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Ten year old Palestinian boy attacked by settlers and abducted by Israeli soldiers while playing in the snow in Hebron

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Violence / Raids / Clashes / Arrests — West Bank / Jerusalem

10-year-old boy attacked and arrested for playing in the snow
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Khalil Team) 22 Feb — On the afternoon of the 21st of February Saleh Abu Shamsiya, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, was attacked by settler youth in the Al-Khalil (Hebron) neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. Saleh’s father and activist with the group Human Rights Defenders Imad Abu Shamsiya reported  that the settlers, who looked around 18-19 years old, surrounded his son while he was playing in the snow and stabbed him in the arm with a sharp metal object about 15 cm long. The soldiers stationed at Gilbert checkpoint, directly beside where the attack took place, did nothing try to prevent the settlers from assaulting Saleh. The boy was then taken to the hospital where the wound required two stitches. The night after the attack, Saleh could not sleep from the pain.
The following day, at 2:40pm, Saleh was again playing in the snow on the hills of Tel Rumeida when he was kidnapped by soldiers and brought to the military base in the Tel Rumeida’s illegal settlement. The 10-year-old boy was kept for about 20 minutes before Israeli police took him to the DCO (District Coordinator Office). After that the boy was handed over to the Palestinian police who informed his father about his whereabouts. Saleh’s family lives very near the illegal Israeli settlement in Tel Rumeida, occupied by some of Palestine’s most violent Zionist settlers. Israeli occupation forces and settlers have repeatedly targeted the Abu Shamsiya family. Saleh’s brothers Awne and Mohammed have both been beaten by settlers, who used to routinely occupy the family’s roof. The nearby illegal settlements, along with the Israeli military occupation, continue to deny some of this family’s most basic human needs such as freedom of movement and the right of their children to play…
http://palsolidarity.org/2015/02/10-year-old-boy-attacked-and-arrested-for-playing-in-the-snow/

Palestinian stabs Jewish man in central Jerusalem, apprehended by mayor
Haaretz 22 Feb b Nir Hasson — An 18-year-old Palestinian stabbed a Jewish man in central Jerusalem on Sunday. The victim, an ultra-Orthodox man, sustained light to moderate wounds. The incident took place at Tzahal Square. A security guard on the scene apprehended the assailant until the police arrived and took him for questioning. A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspected assailant is an 18-year-old illegal Palestinian resident. According to a paramedic who was at the scene, the man was stabbed in the stomach, and was taken for medical treatment fully conscious and in a stable condition. The Jerusalem Municipality stated that it was the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who restrained the assailant together with his bodyguard, seconds after the stabbing occured. Barkat said that he was driving near the scene of the attack when his team spotted the assailant.”My bodyguard and I jumped straight out of the car, he drew his weapon and together we caught the terrorist until police arrived, and we took care of the wounded, who, happily, was only lightly wounded.” Barkat said that when he and his bodyguards faced the assailant, he threw down his knife. “This too is part of our life in Jerusalem. It’s clear that if he would have looked to continue stabbing he wouldn’t have been alive now. But he threw the knife away,” Barkat said.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.643661

Dozens injured in Israeli attack on mosque in Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 23 Feb – The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Sunday evening broke into a local mosque in Zabouba town west of Jenin amid heavy fire of tear gas bombs. Dozens of worshipers were injured during the attack. Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers violently and provocatively stormed the town and fired tear gas bombs at the residents who in their turn responded by throwing stones and empty bottles. The clashes spread in the town’s streets and alleys, the sources added. During the clashes, the IOF soldiers deliberately attacked the worshipers while performing the Isha prayer (the night-time daily prayer) in the town’s local mosque, with tear gas bombs. Local shops were also stormed, while the owners were brutally attacked. 30 citizens suffered breathing problems after inhaling tear gas during the raid, the sources reported. Material damages were also reported during the violent attack.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70301

7 injured by live bullets in clashes in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Seven Palestinians were injured with live bullets in clashes with Israeli forces in ‘Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem late Sunday, residents said. They told Ma‘an that Israeli forces, with police dogs, raided the camp and fired tear gas, stun grenades and live bullets, injuring seven youths in their lower extremities. Israeli forces also prevented ambulances from reaching the injured, and fired tear gas at them causing one ambulance driver to suffer from suffocation due to excessive gas inhalation. Israel forces detained a large number of young men from the camp and searched several houses, a witness said. Ali Adwan and Issa Sami Abu Srour were shot with live bullets, while Mohammad Omar Badawneh was shot twice in the thighs. The other injured youths were not immediately identified. Meanwhile, Nabhan Mohammad al-Amouri and Mohammad Fouad Ulayyan were severely beaten.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759557

Live bullet injuries, suffocations reported in WB clashes with IOF
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 23 Feb —  Dozens of Palestinian civilians sustained wounds Sunday in a wave of violent clashes that burst out between dozens of Palestinian protesters and the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in West Bank refugee camps. The IOF troops stormed the ‘Aroub refugee camp, north of al-Khalil, and attacked Palestinian homes and citizens with randomly-shot volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, by-standers at the scene told the PIC. Confrontations broke out after the Palestinian peaceful demonstrators voiced protest at such a violent IOF assault…
84-year-old Hasan Abd Abu Hashem was hit by a tear gas canister on his way to the mosque to perform dawn prayers, coordinator for the anti-settlement committee in Beit Ummar village to the north of al-Khalil, Mohamed Awad, reported.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70297

How does the army please settlers? By upping its violence
+972 Blog 20 Feb by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — When the settlers of Halamish complained that the IDF isn’t being violent enough, a brigadier-general assured them that he orders his troops to use unnecessary force against Palestinians Near the Palestinian villages of Dir Nizam and Nabi Salah lies a settlement named Halamish, also known as Neve Tsuf. About a month ago, after Palestinians threw stones at their vehicles, the settlers of Halamish took the law into their own hands and began “securing” the road leading to the settlement. The IDF didn’t like the initiative, but – lo and behold – did not use its legal authority against Israeli civilians carrying out military actions on their own initiative. Instead, it sent the commander of the AYOSH (Area of Judea and Samaria) Division, Brig. General Tamir Yadai, to talk to the lawbreakers. This conversation, published on the website of the Hebrew daily Makor Rishon (and which includes recordings) is very interesting for several reasons. Take, for instance the comment by Gen. Yadai after a short lecture about the differences between the military situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (listen at 4:37 in the first recording): “I don’t want to say that we changed the rules of engagement, but we became a bit harsh with the people around here; in places where we’d fire [tear] gas or rubber [bullets] in the past, now we fire Ruger [bullets], and sometimes live [bullets]. If I remember the numbers correctly, we’ve had something like 25 people hurt here in the last three weeks.” Hold it. If firing tear gas or rubber bullets was sufficient in the past, what necessitated the change? According to Yadai, nothing changed and the threat level vis-à-vis the soldiers did not increase in any way. So what did change? Well, the atmosphere in the IDF, for one. The army decided to teach the Palestinians a lesson, and therefore increased the level of violence it uses towards them – regardless of the threat they represent. The brigadier-general’s comments are not empty ones – they are mere attempts to boast.  B’Tselem, which noticed Yadai’s comment, recorded a series of such shooting incidents [Hebrew].
http://972mag.com/how-does-the-army-please-settlers-up-its-violence-against-palestinians/102989/

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement

Israeli demolitions leave 4 Bedouin families homeless in Negev
[with photos] BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Israeli authorities on Sunday demolished four homes belonging to Palestinian Bedouins near the town of Hurah in the Negev Desert in Southern Israel. Bulldozers appeared in the village of Sawah east of Hurah on Sunday morning accompanied by a large number of police officers, who proceeded to demolish the homes soon after arrival. “We are now trying to evacuate furniture and clothes from the houses in the short time limit the Israeli forces have given us,” one of the residents Salamah al-Qassasi told Ma‘an. The Israeli Ministry of Interior apparently ordered the demolition about a month ago. Residents appealed the decision in court, but the court then demanded that they provide a proof of ownership, which they did not have … n 2013, authorities said that the homes of the 1,500 residents of the village were to be demolished because the area had been converted into a closed military zone. Since that time, residents have fought court rulings and prevented the village’s wholesale demolition so far. Authorities have, however, demolished individual homes. The demolitions are part of an ongoing campaign by Israeli planning and construction committees against the unrecognized Bedouin villages in Negev desert, where between 70-90,000 people live.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759551

Hundreds join ‘Open Shuhada Street’ rally despite storm
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — Despite the storm and the thick layer of snow which shut down roads, Hebron’s Youth Against Settlements managed to organize the city’s annual rally to call for the reopening of Shuhada Street. The main street which runs through the Old City to the Ibrahimi Mosque was shut down after the massacre of February 1994 during which an extremist American-born Jew Baruch Goldstein opened fire at Muslim worshipers killing 29 and injuring more than 120. Hundreds including locals and international solidarity activists joined the rally which kicked off after the Friday prayer in Ali Bakka mosque in the city center. They marched toward Shuhada Street and managed to enter it from the east. Activists tried to break the iron gate which Israeli forces have installed since 1994. “This rally defies the Israeli occupation and the snow together,” a coordinator of the group said. Issa Amr added that “snow is temporarily closing roads, but closure by the occupation has lasted long and persistent work against it is needed because if we continue to organize this demonstration, we will show the whole world that Palestinian citizens suffer much more from occupation than from bad weather conditions.” The demonstration, according to Amr, comes also as commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre which left 29 worshipers dead and hundreds injured.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759539

