Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Shelter and water tank demolished in the village of Tawayel
ISM 20 Nov — Today, 20th of November, the Israeli army entered Tawayel [or al-Taweel], a village next to ‘Aqraba, south of Nablus, to demolish a well and a shelter belonging to two families. At approximately 6:00 in the morning, for the third time this year, around 30 soldiers arrived with seven military jeeps and three bulldozers to further demolish this side of the village where families have been living and farming the land for more than 200 years. These demolitions come just three weeks after the same family was victim to the destruction of another water tank and sheep shelter. The families, with help from the municipalities in Aqraba, have attempted to challenge the demolition orders in the Israeli court several times since 2009 without success. The only exception was when the Israeli army wanted to destroy the electricity system which was funded by the Belgian government. With the diplomatic pressure of the Belgium consulate in Jerusalem, the electricity network was allowed to stay. The demolition of the water tank today will prevent the harvest of vegetables; the major source of income for the family who built the tank ten years ago. Their income is now restricted to their sheep, which used to drink water from the now demolished water tank. The rain season, which usually starts in November, is late this year, it will hopefully begin soon but the wells will not be filled. The destruction of the shelter leaves the sheep and goats without a safe place during the winter months …
Home demolitions in this village are strategic. Tawayel is located adjacent to the Jordan Valley in Area C where the soil is very fertile, provided that the farmers have access to water. Israel has many so-called ‘economical settlements’ in the Jordan Valley which produce vegetables and fruits for export, and these continue to expand, encroaching on Palestinian land.
IOF destroys Bedouin village al-‘Araqib for 62nd time
NEGEV (PIC) 21 Nov — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) demolished on Wednesday the Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib, in the Negev in the southern 1948 occupied territories, for the 62nd time in a row since 2010. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers accompanied by military bulldozers abruptly raided the unrecognized village and started to demolish and remove hundreds of Palestinian homes and facilities. Local sources said that IOF removed the demolition wastes and cleaned the area as a prelude to planting it with trees and seedlings, claiming that it belongs to Israeli lands … It is worth mentioning that the Negev constitutes about 40% of historic Palestine, an area of 12 thousand and 577 sq km, and home to nearly two hundred thousand Palestinians. The sources added that Israeli forces arrested 4 of the village’s residents a few hours after the demolition process. The village’s Sheikh Sayah al-Touri and his three grandsons were arrested and interrogated for establishing houses without permits.
Israeli forces issue stop-work orders for 7 houses near Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 20 Nov — Israeli forces handed Palestinians in Barta‘a village seven stop-work notices and two notices to evacuate poultry farms on Wednesday, locals said. Locals said that the construction was almost complete. Three of the owners were identified as Mohammad Mouin Qabha, Ziyad Halabi, and Haitham Hassan al-Nabulsi. The farms that received eviction notices belong to Ziyad Saadallah.
A new Israeli scheme to confiscate lands in Kafr a-Dik in Salfit
NABLUS (PIC) 20 Nov – The Israeli Sub-Committee for settlement issued a new decision to confiscate lands in Khirbet Deir Samaan, in the town of Kafr a-Dik in Salfit. Mayor of Kafr a-Dik Jamal Dik told PIC’s correspondent on Tuesday that the new Israeli announcement includes a detailed planning scheme that aims to confiscate more agricultural lands in Khirbet Deir Samaan. He added that the occupation has been grabbing the lands, uprooting the trees and constructing bypass roads for settlers, while the structural plans of the towns and villages in the area have not been expanded since the seventies.The mayor noted that more than 90% of Kafr a-Dik lands are confiscated under different military orders despite the fact that they are owned by the villagers. He noted that the town is surrounded by a number of settlements and military sites, in addition to Israeli industrial areas.
Palestinian lands uprooted near Al-Khader
IMEMC — [Thursday Nov 21] Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the Baten Al-Ma’sy Mountain area, in the Al-Khader town south of Bethlehem, and bulldozed Palestinians lands, uprooting them in preparation for use in the construction of new settlement units. Update: Israeli soldiers are holding a number of journalists who are trying to report the violation. The army has also detained international peace activists and tried to force them out of the area. Ahmad Salah, Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Al-Khader, said that the soldiers surrounded the area, invaded it and, then proceeded to bulldoze.
Israeli notification to remove electricity network in Idna
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Nov — Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) have issued a notification to remove the power grid in Idna town in al-Khalil southern West Bank. The mayor confirmed that the network has existed since many years, pointing out to the residents’ suffering due to the Israeli confiscation policy and Apartheid Wall. He pointed out that these notifications came as part of Israeli demolition policy against Palestinian houses, facilities and water wells in the area.
Army to illegally confiscate lands in Hebron
IMEMC — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday morning [Nov 21], the Deerat village, east of Yatta in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and illegally confiscated seven dunams of Palestinian lands, in order to pave a road for Jewish settlers. Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Hebron, Rateb Jabour, stated that the army carried maps showing the newly planned settlers-only road that would split the village and lead to the destruction of several houses. Jabour added that the homes are part of the village, but that Israel considers them to be out of the zoning area. The road would lead to the illegal annexation of thousands of Palestinian dunams in the region.
Israel to build security fence in the heart of the West Bank
Mondoweiss 21 Nov by Allison Deger — It’s barely 100 meters, but a fence Israel plans to build through four villages in the heart of the iconic hills of the West Bank shows how deep the occupation reaches into Palestinian life. Earlier this month, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ordered the construction of a separation fence in the north central West Bank on agricultural land belonging to four Palestinian villages. The “security fence,” or “security wall,” from the Hebrew and Arabic appropriation orders respectively, will run east-west along highway 5, near Tapuach Junction, a checkpoint between Ramallah and Nablus. This fence is not an extension of the famous separation barrier. Rather it will be a free-floating chain linked plank in the heart of the West Bank. A miniature version of the wall, it separates nothing and can easily be bypassed on foot. It only stretches 3.8 dunums in length, well under one kilometer. Still this fence is part of a patchwork of barriers in the Nablus district that trace the highway system.
