Israel plans road construction in West Bank
JTA 11 Nov — The Israeli government has drawn up plans for some 185 miles of roads in the West Bank, largely for the benefit of Jewish settlers. The 44 proposed roads would connect Jewish settlements to each other and nearby Israeli cities, and their construction would require expropriating more than 6,000 acres of land, according to a report by Israel’s i24 News. Twenty-four roads already have been authorized; the rest are pending approval. A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry told Army Radio that the plan would be implemented “over many years and most of it is not to be realized now,” i24 News reported.
Israel to approve 200 units in Jerusalem settlement
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Nov by Saed Bannoura — The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” of the Jerusalem City Council, is set to discuss the approval of 200 additional units in the Ramot Israeli settlement, in Jerusalem, during its Wednesday session. Israeli sources said the plan would then be moved to the “Regional Construction and Planning Committee” for final approval before bids are announced. Last week, the Regional Committee approved 500 new units in Ramat Shlomo settlement, north of occupied Jerusalem.
Violence / Clashes
Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in al-‘Arrub
HEBRON (Ma’an) 11 Nov — A young Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces Tuesday during clashes in al-‘Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron, medics said. Medical sources at al-Mizan hospital told Ma‘an that 21-year-old Muhammad Imad Jawwabra was shot in the chest and arrived at the hospital in critical condition. Doctors announced his death shortly afterwards. A witness told Ma‘an that he and Jawwabra were drinking tea on the roof of his house when a bullet him the teenager in his chest. An Israeli army spokeswoman said a “violent riot of 200 Palestinians” was taking place in the area. She said a Palestinian “aimed an improvised weapon” at forces and that soldiers responded by shooting him, “confirming a hit.” The spokeswoman said the improvised weapon was a type of “pipe bomb” made from household materials.
Also Tuesday, Israeli troops shot and seriously injured a young Palestinian man near the southern West Bank town of Khursa, Israeli media reported. The news site Ynet said an Israeli military ambulance took the Palestinian to an Israeli hospital. Reshset Bet, another Israeli news site, reported that some 150 Palestinians had gathered near an intersection in Khursa and threw stones at Israeli settler vehicles. A female settler sustained light injuries after stones hit her car, the report said.
Meanwhile, two Palestinian teens were injured during clashes in Beit Furik village east of Nablus. Local sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces shot live fire, stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets at protesters near Beit Furik school. The two injured Palestinians were identified as Ali Naji Haneni and Moaed Khataya, both 16. Medics of the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma‘an that the two young men were taken to Rafeda hospital for treatment where their wounds were described as light to moderate.
Clashes also broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in the town of Tuqu‘ near Bethlehem and in Beit Ummar in northern Hebron. Muhammad Ayyad Awad, the spokesman of a local popular committee in Beit Ummar, said that Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades, and live fire at protesters, causing injuries.
The violent clashes come on the 10th anniversary of the death of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and a day after Palestinian stabbing attacks killed a soldier in Tel Aviv and a settler near Bethlehem.
Palestinian worker shot dead in Israel
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — A Palestinian worker was shot dead by an unidentified gunman in Israel early Tuesday, Palestinian security sources said. The sources told Ma‘an that the Israeli liaison department had officially notified its Palestinian counterpart that Nihad Mufid Ahmad Nalowa, 35, had been shot dead in the town of Zemer in the Triangle area near the border with the West Bank. Nalowa is from the village of Shweika in the West Bank district of Tulkarem. The shooter has not yet been identified, and the motive behind the attack remains unclear. Nalowa’s body will be transferred back to the West Bank after Israeli police complete an initial investigation, the sources said.
Body of Palestinian man found with signs of torture
IMEMC 12 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Israeli sources have reported that the body of an Arab man was found near Mazare’ village, between Nazareth and Afula, and that the body showed clear marks of torture and stabbing. The Israeli Police said the body of Fuad Kahaf, 35, from al-Mqeibla, was found near a car close to the Mazare’ village, in Marj Ibn Amer (Jezreel Valley), close to Afula and Tiberias, in the northern part of what is now Israel. The Police added that Khalaf was repeatedly stabbed, with clear marks of choking on his neck, and signs of violence visible on different parts of his body, and that they are conducting an investigation into the issue.
Report: Soldier stabbed in Tel Aviv dies
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — An Israeli soldier who was stabbed Monday in Tel Aviv has died of his injuries, Israeli media reported Monday. Almog Shiloni from Modiin, was stabbed Monday at Haganah train station in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Ynet news site reported. Israeli police arrested a Palestinian suspect from Nablus in his 20s, another Israeli news site reported. A Ma‘an reporter in Nablus said that the suspect was 18-year-old Nur al-Din Abu Hashya from ‘Askar refugee camp in the city. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the victim was an Israeli soldier and said the attack was carried out by a Palestinian from the Nablus area in the northern West Bank. She said the stabbing appeared to be politically motivated. “It was apparently an attack with nationalist motives. The suspect is a resident of the Nablus,” she said, adding that he had been arrested in a nearby apartment building where he had holed up. The Israeli army confirmed in a text-messaged statement that the man was a soldier, and that a Palestinian suspect was arrested. The incident follows the Israeli police killing of a Palestinian citizen of Israel in the Galilee region Saturday, which led to two days of protests and clashes with Israeli police.
