Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Ahead of olive harvest, settlers chop down trees near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Oct – Extremist Jewish settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees Saturday morning in Deir Sharaf village south of Nablus, a Palestinian official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that settlers from Shave Shomron settlement stormed olive fields in the al-Ghazan neighborhood of Deir Sharaf and destroyed more than 100 trees. He highlighted that the attack came a few days before the olive harvest. The trees belong to Yasser Fuqaha, Sidqi Fuqaha, Mustafa Fuqaha and other farmers from the Meri family.
On Friday, a mob of settlers assaulted Palestinian farmer Abdul-Rahman Ibrahim Awad while he was picking olives in his field in Jamma‘in village south of Nablus. He was forced to leave the field at gunpoint after the assailants completely destroyed his private vehicle.
In the line of fire: Life in the southern Hebron Hills
Haaretz 5 Oct by Chaim Levinson — A tour of Firing Zone 918 offers a glimpse of the harassment by settlers and soldiers, and of locals’ sense of helplessness — Who’s the interloper here? Uncertainty is the dominant feeling that grips you after spending even just a few days in the southern Hebron Hills. It’s 6 A.M. on an August day. There’s full light outside. An Israel Defense Forces jeep shows up on the road that leads to a cluster of tents, caves, sheep pens, makeshift structures and concrete shapes that together comprise Khirbet Umm al-Heir. The guessing starts at once. Are the soldiers looking for car thieves? Are they here to carry out a routine check of ID cards? Should we try to go out or is it better to wait inside until they’ve left? Does the jeep portend the arrival of inspectors from the IDF’s Civil Administration bearing demolition orders? Are they planning a dazzling military operation to confiscate outhouses? Will they demolish the house built by Hairi Hadalin ahead of his forthcoming marriage to Nura, from nearby Umm Draj? Finally, 30 minutes later, the jeep leaves. Nothing happened. .Every day brings its tensions. Every attempt to herd sheep can swiftly become a violent clash with residents of the nearby settlement and settler outpost. Every trip to get water can lead to a traffic ticket and a fine of NIS 1,500. Every journey along a road within Firing Zone 918 can end with the vehicle being confiscated for “illegal entry.” … IDF Firing Zone 918 is a microcosm of the war of attrition the state is waging with the aid of the settlers in the southern Hebron Hills. Its aim is to reduce the living space of the local Palestinians.
Demolition notifications against Palestinian facilities near Jericho
JERICHO (PIC) 5 Oct — The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) handed over notifications to Palestinian citizens in Ouja [or al-‘Auja] town, near Jericho, to evacuate and demolish a number of facilities by the end of October. Local sources revealed that the demolition notifications, distributed on Thursday, include sheds, tin houses, and houses under construction. The notifications came as part of the Israeli scheme to dislocate Palestinians living in Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Israeli settlers from Ariel raze Salfit agricultural land
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli settlers from Ariel on Sunday razed agricultural land in Salfit, a local researcher said. Khaled Maali, a researcher on settlements in the Salfit area, told Ma‘an that settlers leveled the land for construction work to expand the illegal settlement. Settlers used construction machinery to crush rocks to use for paving stones, Maali added. The illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel is home to some to some 20,000 settlers and is built 16 km east of the Green Line. The separation wall built around the settlement separates seven Palestinian villages north of Ariel from the city of Salfit.
A utopian Arab city in Israel? Turn left at Route 65
Haaretz 6 Oct by Esther Zandberg — There will be a large square in the center of al-Lajun, the city sited on Route 65 between Umm al-Fahm and Afula. Surrounding it will be public buildings to serve the future residents and visitors. Among the buildings will be a museum, art galleries, craft workshops, a visitors center, coffee shops, and even a center for the protection of nature. The idea behind the planning of the city center draws its inspiration from houses with courtyards, the standard style of building for local Palestinian construction. In the middle of the square will be a sort of low stage for meetings and performances. The buildings will be faced in stone and designed in the traditional oriental style, including arches and domes. The theoretical-utopian city, planned by architect Shadi Habib-Allah, is to be built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of al-Lajun – abandoned and destroyed in 1948, one of some 500 Arab villages removed. Since then, no Arab town has been established (except for the Bedouin towns). Kibbutz Megiddo now sits on the land of al-Lajun
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Suppression of protests / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces disperse Palestinian protests across West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces injured dozens of Palestinian activists on Friday at demonstrations against the Israeli separation wall across the occupied West Bank. In Bil‘in, west of Ramallah, six were injured and dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israelis attacked demonstrations protesting the separation wall and demanding the return of village lands illegally confiscated to build the wall. Palestine Satellite Channel reporters Ali Dar, Salah al-Khawaja, and Mohammad Abed, 19, were struck by tear-gas canisters, while Mohammad Abdul-Fattah Burnat, 24, was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet in the back. Luisa Morgantini, former vice president of the European Parliament, and lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi were also among the injured. Barghouthi said Israeli forces attacked the demonstration and fired stun grenades, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets widely. He added that Israeli soldiers tried to restrict the movement of ambulances and paramedics …
In Kafr Qaddum, near Qalqiliya, dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces who fired tear gas and stun grenades. Coordinator for the Popular Struggle Committee Murad Shtewi said that hundreds had participated in the demonstration in order to mark the olive-picking season. In Kafr Qaddum, several villagers were prohibited from reaching their lands to harvest their olive trees, he added. …
In Nabi Saleh, protesters marched toward confiscated village lands but were stopped by Israeli forces who fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades. Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans condemning the Israeli occupation, settlements and international impunity towards Israeli action. Israeli forces had earlier closed the village’s entrances and deployed dozens of soldiers near a spring that was seized by settlers four years ago. They declared the area a closed military zone, a common Israeli tactic for appropriation of Palestinian land for military or settlement usage.
