Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Israeli police dogs mauled Palestinian teens shot at checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — A lawyer for the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners’ affairs Tariq Barghouth alleged on Saturday that Israeli forces launched attack dogs on two Palestinian youths after shooting them multiple times on Thursday night at a checkpoint near Jerusalem. Adam Abd al-Rouf Jamous, 17, and Jawhar Nasser al-Din Halbieh, 19, were mauled by police dogs after Israeli forces opened fire on them without warning near al-Zayyem checkpoint near Abu Dis east of Jerusalem on January 30, Barghouth said. The pair were visiting a friend’s home nearby when Border Police suddenly opened fire in their direction before siccing the dogs on them. Barghouth explained that the dogs mauled Jawhar Halbieh’s body and inflicted numerous wounds before soldiers dragged the two youth on the ground for a distance of 300 meters while simultaneously beating them with rifle butts and kicking and punching them. The beatings causing numerous fractures in their body, Barghouth added, and they were later transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem. Barghouth added that he had visited the pair in the hospital and found that they had suffered severe injuries, both as a result of the bullets fired at them as well as a results of the beatings, which had caused numerous broken bones. He added that were being held in the hospital under guard by three Israeli soldiers. He pointed out that both of the youths had been shot numerous times all over their bodies. Bargouth said that occupation authorities had prevented the families of the two prisoners from visiting them in the hospital and that he planned to launch a complaint against the Border Guard soldiers for their brutal treatment of the youths.
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian youths at checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — Two Palestinian youths were shot and injured by Israeli forces early Friday at a checkpoint east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, witnesses said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that 19-year-old Jawhar Nasser Jawhar was injured by Israeli fire at al-Zaayyem checkpoint near Abu Dis. Jawhar remains in Israeli custody, and was not immediately given access to first aid, witnesses said. Additionally, Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, was injured in the incident. His mother Svetlana, a Ukrainian citizen, said that her son was admitted to an Israeli hospital. She spoke to Ma‘an via telephone from the hospital, where she said she was being prevented from seeing her son. She said Israeli soldiers instructed doctors not to answer her questions about his health. Israeli forces also threatened to deport her to Ukraine, she said.
16 injured in clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — Sixteen Palestinian youths were injured on Friday after Israeli forces opened fire on protesters during clashes near al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah. Israeli forces fired live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators on the main road near the central West Bank refugee camp, as protesters marked two days since a youth from the camp named Muhammad Mubarak was shot dead by Israeli forces. Medical sources told Ma‘an that one of the injured, Mohammad Husam Safi, was shot with a live bullet in the neck and is currently in critical condition. Among those injured were 13 victims who were identified by name as Qahir Majed Farraj, Majed Obada, Nour Khairi, Jaber Sharaka, Mohammad Hisham Ulayyan, Mahdi Abu Shareefa, Mohammad Ulayyan, Mohammad Hassouneh, Ibrahim Safi, who were injured by metal bullets and Ihab Saifi, Mohammad Abu Sbeih, Mohammad Nakhla and Jamal Nakhla who were injured by rubber coated steel bullets. Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades, live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters who responded with throwing empty bottles, firebombs, and stones … Muhammad Mubarak was killed by Israeli forces while he was working on a USAID funded project on a main road on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses said that Mubarak was shot dead after Israeli forces harassed him and forced him to take his clothes off while he was “carrying a sign to direct the traffic.”
Settlers attack villagers near Hebron
IMEMC Sat 1 Feb — A number of Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian villagers working on their own lands in Wad Abu ar-Reesh — Khirbit Safa area — in Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Mohammad Awad, spokesperson of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, said that several settlers invaded Palestinian farmland and orchards, close to the illegal Beit Ayen settlement. He added that the settlers assaulted the villagers, and pushed them out of their lands while threatening and cursing at them. The attack comes just a few days after settlers attacked local villagers in the same area.
Several Palestinians injured near Jenin
IMEMC Fri 31 Jan — Several Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation in Methaloon village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, after dozens of soldiers invaded it and clashed with local youth. Local sources said local youth threw stones and empty bottles at the invading soldiers, and that the army fired concussion grenades and gas bombs, causing several residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation. The sources added that the soldiers broke into several homes in the town, ransacking them before interrogating the families. Furthermore, the soldiers handed resident Tawfiq Rabay’a, 27, a military warrant ordering him to head to a nearby military base for interrogation.
On Friday evening, soldiers kidnapped Khaled Ahmad Rajoub, 41, from Doura town near Hebron, as he was in Al-Harayeq area, south of Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank. The soldiers also invaded Beit Ummar nearby town, broke into several homes, and used several rooftops as military towers. The army also invaded various communities in the Hebron district, interrogated dozens of Palestinians, and searched cars and homes. Soldiers kidnapped one Palestinian in Hebron, and five others in Jenin.