21 years after Goldstein massacre, once-thriving Hebron is a mere memory / Amira Hass
Haaretz 21 Feb — February 25 marks 21 years since Dr. Baruch Goldstein entered the Tomb of the Patriarchs and gunned down 29 Muslims kneeling in prayer at the Ibrahimi mosque. What has happened to the city since that day? — …The Abu Aisha family in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood, however, remains at home by choice and determination … Israelis have offered them a large amount of money to move out several times, and each time they refused. They make sure one adult is always in the house. “If we all leave, even for a few hours, the settlers will take over,” a family member says. The IDF’s laws forbid them from receiving any Palestinian guests … Neighbors aren’t permitted to visit the Abu Aisha family, either – not even the brides’ families … Known as the Cage House, their home is covered from the front and sides with iron mesh. “That’s from Arafat’s time [1996],” says Rima Abu Aisha. “He heard settlers were throwing stones at the house and made sure we got the money to put up the mesh. Before that, we couldn’t put furniture on the balcony, all the window panes were broken, the floor was covered with rocks. We couldn’t sit here like we do now,” she says. But Israelis kept attacking them – either throwing stones, breaking into the house through another door or shooting at them (and killing their songbirds). About six years ago, they installed closed-circuit TV cameras, with the help of B’Tselem. Unknown people once smashed the camera and the family installed a new one (they also have two smaller video cameras). Thanks to the three cameras, the attacks became less frequent.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.643500

Demolishing Arab women’s homes is the easy way out
+972 Blog 18 Feb by Samah Salaime Egbariya — What are Arab citizens expected to do when the city only builds for Jews, and why do single mothers almost always pay the price? — On the surface, it was just another illegal dwelling demolished in the city of Lyd (“Lod” in Hebrew). The image of a violence, crime-ridden city combined with that of too many law-breaking Arabs is particularly blinding for both the media and social activists. After all, we are simply talking about a municipality attempting to get its zoning matters straight, that’s all. But let me invite you to take a closer look at what is actually taking place in Lyd, where for the past 10 years, investment and high-momentum construction have been named national-level goals by one government decision after another. There has been no approved zoning plan for decades. Arabs cannot build on their own lands, and plans that are meant to authorize legal construction in the Arab neighborhoods are stuck in bureaucratic pipelines – at least according to the plan for the improvement of the Lyd municipality that was passed by Netanyahu’s government … Not a single housing project has been built for Arabs, not even one meant for the general population where Arabs would also be permitted to purchase homes. None. On the other hand, thousands of new housing units have been built at lightning speed right across from the Arab neighborhoods for the latest gari’n of religious settlers (small communities of religious Jews who move, usually from the occupied territories, into cities with mixed Arab and Jewish population) or other religious groups … if we look a little closer to see whose homes are destroyed time and time again, we will find that even when it comes to the worst attacks on the security of Arab citizens, there is an added layer of discrimination against women, and especially impoverished women.
http://972mag.com/demolishing-arab-womens-homes-is-the-easy-way-out/102904/

Israeli settlers chop down 35 olive trees in southern Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — Israeli settlers chopped down more than 35 olive trees aged more than 25 years from the Wadi al-Sweid area in southern Hebron on Saturday, a popular committee official said. Rateb al-Jubour, coordinator of the popular committees against the wall and settlements in Hebron and eastern Yatta, pointed out that the chopped down olive trees belong to the Abed Rabbu family.
Separately, al-Jubour added that the “4×4 Palestine Team,” a group of Palestinians who own 4×4 vehicles who volunteered to help people in emergencies during the snowstorm, had answered more than 40 emergency calls in Yatta and its surroundings. They were mostly ill people in need to be taken to hospitals. The team also helped a Palestinian whose tent was burned after being struck by lightning.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759538

Aida refugee camp flooded by excess settlement water
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Feb — ‘Aida refugee camp, north Bethlehem city, has drowned after the Gilo settlement opened its barrages, throwing all excess rain and melted snow water onto the camp. ‘Aida camp is adjacent to a portion of the Israeli apartheid wall, which is backed by the Gilo settlement, to the northwest, that opened its barrages and flooded the homes of refugees. Sami Hmedan, in charge of water pumps in the camp, said that Israeli occupation authorities opened the barrage water with disregard to the Palestinians and without any official concerns. The water has accumulated in the street and the main electricity station of the camp and, so, has hindered the life and movement there, according to the PNN.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70675

IOA bars Palestinian bulldozers from unblocking snowy roads
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 Feb — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Friday prevented Palestinian bulldozers from removing snow from main roads that connect different West Bank provinces at the pretext they are located in Israeli-controlled areas classified as C. Palestinian sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOA did not even provide alternative vehicles or equipment to clear the snow-covered roads. This Israeli measure has caused traffic difficulties and prevented people from travelling between cities, especially between Ramallah and the northern and southern cities. However, Palestinian bulldozers managed yesterday to open other roads around and inside some cities. In this regard, Ramallah and Bireh mayor Leila Ghannam affirmed that the IOA obstructed Palestinian efforts to open the main roads between Ramallah and the northern and southern sides of the West Bank after they were blocked by mounds of snow.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70267

Gaza

Homeless Gaza families take stock of losses after winter storm
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — As a severe winter storm buffeted Palestine this week leaving the hilltops of the West Bank covered in snow, tens of thousands of families in Gaza left homeless by Israel’s most recent assault struggled to cope in frigid temperatures along the coast. Scores of families are still living in tents set up beside their destroyed homes, trying their hardest to stay warm despite a severe shortage of electricity and fuel for generators or heaters. The Abu Tayamas are one of those families stuck in the eye of the storm with only a light piece of fabric to protect them. Their tent is located directly beside the ruins of their former home in Khan Younis, bombed to bits by Israel last summer. They complain that officials gave them no support after they lost their home, and they are now stuck living in a worn out tent. “Whatever we do to try to stay warm it is still cold,” Umm Mazen told Ma‘an. “Water runs under our feet, the storm is strong, and the sound of thunder resembles the sound of shelling.” Umm Mazen said that her daughter Mira complains about the deep cold repeatedly throughout the day, but her only response is: “What can I do, dear?”
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759541

Gaza’s power generator stops working as Strip runs out of fuel
GAZA (PIC) 22 Feb — Shortages in fuel reserves have forced Gaza’s power plant to shut down one generator, out of two, the plant manager Rafiq Maliha said Saturday. Maliha said, in a press statement, the breakdown has cropped up due to acute shortages in the needed fuel supplies … The authority further slammed the Petroleum Corporation for having trimmed down the quantities of fuel dispatched to Gaza’s sole power plant, saying they are not enough to operate the generators.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70280

Experts: Israel beautifies its siege on Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 21 Feb — Since it has been imposed in 2007, Israeli authorities worked at beautifying its siege on Gaza Strip through declaring a number of facilities from time to time that do not meet the necessary needs of the people of Gaza. The General Authority for Palestinian Civil Affairs has earlier declared a number of new Israeli “facilities” at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Those alleged facilities include allowing the access of 45 agricultural tractors to the Strip, issuing 450 BMC cards for Gaza businessmen, allowing the travel of 120 patients per day to receive medical treatment in West Bank or Israeli hospitals, approving the travel of 800 merchants instead of 400 per day, and increasing the trade permits (to enter Israel) from 3,000 to 5,000. Gazan students have also been allowed to study in Jordanian universities, while only 50 students were allowed access to the West Bank via Beit Hanoun crossing. In this matter, head of the Popular Committee against the Siege MP Jamal al-Khudari told al-Arabi Jadid newspaper that the declared new Israeli facilities are a natural right for the Palestinian people. What is really needed is to lift the siege on the Strip and to open all the border crossings closed since 2007, he added. Those facilities are not enough to meet the urgent need of thousands of people to travel either to receive treatment or to study abroad, according to his statements.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70265

UNRWA: $100m urgently needed in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Feb — UNRWA stated, on Sunday, that US $100 million in aid is urgently needed for families affected by the last Israeli offensive in the region, this past summer. The money is needed in the first quarter of 2015, to allow refugee families with minor damage to repair their homes and to provide ongoing rental subsidies, including to the thousands of families who left UNRWA-run Collective Centres (CCs) and found alternative rental accommodations. UNRWA explained, according to Al Ray, that thousands of families are waiting, but that it has no money: “If we cannot restart the provision of rental subsidies, people, including those who left our collective centers and found alternative accommodation, may be forced to return to those centers.” Due to lack of funds last month, UNRWA recently announced the suspension of its cash assistance programme supporting repairs and providing rental subsidies to Palestine refugee families in Gaza. According to the agency’s initial assessment, concluded in December, 96,000 Palestine refugee dwellings were damaged or destroyed during last summer’s conflict and more than $720 million USD is required to address this need.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70677

Hundreds of Palestinian flee as Israel opens dams into Gaza Valley
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Hundreds of Palestinians were evacuated from their homes Sunday morning after Israeli authorities opened a number of dams near the border, flooding the Gaza Valley in the wake of a recent severe winter storm. The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that civil defense services and teams from the Ministry of Public Works had evacuated more than 80 families from both sides of the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) after their homes flooded as water levels reached more than three meters … Gaza civil defense services spokesman Muhammad al-Midana warned that further harm could be caused if Israel opens up more dams in the area, noting that water is currently flowing at a high speed from the Israel border through the valley and into the Mediterranean sea. Evacuated families have been sent to shelters sponsored by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in al-Bureij refugee camp and in al-Zahra neighborhood in the central Gaza Strip. The Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) is a wetland located in the central Gaza Strip between al-Nuseirat refugee camp and al-Moghraqa. It is called HaBesor in Hebrew, and it flows from two streams — one whose source runs from near Beersheba, and the other from near Hebron. Israeli dams on the river to collect rainwater have dried up the wetlands inside Gaza, and destroyed the only source of surface water in the area. Locals have continued to use it to dispose of their waste for lack of other ways to do so, however, creating an environmental hazard. This is not the first time Israeli authorities have opened the Gaza Valley dams. In Dec. 2013, Israeli authorities also opened the dams amid heavy flooding in the Gaza Strip. The resulting floods damaged dozens of homes and forces many families in the area from their homes. In 2010, the dams were opened as well
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759549

