Israel demolishes Bedouin village for 39th time
NEGEV (Ma‘an) 25 June — Israeli bulldozers demolished Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 39th time on Monday, a lawyer said.
Israeli forces ‘demolish tents in Tubas’
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 25 June — Israeli forces on Monday demolished Palestinian tents and structures in al-Malih near Tubas, the local council said. The structures belonged to local farmers Ayed Zawahreh, Maryam Faqir, Ibrahim Abu Sabha and Ali al-Faqir, the council said in a statement, adding that women and children were left without shelter in the heat.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces evacuated families in the Ein al-Hilwe and al-Burj neighborhoods of al-Malih for several hours while they conducted military training in the area, the council said.
Jordan Valley: Palestinian family’s water confiscated, internationals arrested
[photos] ISM 25 June — On Thursday, June 21, Israeli forces confiscated a water tank from a Bedouin Palestinian family in the Jordan Valley, leaving them with no access to water. Three Swedish women were arrested for standing in solidarity with Palestinian women and children who peacefully protested by standing in between the Israeli military and the water tank at risk of theft … Families in the Jordan Valley are forced to buy water at incredibly inflated prices. Some households spend 40-50% of their income to buy water from Israeli companies. “When we came to the Bedouin camp, children were crying and there were a lot of soldiers trying to drag them away from the tractor that they tried to block. There were no men, only women and children, and around 60 soldiers and policemen. The Bedouin men were scared to show any resistance because of the risk of administrative detention,” says Rosa Andersson, one of the women who was later arrested.
Rights groups: State practices ‘zoning Apartheid’
Ynet 24 June — Civil rights groups advocating for Palestinian residents of the Israeli-controlled territories of the West Bank have accused the State of discriminating against villages seeking to expand. For nearly two decades, a temporary agreement between Israel and the Palestinians has allowed the Jewish state to maintain full control of Area C, a territory that stretches across 62% of the West Bank and is inhabited by 50,000 Palestinians and over 300,000 Jewish settlers … Alon Lifshitz, an architect at Bimkom, an organization that promotes equal planning rights, has said the administration has approved hundreds of plans allowing for the establishment of new settlements and expansion of existing ones, while almost entirely barring Palestinians from developing their towns across Area C.
Israel approves 180 new units for settlers in Jerusalem
IMEMC 27 June — The Construction and Planning Committee in Jerusalem approved Tuesday the construction of 180 units for Jewish settlers in the Armon HaNetziv settlement in East Tel Peut. Israel will construct five huge residential buildings, in addition to a sixth building for public use, and three buildings for the Engineering Department of Armon HaNetziv.
Ahmad Sob-Laban, member of the Field Researchers Union in Jerusalem stated that Palestinian residents filed several appeals against the new settlement plan due to the fact that the new structures will be built on privately owned Palestinian lands, but the plan was approved. Sob-Laban also said that the Israel refused to allow the Arab residents of the area to build new housing for young couples, and instead approved 180 new units in Armon HaNetziv.
Municipality arrests two men for home improvements
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 26 June — Two Jerusalem Municipality officers, backed by armed Israeli forces, forced entry to a Silwan resident’s home today and placed him and a laborer under arrest. Khaled Shweki and a local handyman were carrying out home improvements on his family house when they were arrested by Municipality workers. Shweki was released some hours later, while the laborer remained in custody. The arrests occur amidst a climate of Israeli authorities attempting to clamp down on Palestinian residents of Silwan performing any type of restoration on their homes, claiming that such acts are illegal without a permit.
Israel’s historic city of Acre faces tourist and settler tensions / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 24 June — Amid narrow winding alleys, crumbling courtyards and dark doorways of neglected buildings, a work of art gleams within the walls of Israel’s ancient but dilapidated city of Acre. The Efendi Palace hotel opened in March after eight-and-a-half years of painstaking restoration … The Efendi Palace is a symbol of Acre’s potential as a magnet for wealthy tourists and investors. It has also become emblematic of growing tensions between the Arab and Jewish populations of one of Israel’s few mixed cities. Arabs, who make up 28% of Acre’s population but 100% of the old city, fear that a programme of gentrification funded by Jewish investors will — either by design or simply as a consequence — drive them out … In recent years there has been an influx of nationalist-religious Jews, associated with the hardline West Bank settler movement, seeking to “reclaim” mixed cities such as Acre and prevent their Arab populations becoming a majority.
Palestinian village tries to protect a terraced ancient wonder of agriculture
BATTIR, West Bank (NYTimes) 25 June by Isabel Kershner — In this scenic Palestinian village in the West Bank hills near Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, a week is said to last eight days, not seven. That is because Battir’s eight extended families take daily turns watering their crops from the natural springs that feed their ancient agricultural terraces, a practice they say has worked for centuries. The water flows through a Roman-era irrigation system down into a deep valley where a railway track — a section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway built in Ottoman times — roughly marks the 1949 armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. When the World Heritage Committee of Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — meets in St. Petersburg, Russia, over the next two weeks, this pastoral area will be thrust into the spotlight at least momentarily as the villagers and conservation experts fight to save what they say is a unique living cultural and historical landscape. The experts say the Battir terraces are under imminent threat because Israel plans to build a section of its West Bank security barrier right through the valley, parallel to the railway track. They are seeking to have Battir nominated as a World Heritage site on an emergency basis, a move that might persuade Israel to change its plans for the construction.
