Twenty Israeli military vehicles descend on village south of Hebron, demolish 22 buildings, displace 120 Palestinians

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Israeli airstrikes kill 1, injure 3 in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Israeli warplanes killed an elderly man in the central Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, in a series of airstrikes across Gaza that injured three others. Palestinian medics said 69-year-old Abdul-Karim Az-Zaytouna was killed and two others were injured when warplanes bombed steel sheds near the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City. Israeli forces also targeted sites in the southern Gaza Strip, injuring one near Khan Younis when a missile landed in an open area. A house belonging to the Imteir family was shelled east of Rafah, causing severe damage, but no reported injuries … [An Israeli army statement] said the strikes were in response to a rocket fired from Gaza that caused light injuries to a woman when it hit Israel’s Hof Ashkelon district on Saturday.

Israel launches wave of bombings in Gaza
MEMO 13 Feb — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES Israeli aircraft launched a wave of coordinated bombings across the Gaza Strip last night. F-16 jets bombed an area east of Khan Yunis and the Shawka district, east of Rafah, leaving behind an unexploded missile. The area east of al Shujaeya was also targeted where a number of residential homes were badly damaged. East of Al Zaytun, a car accessories outlet was hit; as well as a farm where the 71 year-old guard, Abdul Kareem al Zaytouna, was killed. Two other workers were injured in the attack.

Gaza municipality says electricity crisis stopped water pumping
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Gaza City’s municipal council asked residents on Sunday to move their water tanks to ground level as the electricity crisis hampered pumping water any higher. Electricity interruptions as Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel have stopped the pumping of water above the ground floor, the municipality said. It called on residents to use water economically.

Fuel shortages in Gaza threaten environmental disaster
MEMO 13 Feb — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES The Municipality of Gaza has begun pumping untreated sewage onto Gaza’s coast as a result of the continuing Israeli blockade, and the ever worsening fuel shortages that threaten the sector. Certain types of fuel are no longer being provided to the Gaza Strip and as such, the Municipality’s purification plant has stopped functioning threatening an environmental disaster.  According to information released by the Municipality during a recent press conference, the lack of fuel has also led to the accumulation of tonnes of garbage as waste disposal trucks are unable to transport rubbish to dumping grounds in the east of the city.

Official: Gaza faces 18-hour power cuts
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Gaza will soon have only six hours of electricity per day if more fuel is not delivered to the blockaded strip, an energy official said on Monday. Gaza power authority official Ahmad Abu al-Amaren said a small delivery of fuel on Monday staved off a wide-scale blackout, but the authority will soon be forced to introduce a highly restricted schedule, with cuts for 16 to 18 hours each day. A solution to the electricity crisis depends on Egypt allowing the necessary fuel to pass into the coastal strip, he said … While limited amounts of gas, mainly used by individual households, are purchased from Israeli suppliers and permitted to enter the besieged strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, most of Gaza’s energy is brought unofficially from Egypt using underground tunnels.

Staving off a blackout in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — …Sayil says the best and most feasible solution is to bring natural gas from Egypt instead of the current diesel which is purchased from Israeli suppliers. It would take six to eight months to arrange, but would save the Palestinian Authority about 60 percent of its budget on fuel, he told the forum.Another option is an emergency injection of fuel and electricity, Sayil added, without specifying possible sources. The Gaza Strip could also connect to a joint electricity grid current shared by eight Arab states. The energy authority recently visited Egypt to discuss this possibility, but he warned that such a connection would take more than a year. A prerequisite to each option it the upgrading of Gaza’s electricity network to handle the new wattage, he said. Sayil indicated the major cause of the current energy crisis is the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s delay in payments for fuel.

