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Jordan Valley villagers call for international intervention as Israel conducts massive military training

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Jordan Valley villagers call for int. help
[with photos] AIC 5 May — Besieged Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley have called on the international community to immediately intervene to halt Israeli military training in the area, which has already resulted in the temporary deportation of residents from four villages from their homes and threatens the future livelihood of these communities. Massive Israeli military training in the northern Jordan Valley began on Sunday, with forces using live ammunition around the homes and farms of Palestinian communities. The army ordered residents from four villages to leave their homes for the duration of the training (until Thursday): 18 families from Humsa, 30 families from Hammamaat al Maleh, 5 families from Frush Beit Dejan and 13 families from Ibziq. The families have not been given anywhere to stay, nor have they been given any type of support. Most of the deported families have babies and small children. Families in the village of Al Hadidiya were told that they may have to move for some of this period, although they were given no official documents. “One of the greatest fears of local Palestinians is that land in the area will be set fire to – many of them have fields of wheat that are just due to be harvested, and this could destroy their entire crops”, says Rashid Sawafta, coordinator of the local group Jordan Valley Solidarity. “If scrub land is burnt by the army it will devastate the grazing land of cow, sheep and goat farmers”, Sawafta added. “These are very real fears. On 28 April a similar military exercise in the same area of Humsa Fouqa…resulted in the destruction of 3,000 to 4,000 dunams of crops and trees after the shootings and ammunitions of the Israeli army started fire on the land and Palestinian firefighter crews were prevented from reaching the area.” Deported residents, almost all of whom make a living from farming and livestock, will further be unable to provide food and ensure adequate shelter for their sheep, goats and other animals.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/special-reports/area-c/736-jordan-valley-villagers-call-for-int-help

Israeli military exercise in the Jordan Valley
Published on May 6, 2015 by Stop the Wall Campaign –This video gives a glimpse of the reality Palestinians have been living over the last days of large scale military operation in the Jordan Valley. It explains the context of Israeli plans to ethnically cleanse the area.

Israeli army sets fire to Palestinian lands in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 5 May — Fire burst out in northern Jordan Valley grazing lands on Monday after Israeli army embarked on live ammunition military training in the area for the third day running. Local sources said fire has engulfed large tracts of pastures used for grazing animals due to the heavy volleys of live fire unleashed during the military training. The Israeli occupation army denied locals from accessing their land to put out the fire, the same sources added. Military ordnance left by the Israeli army forces during the drills are reportedly endangering civilians’ lives, particularly children’s, and the environment.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71499

Israel to completely demolish Negev village and displace residents
IMEMC/Agencies 6 May — The Israeli Supreme Court, on Tuesday, issued a final decision to demolish and displace the people of Atir-Umm Al-Hieran, a Palestinian village which remains unrecognized in the Negev desert of southern Israel. The decision will be utilized to establish a Jewish-only settlement upon the ruins of the Bedouin village, which has the population of more than 1,000 Palestinians, this just days before the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. According to the PNN, the court’s final decision, issued by a majority of two judges against one, came after 13 years of judicial proceedings and attempts to cancel the demolition and eviction orders. The court in its decision admitted the Israeli intentions to demolish the village in order to establish a settlement “with a Jewish Zionist majority,” according to the decision. According to the court, the people of the village of Atir did not enter the land illegally, but were “relocated” to it in back in 1956, by an Israeli occupation authorities official order, after they were expelled from their villages of origin during the Nakba in 1948. Following the relocation, the court claimed that Israel only “allowed” the Palestinian refugees (which it forcibly displaced) to use this land and, therefore, these people can be expelled from it at any given moment.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71486

Jordan Valley villagers call for int. help
[with photos] AIC 5 May — Besieged Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley have called on the international community to immediately intervene to halt Israeli military training in the area, which has already resulted in the temporary deportation of residents from four villages from their homes and threatens the future livelihood of these communities. Massive Israeli military training in the northern Jordan Valley began on Sunday, with forces using live ammunition around the homes and farms of Palestinian communities. The army ordered residents from four villages to leave their homes for the duration of the training (until Thursday): 18 families from Humsa, 30 families from Hammamaat al Maleh, 5 families from Frush Beit Dejan and 13 families from Ibziq. The families have not been given anywhere to stay, nor have they been given any type of support. Most of the deported families have babies and small children. Families in the village of Al Hadidiya were told that they may have to move for some of this period, although they were given no official documents. “One of the greatest fears of local Palestinians is that land in the area will be set fire to – many of them have fields of wheat that are just due to be harvested, and this could destroy their entire crops”, says Rashid Sawafta, coordinator of the local group Jordan Valley Solidarity. “If scrub land is burnt by the army it will devastate the grazing land of cow, sheep and goat farmers”, Sawafta added. “These are very real fears. On 28 April a similar military exercise in the same area of Humsa Fouqa…resulted in the destruction of 3,000 to 4,000 dunams of crops and trees after the shootings and ammunitions of the Israeli army started fire on the land and Palestinian firefighter crews were prevented from reaching the area.” Deported residents, almost all of whom make a living from farming and livestock, will further be unable to provide food and ensure adequate shelter for their sheep, goats and other animals.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/special-reports/area-c/736-jordan-valley-villagers-call-for-int-help

Israeli army sets fire to Palestinian lands in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 5 May — Fire burst out in northern Jordan Valley grazing lands on Monday after Israeli army embarked on live ammunition military training in the area for the third day running. Local sources said fire has engulfed large tracts of pastures used for grazing animals due to the heavy volleys of live fire unleashed during the military training. The Israeli occupation army denied locals from accessing their land to put out the fire, the same sources added. Military ordnance left by the Israeli army forces during the drills are reportedly endangering civilians’ lives, particularly children’s, and the environment.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71499

Israeli military exercise in the Jordan Valley
Published on May 6, 2015 by Stop the Wall Campaign –This video gives a glimpse of the reality Palestinians have been living over the last days of large scale military operation in the Jordan Valley. It explains the context of Israeli plans to ethnically cleanse the area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=30&v=wOrnH3pycgY

Israel to remove Susiya village in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 5 May — An Israeli Court ruled Monday on the removal ofSusiya Bedouin village, in Masafer Yatta area, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after colonists of the illegal Susya settlement demanded the removal of the Palestinian enclave. Coordinator of the Popular and National Committee in southern Hebron Rateb Jabour told the WAFA News agency that the Israeli decision could be enforced at any given moment, rendering dozens of resident homeless. He added that the head of the Susiya Village Council Jihad Nawaj‘a received an official Israeli order informing him of the intention to remove the village. Nawaj‘a stated that the Susiya has been subject to dozens of violations and assaults by Israeli soldiers and fanatic colonizers. “Our village is a historic area; Israel wants to remove us to control it,” he added, “There are many Islamic and Roman archaeological sites here.” The villagers have been constantly suffering, and literally fighting for their very existence, since Israel started the construction of Susya colony in 1983 on privately owned lands belonging to five Palestinian families from Yatta. The villagers were forcibly removed from their village in 1986, and relocated to the current location, yet again, are facing the same fate.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71467

Soldiers to demolish three homes near Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 7 May — The Israeli army invaded, Wednesday, Jabal al-Babaarea, east of the al-Ezariyya town, east of occupied Jerusalem, and handed out three demolition orders. Fateh Movement Secretary in Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin village Daoud al-Jahalin said dozens of soldiers and employees of the Israeli “Civil Administration Office,” run by the army, invaded the Bedouin community, and handed the orders to Ahmad Tarabin, Mahmoud Jahalin and Salem Jahalin. He added that sixteen persons inhabit the targeted homes, and will be rendered homeless should Israel carry out the destruction of their properties. The Civil Administration informed the families they have until May 18 to file appeals against the demolition orders. Bedouin villages in the occupied West Bank are subject to constant violations, displacement and assaults, while the military also repeatedly forces them out of the homes and lands, to conduct military training in the Jordan Valley.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71493

