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State Dept defines settler violence as terrorism

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For first time, US State Department defines settler violence as terrorism
Haaretz 18 Aug — In annual report on terrorism in foreign countries, U.S. government report defines so-called ‘price-tag’ attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank as acts of terror
During 2011, the report says, ten mosques in the West Bank and in Jerusalem were set on fire – a dramatic increase compared to past years, following “six such incidents in 2010 and one in 2009.” The report also states that Israeli authorities believe that the attacks were “perpetrated by settlers.” Under the title “2011 Terrorist Incidents,” the report describes the main terrorist attacks carried out in the West Bank in the Gaza Strip in that year. Alongside rocket attacks from Gaza, the report mentions seven incidents, three of which were considered “price-tag” attacks – the spraying of hate graffiti on Muslim graves at the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem, the burning of a Jerusalem mosque and the vandalizing of a mosque in the West Bank village of Burqa.

Palestinians hold vigil for victims of taxi attack
JPost 19 Aug — The Jayada family was on the way to the supermarket to shop for the holiday meal when their car was attacked and burst into flames The car went up in flames and then flipped over. Two of the victims remain in intensive care, including Ayman Jayada, who is in a coma, Jamila, who is in serious condition, and Hassan, who is communicative but drowsy from the drugs used to ease the pain of the burns over most of his body.Another brother, Haitham, shuttling between his family members in different wards trailed by two dozen worried relatives, described the shock when they received the phone call. The brothers, from a family of 10 children in Nahalin, speak Hebrew well and have never been jailed or had run-ins with Israeli authorities, according to Haitham Jayada, 30. “It was the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen. I walked into Ayman’s room and walked out again because I didn’t realize it was him. You can’t recognize him because his face is burned away. We haven’t even let his four kids in to see him, because no child should see his father like that,” he said. Half of the village of Nahalin is here at the hospital, he said. There is no ‘Id al-Fitr in Nahalin this year because they are all here, keeping a vigil by their family members’ sides … “This isn’t the first time — the settlers nearby have thrown Molotov cocktails at us before, and rocks as well,” he said.

PM to Abbas: Israel will catch firebomb assailants
[graphic photos] Ynet 18 Aug — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday and offered his greetings for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Netanyahu promised that Israel will spare no effort in bringing those behind the firebomb assault against Palestinians to justice. Police has yet to trace suspects in the incident that saw six Palestinians injured including one in serious condition. Four of the victims are members of the same family. Jamila Riada, one of the victims, told Ynet she had seen the suspect, who is thought to be a settler. “I saw him before he threw the Molotov cocktail, but I didn’t expect it would hit us. Suddenly we saw fire inside the car,” she recounted. Jamila, 30, sustained injuries to her face and both hands. Her husband Ayman is in a coma and considered to be in serious condition. The couple’s 3-year-old daughter was released from hospital, and their son, who was also hurt, is said to be feeling well.,7340,L-4270022,00.html

In suspected Jerusalem lynch, dozens of Jewish youth attack 3 Palestinians
Haaretz 17 Aug — One of the Palestinians was seriously wounded and hospitalized in intensive care; eyewitness: Today I saw a lynch with my own eyes — Dozens of Jewish youths attacked three young Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Zion Square early on Friday morning, in what one witness described as “a lynch” on Facebook. One of the Palestinians was seriously wounded and hospitalized in intensive care in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Acting Jerusalem police chief General Menachem Yitzhaki has set up a special team to investigate the incident and detain the suspects. The three were allegedly attacked by youths shouting “Death to the Arabs” at them, as well as other racial slurs. One of them fell on the floor, and his attackers continued to beat him until he lost consciousness. They subsequently fled from the scene. Within a short period of time rescue volunteers and Magen David Adom rescue services arrived on the scene and found the victim with no pulse and not breathing. After a lengthy resuscitation attempt, he was transferred to the hospital…
Writing on her Facebook page, one eye witness described the attack as a lynch: …”But today I saw a lynch with my own eyes, in Zion Square, the center of the city of Jerusalem ….. and shouts of ‘A Jew is a soul and Arab is a son of a –,’ were shouted loudly and dozens (!!) of youths ran and gathered and started to really beat to death three Arab youths who were walking quietly in the Ben Yehuda street,” the witness wrote.

Israeli police arrest suspects in Jerusalem attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Aug — Israeli police have arrested a total of five suspects in connection with an attack in Jerusalem early Friday that left a Palestinian citizen of Israel seriously injured, an Israeli police spokesman said Sunday. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an that a special investigation team is looking into the incident and trying to work out the exact nature of the attack. Five suspects, including one female, aged between 13-19 have been arrested in connection with the assault, which took place in the early hours of Friday in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square. Three of the suspects were arrested on Sunday, and the others on Saturday, including a 19-year-old man. Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, reported that the attack was allegedly perpetrated by dozens of Jewish teens, whom eyewitnesses say were wandering around the area “searching” for Arabs to beat up.

Jerusalem lynch suspect: I was detained for no reason
Ynet 19 Aug — Jewish teen suspected of aggravated assault denies involvement in Thursday lynch on Arab man. Police arrest four additional suspects —  ”In the middle of Shabbat they came and detained me for no reason,” said the 19-year-old suspected of aggravated assault during a brawl in Jerusalem, in which a 17-year-old Arab man was seriously injured. On Sunday, police arrested four additional teens on suspicion of involvement in the assault. The suspects, three boys, ages 13, 15 and 17, and a 15-year-old girl were taken in for questioning and will be brought in front of a judge for a remand hearing on Monday.  The mother of the child, who lives in near Jerusalem, said her son is “a good boy and a little naughty.” The mother noted that her 13-year-old son “doesn’t hate Arabs at all. When he came home he told me about the incident and he was really terrified. He said that the boy who was injured also has a mother who is crying for him.”  On Sunday, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of the 19-year-old suspect, a Jewish man living in Jerusalem, by four days. The suspect, on his part, denied any involvement in the attack: “I was in the area, but while the incident was taking place I was elsewhere. I have no idea why they arrested me.”,7340,L-4270335,00.html

Israel police: Hundreds watched attempt to lynch Palestinians in Jerusalem, did not interfere
Haaretz 20 Aug — After initially treating the event as a brawl, police on Sunday for the first time referred to the attack on Palestinian youths by dozens of Jewish teens in Jerusalem early last Friday as a “lynching.” A police representative told the Magistrate’s Court that hundreds of people watched the event without helping the victims. Witnesses say the attack lasted a short while before police arrived and the attackers fled.
Four minors between the ages of 13-15, including one girl, were arrested on Sunday in connection with the attack at Zion Square, in which one victim was seriously injured and three others were slightly hurt. Earlier, the court extended by four days the detention of the 19-year-old man arrested Friday. Police believe there will be further arrests.
Sergeant First Class Shmuel Shenhav defined the attack as a lynch, and said: “The victim lost his consciousness and was thought to be dead until a Magen David Adom [emergency paramedic] crew arrived and resuscitated him. He was anesthetized and on a respirator in the hospital for days. This was an extremely severe crime. Only a miracle saved him from death.”
A 13-year-old suspect brought into court yesterday did not deny he was present at the scene, but said he wasn’t involved in the beating. His mother, L., told Haaretz: “They came at noon while he was sleeping. The investigators woke him up and took him to the police car. How can they do such a thing to a young kid?”…
Meanwhile, victim Jamal Julani remains in serious condition, according to the authorities. Julani, 17, from Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in critical condition. His mother told Haaretz that he had regained consciousness but is very confused, did not remember the assault and did not understand why he was in the hospital.

