In occupied Jerusalem, an Arab-Jewish couple see their home demolished

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Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing  / ‘Price Tag’ racism

Jewish-Arab couple protest demolition of J’lem home
Haaretz Wed 19 Feb by Nir Hasson — Malice or misunderstanding? The Jerusalem municipality last week razed a house belonging to an Arab-Jewish couple in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a move that the family claims violated a deal they had made with the city meant to give them time to legalize the construction. The city, for its part, claims that the agreement, under which a demolition order would be issued but not implemented for a year, was meant to give the family time to evacuate the home, not legalize it. M. is a Jewish woman married to Mohammed Swahar, with whom she has five children. Last Monday morning M. was awakened by loud knocking at the door. “When I opened it there were policemen there. They said, ‘Ma’am, we have a demolition order here. Please leave the house,” recalls M. “I told them that I have small children and that I wanted to dress them first, but they said no, dress them outside. “The policemen came into the house with dogs, waking the children, who started crying,” she continues. “They grabbed my husband and hit him because he tried to get to the crying children. … I told them I was Jewish, that I’d served in the army, and that I was prepared to leave if they’d give me a chance to pack, but they wouldn’t agree.”

New SodaStream factory could help destroy Bedouin agriculture
Electronic Intifada Thu 20 Feb by Andrew Beale — …While the massive boycott campaign and controversy between Oxfam, Johansson and SodaStream forced international media to focus on the company’s plant in the Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim in the occupied West Bank, the manufacturer of the fizzy drink machines says it is moving forward with plans to open a new factory inside present-day Israel. Like the original factory, this plant will also profit from Israel’s discriminatory policies toward its non-Jewish citizens. SodaStream has presented its decision to locate the new plant beside Rahat, a planned Palestinian Bedouin township in the Naqab (Negev) desert, as a positive step in an area with high unemployment. In reality, the industrialization of the area is part of a strategy dating back to at least 1963, when Israeli general Moshe Dayan outlined his plan for the Bedouins.


Settlers puncture tires of 30 cars in Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies Wed at dawn 19 Feb — A number of Israeli settlers punctured the tires of more than 30 Palestinian cars, and wrote racist graffiti on a number of walls in Shurfat [Sharafat] village, in occupied East Jerusalem. Local sources said that, as the families left their homes in the morning, they found the punctured tires in addition to racist graffiti on the walls of several homes in the area. The graffiti included “Death to Arabs” and “Arab thieves”, among other slurs against the Arabs and Palestinians…
Back on Monday at dawn, 10 Feb, a number of settlers invaded the Wad Yasoul area in Silwan town, occupied East Jerusalem, also puncturing the tires of around 30 Palestinian vehicles. They also wrote racist graffiti on walls of several homes, and on a public transportation Palestinian bus.

Additional ‘price tag’ attack in Kfar Qassem
Ynet Fri 21 Feb by Hassan Shaalan — For the second time in a month and a half, unknown vandals launched a ‘price tag’ attack on Thursday in the Arab town of Kfar Qassem. The words “buy just from Jews” and “price tag” were spray painted on a plant nursery in the town and property worth thousands of shekels was destroyed. Last month some 30 fruit trees and other plants were destroyed in the adjacent nursery in the town. At the time, a sign reading “hello from Ash Kadosh” – a radical West Bank outpost – was hung on the vandalized trees.,7340,L-4490870,00.html

Anti-racism group to Lapid: Pay the price-tag victims
Haaretz Fri 21 Feb by Jack Khoury — An Israeli anti-racism group has petitioned Finance Minister Yair Lapid to compensate Arab Israelis attacked by Jews in the same way as Jews attacked by Arabs. The petition by the Coalition Against Racism in Israel, which includes 31 human rights groups active in Arab and Jewish communities, claims that Arab Israelis who are victims of so-called “price tag” attacks, receive relatively small payments at the discretion of a committee, while Jewish Israelis who are victims of similar attacks are entitled to generous compensation. The term “price tag,” which originally referred to settler vandalism and violence against Arabs in response to attempts to evacuate West Bank settlements, has come to describe anti-Arab hate crimes in general.

After latest attack, minister urges: Treat ‘price taggers’ as terrorists
Haaretz Wed 19 Feb by Nir Hassan — Anti-Arab attackers should be treated as terrorists, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said Wednesday, after the latest incident in a spate of vandalism in Arab areas in and around Jerusalem that police suspect is being committed by Jewish extremists. “We will pay a heavy price for the expanding ‘price tag’ trend,” said Peretz, using the widespread term for damage or assault perpetrated by extremist Jewish settlers. Such incidents often target Arabs, but sometimes target Israeli security forces or left-wing activists involved in or advocating the evacuation of settlements. “This is a group of irresponsible criminals who will do all they can to fan the flames of dispute out of a desire to cause extremists on the other side to respond, thereby causing an escalation that could turn into an uncontrollable fire,” said Peretz, a former defense minister and Labor Party chairman. “They must be stopped and treated as terrorist groups, and all measures must be taken to bring them to justice.”

Settlers prevent farmers from reaching land near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — Israeli settlers prevented Palestinian farmers from planting their lands east of Bethlehem on Friday morning. Farmer Hassan Asakra told Ma‘an that a group of farmers headed to their lands, which are located near the Israeli settlement of Teqoa, accompanied by solidarity activists to plant olive trees, but settlers prevented them with the help of Israeli forces. The group was prevented despite having permits to access the land from the liaisons office, Asakra said. He added that settlers brought cypress saplings to plant on the land, suggesting an attempt to claim the area for themselves. The incident is the second time this week that settlers have prevented Asakra from planting his lands, after a similar incident on Sunday.

Settlers demolish historic barn near Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies Wed 19 Feb —  Israeli settlers invaded al-Khader town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, demolishing a historic Palestinian barn. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, said that the settlers demolished the barn, located in Ein al-Qassis area, west of al-Khader. The barn is more than 100 years old, and belongs to resident Riyadh Daoud Salah. It is located close to both the Daniel illegitimate settlement and the Boaz illegal settlement outpost, the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported.

