Violence / Detentions — Jerusalem, West Bank
16-year-old Palestinian shot dead after alleged attack in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead Saturday morning after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli policeman in the illegal settlement of East Talpiot in occupied East Jerusalem, police said. The teen reportedly attempted to stab the officer in the settlement, also known as Armon Hanatziv, according to Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld. Police responded at the scene, when the suspect was shot and killed. He was identified as Muataz Ahmad Hajis Uweisat.The teen was killed less than two hours after Fadil Qawasmi, 18, was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in Hebron after the teen reportedly attempted to stab him. No Israeli injuries were reported in either incident . . . Thirty-nine Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 1, many of whom were shot on scene during suspected attacks. Seven Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.
Israeli settler kills Palestinian teen after alleged attack
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Oct – An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian teenager Saturday morning on Hebron’s Shuhada Street in the occupied West Bank, locals said. A resident of the area, Mufeed Sharabati, said the settler shot the boy near the illegal Israeli settlement outpost Beit Haddassah. The boy lay motionless on the ground as Israeli soldiers tried to resuscitate him. Sharabati added that “paramedics of the Palestinian Red Crescent arrived but Israeli soldiers didn’t allow them to access the young man. The soldiers then covered the young man’s face then took him in an ambulance to unknown destination.” He added that he saw settlers “distributing candies” following the death. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that a Palestinian had tried to stab the Israeli settler when the settler “opened live fire on the assailant,” killing him. No injuries were reported.The teenager was identified as Fadil Qawasmi, 18. His death came less than two hours before a 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead in occupied East Jerusalem, also for attempting an attack. Shuhada Street, where the Hebron attack took place, is at the heart of tensions in the area’s Old City where Israeli forces have severely restricted Palestinian access since 1994. Local Palestinians are prevented from accessing the street in order to “secure” the area for around 600 Jewish settlers who have taken over homes and evicted residents in the area. The few Palestinian residents left must access homes from the back.
Video footage raises speculation about Hebron attack
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Oct — Speculation has been raised regarding the alleged involvement of a Palestinian attacker in Hebron Saturday after video footage captured following his death shows Israeli soldiers hand off an object and place it by his body, believed to be a knife planted on the scene. The allegations have not yet been confirmed. Speculation around whether or not Fadil Qawasmi, 18, was attempting to carry out an attack when he was shot dead by an Israeli settler comes days after a group of Israeli human rights organizations on Wednesday released a statement arguing that recent calls by Israeli politicians to shoot Palestinian attackers rather than arrest them effectively endorses the killing of Palestinians.
5 Palestinians dead, 150 injured by Israeli forces
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Five Palestinians died and at least 150 were injured by Israeli live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets in the occupied Palestinian territory on Friday, the Palestinian ministry of health said. Ihab Jihad Hanani, 19, was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in Nablus,
Yahiya Abd al-Qader Farhat, 24, and Mahmoud Hatim Hmeid, 22, were killed during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, and Shawiq Jamal Jabr, 37, died from wounds sustained during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip last week.
Separately, Eyad Khalil Awawdeh, 26, was shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron.
Teen shot dead after someone shouts that he has a knife at Damascus Gate
IMEMC/Agencies 14 Oct — A Palestinian teenager identified as Bassem Bassam Sidr, 17, was shot dead at the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday after he allegedly pulled out a knife, Israeli police and media said — although no one but the teenager was injured or killed. Sidr was from the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Eyewitnesses reported that the army fired more than 10 rounds at the 17-year old as he was running away, killing him. Israeli police responded to the scene when someone began shouting that there was “an Arab with a knife”, and immediately shot the boy dead. A Ma‘an News Agency reporter said that the Palestinian was 14 years old, But other reports put his age at 17. The teenager’s death brings the total number of Palestinians killed since Oct. 1 to 31, with at least 17 shot dead at demonstrations. Seven Israelis have been killed in the same time period by ‘lone wolf’ Palestinian attacks.
Israeli police kill 23-year-old Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack
IMEMC 14 Oct — [at rush hour Wednesday] Ahmad Fathi Abu Sahban, 23, was killed by live Israeli fire near the Central Bus station in Jerusalem after allegedly stabbing a 50-year old woman. According to Israeli sources, Sahban took out a knife and stabbed a fifty-year old woman, who got back into the bus she was exiting and had the driver close the door. Police claim that Sahban then ran toward another bus to try to get on it, but was shot by police and killed. It’s unclear how he entered the bus station with a knife, since the Israeli police have a comprehensive security checkpoint at the entrance, and in recent days have refused to allow Arabic speakers to enter at all. Sahban was a former political prisoner held by Israel from April 29th, 2012 to March 10th, 2015. He was a resident of the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, an area that has seen rapid displacement of its Palestinian population over the past several years due to Israeli paramilitary (settler) forces moving into Palestinian homes and forcing the owners out. He was the second Palestinian killed on Wednesday.
Video: Another Palestinian killed after alleged stab attack on soldier
IMEMC/Agencies 16 Oct — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man near the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron, Friday, after he allegedly stabbed a soldier in the area. A Palestinian news crew from Al-Quds TV captured the incident while reporting live in the area, with footage showing Israeli forces surrounding a Palestinian man lying injured on the ground and appearing to open fire. Israel’s army said a soldier was stabbed and moderately wounded by an assailant disguised as a “news photographer.” A journalist who witnessed the incident told Ma‘an News Agency that he saw a man wearing a yellow vest marked ‘PRESS’ stabbing an Israeli soldier. Israeli forces then opened fire multiple times, with another soldier reportedly injured by friendly fire during the incident. The attacker was identified as Eyad Khalil Awawdeh, 26, from the Hebron district town of Dura.
The Foreign Press Association released a statement following the incident deploring the “violation of press privilege” and called on Palestinian media to verify all media credentials to prevent violations. Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian journalists in the area attempting to cover the incident, threatening that they would open fire unless they left. Locals said Israeli soldiers prevented the Red Crescent from reaching the area to treat the man.
