Violence / Detention
Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Bethlehem clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian from the Duheisha refugee camp Tuesday evening during clashes at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, medics said. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, 27, was hit with a live bullet in the chest and was taken to hospital in critical condition, medical sources at the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital told Ma‘an. Zawahreh was rushed to the operation room but quickly succumbed to his wounds, they added. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that Israeli forces “thwarted an attack” by a “Palestinian perpetrator” who attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail at the forces. The spokesperson said Israeli forces were present in the area because they were “responding to a violent riot of around 500 Palestinians throwing rocks.” Thirty Palestinians have been killed in the occupied Palestinian territory by Israeli forces since Oct. 1, according to the Palestinian ministry of health, 17 of whom were killed during clashes.
‘Son of Palestine’ mourned by thousands
RAMALLAH 13 Oct by Budour Youssef Hassan — “If you grow up in the camp, fear doesn’t exist for you,” said Qassam Dweik, a resident of Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Qassam’s best friend, 14-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, was killed by Israeli soldiers on Sunday. He had been taking part in the ongoing confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth near the Beit El settlement colony. “We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist,” Qassam explained. Built on Palestinian land, Beit El houses the Israeli Civil Administration, the bureaucratic arm of the military occupation, and its district office. The settlement has long been the flashpoint of confrontations between youth and soldiers, though the Palestinian Authority has previously prevented protesters from reaching the area. Clashes there have intensified, occurring daily after noon prayers, since the beginning of the month, when Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Muhannad Halabi in Surda, a nearby Palestinian village, before dawn on 4 October. Halabi was shot dead by Israeli police the evening before after allegedly stabbing four people, killing two, in Jerusalem’s Old City. -Committed to struggle- Ahmad and Qassam risked their lives each day by engaging in the clashes near Beit El. Ahmad had called on his friend to join him on Sunday. Ahmad’s parents, Huda and Abdallah, desperately tried to prevent their son from attending the dangerous confrontations. He had been injured during previous encounters with the army, and the family is still reeling from the death of Ahmad’s uncle, Khalil Sharaka, at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the second intifada. Ahmad quit school two years ago and his main focus became attending protests and confrontations in defiance of his family’s appeals. “He was committed to the struggle from a very young age,” his mother told The Electronic Intifada. . . .
Palestinian shot, killed after 4th Jerusalem attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Oct — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man after an attempted stabbing attack on an Israeli bus in northwest Jerusalem on Monday evening, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said. Rosenfeld said an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in the attack before the Palestinian was shot dead. Israeli media reported that the Palestinian was shot and killed after he attempted and failed to take the Israeli soldier’s gun, before attacking the soldier with a knife. The attack reportedly occurred under the Chords Bridge in northwest Jerusalem. The Palestinian was the third to be shot dead by Israeli forces following an alleged stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Monday, in one of four reported attacks. Just hours before the incident, two Israelis were seriously injured in another alleged attack, with one Palestinian suspect, reportedly a minor, shot dead at the scene, and another wounded, Israeli police said.
Israeli police shoot Palestinian schoolgirl in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 Oct – A Palestinian girl [Marah al-Bakri] was shot and injured on Monday afternoon by Israeli police near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, when an Israeli settler yelled saying the girl tried to stab him, said local sources and witnesses. WAFA correspondent reported that as a group of female students were leaving ‘Abdullah Bin al-Hussein school in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, they were verbally abused by Jewish settlers, resulting in an altercation. According to witnesses, a settler threw a knife near the girl and started screaming saying the girl attempted to stab him. Israeli police encircled the student and shot her. According to another female student, ten bullet shots were heard. Israeli police claimed in a statement that the girl, who sustained serious injuries, was targeted after allegedly carrying out a “stabbing attack”. The spokesperson said the teenager was “neutralized” while two Israelis were allegedly injured, including a police officer. Police officers rushed into and cordoned the scene off, preventing the school headmistress and teaching staff from approaching the student.
VIDEO: Interview with classmate of Palestinian girl shot in Sheikh Jarrah
Shehab News Agency 12 Oct — 15-year-old Marah al-Bakri was shot by police on the word of a settler that she had attempted an attack.
Israeli forces continue to kill Palestinians on grounds of alleged stabbing attempts
PCHR-Gaza 12 Oct — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the crime committed by Israeli forces on Monday morning, 12 October 2015, in occupied East Jerusalem, which resulted in killing Mostafa al-Khateeb on the grounds of suspicions, as this crime amounts to extra-judicial execution . . . According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:20, on the above-mentioned day, while Mostafa Adel al-Khateeb (18), from Sur Baher village south of occupied East Jerusalem was inside his car near al-Asbat Gate, which is one of the Old City gates, Israeli forces ordered him to step out of the car to be searched. Once he did, Israeli forces directly opened fire at him, as he was putting his hand in his pocket, raising suspicion for Israeli forces of an attempt to stab Israeli soldiers in the area. As a result, he was killed by over 10 bullets; some bullets hit him in the head and others penetrated his body. The Israeli police was confused when addressing the incident. In the first statement made by the Israeli police, it was reported that the young man had stabbed a settler. However, they issued another statement claiming that he stabbed an Israeli soldier, but a third statement claimed that he refused to obey the Israeli Border Guard officer’s orders to be searched and that he was hiding a knife in his pocket to stab somebody over there. The final statement explained that he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier in the place, but the bulletproof vest protected the soldier.
Ministry of Health report: 30 Palestinians killed this month, including 7 children
IMEMC 14 Oct — Names of all 30 dead below– Since October 1st, 30 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 1500 others injured by Israeli troops, according to the most recent report by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The MOH said in its report that among the 30 killed Palestinians there are seven children. According to the press statement, 19 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank including Jerusalem, and 11 from the Gaza Strip since October 1. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian from the Duheisha refugee camp Tuesday evening during clashes at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, medics said. Two more Palestinians were killed on Tuesday after being shot dead by Israeli soldiers. The two Palestinians were killed after attacking Israeli civilians on a bus in Armon HaNatziv, in central Israel, killing two Israelis and wounding 18 others. In a separate attack on Tuesday morning, a 22-year old Palestinian man allegedly stabbed a 32-year old Israeli just before 9 am near the bus station in the Israeli city of Ra’anana. The Palestinian was then shot by several Israeli bystanders and critically injured. A third alleged attack by a Palestinian against Israelis remains uncertain – the incident may just have been a traffic accident, despite Israeli claims that the Palestinian driver deliberately drove his car into an Israeli one.