Jewish man suspected of pelting stones at Palestinian cars
Ynet 18 Aug — An Israeli man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Alon Shvut settlement in the Gush Etzion region. A Palestinian driver whose car was hit reported the incident to the security forces, and provided a description of the alleged culprit, who was arrested soon after. The police are looking into the possibility that the suspect is linked to the assailants who threw a Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian taxi last week, injuring six. The suspect initially refused to cooperate with the authorities. One of the Palestinian passengers injured during the incident last week is still hospitalized in serious condition.,7340,L-4270451,00.html

Soldiers violently attack weekly demonstration at Kafr Qaddum
ISM 18 Aug — On Friday, August 17, five were injured and eight arrested at Kafr Qaddum. Soldiers fired tear-gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and beat protesters with wooden sticks. This week was a first, as the village was surrounded and invaded by over 100 Israeli occupation forces leading to several broken arms, the arrests of participants, including six journalists, and the asphyxiation of a 60 year-old bystander … After 15 minutes the IOF descended on the village from the North, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Soldiers also began climbing up the valley from the South as well, followed by several jeeps and the bulldozer from the East. “Protesters fled into the village to seek safety, as they faced tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets shot from distances of less than 10 meters,” solidarity activist Alma Reventos recounts. Shtayi said witnesses reported seeing soldiers firing live ammunition in the air as they entered the village in search of protesters … The IOF also arrested six Palestinian journalists for reporting on the demonstration; Jaafar Shtayi (Associated Free Press), Nidal Shtayi (Chinese Press), Faris Faris (Palestine Today), Bakir Abd al-Haq (TV Nablus), Odai Qudoomi (B’tselem), and Noah Qudoomi (Alfajir Tulkarem). Among the six journalists arrested, two were beaten, with Jaafar Shtayi suffering a broken arm. The journalists were released several hours later under the condition that they face imprisonment if they attempt to document the demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum again.

The judge of the Israeli Magistrates’ Court rules to release under conditions the 14 years old Abd al Rahim Ez al Deen Barbar….
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 18 Aug — Boy arrested, held overnight and forced to confess to throwing stones — A local Palestinian boy has been released on bail by the Israeli Magistrates Court after being detained at Maskubiye Police Station under accusation of throwing stones. Abed al-Rahim ez al Deen Barbar, aged 14, was arrested on 14 August in Silwan by Israeli authorities and forced to confess to a charges of throwing stones at a military jeep. He was released on a 10-day house arrest sentence, conditional on payment of a 500 NIS fine and signing for a further 5,000 should he break his conditions.
Barbar was taken on his way from his home in Ras al-Amoud to Jerusalem’s Old City to buy new clothes, said his mother to Silwanic. She found out later from a neighbor that her son was arrested and had been taken to Salah al-Din Police Station. On arrival, she said, they were told that he had been transferred to Maskubiye in West Jerusalem.

IOF soldiers detain Palestinian youth at Karame crossing
JENIN (PIC) 18 Aug — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) manning the Karame crossing between Jordan and the West Bank detained on Friday a Palestinian young man from Brukin village, southwest of Jenin. Local sources said that the soldiers arrested 22-year-old Ahmed Nasser Khadur on his return from Jordan via the Karame crossing. They said that Khadur was taken to the intelligence room at the crossing for questioning before telling him that he was under arrest.

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

IOF refuses to return confiscated tractors, water tanks
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 17 Aug — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have refused to return two tractors and twelve water tanks confiscated from Palestinian citizens in the Jordan Valley … The municipal council of Wadi Al-Malih and Bedouin tribes said in a statement on Thursday that all efforts by human right groups in this direction were in vain. It said that the water tanks have been confiscated over a month ago while the tractors were seized almost three weeks ago. The council said that all IOF pretexts for appropriating the tractors and tanks were trivial, charging that the IOF was constantly pressuring the Bedouins in this area to force them to abandon their land to make way for the construction of new Jewish settlements.

Olive grove destroyed in south Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Israeli settlers destroyed 30 olive trees in a Palestinian grove in the south Hebron hills on Thursday, a local official said. The trees in al-Hamra valley, neighboring the Havat Maon settler outpost, are owned by the al-Rabee family, popular committee coordinator Rateb al-Jabour said.

Jewish settlers expand settlement outposts in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL, (PIC) 19 Aug — Jewish settlers in two unauthorized settlement outposts established east of Yatta town in Al-Khalil province have started to expand their settlement outposts, local sources said. They said that settlers installed nine caravans in those settlements at a late night hour on Friday, noting that an Israeli court had ordered the dismantling of those two outposts and returning the land to their rightful (Palestinian) owners.

Restriction of movement

IDF fabricates security risk to thwart victory for Gazan travel rights
972mag 18 Aug by Yossi Gurvitz — The  NGO Gisha had reason to believe, some ten days ago, that it won a small victory: The High Court of Justice, which couldn’t stomach the tricks of the security apparatus any longer, ordered it to explain why it rejects requests by four female students from Gaza to move to the West Bank to study there (we covered the case of a fifth student here)… But the triumphant feeling among Gisha workers (due notice: I sometimes provide Gisha with translation services on a freelance basis) quickly evaporated. Several days ago, Major General Eitan Dangot, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, gave the court his reply (it can be seen here, in a Hebrew pdf). In article 61 of the document, Dangot claims there is a security-related reason to prevent two of the petitioners (one and two) from entering the West Bank. Dangot claims that, regarding Petitioner 1, there exists “security intelligence” that she is “in contact with terror activists, including family members of the first degree”; as to Petitioner 2, he claims there is intelligence about “her activity in a terrorist organization, and her contact with terror activists, some of whom are family members of the first degree.” …
Several comments are warranted. For starters, this is the first time the IDF claims there is any security reason to prevent the petitioners from leaving. As Gisha noted in its reply (Hebrew document – see articles 17-25), the state was asked twice in court whether there are any security reasons to prevent them from leaving, and replied in the negative. So the state now must decide whether it was neglectful when it replied negatively, or whether it is lying now. Four women get up in the morning one day, and find out the IDF has decided they are a security risk.

Israel re-opens access to northern Jordan Valley checkpoint
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Israeli authorities have re-opened access to a military checkpoint in the northern West Bank, allowing Palestinians to travel along a road that had been all but inaccessible for a decade, a local official said Friday. Al-Hamra checkpoint links Jericho and the Jordan Valley with cities in the northern West Bank, and the military installation limited travel along the thoroughfare. Israeli liaison officials notified their Palestinian counterparts that the checkpoint is now open for traffic in both directions, a spokesman for the Nablus governorate said in a press statement. The spokesman noted a number of fatal shootings by Israeli forces at the checkpoint in the past year.

Gaza and Sinai

Photos: Happy Eid, from Gaza with love
Mondoweiss 19 Aug by Rawan Yaghi — In Gaza, people celebrate. Yes, Gaza celebrates. Piles of all kinds of candy are spread everywhere on sidewalks in markets. Different kinds of fresh fruit, toys, snacks, Eid cookies. In Gaza, like so many other places in the world, kids are eager to wear their new clothes at the very early hours of the first day of Eid. They wake up early in the morning of Eid to get dressed and to pray along with the rest of the neighborhood, after spending the last week preparing with their Moms, going through shopping lists, and going with them to the market to buy their precious outfits, cleaning the house and caring for little spots while cleaning the staircase, helping bake the incredibly irresistible cookies.

Poverty forces Gaza children to work on Eid
Gaza (Gulf News) 18 Aug — Nearly 50,000 children working in the Gaza Strip — Instead of getting candies for Eid like other children, 12-year-old Ahmad Hussain sells them to people to give to their own children in Al Saha square, one of the biggest markets in the Gaza Strip. Hussain stands in the same spot every day from dawn to dusk, selling his treats. “Neither I nor my brothers bought clothes or stuff [for Eid] since there is no time or money for joy or happiness in our house. We can barely provide [for our] necessities,” Hussain told Gulf News. Across the Muslim world, it is a tradition to buy new clothes and toys for children before Eid Al-Fitr. Candies and other sweets are also given as gifts. But in Gaza, many children are finding themselves compelled to work longer hours to capitalise on the opportunity to make extra money on Eid.

IOF raids eastern Rafah, clashes with resistance in Shijaia
GAZA (PIC) 17 Aug — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided areas east of Rafah to the southernmost area of the Gaza Strip on Friday for the second time in less than 24 hours. Local sources told PIC reporter that eight Israeli military vehicles raided the Shoka area eastern Rafah. The sources said that the invading forces opened indiscriminate fire at nearby residential areas.
Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance fighters engaged an Israeli special unit that tried to sneak into the vicinity of the industrial area east of Shijaia neighborhood eastern Gaza City late last night.

