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Alsaafin: The Palestinian Authority is running Israel’s Guantanamo

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
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Palestinian Authority: Running Israel’s Guantanamo, Linah Alsaafin
Scores of political detainees held in Israeli jails are released only to then be arrested by the Palestinian Authority, who is living up to its reputation of being Israel’s hired police force.

Land Theft and Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation / Refugees

Occupation delivers notifications to halt construction in al-Khalil
The Land Research Center said in a statement, on Wednesday, that the so-called “Civil Administration” of the occupation raided two villages, and delivered notifications to halt construction.

Palestine Under Occupation: Education Under Siege
As August brought the start of a new school year for children across the globe, thousands of Palestinian school children in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt) continued to face a number of challenges in accessing educational opportunities. More than one million school children and youth across the oPt are enrolled in school. Those living in the Gaza Strip, Area C of the West Bank, and East Jerusalem face the most acute obstacles. These include the chronic lack of classrooms, sub-standard school infrastructure, poor quality facilities, and restricted access to educational facilities due to physical, bureaucratic, and other obstacles. High dropout rates, low learning achievements and, in some cases displacement, have resulted from these circumstances. 

Jewish settlers divert waste water onto Palestinian farms
Jewish settlers have diverted their waste water onto Palestinian-owned farms, damaging crops in the process. The incident took place in the village of Fokeen to the west of Bethlehem. According to the head of the village council, Ahmed Sokkar, the settlers of Bitar Elite settlement repeated the action several times. Apart from damaging the crops and wasting farmers’ time, Sokkar pointed out that it also has a serious negative effect on the environment.Palestinian residents and human rights organisations claim that these and similarly destructive actions take place across the occupied West Bank on an almost daily basis. Last week, for example, wild pigs were let loose from illegal settlements around Jenin and damaged Palestinian farms, while other settlers in the same area destroyed dozens of olive trees.
Google Street View was launched in Israel last April, after a long battle with the Defense Ministry over the blurring of military facilities located in the Israeli cities. Lately, Google cars have been spotted in West Bank settlements as well.
Apple iPhone’s widely-anticipated operating system, iOS6, does not label Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and instead lists the city as a stateless one. A non-Israeli Jerusalem represents a shift from previous iPhone operating systems, and is found on the phone’s Apple Maps and World Clock functions. It abides by Jerusalem’s legal status under international law. The United Nations rules that the highly religious city be under the aegis of the United Nations Trusteeship Council, a body sanctioned to manage non self-governing territories. A General Assembly resolution adopted in 1980 determined Israeli imposition of laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the city to be illegal and therefore null and void, and called on all states to transfer diplomatic missions out of the city. The assembly renewed the resolution in December 2000.

PRC to host discussion on Palestinian refugees in Syria
The Palestinian Return Centre in London (PRC) has announced that it is to host an international panel discussion on the situation of Palestinian refugees in Syria in the light of the political crisis and violence of the past two years. PRC spokesman Arafat Bojomaa said that human rights groups such as Amnesty International will join writers and activists in looking at the suffering of Palestinian refugees caught between the Syrian rebels and the ruling regime. An eyewitness account will be given by Tariq Hammoud, the director of an NGO concerned with Palestinian refugee affairs in Syria. The director of the PRC, Majed al-Zeer, is expected to explain to participants the steps that his organisation is going to take in order to protect the refugees. The panel will assemble in London next Monday.

Israeli and Egyptian Siege on Gaza

3-year-old died due to the siege on Gaza
The Palestinian government in Gaza considered Baghdadi family’s tragedy, where a 3-year-old child was killed in a house fire on Wednesday, as a message to the Arab and Islamic nation to end the siege.

For many years, the tunnel economy in the Gaza Strip was a growing one. Around 1,000 tunnels were dug to smuggle goods, connecting the southern Gaza town of Rafah and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. But since an August attack that killed 16 Egyptian border guards in Sinai, the Egyptian government has closed dozens of tunnels. The crackdown has threatened to dry up essential stocks in the enclave run by the Islamist Hamas group, which has grown angry at stepped-up Egyptian restrictions, tunnellers and officials said. Hamas supporters held protests near the border demanding Cairo stop closing tunnels, a lifeline for most of Gaza’s material needs, from construction to food, until a solution is found to Israel’s five-year blockade of the enclave. “We used to bring out 200 tons of goods, now we only bring out 20 tons, around 20 to 25 tons all day until 9 pm or 10 at night,” one tunnel owner, Abu Mohammed, told Reuters Television.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egypt has informed Palestinian officials that it will introduce measures to ease travel through the Gaza Strip’s Rafah crossing in the coming days, a crossings official said Thursday. Gaza crossing director Maher Abu Sabha said they understand the crossing will be opened on Fridays, the weekend day it is usually shut. Everyday working hours, currently from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will also be increased, Abu Sabha said.
Israel has barred Gaza residents from studying in the West Bank since 2000, and in the 12 years since has only allowed three Gaza residents to study at universities in the West Bank.
IOF intensify military measures in Al-Khalil city
The Israeli occupation forces intensified their military measures in Al-Khalil city and near the Ibrahimi Mosque at the pretext of protecting the Jewish settlers on the occasion of religious holidays.

