Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / lllegal arrests — West Bank, Jerusalem
Israeli forces shoot 10-year-old Palestinian in the head in Shu‘fat
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — A Palestinian child was severely injured after Israeli forces opened fire on a car she was traveling in with family near the Shu‘fat refugee camp checkpoint on Friday. The shooting comes on a day of clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank and follows the blinding of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy the day before in clashes in the nearby East Jerusalem village of al-‘Issawiya. Mayar Amran Twafic al-Natsheh, 10, was riding in her grandfather’s car with her mother, grandfather, and her sibling when a rubber-coated steel bullet smashed through the car’s window and hit her in the face. She was taken to Hadassah hospital near al-‘Issawiya and medical sources said she suffered a fractured skull as a result of the attack. Mayar’s father is currently being detained by Israeli forces. An Israeli police spokesman said he did not have any information about the incident. The incident occurred at the Shu‘fat refugee camp checkpoint, which is the only link between the East Jerusalem neighborhood and Jerusalem proper due to the Israeli separation’s walls path around the area, which divides it from nearby Jewish settlements as well as other Palestinian neighborhoods.
Jerusalem child shot by Israeli forces loses eyesight
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — An 11-year-old Palestinian child shot in the face by a sponge bullet during clashes in al-‘Issawiya on Thursday has been left blind in one eye, a local official said. Member of a local neighborhood committee, Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, told Ma‘an that Saleh Samer Attiyeh Mahmoud, 11, was shot in the face at close range by Israeli forces firing sponge bullets in al-‘Issawiya during clashes. He was hit directly between the eyes, causing severe bleeding to his nose and the loss of sight in his left eye. The vision in his right eye is also severely damaged. Villagers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood were protesting the closure of three out of four entrances to the village by Israeli forces when the incident took place. Sponge rounds are made from high-density plastic with a foam-rubber head, and are fired from grenade launchers. Israeli police have been using them in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem since the use of rubber-coated metal bullets was prohibited, but protocol explicitly prohibits firing them at the upper body.
Palestinian child loses sight by Israeli bullet
Middle East Monitor 15 Nov — Saleh Mahmoud, an 11-year old Palestinian from the Jerusalem village of Al-‘Issawiyeh lost his sight after he was targeted by an Israeli soldier on Thursday. The child’s father, Samer Mahmoud, said that his child was shot by a metal-coated rubber bullet between his nose and eyes, making his condition critical. He has so far undergone two urgent surgical operations in his left eye. According to Mahmoud, the medical staff in the Hadasa Hospital in Jerusalem informed him that his son would never see the light again. Saleh remains in the ICU and he still needs several operationsto treat fractures sustained in the skull. Shooting his son was “unjustifiable,” the father said. Samer was just going to buy some vegetables from a nearby grocery – he was young and did not participate in the clashes taking place in the village.
Clashes in Jerusalem spurred by rumors of Palestinian bus driver’s ‘lynching’
Haaretz 17 Nov by Nir Hasson — Clashes broke out in East Jerusalem overnight after the body of a 32-year-old Palestinian Egged bus driver was found hanged in a bus depot in the West Jerusalem area of Har Hotzfim late Sunday night. Palestinian media sources have identified the deceased as Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood and father of two. Witnesses told Palestinian news agency Ma‘an that Ramouni was killed by settlers and Al-Quds newspaper reported that the driver was ‘lynched’ by six Jewish men. A wave of rumors has since spread on social newtorks among Palestinian users. Ramouni was supposed to begin his scheduled 57 route at 9:20 P.M., and at 10 P.M., another driver found his body hanging in the center of the bus from a thin cord. Relatives of the deceased took photos of his body that they claim show signs of violence. Ramouni’s family claim he had no reason to commit suicide as he was not in any crises. Collegues of Ramouni said that Palestinian bus drivers have long been subjected to violence by Jews. However, according to a preliminary report, Israel Police suspect suicide, and claim no signs of violence were found on Ramouni. His body has been transferred from Hadassah Hospital to Abu Kabir Forensic Insitutute in Tel Aviv for an autopsy. CCTV footage from the bus depot may prove crucial in proving or disproving the two conflicting causes of death. This is a developing story.
Photographer injured, dozens tear-gassed at Bil‘in weekly demonstration
Palestinian photographer Haitham al Khateeb [He is about to publish his first photo book; see his Facebook page], was injured by a tear gas canister in his leg, Friday, while dozens of participants suffered from teargas inhalation at the Bil‘in weekly demonstration, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian News Network reports that the demonstration was launched with a slogan of resistance against the closure of al-Aqsa Mosque (the first one since 1967), as well as the increase of Israeli segregation policy, the apartheid wall, and its overall violent stance against the people of Jerusalem. Locals said Israeli forces were there before the beginning of the non-violent march, waiting for the participants and throwing not far from a hundred teargas canisters, to be followed by sound grenades and rubber-coated bullets, in their attempt to stop the march … A French delegation [was] visiting the village of Bil‘in … Mayor Onglavil Mr. Jean Doris participated in the march, as an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian People and Bil‘in village
Israeli man stabbed in Jerusalem; police kidnap two Palestinians
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov — The Israeli police kidnapped, on Sunday evening, two young Palestinian men during what the police claimed “a search for a person who stabbed a man in occupied East Jerusalem.” Palestinian sources said the police kidnapped a Palestinian near the Sahera Gate, while the second Palestinian has been kidnapped on a bus in East Jerusalem. Dozens of soldiers and police officers have been deployed in different parts of the city, especially in Bab al-‘Amoud area and the soldiers conducted searches of Palestinian homes, property and cars. Israeli sources said a young man “believed to be an Arab” stabbed an Israeli man in the back using a screwdriver, and fled the scene; the wounded man is in his thirties. According to Israeli daily, Haaretz, the man was stabbed near the Damascus Gate of the Old City, and ran away from the scene until running into Border Police officers in the Muslim Quarter, who then took him to a police station, before an Israeli ambulance transferred him to Shaare Zedek medical center.
Video: Israeli bullet tears through refugee boys’ happy lives
Electronic Intifada 14 Nov by Maureen Clare Murphy — Life for Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation is described by a boy from Jalazone refugee camp in The Bullet, a new seven-minute documentary produced by the human rights organization Al-Haq. Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Qatamesh discusses his happy life in the West Bank camp, where “houses are adjacent to one another” and “people love one another.” Camp residents originate from different areas of Palestine and if they have the chance to return, Muhammad says, “I’m sure that we will continue to love one another.” Muhammad’s favorite thing about life in the camp is his friends, and his best friend is Atta, who taught Muhammad how to catch birds in the surrounding hills … Atta escaped death after he was shot one day by a soldier near the school. The boy was hospitalized for two months but Muhammad was unable to visit him, since his friend was being treated in Israel and “Because I’m Palestinian and a young man, they will not give me a permit.” Muhammad’s friend is back home in the camp, but life will never be the same for Atta, who was paralyzed by the soldier’s bullet,
Gush Etzion stabbing suspect in critical condition at Israeli hospital
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 Nov – Injured detainee Maher Hashlamoun remains in critical condition at the intensive care unit of Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center, prisoners affairs lawyer Kareem Ajwa said Sunday. Hashlamoun’s doctor said that the detainee was in critical condition and there is a serious danger to his life, Ajwa added. The detainee has only been given painkillers since he was hospitalized, his doctor told the lawyer. The Ashkelon court on Thursday extended the remand of Hashlamoun for eight days. Hashlamoun was detained by Israeli forces after he allegedly ran over and then stabbed an Israeli woman near Gush Etzion last week.
