100 Christian community leaders back UN bid
Ma‘an 14 Nov — …We believe the PLO’s initiative to enhance Palestine’s status in the United Nations to an observer state is a positive, collective, and moral step that will get us closer to freedom. This is a step in the right direction for the cause of a just peace in the region. We fully endorse this bid, just as we supported Palestine’s application for full membership of the United Nations a year ago. Signatories: 1) Patriarch Emeritus Michael Sabbah – occupied Jerusalem 2) Archbishop Atallah Hanna – Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, occupied Jerusalem 3) Monsignor Rafik Khoury – Latin Patriarchate Seminary 4) Dr. Zoughbi Zoughbi – Director of Wi’am Center, Bethlehem 5) Vera Baboun – Mayor of Bethlehem….
Israel ministry paper proposes ‘toppling’ Abbas over UN bid
BBC News 14 Nov — A position paper by Israel’s foreign ministry proposes “toppling” President Mahmoud Abbas if Palestine’s bid for UN non-member state status is approved. The internal document says it is “the only option” if deterrence efforts do not succeed, despite the consequences. It also suggests that the Palestinians should be offered immediate recognition of statehood within provisional borders as an incentive to drop their UN bid.
Photos: Palestinians protest occupation, block roads throughout West Bank
Activestills 14 Nov — Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists blocked roads throughout the West Bank on Wednesday in a coordinated direct action to protest the occupation. The specific focus of the demonstration varied from location to location, with some activists citing support for the Palestinian bid to upgrade its status at the UN later this month, tomorrow’s anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death, and Palestinian National Youth Week.
PNN report: Palestinians organize a protest to confirm Palestinian sovereignty over the land, support PA bid
On Wednesday 14th November, Palestinians and international activists organized a protest to assure that Palestinians has sovereignty over the land and that they support the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the PA’s bid to the UN. Strong confrontations launched between Israeli forces and the protesters who tried to control the main streets in all the governorates in the Palestinian territories and close them in front of settlers. Israeli soldiers started to suppress the protesters in a very brutal means, as they attacked protesters and severely beat some of them using wooden sticks and guns to separate the participants … Clashes also launched in Sanjel and Tarmsa’ya villages and other areas in the northern governorates of the West Bank … In Bethlehem Governorate, Protesters also controlled al-Anfaq Street near Beit Jala, a street leads to Jerusalem; they headed to the checkpoint, sat on the street and raised banners which read, “The Israeli occupation must end” and “Settlers must be expelled.”
Palestinians block roads used by settlers
RAMALLAH 14 Nov (WAFA) – Thousands of Palestinians Wednesday rallied across the West Bank and blocked roads used by Jewish settlers as part of an activity marking the National Youth Week, which coincides with the declaration of independence. Israeli forces deployed throughout the West Bank fired tear gas at the protesters, according to witnesses, causing many cases of suffocation … In the Ramallah area, forces attacked a rally near Atara as protesters were trying to cross the Israeli checkpoint to reach the Ramallah-Nablus road, which is also used by settlers. Several people were hurt, including Ramallah governor, Laila Ghannam, and the chairman of the Supreme Court for Sharia Law, Sheikh Yousef Idais. Settlers attempted to run over some protesters who gathered near the settlement of Benyamin between Ramallah and Nablus, said witnesses.
Israeli assaults on Gaza
War officially started: ‘Eight Palestinians killed in Gaza Wednesday, 60 injured’
IMEMC 15 Nov – Israel continues its military offensive against the Gaza Strip, killing on Wednesday evening alone, eight Palestinians, and injuring more than 60, some seriously. Children and infants are among the casualties. The army carried out at least 50 attacks in different parts of the Gaza Strip leading to the death of eight Palestinians, while at least 60 were injured, some seriously. Medical sources in Gaza reported that besides Al-Ja’bary and al-Hamss, Israeli shells also killed Mohammad Hani Kaseeh, 18; Isam Mahmoud Abu al-Ma’za, 19; Hiba Adel al-Mash-Harawi, 19; Ranaan Yousef Arafat, 3; Omar Jihad al-Mash-Harawi, 11 months; and Mahmoud Abu Sawaween, 65. Palestinian Minister of Health in Gaza, Mofeed al-Mkhallalaty, stated that what is happening in Gaza is “a comprehensive war launched by Israel against the civilian population in Gaza killing elderly, children and infants.”
