Video: The martyr Mohammed Assi
22 Oct by Haitham Khatib — He was killed on the land of Bil‘in after being wanted for a year. His body was confiscated by the Israeli army despite the villagers’ attempt to claim it.
Cameraman shot and injured by Israeli soldiers in Bil‘in
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 22 Oct – A cameraman working for the Ramallah-based Wattan TV was shot in the head by a rubber-coated metal bullet on Tuesday fired by Israeli soldiers while covering the events at Bil‘in, west of Ramallah. Wattan TV said its cameraman Amjad Shouman was hit in the head and injured while trying to film the clashes between Bil‘in residents and Israeli soldiers who earlier raided the village and killed Muhammad Asi, 28. Shouman said from his hospital bed in Ramallah that he and his colleague Aysar Barghouti were shot at when they were filming the clashes. He said he believes the soldiers opened fire at them intentionally because they were the only people in that area. Barghouti said he and Shouman told the soldiers that they were reporters but that the soldiers continued to fire tear gas and rubber bullets in their direction hitting Shouman in the head and smashing the back window of their car. Shouman was reported in stable condition in hospital with bleeding and swelling in the head
Israeli forces kill Palestinian during raid northwest of Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A young Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops in a cave between the villages of Bilin and Kafr Nima in northwest Ramallah on early Tuesday morning. Large numbers of Israeli military vehicles had raided an agricultural area in the early morning and subsequently clashed with Muhammad Assi, a 24-year-old Islamic Jihad activist, who had barricaded himself in a cave amidst fields. Assi was killed following a shoot-out with Israeli forces that lasted a few hours. During the raid, Israeli bulldozers razed olive orchards belonging to Palestinians in the area, according to eyewitnesses from Kafr Nima. The soldiers also set fire to a number of agricultural fields. . . .
An Israeli army statement released Tuesday morning said that the operation had “aimed to detain wanted terrorist Mohamed Aatzi,” and that he was “reportedly killed in an exchange of fire.”
The statement said that Assi was “one of the planners of the terror attack which took place last year on a bus in Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense,” alluding to a bus bombing that occurred during Israel’s bombardment on the Gaza Strip in Nov. 2012, which killed around 170 Palestinians.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Army tells Hebron area villagers their homes will be destroyed
HEBRON (WAFA) 22 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces Tuesday notified several villagers in Deir Samet, southwest of Hebron, of their intention to demolish their homes, according to security sources. They told WAFA that Israeli soldiers informed at least three families of its decision without giving any more details.
Meanwhile, according to the coordinator of the popular committees against the wall and settlement in south of Hebron, Rateb Jabour, Israeli forces raided Um al-Khair region, south of Hebron, and notified residents of its decision to destroy their bread ovens, known as taboun, because their smoke reaches the nearby illegal settlement of Karmael
Israeli court orders partial demolition of Jerusalem home
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 21 Oct – An Israeli court in Jerusalem has decided to demolish parts of the house of a Palestinian Jerusalem resident in al-Qarmi neighborhood of Jerusalem’s Old City under the guise that the third floor of the house was expanded without obtaining the needed license and without architectural plan. Ayid Castero told Ma‘an that the court ordered the demolition of the roof of three rooms, a balcony and a staircase on the third floor of his three-story house. The demolition must be completed before the end of 2013 and Castero must pay a fine of 90,000 NIS as reimbursement to five Jewish organizations. Castero, who lives with his wife and nine children in the house, confirmed that he had an architectural plan for his home.
Israeli authorities order to stop construction work on park near Bethlehem
BETHELHEM (WAFA) 21 Oct – Israeli authorities Monday ordered Wadi Fukin village council to stop the construction work on a new park in the village of Wadi Fukin, west of Bethlehem, according to security sources. They told WAFA that one of the village residents found a notice on the park land ordering them to stop the construction work on the park under the pretext of “being built without permit and on land that falls under full Israeli control”. To be noted, the village of Wadi Fukin has been targeted by settlers’ attacks, including the seizing of agricultural land, in addition to pumping waste water coming from settlement into the village land
Israel displaces 17 families for Jordan Valley military drill
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Israeli forces temporarily displaced 17 Palestinian families from their dwellings in Burj al-Mayta and al-Baziq neighborhoods in the northern Jordan Valley late Monday night and Tuesday morning for military drills in the area, a local official said. The mayor of al-Malih and the Bedouin dwellings in the northern Jordan Valley, Aref Daraghmeh, said that eight families were evacuated Monday night in al-Baziq and nine families were evacuated Tuesday morning in Burj al-Mayta. He explained that the residents and their livestock were left homeless for the period of the evacuation.
Israeli Knesset discusses bill to divide al-Aqsa Mosque
[with map] OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Oct — Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage stated that members of Likud party led by the Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin have proposed a bill to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque temporally and spatially between Muslims and Jews … Al-Aqsa Foundation has obtained a detailed copy of the proposal according to which Jews would be able to visit al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Talmudic rituals. The extremist organization Manhigut Yehudit, a wing of the ruling Likud party, is planning to submit the bill to the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Wednesday under the title of “Proposal to Manage the Temple Mount”.
