Thumbing its nose at Obama, Israel plans settler roads in Palestinian sections of Jerusalem

Israel/Palestine
on 3 Comments

Land, property theft & destruction / Threats to non-Jewish cultural and religious sites / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Pillaging of Gaza antiquities an archaeological tragedy
Al Monitor 12 Feb by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Moshe Dayan is the former Israeli defense minister who, using the strength of the Israeli army, pillaged countless artifacts — dating from the Ottoman era to the time before Christ — from Gaza, in an effort to erase Palestinian history.  Once we entered the archaeological sites in the Gaza Strip, we noted the full consequences of this pillaging. Gaza is devoid of its archaeological content; only floors and destroyed walls remain there. This was obvious when Al-Monitor visited St. Hilarion monastery, considered one of the most important in the Middle East. St. Hilarion was the disciple of St. Anthony the Great, the father of monasticism … Fadel al-Otol, a supervisor of the site from the French Institute for Archaeology, said that the Israeli occupation had robbed the entire site. The people of the region testify that the occupation moved everything to Israel in 1993, before the Palestinian Authority was established … A history of robberies According to the Institute for Palestine Studies — in a study entitled “Looting and Salvaging the Heritage of Palestine” — there are 12,216 archaeological sites in Palestine, thousands of which were destroyed and looted because of the occupation.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/archaeological-pillaging-gaza.html

Israel begins work on Magharba Gate bridge in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 Feb — Work began Tuesday on a section of the controversial Magharba Gate wooden bridge that leads to al-Haram al-Sharif, one of Islam’s most sacred sites, in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to witnesses. The work is believed to be a prelude to the construction of a more permanent steel bridge that is supposed to eventually replace the wooden bridge. Palestinians and Arabs in general strongly object to Israel changing the Islamic and historical character of the Old City, particularly the Magharba Gate hill, which will be removed to make way for the steel bridge. Arab and international outcry over the proposed changes forced Israel to temporarily freeze work on Magharba Gate bridge. Palestinians say Israel wants to build a wide metal bridge in order to bring police and armory into the yards of al-Aqsa Mosque in case of eruption of violence. They fear that Israelis want to demolish the Islamic site to build a Jewish temple on its ruins.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21666

Jewish groups to hold seminar on making Passover sacrifices at Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Feb — …In a press release on Monday, the Aqsa foundation added that this Jewish conference would be held in Manhigut Yehudit center in occupied Jerusalem and a number of fanatic Knesset members like Moshe Feiglin plan to attend it.  Previous filmed attempts to make Passover sacrifices in the courtyard of the Aqsa Mosque will be displayed during the conference, according to the foundation. The foundation warned that such blasphemous activities pose a threat to the Aqsa Mosque and violate its sanctity.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7lDups3ZfkKygsdynxQyv4wvncSrnKkmQ9K9JSB0e1aRRhG6GM7saHGVgFO0%2fW5N8P8VwnIn7ew%2fc70%2bAb%2fe0ssvvg1vPR5CuEu0sWb7gCp4%3d

Dozens of Israeli soldiers break into the Aqsa mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Feb — Dozens of Israeli army soldiers stormed the Aqsa mosque on Tuesday morning as the Aqsa Foundation warned of the escalation in such acts. Israeli intelligence agents accompanied 51 soldiers who entered the Aqsa in two batches and toured its Qibli mosque, Marwani mosque, and the Dome of the Rock. Eight Jewish settlers also broke into the Aqsa plazas. Hundreds of students were present in the holy site during the Israeli storming.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7E5KlWKH4lOcJsXTXinwhKZSdbqBfRRh%2bUdEkbDtGPHHXzCQPKKi3Ta4bdXRG45J9pF3G4tVLVzY2uvXw6r2zUd58U0zQEd%2bpt1ffRO%2f4kJc%3d

Video: Israel plan to wall off West Bank land defied
12 Feb — Palestinian landowners and Catholic convent challenge plan to build wall before Israeli court. — A court in Israel is due to hear final arguments on the construction of a separation wall in a pristine valley in the West Bank.  Lawyers representing Palestinian landowners and a convent say if the wall is built they will lose their land and the convent will be surrounded. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from the Cremisan Valley in the Occupied West Bank.
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2013/02/20132123554994813.html

Israeli court approves highway bisecting Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem
Haaretz 12 Feb by Nir HassonJerusalem District Court Judge Nava Ben-Or has rejected a petition by residents of southern Jerusalem against a highway that will split their pastoral Arab neighborhood in two. The road, a continuation of Begin Highway, will bisect Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood, under plans approved 23 years ago. In Jewish areas of the city, the road runs adjacent to the neighborhoods rather than through them … Residents of Beit Safafa say they intend to put up a fight take further legal steps against the municipality. In a demonstration against the road on Sunday, three residents of Beit Safafa were detained for questioning. According to the municipality, earthmoving machinery at the site was vandalized during the demonstration.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israeli-court-approves-highway-bisecting-arab-neighborhood-in-jerusalem.premium-1.503112

IOA plans confiscation of more Jerusalem land
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Feb — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) are planning the confiscation of more Jerusalemite land to build a new road serving Jewish settlers. The local committee for construction and planning announced on Tuesday that a meeting would be held on Wednesday to discuss the expropriation of land in Beit Hanina suburb, north of occupied Jerusalem. The committee said that the land would be used to construct a new road to serve settlers in Ramat Shlomo settlement, which is planning to build 1500 new housing units.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7gPlRHSzoFQSfKzPW0mwtuvnuoQBJGmaI0YzGxZ5cUpiLc0PH23k1zhiyGnzuqoVDTfDJImEdfdd9A41b%2bTdr4hPbARFKJkzTLbwOXinsLYs%3d

Israeli authorities raze agricultural lands in Negev
PNN – On Tuesday 12th February, staff of Israel Lands Administration (ILA) started to raze hundreds of dunums of agricultural lands belonging to Bedouin families from al-Leqiya village,in the south of the occupied Negev. Hebrew-language radio broadcast said that the ILA staff, escorted by bulldozers, started in the early hours of morning to raze agricultural lands, which Palestinians living in the village had planted. Landowners were not informed prior to the process.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/3883-israeli-authorities-raze-agricultural-lands-in-negev

West Bank outpost’s newest attraction: an airstrip
Haaretz 11 Feb by Chaim Levinson The West Bank settlement outposts are not necessarily the barebones trailer-scattered hilltops many may envision. Some of them boast bed and breakfasts, vineyards – and now, for the first time, an airstrip. So far at least, the dubious legality of the makeshift runway doesn’t seem to be bothering either the residents or the law enforcement authorities. The airstrip, located on the Alumot outpost near the settlement of Itamar, is the brainchild of Yedidya Meshulami, who helped found it after moving to the area in 1996 … It’s not surprising that the hilltops surrounding Itamar would be the source of the action, since over the last few years they have become what some call the Wild West of the settlements. Unlike on many other outposts, there is no organized leadership to speak of there, and the Civil Administration has all but given up efforts to enforce the law.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/west-bank-settlement-outpost-s-newest-attraction-an-airstrip.premium-1.502887

