Health Ministry: 79 Palestinians, including 17 children and three women, killed since October 1
IMEMC 9 Nov — The Palestinian Health Ministry reported Sunday that the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army and armed Israeli paramilitary settlers in the period between October 1 and the evening of Sunday evening November 8, has reached 79, including 17 children and three women, while more than 3000 Palestinians have been injured. The Ministry said 60 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank, and 18, including a mother and her child, have been killed in the Gaza Strip, and one in the Negev . . . The Health Ministry stated that 1248 Palestinians have been shot with live army rounds in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and 1808 have been shot with rubber-coated steel bullets; 1008 of them required hospitalization and 800 received treatment by field medics. In the West Bank, 826 Palestinians were shot with live rounds, 895 with rubber-coated steel bullets, while in the Gaza Strip, 422 were shot with live rounds, and 113 with rubber-coated steel bullets. The Ministry also said that 247 Palestinians suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers, and 24 suffered burns due to Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades . . . List of those killed since October 1st:
Violence / Detentions
Palestinian shot dead, 3 Israelis injured, after suspected car attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian Sunday after he allegedly carried out a suspected vehicular attack that left three Israelis injured near the Tapuah Junction south of Nablus, Israeli media reported. Israeli media reported that in addition to the three Israelis injured in the alleged attack, a fourth Israeli, 23, was shot and injured in the leg when a bullet aimed at the Palestinian driver ricocheted during the incident. Two of the four Israelis have been evacuated via helicopter to a nearby hospital, one of which was in critical condition. The Palestinian has been identified as Sulaiman Aqel Muhammad Shahin, 22, from al-Bireh City in Ramallah. According to a Ma‘an reporter near the scene, Israeli forces closed off Huwwara and Tapuah checkpoints south of Nablus following the suspected attack. The checkpoints control one of the main routes that connects the northern occupied West Bank to the central and southern districts. An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. The death marks the 76th Palestinian to be killed since the beginning of last month
Palestinian shot, injured after stabbing attack near Gush Etzion
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — An Israeli security guard on Sunday shot a Palestinian woman after she stabbed him at the entrance to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern occupied West Bank, an Israeli army spokesperson said. Israeli media initially reported that the Palestinian woman was shot and killed, although the Israeli liaison department later said she was in moderate condition. The security guard was lightly injured during the incident, an Israeli army spokesperson said. Security footage believed to be of the stabbing emerged on social media shortly after the incident, which shows a woman pull a knife from her purse and lunge at a security guard. The head of Israel’s civil liaison affairs, Danny Sandler, said in a statement that the video footage came from surveillance cameras and “proves that the woman planned a stabbing attack.” He called for Palestinian “media and social media” to stop “incitement,” saying that further attacks would harm the lives of Palestinians and the economy. The footage does not show the shooting of the woman, identified by her family as Hilwa Salim Darwish, from Husan village west of Bethlehem.
Israeli man stabbed, injured in 3rd West Bank attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — An Israeli man was stabbed and injured Sunday afternoon in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya, in the third attack of the day, an Israeli army spokesperson said. The man, a 50-year-old Israeli, was in severe condition and was being evacuated for medical treatment, according to the Red Star of David emergency medical service. An Israeli army spokesperson said that after the attack, the Israeli man evacuated himself and “arrived at the Ariel crossing with stabbing injuries,” immediately seeking help from Israeli forces at the crossing. “Initial reports indicate the man was attacked and stabbed in Nabi Ilyas,” the spokesperson added, referring to a Palestinian village in the area. The army spokesperson said Israeli forces “are currently searching the area for potential suspects” in the stabbing attack. No further details on how the attack was carried out were immediately available.
Nablus: Settlers stone Palestinian cars, attempt to ram journalists
IMEMC/Agencies 8 Nov — Israeli settlers, on Sunday, attacked Palestinian vehicles passing along the Nablus-Qalqilia road with stones, whereas an Israeli settler attempted to run over a group of journalists at Za‘tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, according to local sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said a group of settlers gathered along the Nablus-Qalqilia road and pelted stones toward Palestinian vehicles passing by.
Meanwhile, an Israeli settler attempted to run over Palestinian journalists at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, while they were covering the Za’tara shooting incident; where soldiers shot and killed Sulaiman Shahin. The Israeli military claimed that Shahin ran over Israeli pedestrian settlers at the checkpoint, according to WAFA correspondence. Issam Rimawi, a photographer with al-Hayat al-Jadida daily, said a settler rammed his car into a group of journalists in an apparent attempt to run them over. The settler, following his failed attempt to run the journalists over, angrily shouted profanities at journalists before driving away.
