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Israeli court to decide whether govt can seize Palestinian land in East Jerusalem using ‘Absentees’ Property Law’

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Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization

Israel court to rule on controversial property law
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — Israel’s high court on Tuesday will discuss whether to apply a controversial law in East Jerusalem which would enable the Israeli government to seize private Palestinian property. The Absentees’ Property Law (1950) was originally enacted to transfer the property of Palestinian refugees, who had been forcibly displaced in 1948, to the state of Israel. A court hearing on Tuesday will determine whether the law can be applied to property in East Jerusalem which is owned by Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank. In June, Israeli attorney general Yehuda Weinstein wrote a recommendation to the Israeli government which supported applying the law to Palestinians residing outside of Israel’s unilaterally declared Jerusalem boundaries. In effect, the law would mean that Palestinians forced to flee their Jerusalem properties, who now reside in the occupied West Bank, would be considered “absentees,” enabling the Israeli government to seize their land.
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Palestinian in Kafkaesque battle over family’s hotel
ABU DIS, West Bank (Los Angeles Times) 9 Sept by Edmund Sanders — The year Ali Ayad was born, his father broke ground on a majestic home perched on a bluff overlooking Jerusalem, with views of the Dead Sea in one direction and the golden Dome of the Rock in the other. For all of his 59 years, Ayad’s life has revolved around the 1-acre plot. He played under the olive trees as a boy and became manager after the home was converted into the Cliff Hotel. He met his Norwegian wife from behind the reception desk, married her in the dining room and raised two daughters amid the daily bustle of visiting tourists and diplomats. But the idyllic life turned into what he describes as a Kafkaesque nightmare a decade ago after Israel seized control of the hotel. Using a combination of military orders and a controversial absentee-owner law, the government kicked him off the property, banned him from returning and then confiscated it as abandoned.
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Israel divides East Jerusalem neighborhood
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli bulldozers on Monday began to construct a dividing zone between the Palestinian town of Isawiya and the illegal Israeli settlement of French Hill in East Jerusalem. Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local Isawiya monitoring team, told Ma’an that Israeli forces are digging up land belonging to Palestinian families in order to create a 10 meter dividing zone between the two neighborhoods … He denied allegations that Isawiya residents vandalize property belonging to settlers in French Hill, claiming that Palestinians face daily harassment from settlers, many of whom have been relocated to French Hill from Gaza and the West Bank.
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Israeli forces order home demolitions in al-Khader
[with VIDEO] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli forces have ordered the demolition of two homes in al-Khader, south of Bethlehem. Israeli forces delivered warrants to two Palestinians from the Salah family notifying them that their homes are slated for demolition. The homes are in the Um Rukba neighborhood, on a hill in southern al-Khader. Israel plans to control Um Rukba, which is “the only space for the town’s demographic expansion,” said al-Khader’s mayor, Tawfiq Salah. Israel’s separation wall has isolated al-Khader from all its agricultural land, and residents have been forced to remain on a small part of their land despite the population’s natural growth, Salah told Ma‘an TV. Residents of Um Rukba told Ma‘an that all homes in the neighborhood faced the threat of demolition.
“My family has built seven houses here in an attempt to protect our lands from Israeli occupation,” said Nadir Salah. He highlighted that Israeli forces demolished two houses belonging to his brothers, but they were rebuilt despite Israeli threats.
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Document: WZO allocated Palestinian land to settlers in Jordan Valley
NAZARETH (PIC) 9 Sept — An internal Israeli Civil Administration document revealed that the World Zionist Organization has allocated to Jewish settlers in the Jordan Valley more than 5,000 dunums of private Palestinian land. Hebrew daily Haaretz said on Monday that the land is located east of the border fence, namely, between that fence and the actual border with Jordan. It said, “This area between the border fence and the actual border — the Jordan River — is a closed military zone that in some places is two kilometers wide. A military order prevents the Palestinian owners from accessing their lands in this area. On the other hand, Jewish settlers are allowed to farm the lands.”
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Audio: ‘Eco-school’ under threat in West Bank
Al Jazeera 10 Sept — September is the month when children in many parts of the world begin a new school year. But in the occupied West Bank, an innovative village school built with recycled materials is under threat. The residents of the illegal Israeli settlement nearby say the school is an illegal structure, and they are calling for the government to demolish it. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from the West Bank.
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Israelis slash tires of buses in Arab Jerusalem neighborhood
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 10 Sept — Israelis believed to be related to the terror group Price Tag Tuesday slashed tires of three public buses in the Arab neighborhood of al-Thouri, south of Jerusalem, witnesses told WAFA. They said graffiti such as “death to Arabs,” “stone terrorists” and “price tag” were painted on the buses that operate on the Jerusalem-Bethlehem route while parked in the neighborhood. Bus operators said they discovered the damage in the morning and had informed the police of the incident, whom they said never came to the crime scene
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Settlers uproot over 40 olive trees in south Hebron hills
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — A group of settlers uprooted over 40 olive trees in the south Hebron hills late Sunday, a local official said. Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlements, said that settlers from Maon destroyed olive trees in the neighboring village of al-Tuwani. The trees belong to the al-Rabai family.
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Israeli rightists enter Aqsa compound under guard
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — Dozens of Israeli rightists entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tuesday under heavy police guard, locals said. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Jerusalem endowments and al-Aqsa affairs, told Ma‘an that 150 Jewish extremists entered the mosque compound via the Mughrabi gate. The group walked along the eastern wall and exited through the al-Salsala gate. The rightists formed groups and performed religious rituals, including songs, al-Khatib said. Witnesses said that 80 members of Israeli intelligence entered the mosque compound. Head of the Islamic Higher Commission, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, told Ma‘an that repeated incursions by Jewish extremists “confirm Israeli ambitions and the risks to the mosque.” He pointed to the division of the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, which is separated into two parts.
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Jewish calls for massive storming of Aqsa
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 9 Sept — Likud party activists announced intention to storm the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem next Thursday to celebrate “Yom Kippur”, AFEH said. Mahmoud Abul Atta, the spokesman for the Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH), said in a statement on Monday that other Jewish groups had called for massive storming of the Aqsa on the Jewish feast of “Sukkot”, which is celebrated in the period 19 – 26 September. He described in this respect statements by Israel Police Commissioner, Yohanan Danino, as “serious and unprecedented” Danino said that Jews have the right to offer prayers in the Aqsa Mosque. Abul Atta said that the issue was no longer of mere storming but rather there is a kind of coordination among various institutions within the Israeli establishment that is pushing for dividing the Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews.
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Israel to close Ibrahimi mosque on Tuesday
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli authorities will close the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to Palestinian worshipers on Tuesday, a local official said. The mosque will be closed to Palestinians while Jewish holiday celebrations take place. Israel also closed the mosque over the Jewish new year last week. PA ministry of endowment official Tayseer Abu Sneina said the procedures were “provocative” and called on human rights groups to intervene.
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Banishment / Restriction of movement