158 injured by live fire, rubber bullets in West Bank, Gaza clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — Over 400 Palestinians were injured on Tuesday during clashes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Red Crescent said, with at least 31 shot with live fire. In the West Bank, clashes continued for the 12th consecutive day as Israeli forces suppressed popular demonstrations in Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem and other districts. . . The latest injuries in Tuesday clashes bring the total number of Palestinians injured since Oct. 1 to 3,730 in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Three hundred and sixty have been shot with live fire, 932 with rubber-coated steel bullets, and 2,365 have been injured by tear gas, the Red Crescent said. At least three Palestinians have been run over by Israeli military vehicles, while 68 have been assaulted by military forces.
Clashes continue around Hebron, teen shot in chest
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Israeli forces shot a 17-year-old Palestinian in the chest as clashes erupted throughout the Hebron area on Wednesday, medics said. Medical sources identified the teen as Bare’ Ismael Shalash, who was shot and injured in the town of Beit ‘Awwa west of Hebron. The Palestinian ministry of health told Ma‘an that his condition was stable after undergoing an operation in al-Ahli Hospital. The bullet went through his chest to his spine, the ministry added. Twelve Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with Israeli forces in Surif north of Hebron. Clashes also broke out in al-‘Arrub Refugee Camp and Bani Na‘im, locals told Ma‘an . . .
On Tuesday over 400 Palestinians were injured during clashes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, at least 31 of whom were shot with live fire, according to the Red Crescent. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, 27, was hit with a live bullet in the chest and killed in Bethlehem. He was the 17th Palestinian to be killed during clashes since Oct. 1. Tuesday marked the 12th consecutive day of clashes as Israeli forces suppressed popular demonstrations in Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem and other districts.
13-year-old Palestinian stab suspect in serious condition in hospital
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — A 13-year-old Palestinian accused of a stabbing attack in East Jerusalem on Monday is in a serious condition in the Hadassah hospital after being run over at the scene by Israeli forces. A lawyer from the Palestinian Authority Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs told Ma‘an that [Ahmad] Manasra was appointed a court session in Jerusalem on Tuesday on accusations of stabbing and injuring two Israelis, aged 13 and 25. The 13-year-old Israeli was critically wounded.
Ahmad was seriously injured after being hit by a car following the stabbing and a viral video [see next item] shows the boy lying in pain on the ground while Israelis shout: “Die, you son of a whore!” His cousin was shot dead at the scene of the incident.
VIDEO: Settler chants Die! as Palestinian boy bleeds
Palestimes 12 Oct — Ahmad Manasra, 13 years old, was shot and injured by a settler this Monday in occupied East Jerusalem, along with his cousin Hasan, 15 years, who died of his wounds. The settler alleged that the boys charged at him with a knife although there is no credible corroboration of this allegation. 15 year-old Hassan died of his wounds. The video shows Ahmad, struggling for breath and crying, while an Israeli settler films him and shouts profanities at him and the boy stays on the ground without receiving any medical help. [Ahmad is seen apparently getting up in a longer version of this video; although he was badly injured, he did not bleed to death as some say.]
Israeli army booby-traps Ramallah village entrance
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 Oct – The Israeli army on Monday booby trapped the entrance of the village of Deir Nizam, northwest of Ramallah, with stun grenades, according to local sources. Witnesses told WAFA local Palestinians attempted to remove rocks put on the village’s main entrance by the Israeli army, but when they tried to do so a stun grenade detonated from beneath. Last night, the village witnessed intense clashes between youths and the Israeli army.
Continued settler attacks across West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Oct — Israeli settlers, Tuesday afternoon, attacked olive farmers near Turmus‘ayya and Tal villages, south and west of Nablus, as well as hurled stones at a Palestinian car driving at Ramallah-Nablus Road, said a local activist and security sources. According to WAFA, several settlers attacked four Palestinian farmers while they were picking olives near the Nablus village of Tal. The settlers, protected by Israeli forces, detained and attacked four Palestinian farmers who were harvesting their olive trees near the village. The farmers were identified as Mohammad Ishtayeh, Ahmad Hindi, Meqdad Zeidan and Karim Ramadan. This came as a Palestinian teenager from the Nablus village of Beita was reportedly attacked by settlers near Karne Shomron settlement, east of Qalqilia city. Mahmoud Yassin, 18, suffered from bruises and was admitted into a Nablus hospital in the aftermath of the attack. In the meantime, Ghasan Daghlas, an anti-settlement activist in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that settlers threw stones at a Palestinian man driving along Ramallah-Nablus Road, near Turmus‘ayya village, south of Nablus, smashing his windshield and injuring him, before they fled the scene. The man, identified as Mohammad Qutob, 58, sustained light injuries and was rushed into a Nablus hospital for treatment. Dozens of settlers, Tuesday, attacked other Palestinian vehicles with stones at Nablus-Qalqilia road, as well as near the town of Yatta in Hebron according to local sources. The sources said settlers from the illegal settlement of Karnei Shomron, illegally built on the land of Kafr Laqif village, attacked Palestinians vehicles with stones while passing at the Nablus-Qalqilia main road. The settlers also chanted racist slogans against the Palestinian passers-by. Meanwhile, settlers guarded by a military escort assaulted Palestinian vehicles with stones and empty glass bottles near the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, provoking confrontations with local Palestinians.
Israeli settlers burn olive fields, attack British activist near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 14 Oct – Israeli settlers Wednesday set fire to large swaths of Palestinian-owned agricultural land near the village of Burin, to the south of Nablus in the West Bank, and injured an international activist while hurling stones at them, according to local sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA a number of Israeli settlers broke into the area in the early morning hours and set fire to agricultural fields mostly planted with olive trees. The settlers also chased local Palestinian farmers and targeted them with gunfire, Daghlas added. A British activist, identified as David Hams, was accompanying Palestinian farmers to provide protection and support when Israeli settlers hurled stones at them. Hams was hit with a large rock, and sustained serious injuries in his head. According to witnesses, Hams’ injury was serious; his blood covered his face and stained his t-shirt. He was transferred to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The village of Burin is just two kilometers away from Yitzhar, an illegal Israeli settlement that is infamous for housing the most extremist settler community in the West Bank. Yitzhar settlers regularly attack vulnerable Palestinian communities and clash with members of the Israeli security forces.
Locals: Israeli settlers shoot live fire at Palestinian homes
HEBRON (Ma‘an ) 14 Oct — Israeli settlers on Tuesday attacked Palestinian homes in the Jabal Jalis area east of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, locals said. Local sources told Ma‘an that settlers from the illegal Givat Gal outpost opened live fire on homes in the village. No injuries were reported.