J’lem cultural forum appeals to Jordan’s king to protect Aqsa Mosque
AMMAN (PIC) 21 Oct — Jordanian Islamic thinker and academic Ishaq Farhan appealed to Jordan’s king Abdullah Ibn Al-Hussein to urgently intervene and take action to ward off the dangers threatening the Aqsa Mosque. Farhan sent his appeal to Jordan’s king on Sunday in his capacity as head of the cultural forum of Jerusalem. He urged king Abdullah to delegate his government, especially the ministry of religious affairs, to provide political support and protection for the Awqaf employees in charge of the Aqsa Mosque’s management affairs. The head of the forum stressed the need for immediate Jordanian intervention curbing Israel’s plan to divide the Aqsa Mosque and protecting its Islamic identity.
New settlement units built near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 21 Oct — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) continued on Monday building new housing units in the northern areas of Tikwa settlement to the east of Bethlehem city. Eyewitnesses told the PIC that construction work was ongoing in more than 30 housing units north of the settlement, which is adjacent to the main road linking eastern Bethlehem to Al-Khalil. They pointed to acceleration in the construction work as dozens of trucks carrying cement and other construction materials are daily seen heading to the settlement. The witnesses said that the construction was going on in a block of houses that look like a new suburb being built in the settlement.
WATCH: Masked settler beats Palestinian with metal pipe
972mag 22 Oct by Michael Omer-Man — Masked settlers attacked Palestinian olive pickers and Israelis who joined them on Sunday near the village of Burin, I reported here. Now, a video of the incident has come to light, showing what appears to be a planned, vicious and quick attack. The masked settlers, who reportedly came from the direction of the settlement of Yitzhar run toward the olive pickers, working at the height of the olive harvest. They throw stones at the Palestinians and Israelis who are with them. Then, one of the attackers approaches with a metal pole and repeatedly strikes one of the olive harvesters. The video was shot from a distance by Munir Kadus, a field worker for Yesh Din … “What is surprising to us is that masked men succeeded in descending the not insignificant distance from Yitzhar to attack, when the IDF knew that the olive harvest was taking place there today, that the area is notorious for violence, and that farmers and our volunteers were attacked at the same place last week,” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president of Rabbis for Human Rights said.
Israeli forces detain Bedouin shepherds in Jordan Valley
JENIN (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — Israeli forces detained two young Bedouin shepherds in the northern Jordan Valley after they were chased by Israeli settlers while pasturing their herds on Monday. According to the mayor of the Al-Malih village, Israeli forces detained Jasir Qadri and Jilal Adel under the pretext that they were pasturing their herds near an Israeli settlement. The mayor of the village and the nearby Bedouin dwellings, Arif Daraghmah, said that Jewish settlers from the neighboring Israeli settlement of Maskiyyot chased the two as they were pasturing their sheep in the Ein al-Hilweh area of Bedouin dwellings. After they had been chased by the settlers, Israeli military vehicles arrived and detained the two Palestinian shepherds. Israeli forces then chased and confronted other shepherds who were pasturing their herds in the region near Maskiyyot settlement, threatening to open fire at the sheep and detain the other shepherds if any of them came close to the settlement’s borders.
Settlers uproot 53 olive trees in Qalqilya, attack farmer
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Israeli settlers on Tuesday uprooted 53 olive trees in Kafr Laqif village west of Qalqiliya, officials said. Ghassan Douglas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that a number of Israeli settlers from the Karni Shomron settlement uprooted around 53 olive trees belonging to Suleiman Jaber.
In a separate incident, Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement assaulted and beat a Palestinian man, Mohammad al-Zein, from Burin village south of Nablus. At the time of the attack, al-Zein was cultivating his land. He suffered from various wounds as a result of the assault.
Settlers uproot olive saplings, grapevines near Bethlehem
IMEMC 23 Oct — A number of Israeli settlers invaded Palestinian lands that belongs to a resident of the Al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, uprooted dozens of olive saplings and grapevines, and demolished a wall. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall in Al-Khader, stated that the settlers uprooted and stole more than 80 olive saplings, planted nearly two year ago in Batn Al-Ma’sy area, south of the town. He added that the attacked lands belong to resident Ala’ Omar Issa, and that the settlers also uprooted newly planted grapevines, and demolished a wall surrounding the lands.
Police failing to protect Palestinian olive trees, NGO charges
Times of Israel 21 Oct by Elhanan Miller — Israeli police are “miserably failing” to protect Palestinian olive groves in the West Bank from vandalism, producing just a handful of indictments in over 200 documented cases of tree destruction over the past eight years, an Israeli NGO charged on Monday. According to Yesh Din, a human rights watchdog active in the West Bank, out of 211 complaints filed with the Judea and Samaria District police for cases of alleged olive tree vandalism documented by the organization between 2005 and 2013, only four investigations ended in indictment. That, claimed Yesh Din, was a “failure rate” of 97.4 percent, given that the vast majority of cases were closed either due to police’s inability to locate the perpetrators or for “lack of evidence.” … In a press release issued Monday, Yesh Din claimed that the destruction of olive trees was particularly harmful to the Palestinian economy, as it directly affects the livelihood of some 100,000 citizens of the West Bank.
