Family of slain Palestinian toddler remains in ‘critical condition’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The parents and brother of the 18-month-old Palestinian killed in an arson attack on Friday remained in critical condition on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Health said. Jawad Awwad said in a statement that the lives of the mother and father, Riham and Saad al-Dawabsha, as well as their four-year-old son, Ahmad, are still at risk. The statement said that Riham and Saad have not shown any progress, although there has been a slight improvement in Ahmad’s health. Awwad said that Saad suffers from third-degree burns covering 80 percent of his body, while his wife Riham suffers third-degree burns across 90 percent of her body. He said that they remain in intensive care . . . Riham and her son, Ahmad, are receiving treatment at in Tel HaShomer hospital in Tel Aviv, while the father is being treated in Soroka Medical Center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.
March to hometown of slain infant ends in clashes
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Thousands of Palestinians on Sunday marched towards Duma village south of Nablus in solidarity with the al-Dawabsha family whose 18-month-old child was killed on Friday in an arson attack by suspected Israeli settlers. The march was called for and organized by Fatah. Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad al-Aloul said the whole of Palestine is uprising, from camps to villages, to towns and cities. “We’ve seen the anger of our people within 1948 lands, the anger of prisoners in jails, and the anger of Jerusalemites from all neighborhoods of the holy city,” al-Aloul said at the march. He added that the arson attack and killing of an 18-month-old is a “pivotal” part of Palestinian history, and that the attack will change the status quo, as it cannot remain as it is. “[Palestinians] cannot continue to be silent like the rest of the world,” al-Aloul said. Ramallah governor Laila Ghannam, who had to walk into the village after Israeli forces stopped her fleet of cars from entering, said the “Israeli community should be ashamed of these crimes that are similar to the holocaust they suffered.” She added that Israel is responsible for this crime “by remaining silent and turning a blind eye to the attacks of hateful settlers.” Israeli forces erected checkpoints at the entrance of the village to prevent marchers from reaching the village. Clashes erupted after the march in Duma village later Sunday evening.
Islamic Jihad urges factions to escalate resistance after arson attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — A senior leader in the Islamic Jihad movement on Saturday urged Palestinians of all political factions to “escalate resistance” against the Israeli occupation, a day after Israeli settlers killed an 18-month-old child in an arson attack in the occupied West Bank. In a press statement, Islamic Jihad’s Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah called on “all factions of the resistance and military wings, particularly the al-Quds Brigades, to escalate resistance and to respond to this heinous crime.” His comments followed comments from a Hamas spokesperson, who said that the killing of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha made all “Israeli soldiers and settlers legitimate targets for resistance.”
Protesters attempt to set fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — Dozens of protesters from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus threw rocks, empty bottles, and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers and soldiers at Joseph’s Tomb on Saturday, sources said. Local sources said the protest started late evening on Friday and continued early into the morning in response to an arson attack carried out by suspected Israeli settlers that burned a Palestinian 18-month-old boy alive and critically injured three family members in the Doma village near Nablus. PA security forces deployed at Joseph’s Tomb prevented dozens of youths from setting the tomb on fire. The tomb is the site of frequent violence as Israeli forces enable Jewish worshipers to make monthly nocturnal pilgrimages through security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, which guards the site. Sources said the protesters considered burning Joseph’s Tomb, a holy place for Israelis — particularly nearby settlers — as a form of “real response,” to the burning of the 18-month-old, Ali Dawabsha.
Six Palestinians injured after Israeli attack on their bus
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Aug — A Palestinian bus filled with residents from Hebron was attacked Sunday by Jewish extremists living in illegal colonies in the occupied West Bank, leading to six injuries. The Palestinians were heading back home after their solidarity visit to Douma village, near Ramallah, to provide their condolences, and express their support, to the family of the slain Palestinian infant Ali Dawabsha, 18 months of age, who was burnt to death when Israeli terrorists attacked their home with firebombs . . . The six Palestinians suffered mild injuries, while windows of the bus were shattered in the attack, in addition to other damages. The bus carried Palestinians from various areas in the southern West Bank district of Hebron.
Official: Palestinian security to crack down on ‘settler terrorism’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — Palestinian Authority security forces plan to crack down on acts of terrorism carried out by Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank, an official said Saturday.PA security spokesman Adnan Dmeiri told Ma’an: “We will take legal procedures and do everything we can do against them [Israeli settlers] as war criminals who committed crimes against humanity.”When asked about practical steps expected to be taken by the PA forces against settlers who commit violent acts against Palestinians, Dmeiri said: “We consider them wanted by the Palestinian security.” . . . Dmeiri did not elaborate further on how the PA security forces would carry out plans to access or prosecute Israeli settlers for attacks, and highlighted his doubt that the Israeli government will take legal procedures against them.”The Israeli government supports settlers financially, helps provide houses for them and provides them with arms, so how can this government take legal procedures against them?” Dmeiri asked. Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank are under full jurisdiction of the Israeli government and are generally tried in Israeli civil courts . . . Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas vowed Friday to take the death of 18-month-old Dawabsha to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Palestinian villagers form groups to guard against settler attacks
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug – Residents of the Palestinian village of Duma in the occupied West Bank are forming voluntary groups to guard against attacks by Israeli settlers, days after a deadly arson attack left an 18-month-old resident burned alive, locals said Saturday. The groups — formed on voluntary participation — will patrol the village and its outskirts 24 hours a day, seven day a week to prevent further attacks by extremist Jewish settlers, Duma resident Samir Dawabsha told Ma‘an . . . While the Palestinian Authority security services said Saturday it would do everything in its power to crack down on terrorist acts carried out by settlers, the PA has no jurisdiction over Israelis living in the West Bank. Violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents and few options for their personal security remain. While Israeli forces will detain a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank for possessing a knife or gun, Israelis living in the same area are legally able to carry such weapons. Samir Dawabsha, also the general director of the Palestinian ministry of local governance in Nablus, urged Palestinians across the occupied territory to prepare plans for self-protection. “The Palestinian people, no matter where they live, are being targeted by the occupation and its settlers, and citizens should beware of treacherous attacks by settlers, and we will try to prevent repetition of what happened with Dawabsha family.”