Report: Egypt airports to refuse access for Palestinians
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 18 Aug — Palestinians flying to Egypt over the Eid al-Fitr holiday will not be allowed to enter the country, al-Ahram news site reported Saturday. Airport authorities informed airlines that Palestinians will not be allowed to enter Egypt because the Rafah crossing is closed until Wednesday, the Egyptian news site said. Egypt opened the border crossing on Tuesday for three days but have now closed it for the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Head of the customs authority at Cairo airport Magdi el-Seman said that Palestinians wanting to return to Gaza will have to wait until Wednesday, when the border is scheduled to be reopened.

Egypt closes Rafah crossing for five days in Eid al-Fitr
PNN — On Friday 17th August, Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported that the Rafah crossing will be closed starting from today for five days during the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which comes after the holy month of Ramadan. An Egyptian official source at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt announced that it will be reopened on Wednesday morning, and that humanitarian cases and pilgrims who are coming back from Saudi Arabia will still be able to cross while the border is closed to others. The Rafah crossing is usually closed on Friday of each week, and in holidays.
Major General Nader al-A’sar, of Egypt’s intelligence agency, also said recently that the crossing will return to normal after Eid al-Fitr. This will allow for the same amount of fuel to be brought into Gaza as before the attack at an Egyptian security checkpoint and Karam Abu Salim Crossing on the 5th August.

Kerem Shalom crossing to close over holiday
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Israel has closed the Kerem Shalom crossing until Tuesday for Eid al-Fitr, a Palestinian official said Friday. Border official Raed Fattouh told Ma‘an that Israel usually closes the crossing on Fridays and Saturdays.

Haneyya: We are ready for security cooperation with Egypt
GAZA (PIC) 19 Aug — Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has emphasized preparedness to forge closer security cooperation with Egypt in order to protect joint security. Haneyya, during a sermon on the occasion of Eidul Fitr on Sunday, renewed condemnation of the attack on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai … He stressed that Gaza would never pose a threat to Egypt or its people, and re-asserted that the Palestinian people would never think of relinquishing their land and opt to settle in Sinai. Haneyya asked the Egyptian leadership not to heed attempts to drive a wedge between the Palestinians and the Egyptian people.

Hamas forces ‘detain Salafi leader’ in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Hamas security forces have arrested a senior Salafi sheikh who was injured in June in an Israeli airstrike, a Salafi leader said Friday. Sheikh Abu Suhaib Rashwan was detained Wednesday as he left a hospital, where he was recovering from wounds sustained on June 20 in Israeli shelling on the southern Gaza Strip, Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir said in a statement. Al-Mujajir said Hamas forces had cracked down on Salafis in Gaza since an attack in Egypt’s Sinai in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed on Aug. 5. Several Salafis have been summoned for interrogation since the incident, he said. “We are not responsible for the Sinai attack,” he said, adding that jihadi Salafis in Gaza aimed “to fight Israel.” Salafi Jihadi, the biggest jihadist group in Sinai, has also denied involvement in the incident.

Egypt releases 18 Palestinians for Eid al-Fitr
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 18 Aug — Egyptian authorities released 18 Palestinians from prison on Saturday as a gesture for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, a security source said. The released detainees had all entered Egypt illegally and were arrested at security checkpoints in the Sinai. The group, including two women, will return to the Gaza Strip.

A Gaza border slams shut, and with it, chances for a pilgrimage to Mecca
GAZA CITY (NYTimes) 17 Aug by Fares Akram — Every Ramadan for the past two decades, Mouin Mushtaha has made the pilgrimage to Mecca during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month. This year, as Ramadan ticked away, he sat gloomily at the office of his tourism agency here, watching the festivities on television. For Mr. Mushtaha, it was not just a lost spiritual experience, but a missed business opportunity: the Ramadan pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia is a major annual source of profit. But Gazans were unable to go to Mecca this season because exits through the Rafah crossing to Egypt were extremely restricted after an Aug. 5 attack nearby that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. “I, my wife and our 500 clients were supposed to be there now,” said Mr. Mushtaha, 64, pointing at the television in the air-conditioned office of his agency, the Mushtaha Company for Tourism and Travel … Egyptian officials closed Rafah completely for a week after the attack, amid concern that the perpetrators, believed to be from the Sinai Desert, had support from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Though the crossing was reopened several days before this weekend’s conclusion of Ramadan, exits were limited to those with passports or residences in Arab or European countries, or Gazans with humanitarian needs..

Palestinians take to the streets in the annual Jerusalem Day march
MEMO 17 Aug — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES — Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have joined the Jerusalem Day march which Palestinians and Muslims in some Islamic states, commemorate on the last Friday of Ramadan annually. Palestinians raised their national flag and renewed their pledge to their land, and to liberating Jerusalem and the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque. They called on the Arab and Islamic world to stand in the way of the Israeli occupation which continues to violate the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque from both above and beneath the ground; illegally seize Palestinian property in Jerusalem; and gain control of Palestinian land through the establishment of illegal settlements.

Video: Pottery businesses dwindling in Gaza City’s old quarter
BBC News 13 Aug (1:14 minutes) — Pottery workshops in Gaza City’s old quarter are slowly dying out due to the increased availability of cheap plastic pots and the impact of Israel’s ban on exports from the Gaza Strip, which was imposed after the militant group Hamas seized control of the coastal territory in 2007. In order to preserve the business families are handing the skills of the craft down from one generation to another. Murad Shishani reports

Army: Rocket lands in south Israel, no injuries
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Aug — A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel overnight Saturday, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. The missile landed in the Eshkol region without causing injuries or damage, she said.

Hamas brigades: Fighter killed in accidental explosion in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — The military wing of the Hamas movement said Friday that one of its members had been killed a day earlier in the Gaza Strip after an explosive device mistakenly detonated. The Al-Qassam Brigades said Majed Zaki Al-Kahlout, 40, from Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, had died on Thursday. The accident took place in Jabalia, the brigades said. [one commenter said: “Majed Khalout was killed when the bomb exploded as he was patrolling the site where it was stored, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.”]


Report: ‘4550 Palestinians, including 220 children, imprisoned by Israel’
IMEMC 18 Aug — Talking to the Ma‘an News Agency, Farawna stated that the army conducts invasions and arrests on a daily basis, and added that soldiers usually kidnap around 10 Palestinians a day. Farawna said that 220 children are currently imprisoned by Israel and facing ongoing violations, in addition to being subject to harsh treatment and torture during interrogation, similar to what adult detainees face during interrogation.
250 Palestinians are currently imprisoned under administrative detention orders, without charges or trial. Six Palestinian women are also held by Israel, including Lina Al-Jarbouni, from the 1948 territories; Al-Jarbouni was taken prisoner more than 10 years ago.  Israel is also holding captive 17 democratically elected legislators and three former ministers.
Farawna said that there is a noticeable decrease in the number of detainees held under the illegal Administrative Detention orders, and attributed the issue to the repeated hunger strikes held by the detainees to protest the ongoing violations against them, and the Administrative Detention policy.

Hunger striker Safadi’s head slammed against cell door by prison guards
AIC 16 Aug — Palestinian hunger strikers Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq continue to be severely mistreated by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), in the forms of physical brutality and psychological torture. Addameer, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) express their utmost outrage at recent violent incidents that have left these already-weakened detainees on protracted hunger strikes with trauma and injury. Mr. Al-Barq is today on his 87th day of hunger strike, which he began only one week after his previous 30-day hunger strike ended; Mr. Safadi is today on his 57th day of hunger strike, which he also began shortly after the end of his previous 71-day hunger strike.

PA expected to release Zubeidi, 7 other prisoners
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 18 Aug — The Palestinian Authority is expected to release eight Palestinians held in a Jericho jail on Saturday evening, including prominent Jenin figure Zakaria Zubeidi. PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali ordered the group of detainees released on bail until Wednesday pending their trials, informed sources told Ma‘an … Among the group is Zubeidi, known for his role in the second Intifada against Israeli occupation when he led the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Zubeidi launched a hunger strike on Friday, appealing to President Mahmoud Abbas to release him and others seized during a recent security campaign in the West Bank. His brother Abdul Rahman Zubeidi told Ma‘an Zakaria had launched the strike because of the lack of due process in his case. He said Zakaria had been subjected to torture and abuse while in jail.


