Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Report on the recent distribution of demolition orders in Susiya
[with photos] Villages Group 10 July by Limor Mintz-Manor — Our visit a week ago on Thursday, June 27th in South Mt. Hebron was going to be a particularly happy one. With summer vacation having recently started, our son, who is 15 and half years old, and our daughter, 14 years old, could join us again to visit the area, and so did our friend, Tamar. Indeed, we arrived at Susiya as planned, around 10 o’clock in the morning, but from then on, the visit was entirely different than the one we planned and hoped for… After a few more minutes we all understood what was going on. The two young Civil Administration officers started going around the village, stopping at nearly every tent, goats’ pen or any other construction – briefly filling out a form describing it, posing for a photograph near it, for documentation purposes, nervously clearing away whoever got in the frame, and placing the piece of paper between two big rocks next to each family dwelling. These were “cease-work” orders, which means they are the precursors of demolition orders and their subsequent implementation. I asked Nasser why “cease-work” when most of the tents or constructions are not in building stages but have been used by the villagers for quite some time? … As is customary, the orders were not given by the Civil Administration officers personally to the owners, although the owners were standing right next to them, but were placed on rocks, as if to say: For us there aren’t any people here, just rocks.
NGO: Israel set to approve another 1,000 settler homes
JERUSALEM (AFP) 16 July — Israeli authorities are expected on Wednesday to give the green light for the construction of 1,071 new homes in six West Bank settlements, watchdog Peace Now said in a statement on Tuesday. The news came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jordan at the start of a sixth round of intense diplomacy to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with Israel’s settlement building a key sticky point. It also came as the European Union was due to publish on Friday guidelines barring member states from funding projects in Jewish settlements. Peace Now said that a government committee was expected to grant initial approval for plans to build 339 homes at Galgal and Almog settlements in the Jordan valley, Kfar Adumim northeast of Jerusalem and at Kochav Yaacov and Shilo near Ramallah. Another 732 units were to be given a more advanced level of approval, one stage before the start of construction, at the West Bank’s biggest settlement, Modiin Ilit, a community of 58,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews west of Ramallah, it said.
Israel demolishes Bedouin village for 53rd time
BEERSHEBA, Israel (Ma‘an) 16 July — Israeli forces demolished a Bedouin village in southern Israel for the 53rd time on Tuesday, as thousands protested a day earlier over plans to forcibly displace Bedouins in the Negev. “It is the 53rd demolition since July 2010,” Araqib chieftain Sheikh Sayyah Abu Mdeighim told Ma‘an. “They have brought down all the sheds we built for the summer so we can protect our land and defend ourselves against the oppressive policy of this tyrannical government.” Large numbers of Israeli police officers and officials from Israel’s Land Authority accompanied the bulldozers. Families in Araqib managed to re-build five of the sheds after the bulldozers left, Abu Mdeighim said, with Palestinian and Israeli activists due to visit to the village to help rebuild the rest of the structures.
Protests against Prawer plan to forcibly move Negev Bedouin spread across Israel/Palestine
[with Video] Mondoweiss 15 July by Annie Robbins & Adam Horowitz — A few images from day-long protests and strikes across Israel/Palestine in opposition to the Prawer Plan, which will forcibly move up 70,000 Bedouin from their unrecognized villages in Israel into government-approved towns. This action is receiving international protest and condemnation.
Arabs against Prawer Bill: ‘Israel terror state’
Ynet 15 July by Hassan Shaalan — After rally against plan to regulate Bedouin settlement ended with 2 wounded police, protests held across north in over 16 communities; 14 arrested in Yovlim Junction; hundreds block main Wadi Ara, Umm al-Fahm road — …Opposition to the bill has consolidated Israel’s diverse Arab community, prompting all of the Arab banks to shut down, all of the Arab regional councils to strike and most Arab-owned businesses to close shop …
Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi said: “The government is pushing the Arab minority to a corner of confrontation instead of listening to their needs and equalizing the living conditions. We will keep fighting to cancel the Prawer Bill. Only in Israel there is a different law for the Arabs in the Negev. It is not a regularization plan, but an exclusion plan.”
