Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israel constructed 16,000 settlement units over the past 3 years
MEMO 22 May — Saeb Erekat, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee, stated that the Israeli government “Continues to exercise the settlement policy on the occupied Palestinian territories.” During a meeting with the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Erekat said: “The total number of Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land after Benjamin Netanyahu came into office from 2009 to 2012 has reached over 16,000 settlement units. On average, this is 11 new settlement units a day.”
He added that an increase of settler acts of violence against the Palestinians has been observed in the last few years, “At an alarming rate.” He explained that the violent acts committed by settlers increased from 2009 to the end of 2012 by 315 per cent. Such acts include killing innocents and setting fire to trees, mosques, and churches, all of which are carried out under the protection of the Israeli army.” He also pointed out that “Since the appointment of the Minister of Defence, Moshe Ya’alon, last month, the Israeli settlers, along with the occupation army forces, started establishing road barriers in the West Bank.”
Twilight Zone — In one evacuated West Bank settlement, victory looks like defeat
Haaretz 24 May by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — The West Bank settlement of Homesh was evacuated in 2005, but when its Palestinian landowners visited this week, they discovered hilltop youth living there — We haven’t seen Palestinians this scared and frightened in a long time. Last weekend the state informed the High Court of Justice that it was rescinding the order to seize the lands of Homesh, a settlement that was evacuated almost eight years (!) ago. We decided to drive with a few of the legal owners to their property, where they were not allowed to tread for 35 years — including the eight years since Homesh was cleared. It was a lovely spring day and we set out from their village, Burka, in the northern West Bank — whose land the settlement of Homesh overran — and headed toward Homesh. At first the landowners hesitated to go with us. It is true that the state finally dispensed with the seizure order, oddly and exasperatingly late, and even formally informed the High Court of the fact. But who better than Palestinians know that this did not mean an end to their tribulations. Far from it. In the home of the village council head, Jihad Shreida, the landowners told us that the settlers had taken over the ruins and are still living there to this very day. We did not believe them … We drove around the deserted and silent interior roads of Homesh when suddenly a group of bearded young men appeared through the oleanders. One was armed with a rifle; his friend was wearing a face mask …”What are you all doing here,” we dared to ask, and one of the young men replied, “We live here.” They hissed something about leftist Jews, milled around us in an intimidating circle, and retorted: “We hate all the Arabs here.” They declined to answer any further questions. Their conduct was strange and terrifying. The Palestinians who had come with us sat in the cars, frozen stiff with fear, trying to avoid being seen. It’s been a long while since we saw Palestinians so frightened. It was clear to all of us that we had better get out of there, as fast as possible.
Israel destroys two Palestinian houses in Jerusalem
MEMO 21 May — On Tuesday morning, Israeli authorities destroyed two Palestinian homes in the Khellat al-Ein neighbourhood to the east of the old city of Jerusalem claiming they had been built without permission … Describing the cruelty of the Israelis, a female resident of one of the houses told the Palestinian news agency Safa: “While we were sleeping, they [Israeli occupation forces] broke into our house and asked us to leave immediately.” “They did not did not give enough time for us to evacuate my grandmother and we were not allowed to take any of our property,” she added. The owners of the two houses, who are staying in a makeshift tent, said that their houses were built twelve years ago. A destruction order was issued three years ago, but the strangest aspect of the whole matter is that they have been paying construction tax for the past six years.
The Naqab: two youths from Alsid forced to destroy own homes
MEMO 23 May — The Israeli central court in Beersheba has compelled two men from the Alsid village to demolish their own homes before they were demolished by bulldozers and fined them large sums of money on top of fees that must be paid to bulldozers …A father of one of the two young men said in an interview: “Because of the difficult economic conditions and our inability to pay fines, particularly after we built the house and put all our money and effort into it over the past years, we had to do this, with bitterness and pain, to avoid getting fined at a time when we are in dire need to pay back previous debts.” It is worth mentioning that one of the houses was inhabited by its owner who got married a year ago, whereas the other owner was finalizing preparation of his house and getting ready to get married this summer.” The Negev Foundation: “This demolition is another step in the deportation schemes.”
‘This time they destroyed everything’: Uprooted Bedouins face more evictions
Atir-Umm al-Hieran (EI) 24 May by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours — A clothesline hangs between heaps of twisted metal and cracked slabs of concrete, while a handful of olive trees lay haphazardly, their roots exposed, under the scorching Naqab desert sun. Less than a week ago, this was where approximately 600 Israeli police officers were deployed to demolish 18 structures, including 10 homes, and uproot 600 trees in the “unrecognized” Palestinian Bedouin village of Atir-Umm al-Hieran, just 30 minutes from the major city of Bir al-Saba (Beersheva). Residents reported seeing approximately thirty flatbed trucks haul away most of the rubble, while Israeli police set up a dozen roadblocks in both directions along the main road, preventing residents from trying to stop the bulldozers. Only a few destroyed buildings were left behind and broken toys, notebooks and other personal effects remained scattered across the sand. “It’s the worst thing that can happen,” said Khader Abu al-Qian, a village elder, from the shade of a makeshift tent across the street from the scene of the destruction.
Jerusalem eviction postponed, offering a glimmer of hope
Al-Monitor 23 May by Linah Alsaafin — Ayoub Shamasneh, 82, his 78-year-old wife, Fatima, their son, daughter-in-law, and six grandchildren are facing possible eviction from their home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. In 2009, the family of 10 was informed by the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property that the house Ayoub had resided in for decades historically belonged to Jewish owners, and the descendants of these owners wanted the property back … In an appeal to the Jerusalem District Court in December 2012, the Shamasneh family presented documents to prove their residence before 1968, but failed to convince the judge, Anna Schneider, who issued an evacuation order for March 2013. They lost their appeal on Jan. 15, 2013, but the eviction was frozen until the Israel Supreme Court ruling on Monday, May 20, 2013. Amaney Khalifa, a community organizer based in Jerusalem, was present at the court hearing, which she described to Al-Monitor as being incredibly packed to the extent that some people were forced to stand outside. “The court tried to make a deal between the settlers who were claiming the house and the Shamasneh family,” she said. “The Shamasneh family would continue to live at their home and pay yearly rent until Ayoub Shamasneh died. The settlers flat out rejected that.” Surprisingly, no verdict was given and the case was postponed until further notice … “The postponement is not necessarily a good sign,” Khalifa continued, “but it does give more time to the Shamasneh family.”