Including two children, five Palestinians kidnapped in Hebron
IMEMC 1 Feb by Saed Bannoura — Army attacks soccer match north of occupied Jerusalem — Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the southern West Bank district of Hebron, kidnapping five Palestinians, including two children … The five were cuffed, blindfolded and were moved by the soldiers to a nearby Israeli military base. Furthermore, soldiers invaded the Wad Abu al-Qomra and Tarousa areas, in Doura town, south of Hebron, firing concussion grenades at a number of homes. The army also invaded the nearby towns of Yatta and at-Thaheriyya [or al-Dhahiriya], and installed roadblocks at the entrances of Joret Bahlas area, north of Hebron city, Sa‘ir and Halhoul towns, and al-Fawwar refugee camp. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian cars, interrogating scores of Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
In related news, soldiers invaded the West Bank city of Bethlehem, kidnapping Mohammad Ahmad Breijiyya, 26, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall, before taking him to an unknown destination … In addition, dozens of soldiers fired gas bombs at a soccer match in the town of Ar-Ram, north of occupied East Jerusalem, forcing the residents out of the stadium. The match between the al-Biereh Youth Foundation and the Islamic Club of Qalqilia was being held at the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium; soldiers attacked the Palestinians seven minutes into the match. Dozens of Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
[in addition, Ma‘an reports ‘Witnesses said soldiers raided the villages of Madama and Beita in the Nablus district and detained 22-year-old Izzat Risq Nasser and 19-year-old Ahmad Abd al-Karim Dweikat.’
Seven children kidnapped in Bethlehem
IMEMC Sat evening 1 Feb by Saed Bannouna — Palestinian sources have reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped seven Palestinian children [teens] near the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, at the northern entrance of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The sources stated that dozens of soldiers invaded the “Graves Area”, near ‘Aida refugee camp, and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs at local youth who hurled rocks and empty bottles at them. The soldiers then kidnapped seven Palestinian children, and took them to Roadblock #300, at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, before moving them to an unknown destination.
Israeli forces raid hotel in Bethlehem and detain 2 Palestinians
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli soldiers stormed a hotel near Bethlehem‘s northern entrance on Saturday evening and detained two Palestinian men. Local sources said that Israeli occupation forces raided the hotel and detained Raed Ayoub Daber and Nidal Khalifa … The raid occurred near Rachel’s Tomb, which has been the site of near daily clashes in recent weeks. The areas around the holy site are a frequent site of clashes because it is surrounded on three sides by the Israeli separation wall despite being in the middle of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. Israeli forces have opened fire on local youths during these demonstrations, injuring dozens with live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets over the last two months.
Palestinian arrested at settlement checkpoint in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 30 Jan — Israeli forces on Thursday arrested a Palestinian who allegedly attempted to break through an Israeli checkpoint in the southern West Bank. An Israeli army spokesman Luba Samari said in a statement that a Palestinian man had smashed into the gate of a checkpoint with his car near the entrance of the settlement of Beit Hagai south of Hebron. No injuries were reported.
IOA claims Palestinian was injured while trying to attack base
RAMALLAH (PIC) 30 Jan — The Israeli occupation authorities claimed that a Palestinian young man was wounded when he tried to attack a military base near Eilat on Thursday and was shot by guarding soldiers. The Israeli army command claimed that the youth was heading to the base while chanting Allahu Akbar, which prompted the soldiers to fire at him. Hebrew press sources said that the 23-year-old youth was injured in his torso and was taken to hospital.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
IOF soldiers raid house of slain young man Mohamed Mubarek
RAMALLAH (PIC) 30 Jan — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Thursday stormed Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah city, and raided the house of the 20-year-old young man Mohamed Mubarak who was murdered by Israeli soldiers yesterday. Local sources reported that the IOF ransacked the house of Mubarak’s parents and confiscated personal computers and phone sim cards belonging to him and his family. They added that the IOF also raided the mourning hall where his family receive condolences from visitors and tore off pictures of Mubarak before withdrawing from the camp.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Crackdown on international human rights activists in Palestine: arrests, deportations, and abuse
Occupied Palestine (ISM) 31 Jan — With the arrest of two international human rights activists at Salem Military Court, in Jenin district, on Wednesday 29th January 2014, the total number of arrests of activists in the past month has risen to five, and the number of deportations to four. Arrested activists have reported verbal and physical abuse while in custody. Concerns have been raised within the human rights community as to whether the Israeli military is carrying out a concerted campaign of intimidation and deportation against internationals … Under Israeli law, the activists should have been taken before a judge within 24 hours of their arrest. However, as in other recent cases the police disregarded this, instead initiating deportation procedures without following due process. In the case of Vincent Mainville and Fabio Theodule, (Swiss and Italian citizens respectively), arrested 8th January 2014 while trying to prevent Israeli soldiers from firing live ammunition at schoolchildren, although the judge later ruled that the activists had been illegally arrested, it was too late to prevent their transfer to immigration and therefore prevent their deportation. Neither man was allowed a court hearing as required by law. Another activist, Sven W, a citizen of Germany, was arrested 18th January 2014 while attending a peaceful demonstration in the Jordan Valley. Like Mr. Mainville and Mr. Theodule, he was deported without a civil court hearing. Activists verbally abused, beaten while in custody In addition to violating Israel’s due process laws, in each of these cases the Israeli military have beaten the activists in their custody. The Norwegian arrested on the 29th reports having been beaten at the police station in Ariel. While in custody, Mr. Mainville and Mr. Theodule were dragged by their handcuffs, causing their wrists to bleed. Mr. Mainville was also kicked in his ribs and his face. After many hours of detention, Mr. Theodule asked for water and was told by a border police officer, “If you want to drink, you can drink my piss.”