VIDEO: Gaza village floods after Israel opens dam gates
AFP  00.46 — Part of the al-Mughraqa village in Gaza were flooded on Sunday after Israel opened the gates of a dam along its border with the Gaza Strip.
http://news.yahoo.com/video/gaza-village-floods-israel-opens-163038474.html

Photos: Israel ‘opens dam gates’, flooding Gaza: Palestinian agency
Middle East Monitor 22 Feb — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES Israeli authorities have opened the gates of a dam near the Gaza Strip, which led to the flooding of several homes in the enclave, according to the strip’s Civil Defense Directorate (CDD).
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17123-israel-opens-dam-gates-flooding-gaza-palestinian-agency

Israeli troops open fire at Gaza farmers
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Israeli forces stationed in military vehicles along the southeastern border of the Gaza Strip on Sunday opened fire at Palestinian farmers in their fields in the eastern outskirts of Rafah. Witnesses told Ma‘an that several Israeli military vehicles were seen firing at farmers. Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said there were no injuries from the incident.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759552

Spy caught in act by Gaza resistance fighters
GAZA (PIC) 23 Feb — The Palestinian resistance apparatuses caught a pro-Israel double agent who took advantage of the frosty storm hitting Gaza lately, to stake out on resistance kit and agendas. The Majd Security website said the collaborator was caught by the resistance security devices in the act, while raking through land lots believed to be a breeding ground for resistance projectiles. The spy admitted that an officer of the Israeli Shabak intelligence devices asked him to carry out a covert stakeout to gather evidence on underground stockrooms for Palestinian resistance arsenal, taking advantage of the sub-zero temperatures and torrential downpours to perform his mission as stealthily as he possibly could.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70298

Israeli media: Three Palestinian drones flew over Eshkol
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Feb — A flock of drones from Gaza had been hovering over the Eshkol settlements,  Israeli media outlets claimed Saturday. The Israeli 0404 online media site, known to be close to the army, said Israeli fighter jets were flown to Eshkol skies afternoon Saturday in search for two or three drones suspected to have taken off to Eshkol skies. “Three Hamas-run aircrafts had been flying near the eastern Gaza borders and returned to their bases after the Israeli fighter jets showed up,” Israeli media sources alleged. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in mid-July that they had used a drone of their own making for the first time in the group’s history in a security mission over Israeli skies.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=70278

The world has broken its promises about rebuilding Gaza – and the children will suffer / Chris Gunness
The Guardian 21 Feb — Baby Salma died of hypothermia at just 40 days old. Her body was drenched with freezing rainwater. It was frozen “like ice-cream”. Gaza was hit by a severe winter storm called “Huda” in January. Salma was its youngest victim. I meet Salma’s mother, Mirvat, and 14 members of her extended family in the very place, indeed the room, where Salma slept during her last night at home. They still live there in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, in a tiny three-room wooden structure, covered with plastic. When I see it from the road, I assume it houses animals. The door is a blanket which flaps in the biting wind. It is raining. Water flows in. Mirvat pulls back the sodden carpet that serves as flooring and scoops the wet sand below. Memories of Salma’s death on 9 January are painfully fresh. “The night she died the storm was strong. We were all soaking wet, but some of us managed to sleep. The rain came and in and drenched Salma’s blankets. I found her shaking. Her tiny body was frozen like ice-cream. We took her to hospital, but later the doctor called. Salma was dead. My beautiful girl weighed 3.1kg at birth. She was healthy and would be alive today if we had not been bombed out of our home in the war and reduced to living like this.”… The family tragedy does not end with Salma. Her sister Maes, aged three, is in hospital suffering from respiratory problems brought on by exposure to harsh weather. “I worry that Maes will die like Salma,” says Mirvat. Outside, I meet Mirvat’s sister-in-law, Nisreen, 28. Her son died at just 50 days old in the UNRWA school where the family had taken refuge. “Moemen’s death was unexpected. There was nothing anyone could do to save him. I felt that he was cold. I covered him up and I put him to sleep. The child was sleeping in my lap. When I woke up at four in the morning he was blue. Moemen was dead. I have waited for a boy for five years, and now he’s gone.” …  UNRWA, the agency for which I work, was forced to suspend what for this family would have been a life-saving programme just three weeks ago. After the conference in Cairo last October at which donors pledged $5.4bn to rebuild Gaza, we created a $720m project. With the generous pledges at Cairo we were certain the funds would be there. Or so we thought.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/21/chris-gunness-gaza-aid-broken-promises-children-suffer

Ghalia Abu-Rediah – kindness followed by execution
LoveGaza released 20 Feb by Shawn Robinson — The image is clearly a story of a simple act of kindness…  The photograph is a beautiful photograph, showing a gracious display of humanity of a kindly soldier sharing water with a civilian who had the misfortune to be trapped in a heavily bombarded war zone. The intent of the photograph was to do just that, portray the Israeli forces as benevolent and caring for the vulnerable civilians. The reality of this picture is not what is so beautifully displayed. The major who created the posting, when we forwarded him our questions, left us with silence. We keep returning back to his page and his only response was to advise us his official military title. I gave him another opportunity again on February 11, and nothing, just silence. With that said… back to the story. In the photograph is Ms. Ghalia Abu-Rediah, an elderly lady who at the time of this image was 74 years old. She was born in 1941 in Khuza‘a, a village at the time under the British Mandate …  On July 20 [2014], the Israeli forces began shelling Khuza‘a with reports of upwards of 360 shell attacks in one hour … The family reported that they prayed that the soldiers would have mercy on Ms. Ghalia and to spare her any harm … After four long days of anxiety and dread, the residents of Khuza‘a were allowed to return as the IDF withdrawal of ground troops suddenly began on August 3, 2014. A neighbour, Imad Abu Metelak was the first back to their neighbourhood and immediately sought out Ms. Ghalia. He immediately located her decomposing body under an olive tree meters from her home. There were no guns in the area nor any evidence of the Palestinian paramilitaries during that time. Her death was shocking and disappointing. Imad located Ms. Ghalia’s family who gathered her remains and carried them to the Nasser Hospital where she was pronounced dead due to an bullet wound behind her left ear. We can only imagine the shock when the family learned of Major Adraee’s Facebook posting showing their beloved relative accepting water from a soldier, knowing she was executed around the time of the photograph being taken.
http://www.lovegaza.com/ghalia-abu-rediah.html

Hamas accuses Egyptian media of spreading anti-Palestinian lies
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — A Hamas spokesman on Saturday slammed what he described as a campaign of “incitement and deception” by a number of Egyptian journalists against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied reports that Palestinians have been traveling via tunnel into Egypt recently, denouncing what he called a “Zionist-like” network that had spread the rumors and sought to sow discord between Egypt and Palestine. All of the tunnels under the border area, he said, have been destroyed and both Egyptian and Palestinian security forces have been guarding both sides of the borders.  Similarly, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced the “attempts to accuse the Gaza Strip of (culpability in) the ongoing events in Egypt.”  Commenting on a report on an Egyptian TV channel Friday evening claiming that gunmen infiltrated Egyptian territory from Gaza, al-Buzm argued that “the channel which circulated the rumor is the same channel which falsely claimed a few days ago that a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in Sinai.” … The Egyptian media has widely followed the government’s lead since the July 2013 military coup in denouncing Hamas as enemies of the state and supporters of the Wahhabi insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. Hamas was an ally of the democratically-elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohamed Morsi, and as Egyptian leader Fattah al-Sisi has cracked down brutally on the party’s supporters, Hamas has also been targeted.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?id=759537

Gazan lady operates NASA’s Orion spacecraft
Middle East Monitor 21 Feb — A Palestinian lady from the Gaza Strip is a leading figure in operating NASA’s Orion Spacecraft and is responsible for software/hardware integration and testing to ensure the spacecraft is functioning properly. The story of engineer Soha al-Qeshawi was published on NASA’s Arabic Facebook page as a success story. The Facebook page’s administrator referred to her as an intelligent Palestinian lady. Speaking about herself, she said, “As a senior software engineer working on Orion, I am responsible for software/hardware integration and testing to ensure all the spacecraft’s computer commands perform as expected for America’s next generation spacecraft designed for deep space exploration.” Al-Qeshawi described her role within NASA’s programme. “Working with bits and bytes all day is much cooler than you might think. I get to simulate Orion missions almost every day, just as if we are flying in space. I test the systems from launch, through flight and back to Earth.” Regarding her role in the system, she explained, “If I find any issues, I resolve them and retest to ensure a smooth and safe flight for our future crews.”
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/americas/17111-gazan-lady-operates-nasas-orion-spacecraft

Prisoners / Court actions

8 Palestinians sentenced by Israeli court, 26 given administrative detention, hunger strike imminent
IMEMC/Agencies 23 Feb — An Israeli military court has sentenced eight Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to serve between 10 and 42 months in the Israeli prison system, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). PPS also stated that Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 26 Palestinian detainees. Detainees throughout the system are set to embark on an extended hunger strike against the unacceptable and repressive measures imposed against them  … WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency further reports that, according to PPS, Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 26 Palestinian detainees. 24 had their orders renewed for the third and fourth times, including some who have served years under administrative detention, for either continuous or interval periods. The remaining two received new detention orders without charge or trial. The period of the detention varied between two to six months. Administrative detention is a procedure which allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial … WAFA further reports that, according to the Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Committee, Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails are set to embark on an extended protest against the prison administrations’ arbitrary and repressive measures against them.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70681

