Gaza children return to school after war
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 14 Sept — Some half million Gaza children made a delayed return to school on Sunday after a devastating 50-day war with Israel that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings … Early Sunday the Gaza City streets were crowded with children dressed in a broad array of school uniforms, many accompanied by parents or older siblings. In the Al-Zaitoun boys elementary school, students pasted stickers with the names of fellow students killed during the war, as teachers struggled to cope with the badly damaged facilities — a hole in a ceiling here, a partially collapsed wall there.”I’m not as excited coming to school as I was in the past,” said student Tamar Toutah, 11. “I feel that something is missing. I asked about my fellow students, but some were killed or wounded.” … Thabet said that unlike in previous years the first week of instruction in government schools will be given over to providing psychological counseling and recreational activities to help the war-weary children transition to learning. “We gave special training to more than 11,000 teachers and 3,000 principals and administrators about how to address students after the war,” he said.”
Sad photos of the first day of school from Mohammed Zeyara
The girl in this photo didn’t wear the school uniform; she wore the last dress her mother bought for her – she lost all her family. — See other photos in this collection of public Facebook photos using Next-Previous
Back to school in Gaza amid fear, hope
GAZA (IRIN) 13 Sept — Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian pupils in Gaza are heading back to school on 14 September keen to start a delayed new academic year, and all too aware of the impact of the recent conflict. For Karam Bedwan, 13, from the Zeitoun Area in Eastern Gaza City, schools have been a key part of the violence. With his family he took shelter in an UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school during the bombing, which destroyed the school he had been attending. “This was a school and now it is gone,” he told IRIN as he toured his former school with his cousins. In the school yard he came across one of his paintings in the rubble, picking it up to take home. “It is shocking. Where are we going to study now? And why did they bomb it?” … “From my experience [in Gaza], this conflict has been the hardest for all of us, and we are getting some training to deal with the implications,” said Mohsen, a teacher in a Gaza public elementary school. “Children will get support in the first weeks of the school year. However, it cannot be normal at all. Imagine a child sitting in his chair, while a chair nearby where his friend was sitting is now empty. How can this be justified or even forgotten? We always pray for a better future for our children.”
15 Gazan migrants drown near Egypt coast
Middle East Monitor 14 Sept — At least 15 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have drowned near the coast of Egypt’s Alexandria city after a boat boarding dozens of migrants sank en route to Italy, a local newspaper reported. Palestinian daily Al-Quds quoted a number of Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip as saying they have received phone calls from Egyptian authorities Saturday evening telling them that a boat boarding their relatives has sunk near Alexandria’s coast. Egyptian authorities, however, have yet to comment on the incident. At least 72 others have been rescued and taken to Alexandria by Egyptian Coast Guard forces as the search for other survivors continued, sources told Al-Quds newspaper. According to the report, the sources said the sunken boat had boarded 160 Palestinian migrants, including children, from the southern Gaza Strip’s Khan Younis and Rafah cities. A well-placed source has told Anadolu Agency that dozens of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have recently left the blockaded enclave for next-door Egypt through cross-border tunnels in a quest to migrate to Europe via sea. [Ma‘an: The rescued Palestinians were taken to hospitals in Alexandria, and Egyptian security sources said they would be deported by Egyptian security forces back to the Gaza Strip after their recovery.]
43 Palestinian migrants detained near Alexandria
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — Egyptian border authorities in Alexandria on Sunday stopped a ship that was carrying over 150 undocumented migrants, including 43 Palestinians, security sources said. Police apprehended 156 migrants, including 43 Palestinians, 39 Egyptians, 35 Sudanese, 16 Somalians, 18 Syrians, and 5 Comorans, at Abi Qeer shore. Among them were eight children, the Egyptian security sources said. Egyptian media reported that the ship was headed to Italy.
Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in Gaza assault
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — A young Palestinian man died on Sunday of wounds sustained during Israel’s offensive on Gaza, medical sources said. Palestinian medics said that 22-year-old Anas Taysir al-Hinnawi, an engineering student, died in a hospital in Jordan. The Israeli assault on Gaza left over 2,100 Palestinians dead and 11,000 injured. Since the end of the offensive in late August, more than a dozen who were severely injured have succumbed to their wounds.
Israeli warship opens fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — An Israeli warship opened fire Sunday morning at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City’s Al-Shati refugee camp, the speaker of the Union of Gaza Fishermen said. Nizar Ayyash told Ma‘an that Israeli gunboats “have been firing at fishermen every day since the ceasefire agreement was signed.” He also said that Israeli naval forces have detained six Palestinian fishermen since the ceasefire agreement in late August that brought an end to a more than 50 day offensive that left over 2,100 dead. Under the terms of the ceasefire, Israel agreed to expand the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza open to Palestinian fishermen from its previous three nautical miles.Ayyash said that Gaza fishermen were sailing within the agreed-upon six-nautical mile limit, “but the occupation violates the agreement every day.”
