Palestinian youth beaten by Israelis near Jerusalem Old City
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A Palestinian youth was attacked and beaten by a group of Jewish settlers at Damascus Gate near the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Friday night, a local political activist who was present at the time of the incident said. 22-year-old Ahmad Yaqub al-Ghoul lost consciousness as a result of bruising and bleeding he suffered after three Jewish settlers described as being in their 20s hit him with an iron bar and belts in the al-Musrara area just north of Damascus Gate. Head of the Fatah youth movement in Jerusalem, Ahmad al-Ghoul, said that he was walking with Yaqub at the time of the attack, which he described as completely unprovoked. “Three settlers blocked our car’s path. … We stopped at a red light in al-Musrara heading to Damascus Gate when they started hitting the car and cursing us. We could not continue our way since they were standing in front of the car.” “We stepped out of our car and they hit Ahmad on his eye. He fell down and his head hit a rock,” Al-Ghoul continued. He said that the police arrived in the area but detained their companion Fadi Maragha and took him for interrogation. Al-Ghoul said that two of the settlers were also detained, but that the settlers claimed that the Palestinian youths had launched the attack. Ahmad Yaqub al-Ghoul was taken to a hospital for treatment, where his condition was said to be moderate.
Israelis attack Palestinian youth in Jerusalem, police say
AP 24 Nov –Three young Israelis attacked a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem, police said Monday. Spokeswoman Luba Samri said the unidentified youth is in good condition in a Jerusalem hospital after Monday’s attack, and that police are investigating the incident. The attack occurred near the Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, at the northern end of the capital, according to Israeli media reports.
Palestinian dies in explosion in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A Palestinian died on Sunday of injuries sustained after ordnance left by Israeli army exploded in Bardala village in the Jordan Valley. Witnesses said Ahmad Abd al-Rahman al-Sheikh, 44, suffered injuries in the head and chest after the ordnance exploded while he was grazing his sheep. He was taken to an Israeli hospital in critical condition, where he later died of his wounds. Residents said the Israeli army performed drills in the area two days earlier. However, an Israeli army representative denied that any drill took place in the area during this time. The official said the man was transferred from a military checkpoint to Rambam hospital by helicopter.
Palestinian pharmacist injured after being hit by Israeli stun grenade
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A Palestinian pharmacist sustained a leg injury after Israeli forces fired a stun grenade at him in the Shu‘fat neighborhood of East Jerusalem late Saturday, witnesses said. Locals said Thaer Yaghmour, a man in his forties, surprised Israeli officers, who fired a stun grenade at him. There were no clashes going on in the area at the time, witnesses said. Yaghmour was taken to the hospital by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance.
Woman detained in Jerusalem for ‘attempting to stab soldier’
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces late Sunday detained a Palestinian woman for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at Shu‘fat refugee camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem. Addameer lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said Israeli forces detained the woman and took her for interrogation in the al-Maskobiya detention center. Th head of the families of Jerusalem detainees Amjad Abu Asab said the woman was identified as Shuroq Ayman Ratib Abu Ter, 21, and is a mother of one.
Israeli breaks into Silwan home, pepper sprays Palestinian woman
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — An Israeli woman broke into a Palestinian home in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday and attacked a Palestinian woman with pepper spray while she was sleeping, family told Ma‘an. Resident Khalid Abu Hadwan told Ma‘an that an “extremist” Jewish woman broke into his family home and attacked his mother Nima Abu Hadwan, 57. “As my brother Muhammad heard my mother screaming, he tried to chase the extremist woman, who fled the scene to the Western Wall, but Israeli police denied him access to the place,” Hadwan said. Israeli police arrived at the Hadwan family home as the woman was being taken to the hospital. Family members said the family would file a complaint to the Israeli police, saying that the officers present in the area turned a blind eye to the attack.
Israelis attack Arab taxi driver in Bnei Brak, claim he tried to hit 2
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 23 Nov – A Palestinian taxi driver from Kafr Qasim city near Tel Aviv in central Israel says he was attacked by 17 Israelis in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Bnei Brak after two of them claimed he tried to run them over. A Ma‘an reporter said the driver told Israeli police he had parked his taxi in front of a hospital to pick up two Israeli female nurses who called him. He added that two young Israeli men came and started to shout at him accusing him of trying to run them over. One of the nurses got out of the taxi and shouted “you are lying.” Shortly after that, 15 other Israelis arrived and attacked the taxi swearing at the driver. The taxi sustained damage. Israeli police say they are investigating the incident.
Israeli man apprehended after trying to attack Palestinian workers
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Nov — The Israeli Police apprehended, Friday, an Israeli man in Hadera city (al-Khdeira), in the Haifa District, after entering a restaurant carrying a knife, and threatened to kill Palestinian workers. The man first came to the restaurant and started shouting at the Palestinian workers, and threatened to harm them. They then started shouting at the Israeli owners, insulting them for “hiring Arabs”, and they asked him to leave. He left the restaurant, but returned to the building nearly thirty minutes later, this time carrying a knife. He started waving his knife around, especially close to the Palestinian workers, and threatened to kill them. One of the workers managed to subdue the assailant, and removed his knife. The police were called to the scene, apprehended the man, and took him to their station in the city for interrogation.
Israeli military beat and detain young men in Hebron
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM Khalil Team) 23 Nov — Yesterday evening[Sat 22] Israeli forces beat and detained young Palestinians on Tel Rumeida hill in al-Khalil (Hebron). A twenty-two-year-old man was taken from the scene by an ambulance. Four others between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four were handcuffed and detained in a military compound, where they were held for about half an hour and questioned by police. When ISM activists arrived, Israeli soldiers were already swarming the scene, surrounding the injured man and taking the four detained Palestinians into the closed compound. At least thirty heavily armed soldiers stood guarding the compound and occupying the street. Soldiers’ stories were contradictory, some said the youths had thrown a Molotov cocktail, others claimed they had been throwing stones. Though they purported to have evidence, the Israeli forces could produce none. The father of one of the young men the soldiers had detained attempted to see his son, but was denied by the soldiers. A Palestinian contact at the scene explained that the man’s other son, the brother of the man arrested, had been shot in the head at age eighteen by Israeli soldiers and suffered brain damage as a result. The father hurled vitriol at the soldiers standing around the compound, cursing them and the Israeli occupation vividly in Arabic. “You shot my other son, now you want to kill him [the son who was detained]!” ….
