And more news from Today in Palestine:
Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
Army orders home demolitions in Hebron and Jerusalem
PNN 28 Feb — Jerusalem – PNN – The Israeli army issued demolition orders in East Jerusalem and Hebron on Monday for several structures including homes, a mosque and a school. On Monday morning, Israeli troops handed out demolition orders to Palestinian homeowners in several neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Among those families was al-lmi family, the members of which said that they are still fighting in court to get a permit for their home, after the Israeli municipality refused it. Palestinian sources said that the new wave of demolition orders swept Beit Hanina, Shu‘fat Refugee Camp, and the al-Marwaha area, all located in East Jerusalem.
The continual struggle of Al-Arakib
[many excellent photos, video] Palestine Monitor 27 Feb — There are 45 unrecognized Bedouin communities living in Israel’s Negev, and over the past seven months the ILA has targeted al-Arakib making life nearly impossible. According to Palestinian Knesset Member, Talab al-Sana, Israel is making an example of al-Arakib in hopes to pressure the other communities to disperse voluntarily.
Sewage without borders / Zafrir Rinat
Haaretz 28 Feb — Israel used money it owes the Palestinian Authority to treat untreated solid waste flowing into Israel, while settlement sewage still pollutes the West Bank
History: Golan residents recall their Tahrir / Mya Guarnieri
AJ 25 Feb — Residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights celebrate their Arab identity as a form of resistance — Siham Monder was 14 when Syrian residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights took to the streets for a strike and protests that spanned six months of 1982. “Now I’m 43,” Monder says. “And I remember that every day in that period there was a conflict with the [Israeli army]. There were more soldiers here than residents.” While the Israeli military occupation of the Golan began after the 1967 war, the strike and protests started on February 14, 1982, two months after the Israeli Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law, legislation that effectively annexed the territory.
Tel Aviv to build affordable housing for Jaffa’s Arab residents
Haaretz 28 Feb — Jaffa currently has 46,000 residents, of whom 17,000 are Arab. Many Arab residents believe municipality officials have been pressuring them to leave Jaffa — “We want Jaffa’s Arabs to feel that they are wanted, and we want to change the narrative – from threats to having [the Arabs] stay,” [Amir Katz] says. “If we can’t create coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Jaffa, with minimal tensions, how will we succeed anywhere else in this country?”
Eight settlers arrested in clashes with police in illegal West Bank outpost
Haaretz 28 Feb — Clashes erupt when security forces arrive at Havat Gilad outpost to demolish several illegal structures; settlers report 13 lightly wounded from rubber bullets … The Havat Gilad outpost is home to several dozen settlers. IDF forces have evacuated the outpost twice before
Settlers: 15 injured in Havat Gilad
[with video] Ynet 28 Feb — Security forces that arrived at West Bank settlement at 4:30 am in order to destroy illegal structures clashed with locals, who say forces fired rubber bullets, smoke grenades at them. Eight settlers arrested, MKs call for official probe
Colonists attack Arab vehicles after evacuations near Nablus
GulfNews 28 Feb — Ramallah: Hundreds of Israeli colonists blocked the roads connecting the northern cities of the West Bank on Monday and hurled stones on vehicles driven by Palestinians in a revenge [‘price tag’] move after the Israeli Army evacuated several illegal houses in an Israeli outpost near Nablus.
Rightists trying to block Jerusalem intersection
Ynet 28 Feb – Right-wing activists are setting fire to tires at the Kiryat Moshe intersection in Jerusalem in an attempt to block the road. They are being evacuated by a police force, which has arrested several protesters.According to estimates, right-wing elements will try to carry out ‘price tag’ actions following the demolition of illegal structures in the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad on Monday morning.
Netanyahu slams settlers for illegal outposts
JPost 28 Feb — PM says outposts threaten government efforts to protect current settlements and construction.
What if Israeli forces treated West Bank settlers like Arabs? / Bradley Burston
28 Feb – What might be the reaction among settlers if Israeli forces in the West Bank treated them somewhat as if they were Palestinians? Now – thanks to clashes with some of the most extreme of West Bank settlers – we have some idea: Outrage. “I’ve never seen police firing on innocent bystanders and on women,” said settler leader Gershon Messika, chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, the administrative umbrella of northern West Bank settlements. “I haven’t seen things like this – maybe only with Gadhafi in Libya, or in Bil‘in,” he told Army Radio. “But with children, Jews…”
Israeli airstrike hits Palestinians
AJ 27 Feb 19:49 — A Palestinian fighter has been killed and a second wounded in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said. Sunday’s attack followed a series of bombing raids carried out by Israeli fighter jets on Saturday, in which a baby and a Palestinian man were wounded, Reuters news agency reported. Israeli authorities gave no immediate comment, but had said earlier raids on the coastal region were in response to rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip in the past week. A statement from the ruling Hamas movement earlier on Sunday denied its armed factions had been behind projectile fire from the strip on either February 25th or 27th.