Soldiers detain wife of wounded detainee
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers detained, Sunday, the wife of detainee Maher al-Hashlamoun, 30, who is currently held at the Etzion military base, near Bethlehem, and released her later on. The Hebron Office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the soldiers held Bahiyya an-Natsha, the wife of Maher al-Hashlamoun, from seven in the morning and until 7:30 on the evening. The soldiers did not state why they were detaining the woman, and just kept her held for more than twelve hours without any legal justification.
Israel to demolish home of Jerusalem car attack suspect
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israeli forces on Friday delivered an order for the demolition of a home belonging to the family of a Palestinian man suspected of intentionally running over Israeli civilians in Jerusalem nearly a month ago, in a move expected to further inflame tensions in the city. The mother of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, said that the family received the demolition order after Israeli forces raided their home in the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, south of Jerusalem’s Old City. She said that according to the order, the family had until Sunday to file an appeal to an Israeli court to stop the planned demolition. Israeli forces previously raided the family’s home on Monday and took measurements of the apartment, which is on the fourth floor of a residential building.
Investigation of Abu Khdeir murder tainted by racism, police incompetence
972mag 14 Nov by Lisa Goldman — Between shoddy work and a culture of racism toward Palestinians, it is no wonder that the police failed to prevent the brutal murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir — On Wednesday night, Israel’s Channel 10 broadcast a one-hour investigative report that delves deeply into the circumstances surrounding the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Last July three Jewish Israelis, a 29-year-old man and two teenage boys, abducted Abu Khdeir into their car from a main street near his home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Shuafat, beat him and drove him to a nearby wooded area where they burned him alive. Arrested and interrogated by police, the three suspects confessed to and re-enacted the murder, which they said was in revenge for the murders of three Jewish boys abducted by Hebron-area men who were linked to Hamas … In his report, Rosner examines the question of whether or not the police could have prevented the murder. He also looks into one of the initial police claims, made at the start of the investigation and widely reported by the Israeli media, that Abu Khdeir might have been murdered by his own family because they had discovered he was a homosexual. The three men who murdered Mohammed Abu Khdeir had attempted the previous night to abduct someone else – a 7 year-old boy named Mousa Zaloum. This story was reported many weeks ago, by both the Israeli and international media, but without follow up. Rosner re-interviews the family and then the police spokesperson, and discovers that the police never investigated the attempted abduction of the little boy. Mousa’s parents, obviously still deeply shaken at having nearly seen their son murdered, recount the abduction attempt in detail that shocks the viewer … The police also tried to imply, at one point shortly after Abu Khdeir’s body was discovered, that the Palestinian teenager might have been killed as a result of an internecine dispute — a clan-based fight
Armed Israeli settlers raid Ramallah village, injure 4 Palestinians
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Four Palestinians were injured after a group of Israeli settlers raided the village of Deir Nitham north of Ramallah on Friday. Armed Jewish settlers entered the village and damaged dozens of cars and assaulted homes before villagers were able to respond. The villager threw rocks at the settlers, while the settlers shot live bullets at villagers and raided several houses. Israeli forces later raided the village after the settlers and villagers clashed, but clashes continued for a period of two hours after the raid. Deir Nidham is a small village completely surrounded by areas under Israeli military control. It is located directly beside the Hallamish (Neve Zuf) Jewish settlement and is close by to Nabi Saleh, which is the site of frequent protests against the Israeli occupation. Hallamish is built on land confiscated from the village, with fully one-third of the settlement’s territory built on land confiscated from private landowners, and the rest taken from the village’s communal lands.
WATCH: Police spray putrid water on Palestinian homes, schools
972 Mag 15 Nov by Haggai Matar — Two new videos catch a police ‘skunk’ truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school — The “skunk” trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it’s all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets – entire neighborhoods – with its unbearable stink. Just like that. Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and were given to +972 support claims by residents regarding the inappropriate use of the skunk by the police. In August, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a complaint to the police regarding multiple cases of the arbitrary use of the skunk, especially at times when there are no protests or clashes. It seems that the police has not changed its ways.
Israeli forces injure 6 after opening fire on Hebron protest
[with photos] HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Six Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces opened fire on protesters in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Friday. Clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in the city after the Hamas movement called for a march against the occupation, concurrent with protests across the West Bank. Palestinian youths threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades, tear-gas bombs, and opened fire with live ammunition and rubber bullets. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that there was “a riot of about 300 hundred Palestinians hurling rocks, burning tires, and molotov cocktails.” She said that there were four injuries from live fire and two from rubber bullets. She said that “no ambulances came to the scene” and the individuals were only “very lightly wounded … so they didn’t need to be evacuated to the hospital.” A Ma‘an reporter in Hebron, however, contradicted her report, saying that the injured were taken to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for first aid and then were taken to Alia Governmental Hospital. He said that four Palestinians were struck in the feet with live fire while a fifth person was struck by shrapnel in the neck.
Five injured, three kidnapped in Silwad, near Ramallah
IMEMC 15 Nov — Five Palestinians have been injured, on Friday evening, and three others kidnapped by Israeli soldiers who invaded Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Local sources said that the soldiers invaded the Silwad through its western entrance and clashed with dozens of local youth. The soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, concussion grenades and gas bombs. Five residents were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets; many suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. The soldiers also kidnapped three teenagers identified as Ahmad Hatem Hamed, 19, Ra’fat Radwan Hamed, 18, and Assef Omar Hamed, 18. Soldiers detonated the front doors of the homes of the kidnapped Palestinians, and also detonated the main gate of a local kindergarten before violently searching the grounds, causing excessive property damage.
Israeli forces close down Qalqiliya village
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Israeli forces on Sunday evening closed down all the entrances of ‘Azzun village east of Qalqiliya and prevented people from entering or exiting it. Azzoun local council member Hassan Tbeisha said all the gates leading to the village were closed after Israeli forces claimed Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli settler cars passing by. Tbeisha added that they were informed that the closure was until further notice.
Ban Arabs from driving cars, prominent Israeli rabbi urges
Electronic Intifada 13 Nov by Ali Abunimah — Photo: Six-year-old Toleen Asfour lies in a hospital bed on 19 October after she was hit by an Israeli motorist. Five-year-old Inas Khalil was killed in the same incident near the West Bank village of Sinjil — A prominent Israeli rabbi with a government-funded salary has urged that Palestinian citizens of Israel be banned from driving cars outside their towns. “Every car is a terror institution and every gas station that provides fuel to Arab cars that travel the roads is a station that supplies weapons and ammunition,” said Elyakim Levanon, the “Regional Rabbi of Samaria” – the name Israel gives to the northern part of the occupied West Bank. Levanon made his comments to the Ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Hai and they were reported by the Israeli news website NRG. “Arab cars may not leave Arab cities,” Levanon said. “Arabs who want to do so can travel by bus. Those who use a private vehicle to attack and kill people will not travel in a car … it will take a week, two weeks, or a month until the Arab street [public] will calm down and understand that there is order in the state.” Levanon’s call came after several recent instances of Palestinians in eastern occupied Jerusalem driving cars into pedestrians, incidents Israel calls “terrorism.” Palestinians say that the incidents are either accidents, or acts of desperation by individuals responding to Israel’s escalating violence and colonization in the occupied city. As The Electronic Intifada’s Rania Khalek notes, Israeli settlers have a long history of running down Palestinians with their cars.
