Israel razes Palestinian village for the 78th time
BETHLEHEM (PNN) 18 Nov — World Bulletin reported that Israeli forces on Monday razed the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in Negev Desert for the 78th time on the pretext that it had been built illegally, eyewitness said. Local resident told Andalou agency that “Dozens of Israeli forces backed by five bulldozers stormed the village at dawn today and began demolishing homes and other structures, the soldiers were heavily armed. They drove us out under the rain before they demolished our homes for 78th time in four years.” The village was demolished for the first time in July 2010, before being rebuilt with metal and wood. The Israeli government classifies approximately 40 villages in the Negev Desert as “unrecognized,” arguing that the roughly 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there cannot prove their ownership of the land, World Bulletin reports.
Settlers uproot Palestinian lands near Salfit
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov — A number of extremist Israeli settlers invaded, on Monday, Palestinian farmlands west of the central West Bank city of Salfit, and bulldozed agricultural lands to expand settlements’ industrial zones in the area. Local sources said the settlers came from Ariel and Barkan industrial settlements, built on Palestinian lands west of Salfit, and bulldozed farmlands belonging to villagers of Hares, Kifl Hares, Deir Estia and Broqeen. Palestinian researcher Khaled Ma‘ali said the illegal expansion of the industrial zones has been ongoing for a long while, adding that many of these violations are carried out slowly and away from media attention. Ma‘ali said the Industrial Zones in Salfit “do not only lead to theft of Palestinian lands, or the illegal annexation of grazing areas, but are also polluting the air, in addition to dangerous chemicals and waste poured onto Palestinian lands, meadows and valleys.”
Deadly Jerusalem synagogue attack horrifies Israel
JERUSALEM (AFP) 19 Nov by Hazel Ward — Five Israelis were killed in Jerusalem’s bloodiest attack for years when two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers ran amok among worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday. It was a rare assault on a place of worship and sent shockwaves through the country, raising fears that the Israel-Palestinian conflict was taking on a more dangerous religious dimension. Four of the victims were Israelis with dual nationality — three US citizens and a Briton, police said. Israel’s leading ultra-Orthodox website said they were all rabbis. A policeman, Zidan Saief, 30, died later of his wounds. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a harsh response to the bloodshed, and pledged to demolish the homes of the perpetrators in line with a policy announced earlier this month. “We are at the height of an ongoing terror attack focused on Jerusalem,” he said, describing it as “a battle” over the fate of the Holy City. “This evening, I ordered the destruction of the homes of the Palestinians who carried out this massacre and to speed up the demolition of those who carried out previous attacks,” he said, referring to the homes of those behind four earlier attacks in the city. Abbas condemned the killings, but Hamas welcomed the attack… [since the news of this attack has been all over the mainstream media ever since it happened, I am not repeating the stories here.]
Abbas condemns Jerusalem synagogue attack
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an)18 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday condemned an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis earlier in the day. Abbas’ office said in a statement that the presidency always denounced the killing of civilians by any party. “Consequently, today the presidency denounces the killing of worshipers at a place of worship in West Jerusalem,” the statement said, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. “The presidency also denounces all violent acts no matter who their source is, and demands an end to the ongoing incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocative acts by Israeli settlers as well as incitement by some Israeli ministers,” it added. The statement went on to demand an end to the Israeli occupation and said the Palestinian Authority remained committed to a two-state solution.
Palestinian factions praise Jerusalem synagogue attack
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Palestinian factions Tuesday applauded an attack by two young Palestinians in a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four Israelis earlier in the day. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that the attack was a response to the “ongoing Israeli crimes against the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and urged Palestinians to carry out similar attacks. “The operation in Jerusalem came in response to the execution of the martyr (Yousuf Hasan) al-Ramouni,” Abu Zuhri added, referring to the Monday hanging death of a Palestinian Jerusalemite bus driver whose family says was murdered by right-wing Israelis while police say the death was a suicide. A leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation Palestine, Kayid al-Ghoul, also praised the attack, but he did not say that the PFLP officially claimed responsibility for the attack. Speaking to the Lebanese news channel al-Mayadin, al-Ghoul said the attack was in response to ongoing Israeli crimes in occupied Jerusalem. The military wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, also released a statement greeting the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and “their ongoing struggle to protect the city against the Israeli occupation.” Islamic Jihad also commented on Tuesday’s attack. “The operation in Jerusalem was a natural reaction to the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation and its settlers,” a statement said. Additionally, the Popular Resistance Committees described the attack as “heroic.” It said it was a response to “the Israeli occupation’s crimes against our people and our holy places in in occupied Jerusalem.”
