UN: 120 houses destroyed, 3000 displaced during latest Israeli attack on Gaza

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500 Israeli soldiers ransack homes in Burqa
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.

Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
Munir Mina, the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement in UNRWA, confirmed that 120 houses were completely destroyed during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) issued a situation report Wednesday outlining the humanitarian priorities in the Gaza Strip following conclusion of Israeli military attacks on the area. Addressing the fundamental humanitarian needs of the some 3,000 Palestinians still displaced in Gaza due to the loss or damage of their homes is defined as a main priority. Additional challenges cited include rehabilitation of damaged residences and schools provision of psychosocial support ot children, clearnance of explosive remnants and supply of essential drugs and medical disposables currently out of stock. OCHA estimates that US $60-70 million are required through the first half of 2013 to address these priority needs.
Dr. Mousa Olayan of the Jerusalem neighbhourhood of Beit Safafa was forced to demolish his own home on Wednesday in order to avoid payment of demolition costs to the Jerusalem municipality. Olayan told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan that his attempts throughout the years to obtain a building permit from Israeli authorities were unsuccessful. He began building 16 years ago, and subsequently paid some NIS 85 thousand in fines for “illegal building”.
Eighty Israeli attacks on sacred sites in occupied Palestinian territories Statistics made available by a human rights organisation reveal that the Israeli occupation forces and illegal Jewish settlers have violated sacred Muslim sites on Palestinian land on 80 occasions in the period from January to August 2012. The figures obtained by Quds Press from the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights indicate that violations by settlers vary from torching and storming mosques to writing racist slogans on mosque walls in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mosques have also been demolished; the latest such incident was the demolition of the Mafqara Mosque, south of Hebron, last week.
Hebron settler ‘plowing Palestinian field for land seizure’ HEBRON (Ma’an) — An Israeli settler is trying to seize 300 dunams of Palestinian farmland south of Hebron, an owner of the land said Wednesday. Abu Iyad Housheyeh told Ma’an that a resident of the illegal Mitzpe Yair settlement outpost had been plowing his land for two days in preparation to sow it. Housheyeh has filed a complaint to Israeli courts, which ordered that neither the settler or the owner of the land should access it. A court hearing on Wednesday was postponed, Housheyeh said.

E1: military reasoning, human consequences
Building in E1 does not prevent a future scenario of confrontation, as Israelis say, but instead creates an immediate confrontation. A settlement in this area will divide the West Bank, eroding the geographic platform for a Palestinian state by dividing it into three separate blocs: the Gaza Strip, south West Bank and north West Bank. The impact for the Palestinian population living in and surrounding the area will be disastrous, as natural growth is prevented, the Palestinian communities will be isolated and depopulation will certainly occur.

Earlier this week the Electronic Intifada (EI) published two articles on Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the West Bank supported by pictures of an entry visa on a passport that read “Judea and Samaria only,” which EI argued re-classified the West Bank as part of Israel. For travelers entering through Jordan since 2009 Ali Abunimah noted some have received restricted visas that only permit entry to the West Bank, barring visitors from Jerusalem and Israel. Before this week those visas were known to have stamps that stated, “Palestinian Authority only.” By using the language of “Judea and Samaria,” a reference to the biblical heartland of Eretz Yisrael and the name of the current Israeli administrative district in the West Bank that serves the settlements, the Jewish state is de facto claiming sovereignty over occupied Palestinian land. This change in status is accompanied by increasing calls from within the government to formalize Greater Israel, and it just may indicate that Israel is finally planning to formally annex the West Bank.

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. 
Power company estimates its losses from Gaza war at more than $13 million
The power company in Gaza said its direct and indirect losses during the recent Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip amounted to about 13. 2 million dollars.

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. .
Illegal Arrests

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.

IOF kidnap 8 Palestinian young men in violent raids on homes
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Thursday kidnapped eight Palestinian young men during violent raids on homes in Jenin, Tubas and Al-Khalil cities.