Gaza’s only power plant ready to work pending fuel supply
Middle East Monitor 14 Sept — The only power plant in Gaza is now ready to work pending the delivery of fuel supply needed to operate it, CEO of Gaza Electricity Company Walid Sayel said in a press conference Saturday. The power plant stopped working completely after being shelled by Israeli warplanes during the latest Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which lasted for 51 days. According to Sayel, the company has received promises from the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah to provide it with fuel in the coming few days. He pointed out that the damages in the plant have been fixed and that it’s ready to function as soon as the fuel arrives. Sayel called on Turkey to subsidise the power plant in Gaza, pointing out that the idea of a Turkish fuel ship at the moment is “impossible” to be approved by Israel. The Turkish minister of energy had said that his country is ready to send a floating 100 megawatt power plant to Gaza after obtaining the necessary permits. The Gaza Strip needs 360 megawatt power to accommodate the needs of its citizens. But it only has 200 megawatts available. For years, the residents of the Gaza Strip (at least 1.9 million), have been suffering daily power cuts for up to eight hours. In the case of running out of fuel, the power cuts extended to 12 hours a day. Gaza depends on three sources for its electricity supply, firstly from Israel which supplies it with 120 megawatts, then Egypt which supplies 28 megawatts, and thirdly the Gaza power plant, which supplies between 40 and 60 megawatts.
Gaza awaits floating electricity generator
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — The deputy head of the Palestinian energy authority said Sunday the Turkish offers to provide the Gaza Strip with a floating electricity generator for three months was still in the works. However Fathi Sheikh Khalil said the authorities were still awaiting the necessary permits to send it. Speaking to a news conference, Khail said that the energy authority did not object to the ship docking in Israel or Egypt and would not insist on it being within Gaza’s borders.
Gazans move into mobile homes donated by UAE
AFP 13 Sept — Fifty Palestinian families made homeless by Israeli bombing during the summer’s fierce offensive on the Gaza Strip were rehoused Saturday in mobile homes in the southern town of Khan Yunis. During the 50-day conflict, 9,800 homes were totally destroyed and another 8,000 left uninhabitable, according to data from the housing ministry in Gaza. Imad al-Haddad, Gaza head of a United Arab Emirates association providing these 50 mobile homes, told AFP that, in the town’s Khuza‘a neighborhood alone 500 families lost the roofs over their heads. Mohamed al-Najjar, 60, whose three-story house was crushed by an Israeli air strike, is one of those moving into the UAE accommodation, which he described as an “excellent initiative” for the near term. “We expect to rebuild our house; we do not just want a temporary solution,” he said. Al-Haddad said each unit – comprising two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen – could accommodate six people and cost an estimated 5,400 euros ($7,000). He said his association would donate 50 more before the onset of winter. According to the UN agency for aid to Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), 65,000 homeless Gazans are still sheltering in UN schools awaiting accommodation, and thousands more have sought refuge with relatives.
Israel denies education minister entry to Gaza
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — Israeli authorities on Sunday morning denied Palestinian Minister of Education Khawla al-Shakhshir entry to the Gaza Strip, where she was expected to take part in the official inauguration of the new school year. Al-Shakhshir told Ma‘an that she submitted an application last week to visit Gaza but on Sunday Israeli authorities rejected her application. The Gaza-based education ministry undersecretary Ziad Thabit said in a statement early Sunday morning, however, that the minister had not “coordinated her visit to Gaza” with him. Israel limits the travel of Palestinians between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, frequently refusing permission even to high-level Palestinian officials to cross between the two occupied territories.
Russell Tribunal on Palestine to examine the crime of genocide in Gaza
Middle East Monitor 11 Sept — The Russell Tribunal on Palestine will be holding an extraordinary session in Brussels on 24-25 September focusing on Israel’s most recent military operation in Gaza, the so-called “Operation Protective Edge”. Judges, legal scholars, UN officials, journalists and cultural luminaries will gather to examine alleged Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and, for the first time regarding Israel, the crime of genocide. The Tribunal will also examine the legal consequences and third state responsibilities arising from the above. [ Following are lists of members of the jury and witnesses]
Palestinian detained after crossing Gaza border fence
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — Israeli forces on Sunday morning detained a Palestinian man after he crossed the border fence into Israel, the army said. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma‘an that a the man crossed into Israel into the central Gaza Strip “armed with a knife.” He was subsequently “detained and transferred” for “investigation.”
Kuwaiti medical delegation arrives in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — A team of doctors from Kuwait arrived in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after entering through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement. The border crossings department of the ministry said the Kuwaiti delegation consisted of 14 doctors who came to offer medical treatment to Palestinians who were injured during Israel’s assault on Gaza in July and August. The Gaza-based al-Rahmah Society for Relief and Development welcomed the delegation, and officials from the group said the doctors would be sent to several hospitals across Gaza.
Short-term memory loss champions of the world: Gaza? What Gaza?
