PA: Israeli forces expand illegal outpost in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Israeli bulldozers on Sunday leveled private Palestinian land in Nablus in order to enlarge an illegal settlement outpost, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas told Ma‘an that Israeli forces dug up vast tracts of land surrounding Einabus village to enlarge an outpost known as Hill 782. Settlers destroyed dozens of olive trees to illegally establish the outpost. Over 500,000 Jewish settlers live on Palestinian territory seized in 1967.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians in Qalandia camp
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Aug — Israeli undercover forces killed three Palestinians overnight Sunday in Qalandia refugee camp in Ramallah, locals said. Robin al-Abed, 32, was shot in the chest and died instantly, medics said. Younis Jihad Abu al-Sheikh Jahjouh, 22, was also shot dead. Jihad Asslan, 20, died Monday morning from his injuries after being pronounced brain dead at a Ramallah hospital. All three men were killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd during clashes with camp residents following an arrest raid. At least 15 Palestinians were injured by live fire, with six said to be in a critical condition. Most of the injured were shot in the head, chest and upper body, medics said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces dressed in civilian clothes raided the camp at around 5 a.m. and arrested recently released prisoner Yousef al-Khatib, who had spent 10 years in an Israeli jail. Dozens of camp residents quickly surrounded Israeli forces, who opened fire. Another Israeli military patrol then entered the camp. Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah strongly condemned the killings, calling it a crime against the Palestinian people. The incident shows Israel’s true intentions towards the peace process, he added, calling upon the US to intervene and prevent peace efforts from failing.
Jenin man shot by Israeli forces needs spinal surgery
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — A man shot on Tuesday by Israeli forces is due to undergo spinal surgery, his relatives say. Ala Abu Khalifa was critically wounded this week after being shot during an Israeli arrest raid in Jenin refugee camp. He was hit by a dumdum bullet which caused severe damage to his spinal cord, his mother told Ma‘an. He has lost all feeling in his lower body since the injury and has already undergone two operations on his colon and pelvis, she added.
Karim Sbeih, who was critically wounded by Israeli forces during the same incident, has had part of his kidneys, colon, lungs and liver removed, his brother told Ma‘an. Both men were shot after Israeli forces raided the Jenin camp at 3 a.m. and broke into the home of Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saedi.
Majd Mohammad Anis Lahlouh, 22, was killed during the raid, after being shot in the heart by Israeli soldiers.
Palestinian injured near Jerusalem
IMEMC 25 Aug — Palestinian medical sources have reported that a young Palestinian man was injured in the foot on Saturday evening [August 24, 2013] when an Israeli soldier raised a spike strip as the young man was stepping on it. The incident took place at a roadblock installed by the army at the entrance of Shu‘fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses have reported that, as the young man was cleared to cross, a soldier lifted the spike strip causing the spikes to penetrate his left foot leading to a deep cut and severe bleeding. The young man was moved to a local hospital in the city.
IOF attack Palestinian citizens, kidnap three young men in Dura town
AL-KHALIL (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Friday kidnapped three Palestinian young men and violently clashed with others during a large-scale campaign in Dura town, southwest of Al-Khalil [Hebron] city. An eyewitness told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that a large number of Israeli troops aboard more than 13 military vehicles and armored carriers stormed the neighborhoods of Kanar, Agnim, Sharfa, and Ahnina as well as the central zone of Dura town. He added that violent clashes broke out between the invading troops and Palestinian young men during the military campaign in these areas. Several minor injuries were reported in the events. The IOF also broke into and ransacked many homes in the raided areas, and kidnapped three young men from their homes in Al-Sharfa area. The ferocity of the campaign caused a widespread panic among children and women, especially as some of the tear gas grenades fired by the IOF fell onto homes. The residents of Dura town were exposed to a similar military campaign one day earlier.
Army kidnaps nine Palestinians
IMEMC 24 Aug — Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Friday evening [August 23, 2013] nine Palestinians in ‘Anata town, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and at a roadblock east of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Local sources in occupied Jerusalem stated that undercover forces of the Israeli army kidnapped four Palestinians during clashes that took place in ‘Anata after the army invaded it and assaulted a number of residents. The sources said that two of the kidnapped residents have been identified as Mohammad Hilwa, 19, and Mohammad Abdul-Latif, 21. The undercover forces further invaded a local gas station, and shut it down for two hours before confiscating surveillance cameras and tapes.
Furthermore, soldier stationed at the Jalama roadblock, east of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, kidnapped five Palestinians and took them to an unknown destination.
Jerusalem child forced under house arrest
IMEMC 24 Aug — The District Police in occupied East Jerusalem released on Friday evening [August 23, 2013] a Palestinian child after detaining him for two days, and ordered him under house arrest. The family of the child, Nour Salim Shalaby, 15, was also ordered to pay a 500 NIS fine, as ruled by the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem. Omar Shalaby, secretary of Fateh movement in Jerusalem, stated that the Israeli court ordered the child away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Bab Al-‘Amoud and the Old City of Jerusalem for one month. The police kidnapped Shalaby last Wednesday as he was crossing a border terminal heading back home with his family following a visit to Jordan.
