VIDEO — Gaza: première visite de famille en prison
ICRC [Red Cross] Films 1 July — En mai Fatma Abu Khatlah a emmené ses deux fils voir leur père dans une prison israélienne. Pour le petit Mohanned c’était la première fois qu’il allait voir son père, détenu depuis 2008 et condamné à une peine de 9 ans et demie de prison … Au début, seuls les conjoints et les parents avaient le droit de rendre visite à leurs proches, mais depuis mai 2013 les enfants de moins de 8 ans sont aussi autorisés à rendre visite à leurs pères. Les visites des familles sont émotionnellement essentielles pour les détenus et leurs familles.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Israeli wall creates limbo for seam zone Palestinians
Al-Monitor 2 July by Lena Odgaard — The land between the 1967 armistice line, the so-called Green Line, and the separation barrier being built by Israel in and around the West Bank is referred to as the seam zone. Many of the Palestinians living there hold West Bank ID cards, but their homes are on the western, or “Israeli side,” of the barrier. While some have received Jerusalem identification cards allowing them to stay in their homes and move freely in Israel and the West Bank, others have only the West Bank permit, making them technically illegal in their own homes. Two such people are Ruqayya and her mother Kefayah. When the wall was built through the village of Hizma, north of Jerusalem, their family’s three houses were separated from the rest of the village. “We are stuck here. We live disconnected from the world because no one can visit [our homes] without getting a permit to cross the checkpoint,” Kefayah told Al-Monitor at her daughter’s house. She added that when she had to go to the hospital urgently last year, she had to be carried to the Hizma checkpoint because Palestinian cars and ambulances are not allowed in the seam zone.
House demolitions leave four families unsheltered in Khirbet ‘Atuf
[with photos] Khirbet ‘Atuf, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 2 July by Nablus Team — On Thursday 27th June, beginning at 9 AM, Israeli military bulldozers demolished the homes and structures of four families in the village of Khirbet ‘Atuf, a shepherding village east of Tammun in Tubas Governorate. One man was taken to the hospital in Nablus after being physically beaten while attempting to protect his family from Israeli soldiers. Another man had his vehicle confiscated by Israeli authorities, and the total cost of his lost property totals $13,000 USD, not a small sum for a shepherding family. While Israeli authorities usually provide demolition notices to the families whose homes they are destroying, these families were given none. Other villagers fear that the demolitions of their own homes may come without notice at any moment …
Weekly military training exercises occur in the village, and the residents are forced to leave their homes during the duration of these exercises by the military. Unexploded ordnance (UXO), which the Israeli military is infamous for leaving behind during its 2006 war with Lebanon and the US military during its imperialist war in Vietnam, Laos, and, Cambodia, has been left behind in the village as a result of these military exercises. When these bombs are disturbed incidentally, they explode, and have caused thirty villagers to lose their limbs. Since 1970, fourteen villagers have died as a result of these exercises.
The pen is mightier than an arbitrary eviction order
Haaretz 1 July by Amira Hass — When prominent authors express their shock at a plan to expel Palestinians to make way for a live fire training zone, perhaps the Supreme Court will finally sit up and take notice — Did David Grossman’s enthralling op-ed (“The highway, the village and the road not taken,” June 26) entice the Supreme Court justices to hint that they would issue stop-work orders for the Beit Safafa highway if the Jerusalem municipality fails to invest a little money to diminish the harm caused to the village’s residents? – Out of the generosity of his heart, Barak ordered the expulsion of the residents of ‘only’ eight villages. A glance at the map explains this gesture: Some land surrounding the four lucky villages that were spared has been taken up by illegal and unauthorized Jewish outposts. Even seasoned prosecutors would have a hard time explaining to the High Court why a Jewish outpost can continue to flourish in a firing zone, while a Palestinian village must be razed. Alongside the heroic residents, who are determined not to leave their homes despite the persecution, stand Israeli organizations such as Ta‘ayush, Rabbis for Human Rights, B’Tselem, Bimkom and Breaking the Silence.
Israeli forces confiscate cattle in northern Jordan Valley
TUBAS, July 2, 2013 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday confiscated cattle belonging to Palestinians in al-Malih and Bedouins’ grazing fields in the Northern Jordan Valley, according to local sources. Head of Al-Maleh village council, Aref Daraghmeh, said in a statement that forces confiscated six cows, imposed huge fines on the owners in order to retrieve them and prevented Palestinians from reaching the grazing fields under the pretext of ‘conservation of natural areas’. Israeli soldiers previously confiscated around 25 cows, transferred them to a military camp and also imposed huge fines on Palestinians to retrieve them.
IOF delivers demolition notices in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 1 July — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) delivered four demolition notifications in Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday. Aref Daraghme, the Malih municipality chairman, said in a press release that the soldiers served the notices to four citizens living on the outskirts of Bardala village. He charged that the IOF targets that village on daily basis as soldiers and Jewish settlers routinely assault citizens and their properties. Daraghme pointed out in this respect to the IOF confiscation of a truck a few days ago that was loaded with tents and relief assistance to citizens whose homes were destroyed by the IOF.
