Israel cuts off water supply to 10 villages northwest of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 1 Apr – The Israeli authorities Monday completely cut off the water supply to ten villages located northwest of Jerusalem, according to a local official. Yousef al-Faqeeh, head of joint services council of these villages, told WAFA that the Israeli authorities restricted the amount of water pumped to these villages; residents were living on very small amounts of water and now the water supply is completely cut off. He added that hundreds of students are suffering from the lack of water in their schools, calling on the relevant sides to promptly intervene to pressure the Israeli authorities to re-pump water to these villages. He said that the only source of water now is water tanks which the authorities also prohibited.
IOA forces Palestinian to raze part of his house [in] East Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 2 Apr — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Monday evening forced a Palestinian citizen to demolish a room of his house in Sawwanah district east of occupied Jerusalem at the pretext of unlicensed construction. Tayseer Abul Hawa, owner of the house, said that in 2005, he had built an additional room in his house, but the Israeli municipal council demanded him to knock it down or get a construction permit, adding that he tried hard during the past years to have the room licensed, but to no avail. He pointed that an Israeli municipal court, in 2010, ordered to imprison his wife if he did not remove the room, adding that his lawyer managed to delay the demolition of the rooms several times. The owner also said that he has paid the IOA construction fines of about 11, 000 dollars so far.
Owners of confiscated lands near Ramallah assert they won’t give up their lands
RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 Apr — Israeli occupation has confiscated thousands of dunums of Palestinian lands in Deir Jarir, Silwad and Ein Yabrud for the construction and expansion of Ofra settlement, east of Ramallah … Salim Abu Makhou, one of the residents of Deir Jarir village and the owner of a land adjacent to Ofra settlement, pointed to the continuation of the settlers’ attacks on Palestinian lands, the last of which was uprooting olive trees in the eastern side of the settlement. The citizen Mohammed Dahabra, from the village of Ein Yabrud in the western side of the settlement, told PIC’s correspondent that the settlers have been constantly trying to buy lands belonging to the citizens who live in America, and urged for launching a campaign to raise public awareness about these schemes. Silwad Municipality said that according to Israeli law, 55% of the lands located inside Ofra must be returned to Palestinians, and confirmed that it will continue its efforts to return the confiscated lands. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon has admitted in an interview with Haaretz that Ofra contains 450 illegal houses, according to occupation law.
PHOTOS: Palestinians return to village destroyed in 1948 Nakba
Activestills 1 April – Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler — Palestinian citizens of Israel return to the village of Al-Ruways, which was destroyed by Zionist military forces during the Nakba – The Israeli group Zochrot organizes many tours of Palestinian villages depopulated during the Nakba of 1948. What made this Saturday’s tour of Al-Ruways particularly remarkable was the large number of displaced Palestinians and their descendants who made the event more of a return than a simple tour. Zochrot, whose name means “remembering” in Hebrew, aims to educate Israeli Jews about the history of the Nakba and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees … Such a large turnout of Palestinians was possible because when this village was forcibly evacuated by Zionist forces, they were simply pushed to the nearest town, Tamra, which remains until today. The residents of Al-Ruways were told by the Jewish militia leaders that after two weeks, that they would be able to return to their homes. Of course, as in many similar cases throughout what became the State of Israel, the displaced Palestinians were never allowed to return to their homes, even though they continued to live just a few kilometers away. The village itself was completely destroyed
Hundreds wait long hours at Allenby Bridge
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 1 Apr – Hundreds of Palestinian passengers are waiting long hours between the Jordanian and Israeli terminals at Allenby Bridge as thousands of pilgrims return to the West Bank after performing Umrah. Director of the Palestinian borders and crossings department Nathmi Muhanna told Ma‘an on Monday that the heavy jam partly resulted from reduced operating hours due to Jewish holidays. Muhanna said the “huge amount of luggage pilgrims bring back from Saudi Arabia takes a long time at the security checkpoints.” Pilgrims bring all kinds of goods including food, clothes, containers filled with Zamzam water and even electric tools, he said. Hajj pilgrims usually bring water from the Zamzam well in Mecca. Muslims believe the water was miraculously generated by God thousands of years ago when Prophet Ibrahim’s son Ismail was thirsty in the desert and kept asking his mother for water.
Death of detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh – and the reaction
Obituary: Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh (1949-2013)
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died on Tuesday as a prisoner of Israel, was a married father of four who spent decades of his life in exile. Born in Hebron on Sept. 25, 1949, Abu Hamdiyeh was first imprisoned by Israel in 1969, accused of membership of the General Union of Palestinian Students. Abu Hamdiyeh received a diploma in electronics in Cairo, and later studied law at university in Beirut. Wanted by Israel, he never graduated. Between 1970 and 1975, Abu Hamdiyeh lived in Syria, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan. Every time he returned to the West Bank he was detained without charge. In 1978, Abu Hamdiyeh was exiled to Jordan but returned to Palestine two decades later. A Fatah leader, he worked as a general in the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security. Abu Hamdiyeh was arrested again in May 2002, and in 2005 an Israeli court sentenced him to 25 years. Israeli military authorities appealed for a lengthier sentence, and in 2007 Abu Hamdiyeh was sentenced to life. Since Abu Hamdiyeh’s arrest in 2002, Israel banned his four children from visiting him. In August 2012, Abu Hamdiyeh suffered severe throat pain. Five months later, he was diagnosed with throat cancer….