Israel arrests 3 Palestinians in Abu Dis clashes
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Palestinians launched large protests near the Al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis on Friday as Israeli border police arrested three Palestinians in the area. The protests followed a successful Palestinian attempt to break through the Israeli separation wall … A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committee, Hani Halabiya, said that a white truck belonging to Israeli Special Forces had entered the area and arrested three Palestinians after beating them. Palestinian activists had managed to break open a hole in the Israeli separation wall, an operation that they had started on Wednesday, he added. He also said that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters into the campus of Al-Quds University, causing two trees to catch on fire. Halabiya said that soldiers arrested Jihad Uliyan while raiding homes in order to get on to their rooftops. Witnesses said that an Israeli military Jeep on the Jerusalem side of the wall caught fire after a firebomb was thrown at it by Palestinian protesters. Israel began building the separation wall in 2002, and the route has been the target of regular demonstrations by border towns whose land is cut off by its path. Israel has confiscated large plots of Palestinian land in order to build the wall.
Several residents injured near Nablus
IMEMC 6 Oct — Palestinian medical sources have reported that several Palestinians have been injured by Israeli army fire, on Saturday evening, after Israeli soldiers invaded Burin village, south of the northern West bank city of Nablus. A number of homes caught fire due to Israeli gas bombs. Local sources said that the Israeli military invasion came after a group of extremist Israeli settlers invaded Burin and Einabous villages, and clashed with local residents. The soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades in addition to rounds of live ammunition. Several residents, including a journalist, were injured, while a number of homes caught fire. One of the wounded residents was shot by in the head by a gas bomb fired by one of the invading soldiers.
‘Vengeful’ teenage yeshiva students suspected of J’lem hate crimes
Ynet 6 Oct by Noam (Dabul) Dvir –In recent weeks, investigators of the Jerusalem District Police Central Unit arrested 14 Jewish boys from Jerusalem, aged 13-16, who study in different yeshivas across the country, on suspicion of operating as an organized group that attacked Arabs, vandalized vehicles, spray-painted hate graffiti and threw stones at vehicles with Arab drivers. Their arrest was cleared for publication on Sunday. According to the police, the teens testified that in recent months, they acted out of “hatred for Arabs and revenge for attacks committed against Jews,” such as the stabbing of a Jewish man in the vicinity of Damascus Gate a few weeks ago … Police claim that the boys encouraged each other to attack Arabs, and that the events took place during the High Holidays break, when the boys returned home from their yeshivas, as well as during the summer vacation … Despite the arrests, Mohamed Amhisan, another Sheikh Jarrah resident, has little faith in the authorities. “All the arrests are just for show, so they’ll be able to tell us the police are doing their duty. But ‘price tag’ acts are still spreading in East Jerusalem and no one seems able to stop the gang that’s behind them.
Nine year old Israeli settler shot and injured; Palestinian suspected
IMEMC 7 Oct — Late Saturday night [5 Oct], a nine-year-old girl was shot and injured while standing outside her home in the Israeli settlement of Psagot, located next to the Palestinian village of el-Bireh, in the central West Bank. The child, identified as Noam Glick, was taken to an Israeli hospital, where she is listed in stable condition. She was hit by a single shot fired from a homemade weapon. The weapon was left by the assailant at the scene. The assailant has not been apprehended, and Israeli police say they have no leads in the case. But the Israeli military has stormed the village of El Bireh and surrounding areas in the hours since the attack, and have detained and interrogated a number of residents … The police say this was likely an unplanned attack by a single, probably mentally unstable, assailant who acted without coordination with any armed resistance. Following the wounding of the child, Israeli settlers stormed al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah and began throwing stones at villagers, and vandalizing Palestinian cars.
Israel PM: Palestinian leaders to blame for attack
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Daily Star) 6 Oct : Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for a suspected Palestinian militant attack on a young Israeli girl. Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that the Palestinian government was to blame for what he called the continuing “incitement” in official Palestinian media. He did not elaborate. Relatives of the 9-year-old girl say she was shot by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank settlement of Psagot Saturday night. By Sunday doctors described her wounds as light. There was no claim of responsibility.