Israel police arrest protesters at anti-Prawer Plan demo
BEERSHEBA, Israel (AFP) 16 July — Israeli police said they detained 15 Bedouin as hundreds of the tribesmen and women marched Monday in the city of Beersheba to protest a government plan to resettle them. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Arab communities in Israel, had called for a day of “angry strikes” including demonstrations in 15 cities to denounce the plan. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said about 800 people took part in the main demonstration in Beersheba, while Arab Israeli MP Jamal Zahalka said more than 1,000 attended. “We called for a peaceful protest in which more than 1,000 people took part but the police used force. They tried to beat a girl with clubs but when I tried to protect her they beat me up as well,” Zahalka told AFP … The security forces also detained 14 demonstrators among hundreds who blocked a road and threw stones at them in Sakhin, an Arab town in northern Israel, added Samri. Later in the evening about 100 protesters demonstrated in East Jerusalem outside Damascus Gate, one of the doors to the Old City. Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians, with Israel arresting several people, witnesses said. At least 50 Palestinians were injured, including a pregnant woman who dislocated her shoulder, as Israeli forces assaulted demonstrators, a Palestinian medical official said. Organizers said the overall number of protesters who took to the streets in Beersheba, the southern Negev desert region, Galilee in the north and Jaffa near Tel Aviv could have been in the thousands. The resettlement plan was approved by the government in January and by the parliament in a first reading in June. Two more votes are expected.
Hamas blocks mass pro-Bedouin protest in Gaza
Al-Monitor 16 July by Mohammad Suliman — …In the Gaza Strip, the Brawer-Begin Bill has generated a public outcry as protests against the Israeli plan were planned in Gaza’s Central Square on Monday, July 15. The Israeli bill, moreover, has been similarly and strongly denounced by Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip. The protests in Gaza, which were called for via Facebook and succeeded in attracting thousands, did not actually come to fruition. The protest lasted for only fifteen minutes before protesters were asked to leave by Hamas security. Just as dozens of protesters started gathering in Gaza’s main square El-Jundi El-Majhool (the Unknown Soldier’s Square), Hamas internal security personnel arrived at the scene and ordered the protesters to disperse for “failing to license the protest through the Ministry of Interior.”
Jewish settlers chop down 40 olive trees, assault houses
RAMALLAH (PIC) 15 July — Jewish settlers of the price tag gang raided Palestinian cultivated land lots to the north of Ramallah and chopped down 40 olive trees. Local sources in Tirmasaya [or Turmus ‘Ayya] village said that the settlers cut off the trees in the eastern lands of the village. They said that around ten settlers sneaked into the land on Sunday night and attacked citizens’ property and crops. The sources noted that the citizens rushed to defend their land at a late night hour.
In another incident, groups of Jewish settlers threw rocks and bottles at a Palestinian citizen’s home near Gush Etzion settlement to the north of Al-Khalil on Sunday.
Israeli group visits Aqsa compound with police escort
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) — Dozens of Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa compound on Monday under armed guard, a local foundation said. The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said the group entered the compound through the Moroccan gate accompanied by an Israeli police escort. Israeli forces deployed at the entrances to the compound and briefly detained two children, the group said.
The mufti of Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, said that Israeli authorities provide protection to extremist groups that visit the Aqsa compound and called on the Organization of the Islamic Conference to protect Palestinian holy sites.
At least 180 Israelis, including 18 rabbis, toured the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday.
Sheikh: Police prevent Israeli rightists from visiting Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) -16 July – Israeli police on Tuesday closed the Moroccan Gate leading to the Aqsa compound and prevented Israeli rightists from entering the area, a Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment official said. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib told Ma‘an that Israeli authorities prevented Israeli rightists and foreign tourists from entering the Aqsa compound. The move comes after pressure from Jordan to stop Jewish extremists visiting the area, al-Khatib said. Hundreds of Israeli rightists have visited the compound in the past two days under heavy Israeli police guard, leading to tensions in the area. Al-Khatib called the visits provocative.