Father of stabbing attack suspect: Son left home looking for work
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — The father of Nur al-Din Abu Hashiya, the suspect in a stabbing of an Israeli soldier Monday in Tel Aviv, said that his son left the house east of Nablus on Sunday looking for a job in Israel. Khaled Abu Hashiya, of Askar refugee camp, told Ma’an that he was “really surprised” when he heard the news that his 18-year-old son was the suspect in the stabbing of an Israeli soldier. The father added that his son left the house “normally.” “I do not know what to say right now but I want to know how my son is doing,” Abu Hashiya said. The Fatah-affiliated family of Abu Hashiya lives in the ‘Askar refugee camp east of Nablus; Khaled Abu Hashiya is a father of six including Nur al-Din.
Israel forces storm home of Nablus teenager accused of stabbing attack
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Israeli forces on Tuesday morning raided ‘Askar refugee camp in Nablus in the northern West Bank and detained the father and brothers of the Palestinian who stabbed to death an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on Monday. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that several Israeli military vehicles raided Askar al-Jadid (“the new Askar”) before troops ransacked the home of Abu Hashiya family and detained Khalid Abu Hashiya and his sons Izz al-Din, Muhammad, and Walid. Witnesses said Israeli troops damaged the interior of the house. Locals said that the family started to evacuate furniture fearing demolition of the house by Israeli forces. Nur al-Din Abu Hashiya, 17, on Monday allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier at a bridge in Tel Aviv. The soldier succumbed to his wounds later on Monday evening.
Stabbing in settlement ‘kills Israeli’, Palestinian suspect shot
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an/AFP) 10 Nov — Israeli media reported Monday that a Palestinian stabbed three settlers in the Jewish settlement of Alon Shvut near Bethlehem, killing an Israeli. The Israeli news site Ynet reported that a Palestinian attempted to run over bystanders near a hitchhiking stop outside the settlement and subsequently got out of his car and stabbed three settlers, killing a woman. The Palestinian man was shot and critically wounded by a security guard after killing the Israeli woman, and police initially reported that the attacker had died. But Ynet quoted a hospital official Tuesday as saying that he was being treated in Haddasah medical center in moderate to serious condition. The victim was identified as 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus … The attack comes hours after another stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in which an Israeli soldier was stabbed to death and a Palestinian suspect was arrested by Israeli police. Relatives identified the suspect as Maher Hamdi al-Hashlamon, 25. The Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility for the attack as well as the other that occurred in Tel Aviv hours earlier.
Israeli forces open live fire at Palestinians during clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians during clashes in the Sinjil village in northern Ramallah injuring two youths on Tuesday. Israeli news site Ynet reported that 15 Palestinian youths threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at an Israeli military vehicle in the area. Soldiers responded with “riot control measures” but later opened fire at two youths, injuring at least one of them in the leg, the report said.
Clashes erupt near Bethlehem military checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Several Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and suffered severe gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces in northern Bethlehem. A Ma‘an reporter said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas bombs at Palestinians near the military checkpoint in northern Bethlehem. Dozens of Palestinian youths organized a march to commemorate the 10th memory of Yasser Arafat’s death toward the military checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Youths threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. Several marches set off in Bethlehem from the Duheisha refugee camp, Tuqu‘, al-Ma‘sara and Dar Salah areas.
Israel tightens security after deadly knife attacks
JERUSALEM (AFP) 11 Nov — Israel stepped up security nationwide Tuesday after a soldier and a settler were killed in separate Palestinian knife attacks as months of unrest in Jerusalem spread across the country. Thousands of police deployed at potential flashpoints as Palestinians held low key ceremonies to mark 10 years since the death of their iconic leader Yasser Arafat in mysterious circumstances in a hospital near Paris. On Monday a 17-year-old Palestinian in Tel Aviv stabbed a 20-year-old soldier who later died of his wounds in hospital. The assailant fled but was arrested. Hours later, a Palestinian attacked three Israelis outside the Alon Shvut settlement in the southern West Bank, killing a young woman and wounding two other people before a security guard shot and critically wounded him. The bloodshed followed months of clashes between Israeli security forces and stone-throwing Palestinians in and around annexed east Jerusalem. The unrest spread to Arab areas of Israel at the weekend after police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli during a routine arrest operation. “The police have been placed on an advanced state of alert. Thousands of police, officers, volunteers and reinforcements have been deployed across the country to ensure the security of the public,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. Following the Tel Aviv attack — carried out by a Palestinian staying in Israel without a permit — police began a nationwide crackdown on illegals, she said. The authorities urged the public to “be vigilant” and report “any suspicious vehicle or individual.”
