Trending Topics:

Activists prevent Israeli military from entering Jordan Valley protest village Ein Hijleh

Israel/Palestine
on 4 Comments

Protest camps

Israeli forces threaten Ein Hajla encampment, detain 9
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Feb — Palestinian and international activists at the Ein Hajla protest encampment in the Jordan Valley repulsed three attempts by Israeli forces to enter the village overnight, while nine activists from Jerusalem were detained trying to reach the area. Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian parliament and the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, told Ma‘an that Ein Hajla had woken up “victorious” over the Israeli occupation after numerous attempts to dislodge protesters. Barghouti, who is in the camp, said that protesters spent all night defending the village and repelled three attempts by Israeli forces to storm the area. He added that occupation forces advanced about 150 meters towards the center of the village while firing sound and light bombs at the encampment, but activists had managed to prevent any direct attack on the camp. He also said that a number of people were able to enter the village and join the protest encampment after taking dirt roads around Israeli checkpoints, highlighting that media and others have been barred by Israeli forces from entering the area.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670008

Israel evacuates settlers entering protest camp
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Feb – Israeli forces on Sunday evacuated five settlers who said they mistakenly entered the Ein Hijla encampment protest near Jericho. Abdullah Abu Rahma, a representative of the West Bank popular committees against Israel’s separation wall and settlements, told Ma‘an that that Palestinian activists, who have been encamping in Ein Hijla for the third day, stopped the settlers and questioned them for half an hour. The settlers told the activists they entered the village “mistakenly and that they support the Palestinians and the peace process,” according to Abu Rahma. He added that Israeli forces stormed the encampment area and evacuated the settlers.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670085

Activists construct second protest village in Jordan Valley
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Feb — Palestinian and international activists erected a new protest encampment called “al-Awda,” or “Return,” near the Bisan checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley on Sunday morning. The move comes two days after activists set up a similar camp at Ein Hajla, as part of a campaign entitled “Salt of the Earth” to prevent further Israeli settlement expansion and to combat Israeli moves to annex the Jordan Valley of the West Bank as part of ongoing US-sponsored negotiations. Activists began work on the “al-Awda” camp under the cover of darkness, preparing the land and setting up tents before dawn. Khaled Mansour, a member of the political bureau of the People’s Party which is taking part in the action, said that the move was meant to emphasize “the Arab character of the Jordan Valley” and to reject “any projects to lease or annex it.” He also said that the actions is meant to confirm that the Jordan River is the Palestinian-Jordanian border and that there cannot be any Israeli nor international presence in the area, instead calling for Palestinian sovereignty over all borders and crossings. US and Israeli leaders have floated proposals in recent weeks to allow a permanent Israeli military presence in the area, while others have called for outright annexation of the entire region … “We named the village ‘al-Awda’ in order to emphasize that the right of return of the Palestinian people is a sacred right that cannot be surrendered,” he explained, referencing the Israeli refusal to accept the implementation of the right of return of Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes in what is today Israel in 1948 …
The encampments at al-Awda and Ein Hajla follow similar efforts by Palestinian protesters in the encampments of Bab al-Shams and Ahfad Younis in early 2013. The two villages were set near Eizariya just east of Jerusalem in a strategic area that Israeli refers to as E1 and has previously threatened to build more settlements on. Israeli forces eventually attacked both encampments and forcibly removed the protesters.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=669990

Israeli forces storm Jordan Valley protest camp
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 3 Feb – Israeli forces on Monday morning stormed the Bab al-Awda protest encampment which Palestinian and international activists erected Sunday near the Bisan checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley. The mayor of nearby Kardala village Ghassan Fuqaha told Ma‘an via telephone that large numbers of Israeli troops stormed the encampment area and tore down the tents which activists have built. Several activists were detained including Bassam Maslamani, Khalid Qteishat, Riyad Tubasi, Zahir Abu Kishk, Yasser Abu Kishk and Ayman Gharib, the mayor said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670259

Palestinian activists who are inspired by Jesus, but refuse to turn the other cheek
Haaretz 3 Feb by Amira Hass — Palestinian activists with the Salt of the Earth campaign are warning Mahmoud Abbas not to give up the Jordan Valley — A verse from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the inspiration for a new series of popular Palestinian activities against the negotiations being mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The campaign is dubbed “Salt of the Earth”… On Friday, January 31, the first activity was launched. Erecting a camp at Ein Hijleh, north of the Dead Sea, on land belonging to the monastery of the same name (and also known as the St. Gerasimos Monastery). The protest was against the colonization of Palestinian lands, but the direct message was to the Palestinian Authority: You have no right to give up the Jordan Valley. The name of the campaign derives from the New Testament (Matthew 5:13): “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (King James Version). The activists are translating the verse into today’s reality: The daughters and sons of Palestine are the salt of the earth, and they are called upon to preserve and restore the substance (the saltiness) that is endangered under the failing PA – connection to the land, resistance to the occupation and unity.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.572013

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Bedouins fight for their right to make home improvements
Haaretz 2 Feb by Amira Hass — The Civil Administration didn’t seem to mind the rickety shacks of a Bedouin tribe, until some of its clans replaced them with prefab homes — Is it forbidden for Bedouin to improve the homes where they’ve lived for decades? This fundamental question constitutes the basis of a petition to the High Court submitted by four clans of the Jahalin tribe. Last November, the families received 52 demolition orders for their prefab homes, which had replaced rickety tin shacks that were damaged in the winter of 2012-2013. In mid-January, High Court Justice Uzi Fogelman issued a restraining order in response to the petition. The Civil Administration argues that the new structures are illegal. The army’s legal adviser, Col. Doron Ben Barak, agrees, stating that they constitute “new building that expanded the existing construction or substantially changed the character of the building that existed in the same place.” Ben Barak termed the families “invaders,” though they settled in the region by the West Bank village of ‘Anata and East Jerusalem’s ‘Isawiyah six decades ago. The families of the four clans, numbering some 450 people, live in three clusters along both sides of Road 437, which leads from Hizma to the Jerusalem-Jericho highway. The families have lived there since the 1950s, when Israel expelled them, along with thousands of other Bedouin, from the Negev. Family representatives say that after Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967, the military administration did not demand they evacuate, but neither did it offer to improve their living conditions. It also excluded them from development plans, even though all three clusters lie wholly, or in part, in the jurisdiction of the Ma’aleh Adumim and Almon settlements.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.571882