Israeli settlers torch Palestinian home near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian home northeast of Ramallah early Sunday, an official told Ma‘an. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a group of extremist settlers raided the village of Khirbet Abu Falah and torched the home of Abd al-Karim Hussein Hamayil. The settlers threw a fire bomb into the house through a window before fleeing the scene, Daghlas said. He said Hamayil’s widow [Huda Abu Ghani] and her three daughters were inside the house at the time of the attack. A number of rooms were torched, but no injuries were reported. The settlers also spray-painted “death to Arabs” and “vengeance” on the house in Hebrew. Daghlas added that the settlers first attacked the house with tear gas and stun grenades before attempting to break in, without providing further details. Israeli police said forensic investigators and members of the nationalistic crime unit were at the scene. “It is a two-story house and the fire caused major damage to the ground floor,” spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
PHOTOS: Palestinian home set ablaze in overnight attack
972 blog 23 Nov Text by Yael Marom Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org — Residents of Khirbet Abu Falah, near Ramallah, reported Sunday morning that settlers set a house in their village on fire, while a 50-year-old Huda Abu Ghani was inside. No one was injured, although the building was heavily damaged. The words “we will get revenge” and “price tag” were found spray painted on the walls of the house. At approximately 3 a.m. Abu Ghani woke up to the sound of someone trying to break into her house. She then heard voices outside speaking in Hebrew, followed by the shattering of windows. After a failed attempt at breaking in, the attackers allegedly spilled flammable liquid and lit the house on fire.
Three shot with live ammunition during Nabi Saleh protest
NABI SALEH, Occupied Palestine (ISM Ramallah Team) 22 Nov — Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians participating in a weekly Friday demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers fired .22 caliber bullets, a form of live ammunition which has maimed and killed multiple Palestinians, even as Israel continues to claim it as a “less lethal” way of assaulting demonstrators. Yesterday at noon between forty and fifty Palestinians, Israelis, international activists and journalists marched down from the center of Nabi Saleh towards a water spring stolen by a nearby illegal settlement. The Israeli forces awaited them down the road with two military jeeps and a police jeep. Some youth threw stones towards the military vehicles. Soldiers and police fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators as the group walked down the road … In addition to continuing to fire rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas, soldiers also began to shoot .22 live ammunition. Two seventeen-year-old boys were shot while throwing stones, one in the thigh and one in both the hand and foot. One Israeli soldier fired at a child under the age of twelve as the boy was running away up the hill beside the road. Nariman Tamimi, a thirty-eight-year-old woman from the village, was shot in the thigh at close range with a .22 bullet. Israeli soldiers shot her in front of her children and family, driving away and leaving her in the road. She was taken away for medical treatment, where she underwent surgery, and currently remains in hospital.
Court actions / Arrests
Officer accused of killing Palestinian indicted for manslaughter, maintains innocence
Ynet 23 Nov by Aviel Magnezi — Jerusalem District’s state attorney filed an indictment against the Border Guard officer who shot a Palestinian to death in May 2014 during Nakba Day clashes in Beitunia. The indictment charges the officer with manslaughter, not with murder – as previously suspected – drawing criticism from the boy’s father, who said the evidence showed the killing was premeditated. The state attorney asked the suspect remain in custody until the end of the legal proceedings. According to the officer’s lawyer, his client was not involved in the actual shooting in question: “No only did the defendant not kill (the Palestinian youth), he didn’t even shoot. We believe that he will be cleared of the (manslaughter) charge.” He cited technical problems with the forensic evidence. Nadim Nuwara, 17, was shot during a demonstration in May at which Palestinians hurled stones at IDF forces in the West Bank. A second teenage protester was killed there but Israel has made no arrest in that case, citing lack of evidence as an autopsy was not carried out … The accused was arrested on Nov. 12 and his name has not been released. An indictment filed at Jerusalem District Court said the policeman had slipped a live bullet into his ammunition clip, which was meant to hold only non-lethal blank rounds with which to propel rubber bullets mounted separately on the rifle muzzle. “The defendant used the blanks magazine so that his live fire, as opposed to rubber-bullet fire, would not be observed,” the indictment said, adding that he had targeted Nuwara’s torso “with the intent of causing him grave injury, and while anticipating the possibility that he would cause his death”. Manslaughter, a charge associated with unintentional killings, carries a maximum 20-year prison term in Israel though judges can hand down lighter sentences. Murder usually carries a life term.
Israeli forces release brother of synagogue attacker
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces early Sunday released Muawiya Abu Jabal, the brother of one of the Palestinians shot dead after attacking a synagogue in Jerusalem last Tuesday, a Ma‘an reporter said. Muawiya, 42, was arrested along with eight other members of the Abu Jabal family on the day of the attack, which left four Israeli civilians and a police officer dead. He was the last of the family members to be released. Israeli authorities have not yet returned the bodies of Ghassan and his cousin Uday for burial.
Palestinian pathologist refuses to be questioned by Israeli police
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov – The director of Al-Quds University’s Institute of Forensic Medicine on Sunday refused to go to Israel’s Russian Compound interrogation center in Jerusalem for questioning. Dr. Sabir al-Aloul told Ma‘an that the summons he received from Israeli police “is illegal and unprofessional.” Pathologists can be summoned by a court or by district attorney but not by police for interrogation. He says he believes Israeli police summoned him for questioning related to his participation in the autopsy of the Palestinian bus driver Yusuf al-Ramouni who was found hanged to death in a bus in Jerusalem. “After I participated in the autopsy of al-Ramouni, I wrote a report and handed it to the Palestinian minister of health in accordance with legal protocol an hour before the victim’s body was buried.” The pathologist confirmed that he worded his report without being “under pressure.” Asked about Israeli claims that he signed a report by the Israeli Institute of Forensic medicine in Abu Kabir which confirmed that al-Ramouni committed suicide, the Palestinian pathologist said: “I haven’t signed any reports in Israel.” He added that “usually every pathologist who attends an autopsy writes a separate report of his own.”
Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Nov — Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians in overnight arrest raids in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Palestinian security officials and Israel’s army said. Israeli soldiers raided Beit Awwa in Hebron and detained Walid Abu al-Ghallasi, Yusuf al-Jamal and Uday Masalmah. Witnesses said Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods in Hebron city and set up military checkpoints at entrances to the nearby towns of Halhul and Sa‘ir. Adel Abd al-Jabbar Dweikat, 26, was detained in Nablus, while Mahmoud Abdullah Dari and Uday Auri were detained in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya. In Jabal al-Mukabbir, Zeid Abed Rabbo Khalayla, 22, and Omar Hasan Hijazi, 21, were arrested while Hasan Samir Khalfawi, 18, and another teenager Majd Gheith were detained from their homes in Silwan and the Old City.
IDF trainer: ‘No need to resuscitate Palestinians’
972mag 23 Nov by Haggai Matar — An IDF medic was surprised to hear two new orders given by his superiors: only Jews are worthy of resuscitation, and that attackers who pose no threat should be shot dead — New orders in the Israeli army? D., a medic in the infantry, was surprised last week to find out during training for an operation in the occupied territories that at least two orders typically given to soldiers have been refreshed. “During the refresher course the instructor, who works as a medic on the base, told us that the orders of the IDF are not to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to people we do not know. When asked about it he said that it basically means that we do not need to resuscitate Palestinians,” says D., who took part in the course at the Lakhish base in southern Israel. D. has since then left for duty in the West Bank … Furthermore over the course of the week, D. participated in a refresher on the rules of engagement, where he said he was given permission to kill people who pose no threat. “They told us that the order regarding someone who stabs, ditches the knife and begins running is shoot to kill. The company commander said he doesn’t want anyone like that “to see a judge.” Did anyone protest or critique these orders? “The company seemed very bitter over the rules of engagement. The company commander almost apologized every time he forbade. So when he finally gave us permission to shoot an unarmed terrorist, most of the company was okay with that.” It was only two weeks ago that Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich gave a similar order to Israeli Police in the wake of the vehicular attack in Sheikh Jarrah. Two days later police shot Kheir Hamdan to death in Kafr Kanna.
Druze IDF soldier denied entry to northern Israeli pub
Ynet 24 Nov by Goel Beno — Ran Abu Dolah fought during Operation Protective Edge and injured by an anti-tank missile but was not allowed entry to a pub in northern Israel over the weekend because he is not Jewish, ‘Apparently, they are good enough to fight in Gaza but not to enter a pub,’ says a friend of Dolah — Dolah is a 23-year-old from Yarka, a Druze village in northern Israel that is located northeast of Acre. Dolah was drafted into the IDF after he completed a prestigious program sponsored by the IDF, which pays for studies of promising soldiers in return for an extended military service in a specialized field. Dolah studied electronic and electrical engineering and served in the esteemed Golani Brigade in the IDF. During Operation Protective Edge, Dolah entered Gaza with his unit directly into the battle stricken city of Sajaiya where 13 IDF soldiers were killed. On the 27th of July, Dolah was wounded by a Hamas anti-tank missile and suffered a fractured pelvis and herniated disc for which he is still undergoing rehabilitative treatment … “They must decide – if we are truly speaking of a lifelong covenant between Jews and Druze in this country, then it must be manifested in life and not only in death,” said Dolah.
Haaretz editorial: When it comes to racism on the football field, the ball is in the court’s hands
23 Nov — There is no value to a sport, which is supposed to be a symbol of equality and fraternity, when it is used to smash those very values — The symbol of the outlawed Kahane Chai movement being held aloft by Beitar Jerusalem fans during a match against Bnei Sakhnin. Photo by Hagai Aharon / Jini — Friday afternoon in Tel Aviv: Hundreds of fans of the Bnei Yehuda soccer team are standing on the concrete bleachers, shouting “Death to Arabs!” They subsequently focus their racist invective against two players from the opposing Bnei Lod team – Salim Tuama and Mahmoud Abbas. When the latter was injured and taken off the pitch, they spat at him and threw bags of sunflower seeds and drinking cups at him. Then another target was selected: Bnei Lod’s chairman, Mohammed Azabarga. This all happened during a soccer game in the National League (second division), with security guards doing nothing to stop the odious show of racism. Bnei Yehuda’s chairman, Moshe Damaio, did say that he was “deeply ashamed of what happened … the spectators acted disgracefully,” while the Israel Football Association condemned what it called “the ugly scenes and sounds.” Also, it announced it would act “in every legal and regulatory way to root out this threat.” … Last Thursday, the start of a real solution to the problem seemed in the offing. The Tel Aviv District Prosecutor’s Office decided to indict three Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer fans for racist epithets against a player on their team, Maharan Radi. The three stand accused of breaking clause 15 in the law against violence in sports, which prohibits racist statements. This decision should be expanded.
Arab footballers beat Jewish rivals 1-0 in tense grudge match
AFP 23 Nov — Under the eyes of hundreds of police and private security guards the Israeli premier league’s only Arab club beat mainly-Jewish rivals Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 on Sunday. Despite on-pitch brawling between Beitar and Bnei Sakhnin players in the seventh minute of extra time, police reported only minor incidents off the field. Police originally banned the game from being held in the Arab town of Sakhnin due to safety concerns after a series of deadly attacks in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. There is a history of racist violence by some Beitar supporters who have clashed with Sakhnin fans in the past. But on Friday they rescinded the ban, saying that security had been “significantly” improved at Bnei’s Doha Stadium, which was built with millions of dollars in donations from Qatar. On Sunday night police deployed 700 officers in and around the stadium, including paramilitary border police and riot squads, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement. Another 200 private security guards patrolled the ground, where 5,000 spectators attended, he said.