Settlers destroy 700 olive tree saplings near Ramallah
NABLUS (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb – Extremist settlers destroyed over 700 newly planted olive tree saplings north of Ramallah on Wednesday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that a group of settlers from the illegal outpost of Ade Ad carried out the attack. Over 700 saplings belonging to Mahmoud and Rabah Hizma were either uprooted or broken in the al-Sadir area in Turmusayya. An identity card belonging to one of the perpetrators was found at the scene.

Restriction of movement

I risked imprisonment by Israel and death to study in the United States
Electronic Intifada Thu 20 Feb by Murad Owda — … Last summer I was thrilled to learn that I had earned admission and a scholarship to the Brown School of Social Work. But I almost could not be here – for one reason. I am a Palestinian from Bethlehem. I needed to go to the United States consulate in Jerusalem to apply for my visa. Bethlehem is only six miles from Jerusalem, but it is extremely difficult to get there because less than a decade ago Israel built a giant wall between the cities. I went through the proper bureaucratic channels to apply to enter Jerusalem. The Israelis denied me permission – on four separate occasions. They claimed I was a security threat – but offered no explanation why. I have never committed any crime or been to jail. When I explained the situation to the American officials they told me that’s not their problem. In order to apply for a visa I needed to be at their consulate at 10AM on 16 July. So I had to sneak around like a criminal, evading soldiers. I went miles away to find a small opening. I went through hills. I went through thorn trees. I crawled through a sewage pipe – knowing that others caught in such pipes have suffocated to death after Israeli soldiers discovered them and shot tear gas into the pipes or sicced dogs on them. When I arrived in Jerusalem I washed myself with a bottle of water, covered my cuts and bruises with an extra pair of clothes I had in a backpack and went into the consulate to talk with the American officials. Then I immediately hid in a friends’ house for three days, not daring to go outside.


Israeli officials and settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque
IMEMC Wed 19 Feb by Chris Carlson — A group of settlers, with Israeli intelligence and police officers, stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Tuesday, through Bab al-Magharbeh gate. Jewish religious leaders have recently called the settlers to participate in Talmudic prayers in the mosque, on Tuesdays, according to a report by the Palestinian News Network (PNN). Israeli police, stationed at the main entrances of the mosque, retained the IDs of dozens of Palestinians who wanted to enter the mosque, and gave them fake IDs until they came out of the mosque.

Right-wing Israeli MK enters Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb– An Israeli member of the Knesset entered the Al-Aqsa compound early Wednesday escorted by Israeli police, a Palestinian official said. Azzam al-Khatib, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Ma‘an that right-wing MK Moshe Feiglin arrived at the Al-Aqsa compound at 8:15 a.m. and entered through the Moroccan gate. Feiglin toured the eastern quarter of the compound and stood at the courtyard of the Dome of the Rock, al-Khatib said. A cameraman followed him throughout the tour, which lasted a half hour, al-Khatib said. He said Feiglin was heard saying that the Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to the Jews. Feiglin, head of the “Jewish Leadership” faction of Israel’s Likud party, had initiated a Knesset debate scheduled for Tuesday, calling for full Israeli sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa compound, without Jordanian oversight. However, Israeli media reported that the debate would be postponed.

Police arrest Al-Aqsa engineer and staff
IMEMC Thu 20 Feb by Chris Carlson — Israeli police on Thursday arrested an engineer and three of his staff for fixing a run-down water pipe inside al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem, according to an employee of the Muslim Waqf department that runs the Mosque. The police saw the workers fixing the water pipe and ordered them to stop under the pretext that they did not obtain permission from the police to do the work. But, when they refused, police arrested them, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency. Engineer Bassam Hallaq, in charge of restoration and renovation of al-Aqsa Mosque, refused to abide by the police order saying that they do not have the right to interfere in that work and instructed the workers to continue with the restoration of the water pipe, said the source. As a result, police arrested Hallaq along with Raed Zughayar, Husam Seder and Ali Bkeirat. Israel is trying to prevent the Muslim Waqf from doing any restoration inside the Mosque compound, claiming that any work should be cleared with the relevant Israeli authorities first. The Waqf refuses to coordinate its work in the Mosque area with the Israelis, and says Israel has no right to interfere in Muslim affairs or property.

6 detained in clashes at Al-Aqsa as Israeli MK visits
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — Israeli police on Friday afternoon detained six Palestinians from Jerusalem as they exited al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, following protests in the compound against an Israeli politician’s visit. The Director of the Prisoners’ Society in Hebron Nasser Qaws said that Israeli forces detained Ahmad Badreya, Salah Sharifah, Ahmad al-Razim, and three others who had yet to be identified. During the clashes, witnesses said that youths destroyed the camera of the Israeli police station located in the al-Aqsa compound, and threw stones at Israeli forces near the Moroccan gate in protest against visit of Israeli MK Moshe Feiglin to the holy compound.

Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Man shot in the eye during clashes near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Thurs 20 Feb — A Palestinian man was injured on Friday during clashes in the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu‘. Mohammad Jamal Sabah, 22, was shot in the eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet and taken to a hospital in Bethlehem for treatment.
[Compare the events of April 2009, when Bassem Abu Rahma was killed by a tear gas canister during the weekly protest in Bil‘in; March 2009, when Tristan Anderson “was shot in the right corner of his forehead by a high velocity tear gas canister that broke his skull, penetrated his right eye and devastated his frontal lobe” in Ni‘lin; and May 2010, when Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old American Jewish student and artist, lost her left eye after being hit by a tear gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers during a pro-Palestinian protest at Qalandia checkpoint. No one has been punished for any of these actions or other similar ones.  Inshaa’llah Mohammad Sabah lives and doesn’t lose his eye.]

