Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement
Watch: Palestinian steadfastness honored in short animation “The Kite That Caught a Mountain”
EI 29 Jan – The Kite that Caught a Mountain, directed by Alexander Gaisie-Walker and James Altham, is a uniquely stylized portrayal of the literal machine of Israeli occupation and exploitation of Palestinian land. The short is specific to Israel’s practice of quarrying on Palestinian land but can be viewed as a metaphor of its colonization practices as a whole. In the short, a silhouetted father and son are pushed off of their land by armed soldiers who shoot down the boy’s kite. The family’s property is destroyed and their land quarried. However, the machine of occupation is met with resistance and the short ends with a hopeful vision for the future of Palestine … The directors are involved in a series of regeneration projects in the West Bank village of Beit Iksa in partnership with the Palestinian architectural preservation group Riwaq.
Israel to demolish Palestinian neighborhood
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Jan – Israeli forces on Tuesday delivered demolition notices to all Palestinian families in Fuheidat neighborhood east of Anata village in northeast Jerusalem, residents said. According to the notices, residents can demur before Feb. 17. A Ma‘an reporter said about 200 Palestinians live in the neighborhood which is located to the west of a large Israeli military base called Anatot. The Israeli forces plan to remove the neighborhood because it is close to the base.
Israeli forces demolish buildings in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 28 Jan — Israeli forces demolished at least four buildings and a sewage network in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan early Monday, locals said. Bulldozers leveled land and uprooted olive trees in order to access the demolition sites, closing all the surrounding roads, witnesses told Ma‘an. The raid, shortly after the dawn prayer, prompted clashes with local residents. Witnesses said several youth were detained by Israeli police, including Khalid al-Zeir and Firas Awad … Silwan resident Abdul-Munim Shuweiki said forces demolished a fence and uprooted 10-year-old olive trees to access his land. The bulldozers razed his garage and a steel building, damaging an external staircase, he told Silwan’s Wadi Hilweh Information Center. Ahmad Simrin, who owns land in the area, said Israeli bulldozers leveled parts of his land and demolished a sewage network. He told the Wadi Hilweh Center that he showed an Israeli commander a title deed dating back to 1892, which proves that the land was owned by his grandfather Awad Simrin. Israel does not recognize that deed and insists the area is a national park, he said.
Israeli court ceases a home demolition order in East Jerusalem
PNN — On Monday 28th January, Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported that lawyers representing families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan whose homes were target for demolition succeeded in stopping the destruction of the homes but not before heavy damage was caused to structures and land in the area, according to one of the lawyers. Workers from the Israeli West Jerusalem municipality arrived in Wadi Rababa area of Silwan Monday with a goal to demolish two Palestinian homes under the pretext they were built without a permit. Attorney Amir Murid said he asked the Jerusalem court to stop the demolition on ground the workers were causing heavy damage to private property in the area in order to reach the targeted homes. The workers and police left the area after presenting them with the court order, he said, but not before several structures and parts of one of the homes belonging to the Shqair family were heavily damaged. Confrontations broke out in Silwan between residents and a police force providing protection to the workers and their bulldozer when the force arrived in the area to demolish the homes.
Army prevents entry of saplings, construction material into Beit Iksa
IMEMC 29 Jan — Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the Israeli army denied the transport of construction materials and saplings into the village of Beit Iksa, north of occupied East Jerusalem. Head of the Beit Iksa village council, Kamal Hababa, stated that the army claimed that the youth in the village use the construction materials during protests against the annexation wall, settlements, and against the occupation. Hababa said that the army imposed a strict siege on the village, starting two weeks ago, and is preventing the residents from entering or leaving it. He added that, a week ago, the soldiers started preventing trucks from entering the village to college the garbage.
100 Israeli female soldiers organize a military march in Al-Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 29 Jan — Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage warned of the escalation of the Israeli practices against Al-Aqsa Mosque, and called on the Islamic nation to take the initiative and defend the sanctity of Al-Aqsa. One of the worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque told Al Aqsa Foundation that about 100 female soldiers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday in their military uniforms [photo]. Eyewitnesses reported that, during the tour, the groups of soldiers organized what looks like a military procession. Meanwhile, nearly 30 settlers, accompanied by a rabbi, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday and performed some Talmudic rituals there.
IOF demolish facility in al-Khalil, summon the activist Ratib Jabour
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 29 Jan — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) demolished on Monday evening an agricultural facility in al-Khalil in the southern West Bank, and summoned an activists in the national committee against the wall and settlement in Yatta after storming and searching his house.
Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian home in Lod
LOD (PIC) 28 Jan — Bulldozers of the Israeli Lod municipality razed a Palestinian home in downtown Ramat Ashkol suburb on Sunday evening on the pretext of lack of construction permit. Family of Abu Zayed, owners of the house, said big numbers of policemen, border guards and special forces encircled the house and blocked neighbors from approaching it. Family members said that they were surprised at the step, noting that municipality workers threw out their belongings then tore down their little house that provided shelter for them especially in the current cold spell.
Settlers install an illegal outpost near Qalqilia
IMEMC 28 Jan — Head of the Jayyous village council, Ghassan Khreisha, stated that a number of extremist Israeli settlers installed a new illegal outpost near the Al-Yobik area, West of Jayyous, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Khreisha told the Maan News Agency that the area where the settlers installed their outpost was previously illegally occupied by the settlers, but in 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the settlers out after Israel altered the route of the Annexation Wall in the area. Khreisha added that, ten days ago, Israel completed the construction of the wall in the area, but a few days ago the settlers brought mobile homes on privately owned Palestinian lands to install their outposts.
