Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
8-year-old child among injured after Israeli forces suppress march in Kafr Qaddum
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Israeli forces injured 11 Palestinians, including an 8-year-old child, with rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday, while suppressing Kafr Qaddum village’s weekly march in the occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya. Spokesperson for the village’s popular resistance committee Murad Shteiwi said that Israeli forces had “attacked” the march, shooting live ammunition and rubber bullets at the protesters. An 8-year-old child, identified as Khalifeh Riyad Shteiwi, was injured with a rubber bullet, Shteiwi said, along with 10 other Palestinian “youths.” Shteiwi added that clashes had erupted in the village after Israeli forces raided the area. According to Shteiwi, Israeli forces had also set up a checkpoint at the entrance of the village since early Friday, where they searched and took pictures of Palestinian vehicles and ID cards….
Clashes erupt in Ramallah-area villages as Israeli forces, settlers raid the area
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Clashes erupted in the villages of Burham and Jibiya — both located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah — in the predawn hours of Friday morning, as Israeli settlers raided the towns under Israeli army protection. Locals from the villages told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided Burham and Jibiya before dawn on Friday to allow settlers to enter the two villages, though it remained unclear why the settlers were attempting to enter the area. Soldiers and settlers then clashed with dozens of Palestinian youths who threw rocks while soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas at the Palestinians. Locals added that forces targeted homes with tear gas, causing many in the villages to suffer from severe tear gas inhalation.
Bulldozers raze lands in Hebron area as settlers assault 75-year-old Palestinian man
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — Israeli bulldozers razed lands in the village of Khirbet Umm al-Kheir in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron district on Thursday, in what locals said was an ongoing effort to expand a nearby illegal Karmiel settlement. Rateb al-Jubour, coordinator of a local popular committee in southern Hebron, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces and settlers accompanied the bulldozers during the incursion, and that the settlers assaulted an elderly Palestinian man before soldiers detained him for several hours. Al-Jubour identified the man as Suleiman Eid al-Hathalin, 75, adding that al-Hathalin’s family, along with the Zein and Abu Hmeid families, own the land on which the illegal Karmiel settlement is built. “Israeli settlers continue to raze and confiscate lands under Israeli army protection,” al-Jubour told Ma‘an, as he called upon international rights groups to “intervene and end Israeli settlement expansion.”
Israeli forces arrest 3 children, and harass Palestinians in occupied Hebron 2nd day in a row
HEBRON, occupied Palestine 24 Aug by ISM al-Khalil Team — Israeli soldiers, for the second day in a row, invaded the old town in Hebron (al-Khalil), arresting four people. The occupation forces blocked the main road for 4 hours restricting the movement of the Palestinians. The Israeli forces used stun grenades to control the crowd. Around 9 am a group of soldiers went into the streets of the old town in Hebron. They arrested one man, and brought him to the military base. At the same time, the forces blocked the main market road, restricting people from moving between the market and their homes. This has impact on the trade based economy in the old town, where the shopkeepers are already in economic hardship, due to the Israeli occupation and, amongst others, the enforced movement restrictions. Around 11.45 am the Israeli soldiers withdrew into the military base, except for one military unit, who patrolled the area.
Around 3 pm the Israeli forces returned to their previous position in the old town, and blocked the road yet another time, this time arresting 3 children. 2 boys aged 13 and 14, and one boy aged 7. The father of the 7-year-old intervened and managed to get his son free, whereas the other two children were taken by the soldiers without their parents or guardians presence. The details about where the two other arrested children were brought are still unclear. Around 3.30 pm, the occupation forces violently dispersed the crowd by throwing a stun grenade towards a group of Palestinians, including children and elderly, and afterwards retreating to their military base.
Israeli soldiers prevent Hebron Mayor from visiting school in old town
HEBRON, August 23, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Wednesday prevented the mayor of Hebron, Tayseer Abu Sneineh, from touring schools in the occupied section of the city to mark the start of the new school year, according to a statement from Hebron Municipality. It said when Abu Sneineh attempted to enter the old town of Hebron, known as H2 and which is under full Israeli military control where the Jewish settlements are concentrated, to tour the schools, he was turned back at the military checkpoints. Fanatic Jewish settlers also harassed Abu Sneineh, threatening his life and cursing him while soldiers watched and did nothing except to order the mayor to leave the area, said the press statement.
Israeli forces detain Addameer field researcher during overnight raid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — A field researcher for prisoners’ rights group Addameer was detained during an overnight raid on Wednesday from his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr Aqab, according to the group. Salah Hammouri, 32, who holds dual Palestinian-French citizenship, was detained and transferred to Israel’s interrogation center at the Russian compound, where his detention was then extended until Sunday. According to Addameer, Hammouri was a former prisoner of Israel for seven years, and was released as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoners exchange deal in 2011. Addameer added that the East Jerusalem resident was banned from entering the occupied West Bank until Sept. 2016, and that his wife is currently banned by Israeli authorities from entering Palestine or Israel. The group said it considers the detention “an attack against Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders.”….
Israeli police detain 7 Jerusalemites, ban detainee from meeting lawyer
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 23 Aug – Israeli police detained Wednesday seven Palestinians, including an elderly man, from several areas in the occupied city of Jerusalem, WAFA correspondent said. At the same time, police prevented Mohammad Froukh, a Palestinian detainee from East Jerusalem, from meeting with his lawyer for two days, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
Froukh and his daughter Hiba, 15, were detained on Tuesday after Israeli police raided and ransacked their home in Silwan. They were also beaten during the arrest. The daughter was later released. WAFA correspondent said Israeli security services and police raided a house in the neighborhood of Bab Hutta in the Old City of Jerusalem and detained an elderly man as they handed his son a summons to appear before the security service. Police seized their personal mobile phones and computers. Three Palestinians from the town of Silwan were also detained, two from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and another from the neighborhood of Mount of Olives. One Palestinian was detained at his Kufr Aqab home that falls outside the apartheid wall to the north of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers detained four more Palestinians from the village of Beit Izja, northwest of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.
