Palestinians banned from entering Ibrahimi Mosque during Jewish holiday of Sukkot

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Closures

Israeli authorities ban Muslims from Ibrahimi Mosque over Jewish holiday
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Oct — Israeli authorities have decided to shut down the Ibrahimi mosque to Muslims and non-Jewish visitors and only allow Jewish worshipers access to the holy site, located in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Hafzi Abu Sneneh, director of the mosque, said he was informed that the site would be shut down to Muslim worshipers from 10 p.m. Sunday until Tuesday night, official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported. Abu Sneneh added that the Muslim call to prayer will also be banned during the shutdown period. Severe restrictions for Palestinians — including denied access to the Ibrahimi Mosque — are typically implemented by the Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes …  The mosque, believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been the site of oft-violent tensions for decades. The holy site was split into a synagogue — known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs — and a mosque after US-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994.Since the split, Muslim worshipers have been denied access to the site during Jewish holidays and vice versa in effort to prevent violence from erupting at the holy site….
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779291

Israeli forces close main West Bank roads for settler marathon
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Israeli forces announced Friday morning that the majority of roads that link the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus would be closed until the noon hour, in order to secure the area for a marathon organized by Israeli settlers. Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Israeli forces deployed heavily in the area and closed the main roads linking the central and northern West Bank, preventing Palestinian movement in the area. Palestinian vehicles were forced to take alternative detours through neighboring villages in order to reach their homes and workplaces, Wafa added. In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that they were aware of “operational activity” in the area. Israeli forces regularly close off Palestinian roads and villages in order to accommodate the nearly 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779278

Israel to allow entry of Palestinian workers amid lockdown on occupied territory
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 7 Oct — Israeli authorities have decided to allow for the limited entrance of Palestinian workers from the occupied West Bank into Israel amid a harsh 11-day general closure of the West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an on Sunday that the workers “employed in required sectors of the economy” will be allowed to pass through military border crossings between the occupied West Bank and Israel. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot came to the decision on Thursday, after the ministers first announced an unprecedented 11-day general closure for both the West Bank and Gaza — during which only humanitarian, medical, and exceptional cases were to be allowed to exit or enter — between Oct. 4 and Oct. 14. Israel regularly imposes closures on the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish holidays, but week-long festivals like Sukkot usually only have closures imposed at the end of the holiday, lasting a few days…
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority Director of Border Crossings Nathmi Muhanna said that Israel’s Erez crossing with Gaza will be open on Sunday until 7 p.m. Tuesday for those returning to Gaza from Israel, before being completely shut down for four days, official PA- owned Wafa news agency reported Saturday. The crossing will then reportedly be shut down from Wednesday Oct. 11 until Sunday Oct. 15 for travelers in both directions.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779283

Violence / Detentions —  West Bank / Jerusalem

Palestinian man in critical condition after being attacked by Israeli settlers
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — A Palestinian man was critically injured in the predawn hours of Friday after being attacked by Israeli settlers in the northern occupied West Bank, according to locals .Locals told Ma‘an that Mahmoud Muhammad Jararaa, 26, from the Asira al-Shamaliya town in Nablus was driving his private vehicle on the main Ramallah-Nablus road when Israeli settlers from the illegal Shilo settlement threw rocks at his car, causing him to sustain serious head wounds and fractures in his skull. Jararaa was taken to the Ramallah Istishari Hospital where his condition was reported as critical.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779274

Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars, injuring 2 children
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Two Palestinian children were injured in two separate incidents between Thursday night and Friday morning as Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian cars in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency. According to Wafa, Israeli settlers from the settlement of Givat Harsina, built illegally on private Palestinian land to the east of Hebron, hurled stones at vehicles with Palestinian license plates, breaking the glass of at least one car and causing the injury of a child. The identity of the child remained unknown.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, a 7-year-old Palestinian girl [IMEMC: Yaffa Jaber] sustained facial injuries in the same area after settlers reportedly attacked her family’s car with stones. The girl was admitted to a hospital for treatment.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779276

Israeli colonists attack Palestinians in their olive orchards near Nablus
IMEMC 8 Oct — Several Israeli colonists attacked, on Saturday evening, many Palestinians while picking their olive trees in their own orchards, in Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The Palestinians were assaulted by many colonists from Yitzhar illegal settlement, which was built on Palestinian lands south of Nablus. The assault took place in the al-Halloum area, in Huwwara; the Palestinians managed to overcome the colonists, forcing them to flee the area.
Such attacks significantly increase each year during the olive harvest season, and largely target orchards in close proximity to illegal colonies and outposts built on stolen Palestinian lands. Other violations include burning trees and farmlands, flooding farmlands with sewage water, in addition to cutting and uprooting the trees, and illegally confiscating them by installing outposts and barbed wires.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-colonists-attack-palestinians-in-their-olive-orchards-near-nablus/

Video: Education under shadow of fear in occupied West Bank
TRT World 6 Oct — Thousands of children across the world marked the International Walk Safely to School Day on Wednesday. School children from more than 40 countries took part in activities to highlight the importance of the day. The events organised in relevance to the day aim to raise awareness about pedestrian safety and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments. Going to school may seem like a simple task in general, but in some places, the act of walking to school is more difficult than many can imagine. One such place is the occupied West Bank where getting an education is becoming increasingly challenging.  Mohammad Hamayel reports from the West Bank.
http://www.trtworld.com/mea/education-under-shadow-of-fear-in-occupied-west-bank-11081

Soldiers attack a nonviolent procession in Hebron
IMEMC 6 Oct — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, a nonviolent procession in Qalqas village, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and detained many journalists. Aref Jaber, an activist against Israeli colonies, said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the nonviolent protesters, and fired several gas bombs at them, causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. Jaber added that the soldiers detained many Palestinians, including journalists, after preventing media outlets from entering the area. It is worth mentioning that Qalqas road remains blockaded for the seventeenth consecutive year, an issue that compounded the suffering of the residents of that area, forcing them to take longer, largely unpaved routes.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-attack-a-nonviolent-procession-in-hebron/

Clashes erupt as Israeli forces raid Ramallah area
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Thirteen Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces early Friday morning during a raid in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. According to locals, Israeli forces raided the Ramallah-area city of al-Bireh where they surrounded a residential building in the Umm al-Sharayit neighborhood and searched all the building’s apartments. No detentions were reported. Meanwhile, locals reported that several Israeli military vehicles and a helicopter were stationed in the area during the raid. Clashes erupted between local Palestinian youth who threw stones and the soldiers who fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at youths and houses in the area. According to locals, 13 Palestinians were injured, suffering from either rubber-coated steel bullet-related injuries or severe tear gas inhalation.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779275

