Absentee Property Law in East Jerudalem | | Israeli court may suspend law used to take over Palestinian land in Jerusalem
Haaretz 11 Sept by Nir Hasson — Supreme Court justices indicated on Tuesday they want to stop invoking the controversial Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem, which has been used often to transfer property from the Palestinian owners into the hands of Israeli Jews. However, the judges said they were worried about opening a “Pandora’s box” of legal problems. During a hearing before an expanded panel of seven Supreme Court justices, the judges and state prosecutors pressed attorneys for Palestinians whose property had been confiscated to reach a settlement for return of their property or compensation in return for dropping the appeal, which would spare the Supreme Court having to decide if the law applies in East Jerusalem.
Israeli Supreme Court defers decision in absentee property cases in E. Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 Sept — Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to defer consideration of the issue of the applicability of the Absentee Property Law, which has been used to take over Palestinian land, in occupied East Jerusalem … The court, presided over by Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis, asked all of the parties to provide legal opinions on its suggestion to declare the law’s application in east Jerusalem unconstitutional, and to give their own ideas on whether this decision should be applied retroactively or only prospectively … Adalah [Center for Palestinian Rights] will provide its legal opinion on this subject in the coming week. Adalah had requested permission to join the case as an amicus curiae for the purpose of legal argument. In an opinion presented to the Court, Adalah argued that the opinion of Attorney General Weinstein to apply the Absentee Property Law to East Jeruslem changes the existing decades-long status quo that has been supported by successive attorney generals since 1967, whereupon the law does not apply to the East Jerusalem properties of Palestinian residents of the West Bank.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
Israeli minister enters Al-Aqsa compound under guard
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel visited the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday under Israeli police protection. Witnesses said that Ariel, who is a member of the far-right Jewish Home party, headed a tour group of some 100 right-wing religious students and rabbis. The group entered through the Mughrabi gate and exited through the Chain gate. The tour lasted around 45 minutes. Last week, Ariel said that Israel should have full sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa compound and that the site must be open “at any hour to every Jew.” The minister’s comments and a series of recent of visits by Israeli rightists have created a sense of fear among Al-Aqsa authorities about control of the holy site. Head of the Islamic Higher Commission, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, told Ma’an Tuesday that repeated incursions by Jewish extremists “confirm Israeli ambitions and the risks to the mosque.”
IOA prevents Jerusalemite children from playing in al-Aqsa yards
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 13 Sept — Israel’s Internal Security Minister has informed the Knesset Deputy Speaker that the Israeli police will prevent the Jerusalemite children from playing in al-Aqsa mosque yards, Maarif Hebrew newspaper said. The police decision came following Knesset right-wing members’ demand to prevent Palestinian children from playing Football in the mosque yards claiming that they are playing in a Jewish sacred site. Jewish organizations gathering under the name of “the Coalition for the Temple” have called on settlers to storm the Mosque next Saturday. They called upon the police to allow them to celebrate the Yom Kippur holiday in al-Aqsa mosque.
Clandestine Israeli trailer park in JHF forest aims to take over Bedouin village
Mondoweiss 13 Sept by Allison Deger — A few weeks ago I was on an air-conditioned bus tour for journalists of unrecognized Bedouin villages in Southern Israel when I overheard “—And this is where the Jews are living in the forest.” A finger pointed to an out of place green patch between golden hills: Yattir, a Jewish National Fund (JNF) park. The Jews are living in the what? Looking through the window I could see no houses or roads in the distance, just trees planted, donations from Americans. Bar Mitzvah gifts and charity drives have sent legions to the Negev under the header of “making the desert bloom.” And somewhere in that man-made oasis are Jews, or rather Israeli-Jews, holding out in a clandestine trailer park. The guide, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, Adalah’s Naqab (Negev) office director, said the township in the woods, Hiran, is illegal. It’s an unrecognized Jewish locality. It was established without building permits in the forest. It has the same status as a nearby Bedouin village, Umm el-Hiran, in the valley below except Bedouin-Hiran is facing eviction and Jewish-Hiran is not.
Israeli forces demolish houses, barns in East Jerusalem village
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept – Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday morning raided al-Zaayyem [or Zaeem] village in East Jerusalem and demolished steel structures used as houses and as sheep and poultry barns. The Israelis claim the structures were built without licenses. “Families were surprised with Israeli military vehicles storming a tract of land where ten Palestinian households live in steel structures and use ten other structures as barns. The soldiers started to empty the structures and demolish them,” says Abu Mousa As-Saedi, one of the owners. The Israelis, he added, have not make clear how many structures will be demolished. He highlighted that Israeli authorities claimed the land was confiscated, “but we confirm that we bought the land from residents of Eisawiya and have been trying since years to obtain construction licenses from the Civil Administration.” About 100 people lived in the steel structures, a majority of whom are children, he added. Al-Saedi noted that some of the structures were built 20 years ago, and the rest were built 10 years ago.
A member of a local follow-up committee in Eisawiya Muhammad Abu al-Hummus confirmed the land belonged to the town. He highlighted that the area was slated for confiscation for the benefit of E1 settlement project which Israel announced in 1994. The project, he said, includes an industrial zone, residential houses and hotels to be built on 12,443 dunams of Palestinian land of al-Tur, Anata, Eizariyya and Abu Dis villages.