Settlers attempt attack on Palestinian farmers near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Aug – Israeli settlers on Saturday morning attempted an attack on Palestinian farmers in village of Qusra south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, a local official said. Dozens of settlers from the illegal Esh Kodesh outpost descended on farmers in their fields between the outpost and Qusra, said Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank. He said the attackers intended to scare the farmers and push them to abandon their fields. Dozens of local men from the village — members of voluntary local guard committees — confronted the settlers, Daghlas added. The settlers and locals clashed and threw stones at one another until the settlers were forced to move back.
In June 2014, villagers from Qusra held more than 15 settlers captive after they raided the village and tried to uproot Palestinian olive trees. Shortly after that they were transferred to Israeli military forces via Palestinian liaison officials.
UPDATE: Settlers attack Palestinian farmers south of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 1 Aug . . .Later on Saturday, settlers attacked another Palestinian tending to his farmland located between the villages of Jalood and Qasra to the south of Nablus. Witnessed told WAFA that settlers beat up Nasir Mohammed, 40, and attacked him with rocks, while Israeli soldiers shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet, which necessitated his transfer to hospital.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Video: Hundreds of Palestinians turn out for West Bank funeral
Reuters 1 Aug — Hundreds of Palestinians participate in the funeral of a Palestinian youth who died on Saturday after clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank. The Israeli military said soldiers fired at 17 year-old Laith Fadel al-Khaladi after he threw a fire-bomb at them. Two other Palestinians have been killed in the tension since a fatal arson attack on Thursday night which killed an 18-month baby.
8 Palestinians injured in clashes near Jalazun after teen’s funeral
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — Israeli forces shot and injured eight Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes near al-Jalazun refugee camp that broke out on Saturday following the funeral of 17-year-old Laith al-Khaldi who was shot dead by Israeli forces the day before. Israeli forces reportedly fired live and rubber-coated steel rounds at dozens of Palestinian youths as they marched toward the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in northern Ramallah district following Khaldi’s funeral . . . Witnesses said that settlers also opened fire on the demonstrators. Palestinian youth threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces and settlers in response, and the Molotov cocktails reportedly set fire to grass near the settlement. The injured Palestinians were taken to the Ramallah Governmental Hospital for treatment. Israeli forces reportedly targeted journalists and medical teams with tear-gas canisters during the clashes. Khaldi was fatally shot by Israeli forces during clashes at ‘Atara Israeli military checkpoint near Ramallah late on Friday.
Autopsy: Al Khaldi shot from behind
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Aug — Minister of Justice Counsel Saleem Saqa, Saturday, announced the results of [Leith Fadel] al-Khaldi’s postmortem report, affirming that he was shot from behind. The autopsy indicated that the bullet penetrated through al-Khaldi’s body from behind, where it went through his spine’s first lumbar vertebra and hit the inferior vena cava, a large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart, tearing through the intestines and liver, before coming out of the right side of his upper abdomen. He noted that the bullet wound shows that the bullet came from a long weapon, most likely from an M16 rifle. The autopsy ruled, according to WAFA, that the cause of al-Khaldi’s death was due to the intensive internal bleeding that resulted from the tearing of the liver and the inferior vena cava of the abdomen . . . Al-Khaldi Saturday succumbed to critical wounds he sustained after being shot by Israeli forces, late Friday, during clashes at ‘Atara Israeli military checkpoint to the north of Ramallah. Laith al-Khaldi, 17, a Palestinian from the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, was shot with a live bullet as Israeli forces violently quelled a march in protest of Friday’s settler arson attack which led to the killing of an 18-month-old toddler, Ali Dawabsha, in the Nablus village of Douma.
Soldiers attack a Palestinian family in Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Aug — Several family members have been mildly wounded, after being attacked in their own home, when a number of Israeli military vehicles invaded the Um Rokba area in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, has reported that the soldiers invaded the home of Wael Ali Salah, after firing concussion grenades at it. Salah added that the soldiers attacked several family members while searching their property, causing them to suffer cuts and bruises. In addition, soldiers clashed with dozens of local youths, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades on them, before chasing many Palestinians in the town’s streets and neighborhoods. No arrests were reported.
Israeli soldiers attack Hebron youth, force to drink gasoline
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Aug — Palestinian security sources from Hebron’s Old City, today, said that Israeli soldiers have brutally attacked a Palestinian youth and then forced him to drink gasoline. Sources said, according to the PNN, that soldiers handcuffed Majdi Al-Muhtaseb (21), kidnapped and dragged him to Al-Turba neighborhood, in Tel Rumeida, threw him to the ground and started beating and kicking him for no reason whatsoever. According to Majdi’s family, the soldiers asked him if he wanted water, and, when he said yes, one of them pretended to be helping him to drink water. When he realized that it was gasoline and not water, the soldier forced him to drink out of it. Issam Al-Muhtaseb, father of the youth, said that Israeli forces have detained his son and destroyed his own ID card. Then, they beat him on his back and stomach. After the soldiers let him go, the youth’s father took him to ‘Aalia hospital, in Hebron, where he suffered from severe pains and underwent medical tests. Majdi was moved back to his house, but reportedly still suffers from back pain.