IOA expands Efrat settlement
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 29 Jan — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed land to expand the Efrat settlement built on Palestinian land in Bethlehem province. Eyewitnesses told the PIC that IOF soldiers bulldozed land near the main road between Bethlehem and Al-Khalil to expand the settlement. The Israeli occupation authorities had sanctioned the building of 7500 housing units in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank in 60 days including 194 units in Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem and near to Efrat settlement.
166 Homes in Eli settlement built on private Palestinian land
IMEMC 29 Jan — Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported Tuesday that the Civil Israeli Administration, operated by the Israeli Army in the occupied West Bank, said some 166 homes in the Eli settlement in the occupied West bank, were built on private Palestinian land. Haaretz said that the settlement, that was even expanded, was never granted an approved Israeli urban plan due to the fact that it’s built on private Palestinian property. The fact that the settlement was never approved means that no legal housing permits have been issued, an issue that led to several petitions filed at the Israeli High Court of Justice. Haaretz said that the settlers started pressuring the government to legalize their constructions, and the government started preparing a “zoning map” in order to clarify the lands that will be part of the illegal settlement. The Israeli paper also obtained a map signed in November of last year by the Central Command of the Israeli army, showing that 166 houses in the settlement are built on Palestinian lands. The map also has aerial photos of the area taken in 1970. The Eli settlement was built in 1984.
Army holds training in Palestinian villages in Hebron
IMEMC 29 Jan — A week ago Monday, the Israeli army started drills using live ammunition in several Palestinian villages in the southern West bank city of Hebron … Residents of Janba, Tabban and Al-Markaz, south of Hebron, filed an appeal to the Israeli court demanding it to issue a ruling against the drills, and asking the court to charge the army with contempt of court for violating its previous ruling. Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the military drills in the Palestinian villages, come despite the preliminary court ruling that was issued on January 16, ordering the army not to evict the Palestinians from their homes and villages, and to refrain from conducting training in populated areas.
Palestinian villagers take IDF to court over military drills
Haaretz 29 Jan by Amira Hass — The army has been carrying out training exercises for about a week near three Palestinian villages in south Hebron, in violation of a High Court of Justice order that also forbids the villagers’ eviction from their homes, said local farmers backed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The farmers of a-Tabban, Mirkez and Jinba reported that military drills in a “firing zone” adjacent to their villages started last Monday with no warning, damaging their fields, pasture areas and wells. ACRI on Monday petitioned the High Court on the farmers’ behalf to stop the Israel Defense Forces from “holding drills that could hinder the petitioners and their families in farming their lands, taking their herds to pasture and carrying on with their normal life.” The petitioners also asked the court to compel the IDF and defense minister to enforce the interim injunction issued on January 16, which forbade the farmers’ eviction, and to fine the army and defense minister for contempt of court.
Press release: Important Supreme Court session on the future of the Palestinian village of Susya
Rabbis for Human Rights 29 Jan – On Thursday the Supreme Court will hold two sessions regarding two petitions affecting the future of the Palestinian village Susya. One will discuss the organization Regavim’s petition to expedite the demolition of most of the village. The other petition seeks to prevent the villagers’ remaining lands from being rendered off limits to them. Jerusalem: This Thursday, 31 January, the Israeli Supreme Court will hold two important hearings on the future of Susya. The Palestinian village, in the south of the West Bank, which is not connected to any water, electricity or sewage infrastructure, faces imminent demolition. The village’s future remains shrouded in doubt after its original inhabitants were driven from their homes in the 1980’s, when the area was declared a closed archaeological zone, and Palestinians were barred from entering. With no other options and no alternative location, the residents moved to their nearby farmlands, where they could not get building permits More background info here:
IOF soldiers detain foreign solidarity activists
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 28 Jan — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a group of foreign solidarity activists while en route to ferry supplies to inhabitants of the plagued northern Jordan Valley. Local sources said that the soldiers blocked passage of those activists, claiming that the area was a closed military zone. They said that the soldiers also refused the entry of building and heating materials to Malih tribes that were targeted by an IOF demolition spree over the past week. The coordinator of the European youth campaign said in a press release that the soldiers stopped eight foreign activists while on their way to Mayta and Malih hamlets.
Watch: A fleeting moment of the 1948 Nakba in Ahmad Habash’s short film ‘The Well’
EI 25 Jan — Ahmad Habash’s new short film, The Well (Al-Bier) is deceptively simple, portrays a fleeting moment in the turbulent 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Three generations of males — a young man and his son and an elderly hajj — find themselves running for their lives, seeking refuge from an unseen and unnamed threat in the rolling Palestinian countryside. Their sanctuary is a well that is the stuff of local legend. The hajj begins to tell the young man and his son the tale of the magic well. But there is no fairy tale ending for the trio, who get a taste of the humiliation and defeat of the Nakba or catastrophe to come. This quietly beautiful film showcases the Palestinian landscape, and Habash lets his camera linger on the crawling spiders, turtles and ants that go about their own pace as history is made all around them.
Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Ongoing attacks result in injuries and 17 miscarriages in Urif, West Bank
Nablus (ISM) 29 Jan — The Israeli army and illegal settlers have been, on almost daily basis for the past two months, invading and attacking the village of Urif in the West Bank. A local doctor reports that these actions have inflicted 17 miscarriages only in the month of December, numerous injuries, sleep deprivation and significant disruption to life. The attacks occur day and night. Tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets as well as live ammunition are routinely used by the army. The village has been the site of regular attacks over many years, but from early December 2012 there has been a significant increase. A video published shows soldiers entering a silent Urif around 1 am on the 29th December. The soldiers explode sound bombs, use an air raid siren and boast through a loud-speaker “good morning Urif, get up all the village, get up” (4:15) and then repeatedly use the horn on an army vehicle (6:28). These night incursions have become a frequent occurrence in Urif and continue up till now.
