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More Jewish settlers needed in Galilee to ‘balance’ Palestinian population

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Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Exclusive || WZO pushing new Jewish towns to ‘balance’ Arab population in Israel’s north
Haaretz 1 Dec by Zafrir Rinat — Group plans to settle 100,000 Jews in central Galilee by establishing new towns, expanding existing — The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division, which is defined by the government as one of its executive arms, is formulating a plan to settle more Jews in the Galilee to achieve a demographic balance with the Arab population. This would be accomplished by establishing new towns and expanding existing ones beyond the limits set in the national master plan for development. In recent weeks, the Settlement Division has contacted a number of planning firms to suggest that they bid on a tender to prepare a development policy document for absorbing 100,000 new residents in the central Galilee, in the area surrounding the Beit Netofa Valley. The goal of the plan is stated clearly in the letters: To further expand and develop the mitzpim (hilltop settlement) plan of the 1980s, with the goal of “giving expression to Israeli sovereignty through settlement activity.” The letter notes that the mitzpim plan created a strong network of communities but did not succeed in changing the demographic balance in the area … “This is a continuation of the demographic war in the 1980s that was conducted against the Arab population,” said MK Hanna Swaid (Hadash), who lives in the Galilee and is a planning expert … This [proposed] process is not a planning process, but part of the struggle over the land.” … “Establishing new communities involves more than just the residential structures themselves, but also accompanying infrastructures like roads, electricity, sewerage and water pipes,” noted Itamar Ben David, head of planning for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. “This will ruin the landscape, reduce the amount of open space and lead to the destruction of natural habitats. This is especially true when we’re talking about single-family homes that are built in an outrageous waste of precious land.”
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Knesset member: Plans to build 20,000 settlement houses not canceled
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not in fact cancel plans to build 20,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank as he claimed, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset told Ma‘an Sunday. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Ahmad Tibi said that Netanyahu’s claim on Nov. 13 that he had cancelled plans for the construction of 20,000 new settlements was untrue. The invitation for housing bids on new homes was effective until Nov. 28 on the Israeli Ministry of Housing’s website, Tibi said, adding that several Israeli companies proposed bids. Netanyahu’s supposed cancellation of the plans was a “game,” Tibi said. [contains screenshot of Israel’s Housing Ministry webpage in Hebrew, which Tibi says indicates that plans to build 20,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank are still effective]
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For second time in two weeks || Israel reassures, US, Palestinians it has frozen new tenders for West Bank  housing
Haaretz 1 Dec by Barak Ravid — Yedioth Ahronoth reported over the weekend that the tenders for 24,000 housing units in the West Bank were still going ahead, prompting the U.S. Embassy to ask for explanations — …The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv was furious at the report, as was Mahmoud Abbas’ office, and both demanded explanations. “The Americans and the Palestinians were notified that the report over the weekend was incorrect,” a senior Israeli official at the Prime Minister’s Office said. “We emphasized to them that the prime minister’s instruction not to advance preliminary procedures for planning as published on November 12 in Judea, Samaria and E1 is being fulfilled.” The official added that over the weekend, an additional inquiry was carried out, reaffirming that none of the procedures that the housing minister initiated were being advanced. Another official said that following the message relayed to the United States, the forms for these specific tenders have been removed from the Housing Ministry’s website.
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Palestinians to protest JNF event: Trees are soldiers in occupation
Ynet 1 Dec by Ofer Petersburg –  Canadian police forces are currently preparing for a Palestinian protest against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is expected to participate in a Jewish National Fund of Canada event.  The event is a dinner being held in the prime minister’s honor and the protest is expected to attract at least 1,000 people. According to the protest’s organizers, the demonstration is being held in wake of the Praver Plan to resettle Bedouins.  “In light of the fact that KKL is active in the Negev we see in JNF’s trees are soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” a Palestinian told Ynet. [KKL is Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – the Jewish National Fund]
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IOA announces intention to confiscate 1200 dunums in Salfit
SALFIT, TULKAREM (PIC) 1 Dec — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) announced intention to confiscate 1200 dunums of Palestinian land in the town of Deir Estia in Salfit, in the north of the West Bank, to expand settlements established in the area of Wadi Qana. Local sources said that the lands threatened with confiscation belong to citizens from the village of Deir Estia, and added that they will appeal the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court. They pointed out that the confiscation decision was based on a plan to expand the settlement of Yakir, set up on Deir Estia lands. The sources said that the lands contain olive groves and water springs, and added that the settlers have been targeting the region for the past decades.
Meanwhile, local sources in the city of Tulkarem in the north of the West Bank said that Israeli occupation forces served demolition notices to Palestinian citizens, claiming their houses were built in Area C, where construction is prohibited. Imad Abu Hamda, head of Zeita village council north-west of the city of Tulkarem, said IOF soldiers raided the village on Saturday morning and handed two citizens military decisions to halt construction work on their houses.
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IOF to displace 150 citizens from Wadi al-Maleh
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 1 Dec — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) served notifications for the demolition of Khirbet Umm al-Jamal in Wadi al-Maleh, in the Northern Jordan Valley, that would displace about 150 citizens living there. Wadi al-Maleh village council in the Northern Jordan Valley said that the IOF did not specify a date for the demolition, which has intensified the suffering of the inhabitants who are waiting for demolition at any moment.
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Palestinian family forced to demolish 3 apartments in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — A Palestinian family in East Jerusalem had to demolish three apartments they had been building on Saturday after an Israeli court threatened the structures with demolition by the municipality. The family chose to demolish the structures manually before the municipal council of Jerusalem could send out bulldozers to do it. If the municipality itself had carried out the demolition, it would have charged the family a fee of 200,000 shekels ($55,000). Muhammad Amira from Sur Bahir village told Ma‘an that he demolished a two-floor building with two apartments measuring 200 square meters each, while his brother Nidal had to demolish a one-floor building measuring 150 square meters. The structures, he said, have been under construction for the last year. A preliminary demolition order was issued earlier and the family tried to delay implementation, Amira said. After this process, a final order was given which was due to be implemented before Saturday, Nov. 30. Amira pointed out that his lawyer presented to the judge blueprints which proved that parts of the structures were on West Bank lands and thus not under Jerusalem municipal control, but the judge did not care and instead ordered the demolition of both structures. Amira added that he and his brother have 12 family members. They have spent more than 500,000 shekels ($140,000) on the buildings which they had to demolish with their own hands.
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Soldiers block attempt by farmers to reach their land
HEBRON (WAFA) 30 Nov — Israeli soldiers prevented Saturday farmers in the Hebron area village of Um al-Arayes, east of Yatta, from reaching their land located close to the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Yair, according to a local activist. Rateb Jbour, from the committee against the wall and settlements, told WAFA that soldiers intercepted farmers who were on their way to work on their land and prevented them from entering it claiming it was a closed military zone. He said the army wants people to abandon their land in order to take it over for settlement expansion.
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Prawer Plan protests

