Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
Israel to confiscate Palestinian villagers’ lands near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — The Israeli government on Saturday announced a decision to confiscate Palestinian lands between Za‘tara [Tapuah] junction and Osarin village south of Nablus. Yatma village council member Ahmad Snobar told Ma‘an that the council was officially informed by Israel that the land would be seized. Dozens of villagers from Yatma, Osran [or ‘Usarin], and Qabalan [PIC: and Beta] own the land that Israeli forces are planning to seize, Snobar said. Snobar added that an Israeli civil administration officer will arrive in the Za‘tara area on Monday at 10 a.m. to mark the land that will be confiscated.
Israel to displace Palestinian community south of Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli forces on Sunday handed confiscation orders to Palestinians in the al-Kaabna area of Um al-Daraj south of Hebron, officials told Ma‘an. Soldiers told residents that large tracts of their land would be appropriated for an Israeli military base, said Hassan al-Basaita, mayor of the local village council … He added that the Israeli forces had tried more than once to forcibly displace the people there, and that at that time they demolished houses, agricultural properties, and barns.
They also demolished water wells in order to force people to leave the area by cutting off access to water, he said. He added that Palestinians who live in this area would not leave their houses and lands, even if they were exposed to aggressive violations and practices even worse than these.
Israeli land claims: Archaeology and ideology
JERUSALEM (Al Jazeera) 16 Nov by Samuel Nelson Gilbert — The Holy Basin – containing Jerusalem’s Old City and its surrounding territories – may be the most contested piece of property in the world. Sacred to Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, it is both the centre of Jerusalem and the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since the “unification” of the city in 1967, when Israel captured East Jerusalem and began its military occupation of the West Bank, this area has been subject to an ambitious Israeli government project to reintroduce Jewish history in and around the Old City, creating a link between the ancient Jewish past and the modern state. Central to the project has been archaeological excavation, which, in tandem with biblical tourism, has worked to advance Israeli claims to their “eternal capital”, often, some say, at the expense and erasure of the Palestinian past and present. As Jerusalem-based Israeli archaeologist Yonathan Mizrachi explained to Al Jazeera: “When they [Israelis] think about their belonging to Israel it is about Jerusalem. It’s not about Haifa, it’s not about Tel Aviv, it’s not even West Jerusalem. It’s the historical [holy] basin. And archaeological excavation has been the main tool to represent this belonging.” But critics say settler-funded archaeological projects are fundamentally alternating the landscape of Palestine’s supposed future capital. “Israel has used archaeology as one of the weapons in this ground war about expanding the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, particularly in Silwan,” said Rafi Greenberg, a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University.”
The Israeli government insists on challenging the international will and approves (the National Park) settlement plan in Jerusalem
17 Nov — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the decision of the Israeli government to approve the ‘National Park’ plan, which would confiscate 740 dunums of Palestinian lands in the villages of al-Tur and al-Issawiya in East Jerusalem. While stressing the legal status of East Jerusalem as an occupied a city, PCHR emphasizes that the plan is part of the Israeli government’s plans to create a Jewish demographic majority in the occupied city. PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately intervene in order to stop the implementation of this dangerous plan and all other settlement activities in Occupied Jerusalem. Following a long session that lasted for nearly 9 hours on Thursday, 14 November 2013, the Israeli district planning and construction committee approved ‘The National Park’ plan to be located on part of the lands of al-Tur and al-Issawiya villages in East Jerusalem. According to information available at PCHR, this plan will confiscate 740 dunums of the Palestinian lands in the two aforementioned villages resulting in depriving their residents of the urban expansion towards these lands.
Interior ministry now able to expel non-Israelis while they await residence
Haaretz 17 Nov by Amira Hass — Human rights lawyers accidentally discover ‘drastic and major policy change’ — The Interior Ministry has gotten tougher with foreign citizens and Palestinians seeking residence permits in Israel, allowing expulsions in cases that were hitherto immune from such a step. The policy change was announced on October 1 on the website of the Population and Immigration Authority, but nowhere accessible to anyone affected by the change. Those affected include migrant workers whose visas expire while they are searching for new employment, aslyum seekers and partners or relatives of Israeli residents or citizens. For the first time it will be possible to expel from their homes Palestinians who are married to Israeli citizens or residents. Under the new procedures for requests and appeals to the Population Authority, it is permissible to expel non-Israelis who are waiting for a response to a request for a residence permit or who have appealed a rejection of a request.
