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‘Israel’s lawyer’ at it again: John Kerry pressuring EU to drop settlement boycott

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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US urges EU to postpone Israel settlement ban
Al Jazeera 8 Sept — US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the European Union to postpone a planned ban on EU financial assistance to Israeli organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories, a US official said. Kerry made the request at a meeting with EU foreign ministers on Saturday at which he also called on them to support Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which resumed on July 29 after a nearly three-year hiatus. The EU imposed restrictions in July, citing its frustration over the continued expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in territory captured by Israeli forces in the 1967 Middle East War. A senior US State Department official told reporters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that Kerry called on the Europeans to consider postponing the implementation of EU guidelines on aid. “There was strong support for his efforts and an openness to considering his requests,” the unnamed State Department official said.
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Resheq blasts Kerry’s call on EU to delay ban on financial aid to settlements
BEIRUT (PIC) 8 Sept — Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Resheq has strongly denounced US secretary of state John Kerry’s call on the European Union to shelve the ban on financial assistance to Israeli settlements. Resheq said on his Facebook page on Sunday that Kerry’s call on Saturday reflected flagrant bias in favor of Israel. He said that the call was rejected since it encourages Israel to continue in its wars and crimes against the Palestinian people, land, and holy shrines. Resheq said that Kerry’s words were a reminder to those racing to negotiations that the American administration was absolutely biased in favor of Israel and was not and would not be a fair mediator and that its prime concern was preserving Israel’s security and interests.
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And just for a point of reference:

Israel’s Laywer
(Washington Post) May 23, 2005 by Aaron David Miller — I’m not a lawyer by training, but I know one when I see one. For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations. If the United States wants to be an honest and effective broker on the Arab-Israeli issue, than surely it can have only one client: the pursuit of a solution that meets the needs and requirements of both sides.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

IOF soldiers burn down ancient olive trees, break gate of monastery
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 8 Sept — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) burned down a number of olive trees, some of which are one thousand years old, and broke the gate of a monastery south of Bethlehem on Saturday evening. Ahmed Salah, the coordinator of anti-wall and settlement committees in Al-Khader village, said that IOF soldiers fired teargas and stun grenades at areas belonging to the Mar Jeriess monastery in the Old City of Al-Khader. The resultant fire burned down ancient olive trees, Salah said, adding that the soldiers attacked the monastery and destroyed its main gate. He said that the soldiers warned against rebuilding the gate.
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Photos: Olive trees damaged in Hebron
Operation Dove 9 Sept — Ten olive trees were seriously damaged early Sunday morning by Israeli settlers in the South Hebron Hills. The olive trees, located in the Humra valley located adjacent to the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833), belong to Ibrahim Rabai from the nearby village of At-Tuwani. Israeli police visited the area Sunday afternoon to document the incident, and this morning Rabai will officially file a complaint with the police. In the last 30 days a total of 18 olive trees have been seriously damaged in the Humra valley.
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Israeli forces issue 4 demolition orders in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli municipality staff and police issued four demolition orders for commercial properties in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sunday, a local group said. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces raided Silwan and issued demolition orders for the properties on the pretext that they were built without a license. The shops belong to the Qarain family and were built 20 years ago. They also issued a demolition order for a small sports stadium built in 2010. The stadium is 850 square meters and has been demolished before by Israeli authorities, but locals rebuilt it. Israeli municipality staff also raided an under-construction house and issued demolition orders for three bird huts built without a license, the center added.
Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
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West Jerusalem municipality notifies to demolish playground in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM 8 Sept (WAFA) – The West Jerusalem Municipality Sunday issued an order of demolishing to the Wadi Hilweh playground in the town of Silwan, south of Jerusalem, in order to turn it into a parking lot for settlers’ use. Mahmoud Qara‘in of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center told WAFA that the Municipality has notified the residents with the demolishing of the 850-square-meter playground as well as a 20-square-meter room used for storage. He pointed out that in 2011, the Israeli authorities demolished the same room and razed sections of the playground. Qara‘in said that Wadi Hilweh residents filed a lawsuit over the playground case, to which Israeli authorities responded with a decision to take over the playground.
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Israel orders construction on house to stop
BETHLEHEM, 8 Sept (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Thursday issued a notice to stop construction work on a Palestinian-owned under-construction house as a prelude to demolish it in an area in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to a local activist. Coordinator of the Popular Committee against Settlements and the Apartheid Wall in al-Khader, Ahmad Salah, told WAFA that a large military force along with a staff from the civil administration handed Nader Salah a notice to stop the construction work on his house in addition to a notice to demolish a 30-square-meter shed used for agricultural purposes. Ahmad Salah said that area is constantly targeted by Israeli forces in an aim to force the residents to leave for the benefit of settlement expansion.
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Beit Jala priest urges pope to help Palestinian Christians
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — A priest in Beit Jala on Sunday wrote a letter to Pope Francis describing the ongoing persecution which Christians face under Israeli occupation. Father Ibrahim Shomali said that Christians in the West Bank suffer from land confiscation to build settlements, roads and the separation wall. Land from Cremisan monastery is also being seized to build the Israeli separation wall, he wrote. Christians are committed to fight for their land but also need practical help to fight Israeli policies, Shomali said.
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Enforcer of West Bank building laws promoting development in his settlement
Haaretz 8 Sept by Chaim Levinson — As the deputy head of a Civil Administration unit responsible for cracking down on illegal construction in the West Bank, Rami Ziv has often seen Israeli settlers protesting outside his home because of demolition orders his unit had issued. Yet while he was issuing demolition orders by day, Ziv was at one point meeting by night with representatives of Amana – the company that builds housing for settlements – in an effort to win good terms for construction in his own settlement, Peduel.
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PA official: Settlers attack vehicles in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — A group of extremist settlers attacked dozens of Palestinian vehicles in Nablus overnight Saturday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that settlers threw empty bottles and stones at cars traveling on the Ramallah-Nablus road near the illegal Eli settlement. At least 25 vehicles were damaged, he added. Israeli forces closed the checkpoints of Huwwara and Zatara in response to the incident.
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Israeli army take two men and hand them to settlers of Esh Kodesh
QUSRA, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 7 Sept by Nablus Team — Last 29th of August, Israeli soldiers detained two municipal workers from Qusra as they were taking the village’s trash to the local dump. The two men were later attacked by Israeli settlers. Residents of Qusra fear that greater collusion between the army and the settlers will only lead to more attacks. Early Thursday morning, two army jeeps carrying four soldiers detained the men as they transported trash to the local dump. Rather than transporting the men to the military base at Huwwarra checkpoint, the soldiers deposited the men and their tractor on the lands close to the illegal Israeli settlement, Esh Kodesh.  At approximately 9:30, the municipal workers were attacked by six settlers, who beat them with stones and also caused major damage to the municipality’s tractor. Following the attack, both men were taken by ambulance to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where doctors ordered two to three days bed rest.After the residents of Qusra were taken to the hospital, the settlers of Esh Kodesh stole the tractor and took it to Shvut Rachel, another nearby settlement… Though the village has used the same area for garbage collection for nearly 30 years, in the last three years, the Israeli army has attempted to prohibit dumping in the area. The village has no other areas in which to deposit trash, as all of the surrounding lands are considered area C and also prohibited for use. Employees of the municipality reported that this is the third time that the village’s tractor has been confiscated.
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Restriction of movement

