PCHR weekly report: 2 civilians killed, 6 wounded, 41 abducted by Israeli troops this week [28 Mar-3 Apr]
IMEMC 5 Apr — Israeli attacks in the West Bank: In the West Bank, in an excessive use of lethal force, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded a third one in Anabta village, east of Tulkarem. This happened when the Israeli forces stationed at Annab checkpoint, east of the said village, opened fire at a group of boys protesting in the vicinity of the checkpoint. On 29 March 2013, an 18-year-old boy was wounded by a bullet to the right leg and another 13-year-old child was wounded by a bullet to the right side of his head when an Israeli infantry unit moved into the center of Hebron. During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 30 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were abducted … PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 2 shooting incidents on 28 and 30 March 2013 on Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing 3 nautical miles off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attacks, the fishermen were forced to flee back to the shore fearing of being wounded or abducted. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported … Additionally, 2 airstrikes were launched on Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip targeting an open land, a green house and a water well. No casualties were reported, but the residents of the 2 areas were frightened as a result. [also details of settler attacks, and attacks on non-violent demonstrations. Full Report]
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
West Bank settlements matched Tel Aviv for home building despite smaller population rise
Haaretz 5 Apr by Arik Mirovsky — The five largest cities across the Green Line, containing majority of region’s Jewish residents, enjoyed an increase of 17,800 housing units and 18,500 households between 1996 and 2008, according to a study.
Israel to seize land near Bethlehem
PNN — On Wednesday 3rd April, the Israeli authorities informed a Palestinian farmer from the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, of its intention to take over his private-owned land for the benefit of settlement expansion, according to a local activist. Head of the village’s council Jamal Najajreh told Palestinian official news agency WAFA that Ali Fnoon found notices on his three dunums of land, located just off of the settlement of Daniel, built illegally on villager’s land, ordering him to evacuate it in order to seize it. The land was recently rehabilitated and planted with olive trees and almonds
Watch: Police detain Israeli activists for filming illegal settlement construction
972mag 3 Apr by Mairav Zonszein — In the video below (filmed by an Israeli Ta’ayush activist on Monday April 1 and subtitled quickly by yours truly) a policeman approaches Israeli activists who regularly go to the South Hebron Hills (he knows all their names already) and informs them they are being detained. For what? For filming illegal construction at an illegal outpost in the area called Avigayil on a different day. That’s right. This was not an April Fool’s joke, but the way the law is actually being enforced by Israeli authorities in the West Bank.
Liquid asymmetry: How the PA is forced to support water projects for West Bank settlements
Haaretz 5 Apr by Amira Hass — According to a British researcher, the work of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee reflects another example of Israel’s Ability to coerce and restrict the Palestinian population — The major projects to expand the water infrastructure in West Bank settlements, undertaken between 1995 and 2008, were carried out with the approval of the Palestinian Authority after it was made clear that otherwise Israel would not allow the PA to repair and improve the water infrastructure serving its own population … the capacity of the Israeli water installations that were approved is far greater than that of the Palestinian facilities, both in relative and in absolute terms. The average diameter of water pipes used for the Palestinian population is 2 inches, as compared to 8 inches or 12 inches for the Israelis. The 174 water reservoir projects for the Palestinians that were approved have a total capacity of 167,950 cubic centimeters, as compared to 28 projects for the settlers with a total capacity of 132,250 cubic centimeters. The average capacity of an Israeli reservoir is 4,724 cubic centimeters, whereas the average for a Palestinian one is 965. . .
Occupation serves demolition notice of a water well
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Apr — Occupation authorities handed on Thursday to a Palestinian citizen from the town of Msafer Yatta, near al-Khalil in the southern West Bank, nine notifications to demolish water well and remove the livestock pens in his lands. Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the popular committee against settlement in Yatta, told Quds Press that the occupation handed over to the citizen Ibrahim Dababsa nine notices; ordering him to demolish a water well and remove livestock pens and the iron fence set up around his land in Khallet Dabaa area in Msafer Yatta. The Israeli notifications also included uprooting trees that had been planted decades ago.
Jewish settlers set ablaze an MP’s field
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Apr — Jewish settlers set on fire a field owned by MP Khalil Ruba‘ee and his two brothers to the east of Yatta town, Al-Khalil province. The PIC reporter said that dozens of settlers attacked the field in Al-Hamra area that is adjacent to their settlement of Maun. He said that the 2000 square meters field is cultivated with olives and grapes, adding that more than 30 members of Ruba‘ee family benefit from working in this field. Eyewitnesses told the PIC that the settlers, guarded by Israeli occupation forces, also threw stones at farmers and insulted Islam and Arabs. They expelled farmers from their land in Tawani area also to the east of Yatta, the locals added.
Israeli forces raid houses in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Israeli forces raided several houses in the Bab Hatta neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem late Wednesday, and assaulted several families, locals said Thursday. Locals told Ma‘an that the Israeli forces raided the houses of the al-Basiti, Hassan Yousef, and Najib families. They damaged windows and doors and assaulted occupants. Earlier, clashes erupted in Bab Hatta between Israeli troops and Palestinians and Israeli forces surrounded the neighborhood. Two Israelis dressed as Arabs were wounded during the clashes, witness said.
Twilight Zone — Unbearable grief strikes an unrecognized village
Haaretz 5 Apr by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac — Sitting at the edge of the desert, in a place that lacks even a paved access road, in an ‘unrecognized’ village in ‘the Bedouin dispersion’, is Hussein a-Sariya, a man who all at once has become the bereaved father of three sons: Nahed, Atef and Suleiman, all of whom drowned in the Mediterranean Sea last week. Hussein, 53, lives off the income supplement he receives from the National Insurance Institute. Until last weekend, he had seven sons and three daughters. Even now, during the mourning period, he is troubled over how he will support his fatherless grandchildren. He ruminates about the situation of his eldest son, Nahed, whose home was demolished by the authorities only days after his wedding , and who drowned in the sea off Ashkelon, leaving behind two young children and a widow in the early months of pregnancy … Now Hussein is reminiscing about the evening of Nahed’s wedding, two years ago: The Israel Lands Authority was about to demolish the illegal house that Nahed had built with his own two hands, and Hussein barricaded himself inside with propane-gas canisters, threatening to blow up himself and his family. “He’s just now setting out in life, and you are already destroying it,” Hussein told the ILA officials. He asked them at least to hold off with the demolition until after the wedding, and eventually they acceded. The young couple’s home was demolished two weeks later. Since then they had been living, like many other residents of this Third World village, in a tin shack, along with their two children.
