Rise of Hamas and failed peace process lead Israeli leaders and media to warn of ‘third Intifada’

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 Israel grows jittery of new Palestinian uprising
JERUSALEM (AP) — The rising confidence and bellicosity of Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, combined with rapidly deteriorating relations with Israel’s would-be peace partner in the West Bank, are raising jitters in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could be near., A number of prominent voices urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to take steps to ease the tensions and bolster the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu’s political rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, warned that renewed violence might not be “far off.”, But the Israeli leader stood tough. Poised for re-election, it appears unlikely he will float a bold new initiative anytime soon. “We in the government have no illusions. We want a true peace with our neighbors. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet., Over the past month, Netanyahu has taken a series of steps that appear to have unintentionally emboldened the rival Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank.

Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
Occupation forces demolished Tuesday morning the mosque of al-Mafqara east of Yatta and south of Hebron for the second time in a row for two year on Tuesday the 4th of December. Ratib al-Jabour, from Yatta grassroots committee, told the Palestinian news agency (Wafa) that “the occupation forces raided al-Mafqara in the dawn and demolished the mosque which was larger than 120 square meters”. The mosque consisted of two floors and the people of Khirba prepared the coming floor for becoming a children’s school. Jabour said that the occupation forces raided Khirba in the early morning hours supported by bulldozers and heavy equipment where they first evicted all of the residents before starting the demolition.
On the desolate and stark Hebron hills villagers gathered around the remains of their mosque. On Tuesday morning at 6.30 AM, Israeli soldiers closed the road leading to the small village of Al Mufaqara, situated in the South Hebron Hills, which lies within a proclaimed ‘firing Zone’ adjacent to the green line. By the end of the morning two bulldozers had demolished the small mosque, built with the villagers own hands and determination. The roof had only just been completed on the new mosque, which was built to replace the old mosque the Israeli forces destroyed in November last year, along with two houses, a cattle shed and generator building. In November last year Israeli authorities also arrested two girls who they released in Jerusalem, some distance from their village, with no transportation home. The morning after the destruction, men of Al Mufaqara came together and began to build once again. The village resides in Area C, a region which constitutes approximately 60% of the West Bank and falls under complete Israeli military and administrative control. Israel denies Palestinian citizens the right to build on 70% of this land.
Threatened village proposed as next UNESCO world heritage site BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The ancient village of Battir, near Bethlehem, will be one of two sites submitted to UNESCO for World Heritage status by Palestine next year, an official said Friday. UNESCO granted Palestine full membership last year, and inscribed the first Palestinian World Heritage, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, this June. Palestine can submit two applications for heritage site recognition per year, said Omar Awadullah, a foreign ministry official with the UN portfolio. By the end of January 2013, Battir will be proposed to the UN cultural agency, he said, noting that the second site will be selected from a list of 25 potential heritage locations in Palestine.
Silwan is a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem. It has 55,000 inhabitants. In 1967, the village was occupied by Israel, and ever since has been under Israeli control and a part of the Jerusalem municipality. The taxpaying residents of Silwan hold East Jerusalem residence IDs; however, the residents are not considered citizens of Israel and thus cannot vote to parliament. Since 1967 the municipality has not invested in the development of East Jerusalem.  The education system and municipal planning have not been improved, and Silwan has been almost entirely neglected. Most of the young residents are forced into low-paying jobs. The once pastoral village sunk into poverty and neglect. Since the 1990s the area of Silwan has come under Zionist pressure due to the building of the City of David tourist site, which makes spurious archaeological claims to delegitimise the existence of this Palestinian village and Palestinian history, and to and legitimize Israel’s claims to the land. Houses are regularly demolished to make way for the City of David and the planned ‘national park’. 
Denationalisation is the fundamental problem of Palestinians. The systematic annihilation of fundamental freedoms for Palestinians has resulted in an ongoing process of changes in demography, geography and social structure. “Unfree in Palestine: Registration, Documentation and Movement Restriction” (Pluto Press, 2013) delves into the historical processes of population repression, demonstrating how the concept of denationalisation is proving instrumental for Israel to persist in a gradual extermination and expulsion of Palestinians from their land.
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
While attempting to reach Egypt with his wife’s medical records, EI’s Rami Almeghari found the way barred. “I am on my way home,” I told my wife over the phone as I rode the bus back from the Egyptian terminal at the Rafah crossing with Gaza. “What?” she said surprised, “I thought you had already crossed into Egypt. It’s now almost 5pm! What is going on?” Early on Thursday, I set off from our home in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, carrying my wife’s medical file, including the results of her latest MRI tests. My destination was Cairo, where I planned to show the new scans to my wife’s doctors who would decide on the latest course of treatment for her chronic cancer.