Israeli prison moves Islamic Jihad prisoners
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 Feb — The Israeli Prisons Service moved all Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners to the cells of the Rimon jail on Saturday, a prisoners rights group said. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that tensions were raised in the prison as the Israeli Prisons Service continued to move prisoners between jails. The PPS added that prisoners in the 4, 5, and 7 sections of the Rimon prison started protesting measures against continuously moving prisoners of the Rimon and Nafha jails. The statement said that Israeli “suppression forces” raided section 4 and clashed with prisoners.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?id=759542

Palestinian refugees in Egypt

Syrian, Palestinian refugees on hunger strike to protest arbitrary detention by Egypt
Middle East Monitor 20 Feb by Ben Norton — Some 56 Syrian and Palestinian-Syrian refugees are on an open hunger strike in protest of over 100 days of detention without charge in Karmouz police station in Alexandria, Egypt, according to reports by the Centre for Refugee Solidarity (CRS). The Sweden-based organisation devoted to monitoring refugee rights in the Middle East and North Africa revealed that 74 refugees are being detained in Karmouz police station. The majority of those held are Syrian and Palestinian-Syrians who had fled Turkey by boat on 23 October, in the hope of seeking refuge in Europe. In early November, the refugees found themselves stranded on Nelson Island, in Abu Qir Bay, where they were arrested by Egyptian coast guards. The public prosecutor ordered the release of the detained refugees on 5 November. Egypt’s Homeland Security apparatus instead issued orders for their deportation. At least 15 women and 15 minors, seven under the age of 10 and one only 10 months old, are among those detained, according to the CRS. The centre said the ongoing detention of minors violates both Egyptian law and the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty.  The refugees have been on hunger strike since 9 February. In addition to demanding they be released, they have criticised what they call “inhumane treatment” they have received at the hands of Egyptian authorities. Amnesty International has reported that the “refugees are being detained in poor conditions with some held in rooms infested with cockroaches, mosquitoes and mice.”
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/blogs/politics/17086-syrian-palestinian-refugees-on-hunger-strike-to-protest-arbitrary-detention-by-egypt

Activism / Solidarity

Bil‘in marks ten years of popular resistance
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Feb —  February 20, 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the weekly demonstrations against the Israeli Apartheid Wall in the West Bank village of Bil‘in. There have been more than 500 Friday protests since Palestinians, usually accompanied by international and Israeli solidarity activists, began marching towards the barrier that divides their village. Dozens of participants suffered from tear gas inhalation during the march today after Israeli forces attacked them, just before they arrived to the old route of the wall. The soldiers used jeeps to chase demonstrators towards the village and fired a lot of tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at them. According to the PNN, some members of families who live nearby also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Despite the cruel weather, a lively demonstration headed from the center of the village to the wall. Participants raised Palestinian flags, banners and pictures of children who are detained in Israeli jails. Palestinians, international and Israeli solidarity activists chanted slogans calling for the demolition of the wall, freedom for Palestine, and for prisoners in Israeli jails. A big main demonstration was planned for yesterday’s 10th anniversary, but, due to the bad weather, it was postponed till next Friday, February 27, so that everyone will be able to participate.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70674

British cyclers set out to remap the Nakba
IMEMC 22 Feb — Cycle ’48 is a collective of 3 British women who all cycled to Palestine from the UK. The project aims to remap the erased histories of the Nakba, promoting the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees whilst exposing the role of the Jewish National Fund in their ethnic cleansing policies. We are standing outside ‘Derech Eretz’, a swish wedding venue nestled between rolling green hills, the ground is littered with red poppies and bright yellow mustard flowers. An immaculate green lawn stretches out before the wood-paneled modern building. In the far corner there is a bar/DJ booth, its walls decorated with irregular golden stones. A few feet above it, higher on the hill, is a beautiful golden ruin with arched windows and doorways. The manager rests one arm casually on the entrance of the venue, where chairs and tables are adorned with beautiful fabric and set ready for a celebration feast. His other arm gestures wistfully in the air as he tells us what he knows of the land we are standing on. “There’s lots of Roman history here”, he begins, avoiding the issue for some time. “What about ’48?” we ask, the year of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). “Do you know the name of this village?”, we point to the ruins which are now fitted with dramatic lighting. “Mmm”, he strokes his chin. “No, I don’t know the name,” he shrugs. “The Arabs ran away – there were some rumours spread and they left.” “Nobody died”, he is quick to add. “That’s the story, nothing to cry about”. We are standing on the site of Dayr Aban where, in January 1948, the village was surrounded by armed Jewish forces. The village was later completely occupied by Jewish militia in October 1948, all of its inhabitants were expelled, and prevented from returning. Now a wedding venue stands on its ruins … We steal a glance at each other, remembering the cups of tea we have drunk in the past few days with different refugees in camps across the West Bank. They are not just stories. People are still living with the consequences of 1948. In Dheisheh camp, where many of the refugees from Dayr Aban now live, over 13,000 people live in one square kilometre…. Follow our blog, facebook and twitter for the full story and more bike-powered justice pursuits.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70670

Other news

PHOTOS: Snow on Jerusalem’s holy and unholy monuments
Activestills 21 Feb — Snow blankets Jerusalem and the hilly West Bank late Thursday and Friday, shutting down roads and highways, covering holy sites and the separation wall alike. In Gaza, heavy rain causes flooding in the war-torn Strip.
http://972mag.com/photos-snow-on-jerusalems-holy-and-unholy-monuments/103010/

PCHR weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the oPt (12-18 February)
PCHR-Gaza 23 Feb  — Shootings: During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces continued to chase and target Palestinian fishermen. Moreover, Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas … Incursions: During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 58 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 46 Palestinians, including 3 children and 4 women. Seventeen of these Palestinians, including 3 children and the 4 women, were arrested in Jerusalem. [Full, detailed report here]
http://www.imemc.org/article/70682

Palestinians threaten to end security ties with Israel
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP)  22 Feb — The Palestinian president has threatened to stop security coordination with Israel if the country continues to withhold millions of dollars of Palestinian tax revenue, a senior Palestinian official said Sunday. Nabil Shaath said President Mahmoud Abbas warned European leaders on a trip to Europe last week that Palestinian officials would discuss the matter during a Palestinian central council meeting next week. “We have told the international community that we will not be able to continue the security coordination and the Palestinian Authority itself may not be able to continue functioning if Israel continues stealing our money,” Shaath said.
http://news.yahoo.com/palestinians-threaten-end-security-ties-israel-143102181.html

Israel to buy 14 F-35 stealth fighters from US
JERUSALEM (AFP) 22 Feb — Israel is to purchase 14 F-35 stealth fighters from US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin at a cost of around $110 million each, the defence ministry said Sunday. “The defence ministry will purchase an additional 14 F-35s for around $3 billion, each plane costing an average of $110 million,” a ministry statement said. The $2.82 billion deal, which includes other technological and training elements, was signed at the weekend after being approved by a ministerial committee in November. It includes the purchase of 14 stealth fighters as well as the option to buy another 17. It is the continuation of an agreement signed in 2010 to purchase 19 F-35 planes.
http://news.yahoo.com/israel-buy-14-f-35-stealth-fighters-us-135818701.html

86% of Israeli Arabs oppose Islamic State
Ynet 22 Feb by Hassan Shaalan — Poll examining Jewish-Arab relations in Israel finds 54% of Jews are afraid to enter Arab villages, while 85% of religious Jews do not want their child to share a classroom with an Arab student — …Eighty-six percent of Israeli Arabs said they believed the Islamic State group was harming Islam’s image, while the Jewish public thought at least 30 percent of Israeli Arabs supported the Islamic State. The survey dealt with relations between the Jewish and Arab sectors in Israel, finding that 77 percent of Jews and 68 percent of Arabs in Israel noted a significant decline in Jewish-Arab relations following Operation Protective Edge and other security and nationalistic incidents that occurred over the past year. Over half of the Jewish public (54 percent) is afraid of entering Arab communities for shopping, traveling and so on. Among those who identified themselves as religious (78 percent) or rightwing (71 percent) there was a higher rate of people afraid to enter Arab villages and cities. This is an increase from a survey in 2014, when only 41 percent of Jews admitted such concerns. Israeli Arabs, on the other hand, appeared unaware of the Jewish population’s concerns, with 78 percent saying they didn’t think the Jewish public was afraid to enter Arab villages and cities. With that in mind, one third of Israeli Arabs said they felt less secure when walking around areas in which there’s a large Jewish population. Thirty-six percent of Jews did not want their children to share a classroom with Arab students – among them most of religious Jews (85 percent) and most of those who identified as rightwing (65 percent). On a more positive note, 52 percent of Jews said they were interested in getting to know the Arab public better – a 14 percent rise from last year. Ninety percent of Arab respondents said they thought there’s a chance of reaching coexistence with Jews, while only 66 percent of Jews thought coexistence possible….
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4629430,00.html

Tongue-tied: Arab and Jewish Jerusalemites are flocking to study the other’s language
Haaretz 22 Feb by Nir Hasson — East Jerusalem Arabs are filling up Hebrew classes almost as fast as the courses can open, and a similar thing is happening with West Jerusalem Jews studying Arabic. Arabs consider Hebrew a must to make a living in the west of the city, while  both leftist and rightist Jews are learning Arabic … Some people regard the language phenomenon as a sign the city is becoming binational. As long as it was believed the city could be divided politically, the demand to learn the other language remained low. According to these people, now that the city’s future seems binational, the demand to get to know the other side is growing. Clearly more Arab Jerusalemites know Hebrew than Jewish Jerusalemites know Arabic. Knowledge of Hebrew is most common among young men, while women, children and older adults have limited facility in the language and cannot read or write it. Everyone interviewed for this article agreed that the “Israelization” of East Jerusalemites was responsible for Arabic speakers learning Hebrew. They want it for leisure-time activities as well as employment and studies. In addition, the separation barrier in East Jerusalem has separated many Arab Jerusalemites from Palestinians in the West Bank. It has thus increased their dependence on West Jerusalem …  Interviewees for this article agreed that the language phenomenon has nothing to do with recognition of the occupation. Still, most Hebrew-language students asked not to be photographed; Hebrew is considered a necessary evil, an activity that might be seen as giving up one’s Palestinian identity … “There are three kinds of Jews who study Arabic. Some are in daily contact with Arabs and want an easier, nonaggressive means of communication. Some are conscience-stricken but they don’t necessarily study. It’s important to them to say they’re studying,” Ben-Badis said. “Then there are those who study Arabic out of fear. They want to stop being afraid of Arabs; for example, settlers who want to feel more secure in their homes.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.643536