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, 5 December 2012 – 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. The five current hunger strikers are: Ayman Sharawna (158 days), Samer Al-Issawi (127 days), Oday Keilani (46 days), Jafar Azzidine (8) and Tarek Qa’adan (8 days).

Father of captive al-Barq calls for urgent intervention to end suffering of his
The father of prisoner Samer al-Barq appealed to all institutions and concerned bodies to immediately and urgently intervene and end the suffering of his son Samer.


Political prisoner Ameer Makhoul: international solidarity a “lighthouse” on journey to Palestine’s liberation
Political prisoner Ameer Makhoul writes a letter of salutation to the World Social Forum Free Palestine from Israeli prison.

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
The European Union has threatened to impose economic sanctions on the Israeli government, including restrictions on products of the Jewish settlements illegaly built Palestinian land.

BDS roundup: Activists to protest major fundraiser for the Israeli army
Activists in LA will protest a fundraiser for the Israeli army; African American activists encourage Stevie Wonder to join BDS; and the graduate students’ association at York University adopt a BDS resolution.

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.
About ISM: The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily Palestinian and Israeli activists in August 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international solidarity and an international voice.
For detailed information on ISM please visit www.palsolidarity.org

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.

Hamas will establish a Ministry of Defence in the Gaza Strip as one of the conclusions drawn from Israel’s November 2012 military attacks on the area, Interior Minister Fathi Hammad announced on Wednesday. The Jerusalem Report states that Minister Hammad made the announcement during a ceremony to honour the security and police officers for their work during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence. Hammad is reported to have stated that “following the aggression, Hamas has drawn all the conclusions to avoid any negative developments and activate innovations.” No Ministry of Defence currently exists in either the Gaza Strip or West Bank, where in both places the Ministry of Interior is formally responsible for Palestinian security forces.

Israel once tried to kill Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in a botched assassination attempt on the streets of the Jordanian capital, Amman. Fifteen years later, it is starting to view him in a slightly different light and Israeli analysts say he might yet prove the man who can open a dialogue between the Palestinian Islamist movement and the Jewish state.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal arrived in Cairo on Thursday ahead of his first visit to the Gaza Strip, as a delegation of relatives went ahead of him to Gaza. Mashaal will travel to Gaza on Friday with two other senior leaders in the movement based in exile, Izzat al-Rishq and Mousa Abu Marzouq. They will participate in Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations in the coastal strip, starting on Saturday. Mashaal’s wife Amal al-Burini and a group of his relatives arrived in Gaza on Thursday through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah will join celebrations for Hamas’ 25th anniversary in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a senior Fatah leader said Thursday. Yahya Rabah told Ma’an that Hamas officially invited Fatah to participate in the festival, and said Fatah leaders would celebrate “with our brothers in Hamas.” Fatah is waiting for President Mahmoud Abbas to call a meeting of all factions to finalize reconciliation, Rabah said. Real reconciliation is represented by national unity, not by resolutions between governments, he added. 

Israel reportedly threatens to cancel Gaza truce if Islamic Jihad heads enter Strip
Two of Iranian-linked group’s top officials planned to join Hamas leader Mashaal for visit on Friday.

