Arrests of Gaza fishermen continue despite ceasefire agreement

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Gaza man dies after being shot by Israeli troops in Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Dec – A young Palestinian man died late Friday night of wounds he sustained hours earlier by Israeli gunfire east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources confirmed Saturday that 21-year-old Mahmoud Jaroun was hit by a gunshot to the pelvis Friday evening, and was evacuated to Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah before medics announced his death around midnight. On Friday, 11 Palestinians sustained wounds by Israeli fire along the borders between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Since a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was brokered by Egypt, Israeli forces have breached that ceasefire several times firing at Palestinian farmers near the borders. Two Palestinians have been shot dead so far and about 40 have been injured.

Hamas fighter killed as war remnants explode in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — Hamas’ military wing said one of its fighters was killed early Friday when remnants of Israeli weaponry from the latest Gaza assault exploded in the northern Gaza Strip. Mustafa Ahmad Hijazi, 25, was killed in the explosion at a military site in Jabalia camp, the Al-Qassam Brigades said. Eight other were wounded in the blast, including two in a serious condition, the group said.

Occupation arrests two fishermen off Gaza shore
GAZA (PIC) 30 Nov — The Israeli naval forces detained on Thursday two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and seized their boat. Nizar Ayyash, head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate, said in a press statement that an Israeli naval ship intercepted on Thursday at noon, a Palestinian fishing boat carrying two brothers, Salim and Hassan al-Nu’man, then arrested them and took their boat to the port of Ashdod, north of the Gaza Strip.

15 fishermen arrested and 6 fishing boats confiscated and destroyed
PNN 29 Nov — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns Israel’s violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, which continue in spite of the Israeli authorities’ announcement of allowing the fishermen to fish up to 6 nautical miles off the Gaza shore … PCHR documented Israeli violations committed against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza sea between Thursday, 22 November 2012, (the first day of the enforcement of the truce deal) and Thursday, 29 November 2012. These violations were as follows: *On Monday, 26 November 2012, Israeli gunboats intercepted a fishing boat while it sailed at 8 nautical miles out of the Gaza city shore. According to fisherman Amjad Ismail Ahmed al-Sherafi (38) from Gaza, at approximately 09:30, he and his brother Mohammad (34) sailed their in the Gaza waters when an Israeli gunboat intercepted him and forced him to stop at gunpoint and sail back without pulling his fishing nets out of the sea….

rather too optimistic an article, considering the above:
Access eased for Gaza farmers and fishermen
B’Tselem updated 28 Nov — Media reports state that in the ceasefire negotiations to end Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel and Hamas reached understandings that include the easing of restrictions on the movement of farmers and fishermen in the Gaza Strip.  Among other things, it was agreed that the Israeli military would permit Gaza farmers to cultivate plots located up to 100 meters from the Israel-Gaza perimeter fence. This is a change from the official Israeli prohibition of recent years which forbade any approach closer than 300 meters from the fence. In addition, Gaza fishermen may now fish up to six nautical miles (approximately 11 km) from the Gaza coast, compared with the 3-mile limit imposed prior to Operation Pillar of Defense. B’Tselem welcomes the change in policy regarding the presence of Palestinians in areas near the perimeter fence.
In recent years, B’Tselem has documented many instances in which the military fired live ammunition at Palestinian farmers and workers who came within 300 meters of the fence. There have even been cases in which the military fired at Palestinians that were as far as 1.5 km from the fence.

High-level European delegation to visit Gaza Saturday
GAZA (PIC) 29 Nov — A high-level delegation of European lawmakers and politicians is expected to visit the Gaza Strip next Saturday to assess and report on the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave following Israel’s last military action. Regional director of the European-Palestinian relations council Rami Abdo said about 30 US political and human rights activists would join the European delegation.

Turkish lawsuit against Gilad Sharon for incitement to genocide
ISTANBUL (PIC) 30 Nov — Turkish lawyer Adam Yildirim has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General in Istanbul, against Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, accusing him of “committing a crime against humanity.” … “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too,” Gilad Sharon wrote in the Jerusalem Post.