Israeli forces storm homes, activist center in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — Israeli soldiers stormed a number of Palestinian properties, including the headquarters of a local activist group, in Hebron on Saturday, while settlers carried out a range of violent attacks across the southern West Bank city. Jawad Abu Aisheh, deputy of the Youth Against Settlements activist group, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces stormed a number of homes in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood at 6 a.m., and had been holding their residents inside the buildings ever since. Abu Aisheh said that soldiers also stormed Youth Against Settlements’ headquarters, known as Beit Sumoud, or House of Steadfastness, and were holding the group’s head, Issa Amro, inside, together with an Italian journalist . . . The Israeli army, which maintains a heavy presence in the segregated city, was increasing their activity as thousands of Jewish pilgrims — many of them settlers — gathered in the city to commemorate the passing of the Biblical Sarah . . . Israeli settlers were reported to have carried out a range of violent attacks on Palestinians across central Hebron throughout Saturday. Locals told Ma‘an that a group of settlers attacked homes near the Ibrahimi Mosque — said to be the burial place of Sarah — and verbally abused Palestinians in the city’s Jabir neighborhood, threatening to kill them. Settlers reportedly attempted to kidnap a Palestinian resident, Raafat Jabir, and threw stones at Palestinian homes in the al-Salamya neighborhood, while Israeli soldiers and police officers were reported to have looked on.
Israeli forces detain 16-year-old Palestinian over Hebron shooting
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — The Israeli army said Saturday it had detained a 16-year-old Palestinian who it says “confessed” to shooting an Israeli soldier outside Beit Einun east of Hebron the day before. An Israeli army spokesperson said that the teenager from the village of Bani Naim northeast of Hebron was detained overnight and had since confessed to the carrying out the shooting. She said that he had “handed in” the weapon he used. The Israeli soldier was severely wounded in the attack that took place at a road junction outside Beit Einun on Friday evening, the spokesperson said.
Reports: Palestinian behind attack on settler turns self in to PA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — A Palestinian man responsible for stabbing and seriously wounding an Israeli settler near Ramallah reportedly turned himself in to Palestinian security forces Friday night, according to Israeli media reports. A man named Bara‘a ‘Issa released a video prior to the attack, claiming to be an operative for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, and a resident of a Jerusalem-area neighborhood. Despite claiming allegiance to the party, Issa said he carried out the attack on his own accord rather than being ordered or assisted by any organization. [JPost: he said that his motivation for stabbing the Israeli was “to defend the al-Aksa mosque”] It has not been confirmed that the man in the video is the same person who was reported to have turned himself in to Palestinian security forces. Adnan Dmeiri, the chief spokesperson for the Palestinian security forces, told Ma‘an that he had no information on the man and could not confirm that he had turned himself in. Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner said he was unable to confirm the reports. The Israeli army said the stabbing took place near a Rami Levi supermarket in the Shaar Binyamin industrial zone, an illegal settlement north of Ramallah. Israeli media said a 40-year-old man was seriously wounded in the attack.
Settler group calls on supermarket chain to stop hiring Arabs after West Bank terror attack
JPost 7 Nov by Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakov Lappin — Settlers on Friday called on the Rami Levy chain to stop hiring Arab employees after a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli man outside the supermarket’s parking lot in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. The attack was the second in the last two weeks to occur in a parking lot near one of the chain’s stores . . . The Rami Levi supermarket chain, which hires both Israelis and Palestinians, and where both populations shop, are seen as small islands of coexistence. An unnamed settler group, however, said the attack showed that the time had come for Rami Levy to stop hiring Palestinians . . . Rami Levy said that he had no intention of changing his hiring policy and that he did not take gender, race or ethnicity into consideration when evaluating potential workers. “To do so, would be to give way to extremism and hand a victory over the terrorists,” Levy said. Most businesses and institutions hire Arab workers, including hospitals, gas stations and coffee shops, he said. Ironically, he said, he is also attacked by Palestinians who consider him to be “the biggest settler” for placing two of his stores in the West Bank . . . In light of the attack he called on people to continue to come and shop in his stores and not to let fear keep them at home.