How to avert an intifada
Haaretz 10 Nov by Amos Harel — A confrontation between an armed Palestinian and Israeli police ended peacefully on Sunday, showing that law enforcers don’t have to shoot to kill as they may have done a day earlier in Kafr Kana — In ‘Anata, a village north of Jerusalem, a joint operation of the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police was conducted on yesterday to arrest Palestinians likely to be connected to terrorist activity. ‘Anata, like the Shoafat refugee camp, where the terrorist who mowed down pedestrians with his car last week lived, is in a sort of no man’s land. The village is cut off from Jerusalem by the security barrier, but is located in a region where neither the police nor the IDF operate much. As a result, violent criminal activity flourishes, and sometimes it evolves into terror attacks. During yesterday’s operation, an undercover Jerusalem district police force surprised two suspects while they were meeting. One suspect tried to flee, but the cops were able to seize him. The other pulled out a pistol, but the police didn’t lose their cool. They pointed their weapons at him and in the end he dropped the gun and surrendered. This incident in ‘Anata, coming less than 48 hours after the police shooting in Kafr Kana, proves that the results of such confrontations are very dependent on the conduct of the policemen and soldiers involved. When viewing the security video from Kafr Kana one gets the impression that the shots were fired in contravention of open-fire regulations. Hamadan indeed threatened the policemen when he rushed at their patrol car with an object that looks like a knife, but he was shot when he had already turned his back and had moved away from the car. It isn’t clear if the policemen fired in the air, as the police officers claimed. Nor is it clear why the policeman didn’t aim at the perpetrator’s legs to neutralize him, rather than at his upper body … Whether the wave of violence that began in Jerusalem and is expanding to Arab communities in Israel following Hamdan’s death will spread further will be decided by how each such incident is handled.
Raids / Arrests
58 Palestinians kidnapped in various Arab towns; clashes continue
IMEMC/Agencies 11 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Israeli police kidnapped at least 58 Palestinians, including 10 children, in Kafr Kanna and Tur‘an, in the Galilee, and in several other towns during overnight clashes, while the situation continues to deteriorate since the fatal shooting of Kheir Hamdan, age 22, late on Friday. Arabs48 news website has reported that police arrested overnight 33 Palestinians, including 10 children in Kafr Kanna village, three in Tur‘an village, four from Wadi ‘Ara and Um al-Fahem, and three from Tayibe. They were taken prisoner during clashes which took place with Israeli police after they surrounded and invaded towns involved with the general strike, in protest of the murder of Hamdan.
The District Court in Nazareth ordered the release of seven Palestinians, including three who were forced to pay fines and received a conditional release; all were taken prisoner Saturday. The District Courts in Nazareth and Tiberius will also be looking into the cases of 27 more Palestinians, especially since the police are demanding that they be detained for further interrogation. The Israeli police said they arrested more than 30 Arab protesters for “causing violence” and rioting in the streets of their towns. Arabs48 said that most of the clashes took place in Kafr Kanna, the hometown of Hamdan, and that police completely sealed the village.
Dozens of local youth hurled stones at the police while they invaded their village; police sprayed them with water, firing both gas bombs and concussion grenades at them, as well. Clashes also continued in Um al-Fahem while police arrested, late on Sunday evening, at least four youngsters. Three more were taken prisoner in Wadi ‘Ara during similar protests and clashes.
Overnight clashes also took place in al-Fureidis village, while many local youth threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police and army vehicles after the soldiers assaulted them, amidst the firing of gas bombs and concussion grenades. On Sunday evening, dozens of residents protested in Tayibe, while several youth chased an Israeli extremist who managed to run away, leaving his car behind before locals torched it. Police also arrested three residents, including a 15-year-old child. In Shfa-Amr, hundreds of Palestinians protested in the center of the town, as police fired dozens of gas bombs at them.
Israeli police said, Monday, that some protesters threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli buses, in the Northern Triangle area, causing damage but no injuries. Police added that the protesters threw stones at buses near the Baqa al-Gharbiyya Junction, Um al-Fahem junction and Wadi ‘Ara junction. Hundreds also held protests in ‘Akka, Haifa, Kafr Manda and Rahat amidst extensive police presence. A general strike was held Sunday in every Arab village and town.
Israeli forces carry out predawn raids in West Bank, Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Israeli forces carried out multiple predawn raids across the West Bank and Jerusalem and detained 19 young Palestinian men. A statement by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Tuesday morning said that the detentions were in Hebron, Nablus, East Jerusalem and Ramallah. In Hebron in the southern West Bank, Israeli troops detained Muhammad al-Hashlamoun, Ayman Shweiki, Ibrahim Fathi Awad, Hamza Amr and Khalid al-Natsha, according to the statement. Lawyer Mufid al-Hajj, who works for the prisoner’s society in Jerusalem, was quoted in the statement as saying that Israeli police detained eight young Palestinian men from East Jerusalem. He identified them as Muhammad Shqeirat, Eyhab Zahayqa, Bahaa Zahayqa, Tariq Hashim, Ahmad Ammouri, Nazih Ammouri, Muhammad Qadamani and Muhammad Ubeid.
The statement added that Israeli forces raided ‘Askar refugee camp in Nablus in the northern West Bank and detained the father and three brothers of the Palestinian suspected of stabbing to death an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on Monday. The detainees are Khalid Abu Hashiya and his sons Walid Izz al-Din and Muhammad.
Israeli forces also raided the village of Silwad in Ramallah district in the central West Bank and detained Mousa Muhammad Hammad and Mahmoud Ahid Hamid.
An order to arrest the two-year-old child Hamzeh Zidan … and arresting four Jerusalemites
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 10 Nov — The Israeli forces arrested on Monday morning four Jerusalemites form the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh and from Silwan. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the Israeli forces arrested the 17-year old Raed Ra’fat Ammouri and the 17-year old Ahmad Mansour Abu Gharbyeh from their houses in Al-Sowaneh; note that the forces searched both houses and damaged their contents. The Special Forces arrested the 16-year old Mohammad Ziad Zidani from the neighborhood of Al-Bustan and the 19-year old Kayed Rajabi and transferred both of them to Al-Maskobyeh…
In a related matter, the Zidan family was surprised when receiving an order to arrest their son Hamzeh Hazem Zidan who is only two years old. The family explained that an Intelligence officer asked about Hamzeh while raiding the house and said that there is an order to arrest him. The family was surprised and told him that he is only two years old and that he lives in the neighboring house if they still want to arrest him. The family pointed out that the forces confiscated three computer devices from their house and arrested their son Mohammad.