Israel desecrates 2,350 holy sites in Palestinian territories occupied in 1948
MEMO 21 May — …In a press statement on Tuesday (5/21), the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said that “Islamic and Christian sanctities are subjected to acts of severe violence affecting their exterior, but mostly preserving their interior, despite Israel’s continuous and tireless attempts to seize these sanctities from the Islamic and Arab reality.” Data from the Al-Aqsa Foundation shows that 2,350 Islamic and Christian holy sites located in destroyed villages, as well as coastal towns in the Palestinian Territories, have been desecrated by the Israeli occupation. Abdul Majeed Aghbariya, head of the sanctities portfolio at the foundation, explained that the project of surveying and documenting Islamic and Christian sanctities in the villages destroyed in 1948, the first phase of which has been completed, found that 1,350 holy sites were documented. These sites include graves, mosques, churches and chapels in the northern area of the Palestinian territories from Caesarea to the far north, all of which have been desecrated and either partially or fully demolished by Israel. Furthermore, Aghbariya pointed out that the southern area of the Palestinian territories contains about 1,000 holy sites that have also been desecrated. Aghbariya also mentioned that hundreds of graves and mosques have been totally destroyed and those that have been partially destroyed were not spared by the Zionist authorities — dozens of mosques have been turned into restaurants, bars, museums and synagogues..
Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Amnesty: Israeli restrictions on movement of Palestinians collective punishment
RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 May — The Israeli stringent restrictions imposed on the movement of Palestinians serve as a “collective punishment” of the population of Gaza and the West Bank in flagrant violation of the international law, an international human rights organization said. Amnesty International stated in its yearly report that more than 500 Israeli military checkpoints and barriers continued to hinder Palestinian movement, in addition to a 700km fence/wall, mostly on Palestinian land within the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem and parts of al-Khalil and the Jordan Valley. The report pointed out that West Bank Palestinians are forced to get Israeli permits while the Israeli settlers are allowed to move freely in those areas. Movement restrictions compelled some 200,000 Palestinians from 70 villages to take detours between two to five times longer than the direct route to reach the closest city, undermining their access to basic services, the report said.
Photo essay: Gas, frisbees and the Apartheid Wall in Ni‘lin
Ni‘lin, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 24 May by Team Nablus — Friday demonstrations continue in the village of Ni‘lin in protest against the Occupation and Apartheid Wall which runs through the village’s land. Background on the effects of the Occupation in Ni‘lin is here. During this particular demonstration on the 24th May 2013, there were no injuries and those who were climbing the wall (as pictured below) were able to cover one of the Israeli Military Skunk Trucks in red paint. The paint enveloped the front and side windows, putting the Skunk truck out of use for this particular demonstration.
WHO: Israeli permit approval for Gaza patients lowest in two years
JERUSALEM, May 23, 2013 (WAFA) – Israeli permit approval rate for Gaza patients during April reached 83%, the lowest since January 2011, reflecting a dramatic increase in delays in responding to applications, said the World Health Organization (WHO) in its monthly report on referral of patients from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment abroad published Wednesday. However, it added, no permit denials were issued in April for the first time in the last five years. The low approval rate was due to delays in response to permit applications causing the patients to miss their hospital appointments. At total of 198 patients, or 17%, including 78 females and 120 males, did not receive a response.
A million Israeli landmines planted in occupied Palestinian West Bank
MEMO 23 May — About a million landmines have been planted by the Israeli occupation in occupied Palestinian West Bank, official Palestinian data has shown. The Commissioner General of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Washington, Maan Erekat, said: “The number of Israeli landmines planted is between 800,000 to a million.” During his meeting with UN and NGO officials in New York on Wednesday, Erekat said: “This significant number of landmines poses great direct danger to the safety and security of Palestinian citizens.” He discussed efforts with the officials he met to remove these landmines …The Israeli occupation has planted landmines in the Palestinian territories since it occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 under “security” pretexts. There are about 51 landmine fields scattered around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially in the Jordan valley, the north and west of the West Bank, near the ‘Green Line,’ around Israeli settlements and around large empty spaces where Israeli soldiers practice their military drills.
Violence / Attacks / Raids / Clashes / Arrests
In two separate incidents, two children injured by settlers’ vehicles
IMEMC 23 May — Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinian children have been seriously injured, on Wednesday, in two separate incidents after being rammed by settlers’ vehicles in the West Bank districts of Hebron and Nablus. The sources said that a 9-year-old child was seriously injured after being rammed by a settlers’ car east in As-Salayma neighborhood, east of the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city. She was moved to a local hospital; the settler fled the scene. [MEMO: The girl was identified as Zeinab al-Fakhouri.]
Furthermore, a 16-year-old Palestinian child, identified as Marwan Zakariyya ‘As‘ous, suffered serious injuries and was moved to the Rafidia Hospital, after being rammed by a settler’s car at the Beta Junction, south of Nablus. Usama Malhees, head of the Rafidia Hospital, stated that ‘As‘ous suffered various fractures and is currently on life support at the Intensive Care Unit.
On May 14, Hanin Bassem Al-Ja‘bary, 7, was injured after a settler rammed her with his vehicle close to the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Old City of Hebron. The settler fled the scene.
Dozens of claims have been filed with the Israeli police and the military in the occupied territories regarding hit and run ramming incidents carried out by Israeli settlers, but no actual measures were taken on the ground.
Jewish extremists run over a Palestinian female student near Safed
NAZARETH (PIC) 22 May — A female student at the Safed College, in the northern 1948-occupied territories, sustained injuries after being run over deliberately by Jewish extremists’ vehicle; while crossing the road heading to her college. The Association of Arab students at Safed College asserted in a press statement that they recognized the car which belongs to supporters of the Jewish extremist Bar Salab. Following the incident, the ambulances arrived to the place and took the student to the Western Galilee Hospital to receive treatment, while her father filed a complaint to the Israeli police.