Dying prisoner treated cruelly by Israeli doctors over many years
EI 1 Apr by Linah Alsaafin — …In 2007, Abuhamdia became another victim of the Ramleh “slaughterhouse” after he was admitted to that prison clinic because of a painful stomach ulcer. He wrote a letter describing the deliberate medical negligence of the Israeli Prison Service and the cruel behavior of doctors toward the sick prisoners, who he said were subjected to medical experimentation without their consent. In an excerpt translated and posted by Tariq and found on the Facebook support page, Maysara Abuhamdia states: “The intentional negligence starts during the treatment, when the doctors receive orders to not cure the patient but to give him painkillers without any restoration of the damaged parts.” He adds,”These instructions come from the Israeli security apparatus, and the goal is to keep the prisoners alive but not cured to be a lesson to others.” In his letter Abuhamdia refers to the ill-treatment afforded to other sick prisoners at Ramleh, such as Alaa Hassouneh, who is described as suffering from heart disease but is only given painkillers. Another prisoner, Mansour Maqoudeh, was shot in the spine during his arrest by the occupation forces in 2002, which left him paralyzed. He was given injections in his abdomen by the Israeli Prison Service that caused him intestinal damage. Maqoudeh suffers from bouts of convulsions and unconsciousness, and can only urinate through a plastic bag, as Maqoudeh’s lawyer told the Arabic-language outlet Donia Alwatan last month.
Protests in Israeli jails after inmate death
Al Jazeera 2 Apr — Palestinians allege Israel denied proper medical treatment to Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh who died of cancer — Israeli prison guards have fired teargas on Palestinian inmates in several Israeli jails who have been protesting the death of a prisoner who died of cancer…
Abu Hamdiyeh’s death has raised tensions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinians, who view jailed brethren as heroes in a fight for statehood, have held several protests in recent weeks in support of prisoners. One of the main points of concern is prisoners on long-term hunger strike who are held under ‘administrative detention’ – meaning they are held indefinitely without charge or trial.
Abu Hamdiyeh is the second Palestinian to die in Israeli prison this year. Arafat Jaradat, 30, died under dubious circumstances after being interrogated by Israeli authorities in February. Palestinian officials say he had been tortured, but Israel denies these allegations without adequately explaining how Jaradat died …
Abu Hamdiyeh, who was arrested in 2002 in the occupied West Bank, began complaining of throat problems about nine months ago and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Issa Karakeh [Qaraqe‘], Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister, called Abu Hamdiyeh’s death a “vicious crime” which had come about due to Israel’s “stalling over giving him the right to be treated following a late cancer diagnosis”. “In one instance, when they took him away after he had collapsed and lost consciousness and lots of weight – they gave him flu shots.”
According to the Prisoner’s Club, 25 inmates serving time in Israeli jails are currently suffering from cancer. The Palestine Liberation Organisation has warned that more terminally ill prisoners could die. “We are still looking at a grave situation with hunger-striking prisoners and dozens of cases of long-term illnesses in need of treatment,” it said.
Israeli crackdown as prisoners protest against colleague’s death
MEMO 2 Apr — More than 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were reported to have been wounded by guards on Tuesday afternoon as they took part in a protest against the death in custody of their colleague Maysara Abu-Hamdiyya. Mr Abu-Hamdiyya died in an Israeli hospital this morning after suffering from cancer for several months. He had been denied proper treatment for his cancer – staff gave him painkillers and water – before his condition got so bad that he was transferred to hospital. Immediately after his death was announced, prisoners in Israel’s Eshel Prison started their protest. A statement of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Forum said that security officers entered sections 10 and 11 in the prison and beat the prisoners for protesting. “The prisoners were hit by batons and had tear gas fired at them,” said the Forum. For the first time in an Israeli jail, Palestinian prisoners burnt the Israeli flag and smashed CCTV cameras in Remon Prison. In a televised statement, it was said that prisoners across the Israeli prison system are likely “to explode” in “violent protest” against their conditions in jail. “We are hit by collective punishment,” said the prisoners, “and the Israeli Prison Service shows no respect for human rights and international conventions to which they have signed up.”
Medics: 12 hospitalized after Hebron protest over prisoner death
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Twelve Palestinians were hospitalized Tuesday after clashes with Israeli forces in Hebron during a protest over the death of a detainee with cancer in Israeli custody, medics said. Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh died in Israel’s Soroka hospital on Tuesday morning after efforts by the Palestinian leadership and popular protests to secure his release failed. In central Hebron, Hamdiyeh’s hometown, protesters threw rocks at an Israeli military base. Dozens of Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at demonstrators, Red Crescent medics told Ma‘an. Twelve Palestinians were hospitalized for injuries caused by rubber bullets, they said, adding that others were treated at the scene.
Israeli police arrest 9 protesters in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 2 Apr – Israeli police Tuesday arrested nine Palestinians while suppressing a demonstration in Jerusalem condemning the death of prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya. The Israeli police attacked the demonstration, injured a number of protesters and arrested nine others. The protestors hurled stones towards the police, which fired tear gas canisters and used batons to disperse them in return. The current atmosphere in Jerusalem is very intense with heavy police and military enforcements on standby as Palestinians continue to react to the death of Abu Hamdiah, who was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t receive the proper medical treatment.
Meanwhile in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, tens suffered from suffocation in clashes that erupted with Israeli forces over Abu Hamdiya’s deat
Gaza militants fire on Israel after prisoner death
AFP 2 Apr — Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel on Tuesday, after the death in custody of a Palestinian who suffered from cancer, Israeli police said. “There was a rocket that was fired,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “It landed in an open area,” he said, adding there were no immediate reports of casualties or property damage. Earlier in the day Palestinian witnesses told AFP militants in Gaza City had fired three mortar rounds on Israel. The Israeli army initially said one projectile had landed in the Jewish state, without causing any casualties, but later said none had. A spokeswoman said military systems detected launches within Gaza but that they had fallen short and landed within the strip. A coalition of Salafist groups later claimed that its militants fired two rockets at Israel on Tuesday afternoon. The Mujahedeen Shura Council said in a statement received by AFP that its action was “part of our answer to the death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh.”
Israel hits Gaza in first airstrikes since November
GAZA CITY (AFP) 3 Apr — Israeli aircraft carried out three apparent warning strikes in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, hitting empty fields after a rocket earlier struck waste ground in southern Israel, Palestinian security sources said. They said that the strikes, the first since the end of a deadly eight-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas in November, hit in two spots close to Gaza City and one other site further north toward the frontier with Israel. Nobody was injured.