‘The Fading Valley’ brings Jordan Valley inequalities into stark relief
[with film trailer] Open Zion 20 Nov by Matt Surrusco — Driving through the Jordan Valley, it’s easy to think no one lives in this sparsely populated northeastern region of the West Bank. The landscape is stark and monochrome, a burnt yellow scene. But when you stop along Route 90 at a Palestinian village or farm — or even an Israeli settlement — you realize something: People live in the Jordan Valley. But some live better than others. In “The Fading Valley,” director Irit Gal brings Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley and their economic struggles into sharp relief. Against beautiful shots of desolate landscapes, with hills cut by lines of shadow and light, and a topical focus on water access, Gal uses intimate character portraits to show the challenges of life and labor under Israeli military occupation. Her characters are families of Palestinian farmers, Israeli activists, and a Palestinian truck driver who delivers water to people living on land cordoned off and deemed military zones by the Israel Defense Forces.
Israeli settlers erect tent outside of Palestinian village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Oct — Israeli settlers set up a tent near the entrance of a Palestinian village east of Bethlehem late Thursday, locals told Ma‘an. Dozens of settlers from the settlement of Teqoa, while under the guard of Israeli soldiers, set up a tent near the western entrance of Tuqu‘ village, witnesses said. The settlers reportedly claimed to be protesting against Palestinians throwing rocks at their vehicles in the area. Raising Israeli flags around the tent, the settlers brought chairs and beds inside it, locals said. Palestinian activists removed a similar tent in the same area last week. A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said that Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene “just to maintain order.” She said that the soldiers asked the settlers to remove the tent. “They’re taking it apart as we speak,” she said.
High Court orders Israel to evacuate 4 illegal West Bank outposts
Haaretz 19 Nov — The Israeli High Court of Justice on Monday gave Israel six months to evacuate houses built on private Palestinian land in three illegal West Bank outposts. Court President Asher Grunis and Justice Miriam Naor leveled unprecedented criticism against Israel, writing that it was no longer possible to rely on Israel’s commitments on such matters. The houses to be evacuated stand in the illegal outposts of Givat Assaf, Mitzpe Yitzhar and Ma’aleh Rehavam.
Jewish worshipers seeking access to Haram al Sharif could trigger next intifada, Tibi says
Mondoweiss 20 Nov by Ira Glunts — The increasing number of right-wing Jews who are praying at the Haram al Sharif or the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews and the politicians who support them, are creating tensions that could ignite a third intifada … In the past, Temple Mount activists were considered a fringe element who sought to damage the al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and advocated the rebuilding the Jewish temple. Today the most prominent and dangerous activism concerns the Jewish right to pray on the esplanade, which is banned according to an agreement reached with the Jordanian custodians shortly after the 1967 War. Currently, the activists are people more acceptable to the Israeli establishment and who have their own powerful lobby in the Israeli Knesset.
Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Israeli forces open fire on protests across the West Bank
[many photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — At least three Palestinians were struck by bullets or tear gas canisters and dozens more suffered from tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces opened fire on protests across the West Bank on Friday. Israeli forces also assaulted a television crew covering the protests in one village. Protests against the Israeli occupation and separation wall took place in villages across the West Bank, including in Bil‘in, Nabi Saleh, al-Ma‘sara, Tuqu‘, and Kafr Qaddum …
One man was shot in the back and dozens were injured by excessive tear-gas inhalation during clashes between activists and Israeli forces in the central West Bank village of Bil‘in. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at protesters as they neared their lands close to the wall. They chased protesters through the fields and shot Majd Burnat, 18, with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the back.
In Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah, a demonstration was held to mark the 29th anniversary of the death of Bakr al-Tamimi who was killed by Israeli forces in Ramallah in 1984. Participants marched toward the main gate of the village to try and open it after 10 years of closure. Israeli soldiers who were deployed in the area since the early morning fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators, causing dozens to suffer from excessive tear-gas inhalation. Participants then headed toward a spring which was seized by Israeli settlers under the army guard four years ago. Clashes continued there as demonstrators threw rocks at Israeli forces, who fired tear gas at them and at the village. The Israeli army declared the village a closed military zone early Friday in an attempt to quash the weekly demonstration…
Two people were injured and dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation in clashes in Kafr Qaddum. Wiqas Wael, 20, and Tariq Omar, 18, were struck with tear-gas canisters in the stomach and the back and dozens of others suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation and were treated at the scene. Protests are held every Friday in Kafr Qaddum against Israel’s closure of a main road linking the village to its nearest city, Nablus.
[This Ma‘an story has a report from each village. For those who don’t already know, tear-gas canisters are usually red-hot from being shot at high velocity – to see what the results can be when shot at close range, look at the horrific Dec 8 2011 photos of the killing of Mustafa Tamimi in Nabi Saleh published on 972mag.com, or the 2010 video of Emily Henochowicz’s loss of an eye from being shot in the face posted on Democracy Now.]
