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Dozens injured in West Bank protests, including two boys shot with live ammunition

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Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Disrespect for non-Jewish religions / Restriction of movement

Jerusalem Old City master plan derailed by rightists on city council
Haaretz 25 Feb by Nir Hasson — Right-wing members of the Jerusalem City Council succeeded in blocking a master plan for Palestinian building in the Old City, saying one of their big objections was its omission of a new Jewish neighborhood in the Muslim Quarter. For the past eight years the Jerusalem Municipality and Jerusalem Development Authority have been working on a new master plan for the Old City. The current master plan does not enable the issuing of hardly any new building permits, which has led to more and more illegal building. Two months ago the plan was submitted to the local committee for planning and building, but due to pressure from right wing-members such as Yair Gabai (former member of the National Religious Party) and Didi Hershkovitz (Yisrael Beiteinu), changes were made. In its new form, the plan does not enable any residential building whatsoever.

Foundation: Israeli forces raid Al-Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Around 40 Jewish worshipers accompanied by Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Monday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said. Israeli forces evacuated Muslim worshipers as the group performed Jewish prayers in the compound, and one Palestinian was assaulted with a stun gun, the foundation said in a statement. Meanwhile, Israeli forces banned Palestinians aged under 45 from entering the mosque for the second day in a row, the foundation said, adding that dozens of students who study Shari‘a at the compound gathered by the main gates to protest the ban.

The Palestine that’s not in the headlines
[with photos] NPR 26 Feb by Claire O’Neill — The word “Palestine” often conjures up mental images informed by the news: bombings, riots, protests, etc. Israeli photographer Leeor Kaufman, though, “would be glad if people would get a deeper and different perspective these days,” he says. Now based in Brooklyn, Kaufman grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and often ventured into Arab villages in the West Bank. As a student in film school, he began documenting those villages, and one in particular, Wadi Fuqin. In 2010, UNESCO recognized Wadi Fuqin as a potential World Heritage Site, describing it as “the best preserved and continuously managed cultural landscape of its type in all the West Bank.”

VIDEO: Sabras — the story of the Palestinian village of Wadi Fuqin
Told by Palestinians who live there. Excerpt from essay by Leeor Kaufman from Burn Magazine: Wadi Fuqin, a small Palestinian village, carries the inconceivable complexities of the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The village is a well preserved model of a traditional agricultural way of life, developed thousands of years ago. The community has harnessed the water flowing from the valley’s eleven springs to nourish their fields. Kilometers of canals direct the spring water to storage pools and onwards to the many fruit and vegetable fields. Currently, the agricultural way of life and natural landscape is endangered by many threats. To the east, the massive development of the Beitar Ilit Settlement is posing an immediate danger to the springs, to the west, the planned separation wall threatens to harm more springs and close the village in between the wall and the settlement.

Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria
An illuminating site listing 121 settlements in the West Bank, with photos and statistics

Israel denies entry to American teacher working in West Bank
Haaretz 27 Feb by Amira Hass — An American citizen who teaches English in Ramallah was denied entry to Israel at Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday, even though she has a valid one-year multiple-entrance visa. The Shin Bet security service said in a statement she was turned her away for refusing to cooperate under questioning on security issues. Nour Joudah, 25, is the daughter of Palestinians who became naturalized citizens of the United States. Her father, a retired history professor, was born in Ashdod. She has visited the country several times, both with her parents and without them. She teaches full-time at the West Bank City of Ramallah’s Friends School, which is run by the Quakers (Friends United Meeting), a Christian religious order headquartered in Indiana … According to Joudah, toward the end of her questioning, she was asked to provide information about people she had met in Ramallah between August and December 2012. She replied that she does not record details about every person she meets and that she would not give information about her friends and acquaintances — Palestinians or foreign citizens — in any case.

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Palestinian teenagers become symbols of protest ahead of Obama visit
Guardian 26 Feb — Two Palestinian teenagers shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers have become the latest totems in a wave of violent protest across the Palestinian territories. The Israeli army has confirmed that live ammunition was used in Monday’s clashes with Palestinian protesters and that two were shot with 0.22 calibre bullets – ammunition known to cause fatalities. Udi Sirkhan, 16, was shot in the head outside an Israeli military outpost near Bethlehem amid clashes after the burial of Arafat Jaradat, whose death in Israeli custody on Saturday sparked the protests. As surgeons at Israel’s Hadassah hospital worked to remove a bullet from his brain, Sirkhan’s grandfather Fathi Ramadan told journalists that the teenager had been walking home from work when he was hit. The Israeli military said Sirkhan was attempting to torch an army post.
The moments leading up to the shooting of 13-year-old Mohammed Khaled Qurd were captured on film. Footage obtained by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem shows Qurd standing more than 50 metres from a heavily fortified Israeli outpost. At least one Molotov cocktail is seen flying towards the Israeli line but Qurd, standing with a small group of rock-throwers, was some distance from where the firebomb was thrown. He was rushed to a local Palestinian hospital for emergency surgery to remove two bullets from his torso. His condition has stabilised.

Young boy Odai Sarhan is near death at Hadassah hospital
PNN — On Tuesday 26th February, sources confirmed to PNN that the 12-year-old boy Odai Sarhan from ‘Aida Refugee camp in Bethlehem, who was shot by a bullet in his head, is no longer breathing on his own in Hadassah Hospital. His condition is very critical. Medical personnel are doing all they can to keep him alive, but recovery is unlikely. Israeli soldiers fired bullets toward the Palestinian protesters during clashes yesterday at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, hitting the boy Sarhan in his head. The boy was transferred to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Sources said that soldiers prevented the medical crews from reaching the boy to provide him with the needed medical treatment before he was transferred to the hospital.