Thousands across Palestine protest against efforts to uproot Bedouin
Mondoweiss 30 Nov by Alex Kane — Protests erupted across the Palestinian territories today as a show of force against the Prawer Plan, the Israeli government’s initiative to uproot tens of thousands of Bedouin Arabs, demolish their villages and build new Jewish towns on top of their ruins. Demonstrations that were part of the planned “Day of Rage” occurred within Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, other Arab countries and in Europe.  Israeli soldiers and police clashed with protesters and arrested at least 60 people, according to Abir Kopty, a Palestinian activist involved in organizing Prawer Plan protests.
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Video: Israel police brutalize 12-year-old amid anti-Prawer protests
Electronic Intifada 1 Dec by Ali Abunimah — In this video, Israeli forces can be seen brutalizing and arresting a 12-year-old boy. Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, can be heard shouting in Hebrew “He’s a boy, you should be ashamed,” as he tries to intervene. The attack on the child came as thousands of people protested on 30 November, in a “day of rage” against the Prawer Plan.
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Israeli police re-arrest Haifa journalist hours after her release
HAIFA (WAFA) 2 Dec – Israeli police re-arrested Monday the Haifa journalist Sabreen Diab, hours after her release from prison.  Diab told WAFA that police arrested her and a number of activists who participated in the Saturday protest in the city against government plan to uproot thousands of the Arab Bedouin population from their homes and land in the Naqab desert in the south of the country. Diab, who suffered a broken arm and leg and received several bruises all over her body during and after her first arrest from the demonstration, was released Sunday night at orders from the Haifa Magistrate Court.
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12,000 Cherokee, 40,000 Bedouin — Don’t let history repeat
Mondoweiss 1 Dec by Philip Weiss — Jewish Voice for Peace has a petition up against the Prawer Plan and has released this flyer about lighting Hanukkah candles against the initiative. Jewish Voice for Peace appeal on Prawer Plan: THIS THANKSGIVING, COMMIT TO NOT ALLOWING HISTORY TO REPEAT ITSELF – In 1828, Congress voted to displace 12,000 Cherokee from their native land. Israel’s “Prawer Plan” currently being debated in the Israeli Knesset will do the same to 40,000 of its own Bedouin citizens [and in both cases this displacement supposedly for the good of the displaced!]
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Peres: Praver Bill must be pursued
Ynet 1 Dec by Eyal Lehman — In the aftermath of Saturday’s protests against the Praver Bill, President Shimon Peres said Sunday that the plan to resettle Bedouins in the Negev must be pursued. “Millions of shekels were invested in this plan and I’m sure the intentions are good. Backing down would mean a step back for the Bedouins as well,” Peres said. The president, on a visit to Mexico, noted that “one might expect this having great resistance, but the law must be abided and diplomacy utilized… The government does not mean any harm and talks must be held with patience and while maintaining the law.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on Saturday following the violent riots. “We will try the offenders to the full extent of the law. We will not tolerate such riots. We shall continue to advance the Praver Bill.”
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Lieberman: Our lands are being robbed
Ynet 30 Nov by Attila Somfalvi — Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman harshly criticized the “day of rage” protests being held against the Bedouin resettlement plan across the country. “Nothing has changed since the Tower and Stockade days. We are fighting for the lands of the Jewish people and there are those who intentionally try to rob and seize them,” Lieberman said in a Facebook post … Liberman added that “one doesn’t have to be an expert on geography or demographics to understand that the situation there (in the Negev) is a catastrophe. It’s our duty to stop the situation where some citizens abide by the planning and construction laws and some dismiss and evade them through violence. It’s not a social problem, or housing crisis, it’s a fight for land, ever since the 19th century.”
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Israeli forces raid al-Aqsa, detain 7 Palestinians following clashes
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Israeli police and undercover forces on Sunday morning raided al-Aqsa compound, leading to clashes with Palestinian worshipers. Eyewitness told a Ma‘an reporter that an Israeli police group escorted 26 Jewish Israelis to perform religious rituals near the Golden Gate in order to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The group was escorted by Israeli police and undercover forces, and left from al-Asbat Gate. Israeli forces assaulted a number of Palestinian worshipers and pushed them in the clashes that followed, and they detained 5 Palestinian men and 2 women. One of the detained was identified as Jadallah al-Ghoul, a fire department employee. He was detained in al-Aqsa mosque.
Eyewitnesses highlighted that the incident followed a number of similar raids by Israeli forces escorting groups of Jewish worshipers on the site. 35 members of Israeli intelligence, escorted by Israeli police, entered from al-Silsila Gate in a separate incident on Sunday as well, while in another group 50 Jewish Israeli toured al-Aqsa from the Moroccan Gate.
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Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests

Israeli volunteer shoots, kills Palestinian worker in northern Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — A volunteer for the Israeli border police shot and killed a young Palestinian worker in Petah Tikva early Saturday, Israeli media and a police spokesman said. According to the Israeli news site Ynet, the volunteer shot the Palestinian in Yarkon Cemetery while conducting a search for “people residing in Israel illegally.”
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the incident. “Border police in the night were searching for illegal Palestinian workers,” Rosenfeld told Ma‘an via text message. He said a Palestinian worker “attempted to stab” an Israeli border police volunteer, who shot the worker in response. The worker was “injured critically and died soon after,” Rosenfeld said. Forty undocumented workers were detained during the search, he added.
A Palestinian official identified the body of the worker as 24-year-old Antar Shalabi Mahmoud al-Aqraa from the West Bank village of Qabalan south of Nablus … Locals of Qabalan village denied that al-Aqraa tried to stab the volunteer. “Israel is … treating workers in a terroristic, barbarian way,” said Shahir Saad, head of Palestinian general federation of workers. Al-Aqraa “was executed this morning,” Saad said. He was the eldest of his parents’ 14 children, al-Aqraa’s uncle Aziz told Ma‘an. “Antar has been working in Israel for several years, working day and night in order to save enough money for his wedding, which was scheduled for three weeks from now,” his uncle said.
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Tel Aviv police release killer of Palestinian young man
NAZARETH (PIC) 1 Dec — The Israeli police released on Saturday evening the Israeli soldier who shot and killed on the same day a Palestinian young man near Tel Aviv in the 1948 occupied lands. The Hebrew radio said that the soldier claimed during interrogation that he had felt at the moment that his life was in danger when the Palestinian young man tried to reach something that seemed to him in the dark like a knife and then he fired one bullet at his chest … The sources denied the Israeli police claims that the victim tried to attack the Israeli soldiers and stab him with a sharp blade, affirming that the soldier used his firearm unjustifiably.
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Official: 2 Palestinians sustain canister injuries in Kafr Qaddum
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — Two Palestinian men sustained injuries Friday afternoon after they were hit by high-velocity tear gas canisters as Israeli forces dispersed protests near Qalqiliya, a local official said. Israeli soldiers injured two Palestinian protesters in the village of Kafr Qaddum during the weekly protests against settlement expansion, village council spokesman Murad Shtiewi told Ma‘an. Mansour Abu Dayyah, 40, and thirteen-year-old Rafi Muhammad Hussein were hit in the neck by canisters, Shtiewi said. Additionally, a group of Israeli soldiers reportedly broke into a house in the village and physically assaulted the owner and two other Palestinians. Shtiewi said that soldiers were beating 50-year-old Muhammad Taha at the door of his house when two neighbors came to help. But the soldiers sprayed pepper spray at Jabir Mahmoud and Abd al-Raziq Amir, 60, and physically assaulted them as well, Shtiewi said. He added that Israeli forces “deliberately targeted residential houses with tear gas.” Several residents of Kafr Qaddum were hurt by tear gas as canisters landed in their balconies and courtyards.
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3 injured, 1 arrested in Hebron clashes
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Nov 23:30– Israeli forces shot a Palestinian then arrested him on al-Shalala Street in the center of Hebron on Friday, witnesses said. Jamil Mohammad Sarahana, 48, was shot, arrested, and taken to an unknown destination. Clashes broke out in the al-Shalala Street and Bab al-Zawiya areas in the city. Three people were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens suffered excessive tear-gas inhalation, medics said.
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Israeli settlers attack Ramallah village under armed guard
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Dozens of Israeli settlers raided a village east of Ramallah late Saturday under protection of the Israeli army, residents said. Locals said the settlers “attacked” the village of al-Maghier, without providing further details. Palestinian residents confronted the settlers by throwing rocks at them, and Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas grenades in response, witnesses said. The settlers then reportedly withdrew and returned to the nearby settlement of Adei Ad. Residents of al-Maghier said they feared settlers would attack their village again, and called on Palestinian leaders and officials to intervene and protect them.
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Israeli forces raid Jenin village, clash with locals
JENIN (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Clashes erupted late Saturday between Israeli forces and Palestinians in a village in the northern West Bank, locals said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces entered the village of al-Shuhada near Jenin and issued interrogation summons to two Palestinians. The soldiers handed summons to Majd Fakhry Addery and Humama Asaasah, demanding they appear for questioning at Salem military base, locals said. Israeli forces also reportedly broke into a car dealership. Clashes broke out between the Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths, and several local residents were harmed, witnesses said. They told Ma‘an that soldiers fired tear gas grenades in all directions and that locals suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation. One tear gas canister reportedly landed in the courtyard of Muhammad Hussein Darwish, whose family was harmed by the gas.
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Confrontations in Fawwar, Jenin
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 Dec – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Fawwar refugee camp, south of Al-Khalil, at noon Sunday triggering confrontations with young men. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers raided various areas in the camp firing teargas and metal bullets in the process. They said that the raid triggered confrontations with young men who threw stones, adding that a number of citizens and school students were treated for breathing problems.
In a similar raid on southern Jenin on Saturday night 12 citizens were treated for gas inhalation, local sources told the PIC reporter. The sources said that IOF soldiers stormed two villages south of Jenin, noting that an entire family suffered suffocation while inside their home as a result of the IOF intensive firing of teargas canisters. They said that IOF soldiers served summonses to three young men for intelligence interrogation.
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Funeral of martyr Nous Mohammad Afaneh
[photo] SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC)  28 Nov — Dozens of Palestinians participated in the funeral of 14-year old Martyr Nour Mohammad Afaneh on Thursday after performing the prayer to her soul in the Mosque of Abu Dis. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the child Nour Afaneh – who is a special needs child — passed away on Thursday night after the Israeli forces closed the “container” checkpoint for few hours for no reason. Nour’s father explained that his daughter suffered a severe lung infection and needed to be transferred to the ICU in Bet Jala Hospital through the “container” checkpoint and said: “while heading to the checkpoint, we were surprised to find heavy traffic after the occupation forces had closed it.” He pointed out that the ambulance tried to pass through three different ways but to no avail and the driver even tried to take the old “Kidar” way. He added: “the ambulance driver then headed towards Ramallah Hospital due to her serious condition but she passed away before getting to the hospital.” He pointed out that it does not take more than half an hour to get from the village of Abu Dis to Bet Jala, but closing the checkpoint for hours and trying to take alternative roads took more than an hour and the child was in critical condition.
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Eight Palestinians kidnapped in Jenin, two in Hebron
IMEMC — Monday at dawn [December 2, 2013] Israeli soldiers invaded kidnapped eight Palestinians in Ya‘bod village near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and two Palestinians in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank … Ya‘bod has been subject to daily assaults carried out by Israeli soldiers and extremist settlers, as settlers carried out, over the last two months, dozens of attacks targeting the residents, their property and their lands, including cutting and uprooting olive trees close to the Mabo Dotan illegal nearby settlement.
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Woman detained at Tulkarem checkpoint
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 30 Nov — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint east of Tulkarem on Saturday evening. Security sources told Ma‘an that Maram Hassouneh, a university student in her twenties from Rafidia, was detained after she lit up a firework at the checkpoint and refused to stop when soldiers told her to. She was then searched and a knife was found in her possession.
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Soldiers detain 6 Palestinian workers attempting to cross into Israel
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Israeli forces detained six Palestinian workers who were attempting to cross into Israel from a southern West Bank town, a worker’s father told Ma‘an. Ismail Halahla told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers detained his son along with five other workers who were trying to pass from the town of al-Dhahiriya into Israel to work without permits … He added that Israeli troops chased off a number of other Palestinian workers attempting to cross.
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13 Palestians killed, 374 kidnapped, in November
IMEMC 2 Dec — [Sunday December 1, 2013] The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights issued its monthly report revealing that Israel soldiers shot and killed 13 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in November, while more than 374 Palestinians, including eight women, were kidnapped. Ahrar said that, similar to previous months, the southern West Bank district of Hebron witnessed the largest number of Israeli violations, while the army also kidnapped 95 Palestinians. The Center stated that eight Palestinian women, including two teenagers, were among the kidnapped in Hebron. All kidnapped women, except the two young women, were released later on.  In occupied Jerusalem, soldiers kidnapped 85 Palestinians, including a journalist identified as Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who works for the Al-Quds daily; he was taken prisoner at the Ben Gurion Airport after concluding a visit to Egypt. In Jenin, the army kidnapped 47 Palestinians, while 45 Palestinians were kidnapped in Nablus, 34 in Bethlehem, 30 in Ramallah, 18 in Qalqilia, 10 in Tulkarem, and one Palestinian was kidnapped in Jericho.
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IOF soldiers rounded up 112 Palestinians in Beit Ummar
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 2 Dec — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have rounded up 112 Palestinians in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil [Hebron], since the start of this year, most of them children. Mohammed Awad, the spokesman for the popular committee against the wall and settlement, said on Sunday that 76 of those arrested were children that did not exceed 18 years of age. He told Quds Press that all those arrested were documented by names, noting that some of them were released after serving sentences. Beit Ummar is frequently targeted by IOF soldiers more than any other village in Al-Khalil province, Awad said
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Press body accuses Israel army of targeting journalists
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) 1 Dec — The Foreign Press Association on Sunday accused the Israeli army of “deliberately targeting” journalists after soldiers fired rubber bullets and threw a stun grenade at photojournalists clearly identified as press. In a statement, the Tel Aviv-based group, which represents journalists of all foreign media, including AFP, said troops had directly targeted a group of photographers covering skirmishes at Qalandia crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah. “On Friday afternoon, Israeli forces threw stun grenades at FPA photojournalists as they were leaving Qalandia. The FPA members had put their hands in the air, indicating to the forces that they were leaving at which point the grenades were thrown from close quarters directly at their backs,” it said. Earlier an Italian freelance photographer covering the same incident had almost been hit in the face by a bullet, it said. “Fortunately the photographer was taking pictures at the time and the rubber bullet shattered the camera instead of his head. All the photographers in question wore clearly-marked jackets and helmets,” the FPA said. “There is no question that the forces were directly targeting the journalists.”
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Daily brutality toward Palestinians in occupied Al-Khalil
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM Khalil Team) 2 Dec — Israeli forces regularly exercise brutal and irrational behavior in the H2 area of Khalil (Hebron), which is under military control. An example of this treatment took place on Saturday 30th November, when 7 Israeli soldiers reacted to a group of Palestinian youth throwing stones at an illegal settlement by launching stun grenades through the souk (market). International activists witnessed the Israeli soldiers running into the market and indiscriminately throwing stun grenades, causing panic and distress amongst people in the street. When questioned by internationals, Israeli soldiers admitted that it was a “mistake” to use their weapons in this way and said they do not “enjoy” their actions. However this does not alter the reality for Palestinians living in Khalil, who are subjected to these excessive reactions on a regular basis.
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Palestinian police arrest 20 salafis in West Bank raids
AFP 1 Dec — Palestinian security forces arrested 20 salafis, a senior source said Sunday after a Gaza-based group affiliated with al-Qaeda confirmed it was operating in the West Bank for the first time. But the Ramallah-based source denied that any of those arrested in a series of recent raids in the northern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank had ties to the global jihadist group. “In the last few days, around 20 people were arrested in Nablus, Jenin and Qalqilya,” the source told AFP, speaking condition of anonymity and saying those arrested “embrace the salafi ideology but are not affiliated with al-Qaeda.” “There are no al-Qaeda affiliated groups operating in the West Bank, but there are a few salafi jihadist groups,” he said. His remarks came after the Mujahedeen Shura Council said three Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces in the southern West Bank on November 26 were members, describing them as “the tip of the iceberg.” … It was the first time a group with ties to al-Qaeda has claimed to be operational in the West Bank. The group, which is known for carrying out rocket attacks on the southern region of Israeli-occupied Palestine from both Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, also called for a “jihad” against the Western-backed Palestinian Authority which governs the West Bank, describing its leaders as “tyrants who conspired with infidels.”
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Jordanian protesters slam their gov’t for ignoring its citizens in Israeli jails
AMMAN (PIC) 1 Dec — Jordanian citizens held on Saturday afternoon a rally outside the cabinet headquarters in Amman in protest at the government’s inaction on the issue of the Jordanian prisoners in Israel’s jails, especially its reluctance to save the life of hunger striker Alaa Hammad … The families of the Jordanian prisoners, who participated in the rally, called for removing Naser Judeh from his post as the minister of the foreign affairs, while some protestors carried banners criticizing the absence of any Jordanian official role in this regard.
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IOA transfers MPs Badr and Ramadan to Ashkelon interrogation center
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 30 Nov — Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) have transferred MPs Maher Badr and Nizar Ramadan, from al-Khalil, to Ashkelon interrogation center without giving any reason … MPs Badr and Ramadan were arrested a month ago during an Israeli arrest campaign against Hamas members in occupied West Bank … This measure came as part of the Israeli prison services’ punitive policy against administrative detainees. MP Hatem Kufaisheh and Hamas leader Abdul Khaliq al-Natsheh were punished few days ago after refusing to receive medical treatment. Administrative detainees declared earlier a set of protest steps in different Israeli prisons, demanding their immediate release or being charged and tried in ordinary courts especially that they are detained administratively without charge or trial.
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Palestinian patient prisoner in his sixties refuses medication
RAMALLAH (PIC) 1 Dec — A Palestinian prisoner in his sixties has refrained from having his medication in Israeli captivity in protest at medical neglect pursued by the Israeli prisons services. The Palestine prisoners center for studies said in a press release on Saturday that Hussein Amr, 61, has been held in administrative detention since last June. It said that Amr suffers a number of diseases including diabetes, unstable blood pressure, rheumatism, gout, and others. The center said that Amr’s health condition is very difficult and the Israeli prison administration refuses to accord him proper treatment.
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Gaza under blockade