Several Palestinians injured, property damaged, in Nabi Saleh
IMEMC/Agencies Fri 21 Feb — Israeli soldiers continued their assault against the Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, for the tenth consecutive day, firing rounds of live ammunition, gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets, leading to dozens of injuries and excessive property damage. Local sources have reported that dozens of soldiers invaded the village on Thursday evening, and that dozens of Palestinians have been treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation, while several children suffered anxiety attacks. The invasion caused property damage to at least three homes that were hit by gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets. Clashes took place between the invading soldiers and local youth who hurled stones and empty bottles at them. The soldiers, blocking the main entrance of the village, also prevented the residents from entering or leaving it. The Popular Resistance Committee in the village said that the invasion is part of an assault that was initiated by the army ten days ago

Soldiers invade Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies Friday at dawn 21 Feb by Saed Bannoura —  Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the Deheishe refugee camp, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, clashing with dozens of local youth and causing several injuries. Local sources said that the army invaded the camp to deliver notices to two of the youths, ordering them to head to a nearby military base for interrogation. The invasion led to clashes with local youth who threw stones and empty bottles at them, while the soldiers fired gas bombs, concussion grenades, rubber-coated metal bullets and several rounds of live ammunition. Medical sources said several residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and received treatment by local medics.
In related news, soldiers invaded the Fahma village and Ya‘bad town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, broke into and violently searched several homes. Local sources said that the soldiers took pictures of the exterior and interior of the invaded homes in Fahma village, and withdrew later on. The soldiers also invaded Ya‘bad town, firing concussion grenades and installing a military roadblock at its main entrance.

VIDEO: Israeli forces attack protesters in al-Khalil
PressTV (Iran) Fri 21 Feb — Israeli forces have used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse a pro-Palestinian protest in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron). A dozen demonstrators were wounded in the crackdown with several others arrested.

Dozens injured, five kidnapped as army attacks nonviolent protest in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies Sat 22 Feb by Saed Bannoura — As dozens of Palestinians marched in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, marched marking the 20th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, and demanding Israel to open the Shuhada Street, closed since then, Israeli soldiers violently attacked them injuring 15, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation … Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Yatta, Rateb Jabour, said that the soldiers kidnapped five Palestinians, and violently assaulted peace activist Siham Abu Arram, 40, beating her to various parts of her body causing various cuts and bruises … Palestinian legislator and secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, and Hebron Governor Kamil Hmeid participated in the protest.  The soldiers chased the protesters into the Bab az-Zawiya neighborhood, and fired rubber-coated metal bullets at them, wounding at least 13 Palestinians.
On February 25 1994, an American-born fanatic Israeli physician, a settler identified as Baruch Kopel Goldstein, infiltrated the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron during dawn prayers, and fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition at the worshipers, killing 29 and wounding at least 150, before they managed to kill him. At least 500 worshipers were praying in the mosque when Goldstein invaded it firing at random, using his Israeli-issued automatic rifle. Twenty-one Palestinians were killed by Israeli military fire, and dozens were injured, during the funeral ceremonies of the slain Palestinians. The massacre led to clashes in every part of the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem, leading to dozens of casualties among the Palestinians.
[BBC News Jan 2007: The first Palestinian suicide attack in Israel killed eight people in April 1994 in the centre of Afula. Hamas said it carried out the attack in response to the killing of 29 praying Muslims in February of that year by Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein in the West Bank city of Hebron.]

WATCH: 20 years since the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in Hebron
Israeli Social TV Fri 21 Feb — Twenty years ago, on February 25, 1994, Israeli-American Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 people in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the Muslim holy site at the Cave of the Patriarchs. Goldstein’s attack with an automatic assault rifle left 125 wounded. In the wake of the massacre, its victims, the Palestinian residents of Hebron, were the ones to suffer. Once one of the city’s major thoroughfares and commercial centers, Shuhada Street was closed to Palestinian vehicle and foot traffic as part of the Israeli army’s attempt to create “sterile” buffer zones between Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents in the city. SocialTV accompanied “Breaking the Silence” to the segregated city of Hebron to hear how the Palestinian population of Hebron has been affected by Israeli policies since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre.

Settlers hurl stones at Palestinian children near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb  — A group of Israeli settlers hurled stones at Palestinian schoolchildren in Nablus on Wednesday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that the settlers stormed the village of Burin and threw stones at pupils at a local [elementary] school. Another group of settlers assaulted a 50-year-old man near the illegal Yitzhar settlement south of the village. Israeli forces arrived in the area following the incident and clashed with Palestinian villagers, firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets.

6 injured after Israeli settlers attack high school near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — Six Palestinians were injured in clashes after Israeli settlers attacked a high school south of Nablus on Thursday, according to a Palestinian Authority official. Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that clashes broke out after Israeli settlers attacked Burin High School. The attack led to the subsequent intervention of dozens of villagers and Israeli forces, who fired tear gas during the clashes. Daghlas added that dozens of Palestinian suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, including Mohammad Thawqan, Diya Rayyan, Imad Najjar, Asim Mohammad Najjar, Walid Salim, and Ibrahim Theeb. The injured were subsequently taken to Rafidia governmental hospital for treatment…
Also on Thursday afternoon, a fire bomb was thrown towards a car belonging to a settler in the area. As a result, a large number of Israeli forces arrived on scene and closed the main road temporarily. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a “molotov cocktail” had been thrown “at an Israeli school bus” passing by on the road. The violence comes a day after settlers hurled rocks at schoolchildren in the village and beat up a 50-year-old man in a similar attack on the village. Burin is a frequent site of settler violence and Palestinian clashes with Israeli forces as it is located beside the notoriously violent Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.