Palestinian worker shot and killed in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (AFP) 28 Feb — Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian worker in Gaza on Monday, along the northern border of the coastal enclave, Palestinian medical sources told AFP. Medics told Ma‘an that the man’s body was evacuated shortly after noon.
Israeli artillery fire injures 2 in Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Feb 15:46 — At least one man was injured Monday, medics told Ma‘an, in what witnesses near the Gaza International Airport said was a volley of artillery fire from an Israeli tank operating near the Rafah border area. [includes summary of deaths and injuries in Gaza Sunday-Monday]
OPT: IOF injure Palestinian civilians collecting scrap north of Beit Lahyia town
26 Feb — At approximately 11:40am on Saturday 26 February 2011, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire at a group of Palestinian civilians who were collecting scrap and rubble from the destroyed structures near the border fence between Gaza and Israel … As a result, Khalid Mohammed Mustafa Al Hsoumi, 36, was injured in the right leg, causing a fracture in it. Medical sources at Kamal Odwan Hospital described his injuries as severe. Other civilians in who were the area were terrified and left their work.
Analysis: Concerns over rising violence in West Bank
RAMALLAH, 28 February 2011 (IRIN) – Violence between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank appears to be worsening, say UN agencies, NGOs, and the Israeli and Palestinian communities living there. An increased number of Palestinian civilians have been injured and had property or land damaged in incidents involving Israeli settlers living in the West Bank since the start of 2011, reports the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Palestinian children affected by armed conflict: new UNICEF report
Uruknet 27 Feb — In 2010, grave violations continued to be committed against children in the occupied Palestinian territory. Eleven Palestinian children were killed and 360 injured in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. No Israeli children were killed but two were injured. Palestinian children continued to be detained and subjected to ill-treatment, and in some cases torture, during arrest and interrogations by Israeli security forces. In East Jerusalem, search and arrest operations involving children as young as seven years old intensified in the Silwan neighbourhood, and child casualties increased at the end of the year as a result of the confrontations between private armed guards, hired by the Israeli Ministry of Housing to protect Israeli settlers, and local residents (unarmed). In Gaza, Palestinian children were shot at by Israeli security forces while collecting rubble in or near the Buffer Zone, hoping to earn some money to help their poverty-stricken families….
2 Gaza crossings open for limited imports
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — For the second day in a row, Israeli authorities permitted the opening of two Gaza import terminals, ahead of the announced permanent closure of the bulk goods crossing.
Video: Intl. activists help Gaza recover from war
PressTV 26 Feb — This house was the scene of a bloody massacre in which 29 members of the Samouni family were killed during Israel’s 22-day war on Gaza at the turn of 2009. At the time there were 97 family members who were forced into the house before it was hit with Israeli artillery rounds. But now this is how the house looks like, with the help of charitable organizations. The owner of the house is happy to see his home turned into a community center to serve children in his neighborhood in Zaitoon, south of Gaza city.
Militants have ‘new tactics’ to face Israeli forces in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — The Al-Quds Brigades have “new tactics” they are ready to deploy against Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing told Ma‘an on Monday. Militant groups will focus their efforts almost exclusively on Israeli troops breaching the Gaza border and maintaining the “no-go zone” inside the Strip, spokesman Abu Ahmad said, adding that new tactics had been developed to defend against the incursions. Israeli forces patrol the Gaza border daily, and regularly enter to demolish infrastructure and destroy agricultural produce. The military says the patrols are routine, and part of the security apparatus maintained by Israeli forces.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, divestment & sanctions
Knesset softens anti-boycott bill
Ynet 28 Feb — Bill revised to target only organizers of boycotts against Israel. MK Plesner: Law still dangerous — The Knesset approved a bill proposal that bans boycotts against Israeli individuals, companies and organizations in its first reading. If it is approved in subsequent readings, the law will place sanctions on Israelis that initiate or promote such boycotts
Racism / Discrimination
Settlement leader rejects demands to fire Israeli Arab bus driver
Haaretz 28 Feb — …Elazar residents objected to the Israeli Arab’s placement as a school-bus driver in the settlement …The residents stressed that the complaint was not motivated by anti-Arab racism but rather by what they said were legitimate concerns for their children’s safety.
Mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel: not separate and not equal / Issa Edward Boursheh
10 percent of the Palestinian-Israelis live in what we like to call mixed cities. What do we know about their reality and how is it different, if at all, from the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli villages and cities?
Can’t we all just get along – separately?