The future of Dr. A., an Israeli Arab physician, is the future of Israel / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 23 Nov — When Ashkelon says to fire all its Arab construction workers only because of their origin, the day is coming when the hospitals will dismiss Arab doctors. Some Israelis have wanted to do this for a long time now — She hides her name. She wears an ID card around her neck as required but it’s usually stuffed in her pocket, seemingly carelessly. Dr. A., a resident in one of the leading medical centers in the center of the country, goes around her department with an unclear identity. She was accepted for her residency in a highly desirable specialty, under a well-known and widely respected department head, and yet she feels it would be better if she concealed her name. Her accent doesn’t give up her identity, her beauty and charm are captivating, and she makes her rounds among the beds of the sick, caring for them devotedly and expertly, usually keeping her secret to herself. Dr. A. should be an all-Israeli physician. She was educated at Jewish schools, her parents live in a wealthy Jewish community, Hebrew is her first language. Her sister is also a resident in a large hospital in central Israel and the two of them share an apartment in old north Tel Aviv. Their little sister is studying medicine at the Technion in Haifa. Their parents did everything so their children would succeed in their country. When I met her for the first time by chance in the hallway of her department, she burst out crying. It was at the height of Operation Protective Edge and she was dismayed over the scenes from Gaza, torn between her people and her country. Dr. A. never lost her dignity and her identity, and she wants to live here, in her country. Her chances of doing so are disappearing. It seems to me that she knows it. Meanwhile, she hides her name to save herself the despicable comments of patients and their families.
Jerusalem posters call to ban Arab workers
972mag 22 Nov by Mairav Zonszein — Posters reading “Jews only employ Jews” were spotted near the entrance to Jerusalem Friday, three days after two Palestinians killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Above the slogan in smaller letters, at the top of the Israeli flag-shaped poster, it reads: “Biblical law determines” and at the bottom it reads: “Did you know?! The terrorists that committed the massacre in Har Nof – were employed in the synagogue and its surroundings.” One of the attackers indeed was reported to have worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue. Whoever crafted the racist message grounded it in both religious scripture and practical empiricism. Another poster found in the same area reads: “Employed an Arab? You endangered a Jew!” These messages echo the decision by the mayor of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon a day earlier to ban Israeli Arab construction workers from jobs in and around schools in the name of security. The legality of his decision is in question and politicians from across the right-wing spectrum were quick to denounce the move as unacceptable. Prime Minister Netanyahu said discrimination won’t be tolerated, while Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett said that 99.9 percent of Israeli Arab citizens are loyal (read: reliable cheap labor) … a poll by Israel’s Channel 10 showed that 58 percent of Israelis supported the move (with 32 percent against), and several Ashkelon residents told TV reporters they are in favor. One young mother said she felt the move made her feel safer dropping her kids off at school, adding: “I have no problem with the Arab sector. Some of them are perfectly fine.” Another said, “I’d rather be racist than be a victim.”
Ashkelon: Arab workers to return, but children will not
Ynet 23 Nov by Matan Tzuri — Arab employees working to fortify kindergartens in Ashkelon will return to their construction projects while the children attending those classes would stay at nearby community centers, according to a weekend decision by the city’s mayor, Itamar Shimoni. Last week, Shimoni drew condemnations from across the aisle when he decided to limit employment of Arabs in the city. The chain of events began with a request from the parents of children who attend three local kindergartens, who complained that Arab workers were constructing shelters in education centers. Shimoni decided to halt the construction projects in light of the mounting tensions across the country, but did not manage to square the need for building the shelter – without the Arab employees. An inquiry by Home Front Command discovered that the aforementioned kindergartens had only a week of construction work remaining. According to a municipal proposal, to be presented to parents Sunday evening, their children will spend that period in nearby community centers.
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israel revokes residency of Palestinian over 2001 attack
AFP 23 Sept — Israel’s interior ministry on Sunday revoked the residency of a Palestinian convicted of driving a suicide bomber to a Tel Aviv nightclub [the Dolphinarium] where he killed 21 people in 2001. The move came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers a bill to rescind both the residency and social benefits of any Palestinian resident in Israel or annexed east Jerusalem involved in attacks on Israelis, reports said. The proposed legislation would reportedly extend the measures to family members as well. In a statement, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed he had canceled the permanent residence of Mahmud Nadi, who served a 10 year prison sentence for his part in the 2001 bombing. Nadi was convicted of being an accomplice to murder, helping cause serious injury and helping someone to stay in Israel illegally. The decision to strip him of his residency was communicated to him in a letter sent by Erdan, which gave no explanation of the timing of the move. “In these circumstances, given the severity of your actions and the flagrant breach of trust as a resident of Israel… I have decided to make use of my authority to cancel your permanent residency in Israel,” Erdan wrote. The decision involves cancellation of Nadi’s entry in the population registry and the revocation of his blue Israeli ID card, and means he will no longer be eligible to receive any social benefits, such as national insurance or health insurance … Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem have residency rights but not Israeli citizenship. A very small number of Arab residents of Israel are not citizens but do have residency rights.
PM may revoke East Jerusalem terrorists’ families’ residency
Jerusalem Post 22 Nov by Lahav Harkov & Daniel K. Eisenbud — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering revoking the permanent resident status of east Jerusalem terrorists and their associates, a source in the Prime Minister’s Office said Saturday night. Taking away resident status from terrorists and those who commit other nationalist crimes, such as incitement to harm the country, is one of several solutions Netanyahu is considering to deal with the recent wave of violence in which many of the terrorists have come from east Jerusalem where Arabs have permanent Israeli residence but not citizenship, the source said … Meanwhile, embattled Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said, during an interview on Channel 2’s Meet the Press that the government should strongly consider threatening to deport terrorists living in east Jerusalem. “The families of terrorists should know that this tool includes deportation [to the West Bank or Gaza] and the revocation of residency permits,” Aharonovitch said … Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also called for taking away terrorists’ residence status. “Today, whoever commits a suicide attack goes to ‘heaven.’ His family gets an allotment [from the Palestinian Authority] and they’re residents of Israel. We need to change the equation – destroy his house on the same day and not three months later and take away his [National Insurance] allotment and resident status,” he said, also appearing on Meet the Press. “We need to put Border Patrol forces in [Arab neighborhoods] permanently. Then I want to see the mother who sends his son [to be a terrorist] when she knows all that.” … Last week, MKs Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and David Tsur (Hatnua) submitted a bill with a similar purpose that was meant to deal with a lacuna in the law that allows the interior minister to withdraw the citizenship of convicted terrorists, but does not apply to permanent residents. … On Sunday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) plans to submit a bill that is meant to serve as an additional deterrent to potential terrorists. If his initiative becomes law, Israel no longer would return the bodies of terrorists who are killed while committing acts of terrorism. [this is not new, of course] “Our unfortunate experience shows us that terrorists’ families turn their bodies into a way of encouraging additional terrorist attacks,” Danon said.