Child injured after being hit by settler’s car in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies Wed 19 Feb — Palestinian medical sources reported on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 that a Palestinian child was injured after being rammed by an Israeli settler’s vehicle near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank. The sources said that the child, Ahmad Naim Borqan, 7 years of age, was struck by the settler’s car in al-Masharfa neighborhood, south of the mosque. He was moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital suffering a mild-to-moderate injury. The settler fled the scene. There have been numerous similar incidents in Hebron, as well as in several other parts of the occupied West Bank, causing dozens of injuries and several deaths among the Palestinians, including children and elderly.
Also in Hebron, soldiers invaded the town of Yatta, kidnapped one resident identified as Baha’ Abu Sabha, 20, and took him to an unknown destination.
Also on Wednesday, settlers attacked a Palestinian man in Burin village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, causing various cuts and bruises. Local sources said that the settlers assaulted Mohammad Raja al-Zeben, 50, while working in his land close to the Yitzhar illegal settlement.

Settler ‘deliberately’ hits Palestinian car with pickup truck
SALFIT (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb — A settler deliberately rammed a parked Palestinian car on Thursday in the Nablus village of Za‘atara, locals said. Musab Hasan Balsma, 21, told Ma‘an that he parked his Fiat on the roadside after it ran out of fuel and was waiting inside the car for a friend to bring him fuel. All of a sudden, a settler driving a pickup truck rammed the car from behind and then from the front, before fleeing the scene. Balsma was transferred to hospital with cuts and bruises following the incident and filed a complaint with Israeli police.

Israeli forces open fire on protests across West Bank, injuring dozens
[details, photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Friday in clashes with Israeli forces across the northern and central West Bank. Clashes occurred in a number of areas across the region, including al-Jalazun, Bil‘in, Nabi Saleh, and Khirbet Atuf, a small village near Tubas, on a day that saw dozens wounded in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and the Gaza Strip as well. Clashes erupted at the entrance to al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah when Israeli forces dispersed dozens of protesters after Friday noon prayers by shooting tear gas canisters as well as metal and rubber-coated steel bullets. Four people were injured with metal and rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation … Bil‘in …Medic Mohammad Ahmad Yassin, 24, was injured after being hit with a tear gas canister in the back, and Mahmoud Mohammad, 18, was hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head. … Atuf  Clashes also broke out in the village of Khirbet Atuf east of Tubas after dozens of Palestinians performed Friday prayers near the Al-Fasel Trench, which is near the Jordan Valley, to protest Israeli settlement activity in the area.

11 Palestinians arrested in West Bank
IMEMC Fri 21 Feb by Chris Carlson — Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron, on Thursday. Seven were taken from the village of Kufur Qadoum, west of Nablus. In Hebron, four were arrested from the Hebron governorate. Security sources reported that forces arrested Mohammad Waleed Amro, 17, from the village of Dura, Abdullah Na’em Ezghyer, 19, from Farsh El-Hawa area in Hebron city, and Ibarhim Qandeel Masalmeh, 24, from Beit ‘Awwa village and Nasser Abu Sabha, 20, from Yatta village. Israeli forces also raided the house of Ra‘fat Shalash in Beit ‘Awwa village, as well as Bani Na‘im village, east of Hebron. [from Ma‘an: In Jenin, Abdul-Salam Abdullah Yahya, 22, was detained at a checkpoint near the village of Turra while Asaad Issam Musab, 20, was arrested in Ya‘bad village.]

Israeli forces detain 15-year-old in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained a Palestinian teenager in Hebron for allegedly throwing rocks at settlers. Awni Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, 15, was detained and taken to the Tal al-Rumeida checkpoint on Shuhada Street for over an hour before he was taken to the Kiryat Arba police station with his father. Abu Shamsiyeh denied the rock-throwing allegations … A fine of 300 shekels ($85) was paid by the father, after an initial fee of 1000 shekels ($285) was reduced, and Abu Shamsiyeh was released … According to Defense for Children-International, around 500-700 Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military system each year.  Three out of four Palestinian children are subject to physical violence during interrogation, according to the children’s rights organization, while 96 percent are questioned alone and are rarely informed of their rights.

Former minister attacked in Jenin
NABLUS (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — A group of masked men attacked the former minister of prisoners’ affairs Wasfi Kabha in the northern West Bank district of Jenin on Wednesday, according to a Hamas statement. The statement said the perpetrators stopped Kabha’s car at gun point, assaulted him with sticks and stones, and smashed his car.  As a result of the attack, the former minister suffered a fractured arm and several bruises and was taken to Jenin Hospital, the statement said. Head of the Palestinian legislative council, Aziz Dweik, condemned the attack and said it was done by a group of outlaws who only aim to create conflicts.

Gaza under blockade

PHOTOS: Life and death in Gaza’s border zone
Activestills Wed 19 Feb Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler — The fatal shooting of Ibrahim Mansour near the Gaza border is only the latest incident in what B’Tselem describes as the Israeli military’s ‘ongoing, illegal policy of using lethal firearms against civilians without justification.’ Ibrahim Mansour was collecting gravel near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel when he was shot in the head and killed by the Israeli military on Thursday, February 13. One of Mansour’s two companions was injured in the shooting. Both survivors say that no warning was given before they were fired upon. Mansour’s killing follows a pattern by the Israeli military in which lethal gunfire is used against anyone perceived as a threat in an ill-defined “no-go zone” extending some 300 meters or more inside Gaza’s northern and eastern borders. “It is injustice to kill an innocent man who is looking for his living by collecting some pieces of stone to support his family,” says Mansour’s brother, who maintains that Ibrahim was “in an accessible area, far away from the prohibited zone,” when he was shot.

13 injured as Israeli open fire on Gaza border
IMEMC Fri 21 Feb by Chris Carlson — Thirteen people were injured Friday after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators east of Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip. Dozens of others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces violently dispersed the group, which was protesting against the confiscation of lands near the border by Israeli authorities. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health, told Ma‘an News Agency that 13 people were injured, including a 12-year-old child who was seriously injured. They were all taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia.

Medics: Palestinian shot, injured in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — A young Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces on Friday morning east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said. Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an that a 21-year-old man was shot by Israeli forces located east of the camp. He was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries, al-Qidra added.

