Israel must ease travel for Palestinian players — Blatter
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) 7 July — FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Palestinian sports leaders on Sunday that he would speak to Israeli officials to try to ease travel restrictions on Palestinian soccer players. The head of the sport’s governing body was due to meet Israel’s soccer chiefs on Monday and was also hoping to speak to political leaders on the matter. Palestinians are angry that Israel’s security forces, who control movement between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank frequently prevent athletes from travelling freely between the two separated territories. “I will go to defend not only the Palestine Football Association but I will defend the basic principles of FIFA (which are) to connect people and not to separate people… The principles are … to recognise each other through football and to live not only in peace but in harmony,” Blatter said. Palestine FA head Jibril Rajoub threatened that if the matter was not resolved satisfactorily, he would call on delegates at the next FIFA Congress to expel Israel.
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
One fifth of new Jerusalem park to be built on Palestinian land
Haaretz 8 July by Nir Hasson — The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee has approved the establishment of a new national park in southern Jerusalem, part of which will include the lands of the village of Walaja. The boundary of the park will run along the security fence, which separates the villagers of Walaja from their farmland. However, the approval of the park also stops the establishment of a large settlement planned for the area. The Refaim Valley Park will cover more than 5,700 dunams, or 1,425 acres, at the southern exit of Jerusalem and will be part of the large urban park to surround Jerusalem on three sides. The Green Line runs through the base of the Refaim Valley, through which the park runs. An estimated 1,200 dunams of the park are terraced farmlands belonging to the villagers of Walaja. In fact, preserving the historically significant of the terraces is one of the reasons cited for creating the park. But villagers say the main threat to the ancient culture of terrace agriculture comes from the security fence under construction.
Qusra demolition orders: ‘If they destroy this house, where will we go?’
Qusra, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 7 July by Nablus Team — On Wednesday July 3rd the Israeli army entered the village of Qusra, south east of Nablus, issuing eleven demolition orders on houses and buildings. At 9am two army jeeps arrived at the home of Seqer Musbah and presented him with demolition orders for the house he had built for his brother and family five years ago. When he tried to speak with the army commander he was told, “Don’t talk to me, talk to the court.” All the houses and buildings were built at least five years prior, some as long as ten years ago and are spread across different parts of the 5000 population village. The village is classed as Area B and thus under Palestinian civil control. The orders though state that the houses are in Area C and therefore under full Israeli civil and security control despite a number of owners getting permission from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build there, on the understanding their properties were in Area B … Yusef and Sundis Rizek, a newly married husband and wife also have demolition orders on the house they share with Yusef’s sister, her husband and four children. The family have lived in the house for ten years and had planned to build further on the land to house more family members. They had permission from the PA to build the house and stated in disbelief, “Why did they not come to talk to us when we started to build the house? Why now? Where will we go if the house is destroyed? We spent all our money on the house and land. We have no other place and no more money. If they destroy this house, where will we go?” A month prior, in June, twenty agricultural buildings in Qusra donated by a foreign European government also had demolition orders issued against them
Settlers drown land with wastewater in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 7 July — Jewish settlers from illegal ‘Beitar Illit’ settlement Sunday drowned Palestinian-owned agricultural land with wastewater in the village of Wadi Fukin [or Wadi Fuqin], west of Bethlehem, according to a local source. Head of Wadi Fukin village council Ahmad Sokar told WAFA that settlers pumped wastewater to around 100 dunums of agricultural land belonging to around 50 farmers in the village, drowning it completely. He said that the mentioned land became unfit for agricultural use due to the ongoing pumping of wastewater by settlers.
