Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
Israeli occupation plans to build new settlement in the heart of occupied Hebron
MEMO 1 Oct — Israel’s Peace Now movement revealed on Monday that the Israeli authorities are planning to build a new settlement in the heart of the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron. It warned that this move might undermine all peace efforts in the region. The movement explained that this would be the first new settlement in Hebron since the 1980s, and that it would have “potentially devastating consequences” for both the Palestinian residents of Hebron, increasing the tensions and violence in that already volatile city, as well as the ongoing peace talks, including the two-state solution. In the wake of the death of an Israeli soldier in Hebron last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his intention to encourage the establishment of a new settlement in Hebron at a house owned by the Al-Rajabi family, with an area of 4,000 meters squared. While the movement said that, “The new settlement is facing legal hurdles that may postpone it for months or even years,” with Netanyahu’s support the settlement “is likely to take place in the coming days or weeks.” The movement is expecting a ruling from the Israeli High Court of Justice on the case regarding the settlers’ ownership of the large property in the heart of Hebron. It said, “It is almost certain that the court will rule that the settlers own the property.” Meanwhile, the movement insisted that the settlement could still be stopped: “Any ruling in favour of the settlers on the issue of ownership does not grant them any legal right to take control of, develop, or move into the sites.”
Caught on tape | | Recording reveals East Jerusalem park is about politics, not environment
Haaretz 30 Sept by Nir Hasson — WATCH:Parks Authority staff member was recorded as saying that the Mount Scopus Slopes Park, between the Palestinian neighborhoods of Isawiyah and A-Tur, is meant to prevent construction in the area rather then protect nature — …Although the park has not yet been officially established, over the past year the INPA has been carrying out a number of activities in the area, including razing agricultural structures and fences belonging to Palestinians and building roads. The controversial park is to extend between the Palestinian neighborhoods of Isawiyah and A-Tur, in areas slated for the expansion of those neighborhoods. According to the Palestinians and leftist activists, the only purpose of the new park is to stop plans to expand Palestinian communities and the park will leave them almost no room to build. The area planned for the national park is now used mainly as grazing land and activists say it contains no valuable natural or archaeological elements worthy of protection
Israeli environment minister orders to stop the ‘National Park’ works in Al-Tur and Esawyeh
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 3 Oct — The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said in its edition today that Minister Ameer Peretz issued his directions to the “Nature Parks Department” to stop the development of “National Park” scheme in the lands of Al-Tur and Esawyeh after showing the absence of any natural values or special archaeological remains in the area of Al-Tur and Esawyeh to transfer them to “National Parks”. Haaretz published in its edition last Monday a report indicating that an employee at the so-called “Nature and Parks Authority” said that the main objective behind the so-called “National Park” in East Jerusalem is to stop the construction in the area and it does not have anything to do with protecting nature.
Israeli scheme to expand settlement in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 3 Oct — The Israeli authorities have approved the construction of 32 additional housing units, in Beit Orot in occupied Jerusalem after the establishment of 28 housing units in Jabal al-Zaytun in Jerusalem. The lawyer Kais Nasser told al-Ayam newspaper that four buildings are planned to be established in Beit Orot settlement consisting of 32 housing units. The settlement expansion is funded by the American-Jewish millionaire Irving Moscowitz, who had previously held a conference with the participation of Minister of Housing during which they discussed the Israeli settlement construction in the Old City of Jerusalem.
New collapses in Al-Qirmi neighbourhood
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 3 Oct — The ceiling of the house of Fares Salaymeh which is located in Al–Qirmi neighbourhood in the Old City of Jerusalem collapsed on Thursday. Fares’ wife was surprised when part of the ceiling in one of the rooms collapsed; note that eleven people live in the house. Several collapses and cracks occurred in the houses in Al-Qirmi neighbourhood during last month due to the Israeli excavations underneath the neighbourhood, in addition to lack of renovation of the water pipelines by the Israeli “Gihon” company.
Excavations under Hosh Assaily in the Old City of Jerusalem
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 3 Oct — Jamal Assaily said that continuous excavation works are being done underneath his house which is located near Al-Silsileh gate which is one of Al-Aqsa Mosque gates. Assaily explained that the works began at 4 a.m. and are still going on, and it is obvious that the works are being done using heavy equipment noting that “Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization is carrying out those works as they are digging tunnels underneath the old city of Jerusalem. He pointed out that there were two collapses in Hosh Assaily last year and the year before because of the excavations and tunnels.
Israeli demolition notifications against 8 water wells
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 2 Oct — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) have issued demolition notifications against eight water wells funded by a European organization in Yatta town in the southern West Bank district of al-Khalil. Ratib Al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlement in Yatta, said that the Israeli Civil Administration issued notifications to demolish the wells built several months ago by War on Want under the pretext of being built without permit. Al-Jabour pointed that the wells are used by the Palestinian families for agricultural irrigation, noting that these areas are threatened to be confiscated and transferred to military zone.