Israeli warships open fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — Israeli warships opened fire at fishermen off the coast of Gaza City early Wednesday, a fisherman said. A fisherman told Ma‘an Israeli ships fired gunshots at Palestinian fishing boats, and that a shell hit the water near the boats. No injuries were reported.

Israel claims gunmen opened fire on navy boats
IMEMC/Agencies 21 Feb — Israeli sources reported Friday that Israeli Navy boats came under fire close to the Rafah shore, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Israel said the incident took place last Wednesday, after the navy opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. The sources said that a gag order was lifted at midnight, on Thursday, and that the incident took place between Palestinian and Egyptian territorial waters.  According to the Israeli report, Israeli Navy vessels observed two speeding boats driving from the Egyptian side towards Palestinian waters, and opened fire at them before Palestinian gunmen on the shore opened fire at the Israeli Navy vessels, causing no damage or injuries. Israel said that the navy is rarely under fire from Gaza, and that initial investigations indicate ‘smugglers’ are behind the attempt. An Israeli security official said that closing and destroying siege-busting border tunnels by Egypt increased pressure on ‘smugglers’, forcing the Palestinian armed groups to try to ‘smuggle weapons through the sea’.

Navy opens fire at fishing boats, security center
IMEMC Thursday at dawn, 20 Feb by Saed Bannoura —  Israeli navy boats fired rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza territorial waters, targeting a Palestinian security base close to the Palestinian-Egyptian border. The Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported that Israeli Navy boats fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition at the security base, causing damage but no injuries.  The security base was evacuated fearing additional Israeli attacks. The Navy also opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats near the Rafah shore, in southern Gaza, causing damage to one boat carrying three fishermen who escaped the attack unharmed.

Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza
GAZE CITY (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that the Israeli vehicles crossed over to the Palestinian side of the border near the town of al-Qarara in the Khan Younis district. The vehicles remained in the area for a few hours before returning to the Israeli side, witnesses said.

Hamas tests anti-aircraft missiles against Israel
Al-Monitor Wed 19 Feb by Adnan Abu Amer — Palestinians in Gaza acknowledge that the Israeli air force has caused problems for them in previous military confrontations — problems that for a long time have remained without adequate resolution. Domination of the skies has afforded Israel a platform for achieving its major objectives, such as assassinations and elimination of weapons emplacements, at minimal cost. The armed factions in Gaza are determined to counter this capability through anti-aircraft missiles and are now in possession of a few versions, although in limited quantities … Palestinian fighters have tried to evade the wrath of Israeli aircraft in recent encounters by taking the utmost care and caution in their movements. As previously reported in Al-Monitor, fighters have avoided wired and wireless communications, which through analysis of their voiceprints might have been one of the primary reasons for locations being exposed, as was the case in many an assassination. Furthermore, Al-Monitor determined that a few months ago Palestinians had begun using a tactic by which they covered narrow side streets with long pieces of cloth, blankets, canvases and tarpaulins during Israeli overflights to obscure the vision of surveillance aircraft and prevent them from monitoring their whereabouts and field movements, thus reducing the risk of being targeted.

Hamas sinks in polls after cutting salaries to public servants
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) Thu 20 Feb by Rasha Abou Jalal — Hamas’ popularity has fallen behind Fatah in the Gaza Strip, according to recent polls, as frustration mounts over its handling of the territory’s economic crisis — On Feb. 2, concerns seemed evident on the faces of governmental employees in the Gaza Strip, as they lined up in a long line in front of the Hamas-affiliated National Islamic Bank. They were waiting to receive their salaries, which had been reduced by 50% for the third month in a row.

Gaza hackers prepare for next attack on Israel
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) Thu 29 Feb by Hana Salah — A group of Palestinian hackers in Gaza talk to Al-Monitor about their cyberwar against Israel — Hacking Israeli websites from the Gaza Strip is a raging front in a war where soldiers are trained in the art of hacking individually and collectively. They are preparing to fight the next battle globally, united in a virtual world with other hackers around the world to deliver a message that the siege on Gaza must end. The electronic conflict between Palestinian hackers and Israel is growing, after the success of the largest unified hacking operation against Israel launched on April 7, 2013. The goal of the attack, dubbed OpIsrael, was that of “wiping Israel off the Internet.” … Electronic warfare is ongoing not only against Israel but also between the Palestinian factions, which exist in a state of internal political division. Each party has hackers working on penetrating the other party’s websites.

Detainees / Prisoner releases

Organization: Over 200 Palestinians in administrative detention
NABLUS (Ma‘an)  Thu 20 Feb — The number of Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli jails recently passed 200, a human rights organization said Tuesday. Usama Maqbol, a lawyer from the Palestinian human rights group Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, said that the rise in the number of administrative detainees is the result of an ongoing campaign of daily arrests by Israeli forces. He said that this campaign is targeting recently freed prisoners and leaders of Palestinian political groups, highlighting that 90 percent of administrative detainees are from those two categories, he added. Israeli human rights groups BTselem reported in October that 140 Palestinians were being kept in administrative detention in Israeli prisons, down from a high of nearly 1,000 in 2002. The new numbers, however, suggest a renewed push on the part of Israeli occupation authorities. Maqbol explained that the orders for administrative detention come from the regional military commanders of each region according to undisclosed information, and that the orders do not rely on evidence or confessions. The information is even kept secret from defense lawyers, he added.

Health conditions of four hunger strikers, PM Mansour in decline
IMEMC Thu 20 Feb — Four Palestinian hunger strikers’ health conditions have seriously deteriorated, the Palestinain Information Center (PIC) has reported. The four hunger strikers were transferred from Ramla prison infirmary to Israeli hospitals. According to PIC, the hunger strikers Akram Fessissi and Muammar Banat were transferred to Kaplan hospital, while Wahid Abu Maria was moved to Wolfson hospital. Amir Shamas was also transferred to Tel Hashomer hospital. The four hunger strikers have been on hunger strike for 38 days in a row, to protest their administrative detention.
In related news, Al Ray reports that the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has transferred Palestinian MP Yasser Mansour to al-Ramla Prison clinic, following a deterioration in his health.