Israeli forces and settlers besiege Hebron
Al Jazeera 7 Nov by Patrick Strickland — Israeli troops raided the offices of an activist group that monitors human rights violations by Israeli military forces and Jewish settlers, and took over homes in neighbouring districts, a rights group and residents told Al Jazeera. “The area is besieged,” Issa Amro, coordinator of Youth Against Settlements in the Old City of Hebron, told Al Jazeera by telephone on Saturday. Amro said dozens of Israeli settlers gathered outside the building, celebrating the raid and chanting for Israeli troops to kill the Palestinians. “They are rejoicing that they took over my home and building,” he said. “One of the soldiers said that they were [raiding the home] as punishment for speaking to the international media about what’s happening in Hebron.” The raid took place hours after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in several Hebron neighbourhoods. Settlers also attempted to kidnap a Palestinian resident, according to local media reports. Israeli soldiers also occupied several family homes in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, according to locals. “The [Israeli] soldiers banged on our door at 5am and said they had an order to take over our home for 24 hours,” Shada Haddad told Al Jazeera by telephone, adding that the troops forced the five family members into a single room. Explaining that 20 soldiers had taken over the home, Haddad said that she, her parents and two siblings were not allowed to go to the bathroom without the soldiers’ permission. (continued)
Israeli soldiers kidnap eighteen Palestinians in Hebron
IMEMC 8 Nov — Several Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Sunday at dawn, Hebron city and a number of nearby towns, searched scores of homes, and kidnapped eighteen Palestinians. The soldiers invaded Hebron city, searched and ransacked homes, and kidnapped seven Palestinians, identified as Jihad Abu Rmeila, Ala Asem al-Ja’bari, Zeid Jamal Abu Zeina, Said Abu Zeina, Amjad Salhab, Yousef Shawar and former political prisoner Baha’ Sa’id. The army also invaded Bani Neim town, north of Hebron and kidnapped Tamer Hisham Zeidat, Osama Bassam Ezweid, and Yazan Harahsha, 24, after searching their homes and interrogating their families. In addition, several military vehicles invaded the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, and kidnapped Ahmad Fayeq Nassar, 21. Two Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Aziz Roshdi and Tal’at Aziz Roshdi, were kidnapped from their homes in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, south of Hebron. The soldiers also attacked and injured Firas Khaled ash-Shamessly, 19, and kidnapped him along with ‘Odai Nidal Shreiteh in Yatta town, south of Hebron. Furthermore, soldiers invaded homes in the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron, and kidnapped a university student identified as Osama Mohammad Qaisiyya. Another Palestinian, identified as Hazem Jibrin al-Jeyyawi, was kidnapped from his home in Ethna town, west of Hebron.
18 injured in Tulkarem clashes
IMEMC/Agencies 8 Nov — At least three Palestinians were injured with live rounds, while 15 others were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets during clashes with Israeli forces inside the campus of the Palestine Technical University (Kadoorie), in Tulkarem, according to WAFA correspondence. Other Palestinians, mostly university students, also suffocated due to excessive use of teargas by the Israeli army in dispersing the protesters. The injured were transferred to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, whereas those who suffered from suffocation were treated on the scene. University administration ordered all students to leave campus, due to the heavy military presence there. The university campus, located just close to the border fence with Israel, has been witnessing renewed clashes between Israeli forces and students during the past few days. According to the university’s public relations department, tension has been running high due to continuous attempts by Israeli forces to take over part of the campus land for the benefit of expanding a nearby Israeli military training base.
A Jerusalem village under siege
[with photos] Al-‘Issawiya, occupied East Jerusalem (Al Jazeera) 6 Nov by Anne Paq — Tense and exhausted, Darwish Darwish, the mukhtar (head of the community) of al-‘Issawiya, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, hardly sleeps these days. “Before all of this, the Israelis used to listen to me; now they don’t. They attack the young men, and even young women. They shoot at anyone deemed suspicious and kill innocent people,” said Darwish, who now spends much of his time on the phone with concerned villagers. “I am afraid things will only get worse.” Home to around 16,000 Palestinians, ‘Issawiya, like other Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, is plagued by poor infrastructure and a lack of municipal services, in striking contrast to the neighbouring, well-maintained Jewish settlements. It is nearly impossible for ‘Issawiya residents to obtain building permits, so, left with no other choice than to build illegally, they often face home demolitions or hefty fines. The village’s problems have intensified in the last month amid soaring tensions in the region, including a wave of shooting and stabbing attacks. The Israeli army has responded by killing suspected Palestinian attackers and conducting mass arrests and home invasions. “This is the first time that the Israelis closed all access points to our village. I heard the Israeli soldiers are calling ‘Issawiya ‘the little Gaza’,” 37-year-old resident Najat Darwish told Al Jazeera. These days, she barely leaves her home, and worries constantly about her children; her 15-year-old son, who attends school outside of the village, has had to miss several days of classes already. To leave the village, students and workers must cross through one of the new concrete-block checkpoints created by the Israeli army, where they are thoroughly searched. “This is bad. The Israeli forces give us orders, they are rude to us and curse us,” Salah Darwish, a 49-year-old bulldozer driver, told Al Jazeera. “Before, I used to have a car picking me up from home. Now I need to wake up at 5:30am [and] walk to the checkpoint, only to return home by 6pm, completely exhausted.” To drive out of the village through the single automobile checkpoint, people must often wait two hours or more. Last month, 65-year-old Huda Darwish died after inhaling tear gas that seeped into her home as she slept. Because of delays at the checkpoint, they could not reach the hospital in time, the family said.
