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Video: Israeli soldiers maul European diplomats, block aid delivery to Palestinian village

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Judaization of Islamic places / Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Banishment

In the Jordan Valley, the inhuman-yet-human bulldozers came at dawn
Haaretz 20 Sept by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — Take a good look at the photograph on this page, by Alex Levac. From out of the ruins of his home, the young man pictured here rescued a pair of white doves and is now trying to save them by offering them water, as his little boy looks on. The demolished remains of their home form the background. The hamlet of Khirbet Makhoul, in the northern Jordan Valley, is not far from the Jewish settlement of Hemdat and an army base for the Kfir Brigade. The village has been completely demolished. The dozens of tin shacks and animal pens, hay sheds and water trough are no longer. Even the little playground is gone. It all happened early Monday morning, at dawn. When we arrived at the site a little later that morning, the last of the bulldozers and soldiers, Civil Administration personnel and Border Policemen had already left the area. Near each tin shack stood a shepherd, doing his best to pull the remains of his meager belongings from the ruins. Everything about the scene spoke of both resignation and shock − the same set of emotions I saw in the fishing villages destroyed by the March 2011 earthquake in Japan. But there it was a natural disaster, and here it was the actions of human beings, actions of the sort that fill the pages of the journal of Israeli occupation.
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IOF seize Red Cross tents brought for homeless villagers of Khirbet Makhool
THE JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 19 Sept — The displaced Palestinian families of Khirbet Makhool hamlet in the Jordan Valley clashed on Wednesday with invading Israeli soldiers after they confiscated tents brought for those families by the Red Cross. Red Cross workers were distributing tents to the homeless people of Khirbet Makhool when Israeli troops raided the site, knocked down the tents and confiscated them, a local source told the Palestinian information center (PIC). The hamlet families have been sleeping in the open for two days after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished all their homes and cordoned off the area a few days ago, the source affirmed.
Mohamed Makhamera, a resident of the hamlet, said that the IOF soldiers were watching the Red Cross vehicle, which carried the tents, until it arrived at the hamlet and stormed the area as the workers were distributing the tents among the villagers.
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Israeli soldiers manhandle European diplomats attempting to deliver aid to Palestine
Independent (Ireland) 20 Sept — ISRAELI soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week. A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents. “They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” French diplomat Marion Castaing said. “This is how international law is being respected here,” she said, covered with dust. The Israeli army and police declined to comment.
Locals said Khirbet Al-Makhul was home to about 120 people. The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel’s high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits. Despite losing their property, the inhabitants have refused to leave the land, where, they say, their families have lived for generations along with their flocks of sheep. Israeli soldiers stopped the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering emergency aid on Tuesday and on Wednesday IRCS staff managed to put up some tents but the army forced them to take the shelters down. Diplomats from France, Britain, Spain, Ireland, Australia and the European Union’s political office, turned up on Friday with more supplies. As soon as they arrived, about a dozen Israeli army jeeps converged on them, and soldiers told them not to unload their truck. “It’s shocking and outrageous. We will report these actions to our governments,” said one EU diplomat, who declined to be named because he did not have authorisation to talk to the media. “(Our presence here) is a clear matter of international humanitarian law. By the Geneva Convention, an occupying power needs to see to the needs of people under occupation. These people aren’t being protected,” he said. In scuffles between soldiers and locals, several villagers were detained and an elderly Palestinian man fainted and was taken for medical treatment to a nearby ambulance.
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Palestine: Al-Aqsa faces biggest threat since occupation of Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (Al-Akhbar) 19 Sept by Malik Samara — Not a day passes, it seems, without the occupation issuing some new regulation to Judaize al-Aqsa mosque. Today, Jews are being given unfettered access to one of Islam’s holiest sites, while restriction on Muslims increase by the day — Thirteen years ago this month, when former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon brazenly entered the Haram al-Sharif, where the al-Aqsa mosque is located, he sparked a Palestinian intifada that lasted several years. Today, Jewish settlers enter the Muslim holy site at will, with legal cover from the highest echelons of the Zionist state. Alongside calls for mass marches in Jerusalem on the occasion of the Sukkot Jewish holiday next week, the Knesset issued a law allowing ‘Jews to worship on the Temple Mount.’ In a turbulent meeting of the Knesset’s committee for internal affairs last Monday, September 16, members voted to allow ‘Jewish worshipers’ to enter the Temple Mount throughout the holidays, which last for a week. All efforts have been made to isolate Jerusalem from the adjoining Palestinian areas, forcing it to face the impending disaster alone. This has been done by increasing the number of checkpoints that Palestinians from the West Bank must cross to enter the occupied city, while imposing age restrictions on those within the area occupied in 1948 wishing to attend Friday prayers at the holy mosque. Israeli plans to divide the Haram al-Sharif between Jews and Muslims — as they did with Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron many years ago — are no longer a matter of conjecture among Israeli politicians, with Knesset members calling for designating certain days of worship for Jews and others for Muslims, thus laying the foundation for the eventual division of one of Islam’s holiest sites.
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Many Palestinian worshipers injured during violent police raid at Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 18 Sept — Dozens of Palestinian worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning suffered injuries and tear gas suffocation when the Israeli occupation police forces suddenly stormed the courtyard and started to attack them. Safa news agency quoted media coordinator for the Aqsa foundation Mahmoud Abul Atta as saying that scores of rapid reaction policemen raided the Aqsa Mosque in the morning and surrounded the Palestinian worshipers in its courtyard and premises. Abul Atta added that the policemen tried to get five Jewish settlers to enter the Mosque compound through Al-Maghariba Gate and when they failed they besieged it, intensified their presence in its courtyard and started to attack the Palestinian worshipers, who kept shouting the protest chants of Allahu Akbar. He also said that the invading policemen attacked the worshipers with batons and sprayed pepper gas at their faces, which rendered many of them injured. He added that despite the ferocious attack, many worshipers held their positions in the courtyard while some others went back to the grey-domed Mosque to defend it from any desecration by the policemen. Abul Atta also affirmed that the police detained one of the worshipers identified as Samer Shala’ita and chained the Gates of the Mosque shut.
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Israeli forces ban 7 Arab holders of Israeli ID from al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 19 Sept – An Israeli court on Wednesday decided to ban seven Palestinian holders of Israeli identities from al-Aqsa Mosque until the end of September on charge of ‘incitement and disturbing the peace’ inside the compound. Earlier on Wednesday Israeli police detained eight Palestinian residents of northern Israel and a young man from Silwan during clashes with Israeli police who denied Palestinians entry into al-Aqsa to allow Jewish people to tour the place … the Israeli court banned deputy chief of the Islamic movement in Israel Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib and another cleric Sheikh Ali Abu Sheikha from Jerusalem until the end of September. Both men were summoned for interrogation by Israeli intelligence on Tuesday. They were accused of disturbing the peace inside al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
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Israel to close the Ibrahimi Mosque for two days
[upsetting photo of female soldiers, apparently wearing shoes, sitting on the mosque’s carpet which is marked for prayers] PNN 20 Sept — Israeli Authorities decided to close the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron on Sunday and Monday to allow Jewish settlers to perform their rituals. Israeli Authorities informed the director of Wafq administration about their decision to close the Mosque for Palestinian worshipers while allowing Jews free access to the holy site’s hallways and yards for the Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur. The Wafq administration stated that the Israeli decision is a violation of Muslims’ right to worship, and he has called for an intervention to stop the violation of the Mosque. This is not the first time Palestinian Muslims’ right to worship has been violated by Israeli authorities. Earlier in the month the Ibrahim Mosque was closed to Muslim worshipers during the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah.
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Hundreds of settlers at Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — More than 300 Israeli settlers on Friday entered Irtas village, south of Bethlehem, accompanied by Israeli forces to perform prayers over the Jewish holidays, an official said. Al-Khader popular committee coordinator Ahmad Salah said more than 300 settlers performed “Jewish rituals” at Solomon’s Pools in the area from the early morning hours. He added that the settlers raided the Solomon’s Pools and Khalet Um al-Fahem area frequently during the week. More than 1,000 settlers visited Khalet Um al-Fahem near the pools and prevented Palestinians from reaching their lands. The settlers set up tents in the area and slept and prayed there. The mayor of al-Khader, Tawfiq Salah, told Ma‘an that the municipality denounced the settlers’ continuous “raids” at Solomon’s Pools and Khalet Um al-Fahem.  He said this was the first time the settlers set up tents and chairs to celebrate the Jewish holidays in the region, and he called this action a dangerous sign.
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IOF seizes home in Hebron, bans entry to its owner
PNN 19 Sept — Israeli Soldiers seized a four-story house located near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron on Monday, and prevented the owner from entering the house. “I went today to my house that is located near the Ibrahimi mosque in the old town of Hebron, but the Israeli soldiers stopped me and banned me from entering into the house that they converted to a military outpost after destroying the door.” Issa Abu Mayala, the house owner told agencies.  He continued, “Israeli officials informed me of an order to seize my house for eight days (September 17-24, 2013).