Also on Friday, the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem refused to release two children, identified as Tha’er Mheisin, 15, and Ali Mheisin, 17, and decided to hold a court hearing this coming Sunday. The Israeli prosecution intends to indict the two children, claiming they hurled stones at an Israeli bus.
Army invades three towns near Hebron
IMEMC 25 Aug — Palestinian sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, have reported that dozens of Israeli military jeeps invaded on Sunday at dawn [August 25, 2013] the towns of Bani Ne‘im, Doura, and Ath-Thaheriyya [or Dhahiriya] in the Hebron district, and kidnapped one resident. The sources said that dozens of soldiers clashed with local youths in Bani Ne‘im, after the army invaded the town, and added that one resident, identified as Issa Ahmad Abu Sakour, has been kidnapped after a number of soldiers violently broke into his home. Several armored military jeeps invaded Doura town, west of Hebron, and clashed with local youth who hurled stones at them. Local sources said that the soldiers fired several gas bombs, concussion grenades, and searched a number of homes.
2 teenagers arrested in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Israeli forces on Sunday arrested two teenagers near the illegal Karmei Tzur settlement south of Beit Ummar near Hebron, a local committee said. The spokesman of the popular struggle committee against settlements and the wall said that Mohammad Jadallah Sleibi, 17, and Mohammad Shehda Sleibi, 16, were with a group of friends when they were attacked by Israeli forces. He added that Israeli forces fired tear gas at them, and the others ran away.
IOF arrests a young man in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL/RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Aug — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) last night raided several towns in al-Khalil [Hebron] in the south of the West Bank, and arrested a Palestinian youth from the town of Bani Na‘im …
Statistics issued by Hamas movement on Sunday showed that the Israeli occupation forces arrested last week 63 Palestinians from different West Bank cities. According to the statistics, the IOF arrested from the city of Nablus 22 Palestinians, from al-Khalil 13, from Jenin 8, and from Tulkarem 7, in addition to 6 from the occupied city of Jerusalem, and three others from Bethlehem. The occupation troops also arrested last week a 10-year-old boy from Silwad village, northeast of the city of Ramallah, in addition to four other citizens from the city.
WATCH: West Bank village protests land confiscation
Israeli Social TV 25 Aug — Since the takeover of its spring by settlers, the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh has not known a quiet weekend. Every Friday, the members of the village, along with Israeli and international activists, hold demonstrations and attempt to march toward the spring, which has been swallowed up by the settlement of Halamish. The demonstrations, which are declared illegal by the IDF, are forcefully put down with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades, among other weapons.
PA lieutenant stabbed in Nablus
IMEMC 23 Aug — Medical sources in the northern West bank city of Nablus have reported Friday [August 23, 2013] that unknown assailants violently attacked and stabbed a Palestinian security lieutenant, a former detainee, inflicting serious injuries. The lieutenant, Mohammad Abu Islam, was stabbed several times and was violently beaten, by unknown attackers, as he was heading back home in Al-Ma‘ajeen area in Nablus city. He is a former political prisoner who was previously kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel. Mohammad was violently beaten, was hit by batons, including on his head, and was stabbed in the neck. He is currently in a stable condition … It is worth mentioning that Mohammad was a member of a social reconciliation committee trying to restore calm after recent clashes in the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus, claimed that lives of two persons, while several others have been injured.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
Government to infuse NIS 16 m. into east Jerusalem’s City of David park
JPost 25 Aug by Daniel K. Eisenbud — The Tourism Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office, in coordination with the Jerusalem Municipality, will infuse approximately NIS 16 million into the development of a national park owned by a right-wing group in the primarily Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The City of David National Park is privately owned by the Ir David Foundation, an association that aims to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and renew the Jewish community in the City of David … According to the ministry, roughly half of the park’s funding will come from the Prime Minister’s Office, with an additional NIS 5 million from the ministry itself … Meretz city councilman Dr. Meir Margalit, who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio, cited two concerns over the announcement. “The problem with this project is not investing in a park like this in a historical place like this,” said Margolit by phone Sunday. “The problem is that the right-wing is systematically taking ownership of this historical place and turning it into a settlement.” … Margolit cautioned that such a move could create an “explosive” situation. “The government] must be very, very careful because this is also a Palestinian village and we must be sensitive, because a situation like this one can become very explosive,” he said.
Authorities threaten displaced community’s return to village
972mag 22 Aug by Haggai Matar — The displaced Maronite community of Bir‘em has decided to implement its right of return by resettling its land. Authorities have threatened to evict the villagers should they refuse to leave — Exactly one year ago, the displaced people of Iqrit decided that after 64 years of empty promises, they would wait no longer to return to their lands. Just last week, the villagers of Iqrit celebrated the first anniversary of their outpost built on confiscated lands, and announced plans to go on expanding their presence on the ground. Now it appears that Iqrit is not alone, as another displaced community on the border with Lebanon is also trying to revive its destroyed village. On Saturday, following their weekly communal prayer in the old church (the last standing structure in the village), the Committee for the Uprooted of Kufr Bir‘em erected several dozen tents on lands that once were their own and now serve as a national park, and stated they would not leave again. Since then, they have been holding shifts, with approximately 25 members of the village at the site at any given time, where they organize social, religious and other activities outside the church. The action is taking place about half a year after anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed on the village church…
The background story of both Bir’em and Iqrit is unique in the history of Israel and the Nakba, or 1948 war. After the war was over, IDF forces entered the two Christian villages (Maronite Bir’em and Catholic Iqrit) and ordered the residents (by then citizens in the newly founded State of Israel) to leave their homes for a period of two weeks. The official reason was the military’s fear that their closeness to the Lebanese border would endanger the region’s security. The two weeks soon became a month, then a year, and soon enough, Bir’em was populated by newly arrived Jewish immigrants.
