Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Palestinian leadership outraged over detention of MP Khalida Jarrar
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Palestinian political leadership has reacted with outrage over the detention of feminist, human rights activist, and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar, detained by Israeli forces from her home in Ramallah during a predawn military raid on Sunday. Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe condemned Israel for detaining Jarrar, a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) faction who also heads the the Prisoners’ Commission of the PLC, and is vice-chairperson of the board of directors of Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer. Qaraqe said Jarrar’s detention, which comes just over a year after she was released from Israeli custody, represented “a violation of international laws and of immunity given to elected Parliament members.” He demanded that all Arab and foreign parliaments intervene and work toward security Jarrar’s release, as well as the release of the 12 other PLC members currently imprisoned by Israel. According to Qaraqe, Israeli forces have detained around 70 deputies since 2002, equal to about half of the total number of PLC members. He highlighted the targeting of female parliamentarians over the years, who have also included Majida Fida and Samira Halaika….
Israeli police injure dozens, one seriously, during East Jerusalem funeral
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Dozens of Palestinians were injured, at least one seriously, and one young man was detained, on Sunday evening in occupied East Jerusalem when the funeral for a Palestinian who drowned three days earlier devolved into clashes. Ali Abu Gharbiyeh, 24, drowned in Lake Tabariya in northern Israel on Friday, with his body washing ashore on Sunday morning. Locals said Israeli forces deployed heavily in the Suwwana neighborhood immediately after Abu Gharbiyeh’s body arrived at al-Maqasid hospital to be shrouded. When the funeral procession arrived at the entrance of the neighborhood, as mourners waved Palestinian flags, Israeli forces stormed the procession, fired stun grenades, and started to seize the flags.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police prevented Abu Gharbiyeh’s funeral procession from passing through the neighborhood because the participants were waving Palestinian flags, “shouting slogans,” and “acting disorderly.” Funeral attendees then began throwing stones at police forces, al-Samri added, injuring one officer, who was treated at the scene, in the face. Israeli police then used “riot dispersal means,” al-Samri said, without elaborating.
However, Ma‘an witnessed Israeli forces firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and sound bombs at the funeral procession.
The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma‘an that at least 35 Palestinians were injured during the clashes. Nine were hospitalized and the rest were treated by medics at the scene. At least one funeral goer was seriously wounded after being hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, the Red Crescent said, adding that the bullet was lodged in his head and that he was suffering from internal bleeding, in addition to shrapnel having lodged itself in his eye.
Army injures one Palestinian near Ramallah, causes fire to farmlands and a car
IMEMC 3 July — Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Sunday evening, a Palestinian man after the army invaded al-Mogheer village, northeast of Ramallah, and fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades, setting fire to a car and three dunams of farmlands. Medical sources said one Palestinian was shot with a live Israeli bullet before he was rushed to a hospital in Ramallah, while many residents suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation. Furthermore, at least three dunams of farmland, and a car owned by a Palestinian identified as Osama Abu Alia, were burnt due to the dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades that were fired by the invading soldiers.
Israeli soldiers abduct seventeen Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC 3 July — Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Monday, seventeen Palestinians, including children, from their homes in different parts of the occupied West Bank. Morad Eshteiwy, the media spokesperson of the Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum, northeast of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, said the soldiers invaded the town, stormed and ransacked homes and abducted five Palestinians … The soldiers also interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards, and violently searching their homes. Furthermore, Eshteiwy said that the invasion and abductions came while the Palestinians are planning for a central procession, this Friday, marking the sixth anniversary of an ongoing popular struggle against the Israeli Annexation Wall and Colonies, built on privately owned lands.
In Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, the soldiers invaded many homes in Barta‘a town, and abducted one Palestinian, identified as Omar Abdullah Kabaha, 23. The soldiers also installed a roadblock at the main road leading to ‘Arraba town, near Jenin, searched many cars while interrogating many Palestinians and inspecting their ID cards, and abducted Qais Kamal ‘Areeda, 23, and Fuad Shareeda al-Aqhash, 31. In addition, the soldiers installed many roadblocks around villages and towns, in various parts of the Jenin governorate, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and examined the ID cards of many Palestinians, while interrogating them. The soldiers also invaded Be’er al-Basha village, south of Jenin, and broke into Bilal Bin Rabah local mosque, before violently searching it, and occupied its rooftop, before eventually withdrawing from the area, and installed a roadblock in the center of the town.
The Israeli army said its soldiers arrested two Palestinians in Husan town, west of Bethlehem, Ras al-Ein in Nablus, and one in ‘Aboud village, near Ramallah.
On Monday at dawn, the soldiers invaded Palestinian towns in the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron, installed roadblocks and searched many cars while interrogated several Palestinians.
Israeli police detain 28 Palestinians from the West Bank in Negev
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli forces recently detained 28 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank for entering Israel without Israeli permission, as well as six Palestinian citizens of Israel accused of transporting them, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri reported Sunday. “As part of serious efforts and various activities by Israeli police to maintain stability and public security in the region, six Arab suspects were detained in the Negev on Route 6 near Beit Surik, for transferring 28 Palestinians to Israel in their vehicles without having legal permits,” she wrote. She said all detainees were being interrogated and investigations were ongoing “across the country regarding this matter.”
One of the Palestinian citizens of Israel suspected of transporting the West Bank Palestinians put posters for Shas, an ultra-Orthodox religious political party in Israel, on his vehicle “as a camouflage” when transporting eight Palestinians from Hebron in the occupied West Bank, al-Samri said. A video purporting to show Israeli police apprehending the vehicle was later circulated in Israeli media: ….
