More attempts – failed and successful — to abduct Palestinians
Locals: Settlers try to kidnap 7-year-old in Beit Hanina
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 July — Israeli settlers attempted to kidnap a seven-year-old Palestinian child in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina overnight Thursday, locals said. Witnesses told that four settlers from Pisgat Zeev tried to kidnap Muhammad Ali al-Kiswani while he was playing in the neighborhood late Thursday after breaking the Ramadan fast. Children in the area alerted family members, who thwarted the attack, according to witnesses. The settlers fled on foot, locals said. An Israeli police spokesman could not be reached for comment. On Tuesday, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was kidnapped from the Shu‘fat neighborhood and later found dead in a Jerusalem forest. His body was found badly burnt. Earlier, two settlers attempted to kidnap Mousa Zalloum, 10, in Beit Hanina, locals said. The kidnapping was reportedly thwarted by the boy’s mother and local residents.
Settlers abduct Palestinian, inflict serious injuries
IMEMC/Agencies 5 July by Saed Bannoura — Palestinian medical sources in the northern West Bank city of Nablus have reported that a number of fanatic Israeli settlers kidnapped, late on Friday at night, a young Palestinian man from Osarin village, south of Nablus, and beat him nearly to death in addition to stabbing him. The setters kidnapped Tareq Ziad Zuhdi Odeily/Adeli, 22, after two settler vehicles invaded the village, forced him into one of their cars, and drove away. The settlers first sprayed his face with pepper-spray, the Raya News Agency has reported. He was then taken to an isolated area, where he was repeatedly beaten, kicked, punched and stabbed before the settlers fled the scene, leaving him severely bleeding, apparently believing he will die of his wounds. Using his mobile phone after the settlers left the scene, while barely able to speak or move, Odeily managed to call his father, informed him of what happened, and where he can find him. Dozens of local youths and medics then searched the area, and located Odeily, before he was moved to the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus suffering serious injuries.
Child missing in Jerusalem amidst fear of abduction
IMEMC/Agencies 4 July — A Palestinian child, 13 years of age, is currently missing in occupied Jerusalem, amidst fears he had been abducted by Israeli extremists in Wadi Al-Jouz neighborhood, adjacent to the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the child was walking near the Abdeen Mosque, in the neighborhood, and went missing shortly after an Israeli car drove slowly next to him. Although exact details are still unknown, the Palestinians fear Israeli fanatics have kidnapped the child, especially after the recent attempted kidnapping of a Palestinian child, and the Wednesday kidnapping and murder of Mohammad Abu Khdier, age 16, in occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli Police is said to be examining surveillance cameras in the area to try to verify the report, while the identity of the child remains unknown.
Israelis attempt to kidnap Palestinian in Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 3 July – A 46-year-old Palestinian from the town of Halhoul in Hebron said that he was subjected to a kidnapping attempt by three Israelis while he was in Jerusalem early on Thursday. Ammar Abu Asbeh, 46, told WAFA that a car carrying three Israelis pulled in front of him while he was at Shaftai Israel St in Jerusalem, and asked him for his identity card. He said after he rejected to show his ID they immediately pushed him by force into their car and fled the scene, but he was later able to open the door and escape from the car and is currently at a Israeli police station.
The kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir
Kidnapped Palestinian teen was burned to death, autopsy shows
Electronic Intifada 5 July by Ali Abunimah — The Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair who was kidnapped and murdered in Jerusalem early on Wednesday morning was burned to death by his killers. The news of the horrifying manner in which Muhammad was killed came on the same day that thousands of people turned out for his funeral in the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern occupied Jerusalem where he lived. Palestinian Authority Attorney General Muhammad Abdul Ghani al-Aweiwi told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the preliminary autopsy report states that the remnants of a burned substance (soot) was present in Muhammad’s respiratory passages and lungs, indicating he had inhaled the substance while being burned alive. Burning and complications stemming from it were the direct cause of death, according to the autopsy report. The autopsy was carried out at the Israeli Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in the presence of an official Palestinian pathologist, Dr. Sabir al-Aloul. Muhammad’s body was ninety percent covered in burns varying from first to fourth degree in severity and he also had a head injury, al-Aweiwi stated. He said that samples taken from the teen’s body would allow more in-depth analysis of the circumstances of his death. Israeli authorities have imposed a strict gag order on reporting details regarding the investigation into Muhammad’s murder.
Palestinian family mourns their ‘baby’ amid revenge attack claims
SHU‘AFAT, JERUSALEM (The National) 2 July by Orlando Crowcroft // On what should have been the start to another day of Ramadan devotions, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was waiting for morning prayers outside his house yesterday. A car pulled up and, after asking for directions, two men pulled Mohammed, 17, into the vehicle. A burnt body was later found by Israeli police in a forest near Givat Shaul … Yesterday, his devastated family was left to grieve a young man believed to have been the victim of a revenge attack for the kidnap and killing of three teenage Israelis whose bodies were found on Monday. His mother Soha sat slumped on a sofa in an upstairs living room at the family home in the middle-class Shu‘afat suburb of Jerusalem, surrounded by her relatives.The sounds of street battles with Israeli forces rang outside, with 65 people injured in fighting in front of the Abu Khdeir home by nightfall … Alaa Abu Khdeir, 25, Mohammed’s cousin, recalled a boy who was in many ways the baby of the family. “I saw him yesterday at just 1am. He couldn’t hurt a fly, he is so small and so gullible – he believes anything that you tell him,” Alaa said … Outside the Abu Khdeir house, another cousin, Samad Abu Khdeir, 20, stood behind the barricades, a cut on her cheek and a bandage covering her right arm. She said she was one of the first involved in the clashes that began at dawn as news of Mohammed’s abduction broke in the tight-knit community. A stun grenade blew up in front of her as she stood with other young protesters in the usually bustling street. Samad is one of very few female members of the shabab, the name given to the protesters who take on Israeli forces at demonstrations in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. She said many of the male demonstrators had told her to leave the front lines, but she was defiant. As she spoke, waves of shabab moved forward, piling wooden boards as a barrier against rubber bullets and using slingshots to pelt the soldiers with stones … Signalling towards the mob of young men throwing rocks towards the soldiers, Samad said: “They were unfortunate. They killed a member of one of the biggest families in Shu‘afat.”
Cousins of Palestinian teenager: Police ‘protecting killers’
BBC 3 July — Two cousins of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdair, who was abducted and murdered in Jerusalem on Wednesday, have been speaking about the circumstances surrounding his death. Dimah and Sumood Abu Khdair, spoke to the BBC’s Yolande Knell.