Meanwhile, Israeli extremists attacked and damaged three cars at the Lions Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday, according to the Wadi Hilweh information center. The center reported that large groups of extremists were walking around the Old City, with one group attacking young Palestinians.
Israeli cell companies paying West Bank settlement for use of private Palestinian land
Haaretz 16 July by Amira Hass — Beit El collects thousands of shekels a month for keeping communications equipment on land outside its jurisdiction; Civil Administration has issued demolition orders against all the buildings and trailers, as well as the Pelephone pole, to which antennae are attached — …The payments came to light when Partner submitted an initial response to a petition by Palestinians demanding the evacuation of buildings built on their private land at Jabel Artis. The petition to the High Court was submitted on June 4 by attorneys Husaam Younes and Kamel Natour on behalf of six Palestinians from the village of Dura al Qar’a (Dura al-Qari‘) and the head of the village council. They demand the removal from land they own nine buildings, around 30 trailers, a water reservoir, the two communication centers and the fence that surrounds area. The nine buildings are part of the Ulpana neighborhood , where five buildings were already evacuated and dismantled last year, following a 2008 petition of other Dura al Qar’a residents and a High Court order.
Final operation of Falashmura immigration underway
Ynet 16 July by Danny Adeno Abebe — Official immigration effort nears end: 6,300 made it to Israel, thousands have been refused, famalies have been divided. From now, aliyah requests for Falashmura Jews to be handled on individual basis — On August 28, two last flights will land in Israel, bringing 400 Falashmura new immigrants to the holy land. After this, the Jewish Agency will be closing down its camp in Gondar and the interior minister will hold an emergency hearing for all those who received negative answers.
Restriction of movement
Palestinian activists put [up] banners inviting Israelis for peace
PNN 15 July — A number of Palestinian activists put banners and signs on the main entrance of several Palestinian cities calling for peace with the Israeli citizens. The banners also included a message to the Israeli occupation not to enter into Palestinian civil areas due to its aggression and violations against the Palestinian people; as the Israeli Occupation raids Palestinian cities and villages and arrests the residents. The big banners were placed on cement stones belonging to the Israeli Army on the main entrances of the Palestinian cities and included an invitation to the Israeli citizens to enter into the Palestinian territories as guests without fear or hesitation and to refuse to be an “enemy”. Those banners came in response to the warning letters placed by the Israeli Army on the entrances of the Palestinian cities. Israeli Army put red color banners that warn the Israeli citizens that these are Palestinian territories and Israelis are banned entry. Whereas the Palestinian banners urge the Israelis to enter as guests into the Palestinian territories without any fear or worry. According to the Israeli banners, the Israeli citizens are warned that entering into a Palestinian area exposes their lives to danger and criminal offenses will be imposed on the violators.
Palestinians celebrate Ramadan in Israel
Al-Monitor 16 July by Shlomi Eldar — The staff of Israel’s Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria is unusually busy this month. To mark Ramadan and especially Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the fast, they are issuing hundreds of thousands of permits to Palestinians from the West Bank who want to visit Israel and vacation there. Palestinian border crossings in every zone are opened to just about anyone who submits a formal request and passes Israel’s security inspection. Buses full of tourists leave the cities of the West Bank every morning and drive straight to Israel’s vacation sites or to relatives living in the country’s Arab towns. This policy of opening border crossings during holidays was first initiated and implemented a year ago by the chief of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon. Back then Alon claimed, and rightfully so, that given the decline in violence and the positive general atmosphere in the territories, there were no grounds to prevent tens of thousands of families from the West Bank from visiting Israel for reasons of security. On the contrary, Alon believed that these holiday outings would offer the people of the West Bank a new perspective on Israeli society, and that the encounter with Israelis could be a significant step toward re-establishing trust between the two peoples.