Israeli forces allegedly beat Palestinian man in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — . . . Earlier Sunday morning, Israeli soldiers physically assaulted Anas Tubasi, 23, while he was walking near Gush Etzion junction south of Bethlehem, Muhammad Ayyad, spokesperson for a local committee against Israel’s separation wall and settlements said. Tubasi was taken to a hospital in Hebron after Israeli soldiers hit him on the head.
Israeli forces arrested eight others in Hebron overnight Saturday and Sunday morning, local sources told Ma‘an.
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian at Nablus checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 3 Aug — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man at a military checkpoint south of Nablus on Monday, Israel’s army and media said.The Hebrew-language website of Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Israeli soldiers stopped a man for inspection at the Zaatara checkpoint.The man requested to go to the bathroom and then attempted to run away, the news site said.Israeli soldiers reportedly fired gunshots into the air before firing at his “lower extremities,” with a direct hit confirmed, the report said.
Clashes in Abu Dis after army invades it, trees burnt
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Aug — Israeli soldiers invaded on Saturday evening Abu Dis town, east of occupied Jerusalem, clashed with dozens of Palestinian youths, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at them and nearby lands, causing fires in the groves of Abu Dis University. The soldiers surrounded the Abu Dis University, leading to clashes with dozens of Palestinians, who hurled stones at them. The Israeli grenades also caused fires in several trees, before Palestinian firefighters rushed to the scene, and contained it before it spread.
Also on Saturday evening, a number of extremist Israeli settlers invaded a Palestinian agricultural land, in the al-Mogheer village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and set it ablaze. The villages managed to notice the fire, and contained it.
Arsonists set fire to Hamas leader’s car
JENIN (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — Unidentified assailants threw a Molotov cocktail at a private car belonging to Hamas leader in Jenin in the northern West Bank overnight Friday, according to Palestinian security sources. Hamas leader and former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Wasfi Qabaha, said his parked car was partially torched in front of his home in the al-Basatin neighborhood of Jenin when the arsonists hurled a Molotov cocktail at the car from a speeding vehicle, Palestinian security services told Ma‘an. The sources said neighbors hurried to put out the fire. Palestinian police arrived and opened a probe into the case. Qabaha commented on the attack on his personal Facebook page saying out that it was the 38th attack against him.
Settlers attempt to kill young Palestinian in Lod
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Aug — Palestinian youth Emad Abu Sharekh, on Sunday, was seriously injured after being brutally attacked by three Israeli settlers while returning from Fajr prayers at al-Kabeer Mosque, in Lod City. Abu Sharekh, who lives in the city, explained that three Israeli settlers were waiting for him at the entrance of his residence, where they attacked him with sticks and sharp tools. According to Al Ray, he went on to say that, when the settlers saw him fall to the ground, they thought he was dead, so, they fled. At this moment, some of his neighbors took him to the hospital. His head and face were bleeding, in addition to several other parts of his body. He called the police but they did not come. The daughter of Abu Sharekh said, while sitting at Asaf Harofe Israeli hospital, that most of the injuries are concentrated in the head. “My father did not receive an appropriate medical treatment in the hospital, just for being Palestinian. Israeli physicians do not care,” she added. She noted that the ambulance came only after an hour of the incident.
One was playing on his bicycle . . . the occupation arrested two children from Silwan
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 2 Aug — The occupation forces arrested on Sunday afternoon two children from Silwan. Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer explained that the occupation forces arrested the 12-year old Mohammad Sami Mousa Awwad while he was playing on his bicycle in the neighborhood of Al-Ein in Silwan. The lawyer, who was able to visit the child Awwad in the detention center, explained that three of the Israeli forces personnel arrested the child under the pretext of throwing stones in the “Middle Neighborhood” in Silwan; note that the forces arrested him while driving his bicycle!!! The forces took him to the police vehicle after slapping him on the face and then transferred him to Salah Eddin Street police station. The child’s father explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that his child is accused of throwing stones and was interrogated in the presence of his father. On the other hand, the occupation forces also arrested on Sunday afternoon the 16-year old Mohammad Haymooni from Silwan.
Newly engaged 19-year-old shot dead by Israel
EI 29 July by Budour Youssef Hassan — Muhammad Atta Abu Latifa had only been engaged to his fiancée Nour Taha for little more than a month. But they had been in love for years. The couple — aged 19 and 18 respectively — had encountered opposition to their relationship from family members. They nonetheless decided to persist and succeeded in overcoming that opposition. They were looking forward to moving into their new home, which was under construction. Israel has destroyed their plans. Ten days before they were scheduled to hold a party celebrating their engagement, Muhammad was shot dead by Israeli troops at Qalandiya refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Nour visited Muhammad’s grave this week, so that she could place flowers on it. “Just a few days before we were supposed to celebrate his engagement, we had to walk in his funeral procession,” said Maryam, Muhammad’s mother. “And instead of congratulating me, people are coming to pay their condolences.” Muhammad’s family hails from Saraa, a village near Jerusalem. They were forced to leave their homes by Zionist forces during the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Muhammad is the second of three children. Like his elder brother Lafi, he was born while his father was imprisoned by Israel. Muhammad himself served six months in Israeli detention during 2013. He was charged with firing a gun in the air during a funeral . . . .
