Violence / Raids / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces kill Hebron teenager
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — An Israeli border guard officer on Wednesday shot dead a Palestinian teenager in Hebron’s Old City in the southern West Bank. Locals identified the victim as 16-year-old Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah. A local doctor, hearing shots fired, rushed to the Salaymah neighborhood, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, but was unable to revive the teenager. The doctor told Ma‘an that local women were arguing with Israeli forces who were preventing them from reaching Salaymah… Israeli police said the victim appeared to be carrying a fake pistol. The shooting led to angry confrontations between residents and Israeli soldiers, who deployed to the area in large numbers firing tear gas and stun grenades. Salaymah’s brother was detained and his father was hospitalized with moderate injuries, witnesses told Ma‘an. Two other Palestinians have been killed in Hebron in clashes with Israelis in the past month.
Israeli forces murder teenager on his birthday
ISM 12 Dec — Mohammed Ziad Salaymeh was murdered near the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil (Hebron) on his 17th birthday. The doctor on the scene said that local women were arguing with Israeli forces who were preventing them from reaching Salaymeh. “I followed the women and when I felt his pulse, I found that he was dead.” At this early stage there are varying reports of the shooting; some say the teenager was carrying a cake in a box which was believed to be a weapon others suggest he had a toy gun. Either way his life was stripped away from him at far too early an age.
Photo: Young man celebrates his birthday, is killed by the army the same day
Images from Palestine 12 Dec — Mohammed Al salayma, celebrate today his 17th Birthday in the school and just want to by his Birthday cacke to celebrate with his Family, but the IsraHelli soldier shoot him by 6 bullets and killed him
Photo: The Israeli soldier who is said to have killed him
We All With Palestine (^_^) West Bank Now || the picture of the Israeli terrorist who killed the boy in #Hebron. [Via An Israeli Facebook Page] Note that: כולנו בעד מוות למחבלים page is carrying all responsibilities on sharing this photo.
Video: Bullets litter the ground in Ni‘lin as soldiers granted more freedom to shoot
ISM 11 Dec — Overnight Israeli soldiers invaded the small village of Ni‘lin, population around 5,000 people. The soldiers were attempting to make arrests as part of a wave of arrests in the West Bank following protests around the recent bombing in Gaza. A local Ni‘lin resident said: “A very savage invasion to my village Ni‘lin today. Hard clashes started after the Israeli occupation army invaded it and try to arrest people. You can hear all the shooting in the village was mostly live bullets. More than 1000 bullet they shot direct at the people.’”According to the same source, one man was shot in the leg with a live bullet, and another in the neck with a rubber coated steal bullet. Many more women and children were exposed to large quantities of tear gas when Israeli soldiers shot at houses in the village. The invasion was caught on camera by Ni‘lin residents, and the following video captures the violence of the attack.
a massive shooting of live ammunition direct at people as Israeli army invaded Ni‘lin, three people severely injured
Nilin Village 12 Dec — At 2pm on Tuesday, a group of farmers were walking towards their fields next to the apartheid wall in Ni‘lin. They were spotted by two military jeeps that started hunting them as the soldiers considered the farmers to be in a ‘closed military area’, when really they were walking on their own land. As the farmers fled back to the village the Israeli army sent three military jeeps into the village in an attempt to surround and arrest the men. The farmers however evaded the soldiers who started chasing them through the village while shooting after them. Many young people gathered in the streets at this point and tried to prevent the jeeps from chasing after the farmers by barricading the roads with boulders. The Israeli soldiers responded by firing live ammunition towards the youths. This led to clashes lasting for four hours. More military jeeps charged into the village until there were 13 of them on Ni’lin land. Tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets were fired straight at homes leading to a large number of women, children and elderly people suffering from tear gas inhalation as even those staying indoors was effected. Most of the shooting taking place was however live ammunition fired straight towards the people of Ni’lin. The Red Crescent was also targeted with live bullets to prevent them from treating injured villagers during the clashes.