972mag 13 Sept by Haggai Matar Translated from the Hebrew by Sol Salbe — It’s amazing with what ease and speed everyone — politicians, journalists and the public — can forget about Gaza. Who really cares about another five-year-old girl dying on the other side of the fence? — Only a few weeks have passed since the end of Operation Protective Edge and it seems as if Gaza never happened. Politicians are carrying on with their budget wars and the diversion provided by the start of the school year. The newspapers are again preoccupied with scandals about a former chief of staff and a weird misogynist cult. And everyone, every single person around, is closely watching developments with the Islamic State and the U.S.’s new military campaign against it. On the other hand, no one takes notice that yet another five-year-old girl died in Gaza this week. Rahaf Abu Jame’s parents were killed in an Israeli bombing, as were at least 24 more members of the Abu Jame‘ family in a single strike. The girl died slowly and alone over a long period of time. According to the Ma’an News Agency, Abu Jame‘ is the third Gazan to have succumbed to war injuries during the past week, but in Israel nobody knows about it. Not that the Gazan death toll played too much of a role in the Israeli discourse during the war, but why it is not possible to report on the matter now, when the roar of the cannons has ceased? Neither has the media reported on Palestinian fishermen who are once again being arrested by the Israeli Navy. They don’t report on the severe water crisis affecting 75 percent of Gaza’s population; they only get access to water every four to five days, and even then only for a few hours. There are no reports in the Israeli media about raw sewage flowing into the sea off Gaza (and making its way to our shores) because of the collapse of electric and sewage systems, or the tens of thousands of displaced persons who have nowhere to return. Gaza, the siege which it is under, Hamas, the local population – everyone and everything is forgotten, as if it never happened.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Discrimination / Apartheid
Europe dismayed by Israel’s West Bank policy
Al-Monitor 14 Sept by Uri Savir — …The European leadership was dismayed at the Israeli government’s Aug. 31 decision to expropriate some 1,000 acres of West Bank land between Jerusalem and the Etzion settlement bloc. The move is seen as a blow of strategic proportions to the prospects for a two-state solution, a quasi-annexation making the contiguity of a Palestinian state in the Jerusalem area impossible. There is growing mistrust, to say the least, of Netanyahu in Berlin, Paris and London as well as Rome. The leading European states gave Israel backing for the operation in Gaza, for reasons of self-defense and to strengthen Abbas at the expense of Hamas. Israel’s move on settlement expansion immediately after the war is seen as harming European interests in the region. As a Brussels official told Al-Monitor, “Netanyahu is spitting in our faces.” More gravely, the EU leadership views the land expropriation as a blatant policy transformation by Israel away from a realistic two-state solution and therefore stands to weaken the moderates, a genuine gift to Hamas. Friends of Israel in Berlin expressed to Al-Monitor how concerned German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become, and indicated that she has conveyed her position to Washington.
Right-wing deputy Knesset speaker enters Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 Sept – As Israeli forces continue to impose restrictions on the entry of Palestinians into the al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, officers on Sunday morning escorted the right-wing deputy Knesset speaker Moshe Feiglin into the compound. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Feiglin entered the compound along with a group of “Jewish extremists” and a cameraman through the Moroccan Gate. They marched from the gate to the Dome of the Rock where they performed religious rites before they left through the Chain Gate after 25 minutes. Witnesses said Feiglin entered the compound barefoot and that he stepped down from the Dome of the Rock in reverse which is part of Jewish teachings. Separately, Israeli police shut down all the compound’s main gates to Palestinians except three of them since dawn prayer. They denied all women as well as men under 40 entry. Director of the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian ministry of endowment Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib described Feiglin’s repeated visits to the site as “provocative to Muslims.”
In J’lem, thousands of Palestinian students have no classrooms
972blog 13 Sept by Aviv Tatarsky — There is a shortage of 738 classrooms in East Jerusalem – only 38 percent of Palestinian children are registered in the municipal education system. The problem is not lack of funds, but a planning policy designed to prevent development in Palestinian neighborhoods of the city — As the Israeli school year begins, let’s do a little math. There is a shortage of 408 regular classrooms and 330 kindergarten classrooms in East Jerusalem. This does not include replacing the 681 classrooms currently not up to code. In addition, there is a shortage of 1,636 classrooms in the official, public municipal education system, forcing students to study in a parallel private, costly unofficial school system. Over the past five years the Jerusalem Municipality has built an average of 36 new classrooms per year in the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city. At this rate, how many years would it take for the municipality to remedy the shortage and fulfill its basic obligation to provide free education to every child in “undivided and unified” Jerusalem? This is not advanced mathematics. Still the calculation is worthwhile. It would take 21 years to build the 738 missing classrooms, 40 years if we also want to replace those classrooms not up to code. In the meantime, tens of thousands of students are forced to pay exorbitant fees for a costly education. Thousands more simply stay home; the exact number of such students is unknown but according to the municipality’s statistics the figure is somewhere above 8,000. Truth is, it was a trick question. In practice, the current pace of building barely covers the population’s natural growth rate.
IOF bulldozers raze Palestinian olive trees
SALFIT (PIC) 13 Sept — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escorted huge bulldozers into Kifl Hares, south west of Salfit province, on Saturday morning and leveled land. Eyewitnesses said that the bulldozers razed olive trees to pave the way for expanding a power station supplying Jewish settlements in Salfit with electricity. They said that the bulldozers broke and destroyed olive trees during their work, adding that the Israeli attempt to appropriate and annex more Palestinian land in the province has never ceased.