The Israeli forces raid the house of the martyr Abdulrahman Shallodi
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 10 Nov — The Israeli forces raided on Monday morning the house of the Martyr Abdulrahman Shallodi in Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed by the Martyr’s family that the forces raided their house and went on top of the roofs of the neighboring houses and then took the measurements of the house using “laser technology”. They also prevented the Martyr’s father from moving even inside his house until they were done with their procedures. The Intelligence personnel also questioned the Martyr’s family but did not classify the reason behind the raid or even taking the measurements. The house is located on the fourth floor in a residential building in Al-Bustan neighborhood. Similar forces had raided the house of the Martyr Ja‘abees last Friday and also took measurements and drew maps of the house. It is noteworthy that the prime minister of the Israeli government, Benjamin Netanyahu, recommended last Friday punishing the people who carry out “terrorist attacks” in Jerusalem by demolishing the houses of the attackers and issuing administrative arrest orders and deportation orders against them.
Settler violence / Racism
Israeli settlers torch mosque in Ramallah-area village
[with photos] RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — A group of Israeli settlers set fire inside a mosque in the Palestinian village of al-Mughayyir near Ramallah early Wednesday, locals told Ma‘an. Worshipers said that when they went to the mosque to perform dawn prayer around 4:30 a.m., they saw smoke and flames coming from the first floor of the two-story building. The first floor was seriously damaged, and the second floor was lightly damaged, they said. They said the settlers left behind racist slogans in Hebrew on the outer walls of the mosque. The same mosque has been targeted by Israeli settlers before, locals told Ma‘an. “Every time the mosque is torched, the (Israeli) occupation police conduct an investigation just for show, and never arrest a single settler,” one resident said. Locals say Israeli forces have confiscated more than 75 percent of the village’s lands for settlements, military bases, and natural reserves.
Israeli settlers accost Palestinian officers near Nablus
[with photos]NABLUS (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Dozens of Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement in southern Nablus attempted to assault several Palestinian security officers after they parked their car on the road at the entrance of the settlement on Tuesday. Zakariya al-Sadda, a human rights activist with Rabbis for Human Rights, told Ma‘an that Israeli settlers forced five officers from Palestinian security forces to stop while on their way to Ramallah to take part in a festival celebrating the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death. They claimed that the driver attempted to assault a settler who was driving his car on the same road. Al-Sadda added that the Israeli settlers and Palestinian officers traded verbal assaults. He added that the Palestinian Liaison Department intervened and solved the issue, and that Israeli forces took the Palestinian officers away from the settlement’s entrance after dozens of settlers gathered and attempted to assault them.
Gun-toting settlers attack female students near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 11 Nov — Armed Israeli settlers Tuesday intercepted and chased down female Palestinian students while they were on their way home from school in the village of Kisan, east of Bethlehem, according to a local activist. Head of Kisan village council Hussain Ghazal told WAFA that gun-toting settlers intercepted the students while walking home from school, chasing them down and causing them to panic before they succeeded to seek refuge at a nearby residential area, escaping the settlers’ attack attempt.
Settlers damage Palestinian property in West Bank, Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Tuesday as Israeli forces were heavily deployed and clashes broke out across the Palestinian territory, an official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that Israeli settlers smashed equipment belonging to three stone crushing plants in the Nablus district. The factories, located near the Huwwara military checkpoint in southern Nablus, belong to Naji Yousef al-Asmar, Bassam Muhammad Hassan, and Abu al-Abed Tabania, Daghlas said. In East Jerusalem, right-wing Israeli Jews punctured the tires of several vehicles belonging to Palestinians and sprayed anti-Arab graffiti in Beit Safafa, Israeli media reported. Rechet Bet’s website said five cars’ tires were slashed and that graffiti was sprayed on a sidewalk. Muhammad al-Kahla, one of the Palestinians whose car was damaged, said that Israeli settlers also sprayed “No cars for Arabs” and “No terror attacks.” Al-Kahla said other cars that were targeted belong to the Ibrahim, Khalil, and al-Mukhtar families. Late Monday, Israeli settlers smashed the windshields of more than 30 Palestinian vehicles during a rally Monday night on the main road south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, Daghlas told Ma‘an earlier. The settler aggression came after two Palestinian attacks killed an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv and a settler near Bethlehem earlier in the day.
Settlers attack Palestinian properties in Hebron, Nablus
HEBRON (WAFA) 11 Nov – Israeli settlers on Tuesday attacked a number of Palestinian homes south of Hebron with stones … In Hebron, settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Hagai broke into the Harayek area, south of the city, where they pelted stones towards Palestinian houses, yet no casualties were reported.
Settlers attempt to occupy a building in Silwan
IMEMC 10 Nov — A number of Israeli settlers attempted, just before midnight Sunday, to occupy a vacant Palestinian building in the central neighborhood of Silwan town, south of the al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) stated that 6-8 Israeli settlers stormed the central neighborhood and gathered in front of the building before attempted to invade it while chanting â??The building is ours.â? Local Palestinian residents saw the settlers and prevented them from entering the building; clashes took place between the settlers and the Palestinians before the settlers left the scene.
