Video: Basel’s homecoming to Bil‘in after his false arrest by IOF, 11-3-2013
published 12 Mar — Bil‘in villager and activist Basel Mansour was arrested on 9-3-2013 at the Hizma checkpoint wedding which was to challenge the racist Citizenship and Entry into Israel law, and falsely charged with assaulting and spitting at an Israeli Occupation Forces border policeman and blocking a public highway.
For more on the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” protest see here.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Palestinian killed by army fire in Hebron
IMEMC 13 Mar — Tuesday March 12, 2013, Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian youth identified as Mahmoud ‘Adel At-Teety, 25, was shot and killed by an Israeli dum-dum bullet to the head, in the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Two more Palestinians were shot by live rounds, and six by rubber-coated metal bullets. At-Teety was shot in the head and died instantly; the dum-dum bullets have been internationally banned since The Hague Convention outlawed their use in 1899, and in 1907, but the Israeli military frequently uses them against the Palestinians. Dum-dum bullets expand and explode upon or after impact causing maximum damage to body organs. At-Teety is an active member of the nonviolent resistance movement in Hebron, and was the admin of a Facebook page that focuses on the issues and suffering of Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.
Israeli security officer brutally beats Palestinian shepherd
IMEMC 12 Mar — Israeli activists caught on film an attack by an Israeli settlement security guard on a Palestinian shepherd Monday, near the Palestinian village of Susya in the southern West Bank on Monday. The shepherd was identified as Na‘al Abu Aram, but the Israeli security guard, apparently from the Israeli illegal outpost called ‘Avigail’ that was built on stolen Palestinian land, was not identified. The guard beat, punched, kicked and shoved the shepherd, then ran after his flock of sheep to scare them. Two Israeli soldiers were present at the time of the beating, but they did not intervene. Avigail was established on stolen land by former Israeli soldiers in 2001. The soldiers entered the land, which belongs to local Palestinians, and installed trailers. They moved in, heavily armed, and began to harass the local villagers and shepherds
Man dies after being hit by settler car in Salfit
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — A man died on Tuesday after being hit by a settler’s car last week in Salfit, local sources said. Zeid Ali Rayyan, 28, was seriously wounded after being knocked down by a settler car on Saturday near Barqan settlement, west of Salfit. He was taken to a hospital in Israel but died from his wounds on Tuesday. Rayyan, from the Salfit village of Qarawat Bani Hassan, leaves behind a wife and two children.
Jewish settler runs over child then speeds away
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Mar — A Jewish settler ran over a Jerusalemite child in the main street of Tur suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Monday then sped away. Eyewitnesses said that 8-year-old Nadi Juwailes was taken to Makased hospital where her injuries were described as light. The locals said that the settler is known to them but they could not catch him as he sped away immediately after running over the little girl.
Israeli settler ‘tried to hit Palestinians’ near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — A man was injured on Tuesday when an Israeli settler tried to run him over in a village near Bethlehem, local officials said. The Israeli driver tried to run over two Palestinians who were working near the entrance to Tekoa, municipal officials told Ma‘an, adding that one suffered bruising in the incident. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli police arrived and took both Palestinians to the Etzion military compound.
Israeli settler hits Palestinian child with rock
HEBRON, March 12 (WAFA) – A Jewish settler Tuesday threw a rock at a 9-year-old child in the Israeli-controlled old town of Hebron injuring him in the face, according to Palestinian security sources. They told WAFA that a settler threw a rock at Yasin Qneibi, hitting him in the face and causing injuries in his face and eye. The settler fled the scene.
Farmers attacked by Israeli army and settlers, preventing them from planting olive trees in memory of Rachel Corrie
ISM 12 Mar by Lisa Marchant — Farmers peacefully planting olive trees in the land of Asira al Qiblya were today disrupted by Israeli soldiers who halted the planting. The presence of Palestinians on their own land also attracted the attention of illegal settlers from the nearby settlement of Yizhar, leading to them attacking Palestinians farmers and volunteers, throwing and catapulting stones. The army moved immediately to protect the attackers, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinians.
Medics: Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 in clashes near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Two Palestinians were injured by live bullets on Tuesday during clashes with Israeli forces at a refugee camp near Hebron, a medical official said. Israeli soldiers shot Mahmoud Shadfan in the stomach and 25-year-old Rami al-Karanz, 25, in the foot in al-Fawwar camp, Red Crescent official Nasser Qabaja told Ma‘an. Clashes erupted when Israeli forces raided the camp. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas after local youths threw stones at them, Qabaja said. He said the raid followed an earlier incident in which a firebomb was thrown at an Israeli car in the area
Settlers block Nablus road, throw stones at cars
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — A group of settlers blocked a main road linking Nablus and Jenin on Monday, preventing Palestinian cars from passing, a PA official said. Settler-monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma‘an that settlers from Shave Shomron blocked route 60, the main north-south highway in the West Bank. Settlers threw stones at Palestinian cars driving in the area, causing damage to several vehicles, Daghlas said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a “military exercise simulating rock hurling” was taking place near Shave Shomron, without providing further details.
MK Tibi: Settlers training dogs to attack Palestinians
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Israeli Knesset member Ahmad Tibi on Monday alleged that settlers in the West Bank are training dogs to attack Palestinians. Tibi told Ma‘an that he obtained a videotape which shows settlers training dogs to attack Palestinians who say Allahu Akbar, or, ‘God is Great’. He described the practices as racist and contrary to international law. In 2010, Tibi alleged that the Israeli military trains dogs to attack anyone saying Allahu Akbar. The Israeli military denied the charges, telling Haaretz in a statement, “One of the canine unit’s many capabilities is to train the dogs at locating the enemy when dressed both in uniform and as civilian. This is an ability that has proven itself in many cases.”