Israel demolishes historic Islamic sites in Jerusalem
IMEMC 26 June — The al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release on Monday revealing that Israeli bulldozers destroyed and demolished historic Islamic sites dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras in occupied Jerusalem. The Foundation said that Israel’s so-called Archeological Authority has been destroying and burying ancient Islamic sites over the last five years during excavations in al-Boraq, 100 meters west of the al-Aqsa Mosque … The al-Aqsa Foundation reported that its teams repeatedly visited the site and examined documents and pictures documenting the Israeli violations.
Israeli soldiers in uniform stroll inside the Aqsa mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 25 June — Israeli occupation police allowed around 70 soldiers from the Israeli navy to storm the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem and to stroll in its plazas. Local sources said that the soldiers broke into the holy site in their uniform at around 0900 am Monday, adding that the leader of the extremist Temple Mount Trustees Gershon Salomon was also allowed into the Aqsa plazas.
The Israeli occupation authorities allow settlers and soldiers to desecrate the holy site at will while banning around 150 Jerusalemite and Palestinian figures from entering it including clergymen, politicians, Aqsa guards, and citizens living near it.
Twilight Zone — Life among the ruins / Gideon Levy
Haaretz — Sussya ….A broiling sun beat down this week on the hilly desert landscape of the southern Hebron Hills. The residents lay in their tents and their shacks. There is no electricity, apart from that generated from the solar installation donated by the German government. There is no running water – just the water in the remnants of the cisterns that Israel has not yet demolished and the water they transport here from Yatta at NIS 35 per cubic meter. They have never heard of air conditioners here, nor fans. The pipe carrying water to the nearby Israeli settlement runs through their fields, which they cannot use. Nearly all the ancient caves where once it was possible to find shelter from the heat have been destroyed by Israel. Into one of them, for example, Civil Administration soldiers threw the junked remains of an old Subaru in order to block it. They blocked the others – as well as the wells and latrines – with dirt and rocks.
PA works on making old city of Bethlehem World Heritage site
RAMALLAH, June 26 (WAFA) – Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki is expected to attend the World Heritage committee meeting on Sunday in Saint Petersburg in Russia to work on inscribing the old city of Bethlehem on the World Heritage List … A has a primary list of around 20 Palestinian sites in the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, to inscribe on the World Heritage list.
Checkpoint jitters / Raja Shehadeh
25 June — EVERY DAY, at hundreds of checkpoints throughout the West Bank, Palestinians are stopped and made to wait, often for a long while, before they are let through. Last week I was halted at the Jabaa checkpoint on my way from my home in Ramallah to dinner at a friend’s house in Bethlehem. I was by myself, listening to a Beethoven string quartet, one of the most beautiful of his later works. The weather was good; the moon was out. I was in a meditative mood. I wanted to feel the beauty of the moment and not let it be determined, defined or in any way affected by the bored Israeli soldiers blocking my way. At first, I seemed to be succeeding.
FM to MK El-Sana: Terrorist, I’ll take care of you first
Ynet 27 June — During visit to Bedouin village to inspect illegal construction, FM Lieberman attacks MK El-Sana: Arab leadership represents terrorists; Arab MK accuses Lieberman of being member of mafia — …The minister visited the town on behalf of the right-wing advocacy group Regavim, which deals with Bedouins’ property issues and illegal construction on Jewish land. According to the organization, the Bedouin village of Al Zarnog was built on privately owned Jewish land.
Uproar over Ariel settlement university highlights Israeli academia’s hypocrisy
Elect. Int. 28 June by Ben White — With it likely that the University Centre of Samaria (UCS), the higher education institute based in Ariel colony in the West Bank, will be upgraded from college to university status, public opposition to the move from within Israeli academia has increased. Various university heads in Israel have expressed strong opposition, with varying motives … Professors who signed a petition against the upgrade endorsed a statement that argues the new university will mean “an inevitable identification between the entire Israeli academic community and the policy of settlements and occupation.” In the context of “ties between the Israeli academia and our counterparts around the world,” this identification of “the entire Israeli academia with the policy of settlements will place it in grave danger.”
Aumann: Opposition to Ariel university is political
Ynet 27 June – Nobel laureate Prof. Israel Aumann of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Wednesday attacked the heads of Israeli universities who sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling to prevent the establishment of a new university in Ariel. “Their claim is ridiculous. These are totally political moves. They don’t want a university in the settlements,” Aumann said, adding that the Ariel University Center of Samaria met all the rigorous criteria to be declared a full-fledged university.
Settlers: No one will break our spirit
Ynet 26 June — Eviction of Beit El’s contested Ulpana neighborhood underway by Civil Administration. Settlers pledge no violence, vow: ‘God willing, we will rebuild homes’ — …The High Court-ordered, government-backed eviction will include the relocation of 33 of the neighborhood’s families, 16 of which are to move Tuesday. Some 100 Defense Ministry officials, divided into teams, paired up with the families in order to offer them the logistic assistance necessary. “We are doing everything in our power to ease this difficult process for the families,” a defense source told Ynet.
Video: Israel evicts settlers after landmark ruling
Al Jazeera 26 June — The Israeli government has started evicting Israeli settlers from a neighbourhood in the West Bank, the occupied Palestinian territory, after a landmark ruling by the country’s supreme court. Sixteen families were ordered out of their homes in the Ulpana community because they were built illegally on Palestinian land … Melissa Chan reports from the West Bank.
Beit El: Activists block road in protest against Ulpana eviction
Ynet 27 June — A right-wing group is blocking traffic at Beit El’s main street in protest against the eviction of Ulpana’s residents and the agreement signed between the neighborhood’s leaders and the government. The protesters are yelling “traitors” and “you have sold the land” at passersby.