‘Mom, what happened to my legs’
WAFA News 25 May — Translated By Saed Bannoura — IMEMC — Ata Mohammad Sharaka is only 13 years old, last week he was shot in the back, by a live round fired by Israeli soldiers at him near the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. He was then moved to the Hadassah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, suffering serious injuries, after the bullets hit his spine causing paralysis. “Last Sunday, April 19, Ata came back home without his schoolbag after Israeli soldiers took it from him when they detained several students of the UNRWA school in the camp,” his mother, I‘timad Yassin, who stays next to him at his hospital bed, told WAFA, “They told him he’ll get his bag the next day from the school principal.” The next day, Ata went to get his school bag, the situation in the refugee camp was calm, no clashes or confrontations, and then he bought Coke and sat in front of the shop to drink it. He suddenly then fell onto the ground, and could not get up, he did not know what hit him, and shouted at some children playing nearby who rushed to help him, but they did not know what is wrong, and asked a young man to help … The soldiers claim that they shot him during clashes, and that he was trying to climb a settlement wall. “But my son was shot while sitting in front of the shop, trying to drink his coke, in an area that is far away from the settlement and its walls…”, the mother said.
Palestinian hospitalized after IDF handcuffs, abandons him at checkpoint
972blog 23 May by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem found himself dehydrated in a Hebron hospital after border policemen and soldiers handcuffed, blindfolded and abandoned him in a car on a hot day in May — About two weeks ago, A. was on his way from Hebron to Jerusalem. A is a resident of Abu Dis, and married to a resident of East Jerusalem; as such, he enjoys Israeli residency. But as he was about to find out, that didn’t help him all that much. On his way home, A. passed through a checkpoint charmingly named “the humanitarian checkpoint,” where he ran into a surprise roadblock, manned by a mixed force of soldiers and border policemen. The soldiers first searched A. before searching his vehicle – they found nothing suspicious. But then the all-too-common occurrence turned surreal. A. says that two border policemen told him that he must speak Hebrew. A., who does not, denied it. The two began laughing, and then someone (A. was with his back to him, so he can’t say if it was a soldier or a policeman) held him from behind, handcuffed him, blindfolded him, put him in the vehicle and left him there.
‘No one can explain to me why’
[with photos] Kafr Qalil (ISM) 22 May by Nablus Team — The Israeli army invaded seven family homes in the village of Kafr Qalil, south of Nablus, between 1am and 2am on 20th May. They trashed the properties and people’s possessions and stayed in them for several hours apiece. Lastly, they arrested a university student, Saleh al-Amer, 22. Instead of just ringing the bell, they obliterated the homes’ heavy metal doors, creating fear and manifesting uncertainty for the innocent residents. They were given no reason for the destruction of their property despite repeatedly asking for one. Nader Soloman, one of those who had his home invaded, having his 2 and 4 year-old daughters terrified in the process, even spoke in Hebrew but answers were still refused. The army ransacked their homes, ordered the adults and children about, broke their furnishings and emptied cupboards of clothes, throwing them on the floor to then continually walk all over them. The army remained in the homes for 4 to 5 hours … The younger children are now traumatized by the event, crying when they see images of the army on the TV, while other family members are unable to sleep. Saleh’s younger sister explained to the activists who came to speak with the family that Saleh had done nothing wrong; “my brother is the most lovely person, we can’t live without my brother. He needs to come back to his house, to his family, his village, study”. Saleh had just finished his first-year university exams and was happy about the changes to the family home to accommodate him and his soon-to-be wife.
Palestinian injured in clashes near Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 24 May — A Palestinian man was injured in the head in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya, a Ma‘an reporter said. Ayman Nazzal, a driver for the Palestinian Broadcast Corp., was taken to a hospital in Nablus after being struck at close range by a tear-gas canister. Dozens of others including a 10-year-old suffered tear-gas inhalation. Some 20 olive trees also burned after a fire erupted in the same area.
Israeli troops raid Beit Jala training center
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 May — Israeli forces raided a vocational training center in the Bethlehem-area town of Beit Jala on Wednesday, witnesses said. Military vehicles entered a northern area of Beit Jala and soldiers raided the center, which offers training courses to young people in handicrafts, IT and other vocational skills. Soldiers confiscated the identity cards of employees at the center and erected a temporary checkpoint in the area. The purpose of the raid was not immediately clear.
Israel arrests 7 citizens in West Bank including 3 brothers
WEST BANK (PIC) 23 May — An Israeli force raided at dawn Wednesday the house of Hamas leader Sheikh Jibril Jiyawi in Ethna village, southern al-Khalil, and arrested his three sons … The Israeli soldiers have also stormed the ‘Aroub refugee camp north of al-Khalil where they searched the houses using sniffer dogs and arrested two youths. The incursions and raids included several towns in al-Khalil, including Beit Ummar and Dura where clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and the Israeli soldiers. In Tubas, IOF troops on several military vehicles stormed the town of Tammun, and arrested a citizen after raiding and searching his home, then took him to an unknown destination. Local sources reported that the IOF raided the neighboring Fara‘a camp, and erected a checkpoint at its entrance, then started stopping and searching Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile; the Israeli troops raided and searched many houses and shops early Wednesday in the village of al-Muguir. They also erected three checkpoints in Jenin, and stopped the vehicles. A military force stormed on Tuesday evening the house of family of prisoner Ayman Sharawna, deported to Gaza, in the town of Deir Samit, southwest of al-Khalil, in an attempt to arrest his brother Jihad, who was not present in the house. In Nablus, a large number of Israeli occupation troops stormed the village of Yasid north of the city at dawn Wednesday and broke into a number of houses and neighborhoods, locals said. They added that the occupation forces arrested a 58-year-old citizen after raiding his home, and transferred him to an unknown destination.