Settlers flood farmlands with sewage water
IMEMC [Tuesday October 22, 2013] A number of extremist Israeli settlers used sewage water to flood Palestinian farmlands in the Al-Khader town, south of the West bank city of Bethlehem. Head of the Al-Khader Local Council, Tawfiq Salah, stated that settlers of the Efrat settlement, built on lands that belongs to the Al-Khader residents, drowned the lands with sewage water, flooding grapevines and other agricultural lands. Salah said that the lands are located in Al-Abyar and the Al-Bassa areas, close to the settlement. He further stated that this attack is not the first of its kind
Extremist Israeli settlers hurl stones at Palestinian cars in Bethlehem
IMEMC — [Tuesday Evening October 22, 2013] A number of extremist Israeli settlers gathered at the eastern entrance of Bethlehem city, near Hilwa Tomb bridge area, and threw stones at a number of Palestinian vehicles. The Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported that the young extremist settlers caused excessive damage to a number of cars driving into Bethlehem, and cars heading to Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. The attack caused traffic jam on the road especially since this road is one of the most active roads in the area, as it is the only road the Palestinians can use when driving from the southern part of the West Bank, to areas in central and northern parts.
Violence / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces kill Palestinian during raid northwest of Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — A young Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops in a cave between the villages of Bil‘in and Kafr Nima in northwest Ramallah on early Tuesday morning. Large numbers of Israeli military vehicles had raided an agricultural area in the early morning and subsequently clashed with Muhammad Assi [or ‘Asy – محمد عاصي], a 24-year-old Islamic Jihad activist, who had barricaded himself in a cave amidst fields. Assi was killed following a shoot-out with Israeli forces that lasted a few hours. During the raid, Israeli bulldozers razed olive orchards belonging to Palestinians in the area, according to eyewitnesses from Kafr Nima. The soldiers also set fire to a number of agricultural fields…
Locals in Kafr Nima confirmed that Israeli forces stormed the village and ransacked several homes before they detained three Palestinian men … Young men from the village clashed with the invading Israeli forces
An Israeli army statement released Tuesday morning said that the operation had “aimed to detain wanted terrorist Mohamed Aatzi,” and that he was “reportedly killed in an exchange of fire.” The statement said that Assi was “one of the planners of the terror attack [which injured 28 civilians] that took place last year on a bus in Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense,” alluding to a bus bombing that occurred during Israel’s bombardment on the Gaza Strip in Nov. 2012, which killed around 170 Palestinians. [Both Arutz Sheva and Hamas are now claiming that he was Hamas, but the headband in his martyr photo is that of Islamic Jihad.]
Child hospitalized after soldiers violently assault him in Hebron
A number of Israeli soldiers attacked on Tuesday [October 22, 2013] a Palestinian child at one of the military roadblocks in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank. The child lost consciousness and was moved to a local hospital. Medical sources said that Red Crescent medics provided the child, Hamdan Mohammad Sha’abna, 15, with the urgently needed first aid, and moved him to the Hebron Governmental Hospital in the city. The child suffered concussion due to being repeatedly hit and punched in the head, and suffered internal bleeding as the soldiers also kicked him in his abdomen, in addition to kicking and punching him in the arms and legs, the Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported. His mother said that as she and her child were trying to cross a military roadblock in Bab Az-Zaweya area, two Israeli soldiers stopped them and asked the child to show them his ID card. The child said he does not have one, as ID cards are issued at age 16. The soldiers then forced the child against a wall before a soldier kicked him in the legs and continued to punch him and hit him with his rifle on his abdomen, followed by several blows to the head; the child fell unconscious, barely breathing.
Video shows aftermath of Israeli soldier assault on Palestinian child
Mondoweiss 22 Oct by Annie Robbins — Not the same child as in the preceding article – this child’s name is Fawzi Fayez Al-Zarou فوزي فايز الزرو
Al-Quds University shuts down campus following Israeli raid
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 22 Oct – Al-Quds University closed its main Abu Dis campus, east of Jerusalem, on Tuesday following an Israeli army raid on the area and clashes with residents since the night before, according to university sources. They said the university decided to close the campus for one day to prevent any harm from reaching the students after the Israeli army has raided the area and fired tear gas inside the campus. he army has demolished a building in Abu Dis on claims it was built without a permit and informed another resident of the demolition of his six-apartment building in the same area
Medics: 8 workers injured after chase with Israeli military
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — Eight Palestinian workers were injured on Monday after a bus they were traveling in collided with an Israeli military vehicle south of Hebron, a medical official said. Red Crescent official Nasser Qabaja told Ma‘an that Palestinian ambulances transferred eight workers to hospital following the incident. Witnesses said that the accident occurred after an Israeli military patrol chased the bus carrying laborers, leading to a collision …
Meanwhile, two Palestinian workers from Dura were injured late Sunday after being chased by Israeli forces while on their way to work in Jerusalem, locals said. Wajde Nabil Amro, 22, and Radwan Yousef Amro, 20, were transferred to Hadassa hospital in Jerusalem after falling into a hole and are currently under Israeli custody.
