Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Threats to Islamic institutions
Israeli forces issue demolition orders for Nablus park
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Israeli forces on Tuesday issued demolition orders for several structures in a park in the Nablus village of Burqa, a local official said. Ziyad Masud, a member of the al-Masodiya park rehabilitation committee, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces issued demolition orders for two rooms, bathrooms and seats in a building located in the park. The structures under threat were donated by World Vision [an international organization devoted tochildren], according to Masud, but Burqa village council oversees the project. Israel has destroyed more than 558 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 919 people, according to UNOCHA.
IOF order Bardala villagers in Jordan Valley to leave their homes
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 20 Nov — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed on Tuesday Bardala village in the Jordan Valley and ordered its Palestinian natives to evacuate their homes. Local sources reported that Israeli troops raided the tents of the villagers and gave them until the first of December to leave the village. [WAFA: and demolish the structures] The sources affirmed that the structures of the village had been built tens of years ago and its lands belong to the natives, adding that the villagers use some of the tents and structures they had built on their own lands for agricultural purposes.
In a separate incident, dozens of Jewish settlers illegally living in Palestinian-owned areas in the Jordan Valley established a settlement outpost in the same place where an Israeli officer was killed last month. According to Maariv newspaper on Tuesday, the settlers managed to provide their outpost with electricity and started to connect it with the water and sewage networks in the area.
Military demolishes water container in West Bank village
NABLUS (WAFA) 20 Nov – The Israeli army demolished Wednesday a container in a village near Nablus used to store water for the service of the area residents, according to the villagers. They said an army bulldozer demolished the container and another installation in Khirbet al-Tawil, southeast of Nablus, claiming they were built without authorization.
Israel’s policy of erasure
Op-Ed Los Angeles Times 18 Nov by Dr. Saree Makdisi — A path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires not simply dealing with settlements but with the whole complex of displacement, suffocation and erasure — …Israeli settlement expansion is meaningless when it’s considered in isolation. And that is how it is usually considered, given how much media attention the word “settlement” garners every time it comes up. There are, however, other, individually quieter, smaller, less visible — but collectively far more significant — events taking place on a daily basis. Indeed, the settlement program is only one component of a broad complex of Israeli policies that has come to define the rhythm and tempo of life for Palestinians, not only in the occupied territories but inside Israel itself. These policies express Israel’s longstanding wish to erase the Palestinian presence on land it considers its own. Consider, for example, this stunning statistic from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA: On average, every week so far this year, Israel has demolished about 13 Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied territories (up from a weekly average of about 12 last year). The structures include water cisterns, barns and family homes that Israel claims violate the draconian rules it imposes on Palestinian life. Sometimes these demolitions effectively obliterate entire communities at once.
The Israeli agency that oppresses Palestinians ‘for their own good’
Haaretz 18 Nov by Amira Hass — And this month’s George Orwell Prize for excellence in misleading language, for rose-colored ink and for doing a hell of a job on sugarcoating lies, goes to… Yes, clap your hands for the happy winner, the planning and licensing subcommittee of the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council. Its excellence was revealed in full in its decision dated October 24, 2013, which relates to the request for approval of a master plan for construction filed by the Arab village, er, assemblage of Susya. The West Bank village, which has a population of 300 (dispersed over 40 households), filed five different versions of the master plan, and the prize-winning committee rejected each of them. It wrote that for the sake of the rights of Palestinian children and the expansion of their horizons, and for the sake of the rights of Palestinian women and their salvation from lives of poverty, in order to prevent a rift in society and out of consideration for the limited abilities of the Palestinian Authority, these Arab residents of Susya should move to the nearby city of Yatta, which will provide them with the infrastructure necessary for their development. With this decision, the subcommittee has devised an innovative, refreshing take on one of the Ten Commandments: Jews to Area C, Arabs to Area A.
And see what a wonderful life awaits them in Yatta:
Israel issues orders to halt construction of Yatta mosque
HEBRON (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces prevented villagers in Yatta from constructing a mosque on Monday, claiming the building lacked an Israeli-issued building permit, locals said. Israeli forces arrived in the area and confiscated stones and construction materials being used to build the mosque, villagers in al-Deirat told Ma‘an. Israeli forces issued demolition orders for the parts of the mosque already built and banned villagers from all construction in the area. In the past, Israeli forces have demolished at least three houses in the village, claiming they lacked a building permit. Several residential and agricultural structures have also been issued demolition or stop-work orders, according to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.