Growing number in Gaza Strip are in no mood to celebrate
Several farmers and others in Gaza say their excitement over the cease-fire deal with Israel has faded as they’ve realized little has changed.


What I saw in Gaza after Israel’s attack, Linah Alsaafin
Here’s what I saw in Gaza during my week-long stay, in the wake of Israel’s latest vicious attack…  Later I met up with a local journalist and at my request, went to al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza. We visited one of the few children left in the hospital from the eight-day Israeli offensive, Mohammad Abu Zour. The Abu Zour family house was targeted by an air strike and the family members had to be rescued from beneath the rubble. Three were killed, including Mohammad’s sister-in-law, another young woman, and his three-year-old cousin. I spent no more than 30 minutes with Mohammad, who refused to speak the entire time. He was obviously traumatized, and was unresponsive to almost everything. He was in the ICU for a few days —the journalist showed me pictures of him she took — and he looked like he was teetering between life and death, his face bloody and swollen, and so many bandages covering his body and head.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) claims vast military gains from its targeting of hundreds of sites in Gaza, including substantial civilian property, during “Operation Pillar of Cloud,” the intensive 8-day bombing the IDF initiated on November 14, 2012. But Palestinian witnesses deny that fighters were present or that rockets had been or were being launched from many of the sites the IDF bombed. Palestinian witnesses also deny the claims of any other military advantage to Israel from the attacks. They say the intent of Israeli political and military leaders was to do exactly what Israeli forces actually did: destroy civilian property and punish and traumatize the civilian population of Gaza.
Israeli Terrorism / Raids / Aggression
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man died on Sunday from wounds sustained in Israel’s eight day assault on the Gaza Strip in November, medics said. Zeidan al-Nahhal, 48, died in an Egyptian hospital on Sunday after being injured in Israel’s week-long bombardment of Gaza, which began after the targeted assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jaabari on Nov. 14. Several people have died from their injuries since a ceasefire agreement was signed on Nov. 21 to end violence in Gaza.

Israeli Raids and roadblocks south of al-Khalil
Israeli Occupation Forces raided at dawn on Sunday several towns and villages south of the city of al-Khalil and erected barriers on the entrances.


Jewish settlers assault farmers in Nablus village

Heavily armed Jewish settlers attacked a group of Palestinian farmers while harvesting their olive crops in Hawara village south of Nablus city.
Groups of Jewish settlers threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles near Al-Khalil city on Sunday morning, eyewitnesses said.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Saturday evening held a rally south of Hebron, blocking Palestinian movement in the area, locals said. Palestinian drivers said they were prevented from passing the al-Fawar refugee camp checkpoint by Israeli forces. Settlers marched along the main road towards the Beit Haggai settlement north of al-Fawwar, witnesses said.
Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi? IDF Sgt. Aviram Boniel, Richard Silverstein
Over the past week, an Israeli solidarity committee seeking accountability for the murder of Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi, orchestrated a masterful social media campaign.  Each day, they exposed a different level of the military command that was responsible for Tamimi’s death and those of thousands of other Palestinian civilians.  They closed the campaign today, which marks the first anniversary of the victim’s death (on December 9, 2011). They began with Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and worked their way down until today, they got to the actual shooter, Sgt. Aviram Boniel.  He’s the one who fired a lethal high-velocity tear gas canister at point-blank range which smashed Tamimi’s head into a bloody pulp, killing him.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Accused of committing a war crime by a leading human rights group, Israel’s army will still not identify the target of an airstrike on Gaza City that killed 10 relatives and two neighbors. Israeli planes bombed the al-Dalou family home on Nov. 18, crushing to death two men, six women and four children, whose ages ranged from one to 83. Human Rights Watch said Friday the strike “was a clear violation of the laws of war.” ”The Israeli claim that the attack on the al-Dalou home was justified is unsupported by the facts,” said HRW’s Fred Abrahams, who investigated the case in Gaza.
On 18 November 2012, on the fifth day of the Israeli military offensive “Pillar of Defence” against Gaza, a war bulletin reported 72 people killed, including 19 children, 670 wounded, most of them women and children. That day, the Israeli air force bombed a three-storey building in Nasser Street, Gaza City, wiping out an entire family.
Illegal Arrests