Israeli forces attack protests across East Jerusalem, dozens injured
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces opened fire on protests against the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem and neighborhoods immediately east of Jerusalem on Friday, leading to dozens of injuries among Palestinians, including gunshot wounds to the head. Clashes broke out at near Abu Dis, Qalandia, and in Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Friday afternoon. Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters at Kabsa Junction between al-Ezeriya and Abu Dis just east of Jerusalem. Local popular resistance committee spokesman Hani Halabiya said that dozens participated in a protest against the wall in the area. Israeli forces fired tear gas rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at them. Palestinian protestors responded by throwing rocks at them and burning tires. Halabiya added that clashes also broke out near al-Ram and Qalandia junction, where dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation as a result of Israeli attacks on protesters. Dozens of Palestinians were also injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades in clashes with Israeli forces in Issawiya, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. A local committee in the area said that Israeli forces raided the neighborhood and closed its entrance on Friday. They fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians, who responded by throwing rocks at them. Some of the injured were taken to nearby medical centers for treatment. One was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the mouth, one in the head, and others were struck in their lower limbs.
Demonstration in Ya‘bad is violently repressed by Israeli soldiers
ISM 21 Nov — Yesterday in the village of Ya‘bad, a peaceful protest was violently repressed by Israeli forces through the use of tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets. Demonstrators were directly targeted by Israeli soldiers, five Palestinians were injured and two were arrested. Yesterday morning at approximately 10:00, six international activists from several solidarity organisations joined around 100 inhabitants of Ya‘bad village in a peaceful march on a restricted road at the edge of the village. The event had been organized to protest against settler and soldier harassment. Illegal settlers recently cut down 67 olive trees in front of Israeli soldiers who did nothing to prevent their actions. Soldiers then later forbid Ya‘bad residents access to the road that links Tulkarm to Jenin with no justification. Moreover, according to a source from the local municipality, the Israeli army often uses the village itself as a training ground for military maneuvers during the night. The protest march started quietly, with a few speeches from the demonstrators to the media, in front of the ruined olive trees. Less than ten minutes later the first military jeep arrived, immediately giving the order that the protesters should leave the forbidden road. The demonstrators refused and continued their march … Despite the arrests and injuries from this this action, a Palestinian source confirmed the village deemed it a success, the demonstrators openly refused a direct order from the Israeli army and stayed peaceful in the face of violent aggression.
IOF soldiers wreak havoc in the family home of detainee
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Nov — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Shuyukh village in Al-Khalil at dawn Thursday and broke into and ransacked the home of detainee Mousa Halaika’s mother. Member of Palestinian legislative council Samira Halaika said that IOF soldiers raided a suburb north of the village and wreaked havoc in the home of her deceased brother Mohamed. Samira, the aunt of the detainee, said that the soldiers terrorized her brother’s widow, who is in her eighties. She noted that PA security men had previously done the same to her brother’s house, adding that both the PA and Israeli forces used dogs in their raid and search of the house.
WATCH: IDF detains 5- to 9-year-old Palestinian children in Qaddum
Social TV 20 Nov — Hours before the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Qaddum last Friday, Israeli soldiers detained four Palestinian children aged five to nine for allegedly rolling burning tires. Under Israeli military law, the age of criminal culpability is 12. The soldiers reportedly threw stun grenades at and handcuffed the small children, raising the question: is there no other way to disperse a group of small children?
In the real tally of violence, Palestinians have it much worse
Haaretz 21 Nov by Amira Hass — There is no Palestinian whose score with the State of Israel is settled – whether he lives in forced exile or whether he lives within the borders of Israel, or in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. There is no Palestinian without a personal and familial history of injustice that was caused by, and is still caused by Israel. Just because the Israeli media does not report on all the injustices Israel causes day in and day out – even if only because they so numerous – does not mean they go away and neither does the anger they cause. Therefore, according to the correct calculation, the number of attacks by Palestinian individuals is relatively microscopic. This small number shows that for the vast majority of Palestinians – passing, murderous and hopeless revenge is not an option. But nonetheless, the fatal attacks in recent months are worrying. They point at the political and social bankruptcy of the Palestinian leadership and organizations, who have stopped serving as the national rallying point, and are unable to hold back the waves of despair. The Palestinian feels isolated against his attackers. New initiatives and other forms of leadership are still in their diapers. And in the meantime, the Israel’s methods of injustice are becoming more sophisticated. To speak about the anger without linking it to the occupation and systematic discrimination is like discussing environmental pollution without reference to the polluter.
Israeli forces raid Qalqiliya village, 2 injured by tear gas
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Israeli forces raided the Qalqiliya village of Izbat al-Tabib on Tuesday for the second time in 48 hours, injuring two villagers after firing tear gas canisters. Wadah Othman Tabib and Yousef Asaad Tabib were injured after Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas during the raid and were taken to hospital for treatment … A day earlier, Israeli forces raided the house of village mayor Bayan Tabib and threatened to escalate actions against villagers if they did not stop popular resistance activities. Israeli forces accused the village’s popular committee of incitement and ordered the mayor and other village officials to halt the activities.
Palestinian arrested in clashes near Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — A Palestinian was arrested and others were injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in al-‘Isawiya village near Jerusalem on Tuesday. Local official Mohammad Abu al-Hummous told Ma’an that Israeli forces arrested Tamer Hassan Zumurud while he was on his way to a medical center during the clashes that started after Israeli forces raided the area. Israeli forces erected a checkpoint at the entrance of the village and searched cars, Abu al-Hummous said. He added that several Palestinians were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, and three others were injured by stun grenade splinters which were fired into a beauty salon. Earlier Tuesday, teenagers Diaa Obeid, Muath Obeid, and Noureddin Obeid were arrested, he added.
Soldiers kidnap a Palestinian child in Jerusalem
IMEMC — [Wednesday evening Nov 20] — Israeli soldiers invaded Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped an 11-year-old child after alleging that he hurled stones at them. The child has been identified as Malek Da‘na; his father said that the soldiers broke into a barbershop in Ein Al-Loza neighborhood, in Silwan, and kidnapped Malek after cuffing him. The child was moved to a police station on Salah Ed-Deen Street, in Jerusalem. The child’s mother went to the station to see him, but the police withheld her ID card and, then, proceeded to interrogate her.