Attacks carried out by settlers on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are near-daily, and have increased in recent weeks after two settlers were killed near Nablus by suspected Palestinian gunmen on Oct 1. The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis living illegally in the occupied West Bank, and settlers often carry out attacks in the presence of armed Israeli forces. Settlers clashed with Palestinians in Hebron on Sunday and Israeli forces reportedly intervened in the confrontation, shooting off tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians. Several were injured with the rubber bullets, while others suffered from tear gas inhalation. The day before, locals said that settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the Hebron-area village of Wad al-Hisn, spraying waste water and firing tear gas canisters while Israeli soldiers reportedly protected them. According to the Palestinian Negotiation Affairs department, over 130 attacks were carried out by Israeli settlers in the first week of October.
Palestinian beaten, detained after allegedly stabbing Israeli
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — A Palestinian was violently beaten and detained on Tuesday after allegedly injuring an Israeli man in a stabbing attack in Ra’anana in central Israel, Israeli police and media said. Police spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld said that the 22-year-old Palestinian was from occupied East Jerusalem, and was “captured at the scene of the attack by people who saw the attack taking place.” Israeli media reported that he was left seriously injured after Israeli civilians violently beat him. According to Israeli news site Haaretz, he may also have been shot. The incident took place near the Municipality in the center of Ra’anana. The moderately injured Israeli was taken to hospital for treatment.
Escalating tear gas deployment against schoolchildren in Hebron
ISM 13 Oct — Monday morning, October 12th, 2015 Israeli forces pummeled Palestinian children going to school near Salimeh & Queitun checkpoints in Hebron with a total of 19 rounds of tear-gas and one stun grenade fired. The onslaught began at 7:41 am when a crowd of children could be heard playing noisily in the street near several primary schools. Suddenly their laughter turned to screams and the sound of running and gunfire as the first canisters were shot and could be seen flying over the crowd with their white streams of gas. The children scattered, many towards an adjacent street near Queitun checkpoint, where they milled around or walked back and forth, joking with each other in between being attacked with a total of 14 more canisters on that side and 3 more on the side where the first shot was fired. Israeli forces went so far as to fire at least one shot directly into an enclosed school yard where two children, ages 11 and 14, were injured to the point of requiring treatment by ambulance . . . Within the last week, use of tear-gas in attacks on children on their routes to school has sharply increased in Hebron, spiking so far at a blistering 35 total canisters and/or grenades shot at children within a few hours in a tiny area heavily populated with schools.
Israeli Jew stabs another Jew in failed revenge attack
Haaretz 14 Oct by Noa Shpigel — An Israeli man stabbed another Jew in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Ata on Tuesday, apparently because he thought the victim was an Arab and sought to avenge the recent wave of attacks on Jews, police said. When the assailant tried to flee the scene — outside the city’s Ikea store — after the stabbing, a security guard shot at him. One bullet hit a bystander, grazing the man’s arm. Police eventually arrested a suspect, a 36-year-old resident of Kiryat Ata, and took him in for questioning. His victim, a 23-year-old man from the same town, was evacuated to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. He was admitted in moderate condition, with stab wounds to his back. Police said the assailant is known to law enforcement for suspected criminal activity, but had not been involved in attacks on Arabs in the past. Chief Superintendent Eran Shaked, the spokesman for the Coastal District of the Israel Police, said that when the assailant first fled, a civilian tried to stop him, but without success. Then, as the assailant continued racing toward his car, the security guard fired several shots. That caused the assailant to stop in his tracks, and police officers who rushed to the scene then arrested him.
The incident was the second time in less than a week that an Israeli Jew sought to attack Arabs. On Friday, a 17-year-old boy from Dimona stabbed three Palestinians and a Bedouin in that city. The teen’s attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir, claims his client has psychological problems and is not competent to stand trial.
Security Cabinet authorizes police to impose closure on East Jerusalem neighborhoods
Haaretz 14 Oct by Barak Ravid — New measures approved by the ministers also include revoking permanent residency status of terrorists and calling in army reinforcements in an effort to counter ongoing wave of violent attacks — The security cabinet decided early on Wednesday several new measures in attempt to combat the recent wave of terror attacks, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. It said that Israel Police was now authorized to “impose a closure on, or to surround, centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem, in accordance with security considerations.” It also announced that a terrorist’s house that has been demolished will not be rebuilt, and that the permanent residency rights of terrorists will be revoked and their property confiscated.
In addition, military units will reinforce police in cities and on main routes, and 300 security guards will be recruited to secure public transportation in the capital, at a cost of 80 million shekels. The security cabinet convened at 4:30 P.M. after multiple terror attacks on Tuesday left at least three Israelis dead and over 20 wounded. The deliberations continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning. The statement noted that the inner cabinet will reconvene Wednesday afternoon to further discuss the security situation, including incitement to violence . . . A senior Jerusalem official said that the ministers were considering the option of boosting police forces with soldiers from the Homefront Command and Military Police, as well as approving roadblocks on the roads leading to the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and explained that traffic in and out of the neighborhoods will not be stopped, but suspect vehicles will be examined. The official said that imposing a closure on the West Bank was not on the table since the area was relatively calm, and such a measure may foment further unrest. The cabinet also discussed an expansion in the policy of razing terrorists’ homes and leveling sanctions against their families.
Israeli forces deploy, set up checkpoints in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Several Palestinians were detained and checkpoints were set up at the entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods on Wednesday as Israeli officials launched punitive measures across occupied East Jerusalem following a string of attacks. Israeli forces raided the al-Issawiya and Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhoods early Wednesday and detained 12 Palestinian students from the area, locals told Ma‘an. Israeli forces set up checkpoints at the entrance to the al-Issawiya and al-Tur neighborhoods, Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, a local follow-up committee spokesman, told Ma‘an. Al-Hummus added that the forces were issuing citations to Palestinian drivers at random. Israeli security also inspected several Palestinian youths and students in “humiliating” ways, forcing them to take off their clothes, he added. Israeli forces have also been deployed in and around the Old City in a bid by Israeli authorities to curb rising violence in the city. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli troops raided Al-Aqsa Mosque compound when right-wing Israelis entered the area through the Dung Gate. Sixty ‘black-listed’ Palestinian women were also barred from entering the holy compound.
Israel to no longer return bodies of Palestinian attackers
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Israel’s security cabinet decided at a meeting late Tuesday that the bodies of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces after carrying out attacks on Israeli citizens would no longer be returned to their families.The decision, which was among a series of stringent security measures, was taken in order to stem protests that frequently accompany the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, a spokesperson for Israel’s Public Security Ministry said.It was proposed by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who reportedly said during the cabinet meeting that Palestinian families incite “terrorist attacks” at funerals and raise tensions.Israeli media reported that Israel will bury the Palestinians’ bodies in secret instead of handing them to their families.