The IOF arrests 12 citizens from West Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 24 May — The Israeli occupation forces arrested 12 Palestinian youths at dawn Thursday from different parts in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, for interrogation. In Ramallah, an Israeli military force stormed the village of Beit Anan and arrested two young men after searching their homes … The Israeli forces raided at dawn Thursday the villages of Ya‘bad and Zabouna in Jenin, where they arrested five young men after searching their houses, and summoned another to its intelligence office in Salem camp west of Jenin, locals reported. In occupied Jerusalem, the occupation soldiers arrested two 13-year-old boys in the Old City, and took them to the police station of Beit Eliahu in Bab Selsila in the city for questioning them. Another Israeli force on four military jeeps raided the village of Khursa, near Dura city in al-Khalil, and arrested three Palestinian youths, including two brothers, after raiding their homes.
Israel detains 5 students in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 May — Israeli forces detained five students from a school belonging to an Islamic orphanage after they were accused of attacking a settler in Jerusalem, officials said Wednesday. Headmaster Mazen Jamjoum told Ma‘an that Israeli troops raided the school and detained five students between the ages of 13 to 15. Jamjoum says Israeli police told him they were checking surveillance cameras to verify the settler’s claims that the students attacked him.
Meanwhile witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli troops detained two Palestinians while walking in Jerusalem’s Old City market. Israeli tax officials were raiding Jerusalem markets and handing out orders for merchants to comply with Israeli dictates.
Witnesses: Undercover Israeli unit arrests man in Jenin [and assaults another]
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 May — An undercover Israeli unit arrested a man in Jenin on Wednesday, locals said. Shuja Irsan al-Qureini was arrested after a Mercedes with Palestinian plates pulled up beside him in Jenin, witnesses said. The car had stopped in front of laborers heading to a nearby rubbish site, and the driver asked Rabee Jaradat his name before physically assaulting him, witnesses said. “The undercover agents then asked about Shuja Irsan al-Qureini, and after they checked his identity, they pushed him into their vehicle and took him to an unknown direction,” locals said. After the car left, Jaradat was evacuated to a hospital in Jenin, where he was transferred to the intensive care unit.
Israel arrests PA security officers over 2011 settler death
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 22 May — Israeli forces detained three PA security officers overnight Tuesday accused of being involved in the 2011 death of a settler in Nablus, locals said … The three men had recently been released from Palestinian Authority custody after serving a year in jail for causing the death of a settler in Nablus. In 2011, settler Ben-Yosef Livnat, 24, was shot dead and four others injured by PA security forces after trying to enter Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus without coordinating with Palestinian or Israeli security officials. Israeli security officials speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that an initial investigation showed the settlers had tried to bypass a Palestinian patrol in a parked jeep, prompting the police to fire first in the air and then open fire on their vehicles. Palestinian officials refused to hand over the security officers involved in the incident to Israeli custody after the incident, and they served prison time in PA custody.
PA forces continue political arrests in WB
WEST BANK (PIC) 23 May — PA security agencies continued the political arrest policy against Hamas supporters and members in the occupied West Bank. PA forces arrested and summoned two Hamas supporters and continued the detention of two others in Tulkarem, while the PA court extended the detention of two others in Bethlehem.
PCHR Weekly Report: 17 civilians wounded, including 12 children, by Israeli troops this week
IMEMC 24 May –Israeli attacks in the West Bank: During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 32 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and 2 women, were abducted in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 17 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. 3 civilians were wounded during incursions in the Palestinian communities, while 14 others, including 12 children, were wounded in peaceful protests in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah…. Full Report
Israeli soldiers shoot at Palestinian citizen northern Gaza Strip
GAZA (PIC) 24 May — A Palestinian young man was injured on Thursday afternoon by Israeli fire to the east of Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip, medics told PIC’s correspondent. The sources said that the citizen, in his twenties, was moderately wounded in his foot, near a cemetery east of Jabaliya and was transferred to the Kamal Adwan hospital to receive treatment.
Palestinian killed in tunnel accident in Rafah
IMEMC — Friday evening, May 24, 2013, Palestinian medical sources have reported that one Palestinian was killed and another was injured when a siege-busting tunnel collapsed on them, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources said that Hamad Odah Abu Shallouf, 25, was buried under the rubble of the collapsed tunnel. Medics and rescue teams arrived at the scene and located his body, one resident was also injured in the incident. At least 232 Palestinians have been killed in similar accidents since the Israeli siege was imposed on Gaza in June of 2007.
Why does the IDF hold Gazan fishermen responsible for rocket launching?
972mag 23 May by Noam Sheizaf — The IDF will allow Gaza fishermen to go beyond three-mile zone previously imposed on them and up to six miles into the Mediterranean Sea, it announced on Tuesday. Under the Oslo Accords, Gaza’s maritime boundaries stretch 20 nautical miles from shore. However, as a part of its blockade policy, Israel does not allow fishermen to travel beyond a narrow strip of three to six miles — an area which changes at the discretion of the government and defense minister. The Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world (see map below) and fishing constitutes an important source of food and employment for many. The IDF Spokesperson’s announcement on Tuesday basically confirmed that the army collectively punishes Gazan fishermen for rockets launched from the Strip … Recent attempts to launch rockets from the Strip have been carried out by tiny radical organizations that even Hamas has trouble to controlling. So why are Gaza’s fishermen being punished for it?
Toxic gas used as anesthesia in Gaza hospital
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 May – Anesthesiologists in Gaza hospitals confirmed Wednesday that a nitrous oxide canister, bought from Israel, contained carbon monoxide and was used mistakenly. Gaza minister of health Mufeed Mukhallalati says medics at al-Shifa Hospital had an “unprecedented case which almost killed several patients at the hospital’s main operation room.” He added that anesthesiologists noticed that the patients’ reaction to the anesthetic gas was very dangerous. Four patients suffered severe cardiac arrest but medics managed to save the patients’ lives … “In Gaza, we are not allowed to produce nitrous dioxide or import it except via Israel, so we are investigating how the anesthetic gas was replaced with carbon monoxide,” al-Mukhallalati said. He highlighted that his ministry notified the Red Cross and the World Health Organization about the incident.