Israeli forces detain 20 Palestinians during raids in West Bank, East Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday in several districts of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
In the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained Ibrahim Khalifeh, Abd al-Basset al-Hajj, and Abd al-Rahman Sami al-Hajj from the Jenin district, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that three Palestinians were detained in the Jenin district: one in the Jenin refugee camp and two more in the village of Jalqamus.
Meanwhile, Mumen Hammad was detained from the Tulkarem refugee camp, according to PPS. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the detention. In the Salfit district, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians in the village of Kifl Harris, identified by PPS as Ziyad Raed al-Qaq, 17, Anas Jaber Shaqour, 18, Ahmad Marwan Adwan, and Uday Hasan Shaqour. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed four detentions in Kifl Haris.
In the central West Bank, PPS reported that four Palestinians were detained in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district from the villages of Kafr Ein and Beit Liqya. PPS identified the four as former prisoners of Israel Saif Attaya, Fouad Assi, Adib Mafarjeh, and Abd al-Karim Jamal Assi…
PPS said that Radi Shaker al-Natsheh was also detained in the town of Abu Dis in the Jerusalem district of the West Bank .Eight other Palestinians were detained in occupied East Jerusalem, PPS stated.
In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces detained six Palestinians in the Bethlehem district…
Israeli forces also confiscated money ($11,396) and a vehicle from a Palestinian home in Hebron city, according to Israeli media, alleging that the cash and vehicle were being used to buy weapons….
Palestinian detained at light rail stop for possession of a dagger
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — Israeli police conducted a search on a Palestinian man at a light rail stop in Jerusalem on Wednesday and detained him after they found what appeared to be a traditional ceremonial dagger in his possession. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that police “apprehended a suspect” at the light rail near Highway 1 in Jerusalem. “The suspect was searched and had a knife on him. He is being questioned by officers on the scene,” the statement said, and provided a picture of the dagger. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri referred to the man as a “Jerusalemite,” indicating the detainee was a Palestinian resident of occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli police detain Palestinian over alleged arms smuggling attempt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Aug — Israeli police detained a Palestinian resident of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Tuesday for allegedly attempting to smuggle arms into Israel from the occupied territory, according to an Israeli police spokesperson. Luba al-Samri said that a Palestinian man in his 30s who holds Jordanian citizenship was driving from the West Bank to the southern Negev desert and “broke through” an Israeli military checkpoint, which had only just been set up by police after Israeli forces “received information” about a planned smuggling attempt. After a police chase, the suspect stepped out of his car and surrendered to arrest in Tal Arad, just south of the border of the occupied West Bank, when Israeli police found a rifle and a cartridge in the car, according to al-Samri. The man was interrogated and allegedly admitted to having received 500 shekels (approximately $140) to drive the vehicle to Israel.
The incident came after Israeli police reported having seized a rifle and detaining a Palestinian during an overnight raid inside the Hebron area.
How to be a Palestinian supermom
[with videos] NABI SALEH, Occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera) 23 Aug by HuoJin Park — Friday is a day of protest in Nabi Saleh. Manal Tamimi has been going to these protests for as long as she can remember. To her, to be a Palestinian parent is to be an activist. It’s impossible to separate the two roles. Taking care of her children often involves protecting them from Israeli soldiers and settlers. “Ninety percent of Palestinian mothers experience, at one point in their lives, to have one of their children either be injured or arrested,” she said. It’s true for her family. Her eldest son, Osama, was shot with a tear gas canister and could not see clearly for almost two months. Her second son, Hamada, was also injured twice. His second injury came when an Israeli soldier shot him in his thigh with .22 calibre live ammunition. Shrapnel from the bullet is still lodged in his leg. When Manal marches against illegal settlements or writes social media posts about administrative detention, she says she is fighting for her children’s future and defending their rights. Manal and her husband Bilal are part of Nabi Saleh’s local media team. Bilal films and photographs every protest in the village while she runs a Twitter account. Being a mother in an occupied territory also means having difficult conversations with very young children. Most of them have witnessed friends or family members beaten, arrested and even killed Manal has been arrested and shot more than once. It traumatised her daughter, and Manal stopped going to protests for a while. The injuries have also forced her to stay at home on Fridays. She now hosts journalists and activists that come through Nabi Saleh, and cooks for protesters who return exhausted and teary-eyed from the mace. As Manal likes to say, “There is more than one way to resist.”
Al-Aqsa school distributes textbooks outside campus after police ban
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — Students of the Al-Aqsa Sharia School for Girls gathered outside of their campus on Wednesday to collect their textbooks, after Israeli police prevented the books from being delivered directly to the school, located inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Head of the school, Ahad Sabri, told Ma‘an the school administration was forced to distribute the books outside of the compound, near the Lions’ Gate entrance, as police continued to refuse to allow the books to be taken inside on the first day of the school year. Two other schools inside the compound, another high school and a kindergarten, were also affected by the police ban on Tuesday. Sabri said the books were banned because they were marked with Palestinian Authority logos. Sabri told Ma‘an that it was not the first time Israeli authorities have restricted educational materials from entering Al-Aqsa. She said that just last week, Israeli forces prevented a private car from delivering a scanner to a girls’ school, forcing children to roll it through on a wheelchair. She noted that Israeli police also prevented standard A4 paper from being delivered to the school for a two-week period last year.
Hamas, Fatah condemn Israel on 48th anniversary of Al-Aqsa arson attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 22 Aug — Palestinian political factions commemorated on Monday the 48th anniversary of the day Australian citizen Denis Michael Rohan set fire to the eastern part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. Both the Fatah and Hamas movements released separate statements on Monday using the anniversary of the 1969 arson to reiterate their condemnations of ongoing Israeli aggressions at the holy site, according to Turkish Anadolu news agency. “As an occupying power, Israel has no sovereignty over East Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its environs,” the Fatah statement said. Meanwhile, Hamas deplored that the Al-Aqsa Mosque has continued to suffer under “the burden of the Zionist occupation, which violates our holy sites, demolishes our shrines, and continues to dig tunnels under the (Al-Aqsa) mosque”….
