Violence / Detentions
Palestinian killed near Ibrahimi Mosque after soldier lightly injured
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — #66 — A 23-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli border policeman near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron after an alleged attack on an Israeli soldier. An eyewitness told Ma‘an that he saw an Israeli soldier shoot at the Palestinian, hitting him in the shoulder. “Then the Israeli soldier approached him and shot him in the head and dropped a knife near his body,” the eyewitnesses added. Another eyewitness said he saw the Palestinian running before Israeli soldiers shot him. “The boy fell to the ground before the soldiers took off his clothes and wrapped him in a black sack.” The Israeli army said that a Palestinian attacked and stabbed a soldier near the Tomb of Patriarchs when “forces responded and shot the attacker.” Israeli media reported that after lightly wounding a soldier with a cut to the face, the suspect tried to attack a border policeman who shot and killed him. Nearby schools were evacuated following the attack as clashes broke out in the area. Eyewitnesses initially identified the suspect as a teenager but the Palestinian Ministry of Health later reported the man’s age as 23. The man’s identity has yet to be confirmed.
He is one of around 20 Palestinians to be killed in the Hebron district this month, five of whom were children. The majority were shot dead in Hebron city, in most cases after Israel alleged they attempted to carry out stabbing attacks on Israelis. Israeli forces shot and killed 23-year-old Islam Rafiq Hammad Ibeido on Wednesday after the forces said he attempting to carry out a stabbing attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba. The day before, Hammam Said, 23, reportedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Tel Rumeida and was shot dead by Israeli forces. Eyewitnesses to both cases told Ma‘an they saw Israeli soldiers placing knives next to the suspects’ bodies following the alleged attacks. Several attacks have taken place near the Ibrahimi Mosque this month, known to Jews as the Tomb of Patriarchs. Saad Muhammad Youssef al-Atrash, 19, was shot dead near the holy site on Monday after he allegedly attempted to stab a soldier.
2nd Palestinian killed in Hebron after alleged stabbing attack
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Oct – -#67 — Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian near the illegal Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron in the second alleged stabbing attack in the city on Thursday, Israel’s army and media said. The Israeli army said in an initial report that a “Palestinian assailant” attempted to stab an Israeli soldier “at a security post in Hebron” before being shot on site. According to Israeli media, the Palestinian man attempted to stab an Israeli in the illegal settlement before he was “neutralized” and killed. No injuries have been reported.
One Palestinian killed on Wednesday; 65 Palestinians killed this month, including 14 children
IMEMC 28 Oct — Names of all 65 dead after text One Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli gunfire on Wednesday afternoon, while at least 19 others were injured as clashes continue all over the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Islam Rafiq Obeid, 23, was shot by Israeli troops near the illegal Israeli settlement located in Tel Rumeida area of Hebron old city, southern West Bank. Witnesses said that Obeid was shot eleven times by Israeli troops manning a checkpoint there. Soldiers also detained Palestinian medics and stopped them from providing Obeid with medical help. According to witnesses, he was left to bleed to death by Israeli forces that surrounded the area and closed it. Obeid is the 7th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli troops in Hebron in the past 72 hours, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Wednesday. The Health Ministry said that 65 Palestinians, including 14 children, have been killed by Israeli gunfire since the beginning of this month so far. 48 of them have been killed in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, 17 in the Gaza Strip, including a pregnant woman and her two-year-old child. Moreover, clashes between local youth and invading Israeli troops were reported on Wednesday in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah. Palestinian sources said that at least 19 Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire and tear gas during clashes Wednesday. Among the injured were two children who were hit with live gunfire in Hebron’s old city, meanwhile a teenager was hit in the head by a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the entrance of Beit Fajar village near Bethlehem. On Wednesday at dawn Israeli forces invaded Palestinian communities in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, searched and ransacked residents’ homes then kidnapped 72 Palestinians, including university students and children. The Palestinian Political Prisoners Society said in a press statement that kidnappings and home searches took place in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jenin. In Hebron district alone troops kidnapped 31 residents.
Israel kills 64 Palestinians, leaves 7,200 injured since October 1
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 28 Oct — At least 64 Palestinians have been killed and over 7,200 others injured by Israeli forces since the beginning of the unrest in the West Bank and Jerusalem early October 2015, according to official figures released by the Ministry of Health. Among the fatalities are 14 children; amounting to 21.87% of the total death toll. The youngest of all is two-year old Rahaf Hassan. Whereas 46 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank, 17 others were killed in the Gaza Strip, including a pregnant woman. Meanwhile, one Palestinian from the town of Hora in the Naqab was killed by Israeli fire. Meanwhile, some 2,200 Palestinians were injured with either live rounds, rubber-coated bullets, or by sustaining burns or being subjected to physical abuse during separate incidents in the occupied territories since the beginning of October. A total of 650 were injured with live-fire, while another 850 were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. 200 others were subjected to physical assault by the Israeli settlers or armed soldiers. About 5,000 others suffered intense suffocation due to the excessive use of teargas during clashes with Israeli armed forces. 12 other Palestinians sustained burns during clashes in the West Bank. In Gaza, 790 Palestinians were injured, including 175 children; while 370 Palestinians were injured with live rounds, 90 others sustained injuries due to the use of rubber-coated bullets. Meanwhile, 330 other Palestinians sustained suffocation due to teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces at Gaza’s eastern border.
3rd Palestinian shot, killed after alleged attack in Hebron
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Oct — A Palestinian was shot and killed near the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier, the third Palestinian to be killed on Tuesday. A Palestinian man reportedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Tel Rumeida and was shot dead by Israeli forces, Israeli news site Ynet said. A Ma‘an reporter identified the victim as Hammam Adnan Said, 23. A local activist group in the area, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), said that activists heard six shots being fired in Tel Rumeida. The group claimed on social media that Israeli forces then placed a knife next to the man’s body. Israeli soldiers reportedly stripped the clothes from Said’s body before placing him in a body bag, the group added. Earlier, two Palestinians were shot and killed in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Bethlehem on Tuesday after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier. Israeli forces shot dead both suspects, and the 19-year-old Israeli soldier was evacuated for medical treatment to a hospital in Jerusalem.The Palestinian suspects were identified as Shabaan Abu Shkeidem, 17, and Shadi Nabil Abd al-Muti Dweik, 22, both from Hebron.
