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Israeli army officer in South Hebron Hills: ‘Today we demolish the mosque but as soon as we get the court order we will demolish your house as well’

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Perhaps you have read in recent days about the decision of the Israeli government to build more houses in settlements throughout the West Bank as a response to the Palestinian appeal to the UN. But most probably you have not heard (and probably will not hear in the media) about the actions of the occupation authorities that early today demolished a mosque in the cave-dwellers village of Mufaqra. The police, representatives of the civil administration and soldiers of the IDF (read: Israeli Demolition Forces) arrived at the village at sunrise, closed down the area surrounding the mosque and used two bulldozers to demolish the building. It is worthwhile mentioning that the mosque that was demolished today was built on the ruins of a former mosque that was destroyed roughly a year ago. As soon as the information reached us we called Fadel, a friend from Mufaqra who described the fear among the people of the village and especially among the kids that were on their way to school when the demolition occurred. Fadel told us that he asked one of the army officers why do they demolish the mosque and the response was: “today we demolish the mosque but as soon as we get the court order we will demolish your house as well.” Below is a picture of the mosque that we took a few weeks ago and photos that were taken today by activists from Operation Dove during the demolition. We will visit the people of Mufaqra later this week and hope to communicate to you more information and impressions from the field.
Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation

Residents Stop Demolition of Home
December 4, 2012 (WAFA) – Palestinian residents of al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem succeeded Tuesday in stopping demolition of a home owned by Ghaith family, according to one of the home owners. They said the West Jerusalem municipality sent workers and a bulldozer protected by police and border guards to demolish three homes in the area, one of them owned by Rashid Ghaith, who passed away last month. However, the family protested the decision and insisted they have paid more than $25,000 dollars in fines and they were waiting for a court order that would allow them to continue living in the house. Confrontations broke out in the process and police beat a number of people who tried to stop the demolition. The workers and police left the area after the family was able to prove that the issue was still at court. M.S./F.R.

Israel on Tuesday destroyed a mosque in the south Hebron hills, bulldozed a two-story home in East Jerusalem, demolished agricultural infrastructure southeast of Nablus, and settlers uprooted and stole about 200 olive trees in a village west of Bethlehem, witnesses said. Witnesses told Ma’an news agency that the army prevented residents from collecting books and other items from the al-Mafqara mosque, east of the town of Yatta, before razing it for the second time since 2011.
There are 38 military orders issued on homes in Tel Rumeida and Hebron. On Sunday 3rd December the District Coordination Office (D.C.O.) and the lawyers representing the families who have military orders put on their homes were supposed to be visiting the sites that the orders refer to. The purpose of the tour of these sites was to ascertain exactly what the meaning of these military orders are. The tour of the sites has been delayed. This delay leaves the families concerned still wondering what will happen to their homes and lands.
Israeli forces demolish agricultural structures in Nablus village NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces destroyed several agricultural structures in a Nablus village on Tuesday, a PA official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that bulldozers and military vehicles arrived in the village of Aqraba and destroyed a chicken coop and pen for sheep. Israeli forces also demolished a residential room. All structures belong to farmers Abed al-Fatah Bani Fadel and Basem Bani Jaber.
BETHLEHEM, December 4, 2012 (WAFA) – Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, uprooted and stole around 200 olive trees from a land in the village of al-Jabaa, west of Bethlehem, a local official said Tuesday. Nomaan Hamdan, head of al-Jabaa village council, told WAFA that settlers brought a bulldozer to uproot the trees from a land that belongs to Ibrahim Hamdan, demolished several retaining walls and razed a large area of the land. He said the settlers, who took the trees away, claim they own the plot.
Visit Hillary Clinton’s settlement, Philip Weiss In her speech to the Saban Center last week, Hillary Clinton bragged about visiting an Israeli settlement, Gilo. Well you can see Gilo in the video below, at :22-1:20. It’s the colony of white houses in the background, with red roofs. The video was shot last month in the neighboring Palestinian village of Walaje, whose lands are occupied by Gilo and greater Jerusalem.
Reporters challenge State Department on “Judea and Samaria” passport stamp revealed by EI, Ali Abunimah 

Does “Judea and Samaria” stamp indicate “creeping annexation” of West Bank by Israel, reporter asks State Department.