Rohan, a Christian, claimed that he was “the Lord’s emissary,” and that he tried to destroy the mosque upon divine instructions in order to enable the Jews of Israel to rebuild the Temple, thereby hastening the second coming of Jesus Christ. The arson attack, Anadolu noted, destroyed several parts of the historic mosque, including a 1,000-year-old wood-and-ivory pulpit dating back to the time of Muslim Sultan Saladin. Following his arrest over the arson, Rohan was tried and found to be mentally insane, and hospitalized in a mental institution in Australia. Several right-wing Israeli settler organizations today actively push for the destruction of Al-Aqsa in order to build a Third Temple in its place.
Yehuda Glick performs prayers outside Al-Aqsa, as 35 Israelis enter holy site
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — More than 130 right-wing Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday morning under a heavy police presence, while ultra nationalist parliament member Yehuda Glick performed prayers outside the holy site’s gates. Firas al-Dibs, spokesman for the Islamic Endowment — or Waqf — which controls Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, told Ma‘an that some 135 Israeli “settlers” entered the compound in the morning, during visitation periods when non-Muslims are permitted to enter the site. Far-right member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, Yehuda Glick performed prayers outside Al-Aqsa’s Cotton Merchants gate, under the protection of Israeli police. Like other Knesset members, Glick is not permitted to enter Al-Aqsa compound. Glick, who is an outspoken proponent for allowing Jewish prayer at the holy site, had also visited the compound last week in order to protest the ban preventing Knesset members from accessing the compound for the past year and a half.
Witnesses told Ma‘an that a group of Israeli Jewish women had also performed prayers outside of Al-Aqsa’s gates.
Reports: Israel to allow MPs to visit al-Aqsa
ISRAEL (Al Jazeera) 25 Aug — Reported easing of ban prompts social media calls for Palestinians to also be present at the Jerusalem site next week — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to ease a ban on legislators visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound next week, according to news reports. The news prompted calls by activists on social media asking Palestinians to also be present at the site in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Thursday. Earlier, AFP news agency had quoted an Israeli official as saying that members of parliament would be allowed to visit the site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and Jews as the Temple Mount in a one-day trial next week. “In consultation with security officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to open the Temple Mount to MPs’ visits, for one day at this stage, on Tuesday, August 29,” the member of the prime minister’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “The decision was taken in light of the improvement in the security situation at the site,” he said. “Decisions on the issue will continue to be made in accordance with assessments of the security situation.” Israel’s Channel 2 cited officials confirming the move on Thursday Netanyahu instructed police in October 2015 to bar MPs from visiting the site in the Old City of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque complex. It was meant to help calm unrest that erupted in part over Palestinian fears that Israel was planning to assert further control over the compound….
Israeli court indicts Palestinian for assisting attackers in July shooting at Al-Aqsa Mosque
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — An Israeli court indicted a Palestinian citizen of Israel on Thursday for aiding three other Palestinian citizens of Israel in a deadly shooting attack at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in July that left the three Palestinian assailants and two Israeli police officers dead. Israeli news website Ynet reported that Amjad Jabarin, 35, from the village of Umm al-Fahm — the hometown of the assailants Muhammad Hamid Abd al-Latif Jabarin, 19, Muhammad Ahmad Mufdal Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Jabarin, 29 — was charged with accessory to murder, accessory to battery, use of weapons, obstruction of justice, and conspiring to commit a crime. According to Ynet, Amjad Jabarin brought the weapons used in the attack into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the assailants, who on the day of the attack, allegedly retrieved the weapons hidden inside the compound and proceeded towards the Lions’ Gate area where they shot and killed the two police officers…
Also on Thursday, an Israeli court indicted the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, charging him with “incitement” following comments he made after the July attack carried out by the three Palestinians from Umm al-Fahm.
Israel court indicts Omar al-Abed on murder charges over Halamish stab attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — An Israeli court indicted on Thursday 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, a Palestinian resident of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, who carried out a deadly stabbing attack in July that left three Israeli settlers dead. Israeli news website Ynet reported that al-Abed was indicted on three charges of murder, seven charges of attempted murder, as well as conspiring to commit a crime and “additional offences.” According to the indictment, al-Abed decided to carry out the attack in the illegal Halamish settlement — which is located near his hometown of Kobar — after three Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed on July 14 after they shot and killed two Israeli police officers in occupied East Jerusalem. Ynet added that al-Abed allegedly initially planned to carry out the attack as a suicide bombing or with firearms. On July 18, al-Abed reportedly told a Gaza woman that he was in contact with on Whataspp about his intentions to carry out a stabbing attack, allegedly writing that “we must wage jihad for the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”….
Israeli soldiers seriously injure a Palestinian fighter in Gaza
IMEMC 24 Aug — Israeli soldiers shot, and seriously injured, a Palestinian fighter of the National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), after the army fire dozens of live rounds at a training camp in northern Gaza. The brigades issued a statement saying that its fighters will always conduct training and preparation for any possible future Israeli offensive in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. The brigades also called on all armed factions in Gaza to convene “to discuss means of retaliation to this unprovoked Israeli attack, and the constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.”
Israeli solders injure several Palestinians in Gaza
IMEMC 25 Aug — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, many Palestinian protesters east of Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, shot one with a gas bomb in his chest and causes many others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. Many Palestinians also suffered effects of teargas inhalation, east of Gaza city, and in central Gaza. The soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence east of Jabalia, fired many live rounds, gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets, targeting protesters near the Shuhada Graveyard, east of the city. Medical sources said one Palestinian was shot with gas bombs in the chest and leg, and was rushed to the Indonesian hospital in Beit Lahia nearby town, while many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. Clashes also took place after the soldiers attacked protesters marching in the eastern part of the Sheja‘eyya neighborhood, east of Gaza city, and east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The soldiers also fired live rounds and gas bombs, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza coast
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — Israeli navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen working off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, causing no injuries, according to a Gaza-based NGO. The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that at around 7 a.m., Israeli forces fired toward the fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya, and as a result, the fishermen were forced to stop fishing and sailed back to shore.