Palestinian soccer chief: Israel ‘playing games’ in talks on easing travel restrictions
Haaretz 8 Sept — The world soccer association’s initiative to resolve travel restrictions on Palestinian  players is doomed to fail unless Israel abandons its “bullying policy” and stops “playing games,” Palestinian Football Association chairman Jibril Rajoub has said. FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Tuesday expressed hope a solution would be found be the end of the year. After holding talks with Rajoub and his Israeli counterpart, Avi Luzon, Blatter said he was “optimistic” that a viable solution would be found and approved by Israeli authorities. “I welcome FIFA’s decision to supervise and mediate but I have never trusted the Israelis and nothing has changed,” Rajoub told in an interview published on Friday.
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IOF soldiers shoot, wound Palestinian workers
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 8 Sept — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot at and wounded two Palestinian workers for trying to cross the separation wall near Daheriya town in Al-Khalil province. Quds Press quoted local sources as saying that an IOF patrol chased a vehicle carrying the workers on Saturday and shot at them wounding two of the workers in their feet. The sources said that both workers are from Yatta town in Al-Khalil, describing the injuries of one of them as moderate. They said that one of the workers was taken to a hospital in Al-Khalil while the other was taken to an Israeli hospital. IOF soldiers have been increasing their chase of Palestinian workers trying to enter the Green Line over the past week especially on Friday and Saturday.
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IOA blocked travel of 20 Palestinians last week
RAMALLAH (PIC) 8 Sept — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) blocked the travel of 20 Palestinian citizens via the Karame crossing between the West Bank and Jordan over the past week. The Palestinian police in Ramallah said in a statement on Saturday that Israeli occupation forces manning the border crossing forced 20 Palestinians to return to their homes instead of crossing into Jordan for alleged “security pretexts”. It said that 32,000 passengers managed to cross the border terminal in both directions in the same period. It said that the crossing would close on Saturday every week and would be partially open on Fridays.
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Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests

Forty Palestinians kidnapped near Hebron
IMEMC 7 Sept — Israeli soldiers invaded on Saturday at dawn [September 7, 2013] the Al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and kidnapped nearly 40 Palestinians. The army claimed that the invasion was carried out following clashes with local youths, in which some youths managed to burn a military tower installed at the entrance of the camp. The army invaded dozens of homes in the camp by breaking or detonating their front doors, and violently searched the properties causing excessive damage. The soldiers then detained dozens of youths, including children, cuffed and blindfolded them, and took them out of the camp.  Resident Ahmad Abu Kheiran, coordinator of the Popular Committee in southern West Bank refugee camps, stated that the soldiers attacked the residents while dragging them out of their homes. He added that the soldiers released some of the kidnapped residents after interrogating them. [reported earlier by Ma‘an but without naming the camp]
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Israeli troops attack and clash with citizens in Jerusalem Old City
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 8 Sept — Violent clashes broke out on Saturday evening in the Old City of Jerusalem between Palestinian young men and Israeli troops. The confrontations took place in the areas known as Bab Al-Hadid and Al-Wad in the Old City, according to eyewitnesses. They said that the Israeli occupation forces fired a hail of stun and tear gas grenades at the young men who responded with throwing stones and smashing surveillance cameras installed in some locations. They also noted that the Israeli occupation authority cut off the electricity to these areas during the events.
Meanwhile, the Israeli police kidnapped in the evening an 18-year old young man identified as Qasem Annatsheh after storming his home in Bab Al-Hadid area and severely beat him before taking him in chains to a police station in Bab Al-Selsela area in the Old City. The Israeli policemen also physically assaulted Umm Isa Annatsheh, the mother of the young man, as she was trying along with her neighbors to prevent the detention of her son.
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Soldiers kidnap 12 Palestinians in West Bank
IMEMC 9 Sept — Sunday at dawn [September 8, 2013] Israeli soldiers kidnapped twelve Palestinians, including two children, after breaking into their homes in occupied East Jerusalem, and in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, and kidnapped nine Palestinians. The PPS said that the soldiers broke into several homes, and violently searched them before kidnapping the nine residents, including one child. The kidnapped have been identified as Qassem Natsha, Tareq Az-Zirba, Shadi Farha, Ali Jaber, Mahmoud Jaber, Abdullah Sanjalawy, Mohammad Shalaby and the two children Nour Shalaby and Majdi Shalaby.
Furthermore, dozens of soldiers invaded ‘Aneen village, west of the Northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped three Palestinians. The three have been identified as Ahmad Yahia Khaddour, 23, Mohammad Ragheb Yassin, 24, and Mohammad Fawwaz Issa, 23. Local sources have reported that the soldiers fired several concussion grenades after invading the village, and violently broke into numerous homes causing panic among the residents, especially the children.
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Israel arrests 4 Palestinians in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli forces on Sunday detained four Palestinians from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, a local committee said. Mohanad Yousef Awad, 19, Khaldoun Mohammad Awad, 19, and Ali Ikhlayyil, 18, were arrested on their way to work in Jerusalem, said popular committee spokesman Mohammad Awad. Also Sunday, forces raided the homes of brothers Ahmad and Jamal Abu Hashem. The residents were forced to wait on the street while their homes were searched. Israeli forces handed notices to Jamal Abu Hashem’s sons Khalil, 26, Issam, 23, Tariq, 20, and Mohammad, 17, summoning them for interrogation at Etzion police station.
Clashes broke out in Beit Ummar after the raid, and Israeli forces fired tear gas and plastic-coated steel bullets, Awad said. They also fired live ammunition in the air. Several people suffered from tear gas inhalation, including a pregnant woman, Awad said.
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Israeli forces clash with Al-Quds university students
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Al-Quds university students in Abu Dis on Sunday, witnesses said. An Israeli border police patrol stopped and searched several students at the main gate of the university in Abu Dis, inspecting identity cards and detaining several students for over an hour. Clashes broke out after university staff prevented Israeli forces from entering the campus. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets, with over 30 students suffering from smoke inhalation. Eight students were injured by rubber bullets and transferred to Abu Dis emergency center.
Executive Vice President of Al-Quds University Imad Abu Keshik strongly condemned Israeli raids on the campus, which have taken place several times since the beginning of the academic year. Israeli forces are trying to provoke students and create a sense of instability around the campus, he added. Al-Quds university has around 12,000 students aged between 17-25 and is located away from residential areas, meaning that any Israeli patrol is likely directly targeting the university.
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Israeli forces raid Nablus village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli forces set up flying checkpoints during a raid on Beta village south of Nablus on Sunday, locals said. Around 15 army jeeps entered several neighborhoods in the village and fired tear gas and stun grenades, locals told Ma‘an. They also erected several flying checkpoints at the entrances to the village and inspected people’s IDs.
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Photographer injured during weekly Bil‘in demonstration
BIL‘IN, Occupied Palestine (Friends of Freedom and Justice) 7 Sept — Yesterday, Friday 6th September, the weekly demonstration at Bil‘in continued in solidarity towards prisoners in Israel and in protest of the recent settler attack at Al-Aqsa mosque. During the demonstration a photographer, Mohammed Basman Yassin (21) was shot in the leg by a tear gas canister. The regular demonstration is organised by the Popular Struggle Committee and included dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists. The demonstrations began in protest against the settlements and apartheid wall that was illegally built on Bil‘in land. The protest march began after Friday prayers from the centre of the village heading towards the annexation wall. The activists raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans calling for national unity, resistance against the occupation and the release of all prisoners. As the demonstrators reached the wall area, Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, sound grenades and “skunk” water (waste water mixed with chemicals). Some of the youth of Bil‘in threw stones at the soldiers, who then proceeded to chase the demonstrators into the olive groves and to the outskirts of the village, which is where Mohammed was injured.
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One man arrested during peaceful Al-Ma‘sara demonstration
AL-MA‘SARA, Occupied Palestine (ISM) by Khalil Team — Today, Friday 6th September, Mohammed Breijeh was arrested during a completely non-violent and peaceful demonstration in the village of Al-Ma‘sara. Mohammed will be held until next Wednesday, where a military court will decide whether to release, or to sentence him for taking part in today’s peaceful demonstration. The protest consisted of approximately 40 people, a mixture of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, walking through Al-Ma‘sara in order to reach the villagers’ land which is located just below Efrata settlement. Mohammed was arrested shortly after the protest began for no apparent reason. When activists confronted the soldiers about his arrest, they were unwilling to give any explanation, many standing in silence, with others positively ignoring the question. Mohammed was taken to Kiryat Arba police station and more information will be available from Wednesday.
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Hebron woman detained for ‘attempting to stab soldier’
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli forces detained a woman in Hebron on Sunday for attempting to stab an Israeli soldier, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an that Ayat Mahfouth, 20, was arrested in Shuhada street and taken to an unknown location. An Israeli army spokeswoman said soldiers detained a woman south of Hebron who was found to be carrying a 9.5-centimeter [3.74-inch] knife during a routine security check. [Carrying is one thing, stabbing another. Palestinians can’t carry tiny knives for any purpose, like gathering food crops, while settlers can go around with machine guns.]
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IOF arrests 14 former political detainees during August
WEST BANK (PIC) 7 Sept — The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested during August 14 former political detainees, released from PA prisons as part of the revolving door policy based on security coordination between the IOF and PA forces. Two journalists and seven liberated prisoners were among the detainees. In al-Khalil, Israeli forces arrested the leader in Hamas movement Sheikh Mazen Abu Eid, 42, the dean of administrative detainees who spent 10 years in Israeli jails. In Nablus, Mohammed Anwar Mona, Quds Press reporter, was arrested by Israeli forces, knowing that he spent more than 5 years in Israeli jails and he was arrested 6 times by PA forces. The liberated prisoner Khadr Khaled Srkja, 37, was also detained in Israeli prisons. He was previously arrested three times by PA forces and spent more than 5 years behind Israeli bars. IOF soldiers also arrested two members of the Islamic club from Qalqilya, and three liberated prisoners from Ramallah including a journalist.
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PA security forces kidnap four Hamas members, one Hizb At-Tahrir official
WEST BANK (PIC) 7 Sept — The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces kidnapped four Palestinian citizens due to their affiliation with the Hamas Movement and another one from Hizb Attahrir (the liberation party). In Tulkarem, the PA preventive security forces kidnapped Ahmed Al-Fanni, a leading member of the Islamic student bloc at Palestine Technical University, a few hours after the PA intelligence apparatus released him from its jail in the city. Eyewitnesses in Tulkarem also identified two PA officers who physically and verbally assaulted a young man named Husam Al-Tammam. They said that these two officers kept beating and verbally abusing Tammam after taking him prisoner until he fainted and was transferred to a military medical center before letting him go in bad shape. The PA security apparatuses also summoned two ex-detainees identified as Hussein Abu Hadid and Muhannad Mousa and threatened to put them in jail if they did not appear for interrogation.
In Qalqiliya, the PA security forces kidnapped Baher Saleh, a senior member of the Hizb At-Tahrir group.
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Detainees / Court actions