Israeli plan to expand Mevo Huron settlement
RAMALLAH (PIC) 1 July — The District Committee for Planning and Building revealed its intention to expand Mevo Huron settlement built on Palestinian lands in Latrun area. Dr. Khalil Tufkaji, Chairman of Maps Department at the Arab Studies Society, stated that mentioned area was occupied since 1967 where Yalu and Emmaus villages were destroyed and its residents were displaced before the cease-fire. Tufkaji said that a part of Qalqilya and Beit Awwa were destroyed also during that period. The occupying forces have confiscated 58 square kilometers after destroying the two villages. The Palestinian expert pointed out to the establishment of new settlement in the area as part of the Israeli Judization scheme to build the Jewish neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.
Court rules Machpelah house lawfully purchased
Ynet 1 July by Itamar Fleishman — A year and three months after the eviction of Hebron‘s Machpelah house, a military court appeals committee ruled that the house was lawfully purchased. It thus rejected claims by the Civil Administration and Defense Ministry that there were irregularities with the purchase. The decision will pave the way for the settlers’ return to the house but is still subject to the authorization of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The Machpelah house first caught public attention last April when settlers moved into it in the middle of the night claiming they legally bought the property. Several days later, after having received visits by rightist ministers and Knesset members, the house was evicted on the orders of then Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Journal: Bedouins outside Jerusalem face violence and threats of expulsion
‘Anata, Jerusalem (ISM) 1 July by Ramallah Team — The Bedouin community of ‘Anata suffers daily from the consequences of living just underneath the Apartheid Wall of East Jerusalem; the community is considered unwanted by the Israelis, and is therefore a victim of attacks and harassment. In addition, their unique location between two major settlements, Almon and Ma’ale Adumim and the Palestinian village of ‘Anata means that the Bedouin people living there are caught in the middle of the weekly clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli occupation forces … They told us about the insecurity of living close to the wall, which became apparent by the sight of Israeli rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters lying everywhere in the village. These violations are especially critical because three quarters of the Bedouin villagers are children, who don’t have places to hide, because of the fragile housing conditions. In addition, the animals held by the villagers are suffering from the same conditions as a result of the numerous tear gas attacks. The Israeli occupation forces often enter the village to arrest Bedouins for apparently made up accusations. For example, they have accused the villagers of stealing horses, even though it was obvious that no one in the village held horses. The Bedouin parents expressed concerns about their children getting accused for the actions of the Palestinian shabab (protesting youth). Especially on Fridays, violent clashes between the Palestinian shabab and the Israeli forces take place in the Bedouin villages, even though the villagers explicitly has declared that they don’t want to take part. Therefore, the items thrown by both parties often hit the villagers: stones from the shabab and tear gas, rubber bullets, etc from the Israeli army.
Peddling the myth of the Bedouin ‘take-over’
Haaretz 1 July by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours — In 1963, Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan said, of the state’s Bedouin citizens: “We should transform the Bedouins into an urban proletariat… This would be a revolution, but it may be fixed within two generations. Without coercion but with governmental direction… this phenomenon of the Bedouins will disappear.” Several decades later, Israel’s policy towards its Bedouin citizens has changed very little. And as the country pushes ahead with legislation that aims to rip the Bedouin from their rich ancestral traditions and way of life, Dayan’s vision of turning the Bedouin into a wholly urbanized and “modern” population finally seems to be materializing … The assertion that the Bedouin are “taking over” the Negev — and thus must be contained in urban townships, as prescribed under the Prawer-Begin plan — is one of the most destructive, government-peddled myths. The Bedouin constitute 30 percent of the Negev population, and are seeking recognition on only 5.4 percent of the land. Recognizing Bedouin communities where they are now is not only just, but entirely feasible. Yet this is not what the Israeli government wants, or promotes.
Palestinians forced to rely on food aid
Sydney Morning Herald 23 June by Ruth Pollard — Power lines supplying electricity to the Israeli settlement of Carmel pass right over the tiny Bedouin village of Umm al-Khair, where residents struggle without the basics, forced to live off the grid while their neighbours flourish. Many structures in the village are under threat of demolition from Israeli authorities, which means it cannot expand to accommodate its growing population, the villagers say. Housing is mostly tents and a few concrete structures, and residents use a donkey to carry water from a small pipe nearby that they share with a handful of other villages that are home to about 5000 people. School is held in a tent, a small library is housed in a disused bus and it is a daily challenge for the 23 families of Umm al-Khair to put food on the table. These villagers make up some of the 1.6 million people classed as “food insecure” throughout the West Bank and Gaza, representing 34 per cent of households in Palestine, according to new research by the UN World Food Program. Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the World Food Program, says the rise in households going hungry, up 7 per cent from a year ago, is driven by Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis, and the high unemployment rates.
Israeli company to set up ‘market rooftop deck’ for tourists in J’lem Old City
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 2 July — The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the Israeli company for the reconstruction and development of the Jewish quarter intends to establish a tourist saloon over the roofs of Palestinian commercial stores in Al-Lahhamin and Attarin markets in the old city of occupied Jerusalem. The Aqsa foundation stated on Tuesday that this plan is a Judaization project par excellence and falls within the all-out Judaization campaign that is executed by the Israeli municipal authority in Jerusalem and its business partners.
