Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization of Islamic sites
Jews challenge rules to claim heart of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (New York Times) 21 Sept by Jodi Rudoren — Small groups of Jews are increasingly ascending the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, a sacred site controlled for centuries by Muslims, who see the visits as a provocation that could undermine the fragile peace talks started this summer. For decades the Israelis drawn to the site were mainly a fringe of hard-core zealots, but now more mainstream Jews are lining up to enter, as a widening group of Israeli politicians and rabbis challenge the longstanding rules constraining Jewish access and conduct. Brides go on their wedding days, synagogue and religious-school groups make regular outings, and many surreptitiously skirt the ban on non-Muslim prayer, like a Russian immigrant who daily recites the morning liturgy in his mind, as he did decades ago in the Soviet Union. Palestinian leaders say the new activity has created the worst tension in memory around the landmark Al Aksa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, and have called on Muslims to defend the site from ‘incursions.’
Hundreds of Israeli rightists enter Aqsa under guard
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 Sept — Over 300 Israeli rightists entered the al-Aqsa compound on Sunday, a local foundation said. The al-Aqsa foundation said that four groups consisting of rabbis, families and rightists entered the mosque compound via the Mughrabi Gate under heavy armed guard and toured the area. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Islamic endowment told Ma‘an that around 342 rightists entered the area for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Eyewitnesses said that a group of rightists tried to perform religious rituals but were prevented from doing so by Palestinian worshipers. “The break in to al-Aqsa is unacceptable to the Islamic Waqf and this number of incursions within a few hours is unprecedented,” al-Khatib said.
Umm al-Fahm: 30,000 people at Islamic Movement annual rally
Ynet 20 Sept by Hassan Shaalan — Some 30,000 Arab Israelis took part Friday in a rally titled “Al-Aqsa Mosque in Danger,” in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm. The event was organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. Attendees were waving Palestinian flags, crying out “We will sacrifice our lives for Al-Aqsa.” Head of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, attended the rally, as did other Arab leaders. The Islamic Movement’s deputy chief, Sheikh Kamel Khatib, said: ‘We will continue to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque and we deliver a warning to anyone that intends to do it any harm.’
Israeli excavations caused cracks in Palestinian house wall
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 21 Sept — Cracks appeared in the walls of a citizen’s house in Bab Selsila in the Old City of Jerusalem because of the excavations conducted in the region by the Ateret Cohanim Society. Alaa Zarba explained in a press statement on Friday that the cracks appeared in the walls of his family house, where 10 people live, and recently started to get worse due to the excavations and the tunnels established under the building. The family building has two floors, Alaa noted, adding that only two months ago they had repaired cracks that appeared in the first floor. He pointed out that the building is located between a Jewish Synagogue and the Aqsa Mosque, and there were many Israeli attempts to grab it.
Settlers rally at entrance to ‘Aroub camp in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Sept — A number of settlers gathered on Friday at the entrance to ‘Aroub refugee camp in the north of the city of al-Khalil under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces. Eyewitnesses told PIC that a group of settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, arrived to the entrance of the camp and that one of them performed Talmudic rituals and then started singing and chanting racist slogans. The witnesses said the soldiers fired tear gas grenades in Jawabra and Fadhilat streets in the ‘Aroub camp before withdrawing with the settlers. Meanwhile, the Israeli troops on Friday afternoon set up a checkpoint on the road to the Gush Etzion settlement, established on lands north of al-Khalil, and arrested a Palestinian young man.
EU tells Israel to explain seizure of Palestinian aid
Haaretz 22 Sept by Barak Ravid — The EU ambassador in Israel called the Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Europe Rafi Shutz on Saturday, to express concern over an altercation that took place between EU diplomats and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Friday. Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week. “What was done there by the European diplomats was a provocation,” said Shutz. The EU ambassador asked for explanations regarding the Israel Defense Forces’ activity in the West Bank on Friday, particularly the violence used against a French diplomat. Shutz stated that Israeli courts determined all Palestinian construction at the site of the incident was illegal, and thus the European diplomats were in fact engaging in illegal activity. Shutz also explained that if the EU is interested in providing humanitarian aid for Palestinians, there are proper channels to do so, which include coordination with Israel.