The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to call for an Israeli settlement freeze, President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisers decided Tuesday, as part of an escalating showdown over Israel’s new plans to build thousands more homes on war-won land in and around Jerusalem.
The Israeli government’s announcement that it is to expand settlements in the West Bank in response to the UN vote on Palestinian statehood violates human rights and international humanitarian law, Amnesty International said today. “Settlement construction is the cause of forced displacement, a myriad of human rights violations and is a flagrant violation of international law. Israel must immediately halt all construction of settlements and related infrastructure as a first step towards removing all settlers from the occupied territories,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.
Palestinians warn Israel must be held accountable over settlements UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — The Palestinians accused Israel in a letter to the United Nations of planning to commit further “war crimes” by expanding Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de facto UN recognition of statehood and warned that Israel must be held accountable. In the letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council, the Palestinians said Israel was behaving “in a rogue, hostile and arrogant manner, contravening all principles and rules of international law and reacting with contempt to the will of the international community.”
Israel has authorised 3,000 new settler homes and the development of land east of Jerusalem known as E1 for construction. The development of E1 has been frozen for years under pressure from the US and EU. Western diplomats regard it as a game-changer as its development would close off East Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Algeria condemned Israel’s announcement that it is preparing to build 3000 new settlement units in settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Australia, Brazil summon Israeli ambassadors over settlement construction Australia and Brazil join European countries in condemning Israel’s decision to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
In the period between Wednesday, 28 November, and Saturday, 1 December, at least 29 fishermen have been arrested, at least 9 fishing boats have been impounded (including a larger trawling vessel), and one boat has been destroyed. The fishermen’s reports are generally the same: they are fishing within the new 6 mile limit (or even within the former 3 mile limit) when Israeli gunboats approach and start firing at them, often aiming at the motor. They order fishermen to strip down to their undergarments, jump into the water, and swim towards the gunboat, where they are handcuffed and blindfolded, and sometimes beaten. Some are taken to Ashdod or Erez and interrogated. Most are released the same day, although Amar Bakr is still being held at Ashdod. Most of the confiscated boats have belonged to the Bakr family, while the Hessi family has also been attacked.
Today was an exceptionally dangerous day to be a farmer in the Gaza Strip. “We went out to sow our wheat and saw [Israeli] soldiers hiding behind the hills [on the other side of the buffer zone]. One pointed his gun at us and we started to run, there were many gunshots.” This is the reoccurring reality for many Palestinians struggling to maintain their way of life in the face of grave hostility. Salem Qu diah is a soft-spoken man who knows exactly what he wants, to farm his land peacefully as his ancestors did generations ago. Just over a week has passed and another ceasefire was agreed upon between Israel and Palestine, yet, every day since then fire has continued to be anything but ceased.
The Israeli army killed a Palestinian civilian in the southern Gaza Strip and wounded 42 civilians, including 7 children along the border fence in the Gaza Strip from Nov 22-29 (source: PCHR) “The Israeli soldiers saw us. They were speaking at us, but they didn’t tell us to leave,” says Haithem Abu Dagga. “About eight soldiers moved past the electric fence and towards the interior fence about 30 metres inside Palestinian land, where we were standing. After only a few minutes they began shooting.” The Israeli soldiers were by this point roughly 5 metres away, he says. Haithem, a lean young man from Abassan, a rural farming area east of Khan Younis, speaks in short sentences as he tells his story of being shot point-blank by an Israeli soldier. He relates the shooting with no drama, as though he’s speaking of an everyday event. Which, unfortunately, for Gaza’s farmers is more or less true. His audience, a number of solidarity activists who have come to Gaza explicitly to meet people like Haithem, listen rapt to his quiet words.
Several relief aid convoys donated by the residents of Benghazi left for Gaza on Monday, 3 December. One of the relief convoy organizers, Muftah Sahely said, “The convoy will leave for Gaza through Egypt and the land crossing of Rafah”, confirming that, “the Egyptian Consul in Benghazi, Ashraf Shiha Yusr, in cooperation with the Palestinian Consul in Libya, Zaki Qantawi, and the Libyan Embassy in Egypt supervised the convoy’s all entry requirements. He stated that 20 people from Benghazi were accompanying the convoy to Gaza, pointing-out that “the aid included food, medicine, women and children clothes, furniture and blankets.” He added that donations had been received from the people of Benghazi at the city’s Tahrir Square.
Israeli Terrorism
JENIN (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli security agents outside Nablus on Monday did not attack them before they opened fire, his family maintains. Hatem Shadid of the Illar village was driving when his car collided with an Israeli jeep near the Beit Lid village. One of the occupants of the car, a Shin Bet agent, later shot him. Israeli officials said Shadid had attacked the agents with an axe but his family disputed the account saying he was going about his day normally when the incident occurred. Relatives told Ma’an that Hatim left his home after dawn prayer to Nablus, then he traveled back to Tulkarem where he works at a construction company, before he was shot dead. 
Israeli soldiers have committed 26 assaults against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and 22 against fishermen offshore since the “ceasefire” agreed between Israel and Hamas which was supposed to bring to an end Israel’s offensive against the territory. Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights revealed on Monday that the Israeli occupation forces have continued in their violations despite the truce. In at least one instance, reported Al-Mezan, an Israeli shell landed one kilometre inside Gaza.
Al Jazeera investigates Israeli practice of firing warning shots at homes before blowing them up.