Settler organization takes over Silwan building
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 May — Israeli settler organization Ateret Cohanim took over a building comprising three apartments in the central quarter of the Silwanneighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem Wednesday morning. The building was the former property of Palestinian family Abu Nab, while Ateret Cohanim claims it as Yemenite Jewish property prior to 1948. Some 20 Jewish settlers escorted by special Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and accessed the Abu Nab building while the family members were away, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh information Center. Accessing the building through a nearby settlement outpost known as House of Honey, “they opened the main gate, then they broke open the apartment doors.” All members of the Abu Nab family had left the building on Tuesday afternoon to visit relatives in northern Israel, the Wadi Hilweh Center said. Clashes broke out in the area between the settlers and neighbors and relatives of Abu Nab family in Silwan at the time. Neighbors telephoned the homeowners, Ahmad, Nasser and Muhammad Abu Nab, who headed immediately to the neighborhood. The three were allegedly stopped and interrogated by an Israeli police patrol “before contact with them was lost.” The Abu Nab family has been living in the building since 1968 after they rented the property from Palestinian Abd al-Razzaq family.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765259Palestinian building permits ‘political’, admits Israel
JERUSALEM (AFP) 3 May – Approval of building plans for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is subject to political considerations, Israeli defence officials have acknowledged. The admission came as a landmark court case seeks to challenge Israel’s housing policy in Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank but is under full Israeli civil and security control. All building in Area C, whether by Palestinians or Jewish settlers, comes under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Civil Administration which has full control over all zoning and planning issues. In practice, almost all Palestinian applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration granting only a handful of permits. In a written response to AFP regarding the legal case in which a Palestinian village and a coalition of NGOs are seeking to tackle Israel’s policy of house demolitions, COGAT — the defence ministry body to which the Civil Administration belongs — admitted that planning issues required political approval … Experts have long suspected that the Israel’s housing policy in Area C is not just a civilian matter but has a political bias. In 2014, the Civil Administration granted just one Palestinian building permit, according to Israeli planning NGO Bimkom. In the same period, Israel carried 493 demolitions, displacing 969 people, UN figures show. Unable to get “legal” permission, Palestinians are faced with either leaving or building illegally.
http://news.yahoo.com/palestinian-building-permits-political-admits-israel-001629371.html

Soldiers install mobile homes east of Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 4 May — Israeli soldiers installed, Monday, a number of mobile homes on illegally confiscated and uprooted Palestinian lands belonging to Palestinian villagers, in the West Bank district of Bethlehem. Head of the Kisan Village Council Hussein Ghazal said the soldiers installed twelve mobile homes on the lands that were bulldozed a month ago, as part of an illegal Israeli plan to build settlement units, and factories, on approximately 650 dunams (160.6 acres) of Palestinian lands.  The lands belong to Palestinians from Kisan village, and from Sa‘ir town in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. Ghazal said the lands are isolated behind a wall Israel recently build, to surround the illegally confiscated lands. “The illegal Israeli measures are not only land theft, but are also preventing any expansion of Kisan,” he said, “The villagers are losing their lands, are being choked by Israel’s settlements and its illegal policies.”
http://www.imemc.org/article/71453

Palestinian village fights to survive as Israel sends in bulldozers
DAHMASH (EI) 6 May by Patrick O. Strickland — When hundreds of Israeli police and border patrol officers arrived in the village of Dahmash at 3am on 15 April, they sealed off the homes and forbade local residents from venturing outside. Within two hours, their bulldozers had torn through homes. Eighteen members of the Assaf family, including several children, were left homeless. In total, five apartments in three different buildings were flattened. A video of the demolition has since been posted on YouTube. “It was very scary for the kids,” Miada Assaf, who lived one of the buildings, told a group of activists and journalists visiting the village on 2 May. “It’s very difficult for us when they come and destroy homes.” Residents told The Electronic Intifada that police arrived in heavy riot gear and fired gas bombs in the area before bringing in the bulldozers. Home to 700 Palestinians, Dahmash is tucked between Ramle and Lydd, two cities in present-day Israel. Although its residents carry Israeli citizenship and have in many cases lived in Dahmash for decades, the government claims it was built illegally and has slated the entire village for demolition. Residents of Dahmash have filed an appeal against the planned demolition in a district court. But the Israeli police carried out the demolition without waiting for the court’s ruling.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/palestinian-village-fights-survive-israel-sends-bulldozers/14498

Israeli forces raze lands in Hebron area
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 6 May — Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural land planted with dozens of almond and olive trees in the Suba area in Idhna in western Hebron on Wednesday. Director of the public relations department in the Ithna municipality Abd al-Rahman al-Tmeizi said that Israeli forces demolished a greenhouse, a support wall and several dry-stone walls. They also razed gardens and lands near residents’ homes in Hebron. He added that the razed lands belong to the Ihreiz, al-Zaatari, al-Qawasmi and al-Tarturi families. Israeli forces prevented people from approaching the area and fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades. No injuries were reported.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765267

Settlers level lands of town west of Salfit
SALFIT (PIC) 6 May — Extremist Jewish settlers leveled Palestinian lands inMas-ha town to the west of Salfit governorate under Israeli forces protection on Wednesday. Local sources revealed that Jewish settlers leveled dozens of dunums of Palestinian lands close to Qana settlement for expansion purposes.  Researcher Khalil Maali said Qana outpost is constructed on Palestinian lands to the west of Mas-ha town. It was previously controlled by the Jordanian army.
Settlement construction has accelerated in the area to the extent that more than 90% of the town’s lands have been confiscated. Three Israeli outposts are surrounding the town, Maali said.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71526

South Africans apologize over forest planted on Palestinian village
EI 5 May by Sarah Levy — Many donors to the South Africa Forest in present-day Israel probably do not realize that they are helping to cover up the results ofethnic cleansing. Such details have been omitted from a Jewish National Fundwebsite promoting the Lower Galilee project as environmentally sound andoffering a certificate to anyone who finances the plantation of at least two trees. Campaigners with the group Stop the JNF in South Africa are trying to highlight how the land where the forest is located was once the site of the Palestinian village of Lubya. It was destroyed by Zionist forces during the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948. In a novel ceremony on 1 May, a number of South Africans who have previously given money to the JNF issued a public apology.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/south-africans-apologize-over-forest-planted-palestinian-village/14494

Palestinian farm struggles to survive in West Bank town caught between Israeli sewage and the separation wall
Mondoweiss 5 May by Allison Deger — Fayez Tneeb, 50, marveled at his organically grown banana tree even though it is failing and rooted in a waste water stream. He and his wife Mona, 50, are proprietors of Hakoritana Farm in Tulkarm, located in the northern West Bank only 100 meters from Israel. For the Tneebs, harvesting pesticide-free agriculture that they take to a local market is a constant struggle. The couple’s plot of land is caught between an Israeli factory that manufactures fertilizers and agrochemicals, and Israel’s separation barrier. The factory, owned by Geshuri and Sons Industries, does not have a functional sewage system. The waste seeps out from under the brick walls that line the industrial zone where it is housed. It then spills onto the Tneeb’s farmland. The toxic stream ought to be taken through piping into Israel’s sewers. Yet, the Israeli separation wall blockades the toxic runoff from reaching sewers on the other side. And so the pesticide waste floods onto the Tneeb’s organic groves. Geshuri factory is one of just under a dozen Israeli manufacturing sites located in the occupied Palestinian territory.
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/palestinian-struggles-separation

B’Tselem newsletter 4 May
Dear Friends, Shortly before International Workers’ Day we spoke with four Palestinian workers. Although their homes are only a few dozen kilometers from where they work in Israel, the difficulties involved in reaching their place of work mean they remain there all week, away from their families and home environment. At times, they must confine themselves to living in rough conditions at their workplace, with no option of leaving it. As one worker told us: “I feel like I’m working in a small prison”. On the first of May, the day designated around the world to honor the human rights of working people, we would like to turn the spotlight on the people working in Israel who are the most invisible of all: the Palestinians. Give a thought to the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have a work permit for Israel, yet must stand for endless, humiliating hours on line at crowded checkpoints. Think also of the tens of thousands who work in Israel despite not having a permit, people for whom every moment of their daily routine is part of a struggle for survival. For them, getting safely home cannot be taken for granted given arrest raids in which people are detained or injured even though they pose no danger, not even in the eyes of the security establishment….
http://www.btselem.org/btselem-newsletter/147118