Watch: Palestinians, IDF forces clash in Naalin
Ynet 12 Dec — Tensions in the West Bank following the Palestinian Authority’s status upgrade at the UN and Operation Pillar of Defense are growing and so are the number of clashes between IDF soldiers and Palestinians. A video depicting such a clash surfaced on Wednesday. The incident took place in the West Bank village of Naalin, west of Bethlehem, and depicts Palestinians throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at the Israeli troops … As the clash escalates, the Palestinians are seen hurling two Molotov cocktails at a convoy of military jeeps. Both hit the lead vehicle but appear to cause it no harm.
Several hours prior to the filmed incident, right-wing activists set fire to a car in the nearby village of Shakba, saying it was a “price tag” act. The suspects said that they were “compelled” to do so because they felt that IDF forces failed to protect them.
Confrontations erupt near Hebron
HEBRON 12 Dec (WAFA) – Confrontations Wednesday erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians in an area in the town of Durra, southwest of Hebron, according to witnesses. They said forces raided residential areas in the town and fired acoustic and tear gas bombs toward the residents, provoking residents and leading to confrontations, causing several suffocation cases among the residents.
‘Price tag’ vandals target Jerusalem monastery again
[photos] Ynet 12 Dec – Two “price tag” acts were recorded in Jerusalem and near Ramallah overnight. Hebrew hate slogans, including “Jesus is a son of a b***h” were spray-painted on a monastery in the capital’s Valley of the Cross. The tires of three vehicles parked nearby were punctured and one car was found with a graffiti reading “Happy Hanukkah, triumph for the Maccabees.” Jerusalem police have launched an investigation … Wednesday’s event is the second “price tag” attack on the Jerusalem monastery. “It saddens me deeply,” said Father Claudio. “I believe in Jesus and some don’t, it’s their problem. We believe in peace and I forgive whoever did this the first time and this time. I want to wish everybody a Happy Hanukkah.”
PM: We will persecute [prosecute?] criminals behind ‘price tag’ acts
Ynet 12 Dec — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau said he was disgusted by “price tag” vandalism acts in a village north of Ramallah and a monastery in Jerusalem.Netanyahu said: “This type of behavior goes against the Jewish values that we instill in our children. Freedom of religion will be preserved in Israel and we will persecute the heinous criminals that committed these acts.”
Settlers attack families of Palestinian prisoners
MEMO 12 Dec — Israeli settlers have attacked a Red Cross bus carrying relatives of Palestinian prisoners from Bethlehem being held in Israel’s jails. The bus was attacked by the settlers in Beit Amer to the north of Hebron, the director of the Prisoners’ Association, Abdul-Fattah Khalil, said: “The settlers threw stones at the bus and damaged its windows and windscreen.” Despite the Red Cross logo being displayed prominently on the buses, Khalil said that Israeli settlers always attack them in any case. “A mother of a prisoner was hurt in a similar attack last month,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, a group of settlers attacked Palestinians in the village of Shaqbeh to the west of Ramallah; a Palestinian-owned car was set on fire. The owners said that they were helpless to prevent the attack by the settlers, who are always heavily-armed. The settlers also wrote racist slogans on the walls of the shops in the area, including the infamous “price tag”. They also wrote, “We are coming again”, in defiance of the Arab residents and authorities of the village. Witnesses said that an Israeli army unit went to the village on Wednesday morning and summonsed a number of villagers as part of their investigations.
Jewish settlers provoke Palestinians in southern Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 12 Dec — Jewish settlers stormed the site of evacuated settlement outpost Tersala, south of Jenin, afternoon Wednesday and insulted Arabs in the area, local sources said. They said that the settlers, protected by Israeli occupation forces, chanted Talmudic psalms and provoked passing Palestinian citizens. The settlers tried to attack Palestinian vehicles, which is a routine practice in each storming of the region with no action taken on the part of the IOF soldiers.
IDF: Palestinian offices raided had terror affiliation
Ynet 11 Dec — The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the three Palestinian NGOs [Agricultural Work Committees, human rights group al-Dameer, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees] that were raided in Ramallah overnight were associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) terror group.
Israeli soldiers kidnap four Palestinians in al-Khalil and Salfit
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 12 Dec — An Israeli force of troops and intelligence officers kidnapped four Palestinians at dawn Wednesday in areas near Al-Khalil and Salfit cities. Two Palestinian citizens were kidnapped in Beit Awwa near Al-Khalil city. The Israeli army claimed they were wanted because of their connection with the Palestinian resistance. The two others were two brothers working as policemen for the Palestinian authority and both of them were detained after a raid on their house in Kafr Addik near Salfit city.