Palestinians: WB shops lose business to Israel during Ramadan
RAMALLAH (The Media Line) 16 July by Diana Atallah — Palestinians are torn between being happy that many have received permits to visit Jerusalem and Israel during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, and being concerned for the West Bank shops that will lose a great deal of business to stores in Israel … During Ramadan, Israel significantly eases restrictions to allow Muslims to visit Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites for Muslims. Israel has already issued 10,000 permits for Palestinians and the number is expected to grow. While in Jerusalem, many Palestinians will make the 45-minute drive to the beach in Tel Aviv, or visit Israel’s amusement parks and tourist attractions … These trips to Israel may be spiritually significant and fun, but they are also costly. Between transportation, entry fees, and food, a one-day trip can cost a family several hundred dollars … A group of Palestinians from Ramallah and Jerusalem, along with Arab citizens of Israel from Haifa, Nazareth, Jaffa, and Acre have planned an awareness campaign to encourage Palestinians to buy from only Arab-owned shops. They are compiling a list of shops, restaurants and coffee-shops in Israel owned by Arab citizens of Israel. A group member told The Media Line that they believe that Israel profits from the permits economically … Palestinian merchants say the permits are taking away their livelihood. Elias Rishmawi, a clothes shop owner in Bethlehem says many Palestinians buy their holiday clothes in Israel, rather than in Bethlehem. “We wait for these high seasons when people shop for their festivities. However, Israel takes all of our profit by these permits,” Rishmawi said. Nevertheless, Palestinian officials say they will never interfere with people’s wishes to go to Jerusalem.
In photos: Palestinian workers’ everyday nightmare at Israeli checkpoints
Qalqiliya (Electronic Intifada) 9 July by Daniel Tepper — The Eyal terminal at the city of Qalqiliya is one of forty fixed checkpoints located along the boundary between the occupied West Bank and Israel. The terminals are part of an elaborate system of physical and administrative obstacles that Palestinians must navigate in order to enter Israel to work. Every Sunday thousands arrive to the terminal before sunrise to begin their workweek; for many it’s the start of a 12-plus hour day which will begin and end at the same metal turnstile. Eyal checkpoint was opened in 2004 after the completion of Israel’s wall that completely surrounds the city of Qalqiliya. The economic effects of Israeli movement restrictions on Palestinians in this region have been particularly acute, requiring many men and women to make the tortuous journey to Israel for work. These pictures were taken between 3:45am and 7am on 11 May 2013 and underline both the dehumanizing nature of the occupation and the resolve of the Palestinian people who face these hardships every day. Text and captions by Sam Gilbert.
Hamas official: Egypt not participating in Gaza siege
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 July — The government in Gaza is in constant talks with Egyptian officials to open the Rafah border crossing regularly, but does not consider Egypt a party to the siege, a senior minister said Tuesday. Ziad Thatha, deputy premier of the Hamas-run government in Gaza, said Israel bore sole responsibility for the closure of the enclave. “There is only one siege not two in Gaza and it is imposed by the Israeli occupation with the go-ahead from the US,” Thatha told Ma‘an.
Egypt army says 8 smuggling tunnels found in Rafah
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 16 July — Egyptian border guards on Monday uncovered eight smuggling tunnels in Rafah, security officials said. Around a million liters of fuel was found in 23 tanks buried in the ground within the tunnels, together with fuel pumps and hoses. Egyptian forces removed the pumping equipment and demolished the tunnels by blocking them with dirt.
Al-Sissi orders destruction for all tunnels to Gaza Strip
CAIRO (PIC) 15 July — The General Command of Egyptian Armed Forces have ordered the demolition of all tunnels between Gaza and Egypt during the next few days before the start of the security operation in Sinai against armed groups, Seventh Day Egyptian website revealed. The operation aims to prevent any “dangerous elements” from infiltrating into the Egyptian territories to target the Egyptian national security, the General Command claimed.
Why won’t Egypt let me go home to Gaza?