Sheriffs of the land: Meet the settlers with military authority
972mag 10 Mar by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — The position of the Civilian Security Officer is unique to Israel: a settler who gives orders to IDF soldiers as if he is an officer, but is not actually held responsible under the military system. So, to whom is he accountable? … This is where the chain of command gets fouled up: he is a civilian who is both in and out of the military system. Who will try him? Who will indict him? His pay comes from the local council, and as a result he (very rarely is a CSO a woman) considers himself, not unreasonably, to be working for it. After all, it signs his paycheck. In practice, the CSOs import the problematic model of U.S. sheriffs to the most troublesome (from a law enforcement point of view) region under Israeli control: law enforcement officers beholden to their communities, not to an external authority. It’s not by accident that the sheriffs of the southern U.S. came to symbolize segregation.
Fighting for their lives: Children of an intifada that has yet to erupt
Haaretz 8 Mar by Alex Levac & Gideon Levy — The bullets are still in the two bodies – apparently 0.22-caliber ones from a Ruger sniper rifle, which is forbidden to use for the dispersal of demonstrations. One teenager is in critical condition, with a bullet in his skull; the other is somewhat better off, with two bullets in his abdomen and his leg. One celebrated his 16th birthday this week, is anesthetized and on artificial respiration; the other is only 13 but his condition is better. Both boys were shot last week, on Monday, in the violent protest demonstrations in Bethlehem on the day of the funeral of Arafat Jaradat, the Palestinian detainee who died in prison in unclear circumstances. The youngsters were shot by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, near the wall around Rachel’s Tomb, a few hours apart and not many meters away from each other. Oudai Ramadan might remain paralyzed and disabled for the rest of his life, or he may die. Mohammed Kurdi will have two more operations and will recover. Both of them are children of an intifada that has not yet been born.
Amani Odeh and the 40 border patrolmen
Haaretz 10 Mar by Amira Hass — The less than romantic tale of black-clad troops, a foam-tipped bullet, a flier, and a female dentist from Silwan laughing at the absurdity of her arrest — Although it’s bad for ratings, in every other way it’s fortunate that the foam-tipped plastic bullet fired by a Border Police soldier in Silwan ten days ago struck Ruba Odeh, 23, on the side of her head and not directly in the face. Now she lies at home, with ‘only’ a broken jaw and loose teeth, unable to speak and not allowed to eat solid food for 35 more days. If something worse had happened, perhaps the incident would have received more attention in Israel, if only for a minute. The bullet that struck her was made of heavy metal and tipped with foam. The police’s response stated that it was fired at people who were throwing stones from the roofs of buildings at the Border Police troops after another young woman was arrested in the al-Bustan neighborhood … What did Amani Odeh do to deserve to be arrested by such a large group of Border Police troops in the dead of night? The police say she “is suspected of having distributed a flier containing incitement.”
IOF soldiers wreak havoc in Jordan Valley village
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 11 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Annasariya village in the Jordan Valley at dawn Monday and wreaked havoc in a number of houses. Eyewitnesses said that big numbers of IOF soldiers stormed the village and encircled the homes of two citizens and forced all inhabitants out of them including an old woman and children for three hours. They said that an Israeli officer brought down Palestinian flags from the roof of the houses and stepped over them then threatened to raze the houses in the next time if those flags were raised anew.
Confrontations in Nablus after settlers enter Nabi Yusuf tomb
NABLUS (PIC) 11 Mar — Hundreds of Jewish settlers burst into Nabi Yusuf tomb to the east of Nablus before dawn Monday under heavy Israeli military escort. Locals said that violent confrontations between Israeli occupation forces and inhabitants took place after the settlers’ arrival. They said that IOF soldiers fired teargas canisters at the protesters and houses in the vicinity of the tomb. In the same context, scores of IOF soldiers broke into the eastern suburbs of Nablus city at dawn and clashed with young men until morning.
IOF soldiers round up 12 Palestinians including Jihad activists
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 11 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 12 Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Monday including four affiliated with Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad sources said that IOF troops detained four of its activists in Al-Khalil district, two in Beit Ummar, one in Sourif, and one in ‘Arrub refugee camp. They said that all four were previously incarcerated in Israeli occupation jails and served different sentences.
Two other young men were arrested in Beit Ummar, north of Al-Khalil, one of them a former prisoner, and the other a guard for a sports club in the village. Meanwhile, local sources said that IOF soldiers nabbed two Palestinians in Qabatiya, Jenin district, after breaking into many homes in the village and searching them. Two other young men were nabbed in Beit Fajjar village in Bethlehem, locals said, noting that 70 young men were taken from their village over the past two months. The Wadi Hilwa information center said that two Jerusalemites were arrested in occupied Jerusalem at a late night hour on Sunday. It said that one was taken from Silwan town and the other from the Old City’s Bab Hutta suburb.
Israeli border guards provoke Jerusalemites into clashing with them
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 Mar — Israeli border guards provocatively intercepted cars and searched pedestrians in Bab Hutta suburb in the Old City of Jerusalem igniting clashes with young men on Sunday evening. Inhabitants said that young men responded to the provocation by throwing stones and empty bottles at the soldiers injuring one of them. Jerusalemite sources said, meanwhile, that Israeli occupation police rounded up nine Jerusalemites on Sunday mainly from that same suburb and Wad street. They said that the arrests were in connection with the violent confrontations that took place in the Aqsa mosque and its vicinity on Friday after Israeli occupation forces stormed the holy site.
IOF soldiers search homes of Palestinian detainees in their presence
JENIN (PIC) 12 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the town of Qabatiya, east of Jenin, on Tuesday and broke into the homes of two Palestinian detainees who were arrested yesterday. Local sources said that IOF troops brought with them the two detainees and broke into their homes in a pre-dawn raid and forced all family members out of them. They said that the soldiers thoroughly searched both homes for two hours and took away some personal belongings of the two detainees, who were handcuffed throughout the process.