Occupation demolishes installations in Jerusalem and the 1948 territories
NAZARETH (PIC) 11 Sept — …Meanwhile, the occupation bulldozers demolished a house still under construction in the village of Arara in the 1948 occupied territories, under the pretext of illegal construction. Website of Arabs 48 reported that enhanced police forces and special units surrounded the Mansoura neighborhood adjacent to the village after closing all the entrances to prevent the residents from approaching the place, then demolished the house. Mansoura District, near the village of Arara, includes 8 houses built 50 years ago.
Wind caused by Israeli helicopter blows away homes in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA)12 Sept — Wind caused by landing Israeli military helicopters Thursday blew away three Palestinian canvas tents used as homes in an area in the Jordan Valley, according to witnesses. They said the Israeli helicopters landed in the middle of an area where Palestinian herders reside causing three tents to be blown away due to the wind caused by the helicopter blades, displacing three families who were left without shelter.
Occupation notifies to remove fence of natural reserve funded by the FAO
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 11 Sept — …Rateb Jabour, Chairman of the Popular Committee against the wall and settlements, told PIC’s correspondent “the occupation administration notified to deport the residents of the villages of al-Fakhit, Halawa and Janba, located within the eight villages notified with displacement by the Israeli army to be used for military purposes.” He added the occupation also notified the residents to remove the fence of the natural [nature?] reserve funded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the area of Um Sarara located between the three villages threatened with displacement.
Jabour stated that the Israeli forces have also been holding Janba school teachers and Secondary School girls in addition to crews of some global institutions that provide assistance to residents of Musafer, in order to put restrictions on the citizens and push them to leave their land.
Israeli forces demolish property in West Bank village
JENIN (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Two Israeli bulldozers demolished commercial and industrial property early Thursday, including a commercial complex in Barta‘a al-Sharqiya in the northern West Bank district of Jenin. The complex consisted of 10 commercial shops that were under construction, locals said. Israeli forces claimed that the properties were built without licenses. Townspeople told Ma‘an that the bulldozers started demolishing the complex at 6 am. The complex is 600 square meters and belongs to Hamzeh Ibrahim Qabha. The bulldozers also demolished industrial shops for manufacturing marble. The shops belonged to Thaer Jaradat from Sila al-Harethiya. Two other garages were also demolished; the shops belonged to Mohammad Hassan Qabha and Samer Raba Qabha, locals said.
Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces that were deployed intensively in the area. Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades. As a result, a fire broke out in a shop for tractor parts. The shop belonged to Yousef Saabna from Fahma village. Israeli forces also closed the entrances of the village and prevented Palestinians from entering or leaving Barta‘a al-Sharqiya.
Witnesses: Israeli forces bulldoze land south of Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Israeli forces razed Palestinian land south of Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank early Thursday, witnesses said. Israeli civil administration crews arrived with bulldozers and razed land belonging to Jalud village. They also uprooted olive trees, witnesses told Ma‘an. Locals say Israeli authorities plan to confiscate the land to expand the illegal Alfe Menashe settlement, built on Palestinian land in the area.
Israel’s shameful policy toward its few Christian friends
Haaretz 10 Sept by Moshe Arens — Sixty-five years after promising the Christian residents of Biram and Ikrit the right to return to their Galilee villages, the Israeli government is still failing to keep its word … Over the years, numerous appeals to the Supreme Court, government inquiry commissions, demonstrations and protests have produced no results. The promise is still broken, and justice has not been served. The inhabitants of Biram and Ikrit are still waiting. Anyone seeking some degree of logic in the refusal of successive Israeli governments to honor the promise made will struggle to find it.
Hundreds of trees in Nablus on fire after settlers’ attack
NABLUS (PIC) 11 Sept — Jewish settlers started a huge fire in lands of Deir Hatab village, Nablus province, on Wednesday morning that destroyed hundreds of trees. Abdulkarim Suleiman, the village’s municipality chairman, said that the settlers started fire in dozens of dunums, adding that the fire was still raging in the land to which Palestinians are banned from entering without prior coordination. He charged the Israeli occupation forces with blocking arrival of Palestinian fire brigades to the scene to extinguish the blaze that destroyed hundreds of trees. Suleiman said that the land is 1500 meters away from the village, adding that it was not the first time that settlers started fire in it.
Restriction of movement / Banishment
Addameer board chairman banned from West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Sept – The Israeli authorities Wednesday informed Abdul Latif Ghaith, a resident of East Jerusalem and chairman of the board of the Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, that he will not be allowed to enter the West Bank for six more months, according to a statement by Addameer. This is the fifth consecutive time Ghaith, 71, one of the founders of Addameer, has been banned from entering the West Bank. The order said the ban was issued because “it was necessary to protect law and order” in the West Bank. Addameer condemned the ban saying it violates the right of Ghaith to freedom of movement.