41 injured in Druze-Muslim brawl in northern Israel
Haaretz 15 Nov by Noa Shpigel — Tension between Druze and Muslims has been mounting in the aftermath of a deadly police shooting in Kafr Kana and a terror attack in Jerusalem — Dozens were wounded Friday night in a brawl that broke out between Druze and Muslims in Abu Snan, in northern Israel. Medical teams rushed nine people with serious to moderate wounds probably incurred from a hand grenade explosion to a hospital in Nahariya. At least 28 others, suffering from light to moderate injuries, were rushed to the same hospital. One 20-year-old was taken to a hospital in Haifa. Extra police units and a helicopter were scrambled to the scene. Tension between Druze and Muslims has been mounting in recent weeks, especially in the aftermath of the deaths of an Arab Israeli youth, Khayr al-Din al-Hamdan, who was shot by police in Kafr Kana, and Border Police officer Jadan Assad, from the Druze town of Beit Jann, who was killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem. Many Druze serve in the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police. The tension peaked over the course of the week, when Muslim students came to school wearing keffiyehs and held protests over the shooting in Kafr Kana. Administrators decided let the students out early on Tuesday due to the unrest. The brawl broke out at around 11 P.M. on Friday … As of Saturday afternoon, 32 remained hospitalized, one in critical condition, six in serious condition and the rest with light to moderate wounds. Under police orders, school activity was cancelled in Abu Snan on Saturday; schools may remain closed in the coming days.
Thousands pray in Aqsa for 1st time in months
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 November — Thousands of Palestinians were able to conduct Friday prayers for the first time in months in the Al-Aqsa mosque after Israel lifted age restrictions that have kept most worshipers out for months and aggravated tensions across Jerusalem. The courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque were filled with men, women, teenagers, and children as hundreds of families arrived at the mosque for prayer, celebrating their right to worship at the compound after months of frequent restrictions against all but the elderly. The general director of the Jerusalem endowment, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, said that the number of worshipers reached between 35-40,000, despite the fact that Israeli security guards staffing the entrances still held the ID cards of hundreds who entered. Locals told Ma‘an that many worshipers received parking ticket fines of 100-250 shekels ($26-66) as they left the courtyard after prayers. Despite the continued armed Israeli presence at the site, the third-holiest in Islam, a festive atmosphere prevailed. Amir, 18, from the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem that has been repeatedly attacked by Israeli forces and settlers, said it was the first time since July that he had been allowed in. “It’s been four months that I haven’t been able to pray at Al-Aqsa on Friday, even during the holy month of Ramadan,” he told AFP. The easing on restrictions came after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an agreement with Israeli and Palestinian authorities on steps to reduce tensions at the flashpoint compound.
Muslim women forced to pray on dirty street after Israeli forces keep them out of Al-Aqsa Mosque
IMEMC 16 Nov by Celine Hagbard — Israeli forces allegedly ‘eased restrictions’ on Palestinian worshippers attending the weekly prayer service Friday at the Al Aqsa Mosque, but dozens of women were refused entry, and were forced to perform their midday prayers in the alleyways near the mosque. Following Friday’s prayers, the mosque was closed again by the Israeli soldiers who surround it, and a group of Israeli settlers were allowed to storm the mosque on Saturday. The women were turned away from the Israeli military checkpoints that surround the mosque because they refused to surrender their Israeli-issued ID cards to the soldiers. According to the women, their past experiences with Israeli soldiers confiscating their ID cards have involved Israeli soldiers refusing to return them, or forcing them to wait days or weeks to get them back. Since all Palestinians are required to carry their Israeli-issued ID cards at all times, the confiscation of these IDs essentially immobilizes them, and they are unable to travel – even to a nearby village or to the Israeli military base where it is being held – because of multiple Israeli checkpoints along the way. In addition, Israeli forces frequently subject the women to harsh interrogations at police stations before they will allow them to have the ID cards back.
Fearing backlash, Jordan asserts Al-Aqsa custodianship
AMMAN (AFP) 16 Nov — Jordan’s tough stance towards Israel over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque reflects a determination to preserve its custodianship of the flashpoint site as well as its own stability, analysts say. By recalling its ambassador to Israel, the Hashemite kingdom sent a message that deploying police inside the mosque compound had crossed a red line and put their diplomatic ties in jeopardy. In parallel, Jordan’s King Abdullah II hosted a diplomatic push which brought together US Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Amman on Thursday. “Recalling the Jordanian ambassador and the diplomatic push sent a tough message to Israel that violating Al-Aqsa would endanger the peace treaty,” Oraib Rantawi, head of Amman’s Al-Quds Centre for Political Studies, told AFP. Kerry would not have interrupted his busy schedule and flown to the region “unless Washington realised that ties were deteriorating between Jordan and Israel, and Israel and the Palestinians”, he said … Tensions soared to a new level earlier this month when Israeli police entered several metres (yards) inside the mosque during clashes triggered by a vow by Jewish far-right groups to visit the holy site. “The violations at Al-Aqsa undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the Jordanian leadership and its ability to carry out its custodianship of the mosque,” said Rantawi. “It also an embarrassment towards its people, and this threatens the kingdom’s stability and security,” he added … Rantawi said this month’s clashes at Al-Aqsa had “violated the historic Hashemite trusteeship, the peace treaty and the Palestinian-Jordan deal”. The history of the dynasty is intertwined with the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, where Sharif Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi, who led the Great Arab Revolt of 1916 against Ottoman rule, is now buried. His son, King Abdullah I, great-great-grandfather of the reigning monarch, established modern-day Jordan in 1921. He was assassinated in 1951 during Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa. “Attacks on Al-Aqsa target the Jordanian leadership, its reputation and its relations with society,” said Abu Rumman. “They also go as far as raising questions — on the Jordanian street and the Arab street — over Jordan’s legitimacy.”….
IDF gravely wounds Palestinian boy attempting to cross border fence
Ynet 16 Nov by Yoav Zitun — A young Palestinian boy was shot by an IDF force on Sunday after approaching the security barrier between Gaza and Israel. He was hit and was evacuated to Sorokoa Medical Center in Be’er Sheva in grave condition. The IDF stressed that the soldiers had performed the procedure for the arrest of a suspect nearing the fence but the 10-year-old boy did not respond to calls to halt his advance. The incident occurred in the border area near Kibbutz Be’eri at around 4 pm. Nahal Brigade soldiers deployed to the scene and called on the Palestinian to stop and turn away from the fence, but he did not answer and the soldiers were forced [!] to fire when he reached the barrier. The youth, who was unarmed, was gravely wounded by gunfire. The IDF said it suspects the boy was sent as a scout by one of Gaza’s terror factions to test the troops’ level of alert and response times.