West Bank Palestinians lose water and land
16 Nov — Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley say Israel is cutting off their water sources, leaving them no choice but to leave their land. Israel insists it maintains control of the water for security reasons. Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from the West Bank.
Jewish extremists desecrate Ma’manullah cemetery in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 17 Nov — The Restoration of Muslim Graves Committee in the occupied city of Jerusalem condemned the desecration of a historic Islamic cemetery in the city on Saturday by Price Tag gangs. The head of the Committee, Mustafa Abu Zahra, said in a press statement on Sunday that Price Tag gangs sprayed racist slogans in Hebrew on 13 graves in Ma’manullah cemetery and a shrine in the west of Jerusalem and smashed some gravestones.
Extremist Israeli group enters Al-Aqsa compound under police escort
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Over 100 Israeli Jews accompanied by police entered Al-Aqsa compound through the Moroccan gate on Sunday afternoon. The 104 Israeli Jews were described by witnesses as “settlers,” and they included 33 Israeli intelligence officers led by extremist lawyer Yehuda Glick. Glick was allowed back in Al-Aqsa compound after his 6-month ban was lifted two days ago. He was informed that he would be allowed to return to the compound by Jerusalem District Police Chief Yossi Pariente after serving only one month of his ban. Glick called on all Jews to visit the compound, and proposed an initiative to schedule daily visits by extremists to the Jerusalem holy site … Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, an extremist Jewish organization focused on “strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount.” Critics charge that the Fund actually leads Jewish tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there – currently banned under Israeli agreements – and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.
Israeli settlers uproot 106 olive trees near Yatta
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli settlers raided Palestinian agricultural areas in the southern West Bank overnight, uprooting 106 olive trees in Quwawees [or Qawawis] area east of Yatta. Locals said that Israeli settlers destroyed 106 olive trees owned by Abd al-Nabi Makhamra in an overnight attack. Settlers have recently destroyed trees in the area with ripe olives, in order to prevent Palestinians from harvesting them, locals added.
Palestinians set animal traps to protect lands from settler raids
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Palestinians seeking to protect themselves and their properties from Israeli settler attacks have begun using animal traps, sources say. In response to recurring raids by local Israeli settlers targeting Palestinian homes and agricultural areas, farmers in villages around Nablus have began to use an old method to protect their fields. Farmers in villages south of Nablus have begun laying animal traps, hoping to catch marauding settlers who attack their fields, chop olive trees, and burn down crops during the night. Settlers are permitted by Israeli occupation authorities to carry guns, a privilege not afforded Palestinians. Thus, Palestinians are often helpless to prevent armed settlers from attacking their lands.
Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests
IOF releases the child Mohammed Hamid after breaking his hand
RAMALLAH, AL-KHALIL (PIC) 17 Nov — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday evening released the child Mohammed Hamid, 12, after he was arrested and assaulted, in Silwad east of Ramallah. The IOF kidnapped Mohammed during violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths on the Shohadaa roundabout in Silwad, after accusing him of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. His family said that the occupation released him after midnight, after a detention that lasted for more than seven hours in Ben Yamin Camp at Ofer prison. During his detention Mohammed was severely assaulted by the Israeli soldiers, which resulted in breaking his hand and other bruises in the head and all over his body.
J’lem: Protesters hurled stones at car of Arab man
[with photos, video] Ynet 17 Nov by Noam (Dabul) Dvir — Hundreds of haredim who were protesting the arrest of Rabbi Yoram Abergel are suspected of having hurled stones in the direction of a car passing by. Reportedly, the men had targeted the car because its driver was Arab. According to a witness, a group of haredi men “attacked several Arabs, including a young Arab man who was driving a car, as they are swearing at him and laughing.” As a result of the stone hurling, the car windshields were smashed, prompting the driver to leave the car and flee the scene by foot. Once the man had left the scene, many of the haredim started clapping and proceeded to vandalize his car. According to the witness, “they simply destroyed the car. Police forces rushed to the intersection and dispersed the rioters.” A video circulating online showed the smashed windshields and police arriving at the scene.