Israel orders partial demolition of Palestinian school
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered the demolition of part of a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian official said. Samir Jabril, a Palestinian Authority education official, said the Jerusalem municipal council decided to demolish the top floor of an elementary school in Sharafat village. The floor, which consists of three classrooms and a staff room, was added in 2000. Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of the four rooms several years ago, but the school has been fighting the case, Jibril told Ma‘an.
Israel notifies Jerusalemites with demolishing orders
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 25 Aug — Israeli police Sunday handed a number of Jerusalemites residing in the town of Silwan, south of Jerusalem, demolishing orders of their properties under the pretext of building without permits. The Hilweh Information Center said that this campaign covered Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in the town as well as photographing houses and shops. This recent incident comes following a four-day campaign that included arresting Palestinians and issuing fines.
Israel plans to set up gas pipeline on seized lands north of O. Palestine
NAZARETH (PIC) 25 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intends to install a gas pipeline running from the Palestinian towns of Tur‘an and Kafr Kanna to Mashhad town in the lower Galilee, according to an informed source. Specialist in settlement affairs Radwan Hasan said on Saturday that the installment of this gas pipeline across Palestinian-owned areas is part of the Israeli policy aimed at displacing the Palestinian people from their own land and seizing their property. Hasan explained that the pipeline would be used to transfer gas to Phoenicia glassware factory, which was built on Palestinian lands in Kafr Kanna and Mashhad towns. He affirmed that this pipeline would deprive many Palestinian farmers from cultivating or using their own lands, which were seized for this project.
Jerusalem pushes forward with settlement plans
AP 25 Aug — …According to State procedures, new settlements can be constructed only after granted government approval. A new West bank neighborhood, Leshem, currently under construction, is theoretically a part of an existing settlement – Alei Zahav – but is marketed as a separate community, with its own board, separately issued tenders, and administrative personnel. “We are inaugurating a new community today,” Housing Minister Uri Ariel said at the inauguration of the new residential complex Leshem. Formally, it’s part of an existing settlement, but will function as a separate community for all intents and purposes, and we shouldn’t be afraid to say it.” Last week, the first families moved into their houses in the new neighborhood. “There is no way, during any negotiations, that we will not build in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and all the land of Israel. Today, we are inaugurating a new community.” Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely added: “It doesn’t matter if this is a settlement or a neighborhood, as long as we build more houses. It is at this time of negotiating that it is most important that more neighborhoods or settlements be built and that the Palestinians are sent a message that Israeli settlement is here to stay.” … Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Ofir Akunis who also attended the ceremony said: “There is a negotiation with the Palestinians, but that doesn’t stop anyone from building a home in the land of Israel. Here we say that a Palestinian state will not be formed. Who needs another Arab country in this region?”
Israel: Stop unlawful West Bank home demolitions
Spike in Destruction Raises War Crime Concerns — Jerusalem (Human Rights Watch) 25 Aug — Israeli forces should immediately end unlawful demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures in Occupied Palestinian Territory. The demolitions have displaced at least 79 Palestinians since August 19, 2013. Demolitions of homes and other structures that compel Palestinians to leave their communities may amount to the forcible transfer of residents of an occupied territory, which is a war crime … “When Israeli forces routinely and repeatedly demolish homes in occupied territory without showing that it’s necessary for military operations, it appears that the only purpose is to drive families off their land, which is a war crime,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The politics of peace talks do not make it any less unlawful for Israel to demolish Palestinians’ homes without a valid military reason.” In one case, Israeli forces destroyed the tent in which a family of seven people was sheltering after the military demolished their home twice, OCHA reported. In another case, Israeli forces cut the road leading to the remaining home of an extended family in East Jerusalem, after demolishing their other adjoining homes in April.
IOF turn Nabi Samuel Mosque into military post
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 24 Aug — The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) turned the Mosque of Nabi Samuel village, north of Jerusalem, into a military post and occupied its roof. In a press release on Friday, the foundation added that the IOF made it hard for the Palestinian citizens to enter their village after they turned it into a military zone, and used the roof of Nabi Samuel Mosque as an observation post. The foundation also affirmed that the Israeli antiquities authority stole a historical copestone from the interior entrance of the Mosque at the pretext of its intention to refurbish it. It said that similar incidents in which wall stones had been stolen by the Israeli occupation authority proved that a gradual theft of the historical Islamic relics is intentionally carried out for Judaization purposes. The Aqsa foundation noted that the Israeli occupation regime had already [taken] over Nabi Samuel Mosque, left only a small hall for Muslims’ prayers and turned the tomb of Prophet Samuel into a Jewish shrine.