Clashes near Ramallah after settlers attack Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians on Sunday near al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah, locals said. Israeli forces entered the al-Zira neighborhood near the refugee camp after settlers attacked Palestinians and vandalized several cars. Young men from the camp rushed to the scene and forced the settlers to flee the area, witnesses said. Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound bombs at Palestinian youths, locals said.
Clashes in al-Bireh after Israel imposes curfew
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces raided al-Bireh late Saturday, leading to clashes with locals, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israel imposed a curfew in the al-Bireh area after an Israeli girl was shot in the adjacent illegal settlement of Psagot. Young Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters. Shadi Muhammad Khalil, 20, was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet and taken to hospital. Another unidentified man was shot in the back. Locals told Ma‘an that an Israeli settler from Psagot opened fire at al-Bireh’s Jabal al-Tawil neighborhood following an attack in which a nine-year-old girl was injured.
The media’s double standard on child victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Mondoweiss 6 Oct by Annie Robbins — This post is about 2 children, each violently attacked recently and each victims of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Above is a photo of 6-year-old Musab al-Sarahneh. He was shot in the eye by Israeli forces who opened fire [on the car he was riding in] in a refugee camp south of Hebron last week. He lost his right eye. It was reported by Ma’an News on Thursday and picked up by The Palestinian Chronicle and a site called USMessageBoard. According to the family the attack occurred while the boy was a passenger in the family’s car returning from a visit to his uncle’s house.
[Left] is a photo of Noam Glick, a 9-year-old Israeli girl who was attacked outside her home in the illegal West Bank settlement of Psagot, near Ramallah, yesterday evening. Glick was playing in her yard when she was attacked by a hooded assailant. While it is still unclear whether she was shot or stabbed with a knife police say the attack on the child was a “probable terrorist attack” but they are “not ruling out the possibility of other motives.” The attack was reported throughout Israel as well as several US MSM sources including Los Angeles Times, New York Times, AP via USAToday, Huffington Post and countless other news sources around the globe
Four children arrested on their way to school
HEBRON (ISM) 7 Oct by Khalil Team — Yesterday, Sunday the 6th of October, at 7:40 AM in Khalil [Hebron], four children aged 12 and under (Sami Bent, Munif Darna, Muhammad Mussa Kremeri and one unconfirmed name) were arrested whilst on their way to school after a small gathering of children threw stones at Israeli soldiers. At approximately 7:20 AM around 100 children were attempting to walk to school when they noticed 3 soldiers standing underneath a building. This was unusual behaviour from the soldiers and some of the youths and children present began to throw stones. Whilst these soldiers drew the attention of the children, 5 other soldiers approached from an alley. These soldiers then charged the crowd of children indiscriminately attempting to detain the nearest child regardless of whether they had thrown stones or not. As a result of this 4 young children were arrested. International activists and local Palestinian’s challenged the legitimacy of these actions to no avail. After detaining these children behind army vehicles they subsequently released an 8 year old child from their custody. However shortly after this, they arrested Sami, a 12-year-old child … The children of Khalil are regularly harassed by the Israeli forces; a recent incident was filmed where Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards crowds of school children
Israeli forces arrest 12-year-old in Beitunia
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Israeli forces arrested a 12-year-old child in front of his house in Beitunia, a village west of Ramallah, on Friday. The child was forcibly snatched from his mother’s arms as she and some of her neighbors attempted to prevent his arrest. He was taken to Ofer detention camp, and was beaten on the way. Three others suffered tear-gas inhalation as clashes broke out in the area.
Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinian children in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces on Sunday arrested four children north of ‘Azzun village in Qalqiliya, the village municipality said. Ikrema Mohammad Sweidan, 8, Yazan Khaled Sweidan, 12, were arrested in an olive grove near the main road of the village. Ahmad Mohammad Salim, 11, and another unidentified child were also arrested north of the village.
Israeli forces detain Palestinians in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from Hebron district and took them to unknown locations on Friday morning, family members told Ma‘an. Hazim Syouri said that an Israeli military force raided his house in the old city of Hebron and carried out an extensive search that caused much damage to their furniture. Israeli forces then detained his two brothers, Basem, 33, and Ismael, 30. Syouri added that the Israeli army had raided his building after midnight and subsequently turned the entire house into a military base. The house consists of five residential apartments. In the morning, the Israeli forces left and took Syouri’s two brothers with them. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces also detained Hamed Kamel Shwaika, 33, from ad-Dahriya village south of Hebron at a temporary military checkpoint near the Israeli settlement of Beit Hjai south of Hebron.