IOF soldiers arrest 11 Palestinians, summons three others
BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) nabbed eleven Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Tuesday and served summonses to three others. Local sources said that IOF soldiers arrested Khalil Abu Aker, 20, and Ahmed Uwais, 30, in ‘Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem and served summonses to three brothers of Uwais for intelligence interrogation at Etzion settlement complex. Four other citizens were rounded up in Tayaseer village, Tobas district, after searching their family homes.
Two young men were nabbed in Asker refugee camp to the east of Nablus while two brothers were arrested in Burqin village to the west of Jenin. IOF soldiers detained a Palestinian youth near the Ibrahimi mosque in Al-Khalil and broke into and ransacked the home of a Palestinian intelligence officer in the city.
Meanwhile, a report for Hamas on Monday said that the IOF rounded up 87 Palestinians in the past week in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. It said that most of the detainees were from Al-Khalil (29) followed by Nablus (16) then Jerusalem (13). Hamas pointed out that IOF soldiers detained three Palestinians, including two journalists, who were recently released from Palestinian Authority jails.
Israeli intelligence questions Palestinian student about studying chemistry
JENIN (PIC) 11 Mar — Israeli intelligence questioned a Palestinian student from Jenin after summoning him to Hawara army camp on reasons for studying chemistry. Israeli occupation forces had stormed the home of 20-year-old student Mohammed Mahamid in Teiba village, west of Jenin, a few days ago and served him with a summons for intelligence interrogation … Mahamid expressed dismay at questioning him over his line of study at a time he does not pursue any political activity or join any faction.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Israel going for one million Jews in the West Bank
Haaretz 11 Mar by Aluf Benn – …The third Netanyahu government has one clear goal: enlarging the settlements and achieving the vision of “a million Jews living in Judea and Samaria.” This magic number will thwart the division of the land and prevent once and for all the establishment of a Palestinian state. The defense, and housing and construction ministries that are relevant to this issue will be given to Likud MK Moshe Ya’alon and Habayit Hayehudi MK Uri Ariel. They won’t be assuming these positions in order to freeze settlement construction, but rather to implement the Levy report which determined that Israel was not legally-speaking an occupying power in the West Bank and the Habayit Hayehudi platform; or in other words, to gradually absorb the West Bank into Israel.
Settlers fear Obama visit spells construction freeze
Ynet 12 Mar — United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel next week has sent Israeli entrepreneurs and future homeowners in the West Bank to a building frenzy, fearing the presidential visit may entail another construction freeze beyond the Green Line. In many settlements concrete foundations are hurriedly being laid down and entrepreneurs are pressing zoning committees to speed up the process, worrying they may get “stuck” should a West Bank construction ban be decided.
Palestinians ask justices to keep state from seizing land in Efrat
Haaretz 13 Mar by Amira Hass — The state is seeking a ruling from the High Court of Justice Wednesday permitting it to declare ownership of a large swath of land in the West Bank settlement of Efrat. The Palestinian petitioners in the case are seeking to head off such a declaration, claiming they own the land. Local Palestinians have also expressed concern that if the land is claimed by the state, Efrat will be expanded and Bethlehem will ultimately be cut off from Palestinian towns to the south.The land in question spans about 1,000 undeveloped acres within the municipal boundaries of Efrat.
IDF orders fences around 2 settlements taken down, 3 months after court deadline
Haaretz 10 Mar by Chaim Levinson — The head of Central Command has ordered the fences surrounding the settlements of Ofra and Adam to be taken down by Friday − nearly three months after the deadline that the Israel Defense Forces had committed to at the High Court of Justice. According to petitions, unauthorized fences had been built around the two settlements in the northern West Bank, which blocked Palestinian farmers from their land. The IDF had told the High Court that the fences would be destroyed by the end of 2012, and new ones would be built. Now the head of Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has ruled that the fences will be destroyed even though their replacements have yet to be built. Instead, the communities will be defended by IDF patrols.
The Charity’s organization in Silwan shut down again for one year
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 4 Mar — Wadi Hilwe’s Information Centre informed us that the Israeli authorities shut down the organisation in Ras al Amoud again, this time for one year. Al Haj Ibrahim Sarhan, the head of the organization, said forces raided the centre at the end of last month. They placed the new closure order on the door despite the fact that it was due to reopen on the 24th January 2012 after being shut down for a month. According to the order, which was signed by the police’s main officer “Yohanan Danino“, they are shutting it down under the law of “Preventing terrorism 1948“.Al Haj confirmed that the organisation provides humanitarian and social services for to locals of Silwan. The large hall, one of the extreme few available to Palestinians, hosts various gatherings for different occasions.Sarhan said they appealed to the police last year and are still working on it.
Silwan’s Jews subjected to repeated attacks
Ynet 13 Mar — Trial of five Palestinians exposes regular use of homemade Molotov cocktails, stones against Jews in attempt to oust them from East Jerusalem neighborhood … The Jerusalem District Court sentenced the five youths (ages 19-23) to an imprisonment of 36-40 months for 11 different charges over a span of six months. They were convicted of making and throwing Molotov cocktails, attempted arson of Jewish homes and stone-throwing.
Israeli forces ‘order 15 families to leave houses’
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Israeli forces on Monday ordered 15 families to evacuate their homes in the southern West Bank and said the area was a “closed military zone,” a resident facing eviction said. Abed Shalalda said 15 families from his tribe were told they would be evicted from their homes in al-Ganoub, east of Sa‘ir, by force if they did not leave within days. The families live in caves and ancient stone dwellings in an area with fruit trees and water wells. Shalalda said all the residents had land ownership deeds.
Israel closes Nablus checkpoints for training exercise
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli forces on Tuesday temporarily closed several checkpoints around the city of Nablus to carry out a military training exercise, Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an. Israeli soldiers closed Beit Furik and Beit Dagan checkpoints, and erected temporary checkpoints in Huwwara and al-Bathan, security sources said. Israeli troops stopped several cars and checked ID’s.
An Israeli spokeswoman said no crossings in Nablus were closed.
