Ma’an News Agency reports, “The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior in Gaza closed the Palestinian side of the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Sunday morning, denying residents of the besieged coastal enclave passage in both directions, as local sources described a ‘state of alert’ in Gaza with severe security measures being imposed across the small Palestinian territory.”
Category Archives: Features
The Rasmea Defense Committee announced yesterday Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, “has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.”
Howard Cohen relates the story of one of his students at an engineering college in the Negev struggling to keep up with his studies after Israeli police killed his father, demolished his home: “He had used the word killed, it was me who had used the word murder, but the words were irrelevant at this moment. He wasn’t interested in making a political statement to me, he was making an existential one. That was clear enough. ‘You see it’s so difficult for me,’ he went on, wiping away the tears that had welled up at the corner of his eyes and which threatened to stream down his face. ‘Everything was under the rubble. I even had a workbook for the class but that too was under the rubble together with my ID card and all our other belongings. They didn’t give us any time to leave. They bulldozed the house with all of our possessions in it. I’m trying to return to my studies. It’s important for me to continue, in spite of everything. But it’s so difficult for me. My head just isn’t there. And it’s going to be difficult for me to attend all the classes and prepare for the presentation.'”
Ma’an News Agency reports: “Israeli forces have detained 18 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank for being in a WhatsApp group with a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces on Monday [near the Lion’s Gate to the Al-Aqsa Mosque] after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement on Sunday that the detained were all members of a group called “Road to heaven” on the messaging application, which she said was used to share religious messages.”
Fourteen years ago today, an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer ran over and killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie who was in the Gaza Strip protecting a Palestinian home from demolition.
The Palestinian prisoner rights group Samidoun reports novelist Khalida Ghosheh was released on bail on Saturday. Still, she faces charges over her fictional book about Palestinians collaborators for Israel. Samidoun writes, Ghosheh said while in jail “the interrogators claimed that her novel poses a threat to collaborators working with the occupation, saying that the novel reflects her own experiences and aims to warn young people about ways [the Israeli authorities] may attempt to compel them to become collaborators.”
In a hotly contested session of Knesset, Israeli lawmakers passed the first reading of a bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer, sparking Arab representatives to walk-out mid-session. Al Jazeera reports, “A law to muffle mosques’ amplified calls to prayer in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem won preliminary approval on Wednesday in a charged parliamentary session where Palestinian legislators denounced the measure as racist. The bill passed a preliminary reading with 55 votes in favour and 48 against as the assembly broke out into chaotic arguments.”
Haaretz reports Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman has a “leadership role in an organization that raises funds for the West Bank settlement of Beit El [that] is frequently cited as grounds for disqualifying him from becoming U.S. ambassador to Israel. It now emerges that Friedman’s financial ties to the settlement movement run deeper than Beit El. Friedman has also made contributions over the years to Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing organization that buys land in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and Arab East Jerusalem for creating a ‘Jewish presence’ there.”
Medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent said that Hussein Hassan Qawariq, 72, was shot by Israeli forces at the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus. Qawariq was hit in the foot and pelvis, after Israeli soldiers told him to halt.
Palestinian barber Ramadan Edwan styles hair with fire in Gaza. Power shortages prevent him from using a blow dryer.
Haaretz reports: The IDF’s Civil Administration in the West Bank on Sunday distributed some 40 demolition orders in a Bedouin village in Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control. Residents say the issuing of dozens of demolition orders is unprecedented in the area. “All the houses received [demolition] orders,” A’id Khamis Jahalin, a local resident, told Haaretz. “I’m scared. This time is different. Then they gave one [demolition order] or two, but such a blow, it’s something. They gave 42 orders. They gave for everything, there are no structures here in all the area that didn’t receive an order. I spoke with our lawyer, they gave us up to five days [to object], that’s a short time,” said Jahalin. Israeli authorities confirmed that such a widespread issuance of demolition orders was unprecedented in the area, and this is a declaration of intention in advance of an attempt to evacuate the entire village.
The Council on Islamic Affairs (CAIR) has offered a $5,000 award for anyone with knowledge of those threatening Jewish community centers in the United States. Violence has to be condemned unequivocally. If the center of American democracy is to hold under Trump’s assault, all hands against violence must be on deck. But the level of incitement against Muslims and the undocumented, now extending to Jewish institutions, isn’t simply a Trump phenomena. Jews aren’t only victims in this cycle. These same Jewish institutions now under threat contribute to the cycle of violence they are now threatened with.
Hundreds of Palestinian mourners joined a funeral procession in the city of Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank on Saturday for 25-year-old Muhammad Jallad, who died last week in Israeli custody, after being hospitalized for three months for being shot by Israeli forces while he was crossing the street on his way to a chemotherapy session.
The lonesome death in an Israeli hospital of Mohammed Aamar Jalad, 25, shot by Israeli soldiers as he headed to what was to be his last chemotherapy appointment.
Albert Einstein, once America’s most famous Jew, saw the disaster unfolding in Palestine; Jared Kushner should heed his warning.
Israel’s prison service is denying medical treatment to 15-year old Palestinian from the West Bank town of Beitunia who has leukemia and other medical complications relating to a recent stroke and was detained by the Israeli authorities for unknown reasons, say lawyers’ representing the child.
The 100-year old father of Yacoub Abu al-Qee‘an [or al-Qi‘an] died Thursday morning after succumbing to shock over the death of his son, who was killed by Israeli police while defending his village of Umm al-Hiran from eviction. Israeli authorities are in the process of razing and expelling the Palestinian-Bedouin residents of Umm al-Hiran, in order to establish a Jewish-Israeli community in the same location.
In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran. Among those left homeless, a 100-year old Palestinian woman and her 60-year old daughter, both of whom are unable to walk due to health issues.
Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish holiday for the “New Year for Trees,” is typically celebrated as an appreciation of nature. Marc Ellis says Rabbi Brant Rosen has a unique take on the holiday and instead of praise it involves recognizing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
An Israeli soldier, Ben Dery, will not face manslaughter charge after saying he mistakenly fired live bullets, killing 17-year-old Palestinian Nadim Nuwara in May 2014.
Who would have thought the Holocaust would become a central issue in the first weeks of the Trump administration? This year the White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day changed radically; Jews mysteriously disappeared from the Holocaust. And yet, in the White House It appears that a Jewless Holocaust is being coupled with an Israel First foreign policy. The early days of the Trump Administration are full of surprises.
Ma‘an reports: “Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Khalifa and injured several others early Sunday morning in Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, after clashes erupted following an Israeli army raid into the camp. State-run Palestinian news agency Wafa said that Abu Khalifa was left on the ground for hours before paramedics were able to evacuate his body.”
Israel announced plans on Tuesday for 2,500 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, the second such declaration since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. White House spokesman Sean Spicer dodged a question Tuesday on whether the administration supports the Israeli government’s policy.
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The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reports that Ahmad Hassan Shubeir, a 17-year-old from Gaza City, died of a congenital heart defect after refusing to serve as a collaborator for Israel in exchange for a travel permit to receive medical care.