Rafah crossing to open for 2 days to allow return of Palestinians stuck in Egypt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — The Palestinian embassy in Cairo declared on Thursday that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would be opened for two days on Sunday, August 27, and Monday, August 28th. The embassy added that Egyptian authorities decided to open the crossing to allow the return of Palestinians from Gaza stuck on the Egyptian side of the border to return back to Gaza, and to allow humanitarian cases and holders of Egyptian residency cards out of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Shubki expressed his thanks to the Egyptian people, leadership and security services.
Humanitarian Fund for the oPt releases additional US$2.5 million to alleviate ongoing hardships in the Gaza Strip
UN OCHA 24 Aug — The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, today released a further US$ 2.5 million from the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), to cover urgent needs in the Gaza Strip. Part of the allocation will bolster the UN’s emergency fuel operation which primarily supplies fuel to generators to maintain operations in around 190 critical health, water and sanitation installations. Virtually all of the two million Palestinians living in Gaza benefit from this fuel operation. The funding will also provide essential life-saving medical equipment and supplies. Provision of solar panels, cash assistance and agricultural supplies are also included aimed at reducing food insecurity and reducing food production costs for 2,200 small-scale farmers who irrigate by pumping from small wells. The Gaza strip is into its fourth month of a serious energy crisis. Power supply to households and services has barely covered 25% of needs over the last 6 weeks. Hospitals and other facilities are operating almost 24/7 on generators that are not designed for continuous use in this way. The last bulk shipment of essential drugs from the West Bank was in March 2017; an estimated 40% of essential drugs are at zero stock (ie. unavailable already, or will be totally depleted within 4 weeks). There is a large backlog of patients requiring urgent medical referral to hospitals outside the Strip.
The ‘oPt Humanitarian Fund’ is a pooled funding mechanism, operated from donations (currently) from the Governments of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey….
Israel denies exit from Gaza to 2 Palestinian officials without explanation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Israeli authorities denied exit from the Gaza Strip to two Palestinian officials Tuesday morning, according to Gaza-based organization the al-Mezan Center For Human rights. PLO Executive Committee member Zakariya al-Agha and Kamal al-Sharafi, the human rights adviser to the Palestinian president, were on their way to the occupied West Bank for a work trip when they were denied exit from the besieged coastal enclave, without being provided a justification for the denial, according to al-Mezan. Al-Sharafi is also president of Al-Aqsa University in Gaza while al-Agha also serves as the head of the Palestinian Committee of Refugee Affairs. Both of the officials carry Palestinian diplomatic passports. “Al-Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s denial of the right to free movement, which impacts all Palestinian residents of Gaza, and stresses that these arbitrary procedures deprive Palestinians of their basic rights — including rights to health, education and family life, which are rooted in access to free movement — are in violation of international law,” the statement said. A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma‘an that al-Agha and al-Sharafi “required prior coordination by the Civil Affairs Ministry in the Palestinian Authority with COGAT.” “As a result of “not meeting this requirement,” Israeli authorities did not permit them to cross, the spokesperson said.
Separately, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man who works in the Erez area, where the Israeli border crossing is located, earlier on Tuesday morning.
1.25m students begin new academic year in Gaza
[with photos] MEMO 23 Aug — According to the Ministry of Education in Gaza, nearly 1.25 million students are heading to 3,000 schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today to begin the new academic year. The Ministry of Education in Gaza recently announced the opening of nine new schools with complete facilities. These schools will operate based on the two-session system. The ministry also announced it completed the expansion of nine other schools in preparation for the current academic year. The ministry also completed maintenance on 44 schools making the number of government schools operating during the new academic year 397 attended by nearly 260,000 students. According to the Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Sidem, Palestinian high school students performed better in their exams in 2017 compared to last year.
Qatar reduces financial aid to Gaza Strip amid diplomatic pressure: reports
i24NEWS (Israel) 21 Aug — Lebanese newspaper reports Doha reduced funds to the Strip in recent months amid terror accusations — The Lebanese newspaper “Al-Akhbar” reported Monday that Qatar, in recent months, has withdrawn much of the aid it send to the Gaza Strip, Israeli media outlet Kan reported. According to the report, Qatar is gradually closing businesses and organizations which were being used to establish economic and social projects in Gaza. The report mentioned that Qatar has supported over 1000 projects in Gaza, which amounts to over half a billion dollars in funds being channeled to the Strip. Qatar has also supported the construction of over 1000 housing units in the coastal enclave. The Lebanese newspaper added that aid organizations owned by the United Arab Emirates are starting to take the place of organizations funded by Qatar, mostly within the sectors of education, energy and medicine. The report comes amid a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab Gulf neighbors who have accused Doha of funneling money to terrorist organizations and supporting terror groups like Hamas in the Gaza Strip….
Qatar’s Gaza projects unaffected by siege
The Peninsula (Qatar) 23 Aug — The Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza is continuing its projects in the Strip despite the imposed siege on the State of Qatar, the committee said in a statement. The committee stressed that Qatar will continue to support the Palestinian issue and the Gaza Strip. It noted that the projects in Gaza remain underway, adding that it is about to launch new projects to alleviate the suffering of citizens in Gaza. The committee said there are ongoing projects at a total cost of $85m with varying degrees of completion based on the nature of the project and its start date. The statement added that Gaza contractors who are carrying out the work receive their due payments without delay.
Gaza’s tailors stitch together uniforms for the new school year
[with photos] The new school year is due to start in a few days and Gaza’s tailors and seamstresses are making about 20 per cent of the school clothes. The rest are imported. The owners of the factories are complaining. One of them, Khaled Saqer, told MEMO that sales barely cover the cost of the uniforms. Although the prices are the same and haven’t changed, there are new burdens, such as higher costs of living and higher wages. The main change that the owners are experiencing now is the use of more fuel — and thus higher production costs —since they rarely have electricity and so have to rely on generators for several days every week. Eid Al-Adha coincides with the new school year, and the Palestinians in Gaza are suffering due to the new salary cuts enforced by the Palestinian Authority on its staff as well as Gaza government employees, who only receive 50 per cent of their official salaries. Families are forced to sacrifice the purchase of new clothes for the Eid celebration and only buy school supplies and uniforms, as they are more important. They have even had to cut down to one school uniform per child instead of the customary two.
