al-Araqib activist: ‘Prison is better for me than being deported’

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Negev activist: Prison better than displacement
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — A prominent activist in the Negev village of al-Araqib said Tuesday that he would rather stay in prison than be displaced from his village. Sayah al-Touri was arrested on Monday with three other activists from the Bedouin village, which has been repeatedly demolished by Israeli forces. “Prison is better for me than being deported away from al-Araqib,” he said via his lawyer. Several of the villagers detained by Israel were told by police that they would be released on condition that they didn’t go back to al-Araqib.  All of them refused the offer. Israeli authorities demolished the village of al-Araqib for the 54th time on Aug. 15.
The Israeli government in January approved the Prawer-Begin Bill, calling for the relocation of 30,000 – 40,000 Bedouin, the demolition of about 40 villages, and the confiscation of more than 700,000 dunums of land in the Negev. It was approved by parliament in a first reading in June, and two more votes on it are expected.
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Israeli forces demolish East Jerusalem homes
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 26 Aug – Israeli forces razed several structures in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of al-Tur and Eisawiya under the pretext that they were built without a license. Locals told Ma‘an that a large number of Israeli forces including special forces, police horsemen, and border guard officers raided Khallat al-Ein neighborhood in al-Tur. The invading forces denied residents and journalists access to the area before they forced two families to quickly evacuate their houses for demolition. The families were given only minutes to pull out some of their belongings.
Zakariyya al-Daya told Ma‘an that without a prior notice, Israeli forces stormed his house and another house belonging to his brother Abdul-Aziz and ordered the families to evacuate them for demolition. Al-Daya asserted that he had obtained a court decision to suspend the demolition order until October. He tried to show the soldiers the decision but they refused to argue with him and attacked him with pepper spray, he said. Al-Daya explained that the two houses measured 120 square meters and used to shelter 12 family members. They were built six years earlier on a private tract of land. The Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem then ordered the family to pay a fine of 20,000 shekels followed by another fine of 60,000 shekels which the family is still paying in installments.
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Israeli bulldozers demolish structures in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 26 Aug — Israeli bulldozers Monday demolished several structures, including animal barns, and razed agricultural land in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, according to a local activist. Mohammed Abu Hummus, member of the monitoring committee in Issawiya, told WAFA that bulldozers protected by a large police force along with staff from the Israeli antiquities authority demolished three sheds, two of which were used as animal barns, under the pretext that they were “harmful and destructive to nature”. Bulldozers also demolished a car garage and a chicken farm under the pretext of being built without a permit. The bulldozer razed two dunums of agricultural land and uprooted olive trees in the same neighborhood.
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Israel plans to build 396 housing units in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 27 Aug — The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) have approved the establishment of 396 housing units in Beit Hanina village north of Jerusalem, aiming at expanding Ramat Shlomo settlement and link it with the second-largest settlement in Jerusalem. The expert on the settlement and maps, Khalil al-Tufkaji, said that this Israeli settlement scheme has been previously delayed to be presented again after talks’ resumption. Beit Hanina lands, over 4,850 dunams, were confiscated in 1970 under the pretext of serving public interest, where Ramat settlement, which accommodates 42 thousand settlers, was built.
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IOA serves notices for demolition of 8 water wells in Al-Khalil hamlet
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 28 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) served notices in Al-Fakhit hamlet to the east of Yatta town, south of Al-Khalil city, for the destruction of eight water wells. Ratib Al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlement in Yatta, said on Wednesday that Israeli occupation forces delivered the notifications to members of the three families in the hamlet. He said that the notifications include the demolition of the wells and barbed wire provided by UNDP for the establishment of a natural sanctuary over an area of 700 dunums owned by those three families. Jabour lashed out at the IOA for displacing citizens and destroying their property for the sake of expanding Jewish settlements. He said that Al-Fakhit is one of eight hamlets threatened with destruction in the area for the sake of retaining a reserve land for future establishment of settlements and expansion of existing ones.
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Group: Israeli forces hand out stop-work orders
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 27 Aug – Israeli forces on Tuesday handed stop-work warrants to several Palestinian families in the southern West Bank town of al-Dhahiriya over allegedly building houses without license. Family members told the Hebron-based Land Research Center that inspectors of the Israeli Civil Administration “stormed the al-Maalla area and handed warrants ordering residents to stop construction works in their houses.” The report highlighted that though the warranted houses were under construction, families lived in them. The orders, according to the LRC, notified owners that an inspection committee would meet on Sept. 30 to consider possible house demolitions in the area.
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Israeli forces demolish Negev home
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian house in the Negev on Monday, locals said. “An Israeli military force, undercover forces, and Israeli police came and demolished the house, turning it into a pile of stones,” homeowner Younis Awad Abu Ghanem told Ma‘an. The home was located in the village of Tal al-Saba. A delegation of officials from the Islamic Movement visited Abu Ghanem following the demolition. Younis Awad Abu Ghanem said he would not leave his land despite the home demolition.
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Israeli forces raid factories, confiscate equipment near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — Israeli forces raided the Bethlehem town of Beit Fajjar on Monday and confiscated construction equipment, locals said. President of the stone and marble industry Subhi Thawabteh said that Israeli forces ransacked several factories and workshops in the area and confiscated bulldozers and other equipment. Israeli forces have raided factories in the area in the past, Thawabteh added.