Violence / Raids / Arrests
Israeli forces raid northern West Bank, detain 6 in south
JENIN (Ma‘an) 27 June — …Witnesses said Israeli forces detained Abed Al Rahman Mahmud Sbeih in Kafr Ra‘i, near Jenin late Tuesday. Forces raided the home of freed prisoner Ibrahim Nawahda in al-Yamun, also near Jenin, and interrogated him on site, they said. In nearby Silat al-Harithiya village forces took Mohammad Barakar Zayood, and Mohammad Jameel Tahayneh from their homes and interrogated them for several hours at the Bartaa military checkpoint, before releasing them, locals said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was not involved in arrests in the north, but detained three Palestinians in Hebron, one in nearby village Beit Kahil and another two people in Bethlehem-village Tequ‘.
Israeli forces ‘raid Islamic deputies’ office in Salfit’
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 27 June — Israeli forces raided the office of Hamas-affiliated deputies in northern West Bank city Salfit early Wednesday, deputies told Ma‘an. Troops raided the office, confiscating computer devices, before searching the home of the office director Izz al-Din Fatash, they said. The Israeli forces verbally requested that Fatash permanently close the Islamic deputies office, the deputies added. They noted that the raid coincides with the expected release of Salfit Islamic lawmaker Nasser Abdul Jawad after Israel held him for 12 months in administrative detention.
Report: Israeli forces seize 6 in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 27 June — Israeli authorities on Wednesday detained six Palestinians in East Jerusalem who they say are affiliated to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Israeli media reported. The group, from Isawiya neighborhood, were seized by police and internal security agency officials on suspicion of throwing stones at security forces and assaulting locals suspected of cooperating with Israeli authorities, The Jerusalem Post reported.
IOF soldiers arrest two brothers
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 26 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested two Palestinian brothers in Al-Khalil on Tuesday after ransacking their family home, relatives said. They told the PIC that the soldiers, included masked special forces, surrounded the Duvesh family home in Jalada near Tafuh in Al-Khalil city then stormed it after exploding a sound bomb and wreaked havoc inside it. The eyewitnesses said that the soldiers first took Hatem Duvesh, a pharmacist, handcuffed and blindfolded out of the house then a quarter of an hour later took out his brother Munir, a university student. They said that the soldiers confiscated Hatem’s personal computer along with a lot of papers. The phenomenon of arresting brothers has recently increased in the West Bank.
Israeli forces raid house, demolish wall and shed east of Tulkarem
TULKAREM, June 26 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday raided and searched the family house of detainee Hamada Abu Awad in Thinnaba suburb, east of Tulkarem, and demolished a shed and wall surrounding it, according to witnesses. Abu Awad was arrested by the Israeli soldiers on May and the family has not received any information about him since. Abu Awad’s family told WAFA that seven Israeli military vehicles surrounded Abu Awad’s house before raiding it and locked the whole family in one room while searching and tampering with the house contents. They also said that soldiers also threatened to demolish the house.
Israel arrests several Palestinian including elderly and teen
RAMALLAH, June 25 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday arrested a number of Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including an elderly and a teenager, according to local sources.
Report: Settler guard shoots Palestinian near Jerusalem
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 27 June — A security guard at an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank shot and seriously injured a Palestinian man Wednesday, Israeli media reported. The man, in his 30s but not otherwise identified, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach after being shot by a guard at the illegal Maale Adumim settlement near Jerusalem, Israel’s Ynet news site reported. According to the report, the guard thought the man intended to steal his gun.
Yesha leaders come out against extremist violence
Ynet 25 June — Yesha Council leaders voiced rare criticism against the violent acts of far Right activists on Sunday after unknown assailants punctured the tires of Yesha official Ze’ev Hever. In a Yesha Council conference in Ofra, chairman Danny Dayan said, “Violence has become common currency in our camps while we remain silent.” We have all acted for the sake of Migron and the Ulpana neighborhood, but how many of us have done something to stop the ugly practice of veiled teens hurling stones with slingshots? How many of us have done something to stop the torching of police cars?” Dayan added that those present were not innocent of such acts and called to end silence on the matter. “I shamefully admit that even when a Molotov cocktail was hurled at a children’s room in Hawara and I presented a condemnation resolution at the Yesha Council, I was told ‘We do not condemn the harming of Arabs’,” Dayan said.
Prisoners / Court actions
Does Shin Bet exploit family to pressure detainees?
Ynet 26 June — …The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) has released a report claiming that Israeli security agents arrest and threaten to arrest or hurt detainees’ relatives — who often have no connection to the crimes allegedly committed by the suspects — in order to entice the detainees to cooperate with the investigation … The report quotes one of the complainants, a resident of the West Bank town of Qabatiya, as saying that his interrogator threatened to arrest his mother and 16-year-old brother. The latter was indeed detained for 20 days, and was freed shortly after the complainant confessed to the accusations brought against him. According to the report, the boy was arrested solely for the purpose of pressuring his brother. Another detainee lamented that his interrogators refused to let him know what had happened to his 2-year-old son, who was sleeping next to him while he was arrested in the dead of night.
Palestinian children exposed to ‘spiral of injustice’, panel finds / Harriet Sherwood
JERUSALEM 28 June — A belief that every Palestinian child is a potential terrorist may be leading to a ”spiral of injustice” and breaches of international law in Israel’s treatment of child detainees in military custody, a delegation of British lawyers has concluded in an independent report backed by the British Foreign Office. The nine-strong delegation found that ”undisputed facts” pointed to at least six violations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory. It was also in breach of the fourth Geneva convention in transferring child detainees from the West Bank to Israeli prisons, the delegation said. Its report, Children in Military Custody, was based on a visit to Israel and the West Bank in September. It makes 40 specific recommendations concerning the treatment of Palestinian child detainees.