Israel’s apathetic hunt for ‘price tag’ attackers
Haaretz 1 July by Don Futterman — Israel’s extensive security apparatus has been deployed to remarkable effect against Palestinian terrorists, so why haven’t the ‘price-tag’ thugs been brought in? The answers don’t do us much credit — “Price-tag” attacks have swept through the Jerusalem area this June, leaving the Arab neighborhoods and villages of Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Hanina and Abu Ghosh defaced by racist graffiti, vandalized tombstones and torched vehicles. Of these, Abu Ghosh has a special place in Israeli consciousness, the village having sided with the Jews ever since the War of Independence. This incident brought out the big guns: a denunciation from the prime minister and a solidarity delegation led by President Shimon Peres. Only a day earlier, the government decided not to term “price tag” attacks as acts of terror, designating perpetrators instead as members of an illegal organization, which supposedly would grant the police additional powers to combat the phenomenon. But this was glitter to dazzle apathetic Knesset members. Price tag thugs do not necessarily belong to any organization, and our security forces have always had the means to stop these attacks; what they lack is the will and the political backing.
Price Tag op goes awry
Times of Israel 1 July by Adiv Sterman — A sunflower field belonging to a settler was uprooted and destroyed by Jewish extremists who mistakenly identified it as Palestinian-owned. The field’s actual owner, a resident of Hebron, initially thought that the vandalism had been carried out by local Palestinians and filed a complaint with police, Channel 10 news reported on Sunday. A short while later, however, the property owner received an anonymous apology letter from the perpetrators, saying that his field wasn’t meant to have been the target of their machinations, and that they’d assumed it belonged to Palestinians. The letter explained that, had they known it was Jewish-owned property, they wouldn’t have laid a finger on it. The letter’s remorseful authors attached a NIS 200 bill ($55) to the envelope as symbolic redress for the field owner’s losses, the report said. After launching an investigation into the matter, police arrested two men from the settlement of Bat Ayin in the Etzion Bloc on suspicion that they had carried out the failed ‘Price Tag’ attack.
Interview with Ilan Pappé: ‘The Zionist goal from the very beginning was to have as much Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians in it as possible’
[with maps, photos] Haifa, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 2 July — Ilan Pappé is an Israeli academic and activist. He is currently a professor at the University of Exeter (UK) and is well known for being one of the Israeli “new historians” — re-writing the Zionist narrative of the Palestinian Israeli situation. He has publicly spoken out against Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing of Palestine and condemned the Israeli occupation and apartheid regime. He has also supported the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, calling for the international community to take action against Israel’s Zionist policies. Activists from the International Solidarity Movement had the opportunity to talk to Professor Pappé about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israeli politics and society and the role of the international community and solidarity activists in Palestine, resulting in a three part series of interviews which will be released on the ISM website in the coming weeks. This is the first section; the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Attacks on religious sites
Israel police nab second man over monastery attack
JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 July — Israeli police on Tuesday arrested a second suspect in connection with a vandalism attack on a Catholic monastery last year, a spokesman said. During the incident, which took place in September 2012, vandals set fire to the door of the Trappist monastery in Latrun and scrawled “Jesus is a monkey” on a nearby wall in an attack which shocked the religious and political establishment. The perpetrators also scrawled the names of several settlement outposts on a nearby wall, the hallmark of a so-called “price tag” hate crime carried out by Jewish extremists. One man was arrested in connection with the attack on Sunday and following his interrogation, police were tipped off about a second suspect who was arrested earlier on Tuesday, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Rosenfeld said the suspect was from the Beit El settlement near Ramallah and was due to appear before Rishon LeTzion Magistrates Court later in the day. On Monday, the same court had extended by four days the remand in custody of the first suspect, 22-year-old Moshe Orbach from Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv. The Trappist abbey of Latrun lies just inside the West Bank, very close to the 1949 armistice line, and is one of the most famous monastic sites of the Holy Land.
J’lem: Fire near monastery extinguished; police suspect arson
Ynet 2 July by Noam (Dabul) Dvir — Fire broke out Tuesday in capital’s Valley of Cross, prompting evacuation of nearby monastery. Firefighters manage to control flames; police suspect fire was result of arson
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Illegal arrests
Israel admits to kidnapping Palestinian from Egypt
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 1 July — An Israeli court issued a ruling forbidding any publication of news concerning the kidnap of Palestinian citizen Wael Abu Reida from Egypt last month. The Israeli attorney general told Reuters that he received papers of Abu Reida’s case on 22nd June and assigned lawyer Kamal Al-Zaydne to defend him in court. When the agency phoned Zaydne he said that the case was of security nature rather than a homicide, adding that he did not know how Zaydne was transferred to Israel.
The lawyer would not elaborate further citing the court’s restriction order. Abu Reida, who lives in Khuza‘a town to the east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, had traveled to Egypt for medical treatment when he was abducted there, his wife, who was with him, said.