Limited Israeli incursion east of Khan Younis
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 May — Israeli military vehicles crossed the border line with the Gaza Strip east of Khan Younis early Thursday, witnesses said. Six Israeli bulldozers moved several hundred meters toward Khan Younis at about 6:30 a.m. amid gunfire, before withdrawing. There were no reports of injury or damage.
Limited Israeli incursion into southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 24 May — Israeli military vehicles crossed the border line with the Gaza Strip east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, early Thursday. A field observer told Quds Press that several tanks and Israeli bulldozers raided east of Qarara village, northeast of Khan Younis, and bulldozed agricultural lands. The occupation forces opened heavy fire in the place, forcing the farmers to leave their lands. No injuries were reported, he added.
Arab and Turkish businessmen visit Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 24 May — A delegation of Arab and Turkish businessmen arrived on Thursday in the Gaza Strip on a solidarity trip. The delegation, which includes thirty-nine businessmen, was received at the Rafah crossing by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Economy Hatem Owaida and a number of Palestinian officials. The businessmen were scheduled to attend an international investment conference in Gaza City. However, the conference was postponed due to five-day closure of Rafah crossing after the abduction of the seven Egyptian soldiers.
Six nautical miles not enough for Gaza fishermen
Al-Monitor 22 May by Abeer Ayyoub — Too little, too late. This is what Gaza’s fishermen thought of Israel’s decision to re-extend the fishing zone to 6 nautical miles after more than two months of tight restrictions … Israel’s restriction on fishing for Gazans to 3 nautical miles, imposed in March this year, violated an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement signed in November 2012 that granted Palestinian fishermen in Gaza access to six nautical miles out from shore. Israel had restricted the zone to three nautical miles for the previous seven years. The current six miles also falls drastically short of the 20 nautical miles allocated to Gaza’s fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The allowed area also will not do much to improve the fishermen’s intake as according to them, a decent amount of fish is not accessible until ten nautical miles.
Hamas tightens ban on travel from Gaza
Al-Monitor 21 May by Mohammed Suliman — The lack of the freedom of movement is possibly the most manifest feature of the Israeli-imposed blockade in the Gaza Strip … Only in rare cases and with such great difficulty are certain groups of Palestinians, namely medical patients, allowed to go beyond the Erez crossing into Israel or the West Bank. The restriction on the Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement is not exclusively Israeli-imposed however. The Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip has imposed further restrictions on Palestinians willing to travel via the Erez crossing, and, has recently banned several Palestinians from travel via the Israeli checkpoint. Most recently, on Sunday, May 12, members of the Hamas government’s Internal Security services stationed at the Erez crossing have prevented two Palestinian human rights workers from travel to the West Bank … In a news release published on its website, PCHR described the incident … the Hamas government’s ban on travel has targeted not only Fatah officials and human rights defenders but also journalists and young activists. The travel ban, in addition, has not been the government’s policy for only those who seek travel via Erez crossing but has in fact taken place, rather more frequently, at the Rafah crossing with Egypt, too.
Haniyeh: Security in Sinai is an integral part of Palestinian national security
MEMO 23 May — On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned Al-Areesh Governor, Abdel Fatah Harhour, and congratulated him on the release and safe return of some recently detained soldiers. He also thanked him for his kindness and hospitality towards the Palestinian people who were held up on the Egyptian side during the crisis. Haniyeh highlighted the strong relations between Palestine and Egypt, and wished Egypt security and stability. He also stressed that “security in Sinai is an integral part of Palestinian national security.”
Gaza: 2 convicted collaborators sentenced to death
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 May — A court in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Thursday sentenced two people to death and a third to hard labor after they were found guilty of collaboration with Israeli intelligence. A Ma‘an reporter said two convicts, one of whom is 43 years old, were sentenced to death by hanging. A 53-year-old man was sentenced to hard labor. Neither were identified by name. A military high court in Gaza approved the verdicts … all execution orders must be approved by the president before they can be carried out. Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of incumbent Mahmoud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.
PCHR refutes findings of Israeli committee concerning killing of Mohammed al-Durrah
22 May — …PCHR carried out an investigation of the incident after it occurred, the findings of which completely contradict the assertions in the Israeli report. As a part of its investigations, PCHR’s lawyers collected affidavits from the following persons: 1- Mr Talal Hassan Abu Rahma, a photographer for France 2 television who witnessed the incident; 2- Mr Ma‘ali Suleiman Hussain Selmi, head of the reception department at Shifa hospital in Gaza City; and 3- Mr Fathi Ahmed Mas‘oud al-Louh, an ambulance driver who was present at the Netzarim junction on the day of the incident and was seriously injured by Israeli gunfire. Abu Rahma, who was present during the incident, stated that Israeli forces fired intensively and intermittently at Mohammed and Jamal. The victims were then evacuated to Shifa hospital by ambulance, where Mohammed was pronounced dead on arrival. Mas‘oud al Louh, who was present at the Netzarim junction on the day when the incident took place, stated that he had witnessed Israeli forces firing live bullets that day. Al-Louh also stated that, while tending to a number of injured persons, he himself was injured by a rubber coated metal bullet in his right leg, and shortly after that he was injured when a live bullet grazed the top of his head.
Detainees / Hunger strikers / Court actions
WATCH: Gaza children prohibited from visiting imprisoned fathers
972mag 23 May by Noam Sheizaf — This past month, for the first time since 2007, Palestinian children under the age of eight were granted permission to visit their parents in Israeli prisons. The decision to allow family visits to Palestinians in Israeli prisons was made last summer, following a six-week hunger strike by some 2,000 prisoners. Palestinian kids from Gaza above the age of eight are still prohibited from visiting their parents — the same goes for grandchildren and siblings. There are over 500 prisoners — among them 14 minors — from Gaza held in Israel. Over 400 of them are “security inmates” and approximately 100 prisoners are “criminal inmates.” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has launched a campaign calling to allow full families visits to all Palestinian prisoners. Here is a short video with testimonies of children who have been prevented from meeting their fathers for several years now.