Because he was Arab: Security searched him, and the bus left him in the middle of the desert
[using Google Translate, awful translation but mostly intelligible] Arabs48 12 Sept — The young man was Mustafa Hussain (20 years), from Beit Safafa in Jerusalem, traveling in a bus belonging to the company, “Egged” Israeli from Jerusalem to the city of Tiberias, on Sunday, when the bus stopped at a military checkpoint to touch “on his skin” racist practices of the Occupying Power, for one reason, and only that which is Arabic. Hussein is a student in the Department of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was heading to an archaeological site to attend a mandatory lesson. When the bus stopped at a military checkpoint in the Jordan Valley, stepped up to a soldier, and asked him to show his identity card, then asked his bag searches, which were in a box bags in the bus, he was forced to get off the bus to open his bag. Hussein said the site “Yediot Ahronot” website, he “drove out the bag from the Fund and in the same moment began the bus driver to travel. Screamed at him to stop and waiting for me, but the other soldier at the checkpoint told me that the driver’s accelerator … and of course did not find anything in my bag.” Hussein added that he expected that awaited the bus driver, “but I saw him away, and I thought about the internal ‘how it came across to my lesson, and what I will say to the lecturer?’re In panic and tension. If there is no way they could take me to the lesson.” … And shown to Hussein that he would not pass another bus traveling to Tiberias until the next day, and eventually was forced to continue to travel with car passed in the place, “This is simply insulting and outrageous., And I understand that they want to carry out an inspection, but why I traveled bus? Even with dogs do not deal in this form. these practices indicate loss of feelings of the driver’s side and the soldiers. ”
Palestinians exercising the artistic right of return
KUFR BIRIM, Israel (Middle East Eye) 11 Sept by Creede Newton — This past weekend, artists, musicians and activists attended a workshop in Kufr Birim [Kafr Bir‘im], a Palestinian village of beautiful, ruined stoned homes destroyed by Israel in 1953, five years after its [Israel’s] establishment. The name of the group responsible for the gathering is named Insiyab, Arabic for “flowing with intuition.” An artist collective, the group uses street theatre to spread knowledge about the struggles of Palestinian citizens of Israel, which number an estimated 1.7 million and face dozens of discriminatory laws, according to the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Center. The group coordinated with al-‘Awda, a progressive activist group established in 1984 and consisting of descendants of those displaced from Kufr Birim by the Israeli army during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, referred to by Palestinians as the “Nakba,” or catastrophe. Members of al-‘Awda have been camping among the remains of the village since August 2013, exercising their own version of the Palestinian right of return. The right of return guarantees that Palestinians displaced would be able to return to their homes or be compensated for loss of property. It was codified in international law by United Nations resolution 194. However, since Palestinians who remained in present-day Israel took Israeli citizenship, they are not registered as refugees. Although displaced during the Nakba, resolution 194 does not apply.
Arabic under threat
Middle East Eye 10 Sept by Meron Rapoport — When Dr. Mas’ad Barhum was appointed as director of Nahariya hospital in northern Israel some seven years ago, thus becoming the first Israeli-Arab to occupy such a post, his nomination was hailed as an important step towards the integration of the Arab minority in Israel, proof that Israel is a democracy, where everyone – whether Arab or Jew – is equal. Not exactly. An instruction distributed by the same Dr. Barhum some weeks ago and made public only yesterday, stipulated that the only language allowed in the hospital is Hebrew. The staff should use only Hebrew with the patients and among itself. It should be remembered that more than 50 percent of the population in the northern district to which Nahariya hospital belongs are Arabs, and among the hospital’s patients, the percentage is even higher. Many of the doctors and medical staff are also Arabs. So an Arab doctor will be forced to speak Hebrew with an Arab patient in order “to respect his colleagues,” according to Barhum’s instruction. Barhum is not alone. While he is forcing his Arab colleagues not to speak Arabic in public, a group of right-wing Knesset members is going down the same path. Led by MK Shimon Ohayon (Likud) they demand to abolish the status of Arabic as an official language, a heritage from the times of the British Mandate. Currently, all laws, regulations and official forms must be published in Arabic as well as Hebrew, and every citizen is entitled to use Arabic while dealing with government institutions … “It is part of a policy of threats aimed at Palestinians in Israel,” comments Jaafar Farah, head of Moasawa Center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel. “The racist settler elite, which controls much of Israeli establishment, is trying to build a Jewish ghetto with walls around it. These ghettos suit them. What they don’t realize is that despite them, Israel is turning into a multi-lingual society. In Haifa [Mosawa is based in this northern city], apart from Arabic, a third of the population speaks Russian.” Farah claims that even without abolishing its official status, the Arabic language is in continuous decline in Israel. “Once not only legislation, but all Knesset hearings were published in Arabic. Now, no more. On the homepage of government internet sites you have Arabic, but if you go in and try to fill a form, it’s in Hebrew.” His center decided to write all their bank cheques in Arabic, and every week they get telephone calls from angry bank clerks, asking them to explain what is written upon them. “We are reminding them that this is an official language and they have to deal with it themselves.”
