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Today in Palestine

Gaza Ministry of Health: Hospitals on the verge of collapse

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Palestinian physician Allam Nayef checks the report of a patient in the ICU at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, July 19, 2014, where the power goes off repeatedly under daily rolling blackouts and many items are in short supply. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Ma’an and MEMO report: The healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said Monday, warning that hospitals could stop operating within hours due to the territory’s energy crisis. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the ministry, said that “Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel.” The Ministry holds the national unity government accountable for any harm that may befall their patients due to “the government’s lack of responsibility.”

Israeli begins construction of Jewish-only town on ruins of demolished Bedouin village

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(Image: Adalah)

Ma‘an reports: Israeli excavators on Sunday morning began work on infrastructure for two Jewish-only settlements in the former Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert in southern Israel, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that excavators and bulldozers were building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces.

Israel begins using drones to monitor West Bank protests

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An IDF drone over the West Bank village of Bil’in. (Photo: Haitham Khatib)

Haggai Matar writes in +972 mag: “Participants in the weekly protests against the separation wall in the West Bank village of Bil‘in were surprised Friday to find that the army was using a new tool to put down the demonstrations. For the first time, a small drone equipped with four propellers and a camera hovered above the protesters as they marched toward the wall and chanted slogans. I asked the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit what the purpose of the drone was; I have yet to receive a response.”

Palestinian civil disobedience campaign spreads across Israeli prisons

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(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Ma’an reports: Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Rimon and Nafha jails on Tuesday continued a campaign of disobedience that was declared on Monday. The campaign will continue until the end of August, the statement said, after which time the prisoners are expected to announce an open-ended hunger strike. “Disobedience” include a boycott of domestic work, daily roll-call, security checks and prison clinics.

‘Not a rare incident’: Israel settlers have attempted to firebomb Palestinian homes at least 15 times since 2008

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A man from Duma peeks into the bedroom in which toddler Ali Dawabsheh was burned to death. (Photo: Jen Marlowe)

From Middle East Monitor: The burning of Palestinian homes by Israeli settlers, as happened in Duma on Friday, “is not a rare incident” says Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din. The organisation has documented 15 cases where Israeli settlers have burnt or attempted to burn Palestinian homes since 2008. Yesh Din said that the Palestinians submit complaints to the Israeli police stations, however in 10 instances the files were closed without anyone being brought to justice.

Mother, father and brother of slain Palestinian toddler all remain in critical condition following settler attack

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Photo of the Dawabshe family

Ma‘an reports: The parents and brother of the 18-month-old Palestinian killed in an arson attack on Friday remained in critical condition on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Health said. There has been a slight improvement in four-year-old Ahmad al-Dawabsha, but Saad al-Dawabsha suffers from third-degree burns covering 80 percent of his body, while his wife Riham suffers third-degree burns across 90 percent of her body.

One year later, Gazan detainee still being held by Israel without trial

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A Palestinian flag is attached to the barbed wires of Israel's Ofer prison in West Bank, while the families wait for the release of Palestinian prisoners (AFP Photo / Abbas Momani)

Haaretz reports: Explosives expert Sami Najar, who the Shin Bet says is a potential danger to national security, is the only one left in detention out of over 100 Gazans arrested last summer. The Shin Bet security service says Najar remains in administrative detention because he has exceptional knowledge about building explosive devices. For now, it is not known when he will be released.

Controversy ignites as Joint Arab List member joins Gaza flotilla

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The Marianne of Gothenburg is preparing to set sail for Gaza (Photo: Joran Fagerlund)

AFP reports: An announcement by a [Palestinian] lawmaker that he plans to join a pro-Palestinian flotilla seeking to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza caused outrage Monday among the country’s political class. Basel Ghattas, an Israeli MP with the Joint Arab List, sparked controversy after he announced he would join other parliamentarians and public figures from around the world in the latest attempt to reach Gaza by ship later this month.

Hamas military wing claims responsibility for killing Israeli in the West Bank

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Palestinians raise Hamas flags at what remains of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, accused by Israel of being part of the plot to kidnap three hitchhikers. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File via Maan News)

Ma’an News: Hamas military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades reportedly claimed responsibility for Friday’s West Bank shooting that left an Israel man dead and another lightly injured. A statement released by the group identified the “Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha Brigade” as the group directly behind Friday’s shooting, adding that “the operation was carried out days before the first anniversary of the martyrs Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha.” The two were killed by Israeli forces after being accused of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenage settlers near Hebron last summer in what many say was a triggering point for last summer’s Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu government ramps up effort to combat BDS

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

Ynet reports: Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.

New Israeli bill aims to put Palestinian stone-throwers in jail for 10-20 years

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A Palestinian protestor prepares to throw a stone towards Israeli security forces during clashes at the entrance of the Jalama checkpoint, near the West Bank city of Jenin, on February 24, 2013. (Photo: Saif Dahlah / AFP)

Al Jazeera reports: Adoption of a bill by Israeli cabinet ministers aimed at imposing tougher penalties on stone-throwers is the latest discriminatory measure by Israel, singling out Palestinians, a Palestinian diplomat has told Al Jazeera. The draft law stipulates 10 years in jail for stone-throwers without the need to prove the defendant’s intention to harm anyone. “When it comes to the Palestinians and Israelis, Israel has two different judicial systems. One is applicable to Israeli citizens and the other for Palestinians,” Maen Rashid Areikat, the chief of Palestinian Liberation Organisation Delegation in Washington DC, told Al Jazeera.

Israeli President: Academic boycott of Israel is ‘strategic threat of the first order’

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Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”

West Bank Palestinians stuck in three-hour traffic jam due to Israeli settler bike race

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(Photo: Ma'an Images)

Ma‘an reports: Heavy traffic jams were reported along the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem on Monday as a settler bicycle race took place in the area. The 30-minute drive between the two cities took three hours as Israeli forces closed a main exit from Hebron connecting to Route 60 as settlers from Kiryat Arba took part in a race.

Israeli military attacks Nakba Day protests with live fire

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Protestor shot in his leg with live ammunition during protest in West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

AFP reports: “Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber and live bullets at Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, wounding at least 21 people, medics and security sources said. Clashes took place near Ramallah and farther north in Nablus, after a new Israeli cabinet took office and as Palestinians marked 67 years since the Nakba.”