IOA imposes restrictions on worshipers at al-Aqsa
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 Apr — Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) have imposed tight restrictions on the entry of worshipers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Friday prayers for fear of the outbreak of clashes in protest at the martyrdom of three Palestinians since Tuesday. Israeli police declared that only worshipers over the age of 50, with blue identity cards (Jerusalem residents), are allowed to enter the Aqsa Mosque to perform Friday prayers after receiving intelligence information about the intentions to launch marches after the prayers. Thousands of Israeli police forces and border guards have deployed since the early morning hours in different areas of occupied East Jerusalem and in the vicinity of al-Aqsa Mosque and the surrounding villages, Israeli sources added.
WATCH: Hebron’s Shuhada Street: Authorized entry only
Israeli Social TV 3 Apr — How would you feel if you were suddenly forbidden from walking down the main street of your city? This theoretical scenario, inconceivable to most, is reality for the Palestinian residents of Hebron. Shuhada Street was a pivotal and vibrant main street in Hebron but since 2000, entry has been blocked for Palestinians – even those who live on it. The closure of Shuhada Street is just another example of Israel’s undeclared racial segregation policies … “We have to pass several times the X-ray machine, and this is very disturbing”
Official: Allenby to partially close for day
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The Israeli-controlled crossing point between the occupied West Bank and Jordan will shut down Thursday for travelers from the Jordan side, a Palestinian official said … Palestinians can travel to Jordan until 10 a.m. as usual, he said. The official said the closure was due to the Jewish holiday schedule.
Death of Abu Hamdiyeh
Lawyer: Abu Hamdiyeh given painkillers, antibiotics for cancer
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — Israeli prison doctors refused to treat Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died in Israeli custody on Tuesday, and gave the cancer sufferer painkillers and antibiotics, his lawyer said. Rami Alami visited Abu Hamdiyeh in Eshel prison on March 12, and a record of his visit reveals the prisoner’s long struggle with Israeli authorities for medical treatment. During the visit, weeks before his death, Abu Hamdiyeh said he had only been given painkillers to treat his cancer. He could not sleep, stand or walk, and prison doctors had refused his request for medicine to improve his appetite. The lawyer said Abu Hamdiyeh appeared tired and weak and could hardly speak. Another detainee had to relay what Abu Hamdiyeh was saying as he was barely audible.
Abu Hamdiyeh told the lawyer that he went to prison doctors in Ramon jail in August with severe throat ache and swollen lymphatic and salivary glands. The doctor prescribed him antibiotic medication without doing any medical tests. He was later given a flu shot which increased his chest pain, but the doctor again refused to investigate his condition. Eventually, in October, the prison approved a hospital visit, but it was delayed twice. When Abu Hamdiyeh was finally taken to Soroka Hospital in December, prison authorities mistakenly informed doctors that he had an eye problem, and Abu Hamdiyeh returned to Ramon prison without undergoing any tests. He returned to the hospital on Jan. 10, having lost 14 kg, and a biopsy revealed cancer cells in the throat that had spread to surrounding glands. A week later, Abu Hamdiyeh returned to the hospital with acute throat pain and difficulty breathing and swallowing. He underwent an endoscopy procedure but still received no treatment. …
Minister: Autopsy shows Israel neglected prisoner
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The results of an autopsy on the body of a Palestinian prisoner who died in Israeli custody show his death was caused by medical negligence, a Palestinian official said. The results show that the Israeli prison service neglected the medical situation of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh for several years, the minister of prisoners’ affairs Issa Qaraqe said.
West Bank cities shut down to mourn Abu Hamdiyeh
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — Hebron and East Jerusalem shut down on Wednesday in mourning for a cancer-sufferer who died in Israeli custody a day earlier … The Fatah movement in Hebron called for a general strike to mourn the death and urged all residents to respect the period of mourning. All shops, schools and universities as well as government and community organizations closed on Wednesday across the Hebron district … Shops, restaurants and businesses also shut their doors in mourning in Jerusalem’s Old City. All schools affiliated to the Islamic endowment department in Jerusalem suspended classes at 11 a.m., said education ministry official Samir Jibril. A full strike was also being observed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus where thousands of demonstrators gathered in the city centre for a mass rally, an AFP correspondent said. In Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, the strike was being partially observed, other correspondents said.
Armed group in Hebron threatens to avenge Abu Hamdiyeh
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Apr – A military wing affiliated to Fatah in Hebron in the southern West Bank on Thursday threatened to retaliate for the death of Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in Israeli custody. A representative of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Hebron said during Abu Hamdiyeh’s funeral that “the group will not wait until a third prisoner falls a martyr, after Arafat Jaradat and Abu Hamdiyeh.”
Clashes continue in Hebron for third day
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Apr – For the third consecutive day, young Palestinians in Hebron in the southern West Bank continued to clash with Israeli troops Thursday protesting the death of cancer prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in Israeli custody. A Ma‘an reporter said a CNN cameraman was shot and injured by a live bullet. Additionally, 21 Palestinians were hit by rubber-coated bullets, while dozens of others suffered from tear gas which the soldiers fired extravagantly. The fiercest clashes took place in Bab al-Zawiya neighborhood in the center of Hebron after the funeral procession of Abu Hamdiyeh. Young protesters hurled stones, empty bottles and fire bombs at Israeli troops who showered them with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters. Palestinian Red Crescent Association official Nasser Qabaja told Ma‘an that ambulances evacuated 21 young men to a public hospital in the city after they were hit with rubber-coated bullets. He also confirmed that a foreign cameraman was hit by a live bullet to the foot and was hospitalized.
Refugee camps of Al-Arrub north of Hebron and al-Fawwar in the south witnessed confrontations between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.
Similarly, young protesters in the cities of Yatta and Halhul clashed with Israeli troops. Medics said a young man was hospitalized after a rubber-coated bullet hit him in Halhul.
In Beit Ummar north of Hebron Israeli soldiers occupied a building and fired tear gas at protesters from the roof. A local committee spokesman, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, highlighted that protesters managed to throw tear gas canisters back at the soldiers who were seen choking.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Suppression of protests / Arrests
Excessive use of force as Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinian civilians and injure third in West Bank
PCHR 4 Apr — On Wednesday evening, 03 April 2012, in an example of excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians and injured a third from ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, northern West Bank. The incident occurred when Israeli soldiers, stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, opened fire at a group of young Palestinian demonstrators in the area surrounding the checkpoint. According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 21:30 on Wednesday, a group of Palestinian boys and young men made their way towards ‘Inab military checkpoint on the main Nablus – Tulkarm road, east of ‘Anabta, east of Tulkarm. The boys threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who were stationed inside military watchtowers. The soldiers responded with live bullets and chased the demonstrators. As a result, 18-year-old ‘Amer Ibrahim Naji Zarboul sustained a bullet wound to the chest, killing him instantly, and Fadi Abdul-Qader Ibrahim Nassar (20) sustained a bullet wound to his right hand. A Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance arrived at the scene, but medical sources informed a PCHR fieldworker that Israeli forces prevented the ambulance from transferring Zarboul’s body. According to the same source, Zarboul’s body remained on the Israeli side of the checkpoint for approximately 20 minutes before paramedics were given access. The injured man, Nassar, was transported to Martyr Thabet Thabet Public Hospital in Tulkarm for medical treatment. At approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 04 April 2013, the Israeli Liaison Office informed their Palestinian counterpart that the body of another Palestinian man was present at the checkpoint. A PRCS ambulance went to ‘Inab military checkpoint, retrieved the body and transferred it to Martyr Thabet Thabet Public Hospital. The deceased was identified as Naji Abdul-Salam Naji Bilbaisi (19). Bilbaisi had sustained a bullet wound to the chest; medical sources could not confirm whether the deceased had died instantly or if he had bled to death.