Silwanic said the settlers returned to the building later, accompanied by undercover soldiers of the Israeli army, and clashed again with local youths, before withdrawing from the area. Resident Saleh Shiokhy owns the two-story building; it has been empty for some years now, and is located next to several buildings that have recently been occupied by fanatic settlers. The ground floor o the building has commercial stores.
Jews threaten to kill head teacher for having Arab workers at school
Middle East Monitor 10 Nov — A Jewish head teacher of an Israeli school was threatened with death after he commissioned Arab workers to carry out construction works in the school, online media reports said yesterday. The websites described the incident as a sign of the increasing hatred and incitement against Arabs in Israel. Israeli website Walla, which originally published the report, said that the headteacher of Mazkeret Batya School has undergone an incitement campaign carried out by the parents of its students. According to the Israeli website, fathers of students at the school threatened to kill the headteacher over the construction works in the school, which are being carried out by Arab workers. The headteacher found a letter on the windscreen of he car accusing her of disregarding the life of the students as she is having Arab workers carry out construction works at the school. School staff reported that the students’ families have repeatedly complained about having Arabs wandering freely in their sons’ school, calling for increased security.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
COGAT denies land confiscation near Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — Israeli officials late Sunday denied reports about Israeli plans to confiscate nearly 13,000 dunams (3,200 acres) of Palestinian land near Jerusalem. A spokeswoman of COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit in charge of civil administration in the Palestinian territories, told Ma‘an that there were only Israeli military orders to renew a confiscation order for 163 dunams (41 acres) of land in Beit Iksa north of Jerusalem. “Around 163 dunams were temporarily confiscated in 2004 for military purposes,” the spokeswoman said. “The new orders mean that the area will be used for military purposes until 2017,” she added. Locals told Ma‘an Saturday that soldiers had delivered notifications that 12,852 dunums of land in the village would be confiscated. They said the orders gave them until Dec. 31, 2017 to remain on their land. Although located immediately next to Jerusalem, the village’s lands have been progressively confiscated and the village is surrounded on all sides by the Israeli separation wall. Villagers can no longer travel to Jerusalem without permits, and Palestinians who are not residents of Beit Iksa cannot enter the single Israeli checkpoint that allows access to the village. Ninety-three percent of the village is under full Israeli military control, and a majority of the total land of the village falls in areas outside of the separation wall, meaning they have been de-facto confiscated, including about 1,500 dunums (371 acres) where Jewish-only settlements have been built.
Israel refuses women entry to Al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — For the third day in a row Israeli authorities prevent women from entering the al-Aqsa mosque compound, while 39 right-wing Jews entered it through the Moroccan Gate on Tuesday. A Ma‘an reporter said that Israeli authorities prevented women of all ages from entering the compound from early morning. While men were allowed in, soldiers took several identification cards. Israeli authorities had opened all gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque after partial closures all week. Guards of the mosque said that verbal disputes erupted between one of the guards and an Israeli “settler” while touring the compound as he insulted the prophet Muhammad. Guards added that the Israeli police guarded the settler, who was allowed to continue the tour. Also Tuesday, male worshipers organized a sit-in in front of the Islamic Endowment department to protest preventing women from entering the compound since Sunday.
Israel opens Kerem Shalom to allow goods into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza to allow 420 truckloads of goods into the Strip on Monday, a Palestinian official said. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official responsible for the entry of goods into Gaza, said Israel allowed gasoline, diesel, cooking gas, and nine trucks of cement for UNRWA construction projects into the besieged coastal enclave.
Israel prevents goods shipment to Gaza following blasts
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Israeli authorities on Tuesday prevented a shipment of goods from entering the Gaza Strip following deadly blasts on the Palestinian side of the crossing, an official said. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official responsible for the entry of goods into Gaza, said that a shipment of diesel fuel, in addition to 300 truckloads of goods for the trade, agricultural, transportation, and aid sectors were scheduled to enter Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing, but that Israeli authorities canceled the shipments. Earlier Tuesday, a Palestinian man was killed and two others were injured when a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel from Israel to the Gaza Strip exploded on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, medics said. Medical sources said 17-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Bahloul was killed and his father Ahmad Yousef Bahloul sustained serious burns in the incident. Another 60-year-old man sustained moderate wounds … The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.
Israeli military vehicles escort bulldozers into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Nov – Several Israeli military vehicles on Monday escorted bulldozers which leveled Palestinian land near the Gaza borders in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses told Ma’an that they saw four military tanks and three bulldozers entering Gaza via a gate on the border fence near Kissufim military base in northeast Khan Younis. The bulldozers, they added, leveled lands about 200 meters from the border fence. Heavy fire was heard during the Israeli incursion, but no casualties have been reported.
Hundreds commemorate anniversary of Arafat’s death in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Hundreds of supporters of the Fatah movement gathered in al-Katiba square in Gaza City Tuesday despite the movement’s decision to cancel the official festival commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, locals said. Palestinians carried pictures of the iconic Palestinian leader, waved Fatah flags, and chanted slogans celebrating Arafat’s life. Participant Mervat Abd al-Qader told Ma‘an that the memory of Arafat’s death is painful for Palestinians. She said no one could prevent Palestinians from commemorating the death of the leader “who taught us that Palestinians are the decision makers.” Fatah announced Sunday that the official anniversary ceremony would be canceled in the wake of bomb blasts on Friday that targeted Fatah members’ homes, without causing injuries. The ceremony would have been the first official commemoration of Arafat’s death allowed in the Strip since Hamas took power in 2007. Arafat died on Nov. 11, 2004 in France. The circumstances behind his death remain a mystery.