Israeli forces confiscate school bus in Yatta, locals say
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli forces on Monday confiscated a school bus in Yatta, without providing an explanation, locals said. Mufied Abu Qbeita, the driver of the vehicle, said an Israeli patrol pulled him over and inspected his ID and the vehicle’s papers. Two Israeli soldiers then entered the vehicle and told him to drive from Masafer Yatta to the Israeli District Coordination Office in Etzion. After several hours in custody, Abu Qbeita was released and informed that the vehicle had been confiscated. The vehicle had been donated by UNICEF to take children to school in the south Hebron hills.
IOA to confiscate lands in al-Khalil, clashes erupt
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 18 Nov — Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) informed Sunday Palestinian citizens in Yatta town south of al-Khalil of its decision to confiscate 1370 dunums of their lands. The popular activist Ratib Jabour confirmed that IOA prevented Palestinians from entering their lands under the pretext of being a military area as a prelude to confiscate the lands. He pointed out that the IOA renewed its decision to confiscate the lands although the citizens have appealed against Israeli racist and confiscation policy against their lands since more than seven years.
IOA allows expansion of settlements without announcing it
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 18 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) allowed the continuation of building more housing units and expansion of settlements south of Al-Khalil without announcing it. Ratib Jabour, the coordinator of popular committees against the wall in Yatta to the south of Al-Khalil, told the PIC on Monday that construction work in four settlements near Yatta did not stop over the past few days. He said that trucks loaded with construction materials were seen entering those settlements while new housing units were being built. The activist said that more Palestinian land lots were confiscated in the area to allow room for the new expansion, adding that bulldozing those lands and building over them was progressing without announcement.
Settlers uproot 26 olive trees in Nablus village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Settlers destroyed at least 26 olive trees in the Nablus village of Qusra on Monday, a local official said. Village mayor Abed al-Atheim told Ma‘an that settlers from an illegal outpost south of Qusra chopped down 26 trees belonging to Talat Fawzi Hassan. The settlers also damaged concrete agricultural structures belonging to Deeb Abdel Latif Hassan and Ali Abdul al-Hamid Hassan. On Sunday, settlers destroyed 106 olive trees in Yatta.
Settlers torch 2 cars and attack Palestinian home west of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Israeli settlers torched two cars and sprayed racist graffiti in a Palestinian village near Nablus on Tuesday. A number of Israeli settlers from the nearby Havat Gilad settlement raided the Palestinian village of Far‘ata in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya early Tuesday morning, locals said. The settlers torched two cars belonging to Bahjat Mohammad Salman and attacked his house, which is located in the eastern area of the village. Israeli forces and police arrived in the area and opened investigation into the accident.
General strike in Negev Sunday protesting Prawer plan
NEGEV (PIC) 19 Nov — High Steering Committee of the Arabs of the Negev called for a general strike on Sunday protesting the Israeli government’s decision to approve the Prawer plan. The call for the strike came to coincide with a visit of a delegation of the Internal Affairs Committee of the Knesset to Negev area to convince the Committee’s members to vote in favor of the law. Arab MK Talal Abu Arar, a member of Steering Committee, stated that the strike will also include local authorities, shops, and schools. Abu Arar confirmed that the Interior Affairs Committee of the Knesset continued to approve Prawer Plan in total disregard of Arab citizens in Negev and the Arab Members of Knesset. Israel’s Prawer plan aims to forcibly displace up to 50,000 Palestinian Bedouins in the Nagev desert, confiscate 800,000 dunums of land, and confine the Bedouins to one percent of the land. Palestinians across the country are calling for a day of “Anger and Strike” and plan to take to the streets in their thousands.
Israel cuts power to Jericho village over unpaid debts
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli authorities cut electricity to a Palestinian village in Jericho on Sunday, claiming that a local company had failed to pay its bills over the past three months. Fathi Khdeirat, coordinator of the Jordan Valley campaign, said 12 water wells in al-Jiftlik have stopped working due to the power outage. Haza Daraghmeh, a member of al-Jiftlik village council, told Ma‘an that Israel claims the village council has accumulated a debt of 470,000 shekels ($133,420) over the past three months, leaving a total debt of 700,000 shekels ($198,711). Khdeirat called on President Abbas to immediately intervene to help restore electricity to the area, as a lack of power could lead to the devastation of thousands of dunams of agricultural fields due to the failure of irrigation systems. Al-Jiftlik is located in Area C, over 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under exclusive Israeli control. Israel, as the occupying power in the West Bank, has a legal obligation to protect the Palestinian civilian population and to administer the territory for their benefit.
80 Israeli police officers visit Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Around 80 Israeli security forces entered the al-Aqsa compound from the Moroccan gate and toured the area, a group said Monday. The Al-Aqsa Foundation said in a statement that 80 uniformed officers entered the compound from the Moroccan gate. They toured the compound including one of the mosques inside.
