and other news from Today in Palestine:
Gaza border crossing will remain free of European observers, Hamas official says
dpa 29 May — Speaking to the group’s al-Aqsa Radio, senior official says Hamas, in control of the coastal enclave since 2007, has proved it can manage Gaza’s Rafah crossing … Ghazi Hamad said Palestinians saw no need for the immediate return of European observers to the disputed crossing as provided for under a 2005 deal with Israel … Israeli Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said Israel now held Egypt responsible for security at the border.
Gaza businessmen applaud Rafah opening
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 May — The federation of businessmen in Gaza applauded on Saturday Egypt’s decision to permanently open its Rafah border with the coastal enclave. Head of the federation’s board of directors Ali Al-Hayik told Ma‘an he telephoned Egypt’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman to thank him for pushing through the policy change, following years of restrictions.
Israel slams Rafah reopening
JERUSALEM (AFP) 29 May — Israeli ministers on Sunday slammed Egypt’s decision to reopen its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, warning that terrorist groups would be able to move weapons and people freely through the crossing … Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Egypt’s decision to reopen the crossing over Israel’s objections showed that the Israel could not rely on other nations to protect its borders. The UN and other rights organizations have called the siege on Gaza illegal. “This is very strong proof of why it is so important for Israel to guard our borders by ourselves to prevent the infiltration of terrorists and weapons,” he said at the beginning of a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He said the border reopening was also proof that Israel needed to maintain control over the Jordan Valley under any peace agreement with the Palestinians, describing the 2005 border deal as “not worth the paper its written on,” although it did not cover the eastern border area where the Jordan Valley edges Jordan.
Israel allows limited goods to enter Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 May — Israel will open the sole operating goods crossing into Gaza on Sunday, officials said.
Gaza: Sheikh Yassin’s house declared heritage site
Ynet 29 May — Hamas to open home of spiritual leader killed in 2004 to visitors, turning location into historical landmark … Hamas made sure to preserve and display, for the first time ever, the wheelchair Yassin sat in when he was assassinated, as well as the blanket he covered himself with that day.
Hamas simulates raid on flotilla
[photos] Ynet 29 May – The Hamas government and Gaza security forces held a maneuver in the Gaza port last Thursday in preparation for the arrival of the Turkish flotilla next month. Dozens of people took part in the drill, including divers and medical personnel who trained in a number of scenarios. The participants simulated an IDF takeover of one ship and several Hamas men played the role of Israel Navy commandos. In another scenario, the forces simulated a rescue operation involving a person thrown overboard.
Gaza committee says Ki-Moon responsible for danger ahead of flotilla
LONDON, (PIC) 29 May — The International Committee to Break the Gaza Siege has held UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon responsible for the danger ahead of Freedom Flotilla 2 set to deliver aid to Gaza in late June. Ki-moon recently called on states along the Mediterranean coast to help thwart the flotilla in order to avoid a conflict with Israel, which enforces a tight naval blockade on the Gaza Strip. The ICBGS said in a statement that followed on Saturday that the calls served as a “cover for Israeli piracy and encourages the attack of the flotilla.”
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
‘Unification of Jerusalem is a foundation of nation of Israel’
Haaretz 29 May — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells his cabinet that the government is obligated to build in Jerusalem, as it is ‘the heart of the nation.’
Israel to mark Jerusalem ‘reunification’ with cash
JERUSALEM (AFP) 29 May — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reaffirmed his intent to keep Jerusalem the country’s “undivided capital,” in a speech announcing a $100-million investment package for the occupied holy city … Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War, later annexing it in a move not recognized by the international community. In the early years of the millennium, Israel built its separation wall around the city, dividing Palestinian communities on its outskirts from their neighbors. Israel marks the city’s “reunification” on Jerusalem Day, which this year falls on June 1.