UPDATE: Two teenagers murdered at checkpoint
ISM 4 Apr by Team Nablus — At 22:30 on 3 April Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition and killed a 17 year-old boy, from the village of ‘Anabta near Enav checkpoint and east of Tulkarm. Amer Nassar was murdered with a bullet to his chest. On hearing the shooting 3 boys from the village went to investigate and saw Amer lying on the floor with soldiers standing over him. The boys tried to reach Amer, but the soldiers would not let them approach and opened fire, injuring Fadi Abu-A’sr with a bullet to his lower arm. The Army prevented ambulance crews access to Amer for 30 minutes, threatening to shoot anyone that attempted to help. Deiyaa’ Nasser, who attempted to get to Amer was arrested by the Israeli Army and taken to an unknown location. The body of a Amer’s cousin, Naji Abdul-Karim Balbisi, 18, was found at first light Thursday morning near a house in the vicinity of the checkpoint. He had been hoped, last night, to be missing, still hiding in a factory. He was discovered, shot from behind in the torso, lying in a field.
IDF lies about deaths of Palestinian youths / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 5 Apr — …In one of those protests outside Tulkarem, several teenage boys were throwing rocks at an IDF “pillbox.” In the midst of this, the soldiers manning the position, who hail from an ultra-Orthodox unit known to include many ultra-nationalist settlers, used live fire and killed one of the boys instantly. The others fled, pursued by soldiers who ran out of their fortified position to track them down. In this pursuit of unarmed boys, another was shot and killed by the IDF. He was shot in the back. Yet the soldier who killed him claimed he did so out of fear for his life. You don’t shoot an unarmed boy in the back because you fear for your life. The justification offered by the IDF for the killings was that the youths were throwing fire-bombs at them. The only reference I’ve heard from the Palestinian side that supports this is one of the survivors who said that while he was throwing stones, he noted a ‘bottle’ (not a firebomb) next to Amar Nasser’s body. We may presume he intended to use this as a firebomb, but clearly since it was next to his body it hadn’t been thrown. Which means that someone may or may not have thrown firebombs at this position. It may or may not have been one of the murdered boys. The only way to answer the question is for the IDF to release video footage (unedited) of the incident. This will corroborate the army’s story if true.
Palestinian funerals draw thousands in tense West Bank
ANABTA, West Bank (Reuters) 4 Apr by Noah Browning — Thousands of mourners turned out on Thursday for the funerals of three Palestinians, including two teenagers killed by Israeli army gunfire in some of the worst violence in the occupied West Bank in years. The upsurge in unrest was triggered on Tuesday by the death of Maysara Abu Hamdeya, a 64-year-old prisoner serving a life term in an Israeli jail and suffering from cancer. Palestinian officials accused Israel of delaying treatment for Abu Hamdeya and gave him full military honors at a funeral on Thursday in Hebron, where masked gunmen fired into the air as his body arrived at a mosque in the divided West Bank city. In disturbances that followed his death, four Palestinian youths threw firebombs at an Israeli checkpoint near Tulkarm in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, the army said. Soldiers returned fire and killed two teenagers from the nearby town of ‘Anabta – Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Belbisi, 18. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel’s use of lethal force showed that it wanted to “provoke chaos” in the Palestinian Territories and avoid any moves toward a peace deal.
PHOTOS: Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli forces after death of long-term prisoner
Activestills 4 Apr — West Bank clashes erupt after the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody, in which two more Palestinians are shot and killed by Israeli forces. Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Anne Paq, Yotam Ronen, and Oren Ziv
39 Palestinians injured by Army fire in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Apr — Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank reported that 39 Palestinians have been injured by rubber-coated metal bullets fired at Palestinian protesters in Hebron, and that dozens of residents have been treated for the effects of teargas inhalation. The Maan News Agency reported that the clashes were concentrated in Bab Az-Zawiya, in the center of Hebron, in Halhoul nearby town, in Al-Arroub refugee camp, in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, and the At-Tabaqa village.
On Friday evening, one resident was shot by a live round in his arm during clashes that took place in Bab Az-Zawiya. Nasser Qabaja, head of the Disasters Units at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the southern part of the West Bank, stated that four Palestinians were moved to a local hospital after being injured in Bab Az-Zawiya, and 14 other residents were treated by field medics.
Qabaja added that six more Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, north of Halhoul town, and were moved to a local clinic, and four more residents were treated by medics on the scene.
Two Palestinians have been injured in the At-Tabaqa nearby village, and were moved to a local hospital suffering head and feet injuries.
Qabaja further stated that six Palestinians were injured during clashes that took place in the Al-Arroub refugee camp.
Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians in al-Khader
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Apr — Several Palestinians on Friday were injured as clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in al-Khader village near Bethlehem. The coordinator of the local popular committee against settlements and the wall said that the clashes took place near al-Nashash military checkpoint, where protesters set tires on fire and soldiers fired tear gas canisters at them. He added that dozens were hurt by tear gas inhalation.
Israeli and PA forces prevent protests in Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 4 Apr — The Israeli forces were extensively deployed in the vicinity of the Jalama checkpoint, north of Jenin, in anticipation of erupting clashes, while the PA security forces were deployed on the road leading to the barrier to prevent confrontations.
When the stones fly the wrong way
972mag 3 Apr by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — Settlers threw a stone, and then another one, at a Palestinian’s head. Then they killed his sheep. The chances they will be indicted for attempted murder are slim — At the beginning of March, K., a Palestinian resident of the village of Al Mughayer, took his herd to pasture. As readers of this blog may have noticed, many of the incidents reported here take place in pasture lands; it’s a part of the attempt by the settlers to prevent Palestinians from working their land or grazing it. As soon as the Palestinians abandon the land as a result of the terror campaign (the Israeli government at best does not hinder, and at worst, quietly supports the settlers), begins a process ends with the settlers taking over the land … The settlers began throwing stones at K., hit him in the head, and he collapsed. Y. saw them approaching K. and throwing another stone at his head, even after he fell. This shouldn’t be surprising: a similar incident was documented in June, 2005 (Hebrew). Settlers threw one stone after the other at the head of an unconscious Palestinian boy, while IDF soldiers on the scene did little. This incident, noted mostly because it was captured on film, caused some outrage at the time; then, as usual, it was forgotten. Israelis are good at forgetting such incidents.