UN Gaza inquiry team hears testimonies in Jordan
Haaretz 17 Nov — The United Nations committee investigating possible war crimes by Israel during last summer’s Gaza war has spent the past week in Jordan, listening to the testimonies of victims’ families and civil society organizations, Ma‘an Palestinian news agency reported on Sunday. The committee, which was appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, has been denied entry to the West Bank and Gaza by Israel. The team had intended to enter the Gaza Strip via Egypt, but was prevented from doing so by the security conditions in Sinai. It is now scheduled to visit Gaza in January. Instead, the committee will listen to the testimonies of bereaved Gaza families this week using videoconferencing technology, according to Ibrahim Khreisha, the Palestinian Representative to the Red Cross. The team of 15 people includes human rights experts, investigators and technical teams. It is required to submit its final report on March 1, 2015. “Only representatives of Palestine and Israel will be allowed to see the final report 48 hours before it’s submitted to the regular session,” Khreisha added.
Gaza suffers from domestic-use gas crisis
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov – No sooner is a fuel or power crisis reduced in the Gaza Strip than another starts, and the crisis which has surfaced recently is domestic gas. Average Palestinian citizens are always the victims. A member of Gaza union of gas station owners, Mahmoud al-Shawwa, says the gas crisis in Gaza has intensified because a large number of vehicles in the coastal enclave are run on domestic gas. Speaking to a Ma‘an, al-Shawwa said the quantities of domestic use gas shipped to the Gaza Strip every day are insufficient in the first place. While the Gaza Strip needs 400-450 tons of domestic gas every day, only 230-240 tons are being shipped, he said. About half of this quantity goes to vehicles run by gas, added al-Shawwa. The Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip has a maximum capacity of 250 tons of gas a day, added al-Shawwa. He says that the union of gas station owners notified the Palestinian crossing department of the necessity to increase the gas pipelines at Kerem Shalom.
Trauma surgeon Mads Gilbert will defy Israeli ban on Gaza entry
Guardian 15 Nov by Kate Shuttleworth — A Norwegian trauma surgeon and activist who helped provide life-saving medical care during this summer’s 100-day war [51-day] in Gaza has said he will defy an Israeli ban on his return. Chief surgeon Mads Gilbert, 67, has spent 15 years treating patients in Gaza and spent 51 days in Shifa hospital earlier this year treating many of the 11,000 Palestinians who were wounded in the war between Hamas and Israel. When he returned last month to try and enter Gaza via the Erez crossing in Israel he was denied entry indefinitely. The Israeli government now says Gilbert is banned from entering Gaza for security reasons. The Norwegian embassy in Tel Aviv has taken up Gilbert’s case on his behalf after he was refused entry in October … Norwegian authorities confirmed Gilbert had been banned “indefinitely” by Israel. Gilbert is a vocal critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Photos and television footage of Gilbert in his light green surgical wear in Gaza’s Shifa hospital treating Gazans wounded and dying were broadcast internationally and often daily during the course of the war between Hamas and Israel. He vowed he would fight any restrictions placed on his movements by Israel. “I have never violated Israeli law, never been arrested and never lied.” In July Gilbert wrote a statement from Shifa hospital at the height of the fighting that was published widely. He described in graphic detail people that had been “maimed and torn apart” … An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Paul Hirschson, replied Dr Gilbert was “not on the side of decency and peace and he’s got a horrible track record. I wouldn’t be surprised if his acquaintances are among the worst people in the world.”
Gaza man caught after crossing border into Israel
Times of Israel 15 Nov — IDF soldiers on Saturday arrested an unarmed Palestinian man suspected of crossing the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian, who was caught near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, was taken to a nearby security facility for questioning. A similar incident occurred Wednesday, when two Palestinian men managed to walk five kilometers (three miles) into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Be’eri before being spotted and stopped by IDF soldiers. Both men, who were unarmed as well, were taken in for questioning, according to Channel 10. The circumstances of both Saturday’s and Wednesday’s incidents remained unclear, but such events are often cases of civilians looking to work illegally in the country.
Germany supports probing Israeli war on Gaza
Middle East Monitor 15 Nov — Martin Schaefer, Spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry said on Friday that his country supports investigating the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip that left more than 2,260 dead and wounded more than 11,000 others. “The German government believes a fair, objective and impartial investigation [into the recent Israeli war on Gaza] would be a good thing,” he said. While speaking in Berlin, Schaefer regretted the Israeli decision to ban the UN Human Rights Council investigation team from heading to the Gaza Strip in order to carry out the mission. “We note with regret the Israeli government’s decision [to ban the UN team],” he said. Schaefer noted that he did not know whether this decision would affect the prospective visit of German Foreign Minister to the Middle East slated to start on Sunday.
Egypt still sponsors Gaza cease-fire talks: Hamas
World Bulletin 16 Nov — A senior member of the Palestinian faction Hamas said on Saturday that Egypt continued to sponsor the resumption of indirect Gaza cease-fire talks between Palestinian factions and Israel. “Contacts are still ongoing between our movement and Egyptian authorities,” Mahmoud al-Zahar said during a meeting in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younes. Egypt brokered a cease-fire between Palestinian factions and Israel on August 26, following a 51-day Israeli offensive on the coastal Palestinian territory. The cease-fire made it necessary for both sides to return to the negotiating table in Cairo to discuss pending issues. However, an October 24 attack on Egyptian troops in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula overshadowed the resumption of the negotiations, especially after Egypt said some of the perpetrators of the attack had crossed the border into the Gaza Strip, while others had received medical treatment at some of Gaza’s hospitals. Al-Zahar said his movement had proved to Egyptian authorities that this information was incorrect. He said Hamas understood Egypt’s current security conditions, describing these conditions as the “toughest.”… Azzam al-Ahmad, who headed the Palestinian side in the indirect talks, said earlier that Egypt had deferred until mid-November the resumption of the talks against the background of the situation in the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian militants loyal to IS claim deadly attacks on soldiers
CAIRO (AFP) 14 Nov — Egypt’s deadliest militant group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State jihadists, claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has spearheaded an insurgency in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, made the claim in a video posted on social media. The group has killed scores of policemen and soldiers since the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi last year, but the October 24 attack in which a jihadist rammed a military checkpoint in northern Sinai with an explosives-packed car was the deadliest such incident in years.
Gaza religious courts to shut down for security reasons
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov – Religious courts in the Gaza Strip will be closed every Thursday because police officers in charge of security in courts decided to suspend work on that day, the higher religious judiciary council in the Gaza Strip announced Sunday. Chairman of Hasan al-Juju told Ma‘an that the decision to shut down courts on Thursdays came after several employees were assaulted in the absence of police officers whose job is to protect them. Judiciary police aren’t working regularly because they haven’t received their monthly salaries for several months. Al-Juju urged the Palestinian Authority to pay salaries and expenses to judiciary police so that they can keep security in religious courts.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Restrictions on movement
Israel will never limit E. Jerusalem settlement building: Lieberman
JERUSALEM (AFP) 16 Nov – Israel will never agree to limit its construction activity in annexed east Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday. “One thing should be clear: we will never accept the definition of building in Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem as settlement activity,” he said at a news conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “We won’t accept any limitation on building in Jewish areas of (east) Jerusalem,” he said. His remarks came four days after Israel approved plans to build 200 homes in Ramot in annexed east Jerusalem despite months of almost daily clashes and tensions there with Palestinians, triggered in part by settlement expansion … At a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin later in the day, Steinmeier expressed his “hope” peace talks would be renewed, while warning against unilateral measures of both sides. “Unilateral decisions pose an obstacle to the success of negotiations,” he said in remarks relayed by Rivlin’s office.