Amman (Electronic Intifada) by Belal Dabour — “Come again next week,” said the man sitting behind a desk piled with paperwork. This was my fifth time hearing these words, from an official in booth number nine at the Egyptian embassy in Amman. I asked if there was any hope of an opening for the hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza stranded in Jordan, but he said he could not promise anything. On an earlier visit, the day after the Egyptian army’s 3 July ouster of President Muhammad Morsi, the same employee told me that the delay in issuing visas was due to the “civil disobedience” that accompanied the 30 June mass protests in Egypt. He said that processing would speed up in coming days, but it never did. For more than a week since the military takeover, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed, except for brief periods. Palestinians, even with valid visas for Egypt, have been deported from Cairo airport. Egypt has also instructed airlines to refuse to allow such Palestinians to board Cairo-bound flights. The instructions were confirmed to me twice from both Egyptian and Palestinian airline offices. A relative of mine from Turkey was told that Egypt would fine Turkish Airlines €5,000 ($6,500) for every Palestinian brought to Cairo in defiance of the ban. http://electronicintifada.net/content/why-wont-egypt-let-me-go-home-gaza/12611
Hamas faces financial crisis after Egypt tunnel closures
Al-Monitor 15 July by Hazem Balousha — The ripple effects of the Egyptian crisis represented by the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi and the demonstrations that followed have reached neighboring Hamas-ruled Gaza. The supply of goods smuggled from Egypt through underground tunnels has nearly come to a halt, severely exacerbating the economic hardship already being suffered by the Palestinian residents of the besieged coastal strip. The Hamas government had come to rely heavily on the taxes and tariffs imposed on goods flowing through the crossings with Israel and the tunnels with Egypt to cover monthly costs and payments for governance, especially after the waning of international funding, especially from Iran. The amount of goods entering Gaza through the tunnels had been equal to that coming in through the crossings with Israel. The Hamas government taxes the majority of the Egyptian products to raise revenue, while the taxes on the Israeli supplies, including basic goods, go to the government in Ramallah.
Israeli tanks and bulldozers destroy Gaza farmland
IMEMC 15 July — Today in the Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded farmland owned by Palestinian farmers. The Israeli incursion happened east of Jabaliya district, in the northern part of the Gaza strip. Tanks opened fire at random as bulldozers destroyed farmland that is close to the territory’s border with Israel. There was damage to property, but no injuries were reported.
Gaza: Hamas boosts rocket production
Ynet 16 July by Elior Levy — Egypt cracks down on smuggling tunnels, Hamas pushed to produce own medium-long range rockets; Palestinian source says Gaza residents now used to sounds of test launches … Despite Hamas’ persistence in boosting its own rocket arsenal, it appears equally committed to maintaining its monopoly over the armed campain against Israel, and has deployed forces in the areas bordering with Israel which, through patrols and road-blocks, thwart unauthorized rocket launches by subversive groups such as the Salafists. A Gaza source told Ynet Hamas security services arrested a large number of Salafists – both due to firing directed at Israel and pressure from Egypt, which is concerned from extremist groups seeping in and out of the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
Interactive timeline shows 8 years of Israel boycott gains
Electronic Intifada 9 July by Michael Deas — The Palestinan BDS National Committee has today published an interactive timeline charting the success and growth of the movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Published to mark the eighth anniversary of the Palestinian civil society call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, the timeline includes more than 200 entries that each highlight a particular success or landmark of the movement. You can view the timeline as a page on the BDSmovement.net website here and in full screen here.
In ‘earthquake’ diplomatic move, EU calls on Israel to recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel
Mondoweiss 16 July by Annie Robbins — Update: Here is the full new EU guidelines on Israeli settlements (PDF) Update: Haaretz is reporting a “hasty and urgent” meeting took place at the Israeli Prime Minister’s office today, and a statement was released “blasting the European Union over its decision to condition future agreements with Israel on the latter’s recognition of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as occupied territories.” “We will not accept any external edicts on our borders,” Netanyahu said in a scathing response … And this certainly has hit a nerve with Danny Dayan. Dimi Reider’s +972 has been following Dayan’s twitter feed and look what’s popped up : Dani Dayan compares EU move to death camp selection ! (End of updates)
Huge news out of Europe. Effective Friday, a new European Union directive with a ”territorial clause” bans all EU funding of projects in territories occupied by Israel since the ’67 war: the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The new directive(pdf), which covers all areas of co-operation between the EU and Israel, culture, academia, sports, economics and science, requires the Israeli government to “recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel.”