Israel approves 90 new settlement units, group says
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Feb — The Israeli government has granted approval for 90 new settlement units in the West Bank, an Israeli peace group said Monday. The plan for the housing units in Beit El settlement received final validation on Sunday, but had been approved in August 2012 as part of a compensation plan for settlers evicted from the Ulpana neighborhood, settlement watch director Peace Now Hagit Ofran told Ma‘an. “Netanyahu chose to take advantage of the time before forming a coalition government to establish more facts on the ground,” Ofran said. Construction of the homes in the Ramallah-area settlement can legally begin on Wednesday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564180

Israel orders demolition of 15 homes in Kafr Qassem
NAZARETH (PIC) 11 Feb — The Israel land authority (ILA) issued demolition notices against 15 Palestinian homes in Kafr Qassem town, 20 kilometers east of Tel Aviv, at the pretext of unlicensed construction. An official from the town municipal council said the ILA notices demanded the owners of these houses to evacuate them and knock them down within 30 days.  He noted that the municipal council in Kafr Qassem held an emergency meeting on Sunday evening in the presence of engineers, members of popular committees and citizens to discuss the steps to be taken against these demolition orders.
Nader Sarsour, head of the municipal council, told Quds Press that the Arab community in the 1948 occupied lands suffers from housing shortage and the Palestinian young couples cannot find homes to live in because the Israeli government does not allow the expansion of the residential areas in the Arab towns and villages.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s79qVcn6rpF10zO%2fLwgEYrKOPD8V0Ix8SEfOyIyL1FFFvs9UUQXYJOzYY1tYl%2fvHafmFJwdmne%2bfliz3y5Cbiu4HlqxBO9uhf7kZvD1cKezjk%3d

Israeli forces seize Jenin property to use as military base
JENIN (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Israeli forces seized an under-construction property in Jenin on Tuesday to use as a military post, locals said. Israeli soldiers took control of a property belonging to Amin Abu Baker in Ya‘bad village, forcing laborers to leave the site, a family member said. The workers argued with soldiers before being threatened with violence if they did not leave the area.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564561

Buildings demolished in Beit Awwa
[with photos] ISM 11 Feb by ‘Team Khalil’ — Four buildings were demolished in Beit Awwa, one journalist hit in the leg with tear gas canister and treated in hospital … Beit Awwa has the apartheid wall and settler-only roads on three sides of it and a new settler-only road is being built along the other side of it. In recent days there have been regular flights over the village and officials have been seen surveying the land. On the 10th of February two black hawk Apache helicopter gunships circled the village. When this new road is built the village will be completely isolated from the rest of the West Bank. There is a large military base next to the village housing an anti missile battery. In January 2009 a sixteen year old boy was shot dead as he placed a Palestinian flag on the fence next to a settler-only road by a sniper from the base. There is also very close to the village the illegal Israeli settlement of Nogo Hot.
http://palsolidarity.org/2013/02/buildings-demolished-in-beit-awwa/

Israeli forces demolish Hebron home, water well
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Feb — Israeli forces demolished several structures, including a home, in a Hebron village on Monday, locals said. Israeli bulldozers arrived in Beit Awwa village and destroyed a residential property, shed and water well in the area, witnesses told Ma‘an. Dozens of residents protested the demolitions, with Israeli soldiers firing tear gas at the crowds, lightly injuring several people. A Palestinian cameraman, Amir Abdeen, sustained bruises after being hit in the foot by a tear gas canister. Eight members of Rasim Mustafa Sweiti’s family were made homeless by the demolition, a Red Crescent official said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564148

Family’s home destroyed for the second time in a year
ISM 11 Feb by ‘Team Khalil’ — Israeli occupation forces demolished a home near Idna, without warning or having issued a demolition order. The family had their house destroyed one year ago. At 10am Monday 11-2-2013 Israeli bulldozers arrived at Dir Baluda, near Idna and demolished the portacabin home that Mohammad Badoei Tomazi and his family had lived in for a year. Mohammad and his family of 8 including 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys lived in a portacabin donated to them by the UN because the Israeli army demolished their house last year. At that time the army destroyed 2 wells belonging to the family said to be 2000 years old. There was no demolition order on the house and no warning was given to the family … Amongst the rubble of two homes, next to their fridge standing in the open air, with the food still inside, Abdel Fatah Ahmad Tomazi, Mohammad’s wife, sat stunned. When asked what the family will do now Mohammad gave an exasperated laugh, Raid explained “The family will stay here, sleep here, they have nowhere to go. It is too cold. They will hope to receive a tent or something from the red cross. Two of the girls went to university this morning, they do not even know yet.”
http://palsolidarity.org/2013/02/families-home-destroyed-for-the-second-time-in-a-year/

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Medics: Hebron child injured by settler car
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Feb — A child was injured in Hebron on Monday after being hit by a settler’s car, a Red Crescent official said. Baha Jamil Arafat al-Fakhouri, 8, was run over near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron’s Old City and lightly injured, Nasser Qabaja, head of the Red Crescent’s crisis unit, told Ma‘an.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564306

Israeli police arrest minor for 14th time
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 Feb – Israeli police Monday arrested a 13-year-old Palestinian for the 14th time in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, according to Wadi Hilweh information center. It said Israeli police raided Musllam Odeh’s family house at dawn before arresting him. Odeh was first arrested at the age of nine for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli police.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21657

IOF soldiers round up six Palestinians including child, liberated prisoner
NABLUS (PIC) 11 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the city of Nablus and roamed its suburbs before arresting a liberated prisoner while a Jerusalemite child was arrested among six Palestinians nabbed at dawn Monday. Local sources said that the soldiers arrested Yazan Sawalha, who is a former prisoner in Israeli occupation jails, after breaking into his home in western Nablus and wreaking havoc in it. Meanwhile, IOF soldiers arrested four Palestinians in Jenin, one in the city and three others in Seelat Al-Harithiya village after searching their homes.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7lqyWQ67KPGAVROcU28UaeEc96QvrwXiJHufOcwdWyD8a1XgI3RPkqjmRr%2b9%2f6egSb5oQ8q77aTKEwvzztJJQTdrqI5QRaKbxUvg5spqbTfQ%3d

Israeli forces arrest 14 Palestinians in West Bank
TULKARM (WAFA) 12 Feb — Israeli forces Tuesday arrested 14 Palestinians from across the West Bank, according to local and security sources … Soldiers also arrested four Palestinians from the village of Tal, west of Nablus, after raiding and searching their homes, said the sources. Forces also arrested another Palestinian from the village of ‘Azmout, east of Nablus, after raiding and searching his house. A 30-year-old Palestinian from the town of Sa‘ir, north of Hebron, was also arrested while he was crossing Za‘atra checkpoint, south of Tulkarem.  Meanwhile, forces brutally raided a house in the town of Beit Ummar, south of Hebron, firing tear gas canisters at the house and arrested a 19-year-old Palestinian after attacking his father.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21667