Palestinian outrage over Israeli permit policies
Ramallah (Gulf News) 9 Sept by Nasouh Nazzal — In a case that has caused outrage against the Israeli visa system, a newlywed Palestinian-Jordanian woman who had been denied the right to enter the West Bank to see her husband while he was alive has now been granted an entry permit to attend his funeral there. Eman, a Palestinian resident of Jordan was refused a visit visa to attend her own wedding party in her groom’s home village of Beit Reema in Ramallah in the West Bank. Several weeks later she was granted an entry permit to attend her husband’s funeral after he died in a road accident in Jordan hours after they returned from their honeymoon in Thailand. Family sources said that Ahmad Al Reemawi, 24, had proposed to his relative Eman, who is not a West Bank resident. The woman accepted the marriage proposal and the two families decided the marriage would take place in Ramallah, in the West Bank. Israeli occupation authorities stymied this plan by refusing Eman entry to the West Bank, even after the marriage contract was signed. “The visit visa application was rejected even though the woman was officially his wife,” said Khaled Al Reemawi, a cousin to the couple in an interview with Gulf News. He said that under laws accepted worldwide, the man had the right to bring his wife on a visit to his own home country, provided that Ahmad was a West Bank resident and holder of an official identity card.
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IOA court orders four Jerusalemites out of town for two weeks
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 10 Sept — The Israeli Magistrate court in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday ordered the banishment of four Jerusalemites for two weeks. The four were arrested last Friday after they joined in defending the Aqsa Mosque against settlers’ attack. Local sources said that the banishment includes deprivation of entering the Old City and the Aqsa Mosque. The same court had ruled on Monday the banishment of two children for the same period. Palestinian political circles warned of the dangerous banishment policy pursued by the Israeli occupation authorities against Jerusalemites, which, they said, aim at emptying the holy city of its indigenous inhabitants.
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Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Hebron man beaten by Israeli forces transferred to hospital
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — A man assaulted by Israeli forces late Monday has been transferred to hospital for medical treatment, medics said. Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to Shuhada street in the center of Hebron attacked Mufeed Sharabati before detaining him, Youth Against Settlements said Monday. The group said that earlier Israeli soldiers raided Sharabati’s home, which is undergoing construction work. After a long discussion, the soldiers agreed to allow some construction materials to be brought into Sharabati’s home on the condition that he demolished a recently built bathroom. After demolishing the bathroom, soldiers refused to let the materials in and began mocking Sharabati, leading to a heated argument. He was then assaulted by the soldiers and arrested. After being released from custody hours after his arrest, he was transferred to hospital to be treated for serious cuts and bruises.
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Palestinian teen knocked down by Israeli car near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — A Palestinian teenager was knocked down by an Israeli vehicle in a Ramallah village late Monday and left in the street, locals said. Anas Fadel Mohammad Badran, 19, was run over in the village of Beit Ur At-Tahta west of Ramallah and seriously injured. The vehicle, which had Israeli number plates, fled the scene. A local Imam witnessed the incident and took Badran to a medical center. Clashes broke out at the center after Israeli forces arrived at the scene, with tear gas and sound bombs fired at villagers.
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Palestinian worker bitten by settler’s dog
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 10 Sept — A Palestinian worker was hospitalized on Tuesday after a settler’s dog attacked him in Taku settlement near Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Ahmed Salah, the coordinator of the popular committee against settlement in Al-Khader, said that the 22-year-old Mudhafar Da’du suffered multiple injuries as a result of the attack. He said that settlers deliberately unleashed their dog at the worker while fixing electricity problems in the settlement. Eyewitnesses said that the attack lasted for 15 minutes while the worker was trying to defend himself and other workers also tried to help but to no avail. They said that Israeli police arrived to the scene and took away the dog and carried the worker to hospital.
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Confrontations near Fawar refugee camp