Israeli forces seize a tractor, its truck, four water tanks, and three bases from Susiya village
SUSIYA, Occupied Palestine (Operation Dove) 22 Nov — On November 20th, the Israeli forces seized a tractor, its truck, four water tanks and three tanks’ bases from the Palestinian village of Susiya. In the early morning DCO [District Coordination Office] officers approached the Palestinian village to take pictures of the ongoing works to install four new water tanks. In the early afternoon DCO officers returned with Israeli army, police, two trucks, one of which was equipped with a mechanical arm. The tractor and its truck, that carried water cisterns and their bases, were seized with the accusation of being used for illegal works, since Palestinians didn’t have permissions to install new water tanks. Tanks and bases were seized without any previous issued demolition order under the pretext that they were not yet installed on the ground. Water tanks were geared of [equipped with?] filters to provide drinkable water and were donated to the Palestinian village because of the lack of drinkable water that affects all the South Hebron Hills area. The Palestinian village of Susiya is located in Area C, under Israeli military and civil administration, and it is surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Suseya, the outpost of Suseya’s Ancient Synagogue and the military base of Suseya North. Around the settlement and the military base there are 26 wells and water cisterns that Palestinians are forbidden to use even if they are on Palestinian private properties. Even more, the CO doesn’t allow Palestinian residents of Susiya to connect to Israeli Makorot Company’s water pipes that run right through the Palestinian village and bring water from the settlement of Suseya to the outpost of the Ancient Synagogue.
A West Bank water crisis for Palestinians only
972 blog 22 Nov by Stephanie Westbrook — When Israel’s national water company operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriates Palestinian water resources and controls the valves, is it any surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements? — Qarawat Bani Zeid is a small Palestinian town of 3,500 north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. There are no Israeli settlements in the immediate vicinity. The route of Israel’s separation wall does not run through the area and Qarawat is in Area A — under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. And yet, Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies manage to cut into everyday life. “Our biggest problem is water,” explained Sabri Arah, a member of the town council. Qarawat sits atop the Western Aquifer, the largest and most productive sub-basin of the Mountain Aquifer, the main groundwater source in the West Bank, yet 80 percent of the town’s taps are dry. “Water is pumped out before it arrives to the town,” noted Arah. The company pumping the water out is Mekorot, Israel’s national water company.
Israel spends annual $8k per settler in East Jerusalem
Haaretz 23 Nov by Nir Hasson — The Knesset Finance Committee recently approved an additional 20 million shekels ($5.2 million) to fund security in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, bringing the total spent in 2014 to more than 100 million shekels. According to Finance Ministry calculations, the cost of protecting each Jewish resident in these Palestinian neighborhoods is approximately 30,000 shekels a year. The Housing and Construction Ministry said the additional funds are a one-time increase meant to purchase more cameras and other advanced technology, thanks to which funding can be reduced in the coming years. The Housing Ministry has been funding security for settlers in East Jerusalem since the 1990s, through private security firms whose personnel protect compounds usually purchased by right-wing associations in the heart of densely populated Palestinian areas. The number of Jews living in these areas is estimated at less than 3,000.
Restriction on movement
Israeli police stop PM convoy en route to Ramallah
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli police early Sunday stopped the convoy of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as he was traveling from Tulkarem to Ramallah, an official said. A Palestinian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma‘an that Hamdallah’s convoy was held by Israeli police for about a half hour. Israeli police said that the convoy was stopped because it was speeding on the main road near the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli. But an official in Hamdallah’s office told Ma‘an that the convoy did not exceed the speed limit. “That was a baseless pretext by the Israeli occupation,” the official said. At any given time, there are about 100 permanent Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, while surprise flying checkpoints often number into the hundreds.
‘What is your religion?’ question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
Mondoweiss 23 Nov by Philip Weiss — Here’s a video I shot inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron on November 8. My traveling party had just run into another group of Americans and we started gabbing – ten students who were doing a year in Amman, Jordan, and had come over to Palestine to see the sights. Then these two women, both age 20, told us about being asked what their religion is by Israeli authorities– first at the border at Allenby Bridge, and then in Hebron, at the entrance to Shuhada Street. They’d never been asked that question by an authority before. The women are both Muslims, and when they said they were Muslim, they were not allowed to walk down Shuhada Street. Even though they had American passports. Shuhada Street is infamous because it’s an apartheid road. Jews can use it, but Palestinians can’t.[These two women are not of Palestinian descent]
Israeli army shooting blamed for Gaza death
Al Jazeera 23 Nov — Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian farmer near the border in northern Gaza in the first deadly shooting since an August truce ended a 50-day war, medics say. Ashraf al-Qudra, Gaza’s emergency services spokesman, identified the dead man on Sunday as Fadel Mohammed Halawa, 32, saying the bullet hit him in the back. He said the bullet appeared to have been fired from a nearby army watchtower at a man who was farming land near the border fence. One of Halawa’s relatives said he had been searching for songbirds, which nest in trees near the Israeli border and command high prices in Gaza markets. The Israeli army said two Palestinians had approached the border fence and had ignored calls to halt, prompting troops to fire warning shots in the air. “Once they didn’t comply, they fired towards their lower extremities. There was one hit,” a spokeswoman said. The army did not confirm the man’s death and had no comment on reports he was shot in the back.
Palestinian teen seriously injured, 2 arrested at Gaza border
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A Palestinian teenager was seriously injured and two others were arrested by Israeli forces near the Kerem Shalom crossing in the Gaza Strip. Medical sources said a Palestinian identified by his initials A.K., 17, was shot by Israeli forces near the crossing and taken to Abu Yusef Najjar hospital in a serious condition. Witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians who approached the border, injuring one, before the other two were detained. Israeli forces fired stun grenades in the area and performed thorough searches, they said.
Official: Egypt unable to open Rafah crossing
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 23 Nov – The Egyptian political leadership is coordinating with the country’s national security to try and work out a solution for more than 6,000 Palestinians stuck in Egypt due to the ongoing closure of the Rafah crossing. A high-profile Egyptian official told Ma‘an in Cairo Sunday that the dire security conditions in North Sinai district prevented the Egyptian authorities from opening the Rafah crossing. The source added that armed clashes and road ambushes along the road between Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid cities could pose real danger to Palestinian passengers. Egypt could open the Rafah crossing Wednesday and Thursday, the sources added.