Clashes in Dura after man killed by Israel forces
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 July — Clashes broke out in the Hebron town of Dura after medics pronounced a Palestinian man dead on Tuesday after being shot by Israeli forces, locals told Ma‘an. Witnesses said that seven Palestinians were detained during the clashes … Muatazz Sharawnah, 19, died on Tuesday from wounds sustained during clashes with Israeli forces in Dura overnight Monday. Initial reports indicated that Sharawnah was hit by an Israeli military vehicle during the overnight clashes, with a Palestinian security source saying he was struck “deliberately” by Israeli forces. The director of Hebron’s Alia hospital later said that forensics had confirmed that Sharawnah was shot with an expanding “dum-dum” bullet. An Israel military spokeswoman confirmed an incident in the town, but said initial reports suggested soldiers had fired at a youth who had climbed onto a military vehicle. Palestinian sources said an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death, meaning the funeral would take place at 4.30 p.m. in Dura. Following the incident, shops and business were closed throughout the town as a sign of mourning, an AFP correspondent said. Sharawna’s death raised to nine the number of Palestinians killed in clashes with the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank since the start of the year, six of whom died in the Hebron area, Palestinian officials said
98-year-old woman teargassed during military invasion of residential neighborhood in Khalil
[with photos] Hebron, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 1 July by Khalil Team — On Sunday, 30th June, the Israeli forces in Khalil fired tear gas canisters in a residential area near the Ibrahimi Mosque. The soldiers claimed that this followed an incident of young Palestinian boys throwing rocks towards the checkpoint. The teargas canisters landed amidst houses, causing problems to the residents. A 98 year old woman, Rashida Abed Al-salam Alkaraky, was severely affected by the inhalation of the gases that filled her room through her open window, and fainted. Her family couldn’t get to her immediately because of the density of the teargas in the air. Eventually they managed to transport her next door and an ambulance arrived to give her medical treatment. She slowly recovered from the effects after one and a half hours … Before their return to the army base, the soldiers started photographing children and youths in the streets. This arbitrary gathering of pictures is quite worrying in the city of Al Khalil, where the Israeli military very often detains and arrests Palestinian children.
Fatah fighters targeted in Nablus raid
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli forces raided Nablus area villages ‘Awarta and Beit Furik early Tuesday morning, ransacking several homes, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an several homes of Fatah-affiliated fighters were targeted in the Awarta raid, a village not far from the Huwwara checkpoint where last week shots were fired at an Israeli settler bus. Forces raided the homes of Falah Qawariq, Khalid al-Qadi, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, Ahmad Sharab, Rifaat Abdat, and Talal Awwad, locals said. Residents said the military operation was ongoing.
Meanwhile, Israeli military vehicles raided the Beit Furik village also in the Nablus district, reportedly looking for weapons. No detentions were reported.
Israeli forces arrest Palestinian lawmaker in Ramallah
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Israeli forces detained Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Teir on Tuesday after an arrest raid in Ramallah, a prisoners center said. The Ahrar center for prisoner rights said that Israeli forces raided the neighborhood of Kafr Aqab and detained Abu Teir from his home after surrounding the property. An Israeli army spokeswoman said “he was detained for involvement with the Hamas terror organization.” In 2011, an Israeli military court ordered the deportation of Abu Teir from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Abu Teir had taken shelter in the ICRC building along with another Hamas legislator, Muhammad Abu Teir [Mohammed Imran Totah?], and former PA minister Khalid Abu Arafa, after Israeli authorities revoked their Jerusalem residency permits.
Thirteen Palestinians kidnapped in West Bank
IMEMC 2 July — Palestinian media sources have reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped earlier on Tuesday at dawn [July 2 2013] thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank … Local sources in Doura town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, have reported that the army kidnapped at least two Palestinians after breaking into their homes, and that one of them has been identified as Mousa Daraweesh. Dozens of soldiers also invaded the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped four Palestinians … Army also invaded Al-Janiya village, west of Ramallah, and kidnapped Omran Mathloum, former leader of the Islamic Bloc at the Birzeit University. Furthermore, soldiers invaded ‘Awarta village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four Palestinians … Dozens of soldiers invaded ‘Arraba town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped one resident identified as Fawzi Abdullah Abu Salah.
In the Bethlehem district, soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar and the al-Khader towns, and handed two residents military warrants ordering them to head to the Etzion military and security base for interrogation. Local sources have reported that the dozens of soldiers broke into the home of Sobhi Thawabta, and handed his son, Fadi, 21, an order to head to the Etzion base for interrogation. They also handed a similar order to Aws Majed Thawabta, 24, after breaking into his home. Furthermore, resident Bilal Mahmoud Al-Wahsh, 19, from Al-Khader town, near Bethlehem, was stopped at roadblock #300, and was handed an order to head to Etzion base for interrogation. It is worth mentioning that three of his brothers are currently imprisoned by Israel.
[from Ma‘an: Separately, Israeli military vehicles stormed Deir Abu Da‘if village near Jenin and delivered summons to Murad Imad Yasin ordering that he meets with Israeli intelligence officers for interrogation. The Israeli army confirmed the detention and said a special force had made the arrest. Meanwhile, the army said 10 other detentions were made across the West Bank overnight. In the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, a total of six detentions were made, including one in Kharbat al-Misbah, one in al-Janiya, one in al-Tayba ]
Three men arrested in a night raid in Kafr Qalil
Kafr Qalil, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 2 July by Nablus Team — On the 26th of June, at 1:30am, dozens of soldiers on foot and in military jeeps invaded the village of Kafr Qallil, southeast of Nablus, raided three shops, ransacked a house and arrested three men … A house located in the upper part of the village was also raided and ransacked. Israeli military jeeps and foot soldiers arrived when Thabet Mansour, a neighbour, was parking his car at the entrance of his house. They violently arrested him without giving any reason. His family, who were asleep, woke up because of the noise and saw the soldiers beating Thabeb with the butts of their guns. Soon after that, some of the soldiers invaded the house and arrested two other family members. Zahi, father of four and a worker at the automobile repair shop was next to be arrested. Then, his brother, Nihad, a policeman and father of seven, was also taken from the same house in his sleeping clothes. He wasn’t allowed to change his clothes and when he said to his wife “take care of the children” the soldiers grabbed him around the neck and forcibly covered his mouth. His wife, Iman, told how his children were crying and shouting “I want my dad”. The soldiers searched and ransacked the house taking nine mobile phones, the keys of two cars that the family can no longer use and official papers of land and house ownership. None of the men arrested or family members were given any reason for the arrests and house search. All three men were arrested for the first time and have been transferred to different prisons in Israel.