PA official: Israeli settlers uproot olive trees in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli settlers on Tuesday uprooted over 100 olive trees in a village south of Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said residents of Rechalim settlement destroyed around 121 trees in Qaryut village. Daghlas told Ma‘an that settlers had stepped up attacks on Palestinians and their property ahead of the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama.
Israel confiscates money from Palestinian travelers
MEMO 12 Mar — Israel confiscates money from Palestinian travelers coming from abroad through al-Karameh crossing between the Palestinian territories and Jordan, the Tadamon Organisation for Human Rights said on Tuesday. Al-Tadamon’s field researcher, Ahmed Al-Betawi, has said that the amount of money being confiscation has increased sharply in recent times. Besides undergoing derogatory treatment at the crossing, Al-Betawi said that travelers are having their money “stolen over terrorism charges.” “Most of the money that has been confiscated belonged to relatives of Palestinians that have either been detained or killed by Israel,” he said. A total sum of 15,200 Jordanian Dinars (approx. £15,200) has been confiscated over a short period recently … Al-Tadamon’s researcher said that his organisation files written protests against money confiscations, and after extended periods, the Israeli side responds informing them about whether they intend to return or keep the money. “About 80 per cent of money confiscated is kept under the pretext of it having been taken from terrorist sources,” Al-Betawi said.
Israel interrogates, expels well-known South African academic Salim Vally, invited to lecture in Palestine
EI 12 Mar — In the latest example of its repression of academic freedom in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel today denied entry to Dr. Salim Vally, director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg. Vally, renowned in South Africa as an academic, educator and human rights activist, and member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), had been invited to give several lectures in the occupied West Bank by German foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, according to a PSC release. Vally — who was turned back at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank after being detained and interrogated for five hours, humiliated and body-searched by Israeli forces — will now give his lectures via video link from Amman. “The most painful thing about the whole episode,” Vally said, “was to witness the manner in which Palestinians returning to their homes — many older than my parents — were mistreated, harassed and humiliated by teenagers young enough to be their grandchildren.”
Danger to Islamic sites
Al-Aqsa Foundation publish report on abuses in ‘Ma’man Allah’ cemetery
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Mar — Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage has prepared a TV report about the latest occupation abuses and schemes that are taking place in the cemetery of Ma’man Allah in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
The report reviews all the Judaizing projects and schemes which the Jerusalem Municipality has been carrying out on the Islamic graveyard, and highlights the magnitude of the tragedy and the Israeli attempts to obliterate the history and the Islamic landmarks.
Group: Israeli soldiers prevent students from entering Al Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Israeli forces prevented female students from entering the Al-Aqsa compound on Monday, a local group said. Israeli soldiers set up a temporary checkpoint and stopped female students from entering the Islamic site, without providing a reason, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said. The students held their class in a nearby area. “We are witnessing a difficult stage when Muslims are not allowed to pray at Al-Aqsa and settlers are allowed to access it and harm its holiness,” Dr. Hikmat Naamna, head of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, said.
Jewish fanatic women storm Aqsa
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 Mar — A group of Jewish fanatic women stormed the Aqsa mosque on Monday under heavy police protection. Islamic Awqaf officials objected to the step but the police ignored them and escorted the women inside the Qibli mosque [the Aqsa mosque, the one with the lead dome. Note that many Muslims consider the entire compound the ‘Aqsa Mosque’] . At the same time, Israeli police blocked entry of Palestinian women into the Aqsa as dozens of them gathered in front of Bab Al-Asbat gate demanding right of entry to attend religious study courses.
Dozens of Jewish settlers desecrate Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Mar — Dozens of Jewish settlers burst into the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday morning and roamed in its plazas. Islamic Awqaf sources said that around 50 settlers barged into the Aqsa plazas in groups under heavy police escort. The sources noted that the settlers’ storming of the holy mosque under police and border police escort recently escalated, adding that the practice had heightened tension in the mosque especially among students who come to the mosque to study the Qur’an.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation authorities denied access for Palestinian women into the holy site for the second straight day without giving any reason.
Prisoners / Court actions
Lawyer: Issawi stops drinking water
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Hunger striking detainee Samer Issawi has stopped drinking water in an escalation of his 223-day protest, his lawyer said Tuesday. Jawad Bulous told Ma‘an that Issawi started refusing all liquid on Monday in protest at having to wear ankle restraints and being shackled to his hospital bed. He is required to keep his restraints on even when using the bathroom, Bulous said, adding that keeping him tied to the bed is inhumane and undignified. The lawyer said that when he visited Issawi’s room he found seven Israeli prison officers eating food to deliberately torment Issawi.
Fighting for freedom: eight Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike right now
[with VIDEO – one of the people interviewed is South African Salim Vally, just denied entrance to Palestine by Israel] EI 12 Mar by Adri Nieuwhof — A Palestinian rights organization profiled Sunday eight political prisoners from the occupied West Bank currently on hunger strike. Six of the hunger strikers are protesting Israeli administrative detention orders against them. Prisoner support group Addameer provided information about the hunger strikers in a 10 March statement.
PPS: Israel sends 3 hunger strikers to isolation cells
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — The Israeli Prison Service on Monday sent three detainees on hunger strike to solitary confinement, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. Muhammad Najjar, Zakariyya al-Heih and Ibrahim Ash-Sheikh Ibrahim were sent to isolation cells in Ofer prison, the PPS said in a statement. They have been on hunger strike since Feb. 26 in protest at their administrative detention without charge or trial.
IOA accuses Palestinian journalist of throwing stones at soldiers
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 Mar — Palestinian human rights organization reported that the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) have accused the correspondent of Al-Aqsa TV Tareq Abu Zeid, arrested last Friday, of “throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.”