UK lawyers say Israeli child detention practices illegal
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 June — A delegation of senior British lawyers on Tuesday released a report saying Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in custody breaks international law. The independent study, backed by the UK government, documents testimony by the UN, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children that minors are subject to shackling, hooding and solitary confinement … Seizing children in night raids, physical and verbal abuse, and keeping them from their parents also breaks international prohibitions on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, it adds … The report also notes that by applying separate legal regimes for Israeli and Palestinian children, Israel is in breach of international laws against discrimination. Israeli children cannot be jailed under the age of 14, while Palestinian children as young as 12 have been held by Israel. Israeli children must be given access to a lawyer within 48 hours, whereas Palestinians can be held for three months without legal aid.
Ministry: 70 prisoners killed in Israeli prisons since 1967
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 June — Seventy Palestinians have been killed in Israeli jails since 1967, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainee Affairs said Tuesday. The ministry’s report, released to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, said 70 prisoners died “as a result of direct violence” by Israeli authorities. The most recent victim of direct violence was Muhammad al-Ashqar, from Tulkarem, who was killed in Israel’s Negev prison in 2007. Al-Ashqar was shot dead aged 29 during a riot that erupted after Israeli prison authorities raided cells at night. Meanwhile, 202 prisoners died shortly after they were released from Israeli jails, the ministry said.
It said 95 percent of Palestinian prisoners were tortured and beaten by Israeli forces. Prisoners are “brutally tortured and assaulted from the moment of arrest and while they transferred to detention centers in military vehicles even before they know what they are accused of,” the report said. “Torture and punishment have become a policy by the Israeli intelligence rather than an individual behavior practiced only by some interrogators as the Israeli authorities claim….”
Occupation jails six minors for between 5 and 12 years
QALQILYA (PIC) 26 June — Israeli court issued harsh verdicts against six Palestinian children from the town of Azzun east of Qalqilya in the West Bank, in addition to heavy fines against each of them. Hassan Shebeita, responsible for the Israeli attacks file in Azzun, told Quds press that Salem military court west of Jenin issued recently a harsh actual sentence between 5 and 12 years against six Palestinian children aged between fourteen and sixteen, and imposed heavy fines on each one of them. The six boys had been arrested in April of last year where their trial was postponed several times since then, he said … Shebeita pointed out that the court has imposed on the six detainees’ families to pay five thousand shekels for each prisoner before 12 August, or their sentences will be increased for another a year and a half.
IPS refuses to treat Palestinian prisoner with bullet in his head
JENIN (PIC) 27 June — Palestinian prisoner Shadi Mousa is suffering from excruciating pain and needs head surgery to extract a bullet from his skull, his family in Marka village, south of Jenin, said. The family said that Mousa, 35, was shot by the Israeli occupation forces during his arrest ten years ago. They said that Mousa, who is serving a 25-year sentence, is in a very serious condition, adding that the Israeli prison service (IPS) refuses to allow the surgery and only gives him sedatives.
IOA renews administrative detention of Hamas leader
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 27 June — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has renewed for four months the administrative detention of Hamas leader Muntaser Shadid. Shadid family told the PIC that he was due to be released in three days but the IOA imposed a new term of administrative custody on him on Wednesday at the pretext he posed a ‘threat’ to Israeli security … The Israeli occupation forces arrested Shadid from Al-Khalil on the 1st of March 2011 and held him since then in administrative detention, without charge.
PA extends remand of former Palestinian militant turned theater director / Amira Hass
Haaretz 27 June — Former Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade commander Zakaria Zubeidi accused of failing to prevent attack on home of Jenin governor – Former Palestinian militant leader Zakaria Zubeidi plans to petition the Palestinian High Court against his continued detention by the Palestinian Authority and plans to transfer his case to military prosecutors. Zubeidi, a former Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leader, was arrested in early May in Jenin. His arrest was part of a sweep conducted by the Palestinian Authority’s security forces following an assault on the home of Jenin District Governor Kadura Musa … As with many of the other men arrested in the wake of the assault on Musa’s home, the request for Zubeidi’s remand described him as belonging to an unspecified “criminal gang.” While many of the other detainees have reportedly been tortured, a complaint taken from Zubeidi by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) indicated that he had not been tortured, although he did complain about the lack of medical treatment and the fact that his family members were not allowed to visit.
Events in solidarity with hunger-striking political prisoners escalate
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 26 June — The southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil is witnessing popular events supporting the hunger striking political prisoners in PA jails, while a number of detainees’ families vowed to escalate its steps demanding freedom for their detained sons and relatives. Six political prisoners affiliated with the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas have launched an open hunger strike to demand their release from the jails of PA security apparatus.
Israeli army court convicts Palestinian of 46 murders
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 27 June — A Palestinian man arrested in 2006 by Israel was convicted Wednesday of 46 counts of murder carried out while commanding Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank, Israeli media reported. Israel’s Ynet news site reported that Ibrahim Hamed, 47, a former commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, was also found guilty of four counts of accessory to murder and four counts of attempted murder … Hamed’s attorney, Salah Mahmid, added that his client “does not recognize this court’s authority to try him because this is the occupation’s court and according to international law it has no jurisdiction in this case.”
Israel releases lawmaker from Bethlehem
RAMALLAH, June 25 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Monday released lawmaker Anwar Zaboun from Bethlehem after serving time in administrative detention without charge of trial, according to a prisoners’ support group. It said Zaboun, a member of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc, was arrested on August 26 and immediately held in administrative detention for six months that was later renewed and ended Monday.