IOF soldiers storm al-Khalil suburbs, arrest student
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 11 Dec — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a number of suburbs in Al-Khalil city on Monday night and arrested a university student. Human rights sources said that IOF soldiers manning the Container roadblock on the road between Al-Khalil and Bethlehem arrested the student Karam Al-Zaghir, who is studying accountancy at Al-Khalil Polytechnic university. They said that Zaghir, 23, is a liberated prisoner and had served one and a half years in Israeli occupation jails and could not complete his university studies due to repeated arrests on the part of the IOF.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
State issues tenders for construction of 100 settler homes
Ynet 11 Dec — The Civil Administration has issued two tenders for the construction of 100 new housing units beyond the Green Line, despite criticism voiced by the global community over settlement construction. Ninety-two of the units are to be built in Maale Adumim while the rest are to be constructed in the Efrat settlement.
Israel: Settlement expansion in West Bank’s Efrat reportedly approved
JERUSALEM (AP) 12 Dec — The mayor of a West Bank settlement south of Jerusalem says Israel’s Defense Ministry has approved 40 new houses at a site near his town. Mayor Oded Revivi said Monday the homes will create a permanent neighborhood northeast of the Efrat settlement, replacing settlers’ trailers currently on the site. He says final approval came last week. The Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hagit Ofran, who monitors settlements for the Peace Now organization, says the trailers were put up without authorization. She said their replacement by permanent homes amounts to retroactive approval of an illegal settlers’ outpost.
Israeli forces demolish part of house near Ramallah
RAMALLAH 12 Dec (WAFA) — Israeli forces Wednesday demolished part of a Palestinian house owned by Shareef al-Qadi, 33, in the village of Beit Nuba, west of Ramallah, according to the owner. He told WAFA that forces along with bulldozers entered the village at dawn and informed him that he needs to evacuate the house in order to demolish the 50-aquare-meter part of it, which he added on the original house, under the pretext that this part was built without permit. He said that demolishing of that part caused severe damage to the rest of the house, which became in need of urgent maintenance, stressing that he is worried about the safety of his [20-member] family. He said forces also destroyed the water network during the demolition, cutting off water supply to residents’ houses.
Polish foreign ministry slams West Bank waterhole demolition
JTA 12 Dec — Poland’s foreign ministry has condemned the “destruction of water supply equipment” by Israel in the West Bank but denied a report that Israel’s ambassador was snubbed because of it. “We wish to reiterate that Poland considers [this] unacceptable,” a spokesperson for the Polish foreign ministry told JTA in connection with reports that Israeli authorities demolished a water well that a Polish NGO, Polish Humanitarian Action, helped preserve near Hebron.
Israel green agency backs Battir farmers on West Bank wall
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 12 Dec — An Israeli government environmental agency challenged Israel’s Defense Ministry in court on Wednesday over a section of the illegal West Bank wall that threatens an ancient Palestinian farming community. A letter of support from the Nature and Parks Authority was part of a petition heard by the High Court to order the ministry to reroute the planned barrier away from Battir village, near Bethlehem … Battir, which abuts the boundary with Israel, is famed for its terraced agricultural fields, irrigated with methods dating back millennia. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization honored the village for its landscape last year. Authority director Shaul Goldstein described its involvement in the case as unprecedented. “It’s not every day that we come out against the Defense Ministry in court,” he told Reuters.
70 settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque under protection of soldiers
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Dec — Al-Aqsa Foundation for the Waqf and Heritage said that about 70 settlers, stormed on Wednesday morning the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, under the protection of the occupation forces. More than 25 Israeli soldiers, in their military uniforms, stormed yesterday Al-Aqsa Mosque, while an atmosphere of anger prevailed the Mosque to condemn these repeated attacks. Al-Aqsa Foundation said in a statement that a group of settlers have tried to perform some biblical and Talmudic rituals in al-Aqsa Mosque. However Muslim worshipers confronted them which led to clashes that ended up with expelling the settlers outside the mosque.