PA intelligence arrests journalist
PA intelligence apparatus arrested Mohammed Awad who works as a reporter with the Ramsat news agency in Ramallah and summoned a young man in Tulkarem.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested on Saturday evening three Jerusalemites, including a boy following a march in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces ransacked several homes in the Bethlehem district in the southern West Bank early Saturday and detained five young Palestinians. Locals and eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles stormed al-Saff and Hindaza neighborhoods of Bethlehem breaking into several homes before daybreak.  The invading troops detained three young men identified by locals as 20-year-old Ayyad Jamal al-Hreimi, 21-year-old Murad Ali Asakra, and 18-year-old Abdullah Awwad Jawarish. 

IOF soldiers round up nine Palestinians including children
Nine Palestinian citizens were rounded up in different West Bank areas at dawn Saturday as part of the daily Israeli occupation forces’ campaign of arrests in lines of West Bankers.

Local sources in Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, reported that Israeli soldiers invaded the town, on Sunday at dawn, and kidnapped two Palestinian intelligence officers.

Arrest of four children extended; three are released
The Israeli magistrates court is holding three children from Silwan until next Thursday so that it can continue investigations against them. Suhaib Arafat al A’war (15), Shaddad (16) his brother Shady (17) are accused of throwing stones at Israeli forces. They arrested the children after raiding their house at 5am. They were taken to Maskubiye police station in West Jerusalem. The court has also extended the arrest of Abas Ibrahim al Abassi (17) until 9/12/2012, by which time his parol officer’s report should be complete. Al Abassi is accused of throwing stones and molotov cocktails at Israeli forces. On Saturday the police released three young men from Silwan; Nader and Waddah Qarain and Khalil Abed Odeh. Nader and Wadder Qarain were released on the condition that they do not approach the court for 15 days. This comes after Nader and Wadder’s father confirming that the family would be pressing charges against the Nahashon police unit and court security after the two boys were beaten whilst under arrest. Khalil Abed Odeh was released after paying 1500 NIS (£250) bail. He was arrested by forces in Be’r Ayoub, Silwan.


Silwan man released to house arrest under bail terms
On Wednesday, Israeli magistrates court released Silwan resident Muhamad Tawfik Abu Tayeh (31) under house arrest and bail conditions. The undercover unit (Musta’ribin) arrested Tayeh and assaulted him on the 7th November whilst he was welcoming ex-prisoner Muhammad Abed Odeh home in Silwan. No end date for the house arrest has been set. The bail was 2500NIS with a further 10,000NIS and 30,000NIS pledged in the case that he does not comply with the conditions. He has been charged with throwing stones and fireworks during confrontations and with attacking undercover police officers.

Other Prisoner News
PA intelligence services summoned two liberated prisoners from the town of Dura in al- Khalil on Sunday morning for interrogation, the liberated prisoners’ families stated.

Hunger striker Issawi can no longer move
The sister of hunger striker Samer Al-Issawi has denied reports about martyrdom of her brother who has been on hunger strike for 133 days in Israeli occupation jails.

Today, on UN Human Rights Day, we will hand in to Downing Street a petition signed by 4,883 people calling for action from our government on Palestinian child prisoners held by Israel. In June 2012 a group of senior UK lawyers published an FCO-funded independent report, Children in Military Custody, on the plight of Palestinian children detained by Israel. The report concluded that the treatment of these children was in breach of article 76 of the fourth Geneva convention and several articles of the UN convention on the rights of the child. The report made 40 recommendations. The FCO accepted the findings and promised to take them up with Israel. Six months later, not one of these recommendations has been implemented.
The family of the 13-year-old child Saddam Al-Jabari appealed for his release from Israeli custody in a message to human rights groups on Saturday.
The Palestinian Prisoners Studies Center (PPSC) confirmed that the occupation is still detaining in its jails 12 prisoners suffering from cancer, with its different forms.
Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights stated that the sick prisoners in Ramle prison hospital suffer from very difficult health condition due to the Israeli deliberate medical negligence.
Ayman Nasser, a researcher for the Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, has himself become a detainee in an Israeli prison, having been charged with several counts of membership in an illegal organization and of partaking in illegal assembly. According to Physicians for Human Rights, he has been tortured during his 39-day-long interrogation.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Adel Hasan Dawood, 47, on Saturday completes his 25th year in Israeli jails bringing the number of Palestinian prisoners who served more than a quarter decade to 22. According to the director of Gaza-based Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies Riyad al-Ashqar, Dawood, from Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, was detained Nov. 8, 1987, and sentenced to life. An Israeli military court convicted Dawood of carrying out an attack against settlers at the bypass road south of Qalqiliya killing a number of settlers. Israeli forces then demolished his home.
The Israeli administration of Beersheba prison isolated Hamas figure Sheikh Jamal Abul Heija after he delivered the Friday Khutba and talked about Hamas and the victory it had made in the last war.