Dozens injured in second day of West Bank protests
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Hundreds of people took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Monday in the second day of protests following the death of a Palestinian prisoner who PA officials say died as a result of torture … Hundreds of people marched from Birzeit University and gathered outside Ofer prison in Ramallah, where Israeli forces fired rubber bullets at the crowds, injuring eleven people … In Bethlehem, 13-year-old Muhammad Khalid al-Kirdi was seriously injured after being shot in the back and foot with live ammunition near ‘Aida camp. Family members told Ma‘an that Muhammad underwent surgery in Beit Jala to remove the bullets, and is in a serious but stable condition … Israeli soldiers, with approval from an officer, used live fire on protesters after several improvised hand grenades were thrown towards Rachel’s Tomb, he added. The specific incident involved 22 mm rounds fired from a Ruger gun. Israeli military sources said that live ammunition was also used in Hebron, where 200 Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces.

Israeli military vehicle deliberately runs over a child during clashes in Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 25 Feb — The Palestinian child Uday Hatem Zakarneh, 16, was injured on Sunday evening, where his leg was broken after an Israeli military vehicle ran him over during chases at Jalama checkpoint north of Jenin, while 6 others were wounded by rubber bullets and dozens by gas bombs.  Israeli soldiers deliberately ran over a child while he was standing with a group of boys during the clashes, in an attempt to terrorize the participants in the clashes, eyewitnesses stated, noting that Dr. Khalil Suleiman transported him to hospital for treatment.

Photos: Clashes erupt in West Bank after funeral for Palestinian prisoner
Activestills/972mag 25 Feb — Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral on Monday of Arafat Jaradat, 30, who died two days earlier in Israeli custody, while under interrogation by Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet. The funeral took place in his village of Sa‘ir, near Hebron, in the West Bank. According to Palestinian officials, the autopsy showed bruising on his shoulder, chest and elbows, as well as fractures in two of his right ribs, all indications that he died from severe torture. A father of two children, Jaradat was married and and his wife is pregnant. Large numbers of Israeli forces were deployed around Sa‘ir during the funeral. Some clashes erupted after the funeral near the village, along with different cities throughout the West Bank, as well as a massive rally in the Gaza Strip. His death comes amid spreading West Bank protests in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners. Israel has been repeatedly condemned by human rights organizations for the use of torture and ill-treatment against Palestinian prisoners. A petition by human rights organizations requesting the interrogation sessions to be filmed was denied.

Man wounded in Nablus clashes with Israeli soldiers
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — A man was wounded in Nablus late Monday after clashing with Israeli forces, medics said. Muhammad Ibrahim Daraghmeh, 25, was hit in the head by a tear gas canister near Huwwara checkpoint and transferred to Rafida hospital with moderate wounds.

Clashes reported in Bani Neim, near Hebron
IMEMC 26 Feb — Local sources in Bani Ne‘im town, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, reported that Israeli soldiers placed concrete blocks and sands hills at the entrance of the town following clashes with local youths … Clashes have also been reported in Ein Al-Askar area, near the Osama Bin Al-Monqith School that was occupied by the army, and was later turned into a Yeshiva for Jewish settlers … In related news, the army closed the iron gate that was installed at the main entrance of the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. Soldiers invaded the camp and sprayed local youth with waste-water mixed with chemicals.

Army: ‘West Bank violence far from over’
IMEMC 27 Feb — An Israeli military source stated that, what he called, the “cycle of violence” in the occupied West Bank is far from being over despite relative clam that took place Tuesday. He added that the army is preparing for possible escalation. He also stated that it is believed that the Palestinian Authority (P. A.) in the West Bank is trying to contain the situation, and to prevent further escalation, as it is not interested in any escalation. The source further said that the issue of Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel, is “a tactic” used by the Palestinians to delegitimize Israel’s arrest campaigns in the Palestinian territories, adding that Israel believes that its arrests “are essential in countering terrorism”, according to the source.

Fatah: Palestinian Authority supports escalating popular resistance
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — The Palestinian Authority supports and helped organized an escalation in popular resistance in the West Bank, a senior Fatah official said Sunday. “Resistance is a natural right and we agree unanimously on escalating popular resistance,” Azzam al-Ahmad told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen satellite channel. Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said the Palestinian Authority had helped escalate popular resistance in the West Bank.

Abbas says Israel wants chaos
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that Israel was seeking chaos as Israeli forces clashed with protesters across the West Bank for the second day. “The Israelis want chaos … We will not allow them to drag us into it and to mess with the lives of our children and our youth,” Abbas told reporters in his office in Ramallah.

Israel fears new Palestinian uprising could erupt
SE‘EER, West Bank (Reuters) 25 Feb — Masked Palestinian gunmen fired in the air on Monday as thousands marched at the West Bank funeral of a prisoner whose death in an Israeli jail has raised fears in Israel of a new uprising … The sounds and fury were reminiscent of the seven-year Intifada, or uprising, that started in 2000 after Israeli-Palestinian peace talks failed. Israeli Homeland Minister Avi Dichter cautioned that another uprising could begin if confrontations with Palestinian protesters turned deadly … “The previous two Intifadas … came about as a result of a high number of dead (during protests),” Dichter told Israel Radio. “Fatalities are almost a proven recipe for a sharper escalation.”

Palestinian anger may lead to intifada, Hamas official says
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Palestinian anger may lead to a new intifada against Israel, a senior Hamas official said Tuesday. Izzat al-Rishq wrote on his official Facebook page that Israeli aggression is ongoing and causes daily clashes with Palestinians. “Netanyahu’s fear and state of alert is an obvious sign that they are aware of the Palestinian anger that may lead to Intifada,” al-Rishq wrote. Israel fails to respect Palestinian holy sites and suppresses Palestinian rights, he added.

PA, Hamas not interested in escalation
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Feb – A third intifada is not likely to erupt in the occupied West Bank, neither a military confrontation is expected between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, say Palestinian analysts. Two local analysts highlighted Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is not interested in a third intifada, because the results would be disastrous.  Similarly, Hamas is not interested in ending the ceasefire and resuming military confrontation with Israel forces.