Violence — Israel
Victim of Jerusalem Pride Parade stabbing succumbs to wounds
Ynet 2 Aug by Rotem Elizera & Roi Yanovsky — Shira Banki, 16, who was critically wounded after being stabbed during the Jerusalem Pride Parade on Thursday by a Jewish terrorist, has succumbed to her wounds after a three-day battle for her life. Spontaneous rallies were held in Banki’s memory in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Sunday evening, with several hundred people participating … Banki, a high school student, was hospitalized at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem, and was on respirator and sedated as doctors were fighting for her life. Her family announced that they will donate Shira’s organs. One of the other wounded at the attack is also hospitalized in Ein Karem in light condition. Another in moderate condition is at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Police is looking into a possible connection between Shlissel and a rebbetzin (a rabbi’s wife) from Jerusalem, who is a prominent, vocal critic of the pride parade.
Protests against homophobia and Jewish ‘terror’ take place throughout Israel
JPost 1 Aug by Daniel K. Eisenbud, Lahav Harkov — Thousands of people joined political leaders and President Reuven Rivlin at rallies in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa Saturday night to condemn violence in Israeli society, as personified by Thursday night’s stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade and the suspected Jewish terrorist attack at Duma that killed a Palestinian toddler and seriously injured the rest of his family. Standing on a podium in front of an enormous gay pride flag in Jerusalem’s Zion Square Saturday night, Rivlin condemned the attack at the parade, and the “spreading flames of hatred” following the murder of the Palestinian boy. Amid a crowd of thousands, many of who hoisted adjoined Israeli and gay pride flags, the president said violence carried out in the name of the Torah is antithetical to Judaism, and demanded that incitement come to an end. “Friends, the flames are spreading in our land – flames of violence, flames of hatred, flames of false, distorted and twisted beliefs,” said Rivlin.
Police investigate social media incitement against President Rivlin
Ynet 2 Aug by Roi Yanovsky — Police opened an investigation Sunday into death threats against President Reuven Rivlin, who has been suffering severe backlash on social media for a speech he made condemning two recent attacks allegedly perpetrated by Jews. The president’s remarks put him in deep water with many people, who took to social media to express their anger at his comments. A Photoshopped image appeared on social media showing Rivlin wearing a keffiyeh, alongside a photo with the caption “You are not my President.” Rivlin’s Facebook page has since become a battleground between his detractors and supporters. As a result of the complaint filed by the president’s office with the Jerusalem police, the police’s national cyber unit in Lahav 443 launched an investigation into the threats. Rivlin received more than 11,000 likes on a status he posted Saturday night in which he wrote, “Flames are spreading in our land, flames of violence, flames of hatred, flames of false, distorted and twisted beliefs.” He continued to say, “We must put out the flames, the incitement, before they destroy us all.”
Explosion destroys vehicle of Kiryat Yam mayor
Ynet 2 Aug by Ahiyah Raved — An explosion rocked Moran Street in Kiryat Yam early Sunday morning when Mayor David Even Zur’s vehicle went up in flames, allegedly caused by an improvised explosive device placed under the driver’s seat of the car. Kiryat Yam’s municipality claimed the event was nothing less than a hate crime, motivated by Even Zur’s Facebook post on Friday condemning the stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade by a Haredi individual and the arson attack in the West Bank that killed a Palestinian baby, also allegedly perpetrated by Jews. The explosion occurred at approximately 3am and set the vehicle on fire. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene to extinguish the flames and said that claims of explosions preceding the fire were under investigation.
Security Cabinet authorizes new measures against Jewish terrorists
Ynet 3 Aug by Itamar Eichner & Tova Tzimuky — In wake of Jewish terrorist attack in Duma, gov’t authorizes use of administrative detentions, while Justice Ministry team recommends changing classification of ‘price tag’ perpetrators to ‘terrorists’ — The Security Cabinet decided Sunday to adopt recommendations providing law enforcement agencies with new tools to combat Jewish terrorism. “The Cabinet views the arson and murder in Duma as act of terror in every aspect, and has called on all the relevant authorities to use all necessary measures in order to bring the perpetrators to justice, and prevent similar incidents,” a statement issued after the cabinet meeting said . . . The Cabinet’s adoption of the recommendations will allow the relevant authorities to apply all the necessary steps and tools in order to capture the terrorists, “including the use of administrative detention in appropriate cases, contingent on approval of the attorney general.” . . . Among the recommendations made was to change the classification of “price tag” groups, which are currently defined as “unlawful associations.” The current classification allows investigators to prevent detainees from conferring with lawyers, and allows courts to issue long-term administrative limitation orders for the suspects. However, the Shin Bet and legal adviser assert that classifying these groups as “terror organizations” will increase the stigma, and thereby intensify the condemnation of their actions . . . The Shin Bet is said to have mapped out a complete database of nearly all the radical activists, including phone recordings and hidden camera photos, as well as information attained by undercover agents operating within the groups. One of the more controversial tools being evaluated is the use of the “ticking bomb” directive in rare and extreme cases. The directive allows for the use of “moderate physical force” on the subject as a means of interrogation in the wake of a terror attack. According to the current law, and a High Court ruling, the method cannot be used as a preventative means of investigation. The method is prohibited in interrogations of Palestinians suspected of terror activities. However, in a case in which there is a suspicion that the subject knows of an imminent attack by a Jewish terror group, the method is permissible.