Prisoners’ center: Situation in prisons is deteriorating
The Palestinian prisoners’ center for studies affirmed that the situation in the Israeli prisons has been deteriorating as a result of the prison administrations’ oppressive policies against them.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An international conference on Palestinians jailed in Israel, to take place in Iraq next week, will address the legal status of prisoners after Palestine was recognized as a non-member state at the United Nations. Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Saturday that the two-day summit in Baghdad, starting on Tuesday, will focus on the impact of the status change and the “mechanism to take advantage of this new status to protect prisoners’ rights.” The conference on Palestinian prisoners, which will include personal testimonies and documentary screenings, is being held under the patronage of the Arab League.
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
A dismissed teacher in Ramallah was carried to hospital on Sunday after his health condition worsened due to six days of hunger strike.
Close to one hundred protesters marched and rode bicycles in a peaceful march through several villages in South Hebron Hills on Saturday 8 December. The purpose of the symbolic protest was to draw attention to and oppose the eviction orders issued to eight villages in the area. Native Palestinians in the area near one thousand and have lived there for hundreds of years. The march started in At Tuwani and ended in Al Fahkeit.
Occupation forces suppressed the weekly demonstration of Kufr Qaddum, east Qalqiliya district, against the Israeli settlements and demanded the occupation authorities to open the main entrance of the village, which has been closed for more than 10 years. The Israeli suppression of the demonstration led to several injuries with suffocation and people fainting as a result of toxic tear gas. Hundreds of the activists participated in the demonstration participants chanted nationalistic slogans against the policies of expanding the settlements which are pursued by the occupation. The march did also protest against the occupation plans to construct another 3600 settlement housing units in the Jerusalem area.

Solidarity sit-in with hunger strikers in Jenin
National and Islamic forces along with relatives of prisoners in Israeli occupation jails organized a solidarity sit-in on Friday in front of the Red Cross office in Jenin.

The powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC has increasingly become a target of Palestine solidarity protests.

Israeli arms companies forced to pull out of major aerospace convention in France, Michael Deas
Organizers tell media that Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries pulled out of Toulouse business convention due to activist pressure.


University of Oslo to end G4S contract over support for Israeli apartheid, Michael Deas
University’s decision to not renew contract a major victory for campaign against occupation profiteer.

This episode in moral relativism is brought to you by the letter “M” – for Maria. Sonia Manzano, who plays Maria on the long-running PBS series “Sesame Street,” isbashing Israel via her Twitter feed. The actress sent out two pro-Palestinian messages relating to the latest unrest in the Middle East, first calling Israel bullies and then comparing the Jewish state to early American settlers who wiped out Native Americans.

“I didn’t know about the boycott until it was too late,” says acclaimed Native American feminist writer and musician Jo Harjo on arrival in Tel Aviv.
In response to the avalanche of faux outrage over Sydney University’s Jake Lynch and his important stanceagainst Israeli university complicity in occupation, I received the following letter…
The people of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills invite you to join them in their struggle against the colonial conquest of traditional lands. Over a period of 11 days, students, artists and activists from across Palestine and abroad will join Palestinian farmers and shepherds at risk of forced expulsion from a homeland they have inhabited for generations. In particular the March Freedom Ride will include building and reconstruction work, protective presence activity, guided walks, home-stays, interactive workshops, educational talks and cultural events. Through Playback Theatre, residents of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills will also share personal accounts about the realities of life and struggle under settler colonialism, military occupation and state-sanctioned apartheid.

Israeli Racism & Discrimination
83 percent say they don’t trust the government; Israeli-Palestinian conflict tops list of concerns for just 8 percent.
MKs cite support for the 2010 Gaza flotilla and the denial of Israel as a Jewish state.