East Jerusalem: Israel detains an 8-year-old Palestinian / Joseph Dana
972mag 29 May — The Israeli is ramping up arrests and attacks against Palestinian children. The targeting of children is nothing new in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh and Bil’in. This afternoon, Israeli police raided the house of 8-year-old Ali Siyam in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Police raided this house in order to arrest the children as part of a larger swap of alleged stone throwers in the area. In the process of taking the children, Israeli police officers assaulted Siyam’s aunt and uncle, the only adults present in the house. Siyam’s aunt was shot in the leg with a rubber coated steel bullet as she attempted to protect the child. His uncle was also beaten as police took the boy. Both were transferred to Hadassa Har Hatzofim hospital for treatment.
Protest against new settlement meets with heavy repression, six arrested
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 May — Dozens of protesters gathered outside the new Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Zetim in Ras al-‘Amoud district yesterday, Friday 27 May, amidst heavy repression from state forces and settlers. One settler attempted to run over protesters as he drove out of the settlement, as Israeli troops looked on. Settlers then began throwing stones and dropping water on protesters, chanting racist slogans and declaring that “Arabs are terrorists” and “the Israeli left stands in the way of the Jewish dream.” [or nightmare, depending on one’s point of view]
In photos: Friday demonstration in Silwan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 May — The following are more photographs from the Friday 27 May demonstration in Silwan against Israeli settlements. Seven people were arrested, including both Palestinians and Israeli activists. Israeli forces, aided by armed settlers, applied violence against protesters including using tasers.
FPJS condemns IOF assault on journalists in occupied Jerusalem
GAZA (PIC) 29 May — The Forum of Palestinian Journalists condemned the assault on Friday evening of a group of journalists by IOF soldiers while the journalists were covering the events at the Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem. The FPJS said in a statement on Saturday that IOF troops assaulted journalist Diala Jweihan, and photo-journalists Sulaiman Khader and Atta Oweisat while covering a Palestinian protest in the neighbourhood.
Factory owner’s detention extended, charged with stone-throwing
[photo] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 May — The detention of Bir Ayyub resident Mohammed Odeh was extended by the Israeli court today. Odeh, 34, was kidnapped from the factory he owns in Bir Ayyub yesterday afternoon by undercover Israeli forces. Odeh faces charges of throwing stones at Israeli troops. The arrest may be the first of many in a campaign of mass arrests to hit Silwan in coming days, say inside sources.
Israeli forces attack youth, one arrested
[photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 May — Israeli forces attacked Palestinian youth near the northern entrance to Ras al-‘Amoud district, arrested a young boy. Witnesses state that Mohammed Sider, 19, was seized by Israeli forces from a local shop. The attack comes close on the heels of Israeli crackdown on peaceful demonstrations outside the new Israeli settlement opened in Ras al-Amoud.
Israeli forces raid Information Center again, director Siyam summoned and detained
[photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 May — A large force of Israeli troops and secret police raided the Wadi Hilweh Information Center and adjoining Madaa Creative Center today. Officers were looking for Center director Jawad Siyam, who was not present, and instead issued his wife a summons for Siyam to the Jaffa Gate police station for investigation. A number of children were in the center during the raid, causing severe panic. Israeli forces subsequently raided Siyam’s family home, unsuccessfully. Siyam presented himself at the station later this evening and was detained for a period of time by police.
Settlers drown Palestinian land with wastewater in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 29 May — …Head of Nahhalin village’s council, Osama Shakarna, told WAFA that those in charge of the water purification stations in ‘Beitar Illit’ settlement, west of Bethlehem, pumped waste water to the almond and grapes lands, west of Nahhalin. Shakarna pointed out that such practices polluted the underground water and caused serious damage to the crops; Palestinians can’t enter their lands anymore due to the high levels of wastewater in it. He warned of the dangerous effects of such practices on Palestinians’ health, saying “Summer is knocking the doors, and there is a great fear of spreading diseases and mosquitoes.”
Moreover, Israeli authorities handed over a number of notices to Palestinians living in Ain Fares area, southwest of Nahhalin village, to seize their lands.