Muslim shrines in Israel – Guide – Sacred springs and sabils
Photos, some quite old, of Bir Ayyub (‘Ein Rogel), Jubb Yusuf – Joseph’s Well, Sabil Shahin Agha, Sabil el-Banna [FYI, since the Bir Ayyub mosque was mentioned in an article on Silwan in this compilation]
Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests — West Bank, Jerusalem, Negev
Two Hebron children hospitalized after settlers’ attack
IMEMC/Agencies 14 Sept — Two Palestinian children were moved, on Saturday evening, to the Hebron governmental hospital, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after a number of extremist Israeli settlers sprayed their faces with pepper spray. Raed Abu Rmeila, a local human rights activist, said he moved the two children to hospital, after the settlers attacked them in Bani Dar neighborhood, in Hebron’s Old City. The two have been identified as Mohammad Makram Nawaj’a, 10, and ‘Odai Nasser Edrees, 12. He added that the settlers started organizing provocative tours, each Saturday evening, in different parts of the Old City of Hebron, under heavy Israeli military presence, and frequently attack the Palestinians. Some 800 Israeli settlers live in the city of Hebron, and around 250,000 Palestinians.
Arab man seriously injured by army fire in the Negev
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Sept — An Arab Bedouin man from the Negev was shot and seriously injured by Israeli army fire, on Friday, in an open area in the Negev. The Arabs48 news website said the man was shot in the chest and was moved to a hospital, suffering a life-threatening injury. The Israeli army claimed a number of Arab youths entered an area, “designated for military training” in the Negev, and “were engaged in an argument with the soldiers”. It added the young man was shot by a commanding officer following the alleged argument, that took place when he, and several young men, entered the area driving a vehicle. On its part, the army alleged that one of the Arab men “attempted to stab a soldier”, and was shot by two live rounds. The army frequently conducts live fire drills in the Negev, and in a number of areas in the occupied West Bank, mainly the Jordan Valley. Entire Bedouin communities are frequently displaced, while many Palestinians, including children, have been injured and killed, especially by explosive devices dropped by the military during training.
Israeli undercover unit snatches youth, assaults another
JENIN (WAFA) 14 Sept – …The sources said an undercover unit stopped at a gas station in the village of Jaba‘a, to the south of Jenin, and snatched Abdullah Balawneh, 35 from Tulkarm City, while he was present in the station. The unit also assaulted and beat up a worker in the station. Meanwhile, Israeli army stormed the city of Bethlehem and handed a local resident, 41, summons to appear for interrogation before the Israeli intelligence. In the meantime, forces stormed several towns and set checkpoints across Hebron Governorate, in the southern West Bank, yet no arrests were reported. Furthermore, local sources told WAFA that Israeli soldiers assaulted multiple Palestinians in the Hebron Old City and detained them for hours before releasing them.
Israeli army cuts electricity to Kufr Qaddum; six villagers dependent on oxygen machines evacuated to hospital
Kufr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Nablus Team) 14 Sept— Kufr Qaddum was without the electricity since 11pm on Thursday night. Six villagers who are dependent on oxygen machines have been evacuated to the nearby hospital in Nablus. The following morning, at the Friday village demonstration, a young man was hit in the head by a gas canister and was taken to the hospital as well. The deliberate power cut was an added rage to the weekly Friday demonstration in Kufr Qaddum. A resident explained that the village electricity comes from the illegal Qedumim settlement and that “somebody decided to press the button and cut the supply to the whole village.” Since 2011, villagers from Kufr Qaddum demonstrate each Friday against the Israeli military … The military bulldozer was already at work attempting to clear the rocks demonstrators had placed on the road to prevent the army vehicles from entering the village. As the demonstrators attempted to repel the bulldozer, a group of soldiers tried to keep the protestors away from the bulldozer with continuous barrage of tear gas, frequently fired directly at the protestors, a practice which is against the army’s own regulations, as it turns the “less-lethal” crowd dispersal means into a small rocket.
Injuries reported in Silwan
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 15 Sept — Dozens of Jerusalemites suffered on Sunday night breathing problems after inhaling tear gas when Israeli forces heavily fired tear gas bombs towards them near Bir Ayyoub mosque [in Silwan]. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces fired tear gas bombs at Jerusalemites while heading to perform Isha prayers (the night-time daily prayer). Dozens of injuries were reported among the worshipers during the attack. The Israeli forces also fired tear gas bombs and rubber bullets at the neighboring homes, the sources added. Meanwhile, a state of tension prevailed in Ein Louza neighborhood in Silwan as Israeli soldiers were heavily deployed.
Israel nabs Gaza casualty, his mother at Ben Gurion Airport
GAZA (PIC) 13 Sept — …The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in a statement on Friday the Israeli intelligence apparatuses nabbed one of the wounded casualties of the Israeli military operation, identified as 22-year-old Maher Said Abdul Nabi, along with his mother while he was on his way back home from a two-week-long healing journey in Turkish hospitals. The Israeli authorities released the mother and kept the injured son in custody. The center raised concerns over the potential subjection of the injured youth to mistreatment and torture. Maher Abdul Nabi, a native inhabitant of Beit Lahia to the north of Gaza, was transferred to a Turkish hospital for urgent treatment on August 28, following an agreement between the Turkish and Israeli authorities, due to the critical stomach injury incurred by Israeli rocket fire. Investigations have been underway to find out about the circumstances and reasons of such an arbitrary arrest, the center further reported, calling on the concerned authorities to immediately step in so as to save Abdul Nabi’s life.