Israeli court refuses to release Palestinian cartoonist
RAMALLAH (PIC) 11 Mar — The Israeli military court in Ofer turned down a lawyer’s request on Monday to release Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Sabana. Jawad Bulous, the lawyer, said in a press release that the Ofer judge said that Sabana should remain in Jalama detention until next Thursday for further investigation. He said that the Israeli military prosecution insisted on retaining Sabana in detention at the pretext of security charges against him, adding that the court said that there were security suspicions regarding his visit to Jordan. Sabana, who works with the Arab American University in Jenin, was arrested on returning from a visit to Jordan three weeks ago. Thamer Sabana, Mohammed’s brother, was also arrested a few days ago, which further convinced the court to retain both in jail for further interrogation. Thamer is an activist in Palestinian prisoners’ affairs.
Israeli court rejects appeal by Palestinian MP
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — An Israeli court on Tuesday rejected an appeal to release Palestinian MP Ahmad Attoun, a prisoners center said. Israeli forces arrested Attoun, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, on Feb. 4. He was sentenced to six months detention, without charge or trial. A court in Jerusalem on Tuesday rejected an appeal to overturn the administrative detention order, the Palestinian Center for Prisoners Studies said in a statement.
IDF to pay NIS 60,000 in compensation to Palestinian wrongly accused of rape
Haaretz 12 Mar by Chaim Levinson — 16-year-old shepherd from southern Hebron hills was accused of raping West Bank woman and spent 171 days in prison despite the fact that DNA found at the site did not match his own — A teenaged Palestinian found innocent of rape after being falsely accused and spending half a year in jail will be compensated for the injustice by the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF will pay a total of NIS 80,000 to the Palestinian teen, who is known as A., as well as to his lawyer Akram Samara. A. spent 171 days in jail and was released only after it became clear during the course of his trial that the investigation conducted by the Shai (Samaria and Judea) Police District and the military prosecution was significantly flawed .
Court extends remand of IDF soldier suspected in death of Palestinian laborer
Haaretz 12 Mar by Gili Cohen — Soldier was involved in border incident that resulted in the gunfire death of Uday Darwish, 21, who sought to breach Israeli border on the way to his job in Rahat — The remand of an IDF soldier was extended by one week on Tuesday as military jurists continue to mull his suspected role in the death of a Palestinian laborer this past January. The soldier is being held in open custody at his base pending a decision in his case. In a hearing held on Tuesday at the military court in Jaffa, Judge Carmel Wahbe granted the military prosecution’s request to allow a two-jurist panel to handle the case, instead of just one jurist as is the norm. Wahbe noted that both the prosecution and the defense were in favor of the measure due to the “unique” circumstances surrounding the incident.
Israeli doctors accused of collusion in torture
MEMO 11 Mar — Questions are being raised about the involvement of Israeli doctors in the suspected torture of a young Palestinian detainee [Arafat Jaradat] who died in custody last month. Sharmila Devi reports. The death of a Palestinian prisoner in disputed circumstances in an Israeli prison has reignited a longstanding controversy over alleged physician complicity in torture as well as sparking renewed Palestinian anger over the estimated 4600 prisoners held by Israel. The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) denied that medical professionals were involved in torture or abuse and said that as far as it knew, torture was not approved or used by Israeli security forces or prisons.
Ministry of Prisoners: loss of martyr Dawla’s body is a serious precedent
GAZA (PIC) 11 Mar — Bahaa al-Din al-Madhoun, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministery of Prisoners in Gaza, said that the occupation announcement saying that the body of martyr Anis Dawla is missing is a serious precedent and a new Israeli systematic crime against Palestinian prisoners and people.
Gaza families visit jailed relatives in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Family members left the Gaza Strip on Monday to visit relatives being detained in Israeli jails, a media official from the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Fifty-five relatives traveled to Israeli jails to visit 35 family members detained by Israel.
NGOs march in Nablus to support prisoners
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Dozens of NGOs on Tuesday took part in a Nablus march to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Spokesperson for the Women’s Union Sahar Acoub delivered a speech at the rally calling for the release of Palestinian detainees. She called on human rights organizations to take part in demonstrations to show solidarity with detainees. Head of a detainee’s center in Nablus, Raed Amer, said he is proud of prisoners for their patience and their refusal to accept Israeli prison rules and brutality.
Army carries out limited incursion into Gaza
IMEMC 11 Mar — Monday morning, March 11, 2013, a number of armored Israeli military vehicles carried out a limited invasion into an area east of Juhr Ed-Deek area, southeast of Gaza City. Local sources reported that the army, stationed in a military base near the border, advanced 200 meters into the area, while army bulldozers leveled and uprooted Palestinian farmlands and property. The army withdrew from the area later on, no clashes or confrontations have been reported.
Palestinian government in Gaza offers amnesty for collaborators
MEMO 13 Mar — The Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip has launched a campaign to encourage collaborators to give themselves up on condition that they agree to undergo rehabilitation. Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan told a press conference on Tuesday that the campaign is the final stage of the victory against Israel’s November war on civilians in Gaza. “We are now working to protect the people of Palestinian from Israel’s dirty tricks which it uses to recruit collaborators,” he said. “We are demonstrating the failure of Israel’s intelligence in the Gaza Strip, showing that its ability to penetrate our infrastructure to glean information is diminishing.” … Those who take advantage of the amnesty have been assured that their identities will remain secret so that their public reputation is not tarnished. Thursday, 4th April was set as the deadline for collaborators to give themselves up.
UN report finds errant Palestinian fire responsible for child’s death during Gaza fighting, but parent and human rights group maintain Israeli is responsible
Mondoweiss 12 Mar by Adam Horowitz — The U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a report on the November 2012 Israeli attack on Gaza (you can read a PDF of the report here). Although the 17-page report excoriates both Israel and Palestinian forces for numerous violations of international law during the fighting, the headline from the report has been a finding that BBC employee Omar al-Masharawi’s 11-month-old son Omar was most likely killed by an errant Palestinian missile rather than Israeli fire. Masharawi’s grieving photo was one of the most indelible images of the fighting and the story behind the photo is becoming another battle over the narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Gaza ministry allows import of frozen chicken from Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — The Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza has approved the import of 50 tons of frozen chicken from Israel, an official said Monday. Tahsin al-Saqqa, director of the ministry’s marketing department, said chicken imports were usually banned in order to encourage people to buy locally. But due to the rising cost of fresh chicken, the ministry has decided to import frozen chicken to ease the burden on families, al-Saqqa told Ma‘an. He said Israel limited the number of baby chicks allowed into Gaza, reducing supply, “thus prices rise accordingly.” Farmers also quit raising chickens because of the ongoing shortage of domestic gas, needed to heat coops, al-Saqqa added.