2 injured by settler in car accident
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 May — A father and son were moderately injured Sunday, medics said, after they were hit by an Israeli settler driving to a Jewish-only settlement in the southern West Bank. The father accused the settler of purposefully running him down just outside of Bethlehem. Medical sources in the Al-Yamama Hospital in Bethlehem identified the injured as Ahmad Mustafa Sbeih,48, and his son Nour Ad-Din who is eight years old.
Soldiers detain Palestinians, abduct international activist near Hebron
IMEMC 29 May — Israeli soldiers detained on Saturday evening several Palestinians, including women and children, and kidnapped an international peace activist near Safa village, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The residents were working in their farmlands before extremist settlers of the Bait Ayin illegal settlement attacked them and uprooted olive trees and vineyard. Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and, instead of removing the settlers, detained more than twenty Palestinians, including women and children, and an international activist, under the pretext that they entered a closed military zone. The claimed military zone is the agricultural lands owned by the residents.
Hundreds attend Susiya Creative Learning Center celebration in South Hebron Hills
[photos] AIC 29 May — Over 500 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals celebrated the one year anniversary of the Susiya Creative Learning Center in the South Hebron Hills on Saturday, 28 May with a cultural tribute to the nonviolent resistance of the Palestinian people … The afternoon celebration included poetry, songs and clowns who danced dabka with the village youth between the tents of the small village of Susiya … 400 people are obliged to live in tents, subjected to constant attacks by settlers. Abdel told us: “They come with guns, stones and bars. In the past weeks, every Saturday, they bring their sheep, which pasture our land. The Israeli army doesn’t defend us.” Settlers also attempted to spoil Saturday’s happy afternoon of celebration with the same cruel violence. Around 5 pm, some of them tried to reach the village, coming down from the nearby hill from the settlement of Susyia. This time, the settlers were stopped by the army.
IOF places tight grip on village near Nablus
QALQILYA (PIC) 29 May — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have tightened procedures at the gates of the separation wall in the Azzun Atma village near Qalqilya, locals have reported. For the past week, the IOF has been curbing civilian movement there through provocative searches and inspections. Long lines of students, farmers, and laborers have mounted daily outside the gates as searches continue. Azzoun Atma is encircled by the Orinet, Shaarei Tikva, Elkana settlements, which are said to serve as a ‘death certificate’ to the farming village as they blockade it and take the majority of the land and restrict the possibility of its expansion. Walls have been erected on all four sides of the village for alleged security reasons. Khalid Raddad, a resident, points out that the planning situation has isolated Azzoum Atma from nearby villages Beit Amin and Sineria, which serve as natural extensions to it. The result is that families are separated from each other as well as farmers from their fields.
Enrollment at Israeli university in West Bank expected to grow at fast pace
Haaretz 29 May — The Council for Higher Education has decided that the number of students funded by the state at the Ariel University Center of Samaria in the settlement of Ariel will be allowed to grow to a much greater extent than at many other colleges.
Winds of hope in the occupied Syrian Golan / Francesc Cabré Sánchez
AIC 29 May — Life has apparently returned to normal in Majdal Shams, the main town in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan. Shops are open, local farmers working their fields and in the centre of town there is nothing to indicate that four Palestinians were killed on the Nakba commemoration day (15 May) when they crossed the Syrian border to claim the right of return for refugees … Talking with the local population strengthens the sense that the killing will have long-term implications for Majdal Shams and the occupied Golan. “Nothing will ever be the same. Palestinians showed us the way, because Israel is prepared to fight against violent uprisings, but does not know how to react or fight nonviolence,” says Fawzi Abu Jabal Hussein, a member of the local NGO Golan for Development .