Israeli police detain teenager suspected of planning anti-Palestinian hate crime
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli police detained an Israeli teenager in Jerusalem on Sunday over suspicions of planning to carry out an anti-Palestinian hate crime. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a 17-year-old right-wing Israeli was detained near a gas station in southern Jerusalem while carrying pepper spray and a slingshot. Al-Samri added that the youth was being interrogated by Israeli police over suspicions that he was planning to carry out a “price tag” attack — a term used by right-wing extremist settlers to refer to the attacks they carry out on Palestinians and their property — with two other suspects. The detention comes as Israeli security forces have recently stepped up detentions of right-wing Israeli extremists, as well as evacuated an illegal settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank known for hosting particularly aggressive settlers.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday that Israeli authorities had issued 30 restraining orders currently in effect barring right-wing Jewish activists from entering the West Bank and contacting other Israeli extremists. Haaretz added that one such extremist was the only Israeli currently being held in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without trial or charges, overwhelmingly levied against Palestinians.
While al-Samri said that the arrests were made as “continued efforts” to protect Palestinians and their property, many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israelis committing violent acts against Palestinians. In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years.
Unprecedented lawsuit seeks damages from widow, children of slain Palestinian attacker
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — The Israeli public prosecutor for the Jerusalem district has filed “a precedent-setting” civil lawsuit against the widow and young children of Fadi al-Qunbar — who was shot dead by Israeli forces in January after he drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four — for some $2 million in financial damages. The children are all aged between one and eight years old. According to a report from Israeli news daily Haaretz, the case is a first in a number of civil lawsuits expected to be filed against the families of Palestinians who were killed while allegedly or actually carrying out attacks on Israelis, the Israeli prosecution confirmed. The state is seeking to have al-Qunbar’s widow Tahani and her children, as his legal heirs, pay an estimated 2 million shekels ($572,000) in compensation for each soldier he killed, including the cost of the soldiers’ headstones — 8,400 shekels ($2,400) each, and reimbursement of benefits paid by the state of Israel to the soldiers’ families.
The civil lawsuit came in addition to numerous severe measures already taken by Israeli authorities against al-Qunbar’s extended family and scores of innocent civilians in the wider Jabal al-Mukkabir community, where the al-Qunbars once resided. Following the attack, Israeli forces punitively filled their home with concrete, displacing his wife and children. Israeli authorities have also continue to hold al-Qunbar’s remains, as part of Israel’s policy of withholding the bodies of alleged and actual attackers, which has been denounced by rights groups as collective punishment and a violation of international law. Al-Qunbar’s relatives, who have denied having advanced knowledge of any plans to carry out an attack, and the wider community of Jabal al-Mukabbir, were subjected to a number of other collective punishment measures that critics called a “policy of reprisal” being waged in the neighborhood. A number of al-Qunbar’s relatives and other locals were detained in police raids, and Israeli Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the Jerusalem residency status of 13 members al-Qunbar’s family — including his mother, which also broke precedent….
4 Palestinians detained for ‘incitement’ and ‘negligence’ after deadly attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Following an attack in occupied East Jerusalem last month in which an Israeli border police officer was killed and three Palestinian assailants were shot dead, Israeli police detained four Palestinians amid a massive security crackdown that has been denounced as “collective punishment.”
In a statement Sunday morning, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri summarized the ongoing investigations into the four Palestinians who have been detained over their alleged involvement in the June 16 attack, which included the parents of one of the slain Palestinians, 18-year-old Adel Ankoush. Immediately following the attack, Israeli forces besieged Deir Abu Mashaal, the hometown of the three slain Palestinians — Ankoush, Baraa Ibrahim Saleh Taha, and Usama Ahmad Dahdouh — and subjected it to multiple military raids, notably detaining Ankoush’s mother Zeinab on June 21. His father Hassan was detained during an overnight raid on June 29. According to Palestinian prisoners’ solidarity network Samidoun, Zeinab Ankoush, 46, was brought before a court on Thursday and stands accused of “incitement” after speaking out about the death of her child. Al-Samri acknowledged that Ankoush’s parents were both detained simply for statements they made following the attack, presumably made on social media, which she referred to as “incitement.”
The Israeli prosecution demanded that Hassan Ankoush’s remand be extended at the military court at Ofer detention center on Sunday, while Zeinab Ankoush’s remand is also expected to be extended on Monday.
Additionally, a 52-year-old Palestinian resident of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of ‘Issawiya was detained, over suspicions of transporting the three slain Palestinians from the occupied West Bank without Israeli permission…
Israeli authorities have continued to implement restrictive policies on Palestinians in Deir Abu Mashaal, Israeli NGO B’Tselem reported on Thursday. Immediately following the attack, Israeli authorities also took measurements of the homes of the alleged assailants in preparations for punitive demolitions, which the families had been informed would be carried out “soon.” According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 22 people, the three men’s family members will be left homeless by the punitive demolitions in spite of not having been charged with any wrongdoing.
Courts / Prisoners
Lawyers boycott Israeli court over ‘humiliating’ search procedures
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 3 July — Lawyers representing Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel refused to appear in the Salem court in northern Israel on Monday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said. The committee said that the lawyers were protesting the “humiliating” search procedures undertaken against them by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). Lawyers have regularly boycotted Israeli courts over the years, most recently during a 40-day mass prisoner hunger strike, whether over the severe and sometimes deadly mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners or over restricted access to court proceedings. In 2012, lawyers boycotted the Salem court over similar complaints of harassing searches.
Palestinian sentenced to 12 years in prison over 2016 Tel Aviv stabbing attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 July — A Palestinian was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday for stabbing and injuring an Israeli soldier in 2016, Israeli media reported. On May 30, 2016, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Salfit district of the occupied West Bank stabbed and lightly injured a soldier in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv with a screwdriver, and attempted to flee the scene, before being chased and apprehended by witnesses who handed him over to Israeli police. According to Israeli news outlet Ynet, Amar Jandab — whom locals had identified to Ma‘an at the time as Omar al-Abbushi — was also ordered to pay 40,000 shekels ($11,410) in compensation to the victim of the attack after being convicted of attempted murder. Ynet reported that the soldier’s parents were “angered” by the verdict, deeming it insufficient, adding that they were planning on appealing.