Please note that not all raids and arrests are included in this newslist; there are just too many. For more, look at the PLO’s daily reports from the Palestinian Monitoring Group, like the following 8-page one. It is not guaranteed that even these more statistical reports will catch everything:
Jan 28 Daily Situation Report
Israeli raids and arrests in al-Khalil and Jenin
AL-KHALIL, JENIN (PIC) 28 Jan — Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn Monday two Palestinian minors during raids in the town of Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil … In the same context occupation forces raided several suburbs of the city of al-Khalil and the town of Idna, where they conducted military patrols. Meanwhile, the occupation forces launched at dawn a broad raid campaign in the city of Jenin and the village of al-Arqah, where they stormed Palestinian houses and fired sound and gas bombs … Israeli occupation forces also stormed Askary Street in the city of Jenin and launched combing operations along the road until the Nazareth road leading to the Jalama checkpoint.
Israeli occupation raid West Bank cities, arrest Palestinians
On Tuesday 29th January, Israeli occupation forces raided Jenin governorate, broke into 14 houses, searched them and took some pictures. Then, they interrogated the houses’ residents for several hours and checked their IDs. Israeli forces arrested a student from Aba village, east of Jenin…
In Nablus, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians…
In Bethlehem, Israeli forces handed a young Palestinian from al-Furdes village east of Bethlehem, a notice to meet with the Israeli Intelligence…
In Hebron, Israeli forces handed the Coordinator of Popular Committee to Resist Apartheid Wall and Settlement, Rateb al-Jbour, a notice to meet with the Israeli Intelligence. Witnesses said that the Israeli forces raided the house of al-Jbour in Yatta village, searched it and handed him the interrogation notice.
Soldiers invade mosque in East Jerusalem
IMEMC 28 Jan — Sunday at night January 27, Israeli soldiers broke into a mosque in the Al-Ezariyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, searched it and detained dozens of worshipers. Local sources reported that the army invaded the Al-Morabetean mosque after surrounding it, and prevented the worshipers from leaving for a few hours. Later on, the soldiers also inspected the ID cards of the worshipers , and also searched them after forcing them to stand against the wall outside of the mosque.
The army said that the soldiers conducted a search campaign in the area after an Israeli settlers bus came under fire leading to damages but no injuries. The army claimed that the attack took place near Hizma Palestinian village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, and added that two rounds have been fired at the bus; no arrests were made until the time of this report.
Soldiers invade village near Jenin, photograph homes
IMEMC — Tuesday at dawn January 29; Israeli soldiers invaded the village of the Al-Mogheer, east of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and took pictures of 14 homes after breaking into them and searching them. The Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported that several Israeli military vehicles invaded the village and took pictures of the 14 homes after forcing the families out in the cold for several hours. The soldiers also interrogated the residents while inspecting their ID cards.
Big punishments for small hopes
ISM 26 Jan — This morning in Burin, the village that sits in the valley between the Yizhar and Bracha colonial settlements just south of Nablus, saw a small yet high-spirited group plant olive trees. The task was done within an hour and afterwards international activists were shown recently cut trees and, right on cue, the Israeli army could be seen on the periphery of Yizhar. Soon they drove down to investigate and three soldiers found people preparing tea next to rows of freshly planted trees. Jump forward a few hours and Burin’s population found their access roads closed as soldiers shot tear gas and raided ten homes. Their stated pretext: searching for evidence for molotov cocktails they said were thrown at settlers. For the villagers, they know full well this is military jargon to describe their collective punishment for aspiring to a livelihood on land methodically being stolen from them.
New batch of relatives go to visit Gaza prisoners
GAZA (PIC) 28 Jan — A new batch of 85 relatives of Gaza prisoners crossed the Erez crossing on Monday to visit their next of kin held in Israeli jails. The Red Cross told the PIC that the relatives would visit 35 Gazan prisoners in Eshel prison.
IOA renews administrative detention of Jenin lecturer
JENIN, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) renewed on Monday the administrative detention, without trial, of a Palestinian lecturer at the open Quds University in Jenin. The international Tadamun foundation for human rights said in a press release that the Israeli military commander issued an order, at the request of the Shabak, for the renewal of Dr. Mohammed Al-Sayyed’s detention for six months. The Israeli military prosecution justified the renewal by saying that Saayed, 47, posed dangers to the public security and was a member of Hamas, Tadamun said, adding that the accusations were completely untrue.
Bajes Nakhla spent 16 years in administrative detention during 2 decades
RAMALLAH (PIC) 29 Jan — The Israeli occupation authorities arrested two weeks ago Bajes Nakhla, 50, from the Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the occupied city of Ramallah. Abu Fares was arrested three months after his release in Israeli jails where he spent more than two years mostly in solitary confinement. He participated in al-Karama hunger strike last April. Nakhla has spent more than 16 years in Israeli prisons, where he was arrested more than 17 times since 1988 due to his social and advocacy activities in Ramallah and Al-Bireh. Um Fares, the prisoner’s wife, said that his recent arrest was the most difficult for the family especially that their children are more aware of absence than ever before … Nakhla was sentenced to six months in administrative detention last week.
Jihad calls for capturing Israeli soldiers to trade them for prisoners
GAZA (PIC) 29 Jan — The Islamic Jihad movement has advocated the capture of Israeli soldiers to trade them for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Khader Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader, told a rally organized by his movement on Monday night to support prisoners, that the issue of those prisoners should be spared political wrangling and internal division.