Gaza under blockade
Seven Palestinians injured by army shells in Gaza
IMEMC Fri at dawn 31 Jan — Palestinian medical sources have reported that seven Palestinians were injured after the Israeli Air Force fired missiles targeting several areas in the Gaza Strip. The sources added that the missiles caused excessive property damage, and that the seven wounded Palestinians suffered mild-to-moderate injuries. One of the strikes targeted a security intelligence center run by the Hamas-led security forces, northwest of Gaza City, in the besieged coastal region. The missiles also hit several nearby civilian homes, while one child suffered mild injuries and was moved to a local hospital. Medical sources in Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, said two more Palestinians have been wounded when the army fired missiles close to the Bissan Recreational City. Eyewitnesses said that the army also fired two missiles near the Ferdous Mosque, north of Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, leading to four injuries among the residents. All four required hospitalization. In addition, the Israeli air force fired missiles into a center run by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Rafah, causing damage but no injuries.
Israeli forces shoot, injure 5 Palestinians in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — Israeli forces shot and injured five people on Friday in the northern Gaza Strip, a medical official said. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, told Ma‘an that a 27-year-old man was shot in the foot by Israeli soldiers in Beit Lahiya. The man, who was not identified, was taken to Kamal Adwan hospital and is in a moderate condition. Four Palestinians were also injured by gunfire east of Jabaliya, al-Qidra said. They were taken to Kamal Adwan hospital with moderate injuries.
Checkpoint hardship for sick Gazans seeking care in Israel
Al-Monitor 30 Jan by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Some sick patients in the Gaza Strip have reported that Israeli security officers offered to exchange travel permits for information — Fadi al-Katshan, from the Gaza Strip, underwent a critical vascular surgery at the Israeli Tel Hashomer Hospital in May 2013. A ventricular assist device (VAD) was installed in his heart, and he was supposed to return later for a medical consultation. The operation was successful, and Katshan returned to his family in the Gaza Strip in good health. He tried to get a travel permit from the Israeli authorities for a medical consultation four times, but he was unsuccessful. Not long thereafter, on Nov. 16, he began feeling strong chest pains and died at age 26. Katshan’s story seems to resemble the stories of dozens of patients who die as a result of the blockade on Gaza’s border crossings. Yet, his story stands out because an Israeli intelligence officer called Katshan after the first request for a travel permit was rejected. The officer said, “Fadi, we know that there’s a device in your heart that might explode any minute. That is why we will not give you a permit unless you cooperate with us.” Ali al-Katshan told the story of his son’s ordeal with blackmail by the Israeli security services….
Gaza youth dream of jobs in Qatar
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 30 Jan by Hazem Balousha — Amid increasing unemployment rates in the Gaza Strip, youth have warmly welcomed an agreement between the Palestinian and Qatari governments to employ 20,000 additional Palestinians in Qatar — Ahmad Rafic did not hesitate to register his name on the list of people applying for work in Qatar, following the Palestinian Ministry of Labor’s announcement that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had signed an agreement with the Qatari government allowing 20,000 Palestinians to work there once again. Meanwhile, some youth in Gaza criticized the agreement, saying it was a way to empty Palestine of qualified workers and avoid their demands of improving the Palestinian economy.
Gaza children offer their computers to help open Rafah
GAZA (PIC) 30 Jan — Dozens of Palestinian children, some of them suffering permanent disabilities, participated Wednesday in a sit-in outside the Rafah crossing gate, offering their computers to solve the computer malfunctioning problem cited by Egyptian authorities to close the crossing. The children were carrying their computers and banners reading “Take our computers to keep Rafah crossing open”, and “We will offer you our pocket money to buy new computers”. Gaza’s Rafah crossing with Egypt has been closed more often than opened in recent months under the pretext that the computer system at the crossing broke down.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Gaza official: Israel ‘killed 6 Palestinians, injured 41’ in January
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israeli forces killed six Palestinians and injured 41 in attacks on Gaza in January, a ministry official said Saturday. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, said in a statement that “the Israeli occupation intensified airstrikes against unarmed civilians, particularly in the eastern Gaza Strip” in January. The statement pointed out that a large number of the injured were children … Israeli army figures show nine rockets have struck Israeli territory since Jan. 1, and another five were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. None of the rockets caused injuries.
The Apollo of Gaza: Hamas’s ancient bronze statue
Business Week 30 Jan by Vernon Silver — Wearing shorts and a mask, and armed with a net, Jouda Ghurab climbed down a portion of Gaza Strip beach made steep by years of pounding waves, and dove into the Mediterranean. By his telling, it was Aug. 16 of last year, a Friday just after Ramadan. Ghurab, a fisherman, is 26, and has a wife and two sons. He left school at 13 and has been fishing since he was 17. He seeks his catch close to shore, either in a rowboat or by swimming out to patches of submerged rock. When the weather permits, he earns 20 to 30 Israeli shekels ($5.70 to $8.60) a day catching and selling a mix of sardines, squid, and bigger fish such as the prized gilt-head sea bream. He has enormous muscular hands and wears a close-cropped, black beard. Deir al-Balah, where Ghurab lives and fishes, is about 8 miles southwest of Gaza City, just 10 miles up the coast from Egypt … That day in August, as Ghurab recalls it, he noticed the currents were behaving unusually and had exposed some rocks. “The rocks looked strange,” he recalls. “The underwater waves had dug the sand and moved it out.” He paddled toward the rocks, capturing six bream with his net. As he swam to the surface, he glanced behind him and saw a dark figure, about 4 to 5 meters down. It looked like a burned body. He dove down to take a look and found a statue of a man, lying on its back. Its legs, facing south, were covered with sand.