Video: ‘Anata Bedouin communities caught in crossfire
‘Anata, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 7 July by Nablus Team — On Friday the 5th of July on the outskirts of ‘Anata, Jerusalem, there were violent clashes between Palestinian shebab (youth) and the Israeli army. At around 3pm Israeli army jeeps drove up towards the town of ‘Anata and began taking photos of homes. Thirty minutes later local shebab arrived and began to throw stones at the army who then responded with tear gas and rubber bullets until past 8pm. The clashes took place around a road linking the town centre to a ring road which circles the annexation wall separating the West Bank from Jerusalem. On either side of this road are two Bedouin communities living in tents who are caught in between the weekly violent clashes that they themselves do not participate in. Around twenty soldiers with military vechiles blocked the road near one of the Bedouin communities before walking up the road and alongside the tents. Internationals present communicated to the army to stay away from the tents and not fire gas into them. …The army and shebab continued to clash throuout the afternoon and evening around the tents. The army repeatedly shot tear, rubber bullets and threw sound grenades at the shebab, at times firing from inside the grounds of a local mosque. A number of times the army walked through tents with weapons ready in total disregard for those living inside. The weekly violent clashes often last four or five hours and have resulted in the army shooting multiple rounds of tear gas into the Bedouin tents. The Bedouin experience clear physical and psychological trauma from the clashes with a number of them suffering from asthma due to the regular exposure to tear gas. A local watermelon salesman whose stall is located between the two Bedouin communities – and therefore also in the middle of the clashes – recounted the screaming of the Bedouin children when the army arrived in previous weeks. Some of the family members in one of the communities are deaf and mute leaving them unable to hear the tear gas and evade its path. No Bedouin were injured this week though residual tear gas blew into the tents. One of the shebab was shot in the leg by a plastic coated steel bullet but did not seek medical attention.
Israeli forces deny Nablus farmers access to their fields
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 7 July — Israeli forces on Sunday morning prevented several Palestinian farmers from working on their fields south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, witnesses said. Israeli troops stopped farmers harvesting their crops in Huwwara Plains, and instructed them to obtain permits from the Israeli liaison department, said 30-year-old Jihad Dweikat, from Rujeib village,
Specialists: 150 landmarks in J’lem are being Judaized
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 July — Palestinian researchers and specialists in occupied Jerusalem warned that about 150 landmarks and historical sites are exposed to Judaization and annexation in the holy city. This came in a conference organized on Saturday by scholars and preachers in Jerusalem. The final statement issued by the conferees stressed that the whole Islamic landmarks in Jerusalem is threatened with annexation to the alleged Jewish heritage, either by removing all signs of the Arab and Islamic presence in the city or by tampering with the antiquities and replacing the Arabic inscriptions with Hebrew ones. The statement warned that the coming Israeli step would be directed against the Aqsa Mosque after the Israeli occupation regime prepared itself to raze this Mosque and build the Jewish temple in its place.
Restriction of movement
Palestinian resolve to cross Israel’s wall featured in new film
[with TRAILER] Electronic Intifada 5 July by Sarah Irving — “Once I fell and broke my legs,” says one of the hundreds of workers who cross Israel’s wall in the West Bank each week. “Their dogs nailed me to the ground and I had to wait for the army to come.” According to artist and director Khaled Jarrar, between 200 and 400 workers climb over, jump off, tunnel under or find ways around the wall each weeknight, with the number rising to perhaps 1,000 per night on weekends. With real work hard to come by in the occupied West Bank, these men and women risk imprisonment, injury and death to reach “illegal” jobs in Israel. Jarrar’s new film, Infiltrators, is a glimpse into this world. Using footage accumulated over four years — time which, among other things, he spent gaining the trust of professional people-smugglers — Jarrar shows the myriad ways that Palestinians evade Israeli security.
IOA blocks travel of 29 Palestinians via Karame crossing last week
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 6 July — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) blocked the travel of 29 Palestinian citizens via the Karame crossing leading to Jordan last week at trivial security pretexts. PA Jericho police sources told the PIC reporter on Saturday that most of those citizens were young men, adding that they are usually detained for long hours by the Israeli intelligence before they are told they are not allowed to travel. Meanwhile, four other citizens were arrested while trying to cross the Karame bridge crossing en route to Jordan in the same period.