IOA to annex nine-dunum land, raze stores to expand Shu‘afat military crossing
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Sept — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) decided to annex nine dunums [1 dunum = .25 acre or 1,000 m²] of Palestinian land and demolish 20 stores belonging to Dajani family at the entrance to Shu‘afat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, in order to expand the military crossing of Shu‘afat. Mohamed Dajani, the owner, told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the IOA notified him of its intention to demolish his stores on the third of November and demanded him to pay a property tax of 1.7 million shekels. Dajani said he refused to receive any compensation for his property, pointing that his stores were built in 1963. He condemned the Israeli decision to demolish his stores and annex his land as unjust, illegal, and aimed at isolating Shu‘afat refugee camp from Jerusalem.
IOA to confiscate hundreds of dunums in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Sept — The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) plan the confiscation of hundreds of dunums in Kharas village west of al-Khalil. The IOA issued notifications for the evacuation of hundreds of agricultural land claiming they belong to the state as a prelude to confiscating them. The Land Research Center (LRC), a branch of the Arab Studies Society, said that Palestinian shepherds in the western areas of the town have found several notifications and maps of the lands to be confiscated. The shepherds handed over the notifications to Kharas municipality … The Israeli notifications called on the Palestinian citizens in the area to evict the lands in 45 days after receipt of notifications, threatening to evict the lands by force and to impose the evacuation costs on the citizens in case they refuse to respond to the notifications. According to the eviction notifications, around 304 dunums are threatened to be confiscated by the IOA
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Israeli army turns Hebron home into military base
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Sept — Israeli forces on Sunday forcibly took control of a Palestinian house east of Hebron to use as a military base to protect settlers, locals said. Israeli forces raided the property of Salim al-Salayman at 2 a.m. and briefly detained him and 17 members of his family on the first floor. The soldiers then forcibly took control of the second floor and brought military equipment into the house. The property overlooks a bypass road leading to the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Salfit farmers ask for protection in face of settlers’ attacks
SALFIT (PIC) 22 Sept — Farmers in Salfit province have asked for protection in face of the usual Jewish settlers’ attacks on them during the olive harvesting season. The farmers issued a press release on Sunday saying that they come under settlers’ attack every season, recalling that their joy over the harvesting of their olive crops turn into fear and anxiety of such attacks. They pointed out that farmers, who have land beyond the separation wall, are not allowed to prepare for the season by the Israeli occupation authorities except for a few and limited periods of time which cause big damage to their crops. The farmers said that lands near settlements are particularly prone to settlers’ attacks who do not differentiate in their attacks and carry them out against men and women alike. They added that on some occasions the harvesting becomes impossible.
East Jerusalem vehicles vandalized in so-called ‘price-tag’ attack
Haaretz 22 Sept by Nir Hasson — Seven vehicles belonging to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were vandalized overnight Saturday in the third so-called ‘price tag‘ attack in the neighborhood in as many months. Residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah woke up Sunday morning to discover that seven cars in the neighborhood were spray-painted and their tires were slashed. The writing on the cars included the phrase ‘price tag,’ alluding to right-wing extremists’ revenge attacks over Israeli policies in the West Bank settlements. One resident said left his home at around 4 A.M. after he heard noises, only to see two Ultra-Orthodox youth fleeing the scene of the crime. Sunday’s attack was carried near the home of a Palestinian family facing eviction, after a lengthy legal battle, ended with a ruling at the Supreme Court last month. The court stayed the execution of the eviction order by 18 months. “As if the troubles we are facing with the evictions are not enough, now our property is under attack,” Mohammad Shamansa, the father of the family, said. The last price tag attack on the neighborhood occurred in May. Shamasna said the police failed to arrest any suspects in the case, despite incriminating security-footage they provided, showing two young men piercing car tires.
link to www.haaretz.com
Restriction of movement
Family appeal for treatment of journalist abroad
RAMALLAH (PIC) 22 Sept — The family of journalist Mohammed Eshtiwi appealed to human rights groups to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) into allowing him to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment. The family said in a press release on Saturday that Eshtiwi has medical reports stating his need for treatment abroad but the IOA would not allow him to travel. It said that the IOA returned Eshtiwi from the Karame crossing leading to Jordan a few days ago at the pretext that he was banned from travel due to ‘security reasons’. The IOA even refused to grant Eshtiwi a permit to receive treatment in Jerusalem or 1948 occupied Palestine hospitals, the family said.