166 settlers roam Aqsa plazas
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 19 Nov — Big numbers of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday and roamed its various courtyards. The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) said in a press release that 166 settlers stormed the holy site via Maghareba gate in groups and organized tours in the company of Jewish rabbis who explained history of the alleged temple. AFEH pointed out that the Israeli police allow Jewish settlers to roam the Aqsa plazas while blocking entry of Muslim scholars who wish to study Quran in religious lessons inside the Mosque.
Ridwan calls for defending the Aqsa in face of repeated storming
GAZA (PIC) 19 Nov — Minister of Awkaf and religious affairs in the Gaza government Dr. Ismail Ridwan has denounced the Jewish settlers’ storming of the Aqsa Mosque on Monday under Israeli police protection. He said that the Israeli occupation authorities were allowing such break-ins into the holy site in a bid to prepare for dividing the Mosque temporally and spatially, exploiting the preoccupation of most countries with internal problems. The minister warned that such provocations to Muslim feelings would entail serious consequences. Ridwan called on worshipers and vigilantes to stand fast in face of those settlers and to confront their attempts to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque.
Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Hundreds of Jewish extremists attacked a Palestinian man early Monday as he was driving through West Jerusalem, the victim told Ma‘an. Majdi Al-Jarbawi, 40, said that the attack began at 4 a.m. after stopping at traffic lights on Bar Ilan street, which runs through a majority Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. “When I stopped at the light, a large number of extremists surrounded my car and began screaming at me: ‘Arab, Arab. He’s an Arab’, while throwing rocks at me from all sides,” he told Ma‘an. Al-Jarbawi was hit in the face with a rock and the windshield of his car was completely smashed. He drove himself to a nearby hospital and then filed a complaint with Israeli police.
Last Wednesday, a Palestinian man was left in a coma after Israeli settlers dropped a large rock on him from a height near the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Bethlehem man dies of 7-year-old Israeli gunshot wounds
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Fifty-eight-year-old Mohammad Munark Sawarka died on Tuesday of wounds sustained 7 years ago, medics said. Israeli forces shot him in the back with seven bullets in 2006. The incident left him paralyzed. He died after years of suffering, medics added.
Palestinian villages subject to Israeli mock raids not told they are exercises
JERUSALEM (The Guardian) 12 Nov by Harriet Sherwood — Palestinian civilians are being embroiled in Israeli military training, including mock arrests, raids on private homes and incursions into villages, without being told they are involved in army exercises. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) defended the training exercises following complaints from an Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, about two separate drills held earlier this year. In the first, a large number of troops in full combat gear spread out in a small Palestinian village for several hours, causing alarm and fear among its population. In the second, about 15 armed soldiers raided the house of a family while they were finishing their evening meal during Ramadan. In neither case were residents told that it was a training exercise. The Palestinians caught up in training drills are not informed in advance that an arrest or raid is an exercise. According to the testimonies of former Israeli soldiers, civilians with no connection with militant activity are usually selected for such exercises. “We used houses, streets, people like cardboard practice targets,” said one.
Woman injured after being hit by settler’s vehicle
IMEMC — [Nablus – Tuesday evening, Nov 19] Palestinian medical sources have reported that a Palestinian woman was wounded after being rammed by a speeding vehicle of an Israeli settler, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The sources said that Shamsa Sharif, 60 years of age, was moved to the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, suffering moderate but stable injuries. Sharif is from Huwwara village, south of Nablus. The settler fled the scene after the incident. There have been numerous similar hit-and-run incidents in different parts of the occupied West Bank, mainly in the Hebron district in the southern portion of the West Bank.
8 hurt in Nablus clashes, 1 critically
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Eight Palestinians were injured on Monday in clashes with Israeli forces south of Nablus, locals said. Abed al-Athiem al-Qadi, the mayor of Qusra village, told Ma‘an that clashes broke out earlier in the day after Israeli settlers uprooted 26 olive trees in the village. Israeli forces arrived on the scene and fired rubber-bullets at Palestinian villagers, injuring eight people. Hamada Abdullah Abu Rida, 18, was shot directly in the chest and transferred to Radifa hospital. He is said to be in critical condition.
Locals: Israeli forces detain 3 in Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli forces detained three young Palestinians in and around Bethlehem and took them to an unknown location, locals said. Israeli forces raided al-Ubeidiya village east of Bethlehem and detained Rashad Jamil Hasasneh, 18, Ahmad Mazen Hasasneh, 16, and Ahed Mohammad Hasasneh, 17. Separately, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian from the Abu Dheir area in Jenin, and briefly detained a Palestinian from Ya‘bad village at a checkpoint, security sources said. Ten military vehicles raided Jenin and stationed themselves at Abu Dheir, where they detained Ali Jamal Irsheid, 26. Then they raided the al-Kharuba neighborhood including the home of Mohammad Nafiz Assaf, causing damage and questioning residents.