Israel demolishes Jordan Valley village for fourth time
JENIN (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — Israeli bulldozers demolished the Jordan Valley village of Makhoul [or Khirbet al-Makhoul] for the fourth time overnight Wednesday, a local official said. Aref Daraghmeh, the mayor of al-Maleh and the Bedouin dwellings, told Ma‘an that Israeli military forces arrived in the area at 2 a.m. and seized two large tents and demolished several structures. Israeli forces issued demolition orders for tents re-built by local and international activists and demanded to know why construction had taken place in the village. Israel’s army destroyed the entire village of Makhoul on Sept. 16, forcibly displacing 10 families, including 16 children, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
Israel demolishes Palestinian home in the Negev
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 2 Oct — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a Palestinian home in the Negev, leaving 10 people homeless. Over 100 Israeli policemen arrived in the village of Wadi al-Niem accompanied by bulldozers and a helicopter, local committee head Lubad Abu Affash said. “It’s as if they came to the village just to fight the people in the village, and they left after surrounding the area and demolishing the house,” Abu Affash told Ma‘an. The home belonged to Foad Ismael al-Jarjawi, leaving him, his wife and their eight children homeless. “The owner has eight children who will come back from school to find they don’t have a home anymore, there is great resentment in the village. We did not refuse to negotiate with the Israeli authorities about the future of the village, but they treat us brutally,” Abu Affash added. Palestinian member of the Knesset Talab Abu Arar said that this is the beginning of the Prawer Plan, even though it wasn’t officially confirmed by the Israeli government.
Family ordered to cease work in Jerusalem cave
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Oct — Israeli forces on Tuesday raided a cave in which a family from Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem was living and handed them a notice to cease building. Khalid al-Zeer and his family live in a cave on his land which has been threatened to be confiscated since Aug. 20 when Israeli bulldozers demolished their home. “I live in a small cave with my five children and wife,” al-Zeer told Ma‘an. “It is no bigger than 20 meters, it has one room as a bedroom, kitchen, sitting room and dining room. Still, the occupation authority is still after me.” … “Two days ago stones started falling on us, and fearing for my children I brought construction material to repair it. Today the antiquities police came and gave an order to cease construction.”
Official: Israeli forces hang flags on Ibrahimi mosque
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Oct — Israeli forces on Wednesday placed Israeli flags on the walls of the Ibrahimi mosque and set up tents in the eastern courtyards, mosque officials told Ma‘an. Mosque custodian Hijazi Abu Isneineh said Israeli forces used the eastern enclave to celebrate the appointment of a new Israeli police commander, without providing further details.
48 young olive trees destroyed in South Hebron Hills
QAWAWIS, Occupied Palestine (ISM & Operation Dove) 4 Oct — Yesterday morning, 3rd October, Palestinians discovered 48 olive trees destroyed alongside bypass road 317 near the South Hebron Hills area village of Qawawis. The olive tree grove belongs to Ali Shetat from Qawawis and had been planted six years ago. At 10 am yesterday morning the owners, several internationals and B’tselem staff members gathered near the destroyed trees, waiting for the police. After 20 minutes the Israeli police and army arrived on the scene and documented the incident … The number of Palestinian-owned trees uprooted and damaged in the South Hebron Hills area from the beginning of 2013 now stands at 139
Settlers burn a grapevine in Hebron
IMEMC 4 Oct — Thursday [October 3, 2013] A number of fundamentalist Israeli settles burnt a Palestinian grapevine in the Al-Bweira area, near the Kharseena illegal settlement, in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Local sources have reported that the settlers burnt four dunams (0.98 acres) planted with grapes that belong to resident Mousa Abdul-Mon’em Jaber, and that the fire completely consumed them.
Settlers torch Palestinian vehicle near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Oct — Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian car in the Nablus village of Burin on Tuesday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that settlers from the notorious Yizhar settlement set fire to a car belonging to Abdul-Athim Shehadah at the entrance to Burin village. Shehadah has been the victim of 13 settler attacks since 2000, Daghlas added.
Settlers confront Palestinians picking olives in Salfit
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — Israeli settlers from attacked Sami Yousef Radad, 60, from al-Zawya in western Salfit while he was picking olives on his land Thursday, Radad said. He told Ma‘an that settlers attacked him and his wife while picking olives on his own land near Qanah settlement and verbally assaulted him before asking him to leave and stop picking olives. “After I refused to stop picking olives, settlers called the Israeli police and kicked me and my wife off my land at gunpoint,” he said, adding that the settlers insisted the land belonged to them.
Settlers detain Palestinian farmers near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 30 Sept – Israeli settlers on Monday surrounded and confined 10 Palestinian farmers in their fields south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian settlement watchman said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that a number of settlers stopped the farmers between the villages of ‘Aqraba and Yanun south of Nablus. Amongst the farmers, he said, was Ziad Abu Shanab who owns an olive press. He and nine other farmers were picking olive samples to try to start his olive press and prepare for the season, said Daghlas.