Israeli negotiator for return of Hamas captives quits
Naharnet (Lebanon) 25 Aug — The Israeli official charged with negotiating the return of Israelis held captive in Gaza by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has resigned, a statement said Friday. Lior Lotan’s role was to seek the return of five Israelis from the Gaza Strip, including the bodies of two former soldiers killed during the last war between Israel and Hamas. The resignation of Lotan, a lawyer and former army colonel, was interpreted by Israeli commentators as a sign of his frustration at the lack of progress. Lotan was mandated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with seeking the return of three Israeli citizens, as well as the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin — two soldiers believed to have been killed in the 2014 war in Gaza. “During my mission, I was confronted with the cruelty and cynicism of Hamas,” Lotan said, quoted in a statement from the prime minister’s office. Netanyahu said in the statement he would continue to “do all he can to bring back the prisoners,” and appointed his military secretary to take up the matter. Hamas is believed to have held Hisham al-Sayed and Avraham Mengistu since April 2015 and September 2014, respectively, after they sneaked into the blockaded Palestinian enclave. Human Rights Watch said both men suffered from mental disorders and has demanded Hamas return them. A fifth man, Juma Abu Ghanima, entered Gaza illegally, but it is unclear if he is being detained or has joined a militant group. Gaza is sealed off by Israeli barriers and the Jewish state bans its nationals from entering for security reasons.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel court orders al-Araqib residents to pay costs of Israel demolishing their village
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 24 Aug — An Israeli court last week ruled that several residents of the unrecognized village of al-Araqib in the Negev of southern Israel must pay the costs for demolitions carried out by Israeli forces, which have completely destroyed the village at least 116 times since 2010. Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday that an Israeli court had ruled that six residents of the village must pay 262,000 shekels (more than $72,000) for the costs of demolishing the village, in addition to 100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer. The case began in Aug. 2011 against 34 village residents, as the Israeli state prosecution demanded reimbursement for costs of eight Israeli-ordered demolitions that destroyed the village between July and Dec. 2010, according to Haaretz. Two of the village residents died during the legal proceedings, while 26 agreed on a compromise. However, six had continued until the end of the court proceedings. Haaretz reported that the six would also have to pay for the state prosecution, “for recordings and minutes, which are likely to be a few thousand shekels more.” The more than $100,000 that the residents have been ordered to pay is only the latest payment in which the village has had to compensate Israel for its routine demolitions in the village….
‘In 10 years, 400 Jewish families will live in Sheikh Jarrah’
JPost 25 Aug by Udi Shaham — In the next decade, some 400 Jewish families will live in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, says Arieh King, the director of the Israel Land Fund NGO and a Jerusalem city councilman. “Sheikh Jarrah, or Shimon Hatzadik, is going through a revolution, and we will see its outcome in something like five years,” King told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “We have now four main compounds that we are working on. In our next phase we plan to house families in two more compounds – one of 300 housing units and the other of 200 housing units. In about 10 years we will have in [the two sub-neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah] Shimon Hatzadik and Nahalat Shimon, some 400, maybe 500 Jewish families. “This is our goal,” he said. For now, there are five Jewish homes in Sheikh Jarrah, located north of the Old City. King said that his aim is to connect Mount Scopus, which was an Israeli enclave in Transjordan before 1967 and is surrounded mostly by Arab neighborhoods, to Route 1 and Mea She’arim, which abutted the cease-fire line until 1967….
Village demolition based on Israel’s ‘racist’ plan
PALESTINE (Al Jazeera) 23 Aug by Farah Najjar — In the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, residents say the closing of an investigation into the killing of Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan is evidence of a wider strategy to drive residents out of the rural community. Israeli forces fatally shot Yacoub, a 50-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, in January during a pre-dawn raid to bulldoze his home. The demolition was part of the state’s plan to raze Umm al-Hiran, transfer its residents elsewhere and build in its place a new town, which Palestinians believe is being designed exclusively for Israeli Jews. Last week, Israeli media reported that police had ended their investigation into Yacoub’s case without laying charges. Israeli police have not made a formal announcement and did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on the matter. The news has incensed local residents, who cite a broader pattern of police impunity for the killings of Palestinians – but they remain resolute in their opposition to the state’s plans for Umm al-Hiran. We absolutely refuse to be transferred,” Raed Abu al-Qiyan, the village’s 40-year-old leader and Yacoub’s nephew, told Al Jazeera….
Children learn in tent after Israel demolishes school
JUBBET ADH-DIBH, occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera) 25 Aug by Nigel Wilson — Brand new primary school in Jubbet adh-Dibh was razed just as the new school year was set to begin — Early in the morning, dozens of students assembled in columns outside the Jubbet adh-Dibh primary school. Encouraged by their teachers, they launched into a rendition of the Palestinian national anthem, Fidai. It appeared to be a typical Palestinian scene, a morning ritual repeated outside thousands of school buildings across the occupied West Bank before students begin classes. But when the students of Jubbet adh-Dibh finished singing the anthem, they had no classrooms to go to. There was only a single tent filled with wooden chairs and book-ended by two whiteboards. The brand new school’s six classrooms, built in mid-August to host 80 students, had been dismantled and removed by the Israeli military the night before the first day of the school year. Two days later, all that remained were the concrete bases where the classrooms had stood, along with a row of latrines.”We welcomed the new academic semester with a dismantled school,” Ibtissam Shaibat, an Arabic and maths teacher at the Bethlehem directorate of education, told Al Jazeera. “On the first day of school, I arrived at around 7:30. It was a horrible feeling when I saw that the school was not here.” … The Jubbet adh-Dibh school was the third Palestinian educational facility in the occupied West Bank to be damaged or demolished by Israeli authorities in a two-week period. A kindergarten in Jabal al-Baba was destroyed on August 21, while the solar panels that provided the only power source to a school in Abu Nuwar were confiscated on August 9. The plan to establish the school in Jubbet adh-Dibh was finalised in the spring, and its construction was financed by some European Union member states. Local EU missions have issued a statement to condemn Israeli authorities….