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 10 Sept — Violent confrontations were reported near Fawar refugee camp, south of Al-Khalil [Hebron], on Monday night after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed it. Local sources said that the IOF soldiers fired teargas canisters and metal bullets at inhabitants and their homes triggering confrontations at the camp’s entrance. They said that the confrontations spread to nearby fields in addition to the main street in the camp. The sources charged the soldiers with intentionally breaking into the camp on a daily basis, adding that the raids lead to clashes with the unarmed inhabitants.
Meanwhile, IOF soldiers set up roadblocks to the north of Al-Khalil on Tuesday morning, searching all passing vehicles and commuters. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers set up two roadblocks while other army units were deployed at crossroads leading from Al-Khalil city to ‘Arub refugee camp to the north of the city.
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25 Jerusalemite students injured in clashes with IOF soldiers
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli border police assaulted students of Abu Dis university in occupied Jerusalem while on their way home on Monday night, wounding 25 of them. A Jerusalemite activist said in a press release on Tuesday that ten students were injured with rubber bullets while 15 others were treated for breathing problems. He said that the students could only find stones to defend themselves, adding that the wounded students were taken to a medical emergency center in Abu Dis. Young men of nearby villages joined the students in defending themselves and clashes spread to areas near the university. The varsity guards managed to evacuate the entire campus. Israeli occupation forces (IOA) had launched a similar assault a couple of days earlier in which 78 students were injured. IOF soldiers twice attacked the university students over the past week. Deputy executive manager of the university Emad Abu Kishek said that the Israeli attacks, which coincide with the start of the new academic year, aim at destabilizing the university and frustrating students wishing to join it in future years.
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Israeli forces detain 10 in West Bank raids, locals say
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Israeli military forces arrested 10 people overnight Sunday in the West Bank, locals said. Military vehicles raided the Nablus village of Beita and detained Imad Falih Saleh Dawod, Adham Mohammad Bahjat Fayek, Salama Tareq Abdin, Raed Jafar Fawzi Khader, Jamal Issam Abu Ayash, Zakaria Mohammad Sharfa, Noh Mohammad Sharfa, and Imam Rebhi Sedqi. Some of the detainees were assaulted during the raid and suffered bruises and cuts. Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound bombs during the raid, witnesses said.
Khalil al-Dala, 20, was detained in the Old City of Nablus.
Israeli forces also raided the Ramallah village of Beit Rima and detained Ayham Suliman al-Rimawi, witnesses said.
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The arrest of 9 Jerusalemites from Sur-Baher, A-Esawyeh and Old City of Jerusalem
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 9 Sept — The Israeli forces carried out a series of arrests on Monday and arrested several young men and children from the villages of Sur-Baher and Esawyeh and from the old city of Jerusalem on charges of throwing stones in Al-Aqsa Mosque. Among the people arrested from the Old City were Ahmad Abu Sbeih, Aboud Abu Sbeih, Thaer Zghayyar and Adli Najib. Sharif Mahfouz Abu Turk and Mousa Amir were arrested from Sur-Baher, and Amir Khaldoun Mustafa, Mohammad Mansour Mahmoud and Ali Darwish were arrested from Esawyeh.
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The arrest of 6 Jerusalemites
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 10 Sept — The Israeli forces arrested 4 Jerusalemites early this morning [Tuesday] from the neighbourhood of Al-Sowaneh east of the old city of Jerusalem. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the Israeli forces arrested Mohammad Riyad Abu Lafi, Mohammad Al-Mutasem Abu Lafi, Nihad Msha’she’ and Mohammad Msha’she’. They also arrested Ibrahim Rizeq and Mutasem Al-Atrash on Monday night….
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Israeli forces detain 13 in Hebron refugee camp
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — Israeli forces detained 13 Palestinians in a refugee camp [al-‘Arrub] near Hebron early Tuesday, locals said … The detainees are aged between 18 to 26, witnesses said, and several camp residents were assaulted during the raid. A local activist told Ma‘an that Israeli forces are targeting university students in the camp. An Israeli army spokeswoman said 13 people were detained in al-Arrub camp for “illegal activity.”
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Court actions / Detainees