Police: Allenby Bridge to operate 24 hours Sunday
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 6 July – The Allenby Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan will operate for 24 hours Sunday for passengers arriving from Jordan, Palestinian police say. A police statement on Saturday added that passengers departing the West Bank for Jordan can still travel until 6:00 p.m. On Monday, the crossing will operate as normal. The decision to operate 24 hours is aimed at accommodating large numbers of pilgrims who performed the Muslim Umrah visit to Saudi Arabia and were expected to return Sunday. [in this case West Bank pilgrims will fare better than Gazan pilgrims blocked by Egypt from returning home]
Israel to re-open northern West Bank road
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 July — Israel has agreed to reopen a road in the northern West Bank that was closed since 2003, the Palestinian Authority said Sunday. Israel’s military had blocked the Ein Siniya junction with cement blocks, closing off the road connecting Ramallah to the northern West Bank. Its reopening will ease travel for Palestinians, the PA civil affairs authority said.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Illegal arrests
Showing them who’s boss: How Palestinian villages become IDF training grounds
972blog 6 July by Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) – The IDF could easily build a mock village on some godforsaken dune in the Negev for training purposes. But training in a Palestinian village has another (hidden) goal: to show them who’s boss — The villagers of Imatin were surprised at the end of May 2013, when a large IDF force — evidence shows it seemed to be the size of a company — invaded their village in the evening, with troops spreading amongst the houses, conducting what apparently was combat practice in a populated terrain. The soldiers, armed to the teeth of course, moved from yard to yard throughout the village pretending it were a battlefield. The entire incident was very stressful for the women, the elderly and the children of the village. The next day, the show repeated itself: a convoy of IDF vehicles gathered in the center of the village at sundown, and out of them climbed around 100 heavily armed soldiers, and began roleplaying a battle. Yesh Din’s files document several similar cases. In 2007, a Palestinian from Tel Rumeida in Hebron complained that his house was chosen as a training site. When the soldiers were told that the training would likely scare the man’s little brother, they responded by saying “it’s none of your business.” And why would it be? It’s only his house.
Again? Hebron, of course
Hebron child critically injured after hit by Israeli car
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 7 July — A Palestinian child was critically injured Sunday after he was hit by an Israeli settler car in Hebron, medics said. Mohamed Salayma was run over near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the center of the city. He was taken to hospital in Kiryat Arba settlement. Medics said his condition was critical.
Israeli settlers and soldiers attack Palestinians south of Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 6 July — Jewish settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, attacked Palestinians from the hamlet of Umm al-Khair who tried to enter their lands near the town of Yatta in al-Khalil. Ratib al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular and national committees against the wall and settlements in Yatta, told Quds Press that the attack took place when the members of Hadhalin family tried, with the support of foreign solidarity activists, to reach their land seized by settlers about two weeks ago.
Jabour said that the Israelis from the settlement of Carmiel, guarded by the occupation soldiers, attacked and suppressed the Palestinian citizens, causing some women and children to faint. Three civilians, including two women, were also injured in the attack, while another citizen and two foreign solidarity activists were arrested by the occupation soldiers. The settlers seized a piece of land with an area of 50 dunums and prevented its owners to enter it and prepared the place to perform Talmudic rituals on it. Safa News Agency quoted Umm al-Khair resident Ibrahim Hadhalin as saying that clashes erupted between the citizens and Israeli settlers and soldiers when a number of shepherds tried to cross the seized land to reach their pastures. The occupation authorities seek to displace dozens of Bedouin families inhabiting lands adjacent to Carmiel settlement and continue the construction of settlement units on the southern and western sides of the settlement.
Settlers attack Bedouin property near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 July — Dozens of extremist Jewish settlers on Saturday attacked Palestinian Bedouins living in tents and steel structures in Huwwara south of Nablus, an official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlers in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that about 50 settlers from Itamar and Yitzhar near Nablus stormed the nomads’ residence. Clashes erupted, he said, when the invaders tried to steal sheep from the Bedouins. Daghlas highlighted that the settlers damaged a tractor and smashed the windshield of a private car. The attackers started to destroy plants and trees in the area before officers of the Israeli liaison department intervened and evacuated them.