Palestinian refugees forced out of Iraq feared lost at sea en route to Australia
EI 15 Aug by Ali Abunimah — More than two dozen Palestinian refugees forced out of Iraq after the US invasion are feared lost at sea, including entire family groups with young children. They were among dozens of people aboard rickety boats that left Indonesia in late June bound for Australia but have been lost without trace for a month and a half. Australia has denied reports that it holds them in detention. The Palestinians were among hundreds who had made circuitous journeys over many years from Iraq to Jordan and then to Cyprus where their asylum applications were rejected and they faced harsh conditions. After reaching Cyprus, some set out for Malaysia, where it is possible under certain conditions for Palestinians to go without visas, and then onwards to Indonesia where people smugglers are paid to take them to Australia by boat … The Electronic Intifada spoke to Omar Shoeib, the brother of Amira Shaaban Shoeib, 32, who is among the missing along with her husband and four children. Omar said he had spoken to his sister on 28 June when she was in Indonesia, preparing to depart, and had heard nothing from her since then. Palestinian filmmaker and human rights advocate Osama Qashoo, who has spent time in Cyprus and knows many of the families personally, wrote about the plight of the refugees there and those missing at sea in a recent piece published by Ma‘an News Agency:

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Call to action: Olive Harvest 2012
ISM 18 Aug — At a time of increasing settler violence in the West Bank, the International Solidarity Movement is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to participate in the 2012 Olive Harvest Campaign at the invitation of Palestinian communities. The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been bulldozed, uprooted and burned by Israeli settlers and the military – (over half a million olive and fruit trees have been destroyed since September 2000) – harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance. The olive harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, spiritual, and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it … Palestinian and ISM volunteers join Palestinian farming communities each year to harvest olives, in areas where Palestinians face settler and military violence when working their land. Your presence can make a big difference. It has been proven in the past to deter the number and severity of attacks and harassment. The presence of activists can reduce the risk of extreme violence from Israeli settlers and the Israeli army and supports Palestinians’ assertion of their right to earn their livelihoods and be present on their lands. International solidarity activists engage in non-violent intervention and documentation and this practical support enables many families to pick their olives. In addition, The Olive Harvest Campaign also provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes. The campaign will begin on the 8th of October and run until the 15th of November.
Ongoing campaigns —
In addition to the olive harvest, there will also be other opportunities to participate in grass-roots, non-violent resistance in Palestine.

Israel attempts to foil a flight in solidarity with Palestinians
NAZARETH (PIC) 17 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is trying to disrupt and foil an attempt by a group of solidarity activists to fly into the occupied lands in support of the Palestinian people and in rejection of the IOA practices. The Israeli radio quoted on Thursday sources in the foreign ministry as saying that activists supporting the Palestinians abroad have been working on organizing a flight, which it described as provocative, designed to confuse the occupation authorities. It added that these activists are planning to enter Amman by air and then to head to Bethlehem through Allenby crossing. Director general of the foreign ministry Rafi Barak met yesterday the French ambassador, Christophe Bigot, and discussed with him the issue, the radio said, adding that the French envoy expressed his country’s opposition to such provocations, but proposed to allow the activists to enter Palestinian territories.

Planning for Gaza’s Ark underway
Civil Beat (Honolulu) 19 Aug — The Friends House in Manoa hosted a gathering of peace-and-justice advocates at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 1. Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army colonel and State Department officer who is a U.S. and international leader in the pursuit of peace and dignity for all human beings, addressed the group … Ms. Wright briefed the Friends House attendees about “Gaza’s Ark”: the current effort to continue to challenge Israel’s (with full official U.S. complicity) blockade of Gaza. Because “outside-in” approaches to end Israel’s state terrorism have been met with belligerence and life-taking violence by Israeli forces, a creative “inside-out” plan is taking shape. To wit, funds are being raised to purchase a seagoing vessel in Gaza; make it fully seaworthy using Gazan labor and materials; load the vessel with handcrafts and other goods made by men and women of Gaza; sail the vessel from Gaza into international waters (thus, “inside-out”); and deliver the goods, which will have been pre-ordered and pre-paid by humanitarian-minded citizens all over the world, to a port abiding by international law and commercial convention. At that point, final delivery of the goods to purchasers will be accomplished.

South Africa: Jews, government clash over cancelled Israel visit
Haaretz 17 Aug — Delegation of mayors bows to pressure from BDS group, calls off planned trip; deputy foreign minister: ‘We discourage South Africans from visiting Israel.’ — This past week, South African-Israeli relations sank to one of their lowest points since the “new” South Africa began in 1994 … The latest conflict, which is more specifically between the South African Jewish community and the South African government, involves the cancellation, announced August 10, of a visit to Israel by mayors and other members of municipalities in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province … KZN premier, Zweli Mkhize, who arranged the cancellation, made no comment but his spokesman said that Mkhize knew about the invitations and that he had cancelled the trips. “During the days of Apartheid we had similar attempts by the regime to undermine the isolation of South Africa,” said Kasrils. “It is not surprising that the Israeli lobby is also attempting to ensnare the unwary into boycott-busting trips.”

AOHR calls for boycotting security company providing services to Israel
LONDON (PIC) 17 Aug — The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain revealed that DiagNose Company belonging to the American ICTS-EU company operates in occupied Palestinian territories to facilitate the establishment of settlements and to protect settlers. The AOHR said in a report that the company has been engaged in aiding racial discrimination and committing the offense of torture and collective punishment against Palestinians on the checkpoints which facilitate Israelis’ passage while disrupting Palestinians’ passage, using dogs for attacking or dogs for search…

Ahava: Tracking the trail of settlement products
972mag 19 Aug — This report investigates the business and trade of Ahava – Dead Sea Laboratories which is a private Israeli cosmetics corporation that operates from the occupied West Bank. Ahava Report: Who Profits

Artists alter Islamophobic ads on SF buses, MUNI adds disclaimers
EI 18 Aug by nora — Days after shockingly racist and Islamophobic ads started appearing on city buses in San Francisco — paid for by a notorious anti-Muslim group led by notorious racist Pamela Geller — anonymous artists wheatpasted over the ads with an image of a hand and a stamp with the words “HATE SPEECH.” Additionally, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) posted full-sized disclaimer placards on MUNI buses that carry the Islamophobic ads.

Political / Economic News

Palestinian government debt hurts private sector
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 18 Aug — Palestinian drug importer Ghassan Mustaklem says he can’t afford to work with the West Bank’s Palestinian government anymore. He recently halted supplies to his biggest client, which now owes $12 million in unpaid bills, or more than half his annual turnover. The cutoff by Mustaklem and other suppliers has fueled a shortage of key drugs in Palestinian hospitals, making the health sector the latest victim of a deepening financial crisis for the Palestinian Authority. The cash crunch, mainly due to a sharp drop in foreign aid since 2011, is threatening to set off a chain reaction of business failures, layoffs and economic downturn that would undermine one of the West’s fundamental strategies toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu using Iran to distract from Palestine issue, says Sha‘ath
PNN 17 Aug — Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is using Iran to distract both Israelis and the wider world from Palestine, Fatah’s commissioner for International Affairs Nabeel Sha‘ath said yesterday, Thursday 16th August. “We’re afraid that a so-called preventive attack on Iran might also destroy us. We are being dragged by the people of Israel to a slaughterhouse that is not of our choice,” Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reports Sha‘ath as saying. Sha‘ath also compared Netanayahu’s insistence that Iran was developing nuclear weapons to use against Israel to US President George W Bush’s claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, in the run up to the US invasion of Iraq. Sha‘ath did express his concern about such weapons being used in the region, but dismissed the Iranian threat. “I am worried about any country developing weapons that may be used against my country or against my neighborhood,” Sha‘ath told The Jerusalem Post.He continued, “But honestly, I’m worried about your atomic bomb, and Dimona [nuclear reactor] sending nuclear dirt that kills my people. “Why should I be less concerned about an Israeli bomb? The Israeli bomb is a reality. The Iranian bomb is a potentiality.”