2 Gaza rockets explode near Sderot; none hurt
Ynet 3 Apr — Qassams fired toward western Negev as children make their way to schools, kindergarten after Passover holiday. Defense Minister Ya’alon: Hamas responsible — Sderot residents reported hearing explosions shortly after the Color Red siren sounded in the city at 7:33 am. The rockets apparently landed in an open area. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said “Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything that is fired from Gaza. We will not allow a routine of (rocket) fire at our civilians and forces.”
Ya’alon, who spoke prior to Wednesday morning’s rocket attack, was referring to the IDF’s strikes in Gaza and the Golan Heights Tuesday night.
Factions unite to condemn neglect of Abu Hamdiyeh
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Condolences and condemnations poured in from across the Palestinian political spectrum on Tuesday after the death of a cancer-stricken prisoner. The Palestinian leadership said Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh died because Israeli authorities refused him treatment until his cancer had spread. Abu Hamdiyeh, from Hebron, was hospitalized in late March.
Abu Hamdiyeh was considered a symbol for national unity, and a model for cooperation in resistance between Palestinian nationalists of all factions. A Fatah leader, Abu Hamdiyeh’s death drew statements of condolence and outrage from all factions, as well as protests in prisons and on the Palestinian street.
In Gaza, Hamas said it was following with the “greatest concern” the developments and warned that Israel would “regret its continuing crimes,” spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for a response to Abu Hamdiyeh’s death, while Islamic Jihad called for popular protests to support detainees and warned Israel to stop its war on prisoners. Qais Abdulkarim, of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, sent his condolences to Palestinians and said Abu Hamdiyeh’s death was a result of medical negligence. The Popular Struggle Front said Abu Hamdiyeh’s death must not pass without punishing “the extremist Israeli government that committed this heinous crime” and other crimes against Palestinians detained in Israel. The Arab Liberation Front said Israel’s prison services had killed Abu Hamdiyeh “with cold blood.”
Issawi sends condolences to family of Abu Hamdiyeh
RAMALLH (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Long-term hunger striker Samir Issawi on Tuesday sent his condolences to the family of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died in Israeli custody after a battle with cancer. “Maysara died for the battle of dignity and pride, which is fought by thousands of steadfast Palestinians,” Issawi wrote in a letter passed to his lawyer Jawad Boulus. “Here we walk the path that would either lead us to dignified freedom, or to martyrdom for the soil of our land,” wrote Issawi. After nine months on hunger strike, Issawi’s heart muscles are dangerously weak, and the low levels of minerals and salts in his blood could cause brain damage, medics said, according to the lawyer. Issawi, who was transferred to the Kaplan Medical Center on Feb. 27, is determined to continue his strike and refuses any supplements in his water, Bulous added. Bulous called for international intervention in Issawi’s case “before it is too late,” warning that if no action was taken, Abu Hamdiyeh would not be the last to die in Israeli prison.
Abbas: Israeli arrogance led to death of prisoner
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 2 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the arrogance of the Israeli government stopped in the way of responding to Palestinian efforts to secure the release of the prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya, who died in prison due to medical negligence by the Israel Prison Service … “We tried working on Abu Hamdiya’s release due to his medical condition, but the Israeli government refused to respond to the PA’s efforts in releasing him, which led to his death,” he said. “This shows the intransigence and the arrogance of the Israeli government especially toward prisoners of freedom held in its jails,” he said
Other prisoner news/ Court actions
PCHR calls for investigation into the circumstances of death of suspect in police detention facility in Rafah
PNN 2 Apr — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Attorney General in Gaza to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the death of a suspect in the detention facility of Rafah police station and to publish the results of the investigation. According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of a suspect’s relative, at approximately 23:35 on Sunday, 31 March 2013, the body of Sami Hamdan Qishta, 50, from al-Brazil neighbourhood in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was taken to Martyr Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in the town. According to police sources had been detained in the detention facility of Rafah police station since 20 March 2013 by a court order, and he had received a special treatment because he was suffering from weakness of the heart muscle. He was allowed to stay with his family on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 March 2013, before he came back to the detention facility on Saturday morning, 30 March 2013.
Ahrar Center calls for release of activist Thamer Saba‘neh
NABLUS (PIC) 2 Apr — Ahrar center for Prisoners studies and human rights called on all human rights organizations, to pressure the occupation authorities to release the writer and the activist in prisoners’ affairs Thamer Saba’neh. Saba’neh was arrested on March 6 during a campaign that targeted 19 citizens from different areas in the West Bank, only four months after an earlier arrest.
The human rights center noted that the Israeli occupation has been targeting writers and intellectuals, because they are trying to make change and consolidate the values and conservative principles in the Palestinian society. Captive Saba’neh has participated in many activities and events in support of the prisoners in Israeli jails.
DCI Detention Bulletin – Overview February 2013
[with charts, case summaries] Defence for Children International — February registered the highest number of Palestinian children imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system since October 2010, reaching a total of 236, an increase of 5.8 percent from January. 39 children were between the ages of 12 and 15, a 25.8 percent increase from January. A total of 141 children (59 percent) were held in detention facilities inside Israel in violation of international humanitarian law. DCI-Palestine welcomes UNICEF’s release of a briefing paper titled “Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations” on 7 March,which backs Palestinians claims that ill-treatment of children is widespread and systematic within the Israeli military detention system.