Sacramento relatives of slain Palestinian teen say he didn’t deserve to be targeted in Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Sacramento Bee (Calif.) 3 July by Stephen Magagnini — Muhammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teen who was kidnapped and burned to death Wednesday in Jerusalem, was a sweet, peaceful boy, his relatives in Sacramento said Thursday. “He loved to tell jokes and riddles; he was never serious. In all the pictures we have of him he was making a goofy face,” said his first cousin Wadha Abukhdeir. News reports have quoted police as saying they are investigating whether the kidnap and killing of Abu Khdeir, 16, was revenge for the recent murders of three Israeli youths. “He didn’t ask for this, and he didn’t deserve to be a pawn in this deadly game,” Wadha Abukhdeir said. She said that during the month of Ramadan, which began Saturday, her cousin and other youths would gather early in the morning at the mosque near their house for Sukar, the predawn meal before morning call to prayer and a day of fasting. “Three men pulled up in a car and pretended to need direction, then two got out and grabbed him and drove off,” she said. Some of the kids saw what happened, and families gave chase but couldn’t catch them. An hour after Muhammed’s family called Israeli police, “they found him beaten to death and charred in the forest near a Jewish neighborhood,” Wadha said. “He was burned so badly, his family couldn’t identify him. They had to take a DNA test.” Wadha Abukhdeir’s young sister, Nada Abukhdeir, 28, visited their cousin in the summer of 2006. “We sometimes called him Mo or Hamuda – he was a funny kid,” recalled Nada, who studied psychology at UC Davis. “I stayed there the entire summer, and we joked around about getting married. He told me he was going to get married soon, and I said, ‘You’re 8 years old, why are you talking about marriage already?’ ” In tears, Nada said, “We told him and his family how great it is in California, that he has to come and visit, and now he’s not going to get the chance.”
Israel holds US boy without charge after police nearly beat him to death
Electronic Intifada 5 July by Rania Khalek — Fifteen-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abukhdeir, cousin of recent lynching victim Muhammed Abu Khudair, was brutally beaten by masked Israeli police on Thursday evening in the Shu‘afat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. He has since been arrested and held without charge and denied medical treatment, according to his family and the rights group Addameer. Tariq’s family lives in Tampa, Florida and have been on vacation in Palestine since early June. They are scheduled to return to the United States on 16 July. Tariq’s next court hearing is scheduled for Sunday, 6 July. As photos of Tariq’s horrific facial bruises surfaced, so did two videos that show masked Israeli officers punching, kicking and dragging a handcuffed Palestinian in Shuafat. Salahedeen Khdeir, Tariq’s father, told The Electronic Intifada by phone from Shuafat that the Palestinian in the video is his son Tariq and that the footage was recorded by neighbors who then released it to a Palestinian media outlet. Salahedeen says Tariq was visiting his uncle’s house in an area devoid of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians when he and five other youths were attacked in the yard by two masked Israeli police agents. Tariq was roughed up the worst, beaten so badly that he lost consciousness. But that didn’t stop the Israeli forces from arresting Tariq and the others without charge and preventing Tariq from receiving medical treatment for five hours … “Tariq is scared,” said his father, adding that his son speaks very little Arabic and no Hebrew, making an already nightmarish ordeal even more terrifying for the 15-year-old. When asked if he expects any accountability or justice for the treatment of his son, Salahedeen said, “No way, this is Israel. There is no protection for Palestinians from the police or soldiers or army.” Referring to 16-year-old lynching victim Muhammad Abu Khudair, Salahedeen added, “My cousin was kidnapped from outside and got killed after 45 minutes and we gave the police pictures of the kidnappers, the car tags, exactly when and where he was taken and still the police say maybe this is a family problem.”
Video: Father of slain Palestinian teen: My boy was killed by Jewish fascists
Ynet 4 July by Hassan Shaalan — Mohammed Abu Khdeir‘s father spoke with Ynet before his son was laid to rest, and demanded Netanyahu treat his son’s killers like he treats Palestinian terrorists — Hussien Abu Khdeir, the father of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was killed in a possible revenge attack this week, spoke with Ynet on Friday and rejected claims put foward by some Israelis that the boy was not killed for political reasons, but rather as part of a domestic issue or ‘honor killing’.
Israeli police falsely report missing Palestinian by was gay, flooding social media with disinformation
Tikun Olam 2 July by Richard Silverstein — Yesterday night, I noticed several Israeli Facebook users infecting my feed with false claims that Mohamed Abu Khdeir, the 16 year-old who was murdered by suspected Jewish terrorists, was killed in an honor crime because he was gay. With the help of an Israeli friend, I traced the rumor to, of all places, the Israeli police (Hebrew). They leaked (Hebrew) this false information to the media, which dutifully reported it as if it was true (it wasn’t). The police claim (made anonymously of course) that it had “information” Abu Khdeir was gay was false. But this calumny spread like the wind, and a credulous Israeli public eager to believe the worst of Palestinians and refusing to take any responsibility for their own brethren spilling the blood of a Palestinian, took to social media like a raging plague and spread this bile everywhere.
Israel PM slams ‘despicable’ murder of Palestinian teen
JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 July — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday condemned the “despicable murder” of a Palestinian teenager hours after he was kidnapped from a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. “Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the investigating authorities to work as quickly as possible to find out who was behind the despicable murder of the youth, and what is the background of the incident,” a statement from his office said. The prime minister urged all sides not to take the law into their own hands, it said, as fears grew the killing was an act of revenge for the murder by Palestinians of three Israeli teenagers.
Photos of the week: A chronology of two kidnappings
Activestills 3 July — This week: As Israelis mourn the murder of the three Israeli teenagers, right-wingers riot on streets of Jerusalem; a Palestinian teenager is murdered in a suspected ‘revenge attack,’ and the cycle of violence continues. [Activestills’ Tali Mayer was shot in the face with a black sponge bullet during clashes]
The kidnapping of the three Israelis
More of Shaer’s police call revealed: Gunfire and exclamations of joy
Ynet 2 July by Roi Mendel — The chilling recording cleared for publication on Tuesday, that documents moments from the abduction of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, was only partial. The length of the call made from Gil-Ad Shaer’s phone was over two minutes, and Ynet now has the recording in full for the first time. The recording reveals what happened in the kidnappers’ car after the initial sound of gunfire: the conversation between the two terrorists, their expressions of joy and what sounds like a cry of pain, likely from one of the victims. After the policewoman at the police call center asks Gil-Ad to respond to her, more sounds of gunfire are heard. An interview with Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich on Israel Radio is heard coming from the radio in the background and the terrorists are heard exclaiming with joy and uttering the word “thalaathah” (three, in Arabic). The common assumption so far was that the three were shot dead because the kidnapping had gone wrong, but the second part of the recording indicates murder might have been the terrorists’ initial intention.
Gil-Ad Shaer’s mother: Police said the shots were blanks, we had hope
Ynet 2 July by Itay Blumental — Gil-Ad Shaer’s mother, Bat Galim, told Ynet on Wednesday that after being played the recording of her son’s call to the police, several days after her son, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped and murdered, police told her there was a chance the boys were still alive … Bat Galim said the recording hadn’t been released until after the bodies were found because “we were afraid the kidnappers found out it was Gil-Ad who called, under the assumption they are holding our son captive. We didn’t want them to know he’s the one who made the call.” Despite what we now know, Shaer said security officials told the families in the days following the abduction that no blood or DNA traces had been found in the burned car. “This gave us hope,” she said … Even now, a day after the funeral, the Shaer family has yet to receive information from defense officials on the events that led to the murder of their son.”All we know is from the media. I expect an official to come update us,” she said.