This summer, the intensified blockade of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip has continued into its sixth year. The blockade—referred to as “the siege” by its victims—is a violation of international law and of the fundamental human rights of the civilian population in Gaza. The blockade has devastating humanitarian consequences for more than 1.6 million people, most of them children, on this coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the Negev desert.
This heartbreaking trailer gives a short preview of the new documentary “Tears of Gaza,” from the Norwegian director, Vibeke Løkkeberg. The film will premier at the Varsity Theater in Davis, CA on September 30th, and it documents the bombing of Gaza in 2008 – 2009 by the Israeli military. There will be a discussion at the theater following the showing. Go here for details.
Israeli Terrorism

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 killed, 2 wounded by Israeli forces this week
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 13- 19 Sep. 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that the Israeli military extra-judicially executed two members of the Palestinian resistance and wounded a third one in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.
New Israeli incursion north of Gaza
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Thursday carried out amid intensive gunfire a limited incursion into the northern area of the Gaza Strip.
Clashes Reported In Shufat Refugee Camp
Local sources reported Wednesday that clashes erupted between several residents and Israeli soldiers in the Shu’fat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Clashes and raids in Issawiya in Jerusalem
Clashes have erupted on Wednesday morning between the people of Issawiya town in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation forces that stormed different neighborhoods in the town.


Settlers attack 3 farmers near Ramallah
Three Palestinian farmers from Mikhmas village northeast of Ramallah in occupied West Bank were wounded during an attack by dozens of Jewish settlers, yesterday evening.


Settlers Attack Palestinians Near Nablus
A number of armed extremist Israeli settlers attacked, on Wednesday evening, two Palestinian youths in Einabous village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The army arrived at the scene and kidnapped the two residents.


Appeals for the protection of farmers in WB during olive harvest
Many farmers in the West Bank appealed for protection against settlers’ attacks during the olive season, after the repeated attacks on farmers near settlements.

Eyewitnesses claim that policemen who arrived on the scene did nothing to stop the rock-throwing.
Palestinian Authority Arrests on Behalf of Israel

PA extended the arrest of Quds Press reporter for 15 days
The Magistrate’s Court in Nablus extended the arrest of Quds Press correspondent in Nablus Mohamed Anwar Mona, 30, for 15 days, and prevented his family from attending the court hearing.

Scores of political detainees held in Israeli jails are released only to then be arrested by the Palestinian Authority, who is living up to its reputation of being Israel’s hired police force.
Illegal Arrests

Hebron: Soldiers invade Kultuba School, attempt arrest
Israeli soldiers invaded a Palestinian school in the city of Hebron with intentions to arrest two sixth grade students after false allegations of throwing stones at a nearby checkpoint. Israeli soldiers based in the Palestinian city of Hebron entered the Kultuba school on Sunday to arrest two sixth grade students after they allegedly threw stones at a nearby checkpoint. Kultuba school is located on Shuhada street which is occupied by illegal settlers and has been closed to Palestinians since September 2000. The students and staff at Kultuba school are granted special permission to walk down this street by the Israeli government. 


A Silwan Story: Palestinian Child Arrested, Abused by Israeli Authorities and Barred From Finishing 9th Grade
Moriel Rothman – Huffington Post “Silwan is a microcosm of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories writ large. There is one phenomenon, however, whose ubiquity sets Silwan apart from most places in the West Bank and East Jerusalem: child arrests. In the middle of the night, on March 5th, 2012, Suhaib was arrested without warning, along with four other boys from Silwan. He had already been arrested twice before, the first time when just after his thirteenth birthday.”


IOF arrests five young men west of al-Khalil
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn on Wednesday, four Palestinian youths from the town of Deir Samet and assaulted another in the city of al-Khalil, in the southern West Bank.