Occupation kidnaps 14 members of Abu Jamal family in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (PNN) 18 Nov — Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday noon kidnapped about 14 members of the family of two martyred Palestinian attackers, Ghassan and Odai Abu Jamal, in Jabal Al Mukabber, East Jerusalem. Local sources said that hundreds of Israeli police and army forces attacked the village and besieged it with concrete cubes. Israeli forces broke several windows of the houses in attempt to find the martyrs’ houses. The family said that Israeli forces broke into the houses, closely inspected and raided them, then kidnapped 14 members including 3 women: Ghassan’s wife and mother, and Odai’s mother, as well as brutally beating one of the martyrs’ brothers and injuring him. Ambulance officer from ER in Nouran Abdo society said that 22 citizens were injured during clashes in Jabal Al Mukabber, including 17 cases of asphyxiation, and 5 injuries of metal bullets, one of the injured was a paramedic. The injuries ranged between slight to moderate.
IOF attacks the mourning tent of synagogue attackers
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 19 Nov — The Israeli Magistrate court on Tuesday ruled against handing over the bodies of the two Palestinian young men who carried out a deadly attack on a west Jerusalem synagogue. Local sources said that IOF soldiers heavily fired tear gas bombs at the mourning tent of the two martyrs in Jabal Mukaber in occupied Jerusalem. Many suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation during the attack. On the other hand, two Israeli policemen were injured during clashes in the Old City in occupied Jerusalem after being stoned by angry protesters. The two injured were transferred to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Similar confrontations erupted in Tur, Jabal Mukber, and Ras al-Amoud neighborhoods, Shu‘fat refugee camp, the Old City and Ram town in protest against an Arab driver’s murder by Jewish settlers late Sunday.
Meanwhile, Israeli police have released Tuesday evening nine members of the synagogue attackers’ family and extended the arrest of three others till Wednesday. Al-Dameer Foundation for Human Rights confirmed that the detention of three brothers of Ghassen and Uday Abu Jamal, the two young men who carried out the synagogue attack, was extended for further investigation. Nine members of Abu Jabal family, including three women, were released on Tuesday night.
Settlers spit on Abu Khdeir family as they exit court; alleged killed refuses to enter plea
Mondoweiss 18 Nov by Allison Deger — Today was more difficult than most trips to the Jerusalem District Court for the grieving family of the late 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was abducted and then burned to death in a nationalistic crime by Israeli right-wingers in July, just before the summer war in Gaza. Aside from an early winter rain, and slow progress in the murder trial, settlers spat on them as they exited the courthouse. On the sidewalk a scuffle followed the Abu Khdeirs on their way home. Approaching their car, settlers recognized them; for Abu Khdeir relatives’ faces have become synonymous with the on-going unrest in Jerusalem. The Israelis, a group of religious-nationalist youth, were also in court that day, but for an altogether different case .They allegedly accosted Palestinians. “They came after us,” said Amsam Abu Khdeir, 27, a cousin of the deceased. He stated that one of the Israeli-nationalists “spit on my cousin and then he said to the police, see the Arabs…” To Palestinians “Mohammed” conjures more than the name of the prophet. He is a child killed by vigilantism and racism cultivated by the state of Israel, a symbol of the unchecked violence Palestinians experience from anti-Arab extremists that was manifested last summer by throngs of rightists youths explicitly “hunting” for Arabs. And his death carries over to the more recent killings of four Palestinians in Jerusalem who were gunned down for the attempted killing, actual killing or suspected killing of Israelis. Abu Khdeir’s alleged murderers were in court today for a second pre-trial. All three defendants were supposed to enter pleas. In the session the self-proclaimed ringleader of the group, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 29, refused to cooperate.
Palestinian stabbed by Israelis in northern Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — A Palestinian man was stabbed by a group of Israelis in north Jerusalem on Tuesday, relatives told Ma‘an. Fadi Jalal Radwan, 22, was attacked and stabbed by four Israelis while walking in the town of Kafr Aqab, his father said. He was stabbed three times in the legs, and once in the back. The victim was found bleeding in the street and taken to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Doctors said he was in a serious condition. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an that “an Arab man was approached by three suspects” who asked him for a light. They then stabbed him in the leg with a small knife. Israeli police are looking into the background of the incident, Rosenfeld added.
Palestinian hospitalized after being assaulted by Israeli extremists
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov — A young Palestinian man was moved to an Israeli hospital, on Monday at dawn, after being assaulted by a number of Israeli extremists while he was on his way to work. The young man, Tareq Ziad Dweik, 29, suffered fractures in his arm and leg, in addition to various cuts and bruises, and was moved to the Hadassah Israeli Hospital in Jerusalem. The attack took place in Hezma area in the occupied city. He said the attackers were sitting in two Israeli cars before they stepped out of the vehicles and assaulted him.
Palestinian seriously wounded by settlers’ fire near Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 19 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Medical sources have reported, Tuesday, that a Palestinian teen was shot, and moderately injured by a live round, fired by an Israeli settler near Beiteen village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah … Medical sources in Ramallah said Ibrahim Daraghma, 19 years of age [Ma‘an: Ibrahim Mahmoud, 16], suffered a gunshot injury to his jaw, and was moved to the Palestine Medical Center, in Ramallah. He was shot after a number of settlers opened fire at Palestinians close to settlement bypass road #60, near the village, before dozens of soldiers invaded the area, leading to clashes with local youths.