WATCH: Afraid to speak Arabic in public
Israel Social TV 5 Nov — Public expressions of racism toward Palestinians are nothing new in Israel, but along with a rise in violence and the accompanying societal tensions, Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel have more and more to fear — of Israeli civilians and police alike. Social TV asked young Palestinians in Jaffa what scares them most these days.
Israeli officer wounded in car-ramming attack succumbs to wounds
Binyamin Yakobowitz, a 20-year-old Israeli border policeman who was critically wounded on Wednesday in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank died of his wounds Sunday. Wednesday’s attack took place at Halhul Junction, when a Palestinian motorist swerved suddenly toward a group of Israelis standing at the junction. The victim suffered multisystem trauma and was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital.
Palestinians bury leg of 17-year-old, amputated in Israeli hospital
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — Crowds of Palestinians on Friday buried the leg of a 17-year-old Palestinian that had been amputated in an Israeli hospital without consultation with the minor’s family. Jalal Shahir Sharawna, from the southern West Bank town of Dura south of Hebron, lost his leg after being shot and detained by Israeli forces. The leg was amputated by doctors at Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Hospital in central Israel.“What happened to Sharawna was an intentional and complex crime committed jointly by doctors at Assaf Harofeh and Ramla clinic without consulting the prisoner’s family,” said the director of the prisoners’ society in Hebron, Amjad al-Najjar. He accused the Israeli government and Israel’s prison service of “deliberately amputating limbs of Palestinian prisoners who are detained after being shot.” Al-Najjar said that the practice “on one hand stems from revenge, hatred and grudge, and on the other hand Israel wants to avoid expenses of medical treatment for those prisoners.” The teen’s leg was buried in the cemetery of the nearby town of Deir Samit. Several Palestinian officials attended the event.
Arrests and interrogations of children
The occupation arrests two children from Silwan
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Nov — The occupation forces arrested two Jerusalemite children on Sunday afternoon. Witnesses explained that the forces arrested the 14-year old Mohammad Odeh from the neighborhood of Bi’er Ayoub in Silwan and assaulted and beat him. Witnesses added that the forces transferred the child to O’z police center in the village of Jabal Al-Mukabber for interrogation. The forces also arrested the 15-year old Msallam Odeh from the neighborhood of Al-Thori in Silwan and transferred him to O’z police center as well.
Oz: Israel’s prison for Palestinian children
EAST JERUSALEM (Al Jazeera) 28 Oct by Ylenia Gostoli — Since the beginning of October, hundreds of young men from Jerusalem have spent the night in Oz – not the magical fairy-tale land, but a police station in Jabal al-Mukaber. Like the rest of occupied East Jerusalem, the neighbourhood is mired in neglect and has become a scene of regular clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces. Those who come to Oz arrive in military vehicles, handcuffed and blindfolded. According to prisoner support group Addameer, at least 876 Palestinians, including 133 children, have been arrested since October 1 across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Israel. According to figures collected by the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, at least 60 children were arrested in Jerusalem during the first two weeks of unrest. Zamzam S, an 11-year-old from the neighbourhood of al-Thori, says he was arrested along with his brother, Khalil, and two of his friends last week while they were playing football in the street; they were all subsequently taken to Oz. “This unit opened a month ago, specifically for children and young people throwing stones,” Amjad Abu Asab, head of the East Jerusalem committee of prisoners’ families, told Al Jazeera. According to accounts from parents and human rights groups, detainees typically spend one night here for interrogation. Longer interrogations take place at the al-Mascobiya interrogation centre in West Jerusalem. “When we arrived at the police station, there were people with civilian clothes drinking coffee and many civilian cars. So, in the beginning, we thought we were in a public place,” said 14-year-old Khalil. “Behind the parking lot, there were six or seven containers, and that’s where they take you for interrogation. There is a very dim, blue light, so you can’t see the interrogator properly, and this puts you in a stress mode; you can’t see the person who is hitting you.” Khalil said he was choked and hit on his face and back by a dozen different officers. “Everywhere you turn, you get slapped then slapped again,” Zamzam added. (continued)
Pilot limiting night arrests of Palestinian kids falls short
+972 Blog 5 Nov by Gerard Horton — The Israeli army implemented a pilot program last year to serve Palestinian children with summonses instead of snatching them from their beds in the middle of the night. Some of those summonses, however, were delivered by soldiers in the middle of the night — Following widespread criticism of the the Israeli army’s use of night raids to arrest minors in the West Bank, in February 2014 military authorities announced a pilot program to issue minors with summonses instead. The thinking behind using summonses is that you limit the need for night raids, which generally terrify individual households and entire neighborhoods. Further, if a minor — accompanied by a parent — voluntarily presents himself at a police station during the day in response to a summons, reports of physical violence, painful hand ties, blindfolds and other abuses that frequently accompany night arrests are also likely to decline. For six months commencing in early 2014, the military operated the pilot program in the Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron districts. In or about September 2014, however, the program was temporarily suspended due to “increased violence.” As odd as it may sound, the military authorities said that they did not keep any statistics relating to the program during this period, making it difficult to understand how they intended to assess its success or otherwise . . . Based on recent evidence it appears that the pilot program recommenced sometime in early 2015 and is now being implemented in about five percent of cases. However, even this limited use of summonses is not without significant and avoidable shortcomings For instance: Summonses are still being delivered by the military after midnight; Relevant parts of the summonses are frequently handwritten in Hebrew without translation; Relevant information, such as the nature of the accusation, is missing;