Family: 46-year-old Palestinian dies after assault by Israeli soldiers
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — A 46-year-old Palestinian was pronounced dead Thursday morning following a heart attack that his family said came on after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday. Israeli forces assaulted Riyad Ibrahim Dar Youssef from the al-Janiya village in western Ramallah as he was returning home from picking olives with his family. The forces reportedly beat up Dar Youssef, leaving him with critical injuries. His family told the administration of the Palestine Medical Center that his condition had rapidly deteriorated after the assault. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that Israeli forces had stopped to search vehicles after rocks were thrown in the area but had no reports of assault. In regards to Dar Yousseff’s death, the spokesperson said that an investigation had been carried out that concluded that “claims regarding IDF involvement in the death were false.” The village of al-Janiya is surrounding by Israeli settlements, and like many Palestinians in the West Bank, the village’s residents are frequently denied access by the Israeli army to their farmland.
Teen shot in chest during Hebron clashes
IMEMC/Agencies 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 News Agency 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.
A Palestinian boy, Wednesday afternoon, was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet and dozens others suffocated during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces in Surif town, northeast of Hebron, said medical sources. The Palestinian Red Crescent medics told WAFA a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot near his eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet. He was admitted into a Hebron hospital for treatment. Israeli forces also fired tear gas canisters at locals, causing several to suffer excessive tear gas inhalation. They also detained a Palestinian after brutally assaulting him. The detainee was identified as Omar al-Hih. Forces also broke into several houses in the town, occupying and turning their rooftops into military watchtowers, and deployed across nearby farmlands.
Dozens of injuries during clashes with Israeli soldiers near Ramallah
[with VIDEO] IMEMC/Agencies 17 Oct — Hundreds of Palestinians clashed, on Friday afternoon, with Israeli soldiers who attacked a nonviolent protest with live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades and gas bombs, in the al-Baloa’ neighborhood, in the al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah. The Palestinians were protesting the escalating Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, and their holy sites, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, especially in occupied Jerusalem. The soldiers also used guns with silencers while firing at the protesters, while local residents also hurled stones, empty bottles and Molotov cocktails. Medical sources said twelve Palestinians suffered moderate injuries after being shot with live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. Most of the wounded were shot in the lower parts of their bodies. The wounded residents were moved to the Palestine Medical Center, in Ramallah for treatment, while those who suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation were largely treated by Palestinian medics on the scene.
Thousands march in funeral of Palestinian killed in Bethlehem
[with video] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Thousands of Palestinians on Wednesday attended the funeral of Mutaz Zawahrah, 27, who was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in Bethlehem the day before. The funeral set off from Duheisha refugee camp for Beit Jala Governmental Hospital. The procession then carried Mutaz’s body to his family home for relatives to bid him farewell, before proceeding to al-Shuhada cemetery in Irtas in southern Bethlehem. Those attending raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans, calling for Palestinians to unite in solidarity against the Israeli occupation. Clashes between Palestinian civilians and Israeli military forces have broken out near Israel’s illegal separation wall at the northern entrance of Bethlehem nearly every day this month, amid ongoing clashes across the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.
We deserve freedom’: Photos from Bethlehem
Mondoweiss 15 Oct by Anne Paq — The narrow streets of Deheishe camp were filled on Wednesday, October 14 by thousands of Palestinians who attended the funeral of Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, 27, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in clashes the day before during protests in front of the Separation Wall.
‘An Israeli sniper shot me’
Haaretz 16 Oct — Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — A 13-year-old boy from a refugee camp next to Bethlehem was killed by an IDF soldier for no apparent reason. The army’s response: ‘It was a mistake.’ — “My name is Aboud Shadi, a 13 year old refugee. I was standing just right here hanging with my friends, when an Israeli sniper shot me dead. My soul will remain here, chasing the killer and motivating my classmates. I wonder whether the international community will bring justice to Palestinian children.” For the past few days, that harrowing poster, in Arabic and English, has greeted visitors to the Al-‘Aida refugee camp adjacent to Bethlehem. A photo of Aboud – the nickname of 13-year-old Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah – appears at the bottom of the plywood signs, which leans on an Israeli-made concrete cube. It was exactly here that Aboud was standing on October 5, with some friends, fewer than 10 children, when a soldier shot him in the heart, killing him. The floral wreath next to the poster was already wilting when we visited this week; an olive sapling is blooming next to it. Above is the entry gate to the camp and an outsize rendering of the mythological key to the homes that the Palestinians had to leave in 1948 . . . Aboud, who actually had not yet turned 13, was in the ninth grade. He went to school last Monday, returned at midday and said he wanted to eat lunch. His mother sent him to the grocery store. When he got back, he said he was going out for a few minutes. Less than 10 minutes later he lay dying. He never got to eat that lunch; his father says that no one in the house ate that meal.
‘East Jerusalem youth no longer distinguish between life and death’
+972 mag 15 Oct by Orly Noy — East Jerusalem is a place that lacks classrooms, where students cannot talk openly about their feelings, and where the municipality refuses to meet with Palestinian parents. Orly Noy speaks to the head of the parents’ council about why Palestinian youth have lost all hope — Jerusalem has seen a lot of low moments over the years, a lot of blood, and tons of terror. But news that two cousins, Ahmad and Muhammad Manasra, 13 and 15 years old, stabbed and critically wounded a 25-year-old and a 13-year-old boy, took that horror to new heights. It’s true that there were much deadlier and much bloodier events over the years. But there’s something about a 13 year old taking a knife and sticking it into the body of another child, of the same age, that suddenly exposes the abyss in which we’ve arrived, in which we can no longer protect our children — on either side. Media outlets are describing the recent wave of attacks as “child terrorism,” characterized by the young age of many of the attackers. Of the five stabbers who were behind four attacks on Monday, three were under the age of 18. Kids and teens are assuming entirely age inappropriate roles, and they are also being treated accordingly: in a video clip of the aftermath of the stabbing, 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra is seen shot, lying on the ground, and the crowd gathered around him are yelling at the security forces to kill him, a 13-year-old boy lying in a pool of his own blood. As a rule, Palestinian children don’t really interest the Israeli public. They don’t interest Israelis when the authorities fail to provide them with thousands of classrooms. They aren’t of interest when security forces detain them long before they’ve reached the age of criminal culpability. They aren’t of any interest when police spray their schools with putrid “skunk” water as an act of unabashed collective punishment. And they’re not of any interest when they are shot and killed by police. They are of interest only when they have a knife in their hand and are try and kill somebody . . .