Missing Palestinian girls located – in Israeli police custody
IMEMC/Agencies 14 Oct — UPDATE: After the family was unable to locate the missing girls, they contacted the Israeli police. The police told the family that the girls had been arrested and were in custody. The police had made no effort to contact the family in the 12 hours they had been in custody. The girls were held at al-Qashla Interrogation Centre in Jerusalem. The two sisters were not charged with any crime, but police refused to release them. After a crowd gathered outside the police station chanting for their release, the Israeli police eventually released them.
Two Palestinian Teens Missing, Family Suspects Kidnapping by Israeli Settlers
Two Palestinian teenage girls from Jerusalem’s old city were reported missing by their family on Tuesday midday. According to Palestinian sources, 16-year-old Abeer Al Majed and her 14-year-old sister Wafa’ went missing on Tuesday afternoon. Residents and family members are looking for the two girls and issued statements on social media networks calling for help in the search effort. The family fears the worse that the two teenagers have been kidnapped by Israeli radical settlers group. The family said that their search effort is being delayed by Israeli imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in Jerusalem. According to local media sources the father of Abeer and Wafa’ suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be moved to hospital for treatment. Meanwhile their mother was called in for questioning by the Israeli police.
In July 2 2014 a group of three Israeli radical settlers kidnapped and killed Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian from Beit Hanina town in East Jerusalem.
Israel carries out large-scale detention operations in West Bank, Jerusalem
WEST BANK (WAFA) 12 Oct – At least 32 Palestinians were last night detained by the Israeli army and security forces across the West Bank districts and Jerusalem, according to local and security sources. [places mentioned are Attil, Hebron, Tabaqa, Urif, Burin, al-Asakrah, and the Jerusalem areas of Silwan, Jabal al-Mukabir, and al-Zaytoun.]
Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinian from across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 13 Oct – Israeli forces late Monday and early Tuesday detained 11 Palestinians, including four minors, from across the West Bank, said security and municipal sources. [places mentioned are Tuqu‘, Silwad, Barta‘a, Hebron, Beit ‘Awwa, Yatta, Sa‘ir, Halhul, Ni‘lin, Nabi Saleh, and Bethlehem]
Israel detains 31 Palestinians in Jerusalem, West Bank
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Oct – At least 20 Palestinians were detained by Israeli police last night in Jerusalem and 11 others by the Israeli army in the West Bank, according to local sources. [In Jerusalem: Jabal al-Mukabir, al-‘Issawiya, Jabal al-Zaytoun, Shu‘afat refugee camp, and the Old City. In the West Bank: Hebron, Bani Na‘im, Dora, al-‘Arroub refugee camp, Tulkarm, Beit Furik and Asira esh-Shamaliya.]
Video: Reporter in West Bank teargassed during live broadcast
The Independent 12 Oct by David Kearns — Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid was left coughing and struggling to breathe following the gas attack — A TV news reporter has been forced to flee after she was tear-gassed by the Israeli Defence Force while reporting on violent clashes in the West Bank. Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid was conducting a live report from atop an embankment when she spied a truck full of soldiers approaching on the road below as a small group of civilians move up the hill. Broadcast from a settlement north of Ramallah, the footage shows tear gas being fired from the vehicle in the direction of Ms Abdel-Hamid, despite the fact she is wearing a flak-jacket with the word “press” emblazoned clearly across the breast. “I think we will have to move from here – we’re getting tear-gassed by the Israeli soldiers,” the reporter says as plumes of the noxious agent begin drifting in her direction. “We can’t really breathe at this stage,” she gasps, valiantly trying continue the report but is soon coughing so hard she can’t speak and has to put on a gas mask. Ms Abdel-Hamid was on the scene to report on the latest violence on the West Bank, which has cost the lives of 24 Palestinians already this month, the latest victim being a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by Israeli troops at a checkpoint near Ramallah.
Video: Israelis buy guns after recent violence in Israel and West Bank
The Guardian (< AP) 12 Oct — After waves of violence across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in recent weeks, some Israelis are buying guns for self-defence. According to the owner of one gun shop at the shooting range in the Israeli settlement of Givat Ze’ev, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, the increase in demand for weapon licences has been dramatic
Official: 3 Gazans missing as Egypt blows up border tunnel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — Three Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were reported missing on Sunday after the Egyptian army blew up a smuggling tunnel, Gaza’s Civil Defense told Ma‘an. Raed al-Dahshan, the director of Civil Defense operations in Gaza, told Ma‘an that he believed the tunnel near Rafah had collapsed after Egyptian forces blew it up. He said that the Civil Defense was evacuating people from the area, and was working to prevent these kinds of explosions from taking place in the future.
Smuggling tunnels that pass beneath the Egyptian border have served as a lifeline to the outside world for Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the coastal enclave in 2007, which is supported by Egypt. However, the tunnel networks are notoriously dangerous. The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, Al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400. While the southern tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly-demanded necessities for Gaza’s residents under the blockade, including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials including concrete and fuel.
50 injured in Gaza border clashes, medics say
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — At least 50 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces during rallies in the northern and central Gaza Strip on Tuesday, with at least three seriously wounded, medics said. Dozens of Palestinian youths took part in a demonstration in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza to rally against ongoing Israeli violations in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Witnesses said that Israeli forces opened fire at the demonstration from military towers, injuring five, including one critically. Another demonstrator was also reportedly detained. At least 42 Palestinians were injured by tear gas and rubber coated bullets, including journalists covering the protests. In central Gaza, eight Palestinians were injured by live fire, rubber-coated bullets, and tear gas during a demonstration east of the al-Bureij refugee camp. Of the total injuries, three received head wounds described as serious, medics said. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that “hundreds of rioters gathered near the border fence hurling rocks and rolling burning tires,” with Israeli forces responding with riot-dispersal means. Later in the day, hundreds of Palestinians attempted to breach the “security fence” and Israeli forces fired gun shots in the air, a spokesperson added . . . Nine Palestinians have been shot dead during demonstrations in the besieged enclave since Oct. 9 including two Palestinian boys, aged 13 and 15, who were shot dead during a rally in Khan Younis.
Israeli navy forces open fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza on Tuesday, witnesses said. No injuries were reported in the incident An Israeli army spokesperson said that three vessels deviated from the designated fishing zone and Israeli forces fired warning shots, with the boats returning. Palestinian fishermen face daily risks in order to make a living, including routine harassment from Israeli naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death. At least three Palestinian fishermen have been shot dead by Israeli forces since last September. Israeli forces often allege that fishermen deviate from the designated fishing zone and pose a security threat.