Elections committee likely to ban Arab MK from Knesset race
Final word on Hanin Zoabi’s disqualification rests with High Court of Justice, which historically has overturned similar decisions.


On Thursday night at the Center for Jewish History in New York, a panel spoke about Jews as “culture brokers”in the publishing business, and Jason Epstein, who co-founded The New York Review of Books, told about his relationship with Benzion Netanyahu, the late father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Benzion died earlier this year.
A sign ordering women to “wait for their husbands in a concealed area” has caused a stir among activists working against the exclusion of women from the public sphere in Israel. “Wait for your husband behind the white van and such places so that you won’t serve as an obstacle to those praying,” the sign says, according to a picture of the sign published by Channel 2 news.
Ethiopian women who moved to Israel eight years ago claimed Israeli officials coerced them to receive injections of Depo-Provera, a long-acting birth control drug, as a prerequisite to immigration.  Speaking to reporters on an episode of Israel Educational Television’s investigative show “Vacuum” that aired on Saturday, several immigrants described the intense pressure placed on them to keep their families small. The women claimed Israeli representatives from the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Health Ministry told them that raising large families is especially difficult, that it is for hard people with many children to find work and support their families, and that many landlords would not be willing to rent apartments to large families.
Political Developments / Other News
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad will not adhere to a Nov. 21 ceasefire deal to end recent violence in Gaza if the group’s secretary-general is banned from entering the coastal enclave by Israel, a senior group official said Sunday. ”We had hoped that Dr. Shalah could have visited Gaza accompanied by Hamas leader Mashaal, but the Israeli occupier had a different opinion,” Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh said during a public meeting in Gaza. The Islamist movement will not accept the Egyptian-mediated truce deal as long as leader Ramadan Shalah is prevented from entering the Gaza Strip, al-Batsh added. ”We want Palestinian unity, national reconciliation and we want to see unity embodied when Shalah and the Palestinian Authority’s president Mahmoud Abbas visit the Gaza Strip along with all resistance factions,” the official said.
Thousands cheer claims of victory in last month’s war and warnings that more Israeli soldiers could be kidnapped. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal vowed Gaza’s rulers would never give up “an inch of the land” to Israel in an uncompromising speech before tens of thousands of cheering supporters at a triumphalist “victory” rally in Gaza City. ”Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowd on his first visit to Gaza. “We will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.” The supporters – many of them wearing Hamas green headbands and carrying Hamas flags – packed the open-air venue in rain and strong winds to celebrate the Islamist organisation’s 25th anniversary and what it regards as a victory in last month’s eight-day war with Israel.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israel threatened to cancel the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt if Hamas’ chief in exile and his delegation visited the Gaza Strip for the movement’s 25th anniversary, says senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishiq. In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV Saturday, al-Rishiq said, “We received real threats that occupation could cancel the ceasefire agreement or do anything.”  Al-Rishiq highlighted that Mashaal decided to visit the Gaza Strip even at personal risk.  Describing the “historic” visit by Hamas’ leaders in exile to Gaza, he said, “This is a great view, and we are happy to set foot on the pure land of Gaza and met from the very beginning with our people.” 
Hamas celebrated the 25th anniversary of its creation Saturday, as hundreds of thousands gathered in Gaza City for festivities, despite Israeli threats to end a ceasefire. Hamas chief Khaled Meshal made on his first trip to the Gaza Strip for the event, returning to Palestinian land Friday for the first time in 45 years. Israel threatened to cancel the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt if Hamas’ chief in exile and his delegation visited the Gaza Strip for the movement’s anniversary, senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishiq said. In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV Saturday, al-Rishiq said, “We received real threats that occupation could cancel the ceasefire agreement or do anything.” He highlighted that Meshal decided to visit the Gaza Strip even at personal risk.
Speaking the massive celebration marking the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Hamas, in Gaza, Khaled Mashal head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, called on the Arab countries to support the Palestinian resistance with “arms and money”, and said that “Palestine is from the river to the sea, and will always remain Arab and Islamic”.
“We don’t kill Jews because they are Jews. We kill the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to kill anyone who takes our land and our holy places“.  I bet you that the New York Times and other US Zionist papers will not carry this part of his speech.  Two years ago, when Hasan Nasrallah said that that his party is not opposed to Jews qua Jews, the remarks were not reported in any US newspapers which still carry fabricated quotes that are attributed to him by Zionist fabricators. 
Can you see the massive difference? To an untrained ear the Arabic verbs for “kill” and “fight” could sound the same because قتل – to kill – and قاتل – to fight or combat – come from the same root. But to any fluent Arabic speaker there is no ambiguity at all in what Meshal said as the clip below shows.
Islamic Jihad Movement congratulated Hamas movement on its twenty-fifth anniversary, considering that the masses’ participation in this celebration proves the people’s support for the resistance.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Free and fair Palestinian elections must be followed by partnership and cooperation between factions, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Sunday. The Hamas leader made the comments during a public meeting of Palestinian political factions, civil society organizations and bereaved families in Gaza. ”Our brothers in Fatah, you started before us, and we are not your replacement but rather your partners. Old disagreements will never come back,” Mashaal said, adding that reconciliation is a necessity. ”But reconciliation should not be at the expense of firm Palestinian principles,” the Hamas chief stressed, adding that Egyptian sponsored reconciliation talks will take place soon.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah will organize anniversary celebrations in the Gaza Strip to commemorate the 48th year since the party’s founding, a senior Fatah official in Gaza said Sunday. Yahya Rabah told Ma’an that the celebrations would take place amid a positive atmosphere of reconciliation and the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s status. Last year, anniversary celebrations were banned by Hamas, who announced that all planned festivities would be canceled. A special committee has started preparing for the celebrations, which will take place in Gaza City under the banner of “Statehood and Victory,” Rabah said.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Former Palestinian Authority Chief of Justice Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi announced the formation of a new political party on Saturday. Sheikh Tamimi told Ma’an that the official launching of the Freedom and Independence Party for the Defense of Holy Sites will take place on Wednesday at the Rocky hotel in Ramallah. The party, which is licensed by the PA Interior Ministry, aims to protect Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestinian rights such as the return of refugees, Tamimi said. The party will work on enhancing political unity and reconciliation, he added, noting that members will be from the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian diaspora.
The Palestinian president is urging Arab nations to provide major financial assistance to cover a new monthly $100 million budgetary shortfall after U.N. recognition of Palestinian claims to statehood — the result of a punitive Israeli measure.