Photos: With Gaza under attack, children pay the price
972mag 14 Nov by Anne Paq — … In Al Shifa Hospital, there was total chaos, with so many injured people constantly coming in. When I reached the section where they treated burn injuries, some women collapsed in grief. They had just found out that one-year-old Omar Jihad Masharawi had just died of his wounds. One of the women was his mother. I had arrived with other photographers. I cannot describe in words what I saw, nor can I post the grim pictures of a burned baby. It is just too horrific.Later, the father carried Omar to the morgue, sobbing. I went home. I feel nervous, with news coming in about more attacks, more injured. There is nowhere to escape in Gaza. Israel is attacking a civilian population that has committed no crimes other than being Palestinian. Don’t talk to me about rockets. Palestinians have been dispossessed of most of their lands since 1948. The occupation started in 1967. The rockets started in 2001.
After Israeli operation, Gazans brace for the worst / Amira Hass
Haaretz 15 Nov — Gaza residents stock up on gasoline and cooking gas; some say they believe the Israeli attack will be a unifying factor backing the Hamas government — Immediately after the identity of the dead man became known, about half an hour after the Israeli aircraft hit Ahmed Jabari, panic-stricken residents of the Gaza Strip starting preparing for the worst. They gathered at gas stations to get gasoline and cooking gas, and at bakeries to make sure they had enough bread for the days to come … The assassination came as residents were preparing for a long, quiet weekend. November 15 is a day off for two reasons: It marks the Palestinian independence day declared by Yasser Arafat in 1988, and the Muslim New Year falls this year on that date. Schools were to have been closed in any case
Gaza Health Ministry declares a state of emergency
GAZA (PIC) 14 Nov — Gaza Health Ministry announced a permanent state of emergency in the Gaza Strip following the fall of a number of martyrs and wounded due to the intensive airstrikes that targeted different parts of the Gaza Strip … The Ministry of Health has explained during the conference that it is witnessing a chronic crisis especially with the increasing injuries. The Gaza Health Ministry called on the Arab and Islamic world and international bodies to send emergency aid to the Gaza Strip and to provide urgent medical supplies and drugs to deal with the serious injuries and cases. [See description of horrific wounds in 'Linguists' article below]
Linguists including Noam Chomsky condemn reprehensible Gaza coverage
14 Nov — The Electronic Intifada received today the following statement from international academics who recently participated in a conference on linguistics at the Islamic University of Gaza which decries major media outlets’ failure to report on recent killings of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in Gaza: … the chronology of events of the recent flare-up began on November 5, when an innocent, apparently mentally unfit, 20-year old man, Ahmad al-Nabaheen, was shot when he wandered close to the border. Medics had to wait for six hours to be permitted to pick him up and they suspect that he may have died because of that delay. Then, on November 8, a 13-year old boy playing football in front of his house was killed by fire from the IOF that had moved into Gazan territory with tanks as well as helicopters. The wounding of four Israeli soldiers at the border on November 10 was therefore already part of a chain of events where Gazan civilians had been killed, and not the triggering event. We, the signatories, have recently returned from a visit to the Gaza Strip. Some among us are now connected to Palestinians living in Gaza through social media. For two nights in a row Palestinians in Gaza were prevented from sleeping through continued engagement of drones, F16s, and indiscriminate bombings of various targets inside the densely populated Gaza strip. The intent of this is clearly to terrorise the population, successfully so, as we can ascertain from our friends’ reports. If it was not for Facebook postings, we would not be aware of the degree of terror felt by ordinary Palestinian civilians in Gaza. This stands in stark contrast to the world’s awareness of terrorised and shock-treated Israeli citizens.