Qalqiliya demolition orders could leave dozens homeless
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) — Israeli authorities delivered demolition orders to five Palestinian families in the northern West Bank village of Hajja east of Qalqiliya on Sunday morning. Local sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces “stormed” the village and delivered the orders to five local families. Locals said that authorities are claiming that the families have built their homes without licenses, and thus intend to demolish them, potentially leaving dozens of family members homeless. The houses slated for demolition belong to locals Yusuf Omar Ahmad Hilal, Samir Omar Ahmad Hilal, Ibrahim Hilal Ahmad Hilal, Bilal Nur al-Deen Masalha, and Nitham Hussein Masalha … Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank in areas under their control, or about 80 percent of the total land area. Some 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished by Israel since it occupied the West Bank in 1967.
In Pictures: Erasing Palestine
Al Jazeera 11 Nov by Vinciane Jacquet — The last deserted pre-1948 Palestinian village in Israel is facing possible destruction. Located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the village of Lifta is an empty collection of old stone houses that have fallen into neglect. For the past 20 years, the Israeli government has pushed to destroy the remaining buildings to make room for new luxury homes, hotels, a shopping mall and a recreation park. The courts have rejected governmental requests to build, but the construction of a new railway line through the village has many thinking the end is near. In the meantime, local Israeli Jews use Lifta as a picnic spot and swim in its ancient spring. For the few surviving Palestinians who were born in Lifta, visiting their former village brings a mix of emotions: nostalgia for an idyllic childhood spent amongst the olive groves, and bitterness at the destruction and appropriation of their homes and heritage. Lifta’s inhabitants were systematically expelled by Israeli forces between 1947 and 1948. Afterwards, Jewish immigrants, mostly from Yemen, moved into the empty homes. Following the Six-Day War in 1967, the Israeli government offered the Jewish residents of Lifta new homes in Jerusalem; they happily accepted, and blew up the roofs of Lifta’s houses before leaving to ensure no-one would return.
Theft and creativity — archives of a fragmented nation / Rich Wiles
Middle East Monitor 15 Nov — Palestine’s story is one of displacement and dispossession – a people who have been dispersed to all corners of the world, and a homeland that has been methodically carved up by settler-colonialism. Today’s fragmented geography – of people as well as places – sees pieces of the collective national jigsaw scattered far from their true homes. The archiving of the Palestinian story in all its intricacies thus presents a huge challenge. Israel has always been aware of the power of Palestinian archives and their importance as records of national identity, history and culture. Beginning even before the Nakba, Zionist militias and later the Israel army have destroyed or confiscated many collections that should be playing significant roles in a collective national archive. As documented in the film ‘The Great Book Robbery’, an estimated 70,000 books were stolen during the Nakba including many notable libraries such as that of noted intellectual Khalil Sakakini. This project which was carried initially out by the Haganah and later the state’s official army was done in cooperation with the Israeli National Library on whose shelves thousands of these books can be found today marked with the letters ‘AP’ – Abandoned Property. Similarly, the Israeli military archives contains thousands of stolen Palestinian photographs including many historic documents which show elements of life as it was before Israel was established. Such practices did not stop with the establishment of the state … Amidst the destruction of the Second Intifada, which included attacks on cultural and educational institutions, another significant collection of the Palestinian archive was stolen. Israel closed Orient House – the PLO’s Jerusalem headquarters – in 2001, and in the process a significant portion of its archives were confiscated including collections of photographs, official documents and historic newspapers. With this background of decades of systematic theft of national archives, recent weeks have seen the Qalandiya International contemporary arts festival held across Palestine under the banner ‘Archives, Lived and Shared’. The festival saw more than 100 Palestinian and international artists respond to the notion of archives in various artistic forms….
Lieberman: Triangle is part of the Palestinian state
Middle East Monitor 12 Nov — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he believes that the area known as “the triangle” should be part of a Palestinian state in exchange for Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank. Israeli sources said that Lieberman’s statement came at the start of a meeting held by Knesset members of the Israel Our Home party, which he heads. He expressed hope that the “inhabitant” identity card carried by some Jerusalemites would be cancelled, saying: “They are not citizens of Israel, and we can cancel the residence card.” Lieberman added: “These days, as we talk about the political issue, and more than any time before, the triangle area must be part of any future solution, we are here and they are there, the triangle is part of the Palestinian state, because the problems there are not linked to us, those who blow up the cars of Fatah leaders in Gaza using IEDs are not Israeli.” The “triangle” is an area in the north of Israel, next to the West Bank, which has a predominantly Arab population. Lieberman claimed that “what is happening is a result of having people like Haneen Zoubi and other similar persons free rather than behind bars.”
Israel’s proposed Jewish nation-state law hits hurdle
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 16 Nov — Divisions within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition delayed on Sunday a preliminary vote on a proposed law to declare Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads a centrist party, has expressed concern that the rightist-backed legislation would put preservation of Israel’s Jewish character above democratic values, and she blocked its discussion in a ministerial committee she chairs. In now-frozen peace talks, Palestinians had rejected Netanyahu’s demand that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Legislators from the country’s Arab minority have described the bill as racist. Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday by promising to “move forward on the nationality law” proposed by his right-wing Likud party and far-right allies.
In rare move, Israel denies Colombian foreign minister entry to Ramallah
Haaretz 14 Nov by Barak Ravid — MFA said Colombia’s top diplomat can only visit the Palestinian Authority if she also visits Jerusalem, out of fear the trip would set a precedent for foreign dignitaries — A senior official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed the matter, stating that the directive was ordered by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. It is highly unusual for the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to give such a directive, and it appears that the move was made in an effort to harden its policy with regards to visits by foreign ministers to the Palestinian Authority, which are normally carried out without any difficulty. Differences of opinion over Holguin’s visit to Ramallah led to a diplomatic incident that caused tensions between Israel and Colombia, which is considered a central Israeli ally in Latin America. Colombia is one of the last two countries in Latin America that has not recognized Palestine as a state. The second country is Panama, another of Israel’s allies … However, Israel’s unwillingness to facilitate her visit to Ramallah did not prevent Holguin from meeting with her Palestinian counterpart. In the end, they met in Amman on Monday.