WATCH: Palestinians cross into Israel illegally in broad daylight
Ynet 22 Sept by Yoav Zitun — Days after murder of soldier by Palestinian working in Israel without permit, Ynet documents dozens of Palestinians crossing into Israel illegally from same area murderer came from. Security establishment aware of issue, but unable to properly cope — … According to Israeli assessments, some 100,000 Palestinians are currently in Israel, of which some 30,000 have no valid permit. The IDF, police and Shit Bet are more than acutely aware of this issue. Security forces launch daily operations along the border fence in an attempt to capture infiltrators, but the facts on the ground paint a worrisome picture with dangerous – and as we have seen fatal – implications. Hussein Salim, who works along the border fence, said that “because of the murder, today we see only a fraction of the infiltrators we would usually see during the year. Usually, they climb on cars or even drive their own cars. They don’t care what anyone thinks. Every day I stand here and see 1,000 illegals crossing the fence. There is no police, no army, no nothing.”
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Israeli soldier killed near Qalqilya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — An Israeli soldier was killed in a Qalqiliya village on Friday, Israel’s army said. Sergeant Tomer Hazan, 20, was killed by Nidal Amar, 42, a resident of Beit Amin in Qalqiliya, Israel’s army said. Israeli intelligence services had received information about the disappearance of Hazan late Friday. Intelligence reports indicated that the soldier had shared a taxi with Nidal Amar to the illegal settlement of Shaarei Tikva, which is opposite the Palestinian village of Beit Amin. Amar convinced Hazan to come back to his village and once there lured him to an open area north of Beit Amin and killed him, Israel’s army said. Amar then dumped the body in a well. He told interrogators on Saturday that he had killed the Israeli soldier in order to use the body as a bargaining chip to free his brother, who has been jailed in Israel since 2003. The men used to work together in a restaurant in Bat Yam.
Israeli forces detain 6 brothers in Qalqiliya raid
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — Israeli forces raided a Qalqiliya village overnight Friday and arrested six brothers after ransacking several homes, locals said. Israeli forces raided Beit Amin and deployed at entrances to the village, witnesses said. They ransacked several homes before arresting Bassam Omar [Amar] and his brothers Abdul-Salam, Ali, Ibrahim, Mahmoud and Abdullah. Israeli soldiers destroyed part of the Omar family house and a steel agricultural structure before leaving the village.
Analysis | | Murder in the West Bank: a thin line between terror and crime
Haaretz 22 Sept by Amos Harel — The murder of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank can be seen as existing on the seam line between a nationalistic and a criminal act. The main motive for the murder was, apparently, nationalistic. The Palestinian suspect, Nidal Amar, stated under interrogation that he had kidnapped and killed an Israel Defense Forces soldier, Tomer Hazan, in order to negotiate the release of his jailed brother (in return for the soldier’s body). Amar’s brother, Nur al-Adin Amar, is a security prisoner in Israel, affiliated to Fatah. But the circumstances under which the deceased soldier was enticed to go to the West Bank are totally unrelated to his position in the IDF, and there is a reasonable expectation that his presence in the West Bank was related to illegal activity … In its statement on Saturday about the murder, the Shin Bet did not explicitly provide a reason for the crime. The agency sufficed with a quote culled from the suspected terrorist’s initial interrogation. The question over whether this was a premeditated, well-planned attack or a set of other circumstances that went awry, and to which the suspect is now attributing nationalistic motives after the fact, is still open – to some extent, at least. The investigation is currently directed toward examining nationalistic motives. But it is also obvious that, from the moment he was apprehended, it was in the interest of the murder suspect to say he was acting out of terrorist motives. Such a statement would enhance his standing on the Palestinian side, in comparison to the case of a common criminal. Also, in the long run it would improve his prospects for early release through a possible prisoner exchange for future Israeli captives. Against this backdrop, Israelis should exercise all due caution.
Village of soldier’s murderer: Nidal has no conscience
Ynet 22 Sept by Elior Levy — In the village of Beit Amin, home to murderer Nidal Amar, and in the nearby village of Azun – both south of Qalqilya, residents were surprised to find themselves in the headlines following the discovery of Sgt. Tomer Hazan’s body. The Head of the Beit Amin Council, Taqiyya Amar, told Ynet that the village condemned any act of murder, be it by Palestinians or Israelis. Residents speculated that the motive to the murder of the off-duty Israeli soldier over the weekend was criminal and not nationalistic. Amar said that throughout the weekend the IDF blockaded and searched the village, eventually arresting Nidal Amar and five of his brothers. He added that the village of Beit Amin has always been quiet and never experienced particular security problems … Ramzi, a Beit Amin resident, said he knew Nidal Amar and his brothers and condemned the murder. “I think the motive was criminal, and once Nidal was caught he wanted to be a hero, and invented a nationalistic motive.” He was clear in saying the murderer was wrong: “Just think of the family and parents in this situation, who have to be ashamed of what he’s done.” The residents’ words echo the sentiments of Nidal Amar’s wife and daughters. Nijat Khourmata, his wife, said: “He never told us about his plans. He hasn’t lived here in two years and has only recently come to visit his daughters.”