Report: Israel killed 3 journalists, wounded 30 in the recent war on Gaza
A statistical report issued by Doha center for media freedom said that three Palestinian journalists had been killed and 30 others wounded during Israel’s eight-day war on Gaza.

Illegal Arrests

IOF soldiers round up ten Palestinians half of them children
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained ten Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem at dawn Monday.

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested 11 people in the West Bank overnight Monday, locals and Israel’s army said. Soldiers raided Balata refugee camp in Nablus and arrested four people, locals said. The men were identified as Ahmad and Yazan al-Khateen, Ameed Reyad Saqer, and Mujahed Nazeeh Abu Seris. One other man, Mujahed Kamal Abu al-Hayat, was arrested in the west of Nablus. An Israeli army spokeswoman said eight people were detained in Nablus, two in Tulkarem and one in Ramallah.  Palestinians living in the occupied territories are routinely arrested by Israeli forces, usually on the pretext of security.

Israeli arrest and raid campaigns in the West Bank
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escalated its military operations in the occupied West Bank, as it launched dozens of raids and arrested 30 Palestinians on Tuesday morning.
Other Prisoner News
Watch Amir give testimony here. According to testimonies collected by B’Tselem, plainclothes police detained Amir Darwish, at midday on Friday, 12 October 2012, two days before his tenth birthday. The policemen took Amir to a police station, using force against the boy and his mother, who tried to prevent the arrest. Amir was questioned in his mother’s presence for allegedly throwing stones, and was released following the investigation. The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Israel is 12. The arrest or even temporary detention of a minor under the age of 12 is absolutely prohibited.

Hamas: PA security services arrested 48 citizens in November

A report issued by the Information Office of Hamas movement revealed that PA apparatuses have arrested during November 48 Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas.


Wives, Mothers Of Detainees Subjected To Naked Search
The Husam Society for Detainees and Ex-detainees reported that Israeli soldiers subjected wives and mothers of Palestinian detainees to illegal strip search before they visited their detained family members on Monday.

IOA imposes six months administrative detention on MP
The Israeli occupation authorities clamped six months of administrative detention on MP Yasser Mansour from Nablus city on Tuesday.

Israel’s notorious Ofer Military Court has sentenced four Palestinian elected legislators from the occupied West Bank to various terms of imprisonment. Fares Abu Hassan, a lawyer for the International Solidarity for Human Rights Organisation, said that the court refused to reduce the detention time handed down to Palestinian Legislative Council Deputy for the city of Nablus, Yasser Mansour. He was sentenced to six months in “administrative detention” to allow for the possibility of this being converted into a genuine case against him. The trial of Qalqiliya Deputy Emad Nawfal was postponed until Thursday coming as was that of Fethi al-Hayek. Abu Hassan added that the court decided to transfer the detention of the Deputy for the city of Tulkarem, Fethi al-Qaraawi, into a six-month administrative detention at the same time that it decided to release Deputy Riad Radad after he had petitioned the court. The Israeli occupation forces detained the four Hamas deputies ten days ago against the backdrop of their participation in West Bank demonstrations held in solidarity with the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip during the recent Israeli offensive.

Occupation force storm Hawara prison and attack captives
Palestinian human rights sources reported that the Israeli forces stormed the Hawara prison, located in the south of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank, and attacked the detainees.

Israeli soldiers burst into the cells of Palestinian prisoners in Nafha jail on Monday night at the pretext of searching for mobile phones.