UN demands inquiry into Palestinian prisoner death in Israeli custody
MEMO 26 Feb — The United Nations on Monday called for an independent inquiry into the deaths of Palestinian prisoners who have died in Israeli custody. It also warned that mounting tensions could erupt in violence in the Occupied Territories, the AFP said. UN Middle East peace envoy, Robert Serry, made the call in a statement following talks with Palestinian Prime Minister in Ramallah, Salam Fayyad, after the death of Arafat Jaradat at the weekend. Serry noted that Israeli and Palestinian experts had examined the body but said that, “the United Nations expects the autopsy to be followed by an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Jaradat’s death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible.”

Gaza lawyers to strike over prisoner death
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Lawyers in Gaza will go on strike Tuesday to protest the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody, their union announced Monday. Union official Salameh Bseiso told Ma‘an that lawyers would hold a sit in at the union’s office in Gaza City on Tuesday morning. Bseiso said Israeli interrogators had killed 30-year-old Jaradat “in cold blood” and called on international organizations to intervene to protect Palestinian prisoners.

Fatah youth: Send Israel to ICC over prisoner death
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — The Fatah Youth movement on Monday called for Israeli leaders to be tried at the International Criminal Court over the death of a Palestinian detainee … Fatah Youth said in a statement that the torture of Jaradat violated Geneva Conventions and human rights and called for Israeli leaders to be punished.

AOHR calls for recognizing Palestinian detainees as war prisoners
LONDON (PIC) 26 Feb — The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain (AOHR) said that the martyrdom of the Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat in Israeli prisons sheds light on the Israeli torture methods against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories … In light of the increasing Israeli violations against the Palestinian prisoners, the organization stressed, in its statement on Monday, that it is necessary to call on the UN General Assembly to recognize the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails as prisoners of war and to work on their protection.

G4S accused over links to Palestinian torture death jail
PNN — Company told to end complicity with unlawful Israeli detention of prisoners — Monday 25th February, campaigners called for the British private security corporation G4S to be held to account for its involvement with Israel’s unlawful detention of Palestinians, War on Want said in a press release …The charity War on Want demanded that the company withdraws from contracts to supply Israeli prisons, after Arafat Jaradat’s death at Magedo prison, in the wake of his reported torture at the Al Jalameh interrogation centre. It said G4S provided security systems and the central control room at the prison in northern Israel and also equipped the West Bank interrogation centre

Palestinian boy allegedly used as human shield near Ofer
IMEMC 27 Feb — Ramallah, 26 February 2013 — Israeli soldiers forced a young Palestinian boy at gunpoint to walk among them while they confronted Palestinian demonstrators near Ofer prison outside Ramallah on February 17, Defence for Children International Palestine confirmed. Around midday, Mustafa Wahdan, 9, told DCI-Palestine that he was on his way home from his older brother’s car wash service, approximately 300 meters (1000 feet) from Ofer checkpoint, when clashes intensified, forcing him to take shelter in a nearby store. Israeli soldiers saw him enter the shop and rushed after him. They detained Mustafa, ordering him to raise his hands behind his head, and allegedly used him as a human shield for several hours while they fired teargas canisters and rubber bullets at stone-throwing protesters … Mustafa said that one of the soldiers kept his rifle pointed at his back throughout the experience. He was finally let go when his father arrived at the scene and pleaded with the soldiers for his son’s release. “At home, Mustafa was still very scared,” said Mohammad Wahdan, Mustafa’s father. “He was silent and did not have his dinner. In the morning, my wife told me that Mustafa was shaking while he was sleeping. The following night, he wet himself.” The use of human shields is prohibited by international humanitarian law

Israeli police raid school for orphanage in Jerusalem
PNN — On Monday 25th February, Israeli police raided a school for orphanage [orphans] in the old town of Jerusalem and arrested a number of the students under the pretext of “resisting the occupation”, according to Palestinian official news agency WAFA correspondent. He said Israeli police raided the Orphan Islamic School located in the old town of Jerusalem, spreading fear and panic among students, and arrested several of them following confrontations that erupted earlier today between Israeli police and Palestinians near the school.

IOF soldiers storm school, arrest 18 students
NABLUS (PIC) 26 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a secondary school in Til village, Nablus province, and arrested 18 students who were playing football in the school’s playground on Tuesday morning. The Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights quoted an eyewitness as saying that the soldiers burst into the school and detained all those in the playground who were in the age category 17-19 years old. The eyewitness said that the soldiers did not allow the youngsters to wear their ordinary clothes and took them away in the light sports clothes in such a cold weather.

Israeli soldier’s ID found after arson attack in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — The identity card of an Israeli soldier was found Tuesday near the scene of an arson attack in the northern West Bank last week, a local official said. “We found the soldier’s identity card only tens of meters away from one of the torched cars, which means the Israeli army was involved in the attack. Thus, we intend to file a complaint,” the mayor of Qusra village Abdul-Athim al-Wadi told Ma‘an. Armed settlers attacked Qusra village last Thursday and set fire to six cars, Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said.

A history of violence in Qusra: not ‘clashes’ but ‘pogroms’
972mag 24 Feb by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — A group of settlers coming from the direction of one of the most notorious outposts, Esh Kodesh, raided the Palestinian village of Qusra yesterday (Saturday). Some six Palestinians were wounded. The Israeli media reported a ‘clash’ in the village. There wasn’t one. A clash is what happens when two sides of more-or-less equal strength face off with one another. What took place in Qusra is much more similar to the Czarist period and to the American South before the passage of the civil rights laws: a group of bullies attacking a persecuted minority, and then received the protection of law enforcement forces.