Palestinian opens fire on Israeli military vehicle, no injuries
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — A Palestinian shot at an Israeli unit near the blockade fence in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said. An Israeli army [spokesman] told Ma‘an that an Israeli military vehicle patrolling the border fence was fired on. No injuries or damage was reported.
Palestinian teacher who survived Israeli attacks on Gaza dies in Ankara blast
EI 11 Oct by Sarah Irving — Ahmad al-Khaldi survived repeated Israeli attacks and years of siege while growing up in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, only to be killed by the bombing of a pro-Kurdish peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara on Saturday. Twin blasts killed more than 120 people and injured hundreds more. Al-Khaldi had moved to Turkey two and a half years earlier to study and teach, according to the Palestinian news website Donia al-Watan. Ahmad’s father, Mahmoud al-Khaldi, received the news of his son’s death from a friend in Qatar, the article states. He then confirmed the information with the Palestinian Authority embassy in Turkey, telling them that the family’s only wish was that Ahmad’s body should be returned to Gaza for burial. Mahmoud added that his son had been planning to return to Gaza to get married and that he had missed his family and home in Palestine – but had been prevented from returning by Egypt’s near-constant closure of the Rafah crossing, the only route for the vast majority of Palestinians to enter or exit Gaza. An article on the website of the Turkish organization Sendika outlined the political and social commitments that took al-Khaldi to the Ankara demonstration. He was involved with the Halkevleri (People’s Houses) network for community education, and taught Arabic in the Halkevleri center in his adopted town of Antakya, in southern Turkey near the Syrian border . . . .
Israeli forces ransack home of suspected attacker in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 13 Oct — Israeli forces on Tuesday raided a house in Jenin belonging to the family of a Palestinian who was arrested last week after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier in northern Israel. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that Israeli troops, together with engineers, ransacked the home of Tariq Abdul-Fattah Yahia, 21, in the village of al-Arqa in western Jenin in the occupied West Bank. The soldiers reportedly barricaded Yahia’s family in one room during the raid. Yahia allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli soldier in the northern Israeli town of Afula on Thursday. According to Israeli media, he was tackled and beaten up by bystanders following the attack. Engineers typically enter a home during Israeli raids if a demolition order is expected, although an Israeli army spokesperson said she had no information of a potential demolition order of Tariq’s family home. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to take extreme measures to “deter” future stabbing attacks, including the fast-tracking of demolitions of homes belonging to suspected attackers
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Rise in West Bank settler numbers due to births, not building
Haaretz 14 Oct by Chaim Levinson — The fertility rate in the settlements is 5.01 children per woman – far higher than anywhere else in Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the number of West Bank settlers has grown by about 120,000 since he took office in 2009. But while the number is correct, the reason has little to do with the pace of construction in the settlements during his tenure. In fact, since Netanyahu became prime minister in 2009, there has been less construction activity in the settlements than under any other prime minister since 1995 . . . According to data from the Housing and Construction Ministry, an average of 1,554 houses a year were built in the settlements from 2009 to 2014 — fewer than under any of his recent predecessors. By comparison, the annual average was 1,881 under Ariel Sharon and 1,774 under Ehud Olmert. As for Ehud Barak, during his single full year as prime minister, in 2000, he built a whopping 5,000 homes in the settlements. The current rate is also only about half the pace of settlement construction during Netanyahu’s first term of office, in 1996-99, when it averaged almost 3,000 homes a year. So why has the number of settlers increased so sharply? Due to natural growth, especially in the two ultra-Orthodox towns of Betar Ilit and Modi’in Ilit. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the fertility rate in the settlements is 5.01 children per woman, which is far higher than anywhere else in Israel. In the northern district, which ranks second, the fertility rate is just 3.91 children per woman. Thus in 2013, for instance, 12,129 children were born in the settlements and only 535 people died. This is also a very low death rate, which stems from the fact that the settler population is relatively young.
Life on hold in Israel’s firing zone
Al-Mufaqarah (EI) 13 Oct by Silvia Boarini — Heba sits on a rock and adjusts her headscarf while she surveys the sheep grazing in the dry shrubs of the South Hebron Hills. The sheep quietly follow Heba and her father’s calls, oblivious to the danger posed by the Israeli outpost to a next to where they are grazing. The outpost, called Avigayl, was established in 2001 and is illegal under both Israeli and international law. Heba lives in al-Mufaqarah, a Palestinian hamlet located in Area C — the 64 percent of the West Bank under direct Israeli military rule. To gain control of the South Hebron Hills, the Israeli army declared much of it a closed military zone in the 1970s. The military called the area Firing Zone 918. The “firing zone” includes 12 villages, among them al-Mufaqarah. These communities are home to some 1,300 Palestinians, whom the Israeli army has been trying to expel for decades. Residents remain locked in an expensive and lengthy legal battle with the Israeli state for the right to remain on their ancestral lands, preventing the village from being able to develop. Though Israel’s state attorney exempted al-Mufaqarah from plans to evacuate Palestinians in the firing zone in 2012, the village cannot develop without building permits which Israel does not grant. Like the rest of al-Mufaqarah’s inhabitants, Heba’s family has no running water and no electricity. Yet Avigayl, which encroaches on Firing Zone 918 and on private Palestinian land, has both.
Other news, analysis
PA to refer Israeli extrajudicial killings to ICC
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 Oct – PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday that the Palestinian leadership will refer the Israeli extrajudicial killings of Palestinians to the International Criminal Court (ICC). During a press conference in Ramallah, Erekat said after a noticeable increase in Israeli extrajudicial killing of Palestinians, and unless the Palestinian leadership refers this issue to the ICC, there will be more “collective executions” of Palestinians by the Israeli security forces. Erekat asked the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, to visit to the occupied Palestinian Territories and start an immediate investigation into “field executions” carried out by Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers. “The Israeli trend of dealing with Palestinians is field executions, then unjust trials that are interpreted in one sentence: good work! Whoever kills a Palestinian in cold blood then it is a good work,” Erekat said.