The law is not enough to protect Palestinian children
+972 Blog 6 Nov by Alma Biblash — In East Jerusalem, Israeli Police have been arresting and interrogating children as young as six, often without informing their parents — On Tuesday at around 2 p.m., two eight-year-old children were arrested by Israeli police officers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The officers claimed the children were throwing stones — the kids say they were only playing in the street. Minutes later, they were already being driven to the police station. This is a good time to remind the police that according to Israeli law, the age of criminal responsibility is 12, and despite the Netanyahu government’s checkpoints, closures, and concrete barriers, Israeli law — which stipulates that the police cannot under any circumstances detain or interrogate a child under the age of 12 — still applies to the residents of East Jerusalem. The children were held at the station where not a single policeman took the time to notify their parents. The parents, who searched for their children everywhere, eventually turned to local activists, who then called a lawyer to help track down the children.
Attacks on journalists
Palestinian journalists say Israeli forces are targeting them
Activestills 7 Nov by Oren Ziv — Palestinian photojournalists, and some Israelis too, say they are being deliberately attacked by soldiers, police and even regular people on the street. The rubber-coated bullets, pepper spray and being denied access on grounds of ethnicity are nothing new, yet veteran Palestinian photographers say something is different this time — . . . Israeli authorities’ treatment of news photographers has taken a turn for the worse since the latest wave of violence began, and attacks against journalists and photojournalists have increased. Even more worrying, more than 10 Palestinian journalists and photographers told me they feel Israeli authorities are specifically targeting them. As a photojournalist myself, I have rushed to the scenes of a decent number of violent incidents in Jerusalem over the past month and a half. In all of the cases when attempted attacks against Israelis led to the death of a young Palestinian, usually the attacker, I personally witnessed police officers preventing journalists from doing their jobs. Sometimes it was as simple as denying access to the scene; other times it resulted in physical violence against them . . . R., who has photographed for a European news agency in Jerusalem for upwards of 10 years, says he believes officers’ violent behavior toward journalists is the result of orders handed down from above. “In the past month I was beaten three times by police officers in different incidents. Sometimes they used their rifles to hit me. A lot of times I just put my hands in the air so they can’t say I attacked them.” Attempts to keep journalists away from the scenes of the attacks in recent weeks are part of efforts to control the flow of information, R. estimates, and sometimes even preventing certain details from being reported at all. “As a journalist, when you arrive at the scene and things are still happening, you are able to see exactly what happened. You can say whether there was a knife there or not, how many wounded there are.” (continued)
Israel attacks journalists to hide reality Palestinians face
EI 7 Nov by Charlotte Silver — Dragged by the head, punched in the face, kicked in the knees and pepper sprayed directly in the eyes. These are just a few of the recent abuses of Palestinian journalists by Israeli soldiers that have been captured on video. In other cases, Israeli snipers have shot journalists with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets even as they wore vests clearly identifying them as media workers. In the video above, captured by journalist Diya Houshiya on 30 October and published by the human rights group Al-Haq, Israeli occupation forces assault journalists and pepper spray Houshiya as he films. In previously published video of what appears to be the same incident in the West Bank town of al-Bireh near Ramallah, Israeli soldiers also attack Red Crescent medics who were trying to assist a youth the soldiers had just deliberately run over with a jeep. Israeli forces committed more than 100 violations against journalists in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in October, according to the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA). MADA says Israeli forces violently assault photojournalists, prevent them from covering incidents and even delete their material because “Israel wants to hide the reality and does not want the journalists to deliver their message to the world.” The group has documented at least 450 violations of journalists since the beginning of the year. (continued)
Unarmed fisherman killed by Egyptian forces in Gaza
[with photos] GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestine 8 Nov by ISM, Gaza Team — Thursday evening November the 5th, Egyptian forces opened fire on 18-year old Faris Meqdad and his younger brother while fishing in Palestinian waters. The brothers were in a small fishing vessel within the 3 nautical mile limit of the Gazan coast when Faris was hit in the abdomen and his brother injured. Faris died after being brought to the hospital . . . Faris Meqdad is yet another victim of the stranglehold grip on Gaza. Another son has been lost, and the world watches on.