Israeli forces detain 31 in West Bank raids
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 7 July — Israeli forces detained 31 Palestinians before dawn on Sunday in raids across the West Bank, the army said. Soldiers detained eight Palestinians in Nablus, a military spokesman said. Locals said Israeli military jeeps raided Nablus’ Old City at around 3 a.m as well as the al-Maajin neighborhood … Israeli forces also raided several areas around Ramallah, detaining five Palestinians in Deir Abu Mash‘al and one in Jalazun refugee camp, the military spokesman said. Soldiers detained two Palestinians in Bil‘in and two in Ni‘lin, villages which hold weekly protests against Israel’s separation wall. Forces also detained two Palestinians in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, another site of weekly protests, as well as two from Hebron, two from Idhna, northwest of the city and three from al-‘Arrub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Soldiers detained one Palestinian in Bethlehem and two in Abu Dis, north of Bethlehem, and one Palestinian in Birqin [or Burqin], near Jenin in the northern West Bank.
Israeli police summon former MK Talab al-Sani‘ for interrogation
NAZARETH (PIC) 7 July — Israeli police summoned former Arab MK and head of the Arab Democratic Party in the 1948-occupied territories, lawyer Talab al-Sani‘, against the backdrop of a protest march against Praver law. Sani‘ said in a press statement that the Israeli police summoned him for interrogation on suspicion of breaching the license terms during a march organized by Arabs in the Negev in protest at the Praver settlement plan which has been approved by the Israeli government and Knesset.
Egypt deporting Palestinians trying to return to Gaza
Electronic Intifada 8 July by Ali Abunimah — Palestinians trying to return home to the Gaza Strip via Cairo airport are being deported by Egyptian authorities to the countries they flew in from, at their own expense. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected President Muhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests. In recent days, militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have repeatedly attacked Egyptian army posts and checkpoints…The Palestinian government in Gaza has appealed to Egyptian authorities to re-open Rafah, citing thousands of Palestinians, including many pilgrims, stranded away from home. Even before the latest crisis in Egypt, conditions at the crossing have remained difficult and unpredictable, with “Mubarak-era cruelty” remaining the norm…
The deportation of Palestinians comes as campaigns against Palestinians are intensifying in Egypt. Anti-Palestinian campaigns in the Egyptian media are not new, as Joseph Massad wrote last August. They have included outlandish claims that shortages of basic supplies including fuel and medicines for Egypt’s 83 million people are caused by supplies being sent to Gaza’s 1.7 million Palestinians. The volume has however increased amid the ongoing crisis. Rumors circulated by Egyptian media and social media accuse Hamas – without evidence – of sending operatives to support the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government. Such rumors have led to false accusations and deportations of Palestinians living in Egypt, as the Egyptian journalist Fahmy Howeidy reported in a 7 July article in Egypt’s Shorouk News.
Gaza pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia due to Egypt unrest
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 July — Hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims are stranded in Saudi Arabia due to unrest in Egypt, a transport company official said Sunday. Some 900 pilgrims from the Gaza Strip were due to return home on Wednesday, but could not travel due to turmoil in Egypt … Awad Abu Mathkour, head of transport companies that organize Hajj pilgrimages, said Palestinian pilgrims could not fly to El-Arish airport or travel from the airport to the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border as unrest made the journey unsafe. Egypt’s military has closed the El-Arish airport and the Rafah crossing after a series of militant attacks in Sinai, including an attack on the airport. Meanwhile, Palestinians stranded in Saudi Arabia are running out of money, although transport companies are paying for their hotel accommodation, Abu Mathkour told Ma‘an, adding that the companies were suffering major financial losses. “Company owners will visit the embassy of Palestine in Jeddah to ask them to urge the Egyptian government to allow pilgrims to return to Egypt via Cairo airport since El-Arish airport is closed due to security issues,” Abu Mathkour said. The pilgrims have two-week visas which will expire soon, he added.
Meanwhile, 766 Palestinians were due to leave the Gaza Strip for Mecca on Wednesday to perform the Umrah pilgrimage but their trip was canceled, the transport company official said.