I set out to hear about the everyday lives of youngsters in East Jerusalem from Abed al-Karim Lafi, who served for years as the head of the parents’ council in the eastern half of the city. You have been accompanying teenagers in East Jerusalem for many years; have you noticed a radicalization among them? Absolutely. I can tell you that they no longer listen to anybody. And to tell you the truth, this is the reason I quit. They have no more respect for anyone: not for their teacher, their father, no one. And this radicalization can be found on both sides. Look at the settlers: at first the government supported them, but today the new generation has been radicalized at its core, and even the government itself cannot control them. Extremism on both sides. But East Jerusalem is even more dire, because the settler knows he has a father, that he has a government that is protecting him. Who protects the Arab child? The father? The poor father can’t even protect himself. So they have lost all hope in adults, in life, and in peace.
In Pictures: ‘Dead’ 13-year-old terrorist alive and well
Ynet 15 Oct by Yael Friedson & Attila Somfalvi — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab media have been claiming since Monday that 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, who was documented committing a terror attack in Pisgat Ze’ev this week, has been “executed” by Israel. Except that Dr. Asher Salmon, the deputy director of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem, said Thursday that the boy is alive, and is in light-to-moderate condition. Photos of Manssra from the hospital were released to support those statements. “I want to report on the situation of the Palestinian teen who was involved in the stabbing in Pisgat Ze’ev,” Dr. Salmon said. “He’s being properly treated. Medically, I believe we could discharge him in the next few days.” A Jewish 13-year-old boy and a 21-year-old were seriously wounded in the attack perpetrated by Manasra and another, 15-year-old, Palestinian teen. Shortly after the attack, a video of the neutralized Manasra bleeding on the ground [and not receiving medical attention] went viral online . . . while Manasra’s cousin Hassan was shot to death, Ahmed was not shot – he was hit by an Israeli vehicle, suffering a serious head injury . . . Security footage from the scene of the attack, however, shows Manasra and his cousin Hassan stabbing passersby.
Physicians for Human Rights blasts images of hospitalized Palestinian teen
Haaretz 16 Oct by Ido Efrati — In response to the publication of the picture of 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, the Israeli Physicians for Human Rights organization released a statement saying that the group takes a grave view of the release of a photo of Mansara, a minor, in the hospital at Hadassah University Medical Center at Ein Karem in Jerusalem. On Wednesday evening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “executing” Ahmed, even though he was still alive, and the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday released photos of Mansara in the hospital. A senior Israeli official said the move was meant to refute Abbas’ claim that Mansara was executed by Israeli soldiers. “The fact that it is a photo of a minor in custody who was photographed without his parents’ permission” is a violation of juvenile law and privacy laws, the organization said. In addition, the picture was taken at a medical facility “apparently with the approval of its management,” the organization claimed, adding that this would be a violation of medical ethics requiring maintenance of the confidentiality of medical information and respect for the patient. “Even more disturbing, is that reportedly the instructions [to publish the photo] came directly from the office of the health minister [Yaakov Litzman] and that the picture itself was distributed by the Prime Minister’s Office,” they said. “In addition, Physicians for Human Rights takes a grave view of the fact that the public has been briefed with details of [Mansara’s] condition while his parents are prevented from visiting him and have not been provided medical information on the condition of their son. Furthermore, one can see from the picture that Ahmed is bound to his bed, in violation of juvenile law, which bars [such] constraints on a minor,” the organization stated.
Video: Dog foils Jerusalem bombing
Ynet 16 Oct by Roi Yanovsky & Elisha Ben Kimon — An attack on Border Police troops was foiled on Friday when a police canine sniffed out a pipe bomb during a search of a checkpoint at East Jerusalem’s ‘Issawiya neighborhood. Border Guard reservists are posted at the checkpoint and examine those exiting the neighborhood to prevent attacks against Jerusalem residents. A bomb disposal unit called to the scene confirmed that the device was an explosive. The site was sealed and the device was detonated.
Faced with calls to bar Arabs from workplaces, Israeli employers stand firm
Haaretz 15 Oct by Adi Dovrat-Meseritz & Janan Bsoul — Companies tighten security checks on workers, but union says it knows of only one dismissal. Rami Levy halts sales of kitchen knives at its groceries — The wave of violence that has swept Israeli streets in the past two weeks has pushed its way into the doors of many stores where Arabs work. “A quarter to a third of our employees are Arabs, and this has created quite a few problems now. They work at meat counters, in the produce department, in deliveries and elsewhere,” said an executive at one supermarket chains, who asked not to be identified. “Of course, we want to employ them, but we’ve been approached by customers over the last few days who say they are afraid. We explained to our customers that we don’t discriminate and that there’s nothing we can do.”
Israeli police arrest four Jewish settlers following clashes with Palestinians
[with video] JPost 14 Oct by Tovah Lazaroff — Police on Wednesday arrested residents of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar after a clash with Palestinians who were harvesting olives near their community. The non-governmental group Rabbis for Human Rights accused settlers of throwing stones at the harvesters, injuring a Palestinian man and a British peace activist. They sent media outlets a photo of the injured Palestinian, who is seen with a bandage over his head and his arm in a sling. The group further charged that a security officer from a nearby settlement was also involved in the incident and had shot in the air. It later released a video of young masked men, presumed to be settlers, vandalizing a Palestinian vehicle parked by an olive grove. A Yitzhar spokesman, however, said those arrested were heroes and not villains because they had attempted to stop a terrorist who joined the olive harvest so he could move close to the settlement. He added that the terrorist had thrown stones at a female resident of Yitzhar, and later released a photo of the stone. “We’ve moved quickly back to a normal situation in which the enemy is allowed to harvest olives close to the community,” the spokesman said. Police said the stone-throwing by Yitzhar residents followed an incident in which Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle, but “that still doesn’t give people the right to take the law into their own hands.”