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Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Extremists assault disabled Jerusalem teen
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — An 18-year-old with special needs suffered serious injuries after a group of extremist Israelis assaulted him while was outside his house in the Old City, the Palestinian prisoners society said. Nasser Qawes, the director of PPS office in Jerusalem, said that the group assaulted Hussein Jaber while he was with his friend near the Iron Gate, using stones to assault him. Jaber lost consciousness and suffered injuries to the head. Israeli police detained two of the suspects, leading to clashes with other Israelis.
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Israeli forces ‘detain, beat elderly man and son’ near Jericho
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 18 Sept – Israeli forces detained an elderly Palestinian man and his son in the village of al-Auja north of Jericho after storming the family home, the Palestinian prisoners society said. The Jericho office of the group said that Israeli soldiers assaulted 69-year-old Nayif Abdullah Nujoum and his 30-year-old son Muhammad before the two were detained. The elderly man sustained neck bruises as a result. The statement quoted family members as saying that the soldiers damaged the interior of the house during the raid. Muhammad, according to the statement, was freed from Israel’s custody only a week ago.
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Zatara checkpoint soldiers beat three young men, detain one of them
NABLUS (PIC) 19 Sept — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) physically assaulted three young men and kidnapped one of them after intercepting them at Zatara checkpoint, south of Nablus city. The Palestinian prisoner society said that the IOF at Zatara checkpoint brutally beat Wajdi Shalabi, 21, and two of his friends before taking him prisoner on Wednesday morning. The society affirmed that the soldiers forced the three young men to undress for search and tried to harass Shalabi, adding that the provocative acts of the soldiers prompted the young men to try to resist their detention.
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Child injured after settler’s car rams her in Hebron
IMEMC — Thursday morning [September 19, 2013] A Palestinian child was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle in an area south of Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Medical sources said that the child, Jenan Makram Rajaby, 9, suffered mild-to-moderate injuries; she was moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital in the city … Nearly two weeks ago, a Palestinian child was seriously injured after being hit by a settlers’ vehicle as she was walking home from school in Teqoua‘ village, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. There have been dozens of hit and run accidents caused by Israeli settlers in Hebron, as well as other parts of the occupied West Bank. Several claims have been filed with the Israeli police and the military in the occupied territories regarding hit and run ramming incidents carried out by Israeli settlers, but no actual measures were taken on the ground.
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Settlers open fire toward shepherds south of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 19 Sept — Israeli settlers opened fire on Thursday toward Palestinian shepherds south of Nablus near Itamar settlement, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daughlas, who monitors settlements activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that a number of Israeli settlers from Itamar opened fire toward shepherds from Yanoun, a small village. Settlers opened fire to keep them away from al-Dawiya area which is located near the settlement.
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Dozens lightly injured in West Bank demonstrations
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — Dozens of activists were lightly injured on Friday in demonstrations across the occupied West Bank. In Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya seven people were injured after being struck by tear-gas canisters in different parts of their bodies. A Chinese journalist was struck in the knee, photojournalist Ayman Idrees was struck in the chest, Moaweyah Shtewi, 17, was struck in the hip, while both Raed Nasser and an Israeli activist were struck in the shoulder. Demonstrators marked the 31st anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and called for punishing those responsible for it. In Bil‘in, three Palestinians and a Swedish activist were injured and dozens others suffered tear-gas inhalation in a protest in solidarity with Jerusalem and prisoners. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at protesters nearing the wall. Hamza Burnat, 21, Ismail Abu Rahma, 15, Ashraf Khateeb, 31, and Sara Jon, 40, were struck with tear-gas canisters in different parts of their bodies. In Nabi Saleh, protesters marched toward their confiscated lands but were stopped by Israeli forces who fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
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Soldiers detain child in Hebron
IMEMC — [Wednesday September 18 2013] The Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO) has reported that it managed to secure the release of a Palestinian child, from the Old City of Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank, after Israeli soldiers kidnapped him. The Public Relations Office of the DCO stated that, immediately after being notified that the soldiers had kidnapped Abada Mohammad Abu Remila, 12, they contacted the Israeli side of the DCO demanding them to release the child. The Israeli DCO said that its soldiers allege that the child hurled stones at their jeep, and was arrested with the possibility of facing charges at an Israeli military court. The Israeli DCO then released the child without any conditions, and handed him to the Palestinian side so that they can return him to his family.
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Army invades Yatta, searches homes
IMEMC — Wednesday at dawn [September 18 2013], dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, broke into and searched several homes, and installed roadblocks in various areas in the Hebron district …  Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers violently searched various homes after breaking into them, and that the searched homes belong to members of the Abu Eqbeita family. Furthermore, the army installed various roadblocks at the entrances of the towns of Halhoul and Sa‘ir, the northern entrance of Hebron city, and the Al-Fawwar junction.
In related news, dozens of soldiers invaded various neighborhoods in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, broke into and searched several homes before kidnapping one resident. Local sources said that the army kidnapped Mohammad Nayef Daoud, 29, a resident of Ras Al-Ein neighborhood in the city, and took him to an unknown destination.
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Two Palestinians kidnapped in Hebron
IMEMC 19 Sept — The Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, has reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped two Palestinians from the Al-Hadeediyya area, east of Yatta town. Rateb Jabour, Coordinator of the Committee, stated that the soldiers kidnapped Yasser Zakary and Sabha, 45, and Morad Ahmad Abu Oleyyan, 19, after violently breaking into their homes and searching him. The two were cuffed, and blindfolded, before the army took them to an unknown destination.
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Thousands of Palestinians attend funeral of Islam Tobasi in Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 18 Sept — Thousands of Palestinians marched on Tuesday afternoon in the funeral procession of the slain young man Islam Tobasi in Jenin city, amid chants demanding the Palestinian Authority to give the Palestinian resistance a free hand to defend its people in the West Bank. The participants marched across the streets of Jenin while chanting slogans condemning the PA and its security cooperation with the Israeli occupation regime.  The procession also saw violent clashes between some of the participants and the PA security forces which fired tear gas grenades at them. The body of Tobasi was then buried at Al-Shuhada cemetery in Jenin refugee camp in the absence of PA officials whose presence was unwelcome. For its part, the Islamic Jihad Movement mourned the death of Islam Tobasi, who was killed on Tuesday morning by Israeli soldiers after his detention in Jenin refugee camp. Islamic Jihad considered what happened to Tobasi a cold-blooded execution of an unarmed civilian and another crime committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp.
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IOF escalates targeting refugee camps in WB
NABLUS (PIC) 18 Sept — The Israeli Occupation Forces have escalated targeting Palestinian refugee camps in West Bank for political purposes, Tadamun Foundation for human rights said on Wednesday. Ahmed Beitawi, a researcher at the foundation, said that the IOF escalated recently its raid and arrest campaigns against refugee camps aiming at dragging the camps into confrontations … Beitawi added that ten Palestinians from West Bank refugee camps were killed since the beginning of the year, most recently was the martyr Islam Tobasi who was shot dead yesterday. The occupation aims at draining the refugee camps in order to prevent any possible outbreak of a new uprising, he noted. He pointed to Commander of the Israeli Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon’s statements, published in Yediot Ahranot Hebrew newspaper, where he warned that “more and more areas in refugee camps in Jenin, Qalandiya and near Nablus were becoming havens for Palestinian terrorists.”
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PCHR Weekly Report: Palestinian civilian killed, 3 children & 1 adult wounded by Israeli troops
20 Sept — … Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli forces conducted 42 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 41 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children, were abducted in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces raided a house in Jenin refugee camp and killed a Palestinian civilian. In addition, they wounded 4 others, including 3 children, in the same operation. Israeli forces wounded 8 others during incursions in different areas in the West Bank. Moreover, 3 women, including 2 sisters and their aunt, one of whom is disabled, sustained bruises when Israeli forces attacked them during an Israeli incursion into Kherbet Safa to the south of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron … Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: …on 12 September 2013, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence moved about 200 meters into the east of Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled lands along the border fence and withdrew later. On 15 September 2013, Israeli forces moved about 200 meters into the east of al-Shuhada’ cemetery, east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and opened fire sporadically. As a result, dozens of farmers were denied access to their lands. Israeli forces withdrew at approximately 12:00, on the same day. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported. On 16 September 2013, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing about 4 nautical miles off the shore. Full Report
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Gaza under blockade