Israel’s ‘most wanted man’ finally tells his story / Mohammed Suliman
Ei 25 Jan — Palestinians may not recognize the name Abdel Aziz Salha but most have seen a photograph of him. On 12 October 2000, almost two weeks after the eruption of the second intifada, Salha was photographed extending his blood-stained hands out of a Ramallah police station window, following the fatal stabbing of an Israeli soldier. The scene came after two weeks of horrifying bloodshed; up to that point, 85 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli fire during unarmed protests, including 10 holding Israeli citizenship; five Israelis had been killed. The two Israeli soldiers had just mistakenly driven into areas of Ramallah nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they were then detained by PA police and held in the police station before it was stormed by Palestinian protesters, led by Salha, and brutally killed.
Palestinian worker shot at in northern Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 29 Jan — A Palestinian worker was shot and wounded in northern Gaza on Tuesday at the hands of Israeli occupation forces (IOF). Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers near the border security fence fired at workers while collecting iron scrap north of Beit Hanun town injuring one of them.
Haniyeh orders release of journalists from Gaza jails
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Jan — Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has ordered the release of journalists recently detained in the Gaza Strip, a government official said Monday. Ihab al-Ghussain, head of the government information office, said in a statement that security services would release the journalists on Monday. On Sunday, Haniyeh asked for the detained journalists’ files to review their cases after the detention of six reporters sparked criticism from local and international press freedom groups. The public freedoms committee, a body set up to implement national reconciliation, met on Monday for the first time in around a year and secured an agreement from Gaza’s security services to free the journalists, said committee representative Khalid al-Batsh. Al-Batsh said some of the journalists had already been released.
Egypt to allow medical supplies into Gaza
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — Egypt will allow ten tons of medical supplies to enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, Egyptian security sources said. The medical supplies were donated by the Arab Doctors Union and will be transferred into Gaza under the supervision of the Egyptian Red Crescent. Another shipment of medical supplies will enter Gaza via Rafah on Wednesday, security sources added.
Political division and Israel’s siege ‘badly affecting’ basketball in Gaza, says referee
EI 27 Jan by Rami Almeghari — Saed Ehmaid, a 32-year-old basketball referee, began his career in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. He is known widely as “the smiling face.” And with a broad simile, he welcomed me at his family home in in the camp. Ehmaid lives with his wife and their two-year-old daughter Jenny at a home in which one room is filled with medals and awards. He is an one of two internationally-accredited basketball referees in the Gaza Strip … The International Basketball Federation states that a referee must renew his or her accreditation papers every five years. In 2011, Ehmaid was supposed to travel to the West Bank to take part in a local Palestinian championship, and renew his accreditation. But even after relentless coordination by Palestinian and international sports bodies with the Israeli occupation authorities, Ehmaid and the entire Gaza team were denied access to the West Bank. They decided to take part in a junior championship in Iraq instead. They traveled via the Rafah crossing terminal on the Gaza-Egypt boundary line, about six months after the eruption of the January 2011 Egyptian revolution. “Unfortunately, we faced quite similar measures at the crossing, despite the fact that all the visas [were issued]. I was amazed that this could happen in post-revolution Egypt.”
Again? When did they ever stop being refugees?
Refugees again, Palestinians flee Syria’s war
EIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon (AP) 29 Jan — When Syrian warplanes bombed a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus last December, Umm Sami rounded up her three sons, shut the windows and locked the doors so they could neither hear nor heed the call to arms by rebels and pro-government gunmen fighting in the streets. Then she told her sons they were leaving their home in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital for neighboring Lebanon, where they would wait out Syria’s civil war. “There will be no more martyrs for Palestine in my family,” the 45-year-old widow said. “This war is a Syrian problem.” Now safe in Lebanon, Umm Sami and her family have joined thousands of other Palestinian refugees who have found shelter in the country since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad erupted nearly two years ago. … Umm Sami’s resolve to keep her sons out of the fight in Syria ties into a deep-rooted sentiment among a generation of Palestinian refugees who say they are fed up with being dragged into the region’s conflicts on a promise of getting their own state.
Radwan checks on Palestinian refugees’ conditions in Galilee Camp
GALILEE RC [Lebanon] (PIC) 28 Jan — Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Dr. Ismail Radwan, has visited Galilee refugee camp near the city of Baalbek to check on the Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria, handing them humanitarian aid. Radwan expressed, in a speech at the camp, the government’s solidarity with the Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria, calling for neutralizing the Palestinian refugee camps in the Syrian conflict.
Seven Palestinian refugees including three women killed in Syria on Sunday
DAMASCUS (PIC) 28 Jan — Seven Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria on Sunday in renewed shelling of Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus and other areas in war-plagued Syria. The workgroup for Palestinians in Syria said in a press release on Monday that violent shelling on Palestinian refugee camps killed seven civilians, including three women, and wounded 30 others. It said that 17 shells slammed into various areas in Yarmouk refugee camp including seven that fell in the vicinity of the electricity company killing four and wounding 20 others. It said that a fifth refugee, from Aydeen refugee camp in Homs, was killed under torture while in Syrian detention.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Resist the land grab, plant a tree
Nablus (ISM) 29 Jan — For more than a decade the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) has supported Palestinians during the olive harvest, a task which continues to be challenging. We regularly support farmers by accompanying them to fields and planting olive trees in areas of high risk of settler attacks and army harassment. As part of our continuous support to the grassroots struggle, we are going to plant olive trees in the villages around Nablus, starting now. For this, we need your support. Hundreds of thousands of olive trees are located near illegal Israeli colonial settlements, making the trees as well as the farmers a sure target for settler violence. On average, around 10,000 trees are destroyed each year … Working near settlements is much more than a source of livelihood: it is a form of non-violent resistance. Planting and harvesting olives is a continuous affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, cultural and economic connection to their lands and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize them … We want to start by planting around 1000 olive trees and for this we urgently need your help.