IOF kidnap 10 Palestinians from their homes in Al-Khalil and Bethlehem
WEST BANK (PIC) 6 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Sunday 10 Palestinian citizens from their homes in Al-Khalil and Bethlehem cities and raided different areas of Nablus city. Among the detainees were two children identified as Amir Zayyah, 15, and Ziyad Subaih, 15, and they were kidnapped during violent raids on their homes in Bethlehem. During the detention campaign, the IOF stormed Idna town, west of Al-Khalil, and established a checkpoint inside it and maltreated its residents. They also launched raids in Samua [Samu‘] and Dahiriya towns to the south of Al-Khalil … Meanwhile, the IOF closed on Saturday a street in Dura town, south of Al-Khalil, for several hours at the pretext of providing security for Israeli settlers living nearby. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the IOF blocked the road leading to Al-Majd and Beit ‘Awa villages to the west of Al-Khalil and isolated them from Dura town in order to protect Najihut settlers who live illegally on Palestinian-owned lands in Khirbet Salama.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
2 Israeli soldiers hit by Palestinian driver near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Two Israeli border guards sustained minor injuries Saturday near the northern West Bank village of Burqa in Nablus district after a Palestinian driver hit them and sped away, according to Israeli sources. The soldiers were standing near a military checkpoint when the Palestinian driver hit them, added sources. Locals say dozens of Israeli soldiers had been deployed near Burqa-Bizaria crossroads and had begun a wide-scale inspection in the area. They added that several flying checkpoints were erected along the road in the area in order to stop Palestinian vehicles for inspection. Israeli forces maintain severe restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement in the West Bank through a complex combination of fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians but open exclusively to Jewish settlers, and various other physical obstructions.
PA security spokesman says West Bank ‘under control’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Palestinian Authority forces have security in the West Bank under control and will continue to deal with anyone who violates the law, security services spokesman Adnan Damiri said Saturday. Security forces in the West Bank will deal with any violation of the law and will apply the law whatever it takes, Damiri said. Hundreds of Palestinian National Security Forces deployed in the Jenin district this week, conducting several sweeps in the area in search of alleged “fugitives.” … The crackdown is not targeting a specific political faction but is intended to preserve internal peace and stability in the West Bank, the security spokesman said. On Wednesday, PA security forces raided Jenin camp in order to tackle the disorder in the region which followed the killing of Islam al-Tubasi on Sept. 17 by Israeli forces. Islam al-Tubasi was a Palestinian youth who was killed by Israeli security forces in a raid on his family home in Jenin refugee camp. The killing sparked massive protests and a wave of outrage, particularly as it followed weeks of violent Israeli crackdowns across the area…
The Palestinian National Security Forces are the paramilitary force of the Palestinian National Authority. Their movements and operations are widely subject to Israeli approval. A significant part of their funding and training comes from the United States and other Western countries.
IOF arrests 181 Palestinians, PA arrests 113 in September
RAMALLAH (PIC) 6 Oct — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) nabbed 181 Palestinians in the past month of September while the PA forces arrested 113 in the same period, a report by Hamas movement said. The report said that IOF soldiers killed two Palestinians in September, adding that 22 of those arrested were children and seven were Hamas supporters released from PA jails. The report said that IOF soldiers razed 14 houses and 38 industrial, agricultural, and commercial installations in various West Bank areas. It said that PA security forces rounded up 113 supporters and cadres of resistance factions including 107 from Hamas, five from Islamic Jihad and one from Hizbutahrir and summoned 58 others, 56 of them affiliated with Hamas.
link to /www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Human rights for Palestinians worst since Nakba, lawyer says
BEIRUT (Daily Star) 5 Oct by Nadia Massih — An award-winning Palestinian lawyer has warned that the tit-for-tat cycle of arrests between Hamas and Fatah factions is leaving human rights in the Occupied Territories “in the worst situation since the Nakba.” Raji Sourani, the Palestinian Authority’s first political prisoner and former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience during his time incarcerated by the Israelis, said the rival political factions were undermining the credibility of the Palestinian struggle against Israel through a pattern of arbitrary arrests and torture, outside the framework of the law. “We have a vicious circle now where Fatah, under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, in the West Bank will detain a Hamas official; then, Hamas counters the PA to arrest a Fatah official in Gaza,” said Sourani, who was awarded the Rights Livelihood Award for his work on human rights last week. “Meanwhile, Israel is just sitting on the side and watching.”