Working in Gaza when your family is on the front line / Hazel Ward
AFP Behind the News — For AFP’s team of Gaza-based journalists, a flare up of violence with Israel is nothing new — with bombings, air strikes and death and destruction all part-and-parcel of living in this tiny strip of land. But covering this latest round of violence was tough, with round-the-clock Israeli air strikes hammering residential and business districts that were once thought of relatively safe, exposing AFP staff and their families to a new level of risk … When a missile is fired from an F16 or a drone, it is a matter of seconds before it hits, says Mai Yaghi, a 29-year-old reporter who has worked for AFP for five years, and who is currently eight months pregnant. “There is no time to run or to hide anywhere. You hear the sound of a missile being fired and it is a matter of seconds.” … “One morning, I woke up for my 5am shift and my brother was sleeping on the couch. I heard the sound of a missile being fired and I saw the fire go past the window. I didn’t even have time to scream. I thought it was going to hit us and all I could think was that at least he would die peacefully in his sleep,” she says. “It was very close, maybe 200 metres away.” All of the staff said the hardest part were having to cope with the demands of work alongside the constant worry about whether your family was safe.

Diary of a war: The Safe Room
Ma‘an 30 Nov by Ahmed Ferwana — This is the fourth in a series of journal entries documenting life in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Cloud. Previous entries can be read here. November 17: At around 4 a.m., I was levitated, astonished, off my bed because of an explosion whose sound, strength, and effect I had never experienced before. It was Nov. 17 and with that heavy airstrike I started the day. I turned on all the lights in the house, and as I headed back to my room, another rock-and-roll airstrike took place — causing the house to shake, and spreading fear among my family members as they rushed out of their bedrooms.

Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization

Israel to build 3,000 settler homes after UN vote
[with map of the E-1 area] BBC 30 Nov — Israel has authorised the construction of 3,000 more housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Israeli officials. It is also speeding up the processing of 1,000 planning permissions. The decision comes a day after a vote at the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians’ status at the UN to that of non-member observer state … An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some of the new units would be built between Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Plans to build settlements in the area, known as E1, are strongly opposed by Palestinians, who say the development will cut the West Bank in two, preventing the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel ‘to expand settlements’ over UN’s Palestine vote
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 30 Nov — Israel plans to build 3,000 new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in defiance of a UN vote implicitly recognizing Palestinian statehood there, Israeli media reported Friday. The Ynet news site said the move had been approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner council of nine senior cabinet members on Thursday, as the United Nations General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians to “non-member observer state” from “entity” — a resolution Israel and Washington had opposed.

White House: Israeli settlement plan ‘counterproductive’
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 30 Nov — The White House said Friday a new Israeli settlement expansion plan was “counterproductive” and could make it harder to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
“We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and East Jerusalem construction and announcements,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

US ‘lack of reaction’ emboldens Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — Israel’s plans to build 3,000 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank reflects America’s “lack of reaction” to unilateral moves, the PLO’s envoy in Washington said Friday … “It is exactly the lack of reaction on behalf of the US, and others in the international community, to continued Israel violations of previous agreements that pushed us to seek intervention at the UN.’

A bird’s-eye view of the West Bank
Haaretz 29 Nov by Ephraim Sneh — The Israeli government is working hard to change the map on the ground, while telling the people and the world that we have no partner with whom to talk. On a recent trip back to Israel from the east, my El Al jet flew over the hills of the West Bank before making its descent into Ben-Gurion International Airport. The view from the airplane’s windows said more than a thousand words could have possibly said about the problems facing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Almost every Israeli settlement on the ground below sported new construction, in process or complete. What I saw at a glance from the plane’s window, Abbas’ people see every day.

IOA to build third huge synagogue next to Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 29 Nov — The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intends to build soon a huge synagogue called the Jewel of Israel in the heart of the old city of occupied Jerusalem. In a press release on Thursday, the foundation said the IOA would build this synagogue about 200 meters away from the western side of the Aqsa Mosque at the pretext of renovating an ancient synagogue. It noted that this synagogue would be the third of its kind in recent years after the IOA had built the synagogues of Hurva and Issac tent [Ohel Yizthak = Tent of Isaac], affirming that all the three synagogues were built on the ruins of endowed Islamic holy sites.

