When Gaza emerged victorious from the November Israeli assault, Palestinian refugees living in north Lebanon’s Baddawi Camp did not hesitate to take to the streets in celebration. But when Palestine became a non-member state at the UN, the response among them was not as enthusiastic.
Everyone can probably imagine how it hurts when you want to tell the world what is your hometown and someone comes along telling you, “Sorry it is not yours..!” I felt like my heart was on fire when my sister and I wanted to add our hometown to our Facebook profile and there was no option called “Ashdod, Palestine” but instead “Ashdod, Israel”. This is what makes me, without any previous thinking, hold the pen and start writing about my hometown, Isdud. Actually, I cannot explain which feelings are controlling me in such a moment; hatred, enmity, love, nostalgia. All I know is that I want to return to my hometown, Isdud, to kiss its sand, to run in its land, to garnish my hair with its flowers and eat from its fruits!
U.N. urges Palestinians to stay out of Syrian conflict
The half a million Palestinian refugees living in Syria should keep out of the country’s conflict and their neutrality be respected, U.N. Relief and Works Agency chief Filippo Grandi told AFP. “The Palestinians should remain neutral and everybody should respect that.
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
Terrorist group wants to sue coordinator of government activities in the territories Major-General Eitan Dangot for role in Gaza blockade.
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egypt killed an African migrant and detained 39 others who were en route to Israel in the Sinai peninsula on Thursday, security sources said. Egyptian officials said one of the migrants refused to stop after being ordered by security forces. The identity and nationality of the victim were not immediately available. The migrants, from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia, were transferred to security forces for questioning. A number of them are women, according to the sources.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — International aid group Oxfam on Thursday called on Israel to take the opportunity of its ceasefire in Gaza to lift the military blockade it imposes on the coastal strip. Israel tightened a land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip when Hamas took power in 2007, devastating the local economy. ”People in Gaza need more than ceasefire, they need an end to the blockade for good,” Oxfam’s Country Director Nishant Pandey said. Israel’s recent 8-day war on Gaza ended with a ceasefire on Nov. 21, which included a pledge to discuss easing travel and economic restrictions.
GAZA CITY—Dr. Majdi Na’eim worked for eight consecutive days at Al-Shifa Hospital throughout Israel’s “Pillar of Cloud” operation in the Gaza strip. With hundreds of wounded pouring into the emergency room, there was no time for him and many of his colleagues to even leave the hospital. On the final and one of the most brutal days of the assault, Israel targeted Ni’ma tower in Gaza City. Dr. Na’eim was in the emergency room aiding physicians when he learned that one of the arriving casualties was his two year old son, Abdel Rahman Na’eim. Imagine a father’s horror and instant grief. At his son’s wake, Dr. Na’eim told friends and family who were seeking to comfort him, “I’m terribly sorry. I’m unable to talk about anything.”
Is Gaza Still Occupied and Why Does It Matter?, Lisa Hajjar
Yes, the Gaza Strip is still occupied. Despite official Israeli remonstrations that the unilateral disengagement of 2005, which removed Israeli military bases and Jewish settlers, transformed Gaza into “no longer occupied territory,” neither those changes nor anything that has transpired since has ended the occupation. “Occupation” is a legal designation of an international nature. Israel’s occupation of Gaza continues to the present day because (a) Israel continues to exercise “effective control” over this area, (b) the conflict that produced the occupation has not ended, and (c) an occupying state cannot unilaterally (and without international/diplomatic agreement) transform the international status of occupied territory except, perhaps, if that unilateral action terminates all manner of effective control.
This week I heard a TV correspondent, who I very much respect and admire, throw back to the studio with the words “as Palestinians call it, the Israeli siege on Gaza.” She was standing in Gaza City where Israeli ground forces were surrounding the perimeter of the Strip. Warships surrounded the sea and drones and F16s patrolled the skies above. If there was ever a time to call Gaza under siege with certainty, it was then. Yet as she stood talking about the strikes and the people killed, her need to be balanced at the end made her unable to tell the cold bold truth.
Anne Paq, a French photographer and human rights specialist, will describe her experiences in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence last month. She will show and comment on a selection of photographs that will provide an overview and first-hand account of what happened. Paq will share analysis and discuss the challenges journalists and the media faced in Gaza during this time and in general.
There cannot be half justice; either complete justice or no justice. It is time the situation in Israel and Palestine be dealt with to achieve full justice. Ignoring the blockade and the fragmentation imposed on an entire people cannot continue forever. Subjugating a people to live with dispossession, discrimination, and persecution should no longer be tolerated. Overlooking scores of killings — including of children, parents, and grandparents — is outrageous. Feeding a besieged population while arming those who control and oppress them should no longer make sense. It is about time the world, but particularly Germany and Europe, acted on justice as a core value. This is only attainable if the real problems are put forward and dealt with; namely those of the occupation, the fragmentation, and the oppression of another people.