In related news, a number of armed Israeli settlers attacked several homes at the main entrances of Burin village and Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Local sources said the settlers invaded at least three homes, and managed to destroy the furniture of one of them, before a number of youths of the unarmed Popular Guards Committee forced them out of the village. The home that sustained the most damage belongs to resident Ghaleb Najjar, while the homes of Atallah Abu Sufian and Marwan Najjar, sustained lesser property damage. Spokesperson of the Fateh Movement in Huwwara village Awad Najm stated the settlers attacked the home of Salah Shawkat, close to the Huwwara Israeli military roadblock.
Settlers attack Palestinian school near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Clashes broke out near Nablus on Tuesday after settlers attacked a Palestinian school in the village of ‘Urif, a Palestinian official said. Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that six Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets after Israeli forces intervened in clashes with settlers. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at villagers after they clashed with settlers trying to attack a local school. The incident took place hours after a deadly attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem which killed four Israelis. Earlier, dozens of settlers had gathered along the main road between Nablus and Yizhar settlement following news of the attack, with witnesses saying they planned to attack Palestinian farmers and cars.
Kahanists attack school after synagogue killings
Mondoweiss 18 Nov by Annie Robbins — We’re used to hearing them referenced as “settlers” and “hilltop youth”, but let’s be honest, there’s been a dramatic escalation of rioting, and retribution by Kahanists since the lynching of a Palestinian bus driver Sunday night. Granted, things were already extremely tense. The subsequent Palestinian attack on worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem this morning, killing four Jewish worshipers and a police officer, and the killing of the two Palestinian attackers, has now led to riots in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that took place this evening. And today the Kahanists attacked a school near Nablus. I call them Kahanist because of where they are from, what their leaders advocate and who they chant during celebrations, according to an Israel television report … According to Israeli News 2 TV a prominent leader of these “hilltop youths” or “La Familia” — who can be viewed chanting “still Kahane lives still Kahane lives”– is Kiryat Arba councilman Benzion Gopstein, The “students of Kahane” concentrate around Gopstein and “see him as their leader,” News 2 reported last year. Here’s what Gopstein’s Facebook page looked like til Monday. Reports are that he switched out the shot. Ignore that noose. Is it just a coincidence he changed his image after Palestinian bus driver Yousef al-Ramouni was brutally murdered Sunday night? Israelis authorities, and mouthpieces Ron Dermer and Dore Gold on CNN, pronounced it a suicide. The same forensic logic that determined the Abu Khdeir family killed the 16-year-old child Mohammed Abu Khdeir last July. The same logic we heard in May when Blitzer aired Michael Oren claiming the 2 teens killed on Nakba day, Nadim Abu Nuwara and Mahmoud Odeh Salameh, was staged and they might not even be dead. Palestinian reports say that al-Ramouni was attacked by Jewish settlers.
Here’s video of the wedding of councilman Gopstein’s daughter to one of the La Familia leaders. Click cc for subtitles. (Knife Dance of the Hillltop Youth) The video was shot by News 2 TV. So how much of a leap of faith is it to assume the settlers who attacked the high school were Kahanists?
Israel closes Bethlehem village for settler march
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli forces issued a closure on the Bethlehem-area village of Beit Iskariya on Tuesday, preventing villagers from entering or leaving, locals said. Head of the village council Muhammad Ibrahim told Ma‘an that Israeli forces shut the village due to a nearby march by settlers following an earlier attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Settlers in the area also tried to attack passing Palestinian vehicles, he added.
Israeli settlers smash Palestinian vehicle near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli settlers smashed several Palestinian vehicles on Tuesday after they threw rocks at them on the road between Nablus and Ramallah. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that several Israeli settlers smashed Palestinian vehicles as they passed the al-Lubban al-Sharqiya road. One of the vehicle owners was identified as Ibrahim al-Hindi from Tulkarem.
Train driver calls on every Israeli to ‘run over’ an Arab
Electronic Intifada 16 Nov by Patrick Strickland — An Israeli train driver earlier this week took to Facebook to encourage his compatriots to run over Palestinians for “the Jewish nation.” On the afternoon of 11 November, Benny Levy, a train operator for Israel Railways, wrote the message on his personal Facebook page. Apparently attempting to start a chain message intended to be passed on and shared by other Facebook users, he called on every Israeli to “invest one small effort” and “run over only one Arab.” The full status reads: “Forward, don’t break!!!! In light of the difficult situation of the Jewish Nation we’ve got to wake up! Everyone takes one little action into his own hands, run over only one Arab, that’s all, and God Willing together we’ll manage to make a difference! Each person will invest one small effort for us all!” His comments come after several instances of Palestinians driving cars into Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem. Though it is unclear whether those incidents were attacks or accidents, Israeli forces killed the drivers on the scene and subsequently labeled them “terrorists.” ‘Deadly racism’ Levi’s racist incitement is not isolated, either: Israeli settlers have a long history of using their vehicles to run over Palestinians.