Day of action to target Israeli settlement firms as new research reveals complicity with colonization
EI 25 Jan — Activists are gearing up for a day of action on 9 February that will target Israeli agricultural export companies such as Mehadrin and Hadakalim over their role in Israeli settlements and the dispossession of Palestinian farmers. In a statement titled “Farming Injustice” released earlier this month, all major Palestinian agricultural organizations called for “the launching of worldwide campaigns on 9 February against Israeli agricultural export corporations in light of their deep complicity in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.” Campaigners, trade unionists and non-governmental organizations across Europe are planning demonstrations for the day of action, many of which will aim to pressure more retailers to join the UK Co-operative supermarket chain in pledging not to trade with any company operating in settlements.
In precedent-setting victory, South African company severs ties with Israeli settlement produce exporter
EI 28 Jan — …The Palestine Solidarity Alliance and BDS South Africa announced today that following a year of campaigning, Karsten Farms stated via its attorneys that it has severed its relations with Israeli cooperative Hadiklaim, which operates in Israel’s illegal settlement colonies, and pledges not to business with any other Israeli entity complicit in the occupation. According to the campaigns, “this is the first time that a South African company has adopted such an undertaking.”… The campaigns’ statement (read the full text below) also adds that Hadiklaim is the same company that the Presbyterian Church USA, with two million members, voted to boycott at its general assembly last year.
Platini ‘thinking about’ whether under-21 tourno will still go ahead in Israel after protest at UEFA HQ
EI 27 Jan UPDATE – Michel Platini, president of UEFA, the European football governing body,
urged those calling for the 2013 Under 21 tournament to be withdrawn from host country Israel to “let me think about it.” met with protestors urging him to cancel Israel’s hosting of the 2013 Under 21 in Israel (see update below). Platini’s less than firm statement that the tournament would go ahead in Israel as planned meeting and a statement from a UEFA official was a further sign the mounting Palestinian and international campaign against allowing Israel to host the tournament is being heard at UEFA headquarters. Platini spoke at a press conference (see video) in which he explained what he had told campaigners who occupied the foyer of UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.
Israeli ministry confirms Veolia still owns West Bank landfill, despite corporation’s repeated denial
EI 27 Jan by Adri Nieuwhof — As Veolia has become the target of worldwide campaigns in protest of its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, costing it public contracts in several countries, the company has tried to evade responsibility. However, Who Profits — a project of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Tel Aviv — received confirmation from the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection in response to an application under the Freedom of Information Act on 17 January that Veolia subsidiary TMM is the sole owner and operator of the Tovlan landfill in the occupied West Bank — despite Veolia’s claims that it divested from the landfill in 2011. The Tovlan landfill is located in the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank near the Israeli settlement of Masua. The landfill serves mainly the needs of the Israeli population in Israel and in illegal settlements in the West Bank. Three Veolia subsidiaries in Israel hold permits to transfer waste from Israel to the Tovlan landfill — including TMM — according to Who Profits.
Podcast: ‘Israel’s drunk with power,’ says Stop the Wall’s Jamal Juma
EI 28 Jan — This week on The Electronic Intifada podcast: Six young Palestinians are killed in the last month in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including a 22-year-old college student who was gunned down by Israeli forces on Wednesday as she walked to visit her sister; Israel arrests a young activist with the Stop the Wall campaign in the latest escalation of attacks on human rights defenders; we’ll have an interview with Jamal Juma’ of the Stop the Wall campaign in the West Bank to talk about Israel’s latest spate of killings and arrests; Israel’s land theft means camels in Gaza have few places to graze; News from the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement including how security firm G4S is under scrutiny in Sweden over its involvement in Israel’s human rights abuses.
Irvine 11 appeals filed: Defense lawyers say convictions were unconstitutional, cite trial errors
EI 24 Jan — … Eleven students, dubbed the Irvine 11, were arrested when they protested Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s speech on UC Irvine’s campus in which he defended Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. Ten of the students were ultimately convicted of “conspiracy to disrupt a public meeting” in the Orange County superior court. The Electronic Intifada reported extensively on the court proceedings. According to a article published yesterday in the local OC Register, In a 77-page court document filed Tuesday, attorneys for the students contend the convictions were unconstitutional, based on trial court errors, and that prosecutors failed to prove the students violated the law.
Rizqa: The continuing arrests in WB could delay the reconciliation
GAZA (PIC) 29 Jan — Yousef Rizqa, political adviser of Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, confirmed that the continuation of political arrests and summonses [by the PA] in the West Bank, damages the national reconciliation. The continuation of political arrests in the West Bank may postpone the reconciliation, Rizqa told PIC reporter on Tuesday, noting that the reconciliation atmosphere is not appropriate in the West Bank despite the Gaza government and Hamas’s efforts to provide a positive atmosphere for the reconciliation. He pointed to the Islamic factions and movements’ dissatisfaction towards the arrests and summonses in the West Bank against members and supports of Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements.
Hamas chief holds talks with Jordan king
AMMAN (Ma‘an) 28 Jan — Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal on Monday rejected talks on confederation with Jordan before the establishment of a Palestinian state, official Jordanian media reported. “Talking about the confederation with Jordan before the establishment of a Palestinian state is unacceptable,” Mashaal told reporters after a meeting in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Petra news agency said. Mashaal thanked King Abdullah for Jordan’s support and reiterated Hamas’ rejection of an “alternative homeland” for the Palestinian people…
Mashaal visited Jordan several times in 2012 to discuss reconciliation and other bilateral issues, amid years of uneasy relations with the Hashemite Kingdom. In 1997, Israeli Mossad agents tried to assassinate Mashaal in the Jordanian capital, but were caught by Jordanian police after injecting the Hamas chief with poison in the street. The attack so enraged Jordan’s late King Hussein that he talked of hanging the captured Israeli would-be-assassins unless the antidote was handed over. An embarrassed Israeli government complied.