Israeli forces raid home of recently released Palestinian prisoner
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces raided al-‘Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron on Friday and handed a notification to a former prisoner, Najeh Mohammad Mikbel, 54, demanding he meet with Israeli intelligence forces … The brother of Najeh Mohammad Mikbel said that the Israeli forces handed a notification to his brother to meet with Israeli intelligence after raiding the house and caused many damages. Najeh Mohammad Mikbel was released on October 29 after 24 years in Israeli jails. He was released as part of the second round of Israel’s release of 104 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails since before the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993.
5,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails as of Oct. 2013, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. Another 1,280 are in Israeli prisons for being inside Israel without permits. Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel, representing 20% of the total population and 40% of all males in the occupied territories. Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained, and the families of Palestinian prisoners’ face many obstacles in obtaining permits to see their imprisoned relatives.
Occupation arrests three Palestinians east of Qalquilya
QALQILYA (PIC) 22 Nov — The Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn Friday three Palestinians after raiding their homes in the town of ‘Azzun in the southeast of Qalqilya and took them to an unknown destination. Local sources said that the IOF arrested the three citizens claiming they are wanted, and transferred them to interrogation centers, after searching their homes.
Settlers attack Palestinians in Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 22 Nov — Groups of settlers, accompanied by the occupation forces (IOF), stormed on Friday morning the area between the villages of Kefert [Kufeirat?] and Ya‘bad, south of Jenin, where they attacked the citizens and erected roadblocks. Local sources said that large numbers of settlers closed the entrances of Ya‘bad and Kefert and prevented the farmers from entering their lands. They added that the settlers erected three military roadblocks in the area on the main street and blocked the traffic. The occupation forces have waged a fierce attack on Ya‘bad for over a month, which has led to the arrest of dozens of the town’s residents.
Meanwhile, the IOF raided at dawn Friday the towns of Zababda, ‘Araba and Kafr El Ra‘i and conducted sweeps.
Over 200 Israeli settlers demonstrate near Jenin under army protection
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Over 200 Israeli settlers gathered Friday outside of a Palestinian village near Jenin, burning tires and chanting in Hebrew, witnesses told Ma‘an. Settlers from the settlements of Mevo Dotan and Hermesh gathered at the Kufeirit Junction near Ya‘bad village, waving Israeli flags, chanting, and burning tires, locals said. The settlers, blocking the road that connects Jenin and Yabad, were under the protection of Israeli soldiers, witnesses told Ma‘an, adding that the settlers have since dispersed. An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma‘an that she was not familiar with the event.
IOF raids Nablus and settlers perform Talmudic rituals in Youssef’s Tomb
NABLUS (PIC) 21 Nov — Large Israeli military forces stormed at dawn Thursday the city of Nablus while a drone was flying over the area, to provide protection for settlers who arrived on many buses to Youssef’s Tomb in Balata town east of Nablus to perform Talmudic rituals. Eyewitnesses said that over 10 patrols accompanied the settlers’ buses which passed through the crossroads of Elon Moreh settlement. They were deployed in the vicinity of the grave for several hours before they withdrew. Another Israeli force raided the areas of Ras al-Ain, the Northern Mountain and New Nablus and searched several houses.
PCHR Weekly Report [12-20 Nov]: 15 Palestinians wounded in 56 incursions by Israeli troops
IMEMC 22 Nov — In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 14- 20 November 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces launched 8 air strikes on the Gaza Strip. 3,500 chicks and 15 sheep died in Israeli raids on poultry and sheep farms in Khan Younis. Israeli forces have continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported. 8 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were wounded in the southeast of Nablus. And 7 Palestinian civilians were wounded in protests in Kofur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, and Bil‘in village, west of Ramallah … Israeli forces conducted 56 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the Gaza Strip. At least 58 Palestinians, including 11 children and a mother of 2 children, were arrested. Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 10 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were arrested at checkpoints in the West Bank. Israeli has continued efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities approved the scheme of the (National Park) on the lands of al-Tour and al-‘Eisawiya villages…. Full Report
Ahrar: 22 Palestinians killed in the West Bank since the start of 2013
NABLUS (PIC) 20 Nov — Ahrar Center for the studies of prisoners and human rights reported that 22 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the year 2013, by the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) in different districts in the West Bank. The center said that the 22 martyrs are young people, and most of them were killed by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire in clashes in towns and villages in the West Bank. It noted that in January 2013 the liberated captive Ashraf Abu Dhari’a, from the city of al-Khalil, died four months after his release from the occupation jails, due to health problems which have aggravated because of the policy of medical neglect in the Israeli prisons. The human rights center added that during the year 2013 three Palestinian captives died in Israeli jails.
PA forces summon 11 Palestinians affiliated to Hamas
WEST BANK (PIC) 22 Nov — PA forces continued its campaign against Hamas elements in the occupied West Bank, where 11 of them were summoned for interrogation, while a liberated prisoner was arrested by Israeli forces. PA Intelligence Services summoned five students at al-Najah National University in Nablus, in addition to summoning 4 others in Qalqilya including a student at Khadury University. In Salfit, PA Preventive Security Services summoned a liberated prisoner, who was arrested many times by PA forces, for interrogation. In Tubas, PA Preventive Security summoned a liberated prisoner for declaring his solidarity with the ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. In al-Khalil, a PA court refused an appeal made by a Palestinian activist to delay his session in order to attend his brother’s wedding. In light of security coordination, Israeli forces have arrested a Palestinian young man only one month after he got married. He is a liberated prisoner and former political detainees in PA prisons.