An extract of a report sent by a Canadian medic who happened to be in Gaza and helped out in Shifa hospital ER over the weekend says: “the wounded were all civilians with multiple puncture wounds from shrapnel: brain injuries, neck injuries, hemo-pneumo thorax, pericardial tamponade, splenic rupture, intestinal perforations, slatted limbs, traumatic amputations. All of this with no monitors, few stethoscopes, one ultrasound machine. …. Many people with serious but non life threatening injuries were sent home to be re-assessed in the morning due to the sheer volume of casualties. The penetrating shrapnel injuries were spooky. Tiny wounds with massive internal injuries. … There was very little morphine for analgesia.” Apparently such scenes are not newsworthy for the New York Times, the CBC, or the BBC.
Amid calls for more war crimes, Israel minister hopes attacks will ‘reformat’ Gaza
Elect. Intifada 14 Nov by Ali Abunimah — Israeli attacks today killed at least seven people including two young girls in Gaza. Aside from the fact that it almost always violates truces and ceasefires, seeking escalation where instead there could be calm, what motives might Israel have? Israel’s “Minister of Home Front Defense” [Avi Dichter] says Gaza must be “reformatted” as if it were a computer hard drive, just like Israel did in the West Bank in 2002 during a series of massacres it called “Operation Defensive Shield.” Dichter is a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet assassination organization, which claimed responsibility for killing of al-Jabari. Israel’s Ynet reported in Hebrew that Dichter ‘said in a closed meeting, in the course of his visit in the south under the escalation, that “there is no other choice, Israel must carry out a formatting action in Gaza, actually format the system and clean it out, the way we did in Judea & Samaria during Operation Defensive Shield.” Dichter added that it is only in this way that the military deterrence will return.’ Israel credits these attacks with turning the Palestinian Authority (PA) into an even more obedient partner of the Israeli army in suppressing Palestinian resistance.
Israeli army: 100 sites targeted overnight
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — The Israeli military targeted 100 “rocket launch and infrastructure sites” across the Gaza Strip overnight, an army statement said early Thursday. “This has significantly damaged the rocket launch capabilities and munitions warehouses operated by Hamas and other terror organizations,” the statement said.
2 hurt as Israel bombs sites in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israeli forces attacked the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, in the second day of an intensive campaign of airstrikes and shelling after the assassination of a top Hamas security commander. Palestinian medics said a young man and woman were injured in airstrikes targeting agricultural areas in the north. They were taken to the Kamal Odwan hospital. Attacks were recorded in agricultural areas in Beit Lahiya and eastern Jabaliya as well as the Assaliya area. An area behind an UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp suffered damage but no injuries were reported.
Israeli attack kills security officer, 2 Hamas militants in south Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israel killed a senior police official in the Gaza Strip government and two members of Hamas’ military wing in early morning attacks, medics said Thursday. Security commander Habes Masmah, 30, was targeted while riding a motorcycle east of Khan Younis, medics said. His body was taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. Two members of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades were also killed in the attack. They were identified as Wael Haidar al-Ghalban and Hisham Muhammad al-Ghalban.
Israel says footage shows targeting Fajr missiles
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — The Israeli military released footage Thursday showing what it said was its air force targeting Hamas Fajr missile infrastructure in the Gaza Strip in an airstrike. A day earlier Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters that most of Hamas’ Fajr missiles were destroyed in the first hour of the Israeli army’s brutal assault on the Gaza Strip.
Israel army drops leaflets over Gaza Strip
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — The Israeli army said Thursday it dispersed leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip warning residents to stay away from Hamas and other armed groups … The text of the leaflets say: “For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety. “Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed….
Israel okays mobilizing reserve troops for Gaza if needed
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 14 Nov — The Israeli cabinet gave preliminary authorization on Wednesday for the mobilization of military reserves if required to press an air assault against the Gaza Strip.