Israel threatens to ‘reoccupy’ West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 30 Nov — Israeli member of Knesset, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development and the development of the Negev and Galilee, Silvan Shalom, threatened that Israel would reoccupy the West Bank in response to the Palestinian bid at the United Nations General Assembly that won the Palestinians a nonmember observer state status….During an interview with the Israeli Radio, Shalom, of the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the occupied West Bank, of violating the Oslo Agreement, and said that heading to the UN effectively “voided the peace deal, an issue that allows Israel to conduct unilateral moves”. The Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported that Shalom threatened that Israel would enforce its military control on the entire West Bank

Israeli Violence / Raids / Illegal arrests

PCHR Weekly Report: 8 dead, 44 wounded by Israeli troops this week [22-29 Nov]
IMEMC 30 Nov — …during the past week, Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the Gaza Strip, while 5 others, including 2 civilians; one of whom is a woman, died of wounds they had sustained in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Forces also wounded 42 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, in the Gaza Strip this week. In the West Bank, 2 Palestinians civilians were wounded in peaceful protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:  The Israeli Forces conducted 81 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 99 Palestinians, including 9 children. Of those who were abducted by the Israeli Forces, there are 6 members of the Palestinians Legislative Council (PLC) and a number of political leaders of the Islamic Jihad…. Full Report here

Israeli occupation arrests two Palestinians from Bethlehem
PNN — On Friday 30th November, Israeli occupation forces arrested two Palestinians from Beit Fajar village, south of Bethlehem, after being summoned to the Israeli Intelligence. Security source said that Israeli forces arrested the two Palestinians: Osama Mohammad Takatka, 31, and NidAL Ribhi Takatka, 34, after they interviewed with the Israeli Intelligence at the Gush Etzion settlement compound, south of Bethlehem.

Israeli authorities sentence two prisoners to 10 months in prison
PNN 29 Nov — On Wednesday 28th November, Israeli court issued a decision to immediately arrest two young Palestinians from the village of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Jerusalem. Sources from Jerusalem reported that, ” Israel’s Central Court sentenced two young Palestinians Mohammad Basous and Mohammad al-Ja’ba to 10 months in prison, on claims they participated in confrontations that launched in the village earlier.”
The sources also said, “the detention of the young Palestinians Ra’fat Basous, Tareq al-Rahbi and Abdul Latif al-Shalodi has been extended to eight more days .

Detention / Prisoners

Military court president pushing to apply Israeli criminal law in West Bank
Haaretz 29 Nov — The president of the military court system in the West Bank is pushing an initiative to apply Israel’s penal code to Palestinian residents of the territory, instead of the current mix of military orders and the Jordanian penal code. Because Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is officially “temporary,” the territory’s former legal system has remained in force. Specifically, this means criminal cases are governed by Jordanian law, except where modified by some 1,700 military orders that the Israel Defense Forces have issued over the years. Inter alia, these orders dictate that procedural matters and the rules of evidence in military courts are governed by Israeli law. Overall, the West Bank penal code is harsher than the Israeli one

Israel trying to ‘break’ human right defender arrested for expressing his opinions
EI 29 Nov — The Palestinian human rights and prisoner advocacy group Addameer announced yesterday that the Israeli military has listed charges against one of its researchers, Ayman Nasser … Addameer states that Israel has subjected Nasser to detention conditions designed to break him both physically and psychologically: After being subjected to interrogation inside his home for over an hour, the IOF [Israeli occupation forces] transferred Ayman to Al Moskobiyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem. Ayman spent 39 days in interrogation at Al Moskobiyeh, during which he was subjected to lengthy sessions of intensive and harsh interrogation while being shackled to a chair with his hands behind his back, and with some of the sessions lasting for more than 20 hours a day continuously. Between interrogation sessions Ayman remained in solitary confinement in a small cell with rough grey walls, a dim yellow light and a single blanket. He was not aware at the time, but all of these measures were practiced against him in order to break him psychologically and physically. It should be noted that Ayman has several pre-existing health conditions; he suffers from severe back pain as a result of an inflammation in his spine, he also suffers from ulceration in his colon, and regularly takes five kinds of medications and pain killers.

Palestine’s status upgrade at the UN

Countries that voted against Palestine at UN include United States, Israel and Canada
UNITED NATIONS (HuffPost) 29 Nov — Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority’s upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions. Voting “no” Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.

Full text: Abbas speech to UN General Assembly

Israel suffers humiliating defeat at UN / Barak Ravid
Haaretz 30 Nov — Thursday’s UN vote was the international community’s warning light to Israel, as much as a show of support for the Palestinians. Germany, France, Britain, Italy and other friendly countries delivered messages to Israel with their votes — their patience with the occupation has worn off.