Thousands attend funeral of murdered IDF soldier
Times of Israel 22 Sept by Asher Zeiger & Staff — Friends say Tomer Hazan, 20, killed by a Palestinian coworker, was ‘amazing’, and loved by all who knew him — Thousands of mourners attended the funeral on Sunday afternoon of Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, who was murdered on Friday after being lured to a village near Qalqilya in the West Bank. Hazan was buried at the military cemetery in Holon, near his hometown of Bat Yam … A regular customer at Tzahi Basarim, the restaurant where Hazan worked, called the slain soldier an ‘amazing young man’, and blasted the restaurant for employing Amar without a permit, calling on the owner to leave the city. ‘He betrayed Bat Yam’, said Meir Bachar. ‘We supported him (financially) and he should be ashamed of employing a [Palestinian] without a permit.
link to www.timesofisrael.com
Army: Israeli soldier killed in Hebron
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Sept — An Israeli soldier was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper on Sunday in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military announced. Israel’s military said the shooting occurred at a flashpoint holy site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In a statement, the army said a soldier was critically injured after direct fire was opened toward soldiers in Hebron. One soldier, who was not immediately named, was evacuated to a hospital where he later died. The military said the soldier was participating in “routine activities” defending Jews in Hebron including approximately 11,000 people who were visiting the area for a Jewish holiday …
A Ma‘an correspondent and medics said Israeli forces placed Hebron under a complete lockdown, causing traffic delays and even preventing a pregnant woman from reaching a hospital. Israeli soldiers raided houses and forced males out of some homes at gunpoint, assembling them at a junction on Tariq Bin Ziyad street, a Ma‘an reporter said. Near the junction, Israeli soldiers were also holding up an ambulance that was taking a woman in labor to hospital, a medic said. The medic said that the woman was about to give birth but the soldiers refused to let the ambulance through the street …
Before the shooting, clashes broke out in Hebron after Israeli forces closed shops in the Bab al-Zawiyeh area. They said Jews planned to visit a religious site during a Jewish holiday. Israeli forces threatened shop owners with guns and Palestinians responded by throwing rocks. Soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades, injuring two people. One school administration shut down classes to protect students in the area.
Dozens injured and hundreds of arrests in intense Hebron clashes
[long, detailed account of the events of the day] HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 23 Sept by Khalil Team — On Sunday 22nd September, heavy clashes took place across Hebron, leading to the injury and arrest of numerous Palestinians as well as the death of an Israeli soldier. Hebron is currently declared a military zone with a curfew imposed and all entrances to the city sealed off. Throughout Sunday evening and night, the Israeli army has been raiding houses, searching all males and arresting hundreds in several neighbourhoods near the scene of the attack … At around 6pm, international activists saw soldiers who had been shooting at the protestors suddenly run back up the road towards checkpoint 209 (Abu Rish/Quatoum). When they followed them, they saw a soldier lying on the ground unconscious and bleeding from his neck. After attempts to resuscitate him failed, the soldier, identified later as Gabriel Kobi, was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital in a helicopter, where he died of his wounds sustained. The Israeli army claims he was hit by a bullet shot by a suspected Palestinian sniper, however none of the international activists present at the scene heard any gunshots. Following the soldier’s injury and later death, hundreds of soldiers invaded the neighbourhoods surrounding checkpoints 29 and 209, conducting searches throughout the evening and into the night, apparently in an attempt to find the sniper they claim killed Kobi, and in retaliation for his death. International activists witnessed the army combing through house after house, forcing out all males above the age of 16, and frisking them one by one. They also saw a group of about 50 detained men with their hands behind their heads being marched down towards checkpoint 29.
link to palsolidarity.org
Forces protecting settlers shoot youth in neck
HEBRON (WAFA) 22 Sept – Israeli forces Sunday shot and injured a 22-year-old Palestinian while offering protection to and accompanying Israeli settlers into the historic Hebron tomb, in central Hebron, to allow them to perform prayers there, according to security sources. Forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets toward the provoked Palestinian residents who gathered to prevent settlers from entering the tomb, leading to clashes. Nimr Salaymeh, 22, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the neck and was transferred to hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported
Video: Israeli forces detain hundreds of young people in the region south of Hebron
uploaded by Gaza Community 22 September – 55 sec. long, quality very poor, but all there is
In wake of soldier’s killing, PM orders resettlement of Hebron house
Times of Israel 23 Sept — Netanyahu vows to ‘fight terror with one hand, strengthen settlements with the other’; Washington condemns slayings as detrimental to peace efforts — In the wake of the killing of an IDF soldier by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron Sunday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the immediate resettlement of Beit Hamachpela, a building near the West Bank city’s Tomb of Patriarchs which was previously boarded up by order of the Defense Ministry. ‘Those who try to uproot us from Hebron, the city of our forefathers, will only achieve the opposite,’ said Netanyahu in a statement.