1,000 temporary houses to be installed in Shuja‘iyya
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Nov – The Gaza-based Palestinian minister of public works and housing and the ambassador of Turkey to Palestine Mustafa Sarnic on Monday laid the cornerstone of a project to temporarily accommodate 1,000 displaced families in Shuja‘iyya neighborhood in Gaza City. The project will be funded by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency TIKA. President of TIKA Serdar Cam was present at the ceremony. After thanking the government and people of Turkey, al-Hasayna said that 1,000 temporary houses would be installed in conformity with the best standards. “Such a model Gaza has never seen before,” he added, noting that all the needed infrastructure will be prepared before installing the temporary houses. Turkish ambassador Mustafa Sarnic delivered a short speech during the ceremony urging all “free people of the world to set real borders for the state of Palestine and completely end the siege imposed on Gaza.”
Explosives detonated outside homes in Gaza’s al-Shati camp
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Unidentified assailants detonated explosive devises outside the doors of three houses in al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza overnight Tuesday, a rights group said. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m., explosives rocked the camp, causing material damages but no injuries.The houses belong to Fayiz Hani Dola, Ghazi Mahmoud al-Hissi, and the sons of Ali Hasan al-Dabbagh. Gaza police arrived at the scene and opened investigations into the incidents, the PCHR statement added. On Friday, unidentified assailants targeted the homes and cars of Fatah leaders in the Strip, causing damages but no injuries. Fatah accused Hamas of conducting attacks, but the Islamist movement immediately condemned the bombings and denied involvement.
43 Gaza residents visit relatives jailed in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — A group of Palestinians from Gaza on Sunday visited their children jailed in Israeli prisons, a Red Cross spokeswoman said. Masada Seif told Ma‘an in Gaza City that 43 Palestinians including nine children were allowed to visit their jailed relatives in Israel’s Eshel prison in Beersheba. She added that Gaza prisoners in Israeli custody were denied family visits last week because crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip were closed. There are 450 Palestinian men from the Gaza Strip in Israeli jails. Israel denied Gaza prisoners family visits when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, but in July 2012, family visits resumed. Only very close relatives are allowed to visit Gazan prisoners in Israeli custody.
UN chief sets up Gaza inquiry
UNITED NATIONS (United States) (AFP) 10 Nov — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed a five-member panel to investigate Israeli attacks on UN shelters during the Gaza war and the discovery of Hamas weapons at UN sites. Ban announced plans to set up a probe during his visit to Gaza last month after describing Israeli shelling of UN-run schools as a “moral outrage”. Israel maintained that Hamas militants were using the schools to store weapons and denied it had deliberately targeted the facilities, which were being used as shelters by Palestinian civilians during the 50-day war. At least five UN facilities were hit during the conflict, killing scores of Palestinians including children, according to the UN refugee agency UNRWA. The inquiry led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert will “review and investigate a number of specific incidents in which death or injuries occurred at, and/or damage was done to United Nations premises,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said. It will focus on incidents from July 8 to August 26, he added.
Will Rasmeah Odeh go to prison because of a confession obtained through torture?
The Nation 4 Nov by Charlotte Silver — Forty years ago, the Israeli army tortured and imprisoned her. Now she’s being forced to relive the nightmare in a US court — Rasmea Odeh was one month old when her family fled from their home in Lifta, a village outside Jerusalem. By February 1948, the Zionist army had destroyed Lifta and expelled its residents as part of its strategy to take control of Jerusalem. Odeh grew up as a refugee in Ramallah in the West Bank, which she saw come under occupation by the Israeli army in 1967. When she was 21, in 1969, Odeh was arrested in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers at her home, and for twenty-five days her interrogators tortured her. She was beaten from head to toe with sticks and metal bars; her body, including genitalia and breasts, was subjected to electric shocks after she was forced to watch a male prisoner tortured to death in this very way. All the while, she was told she would die if she did not confess. But it was not until they brought in her father, threatening to force him to rape her, that she agreed to sign a confession stating that she had helped orchestrate two explosions in West Jerusalem that killed two civilians. Even then, her torturers raped her with a thick wooden stick. Standing before a military court less than one month later, Odeh renounced the confession. But the panel of judges ignored that, and Odeh was sentenced to ten years plus life in prison. Ten years later, she was released in a prisoner exchange, along with seventy-five other Palestinians. That same year, in 1979, Odeh traveled to Geneva, where she described to the United Nations precisely how she came to be convicted of terrorism by Israel. In the years following, Odeh lived in Lebanon and Jordan, where she obtained a law degree. In 1995 she immigrated to the United States, joining her brother and father, both US citizens, and the large Arab-American communities in Detroit and, later, Chicago. Here Rasmea Odeh would continue the work she began as a young woman: working with other Arab women to organize around principles of social and economic justice. She became the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in 2007, having established in the previous year the Arab Women’s Committee, through which she helped Arabic-speaking immigrants learn English and acclimate to their lives in the American Midwest. In May 2013, at age 66, Odeh was given the Mosaic Award for Outstanding Community Leadership from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, an association of cultural centers and ethnic museums in the Chicago area.