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Settlers storm Sarafand mosque in 48-occupied territories
NAZARETH (PIC) 28 Aug — Israeli extremist settlers stormed a mosque in the evacuated village of Sarafand near Haifa, northern occupied Palestinian territories in 1948, and stole its contents, Palestinian sources said. Worshipers said that extremist settlers or employees of the Israeli authorities have stormed the mosque and stolen all of its contents. The Israeli authorities demolished in 2000 the mosque after the Islamic Movement in the Palestinian territory occupied in 1948 conducted restoration operations in it. [from Wikipedia: In 1999, the ‘Aqsa Society for the Preservation of Islamic Holy Sites decided to restore al-Sarafand’s mosque. In May 2000, while restoration was on the verge of completion, the mosque was destroyed overnight by a bulldozer. The perpetrator was never identified.]
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Settlers destroy dozens of olive trees near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — A group of settlers raided private Palestinian olive groves south of Nablus on Wednesday and destroyed dozens of trees, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that the attack took place in an area between Huwwara and Burin. Settlers destroyed over 25 trees. The fields belong to Hasan Bani Salem
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‘Price tag’ vandals slash tires of 10 cars
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 Aug – Israeli vandals from the so-called ‘price tag’ group Tuesday slashed the tires of ten Palestinian-owned cars in the Jerusalem village of Beit Safafa, according to local sources. They said that settlers slashed the tires of several cars as well as sprayed their ‘price tag’ signature on the walls.
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Jewish settlers desecrate ‘Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 28 Aug — Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning under heavy police protection. Awqaf officials said that more than 60 settlers broke into the holy site via Al-Maghareba gate in groups and desecrated its plazas and provoked worshipers. Jewish fanatics had called on Tuesday for marking the third anniversary of the death of two extremist settlers (Isaac and Talia Emms) by organizing a mourning ceremony inside the Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday.
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Palestinian schools in Jerusalem offered money to switch to Israeli curriculum
Al-Akhbar 28 Aug — Several Palestinian schools in Jerusalem will incorporate Israeli educational material in their curriculum after receiving financial incentives from Israeli officials, Ma‘an news agency reported on Wednesday. An education official told Ma‘an that the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem had offered increased salaries for teachers and principals who implement Israeli course material in the classes, bringing an estimated $550 for each student enrolled in schools agreeing to the switch. Some Palestinian and Israeli school principals and teachers met in Tel Aviv last week to discuss the change, the official added. Jerusalem’s director of education Samir Jibril said at least five Palestinian schools in Jerusalem will switch from Palestinian Authority to Israeli education plans at certain grade levels. “This step is very dangerous and touches the awareness of Palestinians in Jerusalem in an effort to brainwash them and control them, especially young generations,” a teacher identifying only as Jibril told Ma‘an. The Israeli curriculum purportedly includes maps marking the West Bank as part of Israel and identifying territories by their Jewish Biblical names. The history material also identifies Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite the fact that the United Nations and most states do not recognize Israel’s claim on the city. The apartheid wall in the West Bank is also referred to as Israel’s security fence, and Israel is described as a bastion of human rights and democracy.
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Israeli arrests man who had been invited to US-sponsored technology fair
JERUSALEM (AP) 28 Aug — Israel has confirmed the arrest of a Gaza man who was detained as he prepared to travel to a U.S.-sponsored cultural event in the West Bank. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency says Alaa Miqbel was arrested this week when he arrived at an Israeli crossing to get a travel permit. It says the 30-year-old man belongs to the Islamic Jihad Palestinian militant group and had participated in attacks on Israeli soldiers. Miqbel works for a nonprofit youth group and had been invited to a technology camp. Sponsors included the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. His father Hasan said his son is not involved in politics or attacks. Consulate spokesman Peter Galus confirmed Wednesday that Miqbel was invited and said participants had been screened for security purposes. He had no arrest details.
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Violence / Raids / Attacks / Suppression of protests / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Governor: Nablus man shot dead was killed in crossfire
[with photos] NABLUS (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — A man shot dead on Tuesday was killed in the crossfire between Palestinian Authority security forces and gunmen in Askar refugee camp, the governor of Nablus said Wednesday. “A unit of security forces was assigned to arrest a wanted man in the camp according to the law and entered his house to arrest him,” Jibrin al-Bakri told Ma‘an. “Then several gunmen started shooting at the officers from a number of directions. Some children started throwing rocks at them, which led the officers to call for reinforcements.” PA forces exchanged gunfire with the gunmen before leaving the camp, having arrested their intended suspect, al-Bakri said. PA forces were unaware that a man had been fatally shot during the gun-battle, he added. A committee of highly qualified personnel will be formed to investigate the incident, the Nablus governor said, and the results of the investigation will be publicly announced. “We managed to contain the incident and learn from it in order not to repeat the same mistakes, because the PA is there to serve all Palestinians,” al-Bakri said. PA forces arrested a number of people who demonstrated and destroyed public and private property following the death of Amjad Odeh, 37. President Mahmoud Abbas will list Odeh as a Palestinian martyr, al-Bakri added.
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Medics: Israeli troops shoot, injure Palestinian worker
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 28 Aug – Israeli troops shot and injured a young Palestinian man near al-Ramadin village south of Hebron while he was headed to work in Israel, a Red Crescent official. According to Nasser Qabaja of the Palestinian Red Crescent Association, the victim was evacuated in an ambulance to a public hospital in Hebron after he was shot in the foot near al-Ramadin. Medics in the hospital identified the victim as Ismail Hirzallah Mahariq, 20. The victim arrived at the hospital with a bullet wound in his foot, and it exited from the other side. Medics said that doctors managed to stop the bleeding and stabilize the man’s condition.