Official: Smugglers resume fuel supplies to Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 July — Smugglers resumed pumping fuel to the Gaza Strip through tunnels under the Egyptian border on Sunday, easing a fuel crisis in the enclave, an official said. Muhammad al-Abadlah, a spokesman for the federation of fuel companies, told Ma‘an that enough fuel was being smuggled in to partially meet needs in Gaza. Meanwhile government official Abdul-Nasser Muhanna said the fuel crisis would be resolved soon. Muhanna, an official in the general petroleum department, did not give any details on the source of the fuel. Egypt’s crackdown on smuggling tunnels created a crippling fuel crisis in recent days, causing long queues at gas stations across Gaza. The health ministry in Gaza warned Saturday that hospitals’ fuel reserves were down to 20 percent.
Egypt continued to close smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border on Sunday. Egypt’s army used sand to seal several smuggling tunnels near the Brazil neighborhood, a Ma‘an reporter said.
Palestinian fisherman injured in an accident while escaping Israeli gunship attack
Gaza (ISM) 6 July by Rosa Schiano – -In the early hours of the morning of Sunday June 30th 2013, Sharif Arafat, a 30-year-old Palestinian fisherman, was injured on a fishing boat off the coast of Soudania, North of the Gaza Strip. The captain of the boat, Nafiz At Habeel, reported that during the night the strong wind had pushed the vessel about 6 miles from the coast of Soudania. Around midnight an Israeli military navy ship approached and then retreated. In the early hours of the morning, at around 3:30am to 4:00am, the fishermen threw their nets into the sea. Once again, an Israeli navy ship approached the fishing boat and this time started shooting. Nafiz told us that the fishermen tried to hide in order to avoid the bullets, while Sharif Arafat ran to the side where the fishing nets were. Sharif, an inexperienced fisherman, did not know how to escape in the event of gunshots by the army. One of the nets became caught up around his leg. “Sharif was terrified, his ankle was trapped,” Nafiz said. As he couldn’t swim, Sharif clung to the boat as not to fall into the water, while the nets pulled him down. His ankle was severely fractured and broken and he fell into the water.
Confusion in Gaza: Hamas anxious over Egypt drama
Gaza (Al Akhbar) 5 July by Uruba Othman — The Gaza Strip has been closely watching events unfold in Egypt, but as nothing more than a bystander. Reactions in Gaza remain in limbo; it can neither mourn the ouster of its rulers’ parent Islamist group, nor celebrate it. Only time will tell whether Gaza will benefit or suffer from the Egyptian army’s move to expel Mohamed Mursi. In these uncertain times, Palestinians in Gaza have refrained from expressing their opinions publicly, given their rulers’ backing of the Egypt regime. The last thing Hamas wants is to antagonize the new Egyptian president — or the anti-Brotherhood media, for that matter — lest the latter take this as fodder against Hamas. Many concerns hound Hamas in Gaza, which fears the resurgence of the Mubarak regime’s associates and its policies, including the brutal blockade on Gaza and its people. True, the Brotherhood-led regime did not abolish the Camp David treaty and the gas agreements with Israel, shut down the Israeli embassy, or end the blockade on Gaza, but it had eased restrictions on Gaza by opening the Rafah crossing, which had been closed under Mubarak.
ICC assigns Gaza Flotilla case to Pre-Trial chamber
BRUSSELS (KUNA) 5 July — The Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Friday announced that it has assigned “the situation” on registered vessels of the Comoros, Greece and Cambodia linked with the Gaza Flotilla case to the Pre-Trial Chamber I. This is a procedural matter only, and is not the beginning of an investigation, clarified the ICC which is based at the Hague in a statement. This situation was referred to the ICC by Comoros , a State Party to the Rome Statute. It is the Office of the Prosecutor that decides whether or not to open an ICC investigation. The Office of the Prosecutor is conducting a preliminary examination in order to establish whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met, it noted. On 14 May 2013, the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda received a referral from Comoros , with respect to the 31 May 2010 Israeli raid on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla bound for Gaza Strip. The referral makes reference to seven vessels that were attacked by Israeli forces and requests the Prosecutor to investigate the incident.