Margin of UN defeat disappoints Israel / Crispin Balmer
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 1 Dec — The margin of Israel’s defeat in a UN vote that granted de-facto statehood to Palestine has disappointed Israeli political leaders, whose attempts on Friday to play down the loss could not disguise its significance … On the ground nothing has changed. Israeli army checkpoints remain in place across the West Bank, Jewish settlers continue their daily lives and the Israeli government warns that lasting peace is more remote than ever. But the fact only three major countries sided with Israel — the United States, Canada and the Czech Republic — underscored how isolated Israel has become on the international stage when it comes to peacemaking with the Palestinians.

Canada recalls diplomats from Israel, West Bank following UN vote
TORONTO (AP) 30 Nov — Canada’s foreign affairs minister said Friday he is reviewing the country’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority and temporarily recalling senior diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and the United Nations missions in New York and Geneva to assess the implications of Thursday’s U.N. General Assembly vote to recognize the Palestinians as a non-member observer state. John Baird said in a statement he is deeply disappointed by the U.N. vote … Baird didn’t say what Canada would do, but a senior Canadian official said Canada has no intention at this point of cutting off relations or sending Palestinian diplomats home.

Palestinians paint Canada as too extreme
OTTAWA and JERUSALEM (The Globe and Mail) 30 Nov — The newly boosted Palestinian Authority is planning a diplomatic campaign to isolate Canada in the Middle East, arguing Ottawa’s vitriolic stand against upgraded UN status for Palestinians has disqualified it from any role in the peace process … Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Canada’s decision to send Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to vote and speak at the UN and the threats of reprisal measures have cast the Harper government as too extreme and partisan to play a role in the region. Voting against the resolution is one thing, he said, but Canada’s approach is another. “I believe this government is more Israeli than the Israelis, more settler than the settlers,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Why Czechs were lone EU vote against Palestine / Michael Winfrey & Robert Muller
PRAGUE (Reuters) 30 Nov — When Czechs cast the lone European “no” vote against the Palestinian Authority’s bid for semi-statehood at the United Nations this week, it was no surprise from a country Israel has named as its best friend on the continent … A main reason is a center-right government that has distanced itself from the European mainstream on issues ranging from diplomacy and security to economic policy, often siding with Washington rather than fellow EU members. But history also plays a role.

Vatican hails UN vote, wants Jerusalem guarantees
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) 30 Nov — The Vatican hailed the United Nations’ implicit recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something bound to irritate Israel.

Israel’s Livni likens Palestine statehood bid to terrorist attack
Al-Akhbar 30 Nov — Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has called the Palestinian statehood bid that swept 138 votes at the UN General Assembly Thursday a “strategic terrorist attack”. She predicted that the move would weaken Israel in future negotiations with the Palestinians. “The gap between the government’s threats to the Palestinians [and its actions] resulted in legitimacy for Hamas following the Gaza operation and now, also, in legitimacy to the Palestinian Authority in the UN,” Livni told Israel Radio.

Netanyahu to meet with Merkel following vote
BERLIN (AP) 30 Nov — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his Cabinet will travel to Germany next week — a visit that comes after Berlin abstained in a UN vote on the recognition of a Palestinian nonmember observer state.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, says the German leader will have dinner with Netanyahu on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s annual meeting of Cabinet members. Germany is traditionally one of Israel’s staunchest allies in Europe.

US Senate threatens sanctions against PA
IMEMC 30 Nov — Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the United States Senate threatened to block all funding to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank should the Palestinians decide to sue Israel for war crimes at the International Court. Senators Lindsey Olin Graham, John Barrasso, Charles (Chuck) Schumer and Bob Menendez stated that the Palestinian Authority should not sue Israel should they join the International Criminal Court, and that President Mahmoud Abbas must go back to the negotiation table with Israel, and if they sue Israel, the United States will block all funding. The senators also threatened to shut down the office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington D.C. should the P.A. refrain from resuming peace talks with Tel Aviv.

Video: Palestinians celebrate status upgrade at UN
Al Jazeera 30 Nov — Jubilant Palestinians have rejoiced at the historic – but largely symbolic – vote at the UN General Assembly in New York granting them non-member observer status. Celebrations took place overnight in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera’s correspondents in both places reported. “People here know that when they wake up on Friday they’ll still be living under an Israeli occupation. They won’t, for instance, be in control of their own borders,” reported Nadim Baba from Ramallah, West Bank, amid deafening noise from ecstatic Palestinians.