link to www.timesofisrael.com
A settler hits a Jerusalemite while riding his motorbike and runs away
[with photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 20 Sept — Hisham Saleh Abbasi, a 28-year old young man from Silwan, was injured with bruises and wounds when a settler’s car collided with his motorbike in Silwan. Abbasi explained that he was driving his motorbike near Dung gate in Silwan when he faced heavy traffic and decided to drive by it and pass it. The settler who was driving a white Renault car also decided to drive by the traffic and pass it and that’s when he hit Hisham. Abbasi added: ‘I fell off my motorbike, and the settler did not stop but ran away without checking me or providing any help. The police arrived at the scene and investigated the incident, and I was then transferred to the hospital and received the necessary treatment.’ He pointed out that he suffered deep cuts in his face and had stitches in different parts of it, in addition to injuries in both of his legs.
Settlers attack Palestinians, uproot trees near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 22 Sept – Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Maon Sunday attacked Palestinians, severely beat up a 50-year-old man as well as uprooted trees in an area east of the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, according to a local activist. The Popular Committee Coordinator in Yatta, Rateb al-Jabour, told WAFA settlers from Maon settlement, built illegally on Yatta land, attacked and used foul language against the residents. Settlers severally beat up a 50-year-old man, causing him several bruises throughout his body as well as uprooted around 10 fully grown and years old trees belonging to one of the residents.
Israeli soldiers assault Palestinian farmer near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 23 Sept – Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian farmer from the Hebron area in the southern West Bank after they broke though his home in his own olive field. Ahmad Salamah Atawna told Ma‘an that a group of Israeli soldiers broke into his house in Khirbet Jamrura neighborhood of Beit Kahil village to deliver a demolition order. He highlighted that the soldiers broke windows and doors in his two-room house in the middle of an olive field near Israel’s separation wall. Atawna appealed to the Palestinian ministry of local governance urging them to provide the area with an electricity line so as to help the residents remain steadfast on their land. The neighborhood measures about 1,200 acres located near the separation wall and Tarqumia checkpoint.
IOF attack citizens, raid homes in ‘Aroub refugee camp
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 22 Sept — Violent clashes broke out on Saturday between Palestinian young men and the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) who raided homes and summoned citizens for interrogation during a security campaign in Al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Al-Khalil city. Local sources said that the IOF raided homes in the neighborhoods of Al-Titi and Jawabra, the entrance to the camp and the vicinity of the UNRWA office, and handed some citizens summonses for interrogation from the Israeli intelligence.
In another incident, eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the IOF attacked Palestinian citizens in Al-Shuhada street in Al-Khalil city. They added that the provocative acts of the invading troops prompted the citizens to respond with throwing stones and empty bottles at them.
Local sources also told the PIC that the road leading to Al-Majd village, west of Al-Khalil, was cut off after the IOF closed once again the iron gate of Khirbet Salama at the pretext of providing security for the Jewish settlers of Njihut outpost.
Injuries reported during clashes with IOF in Beitunia
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 Sept — More than ten Palestinians were injured, while dozens of suffocation cases were reported in Beitunia southern Ramallah on Friday evening, after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired rubbers bullets and teargas bombs on inhabitants.
The PIC reporter said that two Israeli soldiers sustained minor injuries when young men threw stones at them in the clashes that erupted after IOF troops stormed the Old City of the village. Dozens of Palestinian youths had earlier marched towards Ofer prison protesting the Israeli forces and settlers’ break-ins into al-Aqsa mosque. They were also marking the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
IOF soldiers nab two Palestinians in Jenin village
JENIN (PIC) 22 Sept — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Jaba‘ village, Jenin province, and rounded up two Palestinian citizens on Saturday night. Local sources said that IOF soldiers entered the town in more than 20 army vehicles and arrested two men in their thirties after searching and ransacking their homes. They said that the soldiers fired bullets, teargas and stun grenades at the young men who threw stones at them after they arrested the two men.Dozens of civilians were treated for breathing difficulty after some of the teargas grenades fell inside houses.