Court to state: Explain refusal to alter security barrier that splits Palestinian town
Haaretz 4 Feb by Nir Hasson — West Bank fence aims to enclose Gilo, but also cuts off Beit Jala from Catholic monasteries that provide educational services — The Supreme Court has ordered the government to explain why it refuses to alter the route of the separation barrier near the Palestinian village of Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem. The Beit Jala municipality, along with local residents and a Catholic convent and monastery in the area, petitioned the court against the separation barrier’s planned winding route aimed at enclosing the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, which is beyond the Green Line. “Why were no alternative paths for the fence in the area considered?” asked Supreme Court President Asher Grunis in the ruling. The court has given the government until April 10 to explain why it won’t alter the route. In the meantime, construction on the barrier in the area has been frozen. Under the government’s plan, the fence will separate the women’s convent from the nearby men’s monastery of the same order, leaving the monastery on the Israeli side of the barrier and the convent on the Palestinian side.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.572267

Israel to demolish two houses in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 3 Feb — The all-Israeli West Jerusalem municipality Monday notified two Palestinian families of its intention to demolish their houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan under the pretext they were built without permit, according to the owners. Mohammad Bardawil, one of the owners, told WAFA that staff from the municipality handed him a notice to demolish his three-story house, which was built in 1999 and houses 22 people.  He said he tried to obtain a building permit for many years without success. Mahdi Abu Nijmeh, owner of the second house slated for demolition, said the municipality staff posted on a nearby house a notice to demolish his 75-square-meter house, which was built almost 40 years ago and houses around five people.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24236

[Soldiers expand illegal settlement]
IMEMC Tues 4 Feb by Saed Bannoura — …soldiers installed two mobile homes on land that belongs to the al-Khader town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.  Palestinian security sources in Bethlehem have reported that Israeli soldiers removed a military tower that stood in the Om Rokba area, south of al-Khader, and installed the two mobile homes to expand an illegal outpost. Om Rokba is subject of frequent and escalated attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers and extremist settlers, while several residents received property destruction orders, and others were ordered to stop constructing homes and facilities in their own lands.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66901

Settlers uproot hundreds of trees in Nablus, Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Feb — Israeli settlers invaded Palestinian orchards in the West Bank districts of Nablus and Ramallah, uprooting more than 1,425 olive trees and saplings. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of Israeli Settlements File, at the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the West Bank, stated that extremist settlers uprooted 425 olive trees in the ath-Thahra area, in Turmus Ayya village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The trees belong to resident Mohammad Jamal Abu Awwad, the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) and Ma’an News Agency has reported.
Furthermore, settlers of the Shilo illegal settlement, uprooted more than 1,000 olive saplings planted by the residents nearly three years ago, in Sinjel village, between Nablus and Ramallah.  The saplings were planted as part of a project funded by the International Red Cross, and are located in a number of orchards belonging to the villagers.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66889

Two West Bank settlers charged with incitement over racist website
Haaretz 2 Feb by Chaim Levinson — In a rare move, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has approved an indictment against two West Bank settlers for racism and incitement to violence, for their work on the website “Hakol Hayehudi,” which has praised violence against Arabs. “Hakol Hayehudi” (“The Jewish Voice”) was established by Yitzhar residents as a weekly pamphlet in 2003, with support from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, under the tagline “News for Happy Jews.” Later, the pamphlet became a website featuring news and other articles, updated several times. The website advances Ginsburgh’s agenda on many subjects, including spiritual matters and relations with Arabs. The website advocates a policy of employing only Jews and features many articles supporting that position. “Hakol Hayehudi” has been a bother to the Shin Bet security service almost since the website’s inception, as a since-discontinued weekly feature that revealed some of the organization’s operating protocols. The website is widely believed to encourage youth to engage in “price tag” attacks against Palestinians. In an indictment issued on Sunday by the Central District Court prosecutor, Yitzhar residents Yehoshua Hass, 41, and Avraham Binyamin, 29, were charged with incitement to violence and racism … In July 2010, an article on the website read: “He came for entertainment, and in the end he was used for entertainment himself. A young Arab went this week to have a good time in [the Jerusalem neighborhood] Neve Ya’akov. The Arab’s hair was combed and gelled. A few happy Jews came along with clubs, fixed up his hair, and some other body parts too.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.572037

IOF destroy hundreds of trees in Yatta
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 3 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) destroyed hundreds of trees in Fakhit hamlet near Yatta town, south of Al-Khalil, on Monday morning. Coordinator of the anti-wall and settlement committee in Yatta, Ratib Al-Jabour, told the PIC that IOF soldiers burst into the hamlet and bulldozed hundreds of trees planted only few weeks ago with the support of international organizations. He said that six thousand trees were planted over an area of 1,200 dunums, adding that the hamlet and seven other villages east of Yatta are threatened with Israeli displacement and demolition.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/

Palestinian family struggles to survive after repeated home demolitions
972blog 3 Feb by Nancy Hawker — The Jordan Valley village of Hadidiya is no stranger to human rights violations by Israeli authorities. This is the story of one family whose life and livelihood have been affected by home demolitions, time and time again — “Watch out! The bulldozers and the jeeps are coming.” Shirin Salamein heard the warning from one of her neighbors as she finished milking her sheep and goats close to her home. She lives in the village of Hadidiya, behind the Israeli settlement of Ro’i in the West Bank. “I was about to start making cheese, and there was not enough time to get everything out of the way,” she told us. “The children, the livestock, food: we had no time. The sheep were all scattered over the land. We had to rebuild everything. Thank God, we survived.” The village of Hadidiya in the northern Jordan Valley and located in Area C (under full Israeli civil and military control), is home to around 150 people. Living in tents and shacks, the local shepherds make a living on the reddish, rocky earth. Shirin’s family has become used to demolitions. Their homes and the buildings were knocked down by the Israeli army twice in the summer of 2013 — and four times before that. The young mother invited me to her tent to meet her family. Clotheslines criss-crossed the “room” laden with clean wet laundry. On the floor there was a mattress and under a heavy blanket two small children. Caring for her children hasn’t been easy, particularly in the summer heat when their home was demolished. According to the Israeli army, the simple shacks, tents and animal pens are illegal because they do not conform to Israeli plans for the area, which is under complete military jurisdiction … Shirin’s second child suffers from severe cerebral palsy — he has to be cared for in the summer heat during demolitions as well as during the winter rains.
http://972mag.com/palestinian-family-struggles-to-survive-after-repeated-home-demolitions/86679/