In Pictures: Closure, siege and checkpoints in the villages and neighborhoods of Jerusalem
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 16 Oct — The occupation authorities imposed a siege on the villages and neighborhoods of Jerusalem and closed the entrances with cement blocks and established checkpoints. They also distributed iron barriers in the main streets and roads as part of the collective punishment policy used against Jerusalemites after a decision was made by the Israeli Cabinet to close the Arab neighborhoods in response to the attacks in Jerusalem. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored that closure of entrances and intersections in Silwan, Al-Tur, Esawyeh, Al-Sowaneh, Sur Baher and Jabal Al-Mukabber. The forces also placed iron barriers in most of the streets in Jerusalem and the Old City and isolated the villages from one another. The occupation authorities started closing the Jerusalemite neighborhoods on Wednesday afternoon and deliberately closed the roads with big trucks that were carrying the cement blocks; they disrupted the movement of Jerusalemites and caused heavy traffic jams.
Hundreds pray in the streets amid Israeli restrictions at al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Hundreds of Palestinian worshipers [including a few women, judging from a photo included with this article] performed Friday prayers in the streets of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday as Israel imposed age restrictions on male worshipers. Israeli police prevented Palestinians under the age of 40 from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and there was a heightened security presence in the streets with police deployed throughout the city. Most of the gates leading to the mosque compound were closed, apart from the Lion, Council, Chain, and Ablution Gates.General director of the PA’s Ministry of Endowment said that 5,000 Palestinians performed prayers at the mosque compound on Friday.
Israeli troops invade West Bank, abducting 26 Palestinians in the dead of night
IMEMC 15 Oct — The Israeli military invaded various parts of the West Bank Wednesday night, abducting 26 Palestinians from their homes. Since the beginning of October, more than 650 Palestinians have been abducted and imprisoned, according to prisoner rights groups. The military invaded Nablus and surrounding villages after midnight Wednesday night, abducting eight. In addition, nine Palestinians were abducted in raids in the Hebron area. In Bethlehem, five young men were abducted, and four were snatched from their beds in Ramallah. None of those abducted have been identified at this point.
The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoner Affairs reported this week that a record 650 Palestinians have been abducted by Israeli troops in the past three weeks — this is the highest number in a single month since June 2014, when protests filled the streets of Jerusalem following the burning to death of a young Palestinian boy by right-wing Israelis. Israeli police report that they have detained over 200 Palestinians since October 1st. But Palestinian groups put the number much higher. Many of those imprisoned have been detained without charges or trial, and have had no opportunity to see a lawyer to represent them. According to the Prisoners’ Committee, most of those imprisoned in the past month are 20 years old are younger, and many of them are minors who are being held illegally in adult facilities.
13 Palestinians detained in West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Israeli forces detained 13 Palestinians from across the occupied West Bank during raids overnight Thursday, the army said. Security sources said that Fathi Qutub was shot in the hand with live ammunition as well as in the chest with a rubber-coated steel bullet when Israeli forces raided his home in Nablus’ Old City. Qutub was taken to the Rafidiya Governmental Hospital for treatment. Sources said that Israeli forces also detained Samed Abdullah from the area. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that a “Hamas operative” was detained from the Nablus area. Separately, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian youth from the ‘Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem early Friday morning. Locals said that Israeli forces raided the camp and searched the home of Mustafa Abu Aker before detaining his son, Hazem, 22, who is a former prisoner. The army spokesperson confirmed one detention in the area for “suspected illegal activity.” Israeli forces also detained Linda Ghassan Halahleh, from the Kharas town in northwestern Hebron earlier Friday after the forces were unable to find her “wanted” husband, Guevara Muhammad Said Halahleh, locals told Ma‘an. The army spokesperson confirmed three additional arrests in Jenin, three north of Qalqilya, four in areas around Ramallah, and three in Abu Dis. Over 6,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israel jails according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer. The Palestinian Authority reported last week that up to 650 had been detained since the beginning of the month.
Palestinian home burnt by Israeli gas bombs in Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Oct — A Palestinian home belonging to members of Harb family, close to Rachel Tomb north of the Palestinian West Bank city of Bethlehem, was burnt after being targeted with dozens of Israeli gas bombs. The Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported that Israeli soldiers fired nearly 30 gas bombs at the home, causing several parts of the property to catch fire and burn. Family members were unharmed as they ran out of their property when the army started targeting it. Nadia Hanna Zoabi Harb said the family is fine, but their property has been badly burnt.
Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers took place near the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, north of Bethlehem, in addition to Beit Fajjar town, Um Rokba area and the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, and in Dar Salah village east of the city.
Medical sources said four Palestinians were shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet; one in the head and three in lower body parts, while others were shot by live rounds in the legs, and dozens of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. In addition, one Palestinian suffered a dislocated shoulder after falling down while being chased by Israeli soldiers, close to the northern entrance of Bethlehem.
In related news, Israeli sources said a settlement bus was burnt, and its driver was injured, after Palestinian protesters hurled Molotov cocktail on the vehicle, east of the northern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Israeli sources said the bus has no passengers in the time of the attack, and that dozens of soldiers and firefighters rushed to the scene. The army initiated a large search campaign in the area.
Palestinian youth set fire to Nablus tomb
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Palestinian youths set fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus overnight Friday, locals said, after throwing Molotov cocktails at the holy site. Palestinian Authority police and fire brigades arrived at the scene and extinguished the flames. PA security forces said they would open an investigation into the incident. The perpetrators reportedly broke into the holy site before setting it on fire. President Mahmoud Abbas called the arson attack “irresponsible,” and said the actions of the perpetrators were an abuse of the culture, religion and ethics of Palestinians. He ordered the immediate repair of the site, and said an investigation will be launched into the incident. The tomb is the site of monthly visits by Israelis, who are escorted by Israeli military forces to the area, often leading to clashes with local Palestinians.