Cumulative reports for the past month and the past week
Ahrar Report: ‘6 killed, 383 kidnapped by the army in January’
IMEMC Sat 1 Feb — The Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights has reported that Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians, wounded dozens of others, and kidnapped 383, in January of this year. Ahrar said that five of the slain Palestinians are from the Gaza Strip, and one from the West Bank. On January 3, the army fired shells into the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian identified as Adnan Abu Khater, 18. On January 8, soldiers bombarded the Shuja’eyya neighborhood in Gaza city, killing one Palestinian identified as Mohammad al-Ejla, 32. On January 22, two Palestinians, identified as Ahmad Za’anin, 21, and Mohammad Za’anin, 32, were killed by an Israeli shell in Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. On January 24, one Palestinian identified as Bilal Oweida, 20, was killed by Israeli army fire in Jabalia, in northern Gaza. On January 29, soldiers shot and killed one Palestinian identified as Mohammad Mubarak, 20, from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah. The Israeli attacks and violations also led to dozens of injuries in different parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Ahrar said that the army also kidnapped 383 Palestinians in January, and that most of the arrests took place in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. It added that the soldiers kidnapped 94 Palestinians in Hebron, 68 in Jerusalem, 62 in Bethlehem, 55 in Nablus, 26 in Jenin, 24 in Ramallah, 23 in Qalqilia, 12 in Jericho and the Jordan Valley, 9 in the Gaza Strip, 7 in Tulkarem, 2 in Salfit, and one in Tubas. Three of the nine Palestinians kidnapped in Gaza are patients, and were taken prisoner at the Erez Israeli Crossing despite receiving Israeli permits to cross the terminal seeking medical attention. The Ahrar center said that the army kidnapped seven Palestinian women in January, and released five of them later on. The two who remained in detention are Deema Sawahra, 16, and Hanin Abu al-Hummus, 18, from occupied Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the Center reported that the army and settlers carried out more than 30 violations against the Palestinians, their lands, property and holy sites in January. The attacks include burning a mosque, uprooting Palestinian farmlands and orchards, and stealing produce.
Former political prisoner, head of the Ahrar Center, Fuad al-Khuffash stated that Israel started the year with a new wave of violations and escalation, and that the number of detained Palestinians in rapidly increasing. The army also continued the use of excessive force against local and international nonviolent protesters marching against the illegal Annexation Wall and settlements, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
PCHR Weekly Report: 1 civilian killed, 12 wounded by Israeli troops this week [23-29 Jan]
IMEMC 31 Jan — In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, for the week of 23-29 January, 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that, this past week, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 12 others in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. PCHR also documented 5 shooting incidents along the border fence and 2 others at Palestinian fishing boats. Israeli attacks in the West Bank: In the West Bank, on 29 January 2014, Israeli forces willfully killed a Palestinian labourer from a distance of around 50 meters. Israeli forces conducted 73 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 42 Palestinians, including 6 children, were abducted. Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 10 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank. Israel is continuing to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. 5 houses were demolished and 24 persons, including 13 children, were made homeless.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: In the Gaza Strip, in an excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the northern Gaza Strip. According to investigations conducted by the PCHR, at approximately 15:40 on Friday, a group of young men gathered in Bouret Abu Samrah, north of Beit Lahia, near the border with Israel, and approached the border to throw stones at the Israeli forces stationed there. Israeli forces then opened fire at them. As a result, Belal Samir Ahmed ‘Aweidah (20) from Beit Lahia was killed immediately by a bullet to the chest … On 24 January 2014, 5 civilians were wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Jabalia, opened fire at a group of young men, who were present near the fence in an attempt to throw stones at Israeli soldiers. In addition, Israeli forces conducted 3 other shooting incidents along the border fence on 25, 26 and 27 January, 2014, but no casualties were reported. Israeli navy forces continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea. Israeli naval forces opened fire twice at Palestinian fishing boats and one fishing boat sustained damage.
Israeli forces continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Israeli forces uprooted 1,000 olive trees in Qana valley, northwest of Salfit. Settlers levelled lands in the south of Bethlehem. Full Report
Qaraqe‘: ‘Palestinian detainees face systematic abuse, constant violations’
IMEMC Sat 1 Feb translated by Saed Bannoura — In an interview, conducted by the Al-Quds Daily Newspaper, and published Saturday, February 1, 2014, Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, said Israel has kidnapped more than 3000 Palestinians in 2013, and that the detainees face very harsh conditions, systematic abuse, and harassment by Israel. Q: How would you describe the conditions in Israeli prisons nowadays? A: The conditions are rapidly deteriorating; prisons became hubs for diseases and psychological torture, there is a systematic Israeli policy to crush the detainees, turn them into beings without human or national value. Let me be frank here, we are very concerned about the detainees, they are facing constant pressure and abuse, physical and psychological, Israel is trying to turn them into individuals without an aim in life, trying even to crush their intellect. Israel is conducting serious escalation against the detainees, forcing them into solitary confinement, denying their right to medical attention, denying family visits, denying them the right to education, in addition to abuse. Q: How About the fourth phase of releasing veteran detainees, will it be carried out as planned? A: The U.S assured us the release of veteran detainees will be carried out as planned, 30 detainees, held before the First Oslo Agreement, would be released as planned. This is a binding agreement, not dependent on direct peace talks. The agreement includes all veteran detainees from Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem and historic Palestine. We hope it will be implemented as planned by the end of March. Q: How about detainees from historic Palestine, what is their status? A: There is an ongoing Israeli incitement against them, blackmail, abuse and attempts to marginalize them. They are part of the Palestinian people; their rights must be guaranteed under negotiations, or any peace agreement. Should Israel try to sideline them, marginalize them, it will be violating the understandings that led to the resumption of direct peace talks. Q: How about Marwan Barghouthi, Ahmad Sa’adat, and the rest of the detainees? A: Keeping leaders like Barghouthi and Sa’adat imprisoned angers us, makes us feel ashamed and powerless.