Army kidnaps 16 Palestinians in West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Apr — Wednesday at dawn, April 3, 2013, Israeli soldiers invaded several areas in the occupied West Bank districts of Hebron, Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped 16 Palestinians after breaking into their homes, and searching them.
Local sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported that the army kidnapped Thabit Ayyash Zyadat, 20, after breaking into and searching his home in Bani Neim town, near Hebron.
Soldiers also invaded the nearby town of Halhoul, kidnapped Ezeddeen Abu Rayyan, 21, and took him to an unknown destination.
Furthermore, the soldiers invaded the center of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and kidnapped Anas Suleiman, 18, and also invaded the Duheisha refugee camp and kidnapped Mahmoud Da’amsa, 16, in addition to kidnapping Omar Abu Ajamiyya, 16, from Doha town.
In Jerusalem, the army kidnapped one resident identified as Yousef Mkheimar, a local religious official, and kidnapped 10 more Palestinians, during a nonviolent protest held in Bab Al-Amoud area. The kidnapped Palestinians have been identified as An’aam Quiambao, Nasser Qous (head of the Jerusalem Branch of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS)), Wa’ad Qannam, Lafi Rammouni, Imad Al-Husseini, Zakariyya Hijazi, Fuad Obeid (medic), Maled Khader Ad-Dibis, Ahmad Ja’ba, and Mohammad Gheith. They were all beaten by the arresting officers. [Many were later released on bail on condition of staying away from the Damascus Gate for 20 days]
IOF soldiers launch arrest campaign in lines of young men in Al-Khalil village
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up nine Palestinian young men in the village of Bani Na‘im in Al-Khalil province on Wednesday night. Ali Trayra, the head of the village’s municipal council, said that all of the detainees were in their twenties. He said that IOF soldiers searched the homes of the detainees before taking them away. IOF soldiers have been targeting young men, especially university students, in the village over the past couple of days.
IOF soldiers arrested a tenth youth from Yatta town in Al-Khalil and detained teachers at Masafer Yatta area for two hours on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, violent confrontations were reported on Wednesday evening between IOF soldiers and Palestinian youths in Bir Al-Mahjar, north of Al-Khalil, eyewitnesses reported … The locals said that a number of young men were treated for breathing difficulty, adding that the youths were protesting the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiya
IOF soldiers arrest five Palestinians
JENIN (PIC) 5 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up five Palestinians at dawn Friday and late Thursday night and confiscated the car of a citizen in Nablus. Local sources in Jenin said that IOF soldiers stormed Seelat Al-Harethiya village near the city and broke into and searched many homes after forcing their dwellers into the open and questioning them. They said that the soldiers nabbed four citizens before leaving the village, noting that they are all teenagers.
Meanwhile, other IOF units detained a Palestinian youth from Bala‘a village near Tulkarem on Thursday night while passing through the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus city. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers suddenly closed the roadblock and detained dozens of cars before taking the young man Mamon Humaidan from the car he was riding to nearby Hawara army camp.
IOF soldiers also broke into the village of Burqa in Nablus at dawn Friday and confiscated a car owned by Naji Abu Omar without giving reasons.
Ex-detainee re-arrested after release from jail
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Apr — The detainees’ center in Jerusalem reported Friday that Israeli forces seized a released detainee when he was on his way home from Nafha prison on Thursday evening. The center reported that the troops stopped Ala al-Ali and took him to the Russian Compound for fear that he may plan an attack. But he will be released soon after spending 12 years at Israeli prisons. The center condemned the arrest.
ISRAEL/OPT: Stop use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank
Amnesty International 4 Apr — Israel’s military response to protests in the West Bank is failing to respect the human rights of Palestinians, Amnesty International said today as the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli fire in the area since the beginning of 2013 reached eight. Ongoing Palestinian protests against the Israeli occupation have further escalated this week following renewed anger over detention conditions of Palestinian political detainees and prisoners, including the death in custody of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian prisoner with cancer held by Israel since 2002. The protests look set to continue following the deaths of two Palestinian teenagers who were killed by Israeli forces at a military post near the settlement of Enav in the northern West Bank on Wednesday.
PLO PMG monthly summary of Israeli violations – March 2013
EXCERPTS: Attacks: A total of 274 attacks were reported to have taken place during the month of March: 246 in the West Bank and 28 in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military carried out 5 attacks during raids into Palestinian residential areas, 240 attacks during confrontations between the Israeli military and Palestinians, and 15 attacks from Israeli military posts on civilian homes and property. In addition, Israeli navy vessels carried out 12 attacks on Palestinian fishermen and territory. Israeli settlers opened fire on civilians and property on 2 occasions Raids: …347 in the West Bank and 7 in the Gaza Strip including the districts of Jerusalem (16); Ramallah (26); Jenin (47); Tubas (5); Tulkarem (39); Qalqiliya (16); Nablus (63); Salfit (15); Jericho (16); Bethlehem (30); Hebron (74); Gaza: Central Gaza (2) ; Khan Yunis (1) and Rafah (4) Arrests (247): The majority of arrests took place in the districts of Jerusalem (82); Ramallah (12); Jenin (20); Tubas (5); Tulkarem (9); Qalqiliya (9); Nablus (47); Salfit (26); Jericho (9); Bethlehem (44); Hebron (82); Gaza (1) and Central Gaza (1). Among those arrested by the Israeli military were: 54 children; 4 women, 4 journalists, 5 university students (including 1 female), 1 Parliament member and 11 security officers [report also includes day-by-day samples]
Palestinian Children’s Day
Palestinian Children’s Day
ISM 5 Apr — Children’s Days around the world are intended to honour, protect and celebrate childhood. Palestinian Children’s Day, commemorated on the 5th of April each year, is no celebration – rather it is a day highlighting the horrific treatment of Palestinian children by the occupying Israeli authorities. In 2013, Children’s Day falls in a period in which arrests and detention of children by the Israeli military has become increasingly common. Defence for Children International- Palestine put the number of children currently detained under the Israeli occupation at 236. In the West Bank city of Al Khalil (Hebron), the rise in child arrests has been particularly evident – two weeks before Children’s Day, 30 children were attacked and detained by Israeli soldiers on their way to school, eyewitnesses stated that they were seemingly grabbed at random from in front of their school (see video below.) Children, who are detained regularly in Al Khalil, generally have their hands bound and are confined in dark, closed spaces such as checkpoint boxes, along with soldiers who deny access to human rights observers and in some cases the families of the children. There are regular reports of beatings, threats and torture in attempts to force children to admit to crimes. In checkpoints in Al Khalil, there are blurred pictures of children’s faces, allegedly from demonstrations, printed and stuck to the walls for soldiers to attempt to identify children as they walk past on their way to school.