Israeli navy opens fire on Gaza fishers, homes
IMEMC/Agencies 1 Aug — Several Israeli navy ships opened fire, Saturday, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza territorial waters, near the Sudaniyya and al-Wista shores of the besieged coastal region. Soldiers also opened fire on farmers in central Gaza. Eyewitnesses said the navy fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition targeting various fishing boats in the Sudaniyya area, northwest of the Gaza Strip, in addition to the Zawayda and Deir al-Balah, in Central Gaza. The attacks caused property damage but no injuries.
In addition, Israeli soldiers, stationed across the border fence, opened fire on a number of Palestinian homes and farmlands, east of the Salqa Valley and Abu Samra area, in central Gaza.
Israeli navy continues targeting Gaza fishermen sailing within allowed fishing zone
GAZA (WAFA) 2 Aug – Israeli naval boats Sunday attacked Palestinian fishermen offshore the northwest of the Gaza Strip, according to a WAFA correspondent. Forces opened machine gunfire at Palestinian boats sailing within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore the northwest of Gaza, however, no injuries or arrests were reported. No injuries were reported among the fishermen who apparently fled the scene for fear of being injured, killed or arrested.
Rockets fired from Gaza at Israel after Hamas calls for revenge
JTA 2 Aug — Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. One of the rockets fired late Saturday night landed on the Israeli side of the Gaza border fence and the other landed near the border in northern Gaza. No casualties were reported in the attack, which did not trigger any warning alarms. The attack comes a day after Hamas, which rules in Gaza, called for revenge on all Israelis for the death of a Palestinian infant after his home was firebombed in what is believed to be an attack by extremist Jews. The last rocket attack from Gaza occurred on July 16, when a rocket fired from Gaza landed near Ashkelon. In retaliation, Israel Air Force jets fired on what the Israel Defense Forces called in a statement a “terror infrastructure” in central Gaza.
Hundreds in Gaza protest reduction in UNRWA services to refugees
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Hundreds of Palestinian refugees on Sunday staged a sit-in in front of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City to protest a reduction in services provided by the UN agency. The sit-in was the second Sunday protest in a row, as refugees in Gaza faces cuts to health and educational services. Protesters waved flags and posters as they chanted slogans slamming the reduction of UN services. “We want schools! Stop the policy of humiliation and contempt!” the protesters chanted. A spokesman of a popular committee representing refugees of the Rafah refugee camp, Ziad al-Sarafandi, said in a speech that “Israelis and the West have been working for years to end UNRWA.” The spokesman raised concern for the future of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the besieged strip if the UN agency is unable to provide basic services. The Hamas movement last week accused UNWRA of “giving up its role” providing services to refugees. UNRWA, the largest service provider for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, has been struggling in recent months to secure donor funding, forcing the agency to scale back its core services, including education, as well as its emergency relief programs. The agency held an emergency session last week to discuss what they termed as their “most severe financial crisis ever.” Around 80 percent of Gazans depend on foreign aid to meet their basic needs.
‘Gaza 37’ begins providing medical services to Gazans
GAZA CITY (Petra) 1 Aug — The medical crews of the Jordanian military field hospital “Gaza 37” on Saturday began providing medical assistance to Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded enclave, according to the hospital’s commander, Col. Abdullah Al Drou’.
He told Petra in an interview that the clinic’s various sections, including radiology, laboratory, pharmacy and emergency ward, had begun receiving hundreds of patients since the early morning, he added.
‘Blue Beach’ offers Gazans a glimpse of the good life
Reuters 1 Aug — A luxurious new tourist resort has opened in the Gaza Strip, its manicured lawns, sparkling pool and private beach in stark contrast to the impoverished territory still struggling to recover from last year’s war. The Blue Beach Resort, made up of 162 chalet-style rooms set among palm trees and overlooking the Mediterranean, hopes to become the “most significant tourist attraction and entertainment venue in Gaza”, according to its website. Built by the Palestine Real Estate Investment Company, the hotel was set for completion last summer, just before the outbreak of a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that has controlled the territory since 2007. A year on, the resort is finally opening for business, although only 76 of the rooms are available. Already demand is high, with eager weekenders prepared to pay between $100 and $160 a night to escape Gaza’s privations. At night, in contrast to the power cuts that afflict much of the enclave, the resort’s lights can be seen glittering around the swimming pool, the terrace and down to the 750-metre private beach, where the surf rolls in gently. The hotel’s Facebook page has already received 19,000 ‘Likes’ and secured 4.7 out of 5 stars from 230 reviewers. The Trip Advisor website is slightly less upbeat, however, featuring a red banner above a picture of the swimming pool reading “TRAVEL ALERT: SAFETY AND SECURITY CONCERNS”. – Oasis amid hardship – While Gaza is one of the world’s most economically distraught places, with unemployment at 45 percent and output contracting 15 percent last year, there remain pockets of wealth among the 1.8 million population. There are a number of smart restaurants and hotels on the beachfront in the northern part of Gaza City, sitting almost alongside a refugee camp and not far from neighborhoods that were heavily bombarded during the war.