Israeli naval troops open fire at fishemen, injure on in Gaza sea
PNN 20 Sept — …According to investigation conducted by PCHR, at approximately 14:30 on Wednesday, 18 September 2013, a Palestinian fishing boat sailed from Gaza Harbor. Five fishermen were on board the boat. At approximately 16:30, the boat arrived at a point in the sea nearly 6 nautical miles of the shore. One of the fishermen, Ayman Ahmed Tulba, stated to a PCHR field worker that he and the other four fishermen threw their fishing nets into the water. Soon, they were surprised by an Israeli gunboat coming towards them. Israeli soldier opened fire at the fishing boat without any warning. Tulba added that the fishermen were extremely terrified and attempted to escape. The fishermen moved to the back of the boat. In the meantime, a bullet hit a lever that is used to pull fishing equipment, so its belt fell onto one of the fishermen, Saleem Khalil al-Fassih, 56, injuring him in the fingers of his right hand. Al-Fassih stated to PCHR that the Israeli naval troop continued to fire at the boat although it moved back up 4 nautical miles off the shore. The fishermen then called the Palestinian naval forces, and al-Fassih was evacuated to Shifa Hospital in Gaza, where doctors were forced to amputate one of his fingers. Al Fassih is still in need for a surgery.
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Fishermen sentenced to one year for entering Egyptian waters
IMEMC — Egyptian sources have reported that an Egyptian military court sentenced on Wednesday [September 18, 2013] five Palestinian fishermen to one year imprisonment after ‘convicting’ them of violating Egyptian territorial waters. The Anadolu Turkish news agency stated that the five fishermen accidentally crossed into Egyptian waters while fishing.  Palestinian fishermen in Gaza stated that the Egyptian Navy escalated its attacks and violations against them, and repeatedly chased their boats even in Palestinian territorial water, and up to the shore.  They added that the Egyptian navy also repeatedly fires rounds of live ammunition at their boats, in addition to violently beating them before their arrest. [Ma‘an: The five also have to pay fine of 500 LE.]
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Soldiers kidnap two Palestinians in central Gaza
IMEMC — Thursday morning [September 19 2013] Two Palestinians have been kidnapped by Israeli soldiers in the Juhr Ad-Deek area, in central Gaza, allegedly after they tried to cross the border fence into Israel. Local sources have reported that several Israeli military jeeps noticed the two close to the border fence, and arrested them after forcing them to remove their clothing. The two were chained, and placed in one of the military jeep before being moved to a settlement close to the border with Gaza.
In related news, soldiers fired several rounds of live ammunition into the Al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, causing damage but no injuries. Eyewitnesses said that the rounds came from military towers across the border, near Al-Boreij, and targeted a number of homes and farmlands.
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Medics: Israeli forces shoot 2 Palestinians in north Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — Two people were shot and injured by Israeli forces on Friday in the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses said. Israeli forces in a watchtower north of Beit Lahiya shot at people walking in the area, injuring two, the witnesses said.  Medics said that one person was shot in the foot while another was shot in the thigh. Both suffered moderate injuries.
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Tragic stories from Rafah: Students mourn their future
Al-Akhbar 20 Sept by Fatima Abdallah — At the Rafah border crossing with Egypt — Gaza’s only bridge to the outside world — a young Palestinian man cries profusely. He scrapes a passenger bus with his fingernails as it departs toward Egypt. He wants more than anything to stop the bus and get on it. Mohammed al-Astal’s situation is shared by dozens of Palestinian students from Gaza studying abroad who wanted to spend their holidays with their families in the Gaza Strip. Unable to travel — Egyptian authorities have closed the border for a week now, citing security reasons — they have now missed the start of the academic year. If their absence continues, they will not be able to carry on with their studies. Astal, a medical student at al-Mansoura University in Egypt, told Al-Akhbar: ‘For two weeks, I’ve been coming to the Rafah crossing every day at six in the morning, hoping I would be allowed to travel so I can go back to school, but to no avail.’ … Frustrated, the only thing those waiting can do is obstruct the buses full of travelers. Hamas security forces clash with individuals, pushing them back with batons until three buses manage to leave Rafah.
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Egypt blocks Gaza student from going to college in UK
Electronic Intifada 19 Sept by Rami Almeghari – Malaka Mohammed has her luggage packed and is ready to leave at any moment. Yet the 23-year-old does not know when she will be able to take up her place in Britain’s Sheffield University. The closure of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has left her stranded. Because of the uncertainty, Mohammed says she spends ‘most of my time leaning on my laptop,’ waiting to hear if the crossing has been reopened. Obtaining a scholarship in Sheffield was a lengthy process. Mohammed made contact with the university’s students’ union on the Internet. The union was supportive of her efforts and after a number of months, her scholarship was approved by the academic authorities. Once she makes it to the northern English city, she will begin studying for a master’s degree in international politics and law
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VIDEO: Gaza is a closed zone as restrictions imposed on it strangle inhabitants
19 Sept — video report from Gaza by The Real News Network’s Yousef Alhelou – Gazans, including students trying to get to their universities abroad, discuss what this means to them
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Hamas prevents Gaza students from entering Egypt
RAFAH (Ma‘an) 18 Sept — Hamas security forces on Wednesday suppressed a gathering of students hoping to cross the Rafah terminal into Egypt to reach their universities, the official [P.A.] Wafa news agency reported. Around 200 students were waiting at the main gate to cross into Egypt. Hamas security forces assaulted students at the crossing with batons and forcibly dispersed them with police vehicles, Wafa said. Hamas denied the students access to Egypt because they had obtained permission to travel from the PA embassy in Cairo, Wafa said. On Monday, the Egyptians notified the Palestinian Authority that the crossing would operate four hours a day to allow patients and students to leave. The move came in response to a request by President Mahmoud Abbas, they said.
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Hamas shuts down Egypt Center in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 18 Sept by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Since the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi on July 3, relations between authorities in Egypt and Gaza have been in crisis. The situation worsened after Egyptian media accused Hamas, which heads the government in Gaza, of being involved in a series of attacks against Egyptian security forces in Sinai. Matters reached a critical stage after Egypt destroyed hundreds of tunnels along the border with Gaza and closed the Rafah crossing on several occasions, the most recent being six days ago; it currently remains closed. The crisis spiked again on Sept. 16, when an Egyptian military spokesman announced that the army had seized ammunition with the name of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades on it … The crisis has devolved into a cold war fraught with surprise, the latest of which was the above news conference, during which the army presented individuals confessing to be from Gaza and smuggling arms to the Sinai. The Hamas government has been trying to maintain a diplomatic attitude throughout this tense period and thus far has issued only three official statements. Things are different on the ground, however. During two military parades for the al-Qassam Brigades, the rabea (Egyptian anti-coup) symbol was raised. Several Egyptians in Gaza have also been arrested, including Adel Abdul Rahman, 34, an official at the Egyptian Cultural Center in Gaza. In an Al-Monitor interview in his office, Abdul Rahman said that at 9 a.m. on Aug. 31, Gaza security forces came to the center’s entrance in a military Jeep. ‘The passengers were wearing civilian clothes. They entered the center and arrested everyone inside,’  he said. He then described being beaten during the interrogation and said the other Egyptians arrested with him received the same treatment. Abdul Rahman revealed to Al-Monitor that he had been arrested because of a statement the center had issued on Aug. 18 in support of the Egyptian army and its crackdown on rebels in the Sinai.
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Hamas tries to reconcile with Egypt
Al-Monitor 20 Sept by Shlomi Eldar — Hostile Egyptian public opinion might stand in the way of a reconciliation between Gaza and Cairo — After recovering somewhat from the initial shock of the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power in Egypt, the leaders of the Hamas movement in Gaza are trying to reach an arrangement of understandings with Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to allow the opening of the Rafah crossing and ease tensions between them.