Israel: Serious violations in West Bank operations
[excerpts from long report] JERUSALEM (Human Rights Watch) 3 July — Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home demolitions. During raids on Palestinian towns, refugee camps, and villages, Israeli forces have shot and killed at least five Palestinians and arrested and detained at least 150 more without charge. The military says the operations are in response to the kidnappings and killings and intended to weaken Hamas, but the scale of arbitrary arrests and detentions, unlawful use of force, property destruction including home demolitions, and raids on homes and media offices raise the collective punishment concerns. Human Rights Watch investigated two of the deadly shooting cases and found that while some youths were throwing stones, there was no evidence that the victim or anyone in the line of fire posed an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers or others … Israeli settlers, in two separate incidents, reportedly ran over a 28-year-old Palestinian man near Hebron and a 9-year-old girl near Bethlehem in the West Bank on June 30, shortly after Israeli forces discovered the three Israeli teenagers’ bodies … The Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented at least 46 cases from 2005 to early 2013 in which Israeli forces killed Palestinians in the West Bank “by firing live ammunition at stone throwers.” Since September 2000, Israeli forces have killed more than 3,000 Palestinians who did not participate in hostilities, according to B’Tselem’s data. But the military justice system has convicted only six Israeli soldiers for unlawfully killing Palestinians, with the longest jail sentence seven-and-a-half months, according to Yesh Din, another rights group.
Jews attacked at entrance to Qalansawe, car torched
Ynet 5 July by Hassan Shaalan — A night of violent clashes in the Triangle area overnight Friday reached a peak when protestors in Qalansawe, an Arab town in central Israel, burned tires, attacked Jewish civilians who were trapped in the area with their vehicles and set one vehicle on fire. Following the incidents, security forces closed Route 5614 toward Qalansawe to traffic in both directions. 12 people were detained following the riots. The clashes erupted when masked protestors who were standing on the road began asking passing drivers whether they were Jewish or Arab. Two Jewish drivers who answered in Hebrew were forced out of their vehicles and attacked by the protestors. The two drivers sustained light injuries.
Historic Palestine: Thousands protest cold-blooded murder of Abu Khdeir
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Sat by Saed Bannoura — Thousands of Palestinians participated in massive protests held in different parts of historic Palestine, denouncing the ongoing Israel aggression on Gaza, and the brutal murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, tortured and burnt to death by Israeli extremists, in Jerusalem. The protesters chanted against the escalating war crimes against the Palestinian people, while more protests will be held in different parts of the country, the Arabs48 news website has reported. On Friday evening, hundreds marched in Majd al-Kroum in the Upper Galilee, while hundreds also marched in the al-Fredees village, Jisr az-Zarqa coastal town … Hundreds also marched in Sakhnin in a protest organized the Communist Party and the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, calling “for an end to racism and fascism”, and denouncing the brutal torture and murder of Abu Khdeir. A similar protest was also held in Majd al-Kroum, denouncing the torture and execution of Abu Khdeir. Several Arab Members of Knesset, political leaders and public figures participated in the protests.
WATCH: Israeli Jews attack Palestinian on public bus
972mag 4 July by Lisa Goldman — The following video shows an incident that took place on a municipal bus in the greater Tel Aviv area (near Bnei Brak, for those who know the territory). This was a couple of days ago, shortly after the bodies of three Jewish boys who were abducted in mid-June were discovered in the West Bank. The video shows a Palestinian man (wearing a baseball cap), presumably a citizen of Israel. Three men in military uniform (they are not combat soldiers, but probably employees of the ministry of defense — i.e., bureaucrats) form a human barrier between the Palestinian man and a group of Jewish-Israeli men. The man in the white shirt is shouting, “Filthy Arabs!”; ”Filthy Arab murderers of children!”; “I’ll take your heads off!”; “F*ck your mothers!”; “This is our country and not yours!” The Palestinian man is outraged – he shouts and indicates that he wants to respond physically, but the men in uniform who have created the physical barrier tell him to be quiet, sit down and wait for the police to arrive. In the background, some of the passengers are muttering things like, “Shut up, you donkey!” and “Idiot!” at the Jewish man, while others try to push the uniformed men aside in order to attack the Palestinian. In the end, the bald man in the striped shirt succeeds in pushing aside the uniformed men who are trying to create a physical barrier around the Palestinian man. He reaches across and slaps the Palestinian man. It’s very easy to imagine how this scene could have devolved into something much, much worse.
Other violence / Arrests (West Bank)
Soldiers attack, beat a Palestinian in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 5 July — A number of fanatic Israeli settlers attacked, on Saturday, a Palestinian man in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and violently beat him, inflicting moderate injuries. The attack took place in the Sha’aba neighborhood, in Hebron city. The wounded Palestinian, Bashir Sobhi al-Mohtaseb, 30, was moved to the al-Ahli Hospital in the city, suffering various cuts and bruises. The WAFA News Agency quoted Palestinian residents of the area stating that the settlers came from the Kiryat Arba illegal settlement, east of Hebron city.
Israeli soldiers assault families near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 July — Israeli soldiers assaulted Thursday night a resident and his mother in Beit Ummar and a family from Hebron, an official said. A spokesman for popular committees in Beit Ummar said that Israeli forces assaulted Ashraf Izzat Khalil Sabarneh as he was trying to enter his own house. They hit him in his head and face and followed him inside the house. He suffered bruises. The spokesman, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, said that soldiers also assaulted Sabarneh’s mother when she tried to defend her son. They assaulted her and pushed her to the ground before they threw a tear-gas canister inside the house. Ashraf Sabarneh was sent to a near hospital for treatment. Awad highlighted that Israeli forces prevented him from taking pictures of Sabarneh’s house.
Israeli forces also raided a house that belongs to the Massoudi family near the Ibrahimi mosque in the city of Hebron. Soldiers assaulted the family, leaving two brothers with bruises and injuries.
Palestinian man shot, critically injured near Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 3 July — Four Palestinians were injured early Thursday, including one critically, in clashes with Israeli forces in the Jerusalem town of ‘Anata, medics said. Medical sources told Ma‘an that a young man was in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head by Israeli forces during clashes in the town overnight. Three other men suffered minor injuries … The demonstrations were in response to the kidnapping and killing of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir overnight Tuesday.
Israeli forces attack mosque in village near Salfit, detaining and beating a child
QARAWAT BANI HASSAN, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Nablus Team) 3 July — At 9 o’clock in the evening of July 2nd, Israeli forces invaded the small Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan, approximately 10 km northwest of Salfit in the northern half of the West Bank. They approached the mosque in the center of town and fired tear gas and stun grenades inside. One witness described the scene as follows: “There were maybe 500 people inside the mosque – many old men, women and children. The tear gas was horrible. It was difficult to breathe. The sound bombs were terrifying, and the children were so afraid.” The motives of the soldiers remain mystifying, since the streets surrounding the mosque had been empty before the attack. “They just come here to make problems,” suggested one witness. The occupants of the mosque escaped the tear gas, and clashes ensued on the nearby streets. Qasaam Mareh, a fourteen year old boy, was detained by the soldiers. According to witnesses, they interrogated and beat him, before they took him away in a jeep. Qasaam was held for approximately eighteen hours before finally being released the next day.