IOF soldiers arrest two young men in Nablus village
NABLUS (PIC) 22 Sept — Two young men in their early twenties were nabbed by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Sunday in Til village, south of Nablus city. Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher with the Tadamun foundation for human rights, said that a large number of IOF soldiers stormed the village before dawn. He said that the soldiers broke into and searched both young men’s homes before taking them away. Beitawi pointed out that the soldiers confiscated personal computers and mobile phones belonging to the young men.
PA security escalates targeting of Hamas supporters
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 Sept — Palestinian Authority security apparatuses arrested five Hamas supporters, summoned another, and extended the detention of five others in the occupied West Bank during the past 48 hours. In Ramallah, the General Intelligence Service (GIS) arrested a student at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Jerusalem and took him to its headquarters, less than 24 hours after the arrest of the representative of the Islamic bloc and a number of other students….
Meanwhile, the courts of the PA security extended the detention of two youths Mohammed Assi and liberated prisoner Islam Mousa from Beit Liqya village for 45 days. PA’s intelligence service arrested the two young men about 60 days ago. They have been exposed during the last period to severe torture, and their detention has been renewed several times. The GIS refused to release the detainee Mohammed Abu Keshk from Qarawat Bani Zeid who had been abducted more than 3 weeks ago, despite the court’s decision to release him on bail. In Tulkarem, the Preventive Security Service (PSS) arrested a student at Birzeit University after storming his house. It also arrested in Salfit a liberated captive and former political detainee from the town of Iskaka after summoning him. Another ex-prisoner from al-Khalil was summoned to the PSS headquarters … The GIS also refused to release Samir Abu Shuaib, despite the court’s decision to release him.
Gaza under blockade
Egyptian authorities close Rafah crossing until further notice
RAFAH (PIC) 21 Sept — The Egyptian authorities decided to close the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip as of Saturday until further notice. Director of borders and crossings in Gaza Maher Abu Sabha told the PIC reporter that the Egyptian authorities notified the Gazan side with the decision on Friday night without giving a date for reopening it. He said that the Egyptian authorities cited recent security events in the Sinai Peninsula where the army and security apparatuses were launching a campaign against ‘terrorist cells’ as a pretext for closing the border terminal.
Khudari: 100 million dollars losses of private sector in Gaza due to the siege
GAZA (PIC) 21 Sept — MP Jamal Khudari, head of the popular committee against the siege, said the losses caused by the disruption of the projects in Gaza due to the Israeli siege has reached one hundred million dollars. Khudari stressed in a press statement on Saturday that the Israeli promises to allow entry of some quantities of construction materials – if fulfilled – would cover only 25% of projects, which means the continued disruption of a large part of the projects. He said that this decision does not mean ending or easing the blockade, as Israel is still besieging Gaza, and added that ending the siege requires opening all the crossings and allowing the import and export of all goods without exceptions. The MP said that the number of the projects that have been postponed is increasing in light of the tightening of the siege and the continued closure of the crossings. Many of the supporting institutions stopped launching projects due to lack of construction materials and raw materials, he said.
Israel lets building materials for private construction into Gaza
Times of Israel/AP 22 Sept — Israel allowed construction materials for use by private builders to enter the Gaza Strip Sunday for the first time in six years, a Palestinian border official said …Gaza border official Raed Fattouh said 70 trucks hauling building materials were allowed to cross into Gaza on Sunday, Palestinian Ma‘an News Agency reported. ‘Israel allowed today for the first time in six years, the entry of 40 trucks filled with gravel, 20 trucks loaded with cement and 10 with steel for the private sector in Gaza,’ the PA official said in a statement. Still, contractors say the amount being allowed in is a fraction of Gaza’s needs.
link to timesofisrael.com
Israeli refusal to provide power may sink new Gaza sewage plant
Haaretz 23 Sept by Zafrir Rinat — A large sewage treatment plant is being constructed in Gaza with funding from the World Bank, but may not become operational due to a dire shortage of required electric power. The Palestinian Authority has approached Israel with a request to increase power supply, but the issue has not been resolved yet. Over the last few years, a serious environmental and health problem has developed in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of means to treat the sewage generated by over a million inhabitants. The sewage is contaminating ground water, which serves as Gaza’s main drinking supply. Some of it flows into the sea, endangering coastal areas up to Ashkelon … The environmental group “Friends of the Earth – Middle East,” which includes Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians, has called on the Israeli government to assist Palestinians and sell them a limited amount of electricity, until the power plant in Gaza can increase its generating capacity. ‘The environmental hazards affect both sides, and they cannot be dealt with without collaboration between both parties,’ says the head of the group, Gidon Bromberg. ‘We’re talking about a negligible amount of electricity which will constitute a big step towards short- and long-term protection of the sea and of the area’s drinking water.’