Al-Monitor has learned from reliable sources that messages to this effect have reached the office of the Egyptian strongman, including a detailed request to enable a delegation of Hamas leaders to travel from Gaza to Cairo. The trip would be aimed at clarification talks and a presentation of a detailed plan. The plan was conceived by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who closely supervised its preparation, in the hope that it would restore trust with Egypt and enable future cooperation.
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Government warns of environmental disaster due to shortage of fuel
GAZA (PIC) 17 Sept — The Palestinian government warned of an environmental disaster in Gaza due to the siege, especially as untreated sewage water is pumped into the sea, which increases the problem of pollution and its impact on the environmental situation and human health. Minister of Local Government, Dr. Mohammed Al-Farra said: “The municipalities in the Gaza Strip began to pump sewage water into the sea, after sewage treatment plants stopped working due to lack of fuel.” … He added: “All the countries of the Mediterranean are threatened by the pollution if the blockade continues.”  Farra pointed out that the epidemics and health crises will not be prevented by geographical borders, in reference to Israel.
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Egypt to allow Gaza pilgrims to travel via Cairo
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 19 Sept — Egyptian authorities said Thursday that they will allow Hajj pilgrims from the Gaza Strip to travel via Cairo airport at the beginning of October, the PA minister of endowments said. Religious affairs minister Mahmoud Habbash said that pilgrims from Gaza would travel through Rafah crossing
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Rocket fired from Gaza hits Ashkelon field
PNN 19 Sept — Israeli forces found the remnants of a Qassam rocket which exploded in an agricultural field in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Wednesday night, Yediot Ahranot reported. The rocket landed on the field at around 1 am, and red sirens were heard in the area, added the newspaper. No injuries or damage was reported.
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Gunmen attack Egypt military vehicles
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 20 Sept– Several Egyptian soldiers suffered injuries early Friday after gunmen targeted three military vehicles in Rafah, a Ma‘an reporter said. The gunmen detonated an explosive device near three Egyptian military vehicles. Egyptian military spokesman Arkan Ali said the Egyptian army in coordination with the police launched raids on Wednesday and Thursday in multiple villages in the northern Sinai. In a statement, the army said it detained 15 Salafist operatives including leaders who were involved in targeting security locations and police in the peninsula.
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Under lockdown, Palestinians in Gaza fear the worst
Al Jazeera 17 Sept by Haidar Eid — Egypt’s military regime is serving up more of the same for Gazans: demonisation, harassment and deportation — It has been widely reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA), bereft of a mandate in the West Bank, has succumbed to the pressure from the US administration insisting it return to negotiations. However, little has been said of the PA’s counterpart in Gaza. Also lacking a mandate, Hamas has felt the pressure of the Egyptian political turmoil that stripped it of what some had viewed as an ally in the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. But even less has been said of the ordinary Palestinian women, men and children trapped in Gaza with all links to the outside world effectively sealed. Worse, Gazans have become the target of a campaign of demonisation at a level unseen in Egypt’s contemporary past, culminating in the widespread “accusation” [Ar.] that former President Mohamed Morsi is a Palestinian. But how did this come about? … The Brotherhood’s slogans against Israel and the United States disappeared after they came to power and instead it adopted a position well to the right of the political spectrum, with a commitment to international agreements, a special relationship with the US, and loans from the International Monetary Fund. As for Israel, Morsi sent a very friendly letter to President Shimon Peres describing him as a ‘dear and great friend’, and expressing his ‘strong desire to maintain and strengthen the cordial relations’ – this while almost all the tunnels to Gaza were being shut down and the Rafah Crossing functioned at a snail’s pace. The Morsi presidency took credit for brokering a ceasefire agreement to end the short, violent conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in November 2012, that killed more than 160 Palestinians, mostly civilians. But it did not hold Israel to its commitments, which included lifting the blockade against Gaza. The Palestinian leadership in Gaza was bitterly disappointed because it felt it had successfully stood its ground against the Israeli onslaught and had expected political gains as a result. Instead, Morsi cashed in on his ‘victorious’ mediator role to further his goals at home. … The Egyptian military regime, in power since July 3 is now demonising everything Palestinian … The Palestinians, being the weakest link in the Arab chain, have once again become the target of the Egyptian authorities’ security complex.
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Egypt joins Israel as Gaza’s jailer
Aljazeera 18 Sept by Pam Bailey and Medea Benjamin — There was a time when activist groups that focused on helping the Palestinians in Gaza reserved their harshest language and protests for Israel, which long has prohibited both air and sea traffic in and out of Gaza; tightly limited exchanges through its Erez terminal; and banned exports altogether. While movement in and out of Gaza via the Egyptian terminal at Rafah was restricted as well, it nonetheless was a critical lifeline for Palestinians needing to travel, and for humanitarian aid. Likewise, members of the Egyptian government often played a constructive role in facilitating negotiations between the various Palestinian factions, as well as with international parties. However, in the two months since the Egyptian military took control, it has made clear it will no longer serve as that “bridge”. In fact, as the military and other opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi increasingly blame Palestinian “elements” for growing unrest and violence, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, the interim government of Egypt has increasingly allied itself with Israel in strategy and actions – becoming just as much Gazans’ gaoler as its neighbour to the east. In response, organisations ranging from the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza to Gaza’s Ark (an international coalition focused on ending the Israeli ban on exports) are directly including Egypt in their messaging.
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Noted Palestinian human rights lawyer jailed without charge
Mondoweiss 19 Sept by Allison Deger — As far as anyone knows human rights defender Anas Barghouti will finally find out why he was jailed when he goes to trial early next week. He was arrested last Sunday at a checkpoint near Bethlehem ominously referred to by locals as the ‘container’ because it has a reputation of soldiers holding, then transporting Palestinians — often landing them in an Israeli prison. This is what happened to Barghouti. He was taken to an Israeli detention facility, then another one for questioning — a fact that is further confused because Barghouti, like many Palestinians captured at the ‘container,’ has not been charged with any crime. And Barghouti himself is a prominent attorney, having built a reputation representing Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated by the Palestinian Authority. He is also a staple activist in Ramallah, a regular at protests for Gaza, or against negotiations. ‘He really is a human rights defender,’ said colleague Randa Wahbe, an advocacy officer at the prisoner rights legal group Addameer. ‘He is well loved and he is constantly working’ in both a private practice as pro-bono with Addameer. Addameer, Barghouti’s former employer released a statement yesterday with details on his whereabouts
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Israel to possibly release an additional 250 prisoners
PNN 18 Sept — Another 250 Palestinian prisoners may be released from Israeli jails, according to the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat. The move has not yet been officially approved. These 250 prisoners would be in addition to the 104 prisoners who are being released as part of the recently resumed negotiations. An initial group of 26 prisoners were released last month, and the second group is scheduled to be freed at the end of October. Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs, Issa Qaraqa, recently told the families of the remaining prisoners that even if no progress is made during the negotiations, the prisoners will still be freed.
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Ahrar: Administrative detention aims to drain Palestinian potentials
NABLUS (PIC) 17 Sept — Ahrar Center for prisoners’ studies and human rights said that Israeli occupation authorities arrest ex-detainees mainly in order to weaken their morale. Director of the Ahrar Center Fouad Khuffash said that the IOA administrative detention policy seeks to undermine the ex-captives’ steadfastness and warn them of the consequences of launching any national activity. He added that all [?] the administrative detainees are liberated prisoners who had already served many years in the Israeli jails. Many prisoners have been held in administrative detention for many years without charge, Khuffash noted.
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Palestinian refugees elsewhere