With the release of Zaboun, 25 lawmakers remain held in Israeli jails including the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik.
IOF soldiers fire at residential quarters in southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 27 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at residential quarters in Qarara to the north east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday night. Local sources said that IOF soldiers patrolling the border fence near Kissufim military position suddenly opened fire at buildings in the town but no casualties were reported.
Other sources said that Israeli gunboats fired at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza but no casualties were reported among the fishermen.
Sawasiya Center to prosecute PA health ministry for causing Gaza health crisis
GAZA (PIC) 27 June — Sawasiya center for human rights said it has prepared a lawsuit against the Palestinian authority health ministry in Ramallah for its direct responsibility for the pharmaceutical crisis plaguing the health sector in the Gaza Strip … The center noted that the PA health ministry avoided its legal obligations and deliberately did not send to Gaza its allocation of medicines and medical supplies according to the tenders approved for suppliers. It said it had evidence proving that the PA health ministry asked the suppliers not to send any shipments of medical supplies to Gaza. For its part, the health ministry in Gaza said in a report that 253 out of 460 types of main medicines ran out from its stores and 66 others are only sufficient for three months.
Israel denies Palestinians in Gaza right to study in West Bank
Elec. Int. 27 June by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours — JERUSALEM (IPS) – After more than 25 years spent fighting for women’s rights in the occupied Gaza Strip, Andaleeb Shehadeh is now struggling for the right to complete her university education. “This kind of studies is very important for the women who are active in women’s rights in the Gaza Strip,” the 46-year-old mother of four said. “It’s not offered in Gaza or in the rest of the Middle East.” In 1999, Shehadeh began studying for a master’s degree in gender, law and development at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank. One year later, after having completed only half of her degree, the Israeli authorities imposed a sweeping ban on Palestinians wanting to travel from Gaza to the West Bank for education.
Official: Egypt to allow more Gaza passengers through Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 June — Egypt has agreed to increase the number of passengers passing through its Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip to 1,000 per day, the Palestinian crossings director said Wednesday. Maher Abu Sabha told Ma‘an the terminal — the only entry and exit point for travelers from Gaza — currently has 500 registered passengers per day in July, but now has a quote for 500 more.
4 rockets fired at Netivot; 2 intercepted
Ynet 26 June — Four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Netivot on Tuesday. Two of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and two exploded in open areas. No injuries or damage were reported.
Keeping Brits warm and 25 Gazans employed / Amira Hass
Haaretz 25 June — Hours of work and lots of taxes have led to the export of one truckload of sweaters out of Gaza. It should only take a few more million to get another truck out — …The following statistics will further emphasize the dramatic nature of the event in May: Last week not a single truck left the Kerem Shalom crossing to bring Palestinian products from Gaza to anywhere outside the Strip. Nevertheless, since the beginning of 2012, the weekly average has certainly been higher than zero: Seven (!) trucks left the commercial checkpoint with Made in Gaza products for export, as compared to a weekly average of 240 before June 2007, according to the statistics of the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Denied entry for ‘negative behavior’ A 33-year-old U.S. citizen who had hoped to spend a month in Ramallah with his ill and elderly widower father, was not permitted to do so, because he was unable to prove that his presence in Ramallah would not endanger Israel’s security. Nael Jaber, a native of New York and father of five, last visited his father five years ago, and stayed in the West Bank for 45 days, he wrote to Haaretz in an e-mail. His father had moved back to his native city after living in the United States for years. But, Jaber says, he was detained for about 10 hours at Ben-Gurion Airport on May 21, and questioned at length by men in civilian clothing before being sent back to the United States. He refused to take the hint, though, and tried his luck again on May 30. After waiting for about three hours at the land border crossing with Jordan, he was sent back again.
Lebanese labor minister: Palestinians are doing just fine
Al Akhbar 27 June — Minister of Labor Salim Jreissati says that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are better off without the amendments to the labor code ordered by his predecessor and approved in parliament which would make it easier for them to gain employment. Unemployment is rife in the Palestinian refugees camps in Lebanon despite an amendment to the labor code approved by parliament in August 2010 permitting Palestinian refugees to work in all sectors permitted for foreigners.
In addition to allowing them to benefit from social security from a special fund, the amendment, which has been sitting on the shelf for two years waiting to be implemented, will not see the light of day.
Free the refugees of Nahr al-Bared / Marcy Newman
Tripoli, Lebanon (Al Jazeera) 26 June — Residents of the Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon have been trapped in a closed military zone for five years — Last week at a candlelight vigil in Baddawi refugee camp for the camp’s dead and injured, signs posted on the school wall asked why, after five years, was Nahr al-Bared still a closed military zone? For the past five years, all entrances to Nahr al-Bared have remained encircled by the Lebanese army. It has remained that way since the military’s 2007 campaign – ostensibly against Fatah al-Islam members – devastated the camp, turning it into a closed military zone. In addition to the checkpoints, walls and barbed wire, the army commandeered all the homes surrounding the periphery of the camp, in addition to those homes straddling the border between the old and new sections of the camp. Those wishing to visit friends in the camp must first obtain permission from the army (and those who are US citizens must wait for the army to clear visits with the US embassy). Palestinians from other camps, including those who lived in Nahr al-Bared prior to the army’s bombardment, are also prevented from visiting the camp.