After fleeing Syria, chef becomes a star in Gaza
Reuters 1 Aug by Nidal Al-Mughrabi — It is a safe bet that no one made it as a celebrity chef following the same path as Wareef Hameedo. Three years ago, the 34-year-old was running a small restaurant in a mall in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Then it was heavily bombed in Syria’s civil war. Members of his family fled to southeast Turkey and he followed shortly afterwards. In Turkey, he decided he would be better off in Egypt. He sailed to Port Said and ended up working as a chef at corporate banquets in Cairo. Struggling to make ends meet, he faced a decision: risk a journey to Europe or try his luck elsewhere. “I had to choose whether to ride the death boats to Europe, with an uncertain future, or go to Gaza on the advice of some Palestinian friends,” Hameedo said. Against the odds, he chose Gaza. In May 2013, he was smuggled through one of the tunnels linking Sinai with the Palestinian territory and joined 1.8 million Gazans trying to make a living in an economy on the brink of collapse, with unemployment nearing 50 percent. With a degree in mechanical engineering, Hameedo’s technical skills might have been useful. But he was determined to make it as a chef, and step by step he pursued the dream, although Gaza was consumed by war between Israel and Hamas barely a year after he got there. As well as meeting his wife — a Palestinian journalist who interviewed him about Syrian refugees — he eventually opened his own restaurant with a partner, calling it “Soryana,” or Our Syria, a small place in one of Gaza’s best neighborhoods.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Restriction of movement
Settlers took over abandoned army base and IDF provided them with electricity
Haaretz 3 Aug by Gili Cohen — Settlers have taken over an abandoned part of an army base near Shilo in the West Bank in recent weeks. The Mevo Shilo base is used by Israel Defense Forces forces stationed in the Shilo Valley for operational activities in the area. The IDF evacuated part of the base, leaving some buildings empty, even though it is still defined as a military area. A number of settlers have moved in in recent weeks and built an unauthorized outpost there, which they call Malachei Shalom (Angels of Peace) in memory of Malachi Rosenfeld, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting near the settlement of Shvut Rahel nearby, and Shuli Har Melech, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the Alon Road in the eastern West Bank in 2003. The IDF calls the situation an “illegal invasion of a military area,” but has nonetheless provided the settlers with water and electricity. Even after the security forces tried to remove them for the first time a month ago, they returned and reconnected to the electricity and water systems at the site – at the IDF’s expense. Only after informing the IDF and an examination of the question of who was paying for the water and electricity to the residents of the outpost did it become clear the IDF was still paying, and it was decided in the past few days to once again disconnect the water and electricity. On Sunday security forces arrived at the outpost and evacuated it once again.
Israeli forces dump large amounts of soil on Palestinian-owned agricultural land
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 2 Aug – Israeli occupation forces Sunday dumped large amounts of soil on agricultural land belonging to Palestinian locals in the town of al-Khader to the south of Bethlehem, according to one of the land owners. The owner, Issa Salah, told WAFA that he was surprised when he arrived in his land to see large amounts of soil dumped in his land, along with other neighboring land belonging to other locals. He said another [piece of] land was razed for the benefit of building a cement wall for a nearby settlement. Salah expressed fear that his land would be seized for the benefit of settlement expansion, due to the proximity of his land to the illegal settlement of Ifrat.
Settlers torch forest land south of Nablus
NABLUS (PIC) 1 Aug — Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement on Friday evening set fire to vast tracts of forest land belonging to Palestinian citizens near the tribal town of ‘Asira and ‘Urif town, south of Nablus. Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the flames spread throughout several dunums of trees on Mount Salman near the towns of ‘Asira and ‘Urif, affirming that Yitzhar settlers used incendiaries to start the fire. They added that a fire brigade from the settlement embarked on extinguishing part of the blaze while Palestinian fire trucks, after hours of coordination with the Israeli occupation authority, managed to tackle the fire on its side.
Palestinian police deactivate explosive device left behind by Israeli army in Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 1 Aug – The Palestinian explosives engineering police Saturday managed to defuse an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army near the town of Qabatiyeh in Jenin district, according to a police statement. It said that explosives’ engineering police managed to deactivate the unexploded device after receiving calls by local residents about the presence of an explosive device in the area. The Israeli army usually conducts drills in the occupied West Bank, especially in the Jordan Valley, after forcefully displacing dozens of local Palestinian families due to the proximity of their homes to the training sites. Palestinians living in these areas have to also worry about unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army after the drills, which have led to the death of many Palestinians, including children, over the past years.
Clashes erupt at Aqsa after Israeli police restrict access
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an/AFP) 2 Aug — Israeli police clashed with Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday after they imposed strict restrictions on access to the holy site, later detaining five Palestinians leaving the compound. Israeli police denied access to all Palestinian women and men under the age of 30, between 7 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments in Jerusalem said. Police also shut down the Lion’s, King Faisal, Ghawanma, Iron, and the Cotton Merchants gates in the Old City and set up barricades to search and inspect Palestinian visitors at all gates that remained open, the ministry said. Around 30 right-wing Jews then entered the mosque compound under armed police escort, the ministry said. They alleged that right-wing Jewish organizations had called for a “return to the Temple Mount,” urging participants to wear their Israeli army uniforms as they stormed the holy site. Clashes broke out when Israeli police reportedly fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian worshipers while the right-wingers toured the compound.Israeli police also reportedly attacked worshipers protesting outside the Chain gate after they were denied entry. Israeli police told AFP that “masked” Palestinian youths threw stones at police forces in the ensuing clashes.