Palestinians celebrate the reclaiming of their land
BURQA, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 4 Oct by Nablus Team — On Thursday the 3rd of October, a large group numbering around a 100 people, consisting mainly of Palestinians from the village of Burqa and the surrounding areas, as well as a smaller contingent of international activists and the press, celebrated the Palestinians’ reclamation of their land by planting olive trees on the ground of the former illegal settlement Homesh, situated on a hilltop next to the village. Upon arriving at the site, there was an initial briefing encompassing both a short history of the area, statements made by the locals concerning their grievances over the many types of harassment that had originated from the settlement over the years, as well as their hopes for the future usage of the land. This was then followed by the planting of around 40 olive trees in the area, an act which everyone present was invited to share and assist with
Twilight Zone: Drafting the blueprint for Palestinian refugees’ right of return
Haaretz 4 Oct by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — A conference this week at the Eretz Israel Museum, of all places, showed that plans are being made for Palestinians to rebuild and move into villages abandoned in 1948 — For two days, participants in the international conference of the Zochrot organization, which took place this week at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, discussed how to promote the return of the Palestinian refugees, how to plan their villages that are to be rebuilt, and whether their houses will be similar to those that were destroyed. Was it a hallucination? There was probably no more appropriate venue than this: the Eretz Israel Museum, with vestiges of the lovely Palestinian stone houses belonging to the village of Sheikh Munis, standing among its exhibition pavilions; a place that describes itself on its official website as a “multidisciplinary museum dealing with the history and culture of the country.” … There was probably no less appropriate time: When the only issue on the agenda is the Iranian bomb; when the possibility of a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians seems more distant than ever; and when the term “right of return” is far more threatening to Israelis than the term ‘the Iranian bomb’
Restriction of movement
Palestinian passport ranks 5th worst for visa restrictions
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — Palestinian passports have been ranked fifth worst in the world in terms of visa restrictions to access other countries, a report published by a global consulting firm says … Afghanistan came at the bottom of the list, with citizens able to enter only 28 countries without a visa, the report said … Palestine came fifth from the bottom, with passport holders able to access 36 countries without a visa, ahead of Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Seven Arab or Islamic countries were ranked in the bottom 10 countries for freedom of international travel. Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zahr responded to the news on Twitter: “Today I heard the Palestinian passport is the 5th-worst to have in the entire world. I was shocked! We have passports?!?”
Children endangered due to delay in army escort
AT-TUWANI, HEBRON (WAFA) 2 Oct – The lives of 10 Palestinian children were put in danger on Tuesday when the Israeli army failed to dispatch a patrol to escort them from school to home, an international peace group said Wednesday. Operation Dove, a group of international volunteers operating in the South Hebron Hill since 2004, said the Israeli military left 10 Palestinian children from Tuba and Magayir Al-Abeed alone on their way back from school. Normally an army patrol accompanies the children on a road that passes between the settlement of Ma’on and the outpost of Havat Ma’on to prevent an attack against them by the hardcore settlers. However, the children had to wait for the army escort near Havat Ma’on for almost two hours to escort them on a short road that would take them only 20 minutes to walk through to reach their homes. When the escort failed to arrive in spite of calls by the volunteers and Israeli associations, the children decided to take a longer walk that would take them more than one hour to reach their homes to avoid contact with the settlers. The children were accompanied by some internationals.
Protesters cut through Israel’s wall near Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — Popular resistance activists drilled a hole in the wall which separates Jerusalem from nearby Abu Dis on Thursday, a spokesman for the activists said. Hani Halabiya said Arab and foreign activists cut three holes in the wall to affirm the right to reach Jerusalem, which Israel seized in 1967 and later declared its capital. He said Israeli forces arrived in the Tur area in Jerusalem and [used] stun grenades to disperse the protest. “The cities of Abu Dis and al-Eizariya are part of Jerusalem but the wall isolated them completely from the holy city and cut people off from each other,” Halabiya said.
PHOTOS: Palestinian activists dismantle Israeli roadblock
Activestills 3 Oct — The activists used a sledge hammer to break the lock on a steel gate blocking the road between Al Walaja and the bordering village of Beit Jala. The gate had been installed by the Israeli military in the past year to prevent movement between the two Palestinian villages at the location where the Israeli separation wall will eventually be built … Some participants even drove through the newly opened road, passing through Beit Jala land, including the Cremisan monastery, that will be even further divided by the separation wall if it is built as planned. Many of the activists who participated in this action were attending the Bil’in International Popular Resistance Conference, taking place this week.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces injure 9 in clashes in al-Ram
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Nine Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces opened fire on protests in al-Ram with live and rubber bullets on Friday. Dozens also suffered tear-gas inhalation in the clashes which occurred at the east entrance of al-Ram. Al-Ram is in an area of East Jerusalem near Ramallah that is completely encircled by the Israeli separation wall and Israeli settlements. Three Palestinians were injured with live bullets that hit their legs and stomachs, while six others were struck with rubber-coated steel bullets in different body parts, medics at the Palestinian Medical Complex said. Dozens of Palestinian passersby also suffered tear-gas inhalation.
Palestinian man and his 3-year-old niece assaulted by Israeli soldiers
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 3 Oct by Khalil Team — On Tuesday 2nd October local Khalil shop owner Abed Sider and his 3-year-old niece were hospitalised after being assaulted by several soldiers. On the day of his birthday at 6:30pm, Abed had his home invaded by five Israeli soldiers who had come to interrogate his three-year-old niece on allegations of stone throwing. The Israeli forces dragged Abed from his home into the street; this aggressive action caused injury to his arm which later necessitated hospital treatment. Additionally the Israeli soldiers injured Abed’s three-year-old niece who also required hospitalisation. The soldiers alleged that nearby illegal settlers from Beit Hadassah had made several complaints of stone throwing from the little girls’ bedroom window that overlooks the settlement playground. The window in question is sealed and caged to protect the Sider family from the constant attacks from the settlers. An Israeli commander later came to the Sider family home and was convinced by Abed’s brother, Shadi, to view footage of the incident that showed the soldier’s aggressive actions. After viewing the video, the commander stated that the soldiers had been acting “out of accordance” with Israeli army policy and that they will be reprimanded and moved to a new post out of Hebron
Several young men injured during clashes with IOF at Fawwar refugee camp
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 Oct — Scores of Palestinian young men sustained injuries during violent clashes on Wednesday evening with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the entrance to Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Al-Khalil city. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that more than 16 young men suffered injuries when the IOF fired a hail of tear gas grenades and rubber bullets at them after they rallied near the only gas station in the camp. Following the events, the IOF blockaded the camp, closed its entrance and prevented the Palestinian cars from leaving it. Al-Fawwar refugee camp is located near the bypass road which links Beersheba with Al-Khalil and is used by Jewish settlers and the IOF. There is also a permanent Israeli military post at the entrance to the camp.