Int’l campaign against Gaza siege demands Egypt to end restrictions on Gaza
LONDON (PIC) 22 Sept — The international campaign against the siege on Gaza, a founding member of the Freedom Flotilla coalition, called on the de facto Egyptian regime to stop its inhuman restrictions and unjustified measures against Gaza and its people … The committee demanded the Egyptian authorities to immediately open the Rafah crossing before movement of vital supplies and passengers.
For his part, spokesman for the international campaign Zaher Berawi expressed his belief that the Egyptian measures that started about two months ago against Gaza are part of political coordination between the de facto Egyptian regime and its counterpart at the Palestinian authority in order to create a counterrevolution in Gaza similar to the Egyptian one that was backed by the US and Israel, and funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “Therefore, tightening the blockade on Gaza people is aimed at inciting them to revolt against the authority of the Hamas Movement which governs the Strip through creating the sense that the stay of Hamas in power in Gaza means hunger, siege, and death,” spokesman Berawi added.
Gaza exports truckload of lulav palm fronds to Israel for Sukkot
Algemeiner 22 Sept — A truckload of palm fronds was exported from Gaza to Israel last month, apparently reversing a Hamas decision from 2011 that banned export of the palms to Israel for use as lulavs for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Two years ago, an Al Jazeera report brought attention to a Hamas decision to ban the palm frond exports to Israel, resulting in a loss of $1 million of expected revenue for Gazan merchants.
Israel refuses to recognize children of detainees conceived by ‘smuggled semen’
IMEMC — Saturday [September 21, 2013] the Israeli Prison Administration at the Nafha Detention camp, in the Negev Desert, refused to allow detainee Abdul-Karim Reemawi from visiting with his newborn son, and his wife, as the child was conceived through artificial insemination using smuggled semen. The Prison Administration said that the detainee never fathered a son before he was taken prisoner, and that it does not recognize his son as the father’s semen was obtained illegally. Israel does not allow any conjugal visits to Palestinian prisoners, held in its various prisons and prison camps. Head of the Palestinian Detainees’ center, former political prisoner, Ra‘fat Hamdouna, stated that ‘the Israeli decision is flawed and comes as a punishment for the detainees who managed to father children despite Israel’s illegal measures and unconstitutional laws.’ Hamdouna further stated that all related international laws and treaties guarantee the right to family visits, especially between parents and their children, and that that detainee will file lawsuits against Israel for its arbitrary and illegal actions. He added that there are around 18 Palestinian detainees who will father children, in the coming few months, after their wives have been inseminated using the same technique, while an additional sixty semen samples collected the same way from additional detainees are now preserved in Palestinian labs while the wives are being prepped for the procedures.
IOA renews administrative detention of Hamas leader
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Sept — Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) renewed the administrative detention of the Hamas leader Abdulkhalek Natshe for six months. IOA arrested Natshe on the 27 of March 2013 and held him in administrative detention for six months. He was informed about the extension of his detention on Friday evening.
Palestinian groups campaign against the peace process
Jerusalem Post 22 Sept by Khaled Abu Toameh — Several Palestinian groups and figures launched a campaign on Sunday to demand that the Palestinian Authority halt peace talks with Israel. At a press conference in Ramallah, the organizers of the campaign said that the PA leadership should ‘give in to popular demands to stop the negotiations with the government of [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu.’ The call for halting the peace talks came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas was preparing to meet with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday. Abbas is expected to brief Obama on the outcome of the talks, a PA official in Ramallah said … The campaign is being waged by various Palestinian groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, The National Initiative, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Democratic Union, as well as several Palestinian political figures.
link to www.jpost.com
Palestinian police accused of persistent violence against peaceful protesters
Amnesty International 23 Sept — Palestinian police in the West Bank are accused by Amnesty International today (23 September) of mounting violent attacks on peaceful protesters. In a 29-page briefing – ‘Shut up we are the police’: Use of excessive force by Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank – Amnesty shows how the Palestinian police and security forces have repeatedly carried out unprovoked and unlawful attacks on peaceful protesters. Amnesty also accuses the PA authorities of allowing them to do so with impunity. Most recently, the PA police and security forces are alleged to have violently attacked peaceful protesters on at least four separate occasions during July and August. Some attacks were carried out by officers in plain clothes who targeted and sought to intimidate women protesters and journalists who were on the scene to report on the demonstrations. Security forces have also been implicated in causing the deaths of two Palestinians in recent months. On 27 August, 37-year-old Amjad Odeh died after he was shot in the head – apparently by PA police – during a protest. Meanwhile, on 8 May, Khaleda Kawazbeh died in unexplained circumstances during a PA police raid in the village of Se‘ir, near Hebron, and eight others were injured. Amnesty is calling on the Palestinian Authority to hold its police and security forces accountable for such human rights violations, and is also calling on the EU, the USA and other donor governments providing financial aid to the PA to train its police and security forces to similarly demand that perpetrators are held accountable to international human rights law and standards.