Rioting in Jerusalem derails dream of unification
Haaretz 15 Sept by Nir Hasson — Two and a half months after the start of civil unrest in East Jerusalem, the light rail line that crosses the city’s neighborhoods and ethnic communities has become its soft underbelly. Since the beginning of July, there have been no less than 100 instances of stone-throwing, and throwing of incendiary devices and paint at the trains, which were meant to be a symbol of the city’s unification. On Sunday afternoon, David Sirman was one of only three passengers on a Jerusalem light rail car making its way north from the French Hill junction, along with two security guards. “I’m not afraid. We got though the Yom Kippur War and the 1967 [Six-Day] war, and this won’t scare us,” he said. Over the past two weeks, the train’s operator, CityPass, has seen increased attempts to damage the cars, with the cost of broken windows alone estimated at about half a million shekels ($138,000). Damage to the train’s infrastructure and lost revenue is calculated in the tens of millions of shekels, with tens of thousands of passengers electing not to ride the train due to security concerns … The incidents began on the night between July 1 and 2, after the abduction and murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Kdheir, and they reached a peak last week. Last Monday, the first death occurred from this “intifada” – 16-year-old Mohammed Sanuqrut – and that night dozens of masked men stormed the gas station between French Hill and the Palestinian neighborhood of ‘Isawiyah, setting it on fire and looting its store. All the attackers got away. Yesterday, the first suspects in the incident were arrested. Meanwhile, the number of attacks have increased against light rail cars near Sho‘afat. The events of the summer have resurrected the seam line between pre- and post-1967 Jerusalem … East Jerusalem settlers, who live deep inside Palestinian neighborhoods, have stopped counting the number of attacks on their homes and cars.
Tariq Abu Khdeir: More officers should face justice for my beating
972mag 11 Sept by Matt Surrusco — Israel files assault charges against a police officer filmed beating the 15-year-old American teenager; Tariq and his family demand two other Israeli police officers face justice for their involvement in the beating earlier this summer — The Israeli police officer who was filmed beating unconscious a 15-year-old Palestinian-American boy in Jerusalem in July has been charged with assaulting a minor. An internal police investigation found evidence “supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes,” according to Israel’s Justice Ministry. The teen, Tariq Abu Khdeir, said at a press conference in Florida yesterday, he thinks two more Israeli officers should be facing charges in his beating. “I hope everyone, every officer that took part in my beating is taken to justice,” he said … Tariq Abu Khdeir’s beating was caught on video, which shows the accused officer and additional officers arresting the boy, with one policeman apparently sitting on Khdeir to handcuff the boy while the accused officer is seen kicking and punching the boy repeatedly. A third officer is also seen helping drag Abu Khdeir toward a police vehicle, during which time the accused officer again kicks the boy who appears to be unconscious … According to the indictment, the other officers “did not attack the boy, nor could [they] have prevented it, and therefore were excluded from the suit,” Ynet reported. The name of the accused officer is under gag order … Shibly said he and the Abu Khdeir family were “troubled that many of Tariq’s relatives continue to be incarcerated by Israeli police without charge in apparent retaliation for the publicity the Khdeir case generated.”
French Hill residents call for new fence
Ynet 12 Sept by Assaf Kemer — Rising ethnic tension along the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank has reached boiling point in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood recently, and some of the area’s Jewish residents are calling for a new fence to be built – one they believe would increase security and prevent Palestinians with violent motives in nearby ‘Issawiya from crossing into the neighborhood. The idea of a new fence is gaining ground after dozens of masked rioters from ‘Issawiya trashed a gas station in French Hill last week. The masked men stole goods from the convenient store and tried to set the building alight using a Molotov cocktail before spilling oil on the road at the entrance to the area and damaging the gas station’s fuel pumps. The gas station incident was apparently connected to violence that erupted after the announcement that 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot had died of his wounds after apparently being shot by a rubber bullet from IDF troops the week prior.
Israeli forces detain 174 Palestinians in last week alone
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — Israeli forces have detained 174 Palestinians across the West Bank during the second week of September alone, a Palestinian rights group said Sunday. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli troops detained the largest number of Palestinians in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, where 69 people were taken in a arrest raids. The Hebron district came second, with 40 Palestinians detained. Seventeen were arrested in Ramallah, 12 in Bethlehem, ten in Jerusalem, five in Tulkarem, four in Nablus, and four in Qalqiliya, the statement added. Thirteen Palestinians were detained in Tubas, Salfit, and Jericho, it added. In the first week of September, 127 Palestinians were detained. More than 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, including around 2,000 detained during Israeli arrest campaigns over the last three months alone.