Israel arrests Hamas affiliates across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Israeli forces launched multiple arrest raids overnight Monday against Hamas affiliates in the West Bank, Hamas sources and locals said. Hamas leader Rafat Jamil Nasif, 45, was detained in Tulkarem in an arrest raid on his home, sources in the Islamist movement said. Nasif’s family were forced to stand outside in the cold while sniffer dogs searched his home. Musab al-Ashqar, Abdullah Ismail al-Khalil and Ammar Jihad Ameir, students at al-Khadouri university, were also arrested in Tulkarem, together with the local Imam’s son Qitad Amar Bidawi.
In Nablus, Israeli forces detained a local Islamist student leader Muthanna Jamil Eshtayeh and students Osama Khalid Yamin and Walid Jamal Asida from An-Najah university, locals said.  Mousa Ahmad Yamin and Abed al-Ghani Ayesh Samara were also detained in nearby villages.
Four people were arrested in Qalandia refugee camp in Ramallah, including two ex-prisoners, and in Hebron two other students were detained.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564448

Inhabitants prevent PA security from arresting wife of political detainee
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 Feb — Inhabitants in Qarawat Bani Zeid village, west of Ramallah, prevented PA security agents from arresting the wife of political detainee Ibrahim Sanif. Eyewitnesses told the PIC that elements of the preventive security apparatus interrogated the wife after breaking into her house on Sunday and tried to take her away. They said that family members and angry inhabitants who gathered at the scene prevented the security men from arresting the wife. PA security men stormed three other nearby villages at the same time and broke into and ransacked many homes.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7OY%2fnnZNqPQiglv2DWKU60auwi4F3i%2bGx36d9ufNg47tOTP1hn1k%2fTmlQRhgHUPwRbQv1o1eglD2bnMPQ5Wk21BNmlqXBGfqKflmcD61GUAE%3d

Mansour: PA’s attempt to arrest women hinders reconciliation
NABLUS (PIC) 11 Feb — Mona Mansour, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated that the continuing political arrests and summonses carried out by the PA security agencies hinder the reconciliation efforts … Commenting on the PA security services’ attempt to arrest women in Qarawat Bani Zeid village north of Ramallah, she said that “arresting women is a serious violation of all rights and our people’s customs and traditions and a betrayal of the national reconciliation and unity.” She stressed that PA security forces must protect the Palestinian men and women from the Israeli attacks and not arrest them.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7bsKJdM3sK78%2fLBjssqoKLkNbxiLzFmIDpXP%2fwiju1dY9uX%2feAZz33NMkomuuZqyNRP6PI5P6e%2bTgSzz2jWCaYS4JlU%2fsKYFWivRyamr1qDk%3d

IOF soldiers round up 124 Palestinians in one week
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 124 Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank over the past week, a Palestinian statistics report said on Monday. The statement by Hamas said that 23 minors were among the detained Palestinians in addition to three women … The statement pointed out that 16 of the detainees were recently released from PA jails while a number of others were former prisoners in Israeli occupation jails.  Hamas underlined that the IOF’s large-scale arrest campaign in the past week had focused on the movement’s MPs, leaders, and supporters.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7a1ONmc6XHwL6KKEakjHEDhIAVcBcbMbNhmui8G36Ey92n5LwBqYHjqtp%2bGnOCiJG%2b16UDRhKOWNX3lnw29tZK%2bs0RwoLbzj2fJaWx%2bicKDM%3d

Israeli soldiers harass people in Hebron, clashes erupt
HEBRON (WAFA) 12 Feb — Israeli soldiers Tuesday attacked a number of Palestinians, including children, in Hebron after setting up a random military checkpoint south of the city, witnesses told WAFA. The soldiers harassed pedestrians and students heading to their homes from nearby schools, they said. Youths threw stones at the soldiers manning the checkpoint who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. The soldiers at the checkpoint used dogs to search people and cars provoking the clashes, said the witnesses.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21669

PMG monthly summary of Israeli violations — January 2013
The following summary tables and overview of events survey hostile Israeli activities during the period 01 January 2013 to 31 January 2013. The report includes a summary table of events, classified by type, throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in addition to a comparative table surveying events over the past three months. The survey is compiled from the Daily Situation Reports of the Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG) of the Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PMG monitors ground conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including Israeli and Palestinian violations. The PMG Daily Situation Reports are a survey of daily events collated from information provided by civil ministries and security agencies of the Palestinian National Authority. The information reported through the PMG process represents data available at the time of distribution only.
http://www.nad-plo.org/userfiles/file/pmg-reports/monthlyr/PMG.Monthly.Sitrep.01.2013.pdf

Gaza

IOF soldiers open heavy gunfire at Palestinian farmers
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 12 Feb — Israeli occupation forces opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian farmers and citizens to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday morning. Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that the soldiers in armored vehicles stationed in the vicinity of Kissufim military position suddenly opened fire at the Palestinians who were working in their land. They said that no casualties were suffered but the citizens fled the scene fearing for their lives since a number of civilians were killed in similar past incidents.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7o2IAN2fL7wzOo0TG4JWgz4JDMgGY3BlfFgnZrFfz%2bp1A2LcaCi0U4hia8L%2fg7LwuwqrwqIfZMReQTtfvdBs80atGgVAHkOreJCYI1lBlnwE%3d

Israeli forces arrest man at Gaza border crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb  — Israeli forces arrested a man on Tuesday at a border crossing in north Gaza, security sources said.
Muhammad Abu Daka, 31, had traveled with his mother from south Gaza to an Israeli hospital, where she was receiving treatment.
On their way back to Khan Younis, Abu Daka was arrested at the Beit Hanoun, or Erez, crossing in north Gaza and taken for investigation, Palestinian security officials said. His mother was allowed to enter Gaza and return home.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564601

Patients must get transplants because they can’t get dialysis? Incredible.
Surgeons at Gaza hospitals get training to perform organ transplants
Haaretz 10 Feb — Medical staff at hospitals in the Gaza Strip have started receiving training to perform organ transplants, with a particular emphasis on kidney transplants. The need for the transplants has grown in light of the serious shortage of medical equipment and spare parts for dialysis machines in the Strip’s hospitals. At the end of December, a team of British surgeons succeeded in performing two transplants at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the largest medical center in the Strip. The transplants were a pilot for a long-term plan to train a local medical team to perform the transplants themselves … The Palestinian Health Ministry says there are over 500 people in Gaza, including dozens of children, who need dialysis two or three times a week.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/surgeons-at-gaza-hospitals-get-training-to-perform-organ-transplants.premium-1.502475

