Israel razes Al-Araqib for the 45th time

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
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Araqib village razed for the 45th time
The Israeli authorities razed the Araqib village in the Negev desert for the 45th time running claiming that the houses were built without permit.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7vXQ1K%2fMuDsCkqnw6%2bvby1pNLrmIM%2bZy0PWyVFlZRt202uHCOQg7uFfJ0FjSQC%2bxKkVVgUJJZG%2b78fvC4q1CUnE3Tc9KA3k9yiFHr0W7tBUA%3d 

Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation

 
The Israeli authorities razed the Araqib village in the Negev desert for the 45th time running claiming that the houses were built without permit.
 

IOA destroys two Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished, on Tuesday morning, two Palestinian houses in Jabal Zaytoun in Tur neighborhood in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7fiOPCHjb5VZLdidZqr7Bjm72ORxPlYU378hYeFVoRNFzTyH9pnwXJ6vySyomUMRjBxU8tqpJP%2fW7huOuDpvfIr%2foSzhszG87VlRG%2fPMMAAo%3d

IOA forces Jerusalemite family to evacuate home
The Israeli occupation authorities ordered the Shamasne family in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarah suburb to evacuate their home by 30 December.

5am in Homsa in the northern Jordan Valley. Abdullah Ghanni, his family and his livestock are on the move under the watchful eyes of the Israeli Army. Two days earlier Ghanni had received a visit from soldiers informing him that military training would take place on land belonging to him and his fellow villagers. Ghanni and five other families were evicted from their land for the duration of the training – 7am to 5pm on the 9th December and 5am to 1pm the following day. All people in the village and their animals were required to leave.
 

Occupation seizes a Palestinian house in Hawara
The Occupation forces seized during the past two days a Palestinian house in the town of Hawara, in the south of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

 
Israeli authorities ‘to demolish West Bank road’ SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Monday notified Palestinian farmers in a northern West Bank village that a road connecting them to their fields will be demolished, locals told Ma’an. Residents of Qarawat Bani Hassan, near Salfit, said Israeli planning officers told them the al-Hurriya (Freedom) road will be demolished in two weeks. Farmers were told to avoid agricultural work in the area. The same street was dug up by Israeli bulldozers on March 24, 2011. The local municipality, with support from the Palestinian prime minister and donor organizations, later rehabilitated the road. Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad joined the road’s original inauguration two years ago.
 
Bulldozers arrive in Hajja On Sunday 9th December at 4pm the bulldozers rolled into the small sleepy town of Hajja near Kufr Qaddoum, in the northern part of the West Bank. They rolled past the Illegal Israeli Settlements, where many Palestinians from the surrounding villages work, with less workers’ rights than the Israeli Settlers who work in the same factory. Beneath the factories lies open farmland. Olive trees run up the sides of the hill, this is the land they’ve come to take. A confrontation happens between the Palestinians who own the land and the Palestinians from 1948 that drive the bulldozers that are already are ripping up the land. The bulldozer has destroyed everything in its path already, ripping up chunks of soil, trees and shrubs along the way.
 

Tent school in Arab Ar Ramadin under threat of demolition
Photos by Lazar Simeonov.   The village school in the Bedouin village of Arab Ar Ramadin, which has recently been erected in the form of tents, has become under threat of demolition.

 
Palestinian’s valid entry permit taken away by guard West Bank resident who handed over valid permit forced to wait hours in vain after civilian security guard refuses to return it; Police admit action deviated from protocol.
 

The Palestinian village of Jabal al-Fardous and its hostile Israeli military neighbors
Between the years 23 and 15 BC, Herod the Great, the Roman client king of ancient Judea, commissioned a lavish palace to be built for himself within the fortress of Herodium. Atop a large plateau situated 12 kilometers from Jerusalem, Herod placed his palace in a strategic position from which he could fortify the Roman Empire’s control of the area. Today, upon the scattered remains of Herod’s palace and its accompanying city of Herodium, sits the Palestine village of Jabl al-Furdous. The village along with the ruins of Herod’s palace fall within what is now known as Area C of the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territories – Area C signifies the 62% of the West Bank which falls under complete Israeli civil and military control. During his rule, King Herod was known for his harsh attitude and polices directed towards the local Jewish population—a suppression which eventually came back to bite him in the year 112 AD when the native Jewish population rebelled and took over his palace.