Israeli forces detain elderly man, security officer in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Israeli forces detained an elderly man from Sa‘ir village and a security officer from Tarqumiya village after raiding their houses on Tuesday early morning, locals said. The Israeli army raided Sa‘ir village and detained 60-year-old Yousef Hassan al-Froukh. They also detained a security officer from Tarqumiya village, Mahmud Ahmad al-Marqatan. Al-Marqatan works as an officer in the Palestinian Preventive Security forces.
Israeli army arrests 24 in West Bank
NABLUS (WAFA) 20 Nov – The Israeli army conducted late Tuesday night and early Wednesday a large arrest campaign in several West Bank towns and villages rounding up at least 24 Palestinians, according to security and local sources. In the north of the West Bank, soldiers arrested nine Palestinians from the Nablus area village of Beita and nine more from the Jenin area town of Ya‘bad, according to security sources. Most of the Palestinians arrested in Beita following raids at their homes were in their 20s, with two only 17 years of age, while two were in their 40s. In Ya‘bad, the army also rounded up nine Palestinians after raiding their homes, all of them teenagers including twin brothers. One was arrested at an army checkpoint on his way home. The army also arrested four Palestinians from various towns in the Hebron area, all of them teenagers … One Palestinian was also arrested from ‘Anata, a town near Jerusalem, said local sources.
Detainees / Court actions
Note that the list here of administrative detentions (like the list of arrests) is not exhaustive. For more on prisoners see the PIC website especially.
IOF renews administrative detention of Palestinian MPs
RAMALLAH (PIC) 18 Nov — Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) renewed the administrative detention of MP Mahmoud Ramahi, 50, and MP Yasser Mansour for 6 months a few days before their release, human rights sources revealed … The two MPS were arrested under the pretext of inciting against occupation authorities during Israeli aggression on Gaza in November 2012. IOA renewed the two MPs’ administrative detention for the second time in a row. The two MPS were arrested under the pretext of inciting against occupation authorities during Israeli aggression on Gaza in November 2012. IOA renewed the two MPs’ administrative detention for the second time in a row. [article details the renewal of the administrative detention of other prisoners]
IOA renews administrative detention of Dr. Hamouri for 3rd time
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 19 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities renewed the administrative detention of Dr. Amjad Hamouri for the third time running. Hamouri’s wife said on Tuesday that an IOA court told her husband that his detention would be renewed for four months. The IOA arrested Dr. Hamouri, a notable figure in Al-Khalil, on 23/3/2013 and held him in administrative custody, without trial or charge. He was previously detained by Palestinian Authority security apparatuses.
Two detained brothers declare hunger strike
RAMALLAH (PIC) 19 Nov — Two Palestinian brothers detained in Israeli Ofer jail have gone on hunger strike to protest their administrative detention, without trial or charge. A statement for the Palestinian prisoner’s club on Monday said that Mohammed and Islam Badr from Beit Lakia village in Ramallah decided to go both on hunger strike in protest against an Israeli court ruling holding them in administrative custody without any clear charge.
IOA prevents two prisoners from family visits
JENIN, NAZARETH (PIC) 19 Nov — The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) continued to prevent the family of prisoner Mona Ka’adan from visiting her in Hasharon prison since her arrest, a year and a half ago, under the pretext of security reasons. The prisoner’s family appealed through Palestinian Prisoners’ Society to all human rights organizations, led by the International Red Cross, to pressure the occupation authorities to allow family visits for their daughter … In a related context, IOA prevented the prisoner Ibrahim al-Bakri, 33, from family visits without justifications. The prisoner’s family stated that the Israeli authorities informed them of its decision to prevent their son from family visits despite obtaining visit permit, Yusuf Al Sadeeq Foundation said.
Palestinian captives’ wives deprived of visiting their husbands for years
RAMALLAH (PIC) 19 Nov — Ahrar Center for the studies of prisoners and human rights said that the Israeli occupation authorities have been willfully depriving the Palestinian prisoners, especially those serving long sentences in captivity, from visits … The wife of captive leader Jamal Abu al-Hija from the city of Jenin, who has been sentenced to nine times life imprisonment and 20 years, said that she has not seen her husband for 10 years or more, as the occupation prevents her from visiting him … Administrative detainee Abdel Khalek Natshe’s wife from al-Khalil is also prevented from visiting her husband for alleged security reasons … For his part, the director of Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights asserted that the occupation is violating international laws by depriving the prisoner from seeing his relatives.