Hospitals funded by Islamic states aid besieged Gaza
Al Monitor 8 Feb by Rami Almeghari — Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have hospitals in Gaza. In the heart of Rafah city in southern Gaza Strip, Abdelaty al-Mozayen, medical chief of the Kuwaiti hospital, starts his daily work by following up on the various divisions of the hospital. The two-story hospital was established with Kuwaiti funds in 2007 and located in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. It is but one of a number of hospitals setup by friendly Islamic nations to help the Strip’s medical sector, which has been crippled by a five-year Israeli siege … Internationally established hospitals are a new phenomenon in Gaza that has emerged in recent years as part of the struggle to alleviate the suffering caused by Israel’s siege.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/international-hospitals-gaza-siege.html

Egypt pumps water into smuggling tunnels from Gaza
Times of Israel 11 Feb by Elhanan Miller — Palestinian tunnel owners decry move, which endangers workers’ lives — Egyptian security forces have pumped water into smuggling tunnels and intensified their patrols along the border with Gaza in a bid to crack down on smuggling activity, Palestinian media reported Monday. Tunnel owners in Rafah told the Safa news agency that over the past 10 days, Egyptian soldiers have set up checkpoints in Sinai, stopped incoming trucks and confiscated merchandise. The owners said that the Egyptians have dug a well opposite the border with Gaza and installed rubber hoses leading the water overground from the well into the tunnels. They said that when water levels in the tunnel begin to rise, Palestinian workers are immediately evacuated from them for fear of tunnel collapse. Some tunnel owners have begun employing pumps to empty the water into the Palestinian side of the border.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-pumps-water-into-smuggling-tunnels-from-gaza/

Gaza ministry denies Egypt closed tunnels
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Gaza’s Ministry of Interior on Tuesday denied reports that Egypt had closed several smuggling tunnels a day earlier, a spokesman said. Islam Shahwan said in a statement that a network of tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border are operating as normal, with the Interior Ministry briefly closing tunnels last week due to adverse weather conditions. Egyptian security officials said Monday that they had arrested 10 suspected smugglers in Rafah and shut two tunnels used to smuggle goods to the Gaza Strip. Last November, Egyptian security services said they were planning an “extraordinary” crackdown on smuggling tunnels under the Gaza border.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564383

Israel to grant Turkey access to Gaza for construction of hospital
Haaretz 11 Feb — Turkey reportedly sees permit as hint of Israel’s willingness to patch up countries’ bruised relations since Mavi Marmara incident; hospital set to be largest in Palestinian TerritoriesAfter months of lengthy negotiation that involved American intervention, Israel has agreed to allow Turkish trucks to bring building materials into Gaza for the construction of a hospital there … The Turks had decided to build the hospital, set to be the largest and most sophisticated medical facility in the territories, back in September 2011, but Israel’s blockade policy stopped its construction. The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported Monday that construction of the 150-bed hospital should be completed within a year, and that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Gaza for its opening.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-to-grant-turkey-access-to-gaza-for-construction-of-hospital.premium-1.502931

The death of cinema in Gaza
Al Monitor 6 Feb by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Heavy slabs of concrete seal the doors of al-Nasr Cinema in Gaza City. Not one aperture exists through which you can see the interior of the building, which has been abandoned for decades. Its towering walls loom over the street, stained black from the old fire. In the 1980s, these walls housed one of the largest cinemas in the Middle East, but now new generations in the Gaza Strip grow old having never been inside a cinema. Memories of better times Some in Gaza recall the heyday of cinema, when different theaters would compete for customers. Others, though, view that time as a period of decadence before the so-called Islamic awakening.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/cinema-gaza-demise.html

Gaza government to demolish 75 houses built on public lands
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Members of the Abu Amrah family in Gaza City demonstrated Tuesday in front of offices of the Palestinian Legislative Council protesting a decision by the Hamas-run government to demolish 75 houses belonging to the family in the al-Rimal neighborhood. The government says it decided to demolish the houses because they were illegally built on public lands. The demolition is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday morning. “We are refugees and we have been living in this area for tens of years,” Abu Salah Abu Amra told Ma‘an. He highlighted that the PLC in Gaza suggested five new areas where the families could choose to move.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564710

Gazans learn ‘language of the occupier’
Al Jazeera 12 Feb by Abeer Ayyoub – More than 15 years after Hebrew teaching was stopped in Palestinian schools, the Hamas-run Ministry of Education in Gaza has decided to reintroduce Hebrew courses in government-run schools running from the 7th to 9th grades. The step was made unilaterally, separate from the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum that prevails in the West Bank. According to education ministry official Sumayya al-Nakhala, it is very important for an occupied people to know the language of their occupier, and Palestinians under the Israeli occupation are no exception. Although Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, the territory is still economically dependent on Israel. “Learning Hebrew will make life of the students easier. They will be able to understand Israeli media, read Israeli products’ labels, and be able to deal with Israelis if they have to go there,” al-Nakhala said. Many Gazans speak Hebrew, especially those who used to work in Israel before it decided to stop hiring Palestinian laborers from Gaza after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured in 2006 … The textbooks used in the programmes were written by Israeli academics and taught in Israeli schools. The books  focus on the language origins, grammar and pronunciation. The instructors are well-qualified and most of them got their degrees from Israeli universities….
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/02/201321191711906450.html

Prisoners / Hunger Strikers / Court Actions

Half Israel’s Palestinian child prisoners are held illegally outside West Bank
EI 12 Feb by Adri Nieuwhof — Israel is detaining 195 Palestinian children from the West Bank, more than half of them outside of the occupied territory in violation of international law, according to recent Israeli figures. In an appeal from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS), the group writes that according to December 2012 Israeli Prison Service figures, 51 percent of child detainees had been transferred to Megiddo, Moscobiyye, Hasharon and al-Jalame (Kishon) prisons located outside the West Bank. This transfer to Israel is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in particular articles 49, 66 and 76. The latter states that “persons accused of offenses shall be detained in the occupied country.”
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/half-israels-palestinian-child-prisoners-are-held-illegally-outside-west-bank

Increasing psychological and neurological illness among Palestinian prisoners
MEMO 12 Feb by Sawsan Ramahi — …A report published by the Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs and Released Palestinian Prisoners has revealed that since 1967 the Israeli occupation authorities have detained approximately 800,000 Palestinian civilians; that’s about 25 per cent of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories. Based on this, the indication is that more than 70 per cent of Palestinian families have had at least one member of the family detained at one time or another. This includes the detention of individuals from every stratum of Palestinian society; women, children, the young and the old; no one is spared. A variety of inhumane practices and violations are carried out against Palestinian detainees and their families in contravention of all international humanitarian laws and conventions. This has resulted in a large majority of them suffering from various physical and psychological disorders. In this report, we will seek to identify and shed light on some of the most important psychological and neurological disorders that afflict Palestinian prisoners.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/reports/by-sawsan-ramahi/5225-increasing-psychological-and-neurological-illness-among-palestinian-prisoners