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided a refugee camp east of Nablus and arrested a Palestinian teenager early Thursday. Locals identified the detainee from Balata camp as Abdullah Salameh, 16. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the arrest. She said another Palestinian was detained in a raid in the Ramallah area.
Hunger Strike / Prisoner News

Electronic campaign in solidarity with isolated captives Abu Sisi and Saidi
Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights launched a large electronic campaign in solidarity with isolated captives Dirar Abu Sisi and Awad al-Saidi, from the Gaza Strip.


Israel denies hunger striker Ayman Sharawna medicine despite “serious deterioration” in health
The health of Palestinian prisoner Ayman Sharawna has seriously deteriorated after 88 days of hunger strike, according to rights groups.


Israeli prison fines sick prisoner
Israel’s Ashkelon Prison administrators have imposed a financial penalty on Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Khamis Brash after he asked to go to hospital for treatment, the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) alleged on Wednesday. Brash, who suffers from serious health problems, is being held by Israel in what have been described as “inhumane” conditions.

Ramallah, 26 September 2012—Addameer and Al-Haq are deeply concerned for the life of the remaining Palestinian hunger striker in Israeli prison, Ayman Sharawna, who is now on his 88th day of hunger strike. Ayman was visited on 24 September by Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad at Ramleh prison medical center, who reported that there has been a serious deterioration in his health. In response to the refusal of the Israeli authorities to release him and to further escalate his strike, Ayman decided to stop drinking water for five days from 16-20 September, during which time he lost seven kilograms in weight. The deterioration in his health includes loss of sight in his left eye and the loss of all feeling in his right leg.
Israel has re-arrested seven Palestinian prisoners released in last year’s prisoner swap with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said Wednesday. The move is a direct violation of a Hamas-Israel deal struck last year which grants amnesty to all freed prisoners. The deal saw the release of hundreds of Palestinian captives and one Israeli prisoner.
Activism / BDS / Solidarity

Press Release: Popular Committees Organized a Protest in Front of Prime Minister’s Office
The Popular Resistance High Follow Up Commission in Palestine has called on the government to stop the negligence policy towards the popular resistance which have affected adversely the functioning, continuity and dissemination of the peaceful popular resistance in various locations in Palestine. This call came during a protest organized this afternoon in front of the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Salam Fayad with the participation of dozens of coordinators and members of the Popular Committees against the apartheid wall and settlement throughout the West Bank.


Protests expected as FC Barcelona extends VIP invite to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Ali Abunimah
Shalit “represents” the Israeli army and shouldn’t be at Barcelona stadium, say activists.


Hamas boycotts Barcelona over Schalit tickets
Hamas is launching a media boycott of Barcelona after reports the Spanish league leader gave a complimentary ticket for an upcoming match to an Israeli soldier formerly held captive by militants in the Gaza Strip.


From Gaza Footballers to F.C Barcelona Club: Do not side with the Oppressor!, Various Authors – Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine
Dear President Sandro Rossell, We, Palestinian footballers, athletes and sporting organizations and officials, are dismayed to learn the great team of Barcelona will host Gilad Shalit to the Classico, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, on October 7th ,while more than 5000 Palestinian political prisoners remain rotting, many in isolation, many with no visits, many on hunger strike with no attention or care for them to be released…

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Donations to a Norwegian organization that funds illegal Israeli settlements will no longer be tax-deductible following a decision by the Norwegian government. The Norwegian Ministry of Finance announced the decision to remove Karmel-instituttet from the list of organizations eligible for tax-deductible donations on Thursday under pressure from Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, NPA said in a statement. 

I’m so excited to come to Albuquerque for the Friends of Sabeel–North America conference this Friday and Saturday, September 28-29 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 114 Carlisle Blvd., SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Passionate attachment: how people are using stickers for activism, Abraham Greenhouse
One of those ubiquitous tools of the activist trade is the sticker. I’ve seen or imagined it being deployed in many atypical ways to achieve a variety of effects.


The Chili Pepper paradox: how can Pussy Riot supporters embrace Israel?, Alexander Billet
The Red Hot Chili Peppers weren’t always into crossing picket lines. And if they’re not careful, they’ll find themselves behind the trend.