Gazans hold torch-lighting ceremony for one-week events against blockade
GAZA (PIC) 1 Dec — The popular committee against the siege on Saturday evening started its one-week [week-long] events against the blockade on the Gaza Strip by lighting its anti-siege torch. Dozens of Palestinian citizens from all spectra, including children, students, patients, owners of closed factories, jobless workers, participated in the inaugural event that was held in the Unknown Soldier Plaza. Head of the popular campaign Jamal Al-Khudari told a news conference ahead of the torch-lighting ceremony that the one-week events are a message to the world that the Palestinian people in Gaza are steadfast and determined to break the blockade imposed on them, restore their usurped rights and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. He added that the events during this week are aimed at exposing the destructive impacts of the blockade on Gaza and reactivating the international support for its people.
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Israeli forces open fire at farmers in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Israeli forces early Sunday shot at Palestinian farmers near Rafah in southern Gaza, locals told Ma‘an. Witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire at farmers who were working on their agricultural lands near the Karem Shelom Crossing with Israel. The soldiers also fired smoke grenades, locals said. No injuries were reported. Additionally, Israeli reconnaissance drones were reportedly seen flying over Gaza.
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IOF soldiers open heavy machinegun fire at southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 2 Dec — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian land and houses to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, at dawn Monday. A Palestinian security source told the PIC reporter that soldiers stationed east of Fakhari area opened fire at cultivated land lots and houses, but no casualties were reported. He pointed to movement of IOF armored vehicles along the border during the shooting along with reconnaissance flights overhead.
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Egypt revokes citizenship of Palestinians
CAIRO ( 2 Dec — The Egyptian authorities have begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians, according to reports in Palestinian and Egyptian media outlets. Under the deposed President Mohammed Morsi’s rule, the Egyptian authorities granted Egyptian citizenship to thousands of  Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including top Hamas officials. One of the Hamas leaders who received an Egyptian passport was Mahmoud Zahar, who was born to an Egyptian mother. The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Egyptian authorities have taken effective measures to revoke the citizenship of Zahar and many other Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The paper quoted an Egyptian source as saying that the latest measure targeted Palestinians who are “affiliated with certain Palestinian political parties or those who are connected to outlawed groups inEgypt.” The source pointed out that Egyptian law prohibits those who obtain Egyptian citizenship from engaging in political activities or membership in political parties in the first five years. Palestinian sources said last year that the Egyptian authorizes had agreed to grant citizenship to more than 50,000 Palestinians who were born to Egyptian mothers. Last month, the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabe revealed that Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim turned down a request by members of Zahar’s family to receive Egyptian citizenship. The paper said that the decision was taken for “security reasons” The decision applied to Zahar’s daughter, Huda, and his nephews, Abdullah and Ahmed
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Egyptian-Palestinian agreement to lessen restrictions on Gaza pilgrims
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an)1 Dec — Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Mahmud al-Habbash, unveiled on Saturday the details of an Egyptian-Palestinian agreement to open Rafah crossing twice a month in order to facilitate the passage of Gazans on pilgrimage to Mecca. Al-Habbash told Ma’an that he visited Egypt recently and successfully concluded an agreement with Egyptian authorities to open Rafah crossing once every two weeks in order to allow pilgrims to leave the Gaza Strip for Umrah. Umrah is similar to Hajj, except that it can be undertaken by Muslims at any time of year. Al-Habbash added that the agreement will be implemented starting from the middle of December and will continue until next Ramadan, which falls in June and July of the Gregorian calendar. Al-Habbash also pointed out that the openings will be coordinated to so that pilgrims leaving the Gaza Strip and those entering will come and go on the same day.
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Palestinian refugees elsewhere