Israeli forces erasing Palestinian lives as if they never existed — 23-year-old gunned down in Hebron
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine 28 Oct by ISM al-Khalil Team — At 10.30pm last night, Tuesday 27th October 2015, a Palestinian man who has been identified as 23 year old Hammam Said was shot in al-Kahlil (Hebron) at the Gilbert checkpoint, directly outside the ISM apartment. The man was in the H2 neighborhood of Tel Rumeida which was otherwise quiet at the time. No commotion, shouting or running was heard prior to the six gun shots echoing suddenly through the streets and no other security risk could otherwise be perceived. Immediately following the incident, Israeli forces, who are permanently posted at the checkpoint for 24 hours a day, surrounded the body of the fallen man. Within minutes settlers from the nearby illegal settlement arrived and were allowed to approach and photograph the scene. Further forces then arrived, including soldiers and several police vehicles. An Israeli ambulance arrived but no medical aid was delivered to Said, instead paramedics stood close to the bleeding man and watched passively as he died. Said was then stripped of his clothes, revealing that the gunshot wounds were all on the back of his body. He was then placed in a bodybag and the street was cleaned. By midnight the scene was totally cleared of all evidence of the incident. Eyewitnesses reported that no knife was originally witnessed on the scene, though one appeared after the soldiers surrounded the body. “I cannot say for sure they put the knife there, but I know even 5 seconds after the shooting I looked, I really looked, and I could see nothing. I am 99% sure of it. But afterwards, it was there.” She added “if an attack was planned at this location it wouldn’t even make sense. He was still 20 meters from the soldiers or checkpoint, in the middle of the night. Why would he wave the knife around?” . . . Listen to audio of settlers playing party songs after Hammam Said’s blood was washed off the ground:
Schoolgirl executed by Israeli soldiers
EI 26 Oct by Charlotte Silver — Israeli occupation forces have killed six Palestinians since Saturday, including three in Hebron on Monday. One was a 17-year-old schoolgirl]. The latest deaths brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip this month to 60. At least 15 have been under 18 years old. Nine Israelis have died in the same period. Israel carried out two air strikes on sites belonging to resistance groups in Gaza late Monday night. One person was injured by flying glass in a nearby home. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is proposing to revoke the Jerusalem residency of tens of thousands of Palestinians in the occupied city.
-Schoolgirl killed- On Sunday, Israeli soldiers summarily executed a 17-year-old Palestinian girl near the Ibrahimi mosque in the Old City of Hebron. Israel said the girl, Dania Jihad Irsheid, had a knife, but witnesses contest this. One witness told Ma’an News Agency that she saw soldiers cover Irsheid, who was lying on the ground bleeding, without giving her medical aid. An eyewitness told Wattan TV he was standing just meters from Irsheid waiting to pass through the same checkpoint where she was shot. He said the girl was surrounded by seven or eight soldiers who searched her book bag. They made her pass through the metal detector and then one demanded, “Where is the knife?” “I’m not carrying a knife,” Irsheid said, according to the witness. Soldiers then fired between her feet and the terrified girl leapt backwards. She raised her hands in the air and repeated, “I do not have a knife.” Then, according to the witness, the soldiers fired about seven or eight bullets at her. Irsheid’s schoolmates and teachers held an emotional memorial and tree-planting for her at her high school on Monday.
Woman dies after checkpoint delay
HRW 21 Oct — A 65-year-old Palestinian woman suffering respiratory problems died on October 19, 2015, after police closing of roads leading to a hospital and delays at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem delayed her access to medical care. Israeli police had sealed the roads leading from her neighborhood to the nearest hospital, turning what is normally a 6-minute drive to the hospital into a journey of at least 45 minutes. The apparent lack of any measures by the Israeli authorities to ensure that direct roads to the hospital were kept open and that people with medical emergencies traveling in private vehicles are speedily dealt with at checkpoints raises concerns that the travel restrictions may violate residents’ right to health, as well as freedom of movement . . . On the evening of October 18, Hoda Darwish complained of breathing problems immediately after a teargas canister of the kind used only by Israeli security forces exploded near her home, her sons, Youssef and Kareem Darwish, told Human Rights Watch. Her condition worsened, and at approximately 3:30 a.m., her sons tried to take her to the hospital by car, ordinarily a 1.5 kilometer drive that would have taken six minutes, they said. However, police had closed three of four exits from Issawiya to vehicular traffic, including both western roads leading most directly to the hospital.
Israel detains 42-year-old Palestinian woman for ‘planning’ attack
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 28 Oct — Israeli forces on Tuesday detained a 42-year-old Palestinian woman from Shu‘fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem for allegedly planning an attack on Israelis, the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said. Amjad Abu Asab, the committee’s head in Jerusalem, told Ma‘an that Ghada Odatallah, 42, was apprehended after she was summoned to an Israeli police station. He said that Israeli media had published a photo of Odatallah, saying that she intended to carry out an attack in Jerusalem. A trial has reportedly been set for Wednesday. Odatallah is married and the mother of five children.
Settler injured in Gush Etzion stab attack, Palestinian detained
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Oct — A Palestinian allegedly stabbed and injured a female Israeli settler in a supermarket in the illegal settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem, on Wednesday, Israeli media and police reported. Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli forces detained the Palestinian suspect, who moderately wounded the Israeli woman in the popular Israeli supermarket chain Rami Levi. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the incident, saying a “terrorist” had been captured at the scene and the area was closed.
Soldiers release young woman, keep her teenage sister detained
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Oct — The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, late on Tuesday, that the Israeli army has decided to release a young woman, but to keep her teenage sister detained, after initially claiming they both carried knives in their bags. The PPS said Noura Hatem Abdul-Aziz Erekat, 21, will be released, while her sister, Jihan, 17, will remain in custody to face trial at the Ofer Military Court, next Thursday. The two sisters are from the al-‘Ezariyya town, east of Jerusalem; they were kidnapped on Tuesday at noon, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
Palestinian woman shot and injured in Afula cleared of all charges
NAZERETH (Ma‘an) 28 Oct — Israeli Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday that Israel’s Justice Ministry said investigations into the shooting of Israa Abed [on 9 Oct] showed she did not intend to carry out a stabbing attack before she was shot and injured. The news channel reported that as evidence, the ministry cited a video of the incident, in which Abed was standing next to an Israeli youth before the shooting, who she could have stabbed, but did not. Abed will reportedly not be indicted for any attack, and is expected to be released on Thursday. Abed’s father, Zeidan Abed, told Ma‘an that no charges will be pressed against his daughter and her file will be closed. “Police proved what I have been saying from the beginning, Israa is an educated young woman who aims to serve the community, and who did not intend to harm anyone,” he said. Channel 2 also reported that no action will be taken against the Israeli police officers who shot the young woman. Palestinian MK Yusif al-Jabareen said the decision not to take action against the Israeli officers allows police to shoot Palestinians indiscriminately. Abed was shot and injured on Oct. 9. A video [below] of the incident shows the her surrounded by Israeli security forces at the bus station and appearing to hold an object in her hand.Amid shouting, the security forces open fire multiple times at the woman, who drops to the ground. She appears to pose no threat to the heavily armed forces when she was shot.