Campaigners claim legal victory in Akka heritage battle
Electronic Intifada 30 Jan by Sarah Irving — As The Electronic Intifada reported last year, Palestinian residents of the historic city of Akka have been fighting plans by Israeli tourism authorities to turn the Khan al-Umdan (Caravanserai of the Pillars) into a hotel. Akka has long been the site of gentrification, with upscale Israeli restaurants and tourist shops moving into the ancient buildings of the largely working-class Palestinian Old City. But local residents opposed to the latest Ministry of Tourism plans announced this week that they have won the current legal battle against the proposal … However, Ashqar sounded a note of caution, saying that it still remained to be seen if eviction orders on residents of the Old City of Akka would be rescinded, and that the threat to the Khan al-Umdan had been just one example of a wider trend of Israeli gentrification in the city.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/sarah-irving/campaigners-claim-legal-victory-akka-heritage-battle

Restriction of movement

OCHA maps of the West Bank and Gaza access restrictions
Progressive Geographics 2 February
http://progressivegeographies.com/2014/02/02/ocha-maps-of-the-west-bank-and-gaza-access-restrictions/

NYU silent after Israel bans Palestinian student from ‘coexistence’ program
Electronic Intifada 31 Jan by Ali Abunimah — New York University (NYU) has refused to comment on reports that a Palestinian student in Gaza has been prevented by Israel from traveling to join one of its “coexistence” programs. Its silence contrasts with university leaders’ loud condemnations of calls for the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, supposedly in order to defend “academic freedom.” “Outstanding” Gaza student banned On 23 January, Haaretz ran a report headlined, “Israel bars Gaza student from travel to U.S. for coexistence program.” It states that the Israeli group [Gisha] “says the refusal to issue a permit to the 21-year-old is indicative of a policy shift that is making it more difficult for Palestinian students to study abroad.” According to Gisha, as quoted in Haaretz, “It’s not clear why Israel decided to toughen the restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinian academics in general, and in particular that of an outstanding student who received academic recognition from an institution as respectable as NYU.” While the report does not name the student, the rights-monitoring group Gisha adds that Israel’s restriction was especially puzzling “in light of the fact that he was chosen to participate in a program that includes Israeli and Palestinian students who aspire to promote coexistence and reconciliation among the nations.”
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/nyu-silent-after-israel-bans-palestinian-student-coexistence-program

Israel and Palestinians find peace on the soccer pitch
Haaretz Sports Staff 3 Feb — New mechanism improves facilitation of movement of Palestinian soccer players, coaches, referees, officials and even equipment, FIFA says — Israel and the Palestinians have finally found something they can agree upon: progress has been made in the field of soccer cooperation, FIFA reported on its website on Monday. Both the Israel Football Association and the Palestinian Football Association agreed that a new mechanism implemented since they last met in September has improved the “facilitation of movement of soccer players, coaches, referees, officials and equipment into, out of and within Palestine,” according to FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. Moreover, “the new mechanism had improved communication between them while accelerating the decision-making process concerning the movement of football representatives.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/sports/1.572212

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Five Palestinians, two soldiers injured in Hebron clashes
IMEMC — Monday night, 3 Feb by Saed Bannoura —  Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and clashed with local youths; five Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were wounded. Eyewitnesses said that local protesters hurled a Molotov cocktail at the invading soldiers, wounding one in the leg, while another soldier was hit by a brick in his upper body. They added that the soldiers fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, wounding five Palestinians while several others suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. Furthermore, scores of soldiers were extensively deployed at the entrance of the camp, especially during evening hours, and harassed residents trying to enter or leave it. Medical sources in the camp said that at least thirty Palestinians have been injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, while dozens suffered the effects of tear-gas inhalation during repeated military invasions over the past three days.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66901

Between normal and abnormal: A day in ‘Aida camp
‘Aida Refugee Camp, West Bank (Palestine Chronicle) 2 Feb by Kholoud Al-Ajarma — This is normal, we got used to it!” Salah, the Director of Lajee Center responded to me when I comment that the center smells like tear gas even though the clashes had not started yet. Lajee Center (Lajee means refugee in Arabic) is a Palestinian creative cultural center for children and youth that was established in 2001 in ‘Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Believing in its ideology and support of national, human and moral rights, I joined Lajee Center when I was 14 years old. On Sunday, January 19, 2014 I met some of the children who participate in the daily activities of the center in order to learn about their daily experience in the camp. It was 11am when I left my house at the entrance of ‘Aida camp and walked the 50 meters between my house and the center. Nowadays, even a two minute walk from my house to the center is a challenge. The clashes start sometimes early in the morning, other times in the afternoon, and continue until after sunset …  Closer to the center I see two small boys, who upon seeing me one of them points his finger at the blue gate of the apartheid wall and says to me, “Look! They opened the gate and came out with a jeep. They will stand there until the kids come and see them, then the kids will throw stones at them.” The second child continues, “There are eight soldiers standing there now. More will come later.” I could notice that the soldiers are walking down towards Lajee Center. The older child continues in a proud tone of voice, “Now I do not run when they start shooting I got used to the sound. It is “aadi” (normal)…” … Is any of this normal? I wonder. No! None of this can be normal. One needs to look at Rands crying face to realize that it is not normal for children to see an army invading their place of residence on a daily basis. One knows that life in ‘Aida camp is not normal when six-year-old Rand wishes that her pregnant mother will not have a boy. “He will be arrested like uncle Saed” she says, “the soldiers came at night, took him from home, and I never saw him again”. Rand’s wish comes true, yet her baby sister, Rawand, also has to suffer from the teargas that reaches her bedroom. It is not normal to know that one of the first words Raghd said when she was a few months old baby was jaish (soldiers) at the same time with mama and papa. It is not normal to wake up and see soldiers in Salma’s living room, searching in her closet and walking on top of her toys. It is abnormal when 5000 children, women, men, and elderly have to endure tear gas and shooting on a daily basis….
http://www.palestinechronicle.com/between-normal-and-abnormal-a-day-in-aida-camp/