I am writing to you from an apartment in Tel Aviv where I am under house arrest for standing in solidarity with Palestinians fighting a twelve-year road closure in their West Bank town of Kufr Qeddoum. This weekend, I spent forty eight hours in Israeli prisons. I was denied access to medicine, kept for long periods in leg and wrist shackles and prevented from calling a lawyer or my embassy; but this is light treatment compared to the punishment meted out to Palestinians who resist the illegal occupation of their land.
Political Developments / Other News
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In the last four years, 559 Israeli violations against media freedoms have been recorded in the West Bank and Gaza, a Palestinian media advocacy group reported Wednesday. In a statement coinciding with the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, Mada said the most serious abuses were the killing of five journalists. ”The Day of Solidarity is an opportunity to reflect on the critical role of journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories, and on the importance of defending freedom of expression,” Mada said. ”Unfortunately, Palestinian journalists continue to face oppression, both from Israeli forces and from Palestinian parties.” The group said Palestinian parties were responsible for 371 violations of media freedoms with an escalation in the last 12 months, and from the Fatah-Hamas split. It said two journalists were recently arrested in the West Bank and a third remains “under threat” in Gaza.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday welcomed a delegation of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to the Gaza Strip. The executive committee of the IADL is meeting in the Gaza Strip to show solidarity with Palestinians and in protest of Israeli human rights violations, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in a statement.
Something has evidently happened to Israelis’ famed self-confidence: Only a quarter of those questioned said they do not fear for the state’s future in a scenario in which Israel and Iran go to war.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Iran’s president said on Wednesday his country was under constant threat of military action from “uncivilized Zionists” and called for a new world order not dominated by Western powers in the service of “the devil.” In his eighth address to the UN General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad painted a gloomy picture of a world driven by greed rather than moral values.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that he plans to seek upgraded membership of Palestine at the UN, in his address to the world body’s General Assembly. He said “intensive consultations” were underway with UN members to secure a vote on Palestine being granted the status of ‘observer state’ before the end of the assembly’s current session, “in order to enhance the chances for peace.” ”In our endeavor, we do not seek to delegitimize an existing state – that is Israel – but to assert the state that must be realized – that is Palestine,” he said. ”Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance – maybe the last – to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” Abbas told the delegates.

Cable stations cut away from Abbas but show Netanyahu in full, Philip Weiss
Racism. Pure and pristine anti-Arab racism in the U.S. Why do they hate us? Because this is the most important foreign policy issue the US faces, and we are  about to hear from a rightwing Jewish leader, but the Arab moderate making a case for Palestinian rights is denied a platform. MSNBC cut away from a segment of the speech just as Abbas was saying “another Nakba.” To what? To Andrea Mitchell talking to Dennis Ross about the need to attack Iran. What planet are they living on? Oh and here is rightwinger Netanyahu getting his full speech aired…

NEW YORK (Ma’an) — In stark contrast to 2011, the Palestinian delegation to the UN General Assembly is working quietly and limiting its remarks to the media. Since Friday, few details have emerged of President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to New York for the UN’s 67th General Assembly, or his plan to seek an upgrade to Palestine’s status at the world body. In 2011, Abbas submitted a request to the UN for a full upgrade to state membership of the UN and thousands gathered in city squares across the West Bank to watch his address to the General Assembly. The bid was advertised in a poster campaign and a giant UN chair was erected in central Ramallah.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met Wednesday with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in New York on the sidelines of a UN summit. Ashton’s representative said that during the discussion she reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the creation of a “sovereign, independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel.” A statement said the EU was “determined to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes that substantive negotiations aiming at a comprehensive solution are the best way forward. Ending the conflict is a fundamental interest of the EU as well as of the parties themselves and the wider region.” Abbas and Ashton also discussed Palestinian institution-building and the economic situation of the Palestinian Authority, the statement said. Ashton repeated her call to all the donors to step in and help the PA to overcome the financial and economic crisis and to continue with the building of state institutions.
RAMALLAH, Gaza, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Investigation of a sex scandal was suspended for fear the allegations could affect a U.N. bid for Palestinian statehood, a Palestinian journalist says. Palestinian investigative journalist Said Ghazali revealed Wednesday claims that Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told investigators to stop looking into sexual harassment allegations against a government minister while Abbas was at the United Nations, The Jerusalem Post reported. Abbas was to address the General Assembly Thursday and ask the United Naitons to declare the Gaza Strip a Palestinian state.

Al-Ramahi: PA has to protect citizens or let the resistance do so
The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, denounced the assault on three Palestinian citizens by Israeli gangs near Ramallah yesterday.

Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest

A Profile from the Archives“ is a new series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

RAMALLAH (IPS) – Hassan Hader’s application for a permit to work in Israel has been rejected four times. Now waiting to hear back from the Israeli authorities on his latest attempt, the 52-year-old father of five said he has no choice but to keep applying. “I wasn’t even given a reason why my application was rejected,” said Hader, who worked at a quarry in the industrial zone of Maale Adumim, one of Israel’s largest settlements in the West Bank, for nearly 20 years before losing his job last year. Hader lives in Ramallah and holds a West Bank-only identification card. He has no viable job opportunities in the Palestinian labor market. With his family’s savings slowly running out after more than a year without work, he said that getting a permit to work in Israel is his only option.
Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Meshal has decided not to run in the party’s upcoming internal elections. Some names from the past have appeared on the list of contenders. Khaled Meshal, otherwise known as Abul-Walid, will likely not retain his post as the head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement, according to senior leaders in Hamas. Hamas’ internal elections, to be concluded in the coming days, are expected to yield a new leader for the organization – or rather an old one, with most of the names being circulated those of established, old-guard party figures. The decision to discard Meshal has come as a surprise, and is inconsistent with the rumors that have been circulating over the past few months. In fact, when it seemed Meshal might step down, there was a flurry of mediation intended to dissuade him from abandoning his post.

Salam Fayyad, the World Bank and the Oslo Game, NEVE GORDON
Triggered by gas-price increases, tens of thousands of Palestinian taxi, truck and bus drivers in the West Bank observed a one-day strike, effectively shutting down cities. This, as Al Jazeera reported, was the culmination of several days of protests where thousands of Palestinians, frustrated by the economic crisis in the West Bank, took to the streets. After these protestors forced the closure of government offices, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad decided to decrease fuel prices and cut the salaries of top Palestinian Authority officials in an effort to appease his angry constituents.

Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, gave an historic speech at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday. The focus of Morsi’s speech was Palestine — yet you wouldn’t know it if you read the New York Times. The preoccupation of its reporter seemed to be the Egyptian leader’s omission of a stalwart defense of free speech. In other words, the New York Times, which prides itself as “the paper of record,” is acutely attuned to this constitutional and libertarian issue at the very same time that — more artfully than Izvestia ever did — it engages in self-censorship. At least in the Soviet Union everyone knew they were being lied to. The average reader of theTimes on the other hand remains blissfully ignorant about the information that their trusted newspaper chooses not to report.

‘NYT’ calls Adelson ‘a Zionist’ (and that’s not a good thing), Philip Weiss
Focused on South Florida, Ohio and Nevada, the Republican Jewish Coalition, backed mostly by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Zionist, has begun spending $6.5 million on an air-and-ground strategy to reach Jewish voters who may view Mr. Obama as unreliable on the question of Israel’s security. Jewish voters, who generally vote for Democrats in big numbers, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama in 2008, giving him 78 percent of their vote, according to exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

Book Review: After Zionism Edited by Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor, 2012 Saqi Books. Last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas bid for Palestine to receive full member-state status at the United Nations, based on the pre-1967 borders. After enraged reactions from Israel and the US, the UN member states voted against it. Now, Abbas is preparing to make a down-graded request for Palestine to be a non-member observer state, a move that if accepted would grant the PA leadership participation in General Assembly debates and improve their international standing and sway. Debates are raging as to what these political constructs and terms would mean on the ground for the Palestinian people.
Last year it was the “Insatiable Crocodile of Militant Islam”, this year it was a bomb torn from the pages of Spy v.s. Spy. For the highlight of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly today see the screenshot above.

When addressing large gatherings, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likes to bring visual aids. In laying out the perennial threat of an ever-imminent, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Iranian nuclear bomb that will set the stage for a second Holocaust with the deftness and finesse of a third-grade show-and-tell artist, Netanyahu has brought to the podium Xeroxed copies of old letters, meeting minutes and, now, a dazzling drawing of a cartoon bomb to illustrate this fearsome inevitability.

Palestine cinema showcased in upcoming Toronto and Boston festivals
Palestine film fans have great programming to look forward to at both the Toronto and Boston Palestine film festivals.


One Response

  1. W.Jones
    September 28, 2012, 11:57 am

    Dear Jerome Slater,

    What do you think of the Haaretz headline “Half of Israelis ‘fear for the state’s existence’ if war breaks out with Iran”. In your view, the justification for having a uni-national state in the Middle East is protection. It’s the best one I can think of, and often repeated. Does this news affect your view?


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