 
Secluded on a hilltop, 45 kilometers south of Hebron, Um Faqarah is one of a dozen hamlets in Firing Zone 918 threatened with displacement by the Israeli Civil Administration. In July 2012, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the expulsion and demolition of eight villages in the South Hebron Hills, claiming the zone to be vital for Israeli army training exercises. Settled on this land since the end of the British mandate and perpetuating a cave dwelling lifestyle, the Palestinian community of Um Faqarah has faced greater and greater obstructions over the past thirty years, since Israeli illegal settlements were first established in the area. Restrictions on movement, the poisoning of flocks, attacks by settlers, building prohibitions on any structures or infrastructure, housing demolitions, arbitrary detentions; the Israeli civil administration and forces impose draconian conditions on the village’s 160 residents.
 
 
Bedouins brave elements to attend bamboo school It takes a certain kind of dedication to be a pupil at the Jahalin primary school, where children often walk for hours across tough desert terrain just to get there. Others come by donkey to this small but thriving Bedouin school tucked away in an inhospitable corner of the Judaean desert, just outside Jerusalem. With no road access to the school, located in a sector of the West Bank known as Area C that is under full Israeli military and civilian control, it is very difficult for cars to reach it, meaning everyone, teachers and students alike, must get there on foot. But for the Bedouin children studying in the impoverished community of Wadi Abu Hindi, it is worth the effort. “I wake up at 4:30 am and leave my house half an hour later so I can get to school at 7:30 or 8:00,” says 11-year-old Intisar Abdallah Kushan, who lives in a remote community 10 kilometres (six miles) away.
 
Israeli environmentalists and even the state parks authority are backing Palestinian villagers’ attempts to preserve landscape. The future of an ancient agricultural landscape, incorporating extensive stone-walled terraces and a unique natural irrigation system, could be decided on Wednesdaywhen a petition against the planned route of Israel’s vast concrete and steel separation barrier is heard by the high court. The terraces of the Palestinian village of Battir, near Bethlehem, are expected to be declared a world heritage site by Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural body, in the coming months.
 

Refugees

 

Report: 727 Palestinians killed in Syria since the start of the revolution
The Work Group for the Palestinians in Syria confirmed that two Palestinian refugees died on Monday in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.

The Jenin refugee camp was established in 1953 on 0.42 square kilometers of land leased by the Jordanian government. The inhabitants mainly come from the Carmel region of Haifa. The camp’s residents still have close relationships with relatives on the other side of the Green Line due to the short distance between Jenin and what is now called Israel; some villages from the 1948 occupied territories are clearly visible from the camp. A number of 16,000 refugees are registered in the camp. The Freedom Theatre has become the trademark for Jenin refugee camp. The theatre was established in 2006 by the film and stage maker Juliano Mer-Khamis, former Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Zakaria Zubeidi, and two Swedish-Israelis, Dror Feiler and Jonatan Stanczak.
 
The fate of the Arab Bedouin living in the Naqab (Negev) desert has been no different than the rest of the Palestinian population since the time of the Nakba, where over half of the indigenous Palestinian population was ethnically cleansed in 1948. Facing discrimination, expulsion and displacement the Bedouin communities have suffered as they search for a place to cultivate crops and live a simple life. Perhaps no case demonstrates this better than the tiny tribe of Abu al Qi-an who live in a village in the Naqab desert called Umm al Hieran. Facing their fourth expulsion order since 1948, the 1,000 or so members of this tribe were told by the Israeli Land Administration that they must now move to a “specially-designated reservation-like” town, while 10,000 Jewish residents plan to take over their home. The Abu al Qi-an tribe used to live in a village called Khirbet Zubaleh where they lived a settled lifestyle cultivating crops and working the land.  After being displaced, they moved several times until they finally found their current home in 1956.
 
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
 
As 183 men, women and children were killed by Israel during its 8-day offensive against the Gaza Strip last month, almost 1,200 babies were born. The Palestinian birth rate during the latest Israeli attack on Gaza was 150 per day, the Civil Affairs Administration said on Tuesday. According to the statistics, 1,197 babies were born during the 8-day period, contributing to a total of 4,110 in November, of which 605 were girls and 592 were boys. The 183 Palestinians killed during the offensive against Gaza included 47 children, 12 women and 20 elderly men and women.
 

130 government buildings damaged in the Israeli aggression
More than 130 government buildings and utilities were damaged in the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip that lasted for eight days in November.