PA security arrest and summon 5 Hamas affiliates
OCCUPIED WB (PIC) 2 July — The Palestinian authority security forces arrested and summoned in a new campaign about 5 Palestinian citizens for being affiliated to Hamas, including an ex-detainee who served more than 10 years in Israeli jails and an activist in prisoners’ issues.
Gaza residents visit relatives in Israeli jails
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 July — A group of Gaza residents visited their relatives in Israel jails on Monday, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. Some 68 people, including six children, left Gaza through the Erez border crossing to visit 46 prisoners in Israel, ICRC spokesman Nasser al-Najjar said.
Rights group: Abu Khudair faced death in a steel cage in the baking Negev desert
RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 July — The Palestinian prisoners center for studies said that Jordanian prisoner Iyad Abu Khudair almost died when an Israeli jailer locked him up in a steel cell or container exposed to a high sun temperature in the Negev desert prison. The center stated on Monday that prisoner Abu Khudair, 37, was about to lose his life after one of the Negev prison mangers transferred him from his solitary cell to a steel cage in the middle of the scorching desert. Abu Khudair spent a whole day in this metal cell and his suffering from the high temperature inside caused him to lose his consciousness for many hours. Prisoner Abu Khudair has been on an open-ended hunger strike for 14 days and started to refuse drinking water five days ago in protest at the Israeli refusal to release him after he finished serving his eight-year prison term.
Gaza fishermen protest Israeli blockade
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 July — Hundreds of fishermen gathered in Gaza City on Monday to protest Israel’s blockade on the coastal territory. Abu Zakariya Baker, an official in the Agricultural Work Committee, told Ma‘an that Israel has tortured, shot and killed Palestinian fishermen since the blockade was tightened seven years ago. “Israel is practicing all kinds of psychological humiliation against fishermen, often stripping them of their clothes while arresting them, even in times of extreme cold,” Baker said, urging the international community to prosecute Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people … There has been a dramatic increase in the number of arrests and attacks against fishermen since Israel’s assault on Gaza last November, Baker said.
Israeli bulldozers enter Gaza border area
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 July — Several Israeli army bulldozers and vehicles entered the border area in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, locals said. Locals said four bulldozers entered the Gaza border area from the Kissufim military site near al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Younis. The bulldozers drove into Palestinian fields but gunshots were not heard in the area.
Hamas cautious on Qatar power transfer
Al-Monitor 1 July by Hazem Balousha — The transfer of power in Qatar from Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to his son, Prince Tamim bin Hamad, has raised concerns within Hamas. The latter fears that this power shift could change the Islamic movement’s relationship with Qatar. Some Hamas leaders are based in Qatar, most notably the head of the movement’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, who left the Syrian capital, Damascus, after the outbreak of the crisis. The Qatari leadership change reminded Hamas leaders of their previous experience in Jordan. When King Abdullah II came to power after the death of his father, he forced Hamas to leave the Jordanian arena, causing the movement to relocate its headquarters to Syria. However, the current changes seem less burdensome given the fact that its leadership is in Qatar on a temporary basis.
Prosecutor: Gaza govt to carry out more executions
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 July — Gaza’s public prosecutor on Tuesday said that death sentences would be carried out soon against criminals convicted of homicide. “No crime will go unpunished,” Ismael Jaber said while visiting the Mahdi family, which lost two members in a clan feud.
Owner: Hamas closes Gaza factory for imitating Israeli products
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 July — Hamas authorities in Gaza have closed a gas canister factory, leaving 45 workers unemployed, over allegations they tried to imitate Israeli-made products. Factory owner Yousif Sharif told Ma‘an that the authorities sealed off his factory, which produces domestic gas canisters, after inspectors found three canisters painted silver. “Silver canisters are banned in Gaza because they are produced in Israel. However, one wholesaler managed to get an exemption from the ministry and he imported some 30,000 silver canisters from Israel,” Sharif said. As a result of the decision, Sharif suffered major losses as the market became flooded with Israeli-made gas canisters. The three silver canister found in his factory were samples and not suitable for use.
Gaza’s polluted beach only escape from heat
Al-Monitor 2 July by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Gaza’s beach is a respite from the heat and power outages, but also a microcosm of Gaza’s challenges — As summer arrived, the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip — who number around 1.7 million — found in the sea an avenue to escape from the summer heat and electricity outages. Thousands of men and children on vacation swam or lay on the beach, while most women sat carefully or swam in their black abayas. Every now and then, the scene was broken by the passage of a horse or camel to lure people into taking a ride for less than $1. Ibrahim, 20, rode his camel from the Mughraqa region of the Gaza Strip toward the shore, which takes about an hour, to earn a daily income that does not exceed $15 … Yahya Tayeh, a mayor and head of the marine rescue department in the civil defense services, said that since the onset of this year, there have been seven deaths from drowning and over 400 rescue cases.