Political and other news
MP: Abbas halted ICC bid on Israeli war crimes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Sept — President Mahmoud Abbas has blocked an attempt to push for the prosecution of Israel for war crimes in Gaza at the International Criminal Court, the second-deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament said on Friday. Hasan Khreisha told Ma‘an that the Palestinian Authority’s decision to join the ICC and thus press charges against Israel for its offensive that killed more than 2,100 and devastated the Gaza Strip was halted by Abbas in order to push forward a new peace talks bid. “President Abbas decided not to sue Israel at the ICC unless his new initiative fails to resume peace talks with Israel,” Khreisha said, adding that the PA was waiting for the United States to officially reply to a message from Abbas asking for the resumption of talks. Abbas has been under fire within Palestine in recent days for failing to support a move to make Palestine an ICC member, most sharply by Hamas, which on Friday said that “signing the Rome Statute is the right of every victim and stalling is neglecting their rights and an offense to the image of Palestinians.” … Khreisha told Ma‘an that even though all major Palestinian parties had given president Abbas a document in which they voiced their support for Palestinian accession to the ICC, “so far no practical steps have been taken in that direction.” “There are many golden opportunities open to the Palestinian leadership, but we are not using them,” he added. “Rights should not be traded for other rights, and we should not stick to one option at the expense of other options.” The allegations are likely to arouse further criticism of Abbas’ leadership within Palestinian circles, as critic saw his performance during Israel’s more than 50-day assault on Gaza as inept and hold him accountable for failing to stop the bloody offensive.
Top Hamas official rules out direct talks with Israel
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 13 Sept — Hamas’s former Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniya said on Saturday the militant Islamic Palestinian group would not hold any direct talks with Israel. There would be “no direct negotiations with the Zionist enemy”, Haniya said in a public address in the Gaza Strip, and called on Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to “review” his own strategy of talks with Israel. Hamas does not recognise Israel which denounces Hamas as a “terrorist” organisation, and the two sides have never had any overt direct contact. But on Friday, exiled Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuq — along with Haniya one of the movement’s two deputy leaders — said direct talks with the Jewish state might be unavoidable in light of planned negotiations in Cairo to consolidate last month’s tentative Gaza truce. “If the situation remains as it is now… Hamas could find itself forced to do this,” Abu Marzuq said, referring to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza after 50 days of Israeli pounding from air, land and sea, which ended on August 26. “From a legal (Islamic) perspective there is nothing wrong with negotiating with the occupation,” he said, indicating it could be necessary in order to guarantee the “rights” of the people of Gaza. Truce talks are due to resume in Egypt later this month, but Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has himself ruled out face-to-face dealings with the Israelis. “Direct negotiations with the Israeli occupier are not on the agenda of Hamas; if negotiations are necessary they must be indirect,” he said on Friday after meeting Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis.
Kuwaiti FM meets president in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Sept — Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malki said on Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas met with Kuwaiti foreign minister Sabbah Khalid al-Sabbah in Ramallah. The two discussed regional issues including the preparation of Arab leaders to propose a resolution at the UN Security Council on setting a timeline to end the Israeli occupation and establish a Palestinian state. In a joint news conference between al-Malki and al-Sabbah, al-Malki said Abbas and al-Sabbah discussed bilateral relations and how this visit opens up a new page in relations between the two countries … The visit followed the inauguration of a Palestinian embassy in Kuwait in April 2013, 22 years after the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Kuwait was shut down. Kuwait had previously been a major host country for Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948 when Israel displaced more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel. By 1989, the Palestinian community in Kuwait was estimated at around 400,000, compared to the native Kuwaiti population of roughly 550,000. Thousands fled when Iraq invaded Kuwait the next year, however, and hundreds of thousands more were deported following the flight of Iraqi troops due to the Palestinian leadership’s pro-Iraq stance. In 2004 during a visit to the Gulf state, Abbas issued an official apology to Kuwait for the leadership’s stance 14 years before, after Kuwait said it had forgiven the Palestinians.
PPP head calls for national unity, no return to negotiations
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — The secretary-general of the leftist Palestinian people’s Party on Friday said that all efforts need to be taken to preserve Palestinian national unity and ensure no return to negotiations with Israel outside of the Gaza framework. PPP leader Bassam al-Salhi told Ma‘an that preserving national unity is especially important following the Israeli offensive on Gaza and the daunting task of rebuilding facing Gazans. Al-Salhi also condemned any attempts to return to negotiations with Israel — outside of the Egyptian-sponsored Gaza ceasefire framework — as “useless” and said they would not result in “anything new” for Palestinians. He said that that the “only option” for Palestinians is to go to the United Nations Security Council and institutions to end the Israeli occupation and not return to negotiations, adding that negotiations with Israel only provide Israel an excuse to “stall.” Al-Salhi said that the going to the UN joins together national unity, popular resistance, and international intervention in a united effort to end occupation.
PRC: We are ready to fight a more ‘ruthless’ battle with Israel
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — The armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees said on Friday that the fight with Israel is not over and will only end when Palestinians have taken back rights stolen from them by Israel. Abu Ataya, the spokesman for the al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, said the group’s “bullets, missiles, fighters, and people are ready to ensure the battle of liberation by every possible means.” He said that the group is “prepared to sacrifice that which is most precious and valuable (to it) in order to achieve liberation.” Abu Ataya also resolutely condemned any attempt to disarm Gaza-based militant groups, saying: “We are convinced that no power in the universe can take away our arms, and attempts at discussing such a matter offends our martyrs, our prisoners, and our cause.” … The Popular Resistance Committees is a Gaza-based militant group that opposes negotiations with Israel, and has no connection to the local popular resistance committees against the separation wall that exist throughout the West Bank.