Lawyer: Issawi ‘critical’ after 195 days on hunger strike
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Samer Issawi is in a critical condition after 195 days on hunger strike in an Israeli prison, a lawyer said Tuesday. Fadi Abedat, a lawyer for the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, visited Issawi at Ramle prison clinic. Issawi has severe leg, kidney, head and chest pains and a slow pulse. He is unable to move or sleep, the ministry said in a statement … Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer Jawad Boulos, who also visited Issawi, said the detainee’s weight had dropped to 46 kg and he was struggling to speak. Issawi refuses administrative detention, a practice used by Israel to detain Palestinians without bringing any criminal charges against them and without a trial.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564459

Captives Ezzedine and Qa‘dan moved to hospital
JENIN (PIC) 12 Feb — Families of hunger striking captives Jafar Ezzedine and Tarek Qa‘dan, from ‘Arraba village in southern Jenin, expressed deep concern after the urgent transfer of the two prisoners to hospital on Monday evening due to deterioration of their health.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s76CfnEHXtpRukYFui8ft0RmhSKA4yv4kGYvRd%2bMpfGDGa%2fl32qMOlLEFc3KgaaS9a146S8BOLLz6gVvJz5eiuwq6AwjG80l3Knyf72R3ADZs%3d

IPS moves Sharawne to Eshel prison with Jewish homicide criminals
GAZA (PIC) 11 Feb — The Israeli prison service (IPS) moved hunger striker Ayman Sharawne to Eshel prison and held him in wards for Jewish homicide criminals despite his condition … Describing the act as very serious, Qandil said that the director of Eshel jail at first refused to accept him fearing that he might die in his prison, but he later agreed and held him in wards of the homicide convicts. Qandil appealed to the Red Cross,
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7UpRx3mtaYgOx9fKQY29iaepRMj%2bkNUan3XgzwgFdQAYHoJ9C8jlR0luqB6nUMymdA301wnlG8h0VI9cSrNlRL4PF%2fAG93krKhK9mn9BjX7g%3d

Liberated prisoner Adnan goes on hunger strike
JENIN (PIC) 11 Feb — Liberated prisoner Khader Adnan announced on Monday that he would go on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails. He told the PIC reporter that he decided to go on hunger strike while on a visit to the Red Cross in El-Bireh and asked for a room to stay during his hunger strike. He said that his decision was unplanned and was not coordinated with anyone. He said he wanted to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of Palestinian prisoners … Adnan was the first Palestinian prisoner to go on hunger strike singlehandedly in rejection of administrative detention. He was released after 66 days of hunger strike.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7O4SmRhuQYcMiQhSuJcSTEayTX9bVqtCIHahwmtHdE17meVqhr7Fn%2fPuTmwmzPox%2bpkqhW4LDWK2%2bs3UDK0pJLtMci%2bLARE2y6ZKq4TEEwVg%3d

Rekhawi ‘saw death’ during hunger strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Feb — Freed detainee Akram Rekhawi on Monday said his 100 day hunger strike was the hardest stage of his nine-year prison sentence. “I saw death many times a day and it was very painful and Israeli doctors treated me very badly,” Rekhawi, 39, told Ma‘an. Rekhawi, who was released on Thursday, said Israeli prison doctors deliberately withheld treatment until prisoners were beyond help. “Yes, they’re offering us medical treatment, but only after they make sure the disease has spread all through our bodies and that there is no hope in treating us.” … Rekhawi spent six years in a cell with Ashraf Abu Threa, who died in January two months after his release from Israeli jail. The Palestinian Prisoners Society said Israeli authorities were responsible for Abu Threa’s death after neglecting his serious health conditions during his detention.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564325

Abbas warns over Palestinian prisoner hunger strike
AFP 12 Feb — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas Tuesday called on the international community to intervene urgently in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. “Things may get out of control if the lives of the hunger strikers are not saved,” Abbas said on Palestinian television. “We ask the international community to respond effectively to ease the situation, otherwise it will be impossible to control and it will deteriorate across the Palestinian territories.
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130212/abbas-warns-over-palestinian-prisoner-hunger-strike

Relatives of Gazan prisoners head for visits
GAZA (PIC) 11 Feb — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) allowed 56 Gazans to visit their relatives in IOA jails in the Nafha desert prison. Arwa Mihana, the Red Cross spokesperson in Gaza, told the PIC reporter that 56 Palestinians left for the visit through the Erez crossing at an early morning hour on Monday. She said that the relatives would visit 36 Gazan prisoners.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7BjODN7LAkaKPvNlelMpKWnXu6YvrIyp6MOBP8I3fYtKxcmU%2fezxjdPVRqhjOHWg8j5EJWVhPOt3uN2I0JtyIZKsgsYsO8Lt4Jk2adU7v60k%3d

Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

‘We grow, they bulldoze, we replant’
ZEITOUN, Gaza (IPS) 10 Feb by Eva Bartlett — Tawfiq Mandil, 45, stands amongst hundreds of Palestinian farmers, activists, and international supporters in the Gaza Strip’s eastern Zeitoun district, about half a kilometre from the border with Israel. They are renewing a call for the boycott of Israeli goods. “The Israeli army destroyed my house and my five dunums of land (a dunum is 1,000 square metres) on the last day of the attacks in 2009, as well as 20 other homes,” he says. With signs reading ‘Boycott Israeli Agricultural Products’ and ‘Support Palestinian Farmers’ Mandil and others protesting Israeli oppression of Palestinian farmers joined together Saturday to plant olive trees on Israeli-razed farmland and to implore international supporters to join the boycott of Israeli agricultural produce. Mandil believes that the boycott is his only hope for justice for Palestinian farmers being targeted by the Israeli army and oppressed by Israel. “We hope that it will put pressure on Israel to stop targeting us and allow us to farm our land as we used to.”
http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/02/israel-goods-boycott-movement-rises/

EU to use legal loophole to ban settlement goods
Ynet 12 Feb — Germany’s Der Spiegel says European Union to take effort to ban products made in West Bank, Golan Heights further by using import laws’ loophole –  Germany’s German Der Spiegel magazine claimed Monday that Israeli producers evade European Union legislation and falsely mark products made in the Golan Heights and the West Bank as “made in Israel.” The report cited EU regulation that say that certain products, such as wine from the Golan Heights, must be marked with their exact place of production, in order to adhere with various European country’s preference not to import or sell products made in what Brussels deems as “illegal settlement.”  But in a shop in the city of Cologne, Germany, wines from the Golan Heights are sold with labels reading “Made in Israel,” the report stated. Der Spiegel pointed out that these products can be banned due to false labeling, but so far the regulations have not been fully enforced. The international community does not recognize the West Bank and Golan Heights as part of Israel.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4344044,00.html