Golani soldiers given prison terms for abusing Palestinian
Ynet 19 Nov by Yoav Zitun — The Jaffa Military Court sentenced two soldiers to five and a half and six and a half months in prison, respectively, for assaulting a restrained Palestinian. The two Golani Brigade soldiers were guarding the man at an IDF post in Gaza in 2011. The Palestinian was arrested after crossing into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The court also ordered the soldiers be demoted to the rank of private … According to the indictment, filed by the military prosecution, the Palestinian was arrested a day before the reported assault for infiltrating into Israel. He was placed in custody pending investigation. The next day, the indictment noted, the victim was beaten by four soldiers in a closed room in a Gaza adjacent camp … According to the judges, “The fate of the Palestinian was at the hands of the Brigade’s soldiers. He was handcuffed and helpless and the defendants took advantage of that in order to beat him.”
Gaza under blockade
PCHR: Gaza leukemia patients without medicine for 11 months
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Leukemia patients in the Gaza Strip have been without medicine for more than 11 months leaving them in grave danger of complications and death, according to a report released Sunday by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The Center called upon Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to “immediately intervene in order to save these patients by instructing the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to provide their required medications promptly and regularly.” The report also highlighted the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, who have been deprived of their necessary medications for over two years.
Egyptian authorities open Rafah crossing for three days
RAFAH (PIC) 19 Nov — Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border terminal with Gaza Strip for three days starting Tuesday for humanitarian cases, patients, students, and holders of foreign residence. Maher Abu Sabha, the director of Gaza’s crossings and borders, said that the Egyptian authorities announced that the crossing would be open in both directions. He said in a written statement that passengers who booked two weeks ago would be allowed to travel today, adding that 11 buses loaded with passengers were ready for travel.
IOF detained 15 Palestinians at Erez including patients
GAZA (PIC) 18 Nov — Mizan center for human rights said that Israeli occupation forces at Erez crossing, to the north of Gaza Strip, had detained 15 Palestinian citizens while attempting to cross the terminal since the start of 2013. The center said in a statement on Sunday that the detainees included eight patients and their escorts, who were on their way for treatment in West Bank or Jerusalem hospitals. The center charged the Israeli occupation authorities with adamantly tightening the noose on the Gaza inhabitants and forcing restrictions on their freedom of movement and travel. It said that the IOA was exploiting the need of Gaza patients for treatment outside the besieged enclave, due to poor health conditions, to detain or recruit them to work as informants.
Israeli air force carries out seven airstrikes against Gaza
[Tuesday evening Nov 19] Israeli war jets carried out seven air strikes targeting different areas in the northern and the southern parts of the Gaza Strip. Israeli military sources alleged that the attacks were carried out after Palestinian armed groups fired a number of mortars targeting armored vehicles invading Khan Younis, in the southern part of the coastal region. Local sources in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, have reported that the army fired missiles targeting two chicken farms that belong to the Esleih family in the Al-Manara neighborhood in Khan Younis. The chicken farms were completely destroyed, and around 4000 chicks and some sheep were killed. No human casualties have been reported. The Israeli Air Force also fired a missile into an area, nearly 250 meters from the border fence, east of Khan Younis. The attacked area is where three Palestinian fighters, members of the Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, were killed, and four Israeli soldiers were injured, during a recent Israeli invasion into the area. Another Air Strike targeted a vacant chicken farm in the Az-Zanna area, in Bani Soheila, east of Khan Younis; damage was reported but no injuries. Furthermore, at least one missile was fired into a training center used by fighters of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, north of Beit Lahia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces attack, detain 2 fishermen off Gaza coast
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — In the third such incident in less than 10 days, Israeli naval forces opened fire on two Palestinian fisherman near the Gaza Strip and subsequently took them into custody on Sunday afternoon. Israeli forces encountered the fishing vessel 1.5 nautical miles from shore, northwest of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. They opened fire on the fishermen and then surrounded the boats, demanding the two fishermen swim to their boat, according to a report by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. While the fisherman swam towards the gunboats, Israeli forces continued spraying the water with bullets, and they confiscated the boat’s 10 nets. Ammar As‘ad Abdel Malek al-Sultan, 21, and Muhsin Akram Diab Zayed, 24, from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahiya were detained and taken to the Israeli city of Ashdod for questioning. Around 3 a.m. on Monday morning the pair were released via Erez crossing back into the Gaza Strip, but Israeli forces kept their boat and belongings.