Palestinians bury teenage fisherman shot by Egypt navy
GAZA CITY (Al Jazeera) 6 Nov by Creede Newton — Palestinian residents of the besieged Gaza Strip gathered in the southern city of Rafah for the funeral of 18-year-old Faris Meqdad, a fisherman who succumbed to wounds caused by fire from an Egyptian warship late on Thursday evening. Maha Hussaini, a spokesperson for the Gaza branch of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (EMHRM), which collects evidence of human rights abuses by both the Israeli and Egyptian militaries, says the fisherman’s death was unwarranted. “Meqdad wasn’t in Egyptian waters, he was in Palestinian waters and was shot by the Egyptians. He was completely unarmed and posed no threat to the Egyptian forces,” she told Al Jazeera on Friday, the day of the funeral.
Interior ministry demands immediate Egyptian probe into boy’s murder
GAZA (PIC) 6 Nov — The Palestinian ministry of interior affairs has called on the Egyptian security authorities to conduct an immediate investigation into the killing of a Gazan boy by Egyptian gunfire as he was fishing inside Palestinian waters on Thursday evening. Spokesman for the ministry Iyad al-Bazam accused the Egyptian army of deliberately opening fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Palestinian coast of Rafah and killing 16-year-old Firas Miqdad. Bazam described the incident as a serious development and held the Egyptian security authority fully responsible for the murder of Miqdad. “The incident is considered a grave development and a violation of our people’s rights within their territory and waters,” he underscored.
Israeli navy attacks fishermen in Gaza sea
GAZA (PIC) 8 Novv– The Israeli occupation navy on Sunday morning opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Khan Younis city, south of Gaza, with no reported injuries. Local media sources said the gunfire attack forced the fishermen to go ashore or work near the coast.
Israel launches airstrike on southern Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Nov — Israel launched an airstrike on the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday in response to a rocket fired from the besieged enclave earlier in the day, witnesses and Israel’s army said. Locals said that Israeli warplanes targeted a training site belonging to the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, between Rafah and Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. “In response to the attack, IAF aircraft targeted a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip,” Israel’s army said. The site is located on the grounds of a former Israeli settlement which was evacuated in 2005. No injuries were reported in the airstrike. A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Sunday evening with no reported injuries. As tensions have flared across the occupied Palestinian territory in recent weeks, a number of rockets have been fired out of Gaza into Israel, with no injuries or damage reported.
3 Gazans given prison sentences for ‘collaborating’ with Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — A Gazan military court on Sunday sentenced three Palestinian men from Gaza City’s Zaytoun neighborhood to prison, in addition to penal labor, after they were convicted of collaborating with Israeli intelligence. One of the men, 30, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while another 30-year-old suspect was sentence with nine years. The third man, 25, was given a seven-year sentence. Information passed to Israel’s security services by Palestinian collaborators is often used to make arrests and assassinate high-profile political and militant figures.
Water crisis deepens in the Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Al Jazeera) 8 Nov — After an unseasonably warm October, one would expect the cool rainfall of autumn to be welcomed in the Gaza Strip. But the downpours only make life harder, as excess rainwater springs from roads, sidewalks, and courtyards. The territory’s water infrastructure has shuddered under the burden of an almost decade-long Israeli-Egyptian siege. Three major Israeli wars on Gaza since 2008 have only exacerbated the problem, with jets bombing every square kilometre of the strip, inflicting damage onto reservoirs above and pipelines below the ground. According to Ghada al-Najjar – who is the water and sanitation coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a non-governmental organisation headed by Jan Egeland, one of the facilitators of the Oslo Accords – international humanitarian law (IHL) states that civilian infrastructure, especially infrastructure needed for basic survival, such as reservoirs, should be specially protected. Yet, this does not seem to be the case. An NRC report from this year says that in 2014, Israel’s war on Gaza resulted in $34m in damages to Gaza’s water infrastructure. Although Israel no longer views itself as the occupying force in the Gaza Strip after it officially withdrew its settlers and military forces in 2005, many agencies, including the UN Human Rights Council, consider that, under IHL, Israel still retains obligations towards the whole occupied territory. (continued)
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Video: Al-Qa‘qa‘ Mosque in Silwan at risk of being demolished
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Nov — Demolishing Jerusalemites’ houses and commercial establishments wasn’t enough for the occupation, an administrative demolition order has been issued against Al-Qa‘qa‘ Mosque in the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan under the pretext of building without a permit. Wadi Hilweh Information Center highlighted this mosque which serves nearly 5000 people. [See kids praying, studying Qur’an, doing the Call to Prayer, cleaning up this mosque which clearly means a lot to them]
For outpost founders, legalization isn’t always welcome
Haaretz 8 Nov by Chaim Levinson — Drori Bar-Levav sits on the balcony of his home in Ma’aleh Rehavam and offers his guests coffee from his cafe, Cafe Gandhi. The noisy generator that powers this unauthorized outpost in the West Bank interferes with conversation. For the past month, Bar Levav has resumed carrying his pistol: The community’s water and electricity were turned off six weeks ago, and as a result the Regional Defense soldiers who once lived there have left. So have 12 families, until conditions improve. Bar-Levav refuses to go. A Palestinian man with a water tanker comes by occasionally to fill the barrel he placed in the yard. Bar-Levav accuses the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the settlement movement Amana of turning off the utilities and otherwise harassing the community. “We have no problem with the leftists and the Arabs, only with the settlers,” Bar-Levav says sarcastically. The story of Ma’aleh Rehavam parallels that of many outposts. In the 1970s and ‘80s, establishing an outpost was a way station on the route to a permanent settlement. For the current generation of founders, outposts are more than an ideology, they are an emotional state. This generation seeks a simple, quiet, rural lifestyle, not the big stone homes of Amana. They don’t want to become part of the establishment, believing that is when the conflicts begin: The dealmakers want to build as much as possible, the founders want to continue their quiet lives.