PCHR calls for investigation into the drowning of boy in sewage water basin in northern Gaza Strip
13 Feb — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon competent authorities to open an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the death of Ahmed al-Zein, 10, from Beit Lahia, by drowning in a sewage water basin near the Bedouin Village in the northern Gaza Strip. PCHR reiterates its call for competent authorities to take protective measures around sewage basins which threaten the safety and security of Palestinians, especially children, living near sewage water basins in the Gaza Strip … PCHR notes that incidents of this kind occurred several times and believes that the recurrence of such incidents is the result of lack of effective protective measures around sewage water basins. In December 2011, two siblings died in a sewage water basin near Khan Yunis refugee camp.

Israel’s navy detains 4 Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Israeli forces detained four Gazan fishermen overnight Sunday and Monday morning, Ma‘an’s correspondent said … An Israeli army spokeswoman said that in both incidences the boats had deviated from the designated fishing area and failed to respond to Israeli navy calls to return. Jamal al-Sultan and his son Fadel were transferred to the custody of security forces. Abu Riyaleh and his brother were returned to the Gaza Strip after being briefly detained, but navy forces confiscated their boats, the spokeswoman said. Under Israel’s maritime blockade, Palestinians are forbidden from fishing more than three nautical miles from the coast. During the Oslo accords negotiators had agreed on 20 nautical miles of fishing access along Gaza’s coastline.

UNRWA to stop financial aid to impoverished families
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said Monday that it will not be able to continue cash allowances for impoverished families in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said a program providing 40 shekels to each individual in poor families will have to be cut after April due to a shortage in donor funds.

Hip hop leads the way in Gaza’s first talent show / Annie Robbins
13 Feb — I love these videos by our
friend in Gaza filmmaker Mohammed Al Majdalawi and edited by talented writer and MW contributor Jehan Alfarra. The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) has an article about an upcoming talent show in Gaza that highlights these artists and many more.

Police: Israel encourages drugs trade in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of encouraging the drugs trade in the coastal enclave. Director of the anti-drugs police in northern Gaza Ashraf al-Bayari said Israel deliberately sends large quantities of drugs to the Gaza Strip “in order to blackmail youths and trick them into becoming collaborators with Israeli intelligence.” Police arrested a drug dealer on Sunday evening in Jabalia, northern Gaza, who was in possession of 1,000 ecstasy pills. The pills were smuggled into Gaza from Israel via the Erez crossing, police said.

Militant killed in the Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — The An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades told Ma‘an Sunday evening that one of their members had been killed in an operation in the Gaza Strip. The group, which is affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committee, did not specify how Ali Juma Abu Athira died.

Two injured in Beit Lahia blast
IMEMC 11 Feb — Palestinian medical sources reported, on Friday at night, that two Palestinians were wounded in an explosion that took place in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses reported that the explosion took place while Israeli drones were heard flying over the area. Yet, local sources reported that the blast was a result of a failed attempt to fire homemade shells into an adjacent Israeli area.

Land theft  / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement

Israeli demolition ‘displaces 120’ in Hebron village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Israeli forces demolished 22 buildings in a Palestinian village south of Hebron on Monday, displacing 120 villagers, residents told Ma‘an. Twenty Israeli military vehicles accompanied bulldozers to raze the 16 domestic tents and six animal shelters in Khirbet al-Rahwa, they said. Villager Salim Salem al-Tal told Ma‘an forces also demolished a well that was the village’s only water source. Soldiers did not give the villagers any time to remove their possessions from their homes, he said.

Israel Authority demolishes Bedouin village for 35th time
AL ARAQIB, NAQAB (WAFA) 13 Feb – The Israeli authorities Monday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Naqab desert, southern Israel, for the 35th time, said a local activist. ziz al-Tori, member of the committee for the defense of al-Araqib, said Israeli bulldozers accompanied by a large Israeli police force demolished the makeshift homes the village residents keep rebuilding after each time the government demolishes them.

88 Palestinian houses to be demolished for Israeli park
[with map] Al Haq 11 Feb — Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem continue to face an increased threat of home-demolition and forced eviction. The neighbourhood of Silwan, located to the south of the old city of Jerusalem, and with a population of over 50,000 Palestinians, is at particular risk. The city municipality, whose unilaterally drawn borders were established by Israel in 1967 when East Jerusalem was illegally annexed, plans to demolish 88 Palestinian homes in al-Bustan area in the centre of Silwan (see map below) to make way for the development of a so-called archaeological park, known as King David’s Garden. If the plan goes forward, more than 1,500 Palestinians will be left homeless and forcibly transferred.