Appeal against court’s order to deport Sheikh Salah
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 13 Sept — An Israeli court has considered on Thursday the appeal submitted by Al-Mizan Center for human rights against Sheikh Salah’s deportation from Jerusalem for six months. Sheikh Ali Abu Sheikha, the adviser to the Islamic Movement for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Affairs, stated that the Israeli court’s decision to deport Sheikh Salah from Jerusalem was a clear political decision. Despite his deportation, violence did not stop in Jerusalem, the center said, noting that the court’s decision regarding the appeal will be issued during the next few days.
A life torn between Gaza and Israel
Haaretz 13 Sept by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac — Ten years ago, Israeli citizens Ruhia al-Tayeb and her young son were stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare while trying to return to Gaza. Apparently lightning can strike twice in the same place — …For 10 years I didn’t hear from her, until this week. Ruhia, the woman whose life has been torn between her home and husband in Gaza and her family in Israel − between the children from her first marriage in Israel and her son in Gaza − phoned me in a tearful voice. She is stuck here in Israel once again with Mohammed, now 13. The school year has begun and the boy is crying and threatening suicide. This time I met them in a miserable apartment in south Tel Aviv, staying in one room in the neglected backyard of a house, with a daughter and grandson who live here. Once again, the bureaucracy and security considerations of the occupation are tearing an Israeli citizen and her child away from their home. Once more, she is being refused exit. Now, as then, there is nothing new under the sun: Ruhia and Mohammed are crying. Their husband and father is waiting in Gaza, where their home and school are.
Palestinian children travel dangerous route to school in Al-Tuwani
RAMALLAH (Defence for Children International Palestine) 10 Sept — Huddled together, 16 children, between the ages of 6 – 16, walk to school on the main road connecting the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al-Abeed with At-Tuwani, in the South Hebron hills. Every one of them looks anxious, for good reason. It’s a dangerous route prone to violent Israeli settler attacks. Their safety rests in the hands of a few Israeli soldiers tasked with escorting them part of the way across. “We tried to hurry up,” says one of the soldiers to international volunteers awaiting the children at the end of the main road, near the closed military area known as Firing Zone 918. The soldier seems nervous, perhaps aware of the odd circumstances of this daily routine … It will be nine years this November since the military began escorting the children to curb violent attacks by masked settlers. The children use the shortest route – about 25 minutes on foot – to the only school in the area, passing between the Israeli settlements of Maon and Havat Maon. This main road, once an essential passageway to At-Tuwani and the nearby city of Yatta, now lies closed to all other Palestinian residents. Israeli soldiers drive a military jeep alongside the children past the two settlements in the morning and after school.
Israel court upholds ban in Polish aid worker
JERUSALEM (AFP) 12 Sept — Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a decision to bar entry to a Polish humanitarian worker for having unspecified links to “terrorist elements.” Although Kamil Qandil had a valid visa when he landed at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on Sept. 2, he was refused entry by immigration officials and held at the airport as he filed an appeal … “The hearing today and the court’s verdict did little to clear the mystery about the allegations against Kamil,” his lawyer, Yadin Elam, told reporters. “He still does not know what he is accused of and when he addressed the court and explained it to the judges, Chief Justice Grunis replied that maybe Kamil is unaware of it,” Elam said. The Association of International Development Agencies, which groups more than 80 organisations, said on Tuesday Qandil was employed by Polish Humanitarian Action on a project to supply water to Palestinians in an area of the southern West Bank under full Israeli control. “He said that the biggest losers would be the villagers of the south Hebron hills where the project is located and … the Polish taxpayers who fund it,” a relative told AFP after the verdict. AIDA said PAH was seeking to refurbish rainwater cisterns on which Palestinian farmers depend for irrigation. Israel has demolished several refurbished cisterns, triggering a diplomatic response from Warsaw.
As Israel marks Yom Kippur, West Bank closure enforced
IMEMC 13 Sept — Israeli media sources have reported that the complete closure on the occupied Palestinian territories will last for 48 hours, ending on Saturday night at midnight. The sources added that only humanitarian cases will be allowed through roadblocks and terminals, should they get the approval of the Civil Administration Office, run by the military in the occupied West Bank. Furthermore, the Israeli Police closed all roads around the Old City of Jerusalem as thousands of Jews went to pray at the Al-Boraq Wall, referred to as the Western Wall.
Crossing to Jordan closed on Saturday due to Jewish holiday
JERICHO (WAFA) 11 Sept — Crossing between the West Bank and Jordan through Allenby Bridge will come to a total halt on Saturday after Israel has decided to shut it down to mark the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday, the Palestinian crossing police said in a statement on Wednesday. It said the crossing will be open until nine in the evening on Thursday while it will open for only one-and-a-half hours on Friday, urging travelers to take advantage of the late opening hour on Thursday if they have to travel
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Violent suppression of demos / Illegal arrests
VIDEO: Mentally challenged youth tells story of horror inflicted by soldiers
IMEMC 13 Sept — Ahmad Obeid is a young Palestinian man who cannot speak, and is suffering from a mental disability. Approximately a week ago, he was violently attacked and beaten by Israeli soldiers in Al-Eesawiyya, in occupied East Jerusalem, and is now under house arrest awaiting trial. A trial date was never set by the court. The soldiers kicked and punched him, and where just throwing him around despite his pleas and sign language he used to communicate with the soldiers. However, the soldiers showed no mercy and continued to assault the youth before kidnapping him. [In the video Ahmad tries to explain what happened using sign language, while others speak of his ordeal. Includes stills of the beating.]
