ransacked the house and assaulted Thaer’s brother before arresting Thaer and taking him to an unknown destination. Halahleh was one of the first captives to go on hunger strike which lasted 78 days and he was released after spending nine years in occupation jails.

IOF soldiers arrest Hamas leader and his son
SALFIT (PIC) 17 Nov — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested Hamas leader Husam Harb and his eldest son Hassan after storming their home in Eskaka village in Salfit province. Family members told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers and undercover agents savagely broke into their home without prior notice before dawn Friday … Harb is a notable figure in Salfit and had served more than eight years in Israeli jails most of them in administrative detention, without charge. His sons were repeatedly detained by the PA security apparatuses.

Clashes in Jerusalem after arrest of three brothers
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 17 Nov — Inhabitants in the Old City of Jerusalem clashed with Israeli occupation forces after they arrested three brothers in Bab Hitta suburb on Friday evening. Local sources told the PIC reporter that eight citizens were injured with rubber-coated bullets while many others were treated for gas suffocation in similar clashes in Issawiye village. Other clashes were reported in Ras Al-Amud suburb to the north of Jerusalem as some were hit with rubber bullets. Dozens were treated for breathing difficulty in three suburbs in Silwan town in similar clashes.

5 people from Jerusalem, including two children, have had their arrests extended…
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — The Israeli Magistrates Court has extended the arrest of five people from Jerusalem. The Information Center of Wadi Hilwe can identify these people as: Muhammad Sultan al Abassi (12) and Ayman al Abassi (13), both these boys’ arrests were extended until Wednesday so that charges can be pressed against them for throwing stones and wielding molotov cocktails … The court released a young girl from Silwan under conditions of the house arrest, after a 1000 NIS bail was paid. The minor is only allowed out of the house to attend school. She was arrested after being held for investigation at Al Maskubiye Police Station on Sunday.

Other news

A final visit: the Kanafani house in Haifa
Al Akhbar 16 Nov by Mona al-Omari — With a balcony overlooking the sea, the vacant Kanafani home in Haifa was the source of daydreams and reverie for passersby. Then the construction crews arrived; the home was to become an office. A writer documents the home’s last days — Haifa – I often stop by the old Kanafani house on Bourj Street in Haifa. It belongs to the family of Abdul-Latif Kanafani, a cousin of the celebrated Palestinian author and activist Ghassan Kanafani who was murdered by Israeli operatives in Beirut in 1972. The street became a front line during the 1948 war, and the family fled to nearby Akka before being displaced a second time and becoming refugees in Lebanon. (listserv) (archive)

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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6 Responses

  1. Les
    November 17, 2012, 10:37 am

    The downfall of the King would be a most fitting step in the Arab Spring.

  2. Hostage
    November 18, 2012, 8:05 am

    It would be nice to have a regime in Jordan that is prepared to use its legal standing as a member state to refer the situation in Palestine to the ICC Prosecutor. There’s no chance the current regime will take on Israel and the United States.

    • Antidote
      November 18, 2012, 9:10 pm

      Unlike you, the ‘regime’ in Jordan appears to be in touch with reality. Wow, one conviction at the ICC in The Hague the last 10 years, and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s a guy from the Congo who has recruited child soldiers.

      I suggest the Netherlanders chop his hands off for this. Because that’s what the former Netherlanders (Belgians) used to do to the Congolese, including their children. How fitting that they now parade a descendant of their former victims as the only war criminal worth convicting in the first decade of the 21st century.

      The entire war criminal trial saga of the past and present century is nothing but a charade of projections and hypocrisy

  3. Hostage
    November 19, 2012, 10:16 am

    Unlike you, the ‘regime’ in Jordan appears to be in touch with reality. Wow, one conviction at the ICC in The Hague the last 10 years, and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s a guy from the Congo who has recruited child soldiers.

    The ICC doesn’t enjoy universal jurisdiction. It was originally envisioned as a Court of last resort. It didn’t even have a declaration from Palestine until 2009. There are many more earlier cases being investigated or prosecuted than the one you’ve mentioned. In fact, the African state parties have complained that there are too many cases involving members from their region, despite the fact that half of them were originally self-referrals.

    The Palestinian Solidarity movement can’t have it both ways. It expends a tremendous amount of time bemoaning Israel’s international law violations, but does practically nothing to bring political pressure to bear on the parties involved to bring criminal cases before the only criminal court in existence that was specifically established specifically for the purpose of ending impunity.

    There have been procedures put in place to streamline the processes used in the early days of the Court’s operation. I’m probably much more familiar with the realities that the new Court faced than you might suspect. Many of the early years were spent simply establishing the Court itself, getting it up and running, and establishing it’s treaty relationship with the United Nations and other international organizations. The fact that 60 states ratified the Rome Statute did not mean that they had agreed upon all the rules of procedure that would be employed, that each state had harmonized its municipal statutes to bring them into line with the treaty on matters like complimentary jurisdiction, offenses, arrests, surrender of suspects, & etc. It certainly didn’t mean that the Court could take on any case it desired or that it had the 100 million dollar-per-year operating budget and staff that the 121 member states provide for its use today.

    The Court obviously can’t try cases without the cooperation of either the UN Security Council or the state parties that exercise territorial and personal jurisdiction. In its written statement to the ICJ in 2004, the Kingdom of Jordan accused Israel of violating the Geneva Conventions and noted that Jordan was the state exercising territorial jurisdiction when the occupation began in 1967. The ICJ also noted that the undertakings of Israel and Jordan in the 1949 Armistice agreement and 1994 Peace treaty remain valid (paragraph 129). The agreement on borders between the two states was without prejudice to the status of the territory occupied by Israel since 1967. The Geneva Conventions provide that the parties to the conflict will remain bound by its terms in their mutual and other relations and may not renounce any of the protections under the conventions. So Jordan does appear to have the necessary legal standing to refer the situation in Palestine for investigation and prosecution of those individuals responsible.

    FYI, the first US Supreme Court case was settled out of court before arguments were ever heard. The second dealt with procedural filing requirements contained in a statute, the third was a lawsuit against the State of Georgia and the Court’s decision was almost immediately overturned by the 11th Amendment. Like the ICC, it’s first 7 years were devoted to four cases of little or no importance.

    • Antidote
      November 19, 2012, 4:38 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. I’m waiting for the “self-referrals” from the “regimes” that contribute most to the million-dollar budgets of the UN and ICC

  4. Hostage
    November 20, 2012, 10:03 am

    Thanks for the clarification. I’m waiting for the “self-referrals” from the “regimes” that contribute most to the million-dollar budgets of the UN and ICC

    FYI, the state parties to the Rome Statute have already granted the Court jurisdiction to prosecute cases involving crimes committed by their citizens or on their territory – without the need for any referrals. You may recall that the Prosecutor threatened to bring charges against an IDF member from South Africa for his role in Operation Cast Lead.

    The UK’s Chilcot Inquiry is allowing individuals named in its findings of fact a chance to respond to the committee of Privy Counsellor’s conclusions. If it appears that the UK is “either unwilling or unable” to prosecute possible violations of the law falling within the scope of the Rome Statute, that actually triggers the Court’s jurisdiction. You can rest assured the Prosecutor will receive hundreds of communications to that effect. Those communications are addressed formally in the regular situation updates to the United Nations under the terms of a treaty between the two organizations.

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