Photo feature: First responders in crisis
JERUSALEM (IRIN) 15 Oct by Annie Slemrod — As Israel attempts to quell two weeks of violence by ramping up security in East Jerusalem, Palestinian and Israeli first responders are determined to carry on providing care for the wounded – even if it means placing themselves in danger. New checkpoints and concrete blocks at the entrances to neighbourhoods in Palestinian East Jerusalem are one major concern for the Palestine Red Crescent Society. “It’s not going to be easy [to treat patients in those neighbourhoods], and we don’t know what will happen,” PRCS spokeswoman Erab Fuqaha told IRIN from Ramallah . . . While they’re worried about the new restrictions, PRCS complains that its work has already been hampered by Israeli security. Fuqaha said ambulances had seen delays at checkpoints, been denied entry to parts of Jerusalem, and been hit by live fire or rubber bullets. She added that two patients were arrested out of the back of ambulances inside Jerusalem. As a result, some East Jerusalem residents have become fearful of accepting transport to hospital: “In Jerusalem, people are telling our staff, ‘we don’t want to be taken to the hospital, just give us first aid here’.” See full photo feature
Israeli forces encroaching on everyday life in Jerusalem
[with video] AL-QUDS (Jerusalem), occupied Palestine 16 Oct by ISM, Khalil Team — The Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem) in the last few weeks has witnessed an explosion of Israeli forces’ presence, supposedly for ‘security reasons’. But having a closer look at – or just opening your eyes for – the multitude of restrictions, hindrances and fears aroused by this, proves that all of this has nothing to do with ‘security’ – but everything with instilling fear in the Palestinians still resisting the manifold ways the Israeli forces are trying to expel them not only from the Old City of Jerusalem, but all of Jerusalem in general. Just two days ago, on Thursday 14th of October, Israeli forces shot and killed a 20-year old Palestinian youth. Immediately after he was shot, bystanders were forced to move back by Israeli forces, while the young man was lying on the ground bleeding to death, with no-one administering first aid. Whereas Israeli settlers from settlements within East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, were allowed to get closer to take trophy-photos of yet another killed Palestinian, Israeli forces suddenly stormed towards a group of Palestinians, threatening to beat them with their rifles and batons. Palestinians, thus, were between a rock and a hard place: run and risk being shot multiple times with live ammunition for the simple act of running away from a heavily armed trigger-happy militarised force that had just killed another Palestinian, or walk away slowly and be attacked by the same army. Being forced away, Palestinians held on to their phones in their hands – prevented to take photos of the Israeli forces’ crimes – with fear high that if someone reached into a trouser pocket or bag to take out anything, including a phone, they would receive multiple fatal gunshot wounds by the Israeli forces closely watching every movement of the Palestinian bystanders. Israeli settlers, on the other hand, were free to approach the body of the youth, who, in the meantime has died without ever receiving any medical attention, to take photos. The Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance Crew right outside Damascus Gate was physically pushed back to the ambulance and then forced to leave by the Israeli forces. With the recent escalation of killings of Palestinians in al-Quds (Jerusalem) by Israeli forces, this is hardly an exception.
2 Palestinians shot, killed by Israeli forces during Gaza demos
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Oct — Two Palestinians were killed and at least 100 others injured as Israeli forces opened fire at demonstrators in the Gaza Strip on Friday, medical sources said. Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson, said that Yahiya Abd al-Qader Farhat, 24, was killed after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza. He was taken to the al-‘Awda hospital in Jabalia, where he was pronounced dead. Farhat was from the Gaza neighborhood of al-Shujaiyeh.
Mahmoud Hatim Hmeid, 22, was identified as the second victim. He was killed east of the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood in northern Gaza. At least 11 Palestinians were shot with live fire while dozens suffered tear gas inhalation and were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets during the demonstrations, al-Qidra added. Clashes also broke out east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, with Israeli forces firing tear gas at demonstrators, who set fire to tires. Demonstrations were reported near the Erez and Nahal Oz crossings in the northern Gaza Strip, as thousands of Palestinians marched following a call by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups. Protests set off from different mosques following Friday prayers, calling for an escalation against Israel. Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas official, called upon all factions to take part in the “Intifada against Israel.” The leader of Islamic Jihad, Khalid al-Batsh, said the movement would remain “ready to strike the enemy.” An Israeli army spokesperson said that hundreds of Palestinians gathered near the border fence and breached the buffer zone, throwing rocks and burning tires.
Israel deploys extra border troops as Hamas calls for ‘day of rage’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an)15 Oct — Israeli forces have announced heavier deployments at the border area with Gaza following the announcement of a Hamas-prompted “day of rage” planned to take place on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson said. An Israeli army spokesperson said Israeli authorities undertook a “situational assessment” following increased clashes and upheaval along the Gaza border area and have decided to deploy two more battalions along the Strip for Friday’s so-called “day of rage.” Clashes have been frequent along the border fence recently, as Gazans have planned protests in solidarity with demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since the start of October, Israeli authorities have reported multiple breaches at the border fence during clashes and Israeli forces have shot dead at least nine Gazans at the protests. Additionally, the spokesperson said that Israel authorities announced that two battalions and two companies of Israeli troops would be deployed in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian injured at Gaza demonstration dies from injuries
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian injured by Israeli gunfire last week during clashes along the Gaza border died from his wounds on Friday, the Gaza Ministry of Health said. The man was identified as Shawqi Jamal Jabr Obeid, 37, from Jabalia. Obeid was shot and injured during border demonstrations last Friday to show solidarity with protesters in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. At least ten Palestinians were shot dead in the protests, including two boys aged 13 and 15, and over 145 Palestinians were injured by live fire or rubber-coated steel bullets, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of October, at least 170 Gazans have been shot by Israeli live fire at demonstrations along the border, the ministry added.