Israel’s detentions in March: 330 Palestinians including 90 children
MEMO 1 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities detained 330 Palestinians in March. The figure includes ninety children, six women, eight journalists and a parliamentarian, reported the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre (PPC). In its monthly statement on Israel’s detentions of Palestinians and the conditions facing them in Israeli jails, the PPC said that last month’s arrests were made during 300 military operations across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Most of those detained are still behind bars. The PPC’s spokesperson, Reyad Al-Ashqar, said that March witnessed an increase in the number of children detained by the Israelis. Out of the total of 90 children taken into detention, 50 were captured on the streets of Hebron in one day. Of the six women detained, one 14 year-old girl was interrogated in the absence of her parents or lawyer for several hours before being released.
3 Jerusalemites charged with burning Israeli soldiers in Al-Aqsa mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Public Prosecution accused on Sunday 3 young Jerusalemites with throwing Molotov cocktails in al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to burn soldiers. Tadamun Foundation’s lawyer, Mohammad Ramzi Mahmoud, told Wadi al-Hilweh Information Center that “the Israeli Public Prosecutor submitted an indictment in the District Court against 3 young Jerusalemites, Mamoun Farhan, Mohammed Farhan, and Uday Abu Saad from Shuafat refugee camp.” The indictment stated that the youths threw Molotov cocktails in al-Aqsa mosque burning soldiers during clashes in courtyards of the mosque on 8 March 2013.
Meanwhile, the so-called Magistrate’s Court extended yesterday the detention of two youths from Issawiya village, while releasing a third one on bail. The lawyer Mahmoud explained that the Magistrate’s Court extended the arrest of two young men Majd Darwish, 23, and Mohammed Darwish, 23, until next Wednesday, where they were charged with “throwing Molotov cocktails at the Hebrew University.” The court released the boy Mohammed Samir Obeid, 15, on bail of 1,000 shekels and turned him to house arrest for 20 days on charges of throwing stones.
Court convicts Palestinian of murder in Asher Palmer case
Ynet 2 Apr – The Ofer Base Military Court convicted Tuesday Waal al-Araja, a member of the Palestinian security forces from Halhoul, of the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son, Yonatan, in September 2011. Al-Araja, who was throwing stones from a moving vehicle toward Palmer’s car on Route 60, causing the father and son’s death, was also convicted in connection with a series of attempted murders of a similar nature. His sentence will be given at a later date.
VIDEO: Prison-smuggled sperm gives Palestinians hope
Nablus, West Bank (Al Jazeera) 2 Apr by Rania Zabaneh — Women with husbands serving long terms in Israeli jails have resorted to sneaking sperm out and getting pregnant — Dallal and Ammar al-Ziben’s eight-month-old baby boy will grow up to realise his parents were pioneers. Ammar al-Ziben was sentenced to 25 years in jail for allegedly having planned deadly attacks against Israel. That was 15 years ago. Despite the fact that conjugal visits are forbidden in Israeli prisons for the more than 4,800 Palestinians incarcerated there, Ammar managed to impregnate his wife from behind bars. A sperm sample was spirited out of the Israeli prison of Hadarim, and Dallal gave birth to Muhanned last August – the first baby born to a Palestinian prisoner through a combination of sperm-smuggling and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “Those were tough years until Muhanned came,” Dallal told Al Jazeera. “Muhannad brought life back to our house.”
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Arrests
Palestinian farmer hurt escaping settler attack
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — A Palestinian farmer sustained bruises while fleeing an attack by a group of armed settlers near Hebron on Monday, a local official said. Four settlers carrying guns chased 45-year-old Jihad Salameh Makhamrah from his land east of Yatta, said Ratib al-Jubour, spokesman of the southern Hebron popular committee. While running away, Makhamrah fell in a rocky area and was treated for severe bruising in hospital.
Meanwhile, a group of settlers led by “terrorist Yaakov Dalia” attacked a group of shepherds in the same area, al-Jubour said. Dalia lives on an illegal outpost built on private Palestinian land and released his sheep in fields owned by 55-year-old Ziad Younis Abu Iram, according to al-Jubour. Abu Iram argued with Dalia, al-Jubour said, adding that Israeli police arrived and arrested the Palestinian shepherd.
Settlers attack a child in Jerusalem
IMEMC 1 Apr — The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported that a group of settlers attacked a Palestinian child in Ash-Sharaf neighborhood as he was heading to school, causing various injuries that required hospitalization. The center said that Sultan Al-Kiswani, 16, was walking from home to the Al-Rasheediyya school in Jerusalem when the settlers attacked him, and was moved to a local clinic before being moved to the Eye Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah.
The center added that settlers attacks witnessed a serious escalation especially on roads the Palestinians use to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the markets of the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. A few day ago, the settlers attack several Palestinian schoolgirls in Silwan as they were walking back home, and threw trash at them. The settlers also attacked a woman that rushed to help the schoolgirls, and attempted to remove her hijab.
Settlers attack Jerusalemite families; IOF arrests five, including a young woman
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 1 Apr — Jewish settlers attacked a number of Jerusalemite families in Hush Al-Shawish in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem on Sunday evening triggering confrontations between the two parties. Locals said that the settlers provoked the families into arguments that developed later on to fistfights and squabbles. They said that Israeli occupation forces arrived to the scene and rounded up five Jerusalemites including a young woman and a youth and his father.
Center: Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in a dawn raid on Silwan in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, a local center said. Tamer al-Abbasi, 22, and Musa Usama al-Abasi, 22, were detained during a raid on their homes, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said. In both cases, their families were confined to one room as police dogs searched the homes. Israeli forces confiscated computers and cell phones and ransacked the homes, the center said in a statement.
IOF soldiers close suburb in Al-Khalil after injury of child
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Apr — A 12-year-old Palestinian child was injured in his head after Jewish settlers from Kiryat Arba attacked Palestinian citizens in Jaber suburb east of the Ibrahimi mosque in Al-Khalil on Sunday night. Eyewitnesses said that the Jewish settlers threw stones and empty bottles at young men and children while playing soccer in the suburb injuring the child Saad Jaber.
They said that two hours of confrontations then erupted in the suburb and the Israeli occupation forces sealed off the entire neighborhood and banned traffic and movement of citizens.