Two Palestinian refugees killed in emigration attempt from Egypt
Al-Ahram 18 Sept by Zeinab El Gundy — Two Syrian-Palestinian refugees killed attempting illegal passage from Alexandria to Europe —  Egyptian security forces on Tuesday foiled an attempt [why?] by Syrian and Palestinian refugees to emigrate from Alexandria to Italy by sea, killing two of the refugees. Coastal guards opened fire on the boat, which was carrying at least one hundred refugees, leading to the death of two Palestinians on board – 30 year-old Omar Delol and 50 year-old Fadwa Taha – according to rights lawyer Mahinour El-Masry. Others on the boat were arrested and detained in Alexandria’s Karmouz police station. Hours later another group of 60 refugees were arrested from a café in Alexandria’s Bahari district and moved to El-Montaza. The latter were also accused of planning to leave the country through illegal channels. Over the past month, Egypt has witnessed a rapid increase in emigration attempts by Syrians and Palestinians residing in Egypt as a result of rising anti-foreigner sentiments. Many have attempted to travel from Alexandria to Europe, mainly Italy, via the Mediterranean. Several of these attempts have been prevented by security forces, and a number of refugees have reportedly drowned in the process. “There are 512 refugees currently being detained in Alexandria for attempting to emigrate illegally from Egypt,” said Mahinour El-Masry, a human rights lawyer aiding Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
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Security force led by Hamas and Fatah formed in Ein Hilwa camp
BEIRUT (PIC) 17 Sept — Nine Palestinian factions led by Hamas and Fatah established a joint security force composed of 50 members in Ein Al-Hilwa refugee camp to the south of Lebanon to protect and neutralize the camp. This force is intended to control the security situation inside the camp and neutralize it in any internal Lebanese conflict. The participating factions agreed on earmarking a budget funded by Hamas and Fatah for this security force.
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Political, other news