Israel to build new security fence on Gaza border
MEMO 15 Oct — The Israel army is to build a new 65 kilometre-long security fence along the border of the Gaza Strip to prevent the infiltration of Palestinians from the coastal enclave, Israeli Radio said on Wednesday. According to Anadolu, the fence is intended specifically to protect settlements built close to Gaza. Israel already has a heavily-militarised border through which the Israeli army can and does send tanks and troops across into the occupied Palestinian territory on an almost daily basis. It is claimed that approval for the new barrier was given after “repeated breaches of the current fence by Palestinians from Gaza.”
Egyptian forces discover, destroy Gaza tunnel
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Egyptian border guards reportedly discovered and destroyed a large tunnel running from Gaza’s Rafah city into Egyptian territory, Egyptian security sources said. Security sources said that several guns, military clothing and communication devices were found within the tunnel, which was loaded with explosives and destroyed shortly after discovery. Sources added that a second tunnel was located under a house in Rafah City. On Sunday, three Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were reported missing following a previous tunnel demolition, Gaza’s Civil Defense said.
Egypt army shoots, injures 3 Palestinians in Gaza tunnel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — Egyptian army forces shot and injured three Palestinians in a smuggling tunnel under the city of Rafah in southern Gaza on Thursday. Egyptian soldiers entered the tunnel under the border city and opened fire at Palestinian workers, injuring three, locals said. The victims were taken to hospital for treatment. Earlier this week, Egypt detained three Palestinians after blowing up a tunnel under the shared border. The Palestinians were initially reported missing after the explosion.
Haniyeh: Gaza stands behind the ‘battle of Jerusalem’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — The deputy head of the Hamas movement on Thursday visited Palestinians at al-Shifa hospital who had been shot and injured by Israeli forces during recent clashes near Gaza’s border with Israel. During the visit, Ismail Haniyeh made political statements in support of what he repeatedly referred to as “Jerusalem’s Intifada.” “The message of our wounded is that Gaza, despite the distance and its deep suffering due to the siege and war, still stands behind the battle of Jerusalem, and that Gaza is in the heart of Jerusalem’s Intifada,” he said. Haniyeh added that “Jerusalem’s Intifada has sent a message that Jerusalem is not a red line, but instead the title of the strategy in the conflict with Israel.” Haniyeh announced on Saturday that a new Intifada had started, following clashes on Gaza’s border earlier that day, in which Israeli forces shot dead seven Palestinians and injured more than 145 others. President Mahmoud Abbas rejects that the recent wave of unrest that has swept the region has evolved into a long-term uprising. On Thursday, Abbas said in a speech that “his hand is still reaching for peace,” repeating his administration’s stance that the recent wave of violent upheaval that has gripped the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel must be extinguished.
The anger of Palestine’s ‘lost’ generation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Oct by Killian Redden — A few weeks before an Israeli soldier shot him through the stomach, Mutaz Zawahreh discovered a love of the sea. On the coast of Brittany, Mutaz and two friends from Duheisha refugee camp, Murad Ouda and Issa al-Saifi, amazed the French by running into the frigid waters of the north Atlantic. Even in the rain they went to the beach, Issa told Ma‘an, sometimes just to sit and watch the ocean — “because we already knew we would not see it again.” The three Palestinians spent two months in France as part of an educational program organized by a center in Duheisha. But as their visit progressed, the first signs of unrest began to show in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the three grew anxious to return home. Mutaz’s brother, Ghassan, had begun a hunger strike in an Israeli prison to protest his internment without charge, and his health was beginning to deteriorate. The three returned, and several days later Ghassan ended his hunger strike when Israel agreed to release him in November. But the brothers never saw each other. On Oct. 13, at a demonstration before Israel’s separation wall in northern Bethlehem, Mutaz was shot dead, the 30th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in under two weeks. -Expression of anger- Mutaz was one of thousands of young Palestinians no longer able to contain their anger when he joined the protesters in throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Only before the wall, “facing their weapons with his body,” was Mutaz able to give expression to his feelings, his friend Murad said. “He couldn’t take it anymore,” said Murad, especially after he had seen “how free life could be” in France. For Murad, the protests that have swept the occupied Palestinian territory in recent days are only “the tip of the mountain,” the outward expression of what he called an “internal intifada” that has been raging within most people for years. “It is about being oppressed some 60, 70 years,” he said. “(The protests) are just the anger that has exploded.” Issa agreed that while outsiders “judged” Palestinians for throwing stones, “no one has asked us why we are doing it.” [Continued]
Why does Sweden want to expel Gaza refugees?
EI 15 Oct by Adriano Mérola Marotta — Seventy Palestinian refugees have been evicted from a camp formed in protest at how the Swedish authorities have denied them the right to asylum. The camp had been deemed illegal by the local council in Malmö, a city in southern Sweden. After two weeks of threats, the camp was dismantled on Thursday morning last week. Nine people were arrested and three shipping containers of personal possessions were confiscated by police.The Palestinian refugees had traveled to Sweden from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia. Their protest has been taking place outside the applications unit of the immigration authority in Malmö. Despite attempts by the police to make their protest impossible, the refugees are determined to keep fighting for asylum. The protest is continuing, albeit without tents or shelter. Temperatures are dropping daily in Malmö as the Nordic winter approaches.
Prisoners / Court actions
Body of prisoner who died in Israel custody to undergo autopsy
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — An Israeli military court decided on Thursday to send the body of Palestinian prisoner Fadi al-Darabi to undergo an autopsy at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Israel, a prisoner’s committee said Thursday. Head of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee, Issa Qaraqe, said that he received a decision from Israeli authorities for the autopsy to take place with the participation of Palestinian doctors. The team of Palestinian doctors will be headed by Saber al-Aloul, director of the Palestinian Institute for Forensic Science. Qaraqe added that after the autopsy is completed at the forensic institute in Israel, al-Darabi’s body will be transferred for an additional autopsy to be carried out by a team entirely composed of Palestinian doctors. Autopsy results are expected to be released before the prisoner’s body is delivered to his family in Jenin. Palestinian detainee Fadi al-Darbi, 30, on Wednesday died in an Israeli hospital after reportedly suffering a stroke days earlier.