Bil‘in residents inaugurate a flower garden with a difference
RAMALLAH (PIC) 3 Oct — Residents of Bil‘in town have created a large rose garden using Israeli tear gas shells for planting seedlings.The tear gas bombs were fired by Israeli soldiers along the past years during protests against the Apartheid Wall. The garden was made in the same place where the martyr Bassem Abu Rahma was killed after being shot by a tear gas canister at short range in 2010. Bassem’s mother told the PIC reporter that she has sued the occupation for killing her son however the case was closed, stressing that her son was martyred while defending Palestine and Jerusalem. The people of the town said that they decided to create this garden to send message to the world that the Palestinian people have hope despite the wounds.
Meanwhile, the popular resistance in Bil‘in has organized on Wednesday its annual conference for popular resistance attended by a large number of Palestinian factions’ leaders and representatives and foreign activists.
Volatile Hebron could derail talks
HEBRON (Al-Monitor) 2 Oct by Naela Khalil — Israeli authorities are still trying to solve the mystery of a soldier who was shot dead on Sept. 23. This requires them to carry out arrests and raids, raising the already high tension in the city of Hebron. Issa Amer, coordinator of the Youth Against Settlements group, summarized the situation in Hebron: “The city is living in a state of heated tension that could blow up at any minute.” … “Although the situation in Hebron is always tense, the death of the soldier has exacerbated it. Occupation forces arrested more than 1,500 citizens throughout the first three days following the killing. The majority of them were released while scores are still held up. The southern part of the Cave of the Patriarchs is completely sealed off,” Amer told Al-Monitor. Amer is even more concerned about the fact that “Occupation forces have shut down gates dedicated to [medical] patients, usually located near Israeli military checkpoints.”
Settlers harass residents, close street, near Jenin
IMEMC 3 Oct — A number of extremist Israeli settlers closed, late on Wednesday at night, the western entrance of Ya‘bod village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and harassed several residents. Soldiers invaded the village and broke into a store. Local sources said the settlers were dancing in the streets, chanting anti-Arab slogans, and were cursing at the residents, and conducting provocative acts. The settlers used generators to light out the streets, and to power up loud speakers, while Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area without attempting to stop them, the Safa News Agency has reported. Later on, the army invaded the village, not to remove the settlers, but to break into a local store that belong to resident Salah Abu Dyak. On Thursday morning, several Israeli military jeeps installed a roadblock at the eastern entrance of Ya’bod, and nearby villages, and blocked all Palestinian traffic.
Dozens of soldiers further invaded Sielet Ath-Thaher town, south of Jenin, broke into the home of resident Nasser Ibrahim Malloul, and handed his son Bilal, 27, a military warrant ordering him to the Salem military base for interrogation.
Two Golani soldiers accused of beating up tied Palestinian
Haaretz 30 Sept by Gili Cohen — Two soldiers were indicted last week in an Israel Defense Forces Northern Command military court for severely beating a Palestinian prisoner. According to the indictment, soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion arrested a Palestinian who entered Israel illegally from the Gaza Strip, and brought him to the Yiftah military base. While the Palestinian was held in solitary confinement, bound and blindfolded, three of the battalion’s soldiers entered the room and beat him severely. One of the soldiers filmed the event, without showing the faces of his two friends. At a certain point in the filmed clip, one soldier asks the photographer if they could be identified, and he answered that they could not. The soldiers are then seen beating and kicking the prisoner. According to the indictment one of the soldiers asked one of the defendants to stop the beating, but “he continued to strike the victim on the head three more times.”
The consequences of a culture of lies
972blog 1 Oct by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — The IDF used to take pride in reporting the truth. Nothing good has happened since it stopped — …[‘B’] is a resident of the small village of Qaryut … B. serves as the village’s social media coordinator: he is a photographer, and he maintains contacts with NGOs. In the beginning of September a nonviolent demonstration was held in the village to protest the blocking of the village’s southern exit … B. was the only detainee, and he was detained with the use violence. The soldiers kept beating him even after he was handcuffed. He was dragged into the jeep, where the soldiers carried on the torture by banging his head on the sides and floor of the vehicle. From time to time, they slapped him. As they brought him out the jeep, they bashed his head on its door. According to B.’s testimony, he was taken to a military outpost near Sinjil, nicknamed Ha’Karon (the railroad car). Then began the procedure known to every soldier who has served in the territories, though rarely mentioned: B. was seated, tied and blindfolded, and many of the soldiers passing by kicked or beat him. Later on, they began beating him with batons, until, according to him, he lost consciousness. Then they threw water on him and woke him up. At this point, the soldiers allowed B. to see a doctor. The female physician who was present asked him where it hurts and why he was covered in blood. B. said this was a result of the torture. Soldiers who were present burst out laughing; the doctor joined them … they took him to a nearby road, tossed him out of the vehicle, beat him again, and abandoned him – bound and blindfolded – on the road and drove off. B. managed to make it home safely. None of this is new. This happens on almost a daily basis in the West Bank. It is well known to anyone who served there, though the practice is to lie about it. Which is the point of this post.
