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Today in Palestine

Israeli military clears Israeli military of war crimes in Gaza

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A Palestinian man lies down among a destroyed house after returning home in the Tufah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City on August 31, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.

UN data shows Israel tightened Gaza siege in July

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Palestinian workers demonstrate against the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip during a rally marking May Day, on May 1, 2016, in Gaza City. Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2006, and recently banned the supply of cement and construction materials for the private sector, citing security concerns. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/ APA Images)

Middle East Monitor reports: New data released by a United Nations agency and an Israeli NGO has confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July.

Israeli mayor: No Arabs in our pools because their ‘hygiene culture is not like ours’

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(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Last week the head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, Moti Dotan, said he didn’t want Arab citizens of Israel using community swimming pools because they have a different “hygiene culture” that is “not like ours.” A Haaretz editorial says Dotan isn’t a racist outlier, but a reflection of the Israeli mainstream: “Dotan’s statement is fed by a leadership that has made the exclusion and isolation of this country’s Arab citizens the backbone of Israeli patriotism.”

Mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in solidarity with Bilal Kayid continues to grow

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Hunger striker Bilal Kayid, on a poster made by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Ma‘an reports: Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had sharply deteriorated after almost 50 days without food. Qaraqe says that around 100 Palestinian prisoners began solidarity hunger strikes in different Israeli prisons in support of Kayid.

Israel demolishes Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 101st time

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Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 101st time on Wednesday morning. The demolition followed several weeks of Israeli bulldozers entering the community to level lands, which escalated to Israeli police conducting raids on the community and detaining several Bedouins after locals attempted to stop the bulldozers. The first demolition of al-Araqib took place a little over six years ago on June 27, 2010.

Israeli forces shoot five Palestinians during raid of Sa’ir as siege of southern West Bank continues

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Poster of four young men from occupied Palestinian village, Sa'ir, killed on one day in January. Their names were Ahmad Kawazba, Alaa Abed Kawazba, Muhannad Kawazba, and Khalil al-Shalalda (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”

900 Gazans are still in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

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A mother and son in the orthopedic department at Ash Shifa hospital, Gaza City, October 2015 (Photo: UN/OCHA)

UN: “In early July 2014, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Gaza’s struggling health sector was near to collapse due to the severe shortages of medicines, medical disposables and fuel, and the lack of capacity to expand services to meet population needs. In the days and weeks following that warning, the health sector was confronted with over 11,200 injuries, among them more than 3,800 children, which is the highest number of injuries for such period of time it had ever faced. The challenge to the health system posed by the 2014 hostilities has extended into the present; approximately 900 of those injured sustained some form of permanent disability and require continued attention, while a significant part of the health infrastructure was damaged.”

Turkish humanitarian organization responsible for Gaza flotilla rejects reconciliation deal with Israel

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Palestinian schoolgirls hold Turkish flag and gather next to a statue erected as a memorial for the victims of the Turkish flotilla Mavi Marmara in the port of Gaza City on March 23, 2013. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Israel and Turkey reached agreement to normalize ties, ending a rift over the Israeli navy’s killing of 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010. The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which organized the flotilla to Gaza, rejects the agreement between Turkey and Israel stating, “The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted”

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen by ‘mistake’

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15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran (Photo: Ma'an News)

Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”

Israel extends administrative detention for Palestinian circus performer

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(Photo: Amnesty International UK Twitter feed)

On Monday, Israel extended the administrative detention of Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha, a 23-year-old Palestinian circus performer, in spite of widespread outcry from activists and rights groups around the world demanding his release. A statement released by the Palestinian Circus School, where Abu Sakha worked, said the Israeli occupation is “a system that knows no humanity,” whose only goal is “to break the spirit of an entire nation.” “You (the Israeli occupation) only make our resistance stronger. And the resistance of the Palestinian Circus School has always been and will continue to be injecting hope, love, and happiness in the hearts and minds of all Palestinians and all people that cross our path worldwide.”

Israel destroys Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 99th time

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Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

On Thursday, Israeli bulldozers demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 99th time. A local resident told Quds Press that several Bedouin families became homeless again after Israeli bulldozers escorted by police forces stormed the village and razed all their homes.

Palestinians commemorate the Naksa

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Palestinians take part in a demonstration to mark Naksa Day, in the West Bank city of Hebron, on June 04, 2016.  (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/APA Images)

Sunday June 5th marks the 49th anniversary of the day known to Palestinians as the ‘Naksa’ [‘setback’], the day that the Israeli military occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai peninsula. During the Naksa, around 300,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, and became refugees. 49 years later, the military occupation continues.

78% of Israelis support annexing West Bank settlement Ma’aleh Adumim

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The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

On Tuesday, the Knesset “Land of Israel” caucus called to annex the major West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, citing a poll showing nearly 78 percent of Israelis support the move. The push came in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he is open to negotiating based on the Arab Peace Initiative.

‘His only crime was that he’s not Jewish’: Israeli police caught on video attacking Palestinian in Tel Aviv

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Video of Israeli police attacking (Video: Ha'aretz/YouTube)

Off-duty Border Police officers in civilian clothes savagely assaulted a Palestinian supermarket worker in central Tel Aviv on Sunday after he refused to identify himself because he didn’t know who they were, according to eyewitnesses. “The blows were murderous, from the guy and from one of his friends. I’ve never seen anything like it. Teeth were flying through the air. The Arab was torn apart,” Erez Krispin, an eyewitness, wrote in a Facebook post.

Youth Against Settlements: Hebron closed military zone ended following activist campaign

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(Graphic: Youth Against Settlements)

Press release: “Youth Against Settlements is pleased to announce that the closed military zone orders in Hebron were not renewed today by the Israeli military. The Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron had been under closed military zone orders since November 1, 2015 with the order having been renewed at 2-4 week intervals. Youth Against Settlements attributes (YAS) this success to the Open the Zone campaign that YAS and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) launched on May 3. The campaign involved video testimony of families and individuals living in the closed military zone describing the difficulties the closed military zone created for their lives. “

Israeli siege causes Gaza sewage crisis that now threatens Israel

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Sewage flows from an outlet into the sea in front of Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

AP reports: “Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront, spewing out of a metal pipe and turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone. The sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is now floating northward and affecting Israel as well, where a nearby desalination plant was forced to shut down, apparently due to pollution.”

UN agency says Israeli ban on cement preventing reconstruction in Gaza

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Palestinians walk an hour and a half from Gaza City to their homes in Shuja’iyeh during the ceasefire in order to collect personal items, July 25, 2014.. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Ma‘an reports, “Israel’s punitive ban on cement imports into the Gaza Strip has prevented hundreds of families from rebuilding their homes devastated by the 2014 war, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a press release Thursday. As a result of the debilitating cement scarcity and price increases, ‘organizations providing assistance have had to suspend cash assistance for house repairs to over 1,370 families.'”

Israel closes crossing to Gaza for Passover

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Kerem Shalom Crossing  to Gaza (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

Ma‘an reports, “Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel from Thursday for the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Head of the PA’s Crossings and Border Department, Nathmi Mhanna, told Ma‘an the crossing would be sealed until Sunday with the exception of fuel entering the besieged enclave.”