Aid agencies described Israeli demolition of Palestinian schools as heartbreaking
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 24 Aug – Following Israel’s demolition of two Palestinian schools in the West Bank days before the start the new school year, international aid agencies described the act as heartbreaking. First it was the only kindergarten for Jabal al-Baba Bedouin community destroyed on August 21. The next day, a primary school in Jub al Deeb near Bethlehem was also demolished. Earlier, the Israeli authorities had dismantled and confiscated solar panels, the only source of power at a primary school in Abu Nuwar. The school was attacked twice last year when parts of it were demolished and equipment confiscated forcing third grade students to take their classes in the local barbershop. The three schools are located in the sparsely populated Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule and which Israel wants to keep under its control, but without its Palestinian population, in any future peace deal with the Palestinians. Area C makes around 60 percent of the area of the West Bank.
“It was heartbreaking to see children and their teachers turning up for their first day of school under the blazing sun, with no classrooms or anywhere to seek shelter in, while in the immediate vicinity the work to expand illegal settlements goes on uninterrupted,” said Itay Epshtain, Policy Manager at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), who visited Jub al-Deeb on Wednesday, the first day of the new Palestinian school year….
Report: 3.455 Israeli structures in West Bank established on private Palestinian lands
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — Reports emerged on Wednesday that almost 3,500 Israeli structures in the occupied West Bank were established on private Palestinian land, and are at risk of being retroactively legalized owing to Israel’s outpost Regularization law that was passed earlier this year. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, data released from the Israeli civil administration revealed that 3,455 Israeli homes and buildings were built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, making their construction illegal under both Israeli and international law. The report detailed that these structures are included in three categories of private land.
The first category includes 1,285 structures that were established on “clearly private land” that was never declared as Israeli state land. Of these structures, 543 have been constructed on land whose Palestinian owner is known and has formally registered the lands – referred to as “regularized private land” by the civil administration. The other structures were found to be privately owned after aerial photos later revealed that they had been cultivated by Palestinians for years, which, according to Ottoman-era laws that are still applicable in the West Bank, means that these lands would be owned by the Palestinians who were cultivating them.
The second includes 1,048 Israeli structures that “were built on private land that had earlier been erroneously designated as state land.”
The third consists of 1,122 structures that were built in the West Bank more than 20 years ago “when planning laws were barely enforced in the West Bank.”
In total, Haaretz reported, around 45 percent of the structures built on private Palestinian land were established on “regularized private land” while the other structures are on lands that have unconfirmed owners.
All of these structures risk being retroactively legalized owing to Israel’s controversial Regularization bill. The law states that any settlements built in the occupied West Bank “in good faith” — without knowledge that the land upon which it was built was privately owned by Palestinians — could be officially recognized by Israel pending minimal proof of governmental support in its establishment and some form of compensation to the Palestinian landowners.
The Israeli government had defended the law in Israel’s Supreme Court, claiming that the expropriation of Palestinian-owned land would benefit Palestinians because they would receive financial compensation for it….
Plan to okay 1,048 homes on private Palestinian land frozen
JPost 25 Aug by Tovah Lazaroff — A Civil Administration plan that could authorize 1,048 settler homes built on private Palestinian property has been frozen for three years awaiting a response from the Justice Ministry. A note to that effect was tacked at the bottom of a Civil Administration report, published this week as an annex to the 159-page governmental response to the High Court of Justice petition regarding the Settlements Regulation Law. The High Court has persistently upheld the state’s position in the past that constructions on private Palestinian property must be removed. These homes, however, were initially thought to be on state land and were part of approved projects for West Bank settlements. The Civil Administration has been in the midst of a land survey effort with advanced technology to correct errors made in past studies, differentiating between state land and private Palestinian property. As part of those surveys, it discovered that an issue existed with 1,048 structures in West Bank settlements. Some 303 of those structures are in the West Bank’s largest Jewish city of Modi’in Illit, which is home to more than 60,000 people. In total, the Civil Administration has studied 294 locations in the West Bank, completing the mapping of 254 places and working on an additional 40….
IDF demolishes settler homes in predawn raid
JPost 22 Aug by Tovah Lazaroff — The IDF and Border Police led a predawn raid into the West Bank outpost of Kumi Uri, near Yitzhar, on Tuesday to demolish two illegally built homes, settlers reported. They immediately took to social media and published a Facebook live feed of security forces in action. Activists and Yitzhar residents gathered in solidarity with the affected families. Those outside could only watch as security forces move up the hill toward them from the Palestinian village of Urif. As they waited, one of the activists strummed on a guitar, while teens sang religious songs, clapped and danced. When the forces arrived and surrounded the structures, one of the activists yelled at them that they were “cowards.” But the singing continued as security forces in riot gear moved into one of the structures … The structures were completed two months ago and are located in Area B of the West Bank, where, under the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority is in charge of civilian matters. All settlers live in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli military and civil control. The IDF has in the past demolished structures built in Area B. According to the settlers it does not need to issue demolition orders before doing so. A spokesman for the outpost said after many hours, security forces demolished only one home, but left the other intact where a woman, who is nine months’ pregnant, lives. They also confiscated a number of modular storage units….
Palestinian refugees – Lebanon
Deadly clashes grip Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp
LEBANON (Al Jazeera) 23 Aug — At least five people have been killed and 35 wounded in nearly a week of fighting in the largest Palestinian camp in Lebanon. Two members of the Palestinian group Fatah were killed on Wednesday during clashes with other armed groups in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, according to medical sources. The fighting began last Thursday after the leader of an armed faction sympathetic to the Bilal Badr group fired at the headquarters of the joint security force for the camp. Since then, fighters have clashed with the joint security force comprising the main Palestinian factions, including Fatah, which is responsible for the camp’s security. The Bilal Badr group has been described by the Lebanese government as an “Islamist group”, with a number of factions supporting its wanted leader. The fighting escalated on Wednesday, when gunfire wounded three people, including two Lebanese security personnel, outside of the camp, according to a security source. Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Beirut, said that “essentially, what we are seeing here [Ain al-Hilweh] is a turf war”. “There are people who are trying to fight over these very narrow lanes and streets of this refugee camp, which is home to around 50,000 Palestinian refugees.” The two sides agreed to a ceasefire deal later on Wednesday, but Tyab said such agreements “continue to unravel”. A witness told Reuters news agency that a war calm prevailed over the camp on Wednesday, with parts of the area suffering severe destruction….