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
At annual conference, Palestinians and Israelis turn ‘return’ into reality
972blog 5 Oct — Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered in a Tel Aviv museum last week for a two-day conference dedicated to the Palestinian right of return. Tom Pessah on some of the conference highlights — The position of the right of return in Jewish-Israeli discourse is odd; it is always mentioned, but no one ever really talks about it. It is the one thing we obviously should all be against, we say to ourselves. It is the most predictable issue, we repeat, one that will go away after a peace agreement. Even thinking about it is unrealistic. So we don’t. Which is what made Shadi Habib Allah’s presentation so stunning. It began simply enough: Habib Allah, an architect and descendant of refugees, assembled a proposal for a new Palestinian village within Israel. He talked to the potential residents, found out their preferences, studied the location, and used his professional skills to come up with a detailed plan for a community that will combine historical relevance and modern services. The twist, though, is that this isn’t an entirely new village. According to Habib Allah’s presentation, al-Lajjun, one of several hundred Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, would be re-established on its original site (which is currently a park). The village would be populated by its original residents and their descendants, and would look something like this:
From Bil‘in memorial to breaking down barriers: a week in photos September 28-October 4
Activestills 5 Oct — This week: Memorials for those killed protesting the separation barrier, weekly protests against the occupation, Palestinians and internationals destroy an Israeli barrier, Palestinians return to their land after 35 years, and more.
Pressure builds on Nordstrom for selling Ahava in violation of ‘social responsibility’ guidelines
Mondoweiss 6 Oct by Annie Robbins — Check out the YouTube station for Seattle’s performance investigators Credible Threat, who allied with Code Pink’s Stolen Beauty project have busted Nordstrom’s “social responsibility policies” wide open with a new video, published three days ago and titled, MUD IS A GRAY AREA: Talking with Nordstrom about Ahava and Occupation. Ahava is a cosmetics line that uses mud sourced from the occupied territories in the West Bank. Nordstrom sells the line.
WATCH: Protesting Ehud Banai’s show for settlers of Susiya
Israeli Social TV 6 Oct — Israeli singer Ehud Banai performed in the Israeli settlement of Susya in the south Hebron Hills last Sunday. Although public outcry against the performance led to the show’s cancelation, the show eventually went on and got started, in the words of Israel’s Channel 10 News, “on the right foot.” Social TV was in the neighboring Palestinian village of Susya, with Palestinians as they protested against the performance
WATCH: IDF bars Israelis from joining Palestinian protest against settler concert
972mag 26 Sept by Mairav Zonszein — Fifteen Israelis tried to join Palestinians in the West Bank village Susya to protest a concert for Jews only in the adjacent settlement, but only seven were able to make it there. The IDF stopped them several times on the way, claiming there was a military order prohibiting their presence. The seven who managed to make it to the protest were surrounded by 100 soldiers and border policeman
Gaza under blockade
Egypt closes Rafah crossing behind last group of Hajj pilgrims
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Egypt on Friday allowed the third and the final batch of Hajj pilgrims from the Gaza Strip to pass through its territory en route to Saudi Arabia before closing the crossing at the end of the day, officials said. Sami Mitwali, Egyptian director of the Rafah terminal, told Ma‘an that Egyptian authorities had allowed 728 Palestinian Hajj pilgrims to pass through the Rafah crossing. Friday was the seventh day in a row that the crossing was open to allow pilgrims time to pass. Egypt also allowed 97 Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip who had been stuck in Egypt on Friday. Additionally, Egypt allowed 51 trucks carrying Qatari construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip, Mitwali said. Mitwali added that the crossing will be closed until further notice, although it might re-open on Saturday. The crossing will be closed on Sunday due to the commemoration of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
The administrative and the media delegations of the pilgrimage are, however, still stuck at Rafah land crossing amid mutual accusations between the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip’s Hamas government. Egyptian authorities took the passports of the two delegations and banned them from traveling. Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of asking Egyptian authorities not to allow the two delegations to travel, while the Palestinian Authority accused Hamas of not allowing the two delegations to travel by not giving them proper visas. The Union of Palestinian Journalists denounced the banning of the media delegation from traveling on the Hajj pilgrimage this year.
Refugees stage sit-in protest against UNRWA
RAFAH (PIC) 6 Oct — Dozens of Palestinian refugees staged a sit-in south of the Gaza Strip on Sunday to protest the reduction in UNRWA services. Participants hoisted placards calling for the introduction of a program to measure poverty line, denouncing reducing services to the poor while the foreign workers receive hefty salaries.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Delegation of intifada coalition meets foreign activists
GAZA (PIC) 6 Oct — A delegation of the intifada youth coalition met in Gaza on Saturday with a number of foreign activists for consultations on the planned demonstration to break the Israeli naval siege on the Strip. A coalition statement said that the delegates briefed the activists from Ireland, Switzerland, USA, Italy, Spain, and Brazil on the planned demonstration and invited them to participate in it. It said that the foreign activists supported the plan and declared their participation, adding that the plan envisages breaking the 6-nautical-mile limit imposed by the Israeli occupation on the fishermen of Gaza. The statement said that the discussion covered means of responding to the expected Israeli act against the sea demonstration.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
PHOTOS: Gaza tunnels idle amid Egypt crackdown
CAIRO (7DAYSinDUBAI) 2 Oct — Gaza’s tunnel smugglers along the border with Egypt are mostly idle these days. Some rest on cots in the dank underground pathways, stretching out for a smoke. Others pass the time cleaning the small carts on wheels that are normally pulled through the tunnels carrying cement or consumer goods from Egypt. Since the summer, Egypt’s military has tried to destroy or seal off most of the smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, a consequence of the heightened tensions between Cairo and the Hamas government in Gaza. Images by AP photographer Hatem Moussa
Photos: Activists in Gaza form human chain for Palestinian detainees
GAZA (ISM) 5 Oct by Gaza Team — On Thursday afternoon, Activists for Prisoners organized a human chain outside the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Gaza City office to support Palestinians detained by Israel.