PHOTOS: Palestinians celebrate UN victory
Activestills 30 Nov — Palestinians throughout the West Bank gathered, first in anticipation, then in celebration of their bid for upgraded status at the United Nations.

Gaza diary: As Palestinians celebrate the UN vote, I’m disappointed / Abeer Ayyoub
Haaretz 30 Nov — I saw them holding Palestine flags, screaming “free Palestine” and playing patriotic songs all over the streets of downtown Gaza. Fatah flags were also there! It’s the same scene I always imagined when I used to dream about Palestine being liberated, or at least, the division ending. But the surprise was that it was neither this nor that: it was Palestinians celebrating the loss of their rights … I was disappointed that when Hamas and Fatah finally decided to be one, their hand damaged the houses of more than five million Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed and forced out of their houses 64 years ago … I always wonder how a Palestinian can be a refugee and adopt the 1967 borders state at the same time. How can you admit that you don’t have the right to live in your own home?

A sad day of ‘victory’ in Ramallah / Haggai Matar
972mag 30 Nov — In spite of the headlines, the international media attention, and the flow of pictures showing celebrating Palestinians waving flags – the UN resolution sparked little excitement or joy in the streets of Ramallah, which is still surrounded by walls and settlements on all sides. If anything, it was an evening of sadness and despair … And why should there be? Aside from the fact that voting results were more or less known in advance, most people I talked to ahead of time felt that the bid would not really change anything on the ground … And still, I went to Ramallah, looking for some kind of hope. After all — this was supposed to be a historic day, feared by Israel, symbolizing growing support for the anti-occupation cause even amongst Israel’s allies in the EU, and the shining achievement that PA officials have been struggling to gain for months if not years

Palestinian vote: Refugees expect long wait for independence
Ramallah (Telegraph) 30 Nov — In the cramped, ramshackle streets of Al Am’ari refugee camp – home to around 6,000 Palestinians displaced in the 1948 war that ushered in the state of Israel – the mood was as grim as the setting, despite the historic vote at the United Nations. The contrast could not have been greater with central Ramallah, where a cacophony of car horns and fireworks filled the air early on Friday as mostly young and middle-class street revellers in the occupied West Bank’s political capital celebrated the UN’s resounding vote granting the Palestinians full observer state status.

Racism / Discrimination

Jewish towns get up to 14 times more buses than Arab counterparts, report finds
Haaretz 30 Nov — The frequency of bus services in Jewish towns is up to 14 times higher than those in Israel’s Arab locales, according to a new report. The report by Hagit Naali-Joseph, a researcher for Sikkuy – the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel, was presented recently at a convention in Umm al-Fahm, attended by senior Transport Ministry officials … “We discovered that the number of destinations to and from Arab towns, as well as the frequency of the buses was significantly lower in comparison to Jewish towns, revealing severe inequality in the services,” Naali-Joseph said.

Israel’s only facility for Arab victims of sexual abuse faces closure
Haaretz 28 Nov — The Haifa crisis center run by Assiwar  – the Arab Feminist Movement in Support of Victims of Sexual Abuse, which offers help to hundreds of Arab women in Israel each year, is in danger of immediate closure due to budget problems and the failure of the Social Affairs Ministry to provide adequate funding. The center, the only one in Israel designated for Arab women who are victims of sexual abuse, has begun to reduce the handling of requests. Three of the four women who were salaried employees were dismissed due to an inability to pay their salaries.

Nazareth municipality challenges state housing tender open only to local IDF veterans
Haaretz 28 Nov — The Israel Lands Authority will continue to accept registration through Wednesday for a disputed housing tender open only to Israel Defense Forces veterans living in Nazareth, but will not proceed further until a court petition against the land allocation is heard. The tender, for five plots on which a total of eight homes can be built, is aimed at local residents who do not own homes and who have served in the IDF. The plots are to be sold by lottery among those who meet the preconditions. But Nazareth, a city of some 80,000 Arab Muslims and Christians, has very few residents who would qualify, since only a tiny minority serve in the army.