Jewish extremists enter Al-Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Around 65 Jewish extremists entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Sunday, escorted by Israeli police, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said. Yehuda Glick, an extremist settler and activist for Israeli sovereignty of the compound, was among the group, the foundation said. The group toured the mosque and received talks on the possibility of building a Jewish temple on the compound, it added.
Who speaks Arabic anyway?
972blog 23 Aug by Khalil Mari — Materials about cultural events and health services, and even street signs, are often written in Hebrew and English only, ignoring the 20 percent of Israel’s citizens who are native Arabic speakers. ‘It shouldn’t be this way; Palestinians, as an indigenous national minority, should feel at home in the state that was established on the land we have called home for centuries.’ — … Acre, Akko in Hebrew and Akka in Arabic, is one of the country’s five mixed cities. Thirty percent of its residents are Palestinian Arabs. Yet the vast majority of cultural events are advertised in Hebrew only — completely ignoring the fact that 15,000 Palestinians call this ancient Mediterranean city home. Sadly, this is highly typical of the treatment that Palestinians receive in Israel by the authorities, and only the tip of the iceberg.
Restriction of movement / Exile / Deportation
Israeli regime extends exile of director of Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 25 Aug — Yitzhak Aharonovich, the Israeli minister of internal security, gave orders to extend the exile of director of the Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Najeh Bukeirat until the third of September at the pretext that there are secret files indicating that he is a danger to Israel’s national security. This decision included a map illustrating the areas near the Mosque where Sheikh Bukeirat must stay away from. Aharonovich also intends to increase the list of Palestinian names banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque during the coming period, according to Israeli leaks. Sheikh Bukeirat condemned the Israeli decision as unjust and arbitrary, and said that he has been banned from entering the Mosque since 09/03/2012. He added that such decisions are aimed at making the Aqsa Mosque a deserted place and ending all activities held and organized by the administration of the Aqsa Mosque to protect it against the Jewish violations.
Otherwise Occupied / Ranking atrocities || Where does a Palestinian widow fit on the scale of suffering?
Haaretz 26 Aug by Amira Hass — With all the horror stories taking place in our region, why be concerned with an East Jerusalem woman who faces deportation? Because her individual tragedy is no less important — As the horror stories coming out of Syria and Egypt increase, why should anyone be concerned with the plight of a Palestinian widow and mother of six children (all minors and all Israeli residents) who faces the prospect of deportation, although she has lived in East Jerusalem for nearly 20 years? … The issue, therefore, is not whether Rajbi’s case is overshadowed by something more horrendous, but rather what laws and procedures established by Israeli jurists have made her a criminal. The question is not whether the situation in Syria is terrifying, but rather why thousands more Palestinian men and women are in Rajbi’s situation, facing the threat of deportation and of being cut off from their families in Jerusalem.
IOA blocks travel of 30 Palestinians in one week
RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) blocked the travel of 30 Palestinian citizens in the West Bank via the Karame crossing leading to Jordan over the past week. A report by the Karame police station on Saturday said that the IOA told 30 citizens they were not allowed to travel. It said that the Israeli intelligence detained the 30 citizens for a long period of time before questioning them then telling them they were not allowed to travel.
PA vs. Hamas
Palestinian Authority tightens grip on Hamas in West Bank
Al-Monitor 25 Aug by Adnan Abu Amer — When Hamas resorted to what it called “military decisiveness” in June 2007 by expelling the Palestinian Authority (PA) from Gaza and establishing control over the entire Gaza Strip, it was clear that the PA would retaliate by launching a rigorous anti-Hamas arrest campaign in the West Bank. Hamas accused the PA and Israel earlier this month of escalating matters by arresting and torturing its leaders and supporters in the West Bank. A senior Hamas leader in Gaza told Al-Monitor that what the PA is doing against the movement in the West Bank is a desperate attempt to eradicate Hamas completely and is the embodiment of security coordination between the PA and Israel, claiming that the number of Hamas detainees is in the hundreds. They are held in a number of West Bank prisons that are affiliated with the PA’s General Intelligence and Preventive Security agencies. Al-Monitor obtained an internal Hamas document that shows that the PA still holds more than 72 Hamas members in its jails. Since the start of 2013, 440 Hamas activists and supporters have been arrested for political reasons and 920 were summoned by the security services, among them freed prisoners, university students, journalists, imams and teachers … Sleeper cells — Hamas has been issuing periodic reports that show how much damage the PA’s anti-Hamas campaign in the West Bank has caused. The campaign included many violations, such as detentions, storming of charities and shutting them down, sabotaging university rallies by interfering with students, converting some universities to security and military sites, breaking into homes, destroying private and public property, kidnappings and shooting at individuals. The PA’s measures and practices have harmed Hamas’ organizational structure
Dozens of citizens arrested, summoned in wide PA campaign against Hamas
RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Aug — The Palestinian Authority security forces launched a large-scale arrest campaign against members and supporters of the Hamas Movement, and summoned many others for interrogation in different West Bank areas. According to local sources, the PA security forces arrested 10 Palestinian citizens because of their political affiliation with Hamas and summoned many others, including university students and ex-detainees in Israeli jails. In Ramallah, the PA intelligence agency kidnapped a student at Birzeit university named Mohamed Mousa from his home in Beit Liqya village and another young man named Munder Alawi from his home in Deir Jarir village.Alawi previously spent two years in Israeli jails and was exposed to several arrests by PA security apparatuses because of his affiliation with Hamas.