Amnesty: Israel carrying out ‘unlawful killing’ of Palestinians
MEMO 28 Oct — Israeli forces have carried out a series of unlawful killings of Palestinians using lethal force without justification, Amnesty International revealed yesterday. In a statement released on its website, the human rights organisation said it had documented at least four incidents in which Palestinians were deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces when they posed no imminent threat to life. “In some cases, the person shot was left bleeding to death on the ground and was not given prompt medical assistance, in violation of the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment,” the group explained. “There is mounting evidence that, as tensions have risen dramatically, in some cases Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures. They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
Israeli soldiers from ultra-Orthodox unit arrested for abusing Palestinian prisoner
Haaretz 28 Oct by Gili Cohen — Seven combat soldiers from Netzah Yehuda battalion face military court for violence against Palestinians. — Three Israel Defense Forces combat soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda battalion (better known as the Nahal Haredi battalion) are suspected of beating a Palestinian detained during operations in the Jenin area recently. The Military Police suspect the three soldiers bashed the Palestinian’s head into a wall and beat him in the face. The soldiers reported that after they led the prisoner to the bathroom, he refused to walk and they then used “reasonable force” against him. Three soldiers are suspected of being involved in the violence, and four others were also arrested after Military Police investigators suspected that they were involved in other acts of violence against Palestinians. One of the seven soldiers was released, but remains under “open arrest” on the battalion’s base in the Jenin area. The other six suspects are still being held, and it is expected that indictments will be filed against them Thursday in the Military Court in Jaffa. The soldiers are being represented by the rightist Honenu legal defense organization. According to its website, Honenu defends civilians and soldiers “who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel.” One of the soldiers denied all the charges.
Home demolitions as collective punishment: another Israeli colonization strategy
NABLUS, Occupied Palestine 19 Oct by ISM Nablus Team — On October 4, at 4:00 in the morning, 8 Palestinian men were arrested under extremely violent conditions by Israeli forces in the city of Nablus, North West Bank. The men have been accused of participating in the killing of two illegal Israeli settlers driving a car on the Beit Furik road on October 1st. According to a spokesperson for the families of the accused men, no evidence has been presented to uphold the accusations. Karam Al Masri, 23 years old, was violently arrested in the Nablus hospital. According to the spokesperson, Al Masri was lying in recovery from an operation on his left shoulder, which had been injured in a work accident in a Nablus iron factory. Approximately 20 men from the Israeli security forces stormed at 4:00 in the morning with guns into the hospital to kidnap the patient who was sleeping in room 302. When leaving the hospital, they broke the cameras in order not to leave evidence, but you can watch the video when they entered searching for Karam al Masri here. At the same time, the three cousins, Samir al Kusa, 23 years old, Zahi al Kusa, 32 years old, and Abdullah al Kusa,19 years old, were arrested while sleeping in their homes in Nablus and Askar refugee camp, were Samir was visiting his parents in law. Samir’s 25-year-old wife and 50-year-old mother were both beaten up by the Israeli forces. Samir was first beaten brutally, then forced to walk down the hill while bleeding heavily, then put to the ground where soldiers began beating him again, kicking him with guns, to the point that even one soldier urinated on him. Nearly 300 soldiers participated in this operation. In the case of Zahi and Abdullah al Kusa, who were staying in the same home, they had their house raided, furniture destroyed, and their families terrified with gun shots. Both were forced to step out the house, strip off their clothes, beaten up, forced to walk naked in the street, sworn and cursed at and humiliated. When another cousin of the men tried to take a picture, a soldier shot into his leg at such close range that the bullet entered the leg and came out, and managed to enter and come out the second leg, too. This man spent 4 days in the hospital. He is 21 years old . . . In the morning of Thursday 15th, 11 days after the 8 men were arrested, three of the men’s families received home demolition orders from the Israeli forces.
Notorious violent criminal settler Anat Cohen assaults and terrorizes internationals again
[with videos] HEBRON, Occupied Palestine 27 Oct by ISM, al-Khalil Team — During the last two days international human rights activists have repeatedly been attacked verbally and physically by infamous illegal settler Anat Cohen. At 7:15 this morning, Anat Cohen emerged from Beit Hadassah illegal settlement in Tel Rumeida onto Qurtuba checkpoint, where two internationals were documenting the treatment of children and teachers as they passed through on their way to school, when she started screaming in Hebrew. When both internationals listened to her for a moment, then turned up the stairs where they were headed, she charged and punched one international in the back of the head. Six Israeli soldiers stood about five feet from them and did nothing to intervene at any time. On deserted Shuhada street, a car rode up close to three internationals returning home from their monitoring of students safety at checkpoints near school clusters. After a short while a settler identified as Anat Cohen got out of the car and immediately started to harass the three human rights observers. Over the course of approximately six minutes, she physically assaulted all three, knocking one to the ground so that he was bleeding in multiple places, and attempting to destroy recording equipment, and striking them in the head. Among other things in the constant stream of verbal assault and profanity, she said: “Go to Auschwitz. (…) Die in Hitler’s gas.” “Are there not enough European ladies in Europe? Do you have to come here to f*** Arab women? I know you are doing that!” . . .
Israeli settlers open fire at Palestinian homes near Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 26 Oct – Armed Israeli settlers attacked with gunfire Palestinian homes in the village of Silat ad-Daher, near the Nablus-Jenin road, according to local sources. A WAFA correspondent said settlers broke into the area and opened gunfire towards Palestinian homes in the village, but there were no reports of casualties. Earlier this day, a group of settlers gathered at the Jenin-Nablus road near Silat ad-Daher and hurled stones and empty bottles at passing Palestinian vehicles, destroying the windshields and windows of many cars. Israeli settlers have been increasingly stepping up attacks on Palestinians in the northern and southern West Bank districts.