Israeli court extends detention of Palestinian girl and three of her relatives
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM,(PIC) 31 Jan — The Israeli magistrates’ court in the occupied city of Jerusalem extended the detention of a Jerusalemite girl and three of her family members from the town of ‘Issawiya on Thursday evening. Local sources told PIC’s correspondent that the trial judge decided to arrest the four family members until next Sunday, pending further investigation, on allegations of attacking police officers. [apparently refers to Hanin Abu al-Hummus, who was cooking in the kitchen at the time of the arrests, and accused of stabbing an Israeli policeman because she came out holding a knife – see following article]
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
The family of Abu Hummus denies Haneen’s attempt to stab an Israeli policeman
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 Jan — The family of Abu Hummus denied what came in the occupation police’s statement on Thursday night about an attempt to stab an Israeli policeman by [18-year-old] Haneen Ahmad Abu Hummus. The family said in a statement: “the police claimed that Haneen tried to stab an Israeli policeman in order to justify her arrest and the barbaric and irresponsible behavior towards the families in Hosh Abu Hummus. The family added that the occupation forces suddenly raided Hosh Abu Hummus and assaulted the children who were playing in front of their houses. When the locals went to check their children, they were assaulted and sprayed with pepper gas by the Israeli forces while another unit broke into a residential building for the family of Abu Hummus and assaulted the residents. The family explained that the forces deliberately assaulted the women and sprayed them with pepper gas and assaulted a pregnant woman with the butts of the guns on her back; note that she was transferred to the hospital for treatment. The family explained that the forces also assaulted Haneen’s mother and sprayed her with pepper gas despite [her] being blind. They also assaulted 51-year old Mohammad Ibrahim Abu Hummus and hit him with batons on his legs and he was also transferred to the hospital for treatment; several other children suffered a state of fear due to the forces’ actions and behaviors.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
A housing crisis yet demolitions in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (IRIN) 31 Jan – The threatened demolition of apartment blocks in East Jerusalem is adding new pressure to the city’s housing crisis, with hundreds facing the prospect of losing their homes and Palestinian residents saying they face discrimination in city planning. Since the start of construction of the separation barrier a decade ago, poorer Palestinian East Jerusalemites have often chosen to move to the West Bank side of the wall. In late 2013, Israeli authorities issued court orders announcing that a number of buildings in Ras Shehada and Ras Khamis – Palestinian neighbourhoods inside Jerusalem’s municipal boundary but cut off by the separation barrier – are slated for demolition because they were built without permits … Because many Palestinian East Jerusalemites prefer to live on the Israeli side of the wall – mostly for access to education, healthcare and jobs – demand for housing there is high. But severe building restrictions on Palestinian neighbourhoods inside the wall, imposed by the Jerusalem municipality, have created a housing shortage, causing prices to skyrocket in East Jerusalem. For a long time, the Israeli authorities turned a blind eye to building in the Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem that lie beyond the separation barrier. These areas are unplanned and suffer from a lack of infrastructure, lack of services, inadequate garbage collection, and water and electricity shortages. But they have one major advantage that attracts residents: homes are cheaper than those on the Israeli side of the wall. And because they are still within the city’s border, these Jerusalem residents can also hold on to their Israeli IDs, without which they would be stateless.
Lapid orders freeze of asset transfers to settlements
The Marker 1 Feb — Finance Minister wants to clarify use of funds over Green Line — Finance Minister Yair Lapid ordered a halt to all financial transfers to settlements following allegations local settlement councils are misusing public funds. He ordered an investigation into the possibility settlements are funneling funds earmarked for running expenses into political projects that violate government policy. His office attributed the move to a Channel 2 television report on settlements as well as “additional information that reached the finance minister that funds are apparently illegally transferred from the settlements to the Yesha settlement council.” The office said that the local governments have received funds as compensation for expenses resulting from mandated building freeze in the West Bank. “The same funds apparently are not used for their original purpose, like security, school maintenance and kindergartens, but rather transferred, allegedly, to the Yesha Council, which uses the funds for political purposes – in part for activity that goes against government policy,” the Finance Ministry said. As result, Lapid decided to halt all payments to West Bank settlements, pending further investigation.
PHOTOS: Palestinians establish new protest village in Jordan Valley
Activestills 1 Feb by Oren Ziv, Ryan Rodrick Beiler & Keren Manor.