Four bullets to the back of the head
972blog 2 Feb by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — An IDF sharpshooter fired four bullets to the back of Jalal Mahmoud Masri’s head and killed him. The army’s investigators closed the case — On January 20, 2011, Jalal Mahmoud Masri left his house in East Jerusalem and went to visit relatives in the village of Idna.  Masri, a father of two and a truck driver, did not know that this was to be his last ride. Fate put Sharpshooter Avi in his path. Avi and three of his friends had erected an emergency checkpoint after a white Peugeot 205 ignored a checkpoint near the Gush Etzion Junction. Avi, a sharpshooter, was in a nearby tower. Masri noticed the impromptu checkpoint made of soldiers waving flashlights and slowed down after seeing the first flashlight. As soon as he had passed the checkpoint, he suddenly accelerated. According to most of the testimonies, the commanding officer at the checkpoint fired three rounds into the air. Immediately afterwards, Avi fired four rounds at Masri’s head. He collapsed, mortally wounded, and died months later in hospital. IDF trackers scanned the scene immediately afterward. This is the conclusion of the senior tracker, Sgt.-Maj. Salah: “We found four hits to the upper part of the back window. Two bullets hit the driver-side window and one hit the front window, the fourth bullet also hit in that area. All of them were aimed at the head of the driver […] the guy in the tower shot him, aimed to hit him. This isn’t accidental firing. You don’t aim for the head for no reason. The reason he fired, though, I don’t know.”
http://972mag.com/four-bullets-to-the-back-of-the-head/86638/

Israeli forces storm Jenin area towns, ransack homes
JENIN (Ma‘an) 2 Feb — Israeli forces stormed the northern West Bank towns of al-Jalamah and Qabatia near Jenin on Sunday morning and ransacked several homes. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces in al-Jalamah stopped a teenage peddler named Muhammad Ibrahim Nuerat from Jenin while he was selling clothes at roadside stand near al-Jalamah checkpoint. The sources added that ten Israeli military vehicles also stormed Qabatia and inspected several homes. Local sources said that the soldiers inspected the homes of Khalil Salih Sabaanah, Ibrahim Said Sabaanah and Mustafa Shamma Sabaanah before they left the town. An Israeli spokesman said that the raids in Qabatia were “routine security activity,” but had no information on the raid in al-Jalamah.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670006

Infographic: More than 1400 Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers, settlers since 2000
3 Feb by Nora Barrows-Friedman — The Electronic Intifada’s contributor Patrick O. Strickland and New York-based graphic designer Rachele Lee Richards have produced this powerful infographic that highlights the systematic violence against Palestinian children. Strickland contributed the following text to accompany the infographic. The photograph, taken by Dylan Collins, shows six-year-old Mousab Sarahnin, who lost his eye when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a steel-coated rubber bullet on 27 September 2013. According to witnesses and Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS), Mousab was walking with his family in Fuwwar refugee camp when he was shot — and was nowhere near demonstrations or clashes. The statistics regarding Palestinian children in our infographic are taken from DCI-PS. The other statistics are derived from a July 2013 report published by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din: they paint a picture of total impunity for Israeli soldiers and settlers who harass and attack Palestinian children on a daily basis. Not visible on the infographic is the alarming fact that 19 of the twenty cases in which Israeli soldiers used Palestinian children as human shields took place after Israel’s own high court ruled that it was illegal. Nonetheless, there are no documented cases of soldiers being reprimanded with jail time for this action. Due to size constraints, other gross violations against children are absent, such as instances of children killed by Israeli drones or the number of those threatened with sexual abuse by police officers and soldiers.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/infographic-more-1400-children-killed-israeli-soldiers-settlers-2000

Soldiers kidnap 12 Palestinians in West Bank
IMEMC Monday at dawn 3 Feb by Saed Bannoura — The sources said that dozens of soldiers invaded Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and kidnapped three Palestinians. The soldiers kidnapped residents Sharaf Adnan al-Fakhoury, 18, and Bashar Samih E‘beido [اعبيدو], after breaking into their homes, in the Tal Romeida neighborhood, and violently searching them. Soldiers also kidnapped Ammar Mahmoud Abu Sha‘ban, 23, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city. In Bethlehem, soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar town, kidnapped two Palestinians, also after violently searching their homes, and took them to an unknown destination. The two have been identified as Ahmad Mohammad Taqatqa, and Mohammad Ali Taqatqa. Also, soldiers invaded al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped three Palestinians identified as Mohammad Dalaysha, 28, Saddam Sharaka, 17, and Fadi Dalaysha, 20. They also handed one resident a military order to head to a nearby military base for interrogation … The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that undercover soldiers, driving a Palestinian car, infiltrated into the center of Jenin, during early morning hours, and kidnapped Aybak Allam Abu Ali, 22, Monir Nawwaf Jarrar, 22, and Ahmad Mohammad Ibrahim, 28. In addition, soldiers detained dozens of Palestinians, including students and employees, in ‘Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, before security officers interrogated them as the army inspected their ID cards.  The soldiers surrounded the area, and completely closed it for several hours, local sources said. On Sunday evening, soldiers invaded a market in Qabatia town, south of Jenin, harassing several Palestinians, which led to clashes with local youth.  Eyewitnesses said that several Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and received treatment by local medics.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66893

UN presence at Kafr Qaddum demonstrations leads to theatrics by Israeli forces
KAFR QADDUN, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Nablus Team) posted 2 Feb — In stark contrast to other Fridays, the weekly demonstration of Kafr Qaddum, in Qalqilya district, on 31st January, 2014, was met with a cynical display of theatrics, in which Israeli forces attempted to portray themselves as peacemakers. The presence at the demonstration of a representative from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights led to unprecedented behavior by the soldiers. For the first time since the demonstrations began in July 2011, an Israeli officer with a megaphone made several polite requests for demonstrators to return to their homes. A female officer was also brought forward and appeals were made to the protesters not to throw stones as there was a woman present. A smaller than usual amount of tear gas was used, although several protesters were hit by canisters aimed at body height … Local residents and international human rights activists spoke with the UN representative, who informed them that UN OHCHR visits in the West Bank must always be coordinated through the Israeli military high command, thus explaining the unusual behaviour on the part of the soldiers.
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/02/un-presence-at-kafr-qaddum-demonstration-leads-to-theatrics-by-israeli-forces/