Suffocation cases during an Israeli raid near Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 21 Oct – Several Palestinians Monday suffered tear gas suffocation fired at them by Israeli soldiers during an Israeli raid to the town of Burqin, west of Jenin, according to local and security sources. They said that a large Israeli force raided the town while firing steel rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters towards the residents, causing several suffocation cases among them. Forces also raided several shops in the area, leading to confrontations. No injuries were reported
Elderly Palestinian hit by settler car dies from injuries
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — An elderly Palestinian man knocked down by a settler car in Qalqiliya last week died on Tuesday from his injuries, relatives said. Abdul-Hafith Muhammad Tayyim, 75, was hit by a settler vehicle on the first day of Eid al-Adha on Oct. 15. He was taken to Rabin Medical Center in Israel for treatment but passed away on Tuesday, relatives told Ma’an. His body was transferred to Nazzal hospital in Qalqiliya. Family member Nabil Tayyim said that the settler responsible for hitting Tayyim turned himself in at the nearby settlement of Qedumim.
An error and a mishap: A day in the life of Palestinian villagers
Haaretz 21 Oct by Amira Hass — On a slaughterer kept from doing his job, sheep who refuse to be silent and power-hungry clerks — The mishap occurred last Tuesday, the first day of the Muslim festival of Id al-Adha (the feast of the sacrifice, in which Muslims commemorate the near-sacrifice of Isma’il by Abraham). A resident of the village of Nabi Samwil called me on the morning of the holiday. He told me that the branch of the District Coordination Office at the Qalandiyah checkpoint (which reports to the Civil Administration, which reports to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which reports to the defense minister) refused to coordinate the entry of a slaughterer who could carry out the proper ritual slaughter of animals for the feast in the village and community of Al-Khalaila … I sent an urgent query to the spokesperson Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. The answer I received about two hours later was that “it was a technical error in the computer networks. As a result, entry into the area could not be coordinated. The error was fixed, and now entry into the area is permitted with advance coordination.” My acquaintance in Nabi Samwil called the DCO office again, but there was no answer. I wrote once again to the Coordinator spokesperson that the DCO branch in Qalandiyah was not answering its telephone, but I received no response. The slaughterer was kept out, and the festival celebration was ruined
Palestinian tries to stab a settler near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 21 Oct — A Palestinian resistance element tried Sunday evening to stab an Israeli settler northwest of Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank, Israeli media sources claimed. The Israeli second channel claimed that a Palestinian tried to stab a settler in a bus near Beitar checkpoint northwest of Bethlehem, noting that no injuries were reported. Israeli military forces have attended the area, immediately, searching for the Palestinian who managed to flee the scene despite the intensive security restrictions, the sources added.
Clashes in Silwan after Israeli guard stabbed
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 21 Oct – Clashes broke out Monday evening in the East Jerusalem area of Silwan between young Palestinian men and Israeli forces after an Israeli security guard was stabbed in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood. Director of Silwan’s Wadi Hilweh Information Center Jawad Siyam told Ma‘an that Israeli forces and intelligence officers stormed several neighborhoods in Silwan after a security guard stationed at the entrance to the illegal “House of Honey” settlement outpost was stabbed. Young Palestinians confronted the Israeli forces and fierce clashes erupted. According to Siyam, Israeli forces fired stun grenades “haphazardly” at homes and stores in the town. A ten-year-old boy, Luay Hammuda Siyam, was hurt by shrapnel from a stun grenade while he sat in a store run by his father in Beer Ayyoub neighborhood. Eyewitnesses said Israeli forces briefly detained seven young Palestinian men and beat them before they were freed. Israeli forces detained 28-year-old Muhammad Hani Siyam.
IOF kidnap nine Palestinians in W. Bank raids
WEST BANK (PIC) 21 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Monday nine Palestinian citizens during raids on homes in different areas of the West Bank. Local sources reported that the IOF stormed Ras Al-Ein neighborhood in Nablus city and kidnapped a young man named Aboud Sobh from his home, adding that the IOF took Sobh to Hawara military post south of Nablus. Sobh is the brother of two prisoners in Israeli jails.
The IOF also raided homes in the eastern area of Nablus and the environs of Balata refugee camp and fired some stun grenades in alleys and streets before encircling and storming an apartment building on Osaira street.
The IOF also kidnapped two other young men identified as Jaser Kadri and Hilal Adel after they were chased by Jewish settlers from Maskiot settlement near Ein Al-Hilweh district to the north of the Jordan Valley.
In Al-Khalil, five young men were taken prisoner during violent raids in Bani Na‘im town, east of the city.
Another man was also kidnapped by the IOF in Beit Awwa town, west of Al-Khalil.
Israeli forces raid villages across Jenin, detain 2
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Israeli forces raided houses in the northern West Bank village of Sansour and detained two Palestinian men Tuesday morning, security sources said … The raids and detentions were part of a wider campaign of raids on Palestinian residential areas across various regions of Jenin district that took place on Tuesday … In Burqin, locals said Israeli forces raided the town and began firing tear-gas canisters, leading to clashes with Palestinian villagers. In Jaba‘, in the southern region of Jenin district, seven military vehicles raided the town and ransacked houses
Al-Qassam Brigades: We built the tunnel discovered lately by the IOF
GAZA (PIC) 21 Oct — Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said it had built the tunnel which the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) discovered lately to southeast of the Gaza Strip, pledging to continue its efforts to liberate the Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails [that is, kidnap Israeli soldiers to exchange for Palestinian prisoners]. Spokesman for the Brigades Abu Obeida told Sawt Al-Aqsa radio station over the phone on Sunday that Al-Qassam Brigades takes the credit for building the tunnel. “Al-Qassam Brigades is diligently working on and below the ground and carving rocks in order to liberate prisoners,” the spokesman stressed.