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Funeral held for three Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops
Guardian 26 Aug — Three Palestinians shot dead by Israeli security forces in a West Bank refugee camp were buried in a tempestuous funeral on Monday as Palestinian negotiators cancelled talks in a sign of the fragility of the embryonic peace process … Thousands of people flocked to the camp for the funeral following noon prayers. Masked militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade fired AK47s into the air as an imam told the crowd through loudspeakers at the cemetery: “Israel does not want peace; they want to shed our blood.” Shops in the area remained shuttered as youths set fire to car tyres and threw stones and molotov cocktails at the nearby Qalandiya checkpoint, the main gateway in the imposing concrete wall between the West Bank and Jerusalem … The Israeli military said the guards were acting in self-defence … But witnesses claimed that at least two of the three victims were bystanders. Robin al-Abed, 32, was shot in the chest as he tried to get from his home to his workplace, and Jihad Asslan, 20, was pronounced brain dead after being shot on the roof of his house where he had gone to watch the clashes, said a neighbour of the men, Abu Omar Hammad. The third dead man was Younis Jahjouh, 22, who was also shot in the chest. Hammad, 46, who sells sweets in the camp, said he had been woken by his children at 6am to find “soldiers smothering the neighbourhood”. He said he saw al-Rabed shot as he tried to get to his job with the UN Palestinian refugee agency, Unrwa.
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Young activists enforce commercial strike in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — A group of Palestinian young men on Monday afternoon forced shop owners in Ramallah in the central West Bank to shut down their stores to mourn three young Palestinians who were shot dead in the morning by Israeli troops in nearby Qalandia refugee camp. Palestinian factions have not officially announced a general strike in the city, but youth activists affiliated to the Palestinian president’s Fatah movement decided to paralyze the city in protest against the killings in Qalandia.
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UNRWA condemns killing of staff member in Qalandia
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees on Monday condemned the killing of one of its workers by Israeli forces in Qalandia refugee camp. “UNRWA deeply regrets to confirm that one of its staff members, a 34-year-old father of four, was shot dead by Israeli forces and killed instantly in an operation in Qalandia refugee camp in the occupied West Bank at approximately seven o’clock this morning,” a statement read. “Credible reports say that he was on his way to work and was not engaged in any violent activity. He was shot in the chest,” it added. Another UNRWA staff member was shot in the leg during the incident and is said to be in a stable condition.
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A daily routine || West Bank raids: Operational routine or a powder keg about to explode?
Haaretz 27 Aug by Amira Hass — The outcome of Monday’s raid in Qalandiyah – three dead and six seriously wounded – is the worst this year in the West Bank. But such raids are carried out on a daily basis: 6,193 times in 2012 — The vast majority of the hordes of participants in the funeral of the three dead men in Qalandiyah Tuesday marched silently from the mosque on the refugee camp’s main street to the cemetery on its eastern edge. A few shouted “revenge” and “Allahu Akhbar” (“God is great”). Only men marched down the alleyways to the burial site. The women and children crowded into the corners of the alleys, and some even climbed onto rooftops and watched the marchers from there. One of the women, whose origin, like that of the dead man Rubin Al-Abed Zayed, 34, is from the ruined village of Barfiliyah (today in the Modi’in area), told Haaretz angrily: “If only the soldiers had entered the camp at night, as they usually do, and not in the morning when people are going out to work and children are preparing to go to school, the three victims would not have fallen. From the morning, immediately after the shooting stopped, we ran around among the families of the dead and the seriously wounded, we came to console the mothers, the children or the young siblings. How hard it is. The army came deliberately in the morning and not at night — it came to kill.” Similar raids, for various reasons, are a routine matter in the West Bank. Up until Sunday there were 297 raids all over the West Bank in August … What for the Israel Defense Forces and the Border Police is “routine operations,” for Palestinians is a nightly average of 10 to 20 aggressive Israeli reminders of who is boss: a routine that never stops arousing anger, even if it isn’t reflected in confrontations.
1-minute video: Qalandiya refugee camp clashes 26/08/2013 Photo Maysa Ayad
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Mosque tear-gassed, olive tree set ablaze: Summer protests in the West Bank
972mag 26 Aug by Haggai Matar — In Bil‘in, the army is adopting new tactics to get demonstrators away from wall, while in Qadum, it took the initiative with a preemptive strike on the local mosque during prayer. And yet, this past Friday, hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli and international solidarity activists protested against the occupation — and got their fair share of tear gas — It’s been a while since my last visit to Bil‘in. I’ve been busy with union work at Maariv, and besides, taking a Friday at home is always more tempting than marching up West Bank hilltops in the summer heat, and dodging flying tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. This is exactly why it’s so amazing to see just how persistent activists in the popular struggle can be. At the end of the Friday prayer, about 30 Bil‘in residents accompanied by some 20 solidarity activists started their weekly march on the wall. Passing over where the old route of the wall used to run (back then it was actually a fence), one could see just how meaningful the villagers’ victory is: hundreds of acres have been returned to the village due to its relentless struggle, and these lands are now being cultivated — they are thriving, with new groves, olive trees and a playground and leisure area for family picnics. The struggle goes on to push the wall all the way back to the Green Line and retrieve the rest of the land appropriated by Israel.
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Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — Angered by the killing of three Palestinian men in Qalandia refugee camp by Israeli forces, youths clashed Monday afternoon with Israeli forces in Hebron. A Ma‘an reporter observed young men throwing stones at an Israeli military post stationed at the entrance to Shuhada Street in the center of the Old City. The street has been closed and controlled by Israeli forces since 1994 after a Jewish extremist shot dead 29 worshipers and injured more than 100 while they were performing prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque. Israeli troops showered the demonstrators with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets. Witnesses said at least two young men were hurt, and another was detained.