Turn the Gaza lights on
Mondoweiss 19 Nov by Sarah Salibi — Imagine that you have to spend your night in utter darkness, to arrange your plan for each day according to a power-cut plan, or to force yourself into bed as there is nothing you can do other than to sit in the dark. Picture yourself studying for your exams using a candle, or spending all day long waiting for the electricity to come back, or walking in streets at night that are only lit by cars’ headlights. If you find it hard to imagine all of these things combined, just seek the help of a Palestinian from Gaza. No one could explain it better. It has been a week since the government announced the new electricity schedule. Yet I still find it very difficult to adapt to. Previously, power used to be off for 8 hours a day. We have accustomed ourselves to that schedule despite the fact that it took us a while to get used to it. The electricity crisis seems to be moving from bad to worse. Never better. Currently, we only get to see electricity for 6 hours a day … Electricity now controls our daily lives. It controls our sleeping and waking up times. It even decides for us whether to receive guests at home or not. Electricity interferes with every detail. Residents of Gaza are not the only ones affected by the power cuts. Their relatives abroad get their share of this daily suffering as well. I have two sisters in Malaysia pursuing their higher education. My mother used to Skype them every day, but now we can barely talk to them. There is either no electricity or a terribly weak Internet connection.
Sewage floods Gaza City neighborhoods after treatment plant runs out of fuel
IMEMC 19 Nov — As a consequence of the recent Israeli and Egyptian clampdown on the tunnels under the border between Gaza and Egypt, fuel has become exceedingly scarce in Gaza, and a major waste treatment plant in Gaza City has shut down, leading to floods of sewage in the city streets. The plant shut down on Wednesday November 13th, and has remained offline since then. The most severely impacted area is the Al Sabra neighborhood, which has several feet of raw sewage covering the streets of the neighborhood … Because of the sewage treatment plant shutdown,hildren have had to wade to school through the sewage. Medical personnel note that the health implications of the raw, open sewage flooding the streets are disastrous. An estimated 20,000 people live in the contaminated area.
Ma‘an office in Gaza re-opens
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Authorities in the Gaza Strip re-opened Ma‘an News Agency’s Gaza City office on Tuesday, after four months of closure. The public prosecutor in the Hamas government handed the keys over to the head of the news agency’s Gaza City office and its attorney. On Saturday, Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh issued a decision to re-open the office … The government in Gaza also announced Tuesday it would re-open Al-Arabiya TV’s offices in the Gaza Strip. Al-Arabiya was closed along with Ma‘an on July 25. On Monday, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders welcomed the Hamas government’s decision to let Ma‘an re-open its Gaza City office. “This decision is important for freedom of information in the Gaza Strip even if it just constitutes a return to normal,” Reporters Without Borders said … When Gaza prosecutor-general Ismail Jaber closed Ma’an and Al-Arabiya in July, he accused them of “fabricating news and disseminating false rumors and baseless reports that threaten civil peace and undermine the Palestinian people’s resistance.”
Hamas PM grandchild back in Gaza after Israel treatment
GAZA CITY (AFP) 19 Nov — A granddaughter of Gaza’s Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh returned to the Gaza Strip on Monday in a state of “clinical death” after she was hospitalized in Israel in critical condition, Palestinian sources said Monday. Amal Haniyeh, aged one, suffers from a serious infection of the digestive tract which has affected her nervous system, according to Gaza medical sources. “Amal has crossed the Green Line (border with Israel) now, and I call on God to grant her health,” Abd al-Salam Haniya, the premier’s son, wrote Sunday on his Facebook page. “I call on God to grant good health to my daughter Amal, who entered in a state of clinical death,” he added the next day. She was subsequently returned to the Gaza Strip by Israeli doctors, who claimed her survival chances were slim. Photographs on social networks show Ismail Haniyeh visiting the sick child in Al-Nasser pediatric hospital before her transfer.
Hamas announces birth of 2 lion cubs in Gaza
AZA CITY (AFP) 19 Nov — Gaza’s Hamas-run authorities on Tuesday announced the birth of two lion cubs in the Palestinian enclave, named in honor of the last bout of fighting with Israel. The cubs were born less than a week after the first anniversary of the eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel in November 2012. “The lioness gave birth yesterday (Monday) to two cubs, one male and one female,” said Nahed al-Majdub, head of the “Bissan” amusement park, set up by the Hamas-run interior ministry. “They were named Fajr and Sijil,” said Majdub, Arabic for dawn and clay. The names refer to the Fajr missiles Hamas fired at Israel in the conflict in November 2012 and the name the Islamist movement gave to the fighting, “Operation Stones of Clay.” “It is the first time lions have been born in the Gaza Strip,” Majdub said, adding that the cubs’ parents were imported from Egypt four years ago. Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, congratulated itself on having smuggled the cubs’ parents past the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Gaza blast kills Hamas operative, injures 4
World Bulletin 19 Nov — A member of Ezzedeen Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas resistance group, was killed early Tuesday and four others were injured in an explosion in Gaza City, medial and security sources said. Two of the injured are in serious condition. It is still unclear what caused the explosion, but the Hamas sources asserted that it was not by an Israeli airstrike as some media reports have suggested. No official statement has been issued yet by the Gaza authorities on the blast.