Israeli war crimes suspect cancels London visit
Electronic Intifada 2 July by Ali Abunimah — A suspected Israeli war criminal, retired Major General Doron Almog, canceled a visit to the United Kingdom on 26 June, despite an assurance of immunity from criminal jurisdiction by British authorities. There is an outstanding warrant for Almog’s arrest on charges of war crimes committed in the occupied Gaza Strip. However, “Almog made a last minute cancellation of his planned visit to the UK last week,” according to a statement today from the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). Almog’s cancelation followed action by the lawyers for the victims of his suspected war crimes to challenge the UK government’s decision to grant the Israeli general’s visit the status of a “special mission.” This status in effect put Almog beyond the reach of the law.
Police issue video of Beitar Jerusalem riots
Ynet 2 July by Noam (Dabul) Dvir – A day after the Beitar Jerusalem rally, which turned violent, Jerusalem police released Tuesday a video documenting several of the soccer team’s fans breaking into a Jerusalem McDonald’s restaurant, kicking Arab employees and throwing chairs at them. Two Beitar Jerusalem fans were arrested Monday, under suspicion of assaulting the McDonald’s Arab employees. At the remand hearing, police representative Officer Shlomi Ben Dor said that “on their way to the (Beitar Jerusalem) practice field, a group of fans stopped at the McDonald’s. One of the employees, of Arab origin, stepped outside to clean the tables, as several of the fans started talking to him. Once they realized he was an Arab they started yelling ‘death to Arabs,’ ‘Muhammad the homo,’ and other slurs the mind cannot tolerate.” The Jerusalem Magistrates Court remanded the two suspects until Sunday. A third suspect was placed under house arrest.
Attack in Tel Aviv: ‘Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!’
Mondoweiss 30 June by David Sheen — A year has elapsed since the May 23, 2012 anti-African pogrom in Tel Aviv, and though there have been no other full-scale race riots since, the city continues to witness low-level anti-African attacks on a regular basis. Their occurrence is so commonplace that they rarely merit any mention in the media, but by North American standards, any one of these incidents would be considered scandalous … It is important to understand the context in which these regular racist attacks occur. For the past several years, high-level Israeli politicians have competed with one another to vilify Africans in the most dehumanizing language possible, casting them as diseased, criminals and terrorists. In the last two years, the government has built both a desert fence to prevent any more Africans from crossing Israel’s border to seek asylum, and a series of desert jails to indefinitely hold without trial any others who arrive and increasing numbers who are pulled off the streets. In recent months, it has secretly deported thousands of Africans back to the countries they fled from, and is trying to bribe other African nations with arms shipments to convince them to take in all the other non-Jewish Africans living in Israel, 55,000 in number.
Arab, Jewish teens meet after Abu Ghosh violence
Ynet 30 June by Mor Elzon — “At the end of the day, we all want to live here in peace, with equality and without racism .” A little over a week after unknown vandals damaged 28 vehicles and spray painted hate slogans on walls in the Arab-Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, Jewish and Arab teenagers met Sunday evening to promote dialogue and coexistence. Education Minister Shai Piron took part on the event, which was held in Abu Ghosh.
In wake of controversial birth control claims, study finds lower birthrates among Ethiopian immigrants
Haaretz 1 July by Yarden Skop and Dan Even — A Knesset study prompted by news reports about the administration of contraceptive injections to Ethiopian immigrant women before and after their arrival in Israel shows that these women gave birth to significantly fewer children in Israel than their peers who came to Israel in the 1990s, before the practice became widespread. But the authors of the study, which was commissioned from the Knesset Research and Information Center by MK Orly Levi-Abekasis (Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu), said they could not substantiate a report by Gal Gabbai on Educational Television last year that claimed that women in immigrant transit camps in Ethiopia were given the contraceptive, Depo-Provera, against their will and were told that if they refused to receive the injections they would be denied the right to immigrate to Israel.
Refugees outside Palestine
Palestinian president to visit Beirut amid unrest
BEIRUT (AFP) 2 July — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due in Beirut Wednesday, where he is expected to offer the Lebanese authorities assurances that the Palestinian refugee camps will stay clear of the country’s growing Syria-related unrest. During his three-day visit, Abbas is also expected to discuss the situation of Palestinians who fled Syria for Lebanon, which is already home to some 470,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 official camps. Abbas is slated to meet with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman soon after his arrival mid-afternoon. Abbas will reassure the Lebanese authorities “of our firm and unwavering commitment to stability and security in Lebanon, and to the neutrality of the Palestinian camps” in Lebanon’s unrest, embassy spokesman Hassan Sheshniyeh said. The main topic on Abbas’ agenda for his Beirut visit is “security”, including that of the Palestinian camps, researcher Michel Naufal told AFP. Abbas will insist “on the principle that the Palestinians are not a card that any [of Lebanon’s political movements] can use”, said Naufal, of Beirut’s Institute for Palestine Studies.