1718 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria
DAMASCUS (PIC) 2 Dec — Palestinian activists in Syria announced that a Palestinian refugee was killed in one of the Syrian security agencies’ detention centers in Damascus. The action group for Palestinians in Syria said in a press release on Monday that Ayham Othman, a resident of Rukn Eddin suburb in Damascus, was killed under torture in Syrian prisons two months after his arrest. The group said that the martyrdom of Othman raised the number of Palestinian refugees killed in Syria since the events started there to 1718, adding that all those killed were documented by name. It said that the Syrian regular army was still imposing a tight siege on all refugee camps.
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Palestinian and Syrian refugees on hunger strike for 9th day in Alexandria jail
CAIRO (PIC) 1 Dec — 52 Palestinian and Syrian refugees who fled the Syrian war to Egypt entered on Saturday their ninth day of hunger strike in the prison of the Montaza police station in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The hunger strikers aim to demand the European states to receive them and secure decent lives for their children. Spokesman for the hunger strikers Abu Alaa Hafyan told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the Palestinians and Syrians fleeing the Syrian war are not treated as refugees by the Egyptian authorities and instead they are exposed to detention and maltreatment.
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Resheq calls on Egypt to release Palestinian refugees from its jails
BEIRUT, DAMASCUS (PIC) 1 Dec — Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat Resheq asked the Egyptian authorities to clarify the news stories about cases of sexual harassment against Palestinian and Syrian refugee women detained in Egyptian jails. Resheq called in a press statement on Sunday for the release of all Palestinian and Syrian detainees in Egypt, and asked Cairo “to investigate and to hold accountable all those involved in the crime of harassment against refugee women in the Egyptian prisons.”
In another incident involving refugees, Palestinian activists in Syria said that four Palestinian refugees in the Yarmouk Camp (south of the capital Damascus) were killed in shelling targeting the camp for several months.
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Racism / Discrimination