Israel in damage control mode after EU decision
Ynet 17 July by Attila Somfalvi — Jerusalem pressing friendly European nations to ask for another discussion on decision to exclude bodies from Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem from all agreements. Some cabinet members set on opposing any gestures towards Palestinians … “It’s still not clear what exactly is being banned,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin. “The next stage would be that groups applying for funding would have to pledge not to collaborate with establishments in Judea and Samaria. It’s far reaching. The EU is also demanding that institutes not have any extensions beyond the Green Line. But any Israeli bank has a branch beyond the Green Line, for instance, and the Hebrew University has dorms in the French Hill.”
Violence / Illegal arrests
Two Palestinian children detained in Hebron
IMEMC 15 July — Earlier today, Israeli soldiers detained two Palestinian children near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. Mohammad Abu Mayaleh, 7, and Ahmad Abed al-Qader, 10, were held for several hours and then released. No reason has been given for their detainment … According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, the age of criminal responsibility in the West Bank and Israel is 12, and this means that “the security forces are not allowed to arrest or detain children under that age, even when they are suspected of having committed criminal offenses, and the authorities must deal with the law breaking in other ways.”
Settler stabbed in Jerusalem
IMEMC 17 July — Israeli TV Channel 7 has reported on Tuesday at night [July 16, 2013] that an Israeli settler, 33, was moderately injured after being stabbed in Bab Al-’Amoud area, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli Police claimed that “two young Arab men stabbed the settler and fled the scene.” However, Israeli Ynet News reported that the attack likely carries nationalistic motives.
IOA detains liberated prisoner en route to Jordan for medical treatment
JENIN (PIC) 16 July — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) detained liberated prisoner Mohammed Al-Saadi at the Karame crossing on Tuesday morning while trying to enter Jordan for medical treatment. Local sources said that the IOA held Saadi, from Seelat Al-Harthiya village in Jenin, for a few hours then took him in [?]. They said that Saadi was travelling to Jordan in the company of relatives to undergo a surgery in his foot.
Gaza families visit jailed relatives in Israeli prisons
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 July — A group of Gaza residents visited their relatives in Israeli jails on Monday, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. ICRC spokesman Nasser al-Najjar told Ma‘an that 65 family members, including six children, left Gaza via the Beit Hanoun, or Erez, crossing to visit 39 jailed relatives in Israel.
Update on 13 Palestinians prisoners on hunger strike
Samidoun 16 July — Palestinian prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes in Israeli occupation prisons, with 13 prisoners currently engaged in open hunger strikes, demanding freedom and justice. Abdullah Barghouthi, one of the five Palestinian prisoners with Jordanian citizenship on strike, is continuing to suffer from severe medical effects of his strike. His heartbeat is irregular, his vision is impaired, and he is continuing to suffer kidney and liver problems. His four fellow strikers with Jordanian citizenship, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mar’i, Alaa Hammad and Hamza Othman Al-Dabbas, are now in what has been labeled the psychiatric ward at Ramle prison clinic, where they are even more isolated than before. All have been on hunger strike for 75 days and are shackled hand and foot to their hospital beds. They are also shackled hand and foot for legal visits despite their poor health. They are under 24-hour camera surveillance, yet requests for water can take up to an hour to fulfill….[list of hunger strikers follows]
Former hunger striker transferred to hospital
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 July — Former hunger striker Thaer Halahla was transferred to an Israeli prison hospital on Sunday, a prisoners group said. The Palestinian Prisoners Society said Halahla’s health has deteriorated after contracting Hepatitis C in an Israeli prison. Halahla, from the Hebron-district town of Kharas, held a 77-day hunger strike last year to protest his detention without charge by Israel. He was released in June 2012 after reaching a deal with Israeli prison authorities and greeted by crowds of supporters.
Israeli forces rearrested Halahla in April this year, and Israeli doctors in Ofer prison informed him that he had contracted Hepatitis C during a dental operation in Ashkelon jail, probably because non-sterile tools were used, Addameer prisoners group said.