On Palestinian Children Day, half of population under 18, says PCBS
PNN — Marking the occasion of Palestinian Children Day on April 5, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Thursday said that children under the age of 18 make up almost 2 million of a total 4.29 million Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip … The percentage of individuals under the age 18 is still high which is about 47.6% of the total population is, it said. Demographic statistics and trends in the Palestinian society showed that the children will constitute the majority for several coming years due to high fertility rate of the Palestinian women and low infant mortality rates. A Palestinian family is also formed at early ages since the females mean age at first marriage in the West Bank was 20.0 years and 24.6 years for males in 2011.
Children’s Day in Nabi Saleh
ISM 5 Apr — On Palestinian Children’s Day, the kids of Nabi Saleh played a leading role in their village demonstration, holding banners and balloons, claiming their rights to a childhood free of oppression and occupation. However, Israeli forces, as they regularly do, quickly suppressed the demonstration. As the crowd of protesters were marching along the road with the intention of going to their stolen water spring down the hill, Israeli border police accompanied by a skunk water truck started to shoot the malodorous water and tear gas canisters at the protesters.
‘The soldiers answered his screams with laughter and then shot more bullets’
PCHR 3 Apr — As Palestinian Child Day is celebrated on 5 April, Omsiyat Kamal ‘Awaja (15) is one of many Palestinian children for whom the day, like every other, will be marked by unbearable loss and suffering. It is impossible to count the number of children in the Gaza Strip who have been directly affected by loss. Since the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada on 28 September 2000, PCHR has documented the killing of 958 Palestinian children and injury of 6,355 others in the Gaza Strip. 313 children were killed during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ (2008-9), and a further 35 children were killed during ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’ in November 2012 …On 4 January 2009, Israeli forces destroyed the ‘Awaja building in Beit Lahia without any prior warning. The residents fled to a neighbouring tract of land when Israeli bulldozers began to destroy their home. After the house had been destroyed, the children’s mother, Wafaa’ (36), went back to collect what could be salvaged from under the rubble. She was accompanied by three of her children, Diaa, Sobhi, and Ibrahim, each of whom was younger than 13 years of age. Omsiyat recalls: “My brother, Ibrahim, was the first to be injured, sustaining injuries in his waist. Mom screamed out, so Dad went to check on her, and picked up my brother. They left the house, or what remained of it, and Dad was screaming, ‘My son is injured. We need an ambulance.’ The Israeli soldiers were still in the area. They answered his screams with laughter and then shot more bullets, so that Dad was injured, as well as my mother. My father was left lying on the street and Ibrahim was lying next to him. My mother crawled until she reached my siblings and me where we were hiding behind a wall. We saw the Israeli soldiers approaching and shooting at Ibrahim, and Dad told us later that he had died.”
Israeli gunboats fire at Palestinian fishermen
GAZA (PIC) 4 Apr — Israeli navy gunboats opened heavy machine gunfire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza at dawn Thursday. A field observer told the Quds Press that the Israeli gunboats targeted Palestinian fishing boats and fired flare bombs, but no casualties were reported … Around 3,500 Palestinian fishermen work on more than a thousand fishing boats as their sole source of living for their families that number around 50,000 individuals.
Hamas urges UN to resume Gaza food aid
GAZA CITY (AFP) 5 Apr — Hamas on Friday urged the United Nations to reconsider its suspension of food aid for Palestinian refugees, imposed after protesters stormed a UN depot. The UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, stopped food deliveries after dozens of Gazans forced their way into the field office on Thursday, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to budget cuts. “This is an unjustified step from UNRWA,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “There is a right of peaceful protest for Palestinian refugees,” he said, adding: “We call on UNRWA to reevaluate its position and not to overreact to residents’ protest.” …
“Demonstrations during the past week had already forced UNRWA to close many of its facilities,” said the UN Palestinian refugee agency. “With the situation further compounded by today’s actions, all relief and distribution centres will consequently remain closed until guarantees are given by all relevant groups that UNRWA operations can continue unhindered. “This is a very regrettable situation for us to be in, as food distributions right now are taking place for some 25,000 refugees every day. But we cannot tolerate these ongoing threats to our staff,” it said. Abu Zuhri said that UNRWA staff were in no danger, as Hamas security forces had been posted to ensure their safety and the smooth running of their operations.
UNRWA distributes Saudi aid to 7,000 Palestinian families in Gaza
MEMO 4 Apr — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has announced the distribution of financial assistance to more than seven thousand families in the Gaza Strip. The money donated by Saudi Arabia will be used to repair and rebuild homes which were destroyed during Israel’s offensive against civilians in Gaza last November. “A generous donation of $15.6 million from the Saudi Fund for Development will enable UNRWA to provide urgently-needed cash subsidies directly to the affected refugee families,” said a UN statement.
Egypt foreign ministry: Israel violates the calm in Gaza
CAIRO (PIC) 4 Apr — The Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs warned that the truce between the Palestinians in Gaza and the Israelis would collapse if the latter persisted in violating it. In a press statement on Wednesday, Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Amr condemned Israel’s air raids on Tuesday night on Gaza. Amr said that Israel’s policies would adversely affect Egypt’s ongoing efforts to maintain calm in the Gaza Strip. The minister also slammed Israel’s practices against the Palestinian prisoners, which led to the death of a prisoner a few days ago.
Salafists say Hamas made arrests for rocket attacks
GAZA CITY (AFP) 4 Apr — Hamas has arrested two hardline Islamists in connection with rocket attacks on Israel, sources close to a Salafist group in the Gaza Strip said Thursday. The Hamas interior ministry, however, denied any arrests had been made for “resistance against the occupation.” Hamas’s “internal security apparatus in the last two days arrested two mujahedeen. One was released after several hours. The other is still detained,” a Salafist source said on condition of anonymity. The source said it was part of a “campaign to pursue Salafists after the targeting of Israel with rockets.” A Gaza-based Salafist group claimed firing rockets at Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday that landed in open fields, causing no damage or casualties. In response, Israel carried out two airstrikes, also without causing harm.
PA to send 6 trucks of medicine to Gaza
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — The Palestinian Authority will send six truckloads of medicine and medical equipment to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the PA health minister said. Hani Abdeen said his Ramallah-based ministry would always be willing to send medical requirements to Gaza “as Palestinian people both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip deserve the best possible medical care.” Nidal al-Jaabari, director of the PA’s medicine warehouse, told Ma‘an the shipment contained medicine and lab supplies worth 5.5 million shekels (over $1.5 million). [So where has this been all this time?]