Abu Fanoun: Deportation better than jail
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 July — A Palestinian prisoner who was deported to Gaza for 10 years said Saturday that being deported was better than remaining in Israeli jail. Iyad Abu Fanoun, 30, from Battir village near Bethlehem, told Ma‘an that he only had two options: “deportation is rejected in principal, but when it is compared to the other choices it is the safest choice, especially that it is to an area in Palestine.” Abu Fanoun was deported to Gaza on the condition that he not contact “terrorist” groups, and not leave Gaza for 10 years. If any of these conditions are violated he can be returned to prison, and 10 years will be added to his original sentence, Abu Fanoun said. He was hopeful that he could start a new life in Gaza, enroll in university, and marry.
Two detainees on 45th day of hunger strike
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 6 July — Ayman Etbaish and Adel Hreibat, from Dura town in Al-Khalil, are on their 45th day of hunger strike Sunday demanding their release. They started their hunger strike on 23rd May demanding their freedom from administrative detention, without trial or charge. Both detainees were moved from one prison to another on the part of the Israeli administration authority with absolute disregard to their health condition. Families of the two detainees warned that their health condition was worsening and that they were harassed by jailors in a bid to convince them to break their strike. 16 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike in various Israeli occupation jails in addition to five Jordanian captives protesting maltreatment and demanding immediate release.
Video: Torture spikes in Gaza and West Bank jails
Al Jazeera 6 July — Rights group says cases of torture increased by a third in a year, with both Israeli and Palestinian forces to blame — Cases of torture in prisons in the West Bank and Gaza have increased by a third in a year, according to a human rights group. The Independent Commission for Human Rights says both the Israeli army and Palestinian security forces are responsible. Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports from Hebron.
‘Death to Arabs’ spray painted on Jerusalem restaurant
Ynet 8 July by Noam (Dabul) Dvir — Restaurant in capital systematically suffers attacks by teens vowing revenge for business’s employment of Arabs; graffiti found Sunday by employees … On Friday, a group of assailants made it to the area and threw stones at customers. “Within a minute, some 60 clients asked for their bill wanting to leave,” Ventura said, “and it was all based on racism, because we hire Arabs.”
Another Israeli swimming pool caught refusing entry to Arab citizens
[with video (Hebrew)] Electronic Intifada 7 July by Ali Abunimah — An Israeli swimming pool in the southern city of Bir al-Saba (Beer Sheva) refused entry to a Palestinian citizen of Israel, in the latest documented example of blatant racism in public accommodations. Tahir Marisat, a teacher in one of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) region, went to the Beer Sheva Country Club with a friend and asked to buy a ticket. Marisat was told by the clerk that the pool was only for residents of the city. Marisat, who studied in Bir al-Saba and has lived there for 11 years, is originally from the town of Tamra in the north of the country, but has not changed the address on his identity card. After being refused entry the first time, Marisat went back a second time and recorded on video the exchange of him being again denied entry. Marisat is told firmly “go home” and that the local residents only policy was “new.” That exchange, in Hebrew, can be seen in the Channel 10 report at the top of this post. The “Orly and Guy” program on Israel’s Channel 10 sent an undercover investigative reporter to the club to test whether it does indeed discriminate between Jews and Arabs. The Jewish reporter was able to buy a ticket even though his place of residence was Netanya, a northern city far from Bir al-Saba. When the reporter asked about the policy of only selling tickets to local residents he was told by the desk clerk that the policy only applied to a “specific population.”
Palestinians in Akka protest racist attacks against them
AKKA (PIC) 6 July — Palestinians in coastal city of Akka north of 1948-occupied Palestine on Friday organized a demonstration to protest the escalation of racist attacks carried out by teams of the Israeli municipality and police against the city’s residents. The last of these attacks was the detention of the Palestinian citizen Khaled Zakour without any justification, in addition to the ongoing use of violence and tear gas against women and children. MK Hanin Zoabi, who participated in the demonstration, said the Israeli police “turns a blind eye to the murderers and gangsters who always escape without being arrested or prosecuted”, and held the Israeli police full responsibility for the acts of violence in the Arab milieu. She added: “Until now, the police have not been able to arrest the killer of a young man from Akka who was murdered in front of the police station. Although we have been following-up the case with the Minister of Internal Security for more than a year, the killer has not been arrested yet.”