Frankfurt becomes first German city to ban BDS movement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — The city of Frankfurt, Germany, passed a bill on Friday outlawing municipal funding for and the use of public spaces for activities that aim to boycott Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Jerusalem Post reported that the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement bill was initiated and pushed by Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer of Frankfurt, who has argued that the BDS movement is anti-semitic and “strongly resembles the ‘Don’t buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists.” The BDS movement was founded in July 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government. The movement falls within the traditions of the nonviolent boycott movement against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Becker reportedly told the Jerusalem Post that the BDS movement “strongly attacks the fundamental basis of the legitimation of the Jewish State” and used anti-zionism as a detour “to spread anti semitism.”….
Adha holiday begins on Thursday, August 31, says government
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 22 Aug — The Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday in Palestine will be observed starting from Thursday, August 31, through Monday, September 4, the government announced on Tuesday. Government offices, schools and the private sector are expected to shut down for the five-day holiday.
Palestine: Dangerous escalation in attacks on freedom of expression
Amnesty 23 Aug — The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and their rivals, the de-facto Hamas administration in Gaza, have both tightened the noose on freedom of expression in recent months, launching a repressive clampdown on dissent that has seen journalists from opposition media outlets interrogated and detained in a bid to exert pressure on their political opponents, said Amnesty International. In the West Bank, the Palestinian authorities have arrested six journalists in August so far, shut down 29 websites and introduced a controversial Electronic Crimes Law imposing tight controls on media freedom and banning online expression and dissent. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas security forces have arrested at least two journalists since June and hampered others from freely carrying out their work. At least 12 Palestinians, including activists, were also detained by Hamas for critical comments posted on Facebook….
Hamas, Islamic Jihad criticize PA over ‘politically-motivated arrest campaign’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements released separate statements on Thursday, accusing the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) of recently carrying out politically-motivated detention and summons campaigns across the occupied West Bank. According to Hamas, PA security services have been detaining Palestinians due to their affiliation with the movement. The group said that, over an unspecified period of time, PA security services have detained nine “youths,” including former prisoners and university students, and have summoned three others, including two former prisoners. The statement added that PA security services also assaulted a former prisoner after he was summoned for interrogation. In its statement, the Islamic Jihad movement said “the return of political arrests signal the PA’s insistence on shutting doors in front of efforts being put to pass the current situation damaging our national relationship as a result of division.” “The recent arrests and summons are the result of incitement by characters calling for raising tensions and stirring conflicts, while we are in the utmost need for unity to face coming challenges,” the statement said….
Israel revokes citizenship of hundreds of Negev Bedouin, leaving them stateless
Haaretz 25 Aug by Jack Khoury — Some were citizens for 40 years, served in the army and paid their taxes, but had their status canceled with a single keystroke and no further explanation — Dozens of people – men and women, young and old – crowd into a big tent in the unrecognized village of Bir Hadaj. Some hold documents in plastic bags while others clutch tattered envelopes. What brought them to this village south of Be’er Sheva in Israel’s Negev desert was that the Population, Immigration and Border Authority had revoked their citizenship, claiming that it had been awarded to them in error. Judging by the increasing number of complaints piling up in recent months, this appears to be a widespread phenomenon among the Negev’s Bedouin residents. Hundreds if not thousands of them are losing their citizenship due to “erroneous registration.” This is the reason they get from the Interior Ministry, with no further details or explanation … Lawmaker Aida Touma-Suliman of the Joint List has received many appeals in recent months from people who have been stripped of their Israeli citizenship. Attorney Sausan Zahar from the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel recently appealed to Interior Minister Arye Dery and to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, asking them to cancel this policy. According to her petition, these sweeping citizenship cancellations have been going on at least since 2010. When Bedouin citizens come to Interior Ministry offices in Be’er Sheva to take care of routine matters such as changing their address, obtaining a birth certificate or registering names, the Population Authority examines their status, as well as that of their parents and grandparents, going back to the early days of the state. In many cases, the clerk tells them that their Israeli citizenship had been granted in error. On the spot, he changes their status from citizen to resident and issues them a new document. People who lose their citizenship are given no explanation and no opportunity to appeal. Instead, the clerk suggests that they submit a request and start the process of obtaining citizenship from scratch, as if they were newcomers to Israel. Many, caught by surprise and without legal advice, don’t know what to do. Some submit a request for citizenship while others simply give up in despair.…
Pessimism as Kushner holds Israeli-Palestinian talks
JERUSALEM (AFP) 24 Aug by Mike Smith — White House aide Jared Kushner held talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Thursday with the aim of restarting long-stalled peace efforts, but pessimism was high over US President Donald Trump’s pledge to reach the “ultimate deal.” The visit came with neither Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a position to make major concessions, analysts said. No details have emerged of how Trump’s team would overcome that. Trump meanwhile faces a range of foreign policy crises and controversies at home that may make it hard for him to focus on the complexities of a major Israeli-Palestinian peace push. Netanyahu, meeting Kushner in Tel Aviv, said they had “a lot of things to talk about — how to advance peace, stability and security in our region, prosperity too.” “I think all of them are within our reach,” he added. Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, said: “The president is very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in this area.” Netanyahu’s office later described the talks as “constructive and substantive”, without giving further details.”The prime minister looks forward to continuing those discussions in the weeks ahead,” it said. Abbas, who met the US visitors in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday evening, said the delegation “is working towards peace.” “We know it is difficult and complicated, but it is not impossible,” the official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted him as saying … Palestinian leaders have grown frustrated with the White House after initially holding out hope that Trump could bring a fresh approach to peace efforts despite his pledges of staunch support for Israel….