Thousands of Israel-Arabs march against Islamic State, blame US
Ynet 12 Sept by Hassan Shaalan — Thousands of Israeli Arabs took part in a march organized by the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. During the rally, speakers slammed the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) but also blamed the US and West for allegedly funding the group: “The US supports ISIS to destroy Islam and divide the Arab World.” It was unclear to what support they were alluding.
Settlement products account for significant proportion of detected expired goods
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 Sept – Israeli settlement products accounted for a significant percentage of expired goods detected by the Consumer Protection Directorate’s crews, stated Saturday the Ministry of National Economy. According to a report issued by the Consumer Protection Directorate, Israeli products and settlement goods accounted for a very significant (about 98%) of expired products detected by the directorate’s crews in the Palestinian market. The Palestinian products in contrast accounted for only 1.9% of expired products … The Ministry documented cases of forgery and disinformation involving some Israeli traders relabeling contraband settlement products and promoting them as being originally made in Israel. Other cases involved other Israeli traders forging the place of production and place of origin in an attempt to make these products in line with the relevant Palestinian standards. The Ministry pointed out that the detected expired products included food, tobacco, beverages, crude oil and other petroleum products, animal and vegetable oils, fats, chemicals, manufactured products, equipment and transportation tools.
Israeli intelligence hits back over refuseniks’ letter
JERUSALEM (AFP) 14 Sept — Scores of veterans of elite Israeli intelligence unit 8200 rallied to its defence Sunday after 43 comrades said they would no longer take part in its “injustices” against millions of Palestinians. The open letter, which was sent to Israel’s political and military leadership last week, was one of the most high-profile expressions of conscientious objection in years … But in a letter of reply on Sunday, 200 veterans of the unit denounced their former comrades’ refusal to serve. “We wish to express shock, disgust and complete disassociation from the regrettable letter that was written by our comrades from the unit,” they wrote in the letter, excerpts of which were published in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper. “Political refusal to serve has no place anywhere, and particularly so in Unit 8200. The moment we, as soldiers in the reserves, are called to the flag, we set aside our political inclinations and opinions, and come to serve the state.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said any form of refusing military service was “condemnable”, calling the refuseniks’ move “political” and based on “unfounded accusations” … Commentators said that the fact that the refuseniks were members of one of Israel’s most prestigious military units made their conscientious objection all the more remarkable. “The Unit 8200 letter represents a watershed moment in the expressions of military refusal in recent decades,” wrote Shimon Shiffer in Yediot Aharonot. “This time, we are talking about intelligence gatherers who are refusing to spy on millions of Palestinians.”
Mutiny in the Israeli Stasi: exposing the occupations’ worst filth / Gideon Levy
Haaretz Opinion 14 Sept — The elite intel unit veterans took a milestone in announcing they will no longer serve the occupation. In their footsteps, perhaps, a few veterans of the Shin Bet security service will also come forward and talk about what they did at work — The 43 veterans of the elite intel unit who announced that they will no longer agree to serve the occupation have made a double contribution to Israeli society. Like other conscientious objectors, including soldiers and military pilots, these members of Unit 8200 are courageous and moral. But their refusal has an additional dimension, the likes of which have never been seen before in Israel. They etched another scar into the ugly face of the Israeli occupation, deeper than the ones that preceded it, because it involves the darkest and most base sides of the occupation’s malignant routine. In a healthy society, the reservists’ action and their disclosures would have set off real shock waves. But in Israel, all the systems of defense, offense and propaganda, of ridicule and denial, have already been co-opted for the purpose of swiftly burying this important letter by objector-spies … In contrast to the East German intelligence service, its Israeli successor targets not citizens of the state, but rather the Palestinians who are subject to its occupation. Anything may be done to them, using means the Stasi would have envied. Like the Stasi, it involves not only intelligence gathering and espionage, but also mechanisms to control, extort and exploit an entire nation. This is based on erecting an enormous army of collaborators and informers, recruited through the vicious exploitation of their weaknesses, needs, illnesses and sexual orientations. Thanks to Unit 8200, an entire nation exists without the right to privacy. The great contribution of the new objectors is that they have told us about this. In their Arabic studies, they were taught all the forms of the Arabic word for “homosexual” – because they need it. They were required to find out about the sexual orientation, health and financial problems of tens of thousands of individuals. Perhaps there’s a nephew on Israel’s list of wanted terrorists, perhaps a cousin who’s wanted for questioning, offering an opportunity for extortion. Perhaps they’ll agree to talk about the next-door neighbor in exchange for a chemotherapy treatment; a report in return for surgery; snitching in exchange for an income boost; a bit of information in return for a night in Tel Aviv. This despicable collecting work – there’s no other way to describe it – is done by soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, and “every Jewish mother should know” this.