Palestinians launch campaign against annexation of Jordan Valley by reviving village of Ein Hijleh
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee 31 Jan — Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley. Campaign organizers and participants declared, “We, the daughters and sons of Palestine, announce today the revival of Ein Hijleh village as part of Melh Al-Ard campaign in the Jordan Valley. The action aims at refusing the political status quo, especially given futile negotiations destroying the rights of our people for liberation and claim to their land. Accordingly we have decided to revive an old Palestinian Canaanite village in the Jordan Valley next to so called “Route 90” linking the Dead Sea to Bisan. The action is part of a continuous step against the Israeli occupation’s plan to take over and annex the Jordan Valley. This step is a popular act against Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and the constant Judaization of the land. Based on our support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) we call upon our friends and international solidarity groups to stand with the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies including Israeli factories and companies that work in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources
Hundreds continue protest camp in ancient Jordan Valley village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Some 200 Palestinian activists on Saturday continued to camp in a protest village they erected on Friday in Ein Hajla in the Jordan Valley. A spokeswoman for the camp Diana Alzeer told Ma‘an on Saturday that the campaign seeks to challenge Israeli plans to annex the Jordan Valley. She added that the actions also expresses opposition to the framework agreement which US Secretary of State John Kerry has recently discussed as part of ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority … “The village is currently a property of the Orthodox Church, but its ancient houses and facilities have been destroyed because of the Israeli occupation’s practices and plans to empty the area of its indigenous residents.” Activist Muhammad al-Khatib told Ma‘an that “this area is a Palestinian Canaanite site and we came here today to affirm that it will remain Palestinian despite Israeli plots.” He added that activists would try to repair ancient houses and trim trees especially palm trees. New saplings will be planted as well.
Occupation municipality forces a Jerusalemite to remove the rubble of his demolished house
[with photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 30 Jan — The occupation municipality forced Khaled Al-Zeer on Thursday to remove the remains of his demolished home in the town of Silwan. Khaled said that the municipality lately issued an order which requires him to remove the remains and clean the area and under the supervision of the so-called “Antiquities Authority”. It is noteworthy that the Israeli bulldozers demolished Khaled’s house last August under the pretext of building without a permit. Khaled had to move and live in a cave built on his land in order to preserve the land and save it from being confiscated in favor of the settlement projects. Several Israeli authorities have harassed Khaled and requested him not to do any renovation works in the cave and asked him to leave it; note that he recently received an administrative demolition order for a room he built after his home was demolished.
An order to demolish two residential barracks in the village of Al-Tur
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 30 Jan — The District court in Jerusalem decided to demolish two residential barracks in the village of Al-Tur east of the Old City of Jerusalem in a period of 60 days. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the District court judge decided on Thursday to demolish two residential barracks owned by the family of Maslamani in the neighbourhood of Al-Hardoob in Al-Tur and refused the family’s appeal and gave them only 60 days to execute the demolition order or it will be demolished by the municipality’s crews at the family’s expense. Omar Maslamani informed the Information Center that he and his father Mahmoud built the two barracks last April from aluminum, plaster and tin and the municipality issued a demolition order under the pretext of building without a permit; note that 8 individuals live in the barracks including 2 children who are special needs. Maslamani added that the area of the first barracks is 60 square meters and the second is 41 square meters and had cost them 98 thousand NIS to build. The municipality recently imposed a violation fee of 750 NIS for digging and sweeping the land. Omar explained that the municipality is trying to confiscate the land which is Dunom [1 dunum?] in order to open a main road that will pass through their land. The plan for the main road was presented to the Knesset in 2000 and was not ratified, but according to the municipality, the owner can only raise sheep and chicken in the land and build a room for farming.
Palestinians in Israel: Trapped in the ghetto
Dissident Voice 31 Jan by Jonathan Cook — Salah Sawaid remembers when this huddle of shacks was surrounded by open fields. Today, his views from the grassy uplands of the central Galilee are blocked on all sides by luxury apartments – a new neighbourhood of the ever-expanding city of Karmiel, here in northern Israel. “We are being choked to death,” said Sawaid, Ramya’s village leader. “They are building on top of us as though we don’t exist. Are we invisible to them?” His fears for the future have grown rapidly in the past few months, after a court ruled that the Bedouin village must be bulldozed to make way for Karmiel’s further expansion. The decision, the culmination of what Sawaid called “betrayals” by successive Israeli governments, ended a decades-old legal battle by the villagers to remain on their land. Salim Wakim, the lawyer who represents the 45 families of Ramya, said the only avenue left was “popular struggle”. Yoav Bar, an activist from the nearby city of Haifa, is among a small group of Jews who have supported the families. “The apartheid here could not be more apparent. You look at Ramya and the homes in Karmiel and you see how democratic Israel really is if you are not Jewish. “Ramya is living under a siege, little different from the one against Gaza. It is designed to force them to leave.”
Settlers try to grab land lot in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 1 Feb — Jewish settlers at dawn Saturday tried to seize a Palestinian land lot in the village of Khader in the West Bank southern city of Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses told PIC’s reporter that a group of settlers from Sidi Boaz settlement, built on citizens’ lands in the area of Ain Qasis in the town, started to plant land owned by Ibrahim Sabih and to set up tents in it, in an attempt to seize it. The witnesses added that the Sabih family immediately removed the plants and tents set up in their land, and clashed with the settlers and a number of Israeli soldiers, who arrived to provide protection for the settlers.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/
Denmark’s largest bank blacklists Israel’s Hapoalim over settlement construction
Haaretz 1 Feb by Barak Ravid — Denmark’s largest bank decided to blacklist Bank Hapoalim because of its involvement in the funding of settlement construction. Danske Bank added Bank Hapoalim to its list of companies in which the company cannot invest due to its corporate accountability rules. In an announcement posted on its website, the bank stated that Bank Hapoalim was acting against the rules of international humanitarian law. Israeli website Walla reported on the Danish bank’s decision earlier on Saturday. The Danish bank had already decided to pull its investments from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. and Danya Cebus due to their involvement in settlement construction.