Palestinians breach section of Annexation Wall in East Jerusalem
IMEMC — Tuesday evening October 22, 2013] A number of Palestinian youths managed to dig a hole in a section of the Israeli Annexation Wall isolating the Al-Ezariyya town, east of occupied East Jerusalem. Media sources in Al-Ezariyya have reported that the Palestinians managed to breach four meters of the illegal Wall, and crossed into occupied Jerusalem. The sources added that the act came in retaliation to the ongoing illegitimate Israeli policies of demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem, and its surrounding towns. On Monday night after midnight, Israeli soldiers invaded Abu Dis nearby town, and demolished a home that belongs to resident Ashraf Abu Sneina, near the Al-Quds University.
Gaza under blockade
Mizan: The IOF kidnapped 14 Gazan passengers at Beit Hanoun crossing
GAZA (PIC) 22 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have kidnapped 14 Palestinian passengers, including patients and their escorts, at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2013, Al-Mizan center for human rights said. The center stated that the last detention incident happened last Tuesday when Israeli soldiers at the crossing kidnapped a 40-year old man named Noman Rayhan as he was taking his sick mother to a charity hospital in occupied Jerusalem for medical treatment after he got approval for his travel along with his mother … The center accused the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) of exploiting the need of some patients from Gaza for travel to get medical treatment in hospital in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to entrap them and their escorting relatives, and detain or blackmail them. The Israeli-controlled crossing of Beit Hanoun is considered the only outlet for Gaza patients who do not find treatment for their medical conditions in Gaza hospitals, especially after Egypt’s closure of the Rafah border crossing and its tight restrictions on travel of Palestinian passengers
Army invades central Gaza
IMEMC — [Monday October 21, 2013] A number of Israeli military vehicles invaded Palestinian farmlands east of Deir Al-Balah, in central Gaza, and fired rounds of live ammunition. Eyewitnesses said that seven armored vehicles, including three bulldozers, invaded the farmlands, while the soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition targeting farmlands and homes in the area. The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the soldiers bulldozed and uprooted agricultural lands before withdrawing from the area. WAFA added that the vehicles came from a military base across the border fence.
IOF raids in southern, northern Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 22 Oct — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched three incursions into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning in a fresh escalation of attacks on citizens and their property. Local sources told the PIC reporter that an IOF armored unit advanced 150 meters to the east of Qarara town to the northeast of Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, and bulldozed land amidst random shooting. They said that a similar unit was seen advancing 300 meters toward Juhr Al-Deek, southeast of Gaza city, and started similar bulldozing. The sources said that a third incursion was reported in northern Gaza Strip to east of Beit Hanun town, adding that the IOF shooting started fires in a number of plantations in the area.
Rafah open for humanitarian cases, Hajj pilgrims
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — The Rafah crossing will operate restricted hours on Monday to allow humanitarian cases and Hajj pilgrims to cross into Gaza, Palestinian officials said. Around 306 travelers used the crossing on Sunday and over 400 Hajj pilgrims are expected to cross into Gaza on Monday, officials said. The remaining Hajj pilgrims will return on Wednesday.
Israel allows 270 trucks into Gaza via Karam Abu Salem
GAZA (The Peninsula) 22 Oct — Israeli occupation authorities decided today to open the Karam Abu Salem crossing for the entry of aids and goods into the Gaza Strip. Head of the Coordination Committee for entry of goods in the Gaza Strip Raed Fattouh said that the occupation authorities will allow the entry of 270 truckloads with aids and goods for the commercial and agricultural sectors. Fattouh added that limited quantities of transportation fuel and cooking gas will be pumped into the Gaza Strip.
AP Photos: Gaza’s poorest struggle to survive
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip 22 Oct by Adel Hana — Salih Alwadiya is among Gaza Strip’s poorest. The 61-year-old’s home consists of a kitchen, several small rooms and a space devoted to cages full of pigeons and a goose. Many of his 20 children, from three wives, live with him near a sewage plant. In all, more than 50 people live in the small compound. Their only form of transportation is a donkey cart, as his motorcycle is broken. With the house’s roof made of scrap metal, his only escape from the stifling heat is to lie down in the dark room with the pigeons.
A portrait of steadfastness in the Gaza Strip’s deadly ‘buffer zone’
GAZA (ISM) 21 Oct by Charlie Andreasson — …By Palestinian standards, Abu Jamal Abu Taima is a large-scale farmer with his 50 dunams. But he also has many mouths to feed: three generations with 71 people. “It was crowded during Eid,” he says with a smile that shows more pride than concern with making room for everyone. But as we begin to discuss the conditions of this great crowd, the smile vanishes. The years between 1995 and 2001 were something of a golden age. He grew a variety of products, and had greenhouses and a substantial income from what he could export. Then the worries began. His land is adjacent to the Israeli separation barrier, and as Israeli forces expanded the “buffer zone,” it swallowed more and more of his land beside it. Within this zone, there are no longer any olive or other fruit trees. In 2003 Israeli bulldozers devastated his greenhouse and former home. All he can grow there now is wheat, because it does not need to be tended as regularly as other crops. And it is only wheat that he hopes to sow when the rains start in November. The occupying power does not allow irrigation. They destroy any irrigation pipes in the area. There is also the danger of death if farmers go onto their fields to manage crops.