The siege of the Tel Aviv bus station
Mondoweiss 28 Nov by Allison Deger — It’s high noon at Tel Aviv’s central bus station. By ten-thirty in the evening the Magav, a Special Forces unit of Israel’s border police usually on patrol for riots not public transportation passengers, was at its new post. In one busy corner Israelis in stereotypical fashion shoved each other as they dogged the uniformed men. “We are required to put the light there so other police can see we are here,” said an officer standing next to a post that looked like something to hang a coat on, except for the rectangular blue light at the head. It was a mobile, fold-able siren beam. His M-16 dangled between his legs like it was a sacred ornament from birth. Five other seemingly uninterested Special Forces paced nearby. But blocks away there were more Magav police, only they were on horses trampling African refugees. A money exchange transaction had gone awry. An Israeli employee ripped off an African for 8,000 Shekels, or so said guys in the street rubbernecking at the protest that had mounted outside the shop. The troopers who were then called to rein in calm are part of the new 550 police Benjamin Netanyahu ordered to stand guard in African asylum-seeker neighborhoods at least until the end of the year when an estimated 3,920 will be deported. Maybe they will go to Uganda, where Israel has struck a deal with the African nation to take the refugees in exchange for financial compensation, weapons, and agricultural training for the new residents of Uganda, or maybe they will go back to their countries of origin.
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Netanyahu condemns Druze discrimination
Ynet 30 Nov by Attila Somfalvi — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on an incident in which Druze soldiers were not allowed to enter the Dimona reactor as part of a security drill and said that lessons must be drawn from it. “Our brothers the Druze are our flesh and blood. They serve in combat units in the IDF and should be treated as equals,” he said.
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Other news