Israeli forces turn East Jerusalem neighborhood into prison
IMEMC/Agencies 4 May — Israeli forces have sealed the main entrance to theEast Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Zaayyem, “locking up more than 6,000 Palestinians in a large prison,” local residents say. An iron gate set up by Israeli forces has been completely closed for ten days, head of al-Zaayyem local council Naim Sub Labantold Ma’an News Agency, on Monday. Israeli forces first set up the gate near a military checkpoint at the main entrance to al-Zaayyem in late March, citing security concerns. The soldiers have controlled the gate since then, Sub Laban said, opening and closing it whenever they want to restrict the movement of schoolchildren, businessmen and others who need to go in and out every day.  Sub Laban added that Israeli forces had opened the gate for several hours on Sunday afternoon, and again for two hours on Monday morning, but that otherwise the gate had been closed for ten days. When the gate is closed, residents of the neighborhood, who have described the closure as “collective punishment” are forced to use an alternative route of dirt roads about five kilometers long. When the gate was first set up, Israeli authorities claimed it would remain open all the time “except when there is a dangerous security situation,” Sub Laban said.  Abu Mahmoud Shweiki, an ice cream distributor who sells to stores in al-Zaayyem, said that he now has to drive his truck over a long dirt road every day in order to load and unload his goods. Schoolchildren also said that they have been forced to walk a long route along dirt roads in order to reach their schools every day.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71459
Violence / Raids / Arrests

Two-year-old Palestinian killed in hit-and-run by Israeli settler
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 4 May — A two-year-old Palestinian child afternoon Monday breathed his last in Jerusalem’s neighborhood of al-Tur after he was hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler. Spokeswoman for the Israeli occupation police said a car ran over the Jerusalemite child Amar Ahmed in al-Tur quarter, in Occupied Jerusalem city. The child was rushed to al-Makassed hospital, where he reportedly succumbed to his wounds.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71492

17-year-old Palestinian injured in hit-and-run by Israeli settler
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 May — A 17-year-old Palestinian youth sustained wounds afternoon Tuesday after he was hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler in Jerusalem’s northern neighborhood of Atarot. Eye-witnesses said an Israeli settler ran over a number of Palestinian students lining up in front of their schools in Atarot area moments before he knocked the 17-year-old Shadi Ghurab and fled. The casualty was rushed to a local hospital to be urgently treated for the wounds he sustained in the hit-and-run. The youngster’s family updated the Israeli occupation police on the incident but said no efforts were made by the latter to chase down the perpetrator.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71513

Israeli police withdraw claim Palestinian planned stabbing attack
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 May — Israeli police have withdrawn allegations thatHatem Salah, who was shot in the foot by an Israeli security guard on Monday, was attempting a stabbing attack as he had no sharp objects in his possession at the time, a prisoners’ rights group told Ma‘an. Israeli police reportedly made the admission during a session in Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court on Tuesday, turning on their head earlier allegations that the Palestinian had attempted to stab passers-by at a light rail station near the French Hill settlement. A security guard told police on Monday that the Palestinian had “attacked him from behind” before running toward people waiting at the station. He claimed that guards responded by firing warning shots into the air, before shooting the man in his lower legs.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765247

Israeli troops assault PA security officer in Nablus-area village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 May – Israeli soldiers “violently” assaulted a Palestinian security officer during an overnight raid Tuesday on the northern West Bank village of Rojeib near Nablus. According to Palestinian security sources, an Israeli officer identifying himself as Captain Naim assaulted Ahmad Hafith Suleiman Dweikat while Israeli military vehicles stormed the village. The Israeli officer, added the sources, continued to beat Dweikat after he identified himself as a colonel in the Palestinian Authority’s preventive security service. Dweikat was evacuated to Rafedia Hospital in Nablus for treatment where medics said he suffered from mild to moderate wounds.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765263

Two Palestinian youths violently arrested in Al-Khalil (Hebron)
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine 4 May by ISM, Khalil Team — In the early evening of Friday the 1st of May, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian youths in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of occupied Al-Khalil (Hebron). Nizar Salhab, accused of attacking a settler was released the same evening, Awne Imad Abu Shamsiyeh was only released the next evening and now faces charges in an Israeli military court. Around 5 o’clock on Friday, Israeli soldiers physically assaulted Awne Abu Shamsiyeh at the entrance to his family’s house. When his father heard the commotion he came out and started filming the incident. The soldier attacking Awne escaped to the nearby illegal settlement in order not to be filmed. Awne was left with marks on his neck from the attack. Shortly afterwards, another Palestinian boy, 14-year old Nizar Salhab, was detained by Israeli forces. He was physically assaulted by an Israeli settler, who was allowed to leave the scene of the incident as soon as soldiers turned up. Nizar was taken to the military base in Tel Rumeida illegal settlement. After video evidence (filmed by Human Rights Defenders) of the settler attacking Nizar was brought to the police station, he was eventually released the same night. Even with the video showing clearly the settler attacking Nizar, the assailant does not face any consequences for his actions.
http://palsolidarity.org/2015/05/42309/

Palestinian truck driver escapes ambush by settlers
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 May – A Palestinian truck driver escaped an abduction attempt by a group of Israeli settlers on Tuesday night while traversing a main road between Nablus and Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, says Palestinian official. The settlers had set up a checkpoint on the main road near the illegal settlement Havat Gilad before attacking the driver, according to Ghassan Daghlas, a monitor of settler activity in the northern West Bank. The truck driver, identified as Rajih Nasr from Halhul in the southern West Bank, stopped his truck as he approached the checkpoint believing it was a police checkpoint. A mob of settlers immediately charged the driver in attempt to seize him. Realizing he had been ambushed, Nasr managed to run away, driving his truck in the direction of the Huwwara village south of Nablus. Nasr received punches to the head, some of the settlers allegedly trying to stab the driver and attack him with pepper spray as he attempted to flee the scene, Daghlas said … The trucker driver’s assumption he had driven into a checkpoint comes as so-called “flying” checkpoints are regularly erected by Israeli forces on roads across the West Bank, numbering in the hundreds.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765257

Israeli forces storm homes in northern West Bank village
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 6 May — Israeli troops stormed and searched several houses while raiding the northern West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqiliya at dawn Wednesday. Mansour Ubeid and Ayman Eshtawi, whose houses were ransacked, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces turned over the interior of their houses and “intentionally sabotaged personal property,” adding that the forces used police dogs during the inspection. Houses of Ali Barham, Abd al-Mannan Juma, Suleiman Ubeid and Mahir Shtewi were also searched, according to coordinator of a local popular committee in the village Murad Eshtawi. During the attack on the Juma household, Israeli forces “violently” assaulted the family’s son Mahdi, 30, bruising his body, according to Shtewi.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765258

13 Palestinians arrested overnight
AIC 4 May – Two Palestinians were arrested in the ‘Aida refugee camp.  Ten Palestinians were arrested in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.  One Palestinian was arrested in the town of Beit Awwa. All 13 Palestinians were transferred to Israeli interrogation facilities for questioning.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/727-13-palestinians-arrested-overnight

West Bank: 21 Palestinians arrested
AIC 5 May — Israeli forces arrested 21 Palestinians overnight and early Tuesday morning from throughout the West Bank. At least nine of those arrested are students at Birzeit University, where a Hamas-affiliated group won student council elections last month.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/735-west-bank-21-palestinians-arrested