Palestinian statehood returns (ho-hum)
Jerusalem (Forward) 19 Aug by Ben Lynfield — Little Drama Expected as Abbas Goes Back to U.N. — A second bid by the Palestinian Authority to have the United Nations recognize Palestinian statehood appears to be a case of  “once more, but with less feeling.” The P.A., which provoked a furor in Israel last September when it pushed unsuccessfully for recognition as a state by the Security Council, will go to the body’s General Assembly this time, on September 27. But unlike last time, it won’t be for full admission to the U.N. And it won’t necessarily be for a vote right now. In fact, according to many analysts, both Israeli and Palestinian, it won’t even be particularly because P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas thinks much will come of the whole initiative, which many expect will not be voted on until November. “Nothing else has worked, and Abu Mazen continues to search for a strategy,” Yossi Alpher, former director of Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, told the Forward, referring to Abbas by his popular moniker. “Making the U.N. application and postponing the vote till November may be a very good way for him to get through the coming months.”

Erekat: 57 countries at Mecca summit back bid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Fifty-seven countries attending a summit of Muslim leaders in Mecca on Thursday indicated they would support a Palestinian bid for membership in the UN, a PLO official said. Saeb Erekat, who attended the conference, said Friday that the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was “significant and important” for a plan to seek non-member status in the UN.

Abbas hails Bahraini normalization visit to to Aqsa Mosque
RAMALLAH (PIC) 18 Aug — Palestinian president and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has hailed the visit to occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque by a Bahraini delegation. Abbas claimed that such visits boost the Palestinian people’s steadfastness and the Jerusalem inhabitants’ resoluteness. Abbas, who received the delegates in Ramallah on Friday night, called on Arabs and Muslims to ignore edicts that prohibit visits to Jerusalem and the Aqsa while under occupation.

DFLP adds caution to joint electoral list proposal
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine added a cautious voice to proposals to unite Palestinian Liberation Organization members on a joint electoral list in upcoming local elections. Running on a united list has not yet been formally raised by any of the Palestinian factions, Hisham Abu Ghoush, a DFLP politburo member, said on Friday. The DFLP has not approved joining a PLO list, but several issues are under discussion, he added. A Fatah leader said on Thursday that party members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization will run on a joint list in Nablus in the upcoming municipal poll.

Other news

‘Israel making threats over compensation for Jews’
Ynet 17 Aug — The Arab media was up in arms this week over a plan spearheaded by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to hold a summit on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at the UN in September.  The summit’s main purpose is to push forward the matter of property rights of Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries after the establishment of the state of Israel and to turn the Jewish refugee issue into a bargaining chip which would make it clear that if the Palestinians voice demands for refugee compensation – demands would also be made from the Israeli side.,7340,L-4269697,00.html

Israel, US conduct joint naval exercises
Haaretz 19 Aug — The four-day exercise included use of live fire, and U.S. participants included guided-missile destroyers that would be used to help defend Israel against Iranian missiles.

Rabbis, MKs visit Turkey
Ynet 19 Aug — In spite of Foreign Ministry reservations, delegation led by deputy finance minister visits Ankara, Istanbul for meetings with interfaith groups, Turkish officials to discuss diplomatic standstill,7340,L-4270121,00.html

Ibrahimi Mosque
[photos – click to enlarge. See also Wikipedia plan of building] PSP 17 Aug — Situated in the heart of the Palestinian old-city of Hebron, in the Hebron hills, is the colossal Ibrahimi Mosque, or ‘Sanctuary of Abraham’. Constructed by King Herod towards the end of the first century BC, the site is believed to hold the remains of the prophet Abraham, his wife Sarah, their son Isaac, grandson Jacob and their respective wives Rebecca and Leah. The mosque is considered one of the most holy sights in Palestine, second perhaps only to the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, inaccessible to Palestinians. Having stood for over 2000 years, the building is one of the oldest in the world still in constant use today, and has survived numerous earthquakes in the region without need of restoration. The building includes minarets, domes, arches, doors, marble columns, side mosques, richly decorated cenotaphs covered with decorated tapestries, inscriptions. One special piece of fine work is the wooden Pulpit that was constructed in the year 1091.

NGOs shocked by High Court’s imposition of NIS 45,000 in court costs
Haaretz 17 Aug — Civil rights and social advocacy groups are reeling from the High Court of Justice’s decision Wednesday to impose NIS 45,000 [about US$11,000] in court expenses — a startlingly large sum — on petitioners in a healthcare case. The court imposed the fee on the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights and the Adva Center, which had petitioned unsuccessfully to prevent doctors from offering private treatment in the public hospital being built in Ashdod. The groups said that paying the court expenses will seriously damage their ability to function.

Israeli Racism / Discrimination

Arabs, the Israeli civil service needs you
Haaretz 17 Aug by Ali Haider — It’s incumbent upon the government to increase Arab representation in the civil service, and there are several ways they can do it … It recently became clear that the government will not meet its own target of having Israeli-Arabs comprise 10 percent of the civil service coming by the end of this year. Today, there are 4,982 Arabs working in Israel’s civil service, or only 7.8 percent of the total civil service employees … According to that report, last year there was only a 0.25 percent increase in the number of Arab applicants accepted into the Civil Service. Additionally, more than 85 percent of Arab civil servants are employed across just six government ministries and subsidiary bodies, where they provide services to the Arab public. In the rest of the ministries, the representation of Arabs ranges from marginal to nearly zero.

Israel kicks out migrants by changing their nationality and sending them to another country
Independent 18 Aug by Maeve McClenaghan — “It is a bad situation in South Sudan. If I go there I am sure something bad will happen to me” — Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel are being issued with documents changing their nationality, allowing them to be removed from the country or imprisoned. They have recently been issued with documents labelling them as South Sudanese – despite holding passports showing they were born in areas that remain in Sudan. Four migrants from the Republic of Sudan have already been flown from Israel to South Sudan, an entirely different country that was formed last year. However, the South Sudanese authorities refused to accept them at the border and they were sent back to Tel Aviv. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) estimate that at least 100 more Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel may have been issued with the wrong nationality in the past three months, and fear there may be more attempts to remove them … Confusion over nationalities has occurred before. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported how the government used a loophole to deport people from Eritrea to Ethiopia based on an Eritrean law granting citizenship to anyone whose mother or father was an Ethiopian citizen.–by-changing-their-nationality-and-sending-them-to-another-country-8057342.html

Israel’s immigration police detain African migrants despite pending visa appeals
Haaretz 19 Aug — The Immigration and Population Authority has arrested three migrants from South Sudan who are seriously ill and are waiting for their asylum applications to be considered on humanitarian grounds. The three – one of whom has AIDS, another has epilepsy and the third has chronic arthritis and liver dysfunction – were arrested three days ago. Two of the three have submitted official requests to stop their deportation, in keeping with the procedures of the Immigration and Population Authority. According to those procedures, steps are not to be taken to deport people whose applications are under review … The Physicians Without Borders NGO has asked the tribunal that oversees incarceration to release the three immediately and that deportation proceedings be halted.

Israel’s new shut-ins: migrants afraid to leave home
Haaretz 19 Aug — Illegal migrants in Tel Aviv rely on activist groups for food. Increasingly desperate, some are even asking welfare authorities to take care of their children … Most of the families in question are from South Sudan. The parents hardly go out into the streets, for fear they will be caught and deported … Another welfare worker notes these are families “that aren’t managing to see to food for the children. The families have no money because the parents cannot work and their savings, if any, are being used to pay rent. The parents are simply asking us to take the children under our care and send them to boarding facilities or somewhere else. They want their children to be safe, at least in the meantime.”