IDF closes investigation into Bil‘in killing without indictment
972mag 10 Sept by Mairav Zonszein – Four years after Bassem Abu Rahme was killed by a tear gas canister in Bil’in, the Israeli army says there is no evidence to indict. Video footage, however, shows that the tear gas canister was fired directly at him, contravening IDF regulations. Last year a former soldier who served in the same unit said the shooter aimed directly at Abu Rahme and even put an ‘X’ on his rifle afterward … The military prosecution claims it was unable to determine the identity of the Israeli soldiers and border policemen involved or whether open-fire regulations were breached. This, despite the fact that as B’Tselem and Yesh Din pointed out in a joint press release condemning the decision, three video segments filmed during the demonstration show that Abu Rahmeh was situated to the east of the barrier, did not act violently and did not endanger the soldiers in any way.
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Sentencing a child for 3 years of actual imprisonment . . . and the court’s guards assault another
[with photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Sept — The District court sentenced on Sunday 17-year old Tarek Khaled Odeh for 38 months of actual imprisonment, on charges of throwing stones and firecrackers at a settlement outpost in Silwan. Ishaq Odeh said that his brother was arrested in mid-January, and he was put in Al-Maskobyeh cells for 22 days after he was arrested in order to get him to confess. Tarek’s lawyer was not allowed to visit him during that period, and even clothes were not allowed in. The court sessions were confidential, in addition to placing him in a small dark cell which was really cold and had nails placed on its edges; Tarek went on a hunger strike for two days … It is noteworthy that the court’s guards assaulted Tarek’s cousin 16-year old Mohammad Asi during the session and severely beat him. Ishaq said: “the court’s guards prevented him from attending Tarek’s court session and while he was standing by the door, seven guards assaulted him and directly hit him using their hands and legs, and then took him to the searching room by the court’s main gate and continued assaulting him, and one of them threatened to arrest him if he comes to court another time.” He pointed out that Mohammad suffered from bruises and wounds in his face and head.
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Prisoner’s administrative detention renewed
JENIN (PIC) 10 Sept — Israeli Supreme Court refused, on Monday, to release the leader in Islamic Jihad movement in Jenin Sheikh Sharif Tahayna, and renewed his administrative  detention for six more months. Local sources said that the court rejected the petition submitted on behalf of captive Tahayna who is held in administrative detention since October 2012 and approved his detention for more six months. Tahayna, from Silat al-Harithiya town in Jenin, has spent 13 years in aggregate in Israeli jails, mostly in administrative detention, in addition to being detained more than once by PA forces.
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4 Palestinians handed sentences in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced four people from Jerusalem to various sentences between 18 months and years in prison. Addamer prisoners organization lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that a court sentenced a young man and three minors on charges of stabbing a settler in Ras al-Amoud last November, and launching fireworks and homemade firebombs at an Israeli outpost in the Silwan neighborhood. Mohammad Sameeh Abbasi, 18, was handed a sentence of seven years and 10 months, a suspended sentence of three years, and a fine of 30,000 shekels ($8,300). Majdi Abbasi was handed a five-year and 10-month sentence, a suspended sentence of three years, and a fine of 10,000 shekels ($2,800). Ayman Sameeh Abbasi, 15, and Mohammad Sultan Abbasi, 13, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels ($835). They were given until Nov. 3 to hand themselves in. Mahmoud said he would appeal the sentences.
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Gaza under blockade