VIDEO: Palestinian girl determined to stay in Silwan despite Israeli settler aggression
Electronic Intifada 3 Oct by Ali Abunimah — Tayma Fteiheh is thirteen and dreams of becoming a rapper. She’s the star of this terrific video short produced by Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DC-PSI). All the houses in Tayma’s Jerusalem neighborhood are threatened with demolition so Jewish settlers can seize the land. There has recently been a spike in Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian homes, a practice Human Rights Watch says “raises war crimes concerns.” Tayma gives us a tour and talks about what life is like in her area for children like her, threatened constantly with violence from occupation forces and settlers. There is also a great scene of Tayma and other children working on rap songs together with Tamer Nafar of DAM.
IOF arrests 15 citizens from West Bank at dawn Wednesday
WEST BANK (PIC) 2 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Wednesday fifteen citizens during raids on a number of cities in the occupied West Bank, and transferred them to interrogation centers. Eyewitnesses told PIC’s correspondent that the IOF arrested at dawn the former political detainee and liberated prisoner Noor Al-Atrash, from the city of al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank, after attacking him, and then took him to an unknown destination. Israeli forces also stormed a house in the old city of al-Khalil, while a group of settlers attacked a 5-year-old girl causing her bruises. The child was transferred to the hospital to receive treatment.
[Other places where citizens were kidnapped include Dhahiriya south of al-Khalil; Kheder, Beit Fajar, and Tekoa in Bethlehem; ‘Azzun in Qalqiliya; Ramallah; and Beta Fawka in the northern WB.]
Two, including a child, kidnapped in Bethlehem
IMEMC 3 Oct — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn [October 3, 2013] the Al-Khader town, and Husan village, in the Bethlehem district, and kidnapped a youth and a child. Palestinian sources said that dozens of soldiers invaded the Old Town in the Al-Khader, broke into a home and violently searched it before kidnapping one child, identified as Jihad Omar As-Seer, 14. Soldiers also invaded Husan village, west of Bethlehem, and kidnapped one resident identified as Khattab Mohammad Hamamra. The sources said that one soldier was slightly injured as the army invaded Bil‘in village, west of Ramallah, and four soldiers were injured in the Qalandia refugee camp, north of the city. A settler woman was also reportedly injured after a number of residents hurled stones at her car driving near Atarot area, north of Jerusalem. On Wednesday at night, undercover soldiers of the Israeli army kidnapped two Palestinians in Ein Al-Loza neighborhood, in Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR Weekly Report: 1 civilian killed, 23 wounded by Israeli troops this week [26 Sept-2 Oct]
IMEMC 4 Oct — the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian civilian was killed and another one was wounded and abducted by Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip. In addition, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded in Hebron, including one of the children who lost an eye. 17 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were wounded when Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank. Israeli attacks in the West Bank: This week, Israeli troops wounded 22 civilians, including 7 children and a journalist, in the West Bank. 17 of those civilians, including 5 children, were wounded in peaceful protests, while the other 5, including 2 children, were wounded during Israeli military incursions into Palestinian communities. 16 of those civilians were wounded during peaceful demonstrations on the 13th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada. The wounded [included] a cameraman of France Press Agency. Dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces conducted 45 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 23 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child, were abducted in the West Bank … Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded and abducted another one in the Gaza Strip. Full Report
Hundreds of Palestinian troops to restore order in West Bank former militant stronghold
JENIN, West Bank (AP) 4 Oct — Officials say hundreds of Palestinian [PA] troops have deployed in the West Bank’s Jenin district, reinforcing the security presence in the increasingly restive former militant stronghold. The troops, wearing helmets and riot gear, rode in a convoy of cars into the main Jenin security compound Wednesday. They assembled in formation in a parking lot. The town of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp were controlled by vigilante gunmen several years ago, but were then targeted in a law-and-order campaign by the Palestinian self-rule government. The level of unrest has risen in recent months, in part after Israelis raided the area to arrest suspected militants. Three Palestinians died in raids that turned violent in the past two months. After the last killing, stone-throwing camp residents attacked Palestinian government offices in the area.
PFLP: Security coordination with the occupation prevents a third Intifada
RAMALLAH (PIC) 3 Oct — Khalida Jarrar, a leading figure in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said that security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation represents one of the key factors that hinders the outbreak of a third popular uprising in the West Bank. Jarrar noted in a press statement that the security coordination with the occupation still continues “despite the Israeli continuing attacks against the Palestinians, their properties and holy sites.” She said that there are attempts to deprive the Palestinians from their right to express their rejection of the occupation policies against them, and pointed out that these attempts represent “the main cause that prevents the outbreak of confrontations with the occupation.”
Anti-normalization activists warn: Normalization is spreading in West Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 4 Oct — According to some reports, the activities of normalization with Israel have significantly escalated in different fields, under the auspices of leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah movement. The Palestinian National Committee for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) condemned in a statement on Thursday the participation of Palestinian officials in meetings and projects with the occupation. Anti-normalization activist, Ashraf Awad, told PIC’s correspondent: “in recent months, we have monitored a remarkable growth in the activities of normalization that included political meetings with the Israeli party leaders, and parliamentary meetings between parliamentarians from Fatah and their counterparts from the Knesset.” He added that the last of these meetings was held in Budapest mid-September with the participation of five Jewish parliamentarians, and Palestinian figures, including an MP. BDS in its report also condemned “the Third Conference on the Middle East for the enforcement of the law,” which was organized by the leadership of the Palestinian police for three days in Jericho with the participation of the Director of the Israeli police and a number of Israeli and American departmental directors and officers.