Solidarity / BDS

Rights groups launch petition to thank Stevie Wonder for canceling Israel army benefit gig
EI 30 Nov — Palestinian rights activists have welcomed a decision by Stevie Wonder to cancel a scheduled 6 December performance at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Friends of the IDF (FIDF), an organization that raises money for the Israeli army. The US Campaign to End the Occupation and the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel which had campaigned for Stevie Wonder to pull out, called on people to sign a petition thanking the music legend for his move.

Other news

51% of Israelis: Peace with Palestinians unlikely
Ynet 30 Nov — Most Israelis skeptical of negotiations, only 40% think peace possible – in 5 years; 58% willing to give up nukes for non-nuclear Middle East,7340,L-4313760,00.html

Israel’s money man gets funds for Holy Land from evangelical Christians
Haaretz 30 Nov — When rockets start falling, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein springs into action. The worse things look on the ground here, the easier it is to ask hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians in America to open their pocketbooks … Within days of the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, Eckstein had drummed up $3 million in emergency and security aid for Ashkelon and other communities under fire in southern Israel. These funds come on top of $5.6 million, which had already been earmarked this year by Eckstein’s International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to strengthen the emergency security system in Israel. Overall, in the last few years, IFCJ has spent tens of millions of dollars building, renovating and fortifying over 2,000 private and community shelters around the country.

Analysis / Opinion

Analysis: The next stop for Palestinians could be global courts / Joseph Schuman
Ma‘an 30 Nov — The UN General Assembly’s overwhelming vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state offers little prospect for greater clout in world politics but it could make a difference in the international courts … With its upgraded status at the UN, the Palestinians may now seek to apply to the ICC for membership and authority to file war-crimes charges against the Israeli government and its officials … The Palestinians have long planned to use non-membership statehood at the UN, once obtained, as a way to enter the ICC. One Palestinian negotiator, in talking to the International Crisis Group, called the strategy a “legal or diplomatic intifada” against Israel.

Post-UN bid, anyone still think Obama is going to ‘save Israel from itself’? / Larry Derfner
972mag 30 Nov — Since winning reelection, Obama has championed Netanyahu’s war in Gaza and rejectionism in the UN. Enough illusions about this U.S. administration. It’s hard to see how Mitt Romney could have been any more pro-occupation or anti-Palestinian than Obama’s been since getting reelected three and a half weeks ago. (That’s all it was!) First Rashid Khalidi’s old friend supports Operation Pillar of Defense as an exercise of Israel’s “right to self-defense,” without any mention of the people in Gaza (or the West Bank) living under Israel’s thumb for nearly half a century, or, God forbid, that they may have a right to self-defense, too. And now this at the UN.

Will Hamas squander its Gaza victory? / Hicham Safieddine
EI 30 Nov — Will the latest attack on Gaza spell the end of Hamas as a radical resistance movement? Palestinians in Gaza had barely buried their dead and tended to their wounded in the wake of Israel’s week-long assault when Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal was doling out concessions on the US mainstream media … Since then, the political flirtation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has continued unabated. The latest move was Meshaal’s enthusiastic endorsement on Monday of Mahmoud Abbas’s theatrical bid for virtual statehood at the UN (upgrading the Palestine Liberation Organization’s observer status to that of a state) (“Hamas backs Abbas bid to upgrade Palestinian UN status,” France 24, 26 November 2012). The Hamas-Fatah rapprochement is increasingly depicted by media reports as a preamble for resuming national reconciliation talks between the two factions now that the UN bid is over.

Is it okay to shoot the messenger? / Daniella Pered
Haaretz 30 Nov — One can argue for the targeted assassination of someone launching a missile. But does the same apply to targeting someone en route to committing an act of propaganda? … On November 21, two cameramen for the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV – Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama – were killed in an Israeli missile strike on their car as they traveled through Gaza City, apparently returning from reporting at Al-Shifa hospital … What’s not certain is whether the Israeli military fingered them for elimination because they were involved in a violent struggle outside office hours, or because it believed their professional work turned them into combatants. If the former was the case, the IDF is being coy about the details. (listserv) (archive)

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View all comments SOCCER: Footballers in major European leagues have condemned plans to hold the Under-21 European championship in Israel next year, saying it will be seen as a “reward” for this month’s assault on Gaza in which young people playing football were killed when a sports stadium was bombed. The signatories, who include Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Abou Diaby of Arsenal and Newcastle players Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba also… Read more »