IOF soldiers round up 19 Palestinians including two sisters
WEST BANK (PIC) 25 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 19 Palestinian citizens in the past 24 hours in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem including two sisters and a journalist. Local sources said that IOF soldiers nabbed two young men in Burin village, south of Nablus city, at dawn Monday, and two university students in Zawiya village in Salfit province. IOF soldiers also arrested a journalist in al-Khalil city, his father Abdulsamad Shawar said, adding that the soldiers broke into his home and searched it before taking away his son Musab who works with a local radio station. IOF soldiers rounded up six Palestinian young men in Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah, and a youth in Zabuba village in Jenin. Local sources in occupied Jerusalem said that Israeli policemen stationed near to the Aqsa mosque arrested three Jerusalemites at dawn Monday. Amjad Abu Asab, the head of the committee of relatives of Jerusalem prisoners, told the PIC that Israeli forces detained four Palestinians in Issawiye village, two brothers and two sisters.

Army: Israeli forces detain 9 in West Bank raids
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians in raids across the West Bank overnight Sunday, the Israeli army said [why are we taking their word for this?]  Soldiers raided Burin near Nablus, Hebron, al-Bireh and al-Zawiya and detained nine people “for security questioning,” an army spokeswoman told Ma‘an.
Locals in Beit Einun, near Hebron, said soldiers detained Fadi Muhammad Ayaydeh on his way back from hospital, where he had undergone ear surgery. Soldiers assaulted Ayaydeh before detaining him, they added.

IOF arrest 2 Palestinians in al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL, JENIN (PIC) 26 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Tuesday two Palestinian citizens during raids carried out in different parts of al-Khalil [Hebron] Governorate, southern the occupied West Bank. Occupation troops arrested in the town of Dhahiriya south of al-Khalil, a 17-year-old boy after breaking into his house, while they arrested another citizen from the town of Sa‘ir at the Container checkpoint in the north of Bethlehem. IOF searched a Palestinian home in Rabood area south of al-Khalil, while the soldiers confiscated a citizen’s vehicle in al-Fahs district in the south of al-Khalil, and forced its owner to leave the area.
Local sources said that about 12 military vehicles stormed at 4:00 a.m the town of Faqqu‘a, east of the city of Jenin, where the Israeli soldiers broke into and searched civilian houses … The occupation troops have also raided the town of Jalboun east of Jenin, and then launched searches in the old town with no arrests reported. The Israeli aircrafts have been intensively flying over Jenin throughout the night hours.

Jerusalem police arrest Palestinian activist in his Hebrew U. dorm
972mag 26 Feb by Noam Sheizaf — Khalil Gharra has been taking part in daily vigils in support of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. After arresting him in the middle of the night, police fail to present any evidence against him, and he is released without bail. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, armed plainclothes policemen entered Khalil Gharra’s room in the dorms at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The detectives waved a warrant at Gharra and another friend who happened to be there. They searched his room, confiscated a couple of laptops and threw Gharra in a cell at the infamous Russian Compound in Jerusalem. This wasn’t the first time Gharra – who is active in the Balad party’s branch at the University – was harassed by the police. Last year he was put on trial following a protest he took part in; he was acquitted of all charges. According to his lawyer, attorney Alaa Mahajna, police made it clear to Gharra that they would meet again.

Prisoners/ Hunger strikers / Court actions

Lawyer: Israel court hearing for hunger strikers postponed
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — A court hearing for two Palestinian hunger strikers was postponed on Tuesday due to the ill health of both prisoners, a lawyer said. Jawad Boulos, from the Palestinian Prisoners Society, told Ma‘an that Tareq Qaadan and Jafar Azzidine were due to attend a hearing at Ofer’s military court but could not attend to due their health condition. Both prisoners are currently in Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Tel Aviv. The session has been postponed until Wednesday, Boulos said. Azzidine and Qaadan have been on hunger strike for 91 days in protest at their administrative detention, without charge or trial.  Last Thursday, an Israeli court sentenced hunger-striker Samer Issawi to eight months in prison, but he has yet to face a military committee which could imprison him for 20 years.

Hunger strikes escalate – 12 detainees on hunger strike
Some nearing death as the Israeli Prison Service denies Addameer’s lawyers visitation rights– Occupied Ramallah, 26 February 2013 – Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Organization’s Documentation Unit confirmed that the number of prisoners on hunger strike in the Occupation’s jails has increased to twelve. [summary of the situations of the four longest-striking prisoners, as well as discussion of the eight newer ones. List of actions you can take.]

Prisoner released in exchange sentenced to serve the remainder of his prison term
PNN 26 Feb — A prisoner who was released in the October 2011 prisoners exchange between Hamas and Israel was resentenced by an Israeli military court to serve the remaining time of his earlier prison term behind bars, a statement by a prisoners advocacy group said Tuesday. On Monday, the Salem military court sentenced Mahmoud Tayyem, who is from Nablus, to 11 months in prison, 10 months of which are because that was the period left in his earlier 34-month sentence when he was released. The court found Tayyem guilty of violating the terms of his release when he was caught in November inside Israel without a permit and therefore sentenced him to serve the remainder of his sentence plus one month for being in Israel without permit.
A military court had earlier in February sentenced another released prisoner to serve the remaining five years in his earlier 9-year sentence in jail.

Group: Israel transfers 50 prisoners to different jails
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Israeli prison authorities at Ofer jail transferred 50 Palestinian prisoners to other facilities on Monday as punishment, a prisoners group said. The Palestinian Prisoners Society told Ma‘an that the 50 prisoners were transferred to different Israeli jails for carrying out protests. A relative of Arafat Jadarat, who died on Saturday in Megido jail, was put in solitary confinement, the group added.

Gaza activists launch hunger strike to support prisoners
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — Fifteen activists in the Gaza Strip started a hunger strike protest this week to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, local activists said. Three women and 12 men from different Palestinian political factions are taking part in the protest action, which began several days ago, activist Anam Abu Qnais told Ma‘an. Activists have also set up a protest tent outside the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in support of Palestinian prisoners.

Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike tempers [tapers] off
Ynet 25 Feb by Raanan Ben-Zur — The Israel Prison Service said Monday that the majority of Palestinian security prisoners held in Israel have ended their symbolic hunger strike, launched over the death of Arafat Jaradat in Megiddo Prison. However, 1,100 security prisoners held in Megiddo continued to refuse their meals.
The IPS is still dealing with the ongoing hunger strike of two security prisoners and two administrative detainees.Jafar Azzidine and Tareq Hussein have been hospitalized at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Zerifin, while Ayman Sharawna has been admitted to the Soroke Medical Center in Beersheba. Samer Issawi is under the care of his prison’s medical ward. “This is a precaution,” an IPS source said. “If their condition takes a turn for the worst, no one can point the finger at us.”,7340,L-4349123,00.html

Gaza residents visit relatives detained in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 Feb — A group of Gaza residents on Monday visited their relatives detained in Israel, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. An ICRC spokesman told Ma‘an that 62 people left Gaza via the Erez crossing to visit 44 prisoners in Nafha jail. In July, Israel allowed the first visits to prisoners from Gaza in five years.

Palestinian political prisoners: an example of Israeli’s culture of impunity
PNN 25 Feb — A fact sheet issued by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department regards Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli Jails — Since Israel’s occupation of Palestine in 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinians have been detained under Israeli military orders. This constitutes over 20% of the total Palestinian population located therein, including 40% of the male population in the State of Palestine. Currently, around 4,700 Palestinian political prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons or detentions camps, including around 200 minors and 15 women. From the total number of prisoners, 15 are elected Palestinian officials, including members of parliament Marwan Bargouthi and Ahmad Saadat. The majority of Palestinian political prisoners are charged with offenses under Israeli military orders which employ a very broad and loose definition of “security concerns” that bans even political expression.

Witnessing farce and cruelty in an Israeli military court
EI 25 Feb by Isabel Skrine — I have never been in a courtroom or a jail before now. I cannot draw a direct comparison to anything I know from the UK. But I am certain that the court hearing of Stop the Wall youth coordinator Hassan Karajah on 14 February at Jalameh military court near Haifa was not like anything I could have come across in the UK.

Gaza siege

Israel breaches truce 820 times in three months
MEMO 26 Feb — Human rights organisations have revealed that Israel has breached its ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians on more than 800 occasions since it was signed last November. In stark contrast, the Palestinians have broken the truce just twice. Data based on reports produced by the United Nations, the Israeli Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement (GISHA) and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, as well as Israeli and Palestinian media outlets, found that the three months old ceasefire is not being taken seriously by the Israeli occupation authorities. According to the data sources, four Palestinian civilians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since November and 91 have been wounded. In the West Bank, meanwhile, six Palestinians have been killed by Israel, with 618 wounded. A breakdown of the statistics shows that 63 attacks and 13 incursions were carried out by the Israelis in several areas of the Gaza Strip. Israel detained nine people from Gaza during the incursions.At sea off the Gaza coast, the Israeli navy has carried out 30 attacks on fishing boats belonging to Palestinian fishermen, resulting in several casualties.

UN official quick to condemn rockets fired into Israel
PNN 26 Feb — United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, was quick to condemn the apparent firing of two rockets from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday, 26 [February]. Israeli police said one rocket fired from Gaza landed in a street in the coastal city of Asqalan and apparently a second one fell in an open area. Neither caused any injury or damage. In a statement issued by Serry’s Jerusalem office, the UN official said he was “deeply troubled by resumed indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, which is totally unacceptable.” This is the first report of any rockets being firing into Israel since the Egyptian-brokered November ceasefire that ended eight days of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas: Missile fired at Israel not launched from Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — A Hamas spokesman on Tuesday denied reports that a rocket fired at southern Israel was launched from the Gaza Strip. “This is only a lie. None of the Gaza Strip factions claimed responsibility for firing that missile, and the government is checking all the details,” Ehab al-Ghussein said in a statement … Earlier Monday, a rocket hit a road near the southern city of Ashkelon, Israeli police said. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated with Fatah, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, a statement from the group said.

Israel closes Gaza border crossings after rocket strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Israeli authorities closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday, after a rocket was fired from the coastal territory, a Palestinian border official said.

Cairo court: Egypt-Gaza tunnels must be destroyed
CAIRO (Reuters) 26 Feb — A Cairo court ruled on Tuesday the government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, removing a route for smuggled weapons but also a lifeline for Palestinians. Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood has close ties with the Hamas Islamists that run Gaza, but many Egyptians fear the enclave is a security risk for Egypt. Leftist lawyers said they brought the case with activists to force the government’s hand.

Experts detonate unexploded ordnance from Gaza war
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Explosive experts in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday detonated unexploded ordnance left behind from Israel’s war on the territory in November, Gaza’s deputy police chief said. Zuhair Shahin told Ma‘an that experts collected the unexploded devices and detonated them in an open area near Khan Younis, south Gaza. In January, a seven-year-old child was killed when a suspected ordnance exploded in south Gaza. Several other people have been wounded by explosive devices left behind from Israeli attacks.

Video: Gaza Strip opens first recycling plant in green push
BBC 26 Feb — The Gaza Strip’s first recycling plant has opened in Rafah, close to the Egyptian border, as part of an initiative to help clear piles of rubbish that ring the city. Officials say that if not dealt with the waste could constitute a public health hazard. Rashid Sekkai reports.

Gaza government to fund housing projects for employees
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — The Hamas government in Gaza announced Tuesday that it is building new houses for public sector employees, an official said. Abdul Fattah al-Zrai, a Ministry of Economy official, said 120 housing units are being planned at a cost of $1 million.The government will help employees pay for their new homes with a series of loans

Israeli racism

VIDEO: ‘An Arab is the son of a prostitute, a Jew is a (blessed) soul — Jerusalem mob chants
Mondoweiss 25 Feb by Philip Weiss — From Ofer Neiman, a short video of a mob in Jerusalem last night. I don’t know what occasioned this outburst (beyond the fact that such racism is the inevitable expression of fervent nationalism).