Hunger-striker agrees to Gaza deportation for 10 years
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 23 May – Palestinian prisoner Ayman Abu Dawood on Thursday accepted an Israeli proposal to send him to the Gaza Strip for 10 years after he ends a hunger strike he started on April 14. Abu Dawood notified his lawyer Fadi Qawasmi in person about accepting the Israeli suggestion. Qawasmi has visited Abu Dawood at Affula prison, according to the senior lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Jawad Bolous. According to the agreement, Abu Dawood will be sent to the Gaza Strip three months from now. For its part, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society reiterated its opposition to deportation of Palestinian prisoners. It bases its position on the assumption that deportation is “the toughest punishment a Palestinian citizen may face.” However, the group said it respects Abu Dawood’s decision.
Detainee continues hunger strike, demands release
IMEMC 25 May — Palestinian detainee, Ayman Issa Hamdan, who went on hunger strike 27 days ago, rejected an Israeli “offer” for an additional six-month extension of his Administrative Detention, without trial, and demanded his unconditional release. Palestinian Minister of Detainee, Issa Qaraqe‘, stated that an Israeli security officer went to the Ofer Israeli prison, where Hamdan is being held, and told him that if he stops his strike, he will “only” receive one more six-month extension of his administrative detention.
IPS transfers Abu Sisi to Eichel solitary confinement
GAZA (PIC) 24 May — The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has transferred the isolated prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi, director of Gaza power plant, from Ohlikdar solitary confinement to Eishel isolation in Beersheba in southern 1948-occupied territories, a human rights institution stated … Dirar Abu Sisi, 43, was kidnapped by the Israeli Intelligence (Mossad) from the Ukraine on February 18, 2011, and then transferred to Israeli jails where he is being isolated for the past two years. Abu Sisi is the sole Palestinian prisoner who was kidnapped outside the Palestinian territories and the only isolated prisoner in Israeli jails since two years where the IPS refused to put an end to his isolation following the Dignity strike in 11 April 2012.
Israel renews administrative detention of 11 Palestinians
MEMO 21 May — Al-Tadamun human rights organisation said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation has renewed the administrative detention of 11 Palestinians, including a former hunger striker and two Palestinian lawmakers.
Israel renews administrative detention of 7 captives
GAZA (PIC) 23 May — Tadhamun Foundation for Human Rights reported that the Israeli occupation authorities renewed on Wednesday the administrative detention of 7 Palestinian prisoners. According to the Foundation’s lawyer for administrative detainees Osama Maqboul, the occupation authorities extended the administrative detention of four prisoners to 6 more months, two to 3 more months and one to 4 more months.
Gaza prisoner’s wife impregnated via sperm smuggled from jail
Al-Monitor 23 May by Hazem Balousha — After six years of detention in Israeli prisons, Tamer succeeded in getting his wife, Hana, pregnant by smuggling his sperm out of prison. It was the first such scheme in the Gaza Strip, after five others involving the West Bank. When Hana al-Za‘anin, 26, found out that she was pregnant, she couldn’t hold back her tears. She was happy for her pregnancy but sad that her husband, Tamer al-Za‘anin, 28, has been behind bars in Israel for nearly six years.
Israel frees Palestinian MP and member of Qassam Brigades
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 24 May — Israeli authorities on Thursday released MP Fathi Ali al-Qarawi, from Tulkarem, in the northern West Bank and the al-Qassam affiliate captive Majdi Ibrahim from al-Khalil. Qarawi, from Nur al-Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem, was arrested on 23 November 2012 and was held under the administrative detention for seven months…
The occupation authorities have also released on Thursday afternoon captive Majdi Ibrahim Jabari, aged 35 from al-Khalil, after spending 15 and a half years in the Israeli jails. Jabari was arrested on 24 November 1997 for his affiliation with the Qassam Brigades, and for attempting to capture Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them with Palestinian captives.
Jamila Shalaldeh, accused of assaulting 13 soldiers, found innocent by Ofer Military Court
ISM 12 May by Team Khalil — …Jamila and her son Abdel were visibly nervous before her trial. Fortunately, the Israeli military judge agreed with Jamila and her family that the charges against her were absolutely absurd. He even laughed when he heard the evidence filed against her. Initially, Jamila had been ordered to pay 7,000 shekels, later reduced to 1,750 shekels. On March 21st, the judge declared Jamila innocent and further reduced the fine to 1,000 shekels. Still, it’s disturbing that an innocent woman is forced to pay anything for having to endure a terrifying attack on her family and home.
On October 30th 2012 at 2am, more than fifty Israeli soldiers surrounded the home Jamila Shalaldeh shares with her three children and young grandson, near Checkpoint 56 on Shuhada Street in Hebron. The family awoke to soldiers hammering their front door and observed that many of the soldiers had positioned themselves on the rooftops overlooking their outdoor courtyard. Jamila’s son Abdel opened the door and was immediately overrun. Abdel was beaten in his own home, in front of three of his family members, before being blindfolded and arrested. The soldiers accused him of posting a video (that showed a local Palestinian father being abused by soldiers at Checkpoint 56 for questioning the severe mistreatment of his ten year old son). They did not charge him with any crime, but said they were arresting him on suspicion of having committed a crime. Abdel’s mother, Jamila, ran to her son, panicked and screaming. The soldiers pushed her around. Then she fainted. Abdel’s sister managed to videotape the entire incident, but Israeli soldiers forced the family to delete this evidence. Fortunately, a second video taken by a neighbour attests to the soldiers’ extreme aggression that night.
House arrest of prisoner’s mother extended
JENIN (WAFA) 22 May — The Israeli authorities renewed Wednesday the house arrest for Fathiyeh Khanfar, mother of Rami Khanfar, a prisoner held in Israel, until June 5, according to the Prisoner Club. Fathiyeh Khanfar, 58, from the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was arrested on February 3 after visiting her son in prison and charged with attempting to smuggle cellular telephone SIM card to him. She was held for 15 days and released only to be placed under house arrest in the town of Rahat, in the Naqab desert in southern Israel. She was also fined approx $9,000.