Jew denied access to Temple Mount wins damages
Ynet 12 Dec — Yitzhak Zweig, a known activist in various Jewish groups advocating free access to Temple Mount for Jews was awarded NIS 7,000 (roughly $1,800) Wednesday after the court ruled that he was unjustly denied access to the area for five months. The police decided to bar Zweig from the area over three incidents — taking place between 2006 and 2010 — in which he did not follow security forces’ directives … The police argued that he posed a danger to public order, given both his past behavior and the sensitive security situation in Temple Mount.
Medical official: Man dies from Gaza war injuries
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — A man from Khan Younis died on Wednesday from wounds sustained in Israel’s assault on Gaza in November, a medical official said. Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an that Abdullah Mahmoud Asqoul, 24, was seriously wounded in his head, stomach and chest during Israel’s bombardment of the coastal territory and was taken to Egypt for treatment. He died at his home in Gaza after returning several days ago. Several people have died from their injuries since a ceasefire agreement was signed on Nov. 21 to end violence in Gaza.
Israel violates Gaza ceasefire again, attacks unarmed farmers and solidarity activists
[with video] ISM 12 Dec — Gaza- Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at unarmed farmers and international solidarity activists working in Khuza‘a, a small village outside of Khan Younis located near the Israeli border … Residents from Khuza‘a said they have not planted in this area, declared a closed military zone by Israel, for the past thirteen years. Formerly an orchard, Israeli forces bulldozed the field multiple times during military incursions and regularly shoots at farmers who attempt to work there. Farmers were under the impression that this area was now accessible after the November 21st ceasefire’s stipulations that Israeli forces would “refrain from targeting residents in the border areas” and to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.”
Israeli military changes story about al-Dalou airstrike — for the fourth time / Alex Kane
Mondoweiss 12 Dec — It’s tough to keep up with the Israeli military’s spin. Israel is changing its story about the airstrike that killed 10 members of the al-Dalou family and two others–again. Israeli military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich told Ma’an News Sunday that she has not identified the target the Israeli air force was trying to strike, and refused to to say who the target was in an interview. This explanation goes back on what the same military spokeswoman told a different news agency
Gaza government to rebuild ministries, headquarters
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — The government in Gaza will start rebuilding ministries and headquarters destroyed in Israel’s 8-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip, the cabinet said Wednesday … Offices of ministries destroyed in the war have been moved to apartments and other buildings to continue providing services to citizens, Siyam said in a statement. Building material is expected to arrive in Gaza in the coming days, Siyam said, adding that Qatar-funded projects to reconstruct Gaza following Israel’s 2008 war would resume. Israel said it bombed over 1,500 sites in the tiny enclave in the 8-day war … The week-long bombardment severely damaged civilian and government infrastructure, including water facilities, police stations, a bank, an athletics club, a football stadium, mosques, health centers and educational institutions, as well as hundreds of homes. The civil affairs department of the Ministry of Interior was flattened by Israeli shelling, destroying 70 years of civil registry records.
Gaza’s smuggling tunnels rebound from Israeli offensive
[22 photos] RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) 12 Dec — Rafah’s biggest industry is back in business …The 12-kilometer (eight-mile) slice of land at the Gaza Strip’s southern tip is humming around the clock with workers carting in cement, bricks, gravel and scaffolding. The quick rebound has raised questions about how much damage Israel inflicted on the tunnels during last month’s eight-day air offensive … Anwar Abu Lebdeh and seven other workers were laying bricks on a recent day to rebuild the entrance to a 500-meter (550-yard) tunnel battered by an Israeli airstrike last month. Nearby, workers hauled cement sacks on their shoulders, and a bulldozer lifted gravel onto a nearby truck. After loading up at tunnel sites, trucks lumbered over to Hamas government points to pay taxes on their cargo. “It’s our source of life, this is the only job we could find. I have been working here for five years,” said Abu Lebdeh, 24, who had to slog through mud left by heavy rain to get the job done.
Egypt to allow Iranian aid convoy into Gaza
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — Egypt has approved the entry of an Iranian aid convoy into the Gaza Strip, a security official said Wednesday. The food and medical aid will enter Gaza in two weeks, he said.