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Palestinians clash with Israeli troops near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Aug – Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated bullets and several others were hurt by tear gas during clashes with Israeli troops in ‘Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem Monday evening. Locals in the camp told Ma’an that young men clashed with Israeli forces to express anger after the killing of three young Palestinian men in Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Israeli troops showered the protesters with tear gas and fired rubber-coated bullets injuring two people. Several residents were hurt by tear gas.
Israeli forces, stationed near the so-called seam zones in Bethlehem, rarely hesitate to shower a whole camp or town with very harmful type of tear gas, an eyewitness from al-Khader village said. “We live in a densely-populated neighborhood very close to the bypass road known as route 60. Israeli troops never leave the area, and almost every day the neighborhood is showered with tear gas for no reason,” the man, who identified himself as Abed, added. He said that soldiers deliberately target alleys and balconies claiming that local young men threw stones at them. “Two weeks ago, I and my wife were in bed early in the morning before we were panic-stricken by a blow on the window. It was tear gas, and fortunately it hit the bars and did not break through the window though the glass was open.” Abed added that he quickly closed the glass and hurried to check on his children on the lower floor. “I couldn’t walk down the stairs because the whole staircase was clouded with tear gas. However, when I heard my children shouting for help, I and my wife ran to the lower floor and with help of my two sons we managed to pull my 14-year-old daughter to the upper floor. We were looking for fresh air, but that was impossible because the alley was showered by tear gas from all directions….
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Israeli forces raid Jenin area village, clash with residents
JENIN (Ma‘an) 26 Aug – Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated bullets, and several others choked as they inhaled tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces in Sanur village near Jenin Monday evening. Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the village and ransacked the home of a senior Fatah leader to summon his son to an Israeli intelligence office for interrogation … Sources in the Red Crescent said ambulances evacuated two young men to a public hospital in Jenin. Khalil Walad Ali, and Muamin Abu Gharbiyya were hit by rubber-coated bullets in the head and the neck.
Separately, young men clashed with Israeli troops in the village’s center near the main mosque. Witnesses said that young Palestinians pelted the soldiers with stones and empty bottles, and they responded with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.
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IOF soldiers round up six Palestinians
RAMALLAH (PIC) 26 Aug — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up six Palestinians in three West Bank provinces over the past 24 hours, a Hebrew website said on Monday. The site said that elements of IOF Kfir brigade burst into two West Bank provinces and arrested five Palestinians while other IOF soldiers arrested a sixth in Bethlehem. It said that the Kfir brigade elements detained a Palestinian in ‘Arura village to the north of Ramallah and another one in ‘Abud village, also near Ramallah. The site said that three Palestinians were nabbed in Al-Khalil at the pretext of being wanted for intelligence interrogation. IOF soldiers detained a young man in Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, at dawn after breaking into and ransacking his family home. Locals reported that IOF soldiers roamed the streets of Al-Khalil city and Edhna town to the west of it for hours.
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Israeli forces detain teen in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — Israeli forces arrested a teenager overnight Monday in the Hebron town of Beit Ummar, locals said. Mohammad Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashim, a student in the 11th grade, was detained by Israeli forces during a raid. It is the fourth time that Abu Hashim, an honors student, has been detained by Israel. Ibrahim Najajreh, the director of prisoners affairs in Hebron, said that Beit Ummar suffers from regular arrest raids targeting school students and teenagers.
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IOF soldiers nab seven Palestinians including two brothers
RAMALLAH (PIC) 27 Aug — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinians in different West Bank areas at dawn Tuesday. PIC reporter in Bethlehem said that IOF soldiers arrested two brothers after breaking into their father’s home south of Bethlehem city and took them to an unknown location. The Israeli radio said that IOF soldiers arrested four Palestinians in Nablus and a young man in Edhna village, west of Al-Khalil.
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IOF arrests Hamas leader Mazen Abu Natsheh
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 27 Aug– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested on Monday the leader in Hamas movement Sheikh Mazen Abu Natsheh, 42, from al-Khalil. Natsheh had been released six months ago, after having spent nearly seven years in Israeli jails mostly in administrative detention. The Israeli forces brutally stormed and searched the liberated prisoner’s house for hours before arresting him, Natsheh’s wife told the PIC reporter.
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Israeli police round up five Jerusalemite children
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 28 Aug — Israeli police nabbed eight Palestinians including five children in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday night. Local sources said that policemen took the detainees from Bab Al-Amoud in downtown Jerusalem to an interrogation center, adding that the five children were 14 to 16 years old. A police statement claimed that the children threw stones at a busload of settlers.
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces detained three young men during clashes in Issawiye village.
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Detainees / Court actions

Palestinian hunger strikers in serious condition
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — The health of two Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike is rapidly deteriorating, lawyers from the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners said Tuesday. Lawyer Hanin al-Khatib told Ma‘an that Abed al-Majid Khdeirat is suffering from a kidney infection, breathing problems, and severe back pain. Israeli prison guards punished Khdeirat by not allowing any visits for 6 months and banned him from buying anything at the prison canteen … He has lost 27 kilograms since beginning his strike action on July 1. Khdeirat, 45, is from Tubas and works in the PA national security forces. He spent 11 years in an Israeli jail before being released in the Shalit swap deal. He was rearrested in May. Another Palestinian hunger striker, Hussam Matar, is also in a serious condition and is currently being treated in hospital, PA lawyer Karim Ajwa said. He suffers from kidney and liver problems and has lost 33 kilograms since launching strike action on June 1.