Rights group says Israel arrests Gaza patients on border
GAZA (WAFA) 10 Sept – A Gaza-based human rights group Tuesday denounced Israeli policy of arresting patients leaving the Gaza Strip through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing with Israel to reach hospitals in Jerusalem or the West Bank. Mezan Center for Human Rights said the Israeli authorities at Erez arrested on Sunday Muhammad Zaki Bakri, 24, from Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, when he reached the crossing after obtaining an Israeli army-issued permit on his way to a hospital in East Jerusalem for treatment. It said Bakri, who was accompanied by his mother, was interrogated for several hours by Israeli security service agents, who later told his mother that her son has been arrested and that she has to return to Gaza. The mother told Mezan that she saw marks of beating on her son’s face and neck and that his clothes were partially torn, indicating he was beaten while in custody. The center said Bakri was taken to a prison in Askalan and has been remanded until next week …
Mezan said Israel uses agony and despair of Palestinian patients from Gaza to arrest them as they try to get treatment outside Gaza after it was impossible to get the treatment in Gaza hospitals. Many patients used to travel to Egypt for treatment and go through the Palestinian-controlled Rafah crossing to avoid arrest by Israel. However, with the constant Egyptian closure of Rafah, patients find no alternative other than to seek treatment in hospitals in Israel, East Jerusalem or the West Bank, which means they have to travel through the Israeli Erez crossing. Mezan also said Israel often uses the need of people to get a permit for treatment outside Gaza in order to blackmail them into collaborating with it on security matters and spy on their people in Gaza or the West Bank.
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Israeli navy seizes two Palestinian fishing boats
GAZA (PIC) 10 Sept — Israeli navy forces seized two Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Rafah south of Gaza Strip at dawn Tuesday. Security sources told the PIC reporter that the Israeli navy towed the two boats with their fishing nets after shooting at them.
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Egypt army destroys 6 tunnels along Gaza border
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — Egyptian army forces on Monday destroyed six smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, security officials said. The tunnels were located north of Rafah in the neighborhood of al-Sarsoriya and specialized in smuggling goods and people. Egyptian forces used explosives to destroy the tunnels. All goods being transferred to Gaza were seized by the military … An Egyptian official said Sunday that more than 90 percent of the smuggling tunnels have now been destroyed. Egypt’s army, which ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi in a July coup, has since destroyed many of the tunnels Brotherhood ally Hamas uses to bring crucial supplies into the blockaded Strip.
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Sinai tribal leader rejects Gaza buffer zone
GAZA (Al-Monitor) 9 Sept by Khaled Kraizim — Continuous explosions conducted by the Egyptian army have been reducing Egyptian homes near the Gaza border to rubble. These explosions pulverize the homes, while some of the debris even reaches the wall separating the Egyptian and Palestinian sections of Rafah. The purpose of these explosions is to destroy the underground tunnels connecting the two parts of Rafah. The head of the Sinai Tribes Union, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Menaei, described the Egyptian army’s actions as “extremely dangerous and barbaric” since the army is demolishing the homes — complete with interior furnishings — of the citizens of Egyptian Rafah on the grounds that there are tunnels beneath them. The tribes that form the union are at odds with the Egyptian army, which recently began to carry out military operations in the Sinai against so-called terrorists. Yet, according to Menaei, residents of the Sinai are not hostile to the army and they are not the source of terrorism and tensions. “People who came from outside the Sinai, and have been smuggling weapons into the region for two years, these are the two fighting the army,” he said….
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Egypt accuses Islamic Jihad to arms smuggling in Sinai
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 10 Sept by Asmaa al-Ghoul –  The Egyptian army has said that terrorist elements in Sinai have used heavy weapons belonging to the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. A military source told a number of Egyptian news websites on Sunday, Sept. 9, that these heavy weapons were seized during the military operations currently targeting criminal groups in Sinai, which had carried out attacks on the army, police and vital installations. This is the first time that the Egyptian army has directed accusations at a movement associated with Iran and Syria in the Gaza Strip. Previous accusations of involvement in the events in Sinai were made against Salafist-Jihadist groups or Hamas. The official Facebook page of the military spokesman for the Armed Forces, Col. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, published a photo of the weapons carrying the logo of Al-Quds Brigades.
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Al-Quds Brigades denies Egyptian claims about finding some of its arms in Sinai
GAZA (PIC) 9 Sept — Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, categorically denied the claims made by some Egyptian websites about the impounding of weapons belonging to it in the Sinai, stressing that Palestine is the only arena for its activities. “Our only and main activity arena is the whole Palestinian land an our resistance is directed against the Zionist enemy, the central enemy of the nation, so it is not in our interest at all to interfere in the affairs of the Arab countries, especially Egypt,” a senior official from the Brigades stated. The official affirmed that the things that were claimed to be found with the Al-Quds Brigades emblem on them are fabricated and the Brigades have nothing to do with them.
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IOF soldiers arrest four youngsters near Gaza borders
GAZA (PIC) 10 Sept — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested four Palestinian youngsters on Monday after approaching the border fence in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian security sources told the PIC reporter that the four young men came too close to the IOF military position east of Wadi Gaza before they were apprehended by the IOF troops. They added that IOF armored vehicles arrived at the scene as soon as the young men reached the fence and took them away. The sources said that the soldiers did not use gunfire in the arrest.
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UNRWA, Japan complete rehousing project in Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 10 Sept – UNRWA inaugurated 226 new shelters for over 1,200 Palestinian refugees whose homes were destroyed before the Israeli disengagement in 2005, said a press release by UNRWA’s office in Gaza on Monday. It noted that Makoto Honda, Deputy Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, and Robert Turner, Director of Operations in Gaza for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), inaugurated 226 new shelters, built for over 1,200 Palestine refugees whose homes were demolished or damaged beyond repair prior to the Israeli disengagement in August 2005.  A donation of $12.4 million from the Government of Japan assisted the completion of the construction of the housing units and supported the construction of two schools, a health centre and a community centre, in Khan Younis.  The donation, according to the press release, supported work on critical infrastructure systems including water, sewerage and electricity. “We are grateful to the Government and the people of Japan for their commitment to the rehousing project in Gaza,” said Turner. Even though the rehousing project commenced in 2006, political crisis such as the blockade on Gaza halted its progression …  Turner elaborated, “Almost a decade ago, the families who will live in the Japan-funded houses lost everything overnight, in an extremely painful reminder of their first displacement in 1948. We are grateful to Japan for standing by us and the Palestine refugees until we were able to complete the new shelters.”
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Palestinian refugees elsewhere

