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Today in Palestine

Israeli border police hold ‘stun grenade’ training in middle of Palestinian neighborhood

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An Israeli soldier throws a stun grenade at Palestinian protesters on August 27, 2013 in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)

Al Jazeera reports: “Israeli border police carried out stun grenade training in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, a new video purports to show. In the recording, the neighbourhood, home to around 16,000 people, is quiet, raising questions as to why border police decided to practise there with the risk of provoking tensions. One officer is seen teaching another how to operate the grenade. “Throw lower,” he tells him. The trainee officer detonates the grenade between the homes and is praised for a “good job” before he walks away with the rest of the officers.”

Israel detains 10 high school students in Jerusalem’s Old City

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Students at Dar al-Aytam school in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, 2004. (Photo: Steve Sabella via

Israeli forces detained 17 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight and during the day Monday, including 10 teenagers at Dar al-Aytam school in Jerusalem’s Old City that Israeli police accused of throwing rocks. Locals told Ma‘an they were detained as they left school and were chased by Israeli forces through the alleys of the Old City. Samir Jibril, the director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education department, had told Ma‘an that the Israeli soldiers’ accusations of rock throwing were “bogus” due to the fact that there were “security bars” secured over all the school’s windows, making it nearly impossible for students to throw anything out of them.

Gaza’s population hits 2 million

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Tahany Shaath holds her three-day-old new-born son Waleed at their house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on October 12, 2016. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/ APA Images)

“There are now more than two million residents in the Gaza Strip after baby Waleed Shaath was born last night in Rafah in southern Gaza,” interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bezm told AFP on Wednesday. Gaza, a tiny enclave squeezed between Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea and just 12 kilometres across at its widest point, has one of the highest population densities in the world, according to the United Nations. The territory could be “unliveable” by 2020, the UN said last year, due in large part to “high population density and overcrowding.”

Palestinian man killed by Israeli forces buried two hours later due to fear Israel would detain body

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Ali Atef Shyoukhi (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center )

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers fatally shot Ali Shyoukhi, 20, during a protest in Silwan just south of Jerusalem’s Old City. Shyoukhi was shot with a live round in his pelvis and bled to death as medics were unable to move him to the hospital due to the extensive military siege on the town. Hundreds of Jerusalemites participated in his funeral, which was held just two hours after he was killed out of fear that his body would be detained by Israel.

‘An attack on local democracy’: UK gov’t and Spanish High Court issue decisions against BDS

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Dozens of Spanish cities declaring themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’ (Graphic: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement )

A Spanish High Court of the Asturias region upheld a decision last week declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal. And last month the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government published guidance for local authorities stating that “using pension policies to pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate”.

Report: Israel has detained more than 1,000 Palestinian minors since beginning of 2016

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Israeli undercover police arrest a 10-year old Palestinian child on October 24, 2014. (Photo: Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency)

Ma’an reports: “More than 1,000 Palestinian minors have been detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Saturday, in a reported increase from 2015. The Committee said that at least 1,000 Palestinian minors between the ages of 11 and 18 had been detained by Israel since January, including around 70 children from occupied East Jerusalem who were placed under house arrest.”

In response to new aid deal, Israeli military firms to bid directly for defense contracts through US subsidiaries

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Ha’aretz reports: “The key to Israeli defense firms not losing business under the new U.S. military aid deal will be to follow Elbit Systems and set up subsidiaries in the United States to bid for defense orders, industry officials said over the weekend. They were speaking days after the United States and Israel signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding that will provide Israel with $3.8 billion in annual grants. In the deal, Israel will no longer be entitled to spend 26.3% of the money – equal to around $815 million annually in recent years – in Israel.”

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.”