Israel bulldozes Palestinian community center, making was for a visitor center on stilts / Allison Deger
Mondo 13 Feb — Today, a Palestinian community center, café and playground in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem was demolished, making way for a second “City of David” visitor center.
Haaretz reports: “The new visitors’ center is to be built above the Givati parking lot and will be called the Mercaz Kedem (Kedem Center). The building will be built on stilts and beneath it there will be an area where visitors can view recently discovered archeological findings.”

Israel bars Al Quds University doctors from practicing in East Jerusalem
Haaretz 13 Feb — Health Ministry officials refuse to allow 35 Palestinian doctors from East Jerusalem to attend Israeli certification exams – and help relieve a shortage of doctors there. The ministry claims the doctors, who graduated from Al-Quds University, are not eligible to sit the certification exams, usually taken by doctors who qualified abroad to enable them to practice in Israel. The ministry says Al-Quds cannot be considered a “foreign university” since it holds offices in Jerusalem.

Israel panel okays bill calling for tax exemption to Zionist donations
Haaretz 12 Feb — Ministerial Committee on Legislation approves legislation sponsored by Likud’s Zeev Elkin, Zion Pinyan that seeks to give 35% break to funds given to institutions that promote ‘Zionism and settlement.’

Feiglin barred from Temple Mount over political flyers
Ynet 12 Feb — Posters calling for ‘purification of Temple Mount from the enemies of Israel’ prompt police to temporarily block visitors’ access to holy site … The decision followed a district security assessment. The police expressed concerns that the intent of some of far-right Likud member
Moshe Feiglin‘s followers to enter the compound would incite riots. The publicized visit caused what the police described as “agitation” among east Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods.  “Feiglin’s people come to Temple Mount almost every month. The difference this time was the flyers,” a police source said.,7340,L-4188338,00.html

Egypt’s Lt Gen Anan: Harming Al-Aqsa Mosque threatens Egyptian national security
MEMO 13 Feb — Egyptian sources have reported that the Egyptian army’s Chief of Staff and Deputy Chairman of the ruling military council, Lt Gen Sami Anan, announced on Thursday night that Egyptian Armed Forces have raised their state of preparedness and sent a strongly-worded message of warning to Israel informing it that any act of provocation that may affect the al-Aqsa Mosque, will be considered a threat to Egyptian national security.

Israel to fence off main road to Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 13 Feb – Israeli military personnel began Monday putting marks on the main West Bank road leading to Hebron where the Israeli authorities plan to build a fence to separate Palestinian towns and camps in the area from the road, according to a local activist. Ahmad Abu Hashem, secretary of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, a town north of Hebron, said Israel plans to build a four-meter high fence to separate Arroub refugee camp and Beit Ummar from the main road known as Highway 60 linking Jerusalem with Hebron … Abu Hashem said the Israeli military had recently completed building a new road on Palestinian-owned land in Beit Ummar and Halhoul for the benefit of settlers only.

Arrested development: Strangling Palestine’s green power
MASAFER YATTA (Ma‘an) by Charlotte Alfred — Development organizations and green energy pioneers face a political quagmire when working in Palestinian communities under full Israeli control. In recent months, the army issued demolition warnings against six solar and wind power systems in the South Hebron Hills, which were funded by European governments and development groups. “What can you do if there are impediments to development, such as an undefined de-development policy?” says Tsafrir Cohen, Middle East coordinator of Medico International, which supported two of the systems.