Palestinian prisoners seeking to win POW status
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails have launched a campaign to win recognition as prisoners of war after Palestine was admitted as a non-member observer at the UN.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A number of former Palestinian prisoners who were deported to Qatar as part of the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel have arrived in Gaza City to mark Hamas’ 25th anniversary. Sabir Abu Karsh, chief of the Waed prisoners association, told reporters that six former prisoners arrived in Gaza to join celebrations of Hamas’ anniversary “and the triumph the Gaza Strip achieved against Israel in the last military offensive Israel launched against the coastal enclave.”  Gaza-based former prisoner and senior Hamas’ leader Tawfiq Abu Naim greeted the returning former prisoners in a news conference held by Waed prisoners’ association. 
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) quelled a solidarity rally near Bab El-Amoud in occupied Jerusalem in solidarity with detained hunger strikers Ayman Sharawne and Samer Al-Issawi.
The Palestinian legislative council (PLC) said it made all preparations for the reception of the high-level parliamentary delegation from Indonesia led by speaker Marzuki Ali.
Representing 20 million workers, Public Services International has given a major boost to the Palestine solidarity movement.
Izzat al-Risheq, a member of Hamas’s politburo, appreciated the position of Farouq al-Amiri, the Egyptian Minister of sport, to boycott a match between the Egyptian hockey team and the Israeli team.
University of California administrators have “exacerbated” climate of fear that chills Palestine solidarity activism, say legal groups.
The recent decision by American musician Stevie Wonder to withdraw from a 6 December 2012 concert to raise funds for the Israeli military has drawn widespread acclaim. One activist, Ali Abunimah, even characterized it as a “significant milestone”, contrasting it favorably with “empty gestures” at the United Nations and specifically the General Assembly’s recent 138-9 decision to grant Palestine non-member observer state status.
Israeli Racism & Discrimination

Segregation in Israel’s public bus lines: Video

For months now, a campaign has been waged far from the public eye to bar Palestinians employed in Israel from using public transportation.

Political Developments / Other News

Video of Drone on Iranian Television: Video

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps displayed on Tuesday what state television channels described as a captured American drone that had entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf “in the past few days.”

The recent battle between Israel and Islamist forces in the Gaza Strip revealed not only the Palestinian militants’ new arsenal, but also shed light on the potentially greater military capabilities of another nemesis of the Jewish state: Hezbollah, the Shiite political and militant group in Lebanon.
A senior Palestinian official is warning that the West Bank government will pursue war crime charges against Israel if it doesn’t stop settlement construction.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Palestinian Authority will seek to take advantage of the qualitative support by some European countries against Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territory through creating an international front to urge the world countries to take more strict positions against Israel, says the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs. Speaking to Ma’an in Bethlehem, Riyad al-Maliki added, “We can’t face the Israeli procedures single-handedly, so we will take advantage of the positive positions of countries and try to build an international front to exert pressure on the Israeli occupation and its expansionist policies.”  Al-Maliki added that the PA is not in a hurry “because we have previous commitments we don’t want to breach.
Prime minister to meet German chancellor in Berlin on Wednesday evening.
Israeli sources reported Monday that the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu asked Jordan, twice in the last two months, to grant Tel Aviv a green light to strike what Israeli claims to be Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
United Nations tells Israel to let in nuclear inspectors
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Monday calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

Palestinian Authority to host King Abdullah II in ‘first visit by Arab leader in Palestine as occupied state’
A bishop from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to Congress warning against cutting aid to the Palestinian Territories., Bishop Richard E. Pates, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent the letter on Monday in response to consideration from Congress to cut aid after the U.N. vote., “The Palestinian Authority and President Abbas’ Fatah party have renounced violence and committed themselves, as has Israel, to a two-state solution,” wrote Pates. “We ask you to resist efforts to cut off needed humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinians as they build capacity for a future state.”, Read more at 
Sacked civil servants launch an open sit-in in Ramallah
Dozens of civil servants who were sacked from their jobs because of their political affiliation organized a sit-in on Tuesday in Ramallah, central the West Bank, to demand reinstatement.

Saudi-based Al-Arabiya dedicates special elections feature to what it calls ‘surge of beautiful women in Israeli politics’
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
Gaza thwarts Israeli propaganda with Twitter, Joe Catron
Hashtags declaring solidarity with Palestine are proving many times more popular than pro-Zionist ones.

Has-Maher-a! The Not-So-New Depths of Bill Maher’s Delusion and Depravity, Nima Shirazi
In a recent interview with the Jewish Journal, Unfunny comedian Bill Maher has once again Praised Israel for its restraint in only committing rampant war crimes in Gaza rather than a full-scale nuclear genocide of a civilian population.