Defense promises to appeal guilty verdict against Rasmea Odeh
Electronic Intifada 11 Nov by Charlotte Silver — After less than two hours of deliberation, a Detroit federal courthouse jury reached a guilty verdict today in the government’s case against Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh. The case against Odeh centered on her alleged failure to disclose on her US immigration papers her conviction in an Israeli military court in 1969. Dozens of supporters of Odeh had driven from Chicago through the night to be at the courthouse today for the announcement of the verdict. As the jurors read their guilty votes, many of those seated in the gallery dropped their heads to their hands. Prior to bringing the jury into the courtroom, Judge Gershwin Drain had admonished those in the gallery not to make any reaction to the verdict. The defense intends to file an appeal of the verdict as soon as sentencing is completed several weeks from now. Judge endorses verdict After the verdict was read, Judge Drain said, “I don’t normally comment on verdicts, but in this case I will: I think it’s a fair and reasonable one based on the evidence that came in.” Lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada that he had never heard a judge comment on a jury’s verdict before. “That’s not his job,” Deutsch remarked. “But it is a window into his whole thinking into this trial.” … “Jury kept in ignorance” Judge Drain had told lawyers that the jury was interested in speaking to them after the hearing. However, after Deutsch exited the courthouse, he told the gathering of Odeh’s supporters that the jurors did not wish to speak to the defense at all after they had spoken with the government attorneys for thirty minutes. “That’s the kind of jury we had: they were kept ignorant of 75 percent of our defense and then they didn’t even want to hear from us at the end,” Deutsch told the crowd over a bullhorn….
After death threats, Palestinian food-serving restaurant closes
Haaretz 10 Nov — Conflict Kitchen in Pennsylvania serves cuisine only from countries with which the United States is – as the name suggests – in conflict — A Pennsylvania restaurant serving Palestinian food that is quite literally wrapped in Palestinian messages has closed until further notice after receiving death threats, the restaurant announced over the weekend. “We have received a letter today containing death threats and we will be closed until the credibility of the letter can be established by the Pittsburgh police,” Conflict Kitchen announced on its Facebook page Saturday. “We hope to reopen shortly.” The letter was delivered to Pittsburg police, which later notified the restaurant, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s messed up,” Massachusetts resident Zach Phillips said in a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “You do a good thing by bringing attention to foreign foods and cultures to people here.”
Palestinian leader accuses Israel of religious war
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 12 Nov by Mohammed Daraghmeh & Josef Federman — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Tuesday of leading the region toward a “religious war,” saying frequent visits by Jewish worshipers to a site sacred to both Islam and Judaism are fueling clashes that have raised fears of a widespread outbreak of fighting. The accusation drew a sharp response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Abbas was making matters worse. “Instead of calming tempers, he is inflaming them. Instead of educating his people for peace, Abu Mazen is educating them for terror attacks,” Netanyahu said in a nationally televised address, referring to Abbas. After meeting his Security Cabinet for several hours, Netanyahu also said security forces had been bolstered, and that he would begin imposing tough measures against violent demonstrators. Much of the recent unrest has stemmed from tensions surrounding the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
From jail, Barghouthi urges ‘armed resistance’
RAMALLAH (AFP) 11 Nov – Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi urged the Palestinian leadership to give its backing to “armed resistance” against Israel in a letter published Tuesday as a wave of violence surged. The call came after months of clashes in and around annexed East Jerusalem and a growing number of deadly Palestinian attacks by lone individuals. In a letter to mark 10 years since the death of veteran leader Yasser Arafat, Barghouthi said that “choosing global and armed resistance” was being “faithful to Arafat’s legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs.” Barghouthi, who Israeli authorities say led the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005, wrote the letter from his cell in Israel’s Hadarim prison where he is serving five life sentences for alleged involvement in attacks on Israeli targets. A senior figure within the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, Barghouthi was arrested in 2002 and sentenced two years later. Barghouthi has said he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in recent years has thrown his support behind peaceful resistance. He still wields huge influence from inside prison and is considered the only serious challenger to Abbas as president, with surveys regularly naming him as favorite to win elections should he be released from jail. “It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier,” he wrote … “The Palestinian Authority must review its priorities and its mission … and put an immediate end to security cooperation which is only strengthening the occupier,” he said.
Netanyahu ‘invites’ Arab protesters to move to Palestinian Authority
Haaretz 10 Nov by Jonathan Lis — Responding to the Tel Aviv terror attack, both the prime minister and foreign minister blame the ‘incitement’ of the Palestinian Authority — Israeli Arabs who demonstrate against Israel can “move to the Palestinian Authority or Gaza,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday in response to the terror attack in Tel Aviv earlier in the day. “To all those who demonstrate against Israel and in favor of a Palestinian state, I say something simple: I invite you to move there; we won’t give you any problem,” Netanyahu said, during a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction. Riots rocked the northern village of Kafr Kana on the weekend following the death of an Israeli Arab man who was shot by the police. Much of the Israeli Arab sector observed a general strike on SUnday in response to the shooting. Netanyahu also promised to “fight the incitement led by the Palestinian Authority” and to “take determined action against the rioters who call for the destruction of Israel.”