Israeli masters, Palestinian slaves
Haaretz 17 Nov by Oudeh Basharat — You buy a pet, let’s say a dog. The salesperson tells you that the dog is gentle and obedient, but a few months later the problems begin. The dog barks, or, perish the thought, he bites. As a true democrat, you get everyone who lives in the house together for a meeting to decide whether to keep the dog locked up or let him run in the yard for a few hours. That is exactly what Yedioth Ahronoth did last week. As part of its column, “Daily Question,” it asked the members of the Jewish cooperative, its readers, to decide whether to impose a closure on the occupied West Bank or not. In this case, “no” does not mean ending the occupation, heaven forbid, but something like a partial closure, or an on-and-off one … Don’t worry, dear Palestinians, tomorrow you will hear what the masters have decided for you. After all, the newspaper, out of the goodness of its heart, will publish the decisions … Yedioth Ahronoth published the results of its poll yesterday, after several days of nerve-wracking anticipation. Here they are: Just 62 percent were in favor of imposing a closure on the West Bank, with 38 percent against. Our hope is not lost.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Activists crossed Separation Wall heading to Jerusalem
Middle East Monitor 15 Nov — IMAGES — A group of local and foreign activists succeeded on Friday in crossing the Israeli Separation Wall near Qalandia Airport in the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem, Palestinian local news agency Quds Net reported. Under the name ‘Heading to Jerusalem,’ about 100 Palestinian and foreign activists crossed the Separation Wall protesting the Israeli banning of Palestinians from accessing their holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem. In a statement, the Popular Resistance against the Wall said: “Muslims and Christians have been banned from accessing their mosques and churches.” This measure was taken to counter this ban.The Israeli occupation forces faced the activists and undermined their efforts regarding the entrance into the Holy City. In turn the activists blocked the roads taken by illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank, but the Israeli forces violently dispersed them firing tear gas and metal-coated rubber bullets.
PHOTOS: Palestinians build a bridge over the separation wall
Activestills 14 Nov — Some 50 Palestinian and international activists used two make-shift bridges to cross the separation wall between Qalandiya and northern Jerusalem Friday morning. They also cut razor wire adjacent to the wall. The non-violent direct action was in protest of the restrictions on access to the Aqsa Mosque that Israel places on Palestinians from the West Bank.
Thousands march in Bethlehem to mark Independence Day
[with many photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Thousands marched in the streets of Bethlehem on Saturday to mark Palestinian Independence Day and the 10th anniversary of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death. Palestinians marched through the main streets of the holy city waving Palestinian and Fatah flags. The march went from the governmental compound near Duheisha refugee camp past the city’s central Fatah office and then onward to the Nativity Church in the historic center. The celebrations came on the 26th anniversary of the Palestinian declaration of independence, signed by the Palestinian National Council on Nov. 15, 1988. In the document, Palestinian leaders led by Arafat declared the existence of a State of Palestine inside the 1967 borders and the State’s belief “in the settlement of international and regional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the charter and resolutions of the United Nations.” Heralded as a “historic compromise,” the move implied that Palestinians would agree to accept only 22 percent of historic Palestine in exchange for peace with Israel. Although many feared the move would endanger the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, others were optimistic that finally Palestinians would be represented on the world stage as an independent actor. On the 26th anniversary of the treaty’s signing, the PLO said in a statement that despite the Palestinians’ historic move in 1988, in the years since Israel had failed to be a partner for peace. “Israel responded by colonizing more of our land and entrenching its control over the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The possibility of a two-state solution is quickly fading away,” the statement read … According to the PLO, between 1989 and 2014, the number of Israeli settlers on Palestinian land soared from 189,900 to nearly 600,000. These settlements, meanwhile, are located between and around Palestinians towns and villages, making a contiguous state next to impossible.
Peter Gabriel slams Israeli occupation, contributes song to Gaza benefits album
Huffington Post 12 Nov by Jason MacNeil — Peter Gabriel will be contributing songs to “2 Unite All,” a benefit compilation album which will financially assist humanitarian organizations helping Palestinians in Gaza. According to i24News Gabriel will join other musicians including System Of A Down singer Serj Tankian, Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Def Leppard’s Rick Allen. Gabriel’s contribution is the opening track entitled “Across The River,” an updated version of a song he originally recorded in 1982 … “There is clearly a growing movement around the world willing to speak out, including my own country’s Parliament,” Gabriel continued. “I am happy to be one of these voices now asking the Israeli government, ‘Where is that two state solution you have so long said you wanted?’ and more simply, saying, ‘Enough.'”
HP spins Israeli checkpoints’ role in reducing ‘friction’ with Palestinians
Electronic Intifada 14 Nov by Adri Nieuwhof — For years, the US-based information technology giant Hewlett-Packard has been successfully targeted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement over its material support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The company supplies products and services to the Israeli “Ministry of Defense” and the Israeli Navy, and maintains a presence in an illegal West Bank settlement. It also supplies and maintains a high-tech system of ID controls at Israel’s brutal and sadistic network of racist checkpoints in the West Bank. The US Coalition to Stop Hewlett-Packard and the HP Boycott Campaign have held the company to account by calling for divestments and a boycott. In May, for example, students at DePaul University in Chicago voted in favour of divestment from HP, along with other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. In June, the Presbyterian Church USA voted in its general assembly to divest itself of stock from companies including HP, due to their role in Israeli occupation.
EU must cease ‘material support’ for Israel’s crimes, say leading trade unions
Electronic Intifada 12 Nov by Michael Deas — More than 300 political parties, trade unions and campaign groups have called for the suspension of a key agreement between Israel and the European Union.The appeal urges the EU to freeze the “association agreement” with Israel. That deal, which entered into force in 2000, facilitates largely unrestricted trade between the EU and Israel and allows Israel to participate in a wide range of the Union’s programs. The appeal, delivered to the new EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, is one of the most widely endorsed statements by European organizations on Palestine to date. Signatories to the statement come from nineteen different European countries. They include Podemos, the leftist party currently leading the polls in Spain, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and other major trade union bodies from Spain, Denmark, France and Belgium.
Five supporters of Rasmea Odeh arrested in Oakland
Electronic Intifada 12 Nov by Nora Barrows-Friedman — Following the guilty verdict against Chicago-based Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh on Monday, activists in Chicago and Oakland held rallies and direct actions protesting the conviction and demanding her release. In an interview with The Electronic Intifada on Tuesday, contributor Charlotte Silver said that “for a lot of the activists who were organizing the rallies outside the courthouse every day, who have been organizing really across the country in support of Rasmea for this past year, they are very aware that this is an attack on their community.” In downtown Oakland today, activists chained themselves to the federal courthouse, condemning the trial as one that was politically-motivated in an attempt by the US government to silence Palestine solidarity activism around the country. The five activists were arrested by local police just hours after their protest began. They were cited and released.
Jailing Rasmea Odeh may trigger trauma from Israeli torture, expert tells judge
Electronic Intifada 15 Nov by Charlotte Silver — Rasmea Odeh’s lawyers have asked US District Judge Gershwin A. Drain to reconsider his decision to jail their client until her sentencing hearing scheduled for 10 March. On Monday, a federal jury in Detroit found Odeh guilty of unlawful procurement of naturalization after a trial under rules which defense attorneys said were so restrictive that they could not put on the defense they had planned. Odeh was convicted of not disclosing a 1969 conviction in an Israeli military court for taking part in two bombings in Jerusalem that killed two persons. Odeh’s attorneys argued in pretrial hearings that the conviction was based on a confession obtained after weeks of torture and sexual assault. In a move that surprised Odeh’s attorneys on Monday, US prosecutors asked Drain to revoke the $3,000 bond on which Odeh had been free since she was indicted. Odeh’s conviction carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, as well as fines. Prosecutors indicated in court that they are likely to seek a prison term of no less than 21 months.