PA preventive security forces also kidnapped journalist Mohamed Al-Kiq from outside Al-Birah Mosque in downtown Ramallah after beating him severely with fists and batons. Kiq was covering events during a march organized in Ramallah last Friday when he was assaulted…
In Al-Khalil, the PA intelligence agency arrested a young man named Muhannad Ashour due to his participation in a march held on Friday in the city in solidarity with Egypt and Syria. The intelligence also arrested an ex-detainee in Israeli jails named Jaafar Al-Qawasmi and took him to an interrogation center in Al-Khalil city.
In Nablus, the PA security forces kidnapped Sayed Qawariq, 21, after a violent raid on his home in Awarta village to the south of the city. The PA preventive security also kidnapped a student at Al-Najah University and a member of the Islamic student bloc named Musaab Quzah from his home in the city. Sheikh Ramadan Abu Jaafar, 45, was also kidnapped by the preventive security forces as he was leaving Ebad Al-Rahman Mosque, south of the city, after he finished his prayers at dusk.
In Tulkarem, the preventive security forces kidnapped another ex-detainee named Saleh Zeitawi, aged 37…
Several Palestinians, mostly university students, were also summoned for interrogation in different West Bank areas. Some of them refused to go for questioning. Among those who received summonses and refused to be interrogated was a Palestinian lady named Iman Misk, and she is the sister of Izzuddin Misk, a martyred resistance fighter from Hamas.
PA intelligence questions Amayreh on his outspoken criticisms of Sisi coup
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 25 Aug — The Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence apparatus on Saturday questioned Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh in connection with his alleged “outspoken criticisms of and scathing attacks” against the bloody Egyptian coup, led by Gen. Abdul Fattah Sisi, against President Muhammed Mursi. The questioning which took place at the Mukhabrat headquarters in downtown al-Khalil (Hebron), lasted for more than three hours. Amayreh, a veteran American-educated journalist and political analyst, described the questioning as “illogical, illegal, unlawful, unprofessional and based on false accusations.” Amayreh said the level of the encounter with PA intelligence was quite primitive; pointing out that the interrogator was a young man with minimal knowledge about the subject matter … Amayreh said the PA was extremely apprehensive about anti-Sisi feelings among Palestinians and was quite anxious about the possibility that the anti-Sisi public opinion in occupied Palestine might eventually morph into concrete political opposition to the Ramallah regime.
Resheq condemns suppression of march in solidarity with Egyptians
BEIRUT/RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 Aug — Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat al-Resheq on Saturday condemned the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses for quelling a march organized by Hamas in solidarity with the Egyptian and Syrian peoples on Friday. PA’s security apparatuses attacked during the suppression of the peaceful march Hamas leaders Sheikh Jamal Tawil and Sheikh Hussein Abu Kuweik, and arrested leader Faraj Romana after assaulting him. The security elements also attacked journalists, and arrested a number of marchers. Resheq considered the suppression of the march and the attack on the people a serious escalation and a continuation to the series of suppression of freedoms in the West Bank.
Ministry: Jailed Gaza engineer transferred to hospital
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — The Israeli Prison Service has transferred Dirar Abu Sisi, an engineer from Gaza who was abducted in Ukraine, to Ramle prison clinic, the PA ministry of prisoners’ affairs said Saturday. Ministry lawyer Rami al-Alami said Abu Sisi suffered from health problems in his heart, kidney, gallbladder and eyes. Raafat Hamdona, director of the Gaza prisoner center, told AFP that Abu Sisi began a hunger strike on Aug. 16 to demand his release from solitary imprisonment and be allowed visits of members of his family from Gaza … Abu Sisi, an engineer who was former technical director at Gaza’s sole electricity plant, disappeared from a train in Ukraine in February 2011. Israel later announced it was holding him. According to the PA ministry, Abu Sisi has spent his entire detention in solitary confinement.
Six Palestinian prisoners start hunger strike in solidarity with Abu Sisi
GAZA (PIC) 25 Aug — Six Palestinian prisoners in Eshel jail started an open-ended hunger strike at midnight Sunday in solidarity with hunger striker Dirar Abu Sisi, who is isolated in an Israeli prison, according to Waed society for detainees and ex-detainees. The society stated that all the dialog efforts that had been made by the leadership of the captive movement to have the Israeli prison authority end the solitary confinement of Abu Sisi failed, forcing it to use the choice of hunger strike. The society added that more prisoners would join gradually this group hunger strike during the current week and the coming weeks in order to pressure the Israeli jailers to end the isolation of Abu Sisi.
In another incident, the Palestinian prisoners center for studies said that the Israeli prison authority started to use a newly devised court verdict allowing it to force-feed the Palestinian hunger strikers in its jails. According to the center, Israeli doctors in Kaplan hospital force-fed prisoner Adel Huraibat, who has been on hunger strike since May 23.