Israel moves to outlaw Islamic Movement
MEMO 13 Oct — The Israeli Justice Ministry has begun the necessary measures to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel for incitement to violence, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked revealed. “The wave of terrorism that we are witnessing now is caused by the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, who promotes the lie that Israel wants to establish a temple on Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Shaked told Israeli Radio yesterday. Israeli police announced yesterday that it had arrested Sheikh Yusuf Abu Jamea, the head of the Islamic Movement in the city of Rahat, southern Israel, on Sunday on charges of “calling for illegal assembly and causing damage to public property”. Arab towns and villages in Israel have been witnessing protests for over a week against the Israeli policy towards Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem as well the settlers’ continued storming of the mosque. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on judicial authorities to gather evidence in order to outlaw the Islamic Movement in Israel. “I will not accept that Israeli citizens are also joining in with this incitement. I have asked the attorney general to act against incitement from any direction, including among citizens of Israel,” he said. The Israeli government accuses the Islamic Movement of calling to repel the Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque and having relations with the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas. Last year, the Israeli Central Court accepted accusations of “incitement to hatred” over his rejection of the Israeli actions in Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli public prosecution against Sheikh Salah. The head of the Islamic Movement could now face a jail term.
Palestinian assailants often leave behind ordinary lives
JERUSALEM (AP) 13 Oct by Karin Laub & Mohammed Daraghmeh — They lived ordinary lives with ordinary ambitions — an electrician saving up to get married, a fitness buff, a worker in a butcher shop, a teen with plans for study in Europe after high school. But then these young Palestinians seemingly snapped. According to police accounts, some of them disputed, they stabbed Israelis in “lone wolf” attacks. Motives often remain murky, but attacks have been escalating, with eight Israelis and 12 suspected assailants killed over the past month, many in Jerusalem. The violence comes amid growing Palestinian hopelessness, particularly in the Israeli-annexed Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Social media amplifies the anger and promotes revenge attacks as amateur videos make the rounds showing Israeli forces seemingly using excessive force, or angry bystanders cursing at wounded Palestinian assailants.
Subhi Abu Khalifeh grew up in the Shuafat refugee camp, one of the poorest areas of east Jerusalem. Shuafat, like several other Arab neighborhoods in the city, has been cut off from the rest of Jerusalem by Israel’s West Bank separation barrier. Services are spotty, with garbage often piling up in the streets. The entrance to the camp looks like a battlefield, with scorched cars and streets blackened by burning tires — remnants of frequent clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli security forces..Every weekday, Abu Khalifeh, 19, crossed through the barrier gate on foot, passing through metal detectors and an ID check. On the other side, he and two brothers were picked up by a contractor and driven to building sites in Tel Aviv. Abu Khalifeh, an electrician, was making about $60 a day, and was saving money to get married, which can cost a prospective groom several thousand dollars for a gold dowry and other expenses. On Thursday, he didn’t show up for his ride to work. Brothers Rami, 24, and Mohammed, 28, left without him. He didn’t answer his phone all morning; by early afternoon, the family received word that he had been arrested as a suspect in a stabbing attack that seriously wounded an Israeli man. He remains in custody, and the family has had no contact with him. His parents said they could only speculate about his motives. His father, Ibrahim, said that over the years, he had been beaten and verbally abused while working as a street cleaner in Jewish neighborhoods, experiences he shared with his sons. His mother, Samar, said her son was particularly upset about an incident last week in which an 18-year-old Jerusalem woman, Shuruq Dwayat, was shot and wounded by an Israeli civilian after police said she stabbed him. A Palestinian version on social media said the man had harassed teen, trying to remove her headscarf, but she did not stab him. After Abu Kalifeh’s arrest, his two brothers were fired and his father was suspended from his street-cleaning job . . . ..
Behind surge in Palestinian-Israeli attacks, angry youth and women
JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) 13 Oct by Luke Baker and Ali Sawafta — The teenage Palestinian girls helping to carry rocks to the frontlines of stone-throwing protests in Ramallah have their nails brightly painted, are dressed in tight jeans and carry the latest smartphones in their fashionable handbags. “My family does not know I am here,” said one young girl, a high-school student in Ramallah, where daily, almost ritualistic clashes have taken place with Israeli paramilitary police over the past two weeks, as a growing wave of violence has swept throughout Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The stone-throwing, stabbings and shootings – in which seven Israelis and 27 Palestinians, including nine alleged attackers and eight children, have died – have prompted comparisons with previous Palestinian uprisings in the 1980s and early 2000s, even if the violence is not yet equivalent. But what marks the current wave of turmoil out from earlier eras is the fact that the knifings and attacks on police are mostly being carried out by teenagers, female as well as male, without political ties or apparent coordination from above. “I came here after I saw on television what happens at Al-Aqsa,” the Ramallah student said, talking through a gap in the black-and-white keffiyeh wrapped around her face and collecting stones to take to the young men at the head of the fighting . . . Some of the assailants are so young they were not even born when the last uprising, or intifada, broke out in September 2000. They are a generation that has grown up on failed efforts towards Middle East peace, is angry with its own leadership and is losing faith in the prospect of a Palestinian state. In the absence of any negotiations towards a two-state solution to the conflict – the last talks with Israel collapsed in April 2014 – Al-Aqsa has taken on a national symbolism beyond its religious significance for all Muslims.
Wave of stabbings shows Israel’s wall isn’t about security
+972 mag 11 Oct by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man — If the separation barrier neither stops terrorists nor marks an actual border between Israel and Palestine, then what is it actually for? — The vast majority of stabbing attacks carried out inside Israel over the past couple of weeks have been carried out by West Bank Palestinians. Most of the attackers did not have permits to cross into Israel for work or any other reason. How did they get in? Didn’t Ariel Sharon build the separation barrier, apartheid wall, security fence, or whatever you want to call it, just for this reason? To make it harder for Palestinian terrorists to walk right into Israel to carry out attacks in the center of cities? It is still common to hear people say that the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada were ended by the sole virtue of the wall/fence/barrier, which kept all the bad guys out. Indeed, terrorist bombings almost entirely disappeared five years after construction on the barrier began. But we know that correlation does not equal causation. The Second Intifada ended for a number of reasons, only one of which was the separation barrier. That becomes especially clear when you look at how little of the barrier had actually been constructed by the time the attacks stopped. The violence of the Second Intifada wound down because Israeli intelligence managed to wear down armed Palestinian groups. Popular Palestinian support for the violent uprising slowly dwindled due to the painful consequences, namely Israeli military operations, sieges, closures and curfews, which affected more and more of Palestinian society with little to show for their suffering. And finally, momentum simply fell off; the First Intifada also lasted for roughly five years before slowly coming to a halt . . . So if the separation barrier doesn’t stop terrorists, if it doesn’t stop undocumented workers, and if it doesn’t delineate an actual border — past, future or present — then what is it for? Security theater is one explanation. The term refers to actions taken by governments in order to make citizens feel safer because they can “see” something is being done, even when that action makes an almost entirely negligible contribution to the overall efforts to actually keep them safe. But security theater is probably nothing more than an added benefit. The fence’s real raison d’être is to create facts on the ground — good ol’ fashioned expansionism. When completed the barrier will have annexed nearly 10 percent of the West Bank; some 85 percent of its route is inside the West Bank, rebelliously diverging from the internationally recognized Green Line.