Meanwhile, al-Abbushi’s lawyer told Ynet that the young Palestinian man had carried out the attack in an attempt to be killed by Israeli forces, following the death of his best friend in a car accident. Israeli authorities have handed down a number of lengthy sentences in recent months to Palestinians for alleged involvement in or planning of attacks against Israelis, more than a year after a wave of political unrest, which spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, began in October 2015.
Israeli court finds right-wing extremist guilty in 2015 church arson
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 July — A far-right Israeli extremist was found guilty on Monday in a 2015 arson attack targeting the famous Church of Multiplication in northern Israel, Israeli media reported. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 22-year-old Yinon Reuveni was found guilty of all charges after torching the church, believed to be the site where Jesus Christ performed the miracle of multiplying fishes and loaves of bread, in June 2015. Israeli news outlet Ynet reported that two people suffered from serious smoke inhalation during the attack, adding that Reuveni had also defaced the Church with anti-Christian graffiti. The church only reopened in February of this year after undergoing extensive repairs following the fire. Reuveni had also been charged in 2016 for committing acts of violence against Palestinians, Ynet noted, whereas Haaretz quoted Shin Bet sources as claiming that Reuveni had been involved in other arson attacks against mosques. Reuveni’s lawyer reportedly vowed to appeal the Nazareth magistrate court’s verdict in the case. Meanwhile, Haaretz said that the court acquitted another Israel suspected of having assisted Reuveni in the arson attack.
Arab-Israeli ex-lawmaker heads to prison with ‘pride’
JERUSALEM (AP) 2 July — An Arab Israeli former lawmaker entered prison with “pride” Sunday as he began a two-year sentence for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Basel Ghattas said he was entering prison with his “head held high” and with “support from my people.” Earlier this year an Israeli court accepted a plea bargain in which Ghattas resigned from parliament and admitted to smuggling phones and SIM cards to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Israel’s Arab minority holds citizenship but faces discrimination in some areas like housing and jobs. They are sometimes viewed with suspicion as many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
US church demands end to abuse of Palestinian children
EI 3 July by Ali Abunimah — The United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly on Sunday night for a resolution demanding Israel end its systematic abuses of Palestinian children in military detention. The resolution – passed with the support of 79 percent of delegates at the general synod in Baltimore, the church’s top governing body – urges Israel to “exercise an absolute prohibition against torture and ill-treatment of detained children” and cease all practices that violate “international juvenile justice standards.” It specifically calls for an end to such practices as “nighttime arrests in the child’s home, physical and verbal abuse, blindfolds and restraints, strip searches, solitary confinement, coerced confessions and confessions written in Hebrew, as well as the separation of detained children from their parents and legal counselors.” UCC is a mainline Protestant denomination with more than 5,000 congregations and about one million members in the United States. Sunday’s vote was welcomed by the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, which highlights the systematic abuses against some 700 children detained by Israeli occupation forces each year….
Army injures one Palestinian with live fire in Gaza
IMEMC 3 July — Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Sunday evening, a young Palestinian man with live fire, and caused dozens of residents, including children, to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation, during clashes that erupted near the border fence, in the various parts of the Gaza Strip. The soldiers, stationed on towers at the Nahal Oz military base, east of Gaza City, fired many live rounds at Palestinians in their lands, near the border fence, wounding one in his leg, before medics rushed him to the Shifa hospital, suffering a moderate injury. The medics also provided many Palestinians with the needed treatment for the severe effects of teargas inhalation…
The soldiers also fired live rounds and gas bombs at many Palestinians near the fence, in the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, in addition to Khan Younis and Rafah, in the southern part of the coastal region.
Dozens of Palestinians, 2 medics suffer from tear gas inhalation in Gaza clashes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 July — A number of Palestinians, including two paramedics, suffered from tear gas inhalation on Sunday afternoon as several clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the borderline of the besieged Gaza Strip. Witnesses told Ma‘an that dozens of young Palestinian men demonstrated near the border fence east of the town of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, when Israeli forces stationed on the other side of the border showered them with tear gas, causing many, including a paramedic, to suffer from tear gas inhalation. The witnesses added that Israeli forces fired a tear gas canister “directly” at an ambulance, causing another paramedic to inhale excessive amounts of tear gas and require treatment….
Israeli military vehicles stage limited incursion inside northern Gaza Strip
GAZA (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion into Palestinian lands in Beit Lahiya in the northern besieged Gaza Strip on Monday morning. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that four Israeli military bulldozers entered tens of meters into Gaza territory and proceeded to level lands as Israeli drones hovered in sky. Eyewitnesses noted that no gunfire was reported during the incident.
Appeal for funding to stabilize Gaza’s deteriorating humanitarian conditions
UN OCHA 3 July — Humanitarian agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are calling upon the international community to provide US$25 million in new humanitarian funding to stabilize the spiraling humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. In a document presented to diplomats today in Jerusalem, agencies identified top-priority, life-saving interventions in health, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security sectors. The funding is needed to help mitigate the effects of deep power cuts and lack of fuel for generators for hospitals, water treatment plants, sewerage pumps and other key facilities. Included in the package are chemicals for water treatment and spare parts for generators that have increasingly become the primary energy source instead of the back-up for key facilities. As the effects of the energy crisis are felt throughout the Gaza strip, the package of interventions planned also targets shortages in medical supplies and aims to provide assistance to an estimated 100,000 food-insecure families and vulnerable farmers whose livelihoods are under threat. Responding to the heightened risk of diarrheal disease outbreaks, 8,500 hygiene kits will also be distributed for especially vulnerable households, funds permitting. Despite the arrival of some fuel purchased in the Egyptian market over recent days, Gaza’s electricity crisis is far from over. Electricity supply over recent days has ranged from four to six hours per day….