South Tel Aviv stories: Some children lead paperless lives
972mag 19 Aug by Mya Guarnieri — Angie Robles, a 52-year-old migrant worker from the Philippines, recently caught her 15-year-old grandson M. smoking. While it seems like a normal act of teenage rebellion — and a small one at that — Robles says it was a sign that her grandson has lost all hope. When Robles confronted M. about his smoking, she explained to him that she felt it was a step down the wrong path. His answer, according to Robles: “What future will I have with this situation, with the deportation?” … She emphasizes that she’s not worried about securing residency for herself but for her grandson. He has never visited the Philippines; he doesn’t speak Tagalog or any other of the local languages. With her sister and mother in Laguna, Robles would be happy to forego naturalization herself and return to the Philippines when M. is old enough to take care of himself. But first she wants to see that her grandson is “stable,” she says. Robles doesn’t understand why Israel, which calls itself a Western country, doesn’t give citizenship to those born on its soil as is the case in the United States.

Drop in migrant numbers means tent city no longer needed, document says
Haaretz 17 Aug — In June and July of 2011, 3,000 migrants entered Israel illegally,that number dropped to about 1,300 for the same two months of this year — Due to a steep drop in the number of African migrants illegally crossing the border from Egypt in recent months, there is now adequate space for them in existing detention facilities, without building a planned new tent city for them in the Negev.

Israeli police arrests women for wearing prayer shawls at Western Wall
Haaretz 19 Aug — Women of the Wall hold a special prayer service at the sacred site each month; Western Wall rabbi urges authorities to prevent this ‘repeated behavior.’ …The women were arrested for “behavior that endangers the public peace” and wearing prayer shawls. They have been forbidden to enter the Western Wall Plaza for the next 50 days, according to the organization. “The time has come to reclaim and liberate the Kotel from the grasp of a handful of Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) extremists who, with the cooperation of the Israeli authorities, exclude the majority of Israelis and Jews from the Western Wall,” said Anat Hoffman, Women of the Wall chairwoman, in a statement … In 2003, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallitot, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall.

Americans and the Israeli army

American IDF soldiers serve on campus
JPost 18 Aug — Three US-born IDF veterans return to US after army service. Each is involved in campus Israel advocacy efforts … [Elliot] Charles joined the IDF in 2008 after he turned 18 and served for two and a half years in a combat infantry unit in the Nahal Brigade … “I wanted to ensure that someday my children and grandchildren — if faced with another mass genocide of my people — will have a safe haven,” Charles said … Sam Besser spent almost two years in Israel as a soldier in the IDF, during the time that most of his friends were in college … Although he said he would have been involved in campus Israel affairs even if he had not served in the IDF, Besser is convinced that his experience has made him more knowledgeable and a more confident advocate. “Israel is my home,” he said. “I was born in America and I am proud to be an American, but I always phrase it that I am a Jewish American.”

Israel’s lone soldiers: come for the perks, stay for the war crimes
Mondoweiss 19 Aug by Nima Shirazi — In his 2011 book entitled Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, author J.M Berger (purportedly in his own words) “uncovers the secret history of American jihadists.”  Berger, who refers to himself as a “specialist on homegrown extremism,” tells us that these traitorous terrorists  are “Muslims [who] have traveled abroad to fight in wars because of their religious beliefs.” Please read that definition again. Ok, just one more time. Now read this from Tuesday’s New York Times: On Tuesday, with talk rampant about the possibility of an imminent Israeli attack on Iran, Mr. [Josh] Warhit became a citizen of Israel to enlist in its army. “Our parents were freaking out,” Mr. Warhit, now 22, recalled of that first trip [to Israel] during the war against Hezbollah. “It only made us more thirsty. I love the Jewish people. Love involves commitment. Right now we need people to commit….

NY state senator David Storobin’s office: Visitors to the Israeli/Syrian border are required to don a uniform and carry a gun
Mondoweiss 17 Aug — New York state senator David Storobin’s office responded today to criticism over the senator carrying a weapon and wearing an IDF uniform in the occupied Golan Heights, on the Syrian border. “…As Israelis know all too well, the Syrian border is a hostile area. Visitors there are required to don a uniform and carry a gun. Even members of the Knesset do so. There are snipers on the other side. If they see an unarmed person not in uniform, they may assume it’s a leader of some kind, and that person could be a target.” This claim from Storobin’s office seems to have no basis in fact. Israeli journalist Joseph Dana was just on the Syrian border and says: “This is all insane. I have no idea what area he is talking about in fact. I mean, I was just there. Five meters from the border and everything was very calm. Of course, the other side of the border was being shelled. There were Israeli Jews and Druze all around, watching what was happening over in Syria. This guy seems to be talking about a different place entirely.” [Jennie S comments: For an Israeli take on the “visitors are required to wear uniform & carry a gun” go to Noam Sheizaf’s article in 972: NY state senator’s unbelievable excuse for posing in IDF uniform

Analysis / Opinion

Yousef Munayyer asks Aaron David Miller how many Arabs are too many
Mondoweiss 17 Aug by Adam Horowitz — Writing in the Daily Beast, Yousef Munayyer responds to Aaron David Miller’s recent New York Times Op-Ed bemoaning the number of Palestinians in Israel: An ideology that seeks to build a society around a certain type of people defined by ethnicity or religion is inevitably going to feature racism, supremacy and oppression — especially when the vast majority of native inhabitants where such an ideology is implemented are unwelcomed. But this premise of too many Arabs, too many Palestinians, too many __________ (fill in the blank with people unlike you) is so common in the discourse on the Israeli/Palestinian question today that the racism inherent in it rarely ever questioned . . .
Tell us, how many Arabs are too many? How many human souls of an ethnicity inconvenient to your ideology are intolerable for you? Please put a number on it, I demand you do, so that we can better define the extent of your racism.

RTÉ –Through an Orientalist prism / Zoë Lawlor
19 Aug — Due to factors outside my control and to be discussed soon, I’ve been sitting at home, hugging my laptop for the last week. During that week I’ve had lots of time to listen to the radio, our [Irish] national broadcaster RTÉ radio one and in particular the Pat Kenny show, presented by Myles Dungan. On Thursday 16th August Palestinian Raja Shehadeh was interviewed about his book Occupation Diaries. From the outset Dungan frames the interview in terms of negativity, stating that Shehadeh has said he is “angry” and that anger is generally seen as a negative emotion. In the usual Irish journalistic obsession with discussing personal relationships between occupied and occupier, Dungan asks Shehadeh to describe his friendships with Israelis. Why does this constantly happen in such interviews? I don’t think it’s a genuine interest in how people relate to each other, I think it’s orientalism — we will tell your story, partly, but we want the Israeli narrative in there too…your own is not adequate…  Dungan then describes how Shehadeh writes of the way he is viewed as a threat or a non-person by Israeli “border guards” and asks him: “Can you not see it from the point of view of, say for example, an Israeli border guard, some of their comrades perhaps have died as a result of terrorist activity?” This is an astonishing question to ask, especially in the context of zero empathy displayed by Dungan for either his interviewee or the people subjected to military occupation by said “border guards”. (listserv) (archive)

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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30 Responses

  1. tombishop
    August 20, 2012, 10:40 am

    Israeli citizens grow concerned over price tag on war with Iran

    Lia Tarachansky of The Real News reports that many Israelis are growing concerned over the potential costs of a war with Iran — not in terms of lives or national prestige, but as measured in their taxes and in the prices they pay for basic goods.

    Food prices have already begun to spike, with a rise of 6.7% this week in the cost of bread and 20% in the cost of fresh vegetables. Stories in the Israeli press predict that a war would cause the prices of oil and electricity, which have already started rising, to surge dramatically.

    Israelis have begun to engage in anti-war protests outside the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, but despite the protests, preparations for war appear to be well underway.

  2. seafoid
    August 20, 2012, 12:17 pm

    There is so much more than settler violence. Now they are lynching palestinians in Jerusalem. A disabled woman was recently raped on a beach in Tel Aviv in front of crowds of onlookers. Petrol bombs are thrown at the homes of immigrants.
    Israeli scientists recently discovered a new strain of MRSA bacteria spreading in Gaza City . Then there is Yossi gurvitz on Israeli Jewish attitudes to christians.

    Israel is going very wrong

    • Fredblogs
      August 20, 2012, 2:25 pm

      What’s the point of the MRSA? Is that supposed to be Israel’s fault as well? I don’t think the staph infections are Jewish.