Political, economic, other news
Abbas to meet Kerry in Amman
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 July — President Mahmoud Abbas will meet US secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday in Amman, a Palestinian official close to negotiations said. The official, who requested anonymity, said the meeting would be held at 8 p.m. and that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat would also attend. The Palestinians expect Kerry to propose cosmetic steps without providing final answers on a return to negotiations, the official said. Earlier, Erekat and PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki had said the next stage in the negotiations process was unpredictable. Senior PLO official Mohammad Shtayyeh said Tuesday that the Palestinians appreciated Kerry’s efforts, but that Israeli policies were impeding them.
Kerry threatens cutting US aid to PA
IMEMC 16 July — An Israeli political source stated that, during his latest visit to the region, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, told Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, that the United States would cut all economic aid to the P.A. should the Palestinians insist on what he called “preconditions” for the resumption of direct peace talks. Israeli Walla News Agency quoted the unnamed source stating that Kerry threatened Abbas during their Ramallah meeting, when he visited the region late last month, that the White House would cut all aid, and would hold Abbas responsible for the failure of peace talks.
Ex-Shin Bet chief blasts Netanyahu in West Bank
TEL AVIV, Israel (UPI) 15 July — As John Kerry struggles to breathe life into an expiring Mideast peace process, Yuval Diskin, former head of Israel’s internal security service, has publicly chastised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for failing to make a real effort to secure an agreement with the Palestinians. In a remarkable, hard-hitting analysis published by The Jerusalem Post, Diskin, a longtime critic of Netanyahu’s policies and an influential figure in Israel’s security establishment, warned that the Jewish state is fast approaching “a point of no return” that will inevitably lead to disaster.
Anger boiling in West Bank over meeting between Israeli, PLO officials
[Video] Al-Bireh (PressTV) 15 July by Hanna Qassis — Palestinian activists as well as representatives of civil society organizations and political parties have held a protest in front of the Palestinian Liberation Organization office the central West Bank city of al Bireh on Monday. The Palestinians protested a meeting that took place earlier this week between P-L-O representatives and Israeli politicians inside of the P-L-O office. The Israeli delegation included members of the Likud and Shas, political consultants and municipal council members while the receiving end was made up of PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, top Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath, and PLO Executive Committee member Mohamed Masri. This meeting and others like it are considered a form of normalizations of relations with Israel. Many Palestinians say such meetings are damaging the Palestinian cause. The anger of the Palestinians protesters stems from the timing of this meeting, which coincides with a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to protest Israel’s violation of their rights.
Shtayyeh: New govt is ‘last chance’ for Hamas
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 July — Hamas must end the national division by Aug. 14, when President Mahmoud Abbas will announce a new government, a senior Fatah official said Tuesday. Mohammad Shtayyeh said the formation of the government was Hamas’ “last chance” for national reconciliation. “Hamas has to come and implement the terms of the reconciliation so we can end six years of division,” Shtayyeh told reporters after a meeting with Carter Center director David Carroll. Shtayyeh said Abbas will reform the government of caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Aug. 14 and call for presidential and parliamentary elections … At a meeting in Cairo on May 14, Fatah and Hamas agreed on a three-month deadline for establishing a unity government and setting an elections date. Under the deal, the two sides were to have set up an interim cabinet of technocrats to prepare for elections, before establishing a unity government. But the deal has stalled over persistent in-fighting over the make-up of the caretaker cabinet.
Private hospitals stop treating Palestinian military personnel
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 15 July — Palestinian private hospitals on Monday stopped admitting Palestinian Authority military personnel because of the government’s outstanding bills. The federation of private hospitals decided to start refusing treatment to patients referred by the PA’s military medical services because their debt to hospitals reached 30 million shekels ($8.34 million), federation chief Dr Nitham Nijab said … On Tuesday, a network of fuel distributors announced that gas stations would stop letting the PA security forces fill up for free after the PA’s finance ministry failed to pay their bills for five months.
WB doctors threaten all-out strike after Eid
RAMALLAH (PIC) 16 July — The council of doctors syndicate and the committee of doctors rights in the West Bank have threatened to go on all-out strike after Eid el-Fitr protesting delay in paying their dues [salaries?]. The syndicate said in a statement on Monday that it was thus addressing a final warning to the Ramallah government, adding that it should pay the doctors their delayed dues as of 1st of January till end of Eid.