‘You shouldn’t touch Jews’
Occupation News Email report from Dorit Jordan Dotan — …I did not see what started the disturbance, but suddenly there was shouting. A group of three or four religious young women (from what I could see of how they were dressed) and the Arab woman were shouting at each other. Suddenly one of the Jewish women punched the Arab woman, and the rest of the Jewish women started to hit and shove her as well. The Arab woman began to fight back, and the Jewish women as a group began to beat her in earnest. The Jewish women kicked the Arab woman and tore off her headscarf. The train guard stood right by them with a smile on his face, and did absolutely nothing. A man that had been standing next to the Arab woman waiting for the train tried to break up the fight, and tried to hold the Arab woman back. One of the Jewish women began shouting, “You shouldn’t touch Jews! Since when do you touch Jews?!”

Protestors decry racism after attack on Jaffa man
JPost 25 Feb by Ben Hartman — Calling to fight racism in Tel Aviv and across the country, some 100 people gathered on the city’s beachfront promenade on Monday, near where more than a dozen youths savagely beat an Israeli-Arab man the previous day. The rally was attended by MKs Dov Henin (Hadash), Stav Shaffir (Labor) and Tamar Zandberg and Esawi Freige, both from Meretz. Freige, from Kafr Kasim, said the attack on 40-year-old Hassan Ausruf was “a direct result of the political racism we are living with in Israel.” Such attacks “start at the top,” Freige said, and can be linked to statements by political leaders such as Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who famously referred to Arab MKs as “Zoabis,” in a reference to MK Haneen Zoabi of the Balad party. He expressed agreement with Jaffa youth activist Abed Abu Shehada, who said at the gathering that Israeli Arabs live without a sense of personal security and that “police are just a private security company for the Jews; there are no police for the Arab sector.”

Photos: Settlers mock Palestinian hunger strikers and Israeli soldiers dress up as Palestinian fighters
EI 27 Feb by Ali Abunimah — Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim by mocking Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for their rights in Israel’s jails. Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier has posted images online of himself and his comrades dressed up as Palestinian resistance fighters …
Hebron parade mocks Palestinian prisoners, glorifies banned violent, racist group — A video of the Purim parade in Hebron was posted on YouTube, as Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have intensified protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners after the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody and amid the ongoing struggles of hunger strikers. In the video, Israeli far-right anti-Arab activist Itamar Ben-Gvir is dressed up as a “Palestinian prisoner” and has this brief exchange of words:

Israel secretly expelled 1,000 Sudanese: report
Al-Akhbar 26 Feb — Israel has secretly repatriated more than 1,000 Sudanese immigrants over the past several months in violation of a UN charter on refugees, Haaretz reported Tuesday. The refugees were likely to face persecution upon their return to Sudan, which has issued stern warning to its citizens against visiting Israel, the newspaper said, citing official sources. Israeli officials said the immigrants, who were in detention prior to their expulsion, had voluntarily agreed to be deported. But the UN High Commissioner on Refugees rejected that claim, saying that there is no “free will from inside a prison,” according to the Haaretz report.

Court: Eritrean torture victim must remain in jail
972mag 25 Feb by Asaf Weitzen — It is clear that through its decision to leave the asylum seeker in custody, the court refused to recognized his particular situation. Thus, it rejected the possibility that will forever remain open before us: the possibility – which is both an obligation and a right — to discover compassion … Among the explanations given in the decision is a phrase, according to which recognition of a victim of torture on humanitarian grounds, which justifies release from prison, is likely to cause severe consequences. Not in relation to Israeli citizens, rather — and pay attention — regarding asylum seekers themselves: “It appears to me that recognizing [victims of] torture like those described by the appellant as a justifiable circumstance for release from custody, is likely to lead an increase in the phenomenon of torture and to a deterioration, and even to the creation of a phenomenon among infiltrators of self-inflicted harm. And that, in this case, is not desirable.”


Yarmouk activist describes ‘atrocious’ state of war-torn camp in Syria
BEIRUT (EI) 26 Feb by Moe Ali Nayel –…Palestinians shaped the camp into a vibrant hub for commerce, arts, business and politics. The camp was known as a safe haven for political fugitives and for the organization of underground political movements who had a tense relationship with the Syrian regime. Another specific feature of Yarmouk was the influence of its Palestinian cultural scene that attracted many Syrians into the camp. Yarmouk did not merely remain as a camp or a shanty town but it flourished to become a small city with a vibrant Palestinian scene. Today, almost two years after Syrians took to the streets in protest against the regime, the camp is caught up in a war between Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel forces and the Syrian government security forces. Of the 135,000 Palestinians who lived inside the camp, only 40,000 now remain, says Abu Nasser.

Action group: Two Palestinian kids killed in a new spate of attacks
DAMASCUS (PIC) 26 Feb — The action group for the Palestinians in Syria said that two Palestinian children were killed in projectile attacks in Al-Yarmouk refugee camp and Al-Qaboun neighborhoods in Damascus. The action group stated that a 14-year old girl named Amira Sharaf from Al-Yarmouk camp died of serious wounds she sustained when the Syrian regime forces shelled Al-Arrouba street. Another child named Mohamed Al-Hindi from Al-Qaboun neighborhood was also killed when a projectile fell near the two UNRWA schools, Tantura for boys and Shafa Amro for girls.

European institutions launch aid convoy to Palestinian camps in Syria
BRUSSELS (PIC) 25 Feb — Palestinian organizations and groups throughout the European continent declared a number of humanitarian aid coveys in March to Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, which suffer a difficult crisis due to the deteriorating security situation.

Lebanon camps to strike in solidarity with prisoners
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon will go on general strike on Thursday in solidarity with prisoners on long-term hunger strikes in Israeli jails, a statement from factions in the country said. Palestinian political leaders in Lebanon met at the PLO’s embassy in Beirut on Tuesday and announced that refugees would take part in solidarity activities at 11 a.m. on Thursday, including marches and sit-in protests outside UN headquarters in the Lebanese capital.