IOF detains and beats Palestinian child north of al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 16 Nov — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Friday evening a Palestinian child near the town of Halhul, north of the city of al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank. Local sources said that the IOF arrested a 12-year-old boy and beat him causing him bruises. He was then taken to an unknown destination for several hours before being released.The sources pointed out that the child’s detention came after clashes that took place in the region.
Israeli forces handcuff, detain Palestinian children as young as five
AFP 15 Nov — Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank detained four Palestinian children aged five to nine years for more than an hour Friday with their hands cuffed, Palestinian witnesses said. Palestinian activist Murad Ashtiye told AFP that clashes erupted with soldiers in the northern West bank village of Kfar Qaddum during the weekly protest there against Israeli occupation by Palestinians and international activists. “Four children who were present in the area had stun grenades thrown at them by Israeli soldiers, which frightened them,” said Ashtiye of the village’s Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. “Then the soldiers arrested them and tied their hands behind their backs using plastic strips,” he added, identifying the children as Tariq Hikmet, 9, Hossam Khaldun, 7, six-year old Malak Hikmet and Ahmad Abdessalam, 5. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that soldiers arrested some minors at the protest, but claimed she didn’t know their ages or if they were handcuffed. “When the soldiers realized that these were youngsters who were under age they just asked them a few questions and let them go,” she said.
Israeli forces raid Abu Dis and attack al-Quds University, injuring 40
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli forces shot 40 Palestinians including a large number of university students with rubber-coated steel bullets during a raid on a Palestinian village east of Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon. Clashes broke out after Israeli forces raided Abu Dis while students from al-Quds University were on their way to class, a local official said. Popular committee spokesman Hani Halbiya told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers raided the village of Abu Dis and stopped students from al-Quds University for questioning. Clashes erupted between Palestinian students and Israeli forces at al-Quds University Street, Habiya said. Israeli forces fired tear gas grenades and sound bombs while Palestinians threw stones and burned tires … Habiya added that Israeli forces also fired sound bombs at random toward the campus of al-Quds University, the local council, and Abu Dis School. English composition instructor Mya Guarnieri was teaching a class at the time of the incident, she told Ma‘an via telephone. “Afterwards, I saw someone I knew who had been hit by a tear gas canister in the torso,” Guarnieri said.
Four Palestinians kidnapped in Jenin, [activists remove settler tent]
IMEMC [Friday Evening Nov 15] — Local sources in Jenin have reported that dozens of soldiers invaded Palestinian orchards in the Al-‘Arqa village, west of Jenin, violently attacked several Palestinians working on their lands close to the Annexation Wall, and kidnapped four. The kidnapped have been identified as ‘Ala Bassam Abed Yahia, 20, Karem Amin Hammad, 18, Naseem Mahmoud Waked, 25, Hasan Hakam Yahia, 20. The orchards where the attack took place are close to the Shakid settlement, built on privately owned Palestinian property.
In Bethlehem, spokesperson of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem Mohammad Breijiyya stated that dozens of local nonviolent activists managed to remove a tent installed by extremist Israeli settlers at the western entrance of Teqoua‘ [or Taqu‘] village, near Bethlehem. The Palestinians removed the tent and raised a Palestinian flag in its place. The settlers installed their tent a few days ago in an attempt to create a new illegal settlement outpost.
Several Palestinians injured in Hebron
IMEMC 16 Nov — [Friday Nov 15] Palestinian medical sources have reported that several residents have been injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. The sources said that several residents were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets, while others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation in the center of Hebron, and in the Al-‘Arroub and Al-Fawwar refugee camps. Local sources said that dozens of soldiers tried to invade the Al-Arab [al-‘Arroub?] refugee camp, and clashed with dozens of youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them. The soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets. Medical sources said that members of the Abu Daoud family in the camp were moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital after suffering the effects of tear gas inhalation while in their own home. The army also targeted a number of homes in Hebron and in the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at them.