MADA: Decision to allow newspapers to circulate in the West Bank, Gaza must be activated
PNN 28 Jan The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) demands an end to the effects of the division of the media and to activate the decision of the Freedoms Committee to allow the distribution and re-printing of Palestinian newspapers across the West Bank and Gaza … Moussa Rimawi, MADA Director General, states that reconciliation is of supreme national interest, particularly following the acceptance of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations. He also asserts that the reconciliation will hold positive outcomes for the Palestinian media, which have suffered significantly since the political split in mid-June 2007. Rimawi confirmed the need to activate and implement the decision of the Freedoms Committee to allow the distribution and reprinting of Palestinian newspapers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the decision was taken by the Committee at the beginning of last year and its application was due to commence on 15th January 2012. Newspaper readers in Gaza have been prevented from reading West Bank newspapers and vice versa for several years, contrary to Article 19 of the Palestinian Basic Law. The prohibition of the distribution of newspapers is also causing large financial losses.
Political / Economic News
Report: Israel to transfer Palestinian tax revenue
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — Israeli authorities will transfer Palestinian tax revenues after refusing for two months to distribute the funds, Israeli media reported late Tuesday. The transfer, reported by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, comes after government employees announced a strike over the Palestinian Authority’s failure to pay salaries.
Palestinian civil servants to continue strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — The civil servants union in the West Bank decided on Tuesday to go ahead with protests against the Palestinian Authority’s failure to pay salaries. Civil servants will not work Wednesday in protest of the government’s broken promise to distribute an unpaid portion of November’s paychecks, the head of the civil servants union said.
Teachers pause strike ahead of talks with PA
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — The general union of teachers says classes will resume Wednesday and Thursday across the occupied West Bank after a sit-in Tuesday during a Palestinian Authority cabinet meeting. Bassam Naim, a spokesman for the union, said a committee of experts, teachers and government officials would meet Wednesday in the hopes of coming to an agreement.
PA finance minister meets Quartet envoy Blair
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — Palestinian Authority Finance Minister Nabil Qassis met with Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair in Ramallah on Monday. Qassis called on the Quartet to intervene in the PA’s political crisis and pressure Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues withheld since last November as punishment for the UN’s acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state. The minister stressed that financial support must be provided to the PA to help meet its obligations.
Report: Mashaal gearing for PLO bid
Ynet 29 Jan — The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Tuesday that Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal plans to seek the chairmanship of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the near future. The paper quoted “top Palestinian sources” as saying that the future bid is the reason that Mashaal decided not to seek another term as Hamas chief. According to the report, Qatar and Jordan are facilitating the bid, with aim of including as many Palestinian factions as possible in the PLO, ahead of the possible resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Fatah, lead by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, believes that it will continue to enjoy the support of the Palestinian factions that have been affiliated with it so far, but according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, many of the Palestinian factions may actually welcome the potential internal reshuffling of the PLO.
DFLP: Party chairman will not return to Palestine
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Jan — The secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Nayif Hawatmah will not return from Syria to the West Bank, despite reports to this effect, his party said on Sunday. Hawatmah is the last veteran PLO leader still in exile. Israel stipulated that the DFLP renounce armed struggle in exchange for the return of Hawatmah, and the party has rejected this condition, Talal Abu Tharifa, a member of the DFLP politburo, told Ma‘an. The group believes both armed struggle and political activity are necessary, he said. The Beirut-based al-Liwaa newspaper had quoted unidentified Palestinian sources on Thursday saying that 84-year-old Hawatmah’s return from exile was imminent.
Arab League delegation to submit new peace proposal to US
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Jan – A delegation representing the Arab League will soon head to the United States to move forward the Middle East peace process, a Palestinian envoy said Tuesday. Muhammad Sbeih, secretary-general for Palestinian affairs in the Arab League, told Jordan’s al-Ghad newspaper that the delegation would submit a proposal to Washington with new ideas for a solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict. “The proposal includes specific Arab ideas about Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, the establishment of a Palestinian state, guaranteed security for both sides,” he said. Negotiations, according to the new proposal, should be limited to six months.
Clinton: Israel vote outcome ‘opens doors’ to peace
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Jan — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the outcome of Israel’s parliamentary elections “opens doors” toward peace with the Palestinians. Referring to the possible inclusion of center-left parties in Benjamin Netanyahu’s next government, she said the elections improved the climate for resuming the peace process … “What rests at the core of the problem is great mistrust” on both sides, said the outgoing secretary of state. “Somehow we have to look for ways to give the Palestinian people the path to peace, prosperity and statehood they deserve” as well as security for Israelis, Clinton said. “I know that President Obama (and) my successor, soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry, will pursue this, will look for every possible opening.”
Israeli army says arrested ‘terror squad’
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s army said Monday it arrested members of a Palestinian militant group in 2012 responsible for attacks against Israeli targets. “A terror squad responsible for executing terror attacks was arrested over the course of November and December 2012. The squad members are operatives of the Tanzim and Fatah organizations, and residents of Beit Fajar,” the army said in a statement. The military says the detainees admitted to carrying out several attacks against Israelis. They have been charged with several felonies, including deliberately attempting to cause death, the army said.