PA’s apparatuses arrest and summons 5 Hamas affiliates
WEST BANK (PIC) 2 Oct — Authority security apparatuses arrested two citizens and summoned three others in the West Bank, for their affiliation with Hamas, and raided a media office in al-Khalil. The Preventive Security Service (PSS) arrested in Tubas liberated prisoner and a former political detainee Murad Sawaftah, aged 35, after summoning him. In al-Khalil, the PSS arrested a teacher from the village of Emmerich, near Dura south of the city after attacking him. The General Intelligence Service in al-Khalil raided the office of Al-Quds TV to hand the journalist Akram Abu Eid a summons….
Gaza under blockade
Israeli forces shoot Palestinian farmer in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Oct — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian farmer in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces stationed east of Gaza City opened fire at a group of farmers in the area, injuring one person. Medics said the man was taken to hospital with moderate injuries. On Monday, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man they said had approached a border fence in the Gaza Strip. Huwayshel Hawajira, 36, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, an NGO based in Gaza, condemned an “excessive use of lethal force” by the Israeli army, adding artillery shells had also been heard hitting near where the two men were shot.
Army carries out limited invasion into Gaza
IMEMC 3 Oct — A number of armored Israeli military vehicles invaded, in Thursday morning, an area east of Khoza‘a town, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and in the Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza Strip, and uprooted Palestinian lands … Furthermore, several jeeps and four bulldozers invaded Juhr Ed-Deek and Wadi Gaza areas, and bulldozed Palestinian land.
Egypt plans Gaza intervention if Sinai crisis continues
EL ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — The Egyptian army has established a precautionary plan for military intervention in the Gaza Strip if attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula intensify, Egyptian security officials said Wednesday. Officials told Ma’an that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had entered the Gaza Strip’s airspace and examined a number of locations in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai. Egyptian aircraft could also target vehicles which travel across the border area delivering smuggled goods, sources added. More smuggling tunnels could also be destroyed, and sources highlighted that “all options are open.” According to Egyptian military sources, the ongoing attacks in Sinai are carried out by organizations based both in Sinai Peninsula and in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt destroyed 1055 Gaza tunnels since January 2011: army official
Ahram Online 4 Oct — Egypt’s border guard head Major General Ahmed Ibrahim announced on Friday that the armed forces have demolished 794 tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian border city of Rafah since the beginning of the year, amid an ongoing security crackdown on increased militant activity in the restive Sinai Peninsula. Ibrahim added that security forces have destroyed 1055 tunnels in total since January 2011, following the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime. He went on to add that the armed forces — with the help of military intelligence — have begun combing over 13 kilometres along the Rafah borders with “developed equipment” that can detect underground tunnels.
Egypt allows hundreds of Gaza pilgrims to embark on Hajj
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — Egyptian authorities on Thursday allowed around 783 Palestinian pilgrims from Gaza to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage … The Egyptian director of the Rafah terminal, Sami Mitwali, told Ma’an that Egyptian authorities planned to allow 841 pilgrims to pass on Friday. Egyptian authorities will also allow 517 Hajj pilgrims to travel on Saturday, the last day for Hajj pilgrims to embark on the journey to Saudi Arabia. Mitwali added that Egyptian authorities would allow trucks carrying Qatari construction materials to enter Gaza concurrently with the passage of Hajj pilgrims. The decision comes after Egyptian authorities on Wednesday forced over 100 Palestinian pilgrims to return to Gaza after having entered the country to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.
Egyptian authorities seize passports of Hajj administrative mission
GAZA (PIC) 2 Oct — The Egyptian Authorities have seized the passports of the Gaza Hajj administrative mission, director General of the Crossings Department Maher Abu Sabha said. Abu Sabha confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that seizing the passports came at the behest of the PA Minister of Awqaf in Ramallah Mahmoud Habash. The administrative mission includes 184 pilgrims, only 30 employees of them have managed to travel. Nearly 645 pilgrims left on Wednesday morning for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, Abu Sabha said, noting that 4 pilgrims were returned from the Egyptian gate.
Official: Rafah crossing to operate until Friday
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 1 Oct — Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing with Gaza until Friday to allow hajj pilgrims and humanitarian cases to cross, an Egyptian official said … On Sunday, stranded Palestinian travelers tried to storm through the gates of the crossing to protest delays at the terminal. The Gaza ministry of interior said around 5,000 people were stranded on the Palestinian side.
Gaza health ministry: One third of basic medicines no longer available
MEMO 2 Oct — Spokesperson of the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza Ashraf Al-Qedra has said that the health sector is facing a crisis as basic medicines are starting to run out. “The severe Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has been imposed for seven years, targets human medical services,” he said. “The closure of the Rafah Crossing has multiplied the deterioration of our situation.” Al-Qedra said that the Rafah Crossing is the minor, or what “could be called alternative”, passage because delegations that bring medicines and food usually pass through it. According to Al-Qedra, the closure of the Rafah Crossing has raised many problems, including gradual decreases in the ministry’s stockpile of medicines. He explained that previous shortages of medicines due to the blockade were compensated via the Rafah Crossing. According to the spokesperson, 154 kinds of basic medicines, from a list of 460, have now run out. These include medicines for serious illnesses such as chronic diseases, blood diseases, cancers, painkillers and antipyretics.