Is the British government frightened of Palestine’s peaceful campaigners? / Amena Saleem
EI 12 Feb — The double standards of the British government in relation to Palestine and Israel were laid bare yesterday with the news that Palestinian activist Saeed Amireh has been refused a visa to visit the UK. Amireh, a member of the popular committee in his West Bank village of Ni‘lin, was due to begin a speaking tour that would have taken him from the south coast of England to Dunblane in Scotland, speaking to the network of branches of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and university Palestine societies. In London, he was due to speak alongside Sami Abu Shehadeh, of the Jaffa Popular Committee for the Defence of Land and Housing Rights, in a meeting organized by PSC and Jews for Justice for Palestinians. However, a government which, in 2011, changed the law to make it easier for Israeli war criminals to enter the UK, yesterday denied Amireh, a peaceful campaigner against the Israeli occupation and the theft of Nilin’s land, the right of entry.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/amena-saleem/british-government-frightened-palestines-peaceful-campaigners

Israeli racism

Border Guard officers recorded chanting ‘Muhammad is dead’ in Jerusalem
Ynet 12 Feb — Officers stationed in capital’s HaHatulot Square to prevent attacks against minorities, are recorded chanting racist epithets against Islam’s prophet. After investigation officers caught and sentenced to 35 days jail time –  Border Guard officers stationed in the center of a popular Jerusalem neighborhood to stop attacks against minorities, were recorded calling out racist epithets against the prophet Muhammad. The story was publicized for the first time on Monday  in “Mynet Jerusalem” by reporter Moshe Heller. HaHatulot Square is known as a place for Friday night leisure activities, and hundreds of young people pass through it each week. Just six months ago, the square was the location of an attack against a young Arab, who was viciously beaten to within an inch of his life by a group of Jewish youth. [This insult would make more sense if it were said of Christ. The soldiers  apparently know nothing of Islam. Prophet Muhammad never claimed to be more than a human being. Muhammad’s great friend Abu Bakr said when the Prophet died,  ”Whoever worshiped Muhammad, let them know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever worshiped God, let them know that God is alive and never dies.”]
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4344225,00.html

Political / Economic News

Voter registration opens in Gaza
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Feb 10:43 — Electoral registration centers opened in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the first step towards holding long-overdue Palestinian national elections … In addition 347 stations will register voters in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem … CEC chief Hanna Nasser noted that there are around 350,000 unregistered eligible voters in the Gaza Strip. The roll has not been updated in Gaza since Jan. 2005. The operation of the CEC in Gaza is a boost to reconciliation efforts between Fatah, which dominates the West Bank government, and Hamas, which rules Gaza … Nasser said that after registration ends on Feb. 18, data processing will take between four and six weeks, after which electoral registers will be ready for use whenever the Palestinian leadership decides to carry out elections. Both the parliament and the president’s terms have expired during the electoral impasse.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564092

16,000 register to vote in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Feb 21:13 — Around 16,000 people registered to vote on Monday in the Gaza Strip, a lower turnout than expected, the Central Elections Commission said. Central Elections Commission spokesman Ola Salameh told Ma’an the low turnout was surprising given that Monday was the first day voters had been able to register in Gaza since 2005, but he said the registration process had run smoothly.  Some 257 registration centers will be open for one week to update the electoral roll in the Gaza Strip in preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections. No date has been set for a vote.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564340

Fatah, Hamas to meet in Cairo Feb. 19, official says
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — … Sakhr Bseiso told Ma‘an that the factions will meet under Egypt-mediation a day after the Central Elections Commission has finished updating the election register in Gaza. The rival factions met in Cairo to discuss reconciliation over the weekend, but reached no agreement on the formation of a unity government or on a revision of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564417

Hamas: West Bank arrests underscore election obstacles
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb – The detention of Hamas supporters in the West Bank lays more obstacles before the intended general elections, a party official said Tuesday after Israel launched an arrest sweep. Mousa Abu Marzouq, deputy chief of the Islamic movement, wrote on his Facebook page that whether it is the Palestinian Authority or Israel detaining Hamas’ leaders and supporters, the move enhances the idea that holding elections under occupation is difficult. He highlighted that Palestinian security services detained Hamas members “under the pretext of breaching the law and conducting military activities, while Israeli occupation is detaining supporters for political activities and attempts to reactivate Hamas organizations.” Thus, he continued, the Palestinian Authority has a special responsibility and should reconsider its procedures and the accusations they security services cite.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564662

PA official: Israel continues to withhold tax revenue
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Feb – Israel is still withholding Palestinian tax revenue, breaching the 2004 Paris agreement, an official in the Palestinian Ministry of Finance said Tuesday. Spokesman Rami Mahdawi told Ma‘an that the ongoing breach “confirms that Israel is going on with its piracy on Palestinian money.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564648

Schools to operate regularly after union signs agreement with Fayyad
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Feb – The Palestinian Authority has responded positively to several demands made by the union of teachers, and as a result the union decided to suspend strike, says the union’s speaker.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564746

Union: University staff to strike 2 days a week
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Public university staff [American Eng.: faculty] will suspend classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays in protest over irregular salary payments, their union said Tuesday. The union said in a statement that the Ministry of Education had ignored its demands for staff to be paid on time.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564541

Abbas to issue decrees on elections, unity govt
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — President Mahmoud Abbas will issue decrees announcing elections and declaring a new unity government, a senior Fatah official said Tuesday.  At a news conference in Ramallah, Azzam al-Ahmad said the two decrees would be issued at the same time. Abbas has already started consultations to form a unity government of technocrats, which will be sworn when the Central Elections Commission finishing updated the voter registry, by the end of March, al-Azzam told reporters.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564619

Abu Rudineh: Israeli new housing units a blow to Obama
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Feb — Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudineh, in a statement Monday, said the Israeli decision to build 90 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El aims to obstruct efforts by the U.S. administration to revive the peace process. U.S. president Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the region next month.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21662

Netanyahu stands by 2-state solution
Ynet 11 Feb — Ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel, PM reaffirms commitment to two-state solution as outlined in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech. Addressing US Jewish leaders, he says PA must drop preconditions
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4343817,00.html

Obama’s Israel visit itinerary released
Ynet 12 Feb — US president to arrive in Israel March 20, ahead of stops in PA, Jordan; set to make public speech in Jerusalem, visit Iron Dome battery — …He will continue with Peres and Netanyahu to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, where he will lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance. The next stop will be Mount Herzl, where Obama will lay a wreath on Herzl’s tomb as a gesture to Zionism. Obama will continue to Yitzhak Rabin‘s tomb, laying a wreath there as well….
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4343916,00.html

Other News

Poll: 71.5% of young Israeli Arabs oppose national service
Haaretz 12 Feb by Jack Khoury –  Asked whether they considered Israel a democratic country, 36.5 percent say no and 26 percent say yes; the rest describe Israel as partly democratic — …The poll comes out as efforts increase to get more ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews to do army service, and more Israeli Arabs to do national service. The survey, conducted by the center’s Aas Atrash in late December, questioned 504 young Arabs throughout Israel, except for residents of Jerusalem and members of the Druze community. In the poll, 34 percent of the respondents were unaware of the national service project, so their opinions were not included. Of the ones who were aware of it, 71.5 percent were against …The survey shows that the more educated the young respondents, the more solid their identities as Palestinians and the stronger their opposition to national service, Atrash added. Since Israel began recruiting Arabs for national service, just under 3,000 young people have volunteered — a minuscule showing. According to Einas Odeh-Haj of the Mada al-Carmel center, the survey proves that young Israeli Arabs are aware of their national identity and rights, and oppose national service because it is a way to legitimize discrimination and inequality.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-71-5-of-young-israeli-arabs-oppose-national-service.premium-1.503147