Egypt angered by US aid cut over human rights concerns
AP 23 Aug by Hamza Hendawi & Matthew Lee — Egypt reacted angrily Wednesday to the Trump administration’s decision to cut or delay nearly $300 million in military and economic aid over human rights concerns, a surprise move given the increasingly close ties that have bound the two allies since President Donald Trump took office in January. Hours after the U.S. announcement, Trump’s Middle East envoy, son-in-law Jared Kushner, arrived in Egypt as part of a Middle East tour to try to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks. He met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and later conferred with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry before leaving for Israel. In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo regretted the U.S. decision, calling it a “misjudgment of the nature of the strategic relations that have bound the two countries for decades.” The move, it said, “reflects a lack of careful understanding of the importance of supporting the stability and success of Egypt, as well as the size and nature of the security and economic challenges faced by the Egyptian people.” It warned that the cuts may have “negative consequences for the realization of common U.S.-Egyptian interests.” It did not elaborate. However, an Egyptian presidential statement on Kushner’s meeting with el-Sissi made no mention of the aid cuts and delays, which totaled $290.7 million….
Palestinian found dead in Sweden, as rumors circulate of Mossad involvement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — After a Palestinian man was found shot dead in the Swedish town of Limmared on Saturday, unconfirmed reports have emerged that the killing was an assassination carried about by Israeli intelligence, while Israeli media has claimed the slain man had ties to Hamas. Muhammad Tahsin al-Buzm, a former resident of the besieged Gaza Strip in his 20s, was reportedly shot in the head and neck at close range by unidentified assailants inside his apartment. Head of the al-Buzm tribe, or extended family, Abu al-Sayyid told Ma‘an on Sunday that the victim was from Gaza City’s al-Nasr neighborhood, and departed the Gaza Strip for Sweden with his wife in 2008 following the Israeli military offensive Operation Cast Lead, during which his brother was killed. Abu al-Sayyid said that as of Sunday the family had yet to receive sufficient details about the circumstances of Muhammad’s killing. The only thing the family was aware of, he said, is that Muhammad had been living for a long time in the same building where he was killed, and that his suspected killer had been living in the area for the past week. A statement released by Swedish police on Sunday, cited in Israeli media only, said that “reports said several people wearing masks entered the apartment through a balcony and shot the man inside. They disappeared after the shooting as quickly as they arrived.” A statement purportedly released by the Fatah movement in Gaza on Saturday was cited by a number of Israeli and Palestinian news cites, accusing Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, of assassinating al-Buzm. A statement on Fatah’s official Facebook account only briefly reported that he had been “murdered.” The man’s father Tahsin claimed the incident was the result of a domestic dispute with a Jewish neighbor, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported. Tahsin told Haaretz his son worked in marketing and was not politically active….
The Pentagon honoured this Palestinian for hacking the US Department of Defence
alaraby 24 Aug by Diana Alghoul — A Palestinian student has been honoured by the Pentagon… for hacking the US Department of Defence website. Amjad Nayef Mahmoud Qabha is a Palestinian student at the Al-Quds Open University’s branch in Jenin and is what is referred to as a “white hat”. He hacks systems and websites in his free time to find security vacuums that malignant hackers, otherwise known as “black hats” could potentially exploit. Qabha has barely finished 80 hours of university in five years of college because he had to work as a construction worker to financially sustain himself, though continues to dedicate time to his passion for IT. He has already found about 48 loopholes in websites such as Facebook, Google, Master Card, Dell International and Western Union. Qabha says one of his motivations to continue with hacking is to protect Palestine and Palestinians from any potential cyberattacks. In his hacking journey, he managed to get into the US Department of Defence and find a “Cross-Site Request Forger” (CSRF) defect that would allow cyber criminals to hack into the accounts of Pentagon agents. He made them aware of this by reporting the bug to Hackerone website, which is an internet security platform. With Qabha’s help, the US Ministry of Defence recognised and fixed the loophole, and then acknowledged his work by adding his name to an honour list that is dedicated to those who help protect US government institutions from hacks.
The architectural language of stone in Jericho
JERICHO, Occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera) 25 Aug — Stone vaults are taking a new shape in the oasis town of Jericho, where two Palestinian architects are investigating the capacity of stone as a structural material. Their prototype vault comprises a series of arching pillars made up of 300 interlocking limestone blocks. Covering 60 square metres, the structure aims to create a new mode of urbanism in Palestine, said Elias Anastas, one of the designers … In a land where stone-cutting and building is considered to be part of the local heritage, the introduction of new construction materials such as reinforced concrete and steel has largely taken over in common usage. Nowadays, stone is often used only as cladding on top of built structures. “While stone was used as a structural material in the past, it is now used as cladding material, as a wrapping of buildings covering the concrete skeletons,” Elias said, noting that this has negatively affected the urban fabric of Palestinian cities … The abundance of quarries in central Palestine makes stone a more economical building option throughout the region. Studies have found that there are as many as 300 quarries producing some 22 million square metres of stone and marble throughout the occupied West Bank annually. Palestine is the 12th largest exporter of these materials….
‘Israeli airport took away our guitar,’ complains Palestinian band
[includes one music video] JPost 24 Aug by Amy Spiro — A Palestinian band hailing from east Jerusalem and Bethlehem says Ben-Gurion Airport security has sabotaged its UK tour by detaining an electric guitar. Apo Sahagian, the lead singer of Apo and the Apostles, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that airport authorities have been holding his guitar for days without releasing it. “The B-G security detained my electric guitar for further ‘security’ checks’ due to ‘security’ reasons,” Sahagian wrote via email from London. “They said it would be on the next flight.” But more than 48 hours later, the musician has not seen his guitar, and nobody will admit they are holding it. I’ve been calling easyJet and they’ve been saying that the guitar is still in Israeli security and has not been released,” Sahagian said. He said that some of his friends who have been looking into the situation told him Ben-Gurion staff insist they passed it on to easy- Jet, and the airline insists it doesn’t have it … Apo and the Apostles have been around since 2013, and produce folk-rock hits in Arabic and English, including “Lina” and “Baji Wenek.” The band is set to perform Thursday night in London, Friday night at the Greenbelt Festival in Kettering and Sunday night in Guernsey. While Sahagian managed to find a spare guitar, he said that Ben-Gurion security “curtailed the UK tour.” “They treat us east Jerusalemites as a virus with all the extra security checks,” he said.