      • seafoid
        August 20, 2012, 4:07 pm

        It’s the Israeli social experiment in Gaza. No better than Terezin. Greater Israel, Erez Isrel, ‘Azza, and they do that. Zionism is so sick. MRSA develops where sickness is concentrated. It’s like Israel defecates in its own kitchen , for the purposes of demonstrating its power .

      • ritzl
        August 20, 2012, 4:32 pm

        @Fredblogs Israel bombs the sewage ponds and blockades the antibiotics necessary to fight both normal and mutating staph infections. It creates the conditions favorable to mutation and then prevents effective treatment of those mutations. Gaza is a microbial mutation factory/experiment, remorselessly maintained by Israel.

        There’s only 25 to 30 MRSA strains in the whole world (7B people). This appears to be a recently mutated strain, unique to Gaza (1.5M people) (i.e. it originated there). If research shows that uniqueness/first cluster to be the case conclusively, you bet Israel is responsible. Do the math.

        Israel’s blockade of Gaza is, along with all the rest of the evils, an exercise in the intentional fostering/accelerating (the epidemiology is known and preventable, as are the mutation genetics probabilities) the generation of incurable diseases, inflicted on a population that is forcibly prohibited from seeking/acquiring/using proper and effective treatments that would mitigate the mutation process. It’s frickin ghoulish (sorry if I repeat myself from the last time seafoid brought this up).

        This may be the one, Fredblogs. The one that makes the world’s collective skin crawl enough that they start to rein Israel in. Heh, Israel’s contributions to the world, Nobel prizes and a new strain of MRSA.

        Maybe ToivoS can weigh in on this, too. I’ve emailed the WHO and in fact Israel does limit or prohibit (in this context a limitation is as good as a prohibition) the broad spectrum (vancomycin, in particular) antibiotics from entering Gaza. All Gaza doctors have to treat staph infections at the population level (a quantity function) are the normal antibiotics to which the MRSA strains not unique to Gaza have already developed resistance.

      • seafoid
        August 21, 2012, 5:09 am


        good stuff. here is the Ha’aretz link

        “Israeli scientists find new strain of MRSA bacteria spreading in Gaza City
        Antibiotic-resistant bug may spread through cats, say researchers.

        By Dan Even | Jun.18, 2012 | 1:10 AM

        this story is by
        Dan Even
        A joint initiative by Israeli and Palestinian scientists has identified that what is thought to be a unique strain of the MRSA bacterium is becoming common in Gaza City.
        Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, a physician participating in the project and a researcher at the infectious disease unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, said: “We found that the bacterium is transmitted very rapidly in Gaza. At first we thought it came from a European volunteer and spread because of the overcrowding, but genetic markers of the Gaza bacterium make us believe that it’s a different strain. We assume it developed resistance to antibiotics in some unique process that occurred in Gaza.”
        In recent years, the international medical establishment has become increasingly preoccupied with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like MRSA. It is not enough that medical institutions take preventive measures against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, because it has become clear that they no longer attack only in the hospital setting but are also liable to spread in the general community.
        The MRSA bacterium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is liable to become very aggressive. In September 1999, four children in the Chicago area allegedly died suddenly of toxic shock after coming into contact with MRSA in the community, without having been hospitalized. The virulent strain called USA300, which has become one of the most aggressive bacteria and is known as a “superbug,” has been identified in several individuals in Israel but there have been no outbreaks like those reported in the United States.
        ‘Not the virulent strain’
        In the course of the Israeli-Palestinian research some 600 Gaza residents were tested – 300 children and 300 of their parents. Nose swabs were collected and the specimens transported to Sheba Medical Center. Scientists identified the MRSA bacterium in 15 percent of those tested, but also noted that it was not the virulent USA300 strain. It was, rather, a strain that has been identified in European hospitals, but in Gaza it is present in the general community. This strain, which tend to cause skin abscesses and infections was not identified in the West Bank in subsequent testing.
        The researchers also noted a connection between the risk of contagion and having a pet cat. “The bacterium is liable to be transmitted from person to person via animals, and our findings raise the suspicion that there’s a connection between the spread of the bacterium and the many cats in Gaza,” said Regev-Yochay, who is also the director of infectious diseases at the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research.
        In the next stage, research will be carried out among families to explore the long-term ramifications for people who tested positive, specifically to discover whether they are at greater risk of skin infections and hospitalizations. At the same time, the scientists are working to map the genetics of the Gaza strain of MRSA together with researchers from Harvard University.
        The joint Palestinian-Israeli research group was established in January 2009 during Operation Cast Lead with the help of Dr. Meir Raz of Maccabi Health Services and Dr. Mohanad Daana, a Maccabi and Hadassah University Hospital physician, with assistance from Prof. Mordechai Shani, the founder of the Gertner Institute and a 2009 Israel Prize winner.
        It consists of 30 members, including family physicians and pediatricians, and infectious disease specialists from central Israel, East Jerusalem and clinics in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and Gaza. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish of the University of Toronto, whose three daughters were killed during Operation Cast Lead by a missile fired at his home, is also a member of the project. ”

        They spin it as a success for Israeli science
        It is macabre . And it shows what Zionism has become

      • ritzl
        August 21, 2012, 5:38 pm

        Thanks for the link, seafoid. I got lazy. My bad.

        There’s a side story to this as well. The Israeli pharma industry is well known for providing counterfeit and/or patent infringing and/or semi-effective and/or significant side effect generics. Given the Occupation Industry aspect of Israel’s captive Palestinian markets, one has to question whether even the antibiotics that are being supplied are of meaningful effectiveness.

        I’ve also emailed the researchers named in the article you linked and haven’t gotten a response. It’s therefore unknown whether this strain occurs in Egypt or Israel. And there haven’t been any followup stories on this, so it’s difficult to tell where follow-on research, if any, is heading, or if this story just got buried, and if so, why. A lot of questions.

        And I really don’t get the “cats” angle. So what? This isn’t a veterinary problem.

        A few years ago I tried to find some research done on intentional, total blockades and before/after mortality stats (e.g. Biafra, but maybe Iraq and now Iran, but the latter were/are not total blockades). It was an attempt to suss out data on the more insidious aspects/mortality of collective punishment. To essentially come up with an “extrapolate-able” statistical counter-argument that showed that it’s not just the bombs and white phosphorous and flechettes that kill, it’s the whole underlying, day-in, day-out bad water, malnutrition, depressed immune systems, et. al. concept (which probably kills more Gazans over time than the bombs). I couldn’t find any.

        I believe I couldn’t find any because arms-length/objective studying that kind of intentional deprivation is [probably more than] a bit “Mengelistic” and therefore frowned upon (not fundable).

        I think that’s why this MRSA situation bothers me so much. It’s a cloaked evil that may well rival, if not overshadow, the observable, violent evil.

        In any event, I’ll keep trying to get more info on this Gaza MRSA thing, as time allows. I hope I’m wrong about the significance of this. I really do.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Only a matter of time, and not a very long time before Fredblogs or one of his ilk tells us that this MRSA strain is a result of Palestinians uncleanliness lack of hygeine. Watch and see if I’m not right. They will jump right on it. It developed in Gaza, right? So it must be their fault. I’d wager on this.

      • seafoid
        August 22, 2012, 8:22 am

        I think the journalist made a mistake with the story, Ritzl. Must have had his zionist glasses on . It’s not actually about Gaza-it’s about the genius of Israeli science. That is how I read it. The journalist probably didn’t even think of the humanitarian angle.

        I am not surprised there has been no follow up.

        Disease mutation happens in broken societies. There is an area on the Thai/burmese border which is the source of most TB mutations. Over 50 years of war.

        Israel has achieved the same in Gaza. It has broken the society and made it susceptible to this. It goes beyond deliberate pauperisation into pure evil.

        It really bothers me too. If they do that to Gaza what will they do to others ?

      • Fredblogs
        August 22, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Not at all. Like all MRSA strains this is a natural result of evolution of the staph germs in the presence of methicillin, an antibiotic.

      • Fredblogs
        August 22, 2012, 1:21 pm

        Disease mutation happens everywhere. It’s a natural part of evolution. In the U.S. we have a nasty strain of drug resistant TB going on. In fact, antibiotic resistant strains only evolve where there are antibiotics.