Israel restricts entry of building materials to Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 5 Apr — The Popular Committee Against the Siege has charged that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was deceiving the world into believing that Gaza commercial crossings were open before traffic of goods. The committee said in a statement that the IOA was in fact restricting the entry of the needed materials and reducing its quantities at the same time, where Gaza markets still suffer severe shortages in some supplies … The IOA has allowed the entry of 33 trucks over the past two days carrying cement and iron for UNRWA construction projects and some international projects, the Palestinian follow-up committee of crossings confirmed. Meanwhile, the IOA refused the entry of cement and iron trucks for the private sector despite the daily need for hundreds of trucks.
11-sec. video: Gaza school principal slaps student sporting Western hairstyle
Huff Post 4 Apr — A video posted to YouTube Wednesday shows what appears to be a school principal slapping a student across the face for his Western-style haircut before instructing the student to shave his head, according to the Palestinian Press News Agency. The news agency reports that the video was shot at the Khaled bin Walid Secondary School for Boys, located in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. The story cites witnesses who claim authorities have arrested area youth and brought them to detention centers where their heads were shaved. The video was posted days after new rules issued by the Hamas Education Ministry barred men from teaching at girls’ schools and segregated classrooms by gender from the age of nine. Reuters reports that these rules have sparked debate between those who say lawmakers are properly working to “codify conservative Palestinian values into law” and those who argue Islamists are forcing their beliefs upon the rest of Gaza’s population.
Prisoners / Hunger strikers / Court actions
Detainee Ezzuddin transferred to hospital
JENIN (PIC) 5 Apr — The Megiddo prison administration transferred detainee Jafar Ezzuddin to Ramle prison hospital on Thursday after deterioration of his health condition. Family members in his hometown of Arrabe, south of Jenin, told the PIC reporter that they received a phone call from the prison administration concerning his transfer to hospital. They expressed concern over his health condition after 93 days of hunger strike protesting his administrative detention in Israeli jails, without trial or charge. Jafar and his colleague Tareq Qadan went on hunger strike for more than three months to protest their detention and only ended it after they were promised that their administrative detention would not be renewed.
Archbishop leads Jerusalem sit-in for prisoners
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Apr – Residents organized a sit-in on Thursday in front of the Red Cross encouraging detainees on hunger strike and in solidarity with the loss of detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh. Jerusalem figures and families of detainees participated in the demonstration. Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna said that “we are in the heart of Jerusalem expressing solidarity with all our detainees, especially our Hebron people who lost detainee Maysara. This sit-in is to tell them that we don’t forget them and we reject Israeli brutality against detainees.”
Israel ‘to punish Palestinian prisoners for protesting inmate death’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Apr — The Israeli Prison Service on Wednesday informed 86 Palestinians they would be moved to different prisons as punishment for protesting an inmate’s death, a detainee center said. Palestinian prisoners from all factions on Tuesday announced a three-day hunger strike to protest the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died of cancer in Israeli custody … The death raised tensions in Israeli prisons, and disturbances broke out in Ketziot, Eshel, Ramon and Nafha prisons as the news spread, the Israeli Prisons Service said.
Israel suspends family visits in many jails
NAZARETH (PIC) 3 Apr — The Israeli prison authority decided to suspend the scheduled family visits in several jails, especially the prisons of Nafha, Beersheba and Remon until further notice. Palestinian human rights sources said this Israeli decision was taken to punish the prisoners in these jails after their decision to go on hunger strike in protest at the death of prisoner Maisara Abu Hamdiya yesterday.
IOA renews administrative detention of university lecturer
NABLUS (PIC) 4 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) renewed on Wednesday the administrative detention, without trial or charge, of Dr. Mahmoud Ghazzal, a Hamas leader and a lecturer at the Najah university. Osama Makbul, a lawyer at the Tadamun foundation for human rights, said that the IOA renewed the administrative custody of Dr. Ghazzal only one day before expiry of his first detention period. The lawyer, who is a specialist on administrative detention, said that Ghazzal would serve another six months in custody. He warned that Dr. Ghazzal, 56, suffers from hypertension that causes him repeated fainting, adding that he was taken to Ramle prison hospital on several occasions for that reason … The renewal coincided with his family’s preparations to receive him at home on Thursday. All family members were frustrated and infuriated at the IOA step, which did not care less about their feelings.
Israeli court sentences Tulkaren detainee to 30 years
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 5 Apr — An Israeli military court sentenced Omar Jaber, 55, from Tulkarem to 30 years in prison, the Ahrar center for Palestinian prisoners said on Thursday. Wisam Ghbariyeh, a lawyer at the center, said Omar Jaber was first arrested in 2008. Jaber suffers from diabetes, severe infections in the colon, and a stomach ulcer, the center says. He has undergone investigation by Israeli officers for 61 days in a row.
IOF prevents 10 Jerusalemites from reaching Bab al-Amoud for 20 days
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 Apr — The Israeli Magistrate Court released ten Jerusalemites on bail of 500 shekels each, in addition to preventing them from reaching Bab al-Amoud in occupied Jerusalem for 20 days. The detainees’ lawyer confirmed that the ban includes Nasser Kaws, the director of the Palestinian Prisoner Society in Jerusalem, and a Jerusalemite child. Inaam Kolemboa’s detention was extended until Friday to submit an indictment against her, the lawyer added.
Israeli authorities release 2 detainees
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Apr – Israel’s prison service released on Thursday Abdul Rahim Al-Qaqa and Aref Tabanja. In a statement, the Democratic Front reported that detainee al-Qaqa, 29, from Nablus, spent eight years and a half at Israeli prisons accused of affiliation to the national resistance brigades, the military wing affiliated to the DFLP. The statement added that detainee Aref from Nablus spent seven years in Israeli detention facilities accused of affiliation to the al-Aqsa Brigades. [accused of…. not convicted of?]
PA liaison offices secure release of 2 teenagers
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Apr – Palestinian liaison officials in Ramallah and Jenin were able to secure the release of two Palestinian teenagers who were arrested by the Israeli army recently. Nineteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Fkheida, from Ramallah, was released on Wednesday night. He had been accused of throwing stones at Israeli troops. In Jenin, meanwhile, liaison officials secured the release of 15 year-old Hussam Shahin who was seized near the separation wall accused of throwing stones. Shahin is from Faqua village in eastern Jenin.
Refugees outside Palestine
Grandi: 30,000 Palestinian refugees fled Syria
BEIRUT (PIC) 4 Apr — UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi has revealed that more than 30,000 Palestinian refugees have fled Syria to neighboring countries. Grandi said in a press release on Wednesday after meeting premier of the Lebanese caretaker government Najib Mikati that the discussion tackled the conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon especially those who fled Syria to Lebanon.