Kassis: Occupation army incites against Christians
NAZARETH (PIC) 11 Feb — A Palestinian Christian group accused the occupation army of promoting cheap propaganda against Christians in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, after broadcasting a picture showing a Christian officer in Maintenance Corps of the occupation army … The coordinator of the Palestinian Christian Initiative, Rifat Kassis, stressed to Quds Press the Christians’ rejection of conscription in the occupation army, calling on churches to raise awareness within their respective congregations so that “the occupation army does not use them as tools to violate the rights of the Palestinian people.” Kassis considered the Israeli stunt as a cheap attempt to give the impression that they have managed to penetrate the Arab Christian community.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7Vu9qoKlRMmEloUMvwfPWGQk6WCcwAvJi5YsowjYTYPKHrX3BNrR0dc2vZxrDYJqrDnv%2fj6CxVwDg45%2fsieaDUUU7WP7EEZua7eBr%2f2XK%2b1g%3d

Palestinian man sends his family keepsakes to Turkey
World Bulletin 11 Feb — Palestinian Emin Ebu’l Aysh thanked Turkey for its support by sending his family keepsakes to Turkey as a heartfelt gift. A 100-year old silk handkerchief, the key of the house his family had to leave in 1948, 3 stamps dating back to 1929 and a pebble picked from Palestine soils were handed out to Anadolu Agency’s Gaza office by Aysh to be sent to Turkey as a token of his appreciation. He said his motive was Turkey’s attitude on Palestine issue.
http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=103164

Official: Arafat forensic inquiry to report in June
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Feb — Results of the forensic tests on samples taken from the body of late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat will be announced in June, according to the leader of a Palestinian committee investigating Arafat’s death. Tawfiq Tirawi told Ma‘an Saturday evening that nothing has been revealed so far, but that his committee is in touch with the officials who supervise the tests.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564032

Australian suspected of Mossad links dies in Israeli jail
ABC News (Australia) 13 Feb by Trevor Bormann — Evidence has been unearthed that strongly suggests Israel’s infamous Prisoner X, who was jailed under extraordinary circumstances in 2010, was an Australian national from Melbourne. Investigations by the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program have revealed Ben Zygier, who used the name Ben Alon in Israel, was found hanged in a high-security cell at a prison near Tel Aviv in late 2010. His body was flown to Melbourne for burial a week later. The death goes part of the way to explain the existence in Israel of a so-called Prisoner X, widely speculated in local and international media as an inmate whose presence has been acknowledged by neither the jail system nor the government. The case is regarded as one of the most sensitive secrets of Israel’s intelligence community, with the government going to extraordinary lengths to stifle media coverage and gag attempts by human rights organisations to expose the situation.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-12/prisoner-x-foreign-correspondent/4514806?WT.svl=news0

Video: US university lecturer’s shocking hate speech against Arab, Muslim students condemned
EI 12 Feb — Students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are circulating a petition calling on the office of the university president to condemn shocking, inciteful hate speech and virulently racist assumptions by a UCSC lecturer against students involved in Palestine solidarity activism on campus. The lecturer, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, is a well-known anti-Palestinian racist and inciter of accusations against students and professors who criticize Israeli policies. A video of a speech she gave at a synagogue on 20 June 2012 has surfaced, in which Rossman-Benjamin claims that students “have become poisoned by the rhetoric they hear on campus,” ostensibly referring to Palestine-related activism and criticism of Israel’s policies against Palestinians.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora/us-university-lecturers-shocking-hate-speech-against-arab-muslim-students-condemned

Analysis / Opinion / Films

Film: Going against the Grain by Bilal Yousef
Journalist Gideon Levy is arguably the most hated man in Israel for his reports on the occupied Palestinian territories. Going Against the Grain follows Gideon Levy on one of his assignments in Hebron, and meets some of the ordinary Palestinians whose lives he has described in his regular column for Haaretz.
Al Jazeera 12 Feb 47:30 minutes — Gideon Levy is someone who evokes strong emotions from fellow Israelis. The writer and journalist has made weekly visits, over the past three decades, to the occupied Palestinian territories, describing what he sees – plainly and without propaganda. For some Israelis, he is seen as a brave disseminator of the truth. But many others condemn him as a propagandist for Hamas. And his columns for the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper have made him, arguably, one of the most hated men in Israel. “When I joined Haaretz newspaper, I started to visit the occupied territories,” Levy says. “I immediately realised this was what I wanted to do; to understand the brutality and inhumanity of the Israeli occupation.” “I figured out three things. First, this was the biggest drama facing the state of Israel. Second, this story was not being covered by the Israeli media. And third, this was going to be my life mission – to report about the Israeli occupation to Israeli readers who did not want to know what was really happening there. One of his earlier reports, ‘Death of a baby’ in 1996, told of an incident involving the Abu Dahouk family. They were stopped at a checkpoint on their way to a hospital. Israeli soldiers delayed the family including a heavily pregnant Fayzeh Abu Dahouk, who ended up delivering her baby in the backseat of the car. The baby, who she hoped to name Yousef, died a couple of days later.
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2013/02/2013212837310172.html

D.C. film screening: Where Should the Birds Fly? by Fida Qishta
Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:30-2:00pm 2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037 —  Where Should The Birds Fly documents the lives of two courageous young Palestinian women, survivors of Israel’s massive 23 day attack on Gaza that began on December 28, 2008.  It is the compelling and moving story of these remarkable young women, the future of Palestine, who personify the struggle to maintain humanity, humor and hope, to find some degree of normality in the brutal abnormality that has been imposed on them. Mona Samouni is an 11 year old girl of remarkable wisdom. Her family died under Israeli rockets. Fida Qishta, the filmmaker, is a 27 year old journalist. With her Palestinian crew, Fida has documented the lives of the people of Gaza. This is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians themselves and it gives voice to the people of Gaza.
http://blog.endtheoccupation.org/2013/02/dc-film-screening-where-should-birds-fly.html

Zionism neoliberal style / Charlotte Silver
Al Jazeera 11 Feb — Attempts to prettify Israel’s land-grabbing policies are not new, but have metamorphosed over time, writes author — n the recently adopted revisions to the Prawer Plan, which would forcibly relocate up to 70,000 Bedouins in the Negev, Israeli Knesset Member Benny Begin attempts to distract attention from the overtly racist tone of the original plan proposed in 2011. Instead of characterising Bedouins, whose impoverished communities are scattered across the vast Negev, as illegal squatters, foreign invaders and land robbers, Begin’s report coolly asserts the mutual advantage the Prawer Plan will have on Jewish and Bedouin communities alike. Disregarding the fact that Bedouins have uniformly rejected the Prawer Plan, Begin writes: “It is the government’s responsibility to take action in order to enable the Bedouins to extricate themselves from these circumstances and to grant them, and particularly the younger generation the tools necessary to successfully cope with the challenges of the future.” The language of benevolence and goodwill decorates Begin’s 16-page report and disguises the Plan’s actual intention of displacement as one of “development”.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201321094433931990.html