Health conditions of captives Jerboni and Hassanat deteriorate
NABLUS (PIC) 23 Aug — Tadhamun Foundation for Human Rights reported that 2 Palestinian female captives in the Israeli Hasharon prison suffer difficult health conditions as a result of medical negligence by the prison administration. Researcher at the Foundation Ahmed Betawi said that captive Lena Ahmed Jerboni, aged 40, suffers from swelling and severe pain in the stomach, after cholecystectomy she underwent two months ago. He noted that an Arab doctor visited Jerboni in Hasharon and confirmed that the cause of swelling is the presence of bacteria in the stomach caused by the surgery and gave her medication for 10 days. He explained that Jerboni’s surgery came late…
There are 13 Palestinian female prisoners held in the Israeli occupation jails.
Official: Rafah crossing to operate 4 hours daily
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing on the border with Gaza for four hours on Saturday, an official said. Sami Mitwalli, director of the Egyptian side of the terminal, said earlier that the crossing would open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mitwalli told Ma‘an that 950 people used the Rafah crossing on Saturday, with 650 entering Gaza and 300 going to Egypt.
Egypt announced it was closing the Rafah crossing “indefinitely” on Aug. 15 for security reasons after deadly violence nationwide.
The crossing is the only way most Palestinians in Gaza can enter or leave the territory. Israel imposes an air and sea blockade on the enclave, and its border is closed to Palestinians. Egypt partially reopened the crossing on Aug. 17 for international travelers with foreign passports and humanitarian cases, but shut down the terminal on Monday after a deadly attack nearby [in Sinai, not Gaza] that killed 25 soldiers.
662 people go through Rafah crossing
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — The total number of people who crossed Rafah crossing on Sunday was 662, the director of the Egyptian side of the crossing said. Sami Mitwali added that 338 left Gaza for Egypt, and 324 entered Gaza. The crossing operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, after it was closed on Aug. 15 over security concerns.
Egyptian forces destroy two [more] tunnels under borders with Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 24 Aug — Egyptian security forces on Saturday demolished two tunnels under the Egyptian-Palestinian borders used for bringing goods to the besieged Gaza Strip. Field observer told Quds Press that the Egyptian security forces and army blew up the two tunnels under the Egyptian city of Rafah. There are hundreds of tunnels under the Egyptian-Palestinian borders in which around twenty thousand workers have been working on bringing basic goods and construction materials to the Gaza Strip. Egyptian army has begun a while ago destroying the tunnels. It has destroyed until now more than 300 of them, according to Egyptian official sources. Meanwhile, work in the tunnels has significantly declined.
‘Tamarrad’ in Gaza says no activists arrested
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — No “Tamarrad” activists have been arrested in the Gaza Strip, the newly-formed youth movement said Saturday. Tamarrad (Rebel) Against Injustice said in a statement that reports its activists had been arrested by Hamas security forces in the enclave were false. Hamas official Yahya Mousa told the Lebanese newspaper El-Nashra on Friday that security forces had detained members of the Tamarrad group and that they were being interrogated. Mousa said the group had centers in the West Bank and Gaza and that its members were trained by Egyptian intelligence and security services.
The Egyptian Tamarod (Rebellion) movement is a protest group that organized opposition to the rule of president Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was deposed on July 3. Gaza’s Tamarrad movement was launched to counter “injustice” against the Palestinian people and to work toward achieving reconciliation between Palestinians, the group said in its statement on Saturday.
Arab and Islamic organizations to fund Gaza waterway
GAZA (PIC) 24 Aug — MP Jamal al-Khudari revealed on Saturday that a number of Arab and Islamic organizations had accepted to fund Gaza waterway project which includes the development of the Gaza seaport. Khudari, head of the Popular Committee against Siege on Gaza Strip, said that he made contacts with several Arab, Islamic, and international figures and organizations concerning Gaza waterway project that will link the Strip with the outside world through a designated port in another country in a bid to break the siege on the Strip. He pointed out that the project will serve all the Palestinian people and will link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.
Hamas targets Ma‘an in media tirade
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — The Hamas-run Al-Aqsa satellite channel on Saturday dedicated a one hour talk show to criticizing Ma‘an News Agency and its senior employees. Former chief of Hamas media, Hasan Abu Hashish, presenter Raji al-Hums, and an unknown Jordanian journalist claimed that Ma‘an’s editor-in-chief Nasser Lahham worked for the Palestinian Authority’s preventative security services. The channel also claimed that the general manager of Ma‘an’s satellite channel, Muhammad Faraj, ran Ma‘an like a security cell working for PA intelligence, and said that the chairwoman of Ma‘an’s board of directors, Nibal Thawbta, was “suspicious.” The Hamas affiliated channel also criticized Egyptian journalists Ashraf Abu al-Houl and Ashraf Sweilam, claiming they both work for Egyptian intelligence. Al-Houl is assistant editor-in-chief of al-Ahram newspaper and Sweilam is a Ma‘an reporter based in El-Arish, Egypt.