IOF soldiers arrest father and his son
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 1 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a child and his father in Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, during confrontations with inhabitants on the occasion of Land Day … The sources said that the soldiers arrested the 11-year-old child Saleh Mousa after breaking into his family home and searching it. They said that the soldiers detained his father with him when he tried to inquire about his son.
Relatives: Israel detains mother near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — Israeli forces detained a 27-year-old woman from her home in a pre-dawn raid in Doha, near Bethlehem, relatives said. Soldiers raided Hiba Bahjat’s home at 1.30 a.m. and detained her, her parents told Ma’an, adding that she is sick and needs treatment. Forces also confiscated the woman’s cell phone, computer and wedding album, the parents said.
Bahjat has two daughters, aged 5 and 7.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said six Palestinians were arrested overnight in raids across the West Bank. One person was arrested in Bethlehem, two in Tuqu‘, one person in Rummana, one in Hebron and another in al-Arrub refugee camp, she told Ma‘an.
In Tuqu‘, south of Bethlehem, locals said Tareq Abu Mefreh, 24, and Ayman al-Badan, 22, were detained. They said soldiers raided several homes in the village.
Residents of Rummana, near Jenin, told Ma‘an that 23-year-old Muhammad Mahajneh was detained in a raid on his home.
Israeli forces have increased restrictions at the Dotan checkpoint between Jenin and Tulkarem over the last week, searching cars and checking IDs, a Ma‘an reporter said.
IOF closes Beit Kahil bridge in al-Khalil, arrests a college student
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Apr — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) closed on Monday morning Beit Kahil Bridge west of al-Khalil, preventing passengers and vehicles’ movement, conducting accurate inspections for one hour and a half. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the traffic was disrupted this morning, where many employees and students were barred access to their work places and schools. During the search process, the IOF arrested the university student Salman Mohammed al-Amla, 21, and they handcuffed him and took him to an unknown destination, before opening the bridge. Israeli patrols also conducted a combing and military operations west of al-Khalil next to the Apartheid Wall, local sources confirmed. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the combing and search operations still continued since several days in different parts in al-Khalil next to the Apartheid Wall amid intensive fire until dawn. The sources added that the occupation repeats its military exercises in the Palestinian residential areas west of al-Khalil, where they used, in some cases, helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
Israel arrests settlers over Palestinian shootings
AFP 2 Apr — Five Israelis from a wildcat settlement outpost in the northern West Bank were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shooting and wounding two Palestinians in February, Israeli army radio reported. The suspects, from Esh Kodesh, near Nablus, were believed to have shot two men from the neighbouring Palestinian village of Qusra during a confrontation, the radio said, adding police found a weapons cache at the outpost in an overnight raid. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that five Israelis were arrested in connection with “anti-Arab incidents” in the Qusra area, but he did not elaborate. On February 23, Palestinian security sources and the Israeli military said settlers from Esh Kodesh used live fire on villagers and that two Palestinians were injured. There have been repeated clashes between the sides, each of which claims farmland between the two communities.
The occupation’s toll on one family in Burqa
Burqa (ISM) 1 Apr by Team Nablus — A brief visit to any family home in the occupied West Bank is sure to be a combination of warmth and tragedy as no person here has been immune to the brutality of the occupation that has dominated the lives of Palestinians for over 60 years. In the small village of Burqa near Nablus , we visited the Haj household , where 32 year old Ra‘ed has been rendered unable to speak, walk or talk after nerve gas was fired into the bathroom he was washing up in in 2002. The Israeli soldiers reached this bathroom by knocking through wall after wall of neighboring houses, which is common practice for the Israeli Occupation Forces. Despite also suffering from a brain tumor, Ra‘ed has been repeatedly denied permission to seek adequate medical facilities by the Israeli army. His mother and father now care for him, but worry who will continue to do so in the future. Which relatives will be there to care for him in the future is unpredictable to say the least. His brother Muhammed is currently in the notorious Jalame prison after the Haj household was raided by the army at 2am. He is still awaiting charge or trial. Jalame prison is infamous for its harsh interrogations and solitary confinement in the dark. Muhammed also suffers from regualar migraines after he was shot in the head with a steel coated rubber bullet in 2005. The same illegal ammunition was fired at his friend which took out both of his eyes. In 1994 his home was also demolished to make way for the illegal Homesh settlement.
PA security forces kidnap 4 Hamas members in W. Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 4 Apr — The Palestinian authority security forces kidnapped four Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in Bethlehem, Tubas and Al-Khalil, and refused to comply with a court decision ordering the release of a detainee. In Al-Khalil, the PA preventive security apparatus rearrested Alaa Azghir and his cousin Karam Azghir from their workplaces in the city. The preventive security in Bethlehem also detained a young man called Muhahid Jebril from Tekoa [Taqu‘] town and summoned ex-detainee Hasan Al-Wardiyan for interrogation.
The same security apparatus has been detaining Amir Hawtari from Huja in Qalqiliya city since last Friday. The detained young man was an ex-detainee in PA and Israeli jails. A PA security apparatus also refused the release of detainee Mohamed Zahid from its jail in Ariha. The PA intelligence agency in Tubas city, in turn, rejailed a young man from Hamas named Osama Sawafta who declared his hunger strike in protest at his arbitrary detention.
Man dies of injuries from Gaza tunnel blast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr — A 30-year-old man from southern Gaza died Tuesday from injuries sustained in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel, medics said. Amer Abu Khamash, from Khan Younis, was seriously injured when a gas canister exploded in a tunnel he worked in under the Gaza-Egypt border on March 26. Three tunnel workers were wounded in the blast.
Photo Essay: Palestinians in Gaza make coal by recycling scrap wood
Mercury News 1 Apr — In adapting to years of border blockades and shortages, Gazans have become experts at recycling and making new out of old including turning scrap wood into charcoal to be used for barbecue grills and water pipes in local restaurants and coffee houses.