Detainees / Court actions
Hunger striker Alaa Hammad is nearing death
GAZA (PIC) 22 Nov — Jordanian prisoner Alaa Hammad is nearing death after 204 days of hunger strike in Israeli jails, human rights sources confirmed. Waed Association for prisoners expressed deep concern over the serious health condition of hunger striker Alaa Hamdan without any national or international attention to his issue. Israeli authorities have transferred the hunger striker more than once from one prison to another in an attempt to break his will and his hunger strike that was launched 7 months ago … Alaa Hammad, a father of six children, started his hunger strike on 2nd May 2013 along with 4 other Palestinian political prisoners. He suffers vision problems and severe pains throughout his body and he cannot walk, in addition to losing many of his weight.
Israel court extends detention of Negev activist
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — An Israeli court in Beersheba on Thursday extended the detention of a Palestinian activist who was arrested in August for protesting plans to displace Bedouin communities in the Negev. Sayah al-Touri was arrested in August with three other activists from the Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib, which has been repeatedly demolished by Israeli forces … Awad Abu Freih, a member of the local committee of al-‘Araqib, told Ma‘an that they will perform Friday prayers outside of the police station in Rahat to demand al-Touri’s release.
Golani soldier suspected of ‘price tag’
Ynet 20 Nov by Itamar Fleishman — Soldier arrested with older brother on suspicion of puncturing tires of police car, spraying ‘Death to Arabs’ on buses used to carry Palestinians in Emmanuel. ‘Detention is outrageous,’ lawyer says, suspect denies allegations — A soldier serving in an elite unit in the Golani Brigade was arrested Wednesday by Military Police, together with his brother, on suspicion of involvement in “price tagging” and destruction of police vehicles. Both brothers are suspected of spray-painting buses which are used to transport Palestinians, and of slashing tires of a police detective’s vehicle in the West Bank. The suspects’ remand was extended until Thursday. According to suspicion, the soldier and his brother sprayed “Muhammad is a pig” and “Death to Arabs” on buses in Emmanuel.
Israeli Arab undergoes ‘humiliating’ security check at airport
Ynet 21 Nov by Elior Levy — East Jerusalem businessman Hani Almi’s trip to Paris this month turns to theater of humiliations as security personnel force him to board without ‘suspicious’ shoes, wallet, attaching agent to him in terminal halls — Hani Almi arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this month for a business flight to Paris on Air France. The entrepreneur, who frequently travels abroad for business, is already used to the meticulous airport security checks for east Jerusalem residents and other Arab-Israelis, and had therefore arrived early knowing that he would undergo a scrupulous check.
Gaza under blockade
Two Palestinians shot, injured by Israeli forces in Gaza
GAZA (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Two Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday. A spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that two Palestinians in their twenties were shot. One was shot in the thigh, and one was hit with a bullet fragment in the head, he added. They were transferred to Kamal Adwan hospital for treatment.
Egyptian authorities suddenly close Rafah crossing
RAFAH (PIC) 20 Nov — Egyptian authorities suddenly closed the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip before noon Wednesday after the entry of only one busload of passengers and an ambulance car. The Egyptian authorities had opened the crossing on Tuesday after 11 days of closure for unknown reasons. The PIC reporter quoted sources at the crossing as saying that the Egyptian side did not stamp passports of those who entered in the only bus allowed since the morning. They expected that those passengers would be returned to the Palestinian side of the crossing. The sources pointed out that the Egyptians returned a number of ambulance vehicles which were carrying patients and told them that the crossing was closed. Egyptian security sources said that an explosion had killed ten soldiers and wounded more than five others in Sinai earlier on Wednesday.
Egyptian authorities close Rafah after 3 days of opening
GAZA (PIC) 22 Nov — Egyptian authorities closed on Thursday evening the Rafah crossing, until further notice, three days after opening it. Public administration of crossings in Gaza reported that three buses carrying 353 passengers were able to leave the Rafah crossing on Thursday, in addition to a number of ambulances. It added that 253 passengers have been able to reach the Palestinian side of the crossing, while the Egyptian authorities refused to let 12 other travelers cross the crossing for unknown reasons.
Haniyeh: Hamas will not break Egypt ties
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — The Hamas movement will not break ties with Egypt despite ongoing disagreements with the neighboring country, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday. Speaking with members of the Miles of Smiles aid convoy at his Gaza home, Haniyeh said that Hamas was in “continuous communication” with Egyptian intelligence services. “Our communication is almost daily to discuss the opening of the Rafah crossing, decreasing the suffering of our people, and monitoring movements of occupation and its violations of the truce which was sponsored by Egypt,” he said. “We cannot manage without Egypt or any other Arab or Islamic state,” Haniyeh added.
Israel launches new mock aerial attacks on Gaza
GAZA,(PIC) 21 Nov — The Israeli occupation forces on Thursday morning carried out new mock air raids on different areas of the Gaza Strip. The airstrikes took place against unreal targets in Gaza city, Khan Younis and the central province. The Israeli warplanes have been for three days launching mock raids on different Gaza areas … The air raids are believed to be aimed at causing panic among the civilians in Gaza, especially the children and women.
It is unclear from the reporting whether aid convoys entered Gaza on both Tuesday and Thursday
Aid convoy enters Gaza for first time since June
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 20 Nov — An aid convoy entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on Tuesday for the first time since the June 30 events which overthrew Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. Director of the Egyptian side of the terminal Sami Mutwalli told Ma‘an that the convoy consisted of 100 tons of medicine, medical equipment and canned food. The aid was donated by the international Rescue committee and to delivered to Gaza under the supervision of the Egyptian Red Crescent Association.