Detainee faints in military court
IMEMC Fri 21 Feb by Saed Bannoura — The International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights (ISFHR) has reported that a Palestinian detainee from the northern West Bank district of Nablus fainted before his military court hearing, on Thursday afternoon, February 20, 2014. Lawyer Mazen Abu ‘Oun stated that detainee, Shadi Mohammad Awwad, 30, lost consciousness while in a court detention room, awaiting his session, and was moved to the Affoula Israeli Hospital, the Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported. Awwad, from ‘Awarta village near Nablus, was placed in an overcrowded room, where some detainees are held for up to ten hours, without water or food, before their court sessions are held. Military court sessions usually last for a few minutes, but the detainees have to endure being moved from prison early at dawn or late at night, and are kept in small, overcrowded rooms.

Hunger-striking prisoner reaches agreement
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb — A Palestinian man imprisoned in Israel suspended an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday after reaching an agreement with authorities, a Palestinian human rights organization said. Addameer Lawyer Samer Samaan said that Abd al-Majeed Khudeirat had suspended his strike after reaching an agreement with the military prosecution to serve a 30-month sentence. He will also have a hearing in front of a special panel with the possibility of reducing the sentence to 18 months. Khudeirat had restarted his hunger strike on Jan. 15 in to protest against being re-arrested despite being released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. He had previously been on a hunger strike from July 1 to Oct. 15 of last year, at the end of which he reached a deal with authorities to serve a 30-month sentence. The deal, however, was not carried out, and as a result he restarted his strike.

Knesset bill to deprive 1948 prisoners of insurance
IMEMC Wed 19 Feb by Chris Carlson — Israeli Knesset passed, on Wednesday, in its first reading, a bill to deprive Palestinian prisoners from 1948 territories of national insurance benefits [govt old age pensions?], upon their release from Israeli jails, amidst increased violations in the month of January. “We can’t imagine the Israeli government to release those prisoners and allocate cash allowances for them; this farce must end,” the Likud member and bill drafter told Israel Seventh Channel. This bill comes ahead of an Israeli cabinet vote on the release of the fourth batch of prisoners, which Israel agreed to free in a goodwill gesture, due in late March, according to Al Ray.

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Turkey offers residency to Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria
ANKARA (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — The Turkish government has agreed to grant residency permits to Palestinians who have fled Syria for Turkey, the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey said in a statement. Nabil Maroof said that the agreement means that any Palestinian refugee coming from Syria will be able to live, work, and study legally in Turkey. The decision is the result of Palestinian officials’ persistent efforts to reach this end since Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria began fleeing to Turkey, Maroof said … Approximately 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their refugee camps in Syria due to violence in the country.


140 Irish academic pledge to boycott Israeli institutions
Electronic Intifada Fri 21 Feb by Ali Abunimah — More than 140 academics in Ireland have signed this pledge: “In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for an institutional academic boycott of Israel, we pledge not to engage in any professional association with Israeli academic, research and state institutions and with those representing these institutions, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” The signatories, from higher education institutions all over the island of Ireland, come from a wide range of disciplines and include many well-known figures, such as Seamus Deane, Ailbhe Smyth, Luke Gibbons, Ronit Lentin, Joe Cleary, Kieran Allen, Kathleen Lynch, Tadhg Foley, Terrence McDonough and Helena Sheehan. The pledge was announced at the 20 February launch in Dublin of Academics for Palestine (see video above).

UK student union to cancel G4S contract over role in Israeli prisons
Electronic Intifada Wed 19 Feb by Michael Deas — The student union at the University of Kent in the southeast of England is to terminate its contract with G4S following an “outcry” over its role in human rights abuses in Palestine, South Africa, the UK and other countries. G4S provides security and incarceration “services” to Israeli military bases, checkpoints, illegal settlements and prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to abuse and torture. Kent Union announced during a meeting last week that it is to cancel its contract with G4S, which currently provides the union with cash handling services. The meeting overwhelmingly approved a motion condemning G4S, and the union is holding a student referendum this week to decide whether to launch a campaign to pressure the University of Kent to cancel its own, separate, contract with G4S.

Israel’s water apartheid embraced by Italy
ROME (Electronic Intifada) Fri 21 Feb by Stephanie Westbrook — …At the Italy-Israel summit in Rome during December 2013, a cooperation agreement was signed between Mekorot and Acea, Italy’s largest water utility. Both firms undertook to examine how “cutting-edge technologies” for water management could be exchanged. Palestine solidarity and public water campaigners have joined forces to oppose the agreement “Instrument of war” “Water is used by the Israeli government and state companies like Mekorot as an instrument of war, oppression and power,” Paolo Carsetti from the Italian Forum of Water Movements told The Electronic Intifada. “This is why we actively support this campaign.” Much of the attention has focused on the city of Rome, which has a majority stake in Acea.

Other news

Palestinian teen amputees complete historic Kilimanjaro climb
[long and fascinating story, with photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) thu 20 Feb by Charlie Hoyle — Two Palestinian teenagers have made history by becoming the first amputees from the Arab world to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. On Jan. 23, Mutussam Abu Karsh, 16, from Gaza and Yasmeen Najjar, 17, from the Nablus village of Burin completed a demanding eight-day journey to the peak of Africa’s highest mountain. The Climb of Hope was organized by the Ramallah-based Palestine Children’s Relief Fund to raise awareness of the plight of children injured in conflict zones in the Middle East, and to raise money to provide medical care to Syrian children wounded in the country’s ongoing war. Traveling in a group of 12 led by Suzanne al-Houby, the first Arab woman to climb Mount Everest, Mutassam and Yasmeen braved extreme weather conditions to climb 5,895 meters to reach the Uhuru Peak, which in Swahili means freedom.
“I am proud we were the first to carry the Palestinian flag to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to help other children, and I want to show that we can do anything despite our injuries,” Mutassam said after the climb. “It’s the first time that I have felt truly free, no walls, no borders, no checkpoints and soldiers.”
In 2006, Mutassam lost his left leg and part of his hand after an Israeli tank shell exploded while he was playing football in the northern Gaza Strip … Yasmeen, 17, had her leg amputated at the age of three after being struck by an Israeli army vehicle while playing outside her home in the Nablus village of Burin. She had to cross several Israeli military checkpoints to reach the nearest hospital and by the time she arrived her leg could not be saved.