Mount Hermon’s pure snow can’t hide Israel’s dark past / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 12 Feb — The entire Golan Heights is occupied exactly as the West Bank is — These are wonderful days at Jabal al-Shaykh. It’s high season, ideal conditions and the visibility is excellent. Thousands of Israelis spent their weekend there, and the weather forecast for the next few days is promising. It’s just the name, Jabal al-Shaykh, that sounds so unfamiliar. Where did you say it was? We managed to delete Mount Hermon’s original, Syrian name as if it had never existed. Precious few Israelis have ever heard the name, or are aware of the 200 towns and villages that were obliterated in the Golan Heights. Most Israelis, we might assume, aren’t aware that they were ever there, since Israeli collective consciousness also erased the existence of their 120,000 residents – refugees that no one knows or cares about.


Hundreds of settlers storm Palestinian land in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 12 Feb – Hundreds of Jewish settlers from Kiryat Arba settlement Sunday stormed and planted Palestinian-owned land in an area east of the northern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources. They told WAFA hundreds of settlers, including their students, protected by Israeli soldiers, began early morning planting about 20 dunums of land belonging to Palestinian Hosni al-Ashhab as a prelude to annex it to expand the settlement.

Settlers open road through Palestinian land south of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 12 Feb – A group of Jewish settlers Sunday opened a new road through Palestinian-owned land, in Qarut, a village south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, to use it on their motorcycles, according to a Palestinian activist.

Israeli court forbids Nablus mosque from using loudspeakers
The Israeli Supreme Court issued a preliminary ruling, forbidding Burin village mosque, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, from using loudspeakers, and even from using lights on the mosque’s minaret. The Israeli Radio reported that the ruling was made after an extremist right-wing settlers group submitted photographs proving the mosque was renovated, and that lights and loudspeakers were installed despite a court ruling made nearly 18 months ago forbidding further constructions and renovations.

Asira al Qibliiya: The time for settler attacks is now
ISM 11 Feb by Amal — As warm days sneak into this cold month of February, illegal settlers begin their season of attacks early. Although there is no “off season” for settler attacks, the number of these criminal acts increases in the spring and summer. The residents of Asira al Qibliiya unfortunately have the experience to believe the attacks will only increase. This was evident as a group of 20 settlers from Yitzhar illegal settlement descended on Asira on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on February 11, 2012. It was approximately 3:30 PM when the settlers gathered on top of a hill overlooking Asira and stood only a couple hundred meters from residential homes. They were armed and dangerous as they drew closer and closer to one of the homes,but fortunately crowds of locals gathered near the home and the settlers retreated back up the hill.

Burin: Yitzhar settlers leave the mark of violence
[photos] ISM 10 Feb by Veronica — On Thursday 9 February at about 10pm, a house in the village of Burin near Nablus was attacked by settlers. Approximately 50 armed settlers approached a house near the edge of the village and threw stones and rocks at the inhabitants, shouting at them to get out of the house. Young men in the village were alerted and came to the assistance of the family … Later that night, at about 1am, a house on the other edge of the village was attacked by another group of settlers. They rolled burning tires down the hill towards the house, filling it with acrid smoke. Hanan Nasser who lives in the house with her family said that she was asleep when someone from the village called them to say settlers were attacking … Hanan’s house is very close to the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, and they have suffered innumerable attacks from settlers over the last 10 years. In 2002 when her husband built the house, it was set on fire by settlers. Her husband suffered a heart attack and died from the shock of seeing his house on fire. Since then settlers have set fire to the house twice more, poisoned sheep, regularly burn their olive trees and injured her son by throwing a stone at him.

Witnesses: Settlers break car windshield with stones
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — A group of settlers attacked a Palestinian car near the Hebron settlement of Kiryat Arba on Sunday evening, witnesses told Ma‘an. Settlers threw stones at the car of Hamza al-Takrory’s car, breaking the windshield. Hamza passed out during the incident and was taken to a nearby clinic for treatment.