Other news, analysis, opinion
Palestinian presidency: US comments on peace process ‘discouraging’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) Nov — The Palestinian presidency on Sunday said that recent US statements concerning the future of the peace process were “discouraging” and would not help to calm tensions. Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the Palestinian Authority was continuing to follow nationalistic principles, with both Arab and international support. He said that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory had “reached a dangerous crossroads” that could have ramifications for the entire region, and it was important for all actors to take responsibility. He said recent US statements did not serve toward that end, and were particularly discouraging in light of the Israel’s “ongoing policy of arrests and shootings without a valid reason.” On Thursday, the White House conceded that it was no longer possible to reach peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the remainder of US President Barack Obama’s term.
Abbas, Sisi discuss ‘deteriorating’ Palestinian situation
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday met his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, Sisi’s spokesperson said. Alaa Yousef said in a statement that Abbas and Sisi had agreed that all practices that “create more tension” should be halted, including the construction of Israel’s settlements, which are illegal under international law. They agreed that an end to these practices could pave the way for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The statement said that a comprehensive solution could help relieve tensions across the Middle East. The two presidents also discussed ongoing activities on Egypt’s eastern borders, where the Egyptian army has helped maintain Israel’s crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian president told Abbas that activities there along the border were intended “to secure the borders,” and were being carried out in full coordination with the Palestinian Authority. These activities “could never be meant to harm the Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip,” Sisi said, according to the statement. The Egyptian president added that if the PA were to take control of the Gaza Strip — which is currently controlled by Hamas — it could improve living conditions in Gaza and allow for borders to operate “normally,” allowing the people of Gaza their daily needs.
ICC top court keeps ‘Mavi Marmara’ war crimes allegations against Israel alive
JPost 8 Nov by Yonah Jeremy Bob — The International Criminal Court’s top body late Friday kept the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla war crimes allegations against Israeli commandos and war-policy- making officials alive, ruling that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must delve deeper into the case before she closes it. The ruling prolonged internal drama and disagreement among the ICC’s own bodies over whether to dive further into the Israeli-Arab conflict than it ever has before, which would bring Israeli soldiers closer to the real possibility of war crimes trials. There is disagreement over the issue even within the ICC Appeals Chamber, the institution’s top body. Friday’s vote saw a razor thin 3-2 majority voting against Bensouda’s appeal to keep the case closed. In an earlier lower court ruling by the ICC Pretrial Chamber, the vote had also been split 2-1, ruling against Bensouda over how to handle the flotilla raid. In November 2014, Bensouda closed the file, saying that while the IDF’s conduct in the incident seemed to her to display elements of war crimes, the 10 activists killed by the Israel Navy commandos simply did not constitute a high enough body count to warrant her involvement, since she focuses on mass killings.
Israeli army and police aggravate and impede assistance for West Bank auto accidents
IMEMC/Agencies 7 Nov — Israeli police forces, Saturday, prevented civil defense crews from accessing the scene of a car accident to offer help to the injured Palestinian driver, who was driving along Anata-al-Izariyeh road when his truck flipped over . . . According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, a report issued by the civil defense’s department for public relations stated that their crews rushed to the scene of the accident after receiving a call that a car carrier trailer has flipped over along the aforementioned road; however, Israeli police present at the scene prevented the crew’s access. The statement said that the civil defense crews remained near the scene of the accident until Israeli police completed the accident report and the driver was transferred to hospital.