9 Palestinian prisoners serving ‘longest sentences on earth’
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Palestinian organization Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights revealed Wednesday that nine Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli jails have the “longest sentences” of any imprisoned human being worldwide. The organization’s director, Fouad al-Khuffash, explained that “there is no other country on Earth that gives open-ended life sentences except the State of Israel, whose laws do not limit the number and length of life sentences given to Palestinian prisoners.” Al-Khuffash also listed the nine Palestinian prisoners with the longest prison sentences on Earth. Abdullah Ghaleb al-Barghouthy from Ramallah is currently holding the world’s longest sentence. He was detained by Israeli forces on March 5, 2003 and was subsequently sentenced to 67 life sentences in prison.
Palestinian refugees elsewhere
Italian coast guard rescues Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria
ROME (PIC) 5 Oct — The Italian police and coast guard took on Friday a group of Palestinian refugees, who fled the Syrian war, aboard a boat to the shores of Sicily. According to a media source, the Italian coast guard rescued about 100 Palestinian refugees, mostly children, after their ship settled on the coast of Lampedusa Island. The UNHCR reported that the number of Palestinian refugees fleeing the Syrian war to the southern coasts of Italy has reached over 4,600 people during the current year, 3,000 of them came to the country during last August.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Group: 2 Palestinians killed in Syria
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Oct – Two Palestinian refugees who died in the ongoing Syrian crisis last week have been identified by a Palestinian group. The workforce for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement Saturday that the victims were from Khan al-Sheikh in the outskirts of Damascus and Deraa refugee camps near the border with Jordan. Samir Theib Barthua, from Khan al-Sheikh, died of torture in custody, the report added. Khalid Ahmad Othman from Deraa camp died on Sept. 27 in a hospital in Ramtha in Jordan. He succumbed to critical wounds after he was hit by a gunshot to the head and was evacuated to Ramtha hospital.
The statement added that farms in the outskirts of Deraa camp were bombarded Friday by the Syrian army. The Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, according to the statement, has been besieged by the Syrian forces for more than 80 days, and nobody has been allowed to leave the camp during the siege.
Village beer festival moved to luxury Ramallah hotel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Oct by Joseph Shawyer — Organizers of Palestine’s annual Oktoberfest have moved 2013’s venue to a luxury hotel in Ramallah after a row with the municipality of the small [Christian] West Bank village that produces Taybeh beer. Traditionally, up to 16,000 visitors would travel to the tiny village to enjoy a two-day celebration of Palestinian beer, food and culture. This year, for the first time since 2005, differences with the local municipality are forcing the Taybeh Brewing Company to change the venue to the Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah. Nadim Khoury, master brewer at Taybeh, told Ma‘an that the festival had become a victim of its own success, outgrowing the village in which it originated.
Typo changes name of Nablus man to ‘terrorism’
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 27 Sept — A young Palestinian man from Asira al-Shamaliyya village near Nablus in the northern West Bank has been suffering from various troubles as a result of a typo in his name on his identity card, says his father. The problem started 25 years ago, says the man’s father Jamal Sawalha, when his son Iyhab was born at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. A clerk at the hospital mistakenly typed an “r” instead of “y” changing the name to “Irhab,” the Arabic word for “terrorism.” “I admit I should have corrected that error earlier,” says Sawalha’s father, “but I felt real suffering at Israeli military checkpoints. Several times the soldiers tore the part of my identity card which contains names and details of my children.” More troubles began when Iyhab crossed Israeli military checkpoints as a young man. The soldiers would hold him for extended lengths of time as a result of his name. As his father recalls, “One day they stopped a bus-load of passengers for hours because Iyhab was one of them.”
West Bank religious leaders issue fatwa permitting Internet dating
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Los Angeles Times) 5 Oct by Maher Abukhater — The Palestinian Authority’s supreme religious decrees council issued a fatwa this week that said Internet dating was permissible under certain circumstances in the West Bank. The ruling Tuesday contradicts decrees issued by more conservative Islamic scholars and was rejected by the religious establishment in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Supreme Ifta Council acknowledged in its fatwa that social interaction via the Internet has become widespread and said, “It is impossible to avoid it or ban it completely.” The decree said online communications between members of the opposite sex were permissible, provided they were for the purpose of marriage, and provided that both parties abide by “codes of ethics and religious directives.