Journalist among 4 Palestinians nabbed by PA forces in West Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 6 May — The Palestinian authority (PA) apparatuses rounded up four Palestinian citizens and attempted to apprehend four others on accounts of their political affiliations … In Tulkarem, the PA preventive forces apprehended the Hamas leader and ex-prisoner Iyad Naser after having summoned him for interrogation. The Jenin-based Preventive forces re-captured the university student As‘ad Hamran, enrolled at al-Quds Open University, a few hours after he was released from the PA penitentiaries. The campaign culminated in the abduction of the photojournalist Mohamed Awad, working for the Watan Tv Channel. In Nablus, the PA apparatuses captured the ex-prisoner Hosni al-Amoudi and have kept Hazem Asei‘ra in custody for the 10th day running. Along the same line, the Monetary Authority detained the journalist Zied Abu Ara, working for the Quds Press news agency.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71521

GazaSoldiers conduct a limited invasion into northern Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 4 May — A number of armored Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers, conducted on Monday morning a limited invasion into Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and uprooted farmlands. Media sources in Gaza said at least six armored D9 military bulldozers, and several armored vehicles, advanced into northern Gaza for a distance of approximately 100 meters. The bulldozers then started uprooting and bulldozing agricultural lands, close to the border fence, and used smoke bombs to mask their vehicles while operating in northern Gaza. The soldiers also advanced into the eastern side of Beit Hanoun nearby town, and fired several rounds of live ammunition to force the residents out of their lands. In related news, soldiers fired live rounds on a number of farmers while in their lands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. On Sunday night after midnight, soldiers patrolled various areas across the border fence, and fired several flares while drones flew overhead.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71452

Six Palestinians arrested for trying to cross the security fence in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 6 May — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested six Palestinians for trying to cross the security fence in eastern Gaza Strip this week. Security sources told the PIC correspondent that the IOF arrested a 22-year-old university student who attempted to cross the fence into the east of Abasan neighborhood. The sources also revealed that the IOF rounded up two minors, aged 13 and 16, for sneaking into the other side of the fence. They were released the next day. Three others were arrested for trying to cross the fence to the east of Rafah. Their identities were not released. The IOF soldiers forced them all to undress then took them to investigation locations.Palestinians’ attempts to sneak into the 1848 Occupied Palestine have increased recently due to the continuation of the siege on the blockaded enclave leading to hard economic conditions.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71523

Nine Palestinian fishermen kidnapped by the Egyptian army
GAZA, Occupied Palestine 6 May by Miguel Hernández — On the 3rd of May,  the trial of nine Palestinian fishermen kidnapped by the Egyptian army while fishing in waters of the border city of Rafah, took place in the Egyptian city of Al Arish. Three of the fishermen are brothers, Ali Abu Hamada, 36 years old, with eight children, Mahmoud Abu Hamada, 22 years old, and Mohamed Abu Hamada, 32 years old with three children. Among the hostages there’s also a 13 years old boy. Since the end of the last massacre in Gaza the situation of the fishermen has been worse than ever. They don’t even dare to reach the four mile limit. Despite the fact that, officially, the sea blockade imposed by the Israeli state starts at six miles, the attacks on the fishermen are continuous even as close as two miles out. Palestinians locked in Gaza tell us how much the position of the Eyptian government and its total coordination with the Israeli state regarding the policies towards the Palestinian people surprises and saddens them. To the destruction of the tunnels that supplied the fishermen with fiberglass, necessary to fix the bullet holes in their boats, and the spare parts for engines, has, in recent months, been added the abduction of Palestinian fishermen and vessels that fish near Egyptian waters. The mother of the three brothers, Nasmiya, native of Yibna, a Palestinian village wiped out by Israeli colonialism during the Nakba, described the umpteenth misfortune that the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine has brought to her life.
http://palsolidarity.org/2015/05/nine-palestinian-fishermen-kidnapped-by-the-egyptian-army/

Israeli army opens fire at Gaza fishing boats
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 May — Israeli military boats on Wednesday afternoon opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats near the shore of the central Gaza Strip, security sources said. Local security sources said Israeli boats opened fire at boats near Deir al-Balah. No injuries were reported.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765270

Restricted by Israeli boats, Gaza resorts to fish farms
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip 5 May by Rasha Abou Jalal — A project by private funders and supervised by the local authorities is setting up fish farms in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to meet Gazans’ demand for fish. Gaza’s entire western border is on the Mediterranean Sea, but it lacks fish such as bream and mullet because of Israeli restrictions on fishermen. At Gaza’s main fish market, al-Hisba, west of Gaza City, small piles of fish are dispersed. But some fish that are in season early April until the end of May, such as sardines, are absent. Fisherman Hassan Sultan, who just returned from the sea bringing in four boxes of sardines, was indignant. “This is all I was able to catch last night,” he told Al-Monitor. “The occupation’s boats haunt us and prevent us from going far enough to catch enough good fish.” Sultan said 15 fish species are in season in April and May. “But what is available in the market is very little compared to the citizens’ needs, thus raising [fish] prices. For instance, 1 kilogram [2.2 pounds] of shrimp is 90 Israeli shekels [$23], which is unreasonable,” he said. He added that the price of shrimp did not exceed $11 when the cease-fire agreement between Gaza and Israel signed in 2012 was in place and fishermen were allowed to go out 6 miles from the shore.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/05/palestine-gaza-fish-fishermen-israel-restrictions-farm-bream.html

2 children injured by Israeli ordnance explosion in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 May — Two Palestinian children were injured as an unexploded Israeli ordnance blew up in eastern Gaza City on Wednesday. Medical sources said that two children were injured when ordnance left from the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip went off in the Shujaiyyeh neighborhood in eastern Gaza City. In September, three people were killed and two injured by unexploded ordnance in the neighborhood. Over 7,000 unexploded ordnance were left throughout the Gaza Strip following last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, according to officials of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories (OCHA). Although Gaza police explosives teams have been working across the territory to destroy the ordnance and prevent safety threats to locals, lack of proper equipment due to the seven-year Israeli siege as well as lack of resources more generally have hindered such efforts. Even before the most frequent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans. A 2012 report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, were casualties to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765264

In their own words: Israeli troops break ranks on Gaza campaign
The Guardian 4 May by Peter Beaumont — Israeli soldiers tell how, from the outset of the Gaza campaign, commanding officers made it clear that the primary consideration was not the security of civilians but the protection of soldiers  • Breaking the Silence report (pdf)  1. Protection of civilians —  First Sergeant, Armoured Corps, location not disclosed: One talk I remember especially well took place during training at Tze’elim – before entering Gaza – with the commander of the armoured battalion to which we were assigned … He said: ‘We do not take risks, we do not spare ammo – we unload, we use as much as possible.’ He said we were slated to enter an area where nearly all of the buildings were already destroyed. The greenhouses were in pieces. He said the place was supposed to be empty. He said that if we come across a building that no [IDF soldiers] had entered yet, we get in radio contact with him, he orders the tanks to aim, unloads two shells on the house – and only then do we go in, ‘wet’ (with live fire) of course, with grenades and everything. He said that, if necessary, mortars could be aimed, too. The idea was to minimise casualties on our side, and use as much of our arsenal as was needed to eliminate any chance of there being someone inside.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/04/in-their-own-words-israeli-troops-break-ranks-on-gaza-campaign

Israeli veterans say permissive rules of engagement fueled Gaza carnage
TEL AVIV (Washington Post) 4 May by William Booth — The war last summer between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and reduced vast areas to rubble. On Monday, a group of Israeli veterans released sobering testimony from fellow soldiers that suggests permissive rules of engagement coupled with indiscriminate artillery fire contributed to the mass destruction and high numbers of civilian casualties in the coastal enclave. The organization of active and reserve duty soldiers, called Breaking the Silence, gathered testimonies from more than 60 enlisted men and officers who served in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The soldiers described reducing Gaza neighborhoods to sand, firing artillery at random houses to avenge fallen comrades, shooting at innocent civilians because they were bored and watching armed drones attack a pair of women talking on cellphones because they were assumed to be Hamas scouts. The director of the group, Yuli Novak, called the rules of engagement in the offensive “the most permissive” it has seen and amounted to an “ethical failure . . . from the top of the chain of command.” Novak called for an independent investigation.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-veterans-say-permissive-rules-of-engagement-fueled-gaza-carnage/2015/05/04/ab698d16-f020-11e4-8050-839e9234b303_story.html