Solidarity / BDS – and opposition
Israeli ex-top diplomat backs boycott
Al Akhbar 27 June — Former top Israeli diplomat Alon Liel threw his backing behind renowned author Alice Walker’s decision to shun an Israeli publishing house, citing an international boycott against Israel for its oppression of Palestinians, the Times of Israel reported. Liel, who served as Israel’s ambassador to South Africa between 1992 and 1994 and was also the director of Israel’s foreign ministry, said he supported the international campaign against Israel, adding that he too boycotted goods from illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
‘New Lara Fabian’ faces Lebanon boycott calls
Al Akhbar 26 June — A French singer is facing calls to apologize for her support for Israel or abandon a Middle Eastern tour, a few weeks ahead of a planned performance in Lebanon. In a case echoing that of Belgian-Italian singer Lara Fabian, who abandoned her trip to Lebanon earlier this year when it emerged she had sung at a festival celebrating the 60th anniversary of the creation of Israel, Julie Zenatti has been asked to abandon her trip if she will not renege on her pro-Zionist position.
Anti-BDS propaganda fail
End the Occ. 27 June — The anti-BDS crowd has been dealt a major blow to their propaganda attempts this week after MCSI made it clear that Israel was a major factor in its decision to remove Caterpillar from three of its popular indexes that track socially responsible investments. Last week several pro-Israel groups claimed that, once again, the “BDS Movement Tells Lies and Creates Pretend ‘Victories‘” and that TIAA-CREF’s decision to remove $72 million in Caterpillar shares from its Social Choice Fund following had nothing to do with Israel.
Jewish Federation branch cancels Pamela Geller event after interfaith outcry / Alex Kane
Mondoweiss 24 June — The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has canceled an event this afternoon that was set to feature anti-Muslim activist and blogger Pamela Geller. The event attracted attention last night when an interfaith coalition of activists sent out a press release denouncing the decision by “a mainstream Jewish organization” to host “one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes.” The LA branch is part of the Jewish Federations of North America, an establishment Jewish organization that has 155 branches across the country. Geller promptly took to her blog to denounce the “craven capitulation of the Jewish Federation to Islamic supremacist Jew-haters.” [see also Bradley Burston article mentioned under Analysis/Opinion here]
CBS pulls down L.A. billboards
End the Occ. 25 June — On June 11 the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel had 23 billboards erected in Los Angeles and surrounding cities with the message “Tell Congress: Spend our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military” over an American flag background. The billboards were contracted to run for four weeks, and we were preparing to put more up in other spots around the city. Read about our billboards here. We were thrilled. L.A. had never seen a campaign of this size devoted to this issue. That win fell apart just one week later when the billboard company–CBS Outdoor, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation– took all our billboards down.
Legal battle ends, ‘larger struggle continues’ for professor denied tenure because of her politics
Elect. Int. 26 June — The North Carolina Supreme Court won’t consider a petition of discretionary review by professor Terri Ginsberg, who was denied tenure several years ago after her outspoken criticism of Israeli policies … Kapitan also noted that the court’s decision to dismiss Ginsberg’s appeal review is “particularly troubling in the wake of Arizona’s recent outlawing of Chicano/a studies curricula in that state’s educational system, and as pro-Zionist groups in California are attempting to force California State University-Northridge to forbid mathematics professor David Klein from posting to his faculty website information about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of human rights for Palestinians.”
Electronic Intifada weekly podcast featuring Sherine Tadros, Rami Almeghari 26 June 2012
Italian-funded community center inaugurated in Hebron
HEBRON, June 24 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem, Giampaolo Cantini, Sunday inaugurated the Italian-funded Yatta Municipality Community Centre and Yatta Dynamometer Station in south of Hebron, according to a press release by the Italian General Consulate in Jerusalem … The community centre will provide services to the most marginalized groups, particularly people with disabilities, while the Dynamometer Station represents the incoming generating project that will provide resources for sustaining the community centre activities.
Report: Mofaz to meet Abbas Sunday
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 27 June — Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz will meet President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu gave the meeting a go-ahead in order to keep Mofaz’s Kadima party in the governing coalition, Israel’s Channel Two reported. Mofaz wants to convince Abbas that since his party joined the government in May, giving Netanyahu the largest majority in Israeli history, they have a one-time chance to strike a peace deal, the report said.
Abbas calls for peace conference in Moscow amid Putin visit
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 June — President Mahmoud Abbas called on Tuesday for an international peace conference in Moscow after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Putin, who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, is on a brief Middle East visit that analysts say is to shore up Russia’s clout in the region amid the unpopularity of its support for the Syrian regime.
Russian president Vladimir Putin visits Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 June — Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Bethlehem on Tuesday morning for a brief meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas. Putin arrived with a delegation of 400 Russian politicians, journalists, and business people, amid tight security on the streets of the West Bank city. The president visited the Nativity Church, believed to be Jesus’ birthplace, before attending the opening of a Russian cultural center in the city. The Palestinian Authority announced it is naming one of Bethlehem’s main road after Putin to commemorate his visit.
Al-Maliki: Netanyahu misrepresented peace process
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 June — Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki on Monday accused Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu of misrepresenting the peace process. Netanyahu on Monday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to relay his readiness to resume peace talks to President Mahmoud Abbas. “Either I will go to him or he can come to me,” Netanyahu told Putin. Al-Malki said Netanyahu had tried to make the issue of peace talks appear simple while in fact the Israeli premier has complicated the resumption of talks by refusing to abide by international law.
Hamas ‘could get world recognition’ after Mursi win
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 June — The victory of Muhammad Mursi in the Egyptian presidential elections could enable Hamas to secure international recognition, an official in the party said Monday. The election of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, the historic parent movement of Gaza-rulers Hamas, in neighboring Egypt was received with jubilation in the Gaza Strip. Ahmad Yousef, widely regarded as a Hamas moderate, told Ma‘an the Mursi presidency could help end the West’s isolation of the movement, as well as ending Israel’s blockade on the coastal enclave.