Lebanon: Quilts for Palestinian refugees serves many uses
1 July by Charlotte Bruneau-ANERA — More than 55,000 Palestinians from Syria sought refuge in Lebanon over the last several months. Many naturally have headed for the Palestinian refugee camps that were set up in Lebanon more than 60 years ago. Palestinian families in the camps are very welcoming but their living conditions, already critical, have worsened with the flood of new refugees. ANERA’s emergency relief campaign responds quickly with thousands of quilts, medicines and other basic supplies … “I love this blanket. It reminds me of my grandmother who got one just like this from a foreign organization when she fled from Palestine to Syria.” Easy to recognize, these hand-made quilts leap from Hasna’s childhood memories to today’s harsh reality … Khawla sends me to visit one of the families who recently arrived from Syria. I enter the three-bedroom house and find five families huddled inside. This is where I meet Hasna. After sharing the memory of her grandmother’s quilt, she frowns. “Although the quilts are nice, I hope this the last time that we need to receive them.” Her words are a sad reminder that for many Palestinians from Syria, this is a second exile. The fears of its longevity are unspoken but ever-present.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
African Americans compare treatment of Palestinians to US segregation laws
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 (WAFA) — African Americans, including Angela Davis and actress Lisa Gay Hamilton, released a statement reaffirming parallels between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and discrimination against African Americans living under Jim Crow in the United States, a press release by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation said on Monday. The African American statement, signed by academics, artists, clergy, activists and a retired city councilman, was prompted by attacks on the analogy between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and the Jim Crow segregation laws that followed Alice Walker’s use of it in an interview, and later, her allusion to it in an open letter calling on US singer Alicia Keys to cancel her July 4 concert in Israel. The attacks came in the form of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, an editorial in the New York Daily News, and an Israeli government op-ed in the New York Post.
Israeli actors protest closing Palestinian theater
JERUSALEM (AP) 1 July by Daniel Estrin — Puppeteers from the Israeli version of Sesame Street protested Monday against Israel’s closure of a Palestinian children’s puppet festival, arguing that puppet theater poses no threat to Israeli security. Ariel Doron, the voice of Elmo on the Israeli version of the popular children’s television show, and Yousef Sweid, who plays an Arab Muppet on the show, created a Facebook group named Puppets4All calling on Israel to permit the festival. Two other Israeli Sesame Street puppeteers, along with a number of fellow Israeli actors, uploaded photos to the Facebook group holding puppets and signs protesting the closure … Israel’s Ministry of Public Security last week ordered the temporary closure of the Hakawati Theater, the Palestinian national theater in east Jerusalem, canceling a children’s festival set to feature puppet shows and plays. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said organizers of the theater illegally received funds from the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank.
BDS campaign sweeps UC campuses
Solidarity-US July-Aug by Rahim Kurwa — The 2012-2013 academic year has seen seven University of California campuses launch campaigns to divest university funds from corporations enabling oppression of Palestinians. This essay outlines the roots of the campaign, its progress, and the pressures facing activists working to support Palestinian rights … Conclusions What is most interesting when looking at these campaigns is the fact that the anti-divestment crowd’s talking points offered no challenge to the facts provided by Students for Justice in Palestine. That the anti-divestment argument now centers on how divestment will make some students feel indicates that the opposition cannot dispute the claim that Israel is engaged in widespread and systematic human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The question is no longer whether Israel violates Palestinian rights, but what to do about those violations — a striking indication of just how far public opinion has shifted over the past several years.
Survey: Most Israelis, Palestinians support two states
Times of Israel 3 July by Aaron Kalman — But large majority don’t see Palestinian statehood happening soon; 30% on both sides support a single state — The majority of Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution, a new survey released by the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research has found. On both sides, however, people are pessimistic over the prospects of “an independent Palestine” being formed in the next five years. Nearly two-thirds of Israelis — 62 percent — support a diplomatic solution based on two states, while only 33% oppose it, the survey, reported by Maariv on Wednesday, said. In contrast, 46% of the Palestinians said they were against the idea, as opposed to 53% who replied that they were in favor of it. Participants on both sides thought the likelihood of a two-state solution coming about in the near future was low: Sixty-eight percent of Israelis and 69% of Palestinians said it wouldn’t happen within the next five years. Furthermore, 58% of the Palestinians said it was too late to implement a two-state solution. Respondents on both sides of the conflict were opposed to a single bi-national state. Sixty-three percent of Israelis and 69% of Palestinians said they were against it, compared to some 30% who supported the idea on both sides.
Hamdallah urges US to increase pressure on Israel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 July — Caretaker Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday met with a US delegation in Ramallah, and urged the officials to pressure the US administration to put more pressure on Israel to uphold its obligations. Hamdallah met with a US delegation headed by Democratic Party member and Senator Chris Coons in Ramallah to discuss the latest developments in the peace process. “Why does Israel approve new settlement projects each time US officials visit the region and US efforts are resumed to achieve peace?” Hamdallah asked the delegation, according to official PA media.
European Union provides €13M to East Jerusalem hospitals
JERUSALEM, July 2, 2013 (WAFA) – The European Union (EU) Monday provided €13 million to East Jerusalem hospitals in response to serious cash flow in the hospitals due to failure of the Palestinian government to pay outstanding debt to these hospitals, an EU press statement said. The announcement was made in ceremonies held at Augusta Victoria Hospital on Mount of Olives to celebrate the Joint Commission International accreditation for quality and patient safety awarded to Augusta Victoria and St John’s Eye hospitals last month.
Women’s co-op seeks to revive Hebron Old City
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 July by Sheren Nassir- – On the outskirts of Hebron, in the village of Idnah, is a large warehouse where women gather daily, struggling to make ends meet. It’s the headquarters for the fair trade cooperative Women in Hebron. In a city with an unemployment rate of 35 percent, Women in Hebron employs 150 women, giving hope where there was none. The walls of the warehouse are lined with burlap material and on them hang intricately embroidered dresses, bags and scarves. Inside, women sit in a circle sewing pieces of delicate fabric. The embroideries are collected and then sold in a shop at Hebron’s old suq, or traditional market.