‘Miles of Smiles’ aid convoy arrives in Gaza
IMEMC — The ‘Miles Of Smiles’ solidarity aid convoy made it into the coastal region, on Thursday [November 21, 2013], after crossing through the Rafah Border Terminal between Gaza and Egypt, carrying supplies and various Arab and other international champions. Media sources in Gaza say that the activists are from many different countries, including Algeria, Libya, Jordan, Britain, Sweden and Malaysia … Partners for Peace & Development for Palestinians (PPDP) issued a press release stating that the convoy is part of a chain of the “Miles of Smiles” convoys which made it into Gaza, and continue to make trips to the coastal region in support of the Palestinian people and breaking the illegitimate Israeli siege. It added that Miles Of Smiles conducted several visits to Egypt, holding talks with Egyptian officials regarding methods of supporting Gaza, and to find alternatives to the tunnels which impacted Egypt’s economy and violated its sovereignty. The group also said that convoy members were warmly welcomed in Egypt. They have facilitated the transfer of medical supplies, canned meats and foods, and have received a permit from Egypt to transfer sanitation vehicles, ambulances and handicap-accessible vans. On its own part, Miles Of Smiles urged all parties to continue their support of these humanitarian initiatives and convoys, in order to help the besieged people in the impoverished Gaza Strip, and to refrain from using the current events in Egypt as an excuse for not supporting these convoys and the Palestinians. It stated that Egypt intends to conduct various new positive measures to ease the entrance of humanitarian convoys into Gaza, starting next month.
UN official: Gaza is quickly becoming uninhabitable
Middle East Monitor 21 Nov — The Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, has warned that “the plight of Palestinians and Palestinian refugees under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continues to worsen.” UNRWA has been the UN branch concerned with the issue of Palestinian refugees since 1949. Grandi was speaking in Jordan at the opening session of UNRWA’s Advisory Commission. He said: “The situation in Gaza has deteriorated substantially – and I repeat, substantially – in the last few months. I regret having to raise once again issues that we hoped were going to be eventually overcome by Israel’s partial and gradual relaxation of the blockade since 2010.” Grandi continued: “Instead, since March we have not had any construction projects cleared by the Israeli government, and for the past month, we have been unable to import building materials. Nineteen of our 20 construction projects have now ground to a halt and this is also likely to have financial consequences.” Speaking more broadly, Grandi said: “Following the closure of most of the smuggling tunnels and given that Israel does not allow exports or a resumption of normal economic activities; prices have been rising because commodities are becoming scarce.”
Israeli forces capture two Palestinian fishermen and seize their boat off Gaza
GAZA 21 Nov by Rosa Schiano, ISM — On Sunday, 17th November 2013, two Palestinian fishermen were captured by Israeli naval forces, who also confiscated their boat, in Gaza waters … Ammar Asad al-Sultan lives in an area called Salatin, in the north of the Gaza Strip. “We went fishing at 5:00 pm,” he said there Tuesday. “Around 6.30 pm, an Israeli gunboat approached our boat and the Israeli soldiers opened fire into the water. We tried to quickly pull our nets in order to escape, but we could not.” Without a motor, the two fishermen could not escape. “I’m 25, and I have never experienced something so terrifying in my life,” Moshen said. “I was afraid of losing my life.” The Israeli soldiers forced the two fishermen to undress and jump into the water. “It was very cold,” Ammar said. “It was freezing. They told us to jump into the water and swim 30 meters towards the Israeli gunboat.”On board, the Israeli soldiers brought the fishermen to the bow of the boat, cuffed their hands and feet, and covered their heads … “In Ashdod, two soldiers took us to a small room,” Mohsen said. Then we were kept handcuffed again for about 30 minutes in a room, before they separated us and we were questioned individually. They removed the handcuffs and the hood from my head, and asked me about my family, my work, everything about my private life, how many children I had. Then an investigator asked me which political party I support. And he asked me how many brothers I have. ‘Eight,’ I replied. ‘You are a liar,’ he told me. ‘I’m not,’ I said. He insulted me and said, ‘You have nine brothers.’ [the Israelis would know because they are the keepers of the population registry for Gaza] I told him one of my brothers died when he was five years old, so I had not counted him.’” After the interrogation, soldiers handcuffed the two fishermen, covered their heads and took them to another room. Ammar said soldier asked him to undress, then he checked his body with an explosive detector alarm able to detect weapons and even gunpowder. “The investigator, whose the name was Jamal, asked me why I was fishing in the forbidden area,” Ammar said. “Then he showed me a printed map and told me to mark my home. He asked me about my brothers and their work, and if I knew someone who works for Hamas. He said, ‘One of your brothers works for Hamas. We follow his steps every day.’ I told him that I don’t know anyone and my brother is not working for Hamas. The investigator told me, ‘I know everything happens in Gaza. We are watching at you. We could attach you, because your brother works with a terrorist organization … This is the second Israeli attack on Palestinian fishermen in only a week, as well as the second consecutive attack against fishermen on a boat without an engine one to two nautical miles off the northern coast of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces seem determined to prevent fishermen from accessing waters in the northern Gaza Strip. The actual limit imposed by Israel on waters north of Gaza is not six nautical miles, but one to two.
USAID halts key project in Gaza
GAZA CITY 20 Nov by Asmaa al-Ghoul — The US Agency for International Development has phased out a crucial $100 million project in Gaza that helped many poor Palestinians make ends meet — In the early morning hours of Nov. 17, dozens of locals rushed to the Palestinian Youth Center Association, located on Al-Wahda Street in Gaza City, to register for food aid coupons. This has become habitual every 2½ months. This time around, however, there was no registration. There was no aid.