‘FT’ blast on settlements will strike fear at Hasbara Central (if not among liberal Zionists and ‘glitzy blondes’
Mondoweiss 1 Feb by James North & Phil Weiss — An editorial in this weekend’s Financial Times, the salmon-colored tribune of London’s City, the financial district, is certainly striking terror into Hasbara Central in Israel– if not at the State Department in Washington. In forceful language that looks like it could have been lifted from a Palestine solidarity publication, the FT says that Scarlett Johansson has “accidentally turned a searchlight on an important issue–whether it is right or lawful to do business with companies that operate in illegal Israel settlements on Palestinian land…” We cannot describe the issue any more clearly than the anonymous FT leader-writer has already done: “Ms Johansson says the company [SodaStream] is ‘building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine’. That is naive … The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state….”
Palestinian refugees in and from Syria
Thousands of aid parcels distributed in besieged Yarmouk camp
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Aid distribution in the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus continued for the third day in a row on Saturday, as UNRWA passed out hundreds of food parcels and PLO officials reported thousands more had been given out the day before. Spokesperson for the UN’s Palestine refugee agency UNRWA Chris Gunness told Ma’an on Saturday that UNRWA workers on the ground had managed to distribute “480 food parcels (on that day), bringing to 2,624 the total number of food parcels we have distributed since UNRWA gained access to the camp on 18th January.” “It is important to note that an UNRWA food parcel will feed a family of between five and eight people for ten days. There are approximately eighteen thousand Palestinians in the camp that remain from a pre-conflict population of about 160,000. It is estimated that there are non-Palestinian civilians also trapped in Yarmouk,” he added. Although Gunness acknowledged that all parties in the conflict were facilitating the delivery of aid into Yarmouk, he said that “UNRWA has called repeatedly for substantial, secure and permanent access for all civilians living in the camp” amid reports of “widespread malnutrition and women dying in childbirth for lack of medical services.”
Group: 3 Palestinian refugees dead in besieged Yarmouk
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Three Palestinians have died in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, a Syria-based group said Saturday. A statement from the Workforce for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement that a newborn baby girl and an elderly woman died Friday of malnutrition and lack of medical care, while a young man was killed in clashes on the outskirts of Damascus.
Palestinian refugees from Syria struggle to attend Gaza’s universities
Al-Monitor 31 Jan by Rasha Abou Jalal — Palestinian university students who recently escaped the cycle of violence in Syria and fled to the Gaza Strip are facing many difficulties meeting their educational needs in Gaza. Meanwhile, their families are suffering from a number of problems stemming from the lack of job opportunities and sources of income for their basic needs. Although Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh promised that these students would be offered grants and fee exemptions to complete their studies, these promises have yet to be fulfilled. Consequently, many students had to drop out of college due to the high fees. According to Atef al-Amawi, the chair of the follow-up committee for the refugees coming from Syria, about 270 Palestinian families have fled the camps in Syria and come to the Gaza Strip. Among the refugees’ children are 40 students seeking to complete their university education at the Palestinian universities in Gaza.
Official: Fatah leadership in Gaza submits resignation to Abbas
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — The leading body of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip submitted its resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas last week, Fatah sources said. An official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma‘an Saturday that Gaza’s chief Fatah leader Zakariyya al-Agha submitted the body’s resignation in protest against interference in Gaza affairs by the Fatah Central Committee. It has been difficult to find solutions to problems Fatah members in Gaza have faced since 2006, when Hamas won legislative elections, the official added.
Indyk: Framework deal to include compensation for Arab, Jewish refugees
Ynet 31 Jan by Yitzhak Benhorin & Itamar Eichner — US peace mediator Indyk spill beans on US-led framework agreement, saying deal to include mutual recognition, security arrangements, Israeli sovereignty for roughly 75% of settlers and compensation for both Jews and Arab refuges from 1948 … Indyk sent a clear message according to which skeptics must start treating talks seriously – a hint that coalition tensions might be strained to a breaking point … The framework deal will also reportedly include an article stipulating an end to Palestinian incitement and include peace-oriented educational program for Palestinians youths.
Chief US negotiator outlines framework agreement
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 31 Jan — A chief US negotiator told Jewish leaders on Friday that a framework agreement would be presented to the Israeli and Palestinian sides within weeks, Israeli media reported. Haaretz reported that Martin Indyk, special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told the leaders that the agreement would address Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, security, mutual recognition, land swaps, and borders. Indyk said the agreement would be the basis for a final deal by the end of 2014. The framework will be vague on the status of Jerusalem and other sensitive issues, Indyk said. But it will also make specific proposals for other major points of contention.
Private Israeli-Palestinian gas deal still hostage to politics
Reuters 31 Jan — A billion-dollar deal signed this month involving an Israeli natural gas field and a Palestinian power firm marked a rare private-sector victory over political conflict, but it may need top-level support to succeed. Palestinian officials say implementation will depend on guarantees by the governments of both sides, whose mutual distrust has grown amid troubled US-backed peace talks.The deal’s Palestinian backers say Israel has pledged that any future political or security crisis will not interrupt the gas supply. No such assurance has been made publicly, however.