Israeli forces raid homes of Palestinians suspected in killing of settler
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — Israeli forces raided and “wreaked havoc” on a village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday, allegedly in connection to the killing of an Israeli settler, official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported. According to Wafa, Israeli forces raided the village of Qabatiya, where they searched two homes of Palestinians suspected to be involved in the killing which took place in the nearby village of Kafr Qasim last Wednesday. Israeli media reported that a 70-year-old settler, identified as Reuven Shmerling, was found stabbed to death in a building in the industrial zone of Kafr Qasim. According to Ynet news, Shmerling was stabbed by some of his Palestinian employees over a monetary dispute. Wafa identified the two Palestinian workers as Yousif Khaled Kmail and Mohammed Zeyad Abu al-Rob. The two, both residents of Qabatiya, were detained late Thursday night as part of investigations into the killing.
On Friday morning, Israeli forces raided the family homes of Kmail and al-Rob in Qabatiya, and proceeded to photograph the houses — seemingly in preparation for punitive demolition — “before wreaking havoc and tampering with their contents,” Wafa reported. Israeli forces allegedly assaulted the Palestinians’ family members, subjected them to interrogations, and threatened to take punitive measures against them. Clashes erupted at the entrance of Qabatiya during the raids, where Israeli forces used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades against residents.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779277

Soldiers destroy Jerusalem’s Abu al-Nawar school
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Oct — Saturday evening, Israeli forces broke into the compound of Abu Al-Nawwar Al-Badawi, located in Ezzariya town, east of Jerusalem, and raided the compound school, destroying its doors. Local sources reported that soldiers raided the schools, destroyed its doors, wreaked havoc, and took over equipment which was being used to continue the building process. The sources noted, according to Al Ray, that there was a precautionary decision not to demolish the school. It is noteworthy that the school was established with the assistance of popular resistance activists, whereas the Israeli military threatened to demolish it. The number of students is nearly 60.
http://imemc.org/article/soldiers-destroys-jerusalems-abu-al-nawar-school/

Israeli forces detain 8 Palestinians in predawn Jerusalem raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians during overnight raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in the predawn hours of Thursday, according to local sources. In the East Jerusalem-area Shu‘fat refugee camp, locals told Ma‘an that Israeli police forces detained five “youths” from the camp after raiding and searching their homes. The five were identified as former prisoner Mumen Khader al-Dibs, Udayy al-Dabet, Said al-Dabet, Tahsin al-Rajabi and Elias al-Rajabi. An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, locals told Ma‘an that undercover Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the town of al-Ram….
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779273

Army abducts six Palestinians in Nabi Saleh
IMEMC 6 Oct — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday evening, Nabi Saleh village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, stopped a bus filled with Palestinians heading to a wedding hall, and abducted six young men. The soldiers stopped the bus, and many Palestinian cars, at the military roadblock on the main entrance of the village, and searched them. The soldiers also examined the ID cards of dozens of young men, and abducted six, before taking them to an unknown destination.
http://imemc.org/article/army-abducts-six-palestinians-in-nabi-saleh/

Soldiers abduct seven Palestinians in Jenin, Qalqilia, and Bethlehem
IMEMC 9 Oct — The Palestinian Prisoners Society has confirmed that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, seven Palestinians, after invading the searching their homes in the West Bank governorates of Jenin, Qalqilia, and Bethlehem.
The Jenin office of the PPS said the soldiers invaded homes in Jenin refugee camp, and abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ahmad Fakhri Hweil, Tareq Abu Sbeih and Talal al-Hosary. The soldiers also invaded many neighborhoods in Jenin city, and installed roadblocks on main roads leading to Zabbouba village and Ya‘bad town, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
In addition, the soldiers invaded homes in al-‘Azza refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, and abducted Maher Mahmoud Abu Tarboush, 43, while Nasri Yousef Abu Jouda, 25, from Bethlehem city, was abducted near Etzion junction.
In Qalqilia, in northern West Bank, the PPS said that the soldiers abducted Ezzeddin Nofal, 18, and Tarbakan Mohammad, 24, from their homes. The soldiers invaded and searched many homes in the city, and interrogated several Palestinians.
http://imemc.org/article/soldiers-abduct-seven-palestinians-in-jenin-qalqilia-and-bethlehem/

Army abducts nine Palestinians in Hebron
IMEMC 9 Oct — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, nine Palestinians, including two children, after invading their homes and violently searching them, in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. The Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded many homes in the city, and abducted Mohammad Hasan al-Ja’bari, 41, Fuad Rashid Eskafi, 34, Musleh Abu Sbeih, Ammar al-Jamal and Mohammad Hazem Qfeisha, 22. Several army vehicles also invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, before the soldiers searched and ransacked homes in the town’s center and al-Hara at-Tihta area, and abducted four Palestinians, identified as former political prisoners, Moayyad Waleed Ekhlayyel, 24, and Mohannad Ali Abu Ayyash, 20, in addition to Odai Bassam Za‘aqeeq, 16, and Khaled Mahmoud Sleibi, 15. The abducted Palestinians were all moved to Etzion military base, north of Hebron, after the soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded them. The soldiers also invaded many homes in Hebron city, and Yatta town, and installed roadblocks on roads leading to Sa‘ir and Halhoul towns, and Hebron’s northern  entrances, before stopping and searching many Palestinians, and their cars, and examined their ID cards.
http://imemc.org/article/army-abducts-nine-palestinians-in-hebron/

Joint report reveals that 431 Palestinians were arrested in September
Adameer 8 Oct –A joint, monthly report released by Adameer, The Prisoner’s Club, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has revealed that 431 Palestinians were arrested by the occupation forces in the month of September 2017. Of these 431, 98 were children, 11 were women, and 3 were journalists.
133 were arrested from Jerusalem governorate, 60 from the Hebron governorate, 45 from the Nablus governorate, 40 from the Ramallah governorate, 38 from Jenin governorate, 28 from Bethlehem governorate, 15 from Tubas governorate, 10 from Salfeet governorate, 9 from Tulkaram governorate, 7 from Jericho governorate, and 6 from Gaza.
In addition, the report indicates that the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails reached 6300 prisoners, including 57 female prisoners, 10 minor girls, approximately 300 children and 450 administrative detainees. In the month of September, the occupation authorities issued 68 administrative detention orders, of which 24 were new orders.
Despite the fact that this represents a dip in the number from last month, the rate of arrests still constitutes a trend of mass incarceration of the Palestinian people. The figure means that the occupation forces were arresting roughly 14 people a night for the past month.
Each month, these figures paint a picture of where the occupation believes there to be the most need for deterrence and control. In keeping with the popular uprising during the month of July, the Jerusalem area remains a focus due to the belief that new points of tension can spontaneously present themselves. In addition to Jerusalem, there has been increased activity in Hebron both in regard to protests and occupation forces moving deep into Palestinian controlled territory with impunity.
In addition to figures, the report also deals with the increasing use of home arrest in regard to East Jerusalem children, and the mass arrest campaign currently taking place in Kifel Hares, in the southwest of Nablus governorate.
http://www.addameer.org/news/joint-report-reveals-431-palestinians-were-arrested-september-2017