Gaza lion cubs die three days after birth
JERUSALEM (The Guardian) 21 Nov by Harriet Sherwood — A rare moment of brightness in the grim reality of life in Gaza came to a premature end on Thursday with the death of twin three-day-old lion cubs at an amusement park. No explanation was given for the cubs’ demise in announcements on local news websites a day after endearing images of the pair were published on news websites around the world. But an interior ministry official told the Guardian that the cubs had been in poor health since birth, had not been feeding well and their father had been aggressive towards them. The lack of experience among zoo staff in caring for exotic animals had contributed to their decline, he added. Officials had made contact with a zoo in neighbouring Egypt to request advice and specialist food and equipment, but nothing could be brought into Gaza because of the continued closure of the crossing, he said.
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal – Live Feeds
Mathaba (Malaysia) 21 Nov — Follow the trial of the Zionist entity and Israeli General Yaron and witness testimony from the victims — Scroll down to view the live feed and live blog and please click on the Related links below for news coverage.
West Bank victims give testimony
KUALA LUMPUR (Mathaba) 21 Nov – The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) went into the third day of the hearing on genocide and war crimes charges against the State of Israel and Amos Yaron, a retired Israeli army general. The tribunal heard informative testimony from Dr Ang Swee Chai, a consultant at the Royal London Hospital, England. In mid-August 1982, she came to Beirut as a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon as part of a British Medical Team sent by British Charity Christian Aid to Lebanon. The tribunal also heard the testimony of renowned historian and socialist activist, Prof Ilan Pappe, who informed the tribunal about the systematic ethnic cleansing via expulsion and killing of the Palestinians from their homeland since 1948. Three witnesses from West Bank also gave an account of their trials and tribulations under the Israelis.
Ban Ki-Moon appoints new UNRWA chief
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Wednesday the appointment of Pierre Krähenbühl as the new commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. Mr. Krähenbühl, from Switzerland, will replace outgoing commissioner-general Filippo Grandi. Ban Ki-moon expressed gratitude for Grandi’s leadership in implementing UNRWA’s mandate and praised his “outstanding dedication and commitment to the Palestinian people.” Since 2002, Krähenbühl has been Director of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross, overseeing 12,000 staff in 80 countries.
UNRWA began operations on May 1, 1950, following the displacement of some 750,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel. The UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate in absence of a political solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees, most recently extending it until June 2014. Five million Palestinians are registered as refugees.
UNRWA staff protests against low salaries, funding
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — The workers’ union at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza continued protests Thursday calling for salary increases, an UNRWA employee said. Union members organized a protest outside of the UNRWA office Thursday, Secretary-General Yousef Hamdounah told Ma‘an. The protesters hope to improve the livelihoods of UNRWA workers, Hamdounah said.
Palestinian dies of dehydration in Yarmouk refugee camp
DAMASCUS (PIC) 21 Nov — A Palestinian young man died of dehydration and malnutrition in Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus, on Wednesday night. The action group for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement on Thursday that Mahmoud Obaidi died as a result of the tight siege on the Yarmouk refugee for 127 days so far. It said that the Syrian regular army siege of the camp depleted most of its food stock and other basic and medical supplies, noting that hospitals and clinics in the camp were closed due to the continued shelling and looting.
Palestinian homes in Beirut’s Dbayeh camp face demolition threat
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — The Palestinian refugees of Dbayeh refugee camp east of Beirut are worried about the future of their homes after the Dbayeh municipality issued a decision to demolish dozens of Palestinian houses in the camp. Palestinians had prepared repairs for their homes in the face of the approaching winter season, but now fear that they will be left homeless instead. In response, PLO representatives in Lebanon decided to hold an urgent meeting at the Palestinian Embassy in Beirut to follow up on the demolition orders in Dbayeh. The meeting will include the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour, Fatah’s central committee member, Dr. Nabil Shaath, Fatah’s secretary of PLO factions in Lebanon, Fathi Abu al-Aradat, the commander of the Palestinian National Security forces in Lebanon Subhi Abu Arab, Hamas representative in Lebanon, Ali Barka, a member in the PFLP office, Salah al-Yousef, an official of the DFLP, Ali Faysal, PFLP official, Marwan Abed al-All, and the director of the Ambassador’s office, Khalid Obadi.
From breaking barriers to waiting in Gaza: a week in photos November 14-20
Activestills 21 Nov — This week: Palestinians destroy the separation barrier in three different villages across the West Bank, Bedouin protest the Prawer Plan in the Negev, Bethlehem residents receive demolition orders, animal rights activists pour fake blood all over an Israeli supermarket, and more
PCBS: Over 100,000 Palestinians work in Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over 100,000 Palestinians work in Israel with around 20,000 working exclusively in Israeli settlements, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The results are part of a survey taken from July-September to document labor participation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to the survey, 103,000 Palestinians were employed in Israel between July-September, with over 60 percent employed in the construction sector. Of this number, 51,100 had an Israeli-issued permit, 34,600 worked without a permit, and 17,600 had an Israeli identity card or foreign passport. The overall labor force participation rate in the West Bank was 44.9 percent and 41.4 percent in the Gaza Strip. A large gap exists between male and female labor force participation, with an average of 69.5 percent of men working compared with 17.1 percent of females. The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip was 32.5 percent compared with 19.1 cent in the West Bank, with over 43 percent of the 20-24 age group unemployed, the highest overall rate for any demographic. In the occupied West Bank, Hebron had the overall highest unemployment rate at 22.3 percent, while in Gaza Khan Younis had the highest rate at 35.8 percent …
Palestinians employed in Israel face an arduous journey to work, often waiting hours at crowded military checkpoints. According to labor rights group Kav LaOved, Palestinian workers are often denied entry onto Israeli buses, and in November last year Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israeli police were systematically removing Palestinians from public transport. The Israeli transport ministry announced plans to set up segregated bus lines for Israelis and Palestinians, with rights group B’Tselem labeling the move “blatant racism.”