Abbas calls for economic agreement with Israel to be amended
The PA is ‘on the verge of collapse,’ says Palestinian president, declaring the need for a constitution.

Arab states agree to provide Palestinian Authority with $100 million monthly ‘financial safety net’ after Israel freezes tax payments.
Mauritanian religious scholar Sheikh Mohammed Shankiti has championed supporting the Palestinian people with arms and money to enable them defend themselves in face of Israeli attacks.
Israel warned Egypt that allowing terror chiefs individuals to join Mashaal on visit would violate truce, pan-Arab daily confirms.
IDF officials warn tensions in West Bank close to boiling point following PA’s successful UN gambit, say coming March’s Nakba and Naksa days will foretell potential violence.

PA forces in the West Bank reportedly cease activity against Hamas
Move is part of Palestinian reconciliation, with prospects of Fatah-Hamas unity now seen as ‘better than ever’; IDF prepares for ‘new era’ of violence.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said on Saturday that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu was taking Israel into unprecedented isolation with its policy on Jewish settlements. He singled out Israel’s recent announcement that it would build new settlement homes in the E1 corridor near Jerusalem. The plan has sparked international protest. Olmert said such plans had been around for years. But making the announcement days after the United States sided with Israel against the Palestinians’ successful bid for de facto statehood recognition by the UN General Assembly was a slap in the face to Israel’s main ally.
Shimon Peres, meanwhile, says he would meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal as a last resort.
Israel should set own borders, take long view toward peace talks, Gabi Ashkenazi says. 
JERUSALEM — Israel barred a dovish Israeli academic from taking part in a science symposium in Berlin on Thursday that was part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Germany, drawing renewed charges that his government has little tolerance for dissent. An official traveling with Netanyahu said professor and human rights expert Rivka Feldhay was banned from a meeting of Israeli and German scientists because the prime minister did not want to allow the participation of an Israeli “who tarnishes the name of Israeli soldiers and pilots.”

Potential secretary of state a seasoned fighter for Israel
Considered the favorite to replace Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice has largely won over US Jewish groups with her advocacy at the UN.