Settler stabbed near Nablus
IMEMC Israeli medical sources reported, Tuesday, that an 17-year-old settler suffered mild-to-moderate injuries after being stabbed near the Za‘tara roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth news agency reported that that Israeli army arrested a Palestinian youth, 23, from the central West Bank city of Nablus, on suspicion that he stabbed the settler. The Ma‘an News Agency reported that the army closed the Za‘tara roadblock to all Palestinian traffic, while dozens of military vehicles were also deployed in the area. Ma‘an added that several Israeli settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles, near Salfit, causing damage to a number of vehicles.
In related news, Israeli Channel 7 reported that the army kidnapped a Palestinian youth allegedly trying to infiltrate into Shavei Shomron settlement, in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination
Jerusalem braces for tense cup match after racist incident
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 29 Jan — Hundreds of police officers and stewards will secure an Israeli State Cup match on Tuesday in which Premier League Beitar Jerusalem, supported by a group of vehement anti-Arab fans, host Arab side Maccabi Umm el-Fahm. A racist element among Beitar fans caused uproar on Saturday when they held up banners during a Premier League match to protest at owner Arkady Gaydamak’s planned recruitment of two Chechen Muslim players. Beitar faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, but a decision had not yet been handed down. A police spokesman said hundreds of officers, including anti-riot police, would secure the match at the 21,600-seat Teddy Kollek Stadium and were ready to stop any sign of racist behavior and violence. [ Haaretz: In an unprecedented move, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday banned 50 Beitar Jerusalem fans from attending the team’s State Cup game against Maccabi Umm el-Fahm at the capital’s Teddy Stadium on Tuesday evening. ]
11 Beitar fans removed from Jerusalem match
Ynet Breaking News 29 Jan – After attempting to disrupt the order at Tedi Stadium’s entrance gates 11 Beitar Jerusalem fans were removed before the match against Maccabi Umm al-Fahm began. Three Umm al-Fahm fans were taken for questioning after they hoisted Palestinian flags at the benches. Another fan was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
IFA convicts Beitar of racist conduct
Ynet 29 Jan — The Israel Football Association Court convicted Beitar Jerusalem of charges of racist conduct during a league game against Bnei Yehuda on Saturday. Presiding Judge Emanuel Sela ordered the east benches on Tedi Stadium be closed for the next five home games. The team was also fined NIS 50,000.
Meretz leader equates Lapid to racist Beitar fans
Ynet 28 Jan – Meretz Party Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On compared Yesh Atid Party Chairman Yair Lapid‘s refusal to form an obstructing political bloc with “Zoabis” to Beitar Jerusalem football club fans’ racist response to the owner’s decision to sign two Chechen Muslim soccer players. “Racism has become ordinary, so it seems natural that Yair Lapid is dismissing out-of-hand the Arab factions with the disparaging remark ‘We will not form an obstructing bloc with the Hanin Zoabis’,” Gal-on posted on Facebook.
Did Israel violate the Genocide Convention by forcing contraceptives on Ethiopian women?
EI 28 Jan by Ali Abunimah — After initial denials, Israel has admitted that medical authorities have been giving Ethiopian women long-term contraceptive drugs and it has been alleged that this was done without the women’s consent. If the allegations are proven, this practice may fit the legal definition of genocide. The government has now ordered clinics not to renew prescriptions for the long-acting injectable contraceptive drug Depo-Provera “for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.” … In some cases, the drugs were reportedly administered to women waiting in transit camps for permission to emigrate to Israel. The women’s allegations, reported by Haaretz, are shocking: “We said we won’t have the shot. They told us, if you don’t you won’t go to Israel And also you won’t be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won’t get aid or medical care. We were afraid…
Israel imprisons two Eritrean immigrants without trial
Haaretz 29 Jan — A new procedure allows the state to imprison illegal immigrants indefinitely even if there is no evidence against them or the case has been closed. Neither the police nor the Immigration Authority is willing to take responsibility … In certain cases, even people who committed crimes and served their sentences have been imprisoned again. The procedure has been used in dozens of cases so far.
Suspicion: Girl who spat at Tibi sprayed anti-Christian slogans
Ynet 28 Jan — Jerusalem Police arrest two girls suspected of spray-painting ‘Jesus is a son of a bitch’ on wall surrounding Monastery of the Cross in capital; one of the suspects spat on Arab MK following heated debate at Bar-Ilan University in December
Palestinian fighter, rebel dies in Damascus
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) 29 Jan — A hard-line Palestinian military commander who rebelled against leader Yasser Arafat to form his own rival party died in Damascus on Tuesday, according to his representatives and hospital officials. Said Musa Maragha, better known by his nom de guerre, “Abu Musa,” was 86. They said Maragha died of cancer. Maragha, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, defected from the Jordanian army in 1970 over tensions between the military and Palestinian fighters who were using the kingdom as a base to carry out attacks against Israel … Palestinian fighters were pushed out of Jordan in 1971 in battles with Jordanian forces that killed thousands, mostly Palestinians, later known as “Black September.” Many fighters, including Maragha, fled to Lebanon. There he joined the Fatah movement, headed by charismatic leader Arafat … By 1976, he was Fatah’s chief military operative in south Lebanon, where Palestinians had carved out an enclave to attack neighboring Israel. Maragha also involved Palestinians in Lebanon’s 15-year civil war that ended in 1990, battling Syrian forces that intervened to assist Christian militias against their Muslim and leftist rivals. Maragha rebelled against Arafat in 1982, after Israel invaded southern Lebanon and bombed the capital, Beirut, pushing out Palestinian fighters….