Dozens of Qassem rockets launched in response of the Israeli crimes
GAZA (PIC) 14 Nov — The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, declared on Wednesday evening its responsibility for the bombing of Israeli sites and targets in the city of Be’er Sheva in southern Palestine, by dozens of rockets. The brigades said in a brief military statement about the bombing, published on its website after the assassination that “the occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself.” The Hebrew radio announced that a rocket hit the trade center and reported that the resistance has fired missiles at other places in the western Negev.
Media: Gaza rocket kills three in southern Israel
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 15 Nov — A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Thursday struck an apartment building in southern Israel, killing three people, Israeli media said. It was the first report of Israeli fatalities since Israel launched an air assault on the Gaza Strip a day earlier.
Amnesty: Assassination places civilians at risk
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Amnesty International warned Wednesday that Israel’s assassination of the head of Hamas’ military wing placed civilians in Gaza as well as Israel at grave risk. “All sides have to step back from the brink in order to protect civilian lives,” said Ann Harrison, deputy director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program. “The Israeli military must not carry out further indiscriminate attacks, or attacks in densely-populated residential areas that will inevitably harm civilians,” said Harrison. “Palestinian armed groups in Gaza meanwhile must not fire indiscriminate rockets into Israel,” she added.
Israel ‘above the law’ Diana Buttu, a Ramallah-based analyst and former adviser to Palestinian negotiators, said the bombing campaign, in particular the assassination, “highlights once again that Israel views itself as above the law. This is precisely why the international community, and in particular the United States, must hold Israel accountable for its provocative and illegal actions, in order to stop another bloodbath in Gaza before it happens…”
Israel blocks journalists from entering Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israeli authorities are preventing foreign journalists from entering the Gaza Strip despite promises the Erez crossing would be open Thursday.
Palestinians march in Ramallah to protest attacks
Al Ahram 15 Nov — Palestinian flags filled the streets of Ramallah on Wednesday as hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the West Bank to voice their anger over the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza strip. Protesters chanted for retribution for the slain, urging the Palestinian resistance forces to fire back at the Israeli army … According to some Palestinian activists on twitter, Palestinian Authority forces stopped protesters from marching to Beit Eli, an Israeli settlement. Abir Kopty, one of the protesters, stated via twitter that Palestinian police has arrested three of the participants. A number of protests are scheduled to take place in various cities in Palestine on Thursday, including Haifa and Jerusalem. Meanwhile in Cairo, hundreds marched to the ministry of foreign affairs to demand the closure of the Israeli embassy. Another major protest in solidarity with Gaza has reportedly taken place in Istanbul, Turkey.
[US] State Department sides with Israel in new Hamas war
Foreign Policy – The Cable 14 Nov by Josh Rogin — The State Department on Wednesday condemned Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and said the U.S. government supports Israel’s right to retaliate, as Israel did today by killing Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari. “We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. ”There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.” … The war has spilled over into Twitter, where @IDFspokesperson and @alqassambrigade, the Twitter feeds for the IDF and the Hamas militants, respectively, have been trading accusations and threats.
Obituary: Ahmad al-Jaabari (1960-2012)
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — An Israeli airstrike killed Ahmad Said Khalil al-Jaabari, Hamas’ most senior military commander, in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Al-Jaabari was born in 1960 in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City, where he obtained a bachelors degree in history from the Islamic University. The military leader survived several Israeli targeted assassination attempts and was lightly injured in one of the attempts in 2004. His eldest son Muhammad was killed in that attack, along with his brother and three other relatives when Israeli helicopters targeted al-Jaabari’s home in Shujaiyya. Al-Jaabari gained particular prominence for his role in capturing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was seized in a cross-border operation by three Palestinian factions in 2006.He was known as commander in chief of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, although he was technically second-in-command. The brigades’ commander has not been seen since the early 1990s… [BBC obituary here]
Video: Interview with Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan
14 Nov — Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan speaks to Al Jazeera about the latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, following the killing of Hamas’s Ahmad Jabari. “Now they have started not only an attack, but it’s a long operation against Gaza. They are working to target the local leaders and also some political leaders; because of that we are expecting some days of violence,” he said. [interesting and thoughtful]
UN Security Council meets, takes no action on Israel strikes
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) 15 Nov — The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday night to discuss Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip but took no action, as Israel threatened a wider offensive. Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, president of the 15-nation Security Council this month, told reporters after the 90-minute closed-door meeting that council members had only agreed to issue a communique stating that an emergency meeting took place and other procedural details.