‘Free Ahmad Qatamesh’
972blog 7 Sept by Noam Rotem – Accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Qatamesh has been under administrative detention since March 2011, without trial or indictment. Now Qatamesh, who calls for one democratic state between the river and the sea, is having his detention extended under the premise that he is ‘a threat to the security of the area.’ — At the time of writing of these lines, Israel holds 5,069 security prisoners, of which 134 are held under administrative detention. The authority Israel assumed upon occupying the West Bank – to detain human beings without trial and without allowing them to defend themselves against the allegations made at them – is taken, allegedly, from international law, where this authority is limited to extreme cases only when clear and immediate danger that can’t be otherwise prevented exists. Administrative detention allows plucking any person from their daily life, including you and me, and to put us in cages, without having to tell us of what we are accused, and without needing to administer a trial where evidence is brought forward, giving us an opportunity to defend ourselves.
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New court dates for Tristan Anderson’s civil trial against Israeli military
JERUSALEM  (justice4tristan) 6 Sept New trial dates have been set for Tristan Anderson’s civil case against the Israeli Military. The new dates follow a recent ruling from the High Court of Israel forcing the Israeli Police to re-open their investigation into the near fatal shooting, which occurred when Israeli Border Police opened fire on a crowd of Palestinian and international activists following a protest against the building of the Apartheid “Separation” Wall in the West Bank village of Ni‘ilin March 13, 2009. Tristan was shot in the face from close range with a high velocity tear gas grenade, causing severe damage to his brain and paralysis to half his body. The Israeli High Court has ordered the police to actually interview the officers involved in the shooting, who to date have never been questioned about it. (The findings of the new investigative report are scheduled to be released shortly before Anderson’s civil trial has been scheduled to begin.)
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Settler shoots at Palestinian, police find ‘no criminal culpability’
972blog 8 Sept by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — …Let’s begin with the facts: there is a village called Burin. Unfortunately for it, it is adjacent to a series of settlements and illegal outposts. One of the latter is Givat Ronen. In the Palestinian house closest to the outposts lives a man called Bruce Lee (after the famous Karate star) Eid. He and his family members have been suffering violence and abuse by the settlers for quite some time. At the beginning of April, Bruce-Lee Eid lodged a complaint with the JSPD [Judea and Samaria Police District] about three related incidents. In the first one, which took place on March 31, Bruce-Lee Eid noticed a settler he is familiar approaching his house; the settler is called R. In his complaint, Bruce-Lee Eid noted he knows R. since the latter tends to herd his flock on Bruce-Lee Eid’s lands. R. was accompanied by a minor and a third person. According to the complaint, R. threatened to murder Bruce-Lee Eid, and at one point drew a gun and fired into the air. The minor and the third person began chasing Bruce-Lee Eid and his family members into the house, while the minor pointed at them what appeared to be an M-16 assault rifle and vocally made firing sounds … How do you shelve away a shooting incident and a threat with “lack of criminal culpability?” Well, the JSPD claims – with justification – that the rifle which was used by the minor in the first two incidents was fake. The ability of the JSPD to ignore the facts is astonishing: the minor was not the one to shoot
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Gaza under blockade