Haaretz 24 Feb — The three MKs co-sponsoring the controversial ‘community acceptance committees’ bill discuss its merits and deflect its critics — Tempers flared earlier this month when the Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee approved a highly controversial bill that would allow rural villages in Israel to become ‘gated communities’, legally entitled to restrict admittance to only those people that they say fit in with the socio-cultural character of the community … But the ‘separate but equal’ concept does not mean that just anyone can make his own city – certainly not Arabs. Ninety-three percent of the land in Israel is owned by the government, the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency, and they only lease land to Jews.
School rejoices in Oscar win
Ynet 28 Feb — Bialik-Rogozin’s foreign students say best prize will be state’s rescinding of deportation orders — Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv was bright with balloons Monday morning, the day after a short documentary on the foreign kids studying there won an Oscar … Many of the students studying at Bialik-Rogozin, most of whom come from impoverished and war-ridden countries, have no idea what it means to win an Oscar, but this does not stop them from smiling at the sign and hoping that perhaps the victory will lead to a reevaluation of the mass deportation planned by the state.
Palestinians and Egypt
Barred from travel to Egypt, Gazans abroad stranded
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Palestinians registered as residents of the Gaza Strip wishing to return home have been stranded since the outbreak of protests in Egypt, when officials barred Palestinians from entering the country amidst the overthrow of the political leadership. On Monday, a group of the stranded Palestinians sent a letter to Egypt’s de facto leader Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi asking him to allow them travel via Egypt and through the Rafah crossing home.
MK Ahmed Tibi: Israeli Arab leaders who visited Libya didn’t back Gadhafi
Haaretz 28 Feb — Tibi was among initiators of delegation of Higher Arab Monitoring Committee to Libya in 2010, which is now drawing criticism due to Libya’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
DFLP calls on Hamas, Fatah to take lessons from Arab revolts
Xinhua 27 Feb — A leftist Palestinian faction on Saturday urged feuding factions of Hamas and Fatah to understand the lessons from revolts in some Arab countries and meet the people’s aspiration. The call was made during a rally attended by thousands in the Gaza Strip to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).
Fatah sets new standards for cabinet selection
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Fatah’s Central Committee announced Sunday standards for the selection of cabinet ministers, as re-appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad continues consultations ahead of the new cabinet’s formation. The standards did not reference reported moves to open ministerial posts to Gaza ruling party Hamas.
Hamas quashes small pro-unity rally in Gaza
GAZA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – A Hamas security man surveyed the scene on Monday — 10 activists drawn by a Facebook page invitation to a Gaza rally for Palestinian unity. Where’s the revolution?” he asked with a note of sarcasm. Within minutes, security forces of the enclave’s ruling Islamist movement moved into Gaza’s main square. Witnesses said one of the security men punched the organiser of the rally and the other nine protesters obeyed orders to disperse.
Hamas’ Mash‘al to attend funeral of Turkey leader
ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) 28 Feb — The head of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Khalid Mash‘al, will attend the funeral of Turkey’s first Islamist leader Necmettin Erbakan in Istanbul on Tuesday, a former aide to Erbakan said. “Khalid Mash‘al is to arrive in Istanbul to take part in the funeral with other dignitaries from the Muslim world,” the aide, Mustafa Kamalak, told reporters on Monday.
US Palestinian community to PA — ‘You’re fired’ / Adam Horowitz
28 Feb — Today in New York members of the US Palestinian Community Network will be serving a “notice of termination” to the Palestinian Authority at the Palestine Permanent Observation Mission to the UN. From a press release: On the heels of a people’s victory for freedom and democracy in Egypt, the US Palestinian Community Network-NYC will present the Palestinian Authority with a pink slip terminating its employment as the leadership of the Palestinian people for failure to uphold its duties as a governing body.
Netanyahu wary of new international efforts in peace process
Haaretz 28 Feb — Prime Minister has yet to say whether or not he will cooperate with an upcoming Quartet meeting with Israeli, Palestinian officials, fearing Israel’s participation could allow world to dictate peace-talks terms.
Israel’s Barak: Must look beyond risks
JERUSALEM (AP) 28 Feb — Israel’s defense minister said Monday that his country would be ready to talk peace with Syria if Damascus were serious about doing so — a sharp departure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s go-slow approach to peacemaking while the Middle East is in turmoil.
Hamas rejects teaching holocaust in Palestine schools
GAZA, (PIC) 28 Feb — Hamas’s Refugee Affairs Department said it will do everything in its power to see that UNRWA does not include the holocaust in the Palestinian educational curriculum. ”UNRWA is trying to poison our children’s minds by taking steps that only serve the occupation [Israel],” the department said in a press release Sunday. The department believes the move is set to justify Israeli abuses against Palestinians by including the holocaust in the human rights curriculum in UNRWA schools across Palestine and teaching students about the persecution and ethnic cleansing of Jews and in order to depict the Jews as an oppressed people. UNRWA should have backed the Palestinians and illustrated the sufferings and tragedies they have been sustaining since the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, the statement says.