US to demand ‘partial Israeli settlement freeze’
JERUSALEM (AFP) Wed 19 Feb — Washington is to demand Israel implement a partial settlement freeze after US Secretary of State John Kerry presents his framework for extending peace talks, army radio reported on Wednesday. Quoting US negotiators involved in the talks, the radio said the United States was hoping to obtain a freeze on construction in isolated settlements outside the major West Bank blocs, which Israel hopes to retain in any peace deal. Kerry, who is to meet President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on Wednesday night, is currently working on a framework that would allow the ongoing talks to be extended beyond an April deadline until the end of the year.

Kerry holds new Paris talks with Abbas
PARIS (AFP) Thu 20 Feb — US Secretary of State John Kerry held “constructive” talks in Paris with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas meeting twice in less than 24 hours, a US official said Thursday.

Official: PLO could recognize Israel as ‘Jewish state’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — PLO Central Committee member Nabil Amro said Friday that there is a possibility that the Palestinian leadership could recognize Israel as a Jewish state in some form. Amro told Ma‘an that some form of recognition could be accepted by the current leadership but would need to be approved by a popular referendum. The PLO official said that US officials must present an acceptable form of recognition, but what is currently being proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is unacceptable.

Ashrawi meets J Street delegation in Ramallah
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb — A top PLO Executive Committee member met with the US Zionist lobbying organization J Street in Ramallah on Wednesday, according to a PLO statement. In the second meeting between high-level Palestinian officials and Israeli or pro-Israeli groups this week, a J Street delegation led by founder Jeremy Ben-Ami met with Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi. J Street is a US Zionist political lobbying organization that defines itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace” and advocates for Israel’s existence as “the Jewish homeland” alongside a Palestinian state.

Poll: 72 percent of Americans have favorable view of Israel
Ynet Wed 19 Feb — A new poll by Gallup shows that 72 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Israel, up from 66 percent last year. The annual Gallup World Affairs poll, conducted from February 6-9, also shows a relatively stable perception among Americans of Israel and seven other “important” Middle East countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Libya. The positive view of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority also increased by small margins. Forty-five percent of Americans said they had a favorable perception of Egypt, up from 40 percent in 2013, and 19 percent expressed a favorable view of the PA, up from 15 percent the year before.,7340,L-4490148,00.html

Palestinians, Israeli officials hold meeting on environmental issues
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb — Palestinian and Israeli officials met in Tel Aviv on Thursday in order to discuss environmental issues suffered by Palestinians in the West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said. Deputy Head of the Palestinian Environment department Jamal Mtour said that the meeting was held with several environmental and civil administration officials including Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz in the ministry’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. Mtour said that the Palestinian side presented environmental issues they face during the course of the meeting. Landfills in Ramallah, al-Bireh, and near Bethlehem were discussed in addition to freedom of movement, infrastructure and development projects in Area C and the health hazards caused by settlement factories near Tulkarem. Mtour added that a major topic was the Israeli authorities’ refusal to allow Palestinians to dispose of waste in a landfill southeast of Bethlehem which was intended to dispose of the waste of the southern West Bank’s 800,000 inhabitants, and was built with World Bank funding.

Building a Palestinian state, one city at a time
Ynet Wed 19 Feb by Elior Levy — While still struggling with Israeli bureaucracy, panoramic view and affordable prices bring much attention to newly constructed West Bank city of Rawabi, which is expected to be populated next year — … Rawabi (“The Hills” in Arabic) is built on a West Bank hill that overlooks the entire region. Nablus is clearly seen from the north, while Ramallah gazes back at the city from the south; the entire coastal plain appears on the western side of the city, including the Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan skylines. The city is planned to spread over 6 million squared meters, and its first stages include 630 housing units – which have already been almost entirely sold, in buildings of four and five floors. Meanwhile, three schools, a mosque, a church, a large amphitheater and a soccer field are all being built in the city.,7340,L-4489873,00.html

Electricity prices to rise across West Bank to cover PA debts
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Fri 21 Feb — The Jerusalem District Electricity Company has proposed to raise the price of electricity across the West Bank after the PA failed to pay millions of shekels in debt, the company’s director said on Friday. Hisham al-Omari told Ma‘an that the company gave the Palestinian Authority two options, either to pay the 400 million shekels ($110 million) of debt, or raise electricity tariffs to become equivalent to Israel. Al-Omari said that the problem stems from the PA’s failure to pay its debts to the company, causing the company to face issues with the Israeli regional electricity company.  The government is still studying the proposal, he added. Al-Omari ruled out the possibility of disconnecting electricity to areas in the West Bank, and denied knowledge of any plans that the Israeli regional company might disconnect service to the West Bank.

Israel company removes 50 water meters in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) Mon 17 Feb — The Israeli water company Hagihon has removed meters from 50 homes in the Old City of Jerusalem without prior notice for accumulated debts, an official said Monday. Head of the water monitoring committee in the Old City Ashraf al-Zerba told Ma‘an that a campaign to remove meters was started last week, and 50 homes were affected in the Bab Hutta, Bab al-Majles, al-Sayidia, and al-Wad neighborhoods. Al-Zerba said the affected houses are home to 300 people including elderly, children and people with special needs. Some meters were used by more than one house, he added. A woman from the al-Baarani family, whose meter was removed, said that “the water was disconnected suddenly. The family has three sick people and three children, but no fixed monthly income.”