Egypt supplying fuel to rescue Palestinians
CAIRO (Al-Monitor) 3 July by Mohammed Othman — The diesel fuel Egypt has supplied to the Gaza Strip is but a drop in the bucket toward easing Gaza’s power crisis, but there is hope the gesture might signal a thaw in Egypt’s relations with the Hamas-run Gaza government and possibly open the flow of trade. Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip June 21-24 to allow in Egyptian industrial diesel for Gaza’s sole power plant, which has been offline more than two months. Since then, the plant has received intermittent deliveries of Egyptian diesel fuel through the Rafah crossing. But even as Egypt has been supplying energy, Israel has been taking it away at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. Hamas and the PA split violently in 2007, leaving Fatah and PA President Mahmoud Abbas with the West Bank and Hamas governing the Strip. The PA, which has been pressuring Hamas financially in several ways recently, has said it will no longer foot the bill for the electricity Gaza receives through 10 Israeli power lines. On June 19, Israel began to gradually cut back the electricity. In a statement, the Gaza Energy Authority said, “Israel has so far reduced the power lines arriving into Gaza from 120 to 36 megawatts [MW], so the Gaza Energy Authority has directly purchased Egyptian diesel itself and the power plant will continue to operate as long as diesel is available, and electricity will be distributed according to the available power.” The plant started partial operations the evening of June 21, generating 45 MW of power. Egypt sent 1.1 million liters (291,000 gallons) of fuel, enough to run the facility at full capacity for two days, Haaretz reported. Officials said the plant would run at half capacity, providing just several hours of electricity daily, to stretch the fuel supply. Egypt is providing the oil under a tripartite understanding reached in early June by representatives of Hamas, Egypt and the reformist movement within Fatah, headed by Abbas rival Mohammed Dahlan. The Gaza Strip, which is home to more than 2 million Palestinians, needs 450-500 MW of power per day….
PHOTOS: Life in the darkness of Gaza’s power crisis
GAZA (Al Jazeera) 1 July by Ezz Zanoun — Palestinians in Gaza have long struggled with electricity cuts, but further reductions implemented last month have deepened the ongoing power crisis … The crisis has left Gaza’s two million residents living much of their lives in the dark.
‘I’d rather die in Gaza than bring my sons to Erez’
GAZA STRIP (Al Jazeera) 1 July by Mersiha Gadzo — Walid Qaoud died of cancer after he was repeatedly denied entry to Israel for refusing to collaborate with authorities — Walid Qaoud, 59, did not have to die. In November 2015, Walid’s doctors at the Augusta Victoria hospital in occupied East Jerusalem detected cancerous cells in his right lung – but it was in the early stages and was still curable, they told him. That day, on his way back home to Gaza, Walid was detained at the Erez crossing for six hours. According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, he was strip-searched and forced to stand in a stressful position, balanced on one leg while facing the wall. Authorities then ordered him to sit down and stand up continuously – a painful experience, especially as he had previously undergone surgery for colon cancer, Walid’s brother, Adnan, told Al Jazeera. His stomach consequently stiffened so much that it felt like a steel plate. When he could no longer bear the pain, a group of armed officers then asked him to pinpoint his home on a map. He did, but when they started showing him photos of people from his neighbourhood, asking him to identify them and provide more information, he repeatedly refused. One officer kept jabbing fingers into his stomach. “Why is your stomach hard like this? Do you feel pain?” he asked. Feeling ill and exhausted, Walid vomited and fainted.
The officers eventually let him go home, but from then on, his application for an exit permit was rejected each month that he applied … Four months after his first interrogation at Erez, authorities called Walid back in. After waiting for eight hours, he was brought into a room where authorities again showed him photos of people – including some of his neighbours – and asked him to identify them. Walid refused. “We allowed you into Israel for treatment,” the officer told him. “Yes, thank you,” Walid answered, according to his family’s account of the conversation. “We know your sons are part of the resistance. We need you to bring your sons to Erez,” the officer demanded. “We’ll give them breakfast here and pay for transportation.” “My sons don’t have anything to do with the resistance. Some of them are ill,” Walid answered. “Bring them to Erez, and we’ll let them go to Israel for treatment,” the officer persisted. “I can’t bring my sons; I can’t control them; they’re grown men,” Walid answered. “If you don’t bring your sons, we won’t give you the exit permit; we’ll reject it again,” the officer told him. “I’d rather die in Gaza than bring my sons to Erez,” Walid told his family upon returning home after spending 15 hours at Erez, noting that it was clear his sons would have been arrested upon arrival. The Shin Bet did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on the case. Walid’s eldest son, 33-year-old Muhammad, is an unemployed graduate suffering from spinal disc herniation, which requires treatment. “We aren’t part of any resistance or political party or active on social media,” Muhammad told Al Jazeera from their family home in Khan Younis….
Gaza: Israel’s experiment on humans in a situation of extreme stress and deprivation / Gideon Levy
MEE 30 June, 3 July — #GazaSiege One experiment: What happens to two million human beings when they are deprived of electricity nearly all the time, day and night? — One of the biggest experiments involving human subjects ever conducted anywhere is taking place right before our eyes, and the world is silent. The project is at its peak and the world shows no interest. This experiment on human beings, unsanctioned by any of the international scientific institutions whose oversight is required by the Helsinki Declaration, seeks to examine human behaviour in situations of extreme stress and deprivation. The experimental group does not comprise just a few, nor dozens or hundreds, nor thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. The experimental population includes no fewer than two million human beings. Thus far they have stood the test amazingly well. While some turbulence is evident inside the pressure cooker within which they are confined, it has not yet exploded. The Gaza Strip is being watched to see when and in what form it will ultimately explode. This is apparently only a matter of time. As presented by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt: What happens to two million human beings when they are deprived of electricity nearly all the time, day and night? What happens to them in winter, and in spring, and especially now, in the terrible heat of a Middle Eastern summer? This experiment, like all such experiments, is being conducted in a phased manner. The frog is to be cooked in water that will gradually be heated until it boils….