Soldiers attack a mentally challenged woman in Hebron
IMEMC — Friday evening [September 13, 2013] A number of Israeli soldiers violently attacked a mentally challenged Palestinian woman in Beit Ummar town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Mohammad Ayyad Awad, spokesperson of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded the home of Khalil Abu Dayya, in Safa area, and violently searched it. He stated that the woman, Nabila, 29 years old, tried to stop the soldiers who then violently attacked her, and went on to violently kick and push her around. Her brother tried to intervene but the soldiers threw a concussion grenade at him, and continued to beat the woman leading to various cuts and bruises to several parts of her body. Awad said that Nabila’s brother tried to tell the soldiers that his sister in mentally challenged, but they just kept beating her … Awad stated that he believes the army invaded Safa area due to a fire that broke out in some trees that belong to Jewish settlers living nearby.
PCHR Weekly Report: 7 Palestinian civilians wounded; 40 citizens abducted, including 17 children
13 Sept — Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 40 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children, were abducted in the West Bank. On 07 September 2013, Israeli forces stationed along the annexation wall between the far south of Hebron, south of the West Bank, and Israel, opened fire at a number of Palestinian labourers when they attempted to cross the wall through a hole looking for work. As a result, 2 of them were wounded. Their wounds were described as moderate. Ali Abu Zuhra said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I help my father in supporting our 10-member family. I go to work every day through the hole in the annexation wall that separates Arab al-Ramadeen area, south of Hebron, from Israel, as I have no work permit because I am still young…. On 08 September 2013, an 18-year-old civilian sustained shrapnel wound of a sound bomb in the head and a 23-year-old civilian sustained shrapnel wound of a bullet in the right hand when Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron … On 08 September 2013, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing about 4 nautical miles off the shore. The fishermen were frightened and fled back to the shore fearing of being abducted or injured. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported. On 10 September 2013, Israeli navy forces confiscated 2 fishing boats belonging to Palestinian fishermen off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip. Also in the Gaza Strip, on 09 September 2013, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Bureij refugee camp, abducted 4 Palestinians, including a child, who crossed the fence. Full Report
Three injured during weekly Bil‘in demonstration
[with photos] BIL‘IN, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 13 Sept by Friends of Freedom and Justice — Today, 09/13/2013, the weekly demonstration at Bil’in continued with protests in solidarity with the prisoners in Israel, against the illegal settlements and the apartheid wall. Three people were injured, Abdullah Ahmad Yassin (22), was shot with a tear gas canister in the head, Muawiya Ghazi (19) received injuries as he fell attempting to run from the Israeli army, and 14-year-old Nasser Bernat was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest.
Strong resistance in Kafr Qaddum despite Israel army repression
KAFR QADDUM, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 13 Sept by Nablus Team — The residents of Kufr Qaddum held their weekly Friday demonstration despite increased repression by the Israeli army in the last two weeks. At approximately 10:00, more than 80 soldiers in nine military jeeps arrived in the village and positioned themselves on the top of the hill overlooking Kafr Qaddum and on the closed road that leads to the illegal Israeli settlement, Qedumim. The soldiers shot both tear gas canisters and sound bombs before the demonstration even began. Twenty-five year-old Nisfat Mahmoud Ishtawi was struck in the head with a tear gas canister and received medical attention….
Updated: Three Palestinian activists arrested during demonstrations against road closure in Qaryut
QARYUT, Occupied Palestine (ISM) by Ramallah Team — Update 11th September: Abdallah Abu Rahmah was released at around 10pm last night. Bashar Qaryouti and Salah al-Khawaja have also been released. Bashar has needed medical attention after being beaten during his arrest — Three Palestinian activists have been arrested today related to a demonstration against a road block in the northern West Bank village of Qaryut. More than 150 Palestinians participated in the protest marching from the village towards Road 60, connecting Ramallah to Nablus. As a group of protesters were approaching the road, two military jeeps blocked them, throwing stun grenades and shooting tear gas canisters. Israeli soldiers arrested two activists, Bashar Qaryouti and Salah al-Khawaja and beat others as they attempted to arrest more. Soldiers pursued activists from the road from many different directions and came through the olive trees trying to trap activists, shooting many teargas canisters.
2 teenagers injured in clashes in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Two teenagers were injured and several others suffered tear-gas inhalation after Israeli forces attacked a funeral procession for an elderly lady in the village of Beit Ummar, a local committee said. Muhammad Ayyad Awad, the spokesman of the popular committee against settlements in Beit Ummar, said that Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at Palestinians who responded by throwing rocks at them. Two Palestinians aged 17 and 15 were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in the hand and leg. Amidst the clashes two Israeli settlers exited a car and fired shots at a Palestinian cemetery, Awad added. Awad said that Israeli soldiers destroyed the windows of cars at the entrance of the village, and fired stun grenades toward their owners.
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians, injure three near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 12 Sept — Israeli forces Thursday attacked several Palestinians in the village of Salem, east of Nablus, causing fracture for three people, according to witnesses. They said soldiers who were providing protection to a group of settlers razing Palestinian land attacked the residents for trying to stop the settlers, injuring three people. The soldiers also arrested seven people for attempting to stop the settlers from destroying the land.