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory (28 Sept – 4 Oct)
PCHR-Gaza 5 Oct — 6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces conducted 67 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 similar incursions into Jerusalem. 58 civilians, including 11 children, a journalist and a woman, were arrested in the West Bank. 10 of them, including a child, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Police dogs were used during incursions, and maltreatment crimes increased against Palestinian civilians. Amounts of money belonging to families in Hebron were confiscated, claiming they are for “terrorism funding.” Israeli forces continued to apply the collective punishment policy Israeli forces continued to impose the closure on the north-western side of Jerusalem, and al-Jamal Family was given a demolition notice for their house. Israeli forces continued settlement activities in the West Bank Israeli forces imposed more restrictions on the Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest season. Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea. 5 Shooting incidents were documented against Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported. Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th year Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians. 2 Palestinian civilians were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.
http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=9568

Residency

‘Jerusalem cannot be replaced by any other city’
RAMALLAH (Al Jazeera) 7 Oct — Court ruling offers shred of hope to Palestinian who have had their residency revoked by Israel — For exiled Palestinian parliamentarian Khaled Abu Arafeh, it felt like a small step towards reuniting with his family in Jerusalem. Israel’s Supreme Court last month accepted a petition on behalf of Abu Arafeh and three other Palestinian parliamentarians who were expelled from the city, cancelling the revocation of their Jerusalem residency. “I know that our cause is a just one,” Abu Arafeh told Al Jazeera. “Jerusalem cannot be replaced by any other city, and I am eagerly waiting for the day I can return to Jerusalem.” According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, Israel revoked the residency status of almost 15,000 Palestinians between 1967 and 2016. The majority of those cases involved a failure to prove that an individual’s “centre of life” was in the city, but there have also been cases of punitive revocations and collective punishment against family members of Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis, as well as a number of individuals accused of “breach of loyalty”.
Abu Arafeh’s case took 11 years to reach Israel’s highest court. In 2006, he, along with Mohammed Totah, Ahmed Attoun and Mohammed Abu Teir, was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council on the list of the Change and Reform Movement. Abu Arafeh was also appointed Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs. Israel’s interior minister, Roni Bar-On, subsequently revoked their residency status, citing a “breach of loyalty” to Israel. The accusation was related to their election to a foreign parliament and alleged membership in Hamas….
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/10/replaced-city-171007100405780.html

Al-Aqsa

Israeli forces arrest Al-Aqsa security guard as settlers tour the holy site
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Israeli police on Thursday detained a Palestinian security guard of the Al–Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, after the guard reportedly stepped in as an Israeli soldier “assaulted” a Palestinian child. A report by a worshipers’ committee in Jerusalem said that Israeli police detained the guard, identified as Yahiya Biseileh, from the Council Gate entrance to the compound, after Biseileh “objected to an Israeli female soldier assaulting a Palestinian child while he was trying to enter the mosque.” The report added that the guard was also assaulted by Israeli police and border guards during his detention. Meanwhile, local sources told Ma‘an that 55 Israeli settlers entered Al-Aqsa compound early Thursday from the Moroccan Gate under the protection of Israeli  police forces. The settlers toured the compound and attempted to perform prayers at the Golden Gate.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779271

Hundreds of Israelis take to Al-Aqsa for Jewish holiday of Sukkot
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Between 200 and 300 right-wing Israelis and settlers escorted by Israeli police took to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning amid the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Groups started to enter the walled holy site through the Moroccan Gate entrance at around 7 a.m., with a number of Israelis performing Jewish rituals as Israeli forces imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers. Meanwhile, by midday, thousands of of Jewish worshipers prayed at the Western Wall, located adjacent to Al-Aqsa, with hundreds of police forces deployed in the area.
Following  Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has maintained a compromise with the Islamic Endowment to not allow non-Muslim prayer in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. However, some Jewish worshipers regularly breach the agreement, particularly during the Jewish high holidays.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779285

Gaza

Army injures five Palestinians in northern Gaza
IMEMC 7 Oct — Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Friday evening, four Palestinians east of Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and one near al-Boreij refugee camp, in Central Gaza. Medical sources said the soldiers fired many gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at a group of Palestinians east of Jabalia, wounding four. Medics provided the four wounded Palestinians with the needed urgent care, and moved them to Kamal Adwan hospital.
In addition, the soldiers shot a Palestinian teen, 17 years of age, during clashes that took place east of Jabalia refugee camp, in central Gaza. The soldiers, stationed across the border fence, fired many live rounds and gas bombs, moderately wounding the teen with a bullet in his leg, before local medics rushed him to Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah.
http://imemc.org/article/army-injures-five-palestinians-in-northern-gaza/

Gaza security forces reportedly arrest 4 ‘takfiri group’ members
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Oct  — Security services in the Gaza Strip reportedly arrested four militants early Saturday in Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported, quoting security sources in the besieged coastal enclave. According to Israeli news site Ynet, security sources said that security members stopped the “four takfiri-group members” at a checkpoint in Rafah City, and that one of them was a known leader. “Takfiri” is a word used to refer to armed Sunni groups. Spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior in Gaza said that one of the detainees was identified as Nour Issa who is wanted by Gaza security services — a “takfiri leader” in the Gaza Strip that had returned to Gaza after around a year of fighting in Libya.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779281

Rocket fired from Gaza toward southern Israel, IDF confirms
Haaretz 8 Oct by Gili Cohen & Almog Ben Zikri — All of the rocket fire and shelling from Gaza this year were not orchestrated by Hamas but rather by small Salafist-Jihadist organizations in the enclave —  A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Sunday evening. Warning sirens sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council communities next to the Gaza border. According to Israel Defense Forces, no injuries or damage was reported. The rocket, which was fired from southern Gaza, most likely exploded near the Strip’s border with Israel. The army, after working to identify where the rocket fell, later reported that it apparently exploded in Gazan airspace. All of the rocket fire and shelling from Gaza this year were not orchestrated by Hamas but rather by small organizations that identify with the Salafist-Jihadist movement in the enclave. Sunday’s rocket attack follows the arrests of members of these organizations, which were conducted over the past few days. A Salafist organization also undertook the last rocket attack targeting Israel, which took place in August. Hamas then started pursuing the perpetrators of the shooting in an attempt to arrest them.
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.816244

Israel strikes Hamas post after Gaza rocket fire
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 8 Oct — The Israeli military said on Sunday it destroyed an outpost belonging to the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Gaza militants fired a rocket toward Israel. The rocket set off air raid sirens in southern Israel but fell short, landing inside Palestinian territory, the Israeli military said in a statement. “In response, an (Israeli) tank targeted and destroyed a Hamas outpost in the southern Gaza Strip,” it said. Officials in Gaza said no one was injured when the tank shell struck a Hamas observation post near the border with Israel. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Palestinian rocket fire. Israel said that it holds Hamas accountable for what happens in the territory. The group has observed a de-facto ceasefire with Israel since a 2014 war, but small armed cells of jihadist Salafis have continued to occasionally launch rockets at Israel. When those attacks occur, Hamas usually orders its fighters to vacate potential targets for Israeli retaliation.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-violence/israel-strikes-hamas-post-after-gaza-rocket-fire-idUSKBN1CD0Z2