Hamas security prevents Fatah Central Committee member from leaving Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 July — The Fatah movement said in a statement on Saturday that security forces of Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Interior prevented a Fatah Central Committee member from leaving the besieged territory, after he was rejected at a Hamas checkpoint located before the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing. Ahmad Halas, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, was prevented from leaving the Gaza Strip on his way to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to the movement.
The statement accused Hamas, the de facto leaders of Gaza, of acting “against national (Palestinian) values.” The movement also said that the incident came “at the same time that Fatah seeks to end divisions out of national responsibility and the higher good of Palestinians and the Palestinian cause,” while Hamas “insists on escalating and rejecting national unity.” Fatah called upon Hamas to end its divisive actions and policies
Stigma keeps drug addicts quiet in Gaza Strip
AFP 2 July — After Umm Mazen found her husband shivering in his bed and complaining of a migraine, he confessed he was addicted to painkillers and could no longer provide for the family. In the Gaza Strip, the tiny Palestinian territory sandwiched between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean and ravaged by three wars in a decade, drug abuse is often a hidden problem. While no reliable statistics. are available, experts and medical support groups estimate there are tens of thousands of drug users in Gaza. Young men are among those most affected in a territory suffering 45 percent unemployment, rising to more than 60 percent among the youth. Narcotics such as cannabis are sold illegally in the enclave of some two million people, but many of the most serious addicts are hooked on illicitly bought prescription medicines. Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, who have ruled the Strip for a decade and take a firm line on drugs, launched a fresh crackdown this yea … Iyad al-Bozum, spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry, told AFP there was an “organised plan to smuggle large quantities of drugs into Gaza,” saying dealers were targeting young people. While some drugs are smuggled through the Israeli border, most enter from Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, the ministry said….
Gaza’s child laborers find their way back to school
BEIT LAHIA, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 2 July by Najlaa Eskafi — The Future Hope Center in Gaza helps children return to school and graduate — At the age of six, Soha Harez would don her green school uniform, pull her brown hair back in a white hairband and join her classmates every morning in class. Sadly, this routine only lasted a month, because she had to quit school and become a housemaid. Soha’s father worked sporadically at a cookie factory, earning in the best of times the equivalent of $10 a month. Soha’s mother worked as a maid to cover the basic needs of her six children. When her mother was diagnosed with a serious illness, Soha quit school to take over her job. Two years later, a team from the Future Hope Center, a child protection initiative in northern Gaza, knocked on her door and talked her parents into letting Soha take advantage of the center’s programs with the hope that she would then continue her education. Operated by Terre des Hommes, an international nongovernmental organization, the center raises awareness among children, parents and other community members about the dangers of child labor and the importance of education. The center helps vulnerable working children and those who drop out of school through various projects, ranging from a summer school to year-round programs requiring a few hours every day. “Being at the center is like a rebirth for me,” Soha, now 10, told Al-Monitor. “This is where I study, learn, play, read inspiring stories and live a normal life.” Ahmed Othman, 15, was one of the best students during his first years in school. His grades deteriorated, however, due to his work collecting and selling plastic and copper as well as breaking rocks in the border area between Beit Lahia and Israel….
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israeli authorities coerce Palestinian family into demolishing own homes in two hours
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli authorities ordered that two homes in occupied East Jerusalem be demolished on Monday morning, forcing the Palestinian homeowner to tear them down himself in the span of two hours to avoid incurring the exorbitant costs of a demolition carried out by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. Mahmoud Fawaqa told Ma‘an that Jerusalem municipality crews escorted by Israeli forces stormed the area of Umm al-Lassun in the town of Sur Bahir on Monday to tell him to demolish the two homes himself within two hours, lest Israeli authorities take the matter into their own hands and charge him 80,000 shekels ($22,850) for it. Fawaqa said that one of his sons had to be hospitalized for severe fatigue after rushing to carry out the demolition within such a short time span, which also came amid a scorching heat wave in the region. He added that one of the homes, in which a family of six was residing, had been built five years earlier, whereas construction for the second house had only recently been completed. Fawaqa said that he had tried to obtain a construction license from the Jerusalem municipality, but that he was denied “under the pretext that the land (on which he built) was designated a green area.” “It is very bitter and very difficult for someone to demolish with his own hands a house he built and lived in for years,” he added….
Jerusalem: Jordanian MPs call for cancellation of Christian endowment sale to Israel
IMEMC/.Agencies 2 July — Greek Orthodox Patriarch said, in a statement, that it did not sell any lands or properties in its ownership — Jordanian members of Parliament called on both Jordanian and Palestinian governments to exert pressure, on the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem, to cancel the sale of more than 500 dunams of the Orthodox Christian endowment, in occupied Jerusalem to the Israeli occupation municipality. About 40 Jordanian members have criticized, according to Al Ray, the stance of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, calling, in a statement, to stop its policy of underestimating the Christian endowment in Jerusalem. They say that the endowments are in dishonest hands. The statement noted that they agreed with the statement of the central council and Arab Orthodox, which stressed the importance of the intervention of the Palestinian and Jordanian governments, in order to exert pressure on Patriarch Theophlos to stop the deal. The statement said that the Patriarch held a deal to sell the endowment to Zionist investors in disregard to the commitments he made in the presence of legal representatives. They noted that this stance emerged from the moral responsibility of the parliament members and for protecting the sanctities in general, and the Orthodox Christian endowment in particular.