Army kidnaps six teenagers in Bethlehem, Hebron
IMEMC 18 Nov — [Sunday Nov 17] Israeli soldiers kidnapped one Palestinian teenager in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and five in the West Bank district of Bethlehem. Local sources in Hebron have reported that a number of soldiers stopped a 17-year-old Palestinian near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, and took him to an interrogation facility. The army allege that the teenager “attempted to stab a soldier” [Ynet: “in a search on his person a knife was found.”] Furthermore, soldiers kidnapped two teenagers in the As-Saff Street, and Jabal Al-Mawaleh area, in Bethlehem city. Local sources said that the army violently broke into several homes and searched them before kidnapping Mohammad Awwad, 17, Mohammad Nimir Al-Azza, 17, and Mahmoud Ali Shweiky, 18. Dozens of soldiers also invaded Al-Obeydiyya town, near Bethlehem, and kidnapped Abdullah Yousef Shteiwy, 16, and Ahmad Jamal Abu Sarhan, 16. The arrests and invasions took place as Israeli soldiers also invaded various areas in the West Bank, and installed several roadblocks, as part of daily violations against the Palestinians and their property in the occupied territory.
Jordanian minor’s father marches in Amman demanding his release
AMMAN (PIC) 16 Nov — Father of Jordanian captive child Mohammed Mehdi marched in the streets of Amman in support of Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails. The father walked in Amman’s streets on Thursday holding his son’ picture in an attempt to shed light on Jordanian prisoners’ plight in Israeli prisons. Mehdi’s father charged that his son had been subjected to continued torture and abuses that caused him severe physical problems. The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) prevented last week Mehdi’s father from visiting his son to supply him with winter clothes. The IOA attributed the ban to the state of tension prevailing in Israeli prisons following the martyrdom of the patient prisoner Hasan Al-Torabi in custody. Mohamed Mahdi was arrested on March 15, 2013 for stoning an Israeli patrol, which led to the injury of 7 soldiers. He is not yet sentenced, but his charge could jail him dozens of years, as the Israeli prosecution is trying to change his charge into that of attempted murder.
Gaza under blockade
Qatar ready to finance Gaza fuel purchases from Israel
World Bulletin 17 Nov — Qatar has agreed to finance diesel purchases from Israel to help ease the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip, an energy official confirmed on Sunday. “The Gaza government has tabled the proposal as a way out of the current crisis and the Qatari government has immediately agreed to finance the diesel purchases,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, head of the Gaza Energy Authority, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. Under the proposed deal, Qatar will foot the bill for diesel purchases from Israel through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). “UNRWA has forwarded the proposal to Israel but we have not received any response yet,” Khalil said.
Whose fault is the power shortage in Gaza, anyway?
Gaza Strip full of corrupt millionaires, says Palestinian (PA) official
[with video] Haaretz 16 Nov by Anshel Pfeffer — Unusual London rally highlights inter-Palestinian split as activists blame West Bank leadership for Gaza suffering — Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London and other British cities are a matter of routine. This week, for a change, the demonstration did not take place outside an Israeli-linked event but outside the Palestinian embassy. With the geographical split between the Fatah-ruled West Bank and the Gaza Strip under Hamas, the confrontation between the two Palestinian camps rarely takes place face-to-face and in the open. Sometimes you have to go as far away as London to see it. On Thursday, a demonstration by a handful of activists took place outside the Palestinian mission in London. The demonstrators were protesting over their claim that the Palestinian Authority is preventing the transfer of money from the European Union funding diesel fuel for Gaza’s power station and this is creating power-shortages in the Strip … it opens a window on the way the PA is trying to counter accusations that it is cooperating with the closure on Gaza and contributing to the suffering there. On a youtube video of the discussion, the unnamed diplomat is seen at first telling demonstrators that “the Palestinian Authority has nothing to do with the closure of Gaza” and imploring them to “do this in front of the Israeli embassy, not the Palestinian mission.”