Political, diplomatic, economic developments
Aide: Abbas demands 2-state map from Netanyahu
RAMALLAH (AFP) 5 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Israel’s prime minister present a map for a future Palestinian state before any peace talks can resume, an aide said Friday. Abbas “wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to (US Secretary of State John) Kerry, what the prime minister’s view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders,” political adviser Nimr Hammad said. The remarks came just days ahead of a visit by Kerry, who will hold fortnightly meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as he tries to revive the stalled peace process. “Any return to negotiations requires Netanyahu to agree on 1967 borders,” Hammad said.
Abbas ‘to suspend unilateral action against Israel’
RAMALLAH (AFP) 4 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas will temporarily refrain from unilateral action against Israel to give US-brokered peace talks a chance to resume, a Palestinian official said on Thursday. “Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have decided to give a sufficient chance for (US Secretary of State John) Kerry’s efforts to succeed,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. For around two months, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority would suspend all unilateral measures through United Nations agencies and would refrain from taking a case against Israel to the International Criminal Court, he said. The Palestinians’ unilateral measure of seeking upgraded status at the UN late last year angered Israel and the United States, although it won overwhelming international support … The official warned, however, that if Israel failed to halt settlement building — a Palestinian precondition for any talks to take place — the PA would immediately begin working through the international bodies again. “Settlement building in E1 is a red line and erecting so much as one stone in the area … would destroy the (possibility of a) two-state solution,” he said.
PCHR: ‘In light of ongoing violations, Palestine must join the ICC’
4 Apr — PCHR urges President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership to follow through on recent statements they have made, in which they have pledged to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Palestinian leadership must fulfil their responsibilities in ensuring justice and redress for Palestinian victims of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. In light of the continued failure of the Israeli legal system to provide justice, the Palestinian leadership must seek it through the international courts
EU contributes 12 million euros to PA salaries
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — The European Union has made a contribution to the payment of the March salaries and pensions of around 76,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners, the EU said Thursday.
Meshaal makes maiden speech of new term as Hamas leader
MEMO 4 Apr — The newly re-elected head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, has confirmed that the movement is suffering a severe financial crisis, not least because Arab and Muslim donors have many other issues to support. “We used to have adequate financial resources, but not now,” Meshaal told a meeting of Workers for the Sake of Jerusalem in Cairo. “This is not a secret that we are just disclosing, by the way.”
Haniyeh returns to Gaza as deputy Hamas chief
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Apr – Prime minister of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday arrived in the coastal enclave after a five-day visit to Cairo. During his stay in Cairo, Haniyeh met with Egyptian officials and discussed several issues including Israeli violations of the truce Egypt brokered between Hamas and Israel … Furthermore, Haniyeh attended a general meeting for Hamas’ leadership dedicated to elect new members of the movement’s politburo. Current chief Khalid Mashaal was reelected and Haniyeh was elected deputy chief of the politburo, according to a statement released by Hamas earlier this week.
Hamas elections exclude Zahhar, Rishq
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Apr — Two senior members of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahhar and Ezzat al-Rishq, were not re-elected in the recent elections, sources from Hamas told Ma‘an on Friday. Mahmoud al-Zahhar, Ezzat al-Rishq, and Sami Khater were not re-elected in the recent elections that secured Khalid Mashaal another term as secretary-general. A source added that the excluded Hamas members were now “out of the decision-making circle” in Hamas’ leadership despite that the latter two are considered close to Mashaal. The sources suspected al-Zahhar was not re-elected because of his willingness to criticize Hamas in public.
Resheq to US State Department: Hamas does not beg for dialog
BEIRUT (PIC) 5 Apr — Member of Hamas political bureau Ezzat Resheq rejected statements of U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland in which she said that U.S. will not hold dialog with Hamas before its commitment to meet the international Quartet demands. Nuland said on Thursday that the international Quartet demands are represented in rejecting terrorism, recognizing Israel, and recognizing the agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians. The Hamas leader stressed his complete rejection of these statements, which he described as a continuation of the U.S. administration biased policy to the occupation.
Bolivian president meets PMA chief in La Paz
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Apr — Bolivian President Evo Morales met with the Palestine Monetary Authority governor, Jihad al-Wazir, in La Paz on Thursday and expressed support for President Mahmoud Abbas … Morales was quoted as saying that “President Abbas has always been a struggler. Palestine to me and my country is an existing full member state, and the current situation does not devalue it at all’.
From Land Day to prisoner solidarity: A week in photos
Activestills 4 Apr — This week: commemorations of Land Day across Israel and the West Bank, solidarity marches in the South Hebron Hills, clashes ensue after a prisoner’s death, an Israeli draft refuser, and South Africans march for justice.
Incitement charges brought against Haaretz and its journalist Amira Hass
MEMO 4 Apr — The Council of Settlements in the West Bank have demanded the opening of a police investigation into the Haaretz newspapers and its journalist, Amira Hass, following the publication of an article yesterday which addressed the issue of Palestinian rights to throw rocks as a means of self-defence. On Thursday, Maariv newspaper added that the secretary-general and the regional head of the Council had both submitted written reports to the Jerusalem police demanding an investigation of the newspaper and the journalist, as the article allegedly incites violence … Yesterday, the “Judiciary of the land of Israel” made a request to the government’s Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, to investigate the alleged incitement published in the article. The article also caused a storm in political circles, and Knesset member from The Jewish Home party, Orit Strock, said that it was “dangerous incitement toward violent acts against civilians and an encouragement to assault soldiers”. She also expressed astonishment that an Israeli newspaper would publish an article which, according to her, promotes bloodshed and violence
Air France fined in pro-Palestinian activist case
BBC 4 Apr – A French court has found Air France guilty of discrimination for removing a pro-Palestinian activist from a flight to Israel because she was not Jewish. The court also ordered the airline to pay 13,000 euros (£11,000; $17,000) in fines and damages. Horia Ankour had planned to fly to Tel Aviv from Nice to join other activists in a pro-Palestinian campaign. Air France said she was on a list undesirables provided by Israel. The company said it would appeal.
‘Flytilla’ campaign The incident happened during what was dubbed by the media the “flytilla” campaign in April 2012 – when hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists sought to fly to Israel and then make their way to the occupied West Bank. Shortly before take-off last April, Ms Ankour, a 30-year-old nursing student, was asked by an Air France employee whether she had an Israeli passport or was Jewish. She answered “No” to both questions, and was then escorted off the plane. The French court on Thursday concluded this was a clear-cut case of racial discrimination.
BBC defends false claims linking Rachel Corrie to killings of Israeli soldiers
London (EI) 3 Apr by Amena Saleem — The extent to which the BBC is prepared to misreport on the Israeli occupation has been made clear once again. A new ruling by the BBC Trust has defended the corporation’s coverage of the Rachel Corrie case, even though it falsely implied that the unarmed activist was in some way responsible for the deaths of Israeli soldiers.