Israeli policewoman attacks Palestinian woman, snatches her veil
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Sept — Fistfights were reported between worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque and Israeli police forces on Thursday after a policewoman attacked a Palestinian woman and snatched her veil. Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that Israeli police blocked entry of worshipers less than 50 years old into the holy site while allowing hordes of settlers free access at the pretext of Jewish feasts. They said that friction occurred as a result at Bab El-Nadher, one of the Aqsa gates, and the policewoman assaulted the Palestinian woman leading to the fistfight.
Israeli settler runs over a Palestinian family in Bethlehem
BETHLEHHEM (PIC) 12 Sept — An Israeli settler has deliberately run over a Palestinian family, consisting of man and two ladies, in Bethlehem, where they were transferred immediately to hospital. Spokesman for emergency services in Bethlehem said that three Palestinians have been injured after an Israeli settler ran them over in Umm Salamuna village near Gush Etzion settlement. Palestinian medical sources confirmed that the Israeli ambulance crews have transferred the wounded to hospital in occupied territories in 1948. Two of them were seriously injured while the third is in a stable condition.
Israel: Palestinian shot after firing at soldiers
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Israel’s army says it shot and injured a Palestinian man early Thursday after he opened fire at soldiers escorting rightists to a site in the occupied West Bank. A military spokesman told Ma‘an the Palestinian, who was not identified, was taken into custody after receiving initial medical care from an army doctor for moderate injuries. The spokesman told Ma‘an that the soldiers “fired back at the suspected shooter in self-defense” after he opened fire at soldiers amid a “large and violent riot.” The incident occurred as Israeli forces escorted hundreds of right-wing Israelis into the Balata refugee camp near Nablus so they could perform prayers at the Joseph’s Tomb holy site. Seven other Palestinians were hurt by tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets as Israeli forces fired at Palestinian homes … Locals added that the invading Israeli forces detained four Palestinians. Troops used police dogs as they ransacked Palestinian homes in the camp … According to locals, the event started after hundreds of settlers were escorted by Israeli forces to Joseph’s Tomb where they performed Jewish rites until daybreak. Israel’s army described the escort as in line with its policy to protect freedom of religion.
Soldiers arrest 11 Palestinians in West Bank
NABLUS (WAFA) 11 Sept — Israeli forces Wednesday arrested 11 Palestinians from across the West Bank, including a minor from East Jerusalem, according to local and security sources. In the town of Howara, south of Nablus, undercover Israeli soldiers entered a restaurant and ordered breakfast. When three youths entered the restaurant, the undercover soldiers surprised them and arrested them. Forces arrested three other Palestinians age 16, 21, and 24 from the town of Kufr Qaddoum, east of Qalqilya, after raiding and searching their homes at dawn. Meanwhile, three Palestinians, including two brothers from the Hebron area, were arrested while they were crossing a checkpoint on their way back from their place of work in Jenin. A 25-year-old Palestinian was also arrested from the Hebron area. In Jenin, forces arrested a 33-year-old Palestinian after raiding and searching his family home as well as handed his father a notice to appear before the Israeli intelligence in Salem military camp west of Jenin. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, Israeli police arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian after raiding his family home in the town of Izzariyah, east of Jerusalem
Israeli army arrests 12 citizens in the West Bank
NABLUS (PIC) 12 Sept — …PIC’s correspondent said the Israeli army on Wednesday evening arrested three students from An-Najah National University, on the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, after stopping and searching several passing vehicles … The IOF also arrested 4 other youths from the city of Nablus, including the two liberated captives Iyad Akka and Marawah Salah, during a raid on the city at dawn Thursday. In Jenin, Israeli soldiers on several military vehicles stormed the village of Sa‘ir at dawn Thursday and arrested two citizens, local sources said. They pointed out that the occupation forces confiscated five tractors and computers and then took them to unknown destination.
Israeli forces detain 2 minors in Tulkarem
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — Israeli forces detained two Palestinian minors from al-Rass village south of Tulkarem on Wednesday, said Jamil Saadeh, a lawyer working for the ministry of prisoners. Israeli forces claimed the two minors threw stones toward the adjacent wall in the village. Mohammad Ahmad Atta, 15, and Ali Yousef Bderat, 14, were detained. They were taken to Huwwara detention center, and they are still held there, Saadeh highlighted.
Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinian brothers in Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — Israeli forces early on Thursday detained two Palestinian brothers from Beit Fajjar village east of Bethlehem, Fatah said. Mohammad Thawabteh, Fatah secretary in Beit Fajjar, told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided several houses in the village and detained 22-year-old Mohammad Khalid Takatka and his brother Ahmad, 24.
Israel interrogates a Palestinian ‘who drove into military base’
IMEMC — [Thursday September 12, 2013] The Israeli Police arrested a Palestinian, in his fifties, from Nazareth city allegedly for driving his car, in a high speed, into an Israeli military base north of historic Palestine. The Israeli military and security agency are examining whether the man accidentally drove into the camp, or if he intended to ‘carry out an attack’.