The ruined village Palestinians will never forget / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 29 May — The ruins of Lifta are the final remains of the Palestinian hamlets that fringed Jerusalem until 1948. Now plans to bulldoze them are causing outrage — In the soft golden light of a late spring evening, as yellow flowers are beginning to bloom on giant cacti, Yacoub Odeh climbs up through knee-high grass to the ruin that was his childhood home. For a man in his eighth decade, he is surprisingly nimble as he navigates ancient stones that litter the ground. But behind his light step is the weight of painful memories of a lost youth and a fading history.”Here is my house,” he says, sitting on the remains of a stone wall in whose crevices wild flowers and saplings cling. “Now only the corners remain. Here is the taboun [outdoor oven] where my mother used to bake bread. The smell!”
All’s well that ends well? Targeting Palestinian water pirates
MediaLine — KUFR DAN, West Bank 29 May — The Israelis arrived at about one in the afternoon — a phalanx of 30 soldiers, 10 jeeps and a tractor at this town west of Jenin. Palestinians rapidly appeared on the scene as well and soon the two sides were scuffling, with farmers shouting “Get these tractors away before something happens” and climbing aboard a tractor in an effort to stop it from working …The Israeli troops hadn’t come to arrest suspected terrorists or to put down a violent protest. They were in Kufr Dan, a local center for cucumber farms, to close what officials said were illegal water wells. In Kufr Dan, they used a tractor to rip out pipes reaching down into water sources or to push the pumps deep into ground. In others, they cut electricity lines to the pumps. “There is a Palestinian phrase that says ‘pressure begets explosion.’ This could be the reason for another intifada. Israel is ruining its security with its own hands. They talk about peace but there is no peace,” Qaher Abed, village council member and farmer, told The Media Line.
Medics: Palestinian beaten by Israeli soldiers at checkpoint
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 May — Israeli soldiers brutally attacked a Palestinian man at an army checkpoint near Hebron on Saturday evening, medics said. Israeli soldiers stopped Mahmoud Al-Battat, 19, at around 7 p.m. at a checkpoint near Ad-Dhahiriya in the southern West Bank as he returned from work in Israel, medical officials told Ma‘an. Soldiers beat him until he fainted, director of operations at the Palestinian Red Crescent Nasser Al-Qabaja said. Al-Battat recovered consciousness at around 11 p.m. and phoned his family. After receiving the call, relatives said they searched for two hours before they found him, and took him to a medical center in Ad-Dhahiriya.
Israeli forces shoot man near Gaza City, medics say
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 May — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man east of Gaza City early Sunday morning, medics said. Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said the man was shot in his right leg in the Zaytoun neighborhood. He was taken to the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
Palestinian captive suffers loss of memory after 10 years in occupation jails
RAMALLAH (PIC) 29 May — Wadi‘ Tamman (30), a Palestinian captive from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, who suffers from epilepsy has lost his memory completely and no longer knows those around him, according to a Palestinian human rights organisation.
Non-aligned states urge release of Palestinians
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AFP) 27 May — The 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Friday demanded Israel release a “substantial number” of Palestinian political prisoners as a “positive step” toward peace. At the end of a ministerial meeting in Indonesia, the movement reiterated its support for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, a position it shares with the United States but which is rejected by Israel … They called on Israel to release Palestinian “political prisoners” including 300 under the age of 18 and 10 members of the Palestinian legislative council.
Wife: Australian nabbed for Hamas ties ‘in revenge for Mabhouh’
(AFP) 29 May — Family of man detained in Israel calls charges of involvement with terror group ‘preposterous’, says Israel seeking revenge for expulsion of diplomat over forgery of Australian passports in Mabhouh assassination – The Palestinian-born Eyad Abuarga, an information technology expert, was arrested in March as he tried to enter Israel through the Ben Gurion airport
Political / Diplomatic / International news
New govt to be announced 6 June
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 May — The composition of the new Palestinian Authority’s technocrat government will be announced on 6 June by delegates from formerly rival parties Fatah and Hamas as a major step to the implementation of a unity agreement, an official said Sunday … Sha‘ath is in Gaza with several Fatah delegates to continue work on implementing the unity plan, as others remain in Cairo ironing out details of the new government. He said the names of the new government would be presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council for approval. The body has essentially been defunct since 2007, when internal friction ended in a split between the leading Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas.