Israeli Arab placed under administrative detention for first time in over a decade
Haaretz 16 Oct by Jack Khoury — A 19-year-old woman from the Nazareth area who texted her family and friends that she intended to become a shahida (martyr) will be detained without trial for three months. It is the first time an Israeli Arab has been placed in administrative detention since 2001. In a separate incident, a 14-year-old Israeli-Arab girl was arrested in Be’er Sheva on Thursday, following a series of text messages suggesting she was planning a terror attack. The girl was detained for questioning, during which she confessed she had been planning to stab Jews, police officers and soldiers in Jerusalem. Nazareth District Court issued an administrative detention order against the Nazareth-area woman on Thursday. All further information about her is under a court-imposed gag order. Last week, worried relatives of the young woman went to Nazareth police station and reported that she had sent her sister and friends a text message earlier that day through the Viber app, saying she intended to become a holy martyr. Her family later brought her to the police station, where she was immediately arrested . . . At the end of the police investigation, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan decided there was not enough evidence to charge her with a criminal offense. However, in light of the character and nature of the accumulated evidence against her, Ya’alon ordered her detained without trial as a preventative measure. The defense minister made his decision after determining that it was almost certain the young woman would carry out her intentions or commit other serious crimes, and there was no other way of preventing such a danger to the public except by detaining her.
Haifa court extends detention of Jew who stabbed another Jew in failed ‘revenge attack’
Haaretz 14 Oct by Noa Shpigel — Court grants request for gag order on man’s identity, despite the naming of dozens of Arab assailants over the past week — The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday extended the detention of a Kiryat Ata man suspected of stabbing a Nahariya resident because he thought his victim was an Arab by eight days. Judge Orit Kantor placed a gag order on the man’s name and other identifiers, at the request of his attorney, Yosef Gimpel. The names and photographs of Arab assailants have been released regularly over the past week. Gimpel told the court he was requesting the gag order to protect the family, “because of the security situation today and the concern of the family over… some act of revenge.” Gimpel added that there was also doubt as to whether his client was psychologically fit to stand trial and asked that he be given a psychiatric examination, a request that Kantor also granted. The suspect did not speak at the beginning of the hearing and did not respond to reporters’ questions. His attorney said that the man was upset and that it was hard to obtain details from him. “It is very hard to explain the event.
Families given 72 hours to evacuate homes before punitive demolitions
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — Israeli authorities overnight Wednesday and during the day Thursday executed punitive measures against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israel, giving four families 72 hours to evacuate their homes before demolition, and raiding the homes of three others. In the Ramallah area of Silwad, Israeli forces on Thursday delivered demolition orders to two houses after alleging their sons belonged to a military cell responsible for carrying out an attack near Nablus. The family of prisoner Abdullah Munir Hammad was given 72 hours to either evacuate their home or file an objection to the military order. The family told Ma‘an that they don’t actually own the home, and have started legal procedures to reject the order issued on the rental. Israeli forces also delivered an order to the family of Muath Hamed, who is being held in jail by the Palestinian Authority, also giving them 72 hours to evacuate or object to the order. The Israeli authorities accused both Muath and Abdullah, along with three others, of carrying out a shooting near Nablus on June 29 that killed an Israeli soldier and injured 3 others. The same notices were delivered to the family of prisoner Abd Muhammad Abu Shahin from the Qalandiya refugee camp in northern Ramallah after accusing him of leading a military cell that carried out a shooting last Ramadan that killed an Israeli settler and injured another. Israeli forces also raided the Surda village in northern Ramallah and delivered demolition orders to the family of Muhannad Shafiq al-Halabi, who carried out a stab and shooting attack in Jerusalem killing two Israeli soldiers and injuring four Israelis on Sept. 30.
Israel to punitively demolish home of suspected settlers’ attackers in Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 15 Oct – Israeli authorities Thursday notified the families of three Palestinians whom Israel accuses of carrying out a fatal attack against an Israeli settler couple near Nablus’ Beit Furik area of their intentions to demolish their homes. Local sources said that army soldiers handed the families of three Palestinians identified as Karam al-Masri, Yehya Hamad, and Samir Kousa – all of whom are currently incarcerated in Israeli jails – notices ordering them to evict the houses as a prelude to demolish them after 48 hours. A settler couple identified as Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were killed in a drive-by shooting attack in the northern West Bank town of Beit Furik, southeast of Nablus, by suspected Palestinians. Israel resorts to punitively demolish the family homes of any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that Israel does not use against Israeli settlers who were involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians . . .Al-Haq human rights group slammed the punitive home demolition of Palestinians suspected of being involved in attacks against Israelis, as a collective punishment and that in accordance with humanitarian law and human rights law, it is assessed as a war crime and a crime against humanity. B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.” “In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group. “The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.” It said that, “ Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful.”