IDF soldiers indifferent to kidnapping threat
Ynet 6 Oct by Yoav Zitun — Two weeks after the murder of IDF soldier Tomer Hazan at the hands of a Palestinian co-worker, the army remains concerned over the ease with which Israelis illegally enter Area A, which is under full security and civilian control of the Palestinian Authority. The security establishment estimates that the attempts to kidnap civilians and soldiers for bargaining purposes will persist … In light of the escalation of violence in the West Bank and polls conducted within the Judea and Samaria Division indicating that IDF soldiers rank the threat of abduction relatively low, the army has instructed commanders to brief soldiers on security protocols. Soldiers were warned not to hitchhike in the West Bank or leave outposts alone after dark.
Nearly half of Jewish Israelis support discrimination against non-Jews
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — A majority of Israeli Jews support the notion of Israel as a Jewish state, a new survey published Sunday said. The Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute published an extensive survey on public opinion in Israel. Among the findings, the report said that 74.8 percent of Jews in Israel believe the state “can be both Jewish and democratic.” A third of Palestinians in Israel share this view, according to the survey. Around 32 percent of Jews think the Jewish nature of Israel’s state is more important, while 37 percent prefer the combination of Jewish and democratic.
Nearly 48 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Jewish citizens should have more rights than non-Jewish citizens, while in the overall sample 68 percent of respondents view the rift between Jews and Palestinians as the greatest source of friction in Israeli society, the survey said. Around 43 percent of Israeli Jews support government policies to encourage Palestinians to emigrate from Israel, according to the study.
Israel detains suspected weapons smugglers in Kafr Kasem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli police detained 16 suspects Sunday morning after raiding houses and seizing weapons in the majority Palestinian town of Kafr Kasem in central Israel, police said … Israeli police said that they had collected information about a network of suspected smugglers based primarily in Kafr Kasem which trades weapons with groups in West Bank cities, especially nearby Qalqiliya and Nablus. The head of the local police department said that the goal behind these operations is to decrease the trade of weapons and smuggling across Israeli borders. Kafr Kasem is a majority Palestinian town that is inside Israel but sits directly adjacent to the Palestinian West Bank.
Analysis / Opinion / Film reviews
Looking beyond the ‘curse’ of partition / Ariella Azoulay
972blog 5 Oct — …What is needed now is not a new vision but an old one; one envisioned by people who lived in Palestine before the curse of partition and who were able to foresee partition as a horror to avoid*. What is needed is the renewal of a civil contract of equality among all those affected by the Nakba, victims and perpetrators alike. A renewed civil contract is needed to allow Palestinians to gain their freedom, and this same contract will allow Israelis to gain freedom as well: the freedom of not being perpetrators, the freedom to be governed equally. Born as an Israeli citizen, one is socialized not to know about the Nakba … We have inherited the crimes of our parents’ generation, but we can – and ought to – refuse to further inherit the crime of perpetuating the Nakba. We perpetuate the crime every time we refuse to recognize the Palestinians as part of our body politic, as having equal part in the land and its government. The mandate of partition is over. The time has come to explore the options that were imagined when partition was only a threat and not yet a regime under which civil options were violently silenced. The libraries and archives are full of amazing political prose, written by Arabs and Jews, which could be recalled and revitalized. We should revive them because in their language one can find exactly what we have lost – the possibility of speaking naturally – and without sounding as if we claim the impossible – on the basis of a common ground, the ground of sharing the same land.
No such thing as ‘Israeli nationhood’, country’s Supreme Court says
JERUSALEM (Los Angeles Times) 3 Oct by Batsheva Sobelman — There is no such thing as “Israeli nationhood,” Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled, putting to an end a 40-year legal battle but leaving fundamental questions about national identity and the character of the country very much open. The court on Wednesday rejected a petition by a group of Israelis to change the ethnic registration on their identity cards from “Jewish” to “Israeli.” Some Arab citizens joined the petition, also asking to be listed as “Israeli.” Israel’s population ledger lists all citizens as Israeli. But under the section of leom — a Hebrew term for nationhood or ethnicity — state authorities automatically register Arabs as “Arab” and Jews as “Jewish.”