Government take oath for a second time
RAMALLAH (AFP) 20 Sept — A new government was sworn in on Thursday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, weeks after caretaker prime minister Rami Hamdallah agreed to take up the post permanently. The cabinet was unchanged from its line-up in June — when it was first appointed — but had to take the oath anew after a crisis later that month over what officials described as a “power struggle.”
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Civil servants cancel scheduled protests
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 19 Sept — The West Bank civil servants’ union says protest activities scheduled to take place next week have been cancelled after an agreement was reached with the government … A committee of ministers and union representatives will be charged with setting mechanisms for implementation of all agreements staring Sunday. The committee, which has already been formed, encompasses ministers of justice and finance among others.
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PA rejects Israel request to license 3G
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — Minister of technology and communication Safa Nasser Addin has rejected an Israeli request to license Palestinian operators to provide 3G technology via Israeli companies. Addin said the Palestinian Authority was the only entity which has the right to license Palestinian operators. She said it was “dangerous” to let Israel decide how Palestinian companies can use 3G. Israel has refused in recent years to let Palestinian companies offer 3G services to their mobile customers, insisting instead that they work with Israeli mobile companies to provide the service.
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Jews now minority in Israel and territories
Forward 19 Sept by J.J. Goldberg– One of the most common arguments in favor of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the so-called demographic threat or demographic time-bomb. Proponents worry that if Israel continues to control the Palestinian territories, with or without formal annexation, the different birthrates of Jews and Arabs will eventually result in Jews being a minority in the territory under Israeli control. At that point Israel will no longer be a Jewish state — or, alternatively, will be a Jewish state with a non-Jewish majority that is disenfranchised because of its ethnic identity. There’s a word for that. I won’t say it, but I’ll note that it’s Afrikaans in origin … By and large, though, demography appears to be a very mainstream worry. Well, worry no more. It turns out we’re there already. Comparing the annual Rosh Hashanah population report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, released September 2, with the midyear (July 1) population figures for the West Bank and Gaza in the CIA World Factbook, it turns out that Jews are now (as of Rosh Hashanah) outnumbered by Arabs under Israeli sovereignty by a grand total of 50,827. So the question is no longer whether or when the Jewish state will feature a minority ruling a majority. The question now is what to do about it. Here are the numbers: …Total Arabs under Israeli sovereign administration: 6,106,927 Israeli Jews: 6,056,100 Finally, it must be noted that another 4.2% of Israel’s population, including some 344,000 individuals, is neither Jewish nor Arab but “other,” a category that includes about 4,000 Circassian Christians, 3,000 Armenians, 1,000 Samaritans, perhaps 5,000 African Hebrew Israelites, several thousand Roma and Vietnamese, plus about 325,000 or 330,000 people who appear to be immigrants, most Russian, who entered the country under the Law of Return (which includes anyone with a single Jewish grandparent) but are not considered Jewish, along with various foreign-born spouses of Israeli Jews. If those 330,000 persons are counted in the Jewish population, then Jews are still a majority. It must be recalled, though, that the Israeli government does not count them as Jews
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Analysis / Opinion / Interviews / Reviews