Hamas picks new deputy chief whom Israel blames for helping spark Gaza war
GAZA (Reuters) 5 Oct — The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas named as its new deputy chief on Thursday a formerly Turkey-based commander whom Israel has accused of orchestrating a lethal triple kidnapping that helped trigger the 2014 Gaza war. Saleh al-Arouri’s promotion comes as Hamas seeks to close ranks with U.S.-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after a decade-old schism, in an entente Israel says will not revive peace talks unless Hamas recognizes its right to exist and disarms. The Palestinian Information Center, a Hamas-linked news site, said Arouri, who was born in the occupied West Bank and was exiled by Israel in 2010 after long stints in its prisons, had been elected as deputy to the group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh. “He (Arouri) is now the Hamas movement’s No. 2 man,” the site said. “Twenty-three years of detention and expulsion have not weakened the resolve of the leader Saleh al-Arouri, 51.” After three Israeli teens were abducted and killed in the West Bank in June 2014, Arouri – then in Istanbul – claimed responsibility in the name of Hamas. Israel responded with a West Bank security sweep which, along with the revenge killing of a Palestinian youth from Jerusalem by a group of Israelis, spiraled into a 50-day war in the Gaza Strip, Hamas’ fiefdom. Gaza health officials say 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, while Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians. Israel also pressed Ankara’s Islamist-rooted government to crack down on Arouri, describing him as the mastermind of the kidnappings and other Hamas militant attacks. Hamas sources said Arouri left Turkey in late 2015 for Qatar and later Lebanon. They declined to give his current location.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-israel-hamas/hamas-picks-new-deputy-chief-whom-israel-blames-for-helping-spark-gaza-war-idUSKBN1CA1NM

Gaza power watch: How many hours of electricity did Gaza get yesterday?
Haaretz 8 Oct — Beit Lahia 10:00-1400; Gaza City: 18.00-22:00; Deir al-Balah: 10:00-14:00; Khan Yunis: 16:00-20:00; Rafah: 14:00-18:00
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.800735

Detained teens in Gaza highly vulnerable to abuse
RAMALLAH (DCI-Palestine) 4 Oct — Children in conflict with the law in Gaza, under the current Hamas-led government, are at severe risk of rights violations and abuses during detention, based on six cases documented by Defense for Children International – Palestine since January. Six children, aged 15 – 17, were detained for a period of one night or longer at police stations across Gaza including Rafah, Khan Younis, Gaza City, Beit Lahia and Jabalia refugee camp, instead of at a facility approved for juveniles. In the worst instances, three children were tortured during police interrogations, and one child was reportedly physically abused by police station guards and adult prisoners whom he was forced to share a cell with, prompting the boy’s suicide attempt and resulting death on September 22.
Detention at a police station, with adults 
Mustafa Salman, 16, attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself above a toilet in a Beit Lahia police station cell on September 2, after two months of detention there. Unable to recover from the oxygen deprivation to his brain, medical sources in Shifa Hospital, Gaza City declared Mustafa clinically dead….
http://www.dci-palestine.org/detained_teens_in_gaza_highly_vulnerable_to_abuse

Student stuck in Gaza will now join University of Sheffield after initial fears he would miss out
The Star (UK) 5 Oct by George Torr — Majd Abu Shawish, from Gaza City, was one of the 12 successful international applicants to join the university under the non-deferrable Allan and Nesta Ferguson Scholarship this year. But Mr Shawish is stuck in Gaza after borders in and out of Palestine are closed off during the Israeli holiday of Sukkot. He said the closure stops people travelling to hospitals and restricts even the basic necessitates such as food into the country. It was initially feared the student would miss out on a place at university as course administrators told him he needed to be in Sheffield to enroll by October 9 as an ‘absolute deadline’. But after a complaint to the university, education bosses reviewed the case and Mr Shawish will be able to take up his place on the politics course …The Star understands the University of Sheffield has contacted Mr Shawish and have made alternate arrangements for him to join the course at a later date.
http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/student-stuck-in-gaza-will-now-join-university-of-sheffield-after-initial-fears-he-would-miss-out-1-8790526

TEDx Palestine gathers success stories in Gaza
AL-ZAHRA, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 4 Oct —   At the conference hall of the University of Palestine in the Gaza Strip, 11 local speakers shared their inspirational stories and experiences in various fields, from technology to entertainment. The Sept. 24 event was part of the TEDx program, a global activity that aims to create a platform for people to share their creative and innovative ideas with an audience. TED has been seeking to expand worldwide and has been granting licenses since 2006 to universities and institutions around the world to host independently run events. So far, more than 130 countries have hosted TEDx events. The University of Palestine held its first TEDx event on Sept. 24 … Esraa Yaseen, the coordinator of the TEDx Palestine event, told Al-Monitor, “In the Gaza Strip, there are a lot of creative people with inspiring ideas who need global platforms to express themselves. Their ideas can change the stereotypical image of Gaza that is based on death, destruction and poverty … The 11 speakers covered a variety of topics, which were received by the audience with laughter, tears and sometimes shock, or by a standing ovation. Journalist Mumin Qreiqei, 29, sat on the stage in his wheelchair telling the audience how he lost his legs while covering the Gaza war in 2008-2009, and how he continues to work as a journalist documenting the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians. He said, “We do not need feet to make our dreams come true. All we need is courage….
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/palestinians-tell-stories-worth-spreading-in-tedx.html

Egypt starts third stage of buffer zone expansion on Gaza border
MEMO 7 Oct —  The Egyptian army has started to raze more homes as part of the third stage in the expansion of the buffer zone between Sinai and the Gaza Strip, agencies reported on Thursday. The Governor of North Sinai, Abdel Fattah Harhour, said that the demolition work started on Wednesday, noting that this stage adds 500 metres to the zone. The first stage was started in 2014, and involved the demolition of homes up to 500 metres inside Egyptian territory. The second stage started in September 2015 added an extra 500 metres along the 14 km border with Gaza. Hamas, the resistance movement which controlled Gaza for 10 years before handing it over to the national unity government last week, has started to prepare a 200 metre buffer zone in the enclave recently. The movement said that it is interested in keeping the Gaza-Egypt border safe and secure. “Egypt’s national security,” it insisted, “is a Palestinian priority.” Since September 2013, the Egyptian army has been involved in military action along the border with Gaza, allegedly in the hunt for terrorists and others accused of carrying out lethal attacks on security forces and police in Sinai.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171007-egypt-starts-third-stage-of-buffer-zone-expansion-on-gaza-border/