New IDF commander charged with preventing another intifada
Haaretz 5 Apr by Amos Harel — Since 2007, the security and political situation in the West Bank has been fairly convenient for Israel. For incoming commander of Judea and Samaria division, it will be harder to ignore the signs on the ground that Israel and the PA will have trouble maintaining cooperation over time … Under the current circumstances, commanding the forces in the West Bank is one of the most sensitive in the IDF. The incoming commander, Brig. Gen. Tamir Yedai, has relatively meager operational experience in the sector he took command of Thursday. Yedai did most of his service on both sides of the border with Lebanon, among other positions as commander of the Golani Brigade during the Second Lebanon War.
Israel denies link with arms ship seized by Egypt
JERUSALEM (AFP) 5 Apr — Israel’s government on Friday strenuously denied it had any link to an arms-laden ship that Egypt said its navy seized as it sailed from the Israeli port of Eilat to Togo in West Africa. “Nobody in Israel knows anything about this ship. It’s clear that it did not come from Eilat or any other Israeli port,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.
Opinion / Analysis / History
The PLO’s dangerous land swaps rhetoric / Samah Sabawi
Al Jazeera 3 Apr — …The “land swaps” rhetoric is designed to protect the large Israeli settlement blocks and of course their buffer zones, settler-only roads and infrastructure – all built on prime agricultural Palestinian land, from being included in any Palestinian state. As PLO representatives parrot the parlance of “land swaps”, they need to remember that these settlements they are protecting are responsible not only for destroying Palestinian livelihood, but also for theft of Palestinian resources most important of which is water. Today, the PLO/PA has been boxed into an Israeli-American framework. Not only are they unable to realise that Israel has created the irreversible reality of a single state on the ground, they are not even capable of imagining a situation where they would change the mantra of direct negotiations with Israel to a call for international arbitration or a referral to the International Court of Justice.
Who may resist (or, ‘Do you see any smokestacks?’) / Ilene Cohen
Mondoweiss 5 Apr — For any active colonial enterprise, the answer is that no one may resist, not violently, not nonviolently — not in any way, because the business of a colonial power is to maintain itself as a colonial power. To that end, it demands the passivity, compliance, and collaboration of the colonized people. When, historically, compliance is not forthcoming, the colonial power responds with repression and violence. Israel — with its relatively small (by the numbers; think India, by contrast) but still very real colonial occupation — is no different. Colonial powers do not acknowledge that there’s anything wrong with what they’re doing; indeed, they defend their actions as legal and just. Thus, it is the resistance that is the crime …
Amira Hass has the heart of a lion. She stands apart for her decades-long struggle as a journalist to expose the ugly, suppressed truth about the occupation and to challenge it. Read the comments that accompany her articles and you’ll see the vitriol directed at her. Yesterday she wrote about resistance: “Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance. Persecution of stone-throwers, including 8-year-old children, is an inseparable part − though it’s not always spelled out − of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources.” It has generated the virulent response one would expect
New testimonies on Bus 300 affair reveal how lies protested Israel’s secret service / Gidi Weitz
Haaretz 4 Apr — Three decades after security agents covered up the killing of Palestinian hijackers, the incident continues to make waves … Is there anything left to say about the Bus 300 affair? Surely everything has been told by now (see Timeline, Page 14): the capture of two of the four hijackers of a bus on the Tel Aviv-Ashkelon route (bus number 300) on April 12, 1984; the illegal order to eliminate them given by Avraham Shalom, the head of the Shin Bet; the false testimonies by top Shin Bet officials to the commissions of inquiry; the active involvement of Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres in concealing the events; and the pardons granted by Israel’s president, Chaim Herzog. Yet it is consistently surprising to discover anew the efforts still being made by the Shin Bet, nearly three decades on – with the backing of the state prosecution – to cover up the entrails of the affair, the hidden archival material that documents it, stage by stage.
Israel’s great challenge: gun-hating, gay-backing, grass-smoking young Americans,
Haaretz 5 Apr by Chemi Shalev — Support for Israel is lowest among the very same demographic groups that are increasingly winning American hearts and minds on domestic and social issues … Support for Israel, on the other hand, runs in the opposite direction: older, conservative and Republican Americans tend to prefer Israel over the Palestinians by overwhelming numbers, while younger, liberal and Democratic Americans are more ambivalent. In a January Pew poll, the gap between “conservative Republicans” and “liberal Democrats” on this matter was no less than a staggering 75%-33%. Thus, while Israel’s continues to enjoy substantial overall support in the American public, its weakest links are to be found among the groups that are now on the ascendant on most domestic and social issues of the day.
Egypt’s political, military leadership divided over support for Hamas / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 6 Apr — The economic-security pressure which the Egyptian army is exerting on Hamas is showing Morsi the limits of his power in conducting negotiations with the Palestinians … But the close relationship between the head of Egyptian intelligence and Meshal does not mean that the relationship between Hamas and the Egyptian army — as opposed to the ties the Islamist organization has with the Egyptian president — is proceeding calmly. For example, even as Meshal and Haniyeh held talks with the top officers in Egyptian intelligence last weekend, the Egyptian army continued to demolish the tunnels that link the Gaza Strip and Sinai. After destroying some 250 last month, the army flooded another 76 tunnels with sewage, after locating them by means of satellite information, probably in cooperation with the United States. The dozens of trucks that arrived in the area of the tunnels to unload their wares had to return to El-Arish. They left behind not only disappointed Gazan and Egyptian merchants, but also a wave of price rises in Gaza and economic damage to the Hamas government, which collects fees for the transfer of goods through the tunnels … The refusal by army officials to meet with leaders of Hamas, and the ongoing demolition of the tunnels, are intended not only to improve security in the area or to settle accounts with Hamas. For Sissi, these actions, which enjoy public support, are also meant to show President Morsi that the army will determine where national threats exist, and will also decide on how to meet them.
Don’t tread on my hair, Hamas / Maysoon Zayid
Daily Beast 4 Apr — In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I hate Hamas. They embody everything that I, as a human being, am fighting against: oppression, religious rule, and patriarchy. They empower Israel while dividing the Palestinians. When Hamas won the parliamentary elections in 2006, I cried like somebody had stabbed my cat. Palestinians had made the fatal mistake Egyptians would make seven years later when they elected Morsi. If you elect a religious party into power, you no longer have a democracy. I’m sick to death of hearing that ignorant mantra, “Hamas was democratically elected.” The operative word is “was.” Their term has been up for four years. They are no longer democratically elected; they are warlords, and the Palestinian Authority has gifted them free rein. The Palestine I know is a place where Christians and Muslims are equal. My mother, a Muslim village girl, attended a Catholic girls’ school in Ramallah, and my refugee husband spent the Second Intifada side by side with his Christian brothers from Bethlehem. Some areas are conservative, some are not.