The Haim Revivo racism project
Haaretz 7 July by Gideon Levy — Photo: Beitar Jerusalem fans holding the flag of the outlawed racist Kach party at Teddy Stadium — Israeli racism has a new and original justification: The people love it. When there is racism, Arabs are prevented from joining sports teams, so the teams can find sponsors. If once we had political, practical, spiritual and religious Zionism, now we have ideological racism and racism stemming from the need to sign sponsors. The person who thought this idea up, the ideological successor to Theodor Herzl and Ahad Ha’am, is an ex-soccer player, someone who made the list of greatest Israelis of all time: Haim Revivo. The new representative of Beitar Jerusalem’s owner announced last week that he wouldn’t sign Arab players. “We do not seek to bring in an Arab player and provoke the fans,” Revivo said. “It wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”
Mondoweiss 7 July by Philip Weiss — “Non-Jewish soldiers will be buried in same section as Jews, but in different rows.” A small item in Haaretz that encapsulates the larger truth. Thanks to Ilene Cohen. Note: The segregation policy that Israel is effecting is one between Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union with doubtful Jewish pedigree and Israelis whose Jewish bloodlines are not in question. “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is expected to announce Sunday that non-Jewish soldiers will be buried in the same sections as Jewish soldiers in military cemeteries – but in different rows. The decision follows an incident on Memorial Day when the IDF chief of staff chose not to place a flag at the grave of a fallen soldier whose Judaism was in doubt. As a result of Sunday’s announcement, MK Elazar Stern (Hatnuah) is expected to shelve a bill under which soldiers whose Judaism is in doubt would be buried alongside their Jewish comrades.”
Palestinian refugees outside Palestine
Palestinians caught ‘between two fires’ in Syria, says refugee
Electronic Intifada 5 July by Patrick O. Strickland — …Though some Palestinians have joined Syrian opposition forces and others have thrown their weight behind the regime, most are simply trying to find a way to survive during the crisis. “I don’t care who wins the fight in Syria — the opposition or the regime — because I’m Palestinian. All I care about is returning to Palestine,” said al-Shihabi. Al-Shihabi’s family is originally from Lubya in the Tiberias region of Palestine. When the village was occupied and destroyed by Zionist militias during the 1948 Nakba, the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland, his parents and siblings fled. They slept in a forest in Lebanon for weeks before they moved on to Damascus, where they eventually settled in Yarmouk. “My mother says that being driven from Yarmouk is harder than the Nakba,” al-Shihabi said. “She is an 86-year-old woman now, you know, and it’s hard on her to have to leave her home again.”
2 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 July – Two Palestinian refugees were killed Friday in ongoing clashes between military forces of the Syrian regime and rebels in the outskirts of Damascus, according to a Palestinian group.
Palestinian camps fear spillover from Syria
The Age 7 July by Loveday Morris — Leaders in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps say they are trying to keep the areas from becoming flashpoints for violence ignited by the crisis in neighbouring Syria but warn that the task is becoming increasingly difficult with hardline Islamist groups on the ascendancy. On Friday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wrapped up a three-day visit to Lebanon, where he has been reassuring officials that the country’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps would not be drawn into the fallout from Syria’s war. But in the cramped, ramshackle streets of Ain Helweh, Lebanon’s largest Palestinian camp and home to a plethora of armed political factions, brewing sectarianism is difficult to suppress, camp officials said.