170 Palestinians injured in East Jerusalem clashes
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Over 170 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday following the kidnapping and killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian from the Shu‘fat neighborhood, medics said. Red Crescent medics said 170 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, including three with live bullets. At least 35 people were injured by rubber bullets, including six journalists, and three people suffered fractures after being assaulted by Israeli police officers. Palestine TV reporter Kristine Rinawi and cameramen Ali Yasin and Ahmad Gharabla were among those reported injured. Rajih al-Hawarin, a Red Crescent paramedic, told Ma‘an that soldiers were firing tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades, and live fire at protesters. Clashes broke out early Wednesday as Palestinians took to the streets to protest the kidnapping and killing of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir. Eyewitnesses told AFP 16-year-old Muhammed was seen being forced into a car by three Israelis in East Jerusalem. Shortly after dawn, crowds of angry Palestinians began gathering outside the teenager’s home in Shufat, with clashes erupting around 8:00 a.m.
Israeli police attack mourners after Palestinian teenager’s funeral
IMEMC 5 July by Celine Hagbard — At least 2,000 Palestinians attended the funeral of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was killed Wednesday morning in a brutal attack in which he was abducted, stabbed and burned to death. The mourners were met by thousands of Israeli police, who were deployed to the streets of Jerusalem in advance of the funeral Friday morning. At least twenty people were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades and tear gas canisters that were fired by Israeli officers into the crowd. Paestinian youth responded by throwing stones. The pall-bearers carried the body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir from Hadassah hospital to the cemetery through the streets of Shu’fat, with thousands of people following the family shouting “We have had enough!” and “God is great!”. … Despite the large outpouring of support for the family at the funeral, many Palestinians living in Jerusalem have remained indoors, afraid to go outside since Monday, when crowds of right-wing Israelis took to the streets shouting “Death to Arabs” following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli settlers. The Al Aqsa Mosque reported just 8,000 people attending Friday prayers today – last year at this time, there was an average of 80,000 attending on Fridays during the holy month of Ramadan. Abu Khdeir’s family had requested that their child’s funeral be held there, but Israeli authorities denied that request.
Video: Israeli soldiers and settlers attack Palestinians and ISM volunteers in Hebron
TEL RUMEIDA, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Khalil Team) 2 July — For the past two days in al-Khalil (Hebron) Israeli soldiers have stopped and searched many Palestinians in Tel Rumeida. At approximately 22:00 two nights ago, a colonial settler began aggressively photographing Palestinian children who were playing football in the street on Tel Rumeida hill. Two ISM activists began filming her. She then approached one ISM volunteer and pushed the camera very close to his face. Other settlers arrived and began to harass the Palestinian children and tried to steal their football. The settlers also began to push some of the Palestinians. One settler tried to force entry into a Palestinian shop whilst shouting, “I’m going to butcher you”. A group of Israeli soldiers initially tried to block the settlers and prevent them from attacking the Palestinians, but when this was unsuccessful, decided instead to force the Palestinians to move. They attacked the Palestinians using stun grenades and pushed a number of people. The settlers and soldiers then began attacking ISM activists who were filming. The soldiers cocked their guns several times and pointed them in the faces of ISM volunteers. A soldier stamped on the foot of one of the activists.Two ISMers, and an activist from Christian Peacemaker Teams were physically hit by settlers who tried to steal their cameras. One activist turned his back to a soldier and began walking away as instructed by him and was kicked forcefully from behind in the testicles by the soldier. Soldiers then positioned themselves to prevent Palestinians from returning to their homes. Shortly after this, around 40 Palestinians left the mosque at the top of Tel Rumeida hill and began walking down the hill towards their home. They were stopped and threatened by the soldiers. The soldiers eventually agreed to let people return home but insisted that people walk one by one. At the same time, soldiers allowed a large group of settlers to congregate at the junction. Palestinians were therefore forced to walk through the settlers alone, and were subject to intimidation and threats….
Video: The arrest of Miko Peled – Bil‘in
by Haitham Khatib — Israeli author, peace activist is arrested during Bil‘in weekly demo. Free Palestine, he says as he walks away.
WATCH: Israeli soldiers, settlers assault Palestinians in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 July – A human rights group based in Hebron in the southern West Bank published video footage Wednesday featuring Israeli settlers and soldiers assaulting Palestinian residents in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the center of Hebron. The footage, taken Tuesday night by “Human Rights Defenders”, shows activist Tahir Dweik being attacked while he walks near an Israeli military checkpoint in Tel Rumeida. As Dweik comes close to the Israeli troops, they force him to stand facing the wall and then inspect him after taking his ID card. The soldiers then cuff his hands before one of them pushes him, causing him to fall to the ground.
The video also shows a female settler attacking family members of another activist in the same group, Imad Abu Shamsiyya. The settler is seen entering the property of the Abu Shamsiyya home and taking photos. Abu Shamsiyya’s wife starts to shout and call for help while taking photos of the settler. Israeli soldiers are then seen forcing the Abu Shamsiyya family to go inside and lock their doors behind them while the female settler remains in their yard. A child settler hurled stones at Abu Shamsiyya’s wife, breaking her mobile phone, but that attack was not caught on the video, according to the group.
Settler shoots, injures Palestinian
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 3 July – An Israeli settler Thursday opened fire at a Palestinian youth, injuring him in the foot, near ar-Ram town, northeast of Hebron, according to the youth. Ali Abu-Samra, 30, said a settler got out of his car and opened fire at him with a pistol before fleeing the scene.
Settlers attack Palestinian cars near Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 July — Dozens of Israeli settlers on Wednesday attacked Palestinian cars near the Jerusalem village of Jaba‘, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that over 60 settlers attacked Palestinian cars with rocks, causing damage to several vehicles. Israeli forces were at the scene but did nothing to prevent the attacks, locals added.
Overnight Tuesday, settlers set fire to an animal farm in the northern West Bank.
Israel detains 13 in West Bank, 2 charities shut down
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli forces detained 13 Palestinians and closed down two charities in the West Bank overnight Wednesday as part of a manhunt to find two men accused of kidnapping and killing three Israeli youths. In Beit Kahil, Israeli forces used explosives to blow open the main door of an Islamic charity and emptied all of the contents onto a military truck. Palestinian youths responded by hurling stones at Israeli forces, who fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters at locals.
In Surif, northwest of Hebron, a group of settlers surrounded a Palestinian home, leading to clashes with locals. Israeli forces arrived at the scene and fired rubber-coated bullets at local Palestinians, injuring Salih Jibril Abu Fara, Alaa Sabri Abu Salih and Hammad Jamal Hmeidat.
Israeli forces raided el-‘Arrub refugee camp in Hebron and ransacked several homes, while in Hebron Abed Nimir al-Zeir was detained after soldiers ransacked his house.