An interview with Samah Sabawi: Poetry, Palestine and the language of resistance / Douglas Valentine
Counterpunch 20-22 Sept — …Israeli oppression of the Palestinians takes many forms.   As Sabawi recently explained in an interview with Joe Catron, “The currency used here (in Gaza) is the new Israeli shekel, the IDs all the residents carry are issued by the Israeli interior ministry, all births go through the Israeli national registry, the essential products are all Israeli in this captive market” (“Israel’s Gaza Bantustan,” 5 January 2013).” Sabawi is part of a new generation of Palestinian thinkers who insist on reclaiming the discourse and reframing the language used to assert Palestinian rights.  For her and many others of her generation, language is an essential tool in the struggle for liberation.  She writes in her poem “Liberation Anthem” “I’ll craft new words of expression/ outside of this suffocating language/ that has occupied me/ Your words/ are like your walls/ They encroach on my humanity.” Sabawi rebels in her poetry against adopting a language she sees as complicit and dictated by the occupier.  She insists on using words such as “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” to describe the reality of life in Palestine.
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How USAID kills popular resistance in Palestine / Alaa al-Tamimi
RAMALLAH (Al-Akhbar) 18 Sept by Alaa al-Tamimi –As the biggest bilateral economic and development donor to the Palestinians, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) uses social development as an effective tool to dismantle Palestinian resistance movements in the West Bank and Gaza. USAID’s programs are based on linking all development assistance with repudiating the ideas of resistance and surrendering to the occupation. Since 1994, shortly after signing the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) received $3 billion in the form of development assistance for water, sanitation, infrastructure, education, health, economic development, and democratization. This type of assistance was part of the fight against “rebellion,” closely linked with PNA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plans announced in August 2009 to build Palestinian state institutions within the 1967 borders and thus promote the two-state solution … The strategy for building the Palestinian state is bolstered by economic and social programs aimed at “winning the hearts and minds” of the population under occupation with development programs … USAID turned the question of fighting terrorism into practice through asking benefactors to sign a statement renouncing terrorism as a condition to receiving grants. Other international organizations, even European ones, do not have this stipulation. The definition of terrorism, according to USAID, demands that none of the beneficiaries of the project are members of Hamas or other resistance factions, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It also requires a clear statement declaring resistance by Palestinians to be acts of terrorism and committing to US values and principles.
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Where have $23 billion spent on Oslo ‘peace process’ gone? / Ali Abunimah
Electronic Intifada 19 Sept — ‘Palestinians are far worse off today than they were in 1993 using any economic or political criterion.’ That’s the startling but incontrovertible conclusion reached by Alaa Tartir and Jeremy Wildeman in a new policy brief from Al-Shabaka on the devastating effects of neoliberal – radical free-market – economic policies and failed aid strategies in Palestine since the Oslo accords were signed 20 years ago this month. Tartir and Wildeman note that: Since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles, the donor community has invested more than $23 billion into “peace and development” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), making it one of the highest per capita recipients of non-military aid in the world. However, aid has not brought peace, development, or security for the Palestinian people, let alone justice. And yet, after all this: According to the income-based definition of poverty, 50 percent of Palestinians lived in poverty in 2009 and 2010, 38 percent in the West Bank and 70 percent in Gaza. The World Food Programme has found that 50 percent of Palestinian households suffer from food insecurity. Unemployment has been stuck at around 30 percent since 2009, with 47 percent unemployed in Gaza in 2010 and 20 percent in the West Bank. The unemployment rate for Palestinian youth under 30 is particularly alarming at 43 percent. The income and opportunities inequality gap continues to widen not only between the West Bank and Gaza, but also within the West Bank.
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Haaretz editorial: Just a dying Palestinian laborer
20 Sept — Considering the magnitude of the accusations concerning Ahsan Abu-Srur’s death, the planned police probe must be given high priority — A Palestinian construction worker has a heart attack while at work. His employer, an Israeli contractor, together with another person, carry the laborer to the street, throw him on the sidewalk, leave him to his fate and hurry away. That, according to testimony, is how Ahsan Abu-Srur, 57, a father of six from the Askar refugee camp near Nablus, met his death …  The day after the incident was reported, Abu-Srur’s brother said that the deceased had worked in Israel for the past 20 years to support his family. Some of the time, the brother said, Abu-Srur had had a work permit, but it had run out, which led him to sneak into Israel, hide in various places and go back home once every two or three weeks. Abu-Srur is only one of thousands of Palestinians who have no other way of making a living except to sneak into Israel to work there illegally. This case brings to an extreme the shameful attitude, both that of Israeli citizens and the authorities, toward people seeking a livelihood. It brings to mind the case of the illegal resident Omar Abu-Jabarin, who was thrown to his death on a main road from a police vehicle in June 2008. Both incidents expose the disregard in Israel for the lives and deaths of illegal residents. This attitude fails to meet any legal or moral standard, and puts to shame a democratic society and state that seeks to maintain human rights.
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Abu Mazen’s hollow popularity / Linah Alsaafin
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al-Monitor) 19 Sept — Mahmoud Abbas, the de facto president of the Palestinian Authority, has been dominant in the Palestinian political scene for more than 20 years. In a column on Al-Monitor on Sept. 9, Daoud Kuttab referred to Abbas as Palestine’s ‘Teflon leader’ and highlighted that Abbas continues to poll well among Palestinians despite regular accusations thrown against him. But such polls may not translate into real public affection for Abbas per se, and may have more to do with the lack of a viable alternative …  ‘Mahmoud Abbas does not possess the popularity that the late leader Yasser Arafat enjoyed, but there are a number of explanations that clarify why the Palestinian people continue to put up with him,’ Elsakka said. ‘One of them is the stalemate in the Palestinian political arena, and the fear of many Palestinian investors or groups of the collapse of the economy, which depends heavily on foreign aid. Therefore, these groups see it in their best interest to support Abbas politically and economically.’ ‘More than 200,000 Palestinian families are reliant on the PA for their livelihoods, either through employment at the ministries or the security forces,’ he went on, ‘which through various ways hold large weight in the media and in controlling and convincing public opinion.’
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Two state vs. one state debate is a waste of time, political energy / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 20 Sept — Arguably the most popular political debate on Israel/Palestine is the one taking place between supporters of the two-state solution and those who support a one-state idea. A piece by Professor Ian Lustick in the New York Times won a lot of attention recently, and it’s not surprising: from our own modest experience here at +972 Magazine, I can state that we have noticed long ago that pieces based on the idea that ‘the two-state solution is dead/not dead’ or ‘the one-state solution is possible/impossible’ win a lot of attention and get many comments. However, my own feeling these days – which is also based on my own contributions to this debate – is that this is a false question, a waste of time and political energy, which currently serves to prevent any form of a just and peaceful solution. The whole line of thinking on ‘the death’ of the two-state solution is a bizarre abstraction. How can one determine when an idea has become impossible to implement? What makes a certain threshold – say, number of settlers – an absolute tipping point, beyond which it is impossible to divide the land into two?
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Mischa Hiller brings Palestinian heroes alive in stylish spy thriller / Selma Dabbagh
Electronic Intifada 17 Sept — There are few works of fiction about Palestine or Palestinians that compare in quality, purity and control as those written by Mischa Hiller. Shake Off is the accomplished second novel of a writer who won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for his equally haunting debut Sabra Zoo. In both Sabra Zoo and Shake Off worlds of war, massacres and political espionage are conveyed through the first person narrative of young male protagonists. It is the sensitive portrayal of these endearingly honest, savvy characters, lumbered with internationally unwanted (and unrecognized) national identities, that embeds the reader’s emotional concern from the opening pages, giving Hiller a deft and rare ability to carry readers through the rough terrain of conflict.
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About Kate