Video: Palestinian women urge reconstruction 8 months after Gaza war
AFP 0:52 mins — Dozens of women gathered in front of the headquarters of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza on Wednesday to urge reconstruction, months after a July-August war between Hamas and Israel left 100,000 people homeless in the tiny coastal territory, home to 1.8 million people. Reconstruction of the Gaza strip has not begun eight months after the end of the 50-day conflict, the third in six years.
http://news.yahoo.com/video/palestinian-women-urge-reconstruction-8-165303347.html

UNRWA denies Israeli allegations over alleged Palestinian attack
IMEMC/Agencies 6 May — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Tuesday denied a false allegation made against it by former head of the Israeli army over an alleged incident which occurred during the 2014 summer Israeli aggression on Gaza. According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, the organization stressed that the allegation made by former head of the army – that a weapon was fired from an UNRWA school in Gaza and claimed the life of an Israeli child in a kibbutz in southern Israel – was later proven wrong. On the record UNRWA quote via Chris Gunness: “The head of the Israeli army during the summer war in Gaza has reportedly made the allegation that a weapon fired from an UNRWA school in Gaza killed an Israeli child in a kibbutz in southern Israel. This allegation was made by the Israeli Army in August 2014. However, it is false. Less than 2 hours after it was first made by the Israeli army, the Israeli army itself officially retracted the claim and issued a correction through the Twitter account of its Spokesperson [see below]. It is extremely disappointing that a former head of the Israeli army should repeat an allegation publicly retracted by his own spokesperson.
http://www.imemc.org/article/71484

Hamas launches crackdown on Salafist groups in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 5 May by Fares Akram — The ruling Hamas militant group launched a crackdown Tuesday on radical Salafi groups following a series of unclaimed bombings in the Gaza Strip, arresting dozens of people and setting up military-type checkpoints. Hamas, an Islamic militant group that has ruled Gaza for the past eight years, considers the more radical Salafists, who identify ideologically with the Islamic State group, a threat. The Salafists, believed to number several hundred, seek the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and accuse Hamas of being too soft on Israel and failing to adequately impose religious law. On Monday morning, a bomb damaged a wall at a security site run by Hamas’ armed wing. There were no casualties, but after a series of similar blasts on Hamas security posts in recent weeks, suspicion fell on the Salafists. Monday afternoon, local media showed images of masked Hamas security officers surrounding the house of a wanted Salafist in Gaza City. Later, police said they foiled an attempted car bombing elsewhere.Eyad Bozoum, spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry, said the situation was under control.
http://news.yahoo.com/hamas-launches-crackdown-salafist-groups-gaza-strip-133412023.html

Palestinian women sew to survive
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 3 May by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Struggling to make ends meet, the women of Gaza sew painstakingly detailed embroidery work for small profits — Um Yasmine Abu Oueily, 52, has embroidered hundreds of pieces using the “rural embroidery” method. This method distinguishes Palestinian embroidery, whose patterns and forms usually depict a Canaanite star, a significant design in Palestinian history. However, Um Yasmine does not own a single piece of embroidery. She does not own an embroidered dress, shawl or bag, and has never even thought about it. She is more concerned aboutsatisfying the daily needs of her unemployed husband and unemployed daughter.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/04/palestine-women-embroider-sew-fabric-home-economy-money.html

Gaza movie theaters remain shuttered
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 6 May by Mohammed Othman — Movie experts and officials are calling on the Gaza Ministry of Culture to reopen the movie theaters that were closed down during the first intifada — GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Nothing remains of the Gaza Strip movie theaters except their names used to describe squares located nearby. These names have become associated, in the minds of the new generation of Gazans, with geographical locations, as the meaning of the term cinema is no longer part of their collective memory. At the beginning of the first intifada in 1987, all movie theaters in Gaza were closed, which weakened the nascent Palestinian cinema’s development.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/05/gaza-movie-theaters-closing-intifada-culture-cinema.html

Palestinian gunmen killed in Egypt’s Sinai
CAIRO (AFP) 5 May — The Egyptian military Wednesday shot dead three Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated through a smuggling tunnel in the Sinai town of Rafah on the border with Gaza, security officials said. They said the “armed Palestinians” and the military clashed in a buffer zone established along the border. The gunmen had infiltrated through one of the smuggling tunnels used to transport fuel and food supplies to the Gaza Strip. Cairo accuses militants of the Palestinian movement Hamas, which controls Gaza, of using the tunnels to infiltrate Egypt and aid jihadists who launch regular attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
http://news.yahoo.com/palestinian-gunmen-killed-egypts-sinai-144219940.html

Prisoners / Court actionsIsrael clears police in videotaped killing of Palestinian in Galilee village
EI 6 May by Patrick Strickland — Israel’s justice ministry has decided to close an investigation into the videotaped police slaying of a Palestinian in the Galileevillage of Kufr Kana last November. On 8 November, during an arrest raid in the village, Kheir Hamdan, 22, confronted a police vehicle and began to hit it with an object which Israel claimed was a knife. Though the Israeli police released a statement claiming that officers lives were in danger, security camera footage of the killing showed otherwise. The officers exited the vehicle with guns drawn and one opened fire on Hamdan as he tried to run away, shooting him again after he hit the ground. After the killing, Palestinian citizens of Israel launched protests across the country and held a general strike that shut down Palestinian areas of present-day Israel. Waseem Abbas, secretary of the local branch of theBalad political party, says that “the anger is growing” in Kufr Kana. Locals will hold a protest tomorrow afternoon to denounce the justice ministry’s decision. “People here feel as if the decision [to close the investigation] is like killing the martyr Kheir Hamdan all over again,” Abbas told The Electronic Intifada, adding that it comes just weeks after Israeli police destroyed a home and displaced a local family.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/patrick-strickland/israel-clears-police-videotaped-killing-palestinian-galilee-village

B’Tselem appeals to State Attorney’s Office against closing investigative files in case of Milad ‘Ayash, 17, killed by gunfire from East Jerusalem settlement
B’Tselem 3 May — On 13 May 2011, during protests in connection with Nakba Day there were clashes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem between demonstrators who threw stones and Molotov cocktails and Israeli security forces who employed crowd control measures and live gunfire. Milad ‘Ayash, 17, was hit by a live bullet. ‘Ayash, a 12th grader at Kuliyat Sakhnin, ‘Atarot, died of his wounds the next day. B’Tselem’s investigation showed that the fatal shot was fired from the Beit Yehonatan settlement, a one-building settlement located in Silwan, yet we were unable to ascertain the precise circumstances of the shooting. The incident was investigated both by the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP), for possible involvement of police officers in the shooting, and by the Israel Police for possible involvement of Beit Yehonatan security guards and residents. Both investigations were closed on the grounds of “perpetrator unknown.” Since 2012, B’Tselem has tried time and again to secure information from the authorities regarding the investigation, yet received only vague replies.
http://www.btselem.org/firearms/20150503_btselem_appeals_closing_%20of_milad_ayash_case

Probe into Palestinian teen’s death deeply flawed, documents show
Haaretz 4 May by Nir Hasson — Investigators failed to see security camera footage of East Jerusalem incident before it disappeared – Milad Ayyash, 17 of the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, was killed four years ago by a single bullet fired during violent demonstrations near a Jewish-occupied building in the village, known as Beit Yonatan. The investigation of his death was conducted by the Jerusalem Police and the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers, but both ended up closing the case on grounds that the responsible person “was unknown.” Haaretz has obtained the files of the investigation in Ayyash’s death, from which it emerges that both the police and the department investigators hardly did a thorough job. None of the policemen at the scene, including two who had testified they had shot live fire from their weapons, was questioned under caution; a security guard testified that he had seen the shooting on security cameras but the video was never located; and the questioning of a resident under caution was stopped after only a few minutes with no explanation, even though another person questioned had mentioned him as someone who seemed interested in what the security cameras had caught only moments after the event.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.654775