Detainees / Deportees
109 persons of prisoners’ families visit their relatives in Nafha prison
GAZA (PIC) 21 Oct — Nearly 109 persons of prisoners’ families, including 32 children under the age of ten visited their relatives in Nafha prison on Monday. The Information Officer at the International Committee of the Red Cross Nasser Al-Najjar told PIC’s correspondent that 109 relatives of 49 prisoners have crossed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to visit their sons in Nafha prison. The occupation authorities have allowed family visits for Gazan prisoners after 6 years of ban following the agreement signed between the Israeli Prison Service and the Captive Movement that ended the Dignity Strike in May.
Palestinian youth jailed by Israel for Facebook statuses released
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — Razi al-Nabulsi, 23, a Palestinian political activist who lives in Haifa, was released Wednesday after a week-long detention as a result of Facebook posts Israeli authorities argued constituted “incitement.” Following his detention, Israeli authorities kept al-Nabulsi, an Israeli citizen, under house arrest for five days and forbade him from using either his cell phone or computer during that time. Israeli authorities also refused to disclose which Facebook posts had led to the charges. Because the case is considered a “security” case, al-Nabulsi’s lawyers was forced to defend the detainee from charges for which the evidence was kept secret … [Adalah lawyer] Mahameed explained that the charges stem from “a number of comments on al-Nabulsi’s Facebook page concerning issues like normalization (with the State of Israel), as well as the Prawer Plan,” a proposed Israeli plan that if carried out with displace 40,000 Bedouins from the southern Negev. The comments on Facebook were originally written in Arabic, but the court translated the texts into Hebrew for the court’s review. Mahameed argued that the translations were most likely not exact or were biased in order to make the statements seem more inflammatory than they were.
Israel frees Jerusalem teen; raids Silwan house
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — An Israeli court released Palestinian teenager Mahmud Issam Dana, 16, from custody on Monday, putting him under house arrest for 10 days on bail of 1,000 shekels ($282). Mahmud’s father told Ma‘an that Israeli intelligence officers accompanied by Israeli forces detained his son on Saturday. At the time of the detention, Mahmud was at a fast food restaurant in Silwan. Israeli intelligence officers claimed that he had thrown stones at a settler’s car and damaged the windshield.
Mahmud’s father also said that Israeli forces had brutalized his son while taking him into custody and interrogating him for several hours at Salah al-Din Police station until 2.30 a.m. Sunday morning. While under house arrest, Mahmud is allowed to attend school but must be accompanied by a guardian. At the end of the ongoing legal procedures, another court date will be held. Israeli police are still holding Mahmud’s father’s identity card for the third day in a row, he said.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces on Monday morning raided the Jerusalem house of Hamza al-Abbasi, 24. Hamza al-Abbasi has been detained at al-Maskubiya detention center since Oct. 7. During the raid, Israeli forces confiscated two computers and cameras.
VIDEO: Church of Nativity deportees call on Abbas to end their exile
GAZA (PressTV) 23 Oct by Halla Alsafadi — Eleven years have passed since the end of Israeli siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The 39-day siege was ended after a deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel to deport 39 Palestinians. Twenty-six Palestinians were deported to Gaza Strip and thirteen others were deported to European countries. Today, the deportees in Gaza have reiterated their call for return. They also call for an investigation into the deportation deal … The deportees have also resorted to the international community, including the United Nations and the Red Cross for years, but to no avail. This as the forcible removable of people from their homes violate the 4th Geneva Convention and the universal declaration of Human rights.
Palestinian refugees elsewhere
Malta sinking highlights Palestinian resentment toward leadership
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 22 Oct by Hazem Balousha — The sinking of a boat carrying Palestinian refugees from Syria off the Malta coast on Oct. 11 resulted in the death of dozens. It also sparked angry reactions from Palestinians who considered the incident yet another chapter in the continuing suffering that Palestinians endure in and outside the occupied territories. They directed their ire toward the Palestinian leadership for its failure to take action and assist those fleeing from Syria, or assuage the misery they face in Arab countries as refugees — a situation that has these refugees attempt maritime crossings toward Europe and risk their lives to flee the harsh conditions that they endure in host countries. Interviews conducted by Al-Monitor with a number of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and abroad have revealed the extent of frustration with the Palestinian leaders’ inability — regardless of political affiliation — to protect, defend and provide them with a dignified life.
5 Palestinian refugees from Syria killed recently are identified
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — A Palestinian group in Syria on Monday identified five Palestinian refugees who have been killed recently in the ongoing unrest in Syria. The Workforce for Palestinians in Syria said Amjad Ammouri, a refugee from the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, had succumbed to wounds he sustained from a shell which landed near a bakery in the camp. The group added that four Palestinian refugees from the Killish family had died in the shipwreck off the Malta coast on October 11. The victims were identified in a statement as Husam Addin Killish, 40, as well as Wisam Killish, 39, his daughter Leen, 7, and his son Muhammad, 3.