Hospital refuses Israeli demand for Palestinian medical records
[with video, photos] JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — The administration of Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem said Thursday it refuses to hand over medical files to Israeli forces belonging to Palestinians treated after recent clashes that have erupted in the city. The head of Al-Makassed Hospital, Rafis al-Hussieni, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces entered the medical facility on Tuesday and Wednesday requesting the files without permission from an Israeli court. Al-Husseini said that undercover armed Israeli forces deployed in units throughout the hospital, insulting patients and employees before requesting medical files belonging to a Palestinian youth who was shot by Israeli forces, treated in the hospital, and recently detained. The forces told hospital staff that a prescription issued by Al-Makassed had been found during a raid of the child’s home. Al-Husseini and the medical staff in the hospital would decline to release patient information to the forces. “It is not our job to give any information about anyone comes to hospital or to take any personal information. Our job is only to help them and provide them with medical treatment,” al-Hussineni told Ma‘an. He added that the hospital at times provides medical treatment for injured Palestinains without taking any information or creating files for them . . . Al-Husseini condemned Israeli violations against the hospital. “The hospital has become desecrated by Israeli troops,” he said, urging international human rights groups and legal committees to protect the hospital.”Israeli violations against the Palestinian hospital are against the law and until today we cannot find anyone to protect the hospital, the patients, and the staff.”Al-Makassed employees have called for a march on Thursday in front of the hospital to to protest the recent violations.
Jerusalem women call for protection against Israeli violence
EI 27 Oct by Sarah Irving — Palestinian women in Jerusalem are under constant attack by both Israeli state forces and at the hands of vigilantes, a coalition of groups stated Saturday. Speaking as “women, mothers, sisters, daughters and youth,” the Jerusalemite Women’s Coalition is calling “for the protection of our bodily safety and security when in our homes, walking in our neighborhood, reaching schools, clinics, work places and worship venues.” More than 60 Palestinians have been killed so far this month. While the majority are young men, and at least 15 of those slain were under 18 years old, women have also been targeted by Israeli occupation forces. -Killed at checkpoints- On Sunday, Dania Irsheid, 17, was shot dead at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron, where eyewitnesses reported that soldiers searching her schoolbag demanded to know “where is the knife.” When she replied that there was no knife and raised her hands, she was shot seven or eight times, witnesses said. Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 16, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on 17 October. The soldiers claimed that she had tried to attack them with a knife near the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron (Continued)
Teacher films Israeli raid on West Bank primary school
Al Jazeera 27 Oct — A schoolteacher in the occupied West Bank has filmed Israeli soldiers storming classrooms in an elementary school in the city of Hebron. Abdel Moniem Salaymeh said the troops entered every classroom in al-Hajj Ziad Jaber school in the Wadi al-Nasara neighbourhood and searched the children. “They were looking for signs of stones they said were thrown at them from the school,” he said. Salaymeh told Al Jazeera’s Awad Rajoub that the school staff had tried but failed to prevent the soldiers from entering the premises. The soldiers stormed the administrator’s office and threatened to close the school if the stone throwing continued, the teacher said. Bassam Tahboub, Hebron’s head of education, said that the incursion was not the first, adding that scores of students were transferred to hospitals on Tuesday after their school was exposed to tear gas. “What is happening to children [in the area] – including extrajudicial killings, raids, arrests or exposure to fire and tear gas – reflects negatively on the students’ performance at school and on the children generally,” Tahboub told Al Jazeera. (Continued)
Video: School days become increasingly perilous as violence rages in Hebron
27 Oct by the International Solidarity Movement — The morning of October 26th, four high-risk locations near schools in Hebron were monitored by international human rights workers, and all four saw incidents of violence to Palestinians and internationals at the hands of Israeli forces and illegal settlers. At the Qurtuba school location, two international observers were denied their legal right to stand ten meters from the checkpoint while counting children passing and recording any incidents. A police officer demanded both passports, copied down some information onto paper, and angrily barked orders for one observer to give his name. The international was confused, as the officer was holding his government identification, until it became clear he was attempting to read it right-to-left, as though it were Hebrew . . . The Al Faihaa Basic School is situated at the end of Shuhada street. This morning, two internationals who were stationed there, along with a caretaker who lives at the school stood in front of the gates, hurrying the girls into the school-grounds, watching for fast passing illegal settler vehicles, and accompanying the girls across the road. He explained that lately, teachers and school officials have been particularly worried that a student will be attacked or kidnapped on the way to school in light of recent settler violence. Tear-gas fired on children at nearby Salaymeh and Queitun checkpoints entered Faihaa school through the windows around 8am, during the morning assembly. Teachers hurried to close the windows to protect themselves and the children against it, but one teacher called to say she would be absent from school as she had to be rushed to hospital for teargas exposure, and another who was in attendance had to be administered an oxygen mask due to excessive teargas inhalation sustained on the way to and within the school yard. The school was closed at 9.30 due to teargas, and it was later reported from teachers in the school that 3 girls had been attacked on the way to school. An illegal settler attempted to run one over, a second had stones thrown at her by settler children, and a third was grabbed by the neck by settlers and threatened before being released . . . .
After four weeks of violence in Israel, a new pattern emerges
Haaretz 28 Oct by Amos Harel — Analysis: As the roadblocks and checkpoints in Jerusalem shift attention to the West Bank, the current wave of terrorist attacks may be running out of steam — These words should be written cautiously – first, since there are still between one and three daily stabbing attacks, and secondly, since a large-scale attack could occur at any point, reshuffling the deck. Nevertheless, it appears that in its fourth week, the current escalation is undergoing a change. In the first two weeks, most of the attacks were carried out by Palestinians from East Jerusalem possessing Israeli ID cards. Most took place in Jerusalem, with many instances of terrorists easily crossing the Green Line in order to carry out attacks in central Israel. In the last two weeks, the vast majority of attacks have been in the West Bank, more than half of them in the Hebron area. A few others occurred in the Bethlehem area, including Tuesday’s stabbing attack which wounded a soldier at the Etzion Bloc intersection. In the few attacks that occurred in Israel (such as last week’s stabbing in Beit Shemesh) the assailants came from Hebron. In Jerusalem there were only a few foiled attempts. Two youths were arrested on Monday in central Jerusalem after arousing suspicion. They were in possession of an ax and a knife. The characteristic features of this spate of violence are the knife and car-ramming. In some cases, the two were combined, with stones thrown at a vehicle and the driver stabbed after emerging from his vehicle, or a car-ramming followed by a stabbing. Most of the perpetrators are very young and only a few are clearly affiliated with a terrorist organization. (Continued)
Video: Over 1,000 Palestinians arrested since October
Press TV 25 Oct Palestinian sources say Israeli forces have arrested more than 1000 Palestinians since the beginning of October, mainly in al-Khalil/Hebron and Jerusalem al-Quds. Most of the arrests have been made during demonstrations against illegal Israeli measures and violence.