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Ahrar: Abu Sisi continues his hunger strike for the 13th day in a row
NABLUS (PIC) 28 Aug — Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies said that the isolated prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi continued his hunger strike for the 13th day in a row despite his deteriorating health condition. Abu Sisi’s family told Ahrar center that Dirar has stopped eating and taking medication, while the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) prevented doctors from checking on his health condition and only allowed lawyers to meet him … Fouad Khuffash, director of the Center, stated that Abu Sisi declared his hunger strike in protest at his continued isolation, and he is determined to continue the strike until the achievement of his demands.
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Lecturer Mohammed Ghazal’s admintrative detention renewed
NABLUS (PIC) 27 Aug — The Israeli Authorities have renewed the administrative detention of the lecturer at An-Najah National University Dr. Mohammed Ghazal, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights said. The Foundation said in a statement on Monday that the administrative detention of Dr. Ghazal, 56, was renewed for three months. Dr. Ghazal, a leader in Hamas movement, was arrested in 2011 after storming his house in Nablus, and was held since then in administrative detention (without trial or charge).
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Military court postpones decision on detained academic
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 28 Aug — The Israeli military court at Ofer, near Ramallah, postponed Wednesday a decision on the incarceration of the academic, Ahmad Qatamesh, and gave his attorney and the prosecution two weeks to agree on a deal regarding his arrest, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC). Israel arrested Qatamesh, 62, a known university instructor and author from Ramallah, in April 2011 and has kept him in jail since then under administrative detention, claiming he was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Attorney Jawad Boulus, head of the legal unit in the PPC, rejected the Israeli military claims for keeping Qatamesh under prolonged detention without charge or trial and said the military judge has also questioned the long detention. Boulus said the judge made reference to an Israeli Supreme Court decision made a month ago calling for a way out for this issue and therefore called on the two parties to reach a deal within two weeks
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Gaza families visit relatives jailed in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — A group of 94 Gaza residents visited their relatives in Israel’s Nafta prison on Monday, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. ICRC spokesman Nasser al-Najjar told Ma‘an that 94 family members, including 22 children, left Gaza via the Beit Hanoun, or Erez, crossing to visit 48 jailed relatives in Israel. Israel banned visits to all prisoners from Gaza in 2007 to pressure Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in October 2011. Prison visits were reinstated after a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails. Under international law, detainees are entitled to receive family visits.
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Abu Zuhri denied Hamas members were captured in Egypt
GAZA (PIC) 28 Aug — Hamas spokesman Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri has denied media claims that five members of Hamas movement were arrested in Egypt in connection with the killing of Egyptian soldiers in Rafah border town. He described the media claims in a press release on Wednesday as “sheer lies” that fell in line with the campaign of incitement against Gaza Strip and Palestinian resistance. He said that the incitement aims to justify the destruction of tunnels and the almost complete closure of the Rafah border crossing in addition to providing a cover for the strangulation of the besieged enclave. The spokesman advised the media outlets to scrutinize news before publishing them and to stop targeting Palestinian resistance based on lies and fabrications.
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Egypt allows construction material to enter Gaza
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — Egyptian authorities on Monday allowed the entry of construction materials into Gaza. Twenty-six trucks, including one truck of gravel and two trucks of iron, were allowed in to be used in Qatari-funded reconstruction projects. Last year, Qatar pledged $400 million in reconstruction funds to the Gaza Strip, and construction material for the projects entered Gaza in late December, breaking a six-year ban enforced by Egypt and Israel.
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PFLP: Hamas security force detain fighters in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — Hamas security forces detained several members of the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine overnight Tuesday, the leftist group said. Hamas forces raided several homes in Gaza and detained members of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the PFLP said. The raid took place as fighters and supporters of the PFLP commemorated the 12th anniversary of Abu Ali Mustafa’s death in 2001. Mustafa was killed by two rockets fired at his office in Ramallah by Israeli helicopters. Hamas security officials said that the fighters were detained on suspicion of launching rockets at south Israel, without providing further details.
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Gaza court issues death penalty to convicted collaborator
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — A court in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday sentenced a man to death on charges of collaborating with Israel. The court ruled that the man, identified only as B.H, be sentenced to death by hanging, but did not set a date for the execution. Another man was sentenced to death on criminal charges of killing three Palestinians in Khan Younis. The Hamas-run security services have cracked down on collaborators in the Gaza Strip since launching a campaign in the media to discourage working with Israeli intelligence.
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PA ministry sends medical supplies to Gaza
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — The Palestinian Authority ministry of health on Wednesday sent a medical aid convoy worth 3 million shekels ($818,577) to Gaza. “It’s expected that the convoy will arrive Thursday morning and the ministry will not hesitate to provide Gaza with all the medicines they need,” caretaker Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah said while touring a health center in Ramallah … The medical convoy will include equipment and medicine.