Waiting in Gaza, where nothing makes sense
Electronic Intifada 4 Oct by Yousef M. Ajamal — …I could have spared myself all of this turmoil if I were able to travel through Erez checkpoint in the north. But Israel has prevented the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza from entering for years now. And now Egypt is imposing similar measures on Palestinians in Gaza attempting to travel via Rafah, citing security measures. My plan was to attend a translation conference in Amman, Jordan earlier this month, then fly to my school in Malaysia. Along with two other friends from Gaza, I got my Jordanian permits, but not my Israeli one, which is required to travel via Erez and the Allenby crossing between the occupied West Bank and Jordan. “The reason you are traveling is not a humanitarian urgency,” the Israeli officer told the conference coordinators. The dream of seeing my mother’s family in the West Bank, impossible to visit for most Palestinians in Gaza, for the first time in 14 years vanished in the blink of an eye. I was not given a permit, and thus couldn’t have the privilege of seeing my relatives at the border even for five minutes — let alone the chance to visit my grandparents’ graves in Jericho’s cemetery
Hamas offers to hire Ma‘an staff after closing Gaza office
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Oct — A spokesman for the Hamas-run government in Gaza on Tuesday offered to hire Ma‘an staff members after Ma‘an Network announced it would stop operations in Gaza due to the closure of its office. Ehab al-Ghussein said the “non-independent, non-professional Ma‘an News Agency keeps on doing its immoral work which harms the life of the Palestinian people,” and offered to hire all of Ma‘an’s Gaza staff within the Hamas government’s temporary employment program … Ma‘an’s administration likened the proposal to the practice of sexual assault perpetrators being forced to marry their victim … Ma‘an Network announced Monday that it would stop working in the Gaza Strip as it seeks to recoup financial losses from the Hamas government’s July closure of its Gaza City office. In a statement, Ma‘an said that the Hamas government had seized control of its office and equipment in the weeks since the closure and it could therefore no longer justify paying expenses toward the operation.
Hamas prevents Fatah official from leaving Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Hamas security forces prevented a Fatah official from leaving the Gaza Strip to attend a meeting in Ramallah on Thursday. Amal Hamad, a member of Fatah’s central committee, said Hamas security forces prevented her from traveling despite having previously coordinated with Hamas through a Fatah official. Hamad said she considers this a blatant violation of her human rights, and against Palestinian ethics and values given the Palestinian people’s long history of struggling to achieve freedom and independence.
Gaza’s extreme poor face social stigma
GAZA CITY 3 Oct by Rasha Abou Jalal — In the neighborhood of al-Nasr to the west of Gaza, at the doorstep of a modest house with an asbestos roof, two young girls — Nasma, 12, and Abir, 7 — were seated with chunks of bread in their hands, silently watching a group of children play on an old swing … Abir suddenly broke her silence and stood up to head toward the swing. Nasma, however, grabbed her by the hand to keep her from going, saying sternly, “I’ll tell mom.” The two girls, who looked obviously poor, belong to a family that relies on food aid regularly provided by donors to the poor in Gaza. “My husband has been unemployed for seven years. We are relying on this aid, as they are our only source of food. Since we are living in a state of extreme poverty, we are shunned by our neighbors, who do not allow their children to play with mine,” their mother told Al-Monitor.
Gaza carries out emergency maneuvers amid war fears
GAZA (Press TV) 4 Oct by Ashraf Shannon — The ministry of health in Gaza along with the Palestinian civil defense carried out maneuvers to be prepared for any possible Israeli war. They evacuated hospitals and recreated an almost real-life emergency situation. Dozens of ambulances and fire trucks were seen rushing to the scene as onlookers watched crews doing rescue operations. During Israel’s two wars on Gaza in 2008 and 2012 at least 1600 Gazans were killed and thousands were injured mainly civilians including hundreds of children and women. Israeli forces also targeted medical staff and health institutions during the last two wars. Years of Israeli blockade and now Egyptian restrictions have devastated Gaza’s emergency equipment. Most fire trucks in Gaza are at least twenty to twenty five years in service without the needed spare parts to maintain them.
IOF set up new defenses, build trenches for tanks east of Gaza city
GAZA (PIC) 2 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) reinforced their fortifications and built new defenses along the eastern borderline of Johr Addik area to the east of Gaza city. A field ranger from the Palestinian resistance told Quds Press that the IOF started on Tuesday morning to dig wide passageways or trenches behind the security fence to the east of Johr Addik area for the movement of their military vehicles without being seen by the Palestinians. He added that Israeli military bulldozers made mounds of dirt in front of these trenches to protect the artillery from being spotted and targeted by the Palestinian resistance. He noted that the Israeli army also set up some surface-to-surface missile launchers along this border area.
Israel frees Hebron prisoner as health deteriorates
[with photos] HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces released Palestinian prisoner Hatem Yousef Ibrahim Amro, 51, from its prisons on Thursday evening. The Israeli authorities released him because his health had seriously deteriorated in recent days while imprisoned at the Negev prison in southern Israel. Upon his release, Amro was transferred to Soroka hospital and subsequently underwent an angioplasty operation. The doctors at Soroka say he urgently needs open-heart surgery. Amro was originally detained by Israeli forces in August, and he was kept under administrative detention since that time.