In face of siege, Gaza man uses local resources to build home
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Rather than waiting for construction material to be allowed into the Strip, a displaced Palestinian man from Jabaliya in northern Gaza has recently built a house using limestone and sand. Mishref al-Irr lost his home when Israeli bombs destroyed it in Operation Cast Lead. He has not had the opportunity to have it rebuilt due to the Israeli siege on Gaza, which severely limits imports of construction material into the territory. With the help of a Palestinian architect, al-Irr recently decided to build a house with natural material instead of cement. The architect, Imad al-Khalidi, used limestone and sand to build al-Irr’s temporary home. “Houses that are built using limestone and sand are strong and hold for hundreds of years,” al-Khalidi said. He encouraged other Palestinians to use available resources to build shelters for those displaced by Israel’s war on the Strip, but not as a substitute for Gaza reconstruction, which has been promised by the international community. Al-Irr says the new home is not a permanent replacement for the one that was destroyed. “It is a place to keep out of the hot sun in summer and the cold in winter until our home is rebuilt,” al-Irr told Ma‘an. “Two more wars have passed and we are still waiting for our home to be rebuilt” with proper materials, he added.
UN: Israel, Palestinians agree on rebuilding homes in Gaza
VOA News 21 Nov — The United Nations says Israeli, Palestinian and U.N. officials have agreed on a deal that will facilitate the rebuilding of homes in the Gaza Strip. The U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East, Robert Serry, said on Friday that some 25,000 homeowners in Gaza will be able to access materials to repair their damaged houses. U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the Palestinian Government of National Consensus will make a separate announcement on the process to access building materials. Serry said the United Nations will try to help the Palestinian Government of National Consensus rebuild Gaza by providing financial support to homeowners. But he cautioned that existing resources are insufficient.
Minister: Construction material will enter Gaza next week
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh has announced that next week will see the second round of construction material and equipment entering the beleaguered Gaza Strip. The announcement comes only days after UN authorities in the besieged coastal enclave said that nearly 30,000 Palestinians were still living in temporary shelters in Gaza, even as days of rain was causing flooding and further hardship for thousands of families displaced by Israel’s summer assault. Al-Sheikh said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian authorities planned to ensure the import of heavy equipment such as bulldozers and buses into Gaza, and he called upon private businesses in Gaza submit their requests for access through official government agencies. Al-Sheikh said that the second phase of construction materials would be the biggest, and that materials would reach 24,000 families.
Report: Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians near Kerem Shalom
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces detained two Palestinian men near the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, Israeli media reported. The Hebrew-language news site Maariv said that the two were arrested for carrying a bomb. According to the report, an Israeli military patrol spotted two young men approaching the separation barrier near Kerem Shalom. As they crossed into Israeli territory, Israeli troops stopped them. The soldiers found that one of them was carrying a grenade, the Israeli website said. During the latest war on Gaza, sections of the barrier were damaged, and Israeli troops have intensified their patrols near these sections while engineering units repair them.
Hamas says PA responsible for Gaza security services
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A Hamas spokesman on Saturday said that Gaza’s security services are not under the control of Hamas, but the Palestinian national consensus government. Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that “Hamas has no relation to Gaza’s security services — (Prime Minister Rami) Hamdallah is the Minister of Internal Affairs and he should do his job.” Abu Zuhri called on Hamdallah to “stop avoiding his responsibilities.” Hamdallah had said Friday that Hamas was “the actual security authority in Gaza” and that the unity government could not work in Gaza given the “nervous security conditions there,” referring to recent mysterious bombings targeting Fatah members in the Strip. Fatah blamed Hamas for the attacks, which caused damages but no injuries, but the Islamist movement rejected the accusation and condemned the bombings.
Government passes controversial Jewish nationhood bill
Ynet 23 Nov by Moran Azulay — The government passed on Sunday the contentious Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, a controversial new bill which is threatening to tear the governing coalition apart, in a 14-7 vote, which saw the coalition split in its support for the legislation. All of Yesh Atid’s ministers voted against, as did Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, while all of the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Bayit Yehdui minister voted in favor. Culture Minister Limor Livnat abstained from the vote, and was the sole Likud minister not to follow the party line. The bill recognizes Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalizes Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation, and delists Arabic as an official language. The bill is expected to go to the Knesset later this week for its first reading, but its final form is likely to be more moderate. Arab rights groups call it racist, and the attorney general has expressed reservations. “This is a law that Ben-Gurion and Jabotinksy would have opposed,” Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said, slamming the proposed version of the bill, which is actually two different proposals being voted on one after the other. The cabinet debate took a turn for the dramatic with harsh tones, table slamming, and round-robin attacks from ministers Lapid, Livni, German, Piron, and Peri on Prime Minister Netanyahu for advancing the legislation. “You are proposing legislation which will ruin our democracy. You want a religious state.”….
FM: PLO postpones UN resolution on occupation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Nov — The PLO has postponed submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding the end of Israel’s occupation, having already passed several target dates for the procedure over the past two months. PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Ma‘an that the decision was made because the PLO is still lobbying to gain the support of nine security council members to ensure the vote passes. The resolution was also suspended because Iran nuclear talks are currently the top priority for Security Council permanent members. “The permanent member states have informed us that they would give priority to the Iranian issue not to the Palestinian statehood issue,” al-Maliki said. “We haven’t backed down on the resolution or cancelled it despite the international opposition and US threats.” The PLO will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council as soon as Iran nuclear talks have finished and the required political support has been obtained. The United States, in line with a decades-long policy, will likely veto any vote on Palestinian statehood.
PA adopts new system to force defaulters to pay bills
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) – The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority has authorized the Palestinian electricity company to start applying a “deed of release” system on consumers who do not pay their electricity bills … According to the new system, each consumer who do not pay his bills for three months will be given an official warning and after six months he will be referred to the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority. The PENA will then blacklist the defaulter and a list will be disseminated to all government institutions. Blacklisted defaulters will be denied all governmental transactions such as a driving license, vehicle registration, tax certificates among others, as long as they don’t obtain a “deed of release” from the electricity company proving that they have paid their bills. The Israeli electricity company says the Palestinian Authority’s debts have reached 1.8 billion shekels.