Thousands attend Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Nearly 3,000 people attended the annual Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Sunday night to mark the start of the holiday season. Among the speakers at the night’s events was Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who said in his remarks that “Palestine has preserved the values of peace and tolerance by celebrating Christmas for centuries.” … The celebration also included the participation of Bethlehem governor Abudlfattah Hamayel, Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun, several ministers and other officials. In a letter written on the occasion of the beginning of the holiday season, Baboun said, “Bethlehem is not a museum, nor just a wooden grotto.”  “It is a living experience of a daily struggle for existence, for a just and lasting peace, and this is the Bethlehem we also share with the world. A Bethlehem that is a model of natural coexistence between Christians and Muslims, an example for the rest of the region. A Bethlehem which is home to thousands of refugees who have been waiting for the fulfillment of their rights since 1948. A Bethlehem where Christian priests and nuns pray for the freedom of all the Palestinian people and the preservation of their land and livelihoods.”
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Year after UN vote, Palestinians eye diplomatic action
JERUSALEM (AFP) 30 Nov — A year after the Palestinians were granted non-member observer status by the United Nations, pressure is mounting on their leaders to exploit that rather than pursue peace talks few see bearing fruit. No official ceremony was scheduled Friday in the Palestinian territories to mark the historic Nov. 29, 2012 vote of the UN General Assembly. But in comments published Thursday by official news agency Wafa, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas pledged to do everything possible to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem.  He said he would “never give up an ounce of the Palestinians’ demands nor sign a peace agreement that failed to meet the aspirations of the people.” In a survey published this week, 50.5 percent of Palestinians questioned said they viewed his decision to renew peace talks with Israel in July as “a mistake,” and more than two-thirds expected the negotiations to fail … Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi wants to take the statehood campaign into the international area right away … “It’s because of the prisoners that we aren’t breaking up the talks, are continuing with the negotiations and not approaching the UN,” senior PLO official Nabil Shaath said in an interview published by Israel’s Maariv newspaper on Friday. “But I don’t think there is much more that can be done with the present Israeli government,” he added.
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Israel’s new opposition leader meets with Abbas
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 1 Dec — Israel’s new opposition leader told the Palestinian president Sunday that most Israelis support a peace deal with the Palestinians and that his Labor Party will back any future agreement. Isaac Herzog met with President Mahmoud Abbas just 10 days after being elected Labor leader, replacing a party chief who had made domestic issues such as economic inequality a chief concern. Sunday’s talks at Abbas’ headquarters in the West Bank signaled a shift back to Labor’s traditional priorities. Two decades ago, the party led Israel into negotiations on the terms of a Palestinian state.
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Hamas in first official visit to Malaysia
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — A Hamas delegation headed by Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal arrived in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday in order to attend a conference hosted by the rural party of the southeast Asian country. Hamas sources said that Mashaal will meet with the Malaysian president and the head of the ruling United Malays National Organisation political party and other officials. Sources also confirmed that Mashaal will deliver a speech on Tuesday at the international forum as well as another speech at the International Islamic University Malaysia in northern Kuala Lumpur. The university includes students from more than 100 national backgrounds, including Palestinians. This is the first official visit of Hamas representatives to Malaysia.
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Teachers’ union announces full strike Monday across West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — The Teacher’s Union announced late Sunday that it will go through with plans to have a strike on Monday despite the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to prevent them through legal means. Earlier in the day, Palestinian High Court of Justice ordered the Teachers’ Union to call off their strike temporarily until a final decision could be made regarding a Palestinian Authority complaint against the union made earlier in the day. Spokesman for the union, Bassam Naim, told Ma‘an that “the union did not receive any official papers from any official side.” “All we received are comments in the media, so Monday will be a full strike,” he added.
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Islamic Jihad accuses Palestinian Authority of collusion with Israel
JENIN (Al-Monitor) 28 Nov by Naela Khalil — In the aftermath of a security sweep, Islamic Jihad leaders in the West Bank say the Palestinian Authority is working with Israel to crack down on its activities in Jenin. — On Nov. 25, Israeli occupation forces arrested two senior Islamic Jihad members, Ghassan and Suhaib al-Saadi, in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Following this incident, Islamic Jihad stepped up its accusations directed at the Palestinian security forces, claiming the latter was targeting the movement. The arrest of the two men came just hours after Palestinian security forces had failed to detain them. During the same raid, the Israeli forces also failed to detain the most prominent wanted Islamic Jihad member, Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, an influential Islamic Jihad leader who is currently being pursued by Israeli forces
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Assailants damage car of former Hamas minister in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 1 Dec — Unknown assailants damaged the car of a Hamas leader and former minister of prisoners’ affairs Wasfi Qabha on early Sunday morning, Qabha told a Ma‘an reporter. Qabha said that his children and neighbors heard sounds outside his Jenin home around 1 am this morning, and when they exited the house to see what was happening, they found a white car leaving the scene quickly. Qabha added that they found the rear window of the vehicle smashed and damaged. The attack is the 26th time Qabha’s property has been targeted since 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections. Qabha accused “outlaws who work for the Israeli occupation,” addind that they “seek to create discord and tension among Palestinians.”
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First Israeli film festival on Palestinian ‘Nakba’
The Media Line 28 Nov — Organization promoting awareness of Nakba organizes film festival in Tel Aviv. ‘Our independence is their nakba, and now one people is occupying another,’ Cinematheque Director Alon Garbuz says –  For Jews, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was a miracle and the fulfillment of centuries of dreaming. For Palestinians, it was a disaster or a catastrophe, the Arabic word “nakba.” Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once famously described Israel as “a land without a people for a people without a land.” In fact there were hundreds of thousands of Arab residents in the area that became Israel and some 700,000 of them either fled or were expelled. The issue of Palestinian refugees touches a nerve in Israel. A 2012 law made it a crime in Israel to commemorate the nakba, although it was not clear exactly how that will be enforced. Now Zochrot, an organization that seeks to increase awareness about the nakba has organized a three-day film festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Israel’s premier theater for independent films
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UN marks Palestinian Solidarity Day with refugee photo exhibition
Ynet 29 Nov by Elior Levy — As UN announces Year of Solidarity with Palestinian People, UNRWA opens Jerusalem exhibition of photographs of Palestinian refugees. ‘Collective memory is a vital element of identity,’ UNRWA head says of digital archive which symbolically portrays 1948 images — …The project, which coincides with the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People being marked Friday, is part of the agency’s larger project of digitizing and archiving some half a million pictures and films of Palestinian refugees.
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Analysis / Opinion