IOF extends house arrest of a Palestinian prisoner’s mother
JENIN (PIC) 4 Oct — The Israeli court extended on Thursday the house arrest of the elderly lady Fethiye Khanfar, from Jenin, till the 13th of November at a house in Rahat in 1948-occupied Palestine. Hajja Fethiye, 58, was detained for 18 days in Israeli jails after visiting her son who is serving a 15-year sentence. She was then released and placed under house arrest in Rahat in 1948-occupied Palestine. Yousef Khanfar, the prisoner’s husband, confirmed that the Israeli court refused to end the house arrest of his wife despite adding 25 thousands shekels to the previous fine.
IOF extends detention of Palestinian prisoner’s sister
TULKAREM (PIC) 1 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) refused on Monday to release a prisoner’s sister who was arrested on Sunday during a visit to her detained brother in the Negev jail. Local sources said that the occupation forces extended the detention of Tharwat Ghanem, aged 54, from Shweikeh district north of Tulkarm during her visit to her brother Ghanem who is held in the Negev prison. The IOF detained Ghanem for hours inside the Negev prison before informing her on Sunday evening that she will be held in custody “for security reasons”. A number of wives and mothers of prisoners have been recently arrested for various reasons, mainly under the pretext of trying to smuggle mobile phones for prisoners.
Palestinian refugees elsewhere
1597 Palestinian martyrs in Syria since the start of the revolution
DAMASCUS (PIC) 1 Oct — The Working Group for Palestinians in Syria said that 1597 Palestinians were killed in Syria since the outbreak of the revolution, most recently was the killing of eight Palestinians between 21 and 27 September. In its statement issued on Tuesday, the group said that three Palestinians died under torture in Syrian regime’s detention centers and another one was killed after being injured in shelling in Khan Sheikh refugee camp. Four other Palestinians were killed, including two from Draa refugee camp after it was bombed on Monday.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Land Defense Coalition releases Olive Harvest program
Stop the Wall 3 Oct — The Land Defense Coalition, a coordinating body of grassroots movements and organizations, announces the program of collective efforts to safeguard the annual olive harvest and are calling on volunteers to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities and join in the harvest on October 3 until October 20, 2013. The harvesting of the olives is becoming more difficult every year as farmers face an intensification of settler attacks, as well as the confiscation, isolation and destruction of their lands, and continued closure and permit restrictions. All of which have led to the strangulation of Palestinian communities across the West Bank. Local farmers have refused to be forced off their land, and continue the harvest each year in the face violence and repression from both soldiers and settlers. Your participation is not only critical to help physically bring in the harvest, but to also be a witness to what is happening on the ground.
Students for Justice in Palestine 2013 National Conference
Registration for the 3rd National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference is now open! This year’s conference will be held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California on the weekend of October 25-27th. The theme and title of this year’s conference is ‘From Margin to Center: Connecting Struggles, Forging a National Movement.’ Through awesome workshops and critical discussions, we will share our collective wisdom and hone our organizing skills for better BDS campaigns and greater political awareness within our organizations. We will also reflect on our progress in building the National SJP network and discuss how we can improve our connections to the broader movement for Palestinian liberation. We encourage SJPs across the country to register and attend.
Israel, PA negotiations set to resume
The Media Line 3 Oct — US Special envoy Martin Indyk arrived in Israel for the eighth meeting of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators since July. The talks resumed after a two-week break while the Israeli and Palestinian leaders were at the UN and the focus was on Iran’s nuclear program. Both sides have kept the details of the negotiations, which are being shepherded by US Secretary of State John Kerry, under wraps.
Police shut down Jerusalem’s Al Quds University office
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 1 Oct — Israeli police Tuesday shut down the office of al-Quds University in the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent Palestinian groups from holding a meeting opposed to negotiations, according to reports. They said the police informed the office that the center will be closed for the day and ordered people inside to leave it. Police kept presence in the area to make sure the meeting will not take place, said witnesses.
Palestinian women visit Tel Aviv to promote peace
Ynet 3 Oct by Leigh Cuen — Official peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have reportedly reached a dead end, while robust grassroots efforts continue to flourish. For example, the Parent’s Circle Family Forum (PCFF) is engaging people from both sides who lost a family member in the conflict. Women are at the helm of these peacemaking initiatives. Last Saturday around 1,500 people, including over 200 Palestinian men women and children, attended an all-day event in Tel Aviv, “Neighbors: Women Creating Reconciliation.” For many of the Palestinian attendees, this event marked their first journey past the green line. “After 14 attempts to get a permit to visit the beach, today, for the first time the Israelis let me visit the beach,” said 21-year-old Aseel Jafari from Bethlehem. “It was a lifelong dream of mine to see the sea.” In the past, Jafari was against her parent’s involvement in the PCFF. Meeting Israeli civilians, who were not as dangerous as she expected, has radically changed her mind. Her experience is reflective of many others … Israeli participant Merav Yaron-Barniv expressed that at first she was equally apprehensive about crossing the green line. “I was very scared to go to the West Bank,” said Yaron-Barniv. “But I trusted my partners from the PCFF. They welcomed me into their homes.” According to Yaron-Barniv, fear and government restrictions on movement are some of the greatest obstacles they face.
In an impoverished Israeli Arab town, women are learning the ABCs of leadership
Haaretz 4 Oct by Shany Littman — A leadership project in Jisr al-Zarqa aims to redress an appalling lack of literacy among local women, and to encourage their activism and involvement in local civic affairs — Every Wednesday afternoon, a group of women from the town of Jisr al-Zarqa, located on the Mediterranean coast near Caesarea, meet, and, with eyes gleaming, dare to dream together of a better future.
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