Detainees / Court actions
Report: ‘5200 Palestinians, including 200 children, imprisoned by Israel’
IMEMC 13 Sept — The Census Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees issued a report on Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, revealing that Israeli soldiers kidnapped 2436 Palestinians since the beginning of this year, and that the number of detainees currently held by Israel is 5200. Former Political Prisoner, head of the Census department, researcher Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated that the detained Palestinians are held in 17 Israeli prisons, detention and interrogation centers, and that 146 of them are held under arbitrary Administrative Detention without charges or trial. Farawna said that Israel is holding captive 220 children, including 42 below the age of 16. He added that 13 democratically elected legislators, and 13 women, are still imprisoned by Israel….
IPS moves Abu Sisi out of solitary confinement
GAZA (PIC) 13 Sept — The Israeli Prison Services (IPS) has bowed to Palestinian prisoners’ demand to move Dirar Abu Sisi out of solitary confinement after launching a hunger strike in solidarity with his strike. Fouad Khuffash, the director of Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights, confirmed that the Gazan prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi has been moved out of solitary confinement, on Thursday, to Beersheba prison … Abu Sisi had commenced an open-ended hunger strike on 16th August 2013, to protest his solitary confinement and lack of health care. He spent over 2 years within solitary confinement which was accompanied by torture and lack of his basic human rights. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian prisoners in different Israeli prisons started an open-ended hunger strike on 26th August 2013, in solidarity with Dirar Abu Sisi’s demands. Dirar Abu Sisi, the Deputy Head for the Gaza Strip’s sole electrical plant, was kidnapped by the Mossad in Ukraine on 18 February 2011, under the claim that he poses a threat to the security of the State of Israel.
IOA sentences a female captive to 3 months
NABLUS (PIC) 11 Sept — Salem Military Court has sentenced the female captive Mayser Atyani, 47, for three months and imposed a fine of 2,000 shekels against her, her family told Ahrar Center for Prisoners’ Studies. The family stated that Mayser was sentenced for entering the occupied area of Tira inside the Green Line without a permit. For his part, Fouad Khuffash, the director of the Center, stated that Atyani, who is an activist in prisoners’ issues and a member of the Palestinian Women Union in Nablus, was arrested in August 2013 and transferred directly to Hasharon prison
Israeli court convicts 3 Jerusalemites of being affiliated to Hamas
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 13 Sept — Israeli District Court has convicted on Thursday three Jerusalemite prisoners Kifah Sarhan, Yacoub Abu Assab, and Ahmed Elian for being affiliated to Hamas movement. The Israeli indictment states that the three Jerusalemite prisoners have participated, as Hamas Advisory Council in Jerusalem, in many charity activities in order to strengthen Hamas popularity among Jerusalemites.
Gaza under blockade
IOF penetrates southern Gaza Strip
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 12 Sept — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) penetrated Thursday morning east of Khuza‘a, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers penetrated 200 meters into east of Khuza’a and bulldozed lands along the security fence. The Israeli incursions into the Gaza Strip came in violation of the truce agreement signed in November last year. Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets circled intensively over the Gaza Strip on Wednesday till Thursday at dawn. Israeli F-16 fighter jets were flying on Wednesday night heavily over the Gaza Strip causing fears among citizens of airstrikes being launched. Meanwhile, Israeli UAV spy planes have continued to fly over the besieged strip.
Egyptian tanks cross fence leading to Gaza
GAZA CITY (AFP) 13 Sept — Two Egyptian army tanks crossed an initial border fence leading to Gaza for the first time on Thursday, witnesses said, but did not enter the Palestinian territory itself. Gaza’s Hamas rulers neither confirmed nor denied the incursion, but said no Egyptian tanks had entered the besieged Strip. The tanks “crossed the first Egyptian border fence along the corridor between Egypt and (Gaza), and drove along the road running next to the cement wall” that Egypt built, the witnesses said.
They said it was the “first time Egyptian tanks have been in this area, although they didn’t cross into the Palestinian side,” adding that soldiers on top of the tanks had masked faces.
Egypt fully closes Rafah crossing for 2nd day due to Sinai security situation
GAZA (PIC) 12 Sept — The Egyptian authorities closed on Thursday for the second consecutive day the Rafah border crossing as a result of the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai. Safa news agency quoted director of the crossings and borders in Gaza Maher Abu Sabha as saying that the crossing would be closed until further notice because of the security campaign that was recently launched by the Egyptian army following the car bomb attack on the military intelligence headquarters in the Rafah border area. Earlier, the Egyptian authorities had claimed that a malfunction in the computer system at the crossing was behind their failure to allow many Palestinians from Gaza to travel.
Palestinian proposal to end Rafah crossing crisis
GAZA (PIC) 12 Sept — Maher Abu Sabha, director-general of the Border Crossings Administration in Gaza, stated that the Palestinian government has presented a proposal to the Egyptian authorities to end the Rafah border crossing crisis.
The proposal states that Palestinian travelers would be treated as pilgrims, so that their passports would be handed over to the Egyptian side to be checked, and then they would be allowed to travel directly, Abu Sabha said. He added that the Palestinian side is waiting for the Egyptian response to its proposal that will end the Palestinian travelers’ crisis in three or four days if there is an Egyptian will to do so.