Which is the ‘right’ side of the green line these days? / Mya Guanieri
+972mag 12 Oct — With a baby on the way, journalist Mya Guarnieri heads back to Israel for six weeks at a time when neither the sidewalk cafes of Tel Aviv nor her adopted hometown of Bethlehem feel safe. Everyone feels like a target: Jews and Palestinians alike, on both sides of the Green Line — I think of Israelis’ reactions to the events of this week — their inability to reflect on what has brought Palestinians to this point. I think of Israelis’ unwillingness to understand the stabbings as violent responses to the violent occupation that began in 1948 for some and 1967 for others, depending on who you ask. I think of what’s happening, specifically, in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where Israel has taken most of the land and resources and is constantly expropriating more. Where there isn’t enough land and houses for normal population growth, where Palestinians are forced to build “illegally” because the Israeli government refuses to grant them the necessary permits. Where one might have to then pay for the demolition of their own home. Where the economy has been crushed by the occupation; where there is no freedom of movement; where the lack of freedom of movement further suffocates the economy, feeding only the sense of desperation. Where there is no hope. No hope for anything — a decent job, a good income, a normal life. Where there is little trust in the PA or politicians or negotiations that wrought the current reality, Oslo, or the negotiations that are resurrected from time to time just maintain an unbearable status quo. I think of the place my former students live, the place where they left home every morning for school, uncertain that they would make it through the checkpoints and arrive, let alone on time. The place where a student might find that a friend hasn’t made it — maybe his classmate has been taken to administrative detention. Or maybe he has been shot. Who knows? One’s fate is just as uncertain as the roads in the territories. The stabbings are screams of frustration, rage, despair, hopelessness. They’re the screams of people who are lost, who have no leadership and see nothing on the horizon. I think of the Israelis’ inabilities to hear these screams; I think of how they hear no one’s voices but their own . . . Today, when I tell Mohammad about the stabbing in Tel Aviv, we don’t argue at all. “Nowhere is safe,” I say. I sit at my computer, staring at the news, hand on my belly. Our daughter kicks so hard that my stomach moves. Mohammad jokes that I should wear a headscarf so that I won’t be a target for a stabbing. But, he adds, that could mark me for a shooting. We can’t figure out which of the two is better right now. We also talk strategy: should I stay away from crowds? Or are crowds actually better protection? We can’t figure that out, either.
The high price for neglecting Palestinians in Israel
Al-Monitor 13 Oct by Akiva Eldar — Growing frustration after years of discrimination and neglect is leading Israeli Arabs to identify with their West Bank brothers even as they attack their countrymen — . . . To prevent the violence plaguing Israel from becoming a fatal disease, we must take steps that are appropriate to the extent of the danger. When the Arab sector is burning and Jerusalem is deteriorating, talk is not enough, especially when the speaker is Netanyahu. It is time to dust off the Or Commission Report, which dealt with the events of October 2000, when 13 Arab demonstrators were killed, and immediately implement its recommendations for closing the wide gaps between Jewish and neighboring Arab municipalities in the fields of education, health, infrastructure and policing. First and foremost, the police’s fatally trigger-happy tendencies toward Arab citizens must be addressed. (Since the second intifada, when 13 Arab citizens were killed, police have killed 51 Arab citizens, compared with two Jewish citizens.) A Jew who dares visit Akeb, the northernmost of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, bordering Ramallah, or the Shuafat refugee camp, would not find it hard to understand why youths from these neighborhoods stab Jews and throw stones at them. They count among the 60,000 “Jerusalemites” who live between the separation wall and the territories of the PA, in what’s called the Jerusalem environs. Stepchildren to two peoples. Five minutes’ drive from the villas of the Jewish Givat Hamivtar Jerusalem neighborhood live unemployed and desperate people, neglected by the state. In July 2005, Ariel Sharon’s government decided to “settle the situation of the residents of the Jerusalem environs.” The government decided to allocate special budgets to the Jerusalem municipality to improve roads and public transportation there, upgrade the education system and establish post offices and various government ministries. Netanyahu was then at the end of his term as minister of finance. The man who has served for six years as prime minister holds the majority of the responsibility for the dissolution of the plan and the violent consequences of that disgrace. These steps are necessary and urgent, but in no way are they enough. We should expect that Netanyahu, a genius at plucking the heart strings of solidarity of Jews abroad with their brothers in Israel, would understand that Palestinians in Israel also feel solidarity with their people, even when it goes against their government . . . .
No one on either side is fighting for the people of Jerusalem / Anshel Pfeffer
Haaretz 10 Oct — Forty-eight years after ostensibly being reunified, Jerusalem remains divided into three cities — Zionist-Jewish, Arab-Palestinian and Jewish ultra-Orthodox — Atef didn’t send his two sons to school this week. He’s lucky to live in one of the more peaceful streets of Palestinian East Jerusalem, in Abu Tor, but close to the old border. One son studies in primary school in Beit Safafa, the elder one in a Shoafat high school. “Once they leave home, I can’t prevent them from joining other boys and throwing stones,” he says. “I told them that it’s all the politicians’ fault, ours as well as the Israelis’. But when they travel through the city and see the difference between the neighborhoods, it’s hard to argue there’s any sort of equality in Jerusalem.” He continues to drive throughout the city, avoiding stone-throwers who may attack him because the car has the signs of an Israeli company he works with, and fuming at Jewish customers, who upon discovering he’s an Arab driver, slam the door and wait for another cab. Hold on, why am I quoting a taxi driver, the oldest cliché of a columnist writing about a foreign city, when I’m writing about my own hometown? Simply because the sad reality is that Jerusalem isn’t one city and there are only three groups who regularly see and interact with all of the cities of Jerusalem — police officers, journalists and cabbies. The rest seldom stray from their own city, and when they do, it’s either as Jews going to pray at the Western Wall along well-secured corridors, or the small number of Palestinians with cash to spend in the cinemas and shopping malls on the Jewish side. At times of tension they stay away, fearful of lynch mobs roaming to avenge the last stabbing attack. If they have to show up for work, in restaurants and market stalls, they keep to side streets and often arrive early and remain behind long after their shifts are over, returning home when the coast is clear . . . In a rare feature in the foreign press, the Financial Times’ John Reed wrote recently how the political and planning quagmire has fostered neglect and ruin of ancient buildings in the Old City, where Palestinian families huddle in cramped quarters, unable to legally build extensions or renovate. The conflict so often obscures the fact that those living in Jerusalem have the same concerns and problems as other urban dwellers, only so much more exacerbated. And in turn these frustrations will further feed the conflict as bored children playing outside Al-Aqsa realize they have nowhere else to go and might as well gain some street cred by throwing stones at soldiers.