Ministry: 540 Palestinians detained during arrest campaign
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 July — Over 640 Palestinians have been detained during an arrest campaign launched by Israel following the disappearance of three Israeli youths on June 12, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this week. The figures include 59 prisoners released in the 2011 exchange deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and 11 members of the Palestinian parliament. Over 170 of those detained have been sentenced to administrative detention. At least six Palestinians have been killed during the arrest raids as Israeli forces have raided thousands of locations in the West Bank every day since June 12.
Prisoners / Court actions
Palestinian hunger striker suspends protest after 43 days
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 July — Palestinian detainee Raed Moussa, 33, on Wednesday suspended his hunger strike action after 43 days without food, a prisoner rights group said. Director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society Abdullah Anani told Ma‘an that Moussa halted his protest action after Israel’s prison service promised he would be released on July 27. Moussa will be moved form the Soroka medical center to Israel’s Negev prison upon his request, where he will have his first meal since beginning his hunger strike 43 days ago. He thanked all Palestinian prisoners for their support during his protest action.
Israel court extends detention of 14 Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 July — An Israeli court extended the detention of 14 Palestinians from Jerusalem, Palestinian Prisoners’ Society lawyer Mufeed al-Hajj said … The detention of six people from Shu‘fat was also extended. Mahmoud Abu Khdeir, 16, Mohammad Abu Nie, 15, Karim Abu Khdeir, 23, Amer Hassan, 32, Shawish Fathi, 22, and Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, who was brutally beaten by Israeli police during his arrest, will remain in custody until Monday, July 7. They were all detained in clashes that erupted in different areas in Jerusalem on Thursday after the abduction and the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammad Abu Khdeir.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Several injured in clashes as army demolishes home of suspect
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli forces in the Hebron district early Wednesday demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli police officer in April, sparking clashes with locals that left several injured, locals said. The Israeli army confirmed it demolished the home of Ziad Awwad in the village of Idhna, saying in a statement that the demolition “serves to deter and conveys a severe warning to terrorists and their accomplices that their actions will bear severe consequences.” According to B’Tselem, 13 people, including eight children, lived in the home. Locals said that as Israeli soldiers used explosives to destroy the home, Palestinians hurled rocks and empty bottles at them. Israeli forces responded with live fire, rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades, locals said. Locals identified six Palestinians injured by live bullets as 19-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Farajallah, 17-year-old Shadi Fadil al-Najjar, 28-year-old Ismail Jubran Muhammad Atiyeh, 20-year-old Qusay Shawqi Tmeizi, 21-year-old Fadi Yousif Jiyawi, and 21-year-old Muataz Samih Mirshid Slemiya. Four other youths were injured by rubber-coated bullets.
IDF planning to demolish homes of dozens of Palestinian militants in West Bank
Haaretz 4 July by Chaim Levinson — Israel has reinstated house demolitions in the West Bank after a decade-long hiatus as part of its latest efforts against Hamas — The Israel Defense Forces is considering demolishing dozens of homes in the West Bank, including those of Hamas leaders, arguing that prison time is not an adequate deterrent for crimes. The IDF is conducting staff work in the run-up to a decision … Meanwhile, in the town of ‘Awarta near Nablus this week, IDF officials have measured the homes of the two men convicted of murdering the Fogel family in March 2011. The IDF also intends to demolish the homes of the following: the two suspects in the recent kidnapping and murder of three teens in the West Bank, the two men convicted of kidnapping and murdering soldier Tomer Hazan, the teen convicted of murdering soldier Eden Attias, and the two men who confessed to murdering Col. (res.) Seraiah Ofer. The latter three killings all took place in the second half of last year. The Hamas leaders who would be punished this way are the ones arrested after the kidnapping of the three teens. The homes of Hamas military leaders who are in Israeli prisons were demolished years ago. Others whose homes may be demolished are men released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011; in that case, Israeli officials would have to prove that these men have returned to terror.
Israeli forces confiscate contents of Hebron factory
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli forces confiscated the contents of a dairy factory in Hebron late Wednesday, less than a week after Israel issued a demolition order to the Islamic charity which owns the property. “We received an order a week ago, from the Israeli council of planning, to remove the factory under the pretext that it was built without a license,” Sheikh Hatim al-Bakri, who chairs Hebron Islamic Charitable Society, told Ma‘an. “We filed an appeal at Israeli courts against the decision and the case is still pending a court decision, but the occupation observes no law.” “This is a punishment to humanity,” he added. Money from the factory goes to orphans registered with the Islamic Charitable Society, al-Bakri said, and the factory employs around 52 workers.
New Etzion settlements honor Israeli teens
Ynet 4 July by Itay Blumenthal — Caravan housing units brought into region overnight, creating Ramat HaShlosha and Talmi Haim to honor murdered Israeli teens — …Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council David Pearl said that his intentions were to construct hundreds of new housing units in the new settlements. “The murderers wanted to harm and weaken the settlements and we have one answer: to strengthen or unity on the ground and construction on the last where the kidnapping took place.” Pearl’s deputy, Moshe Seville added, “The creation of the two new towns in the center of eastern Etzion is a clear and concise statement: Gush Etzion is an indivisible part of the State of Israel. This is the first step in establishing sovereignty over the entire region.”
Israeli settlers set up outposts near Hebron
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 July — Israeli settlers set up outposts early Friday in northern Hebron, an official said. The secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative in the town of Surif in northern Hebron told Ma‘an that locals found settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, setting up an outpost on the al-Jreinat mountain between Surif and Jaba‘a Friday morning. Shihada Hmeidat said that at 2 a.m. he heard the sounds of Israeli bulldozers and vehicles that were digging until morning. Settlers set up six caravans on the top of the mountain. Hmeidat said that this outpost is an extension of the Gush Etzion settlement near Surif, after the Israeli minister of defense ordered building more settlements. The lands on which the outposts were set up belong to the al-Ghneimat and al-Hur families.
5 Palestinians injured in clashes in Hebron-area village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 July — Five Palestinians were injured in clashes that broke out in Sureif [or Surif] village northwest of Hebron on Friday, activists said. Spokesman for the popular resistance committee Mohammad Ayyad Awad said two were shot with live bullets in the feet, three were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, and others suffered excessive tear-gas inhalation. Clashes erupted after Israeli settlers started building a new outpost in the village, Awad added.
Israel to build new settlement near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 3 July – Israeli bulldozers Thursday razed over a 50-dunum area located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Karmie Zur, north of Hebron, as a prelude to confiscate it, according to a local source. A local resident told WAFA that the land, located in Area C under full Israeli control, is his private property. He said Israel is razing the area as a prelude to establish a new settlement named “Zur Shalom” at the expense of the land of local residents in the nearby towns of Beit Ummar and Halhul.
Israeli authorities to confiscate 16 dunums near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli authorities issued confiscation orders for 16 dunams of Palestinian land west of Nablus, a Palestinian official said Thursday. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity, said the Israel’s civil administration informed residents that 16 dunams of land near Deir Sharif will be confiscated for military purposes.
Israel demolishes 20 residential sheds near Tubas
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 3 July – Israeli army bulldozers Thursday demolished Palestinian private-owned residential sheds in al-‘Aqaba, a small village to the east of Tubas governorate, according to local sources. Head of al-‘Aqaba village council, Sami Sadeq, said 20 Israeli army vehicles accompanied by bulldozers arrived in the village and demolished eight residential sheds, built almost 20 years ago and made out of tinplate, without any prior notice. The village has been targeted by Israeli army during the past 20 years, including repeated house demolitions
Gaza under dual blockades
Rockets continue to hit south, IDF refrains from response
Ynet 5 July by Matan Tzuri — Residents of southern Israel once again woke up to the sound of sirens when the Color Red rocket alert blared in Sderot and Shaar Hanegev overnight Friday, followed by a rocket that exploded in an open area near Sderot. Another siren sounded in Eshkol Regional council on Saturday morning, after which a rocket exploded in an open area. No injuries were reported. Breaking with past policy, the IDF or air force has yet to respond to the rocket fire and refrained from attacking the Gaza Strip during the night. After rocket attacks on Israel, the IAF usually responds by targeting rocket launcher cells or terror infrastructure in Gaza Strip. However, in line with the message sent indirectly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and government officials to Hamas Wednesday, according to which calm will be met with calm, the military has refrained from responding. On Friday, the BBC reported that Israel and Hamas have reached a ceasefire agreement that would put an end to the recent escalation in southern Israel.
Israel targets Gaza after rocket fire
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 July — Israeli fighter jets bombed three Hamas sites in the southern Gaza Strip late Friday after 14 projectiles were fired from the besieged enclave into southern Israel, military officials said. There were no immediate reports of injury or damage. In a statement, the Israeli military said the bombings were in response to “constant rocket fire” toward southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. “Since midnight, 14 projectiles were fired at Israel. 10 rockets and mortars hit Israel, 3 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and 1 landed in Palestinian territory,” it said. “Since the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers, approximately 150 projectiles were fired at Israel, out of which approximately 98 landed in Israel and 18 were intercepted by the Iron Dome,” the statement said.
Israeli forces shoot, critically injure man in central Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 July — A Palestinian was shot and critically injured by Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip. Medical sources said he was shot in the chest and taken to a hospital. The Israeli army said it opened fire at Palestinians who approached the fence and were suspected of attempting to plant an explosive device.
Hours earlier, Israeli forces fired multiple mortar shells at southern Gaza, locals and Israel’s army said. Witnesses said that tanks fired at least three shells east of Rafah that targeted the abandoned Yasser Arafat airport. No injuries were reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that Israeli forces used mortar fire in the southern Gaza Strip in response to two mortar shells fired from Gaza. The mortars landed in the Eshkol regional council with no injuries reported.
11 injured in multiple Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 3 July — Eleven Palestinians were injured overnight Wednesday as Israel attacked 15 targets in the Gaza Strip, medics said. Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 11 Palestinians were hospitalized following multiple airstrikes, including a 17-year-old boy who sustained shrapnel wounds near Gaza City. Another airstrike targeted a Hamas training base west of Gaza City, with an elderly woman and teenage girl sustaining injuries in the northern Gaza Strip. Three airstrikes targeted Hamas training bases in the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City and the city of Beit Hanoun, while a further three airstrikes targeted an area near the former PA intelligence headquarters in northern Gaza. In southern Gaza, an airstrike targeted a military base belonging to Hamas near Rafah … Twenty rockets were fired at Israel since Wednesday, Israel’s army said, with one hitting a home in the city of Sderot, with no injuries reported.
Israel moves troops toward Gaza border after rocket fire
JERUSALEM (AFP) 3 July — Israel’s army said Thursday it has moved a small number of reinforcements toward the border with Gaza, following an uptick in rocket fire and airstrikes overnight. The deployment also comes amid rising tension after a Palestinian boy was kidnapped and killed, apparently in revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. “We are moving and we have moved forces in order to serve defense activities and forward preparation, but we have no interest in escalation,” army spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner told journalists. The reinforcements were reserve officers at “headquarter level, not in the field,” Lerner said, and were purely a defensive measure. “We have no interest in deepening the conflict with Gaza,” he said. More than 30 rockets were fired on Wednesday and Thursday from Gaza, the army said. Lerner said Hamas itself fired some of the rockets. Israel responded with airstrikes, wounding 11 Palestinians in the Strip. Some rockets landed in southern Israel, causing damage to buildings but no casualties.
Meshal: Hamas not responsible for kidnapping, wants calm with Israel
Haaretz 3 July by Jack Khoury — Khaled Meshal, head of the Hamas political bureau, told Sky News in Arabic on Wednesday that his organization is not behind the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens in the West Bank. According to the report, Khaled asked Turkey to intervene in the crisis with Israel and to convey a message that Hamas is interested in calming things down and avoiding further military conflict with Israel. The report received prominent coverage in leading Palestinian and Arab media. But on Wednesday night the Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zohari, published a denial. Several hours after Meshal’s comments were aired, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that the Palestinian people would not remain indifferent in light of continued Israeli belligerence.
Thousands protest in Tel Aviv: Destroying Gaza won’t lead to calm
Ynet 3 July by Itay Blumental — While some in the right are calling for revenge for the kidnapping and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, hundreds of protesters gathered at HaBima Square in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening urging “No to Escalation, No to Revenge.” The protest was organized by Peace Now and opposition parties … Labor MK Eitan Cabel called to stop the hate before it is too late. “In one of the Facebook posts there is a picture of two teenage girls smiling with a sign that says ‘hating Arabs is not racism, it is values.’ I was shocked when I saw thousands of likes under that photo,” he said. “This hate is the opposite of what our people represent, and the opposite of the legacy of love and acceptance. We must stop.
Hamas ‘considering alternatives’ to unity govt in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 July — Amid frustration with the newly-formed national consensus government, Hamas is considering the option of forming a separatist government in Gaza led by Palestinian factions, a leader of the Islamist movement said Saturday. Senior Hamas official Ahmad Yousef told Ma‘an that the movement had begun consultations with nationalist and Islamist factions in the Gaza Strip to consider forming a new government. “We are talking about an all-faction leadership to prevent security chaos and solve the crisis of salaries for the Gaza Strip’s civil servants,” Yousef said.
Calls to end Palestinian security cooperation with Israel
The Media Line 4 July by Abdullah H. Erakat — Abbas faced with increasing pressure to cut security ties with Israel after Arab teen killed, threatening one of the few cornerstones of Israel-PA coexistence — A Palestinian official says that Mahmoud Abbas’ security forces should stop working with Israel. Bassam Al Salhi, a member of the Palestinian parliament, says the “one sided security cooperation where the Palestinians have to do their part and the Israelis do nothing,” should end. He says this issue needs to be discussed at the highest level. “I don’t think there is a need for the Palestinians to continue in this commitment when the Israelis do not respect their commitments,” he told The Media Line.
IDF soldiers jailed for online images urging PM to let them ‘annihilate terrorists’
Ynet 3 July — Four IDF soldiers from a haredi unit in the Kfir Brigade were sentenced to 10 days in jail Thursday morning, after posting images on Facebook opposing Israeli military restraint and calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to let them “annihilate terrorists.” The four were found guilty by the battalion’s deputy commander of violating military discipline.
Israeli universities to reprimand Arab students over ‘pro-kidnapping’ posts
Haaretz 3 July by Yarden Skop — The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Ariel University have decided in recent days to take disciplinary action against Arab Israeli students over posts on social media relating to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. One medical student at the Technion wrote on Facebook after the three teenagers’ bodies were discovered: “The Palestinian national team scored three goals, even though it didn’t make the World Cup.” A molecular biology student in Ariel University wrote “don’t worry, in another few days the three kidnapped kids will send you warm regards!!!”
BDS bursts SodaStream’s UK bubble
Haaretz 3 July — Within days, major department store chain takes beverage machines, produced mainly in West Bank, off its shelves, and company’s store in Brighton closes down — SodaStream, the Israel-based beverage machine maker being targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement because of its West Bank production plant, has suffered serious setbacks in recent days in Britain, the Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.
Hackers take over Israeli army Twitter account
JERUSALEM (AFP) 4 July — Internet hackers briefly took over an Israeli army Twitter account, the military said Friday, posting an alarming message that a nuclear facility had been hit by rocket fire. Israeli news website Ynet posted a screen shot of what it said was the offending tweet. “#WARNING: Possible nuclear leak in the region after 2 rockets hit Dimona nuclear facility” in the south of the country, it read. The army told AFP that “several incorrect tweets were posted” on its English spokesperson’s account (@IDFspokesperson) late Thursday, saying the account had been “compromised.” The account posted an apology to followers and had erased any trace of the hackers’ false messages by Friday morning. Internet hacking group the Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility, posting a screen shot of the army’s Twitter page with at least two of its fake tweets.
Israeli deny Palestinian minister entry to northern Jordan Valley
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 3 July – Israeli forces on Thursday denied Palestinian minister of agriculture Shawqi al-Ayasa entry to the northern Jordan Valley where he was scheduled to meet with farmers in the village of Furush Beit Dajan. Head of the local council of Beit Dajan Nasr Abu Jeish told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers stationed at Hamra checkpoint denied al-Ayasa entry through the checkpoint. The soldiers claimed there was no coordination for the visit between the Palestinian and Israeli liaison departments. The minister was held for about 45 minutes at the checkpoint before the soldiers closed it and asked al-Ayasa to go back. Abu Jeish added that the minister was scheduled to attend a meeting with farmers from the Jordan Valley to listen to their problems especially water shortage. The meeting was organized by the local council of Beit Dajan and the Nablus governorate. The meeting was eventually held in al-Badhan village in northeast Nablus where both the minister and farmers were able to go without passing through Israeli checkpoints.
Gaza flotilla activist Dror Feiler barred from entering Israel
JNS.org 4 July The administrative court in Jerusalem approved the decision of Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to ban radical left-wing activist Dror Feiler from entering Israel after he made a request to visit his 90-year-old mother, Israel Hayom reported. Feiler, a Swedish citizen who renounced his Israeli citizenship, has taken part in three flotillas, including the Mavi Marmara, which tried to break the blockade on Gaza in 2010. After the incident, he was banned from Israel for 10 years … .Jerusalem District Attorney Nadav Binenbaum proved that Feiler’s mother had visited Sweden four months prior to the plea, and flew abroad six times in the last five years, indicating that Feiler can see his mother outside Israel.
Analysis / Opinion
Unequal in worth, unequal in death / Samah Jabr
New Internationalist 3 July — This morning I woke up to the noise of helicopters, police cars, and ambulances as clashes erupted in our previously peaceful neighbourhood of Shu‘fat, East Jerusalem, with Israeli security forces shooting at Palestinian youths who were protesting the killing of a 16-year-old boy, Mohammed Abu Khudair. Mohammed had been snatched from our neighbourhood while on his way to prayers at dawn, but eyewitnesses who observed him forced into a vehicle had informed the police. A few hours later, Israeli police discovered his body in the forests of Jerusalem in the site of the massacred village of Deir Yasin – a moment of déjà vu or a traumatic flashback of the village itself! His body had been stabbed, disfigured and charred. These events took place the night following an attempt by Israelis to kidnap a 10-year-old boy, Mousa Zalloum, who was saved by his mother’s courageous resistance. This child and his mother Deema survive to tell their story … international diplomats and global leaders (who would not know the names of any of the Palestinian children who are killed on an almost-daily basis) are deploring in the strongest terms the killing of the settlers, identifying them name by name. The story of Yousef Shawamreh, age 14, who was killed in March while harvesting the wild thorny vegetable gundelia (akkoub) in Deir Al Asal south of Hebron, or the story of Ahmad Sabarin, age 20, who was watching a match of the World Cup when the Israelis came to arrest people in this Al Jalazoun refugee camp and was shot as he went out to see what was going on – these stories are not known to the diplomats. Saker Daraghmeh, age 16, who was killed in the Tayaseer village near the Jordan Valley while shepherding his cattle, or Muhammad Abu Daher and Nadim Nawwara, two teenagers killed while commemorating the Nakba – the death of these young people did not earn international visibility equal to the killing of the settlers.
Berlin, 1933 and Jerusalem, 2014: When racist thugs are on the prowl / Chemi Shalev
Haaretz 2 July — The gangs of Jewish ruffians man-hunting for Arabs are a manifestation of the dangerous evil that will surely triumph if good men continue to do nothing — …“How dare he compare isolated incidents here and there to Nazi Germany,” you are thinking to yourself. “This is an outrageous trivialization of the Holocaust.” You are right, of course. My intention is not to draw any parallel whatsoever. Both my parents lost their families during World War II, and I need no convincing that the Holocaust is a crime so unique in its evil totality that it stands by itself even in the annals of other premeditated genocides. But I am a Jew, and there are scenes of the Holocaust that are indelibly etched in my mind, even though I was not alive at the time. And when I saw the videos and pictures of gangs of right-wing Jewish racists running through the streets of Jerusalem, chanting “Death to the Arabs,” hunting for random Arabs, picking them out by their appearance or by their accents, chasing them in broad daylight, “drooling like hysterical beasts” and then beating them up before the police could arrive – the historical association was automatic. It was the first thing that jumped into my mind. It should have been, I think, the first thing that jumped into any Jew’s mind … But make no mistake: the gangs of Jewish ruffians man-hunting for Arabs are no aberration. Theirs was not a one-time outpouring of uncontrollable rage following the discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped students. Their inflamed hatred does not exist in a vacuum: it is an ongoing presence, growing by the day, encompassing ever larger segments of Israeli society, nurtured in a public environment of resentment, insularity and victimhood, fostered and fed by politicians and pundits – some cynical, some sincere – who have grown weary of democracy and its foibles and who long for an Israel, not to put too fine a point on it, of one state, one nation and, somewhere down the line, one leader.
From kidnapping to collapse: The beginning of the end? / Jeff Halper
972blog 2 July — In the end, the unsustainability of warehousing Palestinians will force the hand of the international community. The Israeli government, so strong it does not know when to stop, will lead us to that moment — … Indeed, after the death of Arafat in 2004, if not before, Israel ushered in yet another variation of occupation: joint Israeli-Palestinian occupation rooted in an American-trained Palestinian Authority militia acting as Israel’s policeman. And so it is with the killing of the three that we are about to enter yet another new and terrible phase of post-occupation, warehousing, a step beyond apartheid. After their land has been expropriated and 96 percent of the Palestinians confined to dozens of tiny islands on less than 40 percent of the Occupied Territories – i.e., 40 percent of 22 percent of their homeland – after 30,000 of their homes have been demolished and an entire population exposed to impoverishment and, in Gaza, conditions bordering on starvation, after negotiations have ended permanently and settlements have reached their critical, irreversible mass, warehousing is about to begin. The good news is: as violent and oppressive as Israel’s campaign of warehousing is likely to be (though strong international pressure may avert the worst measures), it will lead in short order to the complete collapse of Israeli rule and, if we are ready with an inclusive alternative, will open the way to new possibilities of a just peace not available today.
Bulldoze the Jewish terrorists’ homes / Rabbi Daniel Landes
Haaretz 4 July — The tragedy of the innocent boys murdered by terrorists will haunt us for a long time, but it will not destroy us. Jewish revenge killings will — There is only one sane and truly halakhic way to tackle our current situation: Take the well-known members of the Orthodox Price Tag gang and lock ‘em up, for a long time and in an inaccessible prison. Don’t let them go home for chagim and deny them visitors. Do the best to break and separate them. Freeze monies that go to their families. And when and if we have proven guilty perpetrators, bulldoze their parents’ homes. The last will stop them. Am I overreaching? Might not Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Arab teen murdered and his body desecrated, have been the victim of a different Jewish group or of some criminal group, perhaps Arab? Maybe, although I doubt it. But what is not doubtful is that the PTG – the Price Tag Gang – is headed in the direction of creating real havoc with us and with our Arab citizens and with neighboring populations. Since the PTG could care less about Western values, let us refer them to Jewish Law and values and utilize some rules from that body of wisdom. The PTG is an imminent sakanat nefashot, a danger to life. They are a fire burning on the Sabbath that will destroy not only property, but the lives of soldiers, police and civilians. Indeed, the PTG seemingly wants to cause tension and havoc, leading possibly to war. In their apocalyptic vision, they are confident that Israel will finally “do what it has always needed to do” and act with outstanding force to destroy not only Hamas but the PA and probably all other Muslims. This is a fiery threat that needs a cold water cannon to extinguish it. When we don’t counter the PTG we destroy a fundamental principle of Torah equality – “One Torah and one Justice should be for you and for the stranger that resides in your midst,” (Numbers 15:16.)
Arab teen’s killing limits PM’s options against Hamas
Donia Al-Watan 4 July — As Israelis anxiously await their government’s reaction to the killing of three students, the killing of a fourth teenager might significantly curtail Israel ability for maneuver. On Tuesday evening, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to avenge the June 12 abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers. Since then, the Israeli public has not heard another word from the prime minister about which concrete steps he actually intends to take … Many different measures were raised: from expanding settlement construction to expelling Hamas terrorists from the West Bank to Gaza. Some top ministers called for an extensive military campaign, including targeted killing of gunmen and toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza. But no decisions have been announced. In his statement Tuesday, Netanyahu hinted at a relatively moderate response, while many Israelis – including senior ministers in his security cabinet – called for harsher measures. But then something happened that may have changed Israel’s game plan, whatever it might have been. (After a fierce disagreement among ministers over how to respond to the killings, leaked after the first cabinet meeting Monday, Netanyahu instructed them to maintain absolute radio silence over the debate. It’s rare that nothing leaks out from a cabinet meeting, but so far the ministers have been keeping their mouths shut.) Early Wednesday morning, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old teenager from East Jerusalem, was kidnapped and slain. International condemnations started pouring in almost immediately after the news of Abu Khdeir’s death broke. The many statements – from the White House and the State Department, the United Nations and the European Union — all came with calls for restraint appended to expressions of condolence, a more-or-less explicit warning aimed at Jerusalem. Israel, of course, doesn’t like to be told what to do by Ban Ki-moon, Catherine Ashton and the other voices calling for moderation. But the strong language and surprisingly swift delivery of their statements sent a clear message that Jerusalem might not be able to ignore….
Analysis: The end of the ‘cheap occupation’ era / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 1 July — …In previous years, Israel enjoyed unprecedented calm in the West Bank, largely due to tight military coordination with the Palestinian Authority. The PA’s main policy objective was preventing attacks on Israelis. This coordination reached its peak in 2012, a year in which not a single Israeli was killed in the West Bank. This was the era of the “cheap occupation” – when the PA was financed by the United States and the European Union, and Israel benefited from its work. One Palestinian I spoke to called it “room service occupation,” meaning that “Israel could pick up the phone and the PA would hand it a wanted man on a plate.” Under such circumstances, the Israeli right was able to market the West Bank to the public as the local Tuscany, and consider the comfortable status quo to be a legitimate, long-term solution … Yet what justified the existence of the Palestinian Authority – let alone its policies – was a promised endgame in the form of a Palestinian state. Now that it is clear a state is not around the corner — and may never be established at all. The unity deal and caretaker government was an alternative achievement by Mahmoud Abbas that was meant to prepare the ground for a renewed diplomatic effort. However, this government’s fate is also unclear. If Palestinian politics have no goal, no unity, no elections and certainly no state, then the rationale behind supporting security coordination with Israel also collapses.
Going against the grain
AlJazeera World 2 July Filmmaker: Bilal Yousef — Journalist Gideon Levy is arguably the most hated man in Israel for his reports on the occupied Palestinian territories — Gideon Levy is someone who evokes strong emotions from fellow Israelis. The writer and journalist has made weekly visits, over the past three decades, to the occupied Palestinian territories, describing what he sees – plainly and without propaganda. For some Israelis, he is seen as a brave disseminator of the truth. But many others condemn him as a propagandist for Hamas. And his columns for the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper have made him, arguably, one of the most hated men in Israel. “When I joined Haaretz newspaper, I started to visit the occupied territories,” Levy says. “I immediately realised this was what I wanted to do; to understand the brutality and inhumanity of the Israeli occupation.” “I figured out three things. First, this was the biggest drama facing the state of Israel. Second, this story was not being covered by the Israeli media. And third, this was going to be my life mission – to report about the Israeli occupation to Israeli readers who did not want to know what was really happening there.” Over the years, Levy’s stories have shed light on the realities Palestinians face on a daily basis. One of his earlier reports, ‘Death of a baby’ in 1996, told of an incident involving the Abu Dahouk family. They were stopped at a checkpoint on their way to a hospital. Israeli soldiers delayed the family including a heavily pregnant Fayzeh Abu Dahouk, who ended up delivering her baby in the backseat of the car. The baby, who she hoped to name Yousef, died a couple of days later. Levy wrote at the time: “Who the hell are they? Who are those soldiers who saw Fayzeh Abu Dahouk in pain as she delivered her baby in her brother-in-law’s car. Who are those soldiers who didn’t let her pass to reach the hospital?” “Who are those soldiers who made Fayzeh have to wrap her baby in her clothes and walk two kilometres to reach the hospital?”