Palestinian refugees in Syria
31 Palestinians among victims of alleged chemical attack
JENIN (Ma‘an) 24 — At least 31 Palestinians were among the victims of an alleged chemical attack said to have killed hundreds in Damascus on Wednesday, relatives said Saturday. Opponents of Bashar Assad said the Syrian president’s forces used chemical weapons east and southwest of Damascus in attacks Wednesday that killed hundreds. The regime has strongly denied the accusations. Eleven members of the al-Hurani family, from Jenin in the northern West Bank, were killed in “the massacre in Ghouta,” including six children, family member Abu Zeid al-Hurani told Ma‘an … The family had moved to Syria in 1967 and lived in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. After the civil war broke out, they moved to an agricultural area in Ghouta hoping it would be safe as it had not previously witnessed any fighting, Hasan al-Hurani said … Tariq al-Hurani said 20 members of a Palestinian family from Nazareth were also killed in Ghouta on Wednesday.
Fear spreads through Palestinian camps in Syria
Intifada-Palestine 23 Aug by Franklin Lamb — Palestinian Popular Committee in al-Yarmouk Camp as well as the other twelve camps (two “unofficial”) have reported both directly and indirectly to this observer that they possess information that clearly suggests the possibility, indeed probability, of a terrorist use of chemical weapons in the Camp, calling the Palestinian factions to take preemptive steps to prevent that.
Solidarity / BDS
Five EU states warn companies of breaking ban against Israeli settlements
NAZARETH (PIC) 25 Aug — At least five European states have recently warned companies and businessmen against engaging in business activities in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands as they risk breaking the European Union’s ban in this regard, according to reports sent by Israeli ambassadors to their foreign ministry. The countries mentioned by Israeli ambassadors include Britain, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Sweden, according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. According to one of these reports, one European country’s foreign office told a company involved in trade with an Israeli settlement inside the occupied Palestinian borders that its actions violate local and international laws which stipulates that settlements are illegal. The newspaper said that the company considered dropping out of the project but is also under pressure from Israel to stay on board.
Call to action: Join ISM for the 2013 Olive Harvest Campaign
Occupied West Bank (ISM) 22 Aug — At a time of regular settler violence in the West Bank, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to join us for the 2013 Olive Harvest Campaign at the invitation of Palestinian communities. The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been bulldozed, uprooted, burned and destroyed by Israeli settlers and the military – according to the UN settlers alone destroyed or damaged over 7,500 trees just in 2012 – harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance … ISM volunteers join Palestinian farming communities each year to harvest olives, in areas where Palestinians face settler and military violence when working their land. Your presence can make a big difference, with Palestinian communities stating that the presence of international volunteers reduces the risk of extreme violence from Israeli settlers and the Israeli army. We support Palestinians’ assertion of their right to earn their livelihoods and be present on their lands. International solidarity activists engage in non-violent intervention and documentation, practical support which enables many families to pick their olives. The campaign will begin mid October and will last around 5-7 weeks. We request a minimum 2 week commitment from volunteers
Afropop star Salif Keita cancels Israel gig after boycott calls
[with video] Electronic Intifada 22 Aug by Ali Abunimah — World-renowned Afropop sensation Salif Keita has canceled a scheduled performance in occupied Jerusalem following a campaign by Palestine solidarity activists. Keita claims he canceled due to “threats” (see update below)… Keita, known as the “Golden Voice of Africa,” took the step following appeals including a letter from Farid Esack, an active member of BDS South Africa and veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and Campagne BDS France, among others … Resort to unsupported claims of “threats” and potentially defamatory statements may be a tactic that some artists resort to when they do not wish to violate the Palestinian call to boycott Israel, but do not have the courage to take a political stance.
Israel boycott campaigners reject ‘threats’ claim by Afropop star Salif Keita
Electronic Intifada 25 Aug by Ali Abunimah — … BDS France rejects assertions of threats — In a statement on Saturday, Campagne BDS France responds to Keita’s claims: “The international BDS campaign, a nonviolent citizens’ campaign aiming to end Israel’s impunity, celebrates the growing number of renowned international artists who refuse to appear in Israel. With these successes, allegations have appeared that certain artists have received threats which led them to cancel events.” The statement recalls that last month the manager of Eric Burdon, former lead singer of The Animals, also claimed the singer had received “threats.” Burdon’s manager never provided any evidence or description of the “threats” and Burdon traveled to Israel on schedule … “Among the numerous artists who responded to the Palestinian call for cultural boycott of Israel are: Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Mira Nair, Cassandra Wilson, Natacha Atlas, Cat Power, Jello Biafra, Lhasa, Gilles Vigneault, Carlos Santana, Annie Lennox, The Pixies and Massive Attack, as well as other performers from all over the world. Most of them made statements explaining their decision as an act of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people. We contact these artists with the goal of convincing them and at the same time winning their hearts and minds. It would therefore be completely contrary to our principles to threaten them in any manner whatsoever, and it would be completely counterproductive for us.”