3 Palestinians killed in Syria shelling, group says
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — Three Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria on Monday, a local group said. The Workforce for Palestinians in Syria said that Alaa Abed al-Wahab and Ali Muhammad Attar were killed during shelling in Yarmouk refugee camp.
Yasser Ibrahim al-Joda, also from Yarmouk, died while being held in a government prison. He was detained in December 2012 and the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. In Daraa refugee camp, locals say that government snipers positioned on rooftops are firing indiscriminately at people on the main streets, including women and children, leaving residents in a state of panic.
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Americans call on ice cream company not to sell products in settlements
WASHINGTON (WAFA) 9 Sept — More than 150 civil society organizations in the United States and worldwide signed a letter to the American ice cream company’s Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, urging the company “to stand by its Social Mission and to ensure that its products are not sold, catered and distributed in Israeli settlements” in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a press release said Monday. The letter, organized by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP), calls on Solheim “to take all necessary contractual and legal measures to bring your franchise’s settlement business to an end in a verifiable way, and to release a public statement of your company’s commitment to end its business ties to Israel’s occupation and settlement enterprise.”
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Palestinian human rights organizations send letter urging United States to cease pressure to postpone or amend EU guidelines
Al-Haq 10 Sept — Dear Mr. Secretary [Kerry], On 17 July 2013, the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations’ Council (PHROC) welcomed the European Union’s (EU) adoption of guidelines “on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes, and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards” (guidelines). PHROC made reference to the fact that these guidelines enforce the longstanding position of the international community that Israeli settlements are illegal; that the guidelines ensure that the EU and its Member States comply with their legal obligation not to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions; and that the guidelines implement previous commitments made by the EU regarding the exclusion of Israeli settlements from the scope of application of agreements between the EU and Israel. PHROC therefore encouraged the full and transparent implementation of the guidelines planned for 1 January 2014.
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Other news