Video: As siege stops pumps, Gaza children wade to school in sewage
Electronic Intifada 17 Nov by Ali Abunimah — This video shows children in the al-Sabra neighborhood in eastern Gaza City wading through streets flooded with sewage. Some make their way carefully across stones to avoid the fetid water, while others wade right in or are carried on the shoulders of older children. With their book bags on their backs, they are determined to get to school. The video was shot by Jehad Saftawi for the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) (imeu.net). Why is this happening? As Reuters reported on 14 November: Children waded through sewage submerging the streets of a central Gaza neighborhood on Thursday, a day after one of the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s largest waste water treatment plants stopped for lack of fuel. Fetid muck, which bubbles up from manholes and overflows from the idle plant when waste goes untreated, could soon spill into the homes of tens of thousands more residents in downtown Gaza City, officials and residents said. Egypt’s months-long crackdown on cross-border smuggling tunnels that used to bring fuel in cheaply has already forced Gaza’s only power plant to stop, meaning two weeks of daily 12-hour blackouts for the territory’s 1.8 million residents.
Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — The Rafah crossing will be opened for three days this week after over 10 days of closure, the Palestinian ambassador to Cairo said. Barakat al-Farra said Sunday that the crossing would open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Al-Farra thanked Egypt and all parties involved in re-opening the terminal.
Israeli warplanes fly at low altitudes over Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 17 Nov — Israeli warplanes intensified flights over the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning and flew at low altitudes. A field observer said that Israeli F-16s flew over Gaza city and other cities in the besieged enclave, adding that they disturbed the population.
Palestinian farmer injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip
GAZA (ISM, Rosa Schiano) 16 Nov — On Wednesday, 13th November, gunfire by Israeli occupation forces injured a Palestinian farmer near al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the center of Gaza strip. Mneifi Abu Abdullah, age 25, was working with three other farmers about 600 meters from the separation barrier. Abu Abdullah is a worker who earns 30 shekels [about US$8.50] per day in the fields. Farmworkers near al-Maghazi are used to hearing gunshots. The Israeli military presence is constant in areas along the barrier. On Thursday, some of Abu Abdullah’s uncles, as well as another farmer present during the shooting, visited his room in al-Shifa hospital. The witness said he suddenly heard three shots, injuring Abu Abdullah in at his right shoulder, around 2:50 pm. Another bullet struck near his feet. The farmers transported Abu Abdullah roughly one kilometer before reaching an ambulance that brought him to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir el-Balah. The witness added that he had not seen Israeli soldiers, but military vehicles had been moving along the barrier. On the same day in Deir el-Balah, another farmer, from Abu Daher family, was wounded in his leg by Israeli gunfire and rushed to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. Abu Abdullah is married and has two children. His work in the fields is his family’s only source of livelihood. He was transferred from al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital to al-Shifa hospital. The bullet entered and exited his shoulder. He needs surgery, as the bullet severed a nerve.
Statistic: IOF has killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza after one year of truce agreement
GAZA (PIC) 15 Nov — 11 Palestinians have been killed and dozens wounded and arrested since the entry into force of the truce agreement signed on 21 November 2012 between the Palestinian resistance and the occupation, under Egyptian auspices. The series of Israeli violations have continued and included incursions, shootings and air and artillery strikes, in addition to attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea. The truce agreement was signed after the Israeli military attack waged on the Gaza Strip, which began on the 14 November 2012 following the assassination of Commander of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari.
Up close and personal with Hamas’ Mourabintoun unit
CENTRAL GAZA (Al-Monitor) by Adnan Abu Amer — Since late October, the eastern Gaza border with Israel has been its most tense since the end of the November 2012 war. After Israel announced the discovery of a tunnel east of Khan Younis into Israel in early October, a number of Palestinians have been killed in related clashes, and a few Israelis wounded. Amid this heated atmosphere, attention is being drawn to the Mourabitoun units affiliated with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, deployed along the border, from Rafah to Beit Hanoun. It was not easy for Al-Monitor to accompany the Mourabitoun at a time when Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing such difficult times, but after unremitting efforts, permission was granted to follow an official nicknamed Abu Mujahid in eastern Gaza on a recent night as Israeli aircraft hovered overhead. During the field tour, Abu Mujahid confirmed that the Mourabitoun’s task is to monitor and guard Palestinian areas at risk of Israeli invasion. He also said that the unit works primarily at night, usually in places close to the contact lines with the Israeli army … Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said that the Mourabitoun’s task is to protect Gaza’s entry points around the clock. Its members have been instructed to never leave their stations or the border gaps they monitor.