Haneyya calls for convening an Arab summit to confront the Israeli aggression
GAZA (PIC) 14 Nov — Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier in Gaza, has called for the convening of an emergency Arab summit to confront the savage aggression on Gaza. Haneyya, in a terse statement on Wednesday evening, said that there is no fear for the Palestinian people or their resistance as a result of this “ferocious offensive”.
Palestinian leader Abbas calls urgent Arab meeting
CAIRO (Reuters) 14 Nov — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Wednesday for an urgent Arab League meeting on Israel’s strikes on Gaza, Egypt’s news agency MENA said, quoting a Palestinian official in Egypt.
Egypt recalls ambassador from Israel over Gaza attacks
CAIRO (Reuters) 14 Nov — Egypt recalled its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday after Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed Hamas’s top military commander and at least five other Palestinians, presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said … Earlier Wednesday, Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh called on Egypt and the Arab world to stop Israel’s operation on the Gaza Strip.
Al-Azhar Grand Imam slams Israel attacks on Gaza
JPost 14 Nov — The Grand Imam of Egypt’s powerful al-Azhar Mosque denounced Israel’s strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, calling them the “Zionist army’s bombing of innocent civilians”, Egyptian and Saudi news sources reported.
FJP: Egypt will not allow continuing aggression on Gaza
CAIRO (PIC) 14 Nov — The Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), condemned the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, top commander of Hamas’s armed wing Al-Qassam brigades, by the Israeli occupation forces. “This crime needs an Arab and international move, to stop these massacres against the Palestinian people besieged in the Gaza Strip, who are being used by the Israeli government as leverage in the ongoing political struggle within the Israeli entity,” the statement said.
Worldwide protests against Israeli aggression in Gaza
Mondoweiss 14 Nov — Here is a list of Emergency Global Actions for Gaza being planned around the world. Please tweet @southsouth or @riverdryfilm or email [email protected] to add events to the list
Two new resources: Timeline of Israeli escalation in Gaza and Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires
Mondoweiss 14 Nov by Adam Horowitz — The Institute for Middle East Understanding has released two useful resources on the current Israeli attack on Gaza. The first presents a timeline of events and the second outlines Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires.
Is Hamas winning the Twitter war?
WaPo 14 Nov — Today, Israel launched a military strike on Hamas in the Gaza Strip — and a complimentary social media campaign, which has chronicled much of the ‘Pillar of Defense’ operation with polished video and photos. But despite the Israeli Defense Force’s calculated deployment on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr (plus a blog and game platform that awards points for ‘spread[ing] IDF content’), Israel might not actually be winning the Twitter war. By one metric, it’s losing 150 to one. As the terms ‘Gaza’ and ‘Hamas’ trended globally, Twitter users staked out hashtags for their respective causes. On the Israeli side: #PillarofDefense, the name of the latest military operation, which appears to have been started by the IDF account. For the Palestinians, if not necessarily for Hamas: #GazaUnderAttack, #Gazzeateşaltında (Turkish for the same) and several other foreign-language derivatives. As of 5 p.m., the IDF’s tag had received 808 mentions, while the #GazaUnderAttack derivations had around 120,000. Given the scale of Israel’s social media operation, that’s an awfully small piece of the audience.