Racism against Palestinians, Arabs
Scenes from a guided tour
972mag 23 Aug by Yuval Ben-Ami — 1. Hotel manager in Tiberias: Two members of the group you’re guiding had to move to another room last night. It’s because of all the noise the cousins made in the pool. Me: Why do you find it necessary to point out that those were “cousins” [Hebrew code word for Palestinians]? Manager: What do you want me to say? “Arabs?” Me: Why don’t you just say “some people”? Manager: But they’re Arabs; it’s their identity. Me: Being human is also part of their identity. Manager: To you they’re human. Anyway, the couple that moved will either have to move back to their room before you leave this morning, or to a larger room on this floor. Me: They’re Jewish. Manager: What? Me: They’re Jewish, you forgot to mention that, it’s part of their identity. Manager (smiling): Forget Jewish, just say “human.” Me: To you they’re human.
Political, other news
From a Jenin funeral to solidarity in the Jordan Valley: A week in photos, August 15-21
Activestills 23 Aug — This week: Israeli forces kill a Palestinian in a Jenin raid, villagers return to land invaded by settlers, protesters camp out at Yair Lapid’s house, Palestinians protest the against the occupation and in support of prisoners, an event in France promotes Palestinian culture and activists bring water to deprived Jordan Valley residents.
Electronic Intifada podcast: Israel’s ongoing ‘sociocide’ in the Naqab
25 Aug by Nora Barrows-Friedman — This week on The Electronic Intifada podcast: The village of al-Araqib in the Naqab or Negev desert demolished for the 54th time since 2010; we’ll speak to analyst and op-ed contributor Nasser Rego about Israel’s 65-year project of forced displacement of Palestinian Bedouins; Sounds from a recent performance by world-renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy with the Palestine Strings and members of Kennedy’s Orchestra of Life, at the 2013 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London; and how the BBC censored Kennedy’s remarks against Israeli apartheid; Headlines from our top stories of the week; Original music by Revolution Makers, a hip hop duo in Gaza
Egyptian FM to visit Ramallah on Monday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Egyptian foreign minister Nabil Fahmy will visit Ramallah on Monday to discuss bilateral relations between Egypt and Palestine with President Mahmoud Abbas, the Egyptian ambassador to Palestine said. Yasser Othman told Ma‘an that the visit comes in support of the Palestinian return to negotiations and in gratitude for the Palestinian Authority’s position in support of the Egyptian government. Othman added that the Egyptian people and media are aware of who supports them and who incites against them.
France: Mideast needs peace deal ‘more than ever’
RAMALLAH (AFP) 24 Aug — A successful outcome to the Israel-Palestinians negotiations would be like a “thunderbolt” for peace in the crisis-ridden Middle East, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday. “Even if we speak of other neighboring countries — the dramatic conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt — the fact remains that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is one of the issues, perhaps the central one, for the region,” he said in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after meeting president Mahmoud Abbas …
Speaking at a joint press conference with Fabius, Abbas said that his team entered the talks, about which no details have been revealed, in good faith. “I should like to say that the Palestinians are negotiating with good intentions,” he said. “We want to negotiate in a positive spirit.” “We hope that it is the same on the Israeli side, we want to create the proper climate for stopping settlement, which is illegal to us and to the world.” The talks have been overshadowed by Israeli plans to build more than 2,000 new homes for Jewish settlers on occupied Palestinian territory.
PA, France sign agreements worth 19 million euros
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — The Palestinian Authority on Saturday signed two agreements with France worth a total of 19 million euros ($25 million), a statement said. Around 9 million euros ($12 million) will go towards paying the salaries of over 180,000 PA employees, while 10 million ($13 million) euros will be used to construct a solid waste treatment plant in the Gaza Strip.
Hamdallah: PA wants to reach agreement with teachers
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 25 Aug — Caretaker Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah said Sunday that the PA is dedicated to finalizing an agreement with teachers after months of strike action. “I can’t pledge things which are impossible to fulfill, but we have followed a policy of transparency so as to be able together to go through these hardships and continue to build our institutions,” Hamdallah said during the inauguration of a new school in Nablus. The PA will take practical steps to reaching an agreement with public school teachers in the West Bank, he added. Last week, the teachers’ union said it would consider more strike action if the PA did not fulfill its promises by September.
Family of kidnapped Palestinian journalist appeals for help
JENIN (Ma‘an) 24 Aug — The family of a Palestinian journalist who was kidnapped 16 months ago in the Philippines on Friday appealed to rights organizations to do more for his release. Baker Atyani, Al-Arabiya’s TV bureau chief for Southeast Asia, was kidnapped in June 2012 by the Abu Sayyaf group while filming a documentary in the the Philippines. The journalist’s wife Um Khalid, who lives in Jordan with their four children, said the family had urged organizations and officials to help free him to no avail. Atyani holds Jordanian citizenship but his family is from Anza village in the northern West Bank.
UNRWA criticizes Israeli film as malicious
JERUSALEM, August 24, 2013 (WAFA) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) strongly criticized the Israeli film “Camp Jihad” for alleging that UNRWA promoted anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its summer camps, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement. Describing what came in the film as “false accusations” and “grossly misleading,” UNRWA said it has conducted “a lengthy and detailed investigation into the film and we categorically reject the allegations it contains. It said allegations that the summer camp portrayed in the film was run by UNRWA were false and people interviewed the film-maker has claimed to be UNRWA staff were not. Gunness accused the Israeli film-maker as having malicious intentions against UNRWA saying he “has a history of making baseless claims about UNRWA, all of which we have investigated and demonstrated to be patently false.”