Palestinian refugees outside Palestine
UN: Fighting displaces most Palestinians in Syria
HOMS, Syria (AFP) 22 May — The conflict in Syria has displaced more than two-thirds of Palestinian refugees living in the country, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees said on Wednesday. “We have registered approximately 530,000 Palestinian refugees. We believe that almost all of them, certainly maybe 70-80 percent, are displaced from their normal homes,” UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi told AFP on a visit to Syria. Between 12 and 15 percent of the Palestinian refugee population has fled the country altogether, Grandi added. “You can say that 12-15 percent of the refugee population in Syria is now (made) refugee again in another country,” he said, speaking after meeting Palestinian refugees at a camp in central Homs province.
Political and other news
From a hole in the Wall to home demolitions in the Negev: A week in photos May 16-22
Activestills 23 May — This week: A hole in the wall, protests against conscription, house demolitions in Jerusalem and the Negev, price tagging Women of the Wall, masked protesters in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, and demonstrations against occupation and settlements.
Israel and Palestinian business leaders seek to break impasse
Al-Monitor 24 May by Dalia Hatuqa — A new peace initiative will be presented at the World Economic Forum in Jordan this weekend [May 24-26] — Amid US Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest shuttle to the region, a group of Palestinian and Israeli businessmen are set to present what they call a joint appeal to push their governments out of the current political rut and get a step closer toward realizing a two-state solution. The document, aptly titled “Breaking the Impasse,” has been kept secret for some time, but the people involved in its masterminding include Palestinian philanthropist and industrialist Munib al-Masri and high-level Israeli businessmen such as high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi. Many of the Israeli figures involved include former government officials, army generals and military figures who played roles in previous negotiations, and “people who understand that a peace agreement would boost chances for business and job opportunities,” according to Elias Zananiri, a political adviser and public relations consultant closely familiar with the initiative.
Islamic Jihad leader: Fatah, Hamas not ready to end split
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 May — Talks between Fatah and Hamas on Tuesday and Wednesday accomplished little as the parties failed to reach any agreement, a top Islamic Jihad official said Thursday. Abu Imad al-Rifaei, the Islamist group’s representative in a committee preparing for national elections, told Ma‘an that the talks focused on the makeup of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestinian National Council. But he said neither Fatah nor Hamas seemed serious about ending the division and implementing a reconciliation deal signed in 2011. Al-Rifaei, who also serves as Islamic Jihad’s representative in Lebanon, blasted the talks as a “waste of time.”
Haniyeh urges Egypt to rethink Israel peace deal
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 May — The prime minister of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip called Friday on Egypt to reconsider the Camp David peace accords with Israel. Ismail Haniyeh said during noon prayers that Egypt would be better off if its leaders reconsidered or even canceled the US-brokered peace agreement. He also called on Egypt to adopt a new strategy to deal with the Sinai, after an armed group’s kidnapping of soldiers led to the closure of the Rafah crossing for days. “Gaza is not a sanctuary for fugitives. We do not cover up crimes,” Haniyeh said.
EU failing its Israel standards on conditions for Palestinians: report
The Australian 24 May by John Lyons — A MAJOR new report has found that the European Union has failed to fulfil its own commitments to ensure Israel improves living conditions for Palestinians. The damning assessment is by the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), which represents more than 80 international aid and development agencies working in the West Bank. It compares what the EU said in May 2012 that it would do to the reality one year later. The report comes amid growing indications that a new peace effort by US Secretary of State John Kerry is failing and that tensions in the West Bank, or Palestinian territories, are increasing. The Israeli media this week reported that the Netanyahu government had rejected a request from Mr Kerry to allow Palestinians to build factories in Area C, which is under Israeli occupation, as a goodwill gesture to help re-start peace talks.
World Bank to grant PA $55 million
IMEMC 24 May — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors advised its Board of Governors to authorize the US$55 million replenishment of the Gaza and West Bank Trust Fund, a World Bank press release said Thursday. This supports investment in municipal services, energy, water and sanitation, as well as social protection and education … The Bank also approved a US$40 million development policy grant to support the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) reform program as outlined in the Palestinian National Development Plan (PNDP).
Kerry’s ‘shawarma diplomacy’ wins mixed Palestinian reponse
Al-Monitor 24 May by Daoud Kuttab — US Secretary of State John Kerry’s unscheduled detour in the West Bank to buy a shawarma sandwich has given rise to speculation about his motives … While gestures like “shawarma diplomacy” humanize the sides of the talks, Kerry’s adventure in the Palestinian streets prompted mixed reactions on Palestinian social media. Some considered it a sign of failure, while others chided Kerry for eating kenafeh, which is a sweet traditionally enjoyed in celebration of success. Others commented that they hoped Kerry doesn’t lose interest in the peace process as others have done before him.
Protests in Ramallah against Kerry’s visit
RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 May — Dozens of Palestinians held a rally in the city of Ramallah to condemn the visit by the US Secretary of State John Kerry to the occupied West Bank on Thursday. The protesters chanted anti-US slogans, calling on PA to cancel the scheduled meeting between Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jordan next Sunday. The PA security forces have prevented the protesters from reaching the PA headquarters. The protesters carried placards denouncing Washington’s support for the Israeli occupation and its crimes against the Palestinian people.
Løkke lied, stateless commission testimony reveals
Copenhagen Post, Denmark 22 May — Despite saying he only heard about it through the media, former PM’s permanent secretary said he told his boss about problems regarding stateless Palestinians’ citizenship — The former prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), lied when he said at a press conference in March 2011 that he only became aware that the Integration Ministry was violating international law by denying citizenship to stateless Palestinians when the case “turned up in the media”, according to testimony given before the so-called Stateless Commission yesterday.