Israel’s siege tips Gaza waste management to crisis point
GAZA CITY (IPS) by Eva Bartlett – “For the past five years we’ve collected garbage by traditional means: donkey and cart,” says Abdel Rahem Abulkumboz, director of health and environment at the Municipality of Gaza. The municipality alone produces 700 tons of waste daily, Abulkumboz says. More than half of this waste is collected daily by 250 donkey carts. “It’s a means of doing the job, but not an optimal one,” says Abulkumboz. Among the growing problems facing waste management throughout the Gaza Strip, even this simple solution nearly came to an end this month. “The funding allotted to garbage collectors finished at the end of February,” says Kumboz, noting that it is not slated to resume until June at the earliest. Hamada al-Bayari from the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that the emergency response came recently after the intervention of Cooperazione Internazionale, an Italian aid group. Bayari says that COOPI provided the funding for the waste collection to continue until the already-slated June funding begins.
IOA closes Gaza sole commercial crossing for 4th day running
GAZA (PIC) 1 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) continued to close on Monday the sole Gaza commercial crossing of Karm Abu Salem for the fourth day running. Raed Fattuh, in charge of coordinating entry of goods into the Strip, said that the IOA informed his department with closure of the crossing on Sunday and Monday while it closes it on Friday and Saturday every week.
The IOA had closed Karm Abu Salem for 17 days in March for Jewish feasts and for security pretexts. The closure affects the life of one million and seven hundred thousand Palestinian inhabitants of the coastal enclave and leads to shortages in basic supplies in addition to fuel, gas, and constructions materials. It also affects quantity of aid delivered by UNRWA to more than a million Palestinians.
Egypt seizes fuel en route to Gaza tunnels
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Egyptian authorities on Monday seized diesel en route to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, a security source said. Egyptian forces stopped a truck carrying 2,000 liters of fuel in Sinai’s el-Arish and arrested the driver. The driver told police he planned to smuggle the fuel into Gaza through tunnels in Rafah, an Egyptian security official told Ma‘an.
Protesters close UNRWA office at Gaza refugee camp
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Protesters on Monday closed an UNRWA office at al-Bureij refugee camp in a protest against cuts of services. The protesters forced staff of the UN refugee agency’s services office to leave, but there were no injuries or damage … They are not satisfied with UNRWA policies, especially concerning housing construction and shortages of medication. UNRWA has cut $10 for each beneficiary of aid for needy families, they said. Wajeh Hamas, one of the protesters, told Ma‘an that the demonstration was organized after they discovered that UNRWA was to cut aid for refugees. He noted that the protest started 10 days ago, and he said it would not end until UNRWA stops working “against refugees” and hires more staff from the camps.
Gender segregation now mandatory in Gaza schools
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) by Dalia Nammari — Starting with the new school year in September, Gaza boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that the new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age nine, enshrines common practice. But women’s activists warned Tuesday that it’s another step in the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza’s 1.7 million people. The Gaza rules appear harsh compared to Western practice but are not unusual in parts of the Arab and Muslim world. In Iraq, for example, boys and girls are required by law to study separately after age 12 … In conservative Palestinian society, the idea of gender segregation in schools from the onset of puberty is widely accepted. Even in the West Bank, run by a more liberal Western-backed self-rule government, most public schools separate boys and girls by fourth grade. But in the West Bank, separation is not mandated by law.
Political and economic developments
Mishaal elected again to lead Hamas
CAIRO (PIC) 1 Apr — The Shura Council of Hamas has re-elected Khaled Mishaal as head of the movement’s political bureau for another term, according to a Quds Press report. Quds Press quoted “well informed sources within the Hamas movement” that the Shura Council of the movement met in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday morning and re-elected Mishaal for another term by acclamation. The sources said that the majority of members of council insisted on Mishaal despite the fact that he insisted on being relived from the post for several months. The sources said that the stage requires that Mishaal remains in office and that Mishaal will be the head of the political bureau for the next four years.
Cautious Fatah welcome over Meshaal re-election
GAZA CITY (AFP) 3 Apr — Khaled Meshaal has been re-elected head of the Hamas movement, an official said, drawing a cautious welcome from the rival Fatah movement which rules the West Bank … His reelection was welcomed as a positive step by a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement. “Meshaal is a pragmatic person and may be more malleable than others in Hamas,”Fatah Central Committee member Mahmud Alul told Voice of Palestine radio. “This may help in pushing forth a number of political files and also internally to achieve reconciliation,” he said, referring to efforts to bridge years of bitter rivalry between the two Palestinian national movements. “All we want is a capable movement that can lead Hamas. There needs to be a leadership that can impose a political will — one approach and not contradictory ones — especially in terms of reconciliation and the overall Palestinian cause,” he said. There was no official reaction from Israel to his reelection, although public radio described Meshaal as a “pragmatist with charisma,” saying he represented “hardcore Hamas with a Western facade.” In recent years, Meshaal has modified his position adopting an implicit acceptance of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, although the Jewish state has remained guarded.
Abbas says will only attend Cairo talks as sole representative
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas will attend a proposed Arab League meeting in Cairo if he is invited to represent the whole Palestinian people, he said Monday. “Once again I say that if we are invited to an Arab summit, we will go because we represent the Palestinian people, and nobody else should be invited to represent them,” Abbas said at a tree-planting ceremony in al-Bireh near Ramallah. At an Arab League summit in Doha last week, the emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for a mini-summit to be held in Cairo to further Palestinian reconciliation. Al-Thani said representatives of Abbas’ Fatah faction and rivals Hamas would participate.
Fayyad suffers pancreatic swelling
RAMALLAH (AFP) 2 Apr — Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was in hospital for an inflamed pancreas on Tuesday, a medic in Ramallah said, having been admitted the night before with stomach pains. “Medical tests and scans show that Fayyad is suffering from pancreatic inflammation,” a doctor at the hospital in the West Bank city told AFP. But his condition was “not serious,” the doctor said, adding he would likely leave the hospital after undergoing treatment and resting. The 61-year-old, a smoker who suffered a heart attack during a private visit to the United States in May 2011, could be kept at the hospital overnight for observation, the source added.