Journalists union says Egypt media inciting against Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 July — The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate on Monday warned of an ongoing “crackdown” against Palestinians by some Egyptian media outlets. The syndicate said some Egyptian journalists were inciting against the Palestinians as a people, and not just those who live in Egypt. “This is a very dangerous and slanderous trend unfit for the Egyptian media which has always played epic roles in cooperation and brotherhood,” the PJS said in a statement. The union urged its Egyptian counterpart to take action against “such behavior which harms the image of Egyptian media as well as the Arab national fabric.”
US outraged after Israel backs out of terror suit
Ynet 15 July by Shimon Shiffer — Congress, White House angry at Israel for decision to back out of trial against Bank of China for involvement in laundering of money for Hamas, Islamic Jihad. The reason: China conditioned Netanyahu’s state visit on Israeli promise not to testify in trial. Now, US threatening to subpoena Ambassador Oren
Arabs ready anti-Israeli resolution over nukes
AP 15 July — After a two-year hiatus, Arab nations are relaunching efforts to single out Israel for criticism at a major international conference this fall by preparing a resolution suggesting that the Jewish state is threatening Middle East peace by its refusal to acknowledge that it has nuclear arms and put them under UN purview.
Saudi Airlines discriminates against Israeli citizens– refuses to sell tickets to fliers with Israeli passports, Blasio probe reveals
NY Post 15 July by Beth DeFalco — Saudi Arabian Airlines is discriminating against Israeli citizens by refusing to fly them from US airports — even when passengers are simply looking to transfer in Saudi Arabia to another country, The Post has learned. The airline’s Web site asks for citizenship to book a ticket but has no option on a drop-down menu for anyone holding an Israeli passport. The oversight doesn’t appear accidental — the drop-down menu is so thorough it even has an option for Antarctica. “No city in the world has closer ties to Israel than we do, and yet Israeli citizens are being discriminated against right here at JFK. It’s not only illegal; it’s an affront to who we are,” said Public Advocate, and mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio, who conducted a recent telephone sting on the Mideast nation’s airline.[wonder if Israel’s discrimination against passengers with Arab names bothers him…]
What it means to be a Palestinian immersed in Israeli society
972blog 15 July by Towibah Mjdoob — Towibah Mjdoob is researching how some Palestinians live within entirely Jewish surroundings, how the conflict between the two nations comes into play in their day-to-day lives. But very quickly, Mjdoob realizes that she has become the subject of her own research — …The lecturer divided the board into columns: Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, Druze, Russians, Arabs, Bedouin and a few others. Some of the columns were divided into subgroups: Yemenites, Iraqis, etc. The class was asked to list all the stereotypes of each group. I didn’t agree with the division between Druze, Arabs and Bedouin, but I decided not to bring it up during class. The students, who were getting their master’s degree in social psychology, began listing all the stereotypes. Most of the ones they named weren’t negative, except when it came to Arabs. “Murderers,” “terrorists,” “sexually deviant,” “oppress women,” “they all wear veils,” “not intelligent.” At times you could even hear people laughing. No one even dared to think that a Palestinian student was sitting in the middle of the class. Only the lecturer knew. With every stereotype that was shouted out she looked at me apologetically, which didn’t make me feel any better.
‘Hasbara’ courses at Israeli universities exposed in new report
Haifa (Electronic Intifada) 15 July by Yara Sa’di — Various Israeli academic institutions have introduced courses and programs on hasbara — the Hebrew-language term used to describe Israel’s attempts to re-brand its image as its occupation and military aggression makes it increasingly unpopular worldwide. A new report from the Academic Watch Project shows that instead of promoting critical thought and inquiry, these courses at academic institutions serve to promote the policies of the State of Israel and the whitewashing of its crimes. The Academic Watch Project is a group of Palestinian students at Israeli academic institutions dedicated to exposing discrimination within Israeli academia and its connection with Israel’s military occupation and apartheid policies. “A Word on Hasbara” aims to uncover the content of these courses and programs and their funding. It also seeks to reveal their connections with the ministries of foreign affairs and public diplomacy and international Zionist groups.