A glimmer of hope against incitement and racism
+972 Blog 19 Feb by Samah Salaime Egbariya — Jamal Zahalka promises that the Joint List will remain together for a long time, Dov Khenin tugs at our heart strings, the head of the Islamic Movement speaks of the men and women who make history, and Ayman Odeh, who heads the slate, calls on Arab members of the Zionist parties to come back home. [highlights of speeches from the Joint List’s Arabic-language campaign launch]
http://972mag.com/a-glimmer-of-hope-against-incitement-and-racism/102957/

WATCH: 12-year-old winner of Ma‘an reality show releases first song
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Feb — Teenage Palestinian singer Miral Ayyad, who won Ma‘an Network’s Best Talent competition, has produced and released a first video clip of her own [below]. The video Shwait Haky (“A few words to say”) has been dedicated to Palestinian children. The song was written by Bashar Tmeizi, while the melody and arrangement were made by Rami Arafat. The video clip was directed by Muhammed Faraj … In her clip, Ayyad talks about Palestinian children, especially in the Gaza Strip, and how they try hard to endure their suffering to tell the world that despite misfortunes and calamities there should always be a glimpse of hope. The production took three months and the video clip includes footage filmed in the Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem. “While we were shooting in Bethlehem, a group of tourists were listening and they asked for a translation, and when I finished singing they all started to applaud,” Miral told Ma‘an on Sunday … Miral, from Abu Dis in East Jerusalem, was 12 years old when she was announced the winner of Ma’an’s reality show competition “Best Talent” for competitors under 16 years old in July 2014.
http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?id=759554

Film review: Censored voices of Israeli soldiers become uncensored in documentary 50 years later
Middle East Monitor 20 Feb by Jessica Purkiss — Voices censored by the Israeli army for nearly 50 years can finally be heard in a powerful documentary that recently premiered in the Sundance Film Festival. After an initial introduction “Censored Voices” leads into grainy footage showing the triumphant return of Israeli soldiers from the 1967 war … Weeks after the war ended, Avraham Shapira and Amos Oz travelled from kibbutz to kibbutz with a borrowed reel-to-reel tape recorder. They asked the returned soldiers to recount their emotions. They wanted to, in the words of Oz, “try to explain the fact that we’ve all encountered, that people did not come back happy from this war. There is a sense of sadness that the newspapers don’t address.” But when they moved to publish what they had gathered, the Israeli government censored 70 percent of the material. Shapira published the remaining 30 percent in his book “The Seventh Day: Soldiers’ Talk about the Six-Day War.” Years on, filmmaker Mor Loushy convinced Shapira to give her access to the tapes. She traced some of the voices they recorded and asked the men behind them to take part in the documentary. We listen as these men, now almost 50 years older, hear the recordings for the first time and the past erupts into the present … After the war ends, the brutality does not stop. They recount orders to shoot Egyptian soldiers even after the ceasefire had begun, the callous killing of Syrian men, now refugees, yards away from their wives and children, and a 70-year-old Palestinian man forced to carry his lifetime’s belongings on his back- scenes that echo those of the Holocaust. Watching the elderly man take one last look at his house and weep, one of the soldiers says: “I had an abysmal feeling I was evil, a despicable person and nothing can make that feeling go away.”
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/media-review/film-review/17101-censored-voices-of-israeli-soldiers-become-uncensored-in-documentary-50-years-later-

Book review: ‘Khirbet Khizeh’ by S. Yizhar
Nearly 70 years ago, an intelligence officer with the newly formed state of Israel moved with a group of soldiers into a Palestinian village whose women, children and old people were rounded up, herded into trucks and sent across the border. The village was demolished to make way for the new Jewish state. The deportation was a small piece of the Palestinian exodus — some of it at gunpoint, some of it not — that accompanied the upheavals of the birth of Israel in 1947 and 1948. We don’t know the name of the village that the intelligence officer, Yizhar Smilansky, moved into that day, or exactly what he saw. But the events he witnessed so haunted Smilansky that he wrote a novella about his experience and gave it the same name as the fictional place where he set his story: “Khirbet Khizeh.” The book, published in Hebrew in 1949 under the pen name S. Yizhar, became a landmark of Israeli literature, sparking debate over successive generations about the events that attended the formation of the Jewish state; it has been part of the curriculum of Israel’s schools. Remarkably, “Khirbet Khi­zeh” was translated into English only in 2008, and it wasn’t published in Britain until 2011; it has now been brought to the United States for the first time by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (Smilansky died in 2006.) … The operation is completed in less than a day. We aren’t told precisely why the village is being evacuated, or what is happening in other parts of Israel as the operation ­unfolds.  And yet this narrow focus gives the book its extraordinary emotional force. “Khirbet Khizeh” is told in the first person, by an Israeli soldier who participates in the operation. Over the course of the day, he is swamped by feelings of ambivalence, revulsion, complacency and resignation — even as the soldiers around him carry out their jobs without, apparently, feeling much of anything. The Palestinians, mostly passive and mostly silent, condemn their enemies by glances that will prove unforgettable. As the story moves forward, the operation to deport the inhabitants of Khir­bet Khizeh forms a kind of scar, not just on the narrator’s psyche but, you begin to imagine, on Israel itself. It is difficult to read this book and not feel deeply disturbed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/books/review/khirbet-khizeh-by-s-yizhar.html

Video: ‘She just wants chocolate! What is she, an Arab?
+972 mag 22 Feb by Ami Kaufman — Israeli social media is talking about one thing today: the video showing Israeli passengers cursing and threatening a flight attendant on their way to Varna, Bulgaria. The headlines are pretty much the same all over, and include the words: “Watch: The Ugly Israeli,” in reference to what Israelis see as the rude behavior they are notorious for worldwide. However, few (including mainstream media) paid attention to the little gem hidden in the video, a one-liner that epitomizes the casual racism so widespread in the Jewish state. The flight attendant refuses to sell chocolate to a passenger (apparently he was busy with another passenger, it’s difficult to discern the exact reason). Things heat up. Then, her sister sitting across the aisle says at 0:28 in the video below: “She just wants to buy chocolate, what is she – an Arab?”
http://972mag.com/she-just-wants-chocolate-what-is-she-an-arab/103037/

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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46 Responses

  1. Kay24 on February 23, 2015, 11:49 am

    Those settler thugs should get their behinds kicked and thrown in jail. If this was done by Palestinian kids and and the victims was an Israeli kid, their homes would have been destroyed by now. Once again the bigots in uniform look the other way, while this helpless little boy was physically harmed and terrorized. Damn these Israelis and their evil ways.

    • Marnie on February 23, 2015, 12:10 pm

      It’s a damn shame Mike Huckabee wasn’t there to save the day. He talked the talk about how to deal with bullies. Though he probably would have been as terrified of the 10-year-old boy making terrorist snowball projectiles as the settler wanna be gang bangers were and would have been on the side of the thugs, not the thugged.

  2. Kate on February 23, 2015, 1:05 pm

    The song is especially for you, just!

    • just on February 23, 2015, 1:49 pm

      Oh Kate. I can barely see to write this. The tears are just pouring. Thank you for the single most beautiful gift that I have received in a very, very, very long time.

      The video, the lyrics, the music, her beauty (in her robe of Palestine), and her voice are perfect in every way.

      It’s perfection. It’s Palestine. It’s Palestinian. It’s ethereal.

      I fervently wish that this goes “viral”. Miral Ayyad, in this song and video of ‘Shawit Haky’, has spoken volumes.

      • bintbiba on February 23, 2015, 2:30 pm

        ……..and Kate., Just, the lyrics in Arabic are really lovely …much more evocative and real than any translation.

        That kid, Manal, looks and sounds so mature. Kids grow up too fast in that toxic environment!

        We thank you Kate for all the great efforts you put into this.

      • Kate on February 23, 2015, 4:27 pm

        I am so glad you liked it, just. I knew you would!

      • just on February 23, 2015, 5:31 pm

        I love it very much, Kate.

        I was pleased to see the article from Amira Hass, though it left me sad.

        I was also very moved to see that “Hundreds join ‘Open Shuhada Street’ rally despite storm”. When you read/see the reality of life in the OPT as you so diligently document here so often and tirelessly, it makes the efforts of good people so impressive and awe- inspiring. I wish YAS would grow in a huge way~ the illegal settlements are disgraceful on their own, but the actions of the illegal, violent and criminal “settlers” are truly a threat to the very lives of all Palestinians… their enabling by the armed IOF, “border” (where?) police, and others is truly a marriage made in hell.

        Why did it take until 2015 for ‘Khirbet Khizeh’ to be published in the US? Something/someones are rotten in this… Same thing for “Censored Voices” (thanks to Sundance, btw!)

        “Tongue-tied: Arab and Jewish Jerusalemites are flocking to study the other’s language”

        I want to believe that it’s a good sign, but my initial reaction is my recollection of people being beaten for speaking Arabic in Jerusalem and of Palestinians being executed for speaking Hebrew during last summer’s massacre in Gaza…..