Israeli forces detain retired PA security officer in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — Israeli forces arrested a retired Palestinian Authority security officer on Monday from his Qalqiliya home, locals said. Israeli soldiers ransacked the home of Adel al-Lubani, 62, and detained him, witnesses told Ma‘an. Israeli military forces also confiscated his computer. Al-Lubani is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Palestinian Authority National Security Forces. He retired in 2006 due to diabetes and heart disease.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670249

Islamic Jihad leader accuses PA of arresting group activists
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — A leader from the Islamic Jihad movement on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority security services of arresting activists from the group in Ramallah. Khader Adnan, who went on hunger strike for over 60 days while in an Israeli jail, told Ma‘an that PA forces have targeted Islamic Jihad activists in the Ramallah area. Several Islamic Jihad members were arrested at a recent rally to show solidarity with Muatasim Raddad, a Jihad detainee suffering from cancer, Adnan said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670341

Gaza under blockade

Palestinian killed in tunnel collapse accident near Rafah
IMEMC 2 Feb — Palestinian medical sources have reported that a young Palestinian man was killed late on Saturday evening [February 1 2014] when a siege-busting border tunnel collapsed on him near Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources said that the young man, 20 years of age, is from al-Maghazi refugee camp, and that he died under the rubble; his body was later moved to a local hospital. It is worth noting that the Egyptian army closed more than 95% of the border tunnels as part of a campaign it started against the tunnels, several months ago.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66887

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for three days
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip will be open for three days starting Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Cairo said Monday. Barakat al-Farra thanked Egyptian authorities for their decision to open the crossing … Egypt has frequently closed the terminal since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi in July last year. Hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials and other goods have also been destroyed.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670393

PCHR and IDMC issue report on Israeli violations in access-restricted areas
IMEMC 3 Feb — On 01 February, 2014, the report “Under Fire” was issued by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) was launched in London. The report addresses the Israeli violations in Access Restricted Areas (ARA), in the Gaza Strip. It highlights the suffering experienced by civilians, farmers and fishermen due to restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement in those areas, the frequent targeting of civilians with live ammunition, house demolitions and restrictions imposed on fishing areas. The report was launched in London, and lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, participated in the event via Skype. The report reveals the negative impacts of the imposition of the ARA in land and sea along the border area.  The report highlights the farmers inability to access their lands, totaling 62.6 sq km, i.e., 35% of the agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip, or 17% of the whole area of the Gaza Strip. The report also addresses the Israeli denial of the right to fish in 85% of the fishing area according to Oslo Accords.  Statistics and data are provided on the losses in lives and property due to the Israeli practices in that area … Finally, the report brings to light that many relief foundations fail to understand the nature of the suffering of the ARA residents. The relief foundations’ main focus is on finding shelter for residents whose houses have been demolished, without paying attention to their real loss (homes and livelihood) or addressing the underlying cause of this; the ARA policy imposed by the Israeli authorities.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66895

Gaza children with terminal illness spend their final years under the siege
GAZA (ISM, Charlie Andreasson) 3 Feb — Epidermolysis bullosa is an exotic name for what is, in its most severe form, an unusual, painful and fatal disease. It is caused by a deficiency of the protein that binds the two skin layers together, creating friction, blisters and open, slow-healing wounds. These blisters and erosions occur even on internal mucous membranes. The wounds are similar to third degree burns, and children – victims of its most severe form will rarely be older than that – are also more prone to skin cancer. A cure does not exist  …  And they move stiffly, mainly as a consequence of all the bandages they wear – bandages that keep a special kind of layer in place to prevent their clothes from sticking in their wounds and allow them to live reasonably normal lives without the pain that any contact otherwise will cause – but their movements would be strained even without these bandages … Daniela came to Gaza for the first time in 2008 to work in water and sanitation for an Italian NGO … Her involvement with these children led her to stop working for the NGO that brought her to Gaza. Instead she got in touch with another, Debra Italy. They were so interested in what Daniela had to say that they made contact with a hospital in Rome, and in December 2012, she was back in Gaza with specialized surgeons who dilated the childrens’ esophaguses so they can eat normally, a procedure that needs to be done more than once during their lives. They also brought the special fabric that allows the children to live more functional lives, a product that cannot be found in the area. The last time Daniela returned to Gaza, she brought a bag of this fabric. But it was not without difficulty. She was stopped by customs at the Cairo airport, where they requested a certificate from the Egyptian ministry of health allowing her to bring in medical materials. Without it, she had to pay ten percent of the value, which was $ 600, money she was promised to get back when she crossed the border to Gaza with the unopened bag. Of course she did not receive any money back in Rafah. But she got the material in, and it is needed.
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/02/gaza-children-with-terminal-illness-spend-their-final-years-under-the-siege/

Hamas withdraws ‘anti-missile’ force from Israeli border
AFP 2 Feb — Rocket-prevention forces near border with Israel removed in protest against escalation, recent Israeli attacks in Gaza. Source says regular security forces are to remain in their place — … The move comes a day after Israeli fighter jets attacked Hamas military positions in the Palestinian enclave in response to a rocket attack at a southern Israeli town …  On January 21, Hamas said it had deployed forces in Gaza to “preserve the truce” with Israel that ended the last major confrontation in November 2012.  While Hamas does not routinely launch projectiles at the Jewish state, Israel says it holds the Islamist group that seized power in Gaza in 2007 responsible for any such attacks.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4483937,00.html

Israel offers $20 million to Turkey flotilla victims
JERUSALEM (AFP)  3 Feb — Israel has offered Turkey $20 million in compensation to the families of those killed and wounded in its botched 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday. Citing unnamed Western diplomats briefed on the ongoing negotiations with Ankara, the daily said Turkey had yet to respond to the Israeli offer.  Once-close relations between the two nations fell apart after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish nationals during a botched pre-dawn raid on a six-ship flotilla seeking to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza in May 2010. The assault provoked a major diplomatic crisis between the former regional allies, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims. Talks finally began in March 2013 after Israel extended a formal apology to Turkey to get relations back on track following top-level intervention by US President Barack Obama. The talks stalled for several months but were revived in December when Israeli negotiators traveled to Istanbul and Turkey lowered its demands for compensation, Haaretz said. … The funds will not be paid directly to the families of the dead and the wounded but will be deposited in a humanitarian fund and distributed to them in accordance with defined criteria, it said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670309