For its part, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch said in a statement that it did not sell any lands or properties in its ownership. It explained that the Israeli occupation has expropriated 528 dunams that were owned by the Patriarch since 1951, and that what the Patriarch did is to save its financial rights in order to maintain its presence to serve and protect its lands, property and religious sanctuaries in the Old City and the 67 areas that are threatened daily by Israeli occupation measures. The Patriarchate said that “the land was acquired in 1951 under unfair contracts that gave Israel full ownership rights , leaving to the Patriarchate only a financial rights that are determined and approved by the President of the Israeli High Court of Justice.”….
5 Palestinian families face expulsion as hundreds of new settlement units promoted
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 July — Israeli authorities are set to discuss the advancement of nearly 1,800 housing units for illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli NGO Peace Now reported on Monday. The plans will include two new buildings — respectively three and five stories tall — in the heart of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah that will require the expulsion of five Palestinian families, up for discussion at Israel’s Jerusalem Regional Committee on July 16.
Additionally, a nine story yeshiva campus that includes student accommodation and a six-story office building are also planned to be built in Sheikh Jarrah. According to Peace Now, it is the first time in recent years that new housing units are being planned for settlers within a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Settlers have been engaged in an ongoing legal battle over the two plans that aim to be established on the property where the five Palestinian families reside, for a total of 13 settlement units. The Palestinian families in question are legally regarded as protected tenants in the Israeli-owned properties, a status that was achieved according to an Israeli law that allows Jewish Israelis to claim ownership of property if they can prove it was under Jewish ownership before 1948. However, the law only applies to Jewish Israelis, and not to Palestinians who were dispossessed of their lands and properties prior to and after the establishment of Israel in 1948, despite their right being upheld by UN General Assembly Resolution 194 … The plan to evict the Palestinian families for the establishment of a new Israeli settlement “shows that nothing will get in the way of settler groups and a pro-settler government from preventing a future compromise in Jerusalem,” the settlement watchdog said.
Israeli forces deliver stop-work notice in Hebron-area village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 July — Israeli forces delivered a stop-work notice to a Palestinian home in the Khillet Ibrahim area of western ‘Idhna village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron for lacking nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permits. The house, which belongs to Jamal Muhammad Abu Zalta, measures 150 square meters in area, Mayor of Idhna Muammar al-Tmeizi told Ma‘an. Five Palestinians reside in the home, according to al-Tmeizi. Al-Tmeizi also pointed out that two-thirds of the village’s area has been declared Area C — the more than 60 percent of the occupied Palestinian territory under full Israeli military control as a result of the Oslo Accords. Israeli forces essentially prohibit Palestinian construction in Area C, as the land is typically reserved for the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements. As a result, Palestinians in ‘Idhna are forced to risk demolitions and stop-work orders since their lands in Area C are the only spaces left for the village to build on, according to al-Tmeizi.
Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank
Al Jazeera 3 July by Sarah Schroeder — Around 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins are at risk of forcible transfer in Area C — In Palestine, more than 26,000 Bedouins live in Area C of the occupied West Bank. Ethnic Bedouins, traditionally living as nomadic and semi-nomadic herders, reside in 115 communities in the 11 governorates of the occupied West Bank [ SEE MAP ] During the Nakba in 1948, many Bedouins were forced from their lands in the Negev region of southern Israel, fleeing to Gaza and the occupied West Bank. The majority of Bedouins in Area C today are refugees from 1948. The Israeli Civil Administration has advanced plans to “relocate” many Bedouin communities, despite serious concerns being raised under international law. Around 7,000 Palestinians living in Area C are at risk of forcible transfer, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Bedouins in the West Bank hold fast to their land – as pressure mounts for them to leave
KHAN AL AHMAR, West Bank (Los Angeles Times) 3 July by Joshua Mitnick — The predawn sky exposes the outlines of the slopes of the Judaean desert. A strip of lamps on a new highway gives the rocky earth a ruddy glow, as motorists zip through the lonely expanse toward Jerusalem. Here amid a chorus of crowing roosters, a cluster of dilapidated shacks on the desert hillside marks a tiny Bedouin encampment known as Khan al Ahmar. The 160-person outpost, like dozens of other Bedouin hamlets clustered around the roadway, populates a region that descends from the Jerusalem mountains toward the West Bank city of Jericho and the border with Jordan. It is a rugged, sparse landscape — but one that is at the center of a political tug of war. The region is coveted by Israelis who want to expand Jewish settlements and to solidify control over Jerusalem, as well as Palestinians who see it as part of their own state someday. The Bedouins, caught in the middle, may soon be forced from this land. In one home open to the chilly morning air, members of the Abu Dahouk family were wrapped in blankets as they began to stir shortly after 6, rising from mattresses set on large rugs covering the desert floor of rock and dirt … The family’s flock of sheep and goats needed grazing, but for the father, known to most by his nickname, Abu Khamis, the next order of business was meeting with European diplomats. An affable envoy representing an insular community, Abu Khamis served the diplomats sweet tea and pita bread prepared by his wife. He briefed them on an upsurge in home demolitions by Israeli military authorities. Foreigners, diplomats and human rights workers are frequent guests here because the encampment — illegal under Israel’s military occupation — sits on such a strategic fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….
Dutch protest Israeli seizure of Palestinian solar panels they funded in West Bank
Haaretz 1 July by Amira Hass — Netherlands’ Foreign Ministry requested Israel return equipment it confiscated, valued at over 40,000 euro; Israel failed to hand out demolition orders in advance — The Dutch government has lodged a protest with Israel over the confiscation of equipment donated to the Palestinian village of Jubbet Adh-Dhib‘s hybrid power system (diesel and solar powered), according to a written statement of the Dutch foreign ministry, sent to Haaretz by the Netherlands’ office in Ramallah. The Dutch government donated 500 thousand euros to the electrification project southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank, 350 thousand euros of which went to the electrification of Jubbet Adh-Dhib. The Dutch Foreign ministry had requested Israel return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken,” it said. A source close to Dutch diplomats in the West Bank told Haaretz that these softly worded statements cover the anger brewing in the government of the Netherlands, a close friend of Israel’s, at the damage to the humanitarian project. On Wednesday morning, officials from the Civil Administration (the Israeli body governing Area C in the West Bank) confiscated 96 solar panels and electronic equipment belonging to Jubbet Adh-Dhib’s electric system. The system was installed by the Israeli-Palestinian organization Comet-ME nine months ago, and was funded by the Dutch … Cease work and demolition orders were not served to residents prior to the raid, as is required by planning and construction laws. Orders to cease construction and confiscation orders were given to the residents only during the raid itself. Had orders been given in advance the village and its representatives could have taken administrative or legal action….