Al-Risheq calls on Palestinian leaders to bear responsibility toward Yarmouk RC
BEIRUT (PIC) 22 Oct — Hamas political bureau member Ezzat al-Risheq called on the PLO and PA and all Palestinian officials and factions to bear their moral and national responsibilities towards Yarmouk Refugee camp, warning of a humanitarian disaster in the camp. The Yarmouk Refugee Camp is still subjected to an unjust siege since more than 100 days as part of a systematic starvation policy, where 1500 houses were demolished in the camp, he said, pointing out to the food and fuel shortages and the electric power, communication and water cutout.
Solidarity / BDS
Toronto transit rejects ‘inaccurate’ anti-Israel ads
JTA 21 Oct — Pro-Palestinian posters similar to ‘disappearing Palestine’ campaign that ran in Vancouver deemed ‘misleading’ by the TTC … The Vancouver ad showed four maps, spanning from 1946 to 2012, that suggested Israel was taking over Palestinian land…. “Our legal opinion,” Ross [a spokesman for the transit commission] said, “is that there has never been a finding by any international court or tribunal with respect to the illegality of loss of land, and by making that statement, it potentially could cause discrimination or advocate hate towards a specified group, in this case Israelis and/or the Jewish people.
“End the occupation!” PAJU Vigil #662, Oct 18, 2013: Boycott Naot Shoes
Naot Shoes has a factory outlet store located in the illegal Gush Etzion colony (i.e. “settlement”) block located on occupied Palestinian territory between Jerusalem and Hebron in the West Bank. The Gush Etzion block is a group of 22 colonies with about 70,000 Jewish Israeli colonists. The Naot Shoes factory outlet store plays a role in strengthening and legitimizing the Gush Etzion colony. The Naot Shoes Outlet provides employment for the colony’s residents, and attracts both international tourists and Israeli customers to the Gush Etzion complex. The Naot Shoes Outlet thereby not only serves to legitimatize the colony and sustain its economic growth, but also enables the colony to absorb new colonists. Almost 66 percent of Naot Shoes is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which also owns nearly 18 percent of AHAVA Dead Sea products, currently being boycotted as well.
Political, other news
30 more Palestinian prisoners to be released, sources say
Times of Israel 21 Oct by Lazar Berman & Avi Issacharoff — Israel is expected to release a second group of 30 Palestinian prisoners on October 29 as part of ongoing peace efforts, Palestinian and Israeli sources told The Times of Israel Monday. The batch will include more members of the group of 104 pre-Oslo Peace Accords inmates Israel has pledged to release, contingent on progress in the talks. Twenty-six prisoners were released in the first wave on August 13, just after talks started. The most dangerous prisoners would be banished to the Gaza Strip, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The government still has not approved the release, the paper said. The Prime Minister’s Office declined to confirm the reports, but said a public notice would be sent out before any prisoner release and it would not be done in the dead of night. Israel agreed in July to a four-stage release of 104 prisoners
Direct talks ongoing behind closed doors
IMEMC 23 Oct — Israeli media sources have reported that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held over the last four days three direct negotiations sessions, behind closed doors, and without making statements to the media. [Ma‘an: the talks had focused on water rights.] The sources quoted U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, stating Monday that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held so far 13 sessions of extensive direct talks in an attempt to accelerate the political process to reach a solution in the near future. Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, and his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, are also planning to meet for an additional round of talks this week.
NGOs call on PA to withdraw from World Bank project
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Oct — A coalition of Palestinian NGOs on Monday called on the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw from a World Bank-sponsored project with Jordan and Israel, a statement said. Palestinian civil society organizations demanded that the PA halt cooperation with the Red Sea – Dead Sea Conveyance Project, claiming that the initiative forces the “Palestinian population to consent to their own dispossession and to compromise on their own rights.” The RSDSCP was signed in 2005 and designed to save the Dead Sea from environmental degradation, to desalinate water and to provide affordable electricity for Jordan, Israel and the PA.
Anti-Corruption Authority seeks information on alleged squander of aid money
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 22 Oct – The Anti-Corruption Authority Tuesday asked the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) to inform it of any investigation it was conducting following a report in the Sunday Times which alleged that the Palestinian Authority has squandered European Union aid money. The British Sunday Times claimed two weeks ago that the EU was concerned that the Palestinian Authority has lost 2.5 billion euros in aid between 2008 and 2012. The EU, which according to the newspaper has sent a delegation to the West Bank to investigate this matter, claims it does not know where the money went.