Video: Two prominent Israelis envision replacing Dome of the Rock with Jewish temple
Mondoweiss 27 Oct by Philip Weiss — Yesterday the New York Times ran an op-ed by its regular Israeli rightwing columnist Shmuel Rosner, titled “Israel’s Irresponsible Arabs,” that accused Palestinian leaders of stirring a tense population with lies about Al Aqsa mosque, in “a deliberate attempt to make the Temple Mount a point of religious conflict.” Yes, tensions are high. But are those leaders being irresponsible? Here are two indications of why Palestinians are upset by Israeli statements about the religious site in the occupied Old City. First, the deputy foreign minister of Israel says that her “dream is to see the Israeli flag flying over the Temple Mount.” . . . Next, there’s the video below, featuring prominent Israelis, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s minister of Agriculture, calling for the replacement of the Dome of the Rock with the third temple. The video is two years old but was linked in an article two days ago in Haaretz by Dan Caspi on the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination. The piece and the video are in Hebrew. But you can see the temple’s planned outline in blue in the video; and Cantor Michael Davis sent along a summary and partial translations: They use slick interactive graphics to imagine destroying the Muslim shrine in order to build a Jewish temple. The first speaker is Member of Knesset and Minister of Agriculture Uri Uriel. The second is Avshalom Kor who is a state radio personality – supposedly, as apolitical as you can get. The third is an archaeologist. It seems to me that, in light of the mainstreaming of the Jewish claims on the Haram el Sharif, this is very relevant right now. It used to be just a fringe group who talked about this. But Avshalom Kor is respectable. . . .
With secret prayers, Jews challenge ‘status quo’ at Jerusalem holy site
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 26 Oct by Luke Baker — As the group of Orthodox Jews came near the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City, one began to mumble while staring down at his mobile phone. Another looked up in awe, eyes half shut in concentration. The woman’s lips moved silently. Asked afterwards whether they had prayed, a violation of an 800-year-old ban on non-Muslim worship at the holy site, two of the group said they had done so in their hearts, while the woman declared proudly: “I prayed with my mouth moving.” Monday’s visit to the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount was low-key by most standards — no fighting broke out, no one was ejected by the police, everyone left calmly and life returned to normal. But in critical ways it cut to the heart of an issue fueling the worst violence between Palestinians and Israel in years: whether the status quo at the site, also known as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, is being properly enforced. In a region full of complexity, the Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount status quo occupies a special place. It upholds a rule that has effectively existed since 1187, when Muslim warrior Saladin defeated the Christian crusaders and held on to Jerusalem: non-Muslims may enter the sacred compound, but only Muslims can pray. Before Muslims built the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque in the late 7th and early 8th centuries, two Jewish temples, the second destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, stood at the site, which is both the holiest place in Islam outside Saudi Arabia and the most sacred place in Judaism. After Israel seized the Old City and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, it agreed to continue the status quo, recognizing the risks of igniting a religious war if anything were changed. It gave Jordan special responsibility for overseeing the Muslim holy sites via the Waqf, an Islamic trust. That agreement was reinforced when Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 . . . For a special report, see here: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/15/05/ISRAEL-JERUSALEM:DOME.pdf
Cameras at Al-Aqsa will only serve the occupation / Kaamil Ahmed
MEMO 26 Oct — A proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in a bid to ease recent tensions in the area has left Palestinians and Israelis at odds over implementation. With Palestinians accusing Israel of trying to seize administrative control of the site, and Israel claiming the mosque compound is being used by Palestinian youth to stage unruly protests, the installation of cameras was proposed this weekend as a means of verifying the conflicting allegations. But the proposal, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry during talks held in Jordan yesterday, has angered the Palestinian side, which was not involved in the negotiations. The Times of Israel newspaper quoted Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki criticising the proposal on Palestinian radio. Al-Maliki asked who would monitor the video feeds, arguing that, instead of documenting forced incursions by Jewish hardliners into the mosque, the new cameras would likely be used to arrest Palestinian youths who frequently gather to protest such incursions. . . .
Israel’s Netanyahu slams Arab lawmaker for holy site visit
JERUSALEM (AP) 28 Oct by Tia Goldenberg — Israel’s prime minister lashed out at an Arab lawmaker Wednesday for flouting a directive and visiting the sensitive Jerusalem holy site that is at the heart of the recent round of unrest, as the five-week long outbreak of violence that has plagued the region continued . . . The visit by legislator Basel Ghattas, a Christian Arab, to the hilltop compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims at the Noble Sanctuary defied instructions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that all ministers and lawmakers — regardless of religion — avoid visiting the holy site during the tense time. Netanyahu issued a special televised statement to condemn Ghattas’ move. “I assure you (Ghattas) did not do it in order to pray, he did it solely for the purpose of provocation, only to inflame the situation,” Netanyahu said, adding that police removed him from the site. Ghattas said he does not recognize Netanyahu’s authority.
Prisoners / Court actions
Israel sentences Islamic leader to jail for incitement
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 27 Oct – An Arab Israeli Muslim leader seen by Israel as a powerful voice stoking Palestinian anger over a Jerusalem holy site was ordered jailed for 11 months on Tuesday for comments he made in 2007. Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern section was convicted for incitement to violence in 2013, the Justice Ministry said, charges he denied. His attorney said he would appeal against the sentence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will seek to outlaw the Islamic Movement’s northern section, which he says has been encouraging attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs in a wave of violence that began on Oct 1. The Islamic Movement has said all its activities are lawful. Palestinians are angered over what they see as Jewish encroachment at the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The shrine is the third holiest in Islam and the complex is revered in Judaism as the site of two destroyed biblical temples. “Prison will not scare us and we will continue to defend the Aqsa mosque,” Saleh told reporters at the court, where supporters had gathered, some of them chanting “with souls and blood we redeem you, Aqsa.” The Jerusalem District Court upheld a previous court sentence, appealed by both Saleh and the prosecutors who said that in 2007, during a sermon in East Jerusalem, Saleh had evoked anti-Semitic imagery dating back to the Middle Ages.
Two Palestinians injured in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 27 Oct — The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Monday at night, two air strikes targeting targets in the Gaza Strip, wounding one civilian and causing excessive property damage. Another Palestinian was injured by army fire in Central Gaza. The first Israeli air strikes struck east of the al-Maghazi refuge camp, in central, wounding one resident, who was moved to the Al-Aqsa Hospital, in Deir al-Balah nearby town. The strike caused excessive damage to a number of homes and property. The Israeli Air Force also struck a site, close to the destroyed and repeatedly bombarded Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The strike caused excessive property damage, but no injuries.