Palestinian patient kidnapped at Erez Terminal
IMEMC 9 Sept — Sunday evening [September 8, 2013] Israeli soldiers kidnapped a young Palestinian man at the Erez Terminal, between Gaza and Israel, as he was on his way to receive treatment at an Israeli hospital. Palestinian sources said that Mohammad Al-Bakry, 25, from the Ash-Shaty’s refugee camp, is suffering from a serious illness that rendered him disabled, and was heading to an Israeli hospital after receiving all needed permits, and referrals. Israel frequently kidnaps Palestinian patients heading to Israeli hospitals, and in many cases, the army asks them to become collaborators with the occupation in exchange for granting them medical treatment.
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Egypt’s Rafah terminal closed again, one bus allowed in
GAZA (PIC) 8 Sept 11:53am — The Egyptian authorities on Saturday closed the Rafah border crossing without prior notice and allowed only one bus into its territory. Director of the crossings Maher Abu Sabha said the Egyptian side sent all buses back to Gaza and allowed only one to enter its territory at the pretext of the security events in the Sinai. Abu Sabha added that the passengers who were allowed in stayed during the afternoon in a waiting hall on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian army demolished on Saturday five tunnels and one building in different areas of the Rafah border area, a Palestinian security official told the PIC. The civilians in Gaza have been living for weeks in a very difficult situation because of the Egyptian demolition of most of the Rafah tunnels, which caused acute shortages of many vital needs, including fuel, medical and food supplies.
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Abu Sabha: Egypt partially opens Rafah crossing
GAZA (PIC) 8 Sept 9:21pm– The Egyptian authorities partially opened the Rafah crossing on Sunday morning, after the announcement of its closure on Saturday due to the tense security situation in the Sinai.  Maher Abu Sabha, director of the Rafah crossing, told PIC that the Egyptian authorities informed them that the Rafah crossing will be reopened since 11 am.  He said: “We are talking about a catastrophic delay and thousands of cases that were directly affected by the continued closure of the crossing as the students and the patients.”
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Gaza power plant shutdown tomorrow likely
AIC 7 Sept by UN OCHA — On 5 September, the Palestinian Energy Authority (PENRA) warned that the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) will be forced to shut down completely in three days due to lack of fuel. If the GPP shuts down, the overall power supply deficit will result in power outages of up to 12 to 16 hours a day, up from the current 8 to 12 hours. Gaza also receives 45 per cent of its energy needs from Israel (35 per cent) and Egypt (10 per cent). To avoid a crisis, PENRA called upon the Egyptian authorities to urgently facilitate the transfer of fuel, either through the Rafah Crossing or Israel, donated by the Government of Qatar, which has been held up in Egypt since March 2013. In total, less than 11.5 million of the approximately 30 million litres of fuel donated by Qatar has entered the Gaza Strip. The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) has reported that, at present, there is no fuel stock to power the standby generators at 288 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities across Gaza. One sewage pump station in Jabaliya overflowed on Wednesday and 15,000 m3 of sewage were urgently removed to a nearby storm water lagoon. The WASH Cluster has reported that the lack of fuel is severely disrupting the routine collection of 1,500 tons of solid waste.
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Khudari asks Ashton to supply Gaza with fuel
GAZA (PIC) 8 Sept — Independent MP Jamal Al-Khudari has asked Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign commissioner, to supply the Gaza Strip’s sole power generation station with fuel. He said in a statement on Sunday that urgent supplies were needed in order to avoid a humanitarian disaster that would affect vital sectors in the besieged enclave including health, environment, education, social, and infrastructure in the event of the probable shutdown due to fuel shortage. The MP, who is also heading the popular committee against siege, said that closure of the station would lead to the collapse of basic utilities in the Strip that have been already suffering as a result of the Israeli siege over the past seven years.
The EU was responsible for financing the fuel supplies to Gaza’s generation station as part of an aid package until November 2009 when the responsibility was shifted to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Khudari said that the PA could not provide enough supplies, adding that the Gaza inhabitants were looking forward to an urgent EU response to alleviate their suffering.
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NGOs network: The Gaza people live in very difficult conditions
GAZA (PIC) 8 Sept — The Palestinian NGOs network said that the Gaza Strip population live in very difficult humanitarian conditions as a result of the Israeli blockade, the destruction of tunnels and the closure of crossings. In a press release on Saturday, director of the network Amjad Al-Shawwa condemned the absence of serious international action to end the blockade on Gaza despite all human rights reports that had talked about its deteriorating humanitarian situation. Shawwa noted that several international reports had stated that about 57 percent of the Gazan families suffer from food insecurity. He warned that the power station would stop to operate any day as a result of the fuel crisis and consequently, all service sectors, especially the hospitals, would suffer considerably. He also pointed to the international report indicating that more than 95 percent of Gaza water is unfit for human consumption, not to mention its acute scarcity.
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Palestinian refugees elsewhere