Israel’s security brass: Abbas blocking Palestinian uprising
Haaretz 24 Nov by Amos Harel — If you compare the declarations made in recent days by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers to the assessments of the heads of the security services, you might get the impression that each group is operating in its own alternative reality, one totally divorced from that the of other group. While Netanyahu and his ministers are describing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as bearing the primary responsibility for the recent outbreak of terror in Jerusalem, senior defense officials still see him as the primary hope for preventing this confrontation from spreading throughout the West Bank. After the Har Nof synagogue massacre last week, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett went so far as to call Abbas one of the greatest terrorists ever produced by the Palestinian people. Over the weekend, in a Channel 2 interview, Bennett called on Israel to stop talking about occupation and to launch an anti-terror offensive in Jerusalem and the territories. Bennett’s remarks about Abbas, like similar ones made by other ministers, were in sharp contrast to the declaration by Shin Bet security service head Yoram Cohen that Abbas is not encouraging terror, overtly or covertly.
Haniyeh phones Hamdallah for first time in weeks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — The deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday phoned prime minister Rami Hamdallah for the first time in weeks. A statement from Haniyeh’s office said several issues were discussed during the phone call. The call was the first in the last several weeks after tensions arose between the governments after a series of bombing that targeted the homes of Fatah leaders in Gaza.
Punitive Israeli house demolitions a ‘war crime’: HRW
JERUSALEM (AFP) 22 Nov — Human Rights Watch called on Israel Saturday to stop razing the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis, saying the practice can constitute a war crime. “Israel should impose an immediate moratorium on its policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis,” the New York-based group said, as the fate of three houses slated for demolition awaits a court ruling. “The policy, which Israeli officials claim is a deterrent, deliberately and unlawfully punishes people not accused of any wrongdoing. When carried out in occupied territory, including east Jerusalem, it amounts to collective punishment, a war crime.”
Chief rabbi: Stop allowing non-Jews to make aliyah
Ynet 3 Nov by Kobi Nachshoni — Almost nine million people from around the world are eligible for Israeli citizenship through the Law of Return, despite the fact they are not Jewish according to religious law, prompting the chief rabbi to demand the state’s law be mended. There are roughly 14 million Jews around the world, but over 23 million people eligible for citizenship, a new study claimed as the government authorized a massive overhaul for the conversion process. In wake of the study, Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau told Ynet that “we must change the Law of Return immediately so it will include only those who are Jewish according to the halacha. Israel can decide to be the third world’s welfare state, but as long as that decision has not been taken – it needs to stop allowing non-Jews to make Aliyah.” Rabbi Lau gives as an example which he says he is personally acquainted with: “Because of one Jewish grandfather who is buried in Moscow, over 73 people (his children and grandchildren) moved to Israel through the Law of Return.” According to the rabbi, the biggest threat this poses is inter-faith marriages.
Israeli forces raid home looking for Yatta man already in jail
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces raided the town of Yatta south of Hebron on Friday and handed a summons for interrogation to a local family for a man who has been incarcerated for the past three years, locals said. Local official Rateb al-Jubur said that Israeli forces raided the home of Omar Muhammad Suleiman Awwad, searched it, and delivered a notice for his son, Muhammad, to meet with Israeli intelligence for interrogation next Tuesday. The man’s son, however, is currently incarcerated, and has been in Israeli custody for the past three years. The incident suggested a potential disconnect between the Israeli prison authorities and intelligence records. [and last Wednesday soldiers questioned a woman about the whereabouts of her husband, Marwan Qawasmeh, although he had been killed by Israeli forces on 23 Sept]
Sisi: Egypt could send troops to future Palestinian state
AFP 23 Nov — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview published Sunday that he would be prepared to send troops to a future Palestinian state to help stabilize it … The Egyptian leader said he would send forces to a future Palestinian state in coordination with Israel and the Palestinian authority.”We are ready to send military forces into a Palestinian state,” he said. “We would help the local police and reassure the Israelis through our role as guarantor. Not forever, of course – for the time necessary to reestablish confidence. But first a Palestinian state must exist for troops to be sent.” Sisi said he had spoken of the idea with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Israeli Arab contestant eliminated from Arab Idol
Ynet 23 Nov by Roi Kais — Manal Mousa, the Israeli Arab who stoked controversy online over pro-Palestinian statements, was voted off leading singing competition — Manal Mousa, an Israeli contestant on the Arab world’s premier singing competition, was eliminated on Saturday’s live-performance episodes. The judges of Arab Idol were shocked by Mousa’s elimination, and she thanked them graciously for their support before turning to her political message. “I want to pass a message for the yellow journalism that fought me – I am Palestinian and Palestinian blood flows through me.” Seven other contestants remained after Mousa’s elimination, including another Israeli competitor Haitham Khalail. Hassem Yusuf, Mousa’s uncle, told Ynet after the show that she planned to return to Israeli within the next two days. Mousa, a 27-year-old resident of Deir Al-Assad in northern Israel, set off massive shockwaves with her statements during her time on Arab Idol, as she took to Facebook to demonstrate her pro-Palestinian credentials. Mousa called Khair Hamdan, the Kafr Kanna who was killed by Israeli police officers, a “martyr” and encouraged protests and demonstrations across the Arab sector … Following her remarks, former MK Ayoob Kara, a Druze politician who helped her get a chance to audition for the show, said he would not have supported her if he had known how she would behave … “…She told me unequivocally – I do not touch politics.”
Opinion / Analysis
Final round: Netanyahu vs Mohammed
Haaretz 21 Nov by Nehemia Shtrasler — The very policy of demolishing homes in East Jerusalem actually proves that Netanyahu and Ariel have succeeded in definitively dividing the city. — We all know that Israel is a model democracy. It treats all its citizens equally, and therefore, its leaders can run around the world and tell everyone that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. This week, the security forces destroyed the family home of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Shaludi perpetrated a terror attack on a light rail station in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the house demolished, along with the homes of the two terrorists who murdered worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood earlier this week. But what about Yosef Ben-David who, along with two minors, kidnapped teenaged Mohammed Abu Khdeir from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shoafat, beat him over the head, tied him up, poured gasoline over him and burned him alive? What about their home? After all, we were taught that in a democracy, there’s one law for everyone. About two months ago, the Israel Defense Forces razed the home of Ziad Awad, who is accused of murdering police officer Baruch Mizrahi. There wasn’t even a trial. But who needs a trial? Who needs a prosecutor and defense attorney? His family’s home is already gone. In this very same democracy, a settler from Yitzhar ran over two Palestinian girls about a month ago. One of them died. The settler fled the scene; he didn’t even offer any help. But two days later, the police issued a press statement saying this was an accident, not a terror attack. What an efficient police force! It didn’t waste its time investigating. The driver said he lost control of the car, but regained it after hitting the girls. Simple and logical. Why would he lie? After all, Yitzhar residents are known Arab-lovers.