Hamas: Egypt promised to pressure Israel over cargo trucks to Gaza
MENA 10 Mar — Egypt promised to pressure Israel to increase the number of cargo trucks allowed to the Gaza Strip through the Karam Abu Salem crossing, in accordance with the truce signed by the resistance factions and Israel after the last war, Hamas Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ghazi Hamad said. Hamad added at a news conference Sunday that Hamas is discussing with Egyptian security officials the destruction of the border tunnels, which he said Gaza residents had to dig to overcome the Israeli siege. “There were 253 workers killed in the tunnels,” he said.
PA official: Gaza to export furniture to Egypt
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Gaza will export wooden furniture to Egypt on Monday, a Palestinian Authority crossings official said. Raed Fattouh told Ma‘an that 350 trucks with commercial and agricultural goods will enter the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing, while two truckloads of wooden furniture will leave for Egypt.
Gaza’s Orthodox Church celebrates 1,606 years
Al-Monitor 11 Mar by Asmaa al-Ghoul — In the only Orthodox Church in Gaza, surrounded by saints’ icons hanging on the walls, young and old churchgoers — along with Greek Orthodox Bishop Alexios and worshippers — sing hymns, hold candles and burn incense, filling the place with an aromatic smell and bringing more holiness upon this sacred dwelling. They pray in celebration of the 1,606th anniversary of the church’s founding, which was built in the year 407 AD. Maria, age nine, Julia, six, and Christina, three, are all sisters, wearing bright colors as if they were attending a ballet ceremony. They were elated to celebrate the anniversary of the church’s founding … The church stretches over an area of approximately 216 square meters in the Zeitoun neighborhood, one of Gaza’s oldest districts. The St. Porphyrius Church is adjacent to the Welayat Mosque, one of the mosques in Gaza’s old city.
‘Mavi Mamora Aid Convoy’ on its way to Gaza
PNN 11 Mar by Anadolu Agency — Sunday 10th March, ‘Mavi Marmara aid convoy’ carrying medical aid to the Palestinians suffering from Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, has reached Tunisia. ‘Mavi Marmara convoy’, made up of 11 vehicles carrying medical aid, departed from London and arrived in Tunisia following its journey through France, Spain, Morocco and Algeria. Akif Turan, Tunisian organizer of the ‘Mavi Marmara aid convoy’, told Anadolu Agency that 25 activists from the Arabic world and Europe accompanied the convoy carrying medical aid and vehicles that could be used as ambulance and school bus.Turan stated that the veterans of the Mavi Marmara incident and the relatives of the martyrs contributed to the organization of the convoy.
And how would they get there? Would Egypt let them in through Rafah?
Haniyeh urges Palestinians to holiday in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Monday urged Palestinians to spend their summer holiday in the Gaza Strip. “I call upon our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the 1948 territories to visit the Gaza Strip and spend happy days with their relatives and brothers during the summer on the beach,” Haniyeh told Ma‘an while taking a break from jogging along the beach in Gaza City. “Gaza is safe and stable, and it is a meeting point for national unity,” Haniyeh said. “From the bottom of my heart I say that there is no need for touristic normalization with the Israeli occupation. There is no need for our people to go to Israeli beaches in occupied Palestine. I hereby tell them to come to Gaza which will be happy with their presence.”
Gaza government introduces speed radars on main roads
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Police forces in the Gaza Strip began using speed radars on Monday to monitor driving offenses, an official said. Khalil al-Zayan, spokesman for Gaza’s ministry of transportation, told Ma‘an that the measure aims to reduce speeding on the main coastal road and Saladin street, where the majority of traffic accidents take place.
Palestinian refugees outside Palestine
Hamas will fight any change to definition of Palestinian refugee
MEMO 12 Mar — The Department of Refugees’ Affairs in the Islamic Resistance Movement has said that it will fight to block any manipulation to change the definition of a “Palestinian refugee” in international agreements. The department warned that Israel would pay a price for such manipulation, as would anyone who stands with Israel in this matter … Israel is trying to go through the UN to change the legal nature of Palestinian refugees and deny “refugee” status from the Palestinians who were forced to leave their homeland in 1948. Hamas pointed out that this issue has already been introduced by Israel through a US Congressman who wants to end the automatic transmission of “refugee” status to the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees from 1948. “The inheritance of labels from of one generation to another is normal,” said the Hamas statement, “and Israel itself claims that it inherited the right to ‘return’ to Palestine from its ‘ancestors’ two thousand years ago.”
Six Palestinian refugees killed in Syria including child
DAMASCUS (PIC) 11 Mar — Six Palestinians were killed over the past few hours in Syria as a result of the continued shelling and attacks on their refugee camps. The workgroup for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement on Monday that Adham Issa was killed at the hands of a sniper while heading to university from his Nairab refugee camp. It added that Hussam Suleiman, from Yarmouk refugee camp, succumbed to wounds suffered in an explosion of a shell that slammed into the camp last Saturday. Ahmed Al-Kurdi was killed and 16 others were wounded in the Syrian regular army’s intensive shelling of Al-Husseiniya refugee camp in rural Damascus, the group said. It pointed out that the child Hiba Ahmed from Teiba town next to Danun refugee camp was killed in the shelling on the town. Another youth, Ahmed Al-Khalaf, from Al-Husseiniya refugee camp was killed when a bomb blasted near an UNRWA school. The workgroup said that the old man, Hassan Al-Basha, succumbed to his injuries sustained when the Syrian army shelled his house in the Yarmouk refugee camp a few weeks ago.