Gaza interior minister calls on Ukraine to trace missing Gaza man
GAZA, (PIC) 28 Feb — Gaza Minister of Interior Fathi Hamad has called upon his counterpart in the Ukraine Anatoly Vladimirovich Magelov to take urgent action to uncover the cause of suspicious disappearance of Dirar Abu Seesi. The official letter detailed events surrounding Abu Seesi before he had gone missing on 18 February. It says he had taken a train from the east Ukrainian city of Kharkov to the capital Kiev to meet his brother Yousef at the Borispol airport. He had not seen him in 15 years.
Gaza medical centre performs ground-breaking surgery
MEMO 28 Feb — A medical centre in Gaza has performed a surgical first in the besieged territory by implanting a Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy Defibrillator device (CRTD) in a 70-year old patient.
Palestinian girls to play football in Sri Lanka
Ramallah, 28 Feb (Asiantribune.com) — All arrangements have been made for the under 14 Palestinian Girls National Football Team to visit Sri Lanka from 1st March to 14th March to participate in South and Central Asia Football Festival … a group of 38 including players, coaches and referees will participate in this festival.
Football Palestine: So that Palestinian athletes can travel freely
27 Feb — …Players like Ma’ly Kawre’ and Balatah starlet Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb have been refused travel permits more than once in the past six months. Gaza, a hotbed of footballing talent hasn’t been able to contribute new players to the national team setup for nearly four years. The Gazans that do make it out end up not being able to travel back to Gaza to see their families. Suleiman Obeid’s mother died this past October and he hadn’t been able to see her for over a year due to travel restrictions. These are all incidents that occurred within the calendar year.
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
In Netanyahu’s bunker / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 28 Feb — Rather than pursuing negotiations with the Palestinian national movement concerning territories in the West Bank, the prime minister keeps pointing to the precedent of the unilateral transfer of areas of Gaza to the ‘subsidiary’ of the Muslim Brotherhood, without negotiations.
A crazy prophet / Uri Avnery
26 Feb — DURING THE whole week I spent every spare moment glued to Aljazeera. One word about the station: excellent. It need not fear comparison with any broadcaster in the world, including the BBC and CNN. Not to mention our own stations, which serve a murky brew concocted from propaganda, information and entertainment. Much has been said about the part played by the social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, in the revolutions that are now turning the Arab world upside down. But for sheer influence, Aljazeera trumps them all. During the last decade, it has changed the Arab world beyond recognition. In the last few weeks, it has wrought miracles. To see the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the other countries on Israeli, American or German TV is like kissing through a handkerchief. To see them on Aljazeera is to feel the real thing. [http://english.aljazeera.net]
Will Palestinians topple govts if rivalry continues? / Bassam Abu Eid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — With announcements of renewed unity efforts coming to naught once again, Palestinians see their dreams of dignity and independence crumbling into factional rivalry and have become increasingly resolute in their efforts to end division from the grassroots. “The people want to end the division,” the organizing slogans in the West Bank and Gaza say, echoing the cries of “The people want the end of the regime” from Egypt to Tunis, Libya, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.
Protecting Palestine through cultural heritage
28 Feb — …The Ramallah Museum actively contributes to the conservation and management of the cultural heritage of the city and area of Ramallah. Located in the old town, the museum’s building was originally the private home of the Al-Zaro family, a native Christian family of the city.
Documentary on Tel Aviv school, Strangers No More, wins Oscar
Haaretz 28 Feb — The movie tells the tale of the children from 48 different countries who attend the Bialik-Rogozin School, many of whom have escaped genocide, war and hunger to arrive in Israel
Revolutionary Arabic entertainment news / Hanitzer
28 Feb — his is a roundup of the latest news of Arabic entertainment, songs for country, and other updates from the world of Arabic entertainment that seems to be reacting to the new changes on the ground and new realities [links to songs]
Sunday: 6 Iraqis killed, 27 wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and twenty-seven others were wounded in new violence. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced a 100-day evaluation period for government ministries to shape-up, as a result of widespread protests on Friday.
Briton jailed in Iraq for killings
AJ 28 Feb — British man spared death penalty but jailed for 20 years by Iraqi court for killing two fellow contractors in 2009.
Oman protesters unmoved by sultan’s offer
CNN 28 Feb — Anti-government protesters in Oman refused to end protests Monday, despite orders from the sultan to hire 50,000 people and pay a stipend to people who are out of work, sources in the Gulf state told CNN. Demonstrators in the town of Sohar have blocked routes to the port and the industrial zone, prompting port staff to leave work, two sources in the town said.
Yemen opposition rejects calls for unity government
CNN 28 Feb — Yemen’s main opposition bloc on Monday rejected President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s call to form a unity government to rule until elections to replace him, saying its goal is simply “the fall of the regime.”