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Israel sent Palestinian Authority letter to ‘stop incitement’ over bus driver’s death

Allison Deger on
Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of bus driver Yousef Hassan al-Ramuni in the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem on November 17, 2014 (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

When news broke of a Palestinian bus driver’s body found hanging by a metal chord in the rear of an Israeli bus in a West Jerusalem parking lot, two separate narratives developed. The death came in the midst of a bitter pattern of attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians across the city and the official reason given in the autopsy by Israel was that Yousef Hassan al-Ramouni, 32, had committed suicide. However, the Palestinian media, government, family of the deceased, and witnesses to the body, most importantly a pathologist that sat in on the medical exam, all said otherwise, contradicting, the police’s pronouncement that there was “no suspicion of criminal activity.” Mondoweiss has obtained a copy of a letter authored by the Israeli General Coordinator of the Palestinian territories to the Palestinian Authority, asking them “to stop such incitement and bring the genuine facts regarding the circumstances of death of the deceased, to the attention of the Palestinian public.” In Israel, incitement is a crime punishable with a prison sentenc

Israeli occupation stoking ‘holy war’ in Jerusalem

Jonathan Cook on
A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli policemen in the old city of Jerusalem on Thursday after Israeli authorities temporarily closed the al-Aqsa mosque compound, October 31, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Relations between Israelis and Palestinians have descended into a dangerous melee of tit-for-tat attacks and killings, with the violence of the past few weeks centred on Jerusalem. The city, claimed by Israel as its “undivided capital”, has been torn apart by clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian residents since the summer, when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by Jewish extremists. Subsequent attacks by Palestinians culminated last week in a shooting and stabbing spree by two cousins at a synagogue that killed four Jews and an Israeli policeman. In this atmosphere, both sides have warned that the political conflict is mutating into a religious one. By refusing to recognise any Palestinian national claims in Jerusalem, Netanyahu has forced the population to recast the conflict in religious terms. Unable to identify politically with either Fatah or Hamas, Jerusalem’s Palestinians have found powerful consolation in a religious struggle to counter the mounting threats to Al-Aqsa

Debunking Netanyahu’s propaganda on Jerusalem

Micha Kurz on
(Image: YouTube)

Micha Kurz debunks a short piece of inflammatory propaganda circulated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office about the Temple Mount and the Israeli role in Jerusalem

Palestinian youth hospitalized after being attacked by Israeli settlers in Jerusalem

Kate on
Damascus Gate (Photo: Wikimedia)

Ma‘an reports: A Palestinian youth was attacked and beaten by a group of Jewish settlers at Damascus Gate near the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Friday night, a local political activist who was present at the time of the incident said. 22-year-old Ahmad Yaqub al-Ghoul lost consciousness as a result of bruising and bleeding he suffered after three Jewish settlers described as being in their 20s hit him with an iron bar and belts in the al-Musrara area just north of Damascus Gate.

‘What is your religion?’ question surprises two American visitors to the occupation

Philip Weiss on
Two American women in Ibrahimi mosque

Phil Weiss talks with two American students he met while traveling in Hebron. They tell him about being asked what their religion is by Israeli authorities– first at the border at Allenby Bridge, and then in Hebron, at the entrance to Shuhada Street. They’d never been asked that question by an authority before. The students are both Muslims, and when they said they were Muslim, they were not allowed to walk down Shuhada Street. Even though they had American passports

Revisiting ‘Graveyard of Numbers': Israel refuses to return remains of Palestinian militants as a punitive measure

Annie Robbins on
Ramallah, May 31, 2012. Members of the Palestinian security forces take pictures as they stand around coffins containing the remains of bodies of 91 Palestinian militants transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. Israel transferred the bodies in an effort to induce Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas to renew negotiations. Palestinian officials said all were killed either while carrying out suicide bombings or other attacks on Israeli targets. ( Photo: Mohammed Ballas/AP)

A recent headline in Haaretz claimed the Israeli government withholding of corpses, Said Abu Jamal and Uday Abu Jamal the two Palestinians cousins responsible for carrying out the synagogue attack in Jerusalem last Monday, was an “unprecedented move”. How odd, for there’s nothing unprecedented in the least about Israel refusing to release the bodies of deceased Palestinian militants to their families for burial. How short are our memories

Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition

Allison Deger on
Home of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the Jerusalem motorist from the October 22, 2014 light rail attack in Jerusalem, demolished by Israeli authorities early Wednesday morning, in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem (Photo: Allison Deger)

Israeli police ransacked seven apartments and urinated inside one while demolishing the Silwan apartment of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, the Palestinian motorist from East Jerusalem who killed a three-month old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel and one Ecuadoran tourist in a light rail attack in Jerusalem on October 22, 2014. “They urinated on the mattresses in my brother’s apartment, said Enas al-Shaludi, 43, the mother of the deceased driver. “You can see the urine on the mattresses.” In addition to the demolition, which the family expected after receiving a demolition order last Friday, all of the other apartments in the four-story residential building were raided