Haniyeh urges refugees in Lebanon to form unified position
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday urged Palestinians in Lebanon to form a unified position towards unrest in the country related to fighting in Syria. Haniyeh said that the security and stability of Lebanon is paramount, and that the Palestinian position in Lebanon should be unified to protect all refugee camps in the country. Palestinians in Lebanon must not intervene in the internal affairs of the country, he added.
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Support French BDS activists under attack

AIC 8 Sept by Save the Seven BDS Campaigners! — Seven French activists are being prosecuted by the French government following pressure by the Israeli lobby. They will appear in court in Pontoise (Paris suburb) on Thursday September 12 for having called for the boycott of Israeli products during a small show (a parody of trial) inside a Carrefour supermarket. A video of their performance may be seen here. These activists are from all political persuasions (Green Party, Communist Party, New Anticapitalist Party, EuroPalestine, and include ex-senator Alima Boumediene-Thierry who won a BDS trial in the same court in October 2010. France’s new “socialist” government is adopting the same policy as the previous one in regards the repression of the non violent BDS campaign in France. In spite of the new European guidelines, it wants to prohibit any call to boycott the Israel occupier, whereas all other boycotts are allowed (China, Mexico, Iran Russia…).
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Political, other news

Hundreds of PFLP supporters protest against peace talks
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Sept — Hundreds of people marched in Ramallah on Saturday to protest against peace negotiations with Israel. The march was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to protest a return to peace talks and to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Abu Ali Mustafa’s death. At least 1,000 people marched towards the presidential headquarters in the Muqata chanting slogans against negotiations. “We are against the negotiations because they don’t serve the interests of the Palestinian people,” PFLP leader Abdulrahim Malouh told Ma‘an.”We remain with our people’s right to return, independence, and self-determination,” he added, calling for national unity. Senior PFLP official Khalida Jarrar said the demonstration aimed to send a message that the PLO must stop negotiations.
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Palestinian officials slam talks, Israel complains of ‘leaks’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho complained to the United States over the weekend regarding media ‘leaks’ by Palestinian officials, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday. Molcho reportedly protested to US envoy Martin Indyk that statements made to the media by senior Palestinian officials “violated all the agreements” made with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams had reportedly agreed not to report the content or dates of their meetings to the media, Haaretz reported. However, several senior Palestinian officials have spoken candidly about how negotiations, and above all Israeli proposals, have so far failed. On Thursday, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath told Ma‘an that “Israel has not proposed anything so far, over a month and a half since peace talks have been resumed.” Shaath said that Israel had showed no flexibility regarding the issue of a Jewish state and its control over the Jordan Valley, with some Israeli negotiators even suggesting talks begin from scratch. “Israel has not proposed anything on the topics which should be discussed, and it’s too early to give judgments about the outcome of talks. We will wait and see,” he added. The PLO is adamant about continuing negotiations but will not agree on interim solutions, fearing that they would “buy Israel enough time to fill open areas with settlements.” “The Israeli side does not recognize any of the agreements signed previously including Oslo and the Road Map plan which the Palestinian side has fully implemented,” he added.
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Palestinian Authority loses $300m in trade taxes a year to Israel
The Guardian 3 Sept by Mark Tran — The Palestinian Authority is losing about $300m (£193m) a year in “leakage” of customs, purchase and value-added taxes which are not transferred to the Palestinian treasury by Israel, according to preliminary UN estimates (pdf). The UN conference on trade and development (Unctad) defines fiscal leakage as Palestinian fiscal revenue destined for the PA but retained by Israel instead. Palestinian trade taxes consist of purchase tax and VAT, levied on all imports, whether they originate from Israel or elsewhere, as well as additional excise tax and custom duties on imports from sources other than Israel … The report says the losses do not include the revenue leakages from many other sources, including taxes levied by Israel on incomes of Palestinians working in Israel and settlements; revenue loss from under-pricing imported goods in invoices due to lack of Palestinian control over borders and access to proper trade data; revenue loss related to lack of control over land and natural resources; financial resources loss related to goods and services imported through the Palestinian public sector (petroleum, energy, and water); and fiscal loss as a result of the smaller tax base caused by the destruction of the productive base and loss of natural resources to occupation.
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Israel okays 5,000 Palestinian work permits
JERUSALEM (AFP) 8 Sept — The Israeli government on Sunday approved the allocation of 5,000 work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank, enabling them to work in Israel, an official told AFP. “The initial resolution stated that it was within the framework of the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and efforts to improve the Palestinian economy,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “But several ministers opposed this phrasing, saying there was no reason to improve the Palestinian economy when the Palestinians don’t miss an opportunity to back boycotts against Israel’s economy,” the official said…
Since the start in 2000 of the second Palestinian uprising, or intifada, Israel has limited the number of permits it grants Palestinians to enter for work, medical treatment or other needs. In addition to the newly approved 5,000 permits, nearly 70,000 Palestinians have permanent work permits for Israel, according to a defense official.
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MADA: PA coerces detained journalists to reveal their emails
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 Sept — The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) accused the PA forces of forcing detained journalists to reveal their emails and social profiles passwords during investigation. MADA monitored during the past 20 months attacks on journalists for expressing their opinion on Facebook, and some journalists reported to MADA that security services attempted to force them during investigation to reveal their emails and social profiles passwords. MADA said that its report sheds light on the reality of the internet in Palestine and the violations committed against journalists for expressing their opinions on the social networks. The violations against Facebook users and bloggers confirm that the PA authorities control and follow social networks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with increased monitoring in the last two years after the success of the revolutions in a number of Arab countries, especially Tunisia and Egypt, where youth played a primary role in coordinating and mobilizing the masses through social networks.
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Tubas protesters demand PA open hospital
JENIN (Ma‘an) 8 Sept — Dozens of protesters on Sunday demanded the Palestinian Authority open a recently constructed hospital in Tubas. Protesters held signs condemning the delay in opening the Turkish Hospital, which has been ready to open for 10 months. The hospital was funded by the Turkish government, and the corner stone was laid in 2008. Construction began in 2010, and the hospital was ready to operate in November 2012.
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West Bank health workers to go on strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Sept — Health workers in the West Bank will go on strike on Tuesday after the Palestinian Authority failed to respond to their demands, a union leader said. “The government’s latest decisions highlight their ultimate negativity, negligence, and intentional denial of the issue of 5,100 workers in the health ministry,” union leader Osama Najjar told Ma‘an.
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Illiteracy in Palestine drops to 4.1%
AIC 9 Sept — Illiteracy rates among individuals aged 15+ in Palestine fell in the period 1997-2012 from 13.9 percent to 4.1 percent. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that illiteracy rates vary considerably by gender, age and location. 6.4 percent of females are illiterate in Palestine today (down from 20.3 percent in 1997), while the rate for males is 1.8 percent (down from 7.8 percent). Illiteracy rates are highest in rural areas and refugee camps, as well as amongst those age 65 and older. The highest illiteracy rate in 2012 was in the Jerusalem governorate (6.1 percent) while the lowest rate was in Gaza (3.1 percent). Additional statistics may be found here.
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Analysis / Opinion