A Gaza seaport that doesn’t endanger Israel? Not a pipe dream with this expert’s plan
[with map] Haaretz 5 Oct by Amir TibonA novel proposal to build an inland port for Gaza could boost its economy while ensuring security for Israel — all at a low cost A leading expert in the field of constructing sea ports has come up with a new plan for the construction of a port that would serve the Gaza Strip, without harming Israeli security. The plan has been reviewed by senior officials in Israel, one of whom told Haaretz that “it’s a very interesting idea — complicated, but not impossible.” Dr. Asaf Ashar, an Israeli who resides in the Washington, D.C. area, has been dealing with the construction of seaports for more than 30 years. He has worked for the Israeli Port Authority and the port of Seattle, Washington, and is a professor at the University of New Orleans’ National Ports & Waterways Institute. In recent years, he has advised some of the largest port-building projects in the world, including projects in China and Dubai. Now, he hopes to convince Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian officials to adopt a plan he has drawn up for an “inland port” that would serve the 2.1 million residents of Gaza … Ashar offers, instead, an idea which he admits is “not nearly as sexy” as creating an artificial island, but that according to him, could actually be implemented at a cost of less than $200 million for the initial stages, and create an operating port within two to three years. His plan is to use the existing border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip at Kerem Shalom, at the Gaza Strip’s southern edge, as an “inland port” that would be connected, through a simple road, to a shore-based, relatively small seaport on the Egyptian side of the border….
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-1.815337

In Gaza, Hamas levels an ancient treasure
TEL ES-SAKAN, Gaza Strip (AP) 6 Oct by Fares Akram — Palestinian and French archaeologists began excavating Gaza’s earliest archaeological site nearly 20 years ago, unearthing what they believe is a rare 4,500-year-old Bronze Age settlement. But over protests that grew recently, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have systematically destroyed the work since seizing power a decade ago, allowing the flattening of this hill on the southern tip of Gaza City to make way for construction projects, and later military bases. In its newest project, Hamas-supported bulldozers are flattening the last remnants of excavation. “There is a clear destruction of a very important archaeological site,” said Palestinian archaeology and history professor Mouin Sadeq, who led three excavations at the site along with French archaeologist Pierre de Miroschedji after its accidental discovery in 1998. “I don’t know why the destruction of the site was approved.” Tel Es-Sakan (hill of ash) was the largest Canaanite city between Palestine and Egypt, according to Sadeq. It was named after the great amount of ash found during the excavations, which suggests the settlement was burnt either naturally or in a war. Archaeologists found the 10-hectare (25-acre) hill to be hiding a fortified settlement built centuries before pharaonic rule in Egypt, and 1,000 years before the pyramids. But the excavations stopped in 2002 due to security concerns … Unlike more extreme Islamic groups, Hamas has not deliberately destroyed antiquities for ideological reasons. But with little open space in Gaza, a fast-growing population and an economy stifled by Israeli and Egyptian blockades, Hamas officials say they have no choice but to develop the area, making archaeology a low priority. But the group has also seized ancient sites to build military training camps, including the 3,000-year-old Anthedon Harbor, parts of which were bulldozed in 2013. In 2009 and 2012, the expansion of universities destroyed the western and northern facades of Tel El-Sakan. People displaced during three wars between Hamas and Israel set up temporary dwellings on the eastern side….
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_GAZA_ARCHAEOLOGY?SITE=AZPHG&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Oud still entertains Gazans despite Israeli blockade (photo-feature)
GAZA (KUNA) 8 Oct by Wessam Abu-Zeid — The oud still remains as a source of entertainment and joy for the Palestinians living in the  Gaza Strip despite the bleak living conditions under the Israeli blockade. Khan Yunis dweller and oud artisan Mohammad al-Karibi continues to make the musical instrument even though wood materials are in high demand in Gaza.
http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2645571&language=en

Family of Israeli soldier killed in Gaza threatens to involve High Court over Netanyahu’s inaction
Haaretz 8 Oct by Barak Ravid — The family of an Israeli soldier who died during the 2014 Gaza war and whose remains are apparently being held by Hamas said Sunday that it would petition the High Court of Justice if the prime minister did not appoint a replacement for the official who had previously handled their case. The Israel Defense Forces declared Oron Shaul killed in action although his place of burial is unknown. It came to the same conclusion with the case of Hadar Goldin, another soldier who fought and died in that conflict. Lior Lotan, the man who spearheaded efforts to retrieve two Israeli civilians thought to be held by Hamas in the Strip and the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers who died there, quit six weeks ago after three years on the job … The Shaul family’s statement on Sunday attacked Netanyahu for not appointing a replacement for Lotan, despite his pledge to do so….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.816246

Boycotts / Divestment / Sanctions

Thousands call for end of Irish arms trade with Israel (photos)
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Oct —  On Wednesday, 4th October, 2017, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign presented the Irish Government with over 23,000 signatures to a petition demanding an end to bilateral arms trade between Israel and Ireland. PNN reports that human rights campaigners were joined by TDs and Senators from the Oireachtas [Irish parliament], and Dublin City Councillors, outside the parliament gates where a ‘die in’ was staged. The activists then marched to the Office of the Taoiseach [Irish Prime Minister] and IPSC Chairperson Fatin Al Tamimi and Vice-Chair John Dorman delivered the two boxes of petitions. Speaking prior to delivering IPSC Chairperson, Ms. Fatin Al Tamimi, a Palestinian-Irish citizen, said: “The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has collected over 23,000 signatures to a petition calling for an end to the bilateral arms trade between Ireland and Israel – a trade worth some €22m over the past decade or so. “This Wednesday 4th October we will hand the petition in to the Irish government to make them aware that this profiteering from the oppression and murder of Palestinians and colonisation of their land is unacceptable to the people of Ireland.”
http://imemc.org/article/thousands-call-for-end-of-irish-arms-trade-with-israel-photos/

Israel invests millions in anti-BDS campaign highlighting Jordan Valley produce
Ynet 7 Oct by Elisha Ben Kimon — In response to international BDS anti-Israel movement, Public Security Min. Gilad Erdan launches special initiative at a cost of NIS 7 million to publicize agricultural Jordan Valley produce around the world, and to showcase cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians — During his visit to the Jordan Valley together with the Yesha Council — an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank — Erdan said that his ministry is trying to help farmers affected by initiatives that mark and confiscate economic products from the Jordan Valley. Ardan added: “The struggle I am waging against the boycott organizations is preventing severe damage to the state.” He stressed that agriculture is “one of the most at risk and important areas to focus on.” David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council and chairman of the Settlement Forum for Combating the Boycott, said the project would help the farmers of the region … “Our produce is confiscated in some European and American countries and the damage to farmers is great … “In the West Bank, there are 14 industrial zones that employ close to 20,000 residents of the Palestinian Authority,” noted outgoing chairman of the Yesha Council, Avi Roeh. “There are those who do not care about them, they are acting to boycott (our produce) because they are interested in the State of Israel ceasing to exist.”
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5025517,00.html