Settlers: Migron deal in place
Ynet 13 Feb –  Settlers residing in the illegal West Bank outpost of
Migron said Monday that a deal ensuring that the outpost will not be razed has been reached. The settlers have reportedly agreed to have Migron relocated to a nearby hill, where it will rest on government-owned land. The Civil Administration will have to decide what to do with the structure left in Migron’s current location, which is subjected to a land despite with Palestinians who claim prior ownership.,7340,L-4188955,00.html

Israeli officials: West Bank outpost relocation plan isn’t feasible
Haaretz 13 Feb — A tentative compromise that would allow residents of the West Bank outpost of Migron to relocate to nearby land is “not feasible,” sources recently quoted Civil Administration officials as saying … The proposal, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports, is intended to prompt residents of the West Bank’s largest outpost to leave their homes voluntarily. In that way, the government hopes to avoid the violent clashes that could accompany a forced evacuation next month.

Israeli forces

Golani Brigade report: Incidences involving the detention, intimidation, abuse, or arrest of children and youth
ISM 13 Feb — Since the arrival of the Golani Brigade in Hebron on December 27th, international accompaniment organizations (Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and others) have documented an increase in the number of serious human rights violations against the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children in the Old City and Tel Rumeida. All recorded incidences have been documented through first-hand observation and/or the victims’ testimony. The following report demonstrates a sharp increase in harassment, violence, and human rights violations by the Israeli military towards the Palestinian population of Hebron. Contrary to given justifications, none of those involved were observed to voice or pose any threat to the soldiers.

IOF soldiers break the legs of Palestinian minor
RAMALLAH (PIC) 12 Feb — The international organization for the defense of children has said that the Israeli occupation soldiers savagely beat up a Palestinian child after breaking both his legs. The organization quoted the 16-year-old boy Mahmoud Qatna as saying that he was heading to an area near the separation wall in his village Beit Sorik along with a number of his friends when the soldiers surprised them. He said that the soldiers arrested him along with two of his friends, threw him on his stomach on the ground and started beating him savagely, adding that before that he was hit with a rubber bullet in his left leg fired by those soldiers. Qatna said that he was screaming out of pain and told the soldiers that his leg had broken but they did not heed his screams and continued to beat him.
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3 injured as soldiers raid Jericho
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Three people were injured on Sunday as Israeli soldiers raided several areas in and around Jericho, a local official and medics said. Seven tanks and dozens of heavily armed soldiers raided Ein al-Sultan and Aqbat Jaber refugee camps, prompting clashes between residents and military forces, governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Majed al-Fetyani was quoted as saying by official news agency Wafa. Saed Saleh Sefan, 22, Muhammad Ali al-Masri, 23, and Muhamad Jaber al-Gharabla sustained injuries in the clashes. Director of the Jericho hospital, Dr. Nasser al-Anani said Sefan was in a serious condition upon arrival and has been transferred to a Ramallah hospital. Soldiers also raided the Jericho neighborhood of al-Nuweima.

3 injured as Israeli forces raid Jerusalem home
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Three people were injured on Sunday when Israeli forces raided a family home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Isawiya. Israeli forces were looking for freed detainee Samer Issawi, relatives told Ma‘an. His mother and sister tried to prevent the soldiers from entering their home, at which point they broke down the door. Issawi’s sister Shireen suffered a broken hand and foot, and his mother and brother were also beaten, relatives said. They were taken to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Issawi was released in the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 18, 2011.

Witnesses: Boy injured as soldiers raid Hebron village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — A boy was injured by Israeli forces in Hebron on Sunday as residents and soldiers clashed, locals told Ma‘an. Israeli forces raided several homes in the village of al-Tabaqa, southwest Hebron, leading to clashes with local residents. Muhammad Mahmoud Imtayer, 16, sustained injuries to his head and was taken to Hebron hospital for treatment.