Gaza fishers and farmers: nowhere to go
GAZA (ISM) 13 Sept by Kevin Neish — We had a meeting with some leaders in the Gaza commercial fishing industry, to hear their stories and see if or how we can assist them. Gaza Strip fishers have historically been some of the poorest families here, especially as many are not refugees, and so do not receive UN assistance. Their lot has been made that much worse with the attacks and restrictions imposed on them by the Israeli forces. Since the July Egyptian coup, the Israelis have ignored the Nov 2012 ceasefire that was brokered by the previous Morsi Egyptian government. There’s been a sad litany of recent violations against Palestinian fishers: The arbitrary reduction of the fishing area from six nautical miles to five; The Israelis are now holding weekly military exercises within Palestinian waters. Yesterday morning activists watched as an Israeli gunboat cruised along, only 500 meters off the coast of Gaza City; Tthe Israeli navy usually just shot at ships’ hulls, but are now shooting at the fishermen themselves; Gaza fishers are being shot at three miles, two miles and even just one mile from shore. Two fishers from Shadi Camp were recently shot by Israeli forces while well inside the new five-mile limit; A safety-related, permanently anchored, Palestinian light ship, marking their safe fishing limit, was just stolen by Israeli forces. Even with all these provocations, the Gaza government is still striving to keep the ceasefire alive, going as far as to pass their own law, to arrest any fisher crossing the six-mile ceasefire limit …
And the farmer’s lot is no better, as we found out at a recent meeting in Khan Younis, with farmers who own land close to the Israeli ‘buffer zone’. Even though it is time to plant, these farmers are not even attempting to approach their fields due to Israeli sniper fire. The November cease fire supposedly guaranteed that farmers could work their land, up to 100 meters from the border, but the Israelis only honored that for three months, and now shoot at farmers 800 meters from the border….
Gaza in a bind, again
Al-Ahram 11 Sept — “If Egypt sneezes, Gaza catches a cold.” This truism has never been as cruel as it is now. Recent developments in Egypt have led to devastating humanitarian conditions in Gaza, where two million beleaguered and impoverished Palestinians are still smarting from seven years of siege. Thousands of Palestinians that need to travel for health, education and other reasons are still stuck at Rafah Crossing, waiting their turn to go through. Shortages of food and building materials have reached unprecedented levels. Even if the supply coming from Israel through the Karem Salem Crossing is adequate, it is too expensive to matter for most Gazans. The tunnels, which brought nearly 40 per cent of Gaza’s needs since 2007, have been dismantled. The Egyptian army, fighting armed criminals in Sinai, has tightened control on supplies going into Gaza, which led to shortages in nearly everything, from food to bricks. Since Egypt began its military campaign in Sinai, Gaza has been in a bind. And when Karem Abu Salem was closed because of the Jewish holidays, life in Gaza almost came to a standstill.
Palestinian refugees in Syria
Palestinian seeks husband’s body, held by Syria rebels
DAMASCUS (AFP) 13 Sept — Arriving at the rubble of the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Hadia al-Fut discovered that her husband had been killed while fighting in the ranks of a pro-regime Palestinian group. Worse still, she found there was little chance she would be able to recover his remains because the rebels who killed him in an ambush a day earlier were holding out for an exchange for bodies. Hadia, a Palestinian, had fled Yarmouk because of ongoing fighting there, but was back at the camp to meet her husband. “We had an appointment because we had to register our 19-month-old son,” she said between sobs. “When I arrived, I was told that he and his whole group were killed in an ambush by Al-Nusra Front,” she added, referring to a jihadist rebel group….
4 Palestinians killed in Syria, group says
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — A Syria-based group said Thursday that four Palestinians were killed in incidents in a Damascus refugee camp … The statement added that Yarmouk was subjected to shelling all night. Missiles targeted Yarmuk Street and Deir Yasin neighborhoods, and fires broke out in several houses.
Racism / Discrimination
Israel’s highest academic society: 108 professors, but not a single Arab
Haaretz 12 Sept by Yarden Skop — The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which comprises 108 of Israel’s most distinguished scholars, doesn’t have a single Arab member. The universities employ only a handful of Arab scholars each – between one and five – in the most senior position. “In academia abroad, in the United States for example, they boast of affirmative action in the approach to minorities. In Israel there is no openness or desire to accept the other,” says Professor Yousef Jabareen of the Technion. The academy selects its members from among scholars at the peak of their career
Industrial school instructors to strike
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — The Palestinian teachers union announced Thursday that teachers and engineers of industrial schools in the West Bank will go on a full and open strike starting next Sunday. Issam Dababseh, secretary of the teachers union, told Ma‘an that the union decided to go on full strike as the government failed to pay employees based on job hazards according to law.
Israeli delegation arrives at Cairo airport
El-ARISH (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — An Israeli delegation arrived at Cairo airport on Wednesday on a private jet to discuss the recent events in the Sinai, an airport official told Ma‘an. The delegation was greeted by Egyptian security officials. The delegation will meet other Egyptian officials to discuss the security issues in the Sinai and bilateral relations between the two countries. The official added that the Israeli delegation consisted of three officials, and the visit was expected to last several hours.