Video: Paterson, NJ raises the Palestinian flag over city hall for Palestinian-American Day
Mondoweiss 21 May by Annie Robbins — Exciting news. One day after the Palestinian flag reached the top of the world, a flag raising ceremony was held in Paterson, New Jersey (video 3:12) accompanied by the Palestinian national anthem and cheers of “Long Live Palestine”. It’s probable Paterson has become the very first municipality in the United States to raise the Palestinian flag in front of their city hall. Last Sunday dignitaries were in attendance and the day, May 19th, was being honored as Palestinian-American Day in Paterson. JTA reports: New Jersey city honors Palestinian-Americans:
Settlers demand Israel ease rules of engagement in West Bank
Antiwar 24 May by Jason Ditz — Israeli settlers are expressing growing outrage at the existence of ““rules of engagement” within the Israeli occupations forces in the West Bank that seek to limit the use of live fire against Palestinians as much as possible. The settlers have organized protest marches, with plans of marching around Palestinian villages and refugee camps demanding that the military “restore deterrence” by easing those rules and making it easier for troops to open fire. Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon has rejected the calls, which have been echoed by pro-settler MPs. Alon insists that proportionality and limiting the number of casualties are driving the policy. That’s very much the point for the settlers though, who openly call for dramatically disproportionate violence and want troops to shoot Palestinians in retaliation for throwing stones, and for “terrorist attacks” against settlers’ property.
Google Palestine angers Gush Etzion’s settlers
MEMO 23 May — Settlers from the Gush Etzion settlement have expressed outrage after discovering that they belong to the State of Palestine on the global search engine of Google, as stated on the website of the Hebrew-language newspaper Israel Today. The paper reported that Gush Etzion’s settlers described Google’s act as “outrageous.” The paper reported that when settlers tried to search on the Google search engine, a note appeared in front of them notifying the need to search by “Google Palestine google.ps” and not “Google Israel google.co.il” as they had done in the past. The Director General of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel sent a letter to Google Inc. stating, “It’s unfortunate that Google, which is a business entity and not a political body, has decided that the residents of Judea and Samaria belong to the Palestinian Authority.” “We are calling on you to remove this proclamation,” it added. In response, Google’s spokesman said that the search engine aimed to provide the “best experience” for all of its users.
WATCH: Arab women protest against domestic violence in Israel
Israel Social TV 24 May — In the past decade, 76 Arab women have been murdered in domestic violence in Israel. The ‘Committee for the Struggle against the Murder of Women in Arab Society’ held an event protesting murder and violence against Arab women. Families of the victims are still demanding justice since most of the murderers are still free.
Mother of murdered girls ignored by police day before tragedy
Ynet 24 May by Ilana Curiel – Two days after the murder of two young girls in a Bedouin community near Arad, the commander of the Arad police station and two other officials were dismissed from their posts following a severe oversight — a failure to respond to a complaint filed by the girls’ mother against their father one day before the killing … The girls’ mother, Abir Dandis, said she received a phone call telling her that her elder daughter was killed by her father, who was enraged by his ex-wife’s rendezvous with their daughters earlier in the week, apparently against his will. She turned to the Ma’ale Adumim police branch, where she said her desperate requests that they look into her daughters’ safety were ignored by the officers, who told her they didn’t deal with residents of the territories.The officers directed her to the Arad police station, where she said the officers failed to take her seriously and her appeal was dismissed — again, because she was a resident of the Palestinian territories and a Bedouin. Dandis’s lawyers said officers at the Arad station showed blatant contempt and told her to go home.
Muslim clerics visit Nazi death camp
Times of Israel 23 May by Gavriel Fiske and JTA — Imams from the US and several Muslim countries are touring Poland this week to learn more about European Jewry. Thirteen imams from Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bosnia and other Muslim lands, along with five American imams, visited the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw on Monday. The group visited Auschwitz on Wednesday and conducted a traditional Islamic prayer for the dead at the site. “When I saw what happened for the people here, I tried to prevent my tears from my eyes because it’s very difficult to see how many people were killed without any reason,” Barakat Hasan, an imam from Ramallah, told the AFP. “I am from Palestine and my people are suffering now since 65 years until now, so of course I feel for others who have suffering,” he said.
Analysis / Opinion
‘Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel’s system of governance’: An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman
972blog 22 May by Ofri Ilani — In his new documentary, ‘The Lab, Yotam Feldman explores how Israel’s weapons industries interact with the country’s politics, economy and military decision-making. Israeli weapons, military technology and know-how become more valuable because they have been field-tested in its wars and combat against Palestinians and neighboring countries. A conversation with Yotam Feldman about his film, arms dealers and Israel’s war economy.
The blurred line between hero and murderer / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 24 May — It appears Itamar Alon did not fully internalize the fact that what is allowed in the occupied territories is forbidden in Be’er Sheva; with the realities facing IDF soldiers, such is to be expected — What came over Itamar Alon? No one can answer with certainty what exactly caused Alon’s sudden wild, murderous attack at a bank in Be’er Sheva. He took his secrets to the grave. But Alon’s background provides several hints. The height of Alon’s success in his wretched life was his military service. Alon was an officer in the Israel Defense Forces’ Combat Engineering Corps and in the Border Police. His mother says he was a wonderful soldier. Everything following Alon’s military service screams failure … He served in the territories. That has singular significance: The Border Police is the sickest corps of the occupation administration. The reasons are sociological and ethnic and are linked to the background of most of its policemen — Russians, Druze, Ethiopians and residents of Israel’s geographic periphery, who are cynically and not coincidentally sent by Israel to be the spearhead of its violent rule over the Palestinians and who, not coincidentally, become extremely brutal. In the Border Police, Alon learned not just how to shoot but how to behave rudely, violently and to solve problems with weapons while receiving respect and glory for doing so.
Palestinian rights group forges sturdy link between West Bank and Gaza / Amira Hass
Haaretz 24 May — The Independent Commission for Human Rights, which issued its latest annual report this week, chronicles violations and fulfills a vital role in Palestinian society — A leaflet was distributed early this week in Nablus calling for a halt to the security collaboration with Israel in the West Bank. That very day, the Palestinian Preventive Security agency arrested a key activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was behind the leaflet. The man was released within a few hours, but an acquaintance who visited him related that the signs of the beating he received were still visible on his body. It’s likely that the arrest and beating will be part of the statistics contained in next year’s report of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR). They will be contained under the rubrics of “Violations of the right to personal security and physical safety, especially in the form of torture and ill treatment (during detention)” and “Violations of the right to freedom of expression.” The report for 2012, published on Tuesday, states that last year, the ICHR documented 306 violations in the category of torture and ill-treatment — 172 in the West Bank and 134 in the Gaza Strip.