Also on Saturday, Israeli forces assaulted two Palestinians involved in a self-inflicted car accident and did not provide them with humanitarian assistance. The driver, Hamed Makhaltheh, from Nablus, said that the accident occurred after one of his car’s tires exploded as he was driving along Ramallah-Nablus Road, causing severe damage to the car’s body. Both Palestinians; the driver, and the passenger, sustained injuries and bruises throughout their bodies. A few minutes later, an Israeli army patrol showed up at the scene and began searching the car, while assaulting both Palestinians, and did not provide them with any humanitarian assistance, reported the driver. Zakriya Sadah, in charge of field operations at ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ organization, who was reportedly passing near the scene when he noticed the accident and pulled over to offer help, was held at gunpoint by army soldiers, who threatened to shoot him if he didn’t leave the area.
Two Palestinians and an Israeli walk into a mall . . .
+(72 Blog 5 Nov by Deb Reich — We had stopped in a giant shopping center near Ashkelon on the way south to find Mohammed a new pair of sunglasses, because some kid in Gaza stole his recently. We hadn’t found any that he liked in Jaffa, where we lunched together as usual after Mohammed’s clinic check-ups at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. For young Mohammed Mehanna, his aunt Maha Mehanna, and me, this has been a long-established routine every few months for the last several years, except every once in a while when despite Mohammed being due at the hospital he and Maha don’t get permits to leave Gaza. Since his 2008 bone marrow transplant at the age of 14, Mohammed needs good sunglasses because of a problem with GVHD (graft-versus-host-disease) of the ocular cavities. Meantime at the shopping center, while I parked the car, he and Maha surveyed the ice cream on offer. I shouldn’t have sent them on ahead. What was I thinking? I came hurrying over to find two security guys in reflective vests, standing maybe two meters away, facing in their direction, speaking Hebrew. The thought crossed my mind – Jeez, guys, don’t shoot them before I can explain in Hebrew that they’re not terrorists. The guards moved on. I’m not even sure they had been looking at Maha and Mohammed, but the very real potential for disaster was creepy. It was October 29, 2015 in Israel. The illusory stability of daily routine was disintegrating all around us.
Music video lambasts recruitment of Palestinians to Israel’s army
+972 Blog 7 Nov by Rami Younis — Prominent Palestinian musicians say recruiting minority ethnic and religious Arab groups into the army is part of Israel’s divide-and-conquer tactics, pushing young Palestinians to ‘side with the occupation’ and shrug off their national and historical identity — Two prominent Palestinian musicians released a hip-hop music video this week lambasting efforts to recruit young Palestinian citizens of Israel into the country’s army. The video, by musicians Tamer Nafar and Jowan Safadi and released by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth and Hamleh (The Palestinian Social Media Center), features a group of Israeli scientists sitting in a lab and trying to create a new kind of Arab. The chorus of the song bemoans how Israel “stripped us of our land, stripped us of our identity, dressed us in boots and military suits.” “We are struggling not only against Israelization,” says Safadi, who worked on the song with Nafar, a member of famed Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. “We are fighting the ethnic divisions the Israeli establishment is leveraging against us, which has been more prevalent over the past year or two.” Safadi is referring to certain members of the Arab community in Israel, such as Father Gabriel Nadaf, who the government supports as part of its divide-and-rule tactics pushing young people — in this case Christians — into the arms of the Israeli army . . . “We are speaking directly to ‘Israeli Arabs’ — those same Palestinians who are willing to be ‘Israelis’ even at the cost of shrugging off their national, historical identity and siding with the occupation,” Safadi says.(continued)
Israel’s violent cowardice faces Palestinian protesters’ bravery / Amira Hass
Haaretz 1 Nov — Israeli soldiers have gotten used to feeling heroic in their planes, tanks and armored jeeps, but now they’re dying of fear as vengefulness erupts — When it comes to bravery and daring, the young Palestinian demonstrators are defeating the Israeli soldiers and Border Police. They are armed with agility and speed, kaffiyehs covering their faces. They are armed with stones and Molotov cocktails, while the soldiers — behind them military exercises — are armed with and protected by armored vehicles, drones, helmets, deadly weapons of various types and poisonous tear gas. Against the bravery of the young Palestinians, the cowardice of the Israeli soldiers is exposed. They have gotten used to feeling strong and heroic in their planes, tanks and armored jeeps, in their detention and interrogation rooms and observation towers with sophisticated equipment, in their late-night break-ins into houses and their pulling minors from their beds. Facing the kaffiyeh, stone and Molotov cocktail they are lost. Insulted. Then vengefulness erupts. You, Israeli reader, should liberate yourself a bit from the Israeli media diet that makes the situation so shallow; you should liberate yourself from the language of the masters of “civil disorders and riots.” Instead, watch the uncensored clips from the “battle” field: soldiers in jeeps running protesters over, a soldier spraying tear gas from point-blank range in the eyes of medics who come to evacuate the wounded. Soldiers setting on a store owner who brings in his wares while clashes are going on, and the soldiers kick him in an orgy of sadism. (continued)