Israel may face EU sanctions for hampering 2-state solution — secret document
RT 16 Nov — Israel could soon find itself in trouble and face the wrath of Brussels: any further attempts to pose obstacles to a two-state solution with occupied Palestine could result in sanctions, Haaretz revealed, citing a ‘confidential’ EU document. The classified paper was originally intended for internal circulation among the 28 member states, but word of its existence reached Israel after some of its diplomats in the EU leaked the fact to the Foreign Ministry back home. Although the Israelis could not secure the full text of the document, some important details have come out, thanks to three EU diplomats and two senior Israeli officials. Speaking to Haaretz on condition of anonymity, they say the paper outlines a “sticks and carrots” approach (consisting mainly of ‘sticks’) to take effect in the event of the Jewish state’s further attempts to derail efforts at Palestinian autonomy. According to a European source close to the discussion, Israel’s unabated settlement building in disputed areas is of primary concern here:
Hamas lawmaker: Abbas thwarting reconciliation
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov – A Hamas-affiliated member of the inoperative Palestinian Legislative Council on Sunday accused the Fatah movement and President Mahmoud Abbas of thwarting reconciliation between the rival parties. Speaking to Ma‘an, Yahya Mousa accused Abbas of “thwarting reconciliation in favor of investment projects, security coordination with Israel and a war against political Islam.” He added that a reconciliation agreement was reached between Hamas and Fatah thanks to successive initiatives by Hamas. “Whenever reconciliation moves a step forward, he takes several steps backward,” Mousa said. The lawmaker urged Abbas to “leave” because “he isn’t part of the solution anymore, but rather a problem to the Palestinian national liberation project, and poses a huge threat to the Palestinian plight and to the unity of the Palestinian people.”
Separately, the Hamas bloc within the Palestinian Legislative Council on Sunday urged the PLC speaker to resume normal sessions so as to be able to enact laws and call the Palestinian government to account.
Agents of Israel
Al Jazeera World (AJ TV) 12 Nov — After the July 2014 Israeli attacks on Gaza, Hamas arrested suspected Palestinian informants and executed 18 of them on August 22. This documentary tells the story of Palestinian collaborators and the significant role they have played in the targeting of high-ranking Hamas and Fatah figures by Israeli intelligence. The film examines the role infiltrators have played since the assassination of Fatah founder member Khalil al-Wazir (aka Abu Jihad) in the 1980s; Yahya Ayyash, ‘the Engineer’, with the help of collaborator Kamal Hammad in January 1996; and Palestinian imam and politician, Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, in 2004. We interview known collaborators like Nadim Anjas who worked with Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet between 1996 and 2002; and Abdul Hamid Rajub, who describes his role in the killing of Abu Jihad. We also talk to alleged double agents, Palestinian Authority officials, and a former Shin Bet deputy director. The film examines Shin Bet’s recruitment methods – the exploitation of desperate and vulnerable people, sexual entrapment and the co-option of prisoners in Israeli jails. It includes interviews, phone interviews, confession transcripts, reconstruction, anonymous interviews and the use of a hidden camera.
Rotterdam rolls out red carpet for Israeli war industry
Electronic Intifada 13 Nov by David Cronin — As an exercise in masochism, I have spent much of the past few years monitoring the arms trade. Every time that I have asked a lobbyist from that industry about the death and destruction caused by its products, he or she has always trotted out a banal excuse, refused to answer or tried to change the subject. This happened to me again this morning. After learning that Elbit, a leading Israeli weapons maker, has been invited to take part in a Rotterdam exhibition next Tuesday (20 November), I called the event’s organizers, the Netherlands Defence Manufacturers Association (NIDV). My question was simple: How can you justify inviting a company that profited from the killing of children in Gaza during the summer? Mat Herben, a spokesperson for NIDV, told me that the purpose of the fair is to exhibit “weapons systems” that may be sold to Dutch customers. “The link with Gaza is a bit far-fetched in my opinion,” he added. Unique selling point The link is not far-fetched at all. Elbit exploits the fact that its wares are “combat proven” by the Israeli military as what marketing strategists call a “unique selling point.” Israel’s summertime attack on Gaza gave it an opportunity to test out one of its new drones: Elbit’s Hermes-900 made its “combat debut” during that offensive.
Analysis / Opinion / Reviews
The moral clarity of Richard Falk
Electronic Intifada 14 Nov by Rod Such — “The Palestinian struggle for self-determination has become the great international moral issue of our time,” the international law expert Richard Falk declares in his latest book, Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope (Just World Books). Falk calls it “the last major anticolonial struggle.” In this wide-ranging book, the professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University embraces the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, advocates abandoning the two-state solution and argues that the best way of understanding Israel is as a settler-colonial state. He notes that the importance of BDS lies in the fact that it is Palestinian-led and that Israel has “no intention of allowing a viable Palestinian state to be established.” He also introduces a new lexicon to avoid the obscurantism that language can often lend itself to. Occupation, he argues, should be called what it is — annexation. Israel’s “democracy” is in reality an ethnocracy, human rights “violations” are better described as crimes, home demolitions represent ethnic cleansing and Israeli military doctrine is a form of state terrorism.
History podcast illuminates Palestine’s past
Electronic Intifada 12 Nov by Sarah Irving — Much-loved amongst historians, the Ottoman History Podcast back-catalogue is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in Palestine and the background to today’s situation there. Produced in Istanbul, the Ottoman History Podcast features interviews on all aspects of history across the former Ottoman empire — whether the shifts of power and politics that we most associate with historical publications, but also social, ethnic, environmental and cultural histories. Recordings most obviously of interest to students of Palestine include a conversation between Professor Beshara Doumani of Brown University and Chris Gratien, one of the founders of the podcast series. Doumani is one of the most significant scholars from and of Palestine at the moment, and his book Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 is a vital and fascinating exploration of Palestinian society before Zionist immigration.
‘Pallywood’: a particularly ugly ethnic slur / Larry Derfner
972mag 15 Nov — And a very popular one among right-wing Israelis and Diaspora Jews — I’ve been writing for years against the “Pallywood” theory – the right-wing notion that videos showing Palestinians getting killed by Israelis are really elaborate fakes meant to blacken Israel’s name. Yet it’s only this morning I realized that the term “Pallywood,” which was coined by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes, is an ethnic slur, and a particularly ugly one. It not only mangles the name of an entire people, it does so in the most contemptuous context – it links the name Palestinian with the telling of lies, and not just any lies, but lies about Palestinian deaths at the hands of their conquerors … What a bigoted term Landes invented, and what a popular one it is in the Israeli/right-wing Jewish political lexicon. A Google search for “Pallywood” this morning turned up 406,000 entries. There’s a Wikipedia page for it, too. And I didn’t even notice how vicious an insult it was until now, which says a lot about how living in Israel makes you numb to abuses of Palestinian, or Arab, or Muslim dignity: In Israel, we Jews say things about them that they could never get away with saying about us.