Turkish solidarity delegation lands in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 12 Dec — A delegation of the Turkish solidarity association arrived in the Gaza Strip via Rafah border crossing on Tuesday carrying with it relief material mostly foodstuff. A source at the crossing told the PIC that a five-member delegation arrived in the company of two truckloads of food.
Britain announces new aid to Gaza
GENEVA 12 Dec (WAFA) – The United Kingdom International Development Minister Alan Duncan announced a £1.25 million of new support of UK medical aid and shelter for 85,000 Palestinians affected by Gaza conflict, Wednesday said a press release by the minister. The UK funding will provide medical aid, temporary shelter and help with rebuilding damaged homes for around 85,000 people affected by the recent violence in Gaza, said the release. It said that the UK aid, which will be channeled through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and among other vital activities, helps the ICRC to provide medical support to eight hospitals serving 1.6 million people, deliver eight trucks of medicines to treat 2,000 wounded and other emergency cases, provide shelter kits including blankets, tarpaulins and hygiene kits for up to 3,000 people and tents, jerry cans and cooking stoves for those made homeless.
Egyptian field hospital in Gaza within six months
GAZA (PIC) 11 Dec — An Egyptian field hospital is to be established in the Gaza Strip within the coming six months, the Egyptian health undersecretary Dr. Ahmed Siddik said. The Egyptian official, who is heading a delegation on a visit to Gaza Strip, was speaking during a meeting with the Palestinian Wafa charitable society on Tuesday.
Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike ‘until freedom or death’ / Nour Joudah
EI 11 Dec — For many Palestinians, the year 2012 will go down in history as the year in which the prisoners’ struggle returned to the center of the Palestinian cause. The wheels were set in motion with a mass hunger strike in Fall 2011 and the release of more than 1,000 prisoners as a result of the prisoner swap deal.
However, it was Khader Adnan’s inspiring and record-breaking hunger strike that breathed new life into a long-running campaign against Israel’s practice of administrative detention, the indefinite imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial. In Spring 2012, Palestinians witnessed a nearly month-long mass hunger strike undertaken by approximately 2,000 Palestinian prisoners demanding an improvement in detention conditions, access to education and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention.
Number of imprisoned journalists sets record
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Dec — Turkey, Iran and China lead the world in the number of imprisoned journalists within their borders, a new report said Tuesday. The report, compiled by the New York-based group Committee to Protect Journalists, said the number of journalists jailed reached a record of 232, among them at least three Palestinians. The Palestinian journalists in Israeli custody are Amer Abu Arafa of Shihab news agency, Sharif Alrjoub of Al-Aqsa Radio and Mohammed al-Tamimi of Tamimi Press Agency. Abu Arafa has been held in administrative detention since August 2011 and, according to his family, is accused of being a “security threat,” although no formal charges have been filed. He had been detained in 2010 by Palestinian intelligence agents and sentenced to three months….
IOA extends detention of 61-year-old lecturer
NABLUS (PIC) 12 Dec — The Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights has lashed out at the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) for extending the administrative detention of 61-year-old lecturer Dr. Mohammed Salibi. Fuad Al-Khafsh, the center’s director, said in a statement on Wednesday that the IOA extended for four months the administrative custody, without trial or charge, of Dr. Salibi. He said that the IOA had previously extended Dr. Salibi’s detention twice for six months each time
IOA sentences MP Qaraawi to administrative detention
RAMALLAH (PIC) 12 Dec — The Israeli occupation military court at Ofer endorsed an administrative detention sentence against MP Fathi Qaraawi, from Change and Reform bloc, according to human rights and media sources … We have contacted the lawyer to clarify the trial’s details, and he confirmed to us that the Ofer court reduced the MP’s sentence to three months, adding that the occupation did not undertake not to extend the his administrative detention again.
European network demands PA withdraw from Iraqi conference on prisoners
OSLO (PIC) 12 Dec — The European network for the defense of the Palestinian prisoners’ rights called on the Palestinian authority to withdraw its delegation from the conference on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails being held in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The European network reasoned that the Iraqi regime is holding many Palestinian prisoners in its own jails illegally and without any guilt. In a statement on Tuesday, the network stressed that the Palestinian authority should demand its Iraqi counterpart disclose the fate of all Palestinian prisoners in their jails and release them immediately instead of attending such a conference.