Otherwise Occupied / Amira Hass || A lesson in cowardice
Haaretz 9 Sept — High Court justices show critics are right to accuse them of failing to address military dictatorship to which Palestinians are subjected — …the judges presumably knew that most people had come to hear their ruling on the petition against the state’s demand that 1,000 people be evacuated from their West Bank homes to allow the Israeli army to train on some 26,000 dunams of land in the southern Hebron Hills. (This is part of the 9.5 million dunams of land the army already uses as training or firing zones, 6.5 million of which are in the Negev and 1 million dunams are in the West Bank — nearly one-fifth the size of the entire territory.) In the front pew sat a few arch-inspectors from the Civil Administration. In the middle rows, wearing white kaffiyehs, were 20 of the 252 petitioners seeking to do away with the firing zone. They remained in their seats for the hours it took until their turn came: upright, silent and attentive, even though most of them don’t know Hebrew … The justices decided not to force the state prosecutors to address the facts or the arguments in principle that were presented by the petitioners. For instance, the court did not compel the state to address the point made by Tamar Feldman, an attorney for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, that geologist and geographer Nathan Shalem encountered these farming and shepherding villages in the 1930s, even though the state argues that the area was a firing zone before it became the petitioners’ permanent residence. Nor did the court compel the state to address the argument that Civil Administration reports about the repeated demolition of cisterns and tents show how the people living there are attached to their homes and their land, and keep coming back there despite the persecution. The request that the state reveal what is important enough about these 26,000 dunams of land to justify the evacuation was left hanging in the air … The judges proved over and over that they are afraid of the fundamental question Leker raised, and which applies not only in this case: How is it possible, after 46 years of an occupation regime, to continue to rely on military legislation that is supposed to be temporary, and use it to justify the unfathomable gap, the criminal and evil chasm between the way in which the state treats Jews and the way in which it treats Palestinians.
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Israel escalates attacks on UN agency after killing employee during raid
RAMALLAH (Electronic Intifada) 2 Sept by Patrick O. Strickland — During the early morning hours of Monday, 26 August, undercover and uniformed Israeli forces invaded Qalandiya refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, during an arrest operation. When residents confronted them, clashes ensued. Eyewitnesses who spoke to The Electronic Intifada, as well as human rights groups and the United Nations, have contradicted key elements of Israel’s claims about the invasion that left dead three Palestinian civilians, including an employee of the UN refugee agency UNRWA. “It felt like the refugee camp was Gaza,” Yehya Mteir, a camp resident who witnessed the raid, recalled. “One of my friends was shot in the arm by a dumdum bullet,” he added, referring to bullets that explode inside their target after entrance. “He asked me to look at it, and I became scared because it looked like the only thing holding his arm to his body was the sleeve of his shirt.”  Qalandiya is home to some 11,000 United Nations-registered Palestinian refugees — nearly half of its population are 14 years old or younger. The invading Israeli soldiers met resistance from local residents, who threw stones at the military jeeps as they tried to navigate the narrow alleyways of the camp, as documented on video … UN reporting consistently suggests that UNRWA grounds have been regularly attacked, despite that they are supposed to be neutral areas and off-limits to Israeli military. This reporting paints a disturbing pattern of violations: tear gas canisters, sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets frequently land on or strike UNRWA premises. Twenty-six violations were recorded during the first half of 2013 alone. In one instance on 27 June, more than 100 tear gas canisters fired by the Israeli military landed in a girls’ school at the Qalandiya refugee camp. Israeli forces have killed and injured UNRWA workers and attacked the agency’s premises multiple times in the past decade. Amid fighting in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank in November 2002, an UNRWA project manager, Iain Hook, was shot and killed by an Israeli military sniper. As Israel escalated attacks on the Gaza Strip in December 2002, two UNRWA employees were killed, neither of whom were believed to have been engaged in fighting. During Israel’s brutal assault on the Gaza Strip in winter 2008-09, Israeli forces shelled an UNRWA school, al-Fakhura, in the Jabaliya refugee camp in January 2009. At least 40 Palestinians were killed and more than 50 were injured.
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About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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7 Responses