5 Palestinians sentenced to jail, 1 for 30 years
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 May — A judge at the Israeli central court on Wednesday handed five Palestinians prison sentences between 30 years and 6 months. Aziz Moussa Oweisat, 49, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of 10 counts of attempted murder of Israeli settlers, notably an attempt to cut a gas line in Gilo and Armon Hanasef settlements, and assaulting a settler with an axe and injuring him. Oweisat was arrested on March 8, 2014, from his home in Jabal al-Mukkaber in Jerusalem. He has six children, the youngest of which is seven years old. The head of the Jerusalem detainees families committee Amjad Abu Assab said Imad Sidqi Zaatari, 15, was sentenced to six months….
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765269

Urgent call – Free Mohammed Abu Rahmah
RAMALLAH, Occupied Palestine 7 May by ISM Ramallah Team — On the 20th April, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Adeeb Abu Rahmah while he was on his way to Mecca. Mohammed is the 19-year-old son of prominent Bil‘in activist Adeeb Abu Rahmah. Father of nine, Adeeb was sentenced to 18 months in military prison for his role in the popular struggle to free his village’s land from the occupation forces. (Read our previous article on his arrest here) Now Mohammed, his eldest son, is being held in the Ofer military prison and his court case is not due to happen until at least the end of May. Mohammed Abu Rahmah was arrested crossing the bridge into Jordan while trying to travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. According to his lawyer Neri Ramati, the case Mohammad was arrested for was closed a year ago and involved the weekly protests of Bil‘in against the construction of the apartheid wall. His family needs help in order to obtain his release until his trail. His bail has been set for 10.000 shekel – a cost they cannot afford. If you are able to spread the word as well as help financially, please follow this Paypal link: http://palsolidarity.org/donate/
http://palsolidarity.org/2015/05/urgent-call-free-mohammed-abu-rahmah/

Other newsThe month in pictures
EI 6 May — Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during the month of April. The first Palestinian child to be killed by Israel this year, 17-year-old Ali Abu Ghannam, was slain by Border Police at a checkpoint in the al-Tur neighborhood of Jerusalem on 24 April. The police claimed that the teen charged at occupation forces with a knife but Abu Ghannam’s family dismissed the accusation as a fabrication to cover up a killing “in cold blood.” His mother told media that her son had gone out that night to attend a wedding party, and was not carrying any weapon.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/month-pictures-april-2015/14490

Jerusalem church readies for first modern Palestinian saints
JERUSALEM (AFP) 5 May — Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarchate on Wednesday hailed the upcoming canonisation by Pope Francis of two nuns who will become the first modern-day Palestinian saints. Marie Alphonsine Ghattas of Jerusalem and Mariam Bawardy of Galilee, both of whom lived in Ottoman Palestine during the 19th century, will be canonised at the Vatican in Rome later this month. “In Rome, Pope Francis will declare on May 17 two Palestinian nuns as saints, and we are in full preparation,” Bishop William Shomali told journalists. The pair’s canonisation “means that holiness is still possible, that… spiritual perfection is still possible,” he said. “Our Holy Land continues to be holy, not only because of the holy places it hosts, but also because good people live here.” Pope Francis announced in February that the two nuns would be canonised — the first Palestinian Arabs to gain sainthood.
http://news.yahoo.com/jerusalem-church-readies-first-modern-palestinian-saints-110017746.html

Netanyahu appoints Ayelet Shaked — who called for genocide of Palestinians – as Justice Minister in new government
Mondoweiss 6 May by Ben Norton — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to appoint Ayelet Shaked as justice minister in his fourth government. Shaked is a Member of Knesset (MK) representing the far-right HaBayit HaYehudi (“Jewish Home”) party. She is known for her extreme, ultranationalist views. During Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza, MK Shaked essentially called for the genocide of Palestinians. In a Facebook post on July 1—a day before Israeli extremists kidnapped Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and burned him alive—the lawmaker asserted that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/netanyahu-palestinians-government

Israeli defense minister promises to kill more civilians and threatens to nuke Iran
EI 6 May by Asa Winstanley — Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday said Israel would attack entire civilian neighborhoods during any future assault on Gaza or Lebanon. Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Yaalon threatened that “we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.” The Israeli official also appeared to threaten to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, although he said “we are not there yet.” In response to a question about Iran, Yaalon said that “in certain cases” when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations” Israel might take “certain steps” such as the Americans did in “Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.” Relating a July 2013 meeting with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Yaalon recalled promising Israel would bomb the entire Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya. He showed Ban photos of villages in Lebanon and of “certain neighborhoods in Gaza, to include well-known Shujaiya, with many red spots” which he claimed were “terror assets in the densely populated urban area. And I said – July 2013 – we are going to hit it.” Yaalon was true to his word. The Shujaiya massacre was among the most brutal examples of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s attack on the Gaza Strip.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/israeli-defense-minister-promises-kill-more-civilians-and-threatens-nuke-iranSweden: Blacklisting of Palestinian flag unintentional slip-up
STOCKHOLM (PIC) 5 May — Senior leaders at Sweden’s Social Democratic Party said blacklisting of the Palestinian flag by the Swedish police as a logo of terror is an inadvertent error. The Swedish Minister of Home Affairs, Ann Linde, and the official in charge of international relations at the Social Democratic Party, Andrena Winter, said the designation is an intolerable and unacceptable mistake. “The local police in Orebro downloaded a list of banned logos from the American National Counterterrorism Center and handed it over to high school principals as part of intents to lookout for early signs of potential trouble among their student populations,” Linde said. She added that the list was not issued by the central government in Stockholm, which branded the designation of the Palestinian flag a non-deliberate and unacceptable mistake.The Swedish police meanwhile claimed responsibility for the blunder, vowing to take urgent steps to meticulously sift the counter-terrorism material being propagated at schools and remove the Palestinian flag from terror blacklists.
http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71494

Abbas is old, Hamas divided: Who will lead Palestinians? / Christa Case Bryant
Christian Science Monitor 5 May — A Hamas-affiliated party recently won elections at a university outside Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. It’s being taken as a sign of rising criticism of Palestinian leaders and institutions –  Last year, computer science student Mohammed Aruri was in a Palestinian Authority prison, where he says he was forced to stand on his tiptoes with his hands tied behind his back and a sack on his head. “The PA was established to protect us, not to beat us,” he recalls telling his captors, who interrogated him about his activities as a leader of the Hamas-affiliated Wafaa bloc at Birzeit University. Mr. Aruri, nephew of an exiled leader of Hamas’s armed wing, says he tried to convince his captors they were fighting the wrong fight, but they didn’t answer. “I feel these are not the people who will liberate us,” he says … While Palestinians of all stripes have long criticized Israel for many of their problems, and still do, they have become increasingly critical of their own leaders and institutions. Across both the occupied West Bank and the cordoned-off Gaza Strip, Palestinians are demanding stronger leadership and an end to the PA’s Fatah-Hamas divide. Since 2007, the internal divisions have undermined their national cause at home and abroad. They have weakened their hand at the negotiating table with the US and Israel, stymied Gaza reconstruction, and left the PA’s democratic muscle atrophied. But even as these demands are articulated, the options for alternative leadership are few.
http://news.yahoo.com/abbas-old-hamas-divided-lead-palestinians-161226985.html