Other news – Palestine
Video — Al Jazeera World: Girls FC
26 June — With all the drama of the revolutions in the Middle East, one tiny revolution may have gone unnoticed. On February 10, 2011, an estimated 8,000 spectators filled the Feisal al-Husseini Stadium in the West Bank to witness the opening match of the Palestine Women’s National Football League. This film follows the Palestinian girls facing challenges on and off the pitch as they pursue their passion for football.
Palestine: A summer of musical heritage
Al Akhbar 26 June — This summer, performers from around the world will take to the stages of Palestine — from Ramallah to Jerusalem — with song, dance, and visual arts in celebration of Palestine’s rich cultural heritage and ongoing struggle against occupation … the season opens with the Wein a Ramallah Festival organized by the Ramallah municipality, followed by the Popular Art Center’s International Palestine Festival, and concludes with the Jerusalem Festival from the Yabous Cultural Center (YCC) in East Jerusalem. These festivals bring some of the biggest names in Palestinian music and art together alongside performers from the region and around the world.
5 Palestinians prepare to compete in Olympics
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 27 June — Five Palestinian athletes are preparing for the London Olympics in intensive training camps, the head of the Palestinian Olympics committee said Tuesday. Jibril al-Rajoub said Palestine’s swimming team has trained in Barcelona while the athletics team is getting ready in Qatar, adding that it was the first time Palestinian Olympic competitors were able to attend specialist training camps. The competitors will return to Palestine to see their families before heading to London on July 20. Maher Abu Rmeila will represent Palestine in Judo, Bahha Farra and Worood Sawalha will compete in athletics and Ahmad Jibril and Sabine Hazboun are on Palestine’s swim team.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination
Schools for Jews and Arabs separate but definitely not equal / Rivka Cohen
Haaretz 25 June — In one clear step, Israel’s Education Minister has demonstrated that the separate Jewish and Muslim school systems have nothing to do with preserving an autonomous space for Jewish and for Arab culture, but rather – plain segregation — There can be only one justification for this segregation, bearing in mind the many disadvantages that Arab students suffer because of it. A separate school system that is so clearly unequal can only maintain a pretext of justice if it exists in order to accommodate the different educational needs of Arab students in a predominately Jewish society. Yet the Ministry of Education’s recent mandate that Arab students must study Menachem Begin and David Ben Gurion cuts this justification down at the knees. The new requirement will force Arab schoolchildren to celebrate a Jewish-Israeli history that excludes them.
Author: Israel can claim the title of the most racist state in the developed world
Haaretz 26 June — Israeli culture is no less toxic than fanatic Islam, and the country’s discriminatory attitude toward Mizrahi Jews and Arabs qualifies it for the title of “most racist state,” prominent Israeli author Sami Michael said on Monday … The racism is encouraged by cabinet members and MKs, and fueled by increasing religious extremism in the country, he said … Michael said Israeli children are trained to hate the other.
Rabbi who called for slaughter of a million Palestinians is to supervise Israel’s ‘Red Cross’
Elect. Int. 26 June by Ali Abunimah — A notoriously racist rabbi who once called on Israel to slaughter a million Palestinian civilians has been appointed to head a supervisory committee for Magen David Adom (MDA) – Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Haaretz reported that under pressure from ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups MDA decided to set up a rabbinical committee to dictate religious guidelines – including gender relations – for volunteers in the rescue service. The committee is headed by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safad, whose salary is paid by the Israeli government. Eliyahu has a long, well-documented history of extreme racism and has called for violence against Palestinians.
Tax Authority launches crackdown on employment of illegal migrants
Ynet 27 June — The Tax Authority has launched an operation to find businesses that employ or are managed by illegal migrants. Dozens of Tax Authority crews are raiding the area around Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station as part of the crackdown, which was ordered by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Video: South Sudanese deportees face uncertain future
26 June — Israel is continuing to expel undocumented African migrants from the country. A group of South Sudanese has now arrived in Juba, that country’s capital, as part of the second wave of expulsions since Israel first launched its crackdown. Many of the returning families face an uncertain future, returning to a homeland that many have not lived in for decades. Al Jazeera’s Anna Cavell reports from Juba, South Sudan.
Israel’s racism off the hook as UEFA snubs Palestinians
JBIG 24 June — It’s good to know that Britain’s political leaders care so deeply “about the rule of law and selective justice” in Ukraine, that government ministers declined to attend the England football team’s quarter final Euro 2012 match there on Sunday (June 24). Strange, then, that the illegal and unjust treatment of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak — whose family is waiting anxiously to see if Israel will stand by a promise to release him after three months on hunger strike and three years in prison without charge or trial — elicits no such concern from the British government.Nor, even more shamefully, from UEFA, which has reaffirmed its decision to let Israel host next year’s under-21 competition.
Other news – Israel
Cinema club run by Palestinians in Israel makes its mark
Elec. Int. 25 June by Sawsan Khalife’ — Three years ago, a group of movie enthusiasts formed a Palestinian cinema club in Haifa and Jaffa, two Palestinian cities in present-day Israel. Known as Palestinema, the club decided to offer the public in Israel the possibility of watching Arab films once every two weeks. It was also intended to enable networking between Palestinian filmmakers in Israel. The project is unapologetically political in nature. “We want to make a change,” said Sameer Zoabi, a Haifa-based script writer who is one of the founders of Palestinema. “We are a group of Arab filmmakers who learn from our history, know our present and hope for a better future.”