Senior Israeli officials: Deal with Turkey possible within days
Haaretz 4 Feb by Barak Ravid — Turkish media says agreement waiting for finalization of ‘minor issues’ before submitted to Erdogan and Netanyahu — “Israel and Turkey are close to signing a reconciliation agreement, and it’s possible that ties between the two nations will improve in the next few days,” senior Israeli officials involved in negotiations told Haaretz late on Tuesday. A senior Turkish delegation that arrived in Israel on Sunday has met with Israeli negotiators. Israel Channel 10 television news reported on the delegation’s arrival on Tuesday. It remains unclear if the latest round of talks in the capital will result in an agreement that could be brought to the governments in Jerusalem and Ankara for approval. On a number of occasions a breakthrough seemed imminent, but each time ended in failure.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.572289

IDF officer killed by friendly fire near Gaza border
Ynet 4 Feb by Elior Levy — Soldier in Givati unit in area mistakenly identifies figure on top of intelligence reconnaissance squad vehicle as terrorist, opens fire — An IDF officer was killed late Monday night from friendly fire during an operation near the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed. The incident occurred as the unit was maneuvering near the security fence. The officer’s family has been notified. An official preliminary investigation revealed that the incident happened around 2 am … It is not yet clear if the soldier received clearance from his commanding officer to shoot. Procedures to open fire are stricter when two units are operating next to each other. The soldier was less than 20 meters away when he opened fire.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4484450,00.html

Detainees

In Gaza, remembering the sick Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails
GAZA (Resistenza Quotidiana, Sil) 2 Feb — At this week’s Gaza sit-in in solidarity with political prisoners in Israeli jails, the focus was on the sick prisoners. The Palestinian political prisoners in need of medical care number about 1,000, and the lives of many are in danger because they are often denied necessary medical care … Many witnesses report that too often the “cures” patients receive are limited to paracetamol and painkillers, which will not affect the causes of the disease. There are cases of untreated leukemia, prisoners suffering from cancer who are not receiving chemotherapy, persons who have contracted serious diseases like hepatitis due to poor hygienic conditions in prisons. Other sick prisoners have died because of lack of medical care. Abu Hamdiyeh, for example, died in March 2013. In August 2012 had a very painful sore throat, which was treated only with painkillers. When he was finally taken to the Soroka hospital, his throat cancer had already spread to his spine. Hasan Turabi, arrested when he already had leukemia, stated he did not receive adequate medical care. He went to the clinic because he vomited blood, for which he received painkillers. Hasan was discharged on his deathbed. He died at age 22 on 5th November 2013.
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/02/in-gaza-remembering-the-sick-palestinian-political-prisoners-in-israeli-jails/

Khaddirat continues his hunger strike for the 20th day running
TOUBAS (PIC) 3 Feb — Prisoner Abdul Majeed Khaddirat, from Toubas, continued his hunger strike for the twentieth consecutive day, despite his health deterioration, protesting his continued detention and the Israeli procrastination in implementing his first hunger strike’s demands. Khaddirat’s wife told the PIC reporter that Abdul Majid resumed his hunger strike since the 12th of January 2014 protesting his re-arrest in May 2013 after being released in the Wafa al-Ahrar deal in 2011 where he served nine years in custody. Khaddirat’s health has seriously deteriorated due to Israeli medical negligence during the first hunger strike several months ago, the family added. He refused an Israeli offer to deport him to Gaza Strip, denying any new charge against him. Abdul Majid’s lawyer confirmed that he is determined to continue his hunger strike until his release although he has lost more than 15 kg as he only drinks water. He suffers severe kidney and back pains, he added.
Meanwhile, an Israeli court has sentenced the female prisoner Donia Haroun, 38, for three years and one year suspended sentence. The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies confirmed that Donia was charged of smuggling money and cellular phones for Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Hamas Movement in Israeli jails. Donia was arrested from her house in Tulkarem in May 2012. She suffers from asthma and breathing difficulties.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/

Israel renews administrative detention of Hamas MP
IMEMC 3 Feb by Chris Carlson — Israeli occupation forces renewed, on Sunday, the administrative detention of Hamas MP from Hebron, Hatim Qafisha,54. Media sources interested in prisoners affairs said that Qafisha’s administrative detention was supposed to end today., but that the occupation has renewed it for another six months, Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency has reported.   Israeli forces kidnapped Qafisha in the beginning of the last year, transferring him to administrative detention; they renewed this administrative detention three times. Qafish spent four months in administrative detention, in 1990, and eight months in 1992. About 13 Palestinian MPs remain behind Israeli bars, in addition to Minister Issa al-Ja‘bari, who was arrested in January 2014.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66892

Israel to release Palestinian lawmaker from jail
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 4 Feb – Israeli authorities were set to release Monday evening a Palestinian lawmaker from Hebron after a year in custody without trial, a human rights group said. The Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights quoted family members of Ismail al-Tal as saying that he would be released Monday at Beitunia checkpoint near Ramallah. Al-Tal, 46, has been in administrative detention since Feb. 4, 2013 without trial. The Ahrar center highlighted that al-Tal had been detained and released several times and served about nine years in jail, most of which was in administrative detention.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670311

Gaza families visit relatives jailed in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — Dozens of family members from the Gaza Strip visited relatives jailed in Israel on Monday, an official from the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Nasser al-Najjar told Ma‘an that 84 people, including 17 children, left the coastal enclave via the Erez, or Beit Hanoun, crossing to visit 40 Palestinians detained in Israel’s Ramon prison. There are around 5,000 Palestinians being detained in Israeli prisons and detention centers, according to Addameer rights group.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670291

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Hundreds evacuated from Yarmouk refugee camp
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Feb — Hundreds of patients, injured people, children and pregnant women have been evacuated from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus to hospitals in nearby neighborhoods, a Syria-based Fatah official said. The movement’s foreign relations officer in Syria Muhammad Abu al-Qasim told Ma‘an on Monday that “every Palestinian refugee who wanted to leave the camp was evacuated.” About 100 people are being evacuated every day. Elderly men and women and patients suffering chronic diseases are evacuated by ambulances. However, there hasn’t been any group migration, he confirmed. Abu al-Qasim added that 800-1,000 food parcels weighing 30 kilograms each were being distributed in the camp every day. The humanitarian aid, he said, is funded by the PLO, President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, Japan and Kuwait. “Nobody will be out of food as humanitarian aid will continue to flow into the camp thanks to coordination between the Palestinian and Syrian Red Crescent societies, Syrian officials and the PLO,” he pledged. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed that hundreds of patients, children and elderly people were evacuated from the camp after cooperation with the Syrian Red Crescent and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. The Red Crescent highlighted that dozens of volunteers joined its teams who worked in the camp. Serious cases were evacuated to al-Mazza Hospital in the Damascus outskirts which is affiliated to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670353