Compensation a difficult topic for Jewish refugees from Arab lands
Ynet 1 Feb by Itay Blumenthal — Despite recent proposals, Jews who fled Arab states for Israel object to conflating their compensation with that of Palestinian refugees — …Prof. Yehuda Shenhav from Tel Aviv University’s Sociology and Anthropology Department told Ynet: “This suggestion does not surprise me. Three years ago, the Knesset quietly put into legislation a bill according to which any peace agreement with the Palestinians will include an article that classifies Jews from Arab states as refugees who fled their homelands because they had no other choice.” However, the idea of defining Jews as refugees challenges the Zionist narrative according to which Jews came to Israel from purely Zionist motives. “This is a mess,” Shenhav continues; “there are indeed Jews that fled their homes, as in the case of Egypt in (the War of Attrition in) 1956, but a lot of Jews came of their own volition.”
Officials: Israel lessens restrictions on goods shipments to West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Feb — Israel has agreed to several steps meant to facilitate the shipment of goods between Israel and the West Bank in both directions at al-Jalameh terminal in the northern West Bank, according to the Nablus chamber of commerce. Deputy chairperson of the chamber Omar Hashim told a Ma‘an reporter on Saturday that the agreements were the outcome of uninterrupted efforts by the chamber through the United States Agency for International Development … The agreements included Israel’s approval that containers exported from the Palestinian territory into Israel can be loaded in the Palestinian territory. Israel also agreed to allow containers coming from Israeli seaports directly into the West Bank through al-Jalameh terminal. Until now, these containers had been unloaded and then were forced to transfer from Israeli trucks to Palestinian trucks at an exchange area in the terminal. Palestinian truck drivers were required to register their names at the entrance to the terminal upon arrival, then wait until the Israeli driver was available at the other side. They were also requested to do VAT-customs check and go through physical security inspection which could include strip search….
PA mulls hiring Israeli PR firm to market the ‘other Palestine’
Haaretz 31 Jan — The Palestinian Authority is considering hiring Israeli marketing firms for a campaign to attract young Israelis to what they are calling “the other Palestine,” Israel Radio reported on Friday. The goal of the campaign, according to the report, is to avoid politics and the occupation and expose Israelis to a different side of the PA – namely, its nightlife, parties, cultural events, cafes and upscale restaurants. The PA is weighing hiring Israeli marketing and PR firms for the largely Internet-based, multimillion-dollar campaign. According to the report, the campaign will include short videos featuring, for example, an Israeli model tearing up the dance floor with an image of Ramallah in the background.
Israeli car rental firm blacklists Arab families
Haaretz 31 Jan by Jack Khoury — A privately owned car-rental company receives intelligence from state security branches that it uses to keep entire families from renting its cars, a company document that reached Haaretz shows. The Cal Auto company document reveals that the company receives and keeps lists of “blocked” customers from various intelligence services, including the Israel Police’s Etgar unit, which specializes in car theft. Cal Auto officials say that all car-rental companies in Israel do this. The issue came to light when Ibrahim Jabarin, a businessman from Umm al-Fahm was unable to rent a car because his family appeared on the list of blocked customers. Jabarin, who lives in China, rents cars when he returns to Israel for vacations or on business. He never had a problem until last week, when he went to Cal Auto’s branch in Afula. After concluding the transaction handing over his credit card, the saleswoman told him that she could not rent a car to him. When Jabarin asked why, the saleswoman told him it was a “general problem” with renting cars to the members of Jabarin’s family. “It was very humiliating,” Jabarin told Haaretz. “I kept asking why, and why me. Then the saleswoman told me that whenever she types the surname Jabarin, she is blocked, and the same thing happens with the surname a-Jabariya. I tried to tell her that these were tens of thousands of people and that this surname isn’t only in Umm al-Fahm, but in the entire area of Wadi Ara, Nazareth and other places, but it didn’t help.” Jabarin left the car-rental office and went to another company in Haifa, where he also found himself blacklisted. He managed to rent a car from another company without incident. Then he contacted Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Old manuscripts get face-lift at Jerusalem mosque
JERUSALEM (AP) 31 Jan — In the 1920s, an urgent call went out to the literati across the Middle East from Arab leaders in Jerusalem: Send us your books so that we may protect them for generations to come. Jerusalem was soon flushed with writings of all kinds, to be stored and preserved at the newly minted al-Aqsa mosque library. But many of those centuries-old manuscripts are in a state of decay. Now, religious authorities are restoring and digitizing the books, many of them written by hand. They hope to make them available online to scholars and researchers across the Arab world who are unable to travel to Jerusalem … The library and its 130,000 books are housed in two separate rooms in the compound, where modern steel bookshelves are affixed to ancient stone walls. Among the collection are some 4,000 manuscripts, mainly donations from the private collections of Jerusalem families. UNESCO, which is providing assistance for the restoration project, says the library contains “one of the world’s most important collections of Islamic manuscripts.” … Here, the gap to be bridged isn’t just physical distance. Residents of countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel, including much of the Arab world, are unable to visit Jerusalem and Palestinians living in the nearby West Bank or the Gaza Strip need to secure a permit from Israel to enter the city. Officials hope to circumvent those hindrances by putting the manuscripts online. The oldest book dates back 900 years, with some of the newer titles from the 19th century. Most of the texts are religious, but other subjects include geography, astronomy and medicine … About a quarter of the 4,000 manuscripts are considered in poor condition.
NGO: Syria toll rises to 136,000 after bloody month
BEIRUT (AFP) 1 Feb — More than 136,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, with January one of the bloodiest months on record, an NGO said Saturday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, said the toll was now at least 136,227 people killed. Among those are 47,998 civilians, including more than 7,300 children, the group said.