        “PHOTOS: Snow on Jerusalem’s holy and unholy monuments”

        great photos, and the title is spot- on! Here are some more:

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.643449

    • Walid on February 23, 2015, 2:23 pm

      Where is the song?

      • bintbiba on February 23, 2015, 2:31 pm

        Walid… just scroll up from the end….you’ll find it.

  3. Walid on February 23, 2015, 3:07 pm

    A beautifully haunting song; my tears started with the scene of the boys playing soccer on the beach that brought to mind what happened to the boys on Gaza beach last summer. Again with the scene of the little boy digging up his smashed violin from the rubble.

    • bintbiba on February 23, 2015, 3:14 pm

      Miral !!!…I apologise for not saying her name correctly.

      All the video is very moving . Several symbolic moments.
      Tears seem ‘à l’order du jour’ today. Caught me at a vulnerable moment.

      • seafoid on February 23, 2015, 3:39 pm

        The land is beautiful even if the bots have fucked it up for so long.
        As long as Palestinians eat khubz in Falastin the bots can’t win.

        I was reading this amazing book the other day

        http://www.kennys.ie/haunted-ireland.html

        It’s about Irish ghosts. And I was wondering where the Jewish ghosts are. They are not in the Middle East.

      • bintbiba on February 25, 2015, 12:36 pm

        correction: à l’ordre du jour…..

  4. seafoid on February 23, 2015, 3:33 pm

    “We can only imagine the shock when the family learned of Major Adraee’s Facebook posting showing their beloved relative accepting water from a soldier, knowing she was executed around the time of the photograph being taken.

    Zionist scum. From Day 1

    • oldgeezer on February 23, 2015, 4:15 pm

      I think whatever humanity is left within Israel is quickly disappearing. Certainly the leadership is bereft of any signs of humanity. While I know it was perhaps rashly said in anger even a left wing zionist resorted to a wish for violence and harm in response to statements and not physical acts put to him.

      Is Israel worth saving. What faint hope is there of it ever progressing to a point where it will live peacefully with it’s neighbours and minorities.

  5. Bornajoo on February 23, 2015, 4:13 pm

    That song and video was extraordinarily moving and haunting. Anyone who sees that and isn’t moved has a heart of stone… Or a zionist

    Those f*****g settlers! That first story made my blood boil

    Thank you Kate

  6. Kate on February 23, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Here is the English translation as given in the video of the Arabic lyrics to “Shwait Haky (شوية حكي )” “A Few Words To Say”
    Sung by Miral Ayyad

    (bintbiba, can you improve the translation? I know we’ll never get the full meaning and emotion of the Arabic, but perhaps you could do better?)

    I have a few words to say
    If you are thinking of waking up
    Oh world if you hear us
    You will understand and support us
    You will make sure that in my country
    The flower still has a meaning
    Oh world why do you think
    That we love to bomb
    Look inside the smallest heart in my country
    You will find a shining light
    Oh world we have piano
    And a boy is playing his melody
    And the Dabke dancers show the suffering
    Written with their dancing feet on the stage
    Oh world it is not your right
    To spread your love to the injustice
    You will make sure that in my country
    The flower still has a meaning
    On a braid of a West Banker girl
    A pigeon builds its nest and sends
    To a pigeon in Gaza
    A wheat if the world felt greedy
    Tomorrow you will read in our eyes
    The pain that Virgin Mary feels
    And the hope that comes from Jesus Christ
    And prophet Muhammad from the Dome of the Rock
    Oh world what can I say
    Is there a word from my heart that interests you
    The sea here speaks Arabic
    And can speak your language if you like
    The sea in Gaza was never
    Holding a sword and standing against you
    You will be sure that in my country
    The flower still has a meaning

    • just on February 23, 2015, 5:33 pm

      ;-)

    • bintbiba on February 24, 2015, 3:53 pm

      Kate, apologies for being so late in responding about the lovely “Shwayyet Haki” and Miral….
      re the translation into English….It is very faithful to the Arabic words and phrases . I only meant to give my own feelings about the song. The words + idioms+ rhyme blended so well into the rhythm of the song and melody. Translation cannot convey that essence. I say these things with great humility , as I am no expert!

      Also my problem with Mahmoudd Darwish translated . Only he can render his own verse … so sensual and personal !
      Again ,Kate , my gratitude for your massive efforts and contribution.

  7. just on February 23, 2015, 7:56 pm

    “Burnt body found in abandoned house in Ramallah

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The burnt body of a young man was found in an abandoned house in Ramallah on Monday, police said.

    Police told Ma’an that the body was taken to Al-Quds University’s forensic medicine department for an autopsy.”

    http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759567

    Police are investigating… this gives me the willies.

    • just on February 23, 2015, 8:09 pm

      This gives me the willies, too:

      “The Israel Defense Forces plans to make it harder for soldiers to be released from the army due to psychological distress, in an effort to reduce the number of people dropping out before completing their compulsory service.

      Currently, one out of every six men drafted into the IDF drops out before completing his three-year term. As a result, a task force comprised of representatives from all the army’s main branches, along with the medical corps and the mental health unit, has decided to stiffen the criteria for release on psychological grounds.

      A senior officer in the IDF manpower directorate said that almost 50 percent of soldiers who drop out of the army do so for psychological reasons. The remainder do so mainly due to either medical or disciplinary problems.
      …….
      Nevertheless, former mental health officers said they doubted if it was possible to reduce the number of soldiers dropping out due to psychological problems. Compared to other armies, they explained, the IDF exempts very few people from service on mental health grounds, so more people with potential problems enter the army to begin with.

      “The psychological dropout rate from the IDF fell dramatically a few years ago, and some professionals even thought it fell dangerously,” said Col. (res.) Prof. Haim Knobler, a former head of the IDF’s mental health unit. “The numbers we’re hearing attest to a limited psychological dropout rate – much smaller than the norm in Western armies with compulsory service. I’m certain the IDF professionals know how to prevent the errors of drafting unsuitable people or retaining soldiers who aren’t fit for service.”

      Knobler added that most of the people exempted from service or released early on psychological grounds don’t have real psychiatric problems, but their personality makes them unsuited to army life. “In most cases it’s what we used to call ‘an immature personality,’ and in other cases it’s problems with accepting authority,” Knobler explained. “Most of those released from the IDF on psychological grounds are still released for these reasons, so there’s no point in talking about psychological treatment for the soldiers that would allow them to remain in service in these cases.””

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.643887?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      Scary. Forcing psychologically disturbed IOF to continue to have guns and WMD.

      • Philemon on February 23, 2015, 9:00 pm

        “Knobler added that most of the people exempted from service or released early on psychological grounds don’t have real psychiatric problems, but their personality makes them unsuited to army life. ‘In most cases it’s what we used to call “an immature personality,”and in other cases it’s problems with accepting authority,’ Knobler explained. ‘Most of those released from the IDF on psychological grounds are still released for these reasons, so there’s no point in talking about psychological treatment for the soldiers that would allow them to remain in service in these cases.'”

        So, in other words, they’re too normal for the Israeli army?

      • Mooser on February 25, 2015, 6:45 pm

        “Currently, one out of every six men drafted into the IDF drops out before completing his three-year term.”

        Lack of TU. It’s showing up everywhere. And it was so strong up til now, too. It’s a shame.

        And gosh, what if the guy who has done his full Army service comes home to find the drop-out got his job and married his best girl. Can’t have that, gotta make sure the drop-outs don’t do as well as real IDF vets.

    • seafoid on February 23, 2015, 9:47 pm

      It doesn’t matter, Just ,if the deceased isn’t Jewish . Not under Lawfare

      http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9e26bbe2-bba0-11e4-aa71-00144feab7de.html

      “The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have been ordered to pay $218.5m in damages after a New York court found them liable for six terrorist attacks in Israel, marking another win under a US antiterrorism law covering American victims of overseas attacks.

      A US District Court jury on Monday found in favour of 10 US families who sued the Palestinian groups in 2004 for attacks that killed 33 people and wounded hundreds from 2002 to 2004.”

      Imagine how much Protective Edge would cost Israel in a level playing field.

      • just on February 23, 2015, 10:29 pm

        Or Cast Lead, or Pillar of Defense, or any of the Palestinians. Lebanese, Iranians, Jordanians, or humanitarian activists, etc. that they’ve terrorized and killed. Of course, you are right about this, seafoid.

        Yet, the Corries can’t even get an apology for the murder of their child, may she rest in peace. No justice in Israel, and none in the US for any victims of Israeli violence. And that’s one of thousands upon thousands of innocents killed by Israel. Still, the US funds and arms Israel so that they can kill more innocents with impunity, falsely claiming ‘self- defense’. Kafkaesque.
        ;(((

        (PS~ “The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have been ordered to pay $218.5m”. Where are they going to find the money?)

      • just on February 23, 2015, 11:17 pm

        “Rachel Corrie
        ‏@rcfoundation
        @RaniaKhalek English translation of Israeli Supreme Court ruling dismissing appeal in Rachel Corrie case”

        Link to document (travesty of justice) @ https://twitter.com/rcfoundation/status/569980004626534400

        So freaking sad and wrong. Lies, lies, and more lies.

      • seafoid on February 24, 2015, 2:17 am

        The manner in which they use law exclusively to feed the Jewish sense of victimhood while ignoring any semblance of justice.
        It’s a sick ideology.

  8. RoHa on February 24, 2015, 12:32 am

    “10-year-old boy attacked and arrested for playing in the snow”

    Another glorious victory for the IDF. My admiration for them could get no higher.

    • Kay24 on February 24, 2015, 1:26 am

      Yeah aren’t those Israeli forces so brave and “tough”, to confront head on, a 10 year child? They never cease to amaze me.