Brooklyn College battle reveals hidden agenda of ‘liberal Zionism’ / Max Blumenthal
New York City (EI) 12 Feb — As soon as it was clear that the pro-Israel forces opposed to the forum on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) held at Brooklyn College on 7 February had badly overreached, and that their crude invective and histrionic behavior was alienating broad sectors of mainstream intelligentsia, liberal Zionist writers and activists injected what seemed like a much more sensible narrative into the debate. Presenting themselves as progressive advocates of academic freedom, the pro-Israel liberals pushed back against the zealots who demanded Brooklyn College’s political science department withdraw its sponsorship from the BDS forum. At the same time, however, they warned political fellow travelers against falling for the appeal of BDS, characterizing the movement as dangerously radical, and potentially destructive to Jewish life.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/brooklyn-college-battle-reveals-hidden-agenda-liberal-zionism/12191

Biased new study skirts around racism in Israeli school books / Nurit Peled-Elhanen
EI 12 Feb — A new report on Palestinian and Israeli school books has elicited much debate (“Israel shoots back: ‘Look beyond the textbooks,’” The Times of Israel, 6 February). The report — by academics in Tel Aviv, Bethlehem and the American university Yale — is short. Yet it raises some poignant questions (“Victims of our own narratives? Portrayal of the other in Israeli and Palestinian school books,” Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, 4 February [PDF]). Israeli educators who hastened to pronounce it biased were quite right. Such a study cannot be symmetrical, for it examines two education systems, one of which is entirely subjugated to the other … Two main categories are missing from the analysis: occupation and racist discourse. Perhaps that is why describing the dire facts of the occupation seemed to involve “negative characterization of Israelis” to the researchers. Israeli school books do not address the occupation because their message is that there is no occupation.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/biased-new-study-skirts-around-racism-israeli-school-books/12189

Build two-state bridges, not walls / Fr. Ibrahim Shomali
Haaretz 12 Feb — The Tel Aviv appellate court decides today whether my community will be split by a wall. Instead of building bridges towards a vision of two states, Israel’s wall-building, on Palestinian land, is exactly the kind of violation of rights, with international impunity, that fuels violence on both sides — Today, an Israeli court in Tel Aviv will decide the fate of our land. It will judge whether Israel’s annexation Wall will be built right through the heart of our community. A few years ago I was appointed to serve the people of Beit Jala as their parish priest. Having been born in Bethlehem and having lived in Palestine for most of my life, my identity as a Palestinian Christian has been shaped by both the joy of living in the land where my faith began and the daily struggle to keep the national and religious spirit alive in our country. That is why, in my current position, I decided to do everything possible to prevent Israel from building the Wall in the Cremisan area, which will further dispossess a community that, since 1967, has already lost two thirds of their land to illegal Israeli settlements, roads for settlers and checkpoints.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/build-two-state-bridges-not-walls.premium-1.503062

Does the Mossad still use the passports of immigrants to Israel? / Anshel Pfeffer
Haaretz 12 Feb — The widest publication so far of such use was in the wake of the Mabhouh assassination, but many other cases have been recorded – Despite repeated promises by the Israeli government that the Mossad will cease to use the passports and identities of citizens of foreign countries, it seems that the practice has continued in recent years. Among countries involved have been Australia, Britain, France and Germany … Exactly a year ago, the Times of London published accounts of two anonymous young men, one who had emigrated to Israel from Britain and the other France. Both young men, during their IDF service, were approached by a woman who identified herself as a Mossad official who asked to “lend” their passports for about eighteen months while they were still in the army. Upon the passports return, they contained stamps from different countries including Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. They were advised not to visit those countries over the next few years. There is a long and glorious tradition of Diaspora Jews aiding Israeli intelligence, occasionally without their knowledge.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/does-the-mossad-still-use-the-passports-of-immigrants-to-israel.premium-1.503149

The Shin Bet’s dream investigation / Amira Hass
Haaretz 10 Feb — Somehow an Israel Defense Forces prosecutor sees the Shin Bet’s practice of depriving prisoners of sleep as humane — Do military judges rely on decisions by their colleagues that conflict with the positions of the military prosecutor? More specifically, will one judge, Maj. Meir Vigisser use as precedent the decision of another judge, Col. Ronen Atzmon, who on Dec. 27, 2012 found a man innocent of assisting homicide because the incriminating witness fell asleep during a Shin Bet interrogation? In other words, the judge understood that the Shin Bet investigators engaged in the very common torture method of sleep deprivation, disrupting rather than furthering the pursuit of truth.  In the ongoing case, presided over by Vigisser, the accusations against Ayman Nasser are thin: membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and participation in two demonstrations … The eager investigators weren’t satisfied with depriving Nasser alone of sleep. They did the same thing to two other detainees, who were called as witnesses for the prosecution in Nasser’s trial. The first was Muhammad Zaytun and the second was Ashraf Abu Aram. Both of them testified to falsely incriminating Nasser in exchange for sleep.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/the-shin-bet-s-dream-investigation.premium-1.502641

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3 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    February 13, 2013, 10:10 am

    GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Members of the Abu Amrah family in Gaza City demonstrated Tuesday in front of offices of the Palestinian Legislative Council protesting a decision by the Hamas-run government to demolish 75 houses belonging to the family in the al-Rimal neighborhood. The government says it decided to demolish the houses because they were illegally built on public lands. The demolition is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday morning.

    what a disturbing development.

  2. Annie Robbins
    February 13, 2013, 10:14 am

    12 Feb — Dozens of Israeli army soldiers stormed the Aqsa mosque on Tuesday morning as the Aqsa Foundation warned of the escalation in such acts. Israeli intelligence agents accompanied 51 soldiers who entered the Aqsa in two batches and toured its Qibli mosque, Marwani mosque, and the Dome of the Rock. Eight Jewish settlers also broke into the Aqsa plazas. Hundreds of students were present in the holy site during the Israeli storming.

    this just happened last friday also as i recall, accompanied by a bunch of settlers and that freak politician feiglin(sp?). the point being?

  3. yourstruly
    February 13, 2013, 9:42 pm

    re: brooklyn college forum on bds? –

    pro-israel liberals?

    stood up for free speech?

    at the same time?

    warning the public that no matter how appealing?

    bds?

    dangerously radical?

    & potentially destructive to jewish life?

    no israel no judaism?

    except in pre-1948?

    & going way back in recorded history?

    no israel yet jewish life went on?

    but with israel’s delegitimization?

    same thing?

    no israel yet jewish life goes on?

    justice for palestine?

    right on time?

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