Former prisoner returns to Iraq after 35 years
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — A former prisoner of Israel who is originally from Iraq has finally been granted Iraqi citizenship, the Husam association for prisoners said Wednesday. Ali al-Bayati joined the Palestinian resistance in the 1970s. He was arrested with another fighter in 1979 after an operation in Nahariya in northern Israel. Two Palestinian militants were killed by Israeli forces in the operation. Al-Bayati was sentenced to life but released in 1998 in a prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel. He returned to Iraq this week for a conference to support Palestinian prisoners and met his sister for the first time in 35 years.
Hamas official: Mashaal will not run for re-election
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — Hamas’ chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal will not run for re-election as leader of the Islamist movement, a group official said Wednesday, reiterating a position outlined several months ago. “It is probable that Hamas will end its internal elections at the end of this year and Mashaal’s position towards the elections won’t change unless he changes his mind, because he has the right to run for the election,” senior Hamas official Ahmad Abu Yousef told Ma‘an.
Sheikh: PA disrupts launch of new political party
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — Former supreme judge Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi said Wednesday that Palestinian Authority security services disrupted the launch of his new political party. Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA, announced his new party, Haris, or Guard, on Wednesday. He had earlier said the party would be called Freedom and Independence Party for the Defense of Holy Sites. The sheikh told Ma‘an that secretary-generals of Palestinian factions had been invited to the official inauguration of Haris, but did not attend … Few attended the inauguration because PA security services intervened and prevented people from joining the ceremony, Tamimi added.
Israel to withhold Palestinian funds until March, at least
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 12 Dec — Israel will withhold tax revenues from President Mahmoud Abbas’s administration until March at least in response to his statehood campaign at the United Nations, Israel’s foreign minister said. Under interim peace deals, Israel collects some $100 million a month in duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank — money that is badly needed to pay public sector salaries. “The Palestinians can forget about getting even one cent in the coming four months, and in four months’ time we will decide how to proceed,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a speech on Tuesday night.
NIS 435M in PA taxes transferred to Electric Corp.
Ynet 12 Dec – Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz completed the transfer of NIS 435 million in Palestinian tax money to the Israel Electric Corporation, in order to pay for the Palestinian Authority’s debt. The money transfer was a response to the PA’s status upgrade at the UN.
Mashaal meets Egyptian intelligence chief
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Dec — Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal on Wednesday met with Egypt’s intelligence chief Raafat Shehata to discuss national reconciliation, an official in Cairo said.
Abbas warns Israel against settlement construction
AFP 12 Dec – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel Wednesday to abandon its controversial project to build a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem, warning against retaliation by Palestinians, who will utilize “all means at their disposal.” “This project is very dangerous,” Abbas said to the press on the third and final day of his visit to Turkey.
France says delay in Israel-Palestine talks helps militants
Reuters 12 Dec – Israel and the Palestinians must restart peace talks quickly otherwise hardliners on both sides of the conflict will take advantage, the French foreign minister said on Wednesday. Minister Laurent Fabius also said it was imperative that France, Britain and the United States became more directly involved in peace negotiations.
FM: If PA wants war, they’ll get war
Ynet 11 Dec — Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman commented Tuesday on the Palestinian threat to seek ICC action over Israel’s plans to build 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank, saying that Israel “Has to be clear: If the Palestinians want peace – they’ll get peace. If they want war – they’ll get war.” Speaking at a Hanukkah event held by Yisrael Beiteinu in Tel Aviv, Lieberman also stated that any future rocket fire from the Strip would mandate not just an IDF incursion of the enclave, but a full-blown invasion.
Turkey: Israel is playing with fire
Agencies 11 Dec — President Abdullah Gul warns Israel against pursuing E1 settlement construction plans. ‘Israel has become a burden to its allies,’ he says
King Abdullah: Israels, Palestinians to meet in Jordan
Ynet 12 Dec — Al-Hayat newspaper reports Jordan’s King Abdullah II endorses resumption of peace process under US auspices; slams Egypt’s Morsi for marginalizing Amman — Palestinian and Israeli representatives will meet in Jordan in two months to promote the peace process, King Abdullah II said during a UK visit which included a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Protesters shut down UNRWA offices after layoffs
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Dec — Labor leaders at Palestinian refugee camps on Tuesday shut down all UNRWA sub-offices in the West Bank in protest of the dismissal of 130 employees and reductions of services. Munthir Amira, director of the youth center of Aida refugee camp, told Ma‘an that “it is time that UNRWA’s administration realize that the plight of Palestinian refugees can’t be a political trade or an opportunity for Western employees to seek livelihood.”