  9. Walid on February 24, 2015, 4:45 am

    Last night between midnight and 6 am this morning, 5 mini drones buzzed the sky over Paris and over very sensitive locations such as the US Embassy, the Eiffel and government buildings. The authorities said these flights were illegal and had no idea who was behind them. A few weeks ago the same thing hapened but over France’s 17 nuclear installations. I wonder if Israel has anything to do with it; wouldn’t be surprised. If Israel can spy on the US, it can also do it on France.

    • just on February 24, 2015, 6:15 am

      That’s chilling, Walid.

      “(CNN)Authorities are investigating the appearance of five drones seen flying over sensitive and well-known areas of Paris overnight, the prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.

      The unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted over the Eiffel Tower, the Bastille, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides and the U.S. Embassy, according to Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office. The drones were seen between midnight and 6 a.m.”

      http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/24/europe/france-drones/index.html

      Whodunnit, indeed?
      ————
      “Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed a Palestinian man overnight Tuesday, in a refugee camp outside of Bethlehem.

      According to IDF sources, soldiers entered the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem. Clashes erupted with Palestinians throwing stones and bricks at the troops, One IDF soldier sustained a light head wound and was taken for treatment. The soldiers opened fire, and one Palestinian was hit, then taken to receive treatment.

      According to Palestinian doctors, the 19-year-old victim, identified as Jihad Shehadi el-Jaafari. A was hit by one bullet in his chest, and taken to local clinic where he died shortly after from loss of blood. Palestinian sources said that the clashes broke out as IDF soldiers entered the camp on an arrest mission. One witness stated that Aljaferi was on the roof of his home looking down at the soldiers during the clash.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.643954?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      • just on February 24, 2015, 11:09 am

        As if it could, it gets worse:

        “The sources added that al-Ja’fary was shot by a live round that penetrated his left shoulder, and lodged in his chest causing a severe bleeding.

        The soldiers prevented Palestinian medics from reaching the seriously wounded man, and he bled to death before the medics managed to move him to the al-Yamama hospital, in Bethlehem.

        The slain Palestinian was standing on his home’s rooftop, overlooking the main road, when he was shot.

        Eyewitnesses said scores of soldiers invaded the camp in an attempt to kidnap a Palestinian, an issue that led to clashes between the soldiers and local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles on them.

        The army fired gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and rounds of live ammunition, causing several injuries.”

        http://www.imemc.org/article/70697

  10. just on February 24, 2015, 6:48 am

    “Israel’s electric company cut off power Monday to more than 700,000 Palestinians in two major West Bank cities and nearby villages, and warned that more outages are coming if Palestinian officials don’t pay millions of dollars in outstanding debt.

    The outage in Nablus, the largest West Bank city, and Jenin, to the north, lasted about an hour, but could become a regular part of West Bank life if the Palestinian Authority and the local electric utilities don’t pay their bills, the Israel Electric Corp. (IEC) warned.

    In a reprisal move, Israel has frozen more than $240 million in tax revenues it had collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the last two months, leaving an already cash-strapped government unable to even pay full salaries for its 180,000 civil servants.”

    http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-israel-electricity-west-bank-palestinians-20150223-story.html

    Occupiers aren’t supposed to do any of the heinous things that Israel is doing.

    “The International Laws of Belligerent Occupation

    Professor Francis Boyle

    Belligerent occupation is governed by The Hague Regulations of 1907, as well as by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and the customary laws of belligerent occupation. Security Council Resolution 1322 (2000), paragraph 3 continued: “Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in a Time of War of 12 August 1949;…” Again, the Security Council vote was 14 to 0, becoming obligatory international law.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the West Bank, to the Gaza Strip, and to the entire City of Jerusalem, in order to protect the Palestinians living there. The Palestinian People living in this Palestinian Land are “protected persons” within the meaning of the Fourth Geneva Convention. All of their rights are sacred under international law.

    There are 149 substantive articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that protect the rights of every one of these Palestinians living in occupied Palestine. The Israeli Government is currently violating, and has since 1967 been violating, almost each and every one of these sacred rights of the Palestinian People recognized by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Indeed, violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention are war crimes.

    So this is not a symmetrical situation. As matters of fact and of law, the gross and repeated violations of Palestinian rights by the Israeli army and Israeli settlers living illegally in occupied Palestine constitute war crimes. Conversely, the Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.”

    More @ http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/boyle.html

    • just on February 24, 2015, 10:10 am

      Amira Hass:

      “Will the PA be forced to dissolve? The dangers of Palestinian recession

      The PA cannot guarantee its residents a fair economic subsistence, even under the occupation, due to Israel’s prohibitive policies, which in eight years have cost the authority tens of billions of shekels.

      Between the U.S. court decision against the PLO and the cut off of electrical power to the northern West Bank – the warped logic of the continuing existence of the Palestinian Authority, an entity that should have been temporary but became permanent, reached new heights on Monday.

      From the day of its founding two decades ago, the PA had responsibilities and duties, but was deprived of authority and resources. The Oslo Accords between an organization (the PLO) and a state (Israel) created this asymmetric reality: In it, the occupied bears legal and financial responsibility toward the occupier and its citizens, and it is punished if it rises up against the foreign ruler. The occupier is free to keep ruling and to harm the occupied.

      Monday was a day of bad economic news for Palestinian society. In the background lies an acute recession, added to five years of chronic economic stagnation. Israel continues to freeze the transfer of Palestinian taxes that it collects, so since January 170,000 public service workers have received only 60 percent of their salaries, which are insufficient to begin with.

      The results include a slowdown in commerce in the West Bank, belated payments to institutions and private businesses, and reduction of municipal projects, and therefore a further loss of revenue for the PA, workers who can’t even afford to commute to work, and mounting incidences of burglary.

      Compounding the economic recession and stagnation are the hundreds of millions of dollars that jurors in an American court this week ordered the PLO and PA to pay compensation to Israeli-American victims of Palestinian armed attacks; the danger that the Israel Electric Corporation will continue to cut off electricity intermittently; and the flooding in Palestinian neighborhoods in Hebron and the Gaza Strip due to recent storms. All this comes on top of the emotional and physical destruction in Gaza, whose reconstruction seems farther away than ever.”

      the rest @ http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.644003
      ———————

      And, from Charlotte Silver:

      “A New York federal jury today found the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization liable for a series of attacks that took place in present-day Israel and Jerusalem between 2000 and 2004, causing the deaths of 33 people and injuries to many more.

      The jury awarded the plaintiffs $218.5 million of the original one billion dollars sought in damages. Damages awarded in cases filed under the the Anti-Terrorism Act are automatically tripled, bringing the total amount owed by the Palestinian political bodies to $655.5 million.

      In a statement released to the press, PA deputy minister of information Mahmoud Khalifa said the charges are baseless and they will appeal the verdict.

      The verdict creates an interesting situation: the Palestinian Authority receives hundreds of millions of dollars in aid annually from the United States, and Israeli occupation forces cooperate closely with PA forces in order to suppress Palestinian protest and resistance.

      If the verdict stands, it would mean Israel and the United States are funding and working closely with organizations that a US court has deemed responsible for “terrorism.””

      http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/new-york-jury-finds-palestinian-authority-liable-terrorism

  11. eljay on February 24, 2015, 8:00 am

    Alleged former Auschwitz medic, 94, is charged with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder in Germany because his actions ‘would have enabled the death camp to keep running’

    The charging of Zio-supremacists as accessories to (war) crimes because their actions “enabled and continue to enable the decades-long theft, occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and oppression, torture and murder of Palestinians” can’t happen soon enough.

  12. just on February 24, 2015, 9:42 am

    For the very lucky in the Bay Area:

    “Dan Cohen
    ‏@dancohen3000
    Bay Area: I will discuss Gaza at UC Berkeley on February 24.”

    details @ https://twitter.com/dancohen3000/status/567779029923528705

  13. just on February 24, 2015, 4:07 pm

    “Ghalia Abu-Rediah – kindness followed by execution”

    It was propaganda, Israeli style followed by an execution, Israeli style.

    Thanks to Shawn Robinson and you, Kate, for remembering this victim of a war crime.

  14. just on February 24, 2015, 5:50 pm

    “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Autopsy results for a young Palestinian man killed by Israeli forces near Bethlehem early Tuesday show that he was shot in the upper body at close range, a forensic expert told Ma’an.

    Sabri al-Aloul said that the autopsy results show that 19-year-old Jihad al-Jaafari bled to death after being hit with an M16 bullet that penetrated his body through the left shoulder and struck his lungs before exiting and causing severe bleeding in his arteries and around his spine.

    The killing was “similar to an execution” because he was shot from very close range, al-Aloul said.

    The autopsy was performed between 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and adhered to international standards, he added.

    He said the autopsy was significant given that the report could be used to hold Israel accountable in international courts.”

    http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759598

    “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Thousands of mourners on Tuesday attended the funeral of 19-year-old Jihad Shehada al-Jaafari, who was shot and killed during a dawn arrest raid in Duheisha refugee camp.”

    http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759595

    RIP.

    “JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian girl suffered fractures and bruises Tuesday after being hit by a settlement guard’s jeep in the Ein al-Lawza area of the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem, family said.

    Mariam Karim Dana, 10, was hit as the vehicle was speeding between houses, Dana’s brother Amer said.

    He said the car stopped after Mariam fell down, but backed up again, hitting her leg.

    Israeli police arrived at the scene but allowed the driver to leave without being detained or questioned. ”

    http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759601

    • just on February 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

      And another:

      “Palestinian hit by settler car south of Hebron

      HEBRON (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man sustained moderate injuries after being hit by a settler car near the Israeli separation wall south of Hebron, locals and medics said.