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Hamas vs. Fatah

Fatah official: Hamas must stop detaining Fatah members
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — Fatah official Taysir al-Bardini on Wednesday called for an end to Hamas’ detentions of Fatah leaders in Gaza. Al-Bardini called on officials to work to end the detention and summons of Fatah leaders in Gaza, which he said violated human rights laws and public freedoms. He urged all factions to work toward reconciliation and the release of political prisoners. Fatah leaders Abdul Aziz al-Maqadmeh, Khalil Abu Hasneh, Mahmoud Hussain and Salah al-Ewisi are in detention in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
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PA forces arrest 5 of Hamas supporters, summon 6 others in WB
WEST BANK (PIC) 27 Aug — The PA forces have continued arrest and summon campaigns in West Bank provinces against Hamas supporters and members. Four members of Hamas movement have been arrested in Nablus and al-Khalil including a martyr’s son and summoned two others in al-Kahlil and Qalqilya including the son of a leader in Hamas movement after serving several years in Israeli and PA jails. In al-Khalil, the PA preventive security arrested the liberated prisoner Noor Shaker al-Atrash after being summoned to its headquarters. PA intelligence service summoned the liberated prisoner Mounir Qoukas, knowing that he spent ten years in Israeli jails. For its part, Islamic bloc confirmed that the student Mahmoud Ahmeidat, held in PA jails for two weeks, was transferred to hospital after serious health deterioration….
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Hamas: Surrendering RoR high treason
GAZA (PIC) 27 Aug — The refugees’ department in Hamas movement warned that anyone surrendering the Palestinian refugees’ right of return (RoR) should stand trial for high treason. The department said in a press release on Tuesday that remaining silent toward PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’s declared intention to give up RoR was a “crime”. It said that Abbas told a delegation of the Israeli Meretz party last Thursday that he would agree to the cancellation of the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to Yaffa, Akka, and Safad, which practically means a surrender of RoR.
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Activism / Solidarity

‘Disappearing Palestine’ bus ads in Vancouver accused of inciting hatred by Sam Cooper and Stephanie Ip — Jewish groups in Vancouver say they are considering suing the transit authority for accepting controversial political advertisements showing the “disappearance of Palestine due to Israeli occupation over the past 66 years.” On Tuesday, a group called the Palestine Awareness Coalition announced the launch of 15 bus posters and a large mural in a central Vancouver SkyTrain station, that depict the territory of Palestine steadily shrinking into the state of Israel in a succession of dated maps.
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Palestinian refugees elsewhere

Group: 4 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 28 Aug – Four Palestinian refugees were killed Tuesday in the ongoing clashes in Syria, a Palestinian group said. The Workforce for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement that Mir’i Muhammad died shortly after he sustained critical wounds by shrapnel from a shell which landed near Abu Siyam Bakery in the Yarmouk refugee camp. The other three were Palestinian fighters affiliated to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command who joined Syrian regime troops in a battle in Sayyida Zeinab refugee camp against the Free Army rebels. The statement identified the victims as Mahmoud Muhammad Thahir, Tariq Muhammad al-Khatib and Salih Hussein al-Sharqi
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Hamas calls for ending incitement against Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees
BEIRUT (PIC) 27 Aug– A national campaign launched by Hamas to defend the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon appealed to all Lebanese parties involved in inciting hatred against the Palestinians to stop their smear campaign and accusing others without evidence … The campaign warned that the persistence of some Lebanese political, security and media figures in their blind incitement against the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would adversely affect the relationship between the two countries.
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Political, other news

Protesters, PA forces clash in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — Several protesters and police were injured Wednesday as police broke up a protest against negotiations in Ramallah. Brief clashes broke out as around 50 Palestinians protested the PA’s return to talks with Israel, a Ma‘an reporter said. They were also protesting the fatal shooting of a Palestinian during an arrest raid by PA forces in Askar refugee camp in Nablus on Tuesday. The governor of Nablus said Wednesday that Amjad Odeh, 37, was caught in the crossfire of gunfire between PA forces and residents of the camp. In Ramallah, protesters accused the PA forces of collaboration with Israel and called them the “other face of (Israel’s) occupation.” PA forces prevented them marching to the presidential headquarters.
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Report: Israeli, Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho on Monday to discuss the peace process, despite an announcement by the PLO that talks had been canceled following the killing of three Palestinians earlier in the day. A Palestinian official, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Xinhua News Agency that the two negotiation teams met in the house of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jericho. “Erekat presented to his Israeli counterparts a string protest to the earlier killing of three Palestinians by the Israeli soldiers’ gunfire in northern Ramallah,” the source said. The US State Department, which is mediating the talks, insisted that no meeting planned as part of the ongoing peace process had been cancelled.
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Report: talks reveal gaps between Israel negotiators
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Aug — Two rounds of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams have revealed major conceptual gaps between Israel’s two chief negotiators, Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, Israeli daily Maariv reported Tuesday. Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho is seeking an agreement of principles regarding final status issues rather than signing a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, a similar framework to the Oslo Accords of 1993. Molcho’s approach is more likely to win Netanyahu’s support because he trusts him on “Palestinian issues” and is a close adviser to the prime minister, Maariv said. Livni’s approach is rooted in “classic Israeli negotiations” which necessitate big work teams which will, in principle, be able after nine months to sign a final status agreement with the Palestinians. After an agreement on principles is achieved, negotiations would continue in an attempt to put them into effect during a “transitional” stage.
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Egypt stresses strong ties, support for Palestine
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 26 Aug  – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi Monday reaffirmed the depth of the Palestinian-Egyptian relations and Egypt’s strong support to the Palestinian people and their cause. Speaking at a press conference with Foreign Minister Riyad Malki following a short visit to Ramallah during which he met President Mahmoud Abbas, Fahmi stressed the strong relations between Egypt and Palestine and said that the Palestinian cause remains to be a priority for the Egyptian leadership in spite of its own problems. Fahmi expressed appreciation for the Palestinian leadership’s support for the Egyptian government and people … Malki affirmed Egypt’s genuine efforts to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation and asserted Abbas’ opposition of any Palestinian intrusion in the Egyptian affairs … In response to a question regarding Hamas in Gaza, Fahmi stated, “Hamas is in Gaza, and Gaza is at the borders with Egypt. It is normal to have contacts and arrangements with Hamas as our goal is to achieve reconciliation and establish the Palestinian state.