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

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4 Responses

  1. Shmuel
    September 21, 2013, 1:27 pm

    When you demolish people’s homes, you are telling them that they are not allowed to exist here. When you deny them tents, you are telling them that they are not allowed to exist.

  2. Tuyzentfloot
    September 23, 2013, 3:27 am

    The newspaper I’m subscribed to also has put this Gaza item online:
    “Israel is allowing building materials into Gaza for the first time in 6 years. They had blocked import of building materials because they feared Hamas would use them to build tunnels and other things they could use against Israel. ”
    For clarity, they’re not being sarcastic, it’s just a fact for them.

    There is something odd about the timing though of these looser restrictions. Israel has a finely tuned ‘water and bread’ regime of import restrictions, and the crackdown on the egyptian side may upset the balance, so they have to loosen up some things in compensation. It’s a matter of adjusting the tuning. But I’m just guessing.

  3. Walid
    September 23, 2013, 6:25 am

    Tuyzentfloot, you may have a point here; it’s being reported today that many Gaza students are about to lose their European scholarships if they can’t exit Gaza at Rafah on time. There are hundreds of other people including some very sick needing treatment in Egypt or elsewhere stuck at the border crossing. The Egyptian authorities are promising to reconsider re-opening the crossing in a few days. With the border to Israel being opened to let in building materials, now all of a sudden, Israelis are becoming the good guys. One has to wonder how would Israel manage without a little help from its Arab friends.

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