 
Fertility specialist can’t find equipment he needs in Gaza but feels he has no choice than to resume work.

GAZA, 11 December 2012 (IRIN) – When Jaber Abu Rjaila heard about the recent ceasefire agreement in Gaza, he rushed back to his farmland – for the first time in more than 10 years. ”We have been farmers for generations. It’s our life and I’m very glad that we are back here now freely working,” he told IRIN. “I’ve been longing for this moment.” His farmland lies in the “access-denied” and buffer zone areas close to the Israeli-built barrier, but the recent ceasefire agreement holds out the promise of an easing of naval and land controls at the border. Oxfam says the five-year blockade by Israel has “devastated Gaza’s farming and fishing industries” leading to the closure of nearly 60 percent of Gaza’s businesses, according to a new briefing paper published this month. Israel imposed the blockade, it says, for security reasons. 
 
Today, Gazan farmers from Kuzaa, a small village near Khan Younis, worked on their land in defiance of Israeli military harassment. Farmers ploughed approximately seven dunams and then sewed wheat in a plot that they had previously been denied access to before the November 21st, 2012 ceasefire.  The farmers successfully worked up to 100 meters from the separation fence.  The Israeli military arbitrarily designates this area as a restricted military buffer zone, otherwise known as the “kill zone.” According to the workers, they have not been able to farm on this specific plot of land for the past ten years.  Formerly an orchard, Israeli forces bulldozed the field multiple times during military incursions and regularly shoots at farmers who attempt to work there.
 

Al-Farra: recent aggression targeted municipal facilities in Gaza
Minister of Local Government Mohammed al-Farra stated that the municipal staff and workers continued working during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip despite the Israeli bombing.

 
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Qatari committee will begin work on reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a committee official said. Muhammad al-Amadi, head of Qatar’s committee for reconstructing Gaza, said 24 projects would be launched on Wednesday. Some 52 companies applied for the Gaza reconstruction bids and the Qatari committee is in the process of finalizing the contracts, al-Amadi told Ma’an. A number of Hamas ministers will take part in the launch ceremony for the reconstruction projects, including Yousef al-Ghaziz, minister for public works and housing, minister of agriculture Ali al-Tarshawi and head of local government Muhammad al-Farra.
 

Gaza: ‘My child was killed and nothing has changed’, Harriet Sherwood
After eight days of war, an uneasy peace has been patched up once again between Israel and Gaza. Hamas are jubilant, but for ordinary people, there’s little cause to celebrate amid the ruins of a shattered city The morning ritual goes like this: three-year-old Ali Misharawi wakes up and reaches for his father’s mobile phone. He kisses and strokes the face of his baby brother, Omar, on its small screen. Then he starts asking questions. Why is Omar in paradise? Why did you put my brother into the ground? Why can’t I play with him any more?

 
For four female journalists from Gaza, covering the Israeli assault on the coastal enclave was business as usual.
 
Israeli Terrorism
 
In a violent demonstration of who is really in charge of areas under the nominal control of the Palestinian Authority, Israeli occupation forces ransacked the offices of Palestinian human rights organizations in Ramallah early this morning.
 
At 3 am this morning, 11 December 2012, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights office was raided by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Four laptops, one hard disk and a video camera were taken among other materials. The IOF destroyed the office; desks, ransacked filing cabinets and files and scattered files around the office. At this moment, we are not clear as to what has been confiscated, but in the coming days we will know more about the level of destruction and damage. This is the first raid by the IOF since 2002, when the Addameer office was raided during the invasion of Ramallah.
 

Two Injured as Israeli Troops Invade Ni’lin
Two Palestinian youth were reported injured on Tuesday night when Israeli troops invaded the central West Bank village of Ni’lin and clashed with local youth.

 

Youth suspected of attacking border police post says he was severely beaten in an attack by group of officers. Border Guard: He resisted arrest
 
Settlers hurl stones at school in village of Urif causing damage to building. Security forces called to scene attacked by Palestinians.
 
On 9th December 2011, the second anniversary since the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh embarked on its popular resistance protests against the Israeli occupation in 2009, one village resident, Mustafa Tamimi, was shot in the face by a tear gas canister from a distance of less than 10 meters. Tamimi died the next day in Beilinson hospital, in Petah Tikvah. Before the incident he had been throwing rocks at an Israeli jeep during the weekly demonstrations in the village. It was from the rear door of this jeep that an Israeli soldier fired the shot which caused the death of Tamimi. One year later, Nabi Saleh is commemorating the death of their son. On 7 December 2012, during the weekly demonstration, residents and protesters carried images of Tamimi as they marched through the village towards the land that was confiscated from them by the illegal settlement of Halamish.
 