Israel to ease gun controls after attack
AFP 18 Nov — Israel is to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defence after a deadly Palestinian attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Tuesday. “In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,” he said in remarks broadcast on public radio, indicating it would apply to anyone with a licence to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers. Aharonovitch did not elaborate, but it is believed that under the planned changes security personnel would be allowed to carry their arms even when off duty. There would also be a “tightening of controls on people coming and going” from areas of annexed Arab east Jerusalem where there have been almost daily clashes between police and stonethrowers for nearly five months … Israel police commissioner Yohanan Danino pledged to beef up security around both synagogues and mosques, and said police would be on alert to prevent further violence and any revenge attacks. “This is one of the worst attacks we’ve seen in recent years,” he said in a statement. “I have ordered the district police commanders to prepare for any possibility of revenge attacks, price tags and nationally-motivated disturbances,” he said. Price tag is a euphemism for hate crime by Jewish extremists targeting Palestinians and Arabs.
Israel instates harsher measures isolating East Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 19 Nov — Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich issued orders for more severe measures isolating entire Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, including the constant search of Palestinians entering or leaving them. Aharonovich made his decision following the Tuesday attack by two Palestinians who stabbed Yeshiva students in occupied Jerusalem, killing five and wounding several others, before being shot dead. The Israeli Radio said Aharonovich has instructed the army and the security devices to conduct a series of measures against the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, including preventing the families of the two Palestinians from burying them in the city. The Israeli official held a meeting with army and police commanders, in addition to senior Internal Security officials, instructed them to install more roadblocks in Palestinian neighborhoods, villages and towns in and around Jerusalem, and instructed the army to conduct detailed searches of every Palestinian who crosses those roadblocks. He also ordered the deployment of four more brigades of Border Guard Units in various neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In addition, Aharonovich instructed the deployment of police and army units in various areas in the country, and is weighing the possibility of resuming Administrative Detention policies against Jerusalemite Palestinians, to enable holding them indefinitely without charges or trial.
Israeli forces destroy home of East Jerusalem car attack suspect
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished the family home of the suspect in a Jerusalem car-ramming attack last month, witnesses said. Dozens of Israeli troops raided the al-Bustan area of the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem and proceeded to explode the home of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi. The forces entered the area after midnight, surrounded the five-story building where the al-Shaludi family lives, and forced residents out of the building without allowing them to bring any of their possessions with them, witnesses said. Troops also evacuated three houses near the building and held residents in a tent for over four hours. They told residents to remove their cars from the area, before planting explosives in the al-Shaludi home and destroying it at around 3:45 a.m. Locals of the al-Bustan neighborhood said that the whole building was damaged in addition to nearby houses. Al-Shaludi was killed by Israeli police on Oct. 22, 2014 after he drove his vehicle into a group of pedestrians near the right rail in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah area … Home demolitions have long been used as a deterrent punishment in the occupied West Bank but it is the first time that they have been adopted as a matter of policy in East Jerusalem.
The practice is condemned by human rights watchdogs as collective punishment that targets not perpetrators of attacks but their families … The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions has repeatedly condemned Israel’s policy of demolishing homes of suspects in nationalistic attacks. “Between 2001-2005 … 664 Palestinian homes were demolished as forms of punishment. Some 4,182 innocent people were displaced, many of them neighbors of the suspect’s family, and this often on the basis of suspicion alone,” ICAHD said in an August statement entitled “Revenge devoid of purpose.”
Jerusalem: Against the dying of the light / Natasha Roth
972blog 19 Nov — I am sitting in an archway in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, taking a break from guiding a friend who is visiting from the UK. He is smoking a cigarette, and I am photographing the street sign across from us. We are on Misgav Ladakh Street, and as with all street signs in the Old City, the name is written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. On this sign, however, the Arabic has been completely covered by two identical stickers featuring a slogan in Hebrew, which translates roughly as: “Our soldiers’ lives come before the lives of the enemy’s civilians.” On a doorway across from the sign, next to us, the same stickers have been used to spell out – also in Hebrew – “The Lord is King.” The phrase about soldiers’ lives became popular during the summer, when the country shrouded itself in brute nationalism during Israel’s latest attempt to cripple the Gaza Strip. This message, and many others like it, appeared on posters, banners and bumper stickers throughout the country. What surfaced on social media was even less palatable. The stickers, and their obscuring of the Arabic lettering on the street sign, are a most violent revision by the simplest means. They are a perfect distillation of how oppression against Palestinians works in this country: cover, conceal, remove, rub out. Build a house, knock down a house, plant a tree, place a wall, place a sticker….