In addition, soldiers stationed across the border fence, opened fire on Palestinian protesters east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, moderately wounding one Palestinian with a live round.
Meanwhile, Israeli media sources said a shell was fired from the Shuhada Graveyard, south of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and struck an open area in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council of settlement, causing no damage or injuries.
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian protester in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Oct — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian protester Wednesday during clashes along the border fence area in the central Gaza Strip, the Gaza-based Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian protesters east of al-Breij refugee camp, shooting and injuring one in the leg. Al-Qidra said that the Palestinian was taken to the Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza Strip in moderate condition. Protests along the border fence in Gaza have been frequent since the start of the month, during which at least 15 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza alone.
Egypt destroys 12 Gaza tunnels
MEMO 27 Oct — The Egyptian army announced on Monday evening that it had discovered and destroyed 12 tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip. A number of Palestinian “infiltrators” were also arrested, Anadolu has reported. Since the ouster of the first freely-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the military regime in Cairo has stepped up its crackdown on the tunnels, which have been described elsewhere as a “lifeline” for the besieged Palestinians in Gaza. The Egyptian army claims that the tunnels are being used by militants carrying out attacks in Sinai. Egypt has established a 2 km-wide buffer zone with Gaza since October 2014, and has recently started to flood the area with sea water in order to capsize tunnels.
20 families evacuated as rain brings floods to northern Gaza
GAZA (Ma‘an) 27 Oct — Gaza’s Civil Defense had to evacuate 20 families from their homes as rain brought flooding to parts of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Muhammad al-Majdanah, chief spokesperson for the Civil Defense, told Ma‘an that 17 families were evacuated from the Jabalya area of northern Gaza and another three families from nearby Beit Lahya. He said that a large fire had also broken out in a plastic factory near Beit Lahya due to a short circuit caused by the rainwater. Majdanah said that no injuries were reported, but the families’ homes were damaged by the floodwater, and the factory had suffered significant damage in the fire. Meanwhile, five Palestinian students were injured when their car flipped over in Gaza, apparently due to slippery roads.
Israeli army performs mock raids over Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 28 Oct – Israeli warplanes launched mock raids over the Gaza Strip, said witnesses and local sources. A WAFA correspondent reported that F16 fighter jets launched a series of mock raids over Gaza city, as well as in the central Gaza Strip. The mock raids involve sounds of explosions that could be heard from a distance. Loud noise that resembles airstrikes was heard across the coastal enclave, causing fear among school students and children.
Gazan medical center makes prosthetic eyes to bring relief to wounded Palestinians
GAZA CITY (AP) 28 Oct by Fares Akram — Imad Abu Wadi barely slept after losing his right eye during the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The 26-year-old, then engaged, was waiting eagerly for his wedding. But with a red, hollow eyeless socket, he imprisoned himself at home. “I was really suffering. I didn’t go out to avoid running into someone who might say something to me,” Abu Wadi said. A year after the injury caused by an airstrike near his home, Abu Wadi is now married and feeling confident, thanks to an artificial eye he received two weeks before the wedding. The ocular prosthesis was designed and made by Al-Radwan medical center, which is run by the Gaza-based charity Merciful Hands. The group, which is not connected to a British charity with the same name, receives funding from Muslim countries that include Turkey, Jordan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Gulf Arab states. Established in 2013, the center assists those who lost an eye to illness, congenital defects or injury, including in conflicts. Yousef Hussein, an ocularist at Al-Radwan, says the center is the first in Gaza to design and fit artificial eyes. Prosthetic eyes used to be imported ready-made, which in many cases caused unwanted excretions in the eye socket. “I felt people are very interested in this issue, including old people, and even more among married women or girls,” said Hussein, who was an optometrist before completing a 10-month course in prosthetics in Jordan. . . .
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israel razes Palestinian village in Negev for 90th time
Al Jazeera 28 Oct by Patrick Strickland — Israeli authorities have demolished a Bedouin village in the Negev region in the country’s south for the 90th time since 2010. Accompanied by heavily armed police officers, officials showed up in Araqib on Wednesday morning and bulldozers rolled through the remaining homes, according to local media. Araqib is one of more than 40 “unrecognised” villages scattered across the Negev region. An estimated 80,000 Bedouin Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship live in the communities, which are often denied state services, including water, electricity, rubbish pick-up and education facilities, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights estimates that 22 families made up of 110 people live in Araqib. The villagers return and rebuild after each demolition. “Israel plans on putting a forest in the place of their homes,” Majd Kayyal, Adalah’s media coordinator, told Al Jazeera.
Israel to seize land near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 27 Oct – The Israeli authorities issued on Tuesday a military order to seize Palestinian-owned land to the north of Nablus, according to security sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA Israeli authorities had issued orders to confiscate seven tracts of Palestinian-owned land in the villages of Beit Furik, Salem, Awarta, Yasuf, Sawiya, and Azmout. The six villages are located in an active settlement zone, referred to by the Israel as the Shomron Regional Council, which comprises 29 Israeli settlements. According to the Israeli anti-settlement group, Peace Now, “Over the years, Israel has used a number of legal and bureaucratic procedures in order to appropriate West Bank lands, with the primary objective of establishing settlements and providing land reserves for them.” “Using primarily these five methods: seizure for military purposes; declaration of state lands; seizure of absentee property; confiscation for public needs; and initial registration, Israel has managed to take over about 50% of the lands in the West Bank, barring the local Palestinian public from using them.”
Israeli residency proposal unnerves Jerusalem’s Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) 27 Oct by Mohammed Daraghmeh — An Israeli proposal that could potentially strip tens of thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem of their residency rights has sent shudders through the targeted Arab neighborhoods — areas that were dumped outside Israel’s separation barrier a decade ago, even though they are within the city’s boundaries. The government’s review of the status of these neighborhoods, home to tens of thousands of people, illustrates the fragile position of Palestinians in a city where they have long suffered discrimination and are caught between the pragmatic conveniences of living under Israeli control and the loyalties to the Palestinian cause. With few exceptions, Jerusalem’s Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, and instead hold residency status that can be revoked. Removing residency rights en masse appears highly unlikely due to legal hurdles and domestic and international opposition. But government critics said the fact that it is even being discussed sent an ominous message to Palestinians . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the review at a recent meeting called to discuss a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has roiled the area in the past month. About a third of the city’s 300,000 Palestinians live in these neighborhoods. An official who attended the meeting said the review would look at “all the issues” affecting these neighborhoods, including residency rights, which are coveted by Palestinians because they allow them to work and move freely inside Israel and gain access to Israeli health care and social services. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations, said the latest violence had exposed a “vacuum” in these outlying neighborhoods, which have a minimal Israeli presence but are not considered West Bank territory. . . .