Gaza repairs 9,600 houses destroyed by Israel
World Bulletin 16 Nov –Gazan authorities have repaired 9,600 houses damaged during a deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip last year. In a Saturday statement, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing said that 180 houses have also been rebuilt after they were destroyed during the Israeli offensive. Israeli forces launched an eight-day deadly war on Gaza, home to 1.9 million Palestinian, last year. More than 12,000 houses were damaged and 220 others totally destroyed during the Israeli onslaught. The Israeli onslaught also caused some $1.2 billion in economic losses, which affected almost all sectors of the strip’s already-precarious economy. The Public Works Ministry said that funding for the repairing process was provided in coordination with UNRWA and Gazan charities.
A year after ‘Pillar of Defense’, the nightmare continues
972blog 16 Nov by Yonatan Gher — A year after 165 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed, political leaders have yet to conduct independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations. If neither side demonstrates the political will to protect all civilians, the cycle of violations will become a recurring nightmare — On 21 November 2012, 13-year-old Mahmoud Abu Khousa was killed when he was struck by a missile fired by an Israeli drone as he walked to a shop down the road from his home in the al-Manara area of Gaza City. Delegates from Amnesty International’s International Secretariat examined the site of the missile strike a few days later. The missile struck Mahmoud on a wide road with good visibility from above. Israeli aerial surveillance should have been able to see that he was a child. Witnesses said there were no evident military targets in the vicinity at the time. Mahmoud was killed on the last day of an eight-day conflict between the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas to re-open Ma‘an bureau in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — The government in Gaza decided on Saturday to re-open Ma‘an News Agency’s bureau in the Gaza Strip after four months of closure. The decision was taken at a meeting between Haniya and Palestinian faction leaders to discuss renewing unity talks. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement was not represented at the meeting. A spokesman for the Hamas-run government Ihab al-Ghussein said that the government withdrew a complaint against Ma‘an from the public prosecution.
Gaza children fly balloons to express dreams of a state
World Bulletin 17 Nov — With balloons carrying the colors of the national Palestinian flag, scores of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip on Sunday expressed their undying desire to live in an independent state. The children gathered to mark the Palestinian Independence Day, which was commemorated on Friday. This is the message the children wanted to convey, according to Fatma al-Askari, the head of the Palestinian NGO Umma Development Forum, which organized the event. “The children wanted to deliver the message that their country is not independent yet,” al-Askari said. “Palestinian children still dream of independence,” she told Anadolu Agency. She also called on international human rights organizations to support the Palestinian people in their struggle to get its independent state and end the Israeli occupation. The Palestinians celebrate the Independence Day of their country on November 15 every year. The celebration marks the symbolic declaration by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital in 1988.
Gaza woman delivers sextuplets in Nablus hospital
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — A woman from the Gaza Strip delivered sextuplets at a hospital in the northern West Bank Friday, a hospital official told Ma‘an. Ghadah Abd al-Rahim Hammad delivered six healthy babies via cesarean section, Director of Nablus Specializing Hospital Abd al-Rahim Kittan said. Hammad underwent an embryo transfer in a Gaza hospital before being moved to Nablus Specializing Hospital in October, Kittan said.
Photos of Israeli tear gas canisters fired at Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza ‘buffer zone’
GAZA (Corporate Watch, Tom Anderson and Therezia Cooper) 17 Nov — On 2nd November 2013 Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating in the Gaza buffer zone East of Gaza City, by the Nahal Oz checkpoint. A report of the demonstration by an eyewitness can be viewed here. Pictures of one of the canisters fired at the activists are shown below. Corporate Watch has written several articles about Israel’s use of tear gas in the West Bank. Some of our previous work can be found here and here. This canister looks a little different to the ones that we have seen in the West Bank, particularly because it is encased in a hard plastic shell. We do not have any evidence to determine which company supplied these canisters to the Israeli military. However, we know that tear gas canisters manufactured by Combined Systems (CSI) in the US and Defense Technologies, previously owned by the British arms giant BAE systems and now owned by the US firm Safariland, have been used by the Israeli police and army in the past. It is imperative that BDS campaigners take action against companies selling tear gas to Israel.