Japan donates $7.7 million to UNRWA programs
AMMAN 12 Dec (WAFA) – The Japanese government Wednesday donated $7.7 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to provide funding for food distributions to Palestine refugees across the Middle East, according to a statement by the Japanese embassy in Jordan … The statement said that this grant will be used for the purchase of wheat flour, pulses and sunflower oil. UNRWA distributes food aid in the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
University of Toronto graduate students endorse BDS, call on administration to divest
EI 12 Dec — Following on the heels of a similar resolution passed last month by the Graduate Student Association at nearby York University in Toronto, Canada, the University of Toronto’s Graduate Student Union passed a resolution on Monday in favor of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions to be adopted by the university administration.
South African church leaders uphold Israel boycott in delegation to Palestine / Adri Nieuwhof
EI 10 Dec — A high-level delegation of South African Christian leaders and members paid a one-week solidarity visit to the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Southern Africa heads of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, the Secretary General of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, a senior member of the Dutch Reformed Church and a representative of South African youth were shocked by the extent to which Israel violates international law in its oppression of the Palestinian people. “Being South African, it felt like walking into another apartheid ambush,” the delegation participants state in a 8 December press release.
ACLU lawsuit targeting Palestine activism on campus raises constitutional red flags / Alex Kane
Mondoweiss 12 Dec — An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) branch has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education addressing what the civil liberties group calls “constitutional red flags” contained in a civil rights complaint against the University of California, Berkeley. The July complaint against Berkeley alleges that the university has allowed a “hostile environment” for Jews on campus that results from Palestine solidarity activism like mock checkpoints and Israeli Apartheid Week. “The allegations of this Title VI complaint reflect either a profound misunderstanding of the First Amendment, or an attempt to persuade the government to use its power to restrict speech based on its content and political viewpoint,” the letter from the ACLU reads.
IDF soldiers admit involvement in hit-and-run
Ynet 12 Dec — In what initially appeared to be a terrorist attack [see Palestinian car hits, lightly wounds youth 6 Dec], an 18-year-old Jewish teen sustained light to moderate wounds in a hit-and-run accident last week. Three IDF soldiers who initially denied involvement in the incident later confessed to committing the act.
Ashqar: TV program about Yassin’s assassination reflects Israeli bankruptcy
GAZA (PIC) 12 Dec — The MP for Hamas Movement, Ismail al-Ashqar, said that the airing of a TV program about the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, more than eight years ago, proves Israeli [moral?] bankruptcy and promises an early demise of the usurping entity … The Israeli Channel 10 TV aired a lengthy investigation about the operation of Sheikh Yassin’s assassination, trying to showing that it was a complex intelligence and military operation that required great skills. The details of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and a number of other Hamas leaders were revealed for the first time. Israeli occupation had targeted Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in March 22nd, 2004, as he left a mosque [in his wheelchair] near his house after dawn prayers. He was killed with nine other Palestinians by the Israeli occupation airforce.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination
The dirty dozen: Israel’s racist ringleaders / David Sheen
EI 12 Dec –Does Israel refuse to grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens of the state because it is based on an ideology of racism towards people who are not Jewish? Or does Israel refuse to grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens because, since some of them are opposed to the Jewish sectarian nature of the state, it prioritizes state security over racial equality? While this debate has raged for decades, new evidence has come to light which would seem to suggest that the former is more true. Because if Jewish Israelis are only antagonistic to Palestinian citizens because they supposedly represent security risks, then why do they also despise sub-Saharan Africans, with whom they have never had any conflict?