Illegal Arrests
 
JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday briefly detained a 70-year-old Palestinian woman after ransacking her home in Tubas in the northern West Bank, Palestinian officials said Tuesday. Palestinian liaison officials told Ma’an they contacted their Israeli counterparts demanding the release of Sabja Farah Daraghmah and she was freed on Monday.  Israeli authorities said Daraghmah was detained for “security reasons,” the Palestinian officials added. Director of the Palestinian liaison office in Jenin and Tubas Khalid Abdul-Aziz visited Daragmah on Tuesday morning to check up on her, a Ma’an reporter said.
 

Five Palestinians, Including Mother, Her Two Underage Daughters, Kidnapped In Jerusalem
Local sources in occupied East Jerusalem reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday evening, five Palestinians, including a mother and her two daughters, in Qaa’ Al-Hara area, in At-Tour in occupied East Jerusalem.
http://www.imemc.org/article/64724

 
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday at dawn, a Palestinian university student from the village of Ya’bod, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin; the soldiers broke into and searched several homes in the village. 
 
Other Prisoner News
 

The administration of the Israeli Ramle prison hospital took detained hunger striker Samer Al-Issawi to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center on Tuesday after his health badly worsened.

 
Prisoner Mutassim Raddad in poor shape because of bowel cancer
The prisoner committee of the national and Islamic forces said Palestinian prisoner Mutassim Raddad, 28, suffers from very serious health problems and acute intestinal bleeding.

 
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Family members left the Gaza Strip on Monday to visit relatives being detained in Israeli jails, an official from the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Ayman Shihabi, spokesman for the ICRC in Gaza, told Ma’an that 44 family members will visit Ramon jail to see jailed relatives. In July, Israel allowed the first visits to prisoners from Gaza in five years. Visits had been banned since 2007 to pressure Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in Oct. 2011. Israel agreed to resume family visits for Gaza prisoners as part of a deal to end a mass month-long hunger strike in Israeli jails.
 
Iraq hosted an international conference on Israel’s Palestinian and Arab prisoners on Tuesday, the latest in a series of events held in Baghdad as the country seeks to re-emerge on the regional stage.
 
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
 
Urgent Action Alert: Defend Addameer and Raided Palestinian Grassroots and Civil Society Institutions!
At 3 a.m. on December 11, Israeli occupation forces raided the offices of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Palestinian NGO Network. Click here to take action to defend human rights defenders! The offices were ransacked, their doors broken in, their computers and hard drives confiscated and their materials damaged, confiscated and destroyed. These Palestinian human rights defenders are on the front lines in defending the rights of Palestinian prisoners, organizing Palestinian women, and coordinating Palestinian civil society in the face of the Israeli occupation. Click here to write Israeli officials in protest.
 
Since July 2012, Israel has held six Palestinian boys in solitary confinement in G4S equipped Al Jalame prison, reports Defence for Children-Palestine.
 

Podcast: University of California’s direct role in “disparaging” campus Palestine activists
Liz Jackson talks about how civil rights groups are challenging the University of California as a climate of fear silences Palestine solidarity activism and Palestinian and Muslim students.

 
On 10 December 2012, on the occasion of Human Rights Day,  PCHR is launching its ‘Palestine to the ICC‘ campaign. The campaign aims to encourage the relevant stakeholders, namely the State of Palestine, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the international community, to fulfil their responsibilities in ensuring justice and redress for Palestinian victims on violations of international law. 10 years after the creation of the International Criminal Court, the institution created to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, PCHR is demanding accountability for the countless Palestinian victims who have been denied access to justice for so long.
 
Harjo justified her decision to go ahead with the performance claiming invisible Palestinian support.
 

Palestinian Trail of Tears: strong reactions to Joy Harjo’s refusal to boycott Israel, Ali Abunimah
Meanwhile, it has become clear how invested extreme anti-Palestinian Israeli groups were in Harjo’s visit.