Expert: Palestinian hanging death does not seem to be suicide
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an/AFP) 17 Nov — A medical expert told Ma‘an that a Palestinian who was found hanged on a bus near Jerusalem earlier Monday died by “hanging and strangulation,” and that preliminary tests suggest he was the victim of “an organized murder.” Earlier, bus driver Yousuf Hasan al-Ramouni, 32, was found hanged inside his bus at the Har Hotzvim terminal near Jerusalem, and police said in a statement that there was “no suspicion of criminal activity” and his death appeared to be a suicide. But the medical expert, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma‘an that al-Ramouni’s death did not appear to be a suicide. After an autopsy it was found that the man’s first vertebra was not dislocated, which usually happens in the cases of suicide by hanging, the expert said. He added that postmortem lividity, or livor mortis, was found on the buttocks of the body and not the lower limbs, which indicates that al-Ramouni was not dangled. The expert said he assumed al-Ramouni was killed in a planned attack, and that conclusive evidence disproving or confirming his suspicions required lab work, which would take over three months. But Israeli police contradicted the expert’s report. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted: “Autopsy of Arab bus driver that died last night completed. Findings are — incident not criminal related whatsoever. Body transferred to family.” Earlier, al-Ramouni’s fellow bus driver Muatasem Fakeh said he had seen evidence that the death was not a suicide. “We saw signs of violence on his body,” Fakeh told AFP. “He was hanged over the steps at the back of the bus in a place where it would be impossible to hang yourself alone,” he added. The victim’s brother, Osama al-Ramouni said the family did not accept the verdict of suicide, saying his body “had bruises on it,” suggesting he had been “tortured” before his death.
Behind the silent reaction of the Palestinian street / Amira Hass
Haaretz 19 Nov — In private conversations, even those who support killing Israelis seem embarrassed by an attack on civilians at prayer; they don’t speak out because they share the anger that led to the murder — In recent weeks, government officials have called for intensifying the collective punishment of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents to deter potential attackers. But these official, public threats did nothing to deter Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal. They planned their murderous operation despite knowing their families would suffer one way or another: violent raids on their houses, arrests, humiliation, having their houses sealed or destroyed. They surely knew that if they weren’t killed, they’d be arrested, perhaps tortured during interrogation and sentenced to life. But none of this deterred them. It’s too easy and early to label Tuesday’s murder in a synagogue as another incident in an emerging religious war. … Even Hamas officials and other pious Muslims frequently say the problem isn’t with Jews as a religious community, but against the occupation….One also shouldn’t make light of the feelings roused in Jerusalem’s Palestinians, and Palestinians in general, by the discovery of the body of bus driver Yusuf al-Ramouni. Police hastened to declare him a suicide, but Palestinians don’t see the police as an agency whose goal is to protect them. On the contrary: This is the police force that escorts the bulldozers that destroy their homes, that protects the settlers, that kills Palestinian demonstrators and petty criminals for no reason. Thus Palestinians fundamentally distrust the police’s motives … The Har Nof neighborhood, where the attack took place, is built on the lands of the former Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. Those who are keeping silent now see the murder as a response to an Israeli policy toward the Palestinians that has been one long chain of attacks, dispossessions and expulsions since 1948.
Bil‘in activists ambush Israeli military jeep into ditch
[with photo] RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Palestinian activists from Bil‘in managed to ambush an Israeli military jeep into a ditch overnight Sunday during a raid in the Ramallah-area village. Members of Bil‘in local committee told Ma’an that three Israeli military jeeps raided the village at 1:30 a.m. and broke into the home of mayor Basil Mansour. The mayor was not at home during the raid, but soldiers left a message threatening to take tough measures against the village if youths continue to target Israel’s separation wall. Clashes broke out following the raid, with Israeli forces firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Before the incursion, several youths had dug a ditch in a dirt road in the village and covered it in plastic. During the raid, several youths distracted one of the jeeps and got it to follow them, causing it to drive over the hole and fall into the ditch. Seven military vehicles arrived in the area to help pull the jeep out.
Shots fired at army jeep near Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — Israeli military sources stated Tuesday that Palestinian fighters opened fire at an Israeli military jeep driving on the Yitzhar settlement road, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. The sources said Palestinian fighters, driving a car near the Qaduim illegal Israeli settlement, opened fire at the military vehicle, and fled the scene. The army reported no injuries among the soldiers. Soldiers closed the Yitzhar-Nablus road, close to the Yitzhar illegal settlement, and stopped hundreds of Palestinian cars, while dozens of soldiers have also been deployed on the main road between Za‘tara and Huwwara roadblocks.
Army kidnaps young man, woman, in Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday afternoon, a young Palestinian man and a woman, during nonviolent protests near the al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem. The army and police violently assaulted the protesters who were demanding to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Local sources said dozens of women marched from Bab Hatta area, and headed towards Bab as-Silsila, to protest the army’s denial of the entry of women into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, for the tenth consecutive day. The sources said that the women gathered near Bab Hatta, one of the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque, and peacefully marched towards Bab as-Silsila before the soldiers and police officers assaulted them, and kidnapped one woman identified as Heba at-Tawil. Soldiers also attacked another protest, held by Palestinian men near the Bab as-Silsila, and kidnapped a young man, identified as Akram Ash-Shurafa. In addition, the Police attacked a number of women while [they were] trying to prevent them from kidnapping an elderly man identified as Abu Ali Shawahna, who was also assaulted and wounded by the police. Earlier on Monday, a small group of Israeli fanatics invaded the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the al-Magharba Gate, accompanied by dozens of soldiers, and conducted provocative acts.