Political solution or not, the bottom line is equal rights for all / Gerard Horton
972blog 29 Sept — The military law applied to Palestinians must provide rights and protections no less favorable than those afforded to Israeli citizens living in the settlements — Last month, Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel announced the approval of 1,200 more houses for settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, adding to the 520,000 already living there, including Mr. Ariel himself. Only time will tell, but this announcement, like the many that proceeded, may one day prove to contain a fatal sting in the tail for the idea of Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority. For there is one inescapable feature of Israel’s settlement activity that will have far reaching consequences based on a simple legal principle: no state is permitted to discriminate between those over whom it exercises penal jurisdiction based on race or national identity. This point was recently highlighted in a report submitted to the UN by Military Court Watch. The report notes that in most conflict situations, the question of unlawful discrimination does not arise. The issue did not arise in Afghanistan or Iraq for the simple reason that U.S. civilians never relocated and settled in those regions. However, once civilian settlement does take place, whether it’s viewed as legal or not, the principle of non-discrimination will inevitably arise. Click for +972′s special coverage: Children Under Occupation So what does discrimination look like in the West Bank? Well, take the example of a Palestinian child who throws a stone at a child from a settlement, or visa versa. Under the principle of non-discrimination, both children should be dealt with equally under the law. This does not mean that Israel must apply its civilian law to Palestinians, as this would be viewed as annexation, but the military law applied to Palestinians must provide rights and protections no less favorable than those afforded to Israeli citizens living in the settlements. However, the current reality in the West Bank is that Palestinian children accused of throwing stones are prosecuted in military courts, whereas their Israeli counterparts living in the settlement next door, are dealt with in Israel’s civilian juvenile justice system. Not surprisingly, the civilian system has far greater rights and protections than its military counterpart, as the examples below illustrate:
IMEMC 3 Oct by Yousef Munayyer — Childhood is a beautiful and strange thing. Before we truly learn how precious it is, it is already over. For many Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation childhood ends even earlier than you’d think. The commonplace elements of a child’s life in Palestine, which under normal circumstances would be filled with school books, football and games with friends, is instead interrupted by the harsh realities of occupation that include soldiers, checkpoints, walls, discrimination and racism. When childhood ends for a Palestinian under occupation is impossible to tell. Many who try to carry on with a normal life under the circumstances hope to enjoy the innocence of youth without having it shattered by the oppressive regime that surrounds them. Not all are so lucky … In a situation where death and violence has become routine, not every bullet or victim registers a headline. So when I heard Atta’s story I decided it had to be highlighted, not because it is particularly unique but because it is commonplace and yet unheard of.
Gaza auto racers struggle to compete abroad / Alexa Stevens
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — “This competition,” director Johan Ericksson started Thursday, “can be described as the Arab Idol for petrol heads.” The audience at Jerusalem’s Dar Issam Nashashibi Center laughed appreciatively as he introduced his new documentary, “The Road to Silverstone.” The film chronicles a group of Palestinian students who travel to England to enter the Formula Student competition at Silverstone Circuit, known as the home of British Motor Racing. The road to Silverstone proved to be bumpy for the students of Khan Younis Training College, a school located in Southern Gaza and founded in 2006 by UNRWA, the UN’s Palestine refugee agency. After shipments of new parts from Italy failed to arrive, the Khan Younis team found new, or rather old, supplies for their production. Taking parts from older cars, including dated Fiat Puntos, the team spent a year and a half designing and constructing one from scratch, making the first Palestinian Formula One car.
‘Bethlehem’ is yet another Israeli propaganda film / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 6 Oct — Before lavishing praise on co-director Yuval Adler, critics should stop to consider his film’s message: the Israelis are the good guys, the Arabs the bad guys — Yuval Adler is a talented director, but he has made an outrageous film. “Bethlehem,” his debut feature, has garnered acclaim and prizes – a critics’ award in Venice, first prize at the Haifa Film Festival, six Ophir Awards (Israel’s national film awards) and high praise from The New York Times. Along with his writing partner Ali Wakad, Adler created a very well-made action movie. He also created (another) Israeli propaganda film … This film, like many before it about the conflict, is guilty of the sins of distortion and concealment: the context is missing, as if it weren’t there. The film is meant to depict complexity — the misery of the collaborator; the humanity of the agent — but in reality, the film paints a picture without context, and without context there is no truth.
How many more Palestinian women have to be murdered? / Amira Hass
Haaretz 4 Oct — September was the most violent month this year, with seven women killed in Gaza and the West Bank — For a few days last month, everyone seemed to be discussing, in alarmed tones, “the 25″ – the shocking number of Palestinian women murdered in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the year to date, as of September 21. One week later another woman was murdered. That made September the worst month so far this year, with seven women killed. The figures were released by the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, an independent Palestinian nongovernmental organization founded in Jerusalem in 1991. Two of the seven women died in Gaza in circumstances that could otherwise be seen as an accident or suicide. One fell from the third floor and the other drowned in a pool. But years of documenting the unnatural deaths of women and talking to victims’ relatives and acquaintances – those who were willing to talk – have taught the center’s field workers that sometimes relatives force women to end their lives … The name for such murders is femicide – the killing of women by men for being women, center activists say. These murders are motivated directly or indirectly by misogynist and sexist motives and stem from women’s inequality in patriarchal society, where they are seen as the man and family’s property … In Europe, about 50 percent of the women murdered between 2008 and 2010 were killed by a male relative, compared to 15 percent for male murder victims. This was reported in April 2012 at a special UN conference, “Femicide, a global problem.” In North America 70 percent of murders of women are thought to be at the hands of their partners or family members. But the fact that femicide is a global phenomenon is no solace for Palestinian feminists