The official also said he expected the issue of political arrests to be shortly concluded. Hamas regularly announces the detention of its members by Palestinian Authority forces operating in the West Bank, and says they are harassed for their political affiliation. “The number of prisoners has already been reduced to so few,” he said, that the underway process of setting up mechanisms for their release ahead of the unity government’s installation should be swift.
Peres to UN official: Israel supports creation of Palestinian state through negotiations
Haaretz 29 May — In meet with UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, president said UN must not create false hope for Palestinians that a unilateral declaration will bring about establishment of a state.
Report: Abbas, Peres held secret talks
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) — President Mahmoud Abbas held secret talks with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres in April, Israeli media reported Friday. Abbas and Peres met in London to try and revive the stalled peace process, the Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv reported. Since the meeting, the two have spoken on the telephone on secure lines, the report added. Quoting a source close to the Israeli president, the newspaper said Peres was horrified that the talks had been exposed. “President Peres is the last Israeli who continues to enjoy a direct channel of dialogue with the Palestinians,” the source told Ma’ariv. “It is highly unfortunate that this channel will be sealed due to being made public.”
Netanyahu asked Canada PM to thward G8 support for 1967 borders
Haaretz 29 May — At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper thwarted an announcement Friday by the G-8 countries that would have supported U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement that talks between the Palestinians and Israel should be based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory. According to a senior government official in Jerusalem, Israel was concerned over the implications of a specific mention of support for Obama’s call for negotiations based on the 1967 borders and exchanges of territory, so the prime minister’s bureau and the Foreign Ministry began working on the matter as early as the middle of last week.
US Senate confirms ex-Obama aide Daniel Shapiro as new ambassador to Israel
Haaretz 29 May — Shapiro is currently director for the Middle East and North Africa of the National Security Council after acting as Obama’s adviser on the Middle East and Jewish community relations during Obama’s presidential campaign.
IDF source: Israel bracing for clashes along its borders ahead of planned protests
AP/Haaretz 29 May — The Israeli military is preparing for the possibility of violent protests along its borders in the coming days, aiming to avoid a repeat of deadly unrest that erupted earlier this month, a senior military official told The Associated Press on Sunday. Facebook-organized activists have called for demonstrations next weekend in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, in which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip east Jerusalem and Golan Heights. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-source-israel-bracing-for-clashes-along-its-boarders-ahead-of-planned-protests-1.364820
Israeli culture minister storms out of film, calls it too pro-Palestinian
Haaretz 29 May — At festival near Sderot, Minister Limor Livnat claims Shlomi Elkabetz’s movie ‘Testimony’ is one-sided and ignores Israeli suffering; audience responds with boos … The film, which opened Sapir College’s Cinema South Film Festival, features monologues based on testimonies by Palestinians and Israel soldiers.
Palestinians sue Israel for NIS 18m over daughter’s border crossing injury
Haaretz 29 May — Lawsuit comes after couple’s 4 year old daughter was seriously hurt as a result of being trapped in Allenby border crossing’s baggage claims carousel.
Israel’s military releases Itamar probe findings
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 29 May — Israeli forces operating to protect the Itamar settlement in the northern West Bank failed to “fully implement the defensible means available,” despite assessments that “recognized the existing threats,” the results of an investigation showed.
IDF: Palestinian police intentionally targeted worshipers at Joseph’s Tomb
Haaretz 29 May — Palestinian forces intentionally opened fire at Israeli Jewish worshipers last month, an Israel Defense Forces report concluded on Sunday, countering initial Palestinian claims that the shooting, which resulted in the death of one Israeli, was a mistake.Last month, Palestinian security forces opened fire on three cars full of Israelis who entered the West Bank compound of Joseph’s Tomb without permission and then tried to break through a local checkpoint.