Rabbi David Yosef writes to Netanyahu on closing the area of the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors
Middle East Monitor 11 Nov — The following is the text of the letter by Rabbi David Yosef, Head of Beit Hamidrash “Yahavei Da’at” and member of the Council of Torah Sages (Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah), to Benjamin Netanyahu. The letter was written on November 9th, 2014. “Pursuant to the Halacha Ruling publicised last week by HaGaon HaRav Yitzhak Yosef Shalita regarding the prohibition against entrance to the Temple Mount in our time, I turn your attention to the response by my father and teacher, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of blessed and pious memory, in his book of questions and responses in which he cites all the Torah Sages of all generations proving that the prohibition against entrance to the Temple Mount was well-known by all the people of Israel throughout all of the generations. The great rabbis of Israel ruled that the prohibition against entrance to the Temple Mount in our time is regarded in the Torah as “karet” (for the sake of comparison one who enters the Temple Mount is like one who eats on Yom Kippur) … Entrance to the area of the Temple Mount is all the more prohibited by Jewish law for so-called “praying” and the prayer of that worshiper is an abomination that does not bless the Lord but rather curses Him. In light of the above, I turn to you with the demand to close the entire area of the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors and not to allow yourself to be deceived by a bizarre and extremist minority that makes all kinds of “messianic” claims using Jewish law in vain….
Sky eyes: Spy balloons give Israel intelligence edge in West Bank
RT 10 Nov — Israel has deployed surveillance balloons in the West Bank to give security forces greater intelligence capabilities. They can transmit information in real time, meaning soldiers can be deployed in minutes if a situation arises. The West Bank has suffered from violence in recent weeks after Israel imposed entry restrictions on the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam. The aerostats, which have previously been deployed in Gaza, will give security forces a better idea of what is happening on the ground … One of the main advantages of the balloons is the range of visibility they can provide. Balloon Company Commander Lt. Orel described how effective they proved to be during Israel’s incursion into Gaza over the summer, saying, “The enemy has no idea how much we can see.” … The vast majority of the balloon operators are women. Thirteen aerostats were deployed during Operation Protective Edge over the summer, while none have been lost while carrying out their missions.
Photos: Palestinian activists destroy section of apartheid wall
BEIT HANINA, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Ramallah Team) 9 Nov — Yesterday, to mark the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall today, a direct action took place in Beit Hanina, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem. ISM and international volunteers supported the Palestinian-led action, which involved demolishing a section of the Apartheid wall using a sledge hammer and a pick-axe. In an International Court of Justice decision in 2004, the Apartheid wall was declared illegal and in direct contravention of international law.
Court extends remand of civil servants union speaker
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Speaker of the Palestinian union of civil servants Bassam Zakarneh has been hospitalized after a sudden illness while in Palestinian Authority custody, medics said. Zakarneh needs a catheter surgery, they said. A Palestinian court on Tuesday extended the remand of Zakarana for 15 more days for further investigation. He was arrested upon a warrant by the President Mahmoud Abbas’ bureau based on a statement which said the union of civil servants was an illegal body established without legal basis. The presidential statement said that the union continued to operate despite warnings, which “resulted in harm to state properties and to the interests of homeland and citizens.”
UN envoy recruiting support for vote to end occupation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Nov – Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour is still trying to convince member states of the Security Council to vote in favor of a draft resolution seeking to set a timeframe for ending the Israeli occupation by 2016. Mansour is involved in talks with four European states over the wording of the draft resolution Palestine is set to submit to the UN Security Council, he told Ma’an Sunday evening. France, he added, is negotiating on behalf of Britain, Luxemburg, and Lithuania. Asked about the United States’ opposition to the resolution, Mansour said Palestine was adamant to submit the draft resolution. “In case the US vetoes the resolution, we will take it to the UN General Assembly, and the State of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court seeking to punish the occupation leaders.”
Israeli delegation arrives at Cairo airport
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — Egyptian sources at the Cairo International Airport said Monday that an Israeli delegation arrived in Egypt Monday afternoon. Members of the Egyptian intelligence received the delegation at the airport, sources told Ma‘an. They added that the Israeli security delegation will meet Egyptian national security officials to discuss developments in the Gaza Strip, the Sinai situation and to prepare for the next indirect negotiation session with Palestinian factions. An Egyptian security official demanded that the Fatah and Hamas movements to overcome their current crisis in the coming few hours, and to “take the chance of indirect negotiations with Israel for the national good.”
Video: German politician hides in toilet from truth about Israel
Electronic Intifada 11 Nov by Ali Abunimah — Author Max Blumenthal had one goal in mind when he went to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, in Berlin on Monday. He wanted to show a photograph of the al-Kilani family – German citizens killed by an Israeli bomb that struck the Gaza City home they were sheltering in last summer – to leading left-wing politician Gregor Gysi. On 21 July, Ibrahim al-Kilani and his wife Taghrid were killed along with their five children: Reem, 12, Sawsan, 11, Yasin, 9, Yasser, 8, and four-year-old Elias. Mahmoud Derbas, aged 16, was killed in the same strike. Blumenthal hoped to ask the lawmaker and influential figure in the center-left Die Linke (The Left) party why he and other German leaders had said and done nothing to bring justice for the al-Kilanis – and why Germany is instead providing Israel with new gunboats which will likely be used to attack Palestinian fishermen. Instead, as the video above shows, there was a bizarre spectacle as Gysi fled from Blumenthal and fellow journalist David Sheen and locked himself in a toilet. In the hours before the incident, Gysi was behind an unsuccessful effort to cancel Blumenthal’s and Sheen’s appearance at the Bundestag earlier that day….