Israel’s Attorney General authorized legalizing settler buildings on private Palestinian land
Haaretz 2 July by Yotam Berger — Aiming for an alternative to the ‘land grab’ law he deems unconstitutional, Mendelblit approved the use of a rare 1967 order — Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit approved the use of a special 1967 order to legalize settlement buildings built on private Palestinian land in certain cases, according to the minutes of a meeting held in his office late last year and obtained by Haaretz. The meeting was held at the time of the stormy public debate over the so-called land expropriation law, which Mendelblit deemed unconstitutional. The meeting was also attended by four deputy attorney generals, the state prosecutor, the head of the High Court of Justice petitions department and the legal adviser on the West Bank settlements. It concerned discussion of possible alternatives that would legalize buildings constructed on what was then thought to be state land in the West Bank but which, after examination over the years by the Civil Administration, turned out to have been cultivated, not abandoned, and therefore could not be declared state land. It is believed there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes like this in West Bank settlements on private Palestinian land. Mendelblit decided that in such cases, a special order issued in July 1967 – called “Order Concerning Government Property” – could be invoked to expropriate the land. According to Clause 5 of that order, “Any transaction concluded in good faith between the authorities and another person with regard to an asset the authorized person considered at the time to be government property will not be struck down and is valid, even if it is proven that the asset was not government property at the time of its purchase.”….
Palestine in Pictures: June 2017
Electronic Intifada 1 July
New memorial set up for slain DFLP leader after being removed by Israeli army
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 July — After Israeli forces raided the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin before dawn Friday and removed a memorial stone commemorating assassinated Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal — prompting a Palestinian in the town to open fire toward the Israeli soldiers — activists set up a new memorial stone at the same site on Saturday. Before the new memorial was erected in Jenin, activists established an additional memorial stone for Nazzal in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday afternoon “as a challenge [to] Israeli authorities,” who have on numerous occasions destroyed memorials commemorating Palestinians slain by Israeli forces. “This memorial stone for martyr Khalid Nazzal was set to challenge the Israeli authorities #PalestinianPeople” A week prior to the Israeli raid in Jenin to take down the stone, Palestinian authorities from the Jenin municipality had themselves removed Nazzal’s memorial, but replaced it a day later following local uproar, as Palestinian residents perceived the removal as capitulation to Israeli accusations that the monument would incite to anti-Israeli violence.
Israel’s controversial citizenship law persists
RAMALLAH (Al-Monitor) 29 June by Ahmad Melhem — The Knesset extended the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law on June 13, for the 14th time. The law prohibits granting Israeli citizenship to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who are married to Palestinians within the Green Line (aka Israeli Arabs) under the pretext that they might participate in attacks against Israel. The Knesset first approved the citizenship law in July 2003, as a temporary measure set to last a year, out of fear that the Palestinians who were allowed to reunite with their families would stage anti-Israeli acts. But the Knesset has renewed the law ever since. In March 2007, the Knesset approved an amendment to the law, adding several more countries — Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran — whose citizens would be banned from reuniting with their families in Israel, if they were to marry Israeli Arabs. Israeli law considers those countries “enemy states.” Yasser al-Khatib, 43, a lecturer at the Western Galilee College from Acre, has been married for 11 years to a woman from Jenin and has three children with her. He is always worried and feels unstable because he has not been able to get an identity card for his wife, who only has a residency permit that is valid for six months, sometimes a year. The Israeli authorities are in charge of issuing and approving permit renewals, and though Khatib has repeatedly applied for an identity card for his wife since their marriage in 2006, the Israeli authorities continue to reject his request. As a result, Khatib’s wife has remained an illegal resident, provoking fear in her family….
‘Carrot, not stick”: Israel pushes its curriculum in Palestinian schoolsh
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 29 June by Maayan Lubell & Suheir Sheikh — Young Palestinian Faris Abu-Mayyaleh will soon find out how he did in his final high school exams, in which he answered questions about Israel’s founding fathers and the history of Zionism. Faris, 18, chose to study the Israeli curriculum instead of the Palestinian equivalent in the hope that it will open more doors at colleges in Israel and help him get work there. “I know it’s the ‘Occupation’. But Palestine, Israel — I don’t care. I just want to go to university,” said Abu-Mayyaleh, who lives and studies in East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel after the 1967 Middle East war. Israel hopes many other Palestinians will share his attitude after offering additional funding to Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem if they agree to teach the Israeli curriculum. The aim, it says, is to help young Palestinians gain the qualifications they need to find work in Israel more easily. It also offers Israel a chance to steer some Palestinians away from a curriculum it says is rife with anti-Semitism and incitement. It is a loaded issue for principals, parents and pupils. Many Palestinian schools badly need funding, but embracing the Israeli education program — including subjects such as Israeli civics and history — is seen by many Palestinians as tantamount to adopting the historical narrative of the enemy. Only 10 of the city’s public Palestinian schools have so far agreed to the change on offer since last year, and only about 5,000 of the 110,00 Palestinian pupils of East Jerusalem’s 185 public and private establishments study the Israeli program. “It’s not easy,” said a Palestinian member of staff who teaches Israeli civics at a Palestinian school. “The children want to learn about their own people. I teach a lot of things I don’t believe in, but I have no choice.” Not every school uses the same textbooks but the Palestinian and Israeli programs differ widely on some historical events….