Palestinians to start exporting guava to Jordan
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Sept — Palestinian farmers will start exporting guava to Jordan starting Monday, a local official said. Ibrahim Nazzal, the head of the Qalqiliya chamber of commerce, said that Jordan would start importing guava from Qalqiliya on Monday. ‘It is the result of the efforts of the Palestinian and Jordanian ministries of agriculture,’ Nazzal said. The first shipment of 15 tons of guava will be exported on Monday.
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
In Ramallah market, Max Blumenthal shows the fruits of occupation
Mondoweiss 20 Sept by Philip Weiss — In ten days, an important book about the conflict will be published, Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. The book is important because it will change the paradigm of Israel inside liberal American opinion, by demonstrating how occupation and ethnocracy have transformed the Israel of so many Americans’ dreams into an intolerant, tough, and often racist society. Blumenthal performs this shift by marshaling facts about a highly distressing reality inside the occupation and in Israel itself. And because we see that change as so vital to American awareness and policy-making, I’m going to be getting Blumenthal’s ideas out in weeks to come. Last week I interviewed him inside the Ramallah fruit and vegetable market. It’s 5 minutes, above. Blumenthal explains that almost all of the fruits and vegetables in the market are from Israeli farms, especially in the Jordan Valley, on expropriated land. He describes the ways that the Palestinian agricultural sector has been almost completely destroyed, by occupation and by the Oslo process, which kept Palestinians from developing an independent economic base. And he says that one of the best ways to resist occupation is by generating your own economy and boycotting. Palestinians have been unable to do this. Gaza and the West Bank are treated as captive markets.
Israel, land of lesser humiliations / Oudeh Basharat
Haaretz 23 Sept — When someone questioned whether I could speak the way I do in any Arab country, I felt awful. In a humiliating situation, the last thing I want to hear is that in this country, at least, no one sprays you with poison gas — To be honest, one can’t deny that even an ugly racist attack is incomparably preferable to an attack by chemical weapons. The former knocks the will to live out of you while the latter takes your life. Why engage in this horrific comparison? The reason is that either directly or indirectly, Arab citizens of Israel are often told that if they complain about discrimination in the allocation of budgets, they should go join their Syrian brethren who are busy slaughtering each other. What can one reply? The facts speak for themselves. Nevertheless, can one remain silent when faced with an injustice? Any injustice? If you remain silent in the face of injustice, even of the ‘conventional’ kind, you negate your humanity. The wise poet Abu Tayeb al-Muttanabi said: ‘He who acquiesces in humiliation will never feel it – wounds do not hurt the dead.’ So forgive us for maintaining our humanity when we object to acts of humiliation, even verbal ones, let alone physical ones. On the other hand, an Arab saying has it that the worst kind of pain is the one you’re experiencing.
Palestinian youth and the failure of Oslo / Brad Parker
Daily Beast 19 Sept — As recently renewed negotiations continue between Israeli and Palestinian officials for the first time since 2010, the agreement that initially led to negotiations, the Oslo Accords, turned 20 years old on Friday. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the anniversary and context of recent talks is that now nearly half of the 4.4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are under 18, and have come of age in Oslo’s shadow. Instead of growing up with a law-based, negotiated settlement founded on universal human rights principles, justice and respect for human dignity; Palestinian youth have had their futures stifled and suppressed by systemic discrimination, constant settlement expansion, and prolonged military occupation. While the US-dominated Oslo negotiating process should have concluded by May 1999, it has dragged on for decades. The guise of a ‘peace process’ has enabled successive Israeli governments to pursue and implement policies that have crushed the dreams and aspirations of an entire generation. Israel is the only nation that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Israeli military court judges, either active duty or reserve officers in the Israeli army, rarely exclude evidence obtained by coercion or torture, including confessions drafted in Hebrew, a language most Palestinian children do not understand.
link to www.thedailybeast.com