Oscar nod for protest film cheers Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Reuters) 29 Jan — Oscar-nominated documentary “5 Broken Cameras” screened for Palestinians for the first time on Monday, leaving locals hopeful that their struggle with Israel for land and statehood will gain a global audience. The low-cost film is based on five years of amateur camera work by journalist Emad Burnat as he documented weekly protests against land seizures by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers in his village of Bilin in the occupied West Bank. Neighbors are killed in the protests and demolition equipment mars the landscape while the filmmaker captures his infant son’s rapid loss of innocence, heralded by his first words: “wall” and “army.”
Close your books! We’re having a pop quiz in Hasbara!
972mag 28 Jan by Ami Kaufman – Yedioth Aharonoth published today a story about two 10-year-olds from Sderot, Noa and Christopher (quite the Jewish name there, eh?) who have been “hired” (the kids volunteered) by the Ministry of Hasbara (Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry) to explain Israeli positions. After school, the kids went to a special Hasbara course in which they honed their skills in English and practiced standing in front of cameras. Here are the answers they gave to Yedioth’s “pop quiz”: Hasbara quiz: Christopher and Noa answer the tough questions — How will you explain the siege on Gaza? Noa Edri: The siege is the result of terror and the exaggerated demands the Palestinians have from us. Christopher Peck: We allow equipment to enter Gaza, but not weapons.
Tourism Ministry: Gaza operation damaged industry
JPost 28 Jan — At annual conference in Herzliya, ministry presents data claiming Operation Pillar of Defense cost Israel over 250,000 tourists.
Human rights orgs: Israeli obstruction of UN Human Rights Council shields Israel from accountability and undermines human rights
Mondoweiss 29 Jan by Adam Horowitz — Yesterday, Israel refused to attend a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) review of its human rights record becoming the first country ever to boycott the Universal Periodic Review process. Under this process, all 193 member states of the United Nations take part in a regular review of its human rights record. Israel participated in its last scheduled review in December, 2008. Al Jazeera reports Israel’s decision to end contact with the UNHRC followed an announcement last year that the council would be investigating Israeli settlements as a human rights violation:
The ‘unworthy’ Ms. Margolis
Ynet 29 Jan — Granddaughter of Holocaust survivor who came to Israel as child, serves as IDF officer, stunned to find Rabbinate does not deem her ‘Jewish enough’ to marry in Israel
Israel lashes out at Sunday Times for ‘dark journalism’
AFP 28 Jan — In letter to British counterpart, Knesset Speaker Rivlin says cartoon showing Netanyahu building wall with Palestinian blood ‘crossed boundaries of free speech’
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
New Palestinian films to look out for (and others to watch online)
EI 22 Jan by Maureen Clare Murphy – May in the Summer, the sophomore feature film by Amreeka director Cherien Dabis, has generated much buzz after its debut on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival last week. Dabis stars as title character May, an ambitious and successful Arab American author in Jordan on the eve of her wedding, where she must sift through her family’s ups and downs as well those in her relationship with her fiancé …
Also receiving critical acclaim is When I Saw You, which centers on a young boy who, along with his mother, is separated from his father in the mass expulsion of tens of thousands of Palestinians in the wake of the 1967 War. When I Saw You is the sophomore feature by Annemarie Jacir (Salt of this Sea)
The much-anticipated documentary The Great Book Robbery will be selectively screened during a tour of the US next month. Benny Bruner’s film tells the story of 70,000 books which were looted from Palestinian property during the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine….
New book by Tel Aviv historian uncovers ‘Land of Israel’ myths
EI 28 Jan by Asa Winstanley — …Holy land or homeland? In the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament), the geographic area roughly corresponding to the land of Palestine (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea) is mostly called the “land of Canaan.” The area “never served as a homeland for the ‘children of Israel’, and for this reason, among others, they never refer to it as ‘the Land of Israel.’ ” Most Israelis, Sand argues, are not aware that the term is not found in the the Hebrew Bible “in its inclusive meaning” of a wide geographic area (86). Later Jewish religious law “does feature the debut of the term ‘Land of Israel’ ” but, Sand explains, this was a “holy land” rather than a “homeland” (102) … Furthermore this Eretz Israel was traditionally considered by mainstream Judaism to be so holy the devout were positively forbidden to move there (183). Even pilgrimage was a rare, and later phenomenon. Between the years 134 and 1099, “we know of no attempts by the followers of rabbinical Judaism to make pilgrimages to the holy city” of Jerusalem (123).
The Universal Periodic Review, human rights, and Israel: What’s at stake / Peter Splinter
29 Jan — By Peter Splinter, Amnesty International’s Representative to the United Nations in Geneva – If the Israeli government is not careful, it will ruin an important global human rights process for everybody. The Universal Periodic Review, a process to examine states’ human rights records, has until now been truly universal: all United Nation member states were reviewed by the end of 2011 and the second cycle of reviews has already started. But now the government of Israel is not engaging with the process. Every indication is that the Israel will not be present this afternoon when it is scheduled to be examined under the Universal Periodic Review. As the only recalcitrant state among 193, Israel’s deliberate absence would sabotage the principle of universality. Consequently the Universal Periodic Review stands to lose the compelling legitimacy it derives from being applied even-handedly to all states.
Israel at forefront of land grab in poorer countries
MEMO 29 Jan — According to the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz [Hebrew edition?], a study published last week entitled New Colonial Israel indicates that Israel is at the forefront of countries taken by the phenomenon of ‘land control’ in which governments and private companies around the world control agricultural areas in poorer countries for economic benefit … The study indicated that Israel is at the forefront of countries controlling land along with the United States, Britain, and China. The study also points out that Israel took control of extensive agricultural land in Columbia for the cultivation of sugar cane for the production of biofuels and in the Democratic Republic of Congo to cultivate jatropha to do the same.