 
I’m no longer surprised by the profound dishonesty in Rupert Murdoch’s Australian when it comes to discussing Israel and Palestine. Today’s editorial covers the ongoing saga (pushed by them alone, an obsessive little bunch they are) about Dr Jake Lynch at Sydney University. They clearly imply he’s anti-Semitic for daring to oppose connections with Israeli universities that are complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
 
Political Developments / Other News
 
Palestinian fighters in Gaza during last month’s conflict killed seven men accused of collaborating with Israel. The Hamas government says it is investigating how they were killed before they could be tried in court.Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza (warning: some viewers may find the pictures in this report disturbing).
 

Abu Obeida: we make our own weapons
Spokesman of Qassam Brigades the military wing of Hamas movement said that “most weapons used against the Israeli army during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip were homemade weapons”.

 
Mahmoud al-Zahar says Iran gives Hamas weapons, money ‘for sake of Allah, no conditions attached’. Occupation needs resistance, not negotiations, Abu Marzook remarks.
 
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian people have one homeland, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday. The Hamas premier made the comments while addressing a delegation representing Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. ”The blood of Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jaabari and other martyrs were the gate to victory despite the fact that we lost a great resistance and Jihad figure,” Haniyeh said. Palestinian refugees must be able to return to Palestine in order to end decades of suffering in exile, he added. Head of the Lebanese delegation, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour, congratulated the Palestinian people on their resistance.
 
Comrade Dr. Rabah Muhanna, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, stressed that the Front will continue to adhere to liberating all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea, and will never recognize Israel. At an event in Gaza City marking the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Front on December 10, Muhanna emphasized the centrality of the right of return to the project of the liberation of Palestine.
 

Sa’adat: Right of Return and Resistance must be at center of Palestinian political program
Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issued his congratulations to our people and his comrades on three occasions: the twenty-fifth anniversary of the launch of the Intifada of 1987 and the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front, as well as the recent victory in denying the Israeli enemy its objectives in its recent aggression on Gaza, thanks to the steadfastness and courage of the resistance and our people as a whole.

 
Reports from Israel claim that opposition leader Shaul Mofaz has expressed regret over the fact that Israel did not assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during his first visit to the Gaza Strip. The head of the Kadima Party, who is an ex-army minister, said: “Israel should have seized the opportunity to liquidate the head of the snake.” He added that Meshaal should “pack his bags as soon as possible and leave Gaza.” Mofaz also said that it is important for Israel not to “weaken” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “If we do not deal with Hamas with an iron fist, we will soon see Meshaal in Judea and Samaria [sic; the occupied West Bank].”
 
The Palestinians could pursue Israel at the International Criminal Court if it builds new settler homes in a highly-sensitive area of the West Bank near Jerusalem, president Mahmud Abbas warned on Tuesday. “If Israel continues with this (settlement plan), we will respond using all methods, obviously peaceful, and including the court,” the Palestinian president said in Ankara at a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
 
After the EU condemned Israel for advancing construction near Jerusalem, the foreign minister says that ‘once again’ Europe ignores calls to destroy Israel.
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel on Tuesday accused the Palestinian Authority of insisting on a settlement freeze before resuming talks as a way to avoid resuming the peace process. ”It seems that the Palestinian side is interested in the further development of preconditions. We reject this and are interested to negotiate without preconditions,” said Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Earlier, the political adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the position that negotiations would not resume without a freeze in settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.
 

Liberman calls for Israeli troops to respond with lethal fire when attacked by PA police
Foreign minister also compares Europe’s silence on Mashaal’s call for jihad against Israel to its inaction during Holocaust.

 

Dr. Barghouthi: “Army’s Use of Live Ammunition, Implementation of Israeli Government Policy”
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, stated that the Israeli army’s invasion of the West Bank village of Ni’lin, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and the use of live ammunition against the civilians, is a direct implementation of statements made by senior Israeli government officials.

 
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fatah on Monday urged the international community to examine “racist” remarks made by Israel’s deputy prime minister. At a news conference in Ramallah, Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmeh said Eli Yishai’s remarks revealed dangerous intentions and aimed to terrorize the Palestinian people. During Israel’s eight-day war on Gaza, Yishai said the goal of the operation was “to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Al-Qawasmeh said Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu “pushes the Israeli street to the extreme” with calls for violence ahead of Israeli elections, and yet claimed there was no Palestinian partner for peace. A government led by Netanyahu, Yishai and controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman “is a government that rejects peace,” al-Qawasmeh told reporters. 
 