Israeli military jeeps drive through central Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — Three Israeli military jeeps drove through a main street in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday. The military jeeps drove along al-Karkafeh street, in the center of Bethlehem. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma‘an that military forces were in the area conducting “routine activity,” without providing further details. The Palestinian Authority has full administrative and security control of Area A and no permanent Israeli military presence is allowed, although Israeli forces regularly enter to conduct arrest raids.
Israel court rejects media watchdog ‘incitement’ charge
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — A Tel Aviv district court has rejected legal claims against Palestinian officials accusing them of incitement against Israel which led to ‘terrorist’ attacks against Israel and Israelis. Judge Dalia Gannot strictly rejected the testimony of the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli media watchdog group which monitors Palestinian media outlets and publishes reports about incitement against Israel. Marcus was summoned as an expert witness by the complainant, an Israeli family whose son was killed in a shooting about 10 years earlier. But the judge deemed Marcus an ‘incompetent’ witness. The family’s attorney accused senior Palestinian officials including President Mahmoud Abbas of incitement against Israel which encouraged Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis, one of which led to the killing of a member of the family. The attorney claimed in his pleading that senior PA officials were indirectly responsible for the killing … “There is no doubt some Palestinian news outlets incite against Israel and the Jews, but it is clear this is not an official policy of the PA,” the judge concluded.
Analysis / Opinion
“The Lab”: Israel tests weapons, tactics on captive Palestinian population / Jonathan Cook
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 7 Sept — …Despite having a population smaller than New York City, Israel has emerged in the last few years as one of the world’s largest exporters of weapons. In June defense analysts at Jane’s put Israel in sixth place, ahead of China and Italy, both major weapons producers. Surveys that include Israel’s growing covert trade put it even higher — in fourth place, ahead of Britain and Germany, and beaten only by the United States, Russia and France … “The Lab,” which won a recent award at DocAviv, Israel’s documentary Oscars, is due to premiere in the U.S. in August. Directed by Yotam Feldman, the film presents the first close-up view of Israel’s arms industry and the dealers who have enriched themselves … the biggest surge in sales followed Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long assault on Gaza in winter 2008-09, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Record sales in the wake of that attack reached $6 billion. These military operations, including the most recent against Gaza, last year’s Pillar of Cloud, the film argues, serve as little more than laboratory-style experiments to evaluate and refine the effectiveness of new military approaches, both strategies and weaponry … Amiram Levin, former head of the Israeli army’s northern command in the 1990s and now an arms dealer, is filmed at an arms industry conference observing that Israel’s goal in the territories is punishment of the local population to create greater “room for maneuver.” Considering the effects, he comments that most Palestinians “were born to die — we just have to help them.”
Many Palestinian women surrender inheritance for marriage / Rasha Abou Jalal
GAZA (Al-Monitor) 11 Sept — Many Palestinian families strip their daughters of their inheritance rights if they wed outside the family — ‘Rejected,’ Asmaa’s family responded, when young Ahmed proposed to their daughter. According to Palestinian tradition, which Asmaa’s family has followed for decades, daughters should not marry men from outside the family for fear that the family’s property and real estate will be transferred to others. Ahmed does not belong to Asmaa’s family. Ahmed and Asmaa, who did not want to disclose their surnames, are colleagues who majored in construction engineering. They had liked each other since their college days and had been intending to get married since that time. They did not expect, however, that this desire would come to an end or that their hopes of building a married life filled with love and happiness would fail to materialize … Omar Nawfal, head of the Sharia Court of Appeal, told Al-Monitor that Islam prohibits customs that deny women their inheritance rights. In a case like Asmaa’s, a woman can resort to the judiciary following the death of her father, regardless of the husband’s family.
And now for some comic relief (though not for the woman who innocently parked her car) – if you’ve used up all your Haaretz articles, you can watch the following video of a similar thing that happened a few months ago.
Tel Aviv paints crosswalk around resident’s car at night and gives her a ticket
Haaretz 12 Sept by Ilan Lior — Mor Cohen, 25, parked her car on Saturday night near her apartment in Tel Aviv’s Florentin neighborhood and it left it there for a few days. She returned to the car on Tuesday and found a NIS 250 ticket on the windshield, issued a day earlier, for parking in a crosswalk. “I didn’t recall there being a crosswalk there,” Cohen says. “I went half a day thinking I was a terrible driver who had put children in danger.” She returned to the spot, at the corner of Florentin and Nahlat Binyamin streets, a few hours later, and realized that the crosswalk had been painted around her car, imperfectly, while it had been parked. “They couldn’t really spray the paint under the car, there’s a blank space there and there are spots of color on the car, there’s even paint right inside the engine,” Cohen says, adding, “You can see there are no indications of a crosswalk having been there before.” Neighbors and workers from nearby shops who were interviewed later said they had watched as city workers painted the crosswalk at night, even lying down to paint under Cohen’s car, as far as they could.
Parking turned illegal (Tel Aviv)
February — A woman parked legally. The city came and painted around the car a handicap parking, towed the car and gave her a 350$ ticket. Top-rated comment: “This is oddly similar to how Israel operates in other areas too!”