      Hasan Abd al-Rahman Badran, 21, from the town of Idhna west of Hebron, was en-route to his work in Israel when he was hit by the settler vehicle near al-Burj.”

      http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?id=759588

  15. just on February 25, 2015, 12:32 am

    Searing truth. The entire article, sans a very few words is a masterpiece of truth, told by Amira Hass:

    The sickest imagination of present-day anti-Semites cannot compete with the handiwork of Israel and its emissaries the settlers in Hebron ……

    The demand for the Jewish return is broken down here into all its raw components: the expulsion of the Palestinians, the destruction of their homes and their cultural legacy, destruction of the economy, extreme ethnic-spatial separation and deranged prohibitions regarding movement and housing, attacks in the name of the Torah, harassment and denial of the other. If gentile foes were to say that that’s how Jews behave, the institutes for the study of anti-Semitism would sound the alarm.

    Today, February 25, is the 21st anniversary of the massacre perpetrated by Dr. Baruch Goldstein against worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Cave of the Patriarchs). The prime minister and defense minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, could have dismantled the nuclear bombs stored by his colleagues from Mapai (the forerunner of Labor) in the late 1960s – Yigal Alon and Moshe Dayan – when they allowed groups of messianic Jews to settle there and encouraged them by providing military protection and weapons. The evacuation of the settlers from Hebron would have been received with great understanding in 1994.

    But Rabin decided to continue with the traditional policy, which was natural for Mapai, of pampering the settlers, and instructed the army to punish the Palestinians for the massacre committed against them by a Jewish doctor – an immigrant from the United States – with a prolonged curfew, restrictions on movement, the closing of shops and marketplaces, and criminal forgivingness for the violence of the settlers. Since then Israel has continued with its policy of punishing those who are being attacked.

    Twenty-one years after the massacre, the settlers in Hebron have many reasons for celebration. President Reuven Rivlin visited them and gave his approval for the evaporation of the Palestinian community from the center of Hebron. Last week a second representative of the Hebron settlers entered the Knesset, instead of the late Uri Orbach: Rabbi Hillel Horowitz of Habayit Hayehudi, who is joining his colleague and neighbor Orit Strock. And even if it’s only symbolic and for a month or two, there’s a chance that another of their neighbors, Baruch Marzel, who lives in the settlement of Tel Rumeida, will preserve the handsome quota in the next Knesset: two elected officials from a community of several hundred people who have orchestrated one of the most violent and racist realities.

    The Hebron settlers can be credited with several more accomplishments achieved in the past three years: another new promenade connecting Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs, an expanded Beit Romano, an archaeological park under construction, the Cave of the Patriarchs as a national heritage site, tours by school students and the main thing – a first settlement site in Hebron in 30 years in “Beit Hameriva” (“the house of contention”) in the heart of the a-Ras neighborhood, after the Supreme Court confirmed that it was purchased legally.

    And among the achievements and festivities, the center of the city is deserted and in ruins. You have to visit there, repeatedly, in order to begin to understand not only how it looks when 120 blockades and checkpoints cut off abandoned streets in the middle, and how it is when young soldiers enforce the prohibition against visiting the family that insists on continuing to live in its home or to walk in the street that’s for Jews only, and how the elderly climb up the incline short of breath, because Palestinian cars are not allowed there.

    The visit is necessary in order to understand this all-Israeli creation: Active and conscious assistance of Labor governments, and conscious support, indifference and the emotional and intellectual laziness of elites and ordinary people, have implemented the most extremist settlement-oriented-messianic-right-wing master plan since 1948.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.644080?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Amira Hass and Gideon Levy are two of the best journalists and reasons for hope that Israel (and the world) is lucky enough to have. May they stay safe and strong.

    • Bornajoo on February 25, 2015, 3:03 am

      “Amira Hass and Gideon Levy are two of the best journalists and reasons for hope that Israel (and the world) is lucky enough to have. May they stay safe and strong.”

      Thanks Just. Ditto that! Two shining lights in a sea of darkness

  16. just on February 25, 2015, 5:41 pm

    Another shining light right here. He leads a sea of shining lights:

    “My West Bank village marks a decade of civil disobedience

    Bil’in’s villagers have become known as the ‘Palestinian Gandhis’ for our popular struggle against the occupation in general, and the separation fence in particular.

    By Abdullah Abu Rahmeh

    On February 20, 2005, we, residents of the West Bank Palestinian village of Bil’in, set forth, accompanied by supporters from around the world, and marched to the west side of the village. Israeli army bulldozers had begun uprooting olive trees there and wiping out the place that had shaped our memories and those of our ancestors. The occupation regime provided the excuse that the wall that they were building there was for “security reasons,” but the truth was that the real aim was to steal land to build Jewish settlements. Since then, we have organized 521 weekly Friday demonstrations and another 80 at other times.

    The protests are still taking place. We take pride not over the large number of protests that we have held but rather over the fact that we set a goal for ourselves and have accomplished it. We are simple people and are not large in number, but from the first moment, we refused to accept the reality the occupation was imposing on us through the separation barrier, with its route planned to run through Bil’in and neighboring villages. And despite the range of points of view of village residents, everyone agreed on a common goal: persistent opposition to the fence, until it came down.

    Advancing toward our goal required us to cooperate like a hive of bees. The first step involved dividing up the tasks and areas of responsibility and pooling together resources and efforts. The recruitment of our friends from abroad in our struggle made things easier for us — as did the fact that Israeli activists joined us. The village residents, who had never met Israelis who were not soldiers or settlers, had a hard time accepting the Israelis’ involvement at first, but it soon became clear that bullets fired at demonstrations did not discriminate. They hit everyone, without distinction of religion, race or gender, and that held true when it came to arrests as well. Nevertheless, discrimination between Palestinian activists and Israelis and foreigners of course does exist in the military court system in the West Bank.
    ……..
    The fifth step involved continuity. Whatever the weather, in heat and cold, regardless of the circumstances, whether sad or happy, and despite the various kinds of collective punishment — the closure, the roadblocks, the curfews — we insisted on holding the demonstrations with our flag held high. One day people asked me why I always carried a Palestinian flag at the demonstrations, to which I replied that as long as the occupation continues, my flag will be held high as a symbol of the continued fight for liberation.

    The Israeli army spared no effort to put down the demonstrations in Bil’in. It used various types of ammunition, some old and familiar, while others were tried here for the first time. They also demonstrated considerable creativity when it came to collective punishment. The army raised the use of nighttime raids into the village to a real art form. Hundreds of residents were arrested in the ten years of protest, and thousands were injured. Two people from one family, Bassem and Jawaher Abu Rahmeh, were killed by the army. None of this diverted us from our goal of liberating our land.

    On this momentous occasion, after ten years of efforts, I was put on trial for a fifth time over a series of false allegations. This is also the fifth time that an Israeli judge has convicted me. Last time it led to 16 months in prison, but there is no punishment that can undermine my sense of the justice of my right to defend my land and my people’s land and our human rights. I will remain loyal to this struggle whatever the price.

    Anyone who has tasted success and victory will always seek to repeat them and preserve them and will not be reconciled to any other reality. The price is steep, but the rewards come later, when you sense the joy, the security and the peace that your activities have provided for everyone. Failure and defeat sometimes make people evade responsibility and assign blame for their circumstances. There are also those who deal with defeat by assimilating the worldview of the victor and acceptance of the new reality. That is another reason why we cannot remain silent in the face of injustice. All of us much act to change the bitter reality.

    The successes and achievements of the village of Bil’in are not exclusively that of one person but rather the result of a collective effort that everyone is entitled to take pride in — Palestinians, activists from abroad and Israeli activists. We therefore share our happiness with all of those who have come to Bil’in since 2005. We will continue to strive for humaneness to prevail. Even those who have not come to the village up to now are invited to join in and taste the sweetness of success.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.644196?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    If you can navigate the premium wall, go read the whole thing… I hated to ‘edit’ it… I’ve said it before, most recently at his latest sentencing, that it is apparent that Israel really does not want a Palestinian Gandhi, and never did!

    From one of Kate’s compilations:

    “At Abu Rahmah’s sentencing hearing took place on Sunday the military prosecutor demanded a harsh punishment consisting of a long prison sentence and a large fine. She further claimed that Abu Rahmah is somebody who commits ideological crimes, thus his chance for rehabilitation is low and he must be given a punishment that will deter him from doing similar things in the future”. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/prosecutor-ideological-sentencing#sthash.pFYp6RGU.dpuf

  17. Walid on February 26, 2015, 3:43 am

    Back to the story of drones over France. A couple of days back, 3 journalists from al-Jazeera were picked up and placed under house arrest for having flown a drone over the bois de Boulogne but at this point it’s appearing that the incident is a misdemeanor.

    More disturbing after the 5 reported flights that lasted 6 hours earlier this week, the very next day there was a repeat of all these flights over exactly the same targets and at the same time which is leading the French authorities to be very disturbed as these flights are pre-programmed. Today, it was announced that since October 5th, there has been 56 drone sightings over Paris, over the 17 nuclear sites and over the nuclear submarine base. French authorities are saying that there is no reason to be alarmed but they are annoyed at not knowing what is going on.

  18. Walid on February 26, 2015, 9:53 am

    2 days ago, a mosque in Jabaa, near Bethlehem was torched by settlers, Qurans burned and grafitti all over the walls left.

    Last night, the seminary adjacent to the Greek Orthodox church was torched and grafitti left on al over outside walls insulting Jesus.

    It was the settlers’ way of celebrating the anniversary of Baruch Goldstein’s Hebron massacre. Sick sick people.

  19. Accentitude on March 1, 2015, 4:38 am

    I bet Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Bill O’Reilly’ed that story about apprehending the stabbing suspect.

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