Syria Palestinians locked up in Egypt
Reuters 19 Nov — After escaping shelling in Damascus and terrifying bloodshed at sea, 14-month-old Palestinian twin girls are now among hundreds of people living in limbo in grimy Egyptian police stations, with no end in sight to their plight. Of the 2 million people who fled Syria’s civil war, none may have it worse than Palestinians, who have known no other home than Syria but do not have Syrian citizenship and have therefore been denied even the basic rights secured for other refugees … The twins’ family fled Syria after their house was nearly hit by shelling. But when they arrived in Egypt they were denied permission to work or to receive refugee benefits. After five months, with no other way of obtaining a living, they attempted to leave Egypt for Italy. They were captured at sea on September 17 by the Egyptian navy, which fired on the overloaded rickety craft, the mother of the twins said. She held her daughters tight as bullets flew by. At least one person was hit and the boat was filled with blood and flying shrapnel … Turkey and Jordan will not accept Palestinians from Syria and Lebanon will only allow them to pass through for 48 hours. So they live at the four storey police station in Alexandria, where cold winter wind blows in from the sea and families of Palestinians sleep on blankets on cement floors … They receive one meal a day from an aid group. Many pass idle days praying. The sounds of children crying echo through the drafty chambers.
UN Palestinian agency to stop paying wages
NEW YORK (AFP) 19 Nov — The United Nations will stop paying wages to thousands of workers helping Palestinian refugees next month because of a growing cash crisis, a top UN official said Tuesday. The UN Relief and Works Agency, one of the UN’s oldest agencies, faces a “dire situation” with a $36 million deficit, under secretary general Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council. “UNRWA will be unable to adequately fund its core services — especially in education, health and poverty mitigation — and will be unable to pay December salaries of its 30,000 teachers, medical personnel and social workers,” Feltman said. The agency was set up in 1950 to help Palestinian refugees who lost their homes because of the 1948 Middle East conflict. It estimates that it now helps about 5 million people.
Refugees to shut down UNRWA offices, programs
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — The popular service committees of Palestinian refugee camps in the northern West Bank will shut down all UNRWA offices and programs, except clinics and schools, Wednesday and Thursday. In a joint statement, the committees said the move was part of ongoing protests against “UNRWA’s systematic reductions” in services provided to Palestinian refugees in the region … Balata refugee camp in Nablus is the largest camp in the occupied West Bank, with over 23,000 registered residents who are originally from 60 villages and the cities of Lydda, Jaffa and Ramleh. The West Bank is home to 771,000 registered refugees, around a quarter of whom live in 19 camps, according to UNRWA.
Six Palestinian refugees killed in Syria
DAMASCUS (PIC) 18 Nov — Six Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria over the past 24 hours in shelling on their camps, activists in those camps said on Monday. The action group for Palestinians of Syria said in a press release that four of the martyrs, including a woman, fell in Dera refugee camp that came under heavy shelling. A young man was killed in Yarmouk refugee camp, south of Damascus, the group said, adding that he was gunned down by a sniper while walking near a secondary school. It said that another youth was killed in clashes in Khan Danun refugee camp.
Palestine casts first vote at UN Assembly
NEW YORK (AFP) 19 Nov — Palestine cast a UN General Assembly vote for the first time Monday and claimed the moment as a new step in their quest for full recognition by the global body. Most of the 193 members of the General Assembly applauded Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour as he voted for a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Palestinians became observer state members of the United Nations on November 29 last year. The mission cannot vote on UN resolutions, but under UN rules, it and other observers such as the Vatican can vote in elections for judges on international courts.
World figures, 100 organizations endorse family unification campaign
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 19 Nov – Four renowned world figures and 100 Palestinian organizations have endorsed a campaign for repealing Israeli laws that deny family unification between Palestinians, a press release by the campaign organizers, Love in the Time of Apartheid, said Tuesday … A volunteer-based initiative, Love of in the Time of Apartheid campaign was launched in a symbolic wedding in March 2013 at Hizma checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, between a Palestinian from inside Israel and another from the occupied West Bank to expose the problems the two newlyweds face due to the Israeli law that separates them.