Political, economic news

Israel transfers 350 M. NIS to P.A.
IMEMC 26 Feb — Israeli media sources reported Monday that Israel has officially transferred 350 million New Israeli Shekels (NIS) to the Palestinian Authority. The money is Palestinian tax money Israel collects on border terminal on behalf of P.A. in the West Bank … The amount is the total amount transferred to the P.A. after Israel deducted 77 M. NIS as part of Palestinian debts owed to the Israeli regional power and water companies.
Israel collects Palestinian Tax money of border terminals as the P.A. does not control, or even have any presence, on borders in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, a senior official at the Palestinian Finance Ministry reported that the money Israel collects on behalf of P.A. is approximately 500 million a month, and that Israel charges the P.A. 3% interest. The official added that Israel usually deducts around 100 million a month without consulting the P.A. He further stated that part of the money Israel deducts goes for bills, including medical treatment of Palestinians transferred to Israeli hospitals, in addition to compensation cases ruled by Israeli courts against the Palestinians.

Official:  PA to pay public sector salaries this week
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Feb — The Palestinian Authority will pay the remainder of January salaries for civil servants on Tuesday and Wednesday, the PA Finance Ministry said. Last week, public sector workers received a portion of their January wages as an ongoing financial crisis prevents the PA from paying full salaries on time.

Teachers reject union decision to stop strike
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Many West Bank teachers disagreed with the teachers’ union decision to cancel a general strike announced Saturday in protest against the government’s failure to pay salaries regularly … Several teachers opposed the decision, saying they won’t abide by it.

Hamas asked for postponing meeting with Fatah scheduled for Wednesday
CAIRO (PIC) 25 Feb — Dr. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and head of Hamas’ delegation for the reconciliation talks, announced that Hamas has asked to postpone the reconciliation meeting, scheduled for next Wednesday with Fatah movement. Hamas’ decision came after a verbal attack on the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, by the head of Fatah parliamentary bloc and head of its delegation to the reconciliation talks, Azzam al-Ahmed.

Obama plans to ‘listen’, not present Mideast peace plan: Kerry
BERLIN (Reuters) 26 Feb — President Barack Obama will not bring a peace plan to Israel and the Palestinian Territories next month, but rather intends to listen, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday. Obama’s plan to visit has raised speculation of a new U.S. push to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, stalled since 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. But Kerry, speaking to German students during his first foreign trip as Washington’s top diplomat, played down expectations.

‘Assad’s army has fled entire area bordering Israel’
Times of Israel 25 Feb by Elhanan Miller — Rebels now control the whole Syrian side of the Golan, activist tells Times of Israel; fighters refrain from taking Quneitra crossing for fear of political ramifications

Analysis / Opinion / Human interest

Palestinians wielding new power against Israeli rule / Larry Derfner
972mag 26 Feb — Threat of Palestinian Authority’s collapse forces Netanyahu, who has humiliated Abbas and his people as often as possible, to try to placate them — At the beginning of this week, when Palestinian riots threatened to get out of hand, especially if one of the hunger-striking prisoners died, what did Netanyahu do? He gave in. He announced on Sunday he was giving the Palestinian Authority its customs taxes for January, which he’d held back to punish Mahmoud Abbas for winning recognition for Palestinian statehood at the UN last November. Palestinians throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, PA security troops do nothing to stop them – and Bibi Netanyahu immediately rewards them with a hundred million dollars! (That’s how he would frame it if some other prime minister had done what he just did.) What’s going on here? Answer: Netanyahu is scared. What he’s scared of most, I think, is that the PA will collapse, or effectively collapse, meaning it will stop playing Israel’s collaborator by keeping a tight lid on Palestinian rebellion, and thereby force Israeli troops to go back into the cities, villages and refugee camps of the West Bank and do all the dirty work themselves – 24/7, just like they did before the Oslo Accords.

How Israel legitimizes torturing Palestinians to death / Charlotte Silver
Al Jazeera 25 Feb — Israel’s policy of torture has left many dead and completely lacks accountability — Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility. Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back. When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health. What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

Palestinian books sit in Israeli library / Sara Hussein
AFP 26 Feb — As war came to Jerusalem in May 1948, Palestinian Omar Saleh Barghouti fled his home, leaving behind hundreds of his books, including years worth of his diaries. He would never see them again. Unknown to him, as the battle over the creation of the Jewish state raged, teams of Israeli librarians and soldiers were collecting tens of thousands of books from Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and elsewhere — including 256 from Barghouti’s home in the Katamon neighbourhood. For Israel, the effort was a way to preserve books which would eventually be returned to their owners. But for the Palestinians, it was theft. Omar’s granddaughter Rasha Barghouti remembers his stories about his books. “He was a lawyer who had an office on Jaffa Street,” she told AFP. “He used to write a lot — his diaries, the history of Palestine, of Palestinian families, the Jordanian regime, the tribal law.” After two years in exile in Egypt, Barghouti moved to the West Bank city of Ramallah, reaching out to Jewish friends in what was now Israel to try and get his books back. “He explained when you lose your furniture, household items, you can replace them. But with his books, it was really as if he lost the woman he loved most in his life,” she said. His experience mirrored that of other Palestinians who lost their book collections, including intellectual Khalil Sakakini, who wrote longingly about his books from exile in Egypt.

In eyes of the world, Palestinians are ‘subhuman’ / Haidar Eid
Al-Akhbar 24 Feb — Article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It does not, however, say “with the exception of Palestinians.”  But we, 11 million Palestinians, know very well that we are the exception to that rule. Whether we are “Israeli Arabs,” “Arabs of the occupied territories,” or diasporic Arabs, we cannot have the same rights as “all human beings.” Others have the right to life, work, security, health, movement, democracy, education, electricity, water, medicine, food, love, marriage. We don’t. Any attempt to understand the rationale behind these blatant human rights violations — what Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, John Dugard, and many others call apartheid — is faced with accusations of anti-Semitism, a weapon used to silence voices calling for justice in the Middle East.