  1. ritzl
    September 9, 2013, 10:44 am

    I like the use of the word “kidnap” in place of detain or arrest. It’s more contextual, descriptive, and accurate.

    Detain and/or arrest imply/confer some sort of potential legitimacy to the practice. There is none.

    Thanks Kate.

  2. pabelmont
    September 9, 2013, 12:02 pm

    “US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the European Union to postpone a planned ban on EU financial assistance to Israeli organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories, a US official said. Kerry made the request at a meeting with EU foreign ministers on Saturday at which he also called on them to support Israeli-Palestinian negotiations”.

    Wonderful. Pull Israel’s feet away from the fire. Make sure that there is no earthly reason for Israel to negotiate in good earnest. Way to go, Kerry babeeee.

    Better EU continue to frustrate USA on Syria and INCREASE THE PRESSURE on Israeli trade.

    • Walid
      September 9, 2013, 12:57 pm

      Kerry is going around from Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting to the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting (or is it the other way around?) to beg member countries to join his team so he could brag back home how many allies the US has in the planned attack on Syria.

      He keeps dropping the name of the Arab League as being on board. The League’s member with the largest population, Egypt and its al-Azhar have come out against the attack. The secretary-general of the League has also come out against it and so has Algeria and Libya. Iraq and Jordan are against it. The only Arab states really pushing for it are the Gulf countries that make up about 10 or 15% of the total Arab population and these are the ones that offered to pay for the cost of the attack, so when Kerry and Obama say they have the Arab League on board, it’s not accurate. Likewise for the most populous of the Islamic states, Indonesia that has also come out against the attack. The Pope has come out against it too.

      But it looks like it’s starting to fizz out. Kerry is now giving the Syrian regime week to do something or other with the chemical weapons and Syria is not really against international monitoring of its chemicals, as proposed by Russia.

      Almost every country has had something to say about the planned attack except for one party that hasn’t dropped a single hint or word on what it would do, and this silence is probably what is spooking Israel the most.

  3. amigo
    September 9, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Does one dare what is being offered in return.

    When oh when will America get itself unshackelled from the occupation nation.

    It is Israel/Kerry/obama who are asking for favours and here we have The US gov making demands of the EU.

    Ashton , tell Kerry to take a running jump–preferably into the dead sea.

  4. James Canning
    James Canning
    September 9, 2013, 2:23 pm

    I suppose John Kerry feels obliged to push EU to lessen effect of its much-needed actions. Got to encourage illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

  5. K Renner
    K Renner
    September 9, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Kerry is, as usual, disgusting when it comes to the Palestinian issue and the occupation of most of the West Bank in particular.

  6. gingershot
    September 9, 2013, 10:50 pm

    Kerry is working full time for Israel now

    If Colin Powell was unwittingly working for Israel, as he carried their water for the hoaxing of the US into the war with Iraq, and then spent massive amounts of time dealing with THAT – Kerry must now feel like Powell got off easy

    Kerry has been busy as a bee

    1- Sabotaging the Palestinian referral of Israel to the ICC Sept 2013 with Peace Talks

    2- Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross II, appointed as US mediator on the team

    3- Doing everything humanely possible to sell America down the river and into a war with Syria (and with Iran as well, I presume) in the next phase of the Clean Break Plan for Israel

    4- Publicly saying his attempt to sell the war in Syria was a kind of necessary step in confronting the quote unquote ‘Iranian nuclear WEAPONS program’ – knowing that was a lie. Just like Cheney – if he only repeats that lie often enough how could the average American believe it’s not true? Wouldn’t the average sane American say Iran has a nuclear weapons program or how could all these American politicians and media be saying that every chance they get?

    5- Trying to sell the US Congress a war with Syria saying it was basically to protect Israel

    U.S. ambassador Rice to UN said a ‘huge part’ of her work was defending Israel. Rice said she often works in “lockstep” with the Israeli delegation. (link below)

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