Peace Index poll finds a majority of Israelis want a return to peace talks, but even larger number doubts their chances of success.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Thursday that the Jewish state will move forward with plans to build 3,000 settlement homes in the West Bank, despite growing international condemnations. “Most governments who have looked at these proposals over the years including the Palestinians themselves…understand that these blocs…are going to be part of Israel in a final political settlement of peace,” Netanyahu said of the planned settlements in the E1 corridor near East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate international law and undermine the possibility of a viable state in the West Bank.The plans are openly in retaliation for the Palestinian Authority’s successful bid to update its status to that of “observer state” in the UN.
Netanyahu meets German chancellor in Berlin, says Israel plans to keep corridor designated for new settlement construction. Merkel: Unilateral moves should be avoided
PRETORIA (Ma’an) — South Africa on Thursday summoned its Israeli ambassador to express the country’s concern over Israel announcing settlement expansion plans this week, local press reported. Ambassador Dov Segev-Steinberg was informed of South Africa’s rejection of the settlement expansion and seizure of Palestinian tax revenues, both announced after Palestine won the status of a non-member state at the UN, South Africa’s The Times newspaper said.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Panama on Wednesday summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest Israel’s decision to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Hebrew media reported. Panama was one of nine countries to vote against a resolution upgrading Palestine to a non-member state of the UN in November.  Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on Wednesday summoned the Israeli ambassador to a meeting to express strong disapproval of Israel’s settlement expansion plans, the foreign ministry in Rome said. The European Union and individual countries including Britain, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark have already summoned Israeli ambassadors over the settlement issue.
VALLETTA, December 6, 2012 (WAFA) – Malta strongly denounced the recent Israeli settlement policy, calling on Israel to abandon its plan to build thousands of new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Thursday said Malta’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Zammit. “The Palestinian people cannot continue building their state while their land is being continuously and gradually taken,” said Zammit. He expressed discomfort from the Israeli measures that threaten the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. “Settlements are illegal under international law and they form an obstacle to peace, as well as threaten the two-state solution,” he added. He stressed that this is the common position of the entire European Union. Malta was one of the 138 countries that voted in favor of the Palestinian bid at the United Nations.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A member in Fatah central committee, Nabil Shaath, called on China to take action against Israeli settlement plans announced after Palestine’s admission in the UN. Shaath met the Chinese ambassador, Liu Aizhong, in Ramallah on Wednesday, en emailed statement from Shaath’s office said. The Fatah leader praised China’s stance on last month’s UN resolution upgrading Palestine to the status of non-member in the world body. Aizhong congratulated the Palestinian people and stressed that China would continue to support them, the statement said.
Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, informed Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that his country cannot support Israel in its recent decision to build thousands of settlement units in the E1 area, linking Ma’ale Adumim settlement with occupied East Jerusalem.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A senior Hamas official on Thursday praised countries, particularly in Europe, for censuring Israel over its settlement expansion plan. Izzat al-Rishq welcomed moves by Spain, Denmark, France, Britain, Sweden and Italy to summon their Israeli ambassadors in protest against the move, in comments on his official Facebook page. The Hamas politburo members also welcomed Egypt’s summoning of their Israeli envoy over the settlement expansion, which came after Palestine was recognized as a non-member state at the UN. On Monday, senior PLO officials applauded Europe’s response to settlement building.
The Algerian Foreign Minister has challenged the international community to stop Israel’s “scorched earth” policy against the Palestinians. Mourad Medelci was speaking out on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, established by the UN General Assembly in 1977: “Israel’s announcement about building new settlements in the [occupied] West Bank and East Jerusalem, and withholding the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenue, should be strongly condemned,” he insisted.

Israel accuses US of being behind European moves against Tel Aviv
A media report in Israel claims that Washington gave six European countries the green light to summon Israeli ambassadors to protest against Tel Aviv’s decision to expand settlement construction in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Israeli sources with close ties to the US Administration as saying: “The European move is essentially an American move. The Brits asked the Americans how to act.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry fears further European actions, such as a boycott of goods produced on illegal settlements.

IDF force on routine patrol in Hebron dragged into brawl with Palestinian officers after trying to arrest suspect. Hundreds of Palestinians respond by hurling stones at troops forcing them to flee the scene.

Palestinian woman mountaineer’s journey to the top of the world
For some it may just be a huge, free standing mountain in Africa, but as Suzanne Al Houby locked her gaze on the gigantic Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters) during a holiday trip, she knew it was a well defining moment.

Local media reports four Israelis were expelled from Torres del Paine park after they took over cottage intended for all visitors

Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest

The Month in Pictures: November 2012

No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territories, Noura Erakat
On the fourth day of Israel’s most recent onslaught against Gaza’s Palestinian population, President Barack Obama declared, “No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” In an echo of Israeli officials, he sought to frame  Israel’s aerial missile strikes against the 360-square kilometer Strip as the just use of armed force against a foreign country. Israel’s ability to frame its assault against territory it occupies as a right of self-defense turns international law on its head.


“We welcome the BBC Trust’s admission that these news bulletins were inaccurate.”