Pension giant TIAA-CREF drops Veolia from Social Choice fund
Electronic Intifada 15 Nov by Abraham Greenhouse — The We Divest coalition yesterday announced a landmark victory in its campaign to persuade US pensions giant TIAA-CREF to divest from companies profiting from Israeli occupation. As recently as July, TIAA-CREF held a $1.2 million stake in Veolia Environnement SA (VIE:EN Paris) through its Social Choice Funds portfolio. According to the firm’s most recent documentation, that investment is now zero. Although TIAA-CREF still holds Veolia stock in other funds, the removal of Veolia from the Social Choice fund, which screens investments based on ethical criteria, is seen as a milestone due to the company’s deep involvement in sustaining the Israeli occupation.
Palestinian refugees elsewhere
Gaza offers homes, financial aid to Palestinians fleeing Syria
World Bulletin 17 Nov — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Heniyeh decided on Sunday to offer financial assistance and housing units to Palestinian refugees fleeing the conflict in war-torn Syria. Every family returning from Syria will be offered a one-time $500 in urgent assistance, an apartment in the Qatari-funded Sheikh Hamad housing project, and free education for their children, Haniyeh said. He also promised a job for a member of each family fleeing the Syria war. “The arrival of Syria-based Palestinians in Gaza does not mean that they would settle here. All Palestinians would return to their original home towns, including Ramla, Haifa and Yafa [inside Israel now],” Haniyeh insisted.
Palestinian refugees go missing in the Mediterranean Sea
AMMAN, Jordan (UNRWA) 15 Nov — After Palestine refugees go missing in the Mediterranean Sea, UNRWA draws attention to the acuteness of their plight in Syria. In the last few days, UNRWA received reports of Palestine refugees going missing in capsized boats off the coast of Egypt and Malta. At the same time, escalation in fighting in Deraa, Yarmouk and other camps in Rif Damascus has led to worrying increase in the death toll of Palestine refugees. “These dreadful developments underline the importance of ending hostilities to avoid tragic loss of life. I reiterate the need to address the particular vulnerability of the Palestine refugees in Syria in the current conflict,” said Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. “This very complex crisis has a Palestinian dimension which must be addressed,” he added. Like the Syrians caught in the cross-fire of the conflict, many of the over half a million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria have lost family members, homes and means of livelihood. UNRWA estimates that approximately 420,000 are in dire need of relief, of which 235,000 are internally displaced. Most Palestinian camps have been over-run by violent fighting, leaving inhabitants in an increasingly desperate state. UNRWA estimates that 70,000 have left to countries in the region like Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Libya and Gaza among others. Palestine refugees, already suffering poverty, have very limited options for external flight. News of many missing after boats heading to Europe capsized in the Mediterranean Sea Europe is proof of the Palestine refugees’ extreme vulnerability, of their lack of safer options, and of growing desperation.
Action group: Three Palestinian refugees killed in Syria
DAMASCUS (PIC) 16 Nov — More Palestinians were killed in the armed clashes and projectile attacks that happened during the last 24 hours in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. The action group for the Palestinian refugees in Syria said on Saturday that two Palestinian refugees were killed in Al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus, and a third one was killed in the countryside of Damascus. The action group affirmed that the Palestinians in Al-Yarmouk refugee camp, under tight blockade for 123 days running, organized a rally following the Friday prayers to demand the warring parties to neutralize the Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian conflict.
The month in pictures: October 2013
Electronic Intifada 6 Nov [some good photos, even if here a bit late]
Abbas: Regardless of what happens, peace talks to continue
AFP 18 Nov — Peace talks with Israel will continue for the full nine months as agreed with Washington “regardless of what happens on the ground”, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told AFP on Sunday. In an exclusive interview at his Muqataa headquarters in Ramallah, the Palestinian leader also called for an international inquiry to determine who was responsible for the death of Yasser Arafat after scientists said it was likely he was poisoned.