The IDF and Shin Bet, where falsehood is the faith and evil is conscience / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 16 Nov — The fact that Israel is focusing now on the January warning does not change its responsibility for what is happening in Gaza — Look who’s talking, and about what: The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the head of the Shin Bet security service are talking about “morals” and “ethics.” It’s like a slaughterhouse boss who dares to talk about animal rights, a prison warden who talks about freedom or the CEO of a cigarette company who talks about health. It briefly seemed as if Israel had finally woken up to hold a real debate on this summer’s war in the Gaza Strip. After all, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz wrote in his letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a “moral and ethical fault” and about the Shin Bet’s having “crossed all moral and ethical lines.” But this sanctimonious poesy was of course devoted to the ridiculous pissing contest over the Gaza war between Gantz and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, two manly men. A generals’ war always erupts when it becomes clear that the victory was not a victory and the accomplishments were not accomplishments … Gantz and Cohen are not in a situation where they are capable of (or permitted to) speak about morality and honesty, even if personally they are impeccably straight and honest. They head two organizations in which falsehood is the faith and evil is the conscience. As sophisticated and successful as they may be, their respective organizations have no connection to principles. It cannot be otherwise in the current circumstances. Both of them are responsible, for example, for the crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, after which it is impossible to speak of morality. Every decent person who returned from Gaza after Operation Protective Edge — I met dozens of foreigners who did so — was rocked to their very core by what they saw there. Every one of them felt it was an even more vicious and brutal version of Operation Cast Lead, which we thought would never happen again. They can share this dubious credit however they want, Gantz and Cohen were the military leaders. The hundreds who died in vain, the destruction, the terror and the hatred that was sown — all of it listed in their names. The fact that no one in Israel is disturbed by this does not in any way diminish the depth of the horror. The fact that Israel is focusing now on the January warning does not change its responsibility for what is happening in Gaza, which has been abandoned to its suffering.
Germany made Palestinians ‘indirect victims of Holocaust’, says author Max Blumenthal
Electronic Intifada 14 Nov by Emran Feroz — …EF: Not long after your trip to Gaza, you started using the hashtag #JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant) on Twitter. Making this kind of comparison between the group Islamic State and Israel is taboo in Germany. Why did you dare to do this? MB: It is strange that you equate, in Germany, IS with Hamas or describe the entire Palestinian national movement as “heirs of the Nazis,” while there is such an outrage regarding my comparison. It was not a direct one-to-one comparison, but I wanted to point out the hypocrisy behind supporting one religiously exclusive state that forces minorities out of its territory while attacking another. EF: But by using this hashtag, you must be suggesting that Israel and IS are somehow similar. MB: Sure, they are. The “Jewish state” has no internationally recognized borders. The same relates to the “Islamic State.” Both constructs have emerged after the original indigenous population were partly expelled and ethnically cleansed. In the case of Israel it was the Palestinian indigenous population; in the case of the IS [they] are the Christians, Yazidis or Shiite Muslims. Both “countries” rely on a religious exclusivity in the Levant. And both think they represent all Muslims and Jews worldwide and thereby help inspire Islamophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments. Both the Jewish state and the Islamic State recruit confused young men from around the world as foreign fighters to engage in atrocities.
Analysis: The transfer of Israeli Arabs / Jonathan Cook
NAZARETH (Al Jazeera) 14 Nov — Once again Palestinian citizens of Israel exposed the country’s lack of a meaningful democracy — The killing of a 22-year-old Arab youth by Israeli police on November 7, has highlighted tensions that have been building rapidly between the Israeli authorities and the country’s 1.5 million-strong Palestinian minority. Kheir al-Dein Hamdan’s shooting in the Galilee town of Kafr Kana, near Nazareth, sparked protests in most Palestinian communities inside Israel, in some incidents turning into violent clashes with the police. A general strike was widely observed on November 8 and simmering anger is still bringing the youth out onto the streets at night in Kafr Kana and elsewhere. Hamdan is one of scores of Palestinian citizens of Israel who were killed by police in unexplained circumstances over the past 14 years. His death, however, has magnified a mood of intense anger and frustration among the Palestinian minority, which comprises a fifth of Israel’s population. The atmosphere was set earlier this year with a wave of violent attacks carried out by Jewish settlers targeting Palestinians in Israel, rather than Palestinians in the occupied territories, burning mosques, defacing churches and vandalising cars. Police have mostly failed to identify the culprits. A series of events then followed, including the gruesome killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem at the hands of Jewish extremists in early July. … The widespread protests over the summer were marked by frequent clashes with the police reaching a level not seen since the start of the second Intifada in 2000. Police responded with hundreds of arrests, including of many children, often in heavy-handed, night-time raids on homes that have become a familiar sight in the occupied territories. Leading human rights lawyers in Israel have described Hamdan’s death as a police “execution”. The intensifying efforts over the past few weeks by government officials and Jewish extremists, backed by the Israeli police, to assert greater control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem has added another layer of distress. Israeli politicians – from the right and the left – share a common view, often expressed or implied, that Palestinian citizens can never truly belong to a Jewish state. Instead, they are described variously as a “fifth column”, “Trojan horse” and “demographic time bomb”. Revealingly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploited Hamdan’s death to issue a series of further warnings that the Palestinian minority was unwanted.
‘Common bond’ found in African heritage delegation to Palestine
Electronic Intifada 16 Nov by Nora Barrows-Friedman — “The Palestinian struggle, for those of us who are doing social justice [work] here in the US, has always been part of our analysis in terms of thinking about structural and institutionalized oppression,” says Trina Jackson, a longtime social justice organizer based in Boston. Jackson recently returned from Palestine as a participant with the third African Heritage delegation organized by Interfaith Peace-Builders, an education and advocacy group. Delegates met with members of civil society, human rights workers, grassroots activists and students struggling against Israeli occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. The delegation was tear gassed by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where Palestinian residents organize regular protests against the occupation. “It’s clear that the occupation — it weighs on their spirit and their minds [in Bilin],” explained delegatation participant Ajamu Baraka, founding executive director of the US Human Rights Network and an editor and columnist with Black Agenda Report. “It sort of consumes everything about that experience there in that space. But yet, with that weight of oppression, they still found ways — they had to find ways — of bringing some humor into it. And they made jokes about things that happened between them and soldiers, and I was thinking to myself, as long as these people exist, there will be resistance,” Baraka added. Baraka puts the recent conviction of Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh in the context of global liberation struggles and the backlash against them.
Strenger than fiction — The right’s prayer: Apocalypse now!/ Carlo Strenger
Haaretz 15 Nov — The best way right-wingers can brand themselves is to help foment the next intifada — Benjamin Netanyahu was warned time and again: The powder keg of the West Bank and the climate among Israelis Arabs would most likely explode if the status quo on the Temple Mount was destabilized. Hence, early last week, he issued a directive to his ministers to show restraint and responsibility by refraining from heating up the situation. This was enough to ensure to make some of the more ambitious young right-wingers realize their moment of opportunity. After all, not every day brings the opportunity of having an intifada with your name on it, and there seems no better branding proposition for today’s right-wingers than showing that they were responsible for the next Palestinian uprising. This is not an interpretation; it’s a direct quotation of Deputy Transportation and National Infrastructure Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who visited the Temple Mount last week. To her great sorrow, the local media hardly covered her heroic act, but to her great luck, her visit was all over the Arab media as a further indication that the status quo on the Temple Mount was about to be changed … Lately Israel’s political right has felt a bit threatened: In the last half year, the Arab League peace initiative, which has been in existence for more than a decade, finally began reaching the consciousness of a small number of Israelis. Former head of Saudi General Intelligence Prince Turki Al Faisal published a statement in Haaretz this past summer reaffirming the Muslim world’s willingness for recognition of and full diplomatic relations with Israel if Israel retreats from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is not good for Feiglin, Danny Danon, Hotovely & Co: Israelis, God forbid, might think that peace is possible. But fortunately, they always have the option of heating up the temperature, for example, by marching to the Temple Mount….