IOF troops raid village, detain two children
BETHLEHEM, (PIC) 12 Feb — Heavily armed Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a number of houses in the village of Housan to the west of Bethlehem at dawn Sunday, local sources said. They said that the soldiers deliberately humiliated inhabitants and searched their homes thoroughly and scrutinized their IDs. The sources said that the soldiers left after arresting two 16-year-old boys, who were taken to the Ofer jail near Ramallah.
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Khader Adnan

Israeli court rejects Adman appeal, 23 injured at protest
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — An Israeli military court rejected the appeal of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan on Monday, as 23 people were injured in a nearby protest against his continued detention. Israel’s Ofer military court ruled against Adnan’s appeal of his four month administrative detention order. The Islamic Jihad leader has refused food for 58 days to protest his treatment by Israeli authorities, and the practice of detention without charge.  Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma‘an the ruling showed “utter disregard for Adnan’s life, effectively condemning him to die.” … The PA is racing against time in talks with the UN, Jordan and other nations to save Adnan’s life, Qaraqe said.

Randa Adnan: The world must intervene to save my husband / Joe Catron
13 Feb — As Khader Adnan entered his 59th day on hunger strike, his wife Randa appealed for the international community to end his isolation and save his life. “My husband is dying inside an Israeli jail. The world should make sure I am able to see him,” she said. “And it should pressure the Israeli government to release him before it’s too late.”

Other political detention

Israeli military court extends detention of speaker Dweik
RAMALLAH (PIC) 13 Feb — The Israeli military court of Ofer jail extended the administrative detention of Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, for another six months at the pretext he poses a threat to Israel’s security.
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Israeli forces detain youth from north, south villages
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Israeli forces detained three youths in the Qalqiliya village of Jayyus overnight Saturday, residents told Ma‘an.  Soldiers seized the son of the village mayor Jala Tahir, 19, and the mayor and his wife were injured in the raid on their home, witnesses said, adding that Tahir’s mother was taken to hospital. Forces also detained Nadir Khreisha and Omar Khalid, both aged 24, during the house raids.

Israel arrests 10 ‘wanted’ men
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Israeli forces detained 10 people overnight Sunday and Monday morning, witnesses and the army said. Two men were arrested in Nablus, four in Ramallah, one west of Bethlehem, two in Tubas and one near Jericho, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. All the men were said to be “wanted” by security forces, the spokeswoman added.

Soldiers arrest 5 in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Israeli forces raided a construction site in the Jenin village of Yaabad on Sunday evening and detained five people, witnesses told Ma‘an. Subhi Ali Abu Bakr said that Israeli soldiers detained his sons Firas, 26, and Muhammad, 24, along with three laborers who were working in a building under construction … Israeli soldiers told Abu Bakr that the men were arrested in connection to a suspected stone throwing incident earlier on Sunday.

Report: IDF detains another prisoner freed in Shalit deal
Ynet 13 Feb — The IDF detained Ayman Abu-Daud, a prisoner freed in the Gilad Shalit swap, Palestinian sources said. Troops raided the former detainee’s home and apprehended him, the sources said.,7340,L-4189207,00.html


Video: Kufr Qaddoum: Road and electricity cutoff does not deter demonstrations
ISM 11 Feb by Jonas Weber — Villagers and internationals assembled in Kufr Qaddoum after prayer time to demonstrate against the blocking of their main road to Nablus. The army cut off the electricity in the entire village as collective punishment  for the ongoing demonstrations in Kufr Qaddoum … The occupation forces finally retreated into the illegal settlement, where they kept on taking pictures and filming the protesters. The crowd walked down closer, and gathered under an olive tree, to honour the memory of a man shot dead by a settler 20 years ago in that exact spot.

Settlers attack demo in Qaryut
10 Feb Popular Struggle Coordination Committee – Demonstrators in Qaryout attempted to plant olive trees to resist land grab. On the way, they were attacked by settlers and the army. Approximately 100 residents of the Qaryout joined the weekly protest against the occupation this week, aiming to plant olive trees on their lands, as an action against confiscation of lands by neighboring settlements. One of main legal mechanisms used by Israel to expropriate Palestinian land is the Ottoman Land Law of 1858, which was in force on the eve of the occupation. According to this law, if privately owned agricultural land is not cultivated for three years it may be declared as “abandoned property” and seized by the state.