One of the more remarkable yet less remarked upon moments of the recent Israeli massacre in Gaza came when the Qassam Brigades gave a press conference on 17 November. They had a message for the Israeli public: “It was your leadership,” they said, “that dragged you into this and into the shelters to score cheap political points.” The causes for the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza are more complex than the Qassam Brigades statement made them out to be. The main driver is the restoration of Israeli “deterrence,” carried out through the evisceration of the resistance capacities of the Palestinian people and an attempt to obliterate the national will and resilience of Palestinian society. This rejuvenation requires an occasional blitz of the coastal strip, at least from the blinkered perspective of Israeli generals who speak only the language of force and Israeli politicians who speak only the language of fear. 
Israel seems to have acquired a permanent battleground with its defiant occupation of Palestinian territory and savage assaults upon Gaza. In Israeli terminology, as well as that of its allies, the definition is “security”. As defined by the Homeland Security Conference just a few days prior to the Gaza massacre, “Israel has long experience with terror … and expertise acquired over decades of combating internal security and terror threats.” A closer examination of the phenomenon, however, reveals that profits are just as important, if not more so.
One of the most wrenching images from the November 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas was that of BBC journalist Jihad Masharawi holding the shrouded body of his eleven-month-old son. His face is gripped with agony, his eyes closed as he looks upward. We can imagine that he feels utterly alone in his grief, but he must also be aware of the men around him in this hospital room. Some or all of the men are likely fathers, uncles, or older brothers to young children. They reach out to touch Masharawi on his shoulder. In their downcast glances, I feel I recognize the strange shame of people who wish they could do more. Behind the camera, taking the picture, is a colleague, Majed Hamdan, a photographer for the Associated Press. Behind the photographer are all of us.
In recent months, more and more quarters of respectable opinion have sounded the alarm that at some undefined point in the future, partition of Israel / Palestine along the 1967 lines will no longer be “feasible.” Yet any ensuing fights over the accuracy – or even the public acceptability – of such announcements miss how far ahead the Zionist right is on these questions. Unwedded to any Pieties about “moderation” or the “two-state solution,” some Zionists have floated the idea of formally Annexing the West Bank and extending citizenship to Palestinians – but with the massive asterisk of excluding the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in order to forestall a clear indigenous demographic majority.
A series of events just from this week makes clear who is actually violating the consensus of the international community
And generally, those who believe in Western dominance of the world tend to be pro-Israel, ’cause Israel’s seen as the sort of Western outpost in the Middle East. And that’s an idea that goes back—a longstanding idea in the history of Canadian foreign policy. And I quote—in other books, I quote Lester Pearson in 1952 saying that Israel is the pivot of Western defense in the Middle East.” “You can go back to 1947, where Canadian diplomats played a fairly important role in the creation, you know, in the partition plan at the United Nations and sort of gave the Zionist movement the cover that ultimately allows them to expel over 80 percent of Palestinians and, you know, basically an ethnic cleansing, if you like, 700,000 to 800,000 Palestinians driven from their homes, and Canada played a fairly important diplomatic role there. And there was basically no opposition to that Canadian policy, from what I can tell, in Canada.
A year ago or so I exposed the identity of the founder of the Jewish Internet Defense Force ( Wikipedia article).David Brotsky, aged 37, lives in Dallas, TX (and appears to have lots of ties to New York). He is a film production and location manager by day.  His credits include some of the better known movies and commercials made ​​in the past decade or so. Among his projects were Almost Famous, Sweet and Lowdown, Friday Night Lights , andThe Cradle Will Rock . What’s interesting and strange about Brotsky is that while his professional career appears legitimate, almost nothing that he does in his shadowy borderline violent pro-Israel advocacy is.

Israel and Gaza, Again, SAUL LANDAU
Again Israel used its superior military force and technology to kill residents of Gaza, and destroy their homes and property while revving up its media war to justify its barbarous behavior. This assault on Gaza follow an old Zionist strategy, outlined by Zionist ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky. In 1923 he worte “The Iron Wall” in which he advised the use of force – “an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.” Israel has used force to strip Palestinians of their land and drive them out of the country. But not all, not enough of them to make the rest accept the colonization of their country.

Art installation inspired by Tunisian street vendor Muhammad Bouazizi attracts impromptu praying.

One Response

  1. Talkback
    December 5, 2012, 9:38 am

    “Today we demolish the mosque but as soon as we get the court order we will demolish your house as well.”

    Everything – even state crimes – according to ‘law’. Reminds me of Germany.

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