A year ago, I spent six days in Givon Prison near Ramle in occupied Palestine. I was part of a group of internationals en route to Gaza who, following the Israeli Navy’s seizure of the Tahrir and the Saoirse (Canadian and Irish boats, respectively) in international waters, were illegally detained. Then, a month ago, I concluded a visit to Gaza. My travelling companions and I were overwhelmed with the warm welcome offered by Palestinians in Gaza and struck by their amazing resilience. At the international linguistics conference we attended, my colleagues, including Noam Chomsky, noted the “vibrancy and vitality among young people, particularly at the university”. We also witnessed constant reminders that the Palestinians of Gaza are imprisoned by an occupying force that controls land, air, and sea access to the densely populated Strip. Their situation is in many ways worse than that of prisoners in a “normal” prison. Prisoners in many countries receive regular meals and medical care; most Palestinians in Gaza depend on food aid while crucial medications are in chronic shortage or prohibitively expensive.
GAZA STRIP (Palestine): Some 120 Malaysians have entered the Gaza Strip as members of the Aman Palestin Solidarity Mission 2012 to deliver donations worth RM1.8mil from Malaysians of all walks of life. These volunteers, among them professionals, artistes and students, entered the Gaza Strip at 5.40 pm local time (11.40 pm Malaysian time) Thursday after travelling six hours by bus from Cairo and passing through the Suez Canal, Ismailliya, Sinai City and Arish.
Israeli Terrorism / Violence / Aggression
14 Injured By Army Fire In Hebron
Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported that 14 residents have been injured, while dozens were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Bab Az-Zawiya area in the city.
Around 500 Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Burqa, north-west of Nablus, in the middle of the night, ransacking homes and causing damages amounting to thousands of euros. Soldiers arrived in over 30 military jeeps at around 1:00am and broke into 36 houses where whole families were asleep. People in Burqa recounted their horror at finding armed soldiers with dogs surrounding their beds, and at being forced to leave their homes and stand in the rain as the Israeli military carried out its operation. One old woman who complained that the conditions were detrimental to her weak state of health was simply told to ‘shut up’ by the soldiers. Another man described how he had to wait for hours in the rain with his one-year old daughter dressed only in her pyjamas.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stormed the West Bank village of Barqa west of Nablus early Thursday and ransacked 36 homes, a Palestinian official said. Wael Daghlas, a member of the Barqa village council, told Ma’an that hundreds of soldiers were involved in the raid. Rafat Seif, 48, a resident of the village, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed his house at 2 a.m. without warning. Soldiers gathered his family members in one room during the raid, he said.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — A 47-year-old Palestinian man was beaten up by Israeli settlers during an olive harvest south of Nablus on Thursday, local officials said. Nasser Fayez Odah is in a moderate condition after a group of settlers attacked him with sticks and sharp objects, Huwara village council head Moin al-Dmeiri said. A group from the Yitzhar settlement attacked the harvesters in an area south of village called al-Lahaf, the official said. The farmers had already obtained permission from the Palestinian and Israeli liaison officials to harvest in the area, he noted. Rights groups says Israel systematically fails to prosecute settler violence against Palestinians, perpetuating the attacks.
A Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli security agents outside Nablus on Monday did not attack them before they opened fire, his family insists. Thirty-five-year-old Hatem Shadid of the Illar village was driving when his car collided with an Israeli jeep near the Beit Lid village. One of the occupants of the car, a Shin Bet agent, later shot him. Israeli officials said Shadid had attacked the agents with an ax, but his family disputed the account saying he was going about his day normally when the incident occurred.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 32-year-old man died in southern Gaza on Thursday of complications from wounds sustained in an Israeli military assault on Nablus in 2004, a health ministry spokesman said. Ahmad Khashan died in Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Ashraf al-Qidra said. Khashan had suffered weakness in the right side of his body since 2004 when he sustained head injuries from shrapnel.
One year on, investigation into the killing of Mustafa Tamimi still not completed
A year after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, resident of the West Bank village of a-Nabi Saleh, who was fatally injured in the head by a tear gas canister, B’Tselem contacted Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch, demanding clarification of the status of the case. The organization served notice that it intends to seek legal remedy as may be required to end the delays in pursuing this case and prevent damage to the rights of the complainants and to the criminal process.
On November 18, 2012, the Dalu family, huddled at home, waited for the war that surrounded them to end. Like everyone else in Gaza, they had nowhere to run. At 2:30PM, without warning, an Israeli missile flattened the entire building, killing all ten occupants and two from the building adjacent. Not only was the building destroyed, but the bomb carved out a deep crater where the home had been. It took four days of searching through the rubble for rescuers to find the bodies of the ten family members and two neighbors.