Meitar Checkpoint: Women demand an end to strip-searching by Israeli military and prison administration
ISM 12 Feb — A demonstration was held Sunday, February 12th at the Meitar checkpoint north of Beer Sheba in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in the Naqab (Negev) region as well as their family members who must pass through this checkpoint to visit them. The demonstration was organised by the Al-Khalil (Hebron) chapter of the Palestinian Prisoners Society and was attended by affected families, along with Palestinian and International supporters … A young Palestinian woman named Fadwa told ISM that to visit her brother Jihad, who has been held in Israeli prison for a decade, she must make a 12-hour journey involving strip searches and extensive interrogation at Meitar only to be repeated again at the prison. She recalls that several times she has been forced to leave her shoes and jacket in the interrogation room and pass through the checkpoint barefoot, even in cold weather. Ranna, whose husband Yasser has been held in Rimon prison in the Naqab for nine years, recounts a similar story of humiliation by Israeli border authorities.


Jerusalem: Racist graffiti daubed at Jewish-Arab school
AFP 12 Feb –  Unidentified assailants scrawled racist graffiti on a playground at a bilingual Jewish-Arab school over the weekend, police officials said Sunday, in the second such incident targeting the Jerusalem institution. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said unknown attackers had spray painted “Death to Arabs” and “Kahane was right” on the school’s playground in the Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa.,7340,L-4188651,00.html

Political developments

Abbas confirms he will head transitional government
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — President Abbas confirmed Sunday during a speech in Cairo that he will head a transitional government responsible for presidential and parliamentary elections. Abbas made the announcement during a speech before a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital.

Hamas chiefs wrestle with split over Abbas premiership
GAZA CITY (Reuters) 13 Feb — The two top leaders of Hamas failed to resolve an internal crisis over a reconciliation pact with the rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas at secret talks in Qatar on Sunday, a diplomat in the region said. “(Hamas chief) Khalid Mashaal and (Gaza Premier) Ismail Haniyeh met last night in Qatar to discuss the dispute in Hamas over the Doha agreement,” the diplomat told Reuters on Monday.

Fatah holds meeting to discuss election candidates
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Feb  — Leaders within the Fatah movement met in Ramallah on Friday to discuss candidates for presidential and parliamentary elections. The meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Palestinian teachers union, aimed to provide suggestions for qualified candidates for elections, a statement said. The movement aims to avoid the mistakes of the 2006 election, which saw Fatah lose a significant sector of its popular support base to other factions.

Report: Mashaal to visit Jordan in February
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal is set to visit Jordan in February, Israeli news site Walla reported Sunday. Mashaal will visit Amman in February for the second time in 2012, the Hebrew language daily quoted Jordanian sources as saying. The Hamas chief had visited Jordan on Jan. 29 along with the Qatari heir to the throne Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani. Mashaal, a Jordanian citizen, was deported to Qatar after a crackdown on Hamas by Jordan’s security forces in 1999 amid charges it harmed Jordanian national interests.

Gaza protests Syria crackdown
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Palestinians gathered to condemn the Syrian regime’s violent crackdown on demonstrations in Gaza City on Sunday, as Syrian forces continued their bombardment of protest center Homs. Dozens of Gaza protesters assembled in the city’s Square of the Unknown Soldier, chanting “Homs is being slaughtered just like Gaza.” … A day earlier, Palestinians held a mass in support of the victims of violence in Syria in a church in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli operations abroad

Iran summons Azeri envoy over Mossad allegations
AP 12 Feb — Iran’s state-run news agency says the country’s foreign ministry has summoned Azerbaijan’s ambassador to protest alleged Israeli intelligence activity in the oil-rich Caucasian state. The Sunday report by IRNA says that the ministry handed a protest note to Azeri envoy Javanshir Akhundov and demanded that his government prevent Mossad from using its territory to launch operations against Iran. The report said “terrorists’’ linked to the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists escaped to Israel through Azerbaijan.