Netanyahu’s ‘battle for Jerusalem’ can’t end well for any of us

Philip Weiss on
(Image: YouTube)

Did you read Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech following the attack on the West Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday? Phil Weiss found it bloodcurdling. Netanyahu called on “the state of the Jews” to unite in a “battle for Jerusalem.” Calling Jews to put aside their little differences and take up arms for the “battle for Jerusalem” is a vision of holy war, with fascistic trimmings. The battle for Jerusalem is deadly for all of us. Americans must affirm that this city belongs to the world


Marc H. Ellis on
A Palestinian youth hurls stones at Israeli police officers, not seen, next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Israeli police say several Palestinians threw rocks at officers and Jewish worshippers after Muslim prayers in Jerusalem’s Old City and 15 have been arrested. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

In Jerusalem, “here we go, again again again” — Descent, a poem from Marc Ellis

Israel destroys Bedouin village of Al-Araqib for the 78th time

Kate on
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)

PNN reports: “Israeli forces on Monday razed the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in Negev Desert for the 78th time on the pretext that it had been built illegally, eyewitness said. Local resident told Andalou agency that “Dozens of Israeli forces backed by five bulldozers stormed the village at dawn today and began demolishing homes and other structures, the soldiers were heavily armed. They drove us out under the rain before they demolished our homes for 78th time in four years.””

The fight to save a village continues in Wadi Fukin

Daniel Tepper on
The town of Wadi Fukin, with a population of 1,300, is dwarfed by the nearby settlement of Beitar Illit, which is home to 45,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis. Just after the Gaza War, on August 31st, Israel announced its intention to seize 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinians villages of Wadi Fukin and Jab’a (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein)

Wadi Fukin is a small agricultural town in the West Bank. It is situated on just over 700 acres of land and is squeezed in on two sides – by the Israeli settlement Beitar Illit, to the south and Tzur Hadasa, a small Israeli town just over the Green Line to the north. On August 31st the Israeli Civil Administration – a governing body that controls most of the West Bank – declared that almost 1000 acres, near the villages of Jab’a and Wadi Fukin would become state land. The announcement marks the largest attempt in decades to expropriate territory in the West Bank. As the yearly olive harvest comes to a close, Palestinians here are worried they are being cut off from the rest of the West Bank and may lose the means to support themselves if their farmland is seized

Inadequate religion

Marc H. Ellis on
Rabbis for Human Rights logo

Bloodshed in Jerusalem and beyond won’t be remedied by apolitical prayers and statements from Rabbis for Human Rights and Jewish Voice for Peace, Marc Ellis says

Israel sows despair and senseless violence

Jeff Halper on
Netanyahu at his news conference yesterday, from Israeli government press office

Israel is not in “the grip of a terrorist onslaught,” as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated in this press conference tonight; it is in the grip of senseless violence spawned by despair and repression… Israel, having given up all pretense of seeking a just solution, has answered Palestinian despair with pure, atavistic repression. — Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

More than 30,000 people are still living in UNRWA schools in Gaza. What does that look like?

Gisha on

It’s been two-and-a-half months since Operation Protective Edge ended. During the operation, thousands of Gaza residents took shelter in United Nations (UNRWA) schools. Many have since returned to their homes, and others, whose homes were destroyed, were put up by family and friends. However, 18 UNRWA schools still house more than 30,000 people who have no home or temporary solution. They are waiting for Gaza’s promised reconstruction while living in classrooms that were modified into small one-room apartments

Israeli attacks on Al Quds University give new meaning to ‘academic freedom’

Kamilah Moore on
Al Quds University, right, alongside the Separation Wall.

Close to 13,000 Palestinian and international students go through at least one of 600 checkpoints in the West Bank to attend Al Quds University, the only Arab University in East Jerusalem. Established in 1984, the Abu Dis campus now houses 13 academic faculties, and has more than 30 centers and institutes, including the critically acclaimed Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoner Movement Affairs. Besides having a museum dedicated to Palestinian political prisoners on campus, Al Quds University is unique for another controversial reason: the campus community is under constant threat due to methodical and ideologically-based attacks by the Israeli military

This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say

Philip Weiss on
A Palestinian uses a sling shot during clashes with Israeli forces following a protest against Israeli restrictions to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. (Photo: AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Phil Weiss reports from East Jerusalem where Palestinians say the current violence in the city does not represent a third intifada . . . yet. But there could be an organized uprising if Jewish zealots’ incitements about the Al Aqsa mosque continue. In interviews, these Palestinians say that Israel’s escalation of violence in East Jerusalem has isolated and terrified neighborhoods. “There is no security. You are afraid economically, politically, and physically.” And the individual acts of violence by maddened Palestinians who feel they have nothing to lose reflects the universal demand for human dignity.