I am eight months pregnant. We – my husband, Ayman Muhammad al-Jabali, 40, my two-and-a-half year old daughter Rama and I – live in an apartment building in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood. Since the fighting began on 14 November 2012 I haven’t been able to sleep because I’m afraid of the bombings. I hold my daughter Rama, and read the Quran and pray to God to protect us. Rama keeps waking up, frightened by the bombings, and cries a lot. I can’t get her to sleep. I became so exhausted that I phoned a pediatrician for consultation. She told me that I could give Rama a children’s sleep medicine, but that prolonged use is not recommended because then children have trouble falling asleep without it. Yet I have no choice since my daughter can’t sleep because of the bombardments that shake the walls of the house so much that it feels like an earthquake. After the bombing of the building of the Palestinian civil administration, which is responsible for coordination with Israel and is located about 100 meters from our house, cracks appeared in our walls. Despite the cold, I have to leave the windows open, so that the windowpanes won’t shatter during the bombardments. We wear many layers and stay covered up to keep warm. In the previous war, 2008-2009, the glass in the windows shattered in our apartment and in all the other apartments in our building. A few passersby in the street were injured by the flying shards of glass. .
Soldiers Kidnap Four Children In Hebron
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Thursday evening, four children in Ash-Shuhada’ Street, in the center of Hebron city, and the nearby Beit Ummar town, in the southern part of the West Bank, and released two of them later on, but refuse to release the remaining two.
Israeli court and police extend detention of some youths and children in J’lem
The Israeli magistrates’ court on Tuesday adjourned the sentencing hearing against a 16-year old boy named Bahaaddin Abul Hawa until December 12 of the current year.
IOF arrest 11 Palestinians in occupied West Bank
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn on Wednesday ten Palestinians in different parts of the cities and villages of the West Bank, including a liberated prisoner.
Other Prisoner News
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association expresses its deep concern for the health and lives of five Palestinian political prisoners that are on hunger strike to protest their unjust detention in Israeli Occupation’s prisons. Write NOW to Israeli officials and your own representatives, demanding immediate release of the hunger-striking prisoners.
Ahrar: Hunger strikers Sharawna and Issawi reached a life-threatening stage
Ahrar center said the health condition of hunger strikers Ayman Sharawna and Samer Issawi is deteriorating very badly, describing it as extremely serious and delicate.
RAMALLAH, December 6, 2012 (WAFA) – Tel Aviv district court fined Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), approximately $11 million to pay compensation for damage caused during operations carried out by PFLP, according to a statement by the detainees affairs ministry’s lawyer Shireen Iraqi on Thursday. She said that the court presented Sadaat with a list of charges demanding him to pay compensation for what they claimed “severe damage caused by operation carried out by PLFP.” Sa’adat told the lawyer that these new accusations are directed at him, the Legislative Council, and at 81 other members of the PLFP. Sa’adat rejected the court order and described it as Israeli audacity and part of the aggression against the rights of the Palestinian people.
A tale of blind father with four sons in jails
The family of Hajj “Abu Azzam Meri” is one of the Palestinian families who suffered a lot from the occupation, where his four sons were detained in Israeli jails and banned from seeing their children.
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 2012 (IPS) – Rabbi Brant Rosen leads a congregation in Evanston, Illinois and is author of the new book, Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity. Speaking with Mitchell Plitnick, Rosen, co-chair of the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace, stressed that the views both in his book and in this interview are his own and do not represent his congregation. Excerpts follow.
SodaStream, a gadget for making carbonated water at home, is made in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land in violation of international law! Folks who care about human rights and are out shopping for the holidays, could end up inadvertently buying SodaStream because they don’t know the facts.
When: Sunday, December 9th, 2:00-4:00pm / Where: In front of Columbia Heights Mall — at the Columbia Heights Metro Station on 14th St.– just north of the intersection with Irving St. / What: Join DC’s SodaStream Boycott action during the holiday season to educate DC holiday shoppers about the injustice of the Israeli occupation, ask them to refuse to buy SodaStream products, and call on local store managers to tell their corporate headquarters to stop stocking the products. SodaSteam manufactures its beverage carbonating devices in an illegal West Bank settlement. This DC protest action will feature live music, with special SodaStream lyrics, signs and slogans, as well as an informational flyer in English and Spanish, and a card for shoppers to hand in to store owners of the four stores in the mall that carry SodaStream: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Staples, and Target.
Israeli Racism & Discrimination
Yisrael Beytenu’s David Rotem claims Balad is a ‘hostile minority’ that undermines Israel’s existence. MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) requested on Thursday that the Central Elections Commission bar the Arab party Balad from running in the upcoming Knesset elections. When representatives of Balad presented their list to the commission on Thursday evening, Rotem, the deputy chairman of the commission, filed his request on the grounds that Balad “supports the armed struggle of an enemy state or terrorist organization.” He also cited calls by Balad members for a third intifada, and the participation of Balad MK Hanin Zoabi in the flotilla that attempted to breach Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010. “It is time that Election Commission and the Supreme Court finally place a red line,” Rotem said, blasting Israel’s “inability to deal with a hostile minority that undermines its existence.”
Political Developments / Other News
“Israel” to Join US-Led Military Coalition in Syria for Fear of Chemical Weapons
A US-led military coalition is prepared to take military action in Syria if the regime is using chemical weapons against the armed opposition, and this action could include Israel, the Times reported.