Increase in number of prisoners suffering from mental disorders in Israeli jails
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Aug – The Palestinian detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee Saturday said that there is an increase in the number of Palestinian prisoners held across Israeli jails who suffer from mental and neurological problems. The committee’s lawyer, Shireen Iraqi, said in a press statement, that the number of Palestinian prisoners who suffer from mental disorders has escalated during the past few years, reaching around 25 cases. She said that instead of providing those prisoners with the necessary medical help, the prisons’ administration incarcerates them for long periods of time, which she stressed, further aggravates their mental and health conditions. The lawyer cited the case of prisoner Mansour Shahatit, who has been suffering from a long-time mental and neurological disorder. Shahatit is a resident of Hebron and is sentenced to 17 years in jail. She said that the physiological state of Shahatit makes him ineligible to stay in jail in light of the lack of proper mental health treatment. The lawyer urged for the need to allow mental health doctors to examine Shahatit. She stressed that the prisons’ administration resorts to providing prisoners suffering from mental problems with over the counter pain killers and sleeping pills; where prisoners are left sedated around the clock.
Health of Palestinian prisoner declines
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The health condition of Palestinian prisoner Ala’ al-Hums, currently serving a 29-year sentence in Israeli jails, is beginning to deteriorate, a prisoner’s rights group said Saturday.The Palestinian Prison Society said al-Hums he has several health issues and suffers from tuberculosis. The group said in a statement said that the detainee is currently in serious condition and that his disease is potentially contagious to other prisoners, adding that he has lost 70 percent of his sight in his left eye after medical neglect.Al-Hums is married with four children. No further information was given on the prisoner.According to the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR), poor conditions in Israeli prisons have lead to the deterioration of health for a large number of Palestinian prisoners.”Prison clinics have become renowned for offering only aspirin for all health treatments and physicians within the clinics are all soldiers,” CEPR said in a report.
Other news, analysis
A month in photos: After violence, the joy of Eid becomes a blur
Activestills 1 Aug — A Palestinian family is burned alive in a settler attack, Jerusalem’s Pride Parade ends in terror, and three Palestinian youths are killed by Israeli soldiers. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, during which thousands celebrated on the shores of the Mediterranean, seems like a lifetime ago. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Mustafa Bader, Anne Paq, Yotam Ronen, Tess Scheflan
Envoy to UN to submit Duma crime file on Monday
GENEVA (WAFA) 2 Aug – Envoy to the United Nations Human Rights, Ibrahim Khraishi, said the file prepared on the latest settlers’ attack against a family in Nablus, which claimed the life of a toddler and critically injured his entire family, would be submitted to officials of the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner, and the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. Israeli settlers Friday killed an 18-month-old Palestinian baby and seriously injured his entire family, during an arson attack that targeted two homes in the village of Duma, south of Nablus. In a radio interview, the ambassador urged those in charge for the need to speed up investigation into the attack against the Dawabshe family in Nablus, and to prosecute the perpetrators in order to curb such crimes and attacks committed by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people. The conference stipulated that in case of a lack of commitment by the Israeli side, the international community must take punitive measures to rein in the Israeli government’s crimes. He said ‘we’ are tired of the Israeli policy, which does not take any punitive actions against their settlers’ attacks committed against the Palestinian people with the support and incitement of the Israeli government.
PA rejects UNRWA’s possible delay of academic year 2015-2016
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 2 Aug — Secretary-General of the Palestinian Cabinet, Ali Abu Diak, Sunday rejected UNRWA’s proposal to postpone the start of the new academic year for over half a million students across the Middle East for a period of four months due to a severe financial crisis. On July 26, UNRWA announced a growing risk of possible delay to the start of the academic year in some 700 schools for half a million students across the Middle East, unless the deficit of $101 million can be fully funded before the school year is due to start. He said if UNRWA’s proposal is implemented in the five fields the organization provides assistance to, including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza, over half a million students, including 320 thousand in Gaza and the West Bank alone, would be deprived of their right to education. The secretary-General urged UNRWA to look for alternative realistic solution to the current crisis; through searching for new donors with the cooperation of the United Nations (UN). He called on the UN, and the rest of the world countries to uphold their responsibilities toward Palestinian refugees’ issue.
Who wants to talk about the murder of Bedouin women? / Samah Salaime
+972 mag 1 Aug — The Israeli media has time to talk about Iran, the security budget, and Beit El. That means that when Arab women are murdered, there are always more important issues to cover . . . Six Arab women have been murdered in Israel since the beginning of the year — four of them in the last month alone. I know that some of you are probably thinking that Arabs are a primitive, violent and shallow people. Well, yes. Unfortunately there are many of those kinds of people in Arab society. These creatures usually come in the form of men. They exist in Hebrew and English versions too. In fact, they exist in any language you choose. So yes, the society I live in includes violent men who view women as property, or as a lowly creature not worthy of rights. This is the kind of man who murdered Tasnim Abu-Qweider, a mother of two, who was 22 when she died. In the wake of the crime, which took place only several days ago, two more helpless children joined a growing list of orphans in Israel. Try to imagine two small children in a faraway, unrecognized village in the middle of the desert. They must live in the shadow of violence and shame for the rest of their lives. How much will it take to rehabilitate them? – Not an isolated incident – I walked around with this immense pain for two straight days. The Committee Against the Killing of Women was resurrected in the wake of the murder. A month ago we were half-paralyzed after Raeda Nijim, a teacher and mother of three from the village of Jan, was shot and killed. One journalist angered me after he sent me the following message: “You’re not doing anything about it? You’re afraid because it’s a crime family [family crime?], right?” I refused to respond. Beyond issuing a condemnation, we weren’t able to do a thing. The Hebrew media did not mention the murder, and not a single investigative reporter took interest.