French president: Jerusalem must be capital of two states
JERUSALEM (AFP) 19 Nov — Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine, French President Francois Hollande told the Israeli parliament on Monday. “France’s position is known: a negotiated settlement, with the state of Israel and (the state) of Palestine both having Jerusalem as capital, coexisting in peace and security,” he said.
Poll: Oslo brought ‘political normalization’ but no benefits
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 18 Nov – A majority of respondents to an opinion poll conducted by al-Quds Open University believe that the 1994 Oslo Accord will not help establish a sovereign Palestinian state. A majority of 74.1 percent of the respondents believe Oslo created “political normalization” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinians gained nothing in return. Similarly, 77.4 percent of the respondents say the agreement will not enable the Palestinians to establish a sovereign state. Furthermore, 83.3 percent of the respondents believe that settlement construction increased ‘unprecedentedly’ in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord. Meanwhile, 83.1 percent say that the agreement enabled the Israeli side to continue to strengthen the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and gradually change the city to a pure Jewish property. The plight of Palestinian refugees, who were forcibly displaced, was also negatively affected by the Oslo Accord, according to a majority of 78.3 percent of the respondents who believe the agreement marginalized and undermined the refugees’ plight. Consequently, 55 percent of the respondents believe the best choice the Palestinian leadership can do is to amend the Oslo agreement so as to make it closer to recognition of Palestinian rights.
Afro-Arab Summit kicks off in Kuwait
KUWAIT (Ma‘an) 19 Nov — Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah launched the third Afro-Arab Summit in the capital Kuwait City on Tuesday morning. Leaders of 41 countries from Africa and the Arab world listened to al-Sabah’s inaugural address along with 61 foreign ministers and some 300 journalists. Representatives of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization FAO were also present … Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas attended the inauguration along with Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki, PLO official Saeb Erekat, Ambassador to Tunisia Suleiman al-Harfi, Ambassador to Ethiopia Zuheir al-Shan, and other Palestinian officials. Abbas is also accompanied by a delegation of Palestinian journalists. “Palestine is very strongly represented in this summit and there will be a special statement about Palestine and Jerusalem at the end,” Abbas told a Ma‘an reporter.
Analysis / Opinion
Missing the real Palestinian narrative / Ramzy Baroud
Gulf News 19 Nov — Factionalism is destroying the very idea of having a common narrative through which Palestinians can tell one cohesive story — X charges $5,000 per lecture on Palestine, to bestow his knowledge on a perplexed audience seeking answers regarding a seemingly indecipherable, never-ending conflict. X is not a Palestinian, nor did X ever live in Palestine for a long enough period of time to justify his supposed first-hand account of the Palestinian struggle … Z is a religious Muslim who sees Palestine as an exclusively Muslim issue. His narrative wins the applause of his peers, but confuses everyone else. Then there is the Israeli that declared himself an anti-Zionist and established a lucrative career based on his ultimate sacrifice and celebrated courage. Additionally, we see the socialist, who insists that the struggle for Palestine is part of a much larger anti-imperialist struggle worldwide. Fair enough, except that his understanding of Palestine is confined within a few slogans and symbols. All of the above, and many other agents, purport to speak about and for Palestine and the Palestinians; to represent them, their history, their grievances, hopes and aspirations. Mostly missing from the panel of speakers are Palestinians with a real, genuine Palestinian narrative, true, realistic and if necessary, crude, rebellious and inconvenient. But why does the Palestinian narrative have so many ambassadors, few of whom are Palestinian narrators?
#IDFWithoutBorders: Israel’s bluewashing campaign in the Philippines / Benjamin Doherty
Electronic Intifada 18 Nov — When Typhoon Yolanda (known internationally as Typhoon Haiyan) struck the Philippines on 6 November, it left behind a massive streak of destruction and death in the central Philippines. As of 16 November, the authorities counted almost 3,700 fatalities in the Philippines. The storm is a massive humanitarian catastrophe and even the best preparations could not save every life. Countries around the globe pledged money and aid. Even Vietnam, a country with a smaller gross domestic product than the Philippines and which was also affected by the storm, pledged support. It is not surprising then that Israel sprang into action, as it has after so many recent natural disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. However, the Israeli army does not quietly and humbly spread tikkun olam – reparation of the world. It brings a public relations team. The Israeli army created a new Twitter account on 12 November named @IDFRescue. The first tweet was: … The choice of the #IDFWithoutBorders hashtag struck me as an unintended irony, because Israel itself is a state without defined borders that has militarily occupied the territory of every neighboring country and presently occupies the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Syria’s Golan Heights and territory in south Lebanon. Given international condemnation of Israel’s relentless expansion of colonial settlements into occupied territories, it is hard to think of a more unfortunate hashtag from an Israeli propaganda perspective.