After ten years of working in secrecy, IOA to open tunnels and halls under al-Mathara Gate (report)
Palinfo 19 Nov –The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) revealed in a recent press report that the Israeli occupation authority is putting final touches before opening tunnels and spacious halls under el-Mathara Gate. The Gate is only 20 meters away from the southern borders of Al-Aqsa Mosque, AFEH said, adding that the IOA had been digging in that region for the past ten years. The foundation confirmed that scores of workers are working in the site and it observed some works that seem to be final, adding, “The IOA is planning to open this location soon under the name Behind our Wall”. The foundation managed to enter a few meters within the main gate and took some pictures. The excavations and Judaization projects are funded by the so-called Jewish Fund to Maintain the Legacy of the Wailing Wall (Israeli reference to Buraq wall), and “Israeli Antiquities Authority”, the foundation said, stressing that all the archaeological assets in the location are Islamic and date back to Mamluk era but the IOA is planning to obliterate and falsify the reality of these landmarks. It has also stressed that these diggings threaten Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Eight Palestinians, including four children, kidnapped in Jerusalem and Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers invaded a number of Palestinian communities in the West Bank district of Bethlehem, and kidnapped five Palestinians, including a child. The army also kidnapped three children in occupied East Jerusalem. Local sources said several Israeli military vehicles invaded Beit Jala city, ‘Aida and the al-‘Azza refugee camps, broke into dozens of homes and searched them, before kidnapping the five Palestinians … In addition, soldiers kidnapped three children, while heading to school, in Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem. Local sources said the soldiers kidnapped Mahmoud Dweik, Mohammad Dweik and Abdul-Rahman Dweik, and took them to an interrogation center in the city. The kidnapped children are 9-14 years of age.
Israeli forces detain 21 Palestinians in overnight raids
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli forces detained 21 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem in overnight raids, a prisoner’s rights group reported Tuesday. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said that Akram al-Shurufa, a guard at the Al-Aqsa mosque, was detained from Jerusalem, in addition to Taha Shawahneh, who was also assaulted before being detained, and Omar Abu al-Hawa, Mustafa al-Qawasmi, and Raeda Abu Hadwan. A statement from PPS said that others who were also detained from Jerusalem are still in interrogation at Israeli police stations. The statement added that the Israeli police delivered notices to three women to attend court sessions to discuss their release terms; the three were identified as Azziya al-Salamymeh, Hiba al-Tawil and Azhar Othman. In Hebron, Israeli forces detained three minors identified as Wassim Taha Abu Maria, Abdullah Muhammad Abu Maria, and Ahmad Rifaat Sleibi. Four Palestinians were detained from Ramallah. One from Silwad was identified as Nashat Hamed in addition to three from Bil‘in: Majdi Burnat, Samih al-Khatib and Muhammad Yassin. Ahmad Majdi Ikbariya from Shweika village near Tulkarem was also detained after Israeli forces raided his home early Tuesday.
Gaza child dies of wounds inflicted in Israeli offensive
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — 14-year-old Mohammed Siyam, from the Gaza Strip, lost his leg in an Israeli bombardment during the latest Israeli military aggression on Gaza, this past July. According to the PNN, after the boy lost 12 members of his family, and both of his legs, he was moved to Jerusalem to receive treatment there. He was later moved to Turkey, where he was given artificial legs and found a state of improved health. On Tuesday, Mohammed was pronounced dead during a needed operation on his lungs and respiratory tract.
Gaza desalinated drinking water leading to cancer, osteoporosis, and other fatal illnesses
GAZA (PNN) 17 Nov — Iyad Salman was terribly shocked to find out that his son, Mohammad (9), has osteoporosis, an illness that became hugely spread between the children of Gaza. Iyad assured that he was always keen that his children have a healthy lifestyle. However, his son became ill after buying and drinking desalinated water from carts that sell it in Tal-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah where he lives. Mohammed’s doctor immediately diagnosed the causative of the illness to be the sold desalinated water, which was reiterated by the head of water monitoring department in the Ministry of health, saying that the lack of chloride in the water causes osteoporosis, especially for children. Despite knowing the causes for the illness, there is no substitute for the desalinated water, since the water provided by the Municipality is salted and unfit for drinking, and Israeli occupation control over more than 82% of Palestinian water … A German specialized study analyzed drinking water samples, which showed a high percentage of nitrate oxidizing substance that leads to deterioration of children’s health. The normal percentage of nitrate in drinking water should range around 50 mg per liter. The percentage in that of Gaza drinking water, reached double to eight times as much. Laboratory tests showed severe lack of red blood cells for almost half the children in Gaza. The desalinated water sold in Gaza was assured to cause cancer as well. Dr. Anhar Dahdouh told PNN that the water is desalinated using the method of reverse osmosis, in which filters used must be changed at least yearly. However, the filters used for desalinating the water were found to be changed once every two years.