Local cosmetics company decides to give new scent name of Hamas rocket fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, saying fragrance ‘is pleasant and attractive, like the missiles of the Palestinian resistance’
According to an Egyptian daily, the equipment fitted on the vulture was solar-powered and allows broadcasting information gathered, including images, via satellite uplink, the paper said. It also had GPS installed.
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
Israel grows jittery of new Palestinian uprising
JERUSALEM (AP) — The rising confidence and bellicosity of Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, combined with rapidly deteriorating relations with Israel’s would-be peace partner in the West Bank, are raising jitters in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could be near., A number of prominent voices urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to take steps to ease the tensions and bolster the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu’s political rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, warned that renewed violence might not be “far off.”, But the Israeli leader stood tough. Poised for re-election, it appears unlikely he will float a bold new initiative anytime soon. “We in the government have no illusions. We want a true peace with our neighbors. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet., Over the past month, Netanyahu has taken a series of steps that appear to have unintentionally emboldened the rival Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank.
Notice that the New York Times inserted this paragraph about the report in an article about Khalid Mish`al’s visit to Gaza:  “On Friday, Human Rights Watch said the airstrike on the Dalu home was “a clear violation of the laws of war.” In a statement, it said its field investigation into the attack concluded that even if there had been a legitimate military target inside the house, the likelihood that the attack would have killed large numbers of civilians inside made it “unlawfully disproportionate.””  So Human Rights Watch has ruled that schools and hospitals can be legitimate targets for Israeli bombing if they contain “a legitimate military target” inside?  Would Human Rights Watch ever state that Palestinians can attack “a legitimate military target” inside Israeli houses? Ever?  It is not that Human Rights Watch’s statements on Israel discredit all their work: they never ever even came close of possessing the slightest credibility.  They don’t even try: just compare their language in their reports on Syria with their language in this lousy report.  So when Human Rights Watch says that it was “unlawfully disproportionate” they only mean that Israel killed more babies than necessary?

Tapper grills Carney on special relationship: ‘There’s no consequences. They’ll do whatever and you’ll–’, Annie Robbins
TAPPER: One last question. On the subject of Israel, in the last few weeks, whether it comes to the U.S. lobbying against the declaration of statehood or whatever for the Palestinians, the very successful results of the Iron Dome and the U.S. support for Israeli military activities in Gaza, the U.S. has been very steadfastly standing by Israel. I’m wondering, in light of that, other than you expressing displeasure and any paper statements that have gone out on the matter, what the Obama administration, what the president has done or any of his emissaries to express displeasure with what the Israelis are doing right now in terms of settlements and other things described as punitive actions against the Palestinians.

This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. I arrived in Ramallah in the summer of 1986, eager to find a way to deepen my understanding and strengthen my commitment to (and activism for) peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. Little did I know that I would soon witness a momentous milestone in Palestinian history – namely, the popular uprising or first intifada. I was fortunate to be hired that summer as a volunteer teacher at the Friends Schools in Ramallah where I had the privilege to teach boys of all ages; often times without the privilege of textbooks or curriculum. Thanks to my good liberal arts training in the US and being a child of teachers myself, I was able to be somewhat knowledgeable on many topics and could be creative in capturing the imaginations of my students. In my art classes, boys used to feel daring when they painted in the then-outlawed colors of the Palestinian flag, and in social studies they loved learning about different cultures, religions, and how people were able to solve conflicts.
In Honor of Titans, Mouin Rabbani
This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here. In hindsight, the popular uprising that erupted in the occupied Palestinian territories on 9 December 1987 and continued for six grueling yet heroic years makes perfect sense. Scholars, analysts and activists have demonstrated how a variety of factors came together to ripen conditions for the eruption of mass protest and its development into a sustained and organized rebellion.
It hasn’t been a month since a New York Times reporter in Gaza got in hot water for condescending comments on local culture, when Steven Erlanger, of the Times Paris bureau, formerly the Jerusalem bureau chief, shows up and has some anthropological insights to convey on social media. The two tweets below strike me as “othering”– they treat Palestinians as an alien culture. First, here’s his tweet responding to a Hamas show of force– with his picture. “Dorothy: We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Yesterday an image that is purportedly British street artist Banksy’s Christmas card this year started making the rounds on Twitter. The artwork in question is, in many ways, a conventional Biblical landscape painting, which shows what are presumably the figures of Joseph and Mary — she astride a donkey — making their way toward Bethlehem, only to find their route blocked by the graffiti-covered Irsaeli West Bank barrier.