Haneyya calls for forming committee sponsoring national dialog
GAZA (PIC) 17 Nov — Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya called for forming a higher committee to sponsor comprehensive national dialog, reiterating his government’s commitment to ending the internal division but not at the expense of the national rights and constants. Premier Haneyya stressed in a meeting on Saturday with leaders of the Palestinian factions that his government’s keenness on the national partnership is not prompted by the regional situation or Egypt’s policies towards Gaza. Haneyya called for agreeing on one agenda and setting the time and place to execute the previous reconciliation agreements.
Teachers’ union launches strike across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — The Palestinian teachers’ general union on Sunday launched a limited strike across the West Bank on Sunday in protest against the Palestinian Authority’s failure to implement previous agreements. The Secretary-General of the teachers’ union, Ahmad Sahwil, said that the union will be suspending class and work after the third class period all across the West Bank through Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday there will be a full strike, he added … The union organized regular strikes in the first half of 2013 to protest unpaid salaries. It demanded a regular promotion system, recognition of teaching as a profession, and adherence to the career ladder among other issues.
November 15 marks Declaration of Independence
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 Nov — On November 15, 1988, the Palestinian National Council, then led by late President Yasser Arafat, declared the independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border. “This was the historic Palestinian compromise: We accepted that our state would exist on only 22 percent of our historic homeland,” said the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “Israel responded by colonizing more of our land and entrenching its control over our country,” it added. “The possibility of a two-state solution is quickly fading away. The international community must act decisively in order to salvage the prospects of a just and lasting peace.” The Declaration contains an overt acceptance that “the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, of 1947, which partitioned Palestine into two states […] provides the legal basis for the right of the Palestinian Arab people to national sovereignty and independence.”
Facebook closes some Hamas-affiliated pages
WEST BANK (PIC) 17 Nov — The Facebook administration arbitrarily closed on Friday a number of pages linked to the Hamas Movement, including the page of Ajnad news agency. The Facebook pages of senior Hamas official Husam Badran and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as well as the page of the Islamic bloc at Al-Khalil university were also shut down.
Ministry: PPR isn’t a plague, but already existing disease
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Commenting on news reports circulated in Palestinian media claiming an outbreak of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in the Palestinian Territory, and the failure by the Ministry of Agriculture to provide farmers with the needed vaccines, ministry officials say the disease affecting livestock “isn’t a plague” but rather an already existing disease. The statements follow public outcry over the deaths of dozens of animals in the West Bank, which farmers have blamed on a lack of vaccines against a new plague affecting livestock. The ministry, however, says that the deaths are a result of peste des petits ruminants, also known as ovine rinderpest, a contagious disease affecting goats and sheep. The Ministry of Agriculture has been endeavoring to provide vaccines from abroad through local Palestinian companies to avoid buying the vaccines for from Israel
Film review: Arab citizen of Israel, member of the enemy / Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber
972blog 16 Nov — What is a Muslim woman’s place in a country where Jewish suffering is the dominant cultural theme? A new Israeli film tells the story of Hadeel, a 27-year-old Arab woman who teaches at a Jewish school in central Israel, and explores the difficulty of never fully belonging.
1970s film of Palestinian struggle in Lebanon restored
CHICAGO (Electronic Intifada) 17 Nov by Maureen Clare Murphy — Thirty-three reels of film dating from the 1970s which document the Palestinian liberation movement in Lebanon are currently being digitized in Rome. Included are nearly a hundred hours of footage recorded by Mustafa Abu Ali and Jean Chamoun and cameramen with the Palestine Liberation Organization’s film unit in the Tel al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. (Watch videos of footage edited together from the reels at the bottom of this page.) The footage documents daily life in the camp, the siege and the aftermath of the massacre in 1976, featuring the testimony of survivors and fighters with the Palestinian resistance. For several months that year, right-wing Christian militias laid siege on the camp, killing thousands of civilians. The footage, most of it the rushes left over from the film Tel al-Zaatar by Abu Ali, Chamoun and Pino Adriano, is a record of a history that has been erased, of a refugee camp that was wiped off the face of the earth. It is the only film that has been made about the massacre.