MP Masri: Hamas has strong relations with Egypt despite razing tunnels
CAIRO (PIC) 31 Mar — Senior Hamas official and lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri said that his Movement’s relations with the Egyptian army and intelligence agency are strong and solid regardless of the destruction of many tunnels in the Rafah border area. In a press statement to the Palestinian Information Center (PIC), Masri demanded the Egyptian leadership to bring hope to the hearts of the Palestinians in Gaza by providing alternatives to the tunnels which was imposed on them by the Israeli occupation regime. The Hamas official also called on the Egyptian leadership to activate the free trade zone project between Egypt and Gaza, affirming that its establishment would put an end to the tunnels. He expressed his Movement’s understanding of the Egyptian security worries about shouldering the burden of Gaza if this trade zone was established, stressing that such concern could be eliminated if the project was subject to regulations.
After Israeli apology, Turkey dreams of new tourism boom
ISTANBUL (AFP) 1 Apr — The air-clearing apologies were both made and accepted. Now, Turkey’s tourism industry is holding its breath and hoping that Israel’s apology for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla will translate into a new love affair that will bring Israeli holidaymakers back to its beach resorts. “After the apology, I think we’ll reach 500,000 (Israeli) tourists this year,” said Timur Bayindir, the president of the Association of Hotel Owners in Turkey (TUROB), convinced that any grudges between the two allies were erased thanks to last week’s diplomatic breakthrough. And he is not the only one who is optimistic.
Palestinian refugees outside Palestine
16 Palestinian refugees including six children killed in Syria
DAMASCUS, (PIC)– A barrage of Grad rockets and mortar shells showered the Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus killing and wounding dozens of refugees. A statement by the action group for Palestinians in Syria on Monday said that 16 Palestinians were killed over the past 24 hours due to the Syrian regular army’s extensive shelling and sniper fire targeting refugee camps. It said that the bombardment targeted main streets and suburbs in Yarmouk refugee camp, adding that 30 Palestinians were also wounded in the attack including seven in serious condition … It said that a Palestinian woman and her four children were wounded in Syrian bombing of Al-Husseiniya refugee camp.
Egypt creates exception for Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria
PNN 28 Mar — As many as 9,000 Palestinian refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and seeking safety in Egypt have found that the host country is discriminating against them — a policy left over from the pre-revolution governments and upheld by the Morsi government…
Currently, a Palestinian refugee from Syria may only enter Egypt if they arrive directly from Damascus at Cairo’s airport — a condition that is highly unlikely to be met moving forward, as the Damascus airport has been routinely closed. Any Palestinian refugee arriving from Turkey or Lebanon or anywhere else is detained at the airport and pressure applied on them until they agree to return to Syria. When Egyptian authorities have forced these refugees onto planes back to Lebanon or Turkey, those authorities refuse entry and force them back to Egypt.
Once inside Egypt, however, Palestinian refugees from Syria are prevented from registering with UNHCR. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed that the Palestinians fall under UNRWA’s mandate, but Egypt is a territory over which UNRWA does not (and never has had) a mandate. Thus, Palestinian refugees are ineligible for residency, health care, food aid and other services and support provided by UNHCR to other refugees in the country. Egypt is bound by the 1951 Convention on Refugees and the subsequent Organization of African Union convention related to refugees. Yet, in the case of Palestinians, these are set aside.
Sanaa Ibrahim (20 years old) and Khaled Ibrahim (29 years old) are the latest victims of this discrimination. Arriving via Turkey, the brother and sister were detained at the airport for 30 days. On two occasions Sanaa was flown to Lebanon, but the Lebanese authorities refused to allow her entry and sent her back to Cairo. This morning Sanaa, Khaled and 3 other Palestinian refugees from Syria stuck at the airport, including a minor, were sent to Karatin Prison in Cairo, where they are effectively in a black hole. UNHCR is not allowed to have any access to them. Sanaa and Khaled have siblings who are citizens in Sweden and thus there is a strong case for emergency resettlement in Sweden. But because they are not permitted to register with UNHCR, there is no legal way to make the process begin for Sweden to consider resettlement.
The month in pictures: March 2013
The Electronic Intifada 2 April
Israeli conscientious objector to refuse IDF service for 8th time
Haaretz 1 Apr by Amira Hass — Conscientious objector Natan Blanc will go to the IDF Recruitment Bureau for the eighth time on Tuesday to inform the army his refusal to serve because of his opposition to the occupation. He is expected to be sentenced again for another period in military prison. Since first declaring his refusal upon being conscripted in November 2012, the military court has sentenced Blanc to seven prison terms . Altogether, he has served 116 days in jail, of which 11 days were taken off for good behavior.
Video: Delegation of journalists tours occupied West Bank
Press TV 1 Apr – The European Union leads a delegation of International journalists in order to introduce them the situation on the ground in Palestine. The tour began with a briefing by an E-U official, who described the difficulties, the Palestinians under Israeli occupation face on a daily bases, such as Israeli settlement expansions, checkpoints, the Apartheid wall and the lack of access to their natural resources. The group was then given a lecture by Palestinian independent politician Mustafa Barghouti, who described the type of violence the Palestinians enduring at the hands of Israeli army, particularly during non-violent demonstrations … The reaction from the journalists was that the media in their countries rarely show what’s happening on the ground, and that the Palestinian- Israeli narrative is usually represented as a fair struggle between the two sides.
The brutality of the Occupation spreading to Israel?