Other news

Fatah Revolutionary Council, Central Committee endorse terms of reconciliation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Oct — The Fatah Revolutionary Council and the Central Committee, the two largest bodies in the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, have reportedly endorsed the terms of national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. The bodies said that Egyptian-brokered talks between the two political factions, set to be held in Cairo on Tuesday, will be crucial to the success of reconciliation and will lay out practical steps to enable the National Consensus Government to rule both the West Bank and Gaza, according to London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. Abbas delivered a speech before the Revolutionary Council and the Central Committee on Sunday and talked about the importance of this reconciliation process, but said that that path to achieving national unity “will require some time,” according to a the final communiqué of the meeting translated by PA-owned Wafa news agency. He added that only Egypt can have a say in national reconciliation efforts, but did say that Jordan can also play a positive role in this regard.
The president, who is also the Chairman of the Fatah party, said that in order for the National Consensus Government to assume full responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, “there should only be one authority, one weapon, one law, and one political program based on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s agenda, as is the case in the occupied West Bank,” Wafa reported.
He also affirmed that Palestinian leadership will continue to allocate salaries to the families of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. He described this as a “moral, national, political, and humanitarian obligation,” according to the report….
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779290

 Hamas reiterates: armed wing not up for discussion in reconciliation talks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Oct — A Hamas movement spokesperson reiterated Saturday that the future of the group’s armed wing is not up for discussion in upcoming reconciliation talks with the Fatah movement, scheduled to take place in Cairo on Tuesday. Hazem Qassem told Ma‘an that “the resistance’s weapons are legal. They are here to protect Palestinians and free their lands (from Israeli occupation) — therefore, this should not be an issue to discuss.” The Hamas spokesperson said that in fact, what should be discussed is the “enhancement” of Hamas’ power as an armed resistance movement. However, Qassem said that all subjects that “obstructing the reconciliation” would be discussed on Tuesday, including the National Consensus Government taking control of the Gaza Strip; later shifting the focus of reconciliation from Gaza to the West Bank; and ultimately holding presidential, legislative, and National Council elections to rule both parts of the occupied territory. Hamas said on Thursday that the Palestinian National Consensus Government had officially taken over from the movement as the administrative authority in the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been under Hamas’ de facto rule since 2007.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779284

Who will control Gaza forces? / Shlomi Eldar
Al-Monitor 6 Oct — Meeting in the Gaza Strip, Fatah and Hamas engaged in reconciliation talks this week, announcing that the movements have agreed on national unity. But from there to a detailed and feasible agreement for a unity government, there is still a long way to go. At the heart of the dispute preventing the reconciliation is the question of who will control the security forces in Gaza. According to Israeli assessments, the Hamas military consists of some 20,000 armed members who joined Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades since Hamas staged its coup in Gaza in 2007. In an interview that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas granted to Egyptian television on Oct. 3, the day of the celebratory meeting in Gaza, he said that he would not agree to accept the “Hezbollah model” in the Gaza Strip. In other words, he rejects the notion of having a civilian government headed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and at the same time for a political movement to keep its own armed force. “We, in the West Bank, operate according to a single law and a single authority. I order to arrest anyone who holds weapons that is not under the auspices of the law, even if they are Fatah members, and that is what is meant to be,” he explained. Abbas speaks from experience. During the Hamas coup, PA forces were forced out of Gaza at gunpoint. He is, therefore, unwilling to compromise on this. But Hamas is not willing to compromise either. The group considers the armed forces it established to be a “weapon of resistance,” with senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk saying, “We are talking about weapons intended to defend the Palestinian people. As long as the Palestinian people continue to live under occupation, these weapons will continue to be prepared and ready for any scenario.” As Al-Monitor previously reported, the dispute between Fatah and Hamas is not limited to security control over the Gaza Strip or whether all Palestinian military forces should be forced to submit to Abbas as commander of the security forces in the PA. It also involves how the objectives of the security forces are determined….
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/israel-egypt-hamas-fatah-mahmoud-abbas-yahya-sinwar-army.html

Bennett demands halt of PA revenue transfer as Netanyahu condemns reconciliation
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Oct — Israeli right wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on Israel to terminate the transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority (PA), in response to both Palestine’s new membership in the INTERPOL and to the current reconciliation process between Hamas and the PA. In yet another extremist statement, he said that, “Israel must stop acting as [an] ATM for terrorism…This isn’t a Palestinian reconciliation, but rather Mahmoud Abbas cozying up to a murderous terror organization,” adding that “Transferring funds to a Hamas government is like Israel transferring money to ISIS in return for the cash. We’ll get missiles fired at us.” This is not the first time Bennett has made extremist right wing statements, according to the PNN, as he previously said that more people should have been “eliminated” in the war on Gaza, calling them “terrorists”. Bennett said that three conditions would be set as conditions for continuing to transfer funds to the PA, including the return of two bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 war on Gaza. Bennett is expected to bring up these demands in the upcoming cabinet meeting….
http://imemc.org/article/bennett-demands-halt-of-pa-revenue-transfer-as-netanyahu-condemns-reconciliation/

Shin Bet rejects and dismisses teachers in Israeli-Arab schools
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Oct — Israeli Internal Security Agency Shin Bet has the power to reject appointment or dismiss Arab teachers at Arab schools, Israeli Ynet News has reported. According to Days of Palestine, a former official at the Israeli Ministry of Education, Emmanuel Koplovich, told Ynet News that Shin Bet has rejected the appointment of many qualified teachers. “Shin Bet was involved in everything regarding recruitment for education positions,” confirmed the former head of the agency, Knesset member Yacob Berri. “It is still active in Arab schools to this day.” The news website revealed that Shin Bet targeted the Arab teachers in cooperation with the ministry. Teachers did not know why they were dismissed or not accepted for a position. It also revealed that some of the teachers were not involved in any political activities, but were rejected because of the political activities of one of their relatives. According to the reports, information about Arab teachers and head teachers was circulated among different government institutions, mainly the education ministry and the Prime Minister’s office. The Director of Adalah Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Hassan Jabareen, said that Shin Bet’s interference in the recruitment and dismissal of Arab teachers and head teachers has been known for a long time in the Arab community….
http://imemc.org/article/shin-bet-rejects-and-dismisses-teachers-in-israeli-arab-schools/