In Israel, a push to learn the language of ‘the enemy’
Jerusalem (CSM) 26 June — The current decline in the study of Arabic in Israeli schools could compromise coexistence efforts and the military’s ability to gather intelligence. But one program is countering that trend — Arabic teacher Essam Shihada’s casual dress – sneakers and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt – contrasts with the seriousness of what he is trying to do: endear Israeli Jewish pupils to the study of the “‘enemy’s language.” A few minutes after fielding questions from Mr. Shihada and each other about how many siblings they have and where their parents work, the class of Israeli youngsters is enthusiastically singing the words of an ancient Arabic folk song about harvesting olives.
4 Neturei Karta youths implicated in Yad Vashem vandalism
Ynet 26 June — Police arrest four members of radical anti-Zionist sect in connection to defacement of Holocaust Museum — …The four, ages 18, 26 and 27, who are residents of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, belong to the Neturei Karta sect … The Jerusalem district Police said Tuesday that the suspects have also been linked to other vandalism cases of monuments in the greater Jerusalem area. According to police sources, a search of the suspects’ apartments yielded anti-Israel and anti-Zionists material, spray cans and PLO flags. A search of their computers derived material the police said constitutes sedition.
Jewish media mogul to invest in Israeli version of Al Jazeera news channel
Haaretz 26 June — The controlling shareholder of the HOT cable TV company is to invest in a new television channel to be broadcast in France that will cover news of the Middle East from an Israeli perspective … Later, an English version of the channel is to be launched, directed mainly at the North American market.
Yishai: Drafting haredim ‘incest, idolatry’
Ynet 25 June — Shas Party Chairman Eli Yishai, who has already expressed harsh criticism of attempts to find an alternative to the Tal Law, has now characterized efforts to draft the Ultra-Orthodox as “bloodshed, incest, and idolatry” — three acts expressly forbidden by Judaism.
The ‘most moral army…’ etc.
‘Abusive’ officer promoted to commander post
Ynet 27 June — Despite recommendation to dismiss him, officer accused of beating soldiers moves up in ranks
Did IDF troops aid Sinai drug smugglers?
Ynet 25 June — Amid the escalating tension along Israel’s southern border, several soldiers and career officers serving in the IDF appear to have aided smugglers in Sinai to sneak in hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of drugs into the Jewish state, according to an army investigation.
Analysis / Opinion
Obama’s October Surprise: Largest war games in US-Israeli history / Richard Silverstein
AntiWar 27 June — Israel’s daily Maariv reported yesterday that the long delayed war games between U.S. and Israeli forces will take place in October. It noted that some commentators are calling it a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran. IDF sources quoted in the article called the exercises ‘of immense importance’. These will be the largest such military maneuvers in the history of the joint U.S.-Israel relationship … Three thousand U.S. Air Force personnel and a larger IDF contingent will focus on air warfare and missile defense … The date of the war games is no accident, coming only a few weeks before the presidential election.
An all-consuming occupation / Rebecca L. Stein
MERIP 26 June — On June 6, 2012, the Jerusalem Development Authority launched its fourth annual Jerusalem Festival of Light in the Old City …In 2011, the Muslim Quarter of the Old City was included within the festival’s purview for the first time, with Damascus Gate retooled as the backdrop for a massive video projection. For Israeli Jews, who represented the vast majority of attendees, the event was an opportunity to visit Old City sites which many of them deem dangerous and out of bounds, even in daylight hours … Missing from the official literature was any mention of the week’s historic anniversary — June 2012 marking the passage of 45 years since the onset of the Israeli military occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 … This silence notwithstanding, the tourist festival was arguably a fitting tribute to the 1967 anniversary. For in fact, the occupation was a tourist event of sorts. Or rather, it was experienced as such by many Israeli Jews — an experience that can be traced to the very first days after the Israeli conquest on June 10, 1967 … Tourism was a crucial avenue by which Israeli civilians experienced their newfound status as occupiers.
Settlements threaten American Jews’ connection with Israel / Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
Haaretz 26 June — The disconnection that mainstream U.S. Jews feel towards the Jewish state is driven by the settlement movement , the NRA of Israel, which continues its fanatic, unrelenting drive to expand into every corner of the territories. The only way to re-engage U.S. Jews and Israel is for the Israeli government to stand up to the settlers – now — …While some Jewish leaders (full disclosure: I have done this myself) attribute the focus on settlement to unfriendly press coverage in America, in reality the opposite is true. Many American Jews read Israel’s daily press, now widely available in English, and see that the obsession with settlement comes from the Israeli side and not the American side…
No hatred is pro-Jewish. No bigotry is pro-Israel. Case in point: Pamela Geller / Bradley Burston
Haaretz 26 June — ZOA should never have extended an invitation to one of America’s most extraordinarily successful purveyors of unvarnished prejudice and unapologetic hatred — …It might be asked why the ZOA, as a high-profile constituent of the Jewish community, felt it worthwhile to volunteer a platform to someone whose venom is so ecumenical that she has accused Barack Obama of being the love child of Malcolm X, and has charged that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who is Jewish, has a “love of socialism of the Nazi variety” – even promoting a photoshopped photograph of Justice Kagan wearing a swastika-laden Nazi helmet and uniform … Geller has also linked Islam to bestiality and rape of minors, the ADL said, and has asserted that Hitler was inspired by Islam.
The more Germans know about the Mideast the more they root for the Palestinians / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 26 June — A new study finds that most Germans who oppose Israel’s Palestinian policies are not anti-Semitic, but pro-peace and human rights.