Action group: Two Palestinian refugees died yesterday in Yarmouk camp
DAMASCUS (PIC) 12 Mar — The action group for the Palestinians in Syria said that two Palestinian refugees were killed on Monday in Al-Yarmouk refugee camp. The action group explained that Samer Al-Nader was killed during a projectile attack on Al-Yarmouk camp, while Khalil Mousa died of serious wounds he had sustained three days ago in a mortar attack on the same camp.
One killed, 13 injured in clashes in Palestinian camp in Lebanon
Press TV 12 Mar — At least one person has been killed and 13 others injured in clashes between rival factions in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The fighting broke out at Ain al-Hilweh camp near the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Monday night and continued on Tuesday. The violence began after a member of Fatah al-Islam group was shot and wounded in what appeared to be a family feud. The shots killed a passer-by and injured five others … The Lebanese army deployed reinforcements to the edges of the camp following the clashes, but troops did not enter the premises under an agreement between the army and Palestinian groups that prevents them from entering Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon.
Political, economic, other news
EU chief: Agreements with Israel do not apply to occupied areas
RAMALLAH, March 12 (WAFA) – All agreements the European Union (EU) has signed with Israel do not apply to the occupied territories, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said in a letter sent last week to Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee member. Ashton was responding to a letter Ashrawi had sent her in December on Israel’s violations of international law through intensifying settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
World Bank: Israel restrictions impede Palestinian economy
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — Israeli closures and restrictions are causing lasting damage to the competitiveness of the Palestinian economy, the World Bank said Tuesday. Israeli-imposed economic restrictions continue to constrain sustainable economic growth, a situation that is unlikely to change without political progress, according to the World Bank’s latest report. The economic monitoring report warns that the Palestinian economy is in danger of losing its capacity in the global market. Since the late 1990s, the productivity of the agriculture sector has halved and the manufacturing sector has largely stagnated, the report found.
PA says had no choice but to reject asylum claim
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Mar — The Palestinian Authority defended its refusal to assist an Israeli man’s request for political asylum on Monday, saying Palestine was unable to offer protection for the time being. Adnan Dmeiri, a spokesman for the PA security forces, said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority “is not a liberated country” and therefore unable to protect people seeking asylum. “PA forces handed the Israeli man to the military liaison department, and we told him we were sorry we couldn’t protect him as we are still under occupation,” Dmeiri told Ma‘an.
Obama meets Arab American leaders ahead of visit
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 12 Mar — President Barack Obama on Monday met Arab American leaders who urged him to deliver a message of hope to the Palestinian people on his Middle East trip this month, even though he has made clear he will not use the visit to launch a new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative. Obama hosted about 10 leaders at the White House just four days after holding talks with representatives of major Jewish organizations in preparation for his travels to Israel, the occupied West Bank and neighboring Jordan.
PLO does not know why Canada is so hostile
MEMO 12 Mar — PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Saeb Erekat has condemned threats made by Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird that his country would cut off its aid to the Palestinian Authority if it seeks membership of the International Criminal Court. “We do not know why Canada is showing all this hostility against us,” said Erekat in a media statement. “Those who fear international courts should force Israel to end its crimes.”
Canadian students challenge Harper’s support for Israeli apartheid
Vancouver (EI) 7 Mar by Charlotte Kates — A new alliance of on-campus Palestine solidarity groups has been launched in Canada. The Canadian Student Coalition for Palestine is hoping to build on recent triumphs by the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Its formation follows votes by seven student unions in Canadian universities — including two campuses in the University of Toronto — to support the BDS call over the past year.
PA: 50,000 drug addicts in Jerusalem, West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Mar – The Palestinian Authority minister of health said Sunday that there are an estimated 50,000 drug addicts in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank [out of some 2,761,000 people]… Director of public health, Dr. Asad Ramlawi, told Ma‘an that a plan is being prepared by the ministry to support civil society groups tackling drug use and a hospital, expected to be completed in 2015, is being built in Ramallah to treat drug addicts. Last year, anti-drugs campaigner Abdul Jabbar Yaraqan told Ma‘an that figures for drug addiction in Israeli-controlled East Jerusalem are hard to estimate accurately. In Shu‘fat refugee camp, an area beyond the Palestinian Authority’s reach, Palestinian drug addicts even say Israeli authorities have abandoned the problem on purpose, Yaraqan said.
Report: Mossad wiretapped Abbas’ office in 1993
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 11 Mar — Israel’s Mossad security service wiretapped Mahmoud Abbas’ office in Tunis when he was deputy chairman of the PLO in 1993, Israeli media reported Monday … Israel was able to gather key information about PLO activities and relationships within the organization, particularly between Abbas and his boss at the time, Yasser Arafat, the report said. Abbas’ office was tapped by “a Fatah-affiliated man within the PLO leadership” who had been recruited by a Mossad unit responsible for enlisting informers, according to the report. The agent was known to the Mossad as “Golden Fleece.” The devices were discovered less than a month later and destroyed, the report added.
Zionist war planes in Lebanese airspace
Al-Manar 12 Mar — Zionist warplanes carried out extensive and continuous raids over the Lebanese southern region at low altitude, along with fake raids over the cities of Nabatieh, Marjeyoun and Bent Jbeil, Al-Manar Website correspondent reported. The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA), however, reported that Zionist enemy raids were also recorded over Sidon and the Western and Middle Sectors. The war jets reached the airspace of the capital Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The circular flights were carried out at low altitude, NNA added.