Bedouin resident indicted for polygamy
Ynet 3 Oct by Ilana Curiel — Following new state anti-polygamy guidelines, first indictment filed against resident of Bedouin diaspora married to two women; since the beginning of the year, 179 police investigations opened for offense which carries maximum prison term of 5 years — The State Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment Monday against a resident of the Bedouin diaspora for polygamy, the first to be served by the Southern District Attorney’s Office since the state announced it would begin to enforce anti-polygamy laws prohibiting marrying more than one woman, after the new guidelines went into effect in January 2017 … Monday’s indictment was submitted to the Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court against a 36-year-old resident of the Bedouin community after he married a second wife aged 24. The marriage was arranged after the second wife’s father, who wanted to marry her off, did so without informing his daughter that she was going to be a second wife … Alarms were sounded in the legal establishment in light of worrying statistics which showed that as of 2015, 36 percent of men in the Bedouin sector have been simultaneously married to more than one woman. Anti-polygamy laws have rarely been enforced in isolated incidents, and in recent years there has been no enforcement at all. In total, the police are currently investigating 15 cases under the new directive.
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5024045,00.html

Peace activists arrive in Jerusalem after two-week march
JERUSALEM (AFP) 8 Oct — Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women arrived in Jerusalem Sunday at the end of a two-week march through Israel and the West Bank to demand a peace deal. The Women Wage Peace movement organised the march, which began on September 24 and included participants who have themselves been affected by violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several thousand activists joined the march over the two weeks. Several thousand women, mostly Israelis, arrived in Jerusalem late on Sunday, mostly dressed in white and carrying placards calling for peace. One of the organisers, Marie-Lyne Smadja, said the march was meant to “give voice to those tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish and Arab women of the left, centre and right, and their Palestinian partners, who hand in hand together took this road towards peace.” “Israeli women want to prevent the next war if possible and try as soon as possible to reach an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians,” she said. Huda Abuarquob, another organiser and a Palestinian from Hebron in the occupied West Bank, said: “This march is not just another protest, but a way of saying that we want peace, and together we can obtain it.” The march comes at a time when many analysts see little hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal … “The men who have power believe only in war, but with the strength of women we can bring something else, something new,” said Amira Zidan, an Arab Israeli mother of one of the organisation’s founders….
https://www.yahoo.com/news/peace-activists-arrive-jerusalem-two-week-march-190954282.html

This Israeli Arab couple is building a sukkah, hoping to destroy Jewish-Muslim stereotypes
UPPER NAZARETH (Haaretz) 4 Oct by Judy Maltz — To accommodate the huge number of guests they’re expecting over the holiday, these two Israeli dentists have built a super-sized sukkah. And in keeping with the time-honored Jewish tradition, they got to work on it as soon as the Yom Kippur fast ended on Saturday night. Khalil and Reem Bakly, however, aren’t Jewish. They’re Muslim Arabs. This is their first sukkah ever, and there’s good reason to believe it’s the only temporary outdoor hut of this type being built in Israel this year – and presumably most years before that as well – by an Arab family. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week – the interim days of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, as Sukkot is also known – they are inviting Jews and Arabs from near and far to join them for food, music, laughs and discussion at their beautiful, “100 percent kosher” sukkah, as they like to boast. To make sure the word gets out, they’ve advertised the event in two local newspapers: one that serves their hometown of Upper Nazareth and another that serves the central Sharon region, where Khalil’s main dental clinic is located and where most of his patients live. Authentic Arab dishes, along with Jewish delicacies prepared by a certified kosher caterer, will be served, and the Bakly couple will be footing the entire bill….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.815563

PA, Arab states reportedly to withdraw UNESCO resolutions criticizing Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Oct — A number of Arab states headed by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are reportedly expected to withdraw two resolutions critical of Israel’s policies in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the besieged Gaza Strip at the UNESCO executive board session in Paris this week, following an Israeli and US-led diplomatic campaign, according to Israeli media reports. The executive board of the UN’s cultural agency had been expected to vote on two resolutions condemning Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territory on Friday, but according to Israel’s ambassador to the UN agency, Carmel Shama Hacohen, it is likely that the board will agree to delay the issue for six months, Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported. This would be the first time since April 2013 that resolutions were not presented on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz. “Time will tell whether this is a tactical change or a new approach. If it is, it is significant progress toward wiping the table clean from the incitement and politicization against us in the organization,” Shama Hacohen was quoted as saying, adding: “It could be a significant step toward the elimination of these proposals altogether.”
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779289

S1.5m of EU-donated structures destroyed by Israel since 2014
MEMO 5 Oct — Israeli authorities have demolished or seized some $1.5 million worth of European Union-donated structures in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) since 2014. The figures are included in a newly published, six-month report by the Office of the European Union Representative in the oPt, covering developments March-August 2017. During the reporting period, occupied East Jerusalem saw a high number of demolitions, while there was a reduction in Area C of the West Bank (compared to 2016’s unusually high figures). According to a summary of the report, over 150 Palestinian owned structures were impacted by demolition, seizure, sealing off, or eviction throughout the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem. Almost 60 per cent of the incidents took place in East Jerusalem. “This brings the total number of affected structures since the beginning of 2017 to 330, resulting in the displacement of over 500 Palestinians including 290 children,” the summary states. Since the beginning of 2017, Israeli occupation authorities have targeted 72 EU-funded structures, representing 22 per cent of all affected Palestinian-owned structures (up from 17 per cent in 2016). The EU report notes that an estimated number of 12,500 Palestinian structures in Area C currently have outstanding demolition orders issued by the Israeli Civil Administration due to lack of required building permits. These pending demolition orders “could be implemented at any moment”….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171005-1-5m-of-eu-donated-structures-destroyed-by-israel-since-2014/

Japan to finance two solid waste disposal stations in West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 5 Oct – Japan has agreed to finance the construction of two solid waste disposal stations in the Jerusalem and Qalqilia governorates at a cost of $1 million, undersecretary of the Ministry of Local Government Mohammad Jabarin said on Thursday. He said in a statement that this grant serves the solid waste sector in Palestine and enhances the role of the joint services councils that manage solid waste in improving the level of services provided to the people. It will also contribute to reducing the costs of transporting waste to the central dumps. Jabarin expressed appreciation to the Japanese government for its continued support to the local government in general and the solid waste sector in particular.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=ZmLEPXa92072585220aZmLEPX

Trump says will not move US embassy to Jerusalem for now
WASHINGTON (AFP) 7 Oct — US President Donald Trump said Saturday he will not go ahead with his controversial pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem until after pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. “I wanna give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” Trump said on former governor Mike Huckabee’s TV show, referring to efforts to forge a peace between the two sides that has eluded career diplomats for decades. “We’re gonna make a decision in the not too distant future,” Trump said, but for now, the peace push comes first. That push is one of the various portfolios Trump gave his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a 36-year-old with no prior government experience who became one of the most powerful men in Washington by virtue of his family connection to the president. Foreign countries currently have their embassies in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv since they do not recognize Israel’s unilateral claim of control over all of Jerusalem….
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-says-not-move-us-embassy-jerusalem-now-022254599.html

US to kit armored brigade with Israel’s Trophy system
Ynet 6 Oct by Udi Etsion — US army strikes a deal with RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems to arm its tanks with the Israeli-made ‘Trophy’ protection system, capable of intercepting anti-tank missiles and rockets and other explosive weapons….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5025307,00.html