Turkey to send $5 million to the Palestinian Authority
ANKARA (Ma‘an) Thu 20 Feb — The Turkish government will transfer $5 million to the Palestinian Authority in the coming two days, the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey said on Thursday. Nabil Maroof told Ma‘an on Thursday that the money would be used to buy private lands from the current Palestinian owners in order to establish an industrial zone in Jenin in the northern West Bank. The government of Turkey and the Palestinian Authority previously signed an agreement in October 2011 according to which Turkey agreed to pay $10 million to fund the purchase of land in Jenin in order to build an industrial zone. Work on infrastructure for the industrial zone is expected to start once the purchase is completed.

Jordanian companies enter $500 million deal for Israel gas
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Wed 19 Feb — Two Jordanian companies have entered into a major deal to import natural gas from Israel, according to Reuters news agency. US-based company Noble Energy has reached an agreement with Jordanian Arab Potash Co Plc and Jordan Bromine to important natural gas from Israel for a period of 15 years beginning in 2016, the international news agency quoted Noble Energy as saying on Wednesday. Noble Energy discovered the Tamar oil field in 2009, and along with the nearby Leviathan gas field it has the potential to turn Israel into a major regional energy power. Noble will supply the Jordanian companies with about 66 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and expects total revenue from the deal to reach around $500 million. The gas fields were originally the cause of international controversy, as they sit close to the Lebanese maritime border. The dispute has since been resolved. However, Lebanese officials still fear Israel might drill into its territory, which is located only a few kilometers away. Jordan is said to be replacing its previous imports of Egyptian gas which are frequently interrupted by bombings in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

Fortifications and infantry brigades: Egypt reinforces border with Israel
Ynet Tues 18 Feb by Yoav Zitun — After struggle against al-Qaeda operatives, Bedouin smugglers takes toll on lives of dozens of Egyptian soldiers, Cairo fortifies fence with modern equipment, expert infantrymen.,7340,L-4489490,00.html

Analysis / Opinion

Analysis: EU aid to Palestinians — help or hindrance? / Andreas Hackl
JERUSALEM (IRIN) 19 Feb — The European Union (EU) has long been one of the most reliable foreign sources of humanitarian, economic and political aid in the OPT, providing 426 million euros (US$575 million) in 2013 alone. In 2011, overall overseas development aid to the OPT was worth $2.5 billion, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Much of this aid to the Palestinian people is focused on a single long-term objective, according to EU officials – the building up of the institutions of a future democratic, independent and viable Palestinian State, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. But with limited progress so far in the current US-brokered peace talks and the wider aim of the realization of a Palestinian state, some in the more austerity-minded EU are starting to wonder if the aid is being well spent, when humanitarian crises in Syria and Mali are in need of greater funds. “By now there is no Palestinian state. The point is: what are we funding here? Are we helping Israel to maintain the occupation, or are we actually helping Palestinians to build independence?” Caroline du Plessix, a French political scientist specialized on EU policy towards the two-state-solution, told IRIN.

Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes / Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss 21 Feb — Three acts of censorship in New York demonstrate the desperate pass to which Zionism has brought the American Jewish community: we are walking away from our greatest treasure, literacy. Two days ago I reported that the Museum of Jewish Heritage had spiked a panel featuring John Judis’s book on Truman and Israel because that book, which says that Truman was for the separation of church and state and took a dim view of Zionism but the lobby compelled him to act against his principles, is just too scary and controversial.  Yesterday we reported that Ramaz School in New York had barred Rashid Khalidi from speaking and that students had risen up demanding that the prohibition be lifted. Jerry Haber says: “No doubt the school is fearful of alienating its donor base. No explanation has been given so far.” … Then there’s the news that Judith Butler was supposed to give a talk about Kafka at the Jewish Museum of NY on March 6 and withdrew after people began flipping out over her endorsement of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel). Again, donor pressure is cited … This is truly disgraceful. The Jewish community is in IQ freefall, and it’s happening before our eyes.

The Israeli TV guide to cheap Arab lives / Gideon Levy
Haaretz Tue 20 Feb  — Good evening and welcome to the main edition of Channel 2 News. And now for the news. Our top stories – are meant solely for Jews. Only for them – of course for them. Our broadcasters are active participants in all the vile process of dehumanization of the Palestinians in the territories – that’s been clear for a while – but also of Israeli Arabs. Do you want an example, one of many? Consider Monday’s broadcast. There was a disaster that morning in Acre; a gas canister exploded. Five people, two families, were wiped out and an old building was destroyed. Our main newscast will report on it – of course it will, it was even mentioned as the top story. But now let’s go to the news in detail, where we’ll deal with the tragedy only after we tell you about three much more interesting and important things: a “strange” report about arms dealers in Binyamina who sold “valuable” spare parts to Iran; a story about the disintegrating relationship between Shula Zaken and her former boss, Ehud Olmert; and the tale of the maintenance supervisor in the Prime Minister’s residence who’s threatening some embarrassing revelations. The news editors decided that these three puff pieces should precede the report on the tragedy. Now, why might that be? It’s a weighty question, so let’s answer it firmly and decisively: It’s because the victims in Acre were Arabs. Yes, human beings, even citizens, just like you – but Arabs. How can I be so sure? Because a month ago a very similar disaster occurred. It was also a gas explosion, and there, too, three people, an entire family, were killed. But that was in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, a Jewish neighborhood, not in Arab Acre, and the victims were “ours.” (listserv) (archive)

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“Palestinian medical sources reported on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 that a Palestinian child was injured after being rammed by an Israeli settler’s vehicle near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank. The sources said that the child, Ahmad Naim Borqan, 7 years of… Read more »

“I told them that I have small children and that I wanted to dress them first, but they said no, dress them outside. “The policemen came into the house with dogs, waking the children, who started crying,” she continues. “They grabbed my husband and hit him because he tried to… Read more »

I have never been in that situation and I can only imagine how the woman must have felt, but it is sad to see her invoking her Jewishness as a cloak that she hoped would protect her. I wonder how her husband and children felt when she did that.