US appeals court to hear Rasmeah Odeh was denied fair trial
EI 13 Oct by Charlotte Silver — On Wednesday, lawyers for Palestinian American community leader and activist Rasmea Odeh will argue before a US appeal court that she was denied her constitutional right to a fair trial. Last November, a federal jury in Detroit, Michigan, found Odeh guilty of lying on her immigration and naturalization applications filed respectively in 1994 and 2005, because she had failed to disclose her conviction by an Israeli military court decades earlier. US District Judge Gershwin Drain, who presided over the trial, barred Odeh from speaking about the torture and abuse she suffered in Israeli detention. But most damaging to her defense was that the judge did not allow her to call an expert witness to testify that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. “Without explaining to the jury that she suffers from this disorder, which causes one to block traumatic experiences, the jury was left asking why didn’t she reveal her prior conviction when she was questioned about it,” Odeh’s lead attorney Michael Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada. In March, Drain sentenced Odeh to 18 months in prison, including time served, and ordered her to pay a $1,000 fine. Her US citizenship was also revoked and she now faces deportation to Jordan following the completion of her sentence.
India supports PA’s budget with $5M, announces $17.79M projects
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 12 Oct – India Monday announced a grant worth of $5 million to support the Palestinian Authority’s budget in addition to five projects worth $17.79 million, in the fields of capacity building and education and signed a MOU on cultural cooperation. According to a press release, the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, started a two-day state visit to the State of Palestine on 12-13 October. The visit is considered the first of its kind from India to the State of Palestine at the head of state/ head of government level. Mukherjee began his visit by laying a wreath at the Mausoleum of the late President Yasser Arafat and both Presidents paid floral tributes at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the Garden of Nations and jointly inaugurated Maidan Al-Hind at Beitunia City.
Gulf states set to buy Iron Dome system
Sky News 13 Oct by Sam Kiley — EXCLUSIVE: The Gulf states are talking to firms about obtaining Israeli-developed anti-missile systems to defend against Iran — Bahrain and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are in negotiations to buy the Israeli-developed Iron Dome anti-missile system to defend against “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles”. The Israeli weapon, which has reduced the effectiveness of rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel by about 90% would be bought through Raytheon and other American contractors who developed the Iron Dome with Israeli arms giant Rafael. A deal for the whole of the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, would be worth tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of dollars. It would also include longer range interceptor missiles such as David’s Sling, and the Arrow I and Arrow II which are capable of intercepting supersonic intercontinental ballistic missiles – also a joint venture between Israel and the US. The sale of Israeli-developed weapons to a Gulf state, or states, would have been controversial for both the Israelis and the buyers a few years ago. But both now see one of the main threats to them as the growing military strength and ambitions of Iran. The US is quietly playing the “middle man” in the deal as a sweetener to bitterness caused in the Gulf over what the leadership in that region believe is a “naive” deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons programme. . . .
Otherwise Occupied: Make East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine / Amira Hass
Haaretz 12 Oct — Twenty steps that will reverse the situation – and be far less painful than the alternative — Israel is like the miser who gradually reduced the fodder he fed his horse. It has perfected the policy of divide, crumble and conquer that it implemented against the Palestinians and did even better when it cut off the capital – East Jerusalem – from its people. Like that miser, Israel thought this would work and earn it a place in the Guinness Book of colonial successes. But the horse died and Jerusalem’s Palestinians are rebelling. The miser is shocked. How did the horse die just as it was getting used to not eating? Many Israelis are reeling. Where did this violence come from? Official spokesmen have succeeded in confusing public opinion. “The Palestinians in East Jerusalem don’t want to live under the Palestinian Authority, a sign that our rule is good for them,” they said. “They want the National Insurance payments and health insurance,” those in the know boasted to journalists. Those in the know, of course, never add that Israel bears direct criminal responsibility for the impoverishment of the Palestinians in the annexed city and for turning them into welfare cases. “The Palestinians in Jerusalem want citizenship because Israel is terrific,” they said, as they released numbers of those applying, but avoided one simple fact: Jerusalem Palestinians seek citizenship to assure they won’t be expelled from their country and hometown. The miser thought that Jerusalem, out of sight and blocked to visitors, would be forgotten by the rest of the Palestinians. The miser is wrong.
If Israeli Jews want to stop the disaster brewing in Jerusalem and elsewhere, they must demand that the Israeli government: *Immediately launch an investigation into last week’s killing of Fadi Alun of ‘Isawiyah, who was shot to death by an unidentified policeman when he was lying wounded on the ground. *Stop the armed police raids of neighborhoods like ‘Isawiyah and Jabal Mukkaber, and stop beating residents and spraying their homes with foul-smelling water. *Cancel all the entrance restrictions for Palestinians to Jerusalem’s Old City and the Al-Aqsa compound. . . *Cancel the ban on the Morabiton and Morabitat (Islamic Movement guards on the Temple Mount) and cancel the prohibition on Palestinians, including MKs, to shout and curse. *Release Palestinian demonstrators arrested over the past year (who are not suspected of using deadly weapons, or murder or attempted murder). *Cancel the policy of house demolitions as a collective punishment and immediately compensate those who have been its victims. *Immediately initiate amendments to the entry residency laws that would make it clear that Jerusalemites can never have their residency revoked, even if they live outside the city. *Immediately restore residency status to the some 14,000 Jerusalemites (and their descendants) who have had it revoked since 1967 . . . *Order the removal within a year of nationalist, zealous settlers and their institutions from the Old City and other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, because of the risk they pose to public safety and to law and order in the entire area . . . *Declare that all these steps are a prelude to demolishing the wall that separates the West Bank from East Jerusalem . . . * Declare that the settlement enterprise is a national disaster that threatens the wellbeing of the land and its two peoples. Announce a five-year plan for bringing the West Bank settlers back home, or turning them into law-abiding citizens with no excessive rights in the Palestinian state, subject to that state’s consent and the criminal records of the settlers in question . . . *Declare that all these steps are in preparation for turning East Jerusalem into the capital of the Palestinian state, following accelerated negotiations on a tight timetable of withdrawals. Delusional? Actually, all this would be far less painful than the destruction of this land and the two peoples who live in it.