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
Really ‘understanding the settlements': Why Gaza is still central / Mark LeVine
Al Jazeera 11 Mar — The sooner Gaza can evolve into a Mediterranean Islamist beach paradise, the better for all (foreign) parties concerned — The David Project, an initiative of the American organised Jewish community that aims to spread “pro”-Israel messages to high school and college students, has just published a report on that most thorny issue – Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories … it reinforces existing misconceptions about the origins, dynamics and possible future disposition of the settlements at precisely the moment when clarity is most desperately needed. Because the pamphlet reflects the views of the “liberal” component of Israel’s well-documented hasbara, or propaganda programme, it is worth considering what the pamphlet’s arguments tell us about how Israel will frame negotiations over the settlements to its American supporters if and when talks with Palestinians are revived.
Netanyahu’s violent fingerprint / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 7 Mar — The fruits of Netanyahu’s policies are now on parade; The recent wave of attacks on Arabs are directly related to the devastating impact of his tenure — Benjamin Netanyahu’s children attacked an Arab cleaning man on the seaside promenade in Tel Aviv and caused him serious injuries. They attacked an Arab waiter in a Tel Aviv restaurant with chairs and their fists. They attacked an Arab from Upper Nazareth at the shore of Lake Kinneret because they heard him speaking Arabic. Netanyahu’s children waved hate-filled signs against Muslim players of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and set fire to its clubhouse. Netanyahu’s children attacked an Arab woman on a Jerusalem light rail train just because she was an Arab. All these events took place in Israel within a few days. The attackers were of course not the prime minister’s biological children, but they all were the creation of his spirit, students of his views and pupils of his government’s policies. These Israeli skinheads are the fruits of the nationalistic and racist atmosphere that has grown greatly in recent years, the Netanyahu years.
Hundreds of West Bank job losses were due to ‘security’ reasons
MEMO 12 Mar By Elias Sa‘adah — In 2008, a few days after giving birth, Mrs. TM, a teacher since 2006 and living in the occupied West Bank, received a letter terminating her employment. It was signed by the Minister of Education in Salam Fayyad’s Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, Lamis Al-Alami; this was certainly no letter of congratulations on the birth of her child; “due to orders from the concerned parties, you have been terminated.” TM says that the reason for her sacking was down to a security check carried out by the PA’s public intelligence and preventative security agencies in the West Bank. This claimed that she has links to Hamas, something which she denies resolutely … TM is, documentary evidence and information provided by human rights organisations confirms, one of around 1,500 government employees fired or excluded from certain jobs in the West Bank’s Ministry of Education alone. The figure does not take into account what must be many more who’ve lost their jobs in other ministries and government institutions.
Bus segregation drives home West Bank plight / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Kafr ad-Dik, Palestinian Territories (Al Jazeera) 12 Mar — Introduction of Palestinian-only bus lines highlight West Bank residents’ dependence on Israel’s labour market — Sitting on the rooftop of his family’s home, overlooking the rolling green hills of the northern West Bank, Fares Dik paints a grim picture of life here. “Young people graduate and don’t have work. People have families and don’t have work. The [Palestinian Authority] doesn’t have anything to make the economic situation better,” says Dik, a researcher in Kafr ad-Dik, a village of 6,000 residents in the West Bank. Kafr ad-Dik is a traditional Palestinian farming village. Israeli restrictions on accessing agricultural lands and other resources, however, gradually forced residents to look for other sources of income. People in Kafr ad-Dik are now struggling to find work amid a lack of opportunities and a weak Palestinian economy. “We don’t have resources in Kafr ad-Dik. We don’t have land and there are no factories,” Dik says. About 400 residents now work in Palestinian Authority (PA) ministries or security services. At least 150 went to Israel to find low-paying jobs – some without permits – and more than 500 local university graduates are unemployed, he says … An estimated 60,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel and in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, performing mostly low-wage, manual labour. Human rights groups estimate half of these workers are in Israel illegally, without the necessary work permit.
Nablus was ‘the center of everything': interview with architect Naseer Arafat
Nablus (EI) 12 Mar — Palestinian architect Naseer Arafat has dedicated much of his life and work to the restoration and preservation of buildings in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Last year, his extensive research and work came to fruition as Nablus, City of Civilizations, an impressive and extensive architectural and historical survey of the ancient city. Through twelve detailed units, the book describes Nablus’ long history, from the Canaanite era to the second intifada, when many of its historical buildings were demolished or damaged during the Israeli invasion. Historical photographs, maps and building plans describe the many architectural treasures of the city. Beyond this, through oral stories, Arafat includes a social history that breathes life into the city as it exists today. Published in Nablus by the Cultural Heritage Enrichment Center, the book is available in Arabic and English. Arafat recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Daryl Meador … DM: Does the book discuss the Israeli invasion and destruction? NA: Yes it does. What the Israelis are doing to Nablus and the old city has been continuous since the occupation started. So the book is not just architectural; it starts with an architectural description, but also has social, political, economical, cultural interpretations of the buildings described … DM: The book features poems that are inscribed on buildings in Nablus. Are those common on all historical buildings? NA: Every monument in Nablus, and some of the houses, have a written inscription which most of the time is a poem. [See many of the stunning images from the book here — scroll down until you see the pages]
‘Otherwise Occupied': Palestinian artists to exhibit at 2013 Venice Biennale
Ahram Online 11 Mar — Palestinian artists at this year’s Venice Biennale showcase installations tackling issues such as alienation, identity and conflict … “’Otherwise Occupied’ describes other ways of imagining the nation outside and beyond the conflict; it is therefore a means of artistic and critical thinking through the de-territorialization of Palestine,” reads the curatorial statement.
San Francisco officials condemn group’s bus ads as anti-Islamic
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) 11 Mar by Ronnie Cohen — San Francisco city buses began carrying political ads on Monday denounced by several municipal leaders as anti-Islamic, racist messages that unfairly depict Arabs and Muslims as groups defined by extremism and violence. But rather than seek to bar San Francisco’s transit agency from accepting the paid ads and risk a court fight over free speech rights, city officials said they would instead mount a public service campaign preaching tolerance and peace. The bus ads were paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the same group behind a similar campaign in San Francisco and New York last year that referred to the Arab-Israeli conflict as a war “between the civilized man and the savage.”