Return of Palestinian remains

Thousands attend funeral after Israel returns bodies to Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — Thousands of people attended the funeral on Monday of two Palestinians whose remains were returned by Israel a day earlier.  On Sunday, relatives gathered at the Tarqumia checkpoint southwest of Hebron to receive the remains of Ayat al-Akhras, from Duheisha refugee camp, and Daoud Abu Swayy, from the village of Artas. Al-Akhras, 18, died in 2002 after she detonated an explosive belt outside a supermarket in West Jerusalem, killing herself, 17-year-old Rachel Levy, and a security guard. Abu Swayy, 46, died after detonating an explosive belt in West Jerusalem outside of the David Citadel Hotel. Three people were injured in the blast. The funeral procession started at Beit Jala government hospital and participants marched to Duheisha refugee camp before arriving at the nearby village of Artas. They were both buried in the al-Shuhadaa’ [Martyrs] cemetery in Artas.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670399

BDS

New Zealand to issue visas to Israeli dancers, despite calls for boycott
SYDNEY (Haaretz) 3 Feb by Dan Goldberg — Auckland Jewish Council says BDS call to keep out Batsheva Dance Company is ‘a cheap publicity stunt that should be exposed for its sinister agenda.” —   New Zealand’s government will allow the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company into the country to perform at an arts festival later this month, despite calls for their visas to be denied because of the campaign to boycott Israeli individuals, groups and products. Foreign Minister Murray McCully confirmed to Haaretz on Monday that New Zealand would issue visas for Batsheva dancers. “The company will not be refused visas due to its association with Israel,” McCully said in a statement. “The Batsheva Dance Company is made up of dancers from around the world and is coming to New Zealand as part of a wider Australasian tour. The New Zealand government has long pursued a balanced and constructive approach to the Israel-Palestinian issue.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.572230

Political, other news

Erekat: No negotiations progress
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Feb — PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said a recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry made no progress and a date for a framework agreement was yet to be set. Erekat said he held several meeting with Kerry in Washington, and the two discussed ways to push the peace process forward but there was nothing official to report so far. Kerry did not set a date for his next visit to the region or a date to present the framework agreement. Kerry met with Erekat in Washington last week, after meeting with Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670468

Abbas suggests NATO force in future state
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Feb — President Abbas has proposed that US-led NATO forces be stationed indefinitely in a future Palestinian state, according to an interview with the New York Times on Sunday. Speaking about security arrangements from Ramallah, Abbas said a NATO force could be positioned at all borders, checkpoints and within Jerusalem for a “long time” after Israeli military forces eventually withdraw from the occupied territories. “The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us,” Abbas told the NYT. The president said that Israeli military forces could remain in the West Bank for up to five years and the removal of illegal settlers should be phased out according to a similar timetable. Abbas insisted that the future Palestinian state would be demilitarized with only a police force. The president said recognizing Israel as a Jewish state was “out of the question” and insisted that the PLO will temporarily refrain from joining any UN agencies.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670247

New details from peace process: Americans offer part of Negev to Palestinian refugees
Ynet 2 Feb by Itamar Eichner — In latest leak from peace talks, report claims US suggests Palestinians get swaths of Negev land in return for settlement blocs. Offer meant to satisfy West Bank Arab leaders, who will be expected to give up idea of having right of return — The 1947 UN Partition Plan for a Jewish and Arab State offered the Jews settlements along the Mediterranean coast, towns in the Jezreel Valley, and as a gift to appease the fledging nation, the UN also awarded the new to be born state with the Negev – an arid desert area, which became 60% of Israel’s territory. More than 60 years later, in an attempt to guarantee the success of the peace talks, the American administration has surprisingly decided to turn back the clock and put the desert back on the negotiating table. This time, however, it is being offered to the Palestinians.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4483738,00.html

NGO begins vigil against possible withdrawal from Judea and Samaria
Jerusalem Post 2 Feb by Daniel K. Eisenbud — Incensed that portions of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley may be annexed following US-led peace negotiations, a woman’s NGO commenced a seven-day “vigil” Sunday in front of the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Residence. The vigil, protesting the so-called “Kerry Plan,” which is anticipated to demand a partial withdrawal from the disputed areas, is sponsored by Women in Green, a grassroots NGO dedicated to the preservation of all land acquired by Israel after the 1967 War. As a steady drizzle fell from a gray sky, co-founder Nadia Matar framed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s expected stipulation, that Israel surrender any of the regions, in stark terms. “We’re here to remind [Netanyahu] why giving up Samaria, Judea and the Jordan Valley is national suicide – not only from a security point of view, but also morally,” she said, adding that the women will continue to gather at the site from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Saturday.
http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Right-wing-group-starts-7-day-vigil-against-possible-withdrawal-from-West-Bank-340145

Soldiers invade a Palestinian prison in Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies Mon 3 Feb — Israeli soldiers invaded the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and broke into a Palestinian prison before taking a prisoner facing corruption charges. Rafiq Nastha, head of the Anti-Corruption Task Force, stated that the Palestinian is under interrogation in a number of corruption cases. The soldiers then withdrew from the city, taking the prisoner to an unknown destination.  Natsha said Israel has been pressuring and harassing him to release the prisoner, and has even threatened to kidnap the official, the Mawwal Radio has reported. He refused to release the prisoner, and kept the investigation and interrogation ongoing.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66894

PETL launching ceremony held in Ramallah
IMEMC Mon 3 Feb by Chris Carlson — The launching ceremony of the Palestinian Electricity Transmission Company (PETL) was held on Monday, in Ramallah, and was attended by high-ranking Palestinian officials and an EU representative. PETL is the first national governmental company established in Palestine to build, own and operate the Palestinian electricity transmission system, according to a report by Palestine News & Info Agency WAFA. It will be the sole designated buyer of electricity for transmission to Palestinian market.
http://www.imemc.org/article/66899