Hundreds of British academics sign letter vowing to boycott Israel
Haaretz 22 Oct — In a full-page ad due to be published in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, the academics accuse Israel of illegal occupation, human rights violations and resisting a settlement. A letter in support of the Palestinian cause signed by 343 British academics is due to be published as a full page advert in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday. Reporting on the letter, the Jewish Chronicle said that the signatories come from 72 institutions, including the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities. “As scholars associated with British universities, we are deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement,” the academics write in the letter. The signatories of the letter undertake to reject invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions, to refuse to act as academic referees and to stay away from all conferences “funded, organized or sponsored” by Israeli institutions. However, they say that they will continue to work with their Israeli colleagues “in their individual capacities.”
Hamilton vs. J.K. Rowling, Round Two
CounterPunch 27 Oct by Omar Robert Hamilton — On Monday, CounterPunch ran an article by Omar Robert Hamilton that responded to JK Rowling’s joint letter to defend Israel. This was one amongst many responses to her letter. JK Rowling responded, and Omar responded to her. We run both below — . . . Hamilton responds: The cultural boycott is designed to isolate institutions that are directly collaborating with the Israeli government in the ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestine. The cultural, economic and political boycott is designed to bring justice for the Palestinian people. It is misrepresentative to suggest that BDS is a blunt instrument that blindly targets people based on their ethnicity. That’s what Israel does. BDS, on the other hand, is a carefully considered campaign based on ethical principles. It does not target individuals, it does not target people for their beliefs; it targets institutions that profit from death and their brand ambassadors, it targets people who, by accepting money, make themselves complicit with the Israeli state . . . It is laid out very clearly on the website for the Palestinain Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. BDS targets artists, companies and institutions that are in the service of the state and its policy of ethnic cleansing.
Other news / Opinion
Abbas calls for ‘international protection regime’ for Palestinians
GENEVA (AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called Wednesday for the creation of a “special regime” for the protection of his people, as a wave of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence showed no sign of abating. Abbas called on the United Nations, “more urgently than any time before, to set up a special regime for international protection for the Palestinian people, immediately and urgently.” Accusing Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial killings,” he called for the United Nations, and especially the Security Council, as well as member states to shoulder their responsibility. “We need protection, and we look to you,” he told a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on the escalating crisis . . . UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also voiced alarm, warning that the deadly violence rocking Israel and the Palestinian territories was “dangerous in the extreme” and could lead to a “catastrophe.” The special one-hour meeting of the United Nations’ top rights body was a rare event, with only a single precedent: when Chilean President Michelle Bachelet spoke to the council in 2007.
EU’s Mogherini urges Netanyahu, Abbas to meet Quartet ‘in days’
STRASBOURG (France) (AFP) 27 Oct — EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday urged Israel Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to meet Quartet representatives “within days” in the hope of kick-starting stalled peace talks. “I have asked both Netanyahu and Abbas to receive the Quartet envoys in the coming days, not weeks,” Mogherini said, stressing the need for speed if an upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians is not to spiral out of control . . . Mogherini warned the European parliament that there is a risk the Israeli-Palestinian dispute could get caught up in new conflicts in the region if the parties do not make an effort now to secure peace based on a two-state solution. “This is a risky time for Israelis and Palestinians alike… it is not business as usual in managing the old conflict,” she told the parliament in the eastern French city of Strasbourg. “If anyone believes we can just contain this… they are wrong. Every cycle of violence is going to be worse (than the previous one),” she said.
Online campaign slams BBC’s ‘biased’ Palestine coverage
MEMO 28 Oct — The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has come under criticism with an online campaign over its coverage of Israel’s aggravation against Palestinians. The campaign by the NGO “The Friends of Al Aqsa” (FAO) — launched on Twitter with the hashtag #BBsee — has asked the BBC a series of questions about the news organization’s “biased” coverage from the region. “Why do you highlight Israeli injuries and ignore the killing of Palestinian children, youth and women?” was one of the questions of the campaign, which quickly became a trending topic on the social media platform. Campaigners asked, “Israeli forces killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2000! Why aren’t you reporting this?” and “There is concrete video evidence of Israelis beating innocent Palestinians, why don’t you show it #BBSee?” Another tweet asked the media organization, “When will you report the facts #BBSee?” Shamiul Joarder, a spokesman from the FAO, has told AA that the #BBsee campaign aimed to put pressure on the BBC to report the facts about what happens in Palestine. “BBC is paid by tax-payers’ money but it is not reporting the facts. What the campaign is to do is to highlight every time the reports are being biased from now on. 60 Palestinians were killed; this does not make it to the news but when an Israeli soldier is injured, it does,” Joarder said.
Israeli MPs vote to make Arabic compulsory in Israeli schools
JERUSALEM (AFP) 28 Oct by Joe Dyke — Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to make Arabic classes compulsory for students from the age of six, in a move backers hoped would help improve ties between Israeli Jews and Arabs. The vote came amid increasing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, with a wave of deadly attacks on Israelis and clashes at protests in the occupied territories. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, voted unanimously in favour of the bill in first reading on Wednesday, with about half of all deputies in attendance. It will now be studied in committee before returning to parliament for a second vote. Both Arabic and Hebrew are official languages of Israel, but while the vast majority of Israeli Arabs speak Hebrew, Arabic is not widely spoken among the Jewish population. The bill was introduced by lawmaker Oren Hazan, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud Party, who said it was meant to reach out to Arab Israelis. “Language is a door to culture,” he told AFP. “I am looking reality in the eyes and I understand there is no possibility to walk to peace without understanding each other.” Arab Israelis, the descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after the creation of Israel in 1948 and who are citizens of the Jewish state, make up about 18 percent of its population. However they often complain of discrimination.