PLO negotiators to ‘oversee’ talks until new team formed
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 20 Nov — Palestinian negotiators will continue in their positions on a temporary basis until a new negotiations team can be formed, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday. The PLO negotiating team resigned last week in protest against continued Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
Official: Shtayyeh will not return to negotiations team
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — Palestinian negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh will not return for future peace negotiation sessions with Israel, a Palestinian official said Thursday. A Palestinian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma’an that Shtayyeh will definitely not be returning to the negotiations team after resigning last week. Another Palestine Liberation Organization official will replace Shtayyeh and join Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat in a negotiation session scheduled for next week, the official said. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly insisted on keeping Erekat on the negotiating team,
PA supreme court rules in favor of teacher strike
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Nov – The Palestinian Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a strike carried out by the general union of teachers is legal, after the Palestinian Authority appealed to the legal body to suspend the protest action. The court informed the PA of its decision early Thursday after the public prosecution of the Palestinian Authority filed a lawsuit against the teacher’s union, including the general secretariat of the union and other branches, claiming it violated agreements made with the PA. The court ruled that the strike action was legal according to union laws. The teacher’s union said it was “delighted” with the decision
Launching of Abraham’s Path project in ‘Arab Al Rashaida
[Video] PNN 21 Nov by Mariam Nabil & Jesse Gonzalez — The Abraham’s Path tourism project was launched Wednesday in the Bedouin community of ‘Arab Al Rashaida [Bethlehem governorate] to develop the alternative tourism sector in Palestine, with the presence of Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Rola Ma’aya, and the Governors of Bethlehem, Abdul Fattah Hamayel, Hebron, Kamil Hmaid, and Jericho Majed Al-Fitiani, as well as representatives from French development agencies who have been involved in the project’s planning. Abraham’s Path will be a hiking trail that connects Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It will attract eco- and alternative tourists who wish to hike in the stark beauty of Palestine’s western desert.
Israel to stop issuing birth certificates to children of foreigners
Haaretz 20 Nov by Ilan Lior — The state plans to cease issuing birth certificates to children of foreigners born in Israel, thereby depriving them of any official government document confirming their birth. The lack of such a document could cause serious problems later in life, when moving to another country, getting married or even attending college. The new policy, revealed in a brief filed by the state with the High Court of Justice on Monday, will require foreigners to make do instead with the handwritten birth notices issued by hospitals. But these notices aren’t official government documents. The government said it is making this change because it fears migrants might exploit official birth certificates to try to obtain legal status in Israel. But the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said the change would cause children disproportionate harm. The birth certificates issued to children of foreigners — meaning everyone from diplomats to asylum seekers to legal and illegal foreign workers — were never the same as those issued to Israeli citizens or residents. About a year ago, however, the state made two additional changes in these documents: It stopped listing the name of the child’s father, and started listing the mother’s maiden name as the child’s surname. ACRI and two other organizations, the Hotline for Migrant Workers and Physicians for Human Rights, petitioned the High Court against the changes on behalf of a Congolese couple and their baby daughter. The court is slated to hear that petition next Sunday, so this week, the state filed its response.
Analysis / Opinion
Plan B for Palestine: Zone C / Ali Jarbawi
RAMALLAH (NYTimes) 22 Nov — …The World Bank has long supported development projects in Palestine. In October 2013, it published a report entitled “Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy.” It showed that Israeli-imposed limits on Palestinian activities in this area cost the Palestinian economy about $3.4 billion a year, or one-third of total economic output. The report concluded that the Palestinian Authority’s economic situation would improve only if economic activity in Zone C grew, since that would increase government revenue, halve the budget deficit and wean the government off international aid. If Israeli sanctions in the area were lifted, the report estimated, 130,000 jobs could be created. Zone C is the key to developing the Palestinian economy. And if Palestinians were able to use all of their land and natural resources, they would be able to raise their G.D.P. and reduce their reliance on international aid. If Mr. Kerry is serious about revitalizing the Palestinian economy, he needs to open up Zone C to Palestinian development, and add this to the list of incentives offered to the Palestinians in the negotiations. All external investment should be directly tied to an effort to secure Palestinian control over Zone C. If this doesn’t happen, Kerry’s economic plan will be nothing but a palliative for a dangerous disease: the continuation of the occupation.
Egypt and Israel spar over Gaza as Sinai crisis escalates / Geoffrey Aronson
CAIRO (Al-Monitor) 20 Nov — Former Palestinian strongman Mohammed Dahlan was in Cairo recently where, according to a well-informed Palestinian source, he met with Egypt’s military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Dahlan’s effort to return to the Palestinian political and security equation — as one, albeit the smallest, of three centers of Palestinian political gravity dominated by Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — is a measure of both the disarray in Palestinian ranks and, more broadly, the sparring over Gaza being played out between Israel and Egypt … Fatah officials hope that the return of the Egyptian military to unchallenged power after the removal of President Mohammed Morsi offers the latest and perhaps best chance to return to Gaza in triumph, with or without Dahlan at the helm. Some believe that Fatah’s best opportunity lies in defeating Hamas’ rule by increasing broad opposition from within Gaza’s population of 1.7 million. Others, among them some opponents of Dahlan, suggest that a Palestinian brigade mustered in al Arish could march on Gaza and, with Egyptian support, defeat the broad array of Hamas forces created in the last decade. Egypt, however, is in no mood for anything Palestinian, either of the Hamas or the Fatah variety. Not only is Sisi fed up with Hamas, he has more immediate challenges to address than those championed by the PLO. During a recent visit by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), this new line was made clear — Cairo has no interest in mediating Palestinian reconciliation after years in which this dialogue was lead by Egypt’s security service. Nor will it respond to Fatah’s hopes that Sisi’s antipathy towards Hamas could be turned to its favor