The first Conference of Arab Pharmacists kicks off in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 14 Nov — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh participated in the Conference of Arab Pharmacists held in Gaza, with the participation of large number of Arab pharmacists. He delivered a speech at the conference in which he welcomed all the delegations that arrived in Gaza, and expressed his appreciation for the efforts they made to organize this conference which is the first of its kind. Haniyeh noted that this conference has kicked off while confrontations are taking place between the occupation and Gaza, and that it demonstrates that Palestine is strongly present in the hearts of the nation and that Gaza is not standing alone facing the occupation aggression.
Analysis / Opinion on Gaza attacks
Gaza operation will be declared a success, until the next war / Haggai Matar
972mag 14 Nov — No. Not again. This can’t be happening again. But there it is. Once again, just like it was four years ago, it is winter … And nobody ever really remembers the numbers, or the exact route that brought us to this point. Way back in 2008, everybody was saying how Israel had ‘patiently’ been suffering rocket fire for eight years without a proper response. Nobody remembered the countless military operations that preceded Cast Lead, nor the 3,004 Palestinians (635 of them children) killed in Gaza by Israeli attacks between 2001 and 2008, a period during which 16 Israelis (including four children) were killed in Israel by Palestinian fire from the Gaza Strip. And now, nobody in mainstream media will remind us of the 271 Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli forces since Cast Lead, a period during which three Israelis were killed from Palestinian fire (all figures from B’Tselem). Not to mention the siege. Nobody remembers the siege. And no, negotiations, peace talks, or any kind of long-term cease fire are not even being considered.
The lesson Israel refuses to learn on Gaza / Larry Derfner
972mag 13 Nov – There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier (‘the wall’) in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their own accord, except for a few crazies whom no one will care about); accept the 2002 Arab peace initiative and enter negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to end the conflict; release thousands of Palestinian prisoners with the promise to free them all upon the signing of a peace treaty; and finally, after doing all that, make it clear publicly and privately that any acts of violence against Israelis will be met with harsh reprisals but will not reverse Israel’s course.
Israel killed its subcontractor in Gaza / Aluf Benn
Haaretz 14 Nov — Ahmed Jabari was a subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel’s security in Gaza. This title will no doubt sound absurd to anyone who in the past several hours has heard Jabari described as “an arch-terrorist,” “the terror chief of staff” or “our Bin Laden.” But that was the reality for the past five and a half years. Israel demanded of Hamas that it observe the truce in the south and enforce it on the multiplicity of armed organizations in the Gaza Strip. The man responsible for carrying out this policy was Ahmed Jabari. In return for enforcing the quiet, which was never perfect, Israel funded the Hamas regime through the flow of shekels in armored trucks to banks in Gaza, and continued to supply infrastructure and medical services to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. Jabari was also Israel’s partner in the negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit; it was he who ensured the captive soldier’s welfare and safety, and it was he saw to Shalit’s return home last fall … The assassination of Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election. This is what researcher Prof. Yagil Levy has called “fanning the conflict as an intra-state control strategy:” The external conflict helps a government strengthen its standing domestically because the public unites behind the army, and social and economic problems are edged off the national agenda.
The correct name for this war is ‘Operation Short Memory’ / Uri Avnery
Gush Shalom Prime Minister Netanyahu is counting on the public’s short memory. Netanyahu counts upon people forgetting that dozens and even hundreds of “liquidations” had been carried out and they did not solve any problem – always there was somebody replacing those who were killed, and more than once the new one was more capable and more radical. Netanyahu counts on people not remembering that four years ago Israel went to war in Gaza, killing 1300 civilians in three weeks – which otherwise did not make any significant change in the situation. Netanyahu counts on people failing to remember that just yesterday morning the media reported on people in the communities of the South heaving a sigh of relief at the complete cessation of missiles from Gaza. Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have taken the decision – for the second time in a row the State of Israel will conduct general elections under the shadow of war in the Gaza Strip … At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim had been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank:
Illegal arrests / Clashes
Clashes and arrests in different parts of Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL(PIC)14 Nov — Clashes erupted on Wednesday morning in different parts of the occupied city of al-Khalil between dozens of Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers …
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Wednesday three citizens from the city of al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank. According to local sources, the Israeli soldiers raided several neighborhoods in the city of al-Khalil, including the Ein Sara Street, Jawhara Mount, and Salam street, before they arrested two young men Ammar al-Ghaith and Montassir Rgyby …
Furthermore, Israeli forces arrested a coordinator of “Youth Against Settlement” assembly in the occupied city of al-Khalil on charges of incitement against occupation …
Israeli forces also raided several towns in al-Khalil, including Tarqumiya, Seir and Halhoul, north and west of the city, and has stepped up its presence in the outskirts of the city.