Israel, US locked in spat over Kerry boycott remark
JERUSALEM (AFP) 3 Feb –Israel and Washington were at loggerheads on Sunday after senior Israeli figures attacked US Secretary of State John Kerry for warning of a growing boycott threat if peace talks fail … His remarks quickly came under attack by a series of hardline Israeli ministers, one describing them as “offensive” and another accusing the US diplomat of working “to amplify” the boycott threat …  But US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki hit back at Kerry’s critics. Kerry, she said, had demonstrated steadfast support of Israel for over 30 years, “including staunch opposition to boycotts” and his remarks in Munich had merely “described some well-known and previously stated facts about what is at stake for both sides if this process fails, including the consequences for the Palestinians.” “His only reference to a boycott was a description of actions undertaken by others that he has always opposed,” she said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=670280

Analysis / Opinion

Why we must raise the alarm about settler violence / Emily L. Hauser
Haaretz 3 Feb — It may be depressing to read yet more reports of price tag attacks, but the costs of ignorance – and of abandoning the Palestinians under attack – are far worse — …Whether hilltop outpost or mini-city, the settlements are such an unquestioned fact of life by now that they are functionally invisible to many. I’m a Jew (goes the largely subconscious thought process); I like my people; I understand that some Jews do things that I might not like, but they’re my people, and to be honest, I’m made more uncomfortable by the Palestinians among whom they live. So I think I’ll skip that Amira Hass piece, or that Gideon Levy one. I’d much rather read about start-ups. Yet if we do care about Israel, one of the biggest problems with this kind of thinking is that it cedes to a very narrow group of people the right to influence some truly bedrock decisions regarding the country’s future …  Israelis are letting violent settlers shape the foreign policy discourse and create facts on the ground that are both isolating Israel from the global community (including the U.S., its staunchest ally), and making the possibility of a secure peace with the Arab world increasingly impossible to achieve. Because you know who is not ignorant of settler violence? The people with whom Israel must negotiate an end to this endless war: The Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians are naturally wary of and distrustful toward each other – as any two warring peoples would be – but only one side lives with routine, nearly daily attacks on their homes, their property, and their livelihood. Only one side has to regularly, routinely watch armed security forces arrive, not to protect them or their children, but to protect their attackers.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.572001

Israel’s asylum seekers / Natasha Roth
London Review of Bookr 3 Feb — Imagine if a prominent Member of Parliament openly declared Pakistanis a ‘cancer in our body’. Shortly afterwards, she apologises for this remark – to cancer victims. Not only does the MP keep her job, she escapes any official rebuke at all. At around the same time, Molotov cocktails are thrown through the window of a nursery school attended by the children of asylum seekers in a poor part of London. A month later, there’s a violent riot against asylum seekers on a bloody night of looting, assaults and broken glass. Taxis and buses are stopped and searched for ethnic minorities; one of the rioters wears a T-shirt saying ‘Death to Pakistanis’; women voicing support for asylum seekers are told they should be raped; agitators make monkey noises at a group of black asylum seekers; and throughout, during the beatings and window-smashing and racist chanting, the police stand aside, looking on. After the riot, death threats are sent to an organisation that helps asylum seekers. A young Iranian man who was knifed during the riot, and spent 11 days in hospital, says that the police are doing nothing to find his attacker. The home secretary announces that the raft of legislation she is pushing through Parliament is intended to make life so difficult for asylum seekers – or ‘trespassers’, as the government and much of the media prefer to call them – that they will leave. Local authorities in London raid shops and restaurants and in one kitchen pour bleach into pots of cooking food. The government ignores a high court ruling to release the asylum seekers it has already imprisoned. Instead, the police and the UK Border Authority collaborate to herd people off the streets into vans and buses which take them to a newly built prison camp in the middle of nowhere. The government also begins court proceedings against those it wishes to detain; in one instance, it submits papers to the court requesting the trial of more than 150 asylum seekers, identifying them by a series of numbers, with not one of the defendants referred to by name.
Or maybe it isn’t so hard to imagine those things happening in Britain. They have all already happened in Israel.
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/02/03/natasha-roth/israels-asylum-seekers/

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

Kate
About Kate

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

4 Responses

  1. American
    American
    February 4, 2014, 10:47 am

    Abbas, has proposed a Nato force… led by the United States. http://www.thenational.ae/world

    ”Mr Abbas said Israeli troops, along with Jewish settlers, could withdraw from the occupied West Bank over a period of five years if Nato troops were deployed to ensure security for Israel and the Palestinians.
    At the end of five years my country will be clean of occupation,” Mr Abbas said in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday ”

    Palestine (as well as various US military commanders) has requested this half a dozen times over the past 12 years—-IF— the US was a fair broker and wanted to end I/P this would be the logical FIRST STEP to a settlement.
    Isr has always rejected this as it would stop their land confiscations, bombing and incursions into Palestine.

    • American
      American
      February 4, 2014, 10:50 am

      PS

      If BDS wanted to take on a another goal they should take this one on—a movement to demand the US ask NATO to get between Isr and Palestine.

  2. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    February 4, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Thank you for following this story about the activists in the monastery of Ein Hijleh.

    I notice a tendency even in liberal circles to make disparaging remarks, such as these:
    “Palestinian activists who are inspired by Jesus, but refuse to turn the other cheek”

    Turning the other cheek means opening oneself for future harm. It does not mean surrender. The Palestinians following the example of Jesus and the early Christians do in fact turn the other cheek. They show up again and again in order to assert righteousness and are abused for it. Even existing is resistance as one native person said, under such conditions.

    The claim about Christians failing to turn the other cheek goes along with other such deprecating remarks about religion that are not unusual even for standard non-Palestinian liberal periodicals that focus on the issue.

    How can liberals, who are admirably concerned with equality, expect the state in the Holy Land to be tolerant towards Palestinians, who are practically defined by the State as Muslims or Christians, when strong liberals themselves have such views about the religion?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 4, 2014, 8:41 pm

      I have been told that the master would strike the slave with the back of his left hand. Turning the other cheek is an act of defiance. To strike again would require either the use of the palm of the left or the use of the right hand. But both of these would imply equality with the slave. Thus, turning the other cheek is an act of non-violent defiance, not a surrender or submission.

Leave a Reply