Minister: Reconstruction material to enter Gaza
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — The Palestinian minister of civil affairs said Monday that reconstruction material for Qatari construction projects will enter the Gaza Strip upon agreement with the Israeli side. Hussein al-Sheikh said in a statement that deliveries of reconstruction material to Gaza started on Monday. Some 100 trucks carrying 4,000 tons of supplies for road repairs are expected to enter. Al-Sheikh added that asphalt will be entering the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. He said that it has been agreed with the Israeli side to allow 100 trucks of road construction materials per day to cover the needs of rebuilding. Al-Sheikh added that clothing exports from Gaza to the West Bank would also begin Monday.
Ministries, government institutions in Gaza on strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — A general strike paralyzed all ministries and government institutions across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in protest against the failure of the Palestinian national consensus government to pay salaries to Gaza civil servants. Public schools as well as Al-Aqsa University were also on strike. Speaker of the union of civil servants in the Gaza Strip Muhammad Siyam told reporters that “strikes will continue until all rights are obtained.” Similarly, cleaning companies which operate in Gaza hospitals remained on strike for the second consecutive day because employees haven’t been paid for more than five months. Spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra says the strike will have a very negative impact on the performance of hospitals and medical centers. No surgeries have been carried out for a second day, al-Qidra added.
Haniyeh: Hamdallah must carry out responsibilities in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Monday urged Prime Minister Rami Hamallah to carry out his responsibilities in Gaza. Speaking to Ma‘an on Monday, Haniyeh said that Palestinians in Gaza have been disappointed with the performance of the national consensus government. “They expected the government to rebuild Gaza, pay salaries, and lift the siege,” Haniyeh said. He stressed that the Hamdallah-led government is responsible for the Gaza Strip just as it is responsible for the West Bank. Haniyeh also said that contacts between Hamas officials and the unity government were ongoing. “We are in contact at numerous levels in order to remedy this situation. I hereby tell Dr. Rami: You must take quick steps to remedy the health situation. It is unacceptable to treat Gaza so harshly.” In April, Hamas agreed to work with its rivals in Abbas’ Fatah movement to form an interim consensus government of technocrats which would work towards long-delayed national elections.
Israel bars Norwegian doctor, but denies life ban
JERUSALEM (AFP) 17 Nov — Israel has blocked Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert from entering the country and thereby accessing the Gaza Strip, but denied Monday it had imposed a lifelong ban on the outspoken medic. “He has been banned from entering Israel,” foreign ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson told AFP, categorically denying reports Gilbert had been blocked from entering Gaza … The trauma specialist — who has worked in the Palestinian territories for three decades — accused Israeli authorities of backtracking Monday, following calls from Norway to reconsider the ban. ‘Don’t kill the messenger’ “They have a little trouble explaining if I’m banned from Gaza or Israel,” he told AFP, adding that he was allowed into Israel in October but denied entry to Gaza by Israeli soldiers and later informed that the ban was “infinite”. “They keep changing explanations all the time, so I think they are fairly pressurized by the reaction from the Norwegian government and from the international outcry over denying entry to a medical doctor just because he’s criticizing Israel.”
Where is humanity? Post-war life in Gaza
Alternative Information Center 17 Nov by Elizabeth Austwick — A majority of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza are refugees who survived the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 and have remained steadfast in the face of Israel’s continued brutality. Heba, however describes Israel’s summer attack as “worse than the two previous wars put together and any other time in our life, it was a very brutal and savage war and people are now living in despair.” … “People are just searching for a bed and a warm house now, they are not looking for the freedom of Palestine; unfortunately they are looking for food and shelter. Walking down the streets in Gaza you find people just carrying their bags on their backs, which includes things for sleeping; they are always moving from place to place”, Heba describes. With the winter coming housing is even more crucial as the wet weather and cold threaten to push Gaza even further into crisis. Heba portrays how “already after just two days of rain the streets of Gaza were completely flooded and we couldn’t reach our universities and work; the infrastructure is destroyed.”….
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Jewish immigration
Israel to admit 6,000 Ukrainian Jewish refugees
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — The Israeli government plans to provide shelter to 6,000 Jews who were internally displaced by the Western-backed conflict in the Ukraine, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv. Al Ray correspondent reports that the plan comes in light of the domestic infighting taking place in Ukraine, which is leading to the displacement of hundreds of the country’s Jewish population. Israeli authorities are said to be secretly constructing a number of refugee camps to receivethe displaced Ukrainians, under the supervision of Israeli Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett, said the newspaper, but did not specify the location of the camps.