Lieberman: Israel won’t renew transfer of PA tax funds for at least four months
At an Yisrael Beitenu Hanukkah event, FM says PA won’t see ‘one red cent’ of tax revenues, and repeats threats to ‘bring down Hamas’; he also says some EU foreign ministers ‘take Israel’s destruction for granted.’

 
Israeli daily, Maariv, reported, Tuesday morning, that Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, instructed Israeli ambassadors in five European countries to sponsor ads in major newspapers attacking the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and describing him as an obstacle to peace.
 
JERUSALEM (Reuters) — One Palestinian candidate in Israeli elections aims to lead his community out of the margins of Israeli politics — saying their interests have been overshadowed for too long by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Atef Krinawi says he would even be willing to make an unprecedented electoral alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, the party to which he once belonged. His success or failure in the Jan. 22 election could be a bellwether for the position of Israel’s 20-percent Palestinian minority.
 
The report, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, predicts that with the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and eventually Afghanistan, support for Israel will remain the last cause for Muslim anti-U.S. sentiments.
 

US to give Israel thousands of ‘bunker-buster’ bombs
Pentagon asks Congress to increase military aid to Israel by $647M with aim of replenishing IDF munitions following recent Gaza campaign.

 

Last month, four days after Iran announced that it planned to attend a high-profile meeting on the banning of WMD’s in the Middle East, the US backed out, saying that the “time is not opportune.” But along with Russia and the UK, the U.S. was one of the key sponsors of the conference, set to take place in Helsinki, Finland, by the end of 2012. 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty had agreed to attend, but not Israel. Now the meeting has been called off.
 
A recent report published in the Newsweek by Peter Beinart, who is described as a “Jewish liberal at the American-Jewish community in the United States”, also close to the Obama Administration, stated that Barack Obama will not help Netanyahu in overcoming international pressure against his policies with the Palestinians.
 
Report by US-based strategic analysis firm says Israel maintains ‘small but significant presence’ in northeastern African nation in an effort to boost intelligence gathering ops on Islamic Republic
 
The Palestinian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the Gaza Strip has announced a ban on dealing with Israeli communications and internet companies. A statement from the ministry called on citizens of the Gaza Strip to stop dealing with the Israeli companies, especially the ones which offer wireless services. “The companies have a lot of suspicious materials which breach Palestinian law,” it warned. “The Israelis target the youth in the Palestinian territories and try to corrupt them.” The Palestinian government wants to keep the Palestinian territories secure and safe, the statement added.
 
Indictment suggests Asam Mashara met with Hezbollah officials in Lebanon, received instructions on how to transfer encrypted information.
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon travels to Florida as part of official efforts to reach out to US minorities
 
In reaching out to potential new sources of support for Israel in the United States, the Anti-Defamation League took a group of 19 “influential” Latino leaders to Israel and the occupied territories in late November.
 
BETHLEHEM, December 11, 2012 (WAFA) – The Bethlehem First Instance Court Tuesday sentenced two Palestinians from the village of Housan to 10 years in prison with hard labor after they were found guilty of attempting to sell land to an Israeli. The two people were accused of attempting “to cut part of the land of the State of Palestine in partnership between them for the benefit of annexing it to Israel.” The court said one of the accused, a 64-old identified by his initials F.H., brought papers from his brothers that would give him power of attorney to sell a plot they have inherited from their father and which is located inside the settlement of Bitar Elite. It said F.H. met Y.Z., 49, who works as a contractor in the settlement, agreed with a settler to sell him the 38 dunum plot for a price of $45,000 for the dunum. However, when the Palestinian Preventive Security found out about the intended deal, it arrested both men before the deal was completed. The two have appealed the ruling.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21294
 
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
 
Roots of Resistance: The Palestinian people’s most democratic moment, George Bisharat
This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. I think of the first Intifada, which erupted in late 1987 before waning in the early 1990‘s, as the Palestinian people’s most democratic moment. It was a true upsurge of grassroots sentiment and activism that momentarily shifted the political initiative out of the hands of diaspora elders and political fixers and into the hands of a youthful decentralized leadership in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Intifada was managed on a day-to-day basis by a “Unified National Leadership of the Uprising” that had a rotating membership that both practiced and preached respect for democracy.
 