Cartoon creates an uproar in the West Bank
RAMALLAH (Gulf News) 2 Aug by Nasouh Nazzal — A cartoon drawn by a renowned Gazan cartoonist [Bahaa Yassin] and published by the Hamas-affiliated paper has created an unprecedented uproar in the West Bank and inflamed the rift between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The cartoon, published in Al Risalah (The Message), has raised tensions between Fatah and Hamas to a new level and has the potential to unite the entire West Bank against the entire Gaza Strip. West Bank Palestinians demand that Gazans should act in response to the cartoon which depicts a Palestinian woman as a prostitute having an intimate relationship with a Jew who has one hand on her breast and the other on the trigger of a gun targeting her children. The woman, apparently representing West Bank Palestinians, tells a Gazan fighter urging her to resist that she lacks a permit to do so. A Palestinian security official from the West Bank is seen puffing away at a cigarette.The cartoon shocked West Bank Palestinians, thousands of whom condemned the cartoon and the cartoonist, terming the cartoon a heinous insult to Palestinian women, often depicted as a symbol for the liberation struggle in Palestinian culture. West Bankers’ harsh criticisms of the cartoon reached the Hamas leadership via members and cadre in the West Bank. A West Bank official said: “Gazans have not sacrificed much to the Palestinian cause and their sacrifices cannot be compared with those of the West Bank. If Gazans want to be reminded with figures and numbers, we are ready to do it.” [ You can see the offensive cartoon here ]
Israel denies West Bank-based football team entry to Gaza
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 3 Aug — The Israeli authorities on Sunday denied Palestinian footballers from the occupied West Bank visa permits to enter Gaza to face a rival team in the first leg of a cup competition, the Palestinian Football Association said. The Israeli authorities denied the players and managers of Ahli al-Khalil, based in Hebron, visas to enter Gaza to play Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh at the Yarmouk stadium for the first leg of the Palestine Cup. The PFA decried the move by Israeli authorities as “racist policies towards Palestinian sports.” The entry permits were reportedly denied due to “security reasons,” the PFA added, without elaborating. The match was scheduled for Tuesday and touted as a symbol of Palestinian unity after last year’s devastating conflict with Israel and months of political backbiting. It would have been the first time the rival teams played each other in 15 years. According to Gazan sports journalist Ashraf Matar, as many as 10,000 fans can pack into the Yarmouk stadium. In May, PFA President Jibril Rajoub dropped a bid to suspend Israel from FIFA minutes before the bid was brought to the table.
Why Jewish terror is different this time / J J Goldberg
The Forward 1 Aug — Israel was stunned last week by a pair of violent attacks, both apparently perpetrated by Jewish extremists . . . At first glance the two incidents might look similar. Both are believed to be the work of extremist Orthodox Jews. Both appeared motivated by hostility toward an out-group, gays and Palestinians. Both are relatively rare instances of Jewish extremist attacks turning to lethal or near-lethal violence. But there the similarity ends. The suspect in the gay parade stabbing, Yishai Schlissel, is a self-appointed anti-gay vigilante who was known to the police — in fact, he’d just been released from prison a month earlier after serving 10 years for a nearly identical attack in 2005. He’s a member of Jerusalem’s Haredi or ultra-Orthodox community, which generally rejects Zionist nationalism. Most Haredi Jews believe Israel is not the promised Jewish commonwealth because the ancient kingdom can’t be restored until God sends the messiah. The West Bank arson is believed by authorities to be the work of a group of religious nationalist militants from a nearby Jewish settlement. The settler movement historically grew out of the religious wing of Zionism, which takes the opposite view from Haredim: It holds that the founding of modern Israel is itself evidence that the era of messianic redemption is either underway or imminent. . .
But one other phrase was daubed on the wall at Duma that’s been largely overlooked. The attackers wrote the words “ Yechi Hamelech Hamashiach ” — “long live the king Messiah.” It’s the motto of the messianist wing of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which believes that the late grand rabbi of Lubavitch, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, is the messiah and will return to rebuild the ancient kingdom and redeem the world . . . The arsonists who torched the Church of the Multiplication left graffiti, too. It read: “ Elilim karot yikaretun ” — “The false gods will surely be uprooted.” That’s a quote from the Aleinu prayer, an ancient messianist text read at the end of every synagogue service, which expresses a yearning “to see speedily” the day of divine redemption, when all humankind will accept the sovereignty of the God of Israel — that is, the messianic era. Is it significant that the arsonists in two attacks inside two months both left behind graffiti announcing the arrival of the messianic age? Maybe — and maybe not . . . It’s also possible that there’s a convergence underway on the radical, messianist fringes of the three movements. It’s been noted in recent years, mostly but not only in jest, that the three movements — Chabad, Bratslav and Kahanist — are all led by dead rebbes who aren’t around to discipline their more eccentric followers. There are few true believers truer than those who continue faithfully following their beloved leader even in death. And there are few moments in history more volatile, and more vulnerable to the blind passions of messianists, than moments when the air all around is filled with talk of apocalypse and end times. The more the popular mood leans toward apocalyptic hysteria, the more the messianist true believers at the fringes will take it upon themselves to take action and bring the end times closer.