71-year-old attacked for ‘driving slowly’
Ynet 2 Apr — Two young men, aged 25 and 26, were arrested Monday night on suspicion of physically assaulting a 71-year-old man in Herzliya. Apparently, the reason for the attack was the slow speed the elderly man was driving in … Tuesday, the Tel Aviv District Court remanded the two young men from Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan to house arrest after they allegedly pushed the man during a heated argument. During the confrontation the man felt chest pains and was hospitalized at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was diagnosed as possibly suffering from a heart attack; his condition is currently stable…
The event occurred just three days after Friday’s attack on a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor – who was punched after asking a man’s children to stop destroying benches in central Holon – and two days after Saturday’s attack on a 75 year old – who was attacked because he had the ‘audacity’ to chide a couple for letting their dog loose in the children’s play area in his Herzliya neighborhood.
Israeli navy gears up for new job of protecting gas fields
Reuters 2 Apr — As natural gas starts flowing from Tamar field, Navy prepares for defending Israel’s new found energy independence from ‘every possible scenario’ — Israel’s huge new offshore gas resource offers its enemies an obvious target and gives its navy, long overshadowed by other branches of the Israeli armed forces, a big job that will require extra spending. On patrol boat 836, circling two gas platforms in choppy Mediterranean waters, Captain Ilan Lavi flipped through pictures of the possible threats: boat bombs, drones, submarine vessels, rockets and missiles.
A dozen IDF soldiers guard empty West Bank outpost while settlers take break for the holiday
Haaretz 2 Apr by Chaim Levinson — Israeli reserve troops spend Passover watching over a cluster of empty settler homes long designated for demolition while residents spend holiday elsewhere with their families … “We basically guard ourselves instead of being home,” says one soldier bitterly. They held seder in the mobile home and spent their time on patrol. “Where will we go?” says one. “This is what they told us to do. It’s absurd, but it’s the mission.”
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
Reading Palestinian prison diaries / Richard Falk
Palestine Chronicle 1 Apr — (The Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, edited by Norma Hashim, in close collaboration with the Centre for Political & Development Studies, Gaza, 2013) There are many moving passages that can be found in these excerpts from prison diaries and recollections of 22 Palestinians. What is most compelling is how much the material expresses the shared concerns of these prisoners despite great variations in writing style and background. A few keywords dominate the texts: pain, God or Allah, love, dream, homeland, steadfastness, tears, freedom, dream, prayer. My reading of these diaries exposed me to the distinct personal struggles of each prisoner to survive with as much dignity as possible in a dank and poorly lit circumstances of isolation, humiliation, acute hostility on the part of the prison staff, including abusive neglect by the medical personnel. The diaries also confirmed that even prolonged captivity had not diluted the spirit of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, but on the contrary had intensified it. A strong impression of the overall illegitimacy of Israel’s encroachment on the most fundamental rights of the Palestinian people is also present on virtually every page … What I found most valuable about this publication was its success in turning the abstraction of Palestinian prisoners into a series of human stories most of which exhibit agonized feelings of regret resulting from prolonged estrangement from those they most love in the world. Particularly moving were the sorrows expressed by men missing their mothers and daughters …(The pdf version of Prison Diaries can be downloaded now for USD1.99 here. The printed book will be available at palestinemall.net from 17 April 2013.)
Prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia dies; son accuses PA of betrayal / Linah Alsaafin
EI 2 Apr – …We’ve witnessed the protests fuelled by anger over Muhammad al-Salaymeh’s death in Hebron last year; he was killed on his 17th birthday (12 December) by an Israeli border official. We’ve seen the protests as they rippled mostly from Hebron when Arafat Jaradat was killed. These waves of anger — with protests closely monitored by Palestinian Authority security forces and intelligence officers — subside almost as quickly as they begin. And we find ourselves — those who are outside of the prison cells and “free” — shackled and mute. We utilize social media as a platform to furiously denounce the collaborative role the PA plays in ensuring Israel’s security at the expense of our people. Yet we remain silent on the ground, helpless and drowning in a sea of PA complicity. Meanwhile the prisoners — who spend their youths locked up behind bars, banned from their loved ones, who use every weapon they have from hunger striking to disobedience to resist against their occupiers — seem more and more like the liberated ones.There is no question that the road to liberation passes through the PA compound of the muqata‘a. The PA and the Israeli occupation are two sides to the same coin. They both must be annihilated.
25 years on: What did Israeli settlers learn from the first Palestinian intifada? / Chaim Levinson
Haaretz 1 Apr — When the first intifada broke out, in 1987, peace as the settlers in the territories knew it died. Up until then, the settlers had marketed themselves as an important security force, as the spiritual heirs to the Zionist pioneers who came to this land in the Second Aliyah (wave of immigration to Palestine, between 1904 and 1914). The settlers claimed that Israel’s future could be secured with the power of the plowshare. When they spoke about genuine good-neighbor relations with the Palestinians, they were not talking like the leftists who sat in the cafes of Tel Aviv. They spoke about shopping in Palestinian markets and employing Palestinian workers. What they offered was an alternative to the model offered by the Israeli left: Instead of an independent state, argued the settlers, the Palestinians would be given autonomy, and their economy would be dependent on the pockets of rich Israelis. However, the outbreak of the intifada left those ideas in the garbage bin of history. It suddenly became clear that the Palestinians really did want an independent state of their own. The boiling cauldron of the West Bank, whose contents the Shin Bet security service and Israel’s Civil Administration tried to stir but to keep from boiling over, was overflowing, and the settlers’ plan collapsed.
What pulled the carpet out from under the settlers’ feet was not the violence in the West Bank … The Palestinian popular uprising changed the strategic situation in the West Bank for other reasons. First of all, Israeli troops were moved en masse into the northern West Bank to put down the uprising, and regional brigades of the Israel Defense Forces were created both there and in the Gaza Strip. The number of soldiers, most of them reservists, stationed beyond the country’s pre-1967 borders was multiplied a hundredfold. It was at this point that Israelis began asking themselves, “What the hell are we doing here in the first place?”