Look who’s talking in this Oscar-nominated documentary / Christopher Wallenberg
NEW YORK (Boston Globe) 23 Feb — As “The Gatekeepers” director Dror Moreh is fond of saying, the power of his Oscar-nominated documentary derives not only from what the subjects of the film have to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but from who is delivering those words. Moreh’s film, which opens in the Boston area on Friday and is vying for best documentary feature at Sunday’s Academy Awards, centers on the six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency (also known as Shabak), which handles intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations. Observations like “You can’t make peace through military means” or “We win every battle but we lose the war” don’t seem particularly jaw-dropping at first blush. But your ears perk up when these candid insights and moral qualms are uttered by six steely spy masters who toiled for an agency known for its secretive and ruthless ways … Having never spoken about the conflict on camera before, the former Shin Bet chiefs illuminate the long-term strategic and moral price that’s been paid by Israel for its decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories. Frank yet guarded, defiant yet regretful, compassionate yet cruel, they offer fascinating analysis and surprising, even disturbing revelations from their tenures. We also see the toll that the job took on their psyches. But what’s most jarring is that the film’s central message– that the prolonged Palestinian occupation is both ineffective and unjust — emanates from what Moreh calls “the center of the defense establishment.”

Israel’s seventh gatekeeper / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 26 Feb — The head of the Shin Bet security service has to decide right now how to stop the next intifada — Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen didn’t appear in the documentary “The Gatekeepers,” a fact that gives us hope for next year’s Oscars. Until he retires and is discovered by a filmmaker, he continues to serve as a gatekeeper. He’s responsible for making sure that the decision-makers know about a danger in time, and he’s responsible for preventing it. His powers are very broad, though not unlimited … But he’s the man who has to decide carefully when his decisions themselves constitute a security threat.
Cohen is the man who decided whether to arrest Samer Issawi last August after he had been released in the deal in which abducted soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for 477 Palestinian prisoners. He was also the man who decided whether and how to interrogate Arafat Jaradat, who died in Megiddo Prison last week. He’s also the one who will have to handle the results of these decisions before they trigger an intifada. Cohen can no longer be satisfied with putting the mess he made on the government’s doorstep and waiting for our non-government to find a solution.

WATCH ‘5 Broken Cameras’ online – subtitled in English

Emad Burnat’s Oscar speech: ‘We are seeking freedom and peace — for my son Gibreel and his generation
Mondoweiss 25 Feb by Adam Horowitz — The following image is circulating on Twitter. It hasn’t been confirmed as the speech Emad Burnat would have given had 5 Broken Cameras won the Oscar for best Feature Documentary, but I think it looks legit. What an incredible moment it would have been:

West Bank villagers whose struggle won Oscar nomination watch ceremony around campfire
AP/CP 25 Feb — This wasn’t your typical Oscar viewing party. In the West Bank village whose struggle to regain land taken by Israel was portrayed in an Oscar-nominated documentary, activists huddled around a campfire before dawn Monday to watch the ceremony. For added symbolism, they pinned the screen to a tent just meters (yards) away from Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, which cut off the village of Bil‘in from much of its land. Some smoked water pipes, huddled in sleeping bags or warmed their hands over the fire as actors in gowns and tuxedos performed on a stage half-way around the world. The documentary, “5 Broken Cameras,” did not win, and some said they were disappointed. But protest organizer Abdullah Abu Rahma says the Oscar nomination gave Bil‘in’s struggle a big push.

The Palestinian uprising was written on Hollywood’s red carpet
Haaretz 25 Feb by Barak Ravid — While neither local documentary won an Oscar this year, the hoopla surrounding the films helped wake Israelis up to the ugly reality of the occupation — There is nothing further from the reality in the West Bank than the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Although they are a 16-hour flight apart, the two worlds were briefly brought together on Sunday night. On Israeli television, reports about the protests in Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah were intermingled with predictions of Dror Moreh, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s Oscar prospects. Perhaps this night – filled with tear gas in one place and tuxedos and evening gowns in the other – actually articulated the reality of the occupation better than most. For those who were paying attention, the red carpet blared a warning of the outbreak of a third intifada.

Michael Moore goes off on Buzzfeed for ‘lame’ and ‘shoddy’ story on detained Palestinian Oscar nominee
Mediaite 26 Feb by Matt Wilstein — Filmmaker Michael Moore has been lashing out at BuzzFeed on Twitter over the last 24 hours after the site published an article Monday accusing Moore of over-hyping a situation that occurred last week at Los Angeles International Airport. Last Wednesday, Moore sent out a series of tweets discussing the apparent detention of Emad Burnat, the Palestinian director of the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras … Several days later, BuzzFeed’s Tessa Stuart wrote that “sources” (plural) at LAX “challenged Moore’s account of the events, calling the allegations that Burnat was detained ‘baloney’ and asserting the whole thing was an elaborate publicity stunt for the film.” (listserv) (archive)


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

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  1. Kathleen on February 27, 2013, 10:56 am

    Young boy Odai Sarhan is near death at Hadassah hospital
    PNN — On Tuesday 26th February, sources confirmed to PNN that the 12-year-old boy Odai Sarhan from ‘Aida Refugee camp in Bethlehem, who was shot by a bullet in his head, is no longer breathing on his own in Hadassah Hospital. His condition is very critical. Medical personnel are doing all they can to keep him alive, but recovery is unlikely. Israeli soldiers fired bullets toward the Palestinian protesters during clashes yesterday at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, hitting the boy Sarhan in his head. The boy was transferred to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Sources said that soldiers prevented the medical crews from reaching the boy to provide him with the needed medical treatment before he was transferred to the hospital.”


    • annie on February 27, 2013, 11:11 pm

      sometimes it seems too much to bear kathleen. a child.

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