PA fails at curbing ‘rampant’ corruption
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al-Monitor) 5 May by Ahmad Melhem — Surveys show that Palestinians believe that corruption is increasing under the Palestinian Authority, which has not even held required presidential and parliamentary elections — . Since its inception under the Oslo Accord, fighting corruption has been one of the greatest challenges the Palestinian Authority (PA) has had to face. This is especially true in light of the dire economic conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the absence of legislative power and its monitoring role and the absence of the presidential and parliamentary elections. As per electoral law, the elections were supposed to happen in 2010. The PA claims to be making strenuous efforts to fight against corruption by taking several initiatives such as forming the Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), joining the United Nations Convention against corruption in May 2014 and approving the national strategy to combat terrorism for the years 2015 to 2017. Yet, reports and Palestinian public opinion suggest that corruption remains rampant at all the PA institutions’ levels.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/05/palestine-gaza-legislative-council-court-isis-aman-paac.html

PA isolates West Bank camps
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al-Monitor) 4 May by Aziza Nofal — The PA’s crackdown on West Bank refugee camps and withholding of aid is adding to the marginalization of the youth —  In the Balata refugee camp in east Nablus, in the northern West Bank, Umm Hossam and her family live in dire conditions in light of the grinding poverty and high unemployment rate that plagues the camp, which is one of the largest in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatuses have been tracking down the camp’s young men, some of whom are now detained under the pretext of being drug dealers or car thieves. Umm Hossam said that her husband, a lieutenant colonel with the PA’s General Intelligence Service, took their three sons to the intelligence services a month ago, after being blackmailed and threatened by his employer that he would lose his job if he refrained from doing so. Umm Hossam’s sons were wanted by the PA for possessing weapons that were not handed over to the Palestinian security agency during its last security sweep in the Balata camp in early February. “They are not the outlaws or drug dealers that the security apparatus is claiming they are,” she said.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/05/west-bank-refugee-camps-pa-israel-security-coordination.html

French judges end inquiry into Arafat’s 2004 death
NANTERRE, France (AFP) 5 May — French judges re-examining the evidence surrounding the 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have concluded their investigations, the prosecutors office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said Tuesday. “The judges have closed their dossier and it was sent to the prosecutor on April 30,” he said. The prosecutor now has three months to prepare his submissions on whether to dismiss the case or put it forward to court. In the meantime interested parties can produce written depositions. However if, as is currently the case, there is no defendant’s name attached to the proceedings, the case is likely to be dismissed.
http://news.yahoo.com/french-judges-end-enquiry-arafats-2004-death-213815161.html

Israel ramps up orders of armored personnel carriers following Gaza war
Sputnik News 6 May — In response to last year’s war in Gaza, Israel has signed a $310 million deal – using US military assistance funds – with General Dynamics Land Systems to produce heavy armed personnel carriers, their Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday. GDLS will produce kits for the Israeli Namer (“leopard” in Hebrew) armored personnel carrier (APC) which is based on the chassis of a Merkava, the Israeli military’s main battle tank
http://sputniknews.com/military/20150506/1021797868.html

Italian soccer coach has Palestinian club up and at ‘em
HEBRON, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – A Palestinian football club from the southern West Bank is hoping that the turnaround led by a new coach from Italy could see it reaching a top pan-Asian championship. This Friday, Ahli al-Khalil, which is based in the southern city of Hebron, will play in the final of the Palestine Cup in what will be its first chance at winning anything in its 40-year history. The club attributes its success to the hiring earlier this year of an experienced Italian coach. The final will pit them against northern West Bank rivals Balata, who are sure to put up strong opposition, with the winner acceding to the Asian Football Confederation Cup, the regional equivalent of UEFA’s Europa League. Entering the AFC Cup would see them facing clubs from the Middle East, east Asia and even Australia.
http://news.yahoo.com/italian-football-coach-palestinian-minnows-motoring-134834129–sow.html
Kate
About Kate

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

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14 Responses

  1. just
    just
    May 7, 2015, 11:56 am

    Thank goodness wrt Sweden:

    “Sweden: Blacklisting of Palestinian flag unintentional slip-up STOCKHOLM (PIC) 5 May — Senior leaders at Sweden’s Social Democratic Party said blacklisting of the Palestinian flag by the Swedish police as a logo of terror is an inadvertent error. The Swedish Minister of Home Affairs, Ann Linde, and the official in charge of international relations at the Social Democratic Party, Andrena Winter, said the designation is an intolerable and unacceptable mistake.”

    I was reeling from that the other day. So glad that it was a mistake, and they’ve admitted it.

    As far as football~ may the best Palestinian team win!!! I wonder what the outcome of this was:

    “REUTERS – Israel’s top soccer administrators will meet FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Zurich on Wednesday in a late bid to avert a vote called by the Palestinians to suspend Israel from the world body.

    An official from Israel’s FA told Reuters that chairman Ofer Eini and chief executive Rotem Kamer would urge Blatter to use his influence to strike the Palestinian FA’s (PFA) proposal from the FIFA Congress agenda on May 29.

    If FIFA were to suspend Israel, it would bar all its teams and clubs from competing in international events, including World Cup qualifications. Although not uncommon, the world body has suspended nations mainly when a government has intervened in its soccer association’s affairs.”…..

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/activists-cancelling-upcoming#sthash.OLyTnr8w.dpuf

    As for the call for international intervention because of the further forced displacement of Palestinians and destruction of their properties and livelihood, I am afraid the call is met with the usual disgusting and dishonorable silence.

    Hostage answered one of my burning questions yesterday, the one where I keep wondering why there is no peacekeeping force~

    “For its own part, Israel has turned down several offers from NATO and President Abbas to deploy an international peace keeping force in the Occupied territories.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/palestines-international-criminal#comment-145975

    So, armed with vehicles, the criminal settler cowards are perfecting hit to kill and run.

    ““In Rome, Pope Francis will declare on May 17 two Palestinian nuns as saints, and we are in full preparation,” Bishop William Shomali told journalists. The pair’s canonisation “means that holiness is still possible, that… spiritual perfection is still possible,” he said. “Our Holy Land continues to be holy, not only because of the holy places it hosts, but also because good people live here.” Pope Francis announced in February that the two nuns would be canonised — the first Palestinian Arabs to gain sainthood.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/villagers-international-intervention#sthash.onIG7weR.dpuf

    Appropriate and welcome news. I would venture that there are many, many more Palestinians that qualified and qualify for sainthood. It’s Sumud. It’s Palestinian. ;-)

  2. just
    just
    May 7, 2015, 4:15 pm

    “Gaza child unable to walk because of Israeli bullet

    Fourteen-year-old Fadi Abu Mandi is unable to walk because of Israel’s routine violence against Palestinians in Gaza.

    On Friday, 24 April, Fadi had been asked to study for school exams by his father Akram in their home in the Maghazi refugee camp. Fadi had just returned from watching a soccer match in Nuseirat, another camp.

    Suddenly, the boy felt a pain in his back. He could not move, so Akram rushed him to hospital.

    Fadi was struck by a bullet fired on Palestinian farmers by Israeli soldiers. The bullet appears to have entered his family’s home through a corner that was not roofed. Fadi had been sitting in that corner, his father told The Electronic Intifada….

    …..The bullets used by Israel can travel long distances, inflicting serious injuries on or even killing those they hit. Fadi was about 2.5 kilometers from the boundary when he was shot.

    “It was totally unexpected,” said Fayza, Fadi’s mother. “I was doing my regular household chores when Akram screamed and came out of the room, carrying Fadi between his arms and moving towards the front door. God must punish those who shot and wounded my child.”

    Fathi Abu Daher, who is also 14 years old, said: “My friend and neighbor Fadi is such a lovely person. He does not make anyone angry. He likes to help others, especially old people. I feel so sorry that he is now lying in a hospital bed because of that stray bullet.

    “We, the children of Gaza, are the same as children anywhere else in the world. Why are the Israelis attacking us, even inside our homes?””

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/gaza-child-unable-walk-because-israeli-bullet/14500

    There’s so much wrong with this story. The IOF were firing at farmers and hit a child instead. There’s everything wrong with this gruesome and violent Occupation.