Report: US secretary of state to ask Israel for settlement freeze
RAMALLAH, West Bank (UPI) July 7 — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to ask Israel to impose a temporary settlement freeze to advance peace talks with the Palestinians, diplomats said. In an effort to jump-start peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Kerry is expected to raise his demands during his next visit to the region, the London newspaper al-Hayat reported Saturday.http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/07/07/Report-US-secretary-of-state-to-ask-Israel-for-settlement-freeze/UPI-92171373198023/
In photos: Arab Idol Assaf thrills fans in Bethlehem
Ma‘an 6 July — Palestinian winner of popular MBC TV’s Arab Idol competition Muhammad Assaf performed Friday before thousands of fans in Bethlehem. Assaf first toured the city, visiting the Nativity Church before heading to a presidential landing field near Duheisha refugee camp, where he performed. Assaf was received with cheers and applauds by thousands. Palestinian security services also turned out in force to manage the hour-and-a-half-long concert. Bethlehem police spokesman Luay Irzeiqat told Ma’an that more than 800 security officers were deployed to keep peace and order during the concert and direct traffic. He highlighted that more than 20,000 fans attended the concert without incident.
IDF briefs West Bank troops in respecting Ramadan
JERUSALEM (XINHUA) July 7 — The Israeli military on Sunday issued special guidelines to forces deployed in the West Bank ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. “Soldiers have been instructed to demonstrate particularly high consideration and respect toward the (Palestinian) population during the holiday, including refraining as much as possible from eating, drinking and smoking in public, especially at the security crossings,” the Israel Defense Forces and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said in a joint statement. The statement added that travel restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank will be significantly eased for the duration of the month-long fasting. [Let’s hope the guidelines include warnings against shooting of Ramadan drummers as in 2002]
Campaign in West Bank to block porn websites
GulfNews 7 July by Nasouh Nazzal — Sharia Courts have registered many divorce cases as men get addicted to such sites — Ramallah: A Palestinian nation-wide campaign to block porn websites has been launched in the city of Nablus following studies highlighting those sites’ dramatic effects on the stability of families. The campaign was launched in Al Najah National University with demands to block porn sites as those websites violate customs and traditions.
Video: Israelis, Palestinians talk water cooperation
jn1.tv 7 6 July — Scientists from France, West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Israel to travel to southern town of Sde Boker to discuss common water production issues. ‘Water can be an issue for peace or for conflicts,’ says French ambassador to Israel
Analysis / Opinion
Otherwise Occupied / It takes an army to trample the law / Amira Hass
Haaretz 7 July — Last week, the Israel Defense Forces proved once again how it spares no resources or manpower to defend the Jewish people from any danger lying in wait. This time the glory belongs to the military prosecution, particularly the chief military advocate for Judaea and Samaria, Lt. Col. Morris Hirsch. Eyewitnesses describe how, at the Ofer military court, he mobilized with great enthusiasm to defend us from those trying to harm us. On Friday June 28, our forces (the IDF and the Border Police) detained two serial threats to Israeli security: Neriman Tamimi, 37, from the village of Nabi Saleh, and Rana Hamadeh, 22, a native of Kabatia who is also a Canadian citizen. Within a week, in four sessions at two military courts, four judges, three prosecutors and several dozen prison guards, translators, drivers, soldiers and typists were recruited to keep the two women in detention until the proceedings ended. That doesn’t include the defense attorney, Neri Ramaty.
Gloom of the patriarchs: In Hebron the settlers are at war – over rent / Uri Blau
Haaretz 7 July — The Israeli West Bank settlement is split, with money the root of the problem. However, one thing they all agree on: No one is going to tell them how to manage the Jewish buildings, including the Civil Administration — The center of Hebron sometimes seems to resemble the set of a movie about urban warfare: soldiers on every corner; watchtowers; roadblocks; concrete fences; semi-abandoned streets; shuttered shops. But amid the desolation in this West Bank city, its Jewish settlers stride confidently, as though this has nothing to do with them. Now, though, beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is the dominant presence here, a few well-known figures in the local settlement community have had a falling out … The internal dispute in Hebron has led to a startling revelation, which all those involved would rather have kept secret. It turns out that the Civil Administration – to which most of the Jewish-settled buildings in the city belong, in its capacity as the Custodian of Absentee Property – never authorized the Jews to make use of the buildings, in which they have been living for decades. No contracts were ever signed, and only now is the Civil Administration trying to sort out the situation and get its hands on the money the settlers owe: in short, to collect the rent.