Israel’s Ethiopians suffer different ‘planned’ parenthood / Efrat Yardai
Haaretz 11 Dec — The revelation that Israel is sterilizing Ethiopian women adds to a shameful history of abuse of powerless women and communities – It’s hard to believe, but in Israel, in 2012, Ethiopian women are forced to receive injections of the Depo-Provera contraceptive. This injection is not a commonly prescribed means of contraception. It is considered a last resort and is usually given to women who are institutionalized or developmentally disabled. Yet according to an investigation recently aired on the “Vacuum” documentary series hosted by Gal Gabay and shown on Israeli Educational Television, it is also given to many new immigrants from Ethiopia. This is not the first or only case where the state has interfered in the lives of people who have limited means of resistance.
Opinion / Analysis
Roots of Resistance: Israeli repression reminiscent of the first intifada may provoke a new uprising / Dr. Mustafa Barghouti
[with video] Mondoweiss 12 Dec – This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. Yesterday, two Israeli ministers initiated a request within the Knesset that, if approved, would permit the Israeli army the right to use live ammunition against Palestinian civilian demonstrators. If passed, such a ruling sets a dangerous standard in place for all Palestinians committed to nonviolently resisting Israel’s occupation. However, Israel’s use of live ammunition on unarmed Palestinian civilians is by no means a new tactic. In fact, it is eerily reminiscent of the days of the First Intifada, the 25th anniversary of which we celebrated just three days ago.
Khaled Meshaal’s speech: Actions speak louder / Rabbi Brant Rosen
12 Dec — Shortly before Meshaal’s visit, Israel had leveled a devastating military assault against Hamas in Gaza – which ended in a US/Egypt brokered ceasefire. In other words, this is what it took to elicit the US’s active engagement with Israel and Palestine. Years of IDF crushing of Palestinian non-violent demonstrators have garnered nothing but silence. The PA’s attempt to gain recourse through the UN was met with active opposition from the Obama administration. Indeed, it was only the armed resistance of Hamas in Gaza that managed to bring Hilary Clinton to the region and actively engage with the Israelis and Palestinians. Under such circumstances, it would seem perfectly reasonable that Palestinians would conclude that Hamas’ approach of armed resistance is the only way to make any headway with an otherwise dismal political status quo. So yes, Khaled Meshaal, told a cheering crowd that “statehood will be the fruit of resistance, not negotiations.” But why shouldn’t he have? Armed resistance seems to be the only way Palestinians can catch the attention of the international community.
Almost the last call / Amira Hass
Haaretz 12 Dec — The festivities of the Hamas in Gaza last week sent a message of ‘We told you so.’ — It is difficult to compete with the phallus that the Hamas movement displayed publicly during its celebrations in Gaza at the end of last week, especially when those dragged into the competition were nondescript functionaries in ties, the remnants of the fatigued Palestine Liberation Organization’s leadership. In this competition, European countries waver between the role of observer from the sidelines and that of the functionary’s prompter. The result is that, by treading water, they end up supporting Hamas and its messages.
The festivities of the Islamic Resistance Movement sent a message of “We told you so.” In 1994, Hamas officials warned those who applauded the Oslo Accords that Israel would not stand by its commitments if the method was negotiations. Israel would not make it possible to establish an independent Palestinians state, would not withdraw, would not dismantle settlements and would not free (important ) prisoners, and the world would stand idly by. Therefore, what was taken by force must be freed by force, and the liberated princedom of Gaza is proof of this.
Book review: Jewish anti-Zionist academic insists Israeli occupation is un-Jewish / Carlo Strenger
Haaretz 10 Dec — Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism, by Judith Butler … Contemporary political Zionism, in Butler’s view, has constructed a very slanted narrative of Jewish history − one that glorifies the kingdom of David, the Maccabees, Masada and Bar Kochba, all equated with the type of bellicose masculinity embraced by some early Zionist activists like Max Nordau, Arthur Ruppin and Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and pursued by Israeli leaders like Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. It depicts the identity of the downtrodden, servile, frightened and humiliated Diaspora Jew as one to be repressed and forgotten, so as to allow for the revival of the proud Zionist/Israeli Jew who participates in history. Butler does not accept this narrative, and claims that it pushed Israel into the indefensible policies of the last 45 years. Parting Ways is Butler’s version of a non-Zionist counter-narrative, with her own pantheon of Jewish voices: