Violence / Raids / Attacks / Revenge / Illegal arrests
LIVE UPDATES: Police find body of Palestinian teen in Jerusalem forest
Haaretz 2 July — Police found a body in a forest west of Jerusalem, early on Wednesday morning. A large police force is present on the scene. Jerusalem police received a report earlier in the night that that a man was forced onto a vehicle near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. A missing persons report was also filed. The link between the incidents has not yet been corroborated but the father of the missing child was taken by the police to identify the body. The police are blocking the entrances to Beit Hanina and stopped the light rail to that part of the city. Hundreds assembled by the home of the missing Palestinian teenager. The family of the Palestinian teen is vehemently denying the rumors that he was kidnapped by Palestinians due to a feud between families, claiming that they aren’t involved in a feud.
Palestinian teen abducted, killed in suspected revenge attack
JERUSALEM (AFP/Ma‘an) 2 July — A Palestinian teenager from occupied East Jerusalem was kidnapped and killed early Wednesday in a suspected act of revenge for the killing of three Israeli youths, army radio reported. Locals identified the victim as 16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir from the Shu‘fat neighborhood. Witnesses told Ma‘an that footage from surveillance cameras shows Israelis stepping out of a Hyundai in front of Abu Khdeir’s house and forcing the teen inside before speeding off. The murder sparked a wave of clashes in East Jerusalem where around 200 angry young Palestinians threw stones at police, who responded with sound bombs and rubber bullets, an AFP correspondent and police said. Quoting witnesses, the radio said the youth was seen being forced into a car in the Palestinian eastern half of the city. A body was found shortly afterwards in another part of the city, the radio said.
12 injured in East Jerusalem clashes following teen death
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Twelve Palestinians including three journalists were injured Wednesday in clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem, witnesses said. Locals said residents took to the streets to protest against the kidnapping and killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian the same morning. Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the Shu‘fat neighborhood, with police firing rubber-coated bullets and tear gas at protesters, witnesses said. Police told AFP that some 200 Palestinians threw stones at police. Palestine TV reporter Kristine Rinawi and cameramen Ali Yasin and Ahmad Gharabla were among those reported injured in the clashes.
Arab teen killed in capital; revenge attack suspected
Times of Israel 2 July by Ilan Ben Zion and Lazar Berman — The body of an Arab teenager was found in the Jerusalem Forest Wednesday morning and police suspect he may have been kidnapped from East Jerusalem overnight and killed in a revenge attack for the killing of three Israeli teens. Police said they were also investigating other possibilities in the teen’s killing. Dozens of Arabs massed on the light rail tracks in the neighborhood of Shuafat and clashed with Israeli security forces early Wednesday when reports of the boy’s death broke. The body, which was charred and bore signs of violence, was found an hour after police were informed of a youth from Shuafat being forcefully loaded into a car … Because of its condition, the body was not immediately identified. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called the killing “a horrible and barbaric act which I strongly condemn. “This is not our way,” he continued, “and I am fully confident that our security forces will bring the perpetrators to justice. I call on everyone to exercise restraint.” A cousin of the missing East Jerusalem boy said that there had been previous attempts to grab Arab youths from the area. “It started yesterday,” the man told Army Radio Wednesday. “They tried to abduct a seven-year-old boy from his mother in the street. They were riding in a black car, a Honda Civic, and tried to grab her son.” “This morning, they abducted a kid, my 15-years-old cousin, from near his house,” he continued. “Two cars from the village chased [the kidnappers] but couldn’t reach them in time.” He alleged that the men in the car who had abducted his cousin were the same men who tried to snatch the seven-year-old the day before.
Palestinian killed by undercover Israeli forces in Jenin
IMEMC 1 July by Saed Bannoura — Undercover soldiers of the Israeli military infiltrated into Jenin city and the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, shot and killed one Palestinian, and clashed with dozens of local youth. Local sources said the undercover soldiers assassinated Yousef Abu Zagha [IMEMC had ‘Ibrahim’], 21, after they infiltrated into the Jenin refugee camp, adding that the young man was returning home, carrying food for his family to eat before starting their fast, as Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan. Abu Zagha was instantly killed after being struck by several rounds of live ammunition, fired by the undercover forces. Following his death, dozens of soldiers invaded the area and kidnapped three Palestinians from their homes.
Clashes have also been reported between the invading soldiers and dozens of local youth, in the camp and in Jenin city, as well as several nearby communities … The soldiers also invaded and ransacked several homes, and kidnapped Ahmad Salim an-Nawrasy, Yousef Hasan Shabrawy and Zein Bilal ad-Damj. Local sources said the soldiers detonated the front doors of several homes before invading them and searching them.
Israeli soldiers celebrate killing of Palestinian youth as ‘revenge’
[with photos] Electronic Intifada 1 July by Ali Abunimah — Israeli soldiers and other users in a popular Facebook group are celebrating the killing of a Palestinian youth in Jenin refugee camp last night and are urging more “revenge” for the deaths of three Israeli youths whose bodies were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday … Alarmed by the “public atmosphere” since the Israeli youths’ bodies were found, the human rights group B’Tselem called on the government to “refrain from acts of vengeance” and warned of “revenge” attacks by settlers. Glorying in blood and death The administrator of the popular group, which has more than 70,000 “Likes,” shared a photo of the bloodied body of Yousef Abu Zagha with the caption, “This is the terrorist killed last night in Jenin.” Many of the members of the Facebook group identify as active members of the Israeli military. Israeli occupation forces shot Abu Zagha dead during an invasion of Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Palestinian Red Crescent medics told Ma’an News Agency that 16-year-old Yousef Abu Zagha was shot by Israeli fire in the chest during clashes with troops who invaded the camp. Some media have reported his age as older. With more than 1,000, “Likes,” virtually every one of more than 200 comments was approving. “Hahahaha, I’m happy,” wrote Noam Korobkov. “Why only one? Why not another four million? Come on, someone needs to do the job,” wrote Robi Yaakov. Yair Amrani, whose profile picture shows him in army uniform, simply wrote “Thank God.” Naor Aharon, who identifies as working for the army, commented, “What fun!” Promising more revenge In addition to glorying in death, Israeli soldiers have started a new online meme – posting photos of their military gear along with hand-written signs vowing revenge
Israeli officers clash with worshipers in al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 30 June – Israeli officers assaulted five Palestinian women in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound while Israeli rightists were allowed to go inside. Witnesses told Ma‘an that more than 30 Israelis entered the compound via the Moroccan gate at around 8 a.m. and toured the compound for more than an hour. Another Israeli group entered the compound before the first group left. The newcomers performed Jewish prayers near the Golden gate close to Muslim worshipers who started to shout “Allah akbar” before a heated argument broke out with the unwanted visitors and ended in fistfights. In addition, supporters of two-right wing Jewish groups entered the compound and tried to take photos, but were confronted by female worshipers. In response, special Israeli forces assaulted one of the worshipers and forcibly took off her head scarf. When her brother tried to defend her, an Israeli officer hit the woman, according to witnesses. Three other women were beaten, one of whom was evacuated to al-Maqasid hospital in Mount Olives suffering from a fractured finger.
Separately, Israeli officers detained a young man who studies at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s religious schools. Witnesses identified him as Khalil al-Abadi from al-Jadida village in northern Israel.
Israeli forces clash with worshipers in al-Aqsa, injure 2 young men
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 July – Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets to the neck fired at them by Israeli officers during clashes in the squares of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. A Ma‘an reporter said Israeli forces imposed heavy restrictions on the main gates of the compound allowing only very few worshipers to access it after leaving their ID cards at Israeli checkpoints. Meanwhile, Israeli rightists were allowed to enter the compound via the Moroccan Gate heavily escorted by police officers and soldiers. Witnesses said the “unwanted” visitors verbally assaulted Muslim worshipers who responded with stones thrown at the settlers. Israeli special forces deployed in the compound and surrounded worshipers who were inside the al-Aqsa mosque firing rubber-coated bullets at them.
Extreme rightists attack Palestinians in Jerusalem as teens laid to rest
Haaretz 1 July by Nir Hasson — Rioters injure five Palestinians, disrupt public transportation, even burst into McDonald’s looking for Arabs as undercover police, security guards protect potential victims — …The incidents began with a demonstration that right-wing extremists, headed by former MK Michael Ben Ari and Itamar Ben Gvir, organized under the Chords Bridge by the city’s western entrance. Demonstrators shouted slogans like “we want revenge” and “enough of the murderous government.” About 400 demonstrators attended and managed to block the road under the bridge for an extended period. The police evacuated them from the spot, and they proceeded along Jaffa Road with the declared goal of reaching the Old City in order to attack Arabs. Police officers blocked their path to Zahal Square, located between City Hall and Jaffa Gate. The demonstrators dispersed into smaller groups that began running into the center of town looking for Arabs. The groups, some made up of pro-settler “hilltop youth,” many ultra-Orthodox Jews and right-wing activists, shouted slogans such as “death to Arabs,” “a Jew is a brother, an Arab is a bastard,” “we want war,” “Mohammed is dead,” and “Kahane was right.” While running, some of them were asking dark-skinned people “what’s the time?” in Hebrew in order to check for an Arab accent in the reply. Others rushed into businesses or shouted at tourists and other spectators to stop watching the World Cup and join them. In two instances, they burst into McDonald’s because they heard that Arabs were employed at the restaurant, from where they were forced out by policemen and employees. In one of the incidents, police arrested a masked rioter tried to attack an Arab worker. In a more serious case, a group of a hundred demonstrators identified three Palestinian workers in a downtown parking lot. The three were having their evening meal to end their daily Ramadan fast, when the mob attacked them. One of the Palestinians chased away some of the attackers with a club and then one of the mob members used pepper spray on the Palestinians. Others started to throw stones at them. One of the workers suffered a head injury and was evacuated for medical treatment … It took the police hours to restore scheduled service to the light rail because of the demonstrators. When the trains stopped at individual stations, the rioters got on board and looked for Arab passengers. Light rail security guards stood next to Palestinian passengers to protect them from the mob.
Watch: Jewish rioters attack Arab youths in Jerusalem clashes
Ynet 2 July by Noam (Dabul) Dvir — Violent protests raged in Jerusalem on Tuesday during the funerals of the three Israeli teens who kidnapped and murdered. In the midst of the clashes between Jewish and Arab protesters, rioters attacked Arab passersby. Police managed to extract at least eight Arabs from the raging mob and arrested 47 suspected of rioting, attempting to attack Arab youth, assaulting police officers and causing damage to property. Various videos documented the mob and the line of policemen who stood between the two sides, preventing harm to innocents.
PHOTOS: Right-wing activists, police clash in anti-Arab protest
Activestills 1 July — Israel Police clashed with hundreds of far-right activists in downtown Jerusalem Tuesday night … The police made at least 50 arrests.
Soldiers ‘assault Palestinian’ in Hebron amid clashes with settlers
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 July — A young Palestinian man was injured after being assaulted by Israeli forces in the center of Hebron amid clashes between Palestinians and settlers late Monday, locals said. Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes and clashed with Palestinians in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood after the bodies of three Israeli teens were found north of Hebron hours earlier, witnesses told Ma‘an. The sources said that soldiers then arrived as clashes were ongoing and beat 19-year-old Sajid Mamoon Sultan, seriously injuring him in the head.
Israeli settlers attack civilians in Hebron; 9-year-old hit by settler car in Bethlehem
IMEMC 1 July — On Monday night, a Palestinian identified as Sajed Sultan, 19, was seriously wounded in the head when Israeli settlers marched through the city of Hebron demanding vengeance. Israeli troops closed all entrances to the city of Hebron and the village of Halhoul, near Hebron, where the bodies of the settlers were found on Monday.
Israeli extremists attacked two Palestinians in Jerusalem. A taxi driver was sprayed with pepper spray, and a second man was beaten by Israeli settlers in West Jerusalem.
A child was seriously wounded Monday night when an Israeli settler ran her down. Sanabel Attous, 9, from Jab‘a village southwest of Bethlehem was hit by an Israeli car which witnesses say deliberately ran her down. She was taken to the Bethlehem Arab Society Hospital suffering serious fractures and bruises in the head, face and abdomen. Eyewitnesses said the settler struck her intentionally, and left her in a ditch, on the side of the road without providing assistance to the wounded child, and left the scene.
Israelis attack 2 Palestinians in Jerusalem area
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 July — Israelis assaulted two Palestinians in west Jerusalem on Tuesday in suspected racist attacks following the announcement that the bodies of three missing Israeli teens were found a day earlier, family said. Khalid Atiyeh, 24, was attacked by dozens of Israelis while working in a restaurant in the Pisgat Zeev settlement, his father told Ma‘an. The attackers broke into the restaurant chanting “Death to Arabs!” before assaulting Atiyeh with clubs and stones. Israeli forces intervened and forced the assailants back, but Atiyeh was followed by a group of Israelis while reporting to a nearby police station. A police spokesman told Ma‘an he was not familiar with the incident.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Israeli attacked a Palestinian taxi driver with pepper spray late Monday, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said. The youth was detained following the incident. Racist anti-Palestinian graffiti was also found near the city of Beit Shemesh, Wafa reported.
Israeli forces ‘blow up homes’ of Palestinian suspects
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 July — Israeli forces in Hebron late Monday blew up the homes of two Palestinians Israel says are prime suspects in the kidnapping and killing of three teens who were found dead earlier that evening, witnesses said. The two houses, which are both located in the same neighborhood in northwest Hebron, belong to the families of Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33. After Israeli forces in Halhul north of Hebron found three bodies presumed to be those of three Israeli teens who went missing on June 12, soldiers surrounded the houses, forcibly removed the families, and declared the area a closed military zone, locals said. Witnesses said the homes were then blown up by explosives. Locals had told Ma‘an earlier that soldiers were preparing to demolish the homes. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the homes “were not demolished,” but said Israeli forces searched the houses late Monday. Military sources told Ma‘an that soldiers used explosives to break down the doors of the houses, and that a fire caused by the one of the explosions “got a little out of control.” Video footage, not independently verified by Ma‘an, emerged showing an explosion in the Abu Eisha home as Israeli forces were stationed nearby.
In photos: Israeli soldiers destroy kidnapping suspects’ family homes in retribution attack
Mondoweiss 1 July by Kelly Lynn — Israeli Defense Forces raided the homes of Amar Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh in the city of Hebron on Monday evening, June 30th into the morning of July 1st. At approximately 12:00 am, soldiers set up explosives in both homes, detonating them after the families were evacuated. Israeli intelligence has accused both men of allegedly kidnapping the settler teens. The whereabouts of both men are unknown. Amar Abu Aisha’s father was arrested four days ago and two of his sons were arrested fourteen days ago. Umm Sharif, Marwan Qawasmeh’s mother, recounted how the IDF had delayed the transport of her husband to the hospital, who has cancer and suffers from asthma. Marwan’s wife and 2-month-old nephew were taken to the hospital after sustaining moderate injuries from the blast but have since recovered. His wife was summoned for questioning this morning at Atzion Prison along with Marwan’s sister and brother.
Israeli forces raid Bethlehem village, detain 1
[with photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 July — Israeli forces raided the Bethlehem area early Tuesday and detained a Palestinian man, locals said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the village of Husan and detained 20-year-old Diyaa Tahir Shawasha after ransacking his home. Israeli forces also raided al-Khader village and forcibly entered several commercial stores. Muhammad Mousa Naji Shehada told Ma‘an that Israeli forces blew up one of the doors on the al-Naji Market which he owns, causing material damage. Israeli forces arrived at the family-run shop at around 6:30 a.m. and took away Shehada’s father before blowing open one of the doors. The front door and an inner glass door were damaged, together with shelves inside. Surveillance cameras recorded Israeli forces inside the store, but the purpose of the raid remains unclear.
In Bethlehem, Israeli forces confiscated several security cameras along the Hebron road, locals said.
42 Palestinians arrested across West Bank as campaign continues
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli forces detained 42 Palestinians across the West Bank overnight, the army said Wednesday. An Israeli army spokesman told Ma‘an 41 of the Palestinians who were arrested were “Hamas operatives” and that the arrests were “part of the ongoing operation.” Ten Palestinians were arrested from Hebron, Ahrar Center for Human Rights said in a statement.[following is a list of all the detainees and where they were arrested] … The arrests come as Israel continued its West Bank operation to crush the Hamas movement in the wake of the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths, who were buried Tuesday.
Hamas has denied responsibility for the incident. The Israeli army has killed six Palestinians and arrested hundreds throughout the campaign.
Prisoners / Court actions
Palestinian detainee ends 122-day hunger strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 June — Palestinian prisoner Ayman Tbeish has suspended his hunger strike after refusing food for 122 days, a lawyer said Monday. Jawad Bulous, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, said in a statement that Tbeish had announced the end of his strike after reaching an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service to limit his detention without a trial. Doctors had warned that Tbeish’s health condition was worsening — he suffers from low blood pressure, kidney problems, and is unable to stand. A spokeswoman for the IPS confirmed that Tbeish had ended his strike, but said that there was no deal reached between him and the prison service. “He just decided to stop,” Sivan Weizman said. The number of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has been reduced to one, she added. Weizman would not give the striker’s name, but said he had been on hunger strike for one month. Additionally, she said that no deal had been reached with over 100 Palestinian prisoners who ended a two-month hunger strike last week.
Palestinian detainee on 42nd day of hunger strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 July — Prisoner Raed Faisal Fares Moussa is still on open hunger strike in protest against being held without charge or trial in Israeli jails, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Tuesday. PPS said in a statement that Moussa, 33, has been refusing meals for 42 days. His blood pressure and blood sugar are “unstable” the statement said, and he is unable to stand on his feet. Moussa has spent at total of seven years of his life in Israeli jails, having been detained several times, the statement added.
Official: Israel treats prisoners as if strike didn’t end
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 June — Israeli authorities’ ban on visits to Gaza prisoners in Israeli jails for the third week in a row “is as if their hunger strike has not ended,” an official said Monday. An International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman said that “the Israeli side informed us that visits are banned until further notice.” Nasser al-Najjar told Ma‘an that the Red Cross keeps up contact with Israel and that it will inform the families of prisoners as soon as Israel re-allows visits. Israel has banned visits after three Israeli settlers were announced missing near a settlement near Hebron. An official at the Association of Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-prisoners said that the Israeli prison service “still treats the prisoners as if their hunger strike has not ended and as if there is no agreement.” Muwaffak Hmeid told Ma‘an that the agreement states that all the “privileges” that were banned should be re-allowed, including use of the cantina, televisions and radios and appliances. However, none have been allowed so far.
Israel places 24 Palestinians under administrative detention
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 30 June – The Israeli authorities Monday placed 24 Palestinian prisoners under administrative detention, said the Palestinian prisoner’s club (PPC). PPC said Israel placed 24 prisoners under administrative detention bringing up the number of administrative detainees since the start of the military campaign in search of three allegedly missing settlers to 167 prisoners. This brings the overall number of Palestinians placed under administrative detention to 364 prisoners.
MAG Corps closes investigation into killing of Lubna al-Hanash without indicting soldier who fired or his commander
B’Tselem 28 June — The decision reflects lack of respect for the lives of Palestinians and conveys a dangerous message to soldiers and commanders — The MAG Corps posted a notice on its Hebrew website stating that the investigation into the killing of Lubna al-Hanash by military gunfire has been closed without filing charges. According to the notice, the case was closed because the soldier who fired the shots that killed al-Hanash and injured a relative who was with her, was firing at a person who had lobbed a Molotov cocktail at Israeli cars. The notice stated that the investigation “indicated that the soldier who fired did not notice the deceased at the time of shooting”, despite the fact that al-Hanash had been standing close to the escape route of the person targeted. The MAG Corps claimed that as the open-fire regulations permit “opening fire toward terrorists immediately after an attack, including an attack using Molotov cocktails”, the shooting did not breach regulations and did not constitute a criminal offense. It added, however, that a lieutenant colonel who was with the soldier at the time will receive a disciplinary reprimand for failing to convey the open-fire regulations to soldiers under his command, and that no direct causal link was found between the said failing and the killing of al-Hanash. The details of the incident as provided by the MAG Corps differ substantially from the facts uncovered by B’Tselem’s investigation. Yet even in accordance with MAG Corps’ reasoning, the soldier who fired the shots – whose life was not in danger at the time – was obligated to ensure that no bystander be harmed … Lubna al-Hanash of Bethlehem was just shy of her 22nd birthday. On 23 January 2013, she went to visit a relative, Sou’ad al-Hanash, 38, a resident of al-‘Arrub RC. The two women went for a stroll along the garden paths in the nearby College of Technology, which serves as a recreation area for al-‘Arrub residents. At approximately 2:30 P.M., they were walking towards an entrance gate to the college, located on Route 60, from where Lubna was supposed to travel back home. When they were about 100 meters away from the gate, shots were suddenly fired at them.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Cornerstone laid for Ramallah settlements
IMEMC 1 July by Chris Carlson — Knesset chairman Yuli Edelstein, Sunday evening, laid the cornerstone for a settlement neighborhood in “Kochav Jacob“, near Ramallah. At dawn, demolition orders for three Palestinian houses north of Tulkarem were served to residents. According to Al Ray, Edelstein said that “it is a unique day when all Jewish spectrums unite to send a message to the world that religious people live with secularists in peace and love” … The project includes the construction of 60 new settlement units, 3 synagogues and a wedding hall…
Also on Sunday, occupation representatives served demolition orders for three Palestinian houses in Shwaika, north of Tulkarem, in the Occupied West Bank. The orders were served under the pretext that the houses were not licensed, and that they should be licensed from Kedumim municipality, founded by members of the “Gush Emunim” settlement movement in 1975. The houses are located in area (B), according to Al Ray, which is licensed by the Municipality of Tulkarem and had been built since the nineties. All houses adjacent to the borders were given similar orders.
Settlers build two new West Bank outposts in response to teens’ murders
Jerusalem Post 1 July by Tovah Lazaroff — …Some 30 to 40 settlers pitched blue tents on a hilltop in the unbuilt E1 area of the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. A plan to build thousands of homes there approved by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, but every subsequent government has frozen the project due to international pressure … In Monday night’s cabinet meeting, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan suggested that the government build more Israeli homes in Hebron, near where the teens were murdered, and in Gush Etzion, where they studied. On Tuesday morning, however, settlers decided not to wait for the government and they headed up to an area of E1 below the police station. “This is our response to the terrible murder of our young teens,” said Ma’aleh Adumim resident Eli Dordek. “The Arabs think they can scare us or make us leave,” said Dordek, adding that they were mistaken … Settlers in Gush Etzion, led by the Women in Green NGO, began setting up an outpost on state land on a hill called Givat Oz, not far from the Gush Etzion junction. Nadia Matar of Women in Green said activists had taken over an abandoned farm house. “This is a symbolic act,” she said. “It symbolizes what the government should do, which is apply Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.”
Israeli settlers torch Palestinian farm in ‘price tag’ attack
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli settlers early Wednesday set fire to an animal farm in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a group of settlers set fire to a sheep farm in Aqraba village south of Nablus at 3 a.m. Palestinians managed to round up the sheep, but the steel structure surrounding the farm was destroyed by the fire, Daghlas said. Settlers spray-painted the words “blood vengeance” and “price tag” in Hebrew on the outer walls of the farm, he added. The farm belongs to Fadi Basim Bani Jabir. Daghlas said the settlers came from the illegal settlement of Itamar south of Nablus.
Later, in the Bethlehem district, Israeli settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles as they drove on a road near the village of Husan, locals said. A number of vehicles were hit and sustained damages, they said.
Settlers chop down olive trees in Hebron town
HEBRON (WAFA) 30 June – Israeli settlers chopped down on Monday 15 olive trees in Abu Ar-Rish valley to the north of Beit Ummar in Hebron district, said a local activist. Spokesperson of the Anti-settlement Popular Committee Mohammad ‘Ayyad said that settlers from Bat Ayin, an illegal settlement constructed on land belonging to Beit Ummar, chopped down 15 olive trees, mainly perennial trees. ‘Ayyad added that this plot of land has been subject to frequent attacks by settlers who uprooted over 300 trees over the past six years. Although an Israeli court ruled that the Palestinian landowner install a barbed wire around his approximately 80 dunum-area land in order to protect it against settlers’ attacks, the Israeli forces have obstructed the implementation of this ruling, allowing settlers to continue their attacks unabated.
Israeli forces to demolish house in el-Bireh
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 July — Israeli forces notified on Tuesday Abbas Fawwaz Qaraan they they would demolish his house in el-Bireh. Israeli forces raided Qarqaan’s house and delivered the demolish notice by hand. After raiding his house, Israeli forces officially notified Qaraan that they would demolish his house because it was “unauthorized”. However, the house is registered by the el-Bireh municipality in the Jabal al-Taawil area.
Israel court rejects petition against house demolition
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 June — Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition to overturn a demolition order on the house of Ziad Awwad, who Israel says was responsible for the killing of an Israeli policeman in April. Israeli rights group HaMoked had petitioned the Israeli court to overturn the order after Israel announced its intention to destroy the property on June 26. The demolition order was slated for Monday but will now not be carried out until 12 hours after the supreme court ruling. Israel’s military initially intended to demolish the entire two-story building, but HaMoked proved that the building was owned by his brother and will only likely destroy the western half … According to B’Tselem, 13 people, including eight children, currently live in the property slated for demolition.
Gaza under dual blockades
4 Palestinians injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza overnight
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 July — Four Palestinians were injured as dozens of Israeli airstrikes rocked Gaza overnight, a Palestinian official said Tuesday. Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, said that four workers sustained moderate to serious injuries as airstrikes hit evacuated Israeli settlements. The four were taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, al-Qidra said. South of Khan Younis, airstrikes hit a military training site belong to Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, witnesses said. Locals said that 13 airstrikes hit the outskirts of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, targeting sites belonging to the military wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Resistance Committees. More airstrikes were fired at an al-Qassam site in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, causing damage. A statement from the Israeli army said “aircraft carried out a precision strike against 34 targets in the Gaza Strip.” Strikes were carried out “following over 18 rockets which were fired (from Gaza) at Israel since Sunday evening,” the statement said.
Gaza power plant no longer able to provide electricity for 8 hours
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 June — Officials at the Gaza Strip power plant announced Monday that they are no longer able to provide electricity for eight hours per day. The company said in a statement that it was “doing its utmost” to provide power for water wells, sewage plants, hospitals and medical centers to prevent any humanitarian or environmental disaster. The statement called upon all concerned parties to increase the available amount of electricity. The company recommended people not to increase their consumption of electricity, especially in the hot weather, and to avoid turning on air conditioning in public and private facilities and mosques.
Israel vows to punish Hamas after teens found dead
HALHUL, West Bank (AFP) 1 July — Israel has vowed to make Hamas pay after three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found dead Monday, but the Islamist movement warned any attack would open “the gates of hell.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday evening the discovery of the three bodies in a field in the southern West Bank. “This evening, we found three bodies and all the signs indicate that they are the bodies of our three kidnapped youngsters,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of an emergency session of his security cabinet. “They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” he said.
“Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.” Hamas, which had denied any involvement in the abduction of the teenage boys, issued a warning in return to the Israelis. “If the occupiers carry out an escalation or a war, they will open the gates of hell on themselves,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. The discovery of the boys’ bodies — one 19-year-old and two aged 16 — came 17 days after they disappeared, triggering a huge manhunt during which five Palestinians were killed and more than 400 arrested….
Netanyahu: Israel will expand Gaza operation as far as necessary
Haaretz 1 July — Cabinet meets for second time since bodies of kidnapped teens were discovered; PM presents three missions facing the defense establishment — The cabinet failed to reach a decision in its prior sessions on Israel’s official response to the kidnapping, but the Israel Defense Forces struck at least 34 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, indicating it may decide on a harsh operation. “Today we buried our sons in a grave of Israel, Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, their blood should be avenged,” Netanyahu said at the start of the cabinet meeting. “The whole nation supports their families, and the whole nation is united in our struggle against murderous terrorism.” “We are struggling with determination and resolve,” he added. “There are three missions ahead of us: First, to find the murderers and everyone involved in the kidnapping. Everyone who was partner to the abduction and to the murder – blood on his head … Second, we will weaken Hamas’ infrastructure and manpower in Judea and Samaria. We have already arrested hundreds of Hamas militants, closed dozens of its institutions, destroyed home and our hands are still outstretched,” Netanyahu said … The third mission, he said, is to operate against the Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is continuing to encourage abduction of our citizens, and to fire rockets on our territory, and mortar shells on our territory, including in the last few hours.” … “Hamas is responsible, Hamas is paying and Hamas will continue to pay,” he said.
Hamas: Not interested in confrontation with Israel, but ready
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 July – Hamas is not interested in any confrontation with Israel, but if a confrontation is imposed, the movement is ready, says a spokesman of the Islamist movement. Sami Abu Zuhri told Ma‘an that “Hamas isn’t a superpower (ready) to fight a war against Israel, harming our people.” Asked about the disappearance and killing of three Israeli teenagers, Abu Zuhri said there was only an Israeli version of the story which the occupation is trying to employ against Hamas and the Palestinian people. The Israeli threats, added the spokesman, “do not scare Hamas,” though the movement takes these threats very seriously.
Hamas leaders in Gaza scramble to avoid attack
Al-Monitor 30 June by Adnan Abu Amer — Going into the third week since the disappearance of the three Israeli settlers from the West Bank, Hamas, which Israel accused of the kidnapping, feels that an attack against it in the Gaza Strip is imminent. The concern has become even more pressing with reports that three bodies were found near Hebron, the home city of the two Hamas-linked suspects identified by Israel last week as Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha. Al-Monitor has learned that Hamas leaders in Gaza have virtually disappeared from sight, with journalists facing great challenges in reaching them. Hamas has implemented strict security measures to thwart any Israeli attack against its leaders, who resurfaced only to attend the funeral of five Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades militants who died on the evening of June 20, when a tunnel collapsed on them in eastern Gaza … Hamas’ concern of an imminent Israeli attack was evidenced by the evacuation of its security headquarters, for fear that it might be targeted by the Israeli air force. The security measures carried out by Hamas in Gaza were bolstered by diplomatic and political efforts on the part of the movement abroad, whereby intensive contacts were conducted with Arab and international capitals to restrain Israel from dealing a severe blow to Gaza.
ATMs vandalized in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 July — Unidentified assailants damaged a number of ATM machines in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and stole security cameras from the scene, bank employees said. Some of the banks shut down their ATMs following the acts of vandalism.
It is thought that the attacks are linked to an ongoing crisis surrounding the Hamas employees of the former Gaza government, who have not received their salaries following the announcement of a unity government. Employees of the previous government see it as Ramallah’s responsibility to pay their salaries, but the new unity government says no such agreement was ever made with Hamas.
Palestinian refugees — Syria, Lebanon
Amnesty slams Lebanon ban on Palestinians fleeing Syria
BEIRUT (AFP) 1 July — Lebanon is acting in a “blatantly discriminatory” manner by denying access to Palestinians fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday. The watchdog said Lebanon has imposed increasingly onerous entry requirements at the border with Syria and that there was evidence it is trying to prevent Palestinian refugees from entering via Beirut airport. “The Lebanese government’s policies and practices towards Palestinian refugees from Syria have led to a range of serious human rights violations,” said Amnesty. “The policies — which treat Palestinian refugees from Syria differently to other refugees — are also blatantly discriminatory,” it added.
43 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria last month
DAMASCUS (PIC) 1 July — At least 43 Palestinian refugees were killed in war-torn Syria during June 2014, the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria documented. According to the group on Tuesday, 15 Palestinian refugees were tortured to death in Syrian prisons while 16 refugees were killed in projectile attacks. Brutal clashes across different Syrian neighborhoods claimed 4 more lives. The Action Group further reported that two Palestinian asylum-seekers were killed in mysterious circumstances while two Palestinians were shot dead by Syrian snipers. Another refugee was reported dead after he was kidnapped. A Palestinian refugee was left dead at the Yarmouk refugee camp due to the siege and lack of medical care. Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes have been hovering over the Khan Sheeh refugee camp. A wave of explosive barrels dropped by the warplanes rocked its surrounding areas and farms, leading to a state of panic among the Palestinian refugees….
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/
HP’s role in Israel could lead to political pressure
SFGATE 29 June by Thomas Lee — Hewlett-Packard does not appear to be the type of company that gets embroiled in nasty international conflicts. But given the volatile nature of conflict, appearances can quickly change. Unbeknownst to many Americans, the Palo Alto computing giant makes the high-tech identification cards Israel uses to operate checkpoints in the disputed West Bank, territory Israel captured in 1967 but Palestinians claim as their own country. Until recently, none of this attracted much attention, partly because information technology is kind of boring but also because the United States is a strong ally of Israel. Yet an international campaign has emerged to pressure Israel by persuading investors to dump shares of companies that do business with the government or operate in the disputed territories … “Companies like HP need to continually look at their risk profile” when operating in countries that attract controversy, said Ernest DelBuono, a senior vice president at Levick, a communications consulting firm in Washington. “What is the likelihood of getting public reaction when you do business with a particular government?” … In its Global Citizenship Report, HP says that the company “takes an uncompromising view on human rights: we must always respect them ourselves and work tirelessly to influence others to do the same. Due to our scale and scope, our business can impact a wide range of human rights.” Statements like that put HP in a tough spot. The company must effectively reconcile those principles with its operations in one of the word’s most polarizing conflicts. Whether you side with Israelis or Palestinians, this much is true: A Silicon Valley titan has parked itself on top of a ticking public relations time bomb.
Islamic bloc demands release of students detained by PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 June — The Islamic bloc of West Bank universities demanded Monday that the Palestinian Authority security services release affiliated students who were detained for their “political affiliation.” “The PA’s policies prevented many families from the chance to celebrate Ramadan with their kids who are in their jails, especially students from al-Najah and al-Quds universities,” the bloc said in a statement. Several students who are affiliated to the Islamic bloc were detained by the PA three weeks ago during activities in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners.
Fatah demands release of detainees in Hamas prisons
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 June — The Fatah detainees in Gaza started a hunger strike on Monday demanding their release, according to a Fatah statement. “The so-called Hamas prisons services suppressed Fatah political detainees and sent them to cells as a punishment for their strike,” Fatah said in a statement noting some had been in jail for five years. Fatah demanded the immediate release of its political detainees who have been in Hamas jails.
Palestinians in Israel find consensus against Army enlistment
SHEFA ‘AMR (Electronic Intifada) 1 July by Sawsan Khalife‘ — One of the largest assemblies of Palestinian community leaders inside Israel in the last decade was held in Sakhnin two weeks ago as Palestinians in Israel organize to push back against the state’s new efforts to recruit Christians into the army. Organized by the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, participants included Islamic movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Attalah Hanna, Palestinian members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, representing multiple parties, Druze sheikhs and other religious community leaders as well as activists, writers, judges and artists. During the conference, a dozen of these prominent community leaders made brief speeches and shared their varying ideas about how to respond to Israel’s attempts to enlist Palestinian citizens of Israel. Though different approaches were advocated, all spoke against the military and condemned the enlistment notices recently sent to 800 young Palestinian Christians in Israel … The meeting was followed by a second, no less significant conference against Palestinian enlistment in the Israeli military held in Shefa ‘Amr last week.
Israeli occupation forces raid Palestinian cultural magazines
Electronic Intifada 29 June by Sarah Irving — Amidst the waves of raids and attacks launched on hundreds of Palestinian homes, charities and universities by Israeli occupation forces in recent weeks was an early morning break-in at the offices of the popular Jerusalem English-language magazine This Week in Palestine. The raid also targeted Turbo’s sister company, Jeel Publishing, which produces the Arabic literary journal Filistin Ashabab. On 22 June, Israeli occupation forces raided the premises of This Week in Palestine publisher Turbo Computers & Software Ltd., confiscating seven computers, including servers, and “severely hampering the companies’ operating capacity,” according to a company press release. “During our 28-year history, we have had no affiliation with any political faction,” Sani Meo, general manager of This Week in Palestine was quoted in the press release as saying. “As private-sector companies, we deplore such an action which not only clearly violates our personal rights, including freedom of expression, but also jeopardizes the livelihood of our employees,” he added. Meo also suggested that the raid was “a message to our readers that they might be deprived of access to these two independent Palestinian publications.”
Youths, PA forces clash in Ramallah following stab death
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 June — Two Palestinian youths were stabbed to death early Monday in Ramallah and Jericho, Palestinian police said, with clashes breaking out in Ramallah between protesters and Palestinian security forces. Muhammad Youssef Khamis al-Hajj, 22, was stabbed to death in al-Am‘ari refugee camp in Ramallah during a fight with another youth, police said. Police arrested a suspect at the scene. Azmi Muhammad Shaker Muhanna, 34, was stabbed to death in ‘Aqaba refugee camp late Sunday. Protests later broke out at the entrance to al-Am‘ari refugee camp, with protesters setting fire to a vehicle belonging to security forces after a demonstration was broken up by security officers. Protesters also blocked the main Ramallah-Jerusalem highway and prevented cars from passing.
Israeli youth claims she was ‘kidnapped’ in Beit Jala
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli police investigations revealed Tuesday that a youth, 21, who claimed she was kidnapped by Palestinians in Beit Jala, was in fact in a vehicle with “people she already knows.” A Ma‘an reporter said that the Israeli police met with two youths that she claimed “kidnapped” her, to investigate them. The Jerusalem police had received a call by a Jewish youth from Jerusalem saying that his friend, who works in a gas station near Betar Illit, was kidnapped by two Palestinians in their car, and that she was kept in a building near the Palestinian town. Israeli forces in Hebron and Gush Etzion tracked the phone call until they found her in a building in Beit Jala. The youth said she finished her work and met a Jewish friend and went to a passenger station while speaking on the phone with her friend, who later called the police when a white vehicle stopped and “forced her inside”. The Israeli police and forces were still searching the area for the two suspects, while the girl and her mother were sent to Gush Etzion’s police center to testify and report more details. It was later determined by the police that she was not kidnapped and that she knew the two Palestinians and went inside their vehicle on her own. [This would seem to be the third fake kidnapping recently, counting the two staged by soldiers]
Analysis / Opinion
The searing hypocrisy of the West / Susan Abulhawa
The Hindu 1 July — Since the teens went missing from Gush Etzion, a Jewish-only colony in the West Bank, Israel has besieged the 4 million Palestinians who already live under its thumb, storming through towns, ransacking homes and civil institutions, conducting night raids on families, stealing property, kidnapping, injuring, and killing. Warplanes were dispatched to bomb Gaza, again and repeatedly, destroying more homes and institutions and carrying out extrajudicial executions. Thus far, over 570 Palestinians have been kidnapped and imprisoned, most notably a Samer Issawi, the Palestinian who went on a 266-day hunger strike in protest of a previous arbitrary detention. At least 10 Palestinians have been killed, including at least three children, a pregnant woman, and a mentally ill man. Hundreds have been injured, thousands terrorized. Universities and social welfare organizations were ransacked, shut down, their computers and equipment destroyed or stolen, and both private and public documents confiscated from civil institutions. This wanton thuggery is official state policy conducted by its military and does not include the violence to persons and properties perpetuated by paramilitary Israeli settlers, whose persistent attacks against Palestinian civilians have also escalated in the past weeks. And now that the settlers are confirmed dead, Israel has vowed to exact revenge. Naftali Bennet, Economy Minister said, “There is no mercy for the murderers of children. This is the time for action, not words.”… In the West, headlines over pictures of the three Israeli settler teens referred to Israel’s reign of terror over Palestine as a “manhunt” and “military sweep.” Portraits of innocent young Israeli lives emerged from news outlets and the voices of their parents are featured in the fullness of their anguish. The US, EU, UK, UN, Canada and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemned the kidnapping and called for their immediate and unconditional release. Upon discovery of the bodies, there has been an outpouring of condemnation and condolences … Although hundreds of Palestinian children are kidnapped, brutalized or killed by Israel, including several in the past two weeks, there is rarely, if ever, such a reaction from the world. Just prior to the disappearance of the Israeli settler teens, the murder of two Palestinian teens was caught on a local surveillance camera. Ample evidence, including the recovered bullets and a CNN camera filming an Israeli sharpshooter pulling the trigger at the precise moment one of the boys was shot indicated that they were killed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers. There were no condemnations or calls for justice for these teens by world leaders or international institutions, no solidarity with their grieving parents, nor mention of the more than 250 Palestinian children, kidnapped from their beds or on their way to school, who continue to languish in Israeli jails without charge or trial, physically and psychologically tortured.
Palestinians react with indifference to murder of teens / Amira Hass
Haaretz 2 July — Until discovery of bodies, many believed no abduction had occurred, since such an act would undermine so many Palestinian successes — The abduction and murder of three West Bank yeshiva students is viewed by the Palestinian public as just another incident in a routine of violence for which Israel bears primary responsibility. It didn’t spark opposition and protest, but neither did it spark support and calls for “more.” Two weeks under an Israeli military steamroller that harmed thousands of Palestinian families with no connection to the kidnapping killed even the natural tendency to feel compassion and identification on an individual level. And that’s aside from the basic fact that Palestinians see that Israelis in particular, and the world in general, discriminate when it comes to violence. Palestinian violence merits condemnation, and both its perpetrators and those who weren’t its perpetrators are punished with great severity, even though it is by nature reactive. In contrast, the permanent Israeli violence – by the government due to the very fact that it is a foreign government, by the army and by private individuals like settlers – not only isn’t penalized, but is barely reported. It isn’t defined as violence, it doesn’t interest Israelis, and it certainly doesn’t spark feelings of identification in them. Israeli victims of violence – of whom there are fewer than there are Palestinian victims – are given names and faces in Israel and worldwide. The many Palestinian victims are at best mere statistics. This assertion isn’t just a view expressed in a newspaper op-ed; it’s at the root of the Palestinians’ daily experience. The lack of compassion in specific cases is the Palestinian response to this discrimination. As long as the bodies hadn’t been found, a great many Palestinians believed no abduction had ever occurred. In their view, the kidnapping was fabricated to thwart the Palestinians’ national unity government, undo the achievements (from the Palestinian perspective) of the deal to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and harm Hamas. They concluded that the kidnapping benefited Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which had been painted into a diplomatic corner.
Accused kidnappers are rogue Hamas branch
Al-Monitor 29 June by Shlomi Eldar — The Hebron-based Qawasmeh family may not be under the direct control of Hamas, but its actions have placed Hamas in Israel’s sights with regard to the kidnapping of three Israeli students — On June 26, the Shin Bet allowed the release of the names of the two men suspected of orchestrating the kidnapping of the three yeshiva (religious high school) students in the Etzion settlement bloc. The suspects are Marwan Qawasmeh and Amar Abu Aisha. According to Palestinian sources, Palestinian security forces had already reported to Israel that these two suspects had disappeared from Hebron within 24 hours of the abduction. That was the first clue in the investigation and the reason why Israel pointed an accusatory finger at the Hamas infrastructure in Hebron. But while Israel continues to accuse the Hamas movement and its leadership of being responsible for the abduction, Palestinian security forces attribute the abduction to the Qawasmeh clan of Hebron specifically. Though the clan is known for identifying with Hamas, it also has a well-earned reputation as troublemakers. Not only does it tend to ignore the movement’s leaders. It even acts counter to the policies being advocated by the movement. That is why officials in the Palestinian Authority (PA) were shocked by the timing of the three boys’ abduction, just two weeks after the establishment of a Palestinian unity government. After all, the very creation of this new coalition came with the assumption that the Hamas leadership had come to terms with reality and moderated their positions. Enter the Qawasmeh clan. The total number of people belonging to the clan is estimated at about 10,000, making it one of the three largest clans in the Mount Hebron region. At least 15 members of the family were killed during the second intifada, nine of them while committing suicide attacks against Israel. All of the terrorists lived in the Abu Qatila neighborhood, within a radius of less than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) from one another. Whenever the head of the terrorist organization within the clan was assassinated or arrested by Israel, one of his brothers or cousins was selected to replace him … Each time Hamas had reached an understanding with Israel about a cease-fire or tahadiyeh (period of calm), at least one member of the family has been responsible for planning or initiating a suicide attack, and any understandings with Israel, achieved after considerable effort, were suddenly laid waste. If there is a single family throughout the PA territories whose actions can be blamed for Israel’s assassination of the political leadership of Hamas, it is the Qawasmeh family of Hebron.