Thousands gather in Ramallah for performance by Palestinian winner of Arab Idol
Haaretz 2 July by Amira Hass — Thousands of fans from Ramallah and neighboring villages and refugee camps flooded to a square near the Mukataa to hear a performance from Mohammed Assaf, winner of the Arab Idol contest, now considered a national hero. The square was jammed an hour before the performance began and the adjacent streets were closed to traffic. Families arrived with their children, babies, aunts, uncles and grandparents, while youngsters climbed up flag poles and young women sat on the shoulders of their boyfriends.
PA minister asks Assaf to cancel shows ‘in solidarity with Egypt’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 July — Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habbash on Tuesday urged Arab Idol star Muhammad Assaf to cancel concerts planned for the West Bank to show solidarity with unrest in Egypt. The PA minister also urged Palestine TV not to broadcast any celebratory events to reflect sympathy and solidarity with Egypt. “This is a personal stance,” he told Ma‘an, and does not necessarily reflect any official position.
Jerusalem deputy mayor: Defund theater showing Rachel Corrie play
972mag 1 July by Ami Kaufman – Hatred for Rachel Corrie knows no limits, as a Jerusalem municipal official demonstrates by trying to ban a play about the ‘Israel-hater tourist.’ The director to +972 Magazine: ‘He should see it before judging.’ Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem David Hadari, of Nafatli Bennet’s Jewish Home party, demanded that the city stop funding the Khan Theater because it is hosting a play about Rachel Corrie, Haaretz reported Sunday evening [Heb]. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a play that has been staged around the world and is now showing in Israel in Hebrew, directed by Ari Remez. It is based on the diaries Corrie wrote during her stay in Israel/Palestine as an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) up until her death in 2003.
West Bank: Impact that lasts
BEIT JALA (ANERA) 1 July — Yousef Steifan has been working as a blacksmith for 37 years. He was only 24 years old when he opened his own workshop in what was then a brand new light industrial complex on the outskirts of Beit Jala, his hometown. When it was first built the complex had 30 shops. Now it has 57. ANERA built the complex in 1984 on an empty plot of land. It still stands today with 57 workshops that provide jobs for hundreds of craftsmen, car technicians and workers.
Israel agrees to Egypt troop movements in Sinai
AP 2 July — IDF states Egypt moved forces into border area near Gaza Strip with Israeli authorization; move estimated to contain possible unrest in light of recent mass protests across Egypt
IDF arrests two Lebanese shepherds
[with map] Times of Israel 3 July — IDF troops arrested two Lebanese shepherds Tuesday night after they entered Israeli territory. The two men were arrested near Shebaa Farms, once part of southern Lebanon and now controlled by Israel, Ynet reported. The herders were expected to be returned to Lebanon Wednesday.
Analysis / Opinion
The Sharonization of Bibi / Yoel Marcus
Haaretz 28 June — Bibi is undergoing a process similar to that experienced by Sharon after he decided to evacuate the settlements — There are days in the life of a journalist that are simply unforgettable. Such was the day when − during a morning repast in the home of the prime minister, over a respectable slab of halvah and a six-egg omelet for each diner − Ariel Sharon revealed his historic decision to evacuate 21 settlements from Gush Katif and Samaria. Sharon knew it would not be easy to pass such a decision in Likud, but he explained that the most important thing about the move was that it would wake up the nation from “the dream of Greater Israel.” Sharon was preceded by Menachem Begin, leader of the Greater Israel dream, who evacuated the Sinai settlements and withdrew from the “occupied territory” up to the last millimeter in exchange for full peace with Egypt … It’s hard to know what really led these two extremist leaders to sign a peace treaty involving mutual concessions. The hopelessness of perpetuating the state of war? The fear of U.S. pressure? But most important is that the two realized that the present situation was liable to end in catastrophe for both peoples … In a discussion with the prime minister of Georgia, who was visiting Israel, Bibi told him: I’m not going to the negotiations in order to say that I was there, but in order to bring a solution … American observers have noticed that Bibi has not visited a single settlement since being elected prime minister. Bibi is undergoing a process similar to that experienced by Sharon after he decided to evacuate the settlements. People with good memories will recall how he sat alone at the cabinet table in the Knesset, while his friends tried to oust him in the middle of the meeting. As we know, the story ended with a rift between Sharon and Likud and the establishment of Kadima, the most dramatic political upheaval that ever was.
Secret Israel-Palestine talks might yield results / Daoud Kuttab
Al-Monior 1 July — US Secretary of State John Kerry is clocking more hours than most US diplomats in trying to bring the Palestinian and Israeli leaders back to the negotiating table. All sides confirm that progress is being made and gaps are being tightened, but little information on the details of these talks is known. For a rare change, the term “secret negotiations” is not necessarily a bad phrase. Recent Middle East history has shown that whenever negotiations have kept a tight lip, they were serious about finding a way forward. Conventional wisdom in this part of the world is that whenever the parties are rushing to the media, you can be sure, they are not serious. But despite this silence, some statements were made and reactions to daily events were avoided, and both are also reflective of the seriousness of the parties.