Abbas to British Houses: Peace needs your active support
LONDON (WAFA)9 Sept — President Mahmoud Abbas Monday urged the British House of Lords and House of Commons to actively support the peace process that is supposed to lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state … Abbas arrived in London on Sunday for a 4-day official visit and meeting with top British officials.
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Almost 40% of Palestine’s guests are European, says Statistics Bureau
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 10 Sept — While more than 150,000 guests have stayed in hotels in the West Bank during the second quarter of this year, almost 40% were from European Union countries and only 9% were Palestinian, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Tuesday. The number of hotel guests was 27% higher than in the previous quarter and 3% lower than in the second quarter of 2012, it said. The room occupancy rate in the West Bank was 26% in the second quarter of 2013, 19% higher than in the previous quarter and 16% lower than in the second quarter of 2012. The hotels are concentrated in the center – Ramallah area – and south – Bethlehem area – of the West Bank with 32 hotels in each region. Jerusalem had 29 hotels and the northern West Bank had 14 hotels, said the PCBS.
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PA ‘structural deficiency’ behind finance crisis
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept – As Palestinian Authority’s officials complain about an imminent serious financial crisis, donor countries have responded positively delivering millions of dollars to the PA in the past few days. Both European and Arab countries have channeled millions to support the Palestinian Authority’s treasury. Saudi Arabia announced $200 million, while the UK donated $11,600. The World Bank transferred $72.2 million, the Italian government paid $60 million and only Monday the European Union proposed 60 million euros to support the PA. Interim prime minister Rami Hamdallah announced earlier in September that his government would be facing a serious financial crisis in September and October … Former minister of planning Samir Abdullah believes the ongoing financial crisis is a result of “structural deficiency” in the Palestinian Authority’s economy. This economy, he says, is subordinate to money from donor countries, and on the other hand Israel controls the PA’s resources in 60 percent of the West Bank. Gaza’s resources, he added, are already missing.  Abdullah says the PA has been suffering from financial crises since it was established in 1994.
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EU announces €52 million development package for PA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Sept — The European Union on Monday announced a €52 million assistance package to support development in Palestine …  EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said the ultimate objective of the financial assistance “remains the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” an EU statement said. Some €13 million will help municipalities invest in small infrastructure projects and improve management practices, while €11 million will “promote sustainable, private sector-led social and economic development” which will create jobs, the statement said. Meanwhile, €20 million will help build the new Nablus East Water Treatment Plant. The remaining €8 million will support the delivery of community services in East Jerusalem “in order to consolidate the possibility of reaching a future political agreement of the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”
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Exclusive: Does Israel have chemical weapons too?
Foreign Policy 9 Sept by Matthew M. Aid — One secret CIA file may have the answer — Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons is threatening to turn the civil war there into a wider conflict. But the Bashar al-Assad government may not be the only one in the region with a nerve gas stockpile. A newly discovered CIA document indicates that Israel likely built up a chemical arsenal of its own … Reports have circulated in arms control circles for almost 20 years that Israel secretly manufactured a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons to complement its nuclear arsenal. Much of the attention has been focused on the research and development work being conducted at the Israeli government’s secretive Israel Institute for Biological Research at Ness Ziona, located 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. But little, if any, hard evidence has ever been published to indicate that Israel possesses a stockpile of chemical or biological weapons. This secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate may be the strongest indication yet.
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Analysis / Opinion / Reviews