Report: Israel’s Mossad still using foreign passports in undercover operations
Haaretz 12 Feb — Israeli Mossad spies are still using foreign passports, including those of British nationals, when conducting undercover operations abroad, according to The Times of London [paid subscription only]. According to the report, new evidence suggests that foreign nationals in Israel continue to allow the Mossad to use their passports — on many occasions willingly.

Other news

Poll: Palestinians most concerned about economic future
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion has found that a majority of Palestinians are most concerned about their jobs and financial status, and support opposition to proposed PA tax reforms currently on hold after widespread outcry. The poll, conducted by Dr. Nabil Kukali between Jan. 22 and Feb. 4, shows 54.7 percent of Palestinians currently fear the survival of their family during economic hard times in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

PA security guard rabbis on visit to Joseph’s Tomb
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 13 Feb — Israeli rabbis visited Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus last Thursday guarded by Palestinian Authority forces, in the first such security coordination of its kind. “The PA considers Joseph’s Tomb a historic site which everybody has the right to access as long as they comply with Palestinian instructions and regulations, because the tomb is under Palestinian control,” the governor of Nablus Jibreel al-Bakri told Ma‘an. Fifteen Jewish rabbis from Bnei Brak in Tel Aviv visited Joseph’s Tomb last Thursday evening for one hour. The visit was to perform a prayer dedicated to Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, 102.

Palestine joins international conservation union
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Feb — Palestine has been accepted as a full member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Palestine Wildlife Society said on Sunday … Palestine has been working to join international agencies since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for a full seat at the United Nations on Sept. 23, 2011.

IDF to ground warplanes, freeze Iron Dome production over budget woes
Haaretz 12 Feb — Military officials say army missing NIS 3.7 billion from promised budget; top officer: measures could severely damage Israel’s preparedness for war.

Israel’s social protests undermined military training, says IDF reserve commander
Haaretz 13 Feb — ‘Because of the demonstrations, they cut the defense budget, and now we can’t fire missiles in training,’ Brig. General tells hundreds of reserve soldiers.

PM meets with Sinai Bedouin elders
Al-Masry Al-Youm 13 Feb — Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri met with Sinai tribal elders on Monday to discuss the peninsula’s security situation in light of repeated tourist kidnappings and bombings of the natural gas pipeline.

Two US activists deported to New York from Bahrain
Telegraph 12 Feb — Two American activists deported in shackles from Bahrain to New York left a Gulf Air flight in London complaining of mistreatment at the hands of the authorities — The activists were arrested at a demonstration to mark the first anniversary of bloody Arab Spring protests on Saturday and forced by police officers on to a flight on Sunday morning. The women spent the seven-hour flight bound to the seats without food or water. Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath bore deep track marks on their wrists and were fatigued. Miss Arraf said: “My arms hurt and I feel dreadful.” They were allowed to walk off the plane in London and were due to fly on to New York. Miss Sainath said she was targeted by a group of female officers at the demonstration near the former Pearl roundabout.

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Reffering to Gideon levys article, I don’t know what makes Jabal al-Shaykh more original then simply saying “mt. hermon”? Both are names with a very long and respectable pedigree.

More on the lighting and heating crisis.

Mideast: Egyptian diesel finished, Gaza dark and cold
Hamas unsure who to ask for help, 1 mln citizens in trouble

URGENT: Heed Randa Adnan’s call. Military court rejects Khader Adnan’s appeal in de facto death sentence

The Olympia Food Coop, the first grocery store in the U.S. to boycott Israeli products (in July 2010), is now under attack (in the form of a lawsuit). This is a political attack, and the co-op is now calling on organizations and individuals to sign a letter of support for the Co-op in the face of this attack.

Message from International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN): “The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has designated Sunday February 12th as ‘Green Sunday’, when it encourages people to donate money to ‘plant trees in Israel’. In response to the call from the campaign to Stop the JNF to boycott Green Sunday, Jews of conscience call upon others to join us in answering the call. In addition to the violence, displacement, and environmental degradation perpetrated by the JNF against… Read more »