Four Palestinians arrested during confrontations with settlers at Joseph tomb
PNN — On Wednesday 14th November, Israeli occupation forces stormed Balata refugee camp east of Nablus, and secured the area to provide protection to hundreds of settlers who would be coming to perform their religious rituals in Joseph Tomb, and arrested four Palestinians. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians after confrontations launched between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers and dozens of Palestinians were suffocated due to poison gas inhalation.
Prisoners / Court actions
Occupied Lives: I have not seen my son for more than five years
IMEMC 14 Nov — On Monday 12th November 2012 Israeli authorities prevented Palestinian families from Gaza from visiting their family members who are being held in prisons in Israel and West Bank. It is worth noting that families from Gaza were not allowed prison visits by Israeli authorities from 2007 to July 2012. Abdel Karim Mohammad Ibrahim Abu-Habel (22), has been behind bars since he was 14 years old, after being arrested in April 2004. His father, Mohammad Ibrahim Abu-Habel, says that: “Since Karim was arrested by Israel ’s forces in 2004, we have only seen him 6 times.” Mohammad continues: “I have already lost one son, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2006, and having to live without seeing another son for such a long time is nothing but painful.”
Health condition of prisoner Abdul-Jabbar Jarrar deteriorates
JENIN (PIC) 14 Nov — The health of the captive Abdul-Jabbar Mohammed Jarrar, 46 a Hamas leader, has deteriorated as he suffers from heart valve stenosis. The leader Jarrar’s family told PIC’s reporter that Sheikh Abdul-Jabbar had been transferred to Ramle prison hospital, where the doctor examined him and decided to transfer him to Soroka hospital, in the Negev in the south of the occupied territories, to undergo a catheterization surgery, without setting a date for it … The leader Jarrar, held in Shatta prison, was arrested from his home on the 24th of November 2011. He has been transferred by the occupation authorities to the administrative detention with no charge, since the date of his arrest.
Israel sentences Gaza man to 23 years
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to 23 years, Israeli media reported. Jihad Abu Thaher, from Gaza, was convicted of involvement a series of attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets, the settler news site Arutz Sheva reported.
Ofer court sentences Batran to 10 months
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 14 Nov — The Israeli Ofer court has sentenced detainee Asma Al-Batran to ten months in prison along with a 500 dollars fine. The Palestinian prisoner’s society said in a statement on Tuesday that Batran, 24, was arrested from her home in Al-Khalil on 27/8/2012.
PA security forces assault women protesting outside jail
Al-KHALIL (PIC) 14 Nov — Palestinian authority security elements wearing civilian clothes physically assaulted the family of political detainee Ra’ed Sharbati and human rights activist Lama Khater as they were taking part in a sit-in outside the jail of the preventive security agency in Al-Khalil city. The wife of prisoner Sharbati said policewomen attacked mothers and their children very violently … The family of Sharbati decided to stage a sit-in outside the preventive security prison in Al-Khalil after PA officers backtracked on their pledge to release him.