This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. So much has changed since the first Palestinian intifada, 25 years ago this month. Sadly, the bulk of changes have been for the worse and, even more shocking, most things have remained the same. Two and a half decades ago, the Palestinians under occupation boldly arose in civil disobedience, which, for the most part, was non-violent. They totally debunked the Israeli notion at the time (one that persists through today) that a prolonged military occupation, one that micro-manages every important aspect of our society, was somehow benign and could be “lived with.”
 
This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. Of late I am busy writing a fictional saga of a mixed Palestinian-Israeli couple. In an attempt to gain a sense of the intimate charm that must inhabit the life of such couples, I spoke recently with a pair of lovers. “Our love bloomed first during the promising years of Rabin’s premiership, when peace and coexistence beckoned brightly on the horizon,” the good doctor explained. I cringed. Rabin commanded over the ethnic cleansing of Lydd and Ramla in 1948. And he oversaw the calling up of Israeli crack troops into our villages in Israel in 1976 to prevent us from striking for one day in protest against his government’s confiscation of our land.
 
Roots of Resistance: The visitors,  Alison Glick
This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. For much of the first intifada, Gaza was my home. My first visit to Gaza was in January 1988. A group of teachers from the Friends Schools in Ramallah where I had been teaching organized a visit to Gaza to witness firsthand the result of Itzhak Rabin’s policy of “force, might and beatings” — a failed attempt by the then-Israeli Prime Minister to crush the uprising by literally beating the population into submission. The aim was to re-erect the barrier of fear the uprising had broken, and resurrect the mentality that the occupation had control over everything – including one’s body – by the direct, unambiguous application of physical violence. Our guides that gray, chilly day had met us at the law office of Raji Sourani, a prominent human rights lawyer, before venturing out together to the hospitals and camps to visit wounded Palestinians.
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/roots-of-resistance-the-visitors.html
 
MJ Rosenberg has published what he calls a groundbreaking admission by a congressional staffer in an appeal for congressional signatures: that a letter to President Obama signed by four leading congresspeople that urges him to punish Palestine for daring to upgrade its status at the UN is supported by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee., The tradition is that AIPAC operated as a “night flower,” in Steve Rosen’s famous description, and couldn’t tolerate sunlight.
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/congressional-staffer-brags-about-aipacs-support-for-letter-to-obama-seeking-retribution-against-palestine.html
 
Last week New Yorker editor David Remnick said that Hillary was running for president, based on her appearance at an Israel lobby group, the Saban Forum, in Washington. So on Saturday National Public Radio interviewed Remnick about his observation (and put particular emphasis on this disturbing video of Hillary Clinton, which was shown at the event, and is chockful of Israelis, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu– and also includes John McCain, Madeleine Albright, Salam Fayyad, a Jordanian official, and a foreign minister from the United Arab Emirates). 
 
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held their annual conference on November 2-4 in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. Students from campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada participated in a tremendous weekend of organizing workshops, organizational development, political education and cultural expression. Student activists and others frequently engaged apartheid as both a description of Israeli policy against Palestinians and a node for organizing solidarity and liberation. Increased scholarly and activist use shows a radicalization of discourse. Yet this important development is not itself inherently positive as it can – though does not have to – decenter Palestinian voices from the Palestinian liberation narrative and efforts by focusing on the territory of Palestine at the expense of the geography of Palestinians.
 
Millions of people have gone on to the streets over the past few years, in countries all across the world, emboldened by what is happening elsewhere, some demanding civil and political rights, others demanding economic, social and cultural rights. This groundswell is not simply a question of people demanding freedom of expression and freedom to say what they think and make clear what they want. They are asking for much more than that. They are asking for an end to a situation where governments simply decide what is best for their populations without even consulting them. They are asking for their right to participate fully in the important decisions and policies affecting their daily lives, at the international, national and the local levels. Many people in many countries have been making it clear they are fed up with their leaders treating them with disdain and ignoring their needs, ambitions, fears and desires.
 
Here is an important bold piece in the Age in Australia. Several years ago, cartoonist Michael Leunig relates, the Jewish Museum in Melbourne withdrew an invitation to him to speak on the cartoonist as “society’s conscience” because of his then-”somewhat critical” views on Israel. Well, a few weeks back he did a cartoon expressing sympathy for Palestinians in Gaza under Israel’s bombardment and used a caption echoing the famous refrain from the Nazi era, “First they came for the Palestinians.” But such analogies are not permitted by the bullies. 
 
http://blog.theheadlines.org/

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