Oslo dead but still matters: Abbas’s village leagues and Palestinian silence / Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle 4 Sept — Suppose several armored vehicles belonging to a branch of the Palestinian Authority raided an Israeli border village at the eve of a new round of peace negotiations. One can picture PA President Mahmoud Abbas defending the killings, stating that the attack was made in the cause of protecting the security of the Palestinian public. Would the Israeli delegation return to the talks with handshakes and smiles? The answer is an obvious no. Yet the Palestinian delegation did return to real recently renewed peace talks after Israeli forces’ raided a refugee camp in north Jerusalem on August 26, killing three. This was not the only lethal Israeli attack to take place during “peace talks”, and it will not likely be the last. Granted, Palestine is an occupied nation, and its leadership possesses far fewer advantages than its Israeli counterpart; but if negotiations exist under such humiliating circumstances, can Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb Erekat reasonably expect any fair outcome from these talks? Of course not. Yet Abbas continues to offer more concessions that defy logic and the history of diplomacy. After volunteering last year to terminate claims to historic Palestine during an Israeli TV interview, which was rightly understood as a direct dismissal of Palestinians’ right of return to land occupied in 1947-48, he is still unrepentant. Abbas, who serves no purpose aside from filling the US-entrusted role of the ‘moderate’ Palestinian, has no vision of his own.
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Ramallah and Gaza face identity crisis / Ramzy Baroud
Arab News 10 Sept — The distance between Gaza and Ramallah in sheer miles is hardly significant. But in actuality, both cities represent two different political realities, with inescapable cultural and socioeconomic dimensions. Their geopolitical horizons are vastly different as well — Gaza is situated within its immediate Arab surroundings and turmoil, while Ramallah is westernized in too many aspects to count. In recent years, the gap has widened like never before … How long can the Palestinian people sustain their sense of nationhood under political tribalism, geographic division, factionalism, relentlessly polarizing media discourses, the renting out of Palestinian political independence to donor and Gulf countries, the marginalization of Palestine in the wake of Arab turmoil and civil wars, and much more? Should Palestinians be expected to sustain their sense of common identity purely based on their shared sense of injustice invited by the Israeli occupation, apartheid and discrimination? Palestine is more than a flag and an anthem, and Palestinians are united by more than their factional affiliation, political sympathies or their detestation of the Israeli soldier and the military checkpoint. But neither the political leaderships in Ramallah, nor in Gaza are capable of defining or representing real Palestinian identity that spans time and space.
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Q&A: The Oslo Accords, Syria, and ‘responsibility to protect’
Al Jazeera 10 Sept — Noam Chomsky discusses the Palestinian Authority’s weakness and the implications of a US strike on Syria – Frank Barat: What is the definition of negotiations in Israel-US language, and why is the Palestinian Authority playing along? Noam Chomsky: From the US point of view, negotiations are, in effect, a way for Israel to continue its policies of systematically taking over whatever it wants in the West Bank, maintaining the brutal siege on Gaza, separating Gaza from the West Bank and, of course, occupying the Syrian Golan Heights, all with full US support. And the framework of negotiations, as in the past 20 years of the Oslo experience, has simply provided a cover for this. FB: Why is the PA playing along with this and going to negotiations time after time?NC: It’s probably partly out of desperation. You can ask whether it’s the right choice or not, but they don’t have many alternatives. FB: So in your opinion, it’s pretty much to survive that they indeed accept the framework?NC: If they were to refuse to join the US-run negotiations, their basis for support would collapse. They survive on donations essentially. Israel has made sure that it’s not a productive economy.
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Films in Venice portray hope, hurdles for Jewish-Palestinian ties
VENICE (Reuters) 6 Sept – In Amos Gitai’s film “Ana Arabia”, premiered in Venice this week, a Palestinian whose late wife was an Auschwitz survivor and Muslim convert treks to Arab cities to find a dentist instead of one five minutes away in Tel Aviv. In “Bethlehem”, the work of an Israeli director and Palestinian screenwriter, an Israeli Shin Bet secret service agent uses a young Palestinian boy as an informant with tragic consequences, mostly because they have become close friends. The two Israeli films shown at the Venice Film Festival depict Israelis and Palestinians married or working closely together. But alongside these glimmers of hope lie deep misunderstandings and enmities that reinforce the impression of an unbridgeable divide.
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American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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3 Responses

  1. amigo on September 11, 2013, 12:05 pm

    So , would Jews who fled Israel and settled outside it,s borders be stripped of property they might own in Israel.

    Of course , any ruling the court makes that does not suit the GOI will be ignored as is usually the case in the so called only democracy in the ME (not).

    I will refrain from reading the arguments in favour of this racist and criminal Law.They are vomit inducing, at best.

  2. Woody Tanaka on September 11, 2013, 12:12 pm

    “Israeli court to decide whether govt can seize Palestinian land in East Jerusalem using ‘Absentees’ Property Law’”

    What a bunch of disgusting criminals. Truly, the dregs of humanity in that government. They’re not a country, it’s a mafia.

  3. Bumblebye on September 11, 2013, 12:58 pm
    Oh what fun!
    Israel has access, without *legal* restraints, to whatever info the nsa has on anybody.

    “Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.”

    “…Israel is allowed to receive “raw Sigint” – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: “Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.”

    According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. “NSA routinely sends ISNU [the Israeli Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection”, it says.

    Although the memorandum is explicit in saying the material had to be handled in accordance with US law, and that the Israelis agreed not to deliberately target Americans identified in the data, these rules are not backed up by legal obligations.”

    Thanks to Glen Greenwald et al! Such an ally, this Israel…

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