Jerusalem has many reasons for unrest, not just Al-Aqsa
Haaretz 24 Nov by Amira Hass — A religious war? This explanation for the clashes and attacks in the capital ignores the facts that make Palestinian life there unbearable — we are afraid. “We” — this is everyone who doesn’t understand how the Israelis can think they can continue to rule over 4.5 million people against their will and abuse them day by day, minute by minute. And how the Israelis can ignore the existence of another 5 million of their brothers living in the diasporas, and treat 1.6 million of Israel’s citizens as if they were on probation. “We” are those who know that the details of this abusive rule are so numerous you can’t count or process them. “We” also know that the great majority of Jewish Israelis aren’t interested in the details, and even those who know them against their will aren’t interested. …we are told: “They are ingrates. They make trouble, they are murderers by nature. What, because of the neglect of their infrastructure they murder with butcher knives? Because of construction bans they run people over and kill them? Because of the revocation of their residency status and expulsion from the country they shoot fireworks at the police?” They ask: “What, they do this because of the very severe poverty, the provocative settlements in their neglected neighborhoods, the overcrowding in the houses, the demolition of houses built without building permits, the sewage sprayed by police on neighborhoods [‘containment’], the ban on political activity, the evictions from their homes because before 1948 the land was registered in the name of Jews? (Like the land and houses in the neighborhoods of Talbieh, Baka, Musrara, Ein Karem and so on belonged to Palestinians but are not returned to them?) “What, they do this because of the paving of a highway in the middle of their neighborhood in order to shorten Gush Etzion settlers’ travel time to Jerusalem. They throw stones at light-rail trains because they are cut off by a wall and fences and new laws from the rest of the West Bank?”
The unholy city / Uri Avnery
Gush Shalom 21 Nov — IN ITS long and checkered history, Jerusalem has been occupied by dozens of conquerors. Babylonians and Persians, Greeks and Romans, Mamluks and Turks, Britons and Jordanians – to mention just a few. The latest occupier is Israel, which conquered and annexed Jerusalem in 1967. I could have written “East Jerusalem” – but all of historical Jerusalem is in today’s East Jerusalem. All the other parts were built in the last 200 years by Zionist settlers, or are surrounding Arab villages which were arbitrarily joined to the huge area that is now called Jerusalem after its occupation.) This week, Jerusalem was in flames – again. Two youngsters from Jabel Mukaber, one of the Arab villages annexed to Jerusalem, entered a synagogue in the west of the city during morning prayers and killed four devout Jews, before themselves being killed by police. Jerusalem is called “the City of Peace”. This is a linguistic mistake. True, in antiquity it was called Salem, which sounds like peace, but Salem was in fact the name of the local deity. It is also a historical mistake. No city in the world has seen as many wars, massacres and as much bloodshed as this one. All in the name of some God or other. JERUSALEM WAS annexed (or “liberated”, or “unified”) immediately after the Six-day War of 1967. That war was Israel’s greatest military triumph. It was also Israel’s greatest disaster. The divine blessings of the incredible victory turned into divine punishments. Jerusalem was one of them. The annexation was presented to us (I was a member of the Knesset at the time) as a unification of the city, which had been cruelly rent asunder in the Israeli-Palestinian war of 1948. Everybody cited the Biblical sentence: “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together.” This translation of Psalm 122 is rather odd. The Hebrew original says simply “a city that is joined together”. In fact, what happened in 1967 was anything but unification. If the intent had really been unification, it would have looked very different. Full Israeli citizenship would have been automatically conferred on all inhabitants. All the lost Arab properties in West Jerusalem, which had been expropriated in 1948, would have been restored to their rightful owners who had fled to East Jerusalem. The Jerusalem municipality would have been expanded to include Arabs from the East, even without a specific request. And so on. The opposite happened. No property was restored, nor any compensation paid. The municipality remained exclusively Jewish….
Some of us still remember / Daniel McGowan
Dissident Voice 22 Nov — In the wake of the recent events in the synagogue at Har Nof, Uri Avnery has written an article. Like all his work, Avnery’s article is informative, original and beautifully written. But it has a glaring omission. Here, Dan McGowan fills him in: Dear Uri: I know that you realize that the Har Nof neighborhood in West Jerusalem, where four rabbis and a police officer were recently murdered, is built on the lands of Deir Yassin, the Arab village which no longer exists, that was the site of the 1948 massacre, which according to Menachem Begin, was pivotal to the founding of the Jewish state. This was an early massacre in the Nakba; there were many more to follow, but it struck fear among Palestinians, causing many to flee, also giving the Jews an angle for campaigns of terror, which they visited on other Palestinian villages, basically “Get out or we’ll do to you what we did in Deir Yassin.” It is interesting to ask why the media, which has been all over this synagogue massacre, mentions nothing about what happened on this site on April 9, 1948? Why does Wikipedia fail to even cite Deir Yassin in its history of Har Nof? The attached picture of Har Nof is taken from Yad Vashem, the most prestigous Holocaust memorial. The water tower at the top right is next to the main buildings of Deir Yassin, which today serves as a mental hospital, mostly for those suffering with too much religion, an affliction also known as “The Jerusalem Syndrome.” At Yad Vashem all visitors, and especially American politicians, are repeatedly told to “Never forget.” At Deir Yassin the message is “Never mind.” There is not even a signpost among the old Arab buildings to indicate that it was once a prosperous Arab village of about 750 people. In building the Har Nof settlement much of the Deir Yassin cemetery was destroyed. The rest is littered with trash and condoms. Har Nof children have been seen digging up the Arab graves. (Imagine the outcry had they been desecrating Jewish graves.) Apartment buildings of Har Nof are literally built on the old quarry where villagers were executed and their bodies dumped and burned on April 10, 1948. The ironies are breathtaking. But some of us still remember.