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4 new Palestinian ambassadors sworn in
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Aug – Four new Palestinian ambassadors were sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas in his office in Ramallah Monday, according to the official Palestinian Authority’s news agency Wafa. Marwan Tubasi was sworn in as ambassador of Palestine to Greece, while Issa Qassisiya was sworn in as ambassador to the Vatican. Mary Antwanit Seden was sworn in as ambassador to Hungary. Abdul-Hafith Nofal was sworn in as ambassador to South Africa.
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MK Zoabi announces run for Nazareth mayorship
Ynet 28 Aug by Hassan Shaalan – Two weeks after announcing she is ‘seriously considering’ running for position of Nazareth mayor, MK Zoabi announces intention to do so — In a press conference, MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) announced Wednesday her intention to run for the position of mayor in her hometown of Nazareth as part as of the upcoming municipal elections scheduled to take place this October. Zoabi said she made the decision after consulting with her fellow party members. She is to run against the current mayor Ramiz Jaraisy and Nazareth Deputy Mayor Ali Salam. Referring to Arab citizens’ criticism that she could protect the rights of her constituents from the Knesset more than she could from the Nazareth mayor’s seat, the MK insisted that the mayoral position bore meaning that expands Nazareth municipal borders. “This is a city that is the capital of the Arab public. This would be the first time an Arab woman runs for mayor under direct election.
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Palestinian man dies in Egypt prison
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — The body of a Palestinian man was returned to Gaza late Monday after he died in an Egyptian prison. Yousef Amro Abu Zayed, 51, was detained in Egypt because his visa had expired. He died three days ago but his family were unable to bring his body back until Tuesday. The circumstances around his death are unclear, his family say, although there were no signs of torture. Egyptian authorities have detained a number of Palestinians, claiming that their visas have expired.
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Google hackers call for labeling of Palestine
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Aug — Hackers targeted Google Palestine’s homepage on Monday, leaving messages on the site protesting the terminology of Google maps, which does not label Palestine, the Washington Post reported. “Uncle Google, we say hi from Palestine to remember you that the country in Google map not called Israel. It’s called Palestine,” a message on the homepage said. The page has now returned to its default settings. The hackers also left a message suggesting that if they changed the name of Israel to Palestine on Google maps it would be a “revolution.”
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Revealed: In 1950s Mossad spies married Arabs to conceal identity
Ynet 27 Aug by Ronen Bergman — Mossad’s Ulysses Project’s secret operatives took on false identities, married Palestinians, had children – all while feeding intelligence to Israeli operators –  Uri Yisrael served as a fighter in Caesarea, the Mossad Special Operations Division, and has a unique record: He lived under an assumed identity for the longest time period – 15 years. Yisrael and another fighter dubbed “Isaac” (his name is still under censorship) were part of the Ulysses Project– a secret Israeli intelligence project in the 1950s and 1960s. They were planted as Arabs, married Palestinians, had children and were incorporated into the Palestinian community as businessmen. They were the first to provide intelligence regarding the establishment of Fatah, and took part in the first plans to kill Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad.  Uri Yisrael’s son is 50 years old today and lives abroad. To this day, he does not know that his father is not a nationalistic Palestinian but an Israeli Mossad agent. He also does not know he has a half-brother: Shai Yisrael, a lawyer, Uri’s son from a Jewish woman … In the first half of 1964, the two agents reported the formation of a new Palestinian group. It was headed by two men whose names meant very little then to the Israeli intelligence – Khalil al-Wazir, “Abu Jihad”, and Yasser Arafat, “Abu Amar”. Uri Yisrael, under the alias Abed al-Hader, even provided the apartment in which the Fatah heads met in order to plan how they would wipe Israel off the map and establish Palestine in its place. The men of Colossus, the Mossad surveillance unit, heard everything through microphones planted in the apartment’s walls … Read the full story in Friday’s Yedioth Aharonoth ’7 Days’ magazine.
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WATCH: Soldiers on patrol dance at Palestinian wedding, get suspended by IDF
972mag 28 Aug by Noam Sheizaf — One of the more bizarre incidents of the year: two soldiers in Hebron entered a Palestinian wedding while on patrol — apparently they heard the sound of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” from outside – and started dancing with the crowd, which seemed to enjoy the spectacle. After the inevitable YouTube clip surfaced, the entire patrol got suspended. An openly horrified report on Channel 2 stated that the wedding’s guests were “from a known Hamas family,” no less. Here’s the video. What do you think?