Hunger-striking prisoner pauses strike after release date set
JENIN (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Hunger-striking prisoner Raed Musa briefly suspended his 60-day hunger strike Tuesday after an Israeli court in Ofer ordered the prisoner to be released on Dec. 12, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said. Jawad Boulos, head of PPS’ legal department, visited Musa in Barzilai Hospital on Tuesday. Raed Musa had said earlier that he would not end his hunger strike before he is released, another lawyer, Karim Ajwah, said. Musa, who has been on hunger strike in Israel’s Barzilai prison since Sept. 23, told the lawyer Tuesday that he would end hunger strike only when he is freed and after that “I will go to the Muqata (presidential compound) and pray near the grave of late Palestinian president martyr Yasser Arafat.” Musa added that he had been suffering from liver trouble and that his skin on his leg turned green. Musa has not been taking salt or sugar and his weight dropped from 105 to 76 kilograms. Bolus had reached an agreement with the Israeli authorities to release Musa on Dec. 21 and not renew his administrative detention. Musa, from Silat al-Thahir village near Jenin, has been detained without trial. The Israeli intelligence renewed his administrative term three times. As a result, he started a hunger strike on Sept. 23.
Israel refuses providing or entering blankets to Palestinian prisoners, making them buy at own expense
BETHLEHEM 16 Nov — Israeli Prison Services (IPS) again deprived Palestinian prisoners from entering any blankets or winter garments into their cells, with the beginning of a cold winter in Palestine. Head of Palestinian Prisoners Club, Qaddoura Fares, told PNN that Israeli occupation this year did not provide the prisoners by any blankets, and pointed out that during the beginning of summer, 2000 new Palestinians were arrested. However, during the summer they did not need blankets. Fares said that Prisoner Affairs and Palestinian Prisoners Club have been demanding the IPS for more than month,to enter garments from the prisoners’ families, the prisoners’ committee, Red Cross or other organizations. The Prisoners Club currently awaits response from the Red Cross
Israel to reduce electricity in Gaza and West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — Israel’s national electricity company has reportedly decided to reduce the amount of electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank due to debts on the part of the Palestinian Authority, according to business media … According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the newspaper revealed that the amount of debt has reached an unprecedented figure and was up to NIS 1.78 billion, representing 30% of the company’s income for the first quarter of the current year. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu intervened to prevent the company from cutting the electricity in the PA areas, as he considers it as a political issue affecting the current events.
Fearing IS, Palestinian families leave Mosul for Iraqi Kurdistan
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — About 120 Palestinian families have emigrated from Mosul in northern Iraq to Iraqi Kurdistan fearing IS threats, according to the consulate of Palestine in Erbil. In a statement, released Saturday, the consul of Palestine in Erbil Nathmi Hazouri said Palestinian families living in Iraq were facing very dire conditions. His remarks, according to the statement, came during a celebration the consulate organized marking the 10th anniversary of the death of late leader Yasser Arafat. Hazouri said that Palestinian families started to leave Mosul to Iraqi Kurdistan in June after IS fighters started to deploy in the city.
Sweden says no plans to open Ramallah embassy
Stockholm (AFP) 17 Nov – Sweden said Monday it will not open an embassy in Ramallah even though it has officially recognised the state of Palestine, the first major EU nation to do so. “Nobody has opened an embassy in Ramallah, and we think that this can be managed by the consulate in Jerusalem, which is a satisfactory solution for us,” Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem told public radio.
Spanish parliament to water down Palestine state call
MADRID (Reuters) 18 Nov – Spanish lawmakers were set to stop short of calling on their government to recognise Palestine as a state after the ruling party introduced last minute changes to water down a symbolic motion due to be adopted later on Tuesday … The non-binding motion, brought forward by the opposition Socialists, had initially “urged” the government to recognise a Palestinian state, angering the Israeli government. But the ruling People’s Party (PP), which holds an absolute majority in the lower house, proposed an amendment hours before the vote weakening the text. “The Spanish parliament urges the government to encourage the recognition of Palestine as a state… This recognition should be the consequence of a process negotiated between the parties that guarantees peace and security for both,” the wording proposed by the PP said. The amended resolution appeared less ambitious than Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo had hoped. “We have the feeling that time is running out,” he told reporters in Brussels on Monday. “Either we do something fairly quickly or the two-state solution will be physically impossible.” Talks were continuing in parliament to try to secure a deal among all political groups on the motion ahead of the vote that had been due around 1900 GMT.
EU ‘deplores’ Israeli settlement plans but says no sanctions
BRUSSELS (AFP) 17 Nov — The European Union said Monday it deplored Israeli plans to build new settlements on occupied Palestinian territory but denied outright that it planned sanctions against Israel as a result. There was “no plan of this type,” new EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said when asked about an Israeli press report on the issue … A statement issued after the foreign ministers meeting said the 28-member bloc “deeply deplores and strongly opposes the recent expropriation of land near Bethlehem, recent announcements of plans for new settlement construction… as well as plans to displace Bedouins in the West Bank and the continued demolitions, including of EU and member states funded projects.”