    • Kris
      Kris
      May 7, 2015, 4:36 pm

      @just: “There’s so much wrong with this story. The IOF were firing at farmers and hit a child instead. There’s everything wrong with this gruesome and violent Occupation.”

      “Wrong” is such an understatement, just.

      Maybe Yonah, Hophmi, Jeff B, jon_s, DoubleStandard, catalan, Mayhem, etc. will drop by and tell us how this was caused by Hamas or antisemitism or BDS or whatever.

      • just
        just
        May 7, 2015, 4:56 pm

        I know, Kris. Sometimes I just run out of words. Palestinian children, farmers, fishermen, any civilian at all is a target for Israelis.

        ;-(

    • Boo
      Boo
      May 8, 2015, 8:46 pm

      Of course, the fact that they were aiming at farmers doesn’t excuse in the slightest the evilness that motivates them.

  3. just
    just
    May 7, 2015, 7:24 pm

    “The Palestinian Football Association accuses Israel of obstructing its activities and restricting the movement of players between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It wants a vote on Israel’s suspension from FIFA at a congress on May 29.

    “The Israeli federation is behaving as a part of the brutal, racist occupation,” Jibril Rajoub, a former politician who has headed the PFA since 2008, told reporters in the West Bank.

    “The Israeli Football Association is not innocent … The Israel FA has failed to take a stance against its government’s policy to hinder the development of Palestinian football.”

    If FIFA were to suspend Israel, its teams and clubs would be barred from international events, including World Cup qualifications.

    Although suspensions are not uncommon, FIFA has usually taken such action only when a government is deemed to have intervened in its soccer association’s affairs.

    On Wednesday, Israel’s top soccer administrators met FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Zurich to try to avert the vote.

    Afterwards, FIFA said Blatter had “reiterated his position that any member association that is fulfilling its statutory duties should not be suspended… This would also apply to the IFA as long as they fulfil such duties.”

    The statement appeared to offer hope for the IFA, which has not been accused of violating FIFA statutes and argues that it cannot influence Israel’s security forces.

    FIFA said it would host a meeting between IFA chairman Ofer Eini and Rajoub in the coming days. Rajoub said Blatter had called him urge him to meet his Israeli counterparts but he had not yet decided whether he would do so.

    Blatter compromise

    In the past, Blatter or his envoys have managed to broker compromises between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but this time Rajoub said he was not interested in a “private deal”.

    “We are committed to the statues of FIFA, we are committed to the principles, but at the same time we are committed to go for the resolution in the congress of FIFA,” he said. “There is no compromise, there will be no private deal.”

    As well as restrictions on the movement of players, Rajoub accuses Israel’s FA of turning a blind eye to racism against Arabs in Israeli football and says five Israeli league teams based on Jewish settlements built on occupied land should not be allowed to play.

    The PFA has also complained about equipment ordered by the PFA being held up at Israeli customs. Israel says its actions are guided by security concerns.

    In a letter to FIFA members, IFA chairman Eini urged them to reject the Palestinian proposal, saying it was “a flagrant move that seeks to mix politics with sport – something that is completely contrary to FIFA’s vision”.”…

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.655457

    Suspend them!

  4. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    May 8, 2015, 12:39 am

    “A two-year-old Palestinian child afternoon Monday breathed his last in Jerusalem’s neighborhood of al-Tur after he was hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler.”

    “Spokeswoman for the Israeli occupation police said a car ran over the Jerusalemite child Amar Ahmed in al-Tur quarter, in Occupied Jerusalem city. ”

    What can one say?

    His/her illegal settlement probably toasted the accomplishment. A hero all around.

    Sad part is it’s not necessarily the worst of the most recent crimes committed, or aided and abetted, by the rogue state of Israel.

    They whine that their legitimacy is being questioned. It’s not hard to understand why it is.

    It’s not the crime of the individual that taints Israel. It’s the incitement to commit the crime, in the first instance, and failure to enforce laws in the second. No doubt the justice system will improve under the new administration now that they have put a genocidal racist in charge.

    The Israeli legal system is a joke. It has crossed the line from being compliant with war crimes to being active participants in the commission of crimes against humanity. It did so a while ago when it ruled international agreements were subordinate to Israeli law but it is now part of the offensive against civilians.

    With the ongoing theft and murders Israel resembles a criminal enterprise more than a state.

  5. truth2power
    truth2power
    May 8, 2015, 6:34 pm

    Since last summer, I have been reading blogs on WordPress from Dalia. She is a young Palestinian girl – she speaks and writes English beautifully – though it is obviously not her first language. What she has said about life in Palestine is both tragic and inspirational because she is so positive and sees the beauty around her even when things are so hard for her, her family, her friends and just life in general – and she’s not given up hope and she isn’t embittered by what life has thrown at her.

    I’ve given a donation for Sara but Dalia is struggling with the lukewarm response she is getting, so I thought you might like to sponsor her sister, Sara, to save her sight from further damage.

    If you want to help Sara and or can think of ways to spread this around so more people can help, can you activate your brains? One of the saddest, most disheartening things for the Palestinians must be the lack of interest and support they receive from the rest of us. Many people giving a little will be better that a few giving a lot, won’t it?

    https://daliaalnjjar.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/youth-initiative-in-gaza/
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/magnifying-sara-s-hope

    There seem to be many of us on this website who are sympathetic to and frustrated for the Palestinians. This is a small way we can help one family. I hope none of you will be offended by this posting x

    • just
      just
      May 8, 2015, 6:47 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, truth2power. Precious lives, precious sight.

  6. jon s
    jon s
    May 9, 2015, 1:33 am

    A petition circulating on the Israeli Left:

    Do not Let the Occupation Turn 50!

    In two years Israel’s military occupation of the territories it captured in 1967 will be 50 years old.

    Out of deep concern for our country’s physical survival and moral integrity, we the undersigned, citizens of Israel, call to end the occupation before it reaches the half-century mark.

    To achieve this urgent goal, we call on the international community and the 15 members of the UN Security Council:

    1. To support the Palestinian Authority’s appeal to the UN and immediately recognize the State of Palestine and accept it as a full member.

    2. To impose an economic and cultural boycott on the settlement enterprise in the territories Israel occupied in June 1967.

    We invite other citizens to join us: the greater our numbers the louder the Israeli voice in favor of stopping the current deterioration before it is too late.

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 9, 2015, 6:31 am

      jon s“A petition circulating on the Israeli Left”

      No one on the ‘right’ believes in adhering to International Law, the UN Charter, relevant conventions?

      “Do not Let the Occupation Turn 50!”

      According to the Israeli Govt, Israeli military forces were on control of Non-Israeli territory on May 22nd 1948 http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

  7. Bornajoo
    Bornajoo
    May 9, 2015, 4:13 am

    I have always suspected that mass expulsions will happen under the guise of closed military zones. Probably at some future point these Palestinians residents will simply never be allowed to return.

    It’s so depressing

    Thank you Kate

  8. just
    just
    May 9, 2015, 8:02 am

    Adam Johnson via Dan Cohen:

    “HRW tries to pass off IDF crimes as Assad”barrel bombs””

    https://twitter.com/adamjohnsonNYC/status/596909627318640640

    Video here: https://www.facebook.com/DRNyheder/videos/924418937608631/?type=1&theater

    Ken Roth has admitted it:

    “I stand corrected: this is video of Gaza destruction after last summer, not Aleppo.”

    https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/597005125018906625

    Ah, the fog of war. Good that the aerial video by drone of Gaza is now out for all to see again.

  9. just
    just
    May 9, 2015, 10:42 am

    Also via Dan Cohen:

    “Not more than 30 minutes after I left the buffer zone, Israeli soldiers shot 3 Palestinians. Popular media will be silent about this.”

    and

    “Can anyone imagine the media frenzy if roles were reversed and a Qassam fighter from Gaza opened fire on 3 Israeli civilians today?”

    https://twitter.com/dancohen3000

    Thanks to Dan, a lot of truth is being documented.

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