      • ritzl
        August 25, 2012, 9:09 am

        Now that you mention it…twice, seafoid, I see it. Israeli science is so good that it can pick out a strain and narrow down the transmission mechanism to cats.

        Imagine what it could do if the object were to make avoiding a new strain a priority in the first place.

      • ritzl
        August 25, 2012, 9:46 am

        Again, Fredblogs, do the math.

        Yes, mutations happen all the time. But the fact is that there are only a few strains of MRSA in a world of 7B people given all kinds of circumstances that may foster (and allow normal public health practices to mitigate) mutations. In Gaza there is a new strain unique to a population of 1.5M people. That means, statistically, that the conditions promoting mutation and therefore the probability of mutations are vastly concentrated and enhanced, respectively, in Gaza, and/or that the ability to mitigate those mutations is correspondingly absent.

        This set of conditions is a direct result of Israel’s intentional and meticulous policies of collective punishment. I believe it’s unique in the world.

        Hell, does Israel even allow bleach (clearly “dual-use”) into Gaza (I forgot to ask the obvious to the WHO contact and it’s not on the Gisha list one way or the other.)? And if so, how much?

      • seafoid
        August 28, 2012, 2:43 am

        I think the collapse of Gaza will reveal the true face of Zionism to the world

        And the Holocaust card won’t wash when the goys see what the bots have done to the strip and its refugee population.

        Gaza will no longer be “liveable” by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the United Nations’ most comprehensive report on the Palestinian enclave said on Monday.
        A lack of clean drinking water is the greatest immediate concern, said Jean Gough of the UNICEF. The report projects a 60 percent increase in the enclave’s water needs, while urgent action is already needed to protect existing water resources.

        By 2016, Gaza’s aquifer may become unusable, she said. Palestinians are already drilling deeper and deeper to reach groundwater and there is a need for more desalination plants. A seawater plant costing about e350 million is planned.

        The UN says only a quarter of Gaza waste water is treated. The rest, including raw sewage, goes into the Mediterranean Sea.

        “Action needs to be taken now if Gaza is to be a liveable place in 2020 and it is already difficult now,” UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard told journalists when the report was released on Monday.

        Five years into an Israeli blockade supported by Egypt, and living under one-party rule, Gaza’s population of 1.6 million is set to rise by 500,000 over the next eight years, say the authors of the UN’s most wide-ranging report on the territory.

        Gaza has one the youngest populations in the world, with 51 percent of people under the age of 18.

        “Action needs to be taken right now on fundamental aspects of life: water sanitation, electricity, education, health and other aspects,” Gaylard said.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2012, 8:35 pm

        “I don’t think the staph infections are Jewish.”

        Even if most of the hospital staff is Jewish?

      • talknic
        August 25, 2012, 9:33 am

        Thy rod and thy staph comfort me.

  3. Don Bacon
    Don Bacon
    August 20, 2012, 12:17 pm

    The Haaretz link on Israel terror is behind a paywall. Try this to go to the source:

    pp 105-106
    In December, well-publicized Israeli settler attacks on IDF personnel and an IDF military base in the West Bank sparked a public debate in Israel on the phenomena of settler violence; political and security officials pledged to implement several steps to curb and punish these violent attacks.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak labeled settler acts as having “the characteristic of homegrown terror;” several months earlier, IDF Head of Central Command Avi Mizrahi labeled attacks against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank as “terror” and ordered the administrative deportation of a dozen Israeli settlers from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. In 2011, a total of ten Palestinian mosques in the West Bank and Jerusalem were vandalized or set on fire in attacks that Israeli authorities believed were perpetrated by settlers, up from six such incidents in 2010 and one in 2009.

    2011 Terrorist incidents
    * On November 10, at the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem, vandals sprayed “price tag” graffiti in Hebrew on four Muslim graves.
    * On December 14, unknown vandals burned a mosque in Jerusalem and sprayed anti-Arab graffiti (e.g., “A Good Arab is a Dead Arab,” “Mohammed is Dead”).
    * On December 15, Israeli settlers attacked a mosque in the village of Burqa in the Ramallah governorate, setting it afire and defacing it with “price tag” graffiti.

    • seafoid
      August 20, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Israel unleashed the violence in 1947 and again in 1967 and now it is out of control. Settler colonial states are ALWAYS more violent because it is impossible to dispossess the natives without violence. The occupation was the wrong thing to do- they might have tempered the worst excesses of the late 1940s and come to an accommodation with the Palestinians but the lure of the land was too powerful and the idiots won the argument. Now they worship the land but at a brutal price.

  4. radii
    August 20, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Finally, the U.S. State Dept. has acknowledged what most people already knew – the settlers are terrorists … an evil enterprise gives rise to evil people … zionism is over

    • chinese box
      chinese box
      August 20, 2012, 11:18 pm

      It’s tragic and exasperating and absurd that it took them this long to acknowledge the obvious, but it seems that’s how it works with every issue in the US. We can hope that this is a sign of positive change.

  5. just
    August 20, 2012, 12:37 pm

    “The times, they are a- changin’.”

    Thankfully and finally.

    Occupation is terror. It will come to an end.

    Thank you Kate.

  6. American
    August 20, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Well, labeling the settlers attacks as terrorism only does any good if some action is taken against them.
    What the US says and what it does are two different things, as we all know too well.
    Still, I suppose a statement is better than nothing, although it’s really next to nothing.

    • Kathleen
      August 20, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Kind of a big step for the U.S. State Dept. Sad to say…long time coming

      • American
        August 20, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Well, I’ll give you it’s a big step, considering the State Dept these days.
        But Obama’s Cario speech was a big step and it fell to earth we know not where.

      • chinese box
        chinese box
        August 20, 2012, 11:27 pm

        It probably won’t have any teeth to it, but it’s still a good sign. I’m convinced that there must be a silent majority of people in the State Dept. and in the CIA who understand what an albatross Israel has become for the US.

    • Hostage
      August 21, 2012, 9:13 pm

      Well, labeling the settlers attacks as terrorism only does any good if some action is taken against them.

      Of course not, the State Department merely says that our government does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. It never draws attention to the fact that it’s a government run joint criminal enterprise. Although Israel is implanting Kahanist terrorists and other illegal settlers in the Palestinian Territories, the State Department isn’t likely to place Israel on its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

      FYI, in October 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell re-designated Kahane Chai as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”), re-designated Kach as an alias of Kahane Chai and for the first time designated as an alias of Kahane Chai. Those designations were reaffirmed in 2004. In 2005 the three entities petitioned for revocation of the 2003 designations, claiming that they were made without substantial support in the administrative record and that the State Department denied them due process when it refused to provide the administrative record prior to the 2003 designations.

      In response, the Department noted the Secretary based his conclusion upon four documents. The first was a transcript of a July 1, 2002 radio broadcast by the Jerusalem Voice of Israel Network reporting that death threats had been made against Israeli police officers investigating the “Jewish terrorist squad case,” an apparent reference to the attempted bombing by right-wing extremists of an Arab school for girls. See the Digest of United States Practice in International Law starting at pdf page 191 link to

  7. Fredblogs
    August 20, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Seems like an accurate description for arson of a mosque.

  8. just
    August 20, 2012, 5:01 pm

    Some very fine news:

    OTTAWA, Ontario — The United Church of Canada has approved a recommendation to boycott products produced in Israeli settlements located within occupied Palestinian territory.

    The intent is to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to stop expansion of the settlements and end the occupation.

  9. MHughes976
    August 20, 2012, 5:38 pm

    The State Department defines terrorism in terms of violence perpetrated by an unofficial or clandestine group, directed against noncombatants and meant to impress an audience. Those who act openly as members of armed forces or other government agencies are never terrorists on this usage. What of those who attack either official bases or unofficial nests of combatants? Here the definition seems unclear.

  10. Blake
    August 20, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Glad Mondoweiss picked up on this story regarding Price tags.
    ” For first time , US State Department defines Settler Violence as Terrorism — In Annual Report on terrorism in foreign countries, US Government Report defines so – called “price – tag ” attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank as Acts of Terror ” …. Haaretz 18/08/2012.

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