Only sanctions against Israel will end occupation / Gideon Levy
Mondoweiss 1 Dec by Philip Weiss — In Haaretz, Gideon Levy calls for international sanctions against Israel to end the occupation. He says the Iran case proves that sanctions work. And that John Kerry should end the masquerade of peace talks, which only he believes in, because Israel will never give up territory without pressure — including, by the way, “occupied East Jerusalem.” How often do these arguments appear in the mainstream American press, or the words “occupied East Jerusalem”? (Almost never, and yes the “shrill U.S. Jewish lobby,” words that also do not appear under threat of censure, is the main reason). Levy: “It appears that international sanctions work and that a boycott is a tool like no other. Even Israel’s prime minister has admitted this; he has called on the world not to ease the sanctions and to even intensify them, and following his lead is the shrill U.S. Jewish lobby. This being the case, the moral is clear: This is the way to act with recalcitrant states. This applies not only to Iran, where the theory is being proved before our eyes, but with another country that does not obey the decisions of the international community. Israel has signed the Horizon 2020 agreement for scientific research with the EU barring funding from companies or institutions with ties to the settlements. This is irrefutable proof that a boycott threat works well with Israel, too. The truth is hard to miss. By signing the agreement, Israel gave a hand to the first official international boycott of the settlements…
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How the New York Times silences Palestinians / Ali Abunimah
Electronic Intifada 1 Dec — It will not be news to regular readers of The Electronic Intifada that The New York Times systematically excludes all except token Palestinian voices from its coverage. But under the regime of Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, the silencing of Palestinians has plumbed new lows. On 29 November, the Times published a story by Isabel Kershner about a Jerusalem photo exhibit put on by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees. The exhibit showcases some of UNRWA’s unique archive of photographs of Palestinian refugees since the Nakba. Palestinians have a complicated relationship with UNRWA. It is part of their history and the vast majority of its employees – teachers and doctors – are Palestinian refugees. At the same time, it is criticized by many as a palliative to the plight of the Palestinians, substituting aid for real efforts to restore the right of return. Yet in the Times article, as Adam Horowitz noted on Mondoweiss, Kershner does not quote a single Palestinian. Instead, as Horowitz writes: “For some reason Isabel Kershner gives more space to Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor to denounce the exhibit than to UNWRA staffers to explain it. And, of course, the article ignores actual Palestinian refugees altogether.”
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Israel should increase Palestinian water quotas / Danny Rubenstein
Al-Monitor 29 Nov Translated from the Hebrew by Hanni Manor — The problem of wastewater in the West Bank endangers Israel, thus the solution may lie in increasing water quotas allotted to the Palestinians — A highly interesting paper, discussing Israel’s water policy with respect to the Palestinians, was presented at the Good Water Neighbors Annual Regional Conference held last week [Nov. 13-14] under the auspices of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), an organization that deals with the environmental problems shared by Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians. The document essentially calls on Israel to increase the water quotas allotted to the Palestinians, and urges the Palestinian Authority to take it upon itself in return to deal with the “sewage Intifada” — the acute problem of wastewater in the West Bank. As matters now stand, close to 90% of the wastewater originating in Palestinian villages and towns flows into Israeli population centers and seriously pollutes the water there … It emerged from the data gathered by the Israel Water Authority that, thanks to the large desalination plants built in Israel in recent years, Israel is no longer the drying- up country it used to be in the past. In fact, Israel is currently facing water surplus.
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The debacle / Uri Avnery
Gush Shalom 30 Nov — THE GREATEST danger to Israel is not the putative Iranian nuclear bomb. The greatest danger is the stupidity of our leaders … LET US start from the end. Iran is the great victor. It has been warmly welcomed back into the family of civilized nations. Its currency, the rial, is jumping. Its prestige and influence in the region has become paramount. Its enemies in the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia and its gulf satellites, have been humiliated. Any military strike against it by anyone, including Israel, has become unthinkable. The image of Iran as a nation of crazy ayatollahs, fostered by Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad, has disappeared. Iran now looks like a responsible country, led by sober and shrewd leaders. Israel is the great loser. It has maneuvered itself into a position of total isolation. Its demands have been ignored, its traditional friends have distanced themselves. But above everything else, its relations with the US have been seriously damaged. What Netanyahu and Co. are doing is almost unbelievable. Sitting on a very high branch, they are diligently sawing through it. Much has been said about the total dependence of Israel on the US in almost all fields. But to grasp the immensity of the folly, one aspect in particular must be mentioned. Israel controls, in effect, the access to the US centers of power (listserv) (archive)

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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3 Responses

  1. Walid
    December 2, 2013, 1:46 pm

    “WZO pushing new Jewish towns to ‘balance’ Arab population in Israel’s north”

    Super great idea and I know where they can get 3 times the number of Jews they need to populate the Galilee in a jiffy. And they come already indoctrinated in the Zionist mentality, already de-liced, already Hebrew-speaking and very cheap to transport them there. They’re currently living temporarily on the West Bank and they’d be delighted to relocate to a less hostile environment.

    • seafoid
      December 3, 2013, 7:45 am

      There is a global shortage of super saturated indoctrinated extreme right wing Jews. The subsidies are worse fil Jalil so the existing supply gravitate to Yehuda where god looks after their descent into communal madness. The good women of the Haredim are producing kids as fast as they can but this is leading to disequilibrium in Israeli society. It is not an easy conundrum, Walid, so we must pray for a solution.

  2. Shmuel
    December 2, 2013, 4:16 pm

    From today’s unsigned editorial in Haaretz:

    A state that encourages members of one people to settle in any region, while at the same time imposing harsh restrictions on the growth of the other, is acting in a racist manner. There is no other way to describe such behavior.

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