NGO sues Facebook over pro-Palestinian posts
IMEMC/Agencies 27 Oct — According to the Israeli media, 20,000 Israelis have joined the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin – The Israeli Law Center on a civil lawsuit against Facebook on accusations of ignoring widespread Palestinian posts “calling for violence against Jews.” The suit was filed this last Monday, in the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, by three attorneys — Robert Tolchin of New York; Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director of the Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, and Asher Perlin of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. PNN reports that, according to The Times of Israel newspaper, the 20,000 Israeli plaintiffs claim that the Facebook posts have inspired many recent “terror attacks” and that “Facebook’s algorithms and platform connects inciters to terrorists who are further encouraged to perpetrate stabbings and other violence attacks against Israelis”. The suit alleges that Facebook has a “legal and moral obligation” to block much of this content but that it chooses not to. (Continued)
American killed in Palestinian attack was peace activist
JERUSALEM (AP) 27 Oct by Ian Deitch — An American educator who marched for civil rights in the 1960s and advocated coexistence between Muslims and Jews when he moved to Israel died Tuesday after succumbing to wounds sustained in a Palestinian attack on a bus in Jerusalem two weeks ago . . . Richard Lakin, 76, died of wounds sustained on Oct. 13 when two Palestinian men boarded a bus in Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing passengers . . . Lakin was originally from Newton, Massachusetts, and a longtime principal in Glastonbury, Connecticut. His Facebook page displayed an image of Israeli and Arab kids hugging under the word “coexist.” Micah Avni said his father was a beloved educator and author of a book on teaching. He was an elementary school principal in the U.S. and taught English in mixed classes of Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem after moving to Israel in 1984. . . .
Wife of American-Israeli terror victim delivers message of hope, not hate
Jspace 28 Oct — Richard Lakin, an American-Israeli victim who was critically wounded in a terrorist shooting attack on October 13, died of his wounds on Tuesday morning, October 27 after spending two weeks in critical condition . . . Keren Lakin, Richard’s widow, spoke to TPS (Tazpit Press Services) a few days prior to her husband’s passing, urging the Israeli and Jewish people to not seek revenge and refrain from feelings of hate . . “Our family wants to get the word out that this was tragic and brutal but our feelings are what Richard’s [were]. We must individually, as a Jewish people and as a country look for options and hate is not one of them. We are all along the political spectrum but we have to look for options so we can live here peacefully,” she said. “Rabin said to build a new Middle East together. This hasn’t happened yet but we can’t lose hope,” concluded Lakin.
Walmart stops sale of IDF, ‘Sheikh Fagin’ Halloween costumes
Jspace — On October 28, Walmart pulled from its shelves an IDF soldier Halloween costume and a controversial “Sheik Fagin” nose after outrage on social media and from an Arab anti-discrimination group. According to the New York Times, Walmart’s online shop stopped the sale of the fake nose that was described as “perfect for an Arab sheik” just hours after the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee conveyed concern that the fake nose would be used in “racist anti-Arab costumes.” The BBC reported that the “Sheik/Fagin nose,” which is a latex prosthetic nose that the Walmart website says is “perfect for an Arab sheikh,” also received criticism for its name, which evokes the stereotypical greedy Jew in Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” The company that makes the noses told the newspaper that they would “definitely discontinue it.” Arab bloggers who also criticized an Israeli soldier costume also managed to get the costume pulled from the shelves. The costume, which looks like a uniform worn by Israeli soldiers in elite combat units, is available on the Walmart website for $27.44, which is discounted from the original $57.62. The Walmart Facebook page was filled with criticism, including demands for a boycott of the chain. One post called the costume “extremely offensive and highly insensitive, not only to the millions of Palestinian-Americans that shop in your stores, but to anyone who has an ounce of humanity in their bodies.” On the Walmart site, under customer reviews, one commenter wrote, “Might as well sell a Hitler outfit for children as well! Pitiful!”
Israeli racial profiling: Guilty of breathing while Arab / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 26 Oct — One of the unintended results of the current round of mayhem in Israel and Palestine has been a reminder of the rampant racism within Israeli society. The racism is not just directed at Palestinians, as one might expect, but against anyone who looks “Arab,” which includes Mizrahi Jews. The rampage of violence of the past few weeks offers numerous examples not just of Israeli Jews who murdered Palestinians in cold blood, but of Ashkenazi Jews who attacked Mizrahi Jews, assuming they were Palestinian. This Israeli Channel 10 report shows that while Ashkenazi Jews may stay off the street for fear of attack by Palestinians, Mizrahim doubly stay off the street. One of their major fears is being mistaken for an “Arab” and attacked because of their accent or skin color. They won’t take public transportation, since some of the brutal attacks by Palestinians have been on buses. They are afraid that armed Israeli Jews will single them out as suspects and gun them down in cold blood. In one case, an Israeli victim yelled at his Israeli attacker, “I am Jewish.” But the knife-wielding assailant ignored his cries and continued stabbing him. An elderly Mizrahi tells the reporter that one day as she boarded a bus an IDF soldier ripped off her necklace and called her “dirty Arab.” In order to prove her Jewishness, she began to recite the first Hebrew verses of the Book of Genesis. A Mizrahi wrote on Facebook that after he got on the bus, the driver stopped and called police about a “suspect” on board. When police arrived it turned out that he was the suspect . . . But lest any Israel advocates argue that Israel is no different from America in this regard, the 56 Palestinians murdered over the past few weeks equates to 2,300 deaths in terms of overall U.S. population. Can we imagine a situation in which U.S. police would go on a killing spree and murder that many Blacks over such a short period?
How the Middle East conflict is warping Judaism / Jeremy Kalmanovsky
The Forward 27 Oct — . . . We’ve all seen too many analyses of the long road from Oslo to Wye River to Camp David, from disengagement to hilltop caravans, from Jenin to Lebanon to Gaza to Gaza to Gaza. We too rarely ask what is happening to our religion. How is this endless, pitiless conflict shaping Judaism? I feel ashamed, appalled and heartsick, watching religious Judaism slouch toward Bethlehem. Yigal Amir was not the first fanatic in whom Torah teachings nurtured a murderous hatred. But he represents an early bellwether of Judaism transforming before our eyes, from an ennobling path of wisdom, devotion and ethics to an angry, bloody weapon. I fear we are becoming a religion of hatred. After all, it is Judaism — a warped version, sure, but nonetheless an interpretation of Torah — that motivated Israelis who keep the Sabbath, pray and study to execute hundreds of “price tag” attacks on Palestinians. Those who firebombed the Dawabshe family’s house in Duma, near Nablus, on July 31, killing an 18-month-old and his parents, revealed this beyond all doubt when they spray-painted the burned home with the words “revenge” and “long live King Messiah.” Did they forget Isaiah’s prophecy about wolf and lamb, that “none shall do harm in all my holy mountain”? . . . .