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IDF soldiers caught on film dancing at Palestinian wedding
Haaretz 29 Aug by Gili Cohen — During a celebration in Hebron, IDF soldiers from the Givati Brigade decided to join in on the dance floor – clad in full battle gear — A video recently shown by Israeli media has documented some rather unconventional behavior from Israel Defense Forces soldiers in Hebron. During a patrol in the area, likely aimed at investigating the loud music emanating from a party in one of the city’s neighborhoods, several soldiers decided to join in the celebrations, and can be seen dancing alongside partygoers. The video clip was uploaded to the web on Tuesday, with the title “Israeli soldiers dancing at a Palestinian wedding in Hebron.” With the popular song “Gangnam Style” playing in the background, the solders are seen capering about the dance floor. The soldiers dancing while clad in full gear, including helmets, vests, and weapons, make for a bizarre sight. The partygoers seemed to think so as well, as the video shows many people whip out their cellphones to document the strange scene. After a few moments, some of the other people at the party even hoist the soldiers up onto their shoulders. The “joint” celebration continues for a few minutes, and the party’s DJ seems to be happy with the situation, as he can be seen clapping along in the video as well. The IDF was not particularly pleased with the video
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Israeli racism

Israel’s new tactic: classifying Eritreans as Ethiopian to deport them
Haaretz 26 Aug by Ilan Lior — The Interior Ministry is challenging asylum claims by Eritreans who, it says, are Ethiopian and thus eligible for deportation. A Central District Court judge has ruled in favor of the state in 18 out of 19 petitions against the ministry’s classification. Eritrean citizens in Israel are granted collective ‘temporary protection’ and are not deported to Eritrea. There are currently 36,067 Eritreans in Israel, according to Border and Immigration Authority data. In recent months, the state has increased its efforts to expel Eritrean and Sudanese citizens. Most of the effort is focused on convincing migrants to sign controversial ‘consent’ forms stating they agree to return. Another method is to classify Eritreans as Ethiopian, in spite of their insistence that they are Eritrean. Most African migrants do not have official documents, with the final citizenship determination being made by the Interior Ministry, based on a personal interview.
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Israel forcing jailed Africans to accept ‘voluntary’ deportation despite UN policy, right groups say
Haaretz 27 Aug by Ilan Lior — The Interior Ministry pressures African migrants in Israeli detention centers to agree to voluntary repatriation, in violation of UN policy, according to human rights organizations. Two lawyers for the Hotline for Migrant Workers Monday sent a letter to the Justice Ministry documenting alleged abuses by Interior Ministry employees of the return policy.  In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Dina Silber, Asaf Weitzen and Nimrod Avigal claimed that jailed migrants are being told they will not be granted refugee status in Israel and will remain in custody unless they sign the forms agreeing to voluntary repatriation. Around 200 African nationals have returned under the voluntary repatriation procedure for migrants from Eritrea and Sudan in the two months since Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved the program.
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Police: Group suspected of targeting African migrants
Ynet 28 Aug by Adva Cohen — Four residents of south Tel Aviv were arrested Tuesday for suspicion of attacking African migrants with clubs and bottles and of stealing their possessions, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. Police launched a covert investigation several weeks ago after receiving complaints from five different sources about attacks of a similar nature against migrants.
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Analysis / Opinion / Reviews

An Israeli in Malaysia / Gideon Levy
Kuala Lumpur (Haaretz) 29 Aug …It’s a strange experience to be an Israeli in Malaysia, the state whose passports state “valid for all countries of the world, except Israel.” It’s strange to be an Israeli in a large, developed Muslim country that has diplomatic relations with all countries in the world except Israel. I was invited here by Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who served as prime minister for 22 years consecutively; he once voiced his aggression against the Jews who “held whole governments ransom …” and still invited me to take part in an international convention dealing with world peace, held this week in the trade center in Kuala Lumpur, under the auspices of the NGO he now heads. I learned a lot during my nine days in Malaysia. Humility, for example; there are countries in the world whose infrastructure is more developed than Israel’s. Some of these, would you believe it, are even Muslim countries. There is a softer Islam out there than what we are exposed to, and frightened by, on a daily basis. There are even multinational states, one state for several nations, such as Malaysia – with a huge Chinese minority (almost a quarter of the population), a smaller Indian minority and some 10 percent migrant workers – and still the relations between the different groups are reasonable, although tension is often high … There is another world that isn’t the United States and isn’t Europe, and it is awakening. There’s also a world that is extremely hostile to the United States and isn’t willing to follow its line. The hostility toward the United States and President Barack Obama, due to visit soon, was more pointed than I had ever experienced before. Israel is abhorred due to the occupation, the control of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque and abuse of Malaysia’s Palestinian brethren, but also due to its being seen as America’s pawn – and yes, sometimes America is considered Israel’s pawn. The duo of the United States and Israel are considered by many in this part of the world as responsible for all evil. This might be ignored, but again, one must remember that the future is here, in this continent.
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Writing Israel’s history: Imposing identities on ancient Palestine / Philip Davis
Al-Akhbar 17 July — A Review of Rhythms of Time: Reconnecting Palestine’s Past by Keith W. Whitelam. Keith Whitelam’s 1996 book The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History argued that Palestinian history had been displaced by the history of ancient Israel, effectively effacing non-Israelite populations of the land or reducing them to a minor role. Now he has written a sequel, in the form of a history that he feels should replace standard biblically based and Israel-centred narratives of ancient Palestine. As biblical historians now recognize, the Bible is not history. Its tales of patriarchs, of escape from Egypt, of conquest and empire, deportation and return are stories, memories, exercises in self-identity — what the Italian Semitist Mario Liverani calls an “invented history” in his book Israel’s History and the History of Israel. What, then, is the real story of ancient Palestine? Whitelam has not loosened his grip on the ideological dimensions of his subject. He begins with a survey of how the romantic “history” of the Holy Land developed in Europe in the last few centuries, along with its sibling, “Orientalism.” It is largely for this reason that this book confines itself to the Iron age (1250–500 BC), the period on which Zionist memory most intensely focuses.
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“IDF soldiers caught on film dancing at Palestinian wedding”

Here is a link to the video which I like very much:

“Prison better than deportation” I am not surprised – just take a look around the Arab neighborhood…. Israel is perhaps the last place in the region where minorities are actually safe. But will that stop the obsession of Arabs with Israel? I doubt that – a suicidal wave has taken… Read more »