Freedom Theatre without Juliano
AIC 29 May — … Almost two months have passed since the 4 April 2011 assassination of Juliano Mer-Khamis, director and a founder of the Freedom Theatre. Created in 2006 and located in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, the theatre project will survive the death of Mer-Khamis and will follow the path he blazed. So says Eyad Hurani, a young man from Ramallah who for the past three years has lived in Jenin, studying theatre and sharing hours with Juliano.
New Palestinian stamp on international passports
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 28 May — Palestinian artist Khalid Jrar launched a new campaign in which he invented a new stamp for the new sovereign state of Palestine and stamped foreigners’ passports with it to spread it all over the world. He didn’t wait for the declaration of the Palestinian state next September, but started looking for foreigners at Qalandia’s checkpoint to Ramallah’s bus station to stamp their passports … Most of the foreigners he met showed acceptance of his idea and offered their passports to carry the new stamp while others refused because they feared that they will not be able to enter Palestine again.
Bank of Israel governor sees growing support to replace IMF chief
Haaretz 29 May — Several of the world’s leading newspapers say they want to see Stanley Fischer as the next International Monetary Fund chief, and the Bank of Israel governor isn’t rejecting the option out of hand, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous source.
Analysis / Opinion
‘Land Swaps’: Is there enough land to swap? / Nathan Jeffay
Forward 25 May — Tel Aviv — It is the magic formula that could end the occupation while letting the majority of settlers stay put. But how would an Israeli-Palestinian land swap, the basis of President Obama’s Middle East vision, outlined on May 19, actually work? … Every Israeli leader insists on retaining the large settlement blocs — usually defined at a minimum as the Etzion Bloc, Modi’in Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, and Givat Ze’ev and its surroundings — and the national consensus in support of this position is strong. But in Israel, many experts say there simply isn’t enough free land under Israeli sovereignty to exchange for them. [Why does no one mention that to a farmer on his family land held for generations, one piece of land is NOT like another, at all? Can’t imagine most Palestinians accepting such an exchange, even if it were possible. Various pieces of land may seem to be much the same to ‘rootless cosmopolitan’, types, and those advocating this ‘solution’ may well fall into this category.]
Parallel states: a new vision for peace / Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg
AJ 28 May — …The language of sharing rather than division has long been associated with a binational or even one-state solution that have both been dismissed because their implementation would effectively mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. But sovereignty and control can be shared while retaining a two-state structure that allows each side to secure and preserve its unique identity. Specifically, two states could be established in parallel over the same territory, both covering the whole area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Termed a “parallel states” solution, this concept has been developed over the last four years by a team of Israeli, Palestinian and international scholars, policymakers and even protagonists in the conflict. It is built upon a new understanding of sovereignty that breaks the previously exclusive link with territory, and reorients the basis of identity, citizenship and rights away from land and towards the relation between the state and the individual citizen. Citizenship would follow the citizen wherever she or he may live within the territory of Israel/Palestine, not the territory itself.
Time to tear down fences / Rahela Mizrahi
EI 28 May — …Last week, images from Maroun al-Ras took me back to my youth, when after learning exactly what happened since 1948, my solidarity crossed all the way over to the ‘other’ side. Visiting my remaining family in the kibbutz, I am now met by electric fences, and the automatic gates no longer look natural. By committing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the kibbutz’s founders predestined their grandchildren to live behind fences forever. According to an Arabic proverb, a thief does not sleep at night, and will not allow anyone else to sleep …
Hassan Hijazi crossed the Syrian border to the heart of the Zionist project: the white city of Tel Aviv. For a day he wandered around his hometown, Jaffa, a few years before its expected complete Judaization … For now, Tel Aviv exists as a European colonial bubble protected by the human shield of Sderot, the violent settlers in the West Bank and Jewish-Arab Mizrahim pushed by white gentrification to settlements such as Maale Adumin and Pisgat Zeev. But that bubble, surrounded by fences and more fences, is soon to pop. Welcome home to Jaffa, Hassan Hijazi — the first returning refugee!