Analysis: Abbas’ Gaza sanctions fit into peace project
Al-Monitor 30 June by Ahmad Melhem — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ increasing pressure on Hamas in the Gaza Strip is widely seen as less about reconciliation and more as a step toward a regional settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have been engaged in a tug of war for some time now. The dispute entered a new stage April 12, when President Mahmoud Abbas promised during a speech at a conference of Palestinian ambassadors in Bahrain to pressure Hamas to end the division. During his visit to Washington May 4, Abbas vowed to take “painful and unprecedented” measures against Hamas, and they have been escalating by the day. Most recently on June 26, nine patients, three of them children, died in the Gaza Strip after being denied travel permits for treatment abroad. The PA says its goal is to push Hamas to agree to Abbas’ conditions for reconciliation. Dissolving the administrative committee it set up in March to run Gaza will allow the national consensus government to work in the Gaza Strip and agreeing to hold presidential and legislative elections within six months. However, Hamas believes the plan is consistent with Israel’s plans for Gaza. The PA’s measures began on April 4 with the government deducting 30-50% from the salaries of its employees in the Gaza Strip, followed by suspending social assistance to 630 families and preventing hundreds of cancer patients from accessing treatment in Jerusalem or Israeli hospitals. The PA stopped covering electricity payments to Israel on April 27. On April 28, Abbas approved the early retirement law, which will force an estimated 35,000 military personnel in Gaza to retire early. Most recently in June, the government also cut the financial support for 277 former Hamas prisoners in the Gaza Strip. The early retirement law, like the other measures, led to an exchange of accusations between Hamas and the PA. Faraj al-Ghoul, the head of the Legislative Committee at the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza, said on June 14 that the forced early retirement procedures are “discriminatory and aim at tightening the noose on the Gaza Strip.” The PA denied the accusation in a June 19 press statement by Adnan al-Dumeiri, a spokesman for the security services, claiming that the decision is intended to restructure the security services … An official PA source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The measures that will be taken reflect the PA’s refusal to finance the government formed by Hamas. Such measures include stopping any purchases that benefit Gaza such as fuel, electricity and medicine, in addition to any tax exemptions or school and university expenses and so on.”….
The West Bank’s ‘Disneyland’ offers a small break from the Israeli occupation
Haaretz 1 July by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — This week, thousands of visitors packed the West Bank’s biggest amusement park to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Two entrepreneur brothers, a $15-million investment – not even Israeli red tape can stop the big wheel
Why are countless Palestinian photos and films buried in Israeli archives?
Haaretz 1 July by Ofer Aderet — Palestinian photos and films seized by Israeli troops have been gathering dust in the army and Defense Ministry archives until Dr. Rona Sela, a curator and art historian, exposed them. The material presents an alternative to the Zionist history that denied the Palestinians’ existence here, she says — The initial reaction is one of incredulity: Why is this material stored in the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry Archive? The first item is labeled, in Hebrew, “The History of Palestine from 1919,” the second, “Paintings by Children Who Go to School and Live in a Refugee Camp and Aspire to Return to Palestine.” The third is, “Depiction of the IDF’s Treatment and Harsh Handling of Palestinians in the Territories.” Of all places, these three reels of 16-mm film are housed in the central archive that documents Israel’s military-security activities. It’s situated in Tel Hashomer, near the army’s National Induction Center, outside Tel Aviv. The three items are barely a drop in an ocean of some 38,000 films, 2.7 million photographs, 96,000 audio recordings and 46,000 maps and aerial photos that have been gathered into the IDF Archive since 1948, by order of Israel’s first prime minister and defense minister, David Ben-Gurion. However, a closer perusal shows that this particular “drop in the ocean” is subversive, exceptional and highly significant….
Pro-Israel ‘gatekeepers’ at California university shut down search for Edward Said scholar, a candidate says
Mondoweiss 2 July by Philip Weiss — In April, administrators at California State University at Fresno canceled a search to fill the Edward Said Chair in Middle East Studies after a committee came up with four finalists, all of whom were reported to be of “Middle Eastern background” and to be focused on Palestinian issues. The head of the Middle East Studies program then resigned in protest over the cancellation of the search; in doing so, Vida Samiian wrote that pro-Israel advocacy groups and individuals had applied pressure to end the hiring process– with one colleague writing, “I wonder if you know how concerned the Jewish community is on campus and outside about the finalists for the Middle East search.”
The episode has recalled the abrupt firing of Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2014 after a campaign by Israel advocates and donors to cancel his contract because of his tweets critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza that summer. Salaita, a professor at Virginia Tech, has reportedly said that the Fresno/Said professorship cancellation looks “damn near identical” to his own case….
DJ Khaled, once in background, scores another No. 1 album
NEW YORK (AFP) 3 July — DJ Khaled, long a prominent behind-the-scenes force in hip-hop, has achieved a second number-one album with his latest star-studded work. The 41-year-old Miami rapper’s “Grateful” debuted at the top of the Billboard album chart for US sales for the week through Thursday. The album features cameos from a who’s who of top names in music including Rihanna, Drake, Chance the Rapper, Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z — who released his own new album Friday. Much of “Grateful” is full of braggadocio verses with DJ Khaled and other major names boasting of their success. But the single “Shining” took on a new meaning as Beyonce sings of “all of this winning,” despite her controversial failure to win the latest Grammy for Album of the Year. DJ Khaled has been a producer to stars but achieved his first number-one album on his own a year ago with “Major Key,” with his profile growing thanks to his avid use on Snapchat, the social media platform that specializes in temporary videos. His latest album triumph comes after an embarrassment in June as he played a major festival, Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where his set was marred by sound problems. Born Khaled Mohamed Khaled to Palestinian immigrant parents, DJ Khaled is one of the most prominent Muslims in Western music although he rarely discusses his faith in his music.