Ahmad al-Dalu is to seek justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the 2012 Israeli massacre that flattened an entire building, killing all ten occupants and two from the adjacent building. At 2:30 pm, on 18 November 2012, amidst another siege on the open-air prison of Gaza, an Israeli warplane bombed a building, killing 10 family members from the al-Dalu family. After a four-day search, they found, among those killed, three children between the ages of four and seven, and a nine-month-old baby. The hope is that cases such as the al-Dalu family massacre might be submitted to the International Criminal Court and that Israeli decision-makers and actors could then be tried as individuals for war crimes, now that Palestine is a non-member UN state.
The recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state has led to confusion among Palestinians who are wondering how this will affect them. Will they receive passports? What about their lands still under occupation? Is the vote real progress, or does it simply legitimize the status quo?

The Privatization of Israeli War
The attack on Gaza was a show piece for “Iron Dome” technology which Israel wants to sell around the world.

Bloomberg Markets Magazine has just released a stunning look at the 38-year-old Israeli billionaire, Dan Gertler, whose mining deals in the DR Congo, the poorest country in the world, are strongly suspected of corruption.  The Bloomberg article is thoroughly documented, and a brave Congolese activist summarized the case against Gertler:
It all started out simply enough. The nonprofit Council for the National Interest, of which I am president, recently tried to buy an advertisement in American History magazine. The ad was to promote a new book by CNI’s founder, former Congressman Paul Findley, offering discounted copies through the CNI website.
Eman El-Hawi, a smart and perky 24-year-old business student from Gaza, got teary when she told our delegation about what she witnessed during the eight days that Israel pounded Gaza. “I saw the babies being brought into the hospital, some dead, some wounded. I couldn’t believe Israel was doing this again, just like four years ago. But at least this time,” she said with pride, “we struck back.”
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 6 2012 (IPS) – Whenever the Security Council (sporadically) or the General Assembly (more frequently) lambastes Israel, the reaction from the Jewish state is highly predictable: either launch a military strike on Palestinians or announce new settlements in the occupied territories. Since the Israelis last month exercised the first option, causing devastation in Gaza, they opted for 3,000 new settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank immediately after the 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution last week elevating Palestine from an “observer” to a “non-member state”. The settlements were condemned not only by the United States but also by the European Union and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Paradoxically, the retaliation followed even after Israel disparaged the General Assembly vote as “insignificant”, according to a New York Times editorial.
Israeli settlers invented the concept of “price tag” to justify their attacks against Palestinian civilians. It is time for the international community to impose a price tag on Israel. Netanyahu is angry, very angry. The recognition of Palestine as a non-member state by the General Assembly of the United Nations is a slap in the face of Israel. Netanyahu very much wishes to retaliate. Leaving the UN? Not realistic. Cutting diplomatic relations with more the over 130 states which supported the recognition of Palestine is even less so. So Israeli PM advisors have been brainstorming and trying to find a way to retaliate. They finally found it, using their typical methods of cowardice. Israel cannot attack powerful Europe (the main trade partner of Israel)? Okay, so it will attack the weak Palestinians.
Islamophobia has deep roots in this country. And it’s a political problem with political solutions.That was the message, in so many words, heard last night as about 70 people gathered in the basement of Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to hear about anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. Organized by the coalition group Jews Against Islamophobia, the packed panel event included activists and academics including Abdeen Jabara, who moderated the event and is a former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Deepa Kumar, author of the book Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire; Fahd Ahmed and Kazi Fouzia of the South Asian-led Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM); Elly Bulkin of Jews Say No!; and Madiha Tahir, an independent journalist covering Pakistan.
Torn between studying and learning alone in this cloud city, this is how I have been ever since I moved to London, the crossroads city that has a taste of every place in the world. Upon arrival, or even before that. Probably in the stage of thinking of leaving home. Moving out to a different world where they’ll be looked at and treated as aliens wondering who is exactly the alien in a city established on the bodies of the indigenous ever since the white man arrived here thinking of expanding his settlement elsewhere on earth.

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