Public Employees Union suspends general strike
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 22 Oct – The Union of Public Employees suspended Tuesday an open general strike that was supposed to start on Wednesday, according to a statement. It said the union suspended the strike until its board members meet with President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the situation of the public employees with him. The union decided on the strike two weeks ago following government failure to pay them cost of living increments and other benefits they have been demanding for years. The government says it does not have the money to pay what the union demands
Jerusalem elections: the ballot and the boycott
Guardian Editorial 21 Oct — The vast majority of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are expected to boycott Tuesday’s municipal elections. The polling booths of east Jerusalem will be empty. To cast a vote is to acknowledge the legitimacy of the occupation, or so it is argued. “Participating in the process merely gives [the Israelis] political cover,” insists Hanan Ashrawi, from the PLO’s executive committee. “They want to create a reality where the Palestinians participate in the occupation of their own country.” This argument has been the dominant one since Israel annexed the eastern part of the city in 1967. Which is why, in the last municipal elections, in 2008, only 2% of Palestinians voted.But this year, for the first time ever, there is a Palestinian candidate. Fuad Saliman, a hospital technologist, is running as a part of an Israeli coalition of leftwing parties. Given that Palestinians make up well over a third of the city’s population, their participation in the political process could transform a political landscape that has allocated only 10% of the local council’s budget to 37% of its people.
Frustration and apathy in East Jerusalem on election day
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 Oct by Alexa Stevens — At 2 p.m. at the Municipal Girls School of Ras al-Amud in occupied East Jerusalem, there isn’t a student in sight. Bored elections workers congregate outside a polling station, waiting to see if any East Jerusalem residents will turn out for Tuesday’s municipal elections … Fahid, a polling station worker from Shuafat, says that of the roughly 2,000 people eligible to vote in the neighborhood, only six or seven people showed up to cast their ballots. Even as a poll worker, Fahid says he won’t participate.
Jerusalem mayor wins re-election in boost to Israeli Prime Minister
Reuters 23 Oct — The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem has won re-election in a hotly contested race against a challenger linked to a far-right opponent of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Former hi-tech tycoon Nir Barkat won about 51 per cent of votes in polling held on Tuesday, a count of all ballots showed. His main rival, Moshe Lion, polled about 45 per cent. Other votes went to a third candidate … The Jerusalem contest was seen as the most strategic of nearly 200 local government elections held across Israel, with a Barkat victory dealing a blow to his contender’s main backer, far-right former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Voter turnout over 50 percent in some Negev towns
NEGEV (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Voter turnout was recorded at over 50 percent in Arab towns in the Israeli Negev area in elections on Tuesday. The town of Kasif had the highest turnout with 74 percent of 6,765 eligible voters followed by Shaqib al-Salam, which had a turnout of 72 percent out of 3,945 eligible voters.
IPI to release reporters guide for Palestine-Israel conflict
Al-Monitor 21 Oct by Daoud Kuttab — …The reporters guide, Use with Care: A Reporter’s Glossary of Loaded Language in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, was produced by the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) and is the result of years of back-and-forth drafting by six unnamed Palestinian and Israeli journalists. The guidebook should be found in every newsroom in the world that deals with the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some 150 terms are represented in the guide. Each term is listed in English, Arabic and Hebrew, along with a phonetic transcription of both the Hebrew and Arabic words in Latin characters. Alongside every term are two or three paragraphs explaining the meaning of the term, how it is used and why one side or the other might find it problematic. Finally, another column suggests alternative terms.
Vegetable prices rise rapidly across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Vegetable prices in the West Bank have risen dramatically in the last few days, and observers say the prices of tomatoes will skyrocket in the near future. Prices of almost all vegetables are expected to increase rapidly, especially those of potatoes, onions and tomatoes. The price of a kilogram of tomatoes is expected to surpass 10 shekels soon, even though that amount of money would have bought ten kilograms only a few weeks ago. In an exclusive interview with Ma‘an, Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Walid Assaf predicted that prices would decrease again by mid-November. He stressed that the reason behind the currently high prices was the cold weather experienced across the West Bank near the end of September, which had affected crops in open fields and had seriously reduced productivity.
Texas A&M pursues a campus in Israel
HOUSTON, Texas (NYTimes) 21 Oct by Manny Fernandez — When Gov. Rick Perry visits Israel this week, he will leave a surprising piece of Texas behind: his alma mater, Texas A&M University. Mr. Perry will join Texas A&M leaders and Israeli officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday to announce the creation of Texas A&M Peace University, a branch campus of the sixth largest university in the United States. It will be built in Nazareth, known as the Arab capital of Israel … Aside from taking part in the announcement on Wednesday, Mr. Perry has largely played a supporting role in the project, although he has offered to help raise money. Evangelical Christians, with whom Mr. Perry has long identified, have been active supporters of Israel, but the main Texas player in the branch campus effort is a Roman Catholic — John Sharp, the chancellor of the Texas A&M University System and a longtime supporter of Israeli and Jewish causes.
Israeli planes reportedly overfly southern Lebanon
Times of Israel 2 Oct — Lebanese media reports IDF canine units conducted a search along the northern border — Israeli fighter planes and unmanned drones flew over two villages in southern Lebanon, Lebanon’s state-run media reported Tuesday. The Lebanese National News Agency reported that fighter jets buzzed the villages of Arkoub and Hasbaya, in southeast Lebanon. NNA also reported that Israeli drones flew over villages on the Lebanese side of the border near the contested Shebaa Farms region and an IDF patrol carried out a search along the Israeli side of the border. A Hezbollah-affiliated news website reported that 15-20 IDF soldiers crossed an electrified fence with dogs and performed a search.