Islamic Jihad: No policy shift after FBI terror list addition
MEMO 6 Oct –A senior official in the Islamic Jihad movement said the FBI’s decision to include the movement’s Secretary-General Ramadan Shalah’s name on its most wanted list “will not change the movement’s policy”. A member of the movement’s political bureau, Nafez Azzam, told Quds Press that his movement will continue its path in defending the Palestinian people’s rights. “The FBI’s decision to include Shalah’s name on their list did not surprise us,” he said, adding that the United States “is completely biased against the Palestinian people and lacks ethics and objectivity.” “The decision is a stark proof of the US’ double standards which turn a blind eye to tyrants and crimes committed by Israel,” he added. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a list of 29 individuals from around the world whom it said are wanted for their involvement in operations that killed US citizens, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported yesterday. The FBI list included three others Palestinians: Abdel Aziz Odeh, 67 who lives in the Gaza Strip, freed Palestinian prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi, 37, and Hussein Al-Amri, 71, an Afghan national born in the city of Jaffa in 1948.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171006-islamic-jihad-no-policy-shift-after-fbi-terror-list-addition/

Omaha schools uninvite speaker amid bullying concerns
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) 5 Oct — Officials in a Nebraska school district have canceled scheduled talks at two high schools by a Palestinian Christian speaker due to concerns that Jewish students at one of the schools were being harassed ahead of her visit. Nora Carmi is a Palestinian activist in Jerusalem who’s holding talks around the U.S. this year, including a stop last week at Creighton University in Omaha. She was scheduled this week to visit Millard North High School and Millard South High School in Omaha, where curriculum includes learning about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Millard North’s principal received a phone call from a parent worried that Carmi would give only one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Rebecca Kleeman, spokeswoman for Millard Public Schools. Kleeman said the district was prepared to proceed with the talks anyway. But the district recently received concerns from a local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League about at least one Jewish student at Millard North being verbally harassed, according to Kleeman. She said the district decided to withdraw Carmi’s invitation despite the unclear details of the alleged harassment….
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/omaha-schools-uninvite-speaker-amid-bullying-concerns/2017/10/05/30f39106-aa10-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive – currently offline)

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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One Response

  1. JLewisDickerson
    October 9, 2017, 9:03 pm

    RE: ” Severe restrictions for Palestinians — including denied access to the Ibrahimi Mosque — are typically implemented by the Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes …” ~ Ma’an

    SEE: “Permanent Temporariness”, by Alastair Crooke, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPT] . . . The emphasis on ‘trust-building’ with Israel has coloured the evolution of the political process since 2003. The general movement towards providing ‘law and order’, security co-operation and ‘institution-building’ is well known. But the ‘state-building’ project as a whole should be understood in the context of counter-insurgency – as tangled up with Israel’s unique approach to the collective management of Palestinians – rather than as part of any genuine effort at ‘good governance’. Security action against ‘insurgents’ is only one small element of an American counter-insurgency doctrine which dates back at least to General J. Franklin Bell’s campaign of the early 1900s against Filipino ‘rebels’. Its principles include building a ruling elite to carry out the occupier’s plan; establishing security services accountable only to that elite; concentrating economic control within that elite; and setting up a generous aid policy which sustains a ‘trickle-down legitimacy’ for that elite. The underlying rationale, from the Philippines to Vietnam, has been to instil acquiescence. In the Palestinian case, the doctrine hopes to facilitate close collaboration with Israel and the dismantling of Palestinian resistance. In return, the Palestinians have been promised a depoliticised ‘state’ hardly worthy of the name and subservient to Israel. Perhaps, in such a state, a new Palestinian middle class might live more comfortably; perhaps the visible tools of occupation and control over Palestinian life would be more discreetly concealed; but such ‘statehood’ would amount to little more than a more benign occupation.

    The reason that both the West and the Ramallah leadership have embraced the ‘security first’ doctrine is that they were convinced that a two-state solution would eventually emerge, come what may, because it is in Israel’s ultimate demographic interests that it should; therefore one should first placate Israel by agreeing to its demands. The root premise is that Israel is intent on having and maintaining a Jewish majority within Israel, and that with time – and a growing Palestinian population – it would have to acquiesce to a Palestinian state simply in order to maintain its Jewish majority. But over the last 19 years – despite many opportunities – Israel has come no closer to withdrawing to the 1967 borders, the essential precondition for the creation of a Palestinian state. The question is: if the demographic logic is indeed so compelling, why hasn’t it done so? The answer, I believe, is that the premise is wrong.

    At a January 2008 negotiating session with Ahmad Qurei and Saeb Erekat which is described in the Palestine Papers, Tzipi Livni spelled out Israel’s strategy:

    Israel was established to become a national home for Jews from all over the world. The Jew gets the citizenship as soon as he steps in Israel, and therefore don’t say anything about the nature of Israel … The basis for the creation of the state of Israel is that it was created for the Jewish people.

    ‘Israel is the state of the Jewish people,’ she had stressed a couple of months earlier, ‘and I would like to emphasise the meaning of “its people” is the Jewish people, with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the Jewish people for 3007 years.’ ‘Your state,’ she said to the Palestinian negotiators, ‘will be the answer to all Palestinians, including refugees.’ Erekat interpreted her definition as a matter of linguistics and told her: ‘If you want to call yourself the Jewish state of Israel – you can call it what you want.’ He passed on to the Americans his working premise that ‘Israelis want the two-state solution … sometimes more than Palestinians themselves.’ But what Livni was saying was that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. To secure such a state in a country with very limited territory means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration. The fear is that if Israel became a Jewish majority state with fixed borders, the inevitable demand for full equal rights for minorities would herald the end of Jewish special rights and of Zionism itself.

    A two-state solution therefore does not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism, it compounds it. The size of the non-Jewish population of Israel would be reduced from 40 or 50 per cent to 20 per cent if a Palestinian state were created, but the inherent contradiction of a non-Jewish minority with equal rights would undermine it as a Jewish state. Israel’s only answer is to keep its borders undefined while holding on to scarce water and land resources, leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill.

    A decade ago, I was a member of Senator George Mitchell’s staff on his first foray into the region, after he was asked to head a ‘fact-finding committee’ into the causes of the second intifada. Even then, Livni’s vision was evident in the Israeli strategy of excluding Palestinians from the body politic while making them subject to its methods of control. The Occupied Territories assumed an elastic, shifting geography in which the rule of law was suspended under cover of the law. It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. Maintaining control of the Occupied Territories keeps open to Israel the option of displacing Palestinian citizens of Israel into the Territories by means of limited land swaps. It also ensures that Israel retains the ability to force future returning refugees to settle in their ‘homeland’, whereas a sovereign Palestinian state might decline to accept the refugees. It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence.

    Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:

    Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness
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