Anyone who has gone to the village of Bil’in’s weekly protest in the West Bank has seen the man above, the cheerful and fearless Hamde Abu Rahma, a Palestinian photo-journalist who has taken great risks, and been injured, as he documents peaceful resistance. You can watch him filming a night raid by soldiers here, and confronting one of them: “Why I should stop? I can’t take pictures of you; you take pictures of me.” And here’s a short documentary about his work, “Peace Photographer,” in which he movingly describes the killing of his cousin Bassem by Israeli soldiers and his discovery of his vocation.
Emerging from an “age of defeat”: interview with poet Ghassan Zaqtan, Lauren Pyott 
“Wolves” is included in his latest book Like A Straw Bird It Follows Me. This is the tenth collection of poems from Zaqtan. Born in Beit Jala, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 58 years ago, he is the son of Khalil Zaqtan, a poet and UN aid worker. Because of his father’s work, Ghassan spent much of his early years in refugee camps for Palestinians driven from their homes during the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing which led to Israel’s foundation in 1948.
There is little literature today that highlights a Palestinian woman’s thoughts, opinions and beliefs regarding her status in society, individuality, role within the community and marriage, the labor market, and views on the West. Most of the available research and media pieces focus on Palestinian women in the context of religious oppression, domestic violence, displacement and conflict. Had I not been born to Palestinian parents, I may have thought this research provided an accurate depiction of women in Palestine. That’s when it occurred to me it would be wonderful to take a trip to the West Bank and interview Palestinian women of all backgrounds and ages about their lives. That idea quickly turned into reality.  A generous woman in the Nashville, Tennessee area was in the early stages of developing a nonprofit called The Cradleboard Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting social justice through the arts.  She knew I had an interest in writing and that I was passionate about my heritage (although I was born to Palestinians, I was mainly raised in the United States). It was because of her sponsorship and another friend’s personal support that I found myself on a plane headed to the West Bank in September 2011.

Israel’s Fourth President, Ephraim Katzir, Founded IDF Biological Weapons Program, Richard Silverstein
I recently wrote a post which recounted two episodes in Israeli history in which the IDF resorted to biological warfare against its Arab enemies.  In one case, Moshe Dayan brought home tubes containing typhus to be used in poisoning the water supply of the Jordanian Legion (which instead infected the Israeli leader’s son, Assi with the disease); and another, in which Palmach infiltrators attempted to poison Gaza’s water supply, but were caught and executed.

As readers know, I regard the Israeli writer Yossi Gurvitz as a wild genius with tremendous insight. Last month I went out to lunch with him in Jaffa and asked him what the future holds for the Israeli political leadership. His answers were devastating: 1, settlers control Israel’s near-term future because if they are pressured they will threaten a Jewish civil war, and Israelis understand that threat and will sooner turn on Palestinians; 2, the future is one-state but it will only come to pass after great bloodshed.
Lena Dunham, 26, the maker of the hit HBO show “Girls,” just sold a book proposal, which Gawker has posted, that includes a chapter in which she makes a “life-changing” visit to Israel. The sad part of this chapter, pages 28-36, is that Palestine is invisible. Dunham is visiting Palestine but isn’t aware of it. She spends a lot of time in occupied territory (East Jerusalem, Mount of Olives) and gets a lesson about “marauding Bedouins” on her cab ride to the Dead Sea– surely an Israeli driver describing Palestinians as violent. Her friend flirts with a soldier with a semiautomatic weapon, she buys a Guns ‘n Moses T-shirt, and she notes that Israelis “are really moralistic and aggressive.” But she doesn’t put that together with the unending occupation. She has a driver she describes as an “Arab man.” Well, he was Palestinian.

The UN General Assembly has now voted, by 138 votes to 9, with 41 abstentions and 5 no-shows, to recognize the existence as a state “of the State of Palestine on the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967”. The “no” votes were cast by Israel, the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.

2 Responses

  1. seafoid
    December 10, 2012, 10:58 am

    Rise of Hamas and failed peace process(meaning occupation to continue) lead Israeli leaders and media to warn of ‘third Intifada ’(meaning attempt to throw off the occupation)

    • gamal
      December 11, 2012, 6:15 am

      there were 4 chimurenga’s before Zimbabwe threw off white rule.

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