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing
House demolitions systematically exploit the powerless in Area C
972mag 14 Nov by Rabbi Arik Ascherman — There is no possibility that Israel’s Civil Administration will fairly and properly plan for Palestinians in Area C if they are not at the table when their fate is decided …homes and structures were demolished over the past week in Al-Waya, A-Tur, Ein al Hilwe, Ibziq, Nabi Samuel, Hares and more … The midrash to the week’s Torah portion in the time of the demolitions teaches us of the toll that trauma takes. We are taught that Sarah dies of a heart attack after she finds out that Abraham almost sacrificed their son. Of all the terrible things I have seen in my 17 years with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), nothing quite matched the sight of a child coming home from school to discover that his/her home has been demolished. S/he had a home when s/he went off in the morning, and now there is rubble. I have seen all too many times how more than just the physical home is demolished. Families are demolished. I will never forget the fearful families literally sitting on suitcases, and looking out the window every morning. Maybe this is the day that their home will be surrounded by soldiers and the bulldozer is approaching. I will never forget the six-year-old child asking his parents, “If they come to demolish our home again, do you think we could save my bicycle?” To this day I have post traumatic flashbacks whenever I hear a pneumatic drill.
European Parliament member calls for protecting Bedouin in Naqab, West Bank
DUBLIN 14 Nov (WAFA) – Emer Costello, Labor Party Member of the European Parliament for Dublin, expressed, in a statement on Wednesday, her grave concerns about the relocation of Bedouin communities in the Naqab Desert and the situation of those living in the West Bank. Costello, who is Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, called for the protection of the Bedouin Arab communities in both areas, following a visit to the region by the European Parliament’s Middle East working group.
Sane warns of Negev intifada
NAZARETH (PIC) 14 Nov — Arab member of the Israeli Knesset Talab Al-Sane has warned of an intifada in the Negev against the Israeli authorities’ practices. Sane addressed a stern warning to the Israeli government from Bir Hadaj village on Tuesday that the Israeli practices against the Negev Arabs could trigger an intifada. He said that the Israeli storming of the village on Monday using tear gas and rubber bullets and breaking into schools to terrorize inhabitants and arresting students was crossing all red lines.
Top Israeli officials accused of deadly attack on Mavi Marmara tried in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 14 Nov — The Turkish relief foundation IHH held on Tuesday a mock trial against top Israeli officials charged with being responsible for the deadly attack on Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 … IHH director in Gaza Mohamed Kaya said this mock trial was intended to keep the Freedom Flotilla massacre alive in the world’s memory as long as possible.
Israel throttles Palestinian television / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank, Nov 14 2012 (IPS) – …Sahhar is director of media projects at Wattan TV, the only independent television station in the occupied Palestinian territories. Last February, over two dozen Israeli soldiers stormed Wattan TV’s Ramallah offices in the early morning hours. They confiscated the station’s transmitters, laptops, financial documents, invoices, contracts, archives, and other equipment. Human rights groups condemned the incident as a blatant violation of Palestinian media freedom. Wattan TV, which is owned by local Palestinian civil society groups and partly funded by international donors, estimated that the raid incurred a financial loss of 300,000 dollars. Before losing its equipment, the station broadcast a variety of political, cultural and social programmes to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Today, it no longer broadcasts in Gaza, can’t host live broadcasts from its studios, and airs only limited coverage in the West Bank … Now, the station is appealing to the Israeli Supreme Court to have its equipment, files and archives returned, and to get an explanation about why the raid took place.
Syrian rebels take villages near Israel-held area
JERUSALEM (AP) 14 Nov — Syrian rebels control almost all the villages near the frontier with the Israel-held Golan Heights, the Israeli defense minister said Wednesday, bringing the conflict dangerously close to the Jewish state and raising the possibility of an armed clash with the region’s strongest power. During a tour of the Golan Heights, Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave a scathing assessment of Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s forces and said Israel will remain “vigilant and alert.” “Almost all of the villages, from the foot of this ridge to the very top, are already in the hands of the Syrian rebels,” said Barak, who was accompanied by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The Syrian army is displaying ever-diminishing efficiency.”