Palestinian and international civilians to resist revenge home demolition
NABLUS area, Occupied Palestine 16 Oct by ISM, Al-Khalil Team — Palestinian civilians joined by International solidarity activists will gather tonight, Friday 16, October 2015, at the Nablus city homes of Yahya Hamad, Karam Al-masri and Sameer Al-Kosa after Israeli forces threatened revenge demolitions within 24 hours. Yesterday night, hundreds of Palestinians gathered outside the house to protest the illegal practice of house demolitions and managed to prevent Israeli forces from demolishing the house. Tonight, they will be joined by internationals from the United States, Australia, France, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Holland. A Call has been launched to maintain vigil outside of the targeted buildings and prevent the occupation forces from carrying out the demolition process. The house of Sameer Kosa family in Al Dahiyya, the house of Yaha Hamad family in at Rojeeb st, and the house of Karam Al-masri family in North mountain are all under threat of demolition tonight on allegations of their involvement in the killing of a settler couple from the illegal settlement of Ithamar against earlier this month. All are Palestinian prisoners whose families will endure the collective punishment measures which have been Israel’s long established practice . . . Watch a video of the events of last night, where you can hear Palestinians chanting when the army arrives (despite the low quality of the image, the sound illustrates the amount of people present):
Other news, analysis
Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory (8-13 October)
PCHR-Gaza 14 Oct — Wilful killings have been rising in occupied East Jerusalem 8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed and 183 others were wounded in Jerusalem. Israeli forces have escalated the use of excessive lethal force against peaceful protests in occupied Palestinian territory. 15 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 424 Palestinian civilians, including 102 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Among the wounded were 12 journalists; 3 of whom were wounded in Jerusalem, 3 others were wounded in the West Bank and the 6 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 115 Palestinian civilians, including 18 children, were arrested. 41 of them, including 10 children and a journalist, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces have turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose an illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th consecutive year. Many checkpoints were established in the West Bank and many others were re-established. 6 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were arrested at checkpoints. Israeli navy forces continued to open fire at Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported. Israeli settlers escalated their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property and settlement activities continued in the West Bank. The settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles and seriously wounded a Palestinian civilian. Restrictions were imposed on the movement of Palestinian farmers who were prevented from collecting olives in different areas [details follow]
Obama condemns outbreak of violence in Israel
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 16 Oct by Roberta Rampton — President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the recent outbreak of violence in Israel and urged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tamp down their rhetoric. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence directed against innocent people,” Obama said in a news conference. For two weeks, tensions about access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, have led to violence that has seen at least 37 Palestinians and seven Israelis killed. Netanyahu, Abbas and other people in positions of power need to “try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding,” Obama said. “I don’t think we can wait for all of the issues that exist between Israelis and Palestinians to be settled in order for us to try to tamp down the violence right now,” he said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who traveled to Europe on Friday, is expected to meet Netanyahu next week. In another sign of Washington’s concern about the need to defuse the situation and end the violence, U.S. General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is slated to visit Israel next week.
Intifada or not, something powerful is going on
Al Jazeera 16 Oct by Nigel Wilson — Palestinians are coming together, regardless of age, gender and political affiliation, in a show of solidarity — As the student cafeteria at Birzeit University empties after the lunchtime rush, Ehab Iwidat leans back on his chair and sips from a bottle of mineral water. The wiry, 20-year-old business and French student is suffering from a cold, but that has not stopped him from attending some of the recent demonstrations in the West Bank. “It’s the first time in a long time that we’ve seen this,” he says. “I’ve seen young people, old people, females, males, protesting in the streets together. You can see rich people alongside poor people too.” Like many in the so-called Oslo generation of Palestinians, who have little or no memory of previous intifadas in Palestine, Iwidat only knows life under occupation as a second-class citizen. He believes that Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom and rights in the West Bank, harassment from Israeli settlers and the bleak prospects for a peace deal between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders have pushed Palestinians on to the streets in recent weeks. “It’s coming from the actions of settlers, who represent Israeli government policy. From burning people alive, humiliating people on a daily basis and restricting Palestinians’ freedom movement, to the disrespectful actions at Al Aqsa mosque.” The protests that have swept Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank this month have seen tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets. Men and women of all ages have joined the movement. In some cases these massive demonstrations have passed peacefully, as protesters massed to chant slogans in unity, demanding solidarity to fight the Israeli military occupation. Other gatherings have turned violent, as the Israeli military used tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire against Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers. The movement has even given traction to the idea that Palestinians could be on the verge of a new intifada, or that one may have already begun.
Israel rejects international troops on Temple Mount
WASHINGTON (Ynet) 16 Oct by Yitzhak Benhorin & Itamar Eichner — Deputy Ambassador to the UN, David Ruth, attended an emergency Security Council meeting Friday evening regarding the deteriorating security situation in Israel, saying that the Jewish State would not agree to the presence of international forces on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israel’s newly appointed ambassador Danny Danino was not present for the meeting as he will only officially begin his new duties on Wednesday, but said before the meeting, “Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo, and does not agree to the deployment of international forces to the Temple Mount, which will only violate the status quo that has prevailed for decades.”
Hamas slams Palestinian Authority over members’ arrests
Al Jazeera 16 Ovt by Dalia Hatuqa — Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have arrested at least 14 Hamas members since the beginning of the month, further sharpening internal Palestinian tensions at a time when unrest is engulfing much of the occupied Palestinian territory, Hamas officials told Al Jazeera. Hamas accused PA security forces of arresting seven of the group’s members – including students and former detainees in Israeli prisons – across the occupied West Bank on Thursday alone. The PA denies this claim. Ibrahim Salah, a former spokesman for the interior ministry of the Hamas-administered Gaza government, said the arrests mark a “dangerous escalation that damages the atmosphere of national unity on the ground [in the West Bank]”. “We have been holding off on issuing any statements on the PA arrests so we don’t detract from our people’s uprising in Jerusalem,” Salah told Al Jazeera. President Mahmoud Abbas has recently ordered his security chiefs to quash growing protests against Israel’s occupation across the West Bank. The president’s call came amid a spate of attacks by Palestinians, including stabbing incidents, which killed seven Israelis since October 1. At least 37 Palestinians have been killed this month as Israeli forces crack down on protests with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Among those killed were suspected attackers, unarmed protesters and bystanders. Last July, a wide-scale PA arrest campaign against Hamas began after the West Bank witnessed a similar series of armed Palestinian attacks. At least 120 members were detained at the time. “They [Hamas] are big liars,” Adnan al-Damiri, the spokesman for the PA security forces, told Al Jazeera. “You see that we are in a new Intifada, and we did not arrest anyone for political reasons, or for their [political] thoughts or affiliations.” Wasfi Kabha, a West Bank-based Hamas member, criticised the PA for upholding security coordination with Israel, accusing it of “attempting to cripple this latest Intifada [uprising].”
Abbas still seeking to restore order, ‘reaching for peace’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 Oct — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday evening in a speech that “his hand is still reaching for peace,” repeating his administration’s stance that the recent wave of violent upheaval that has gripped the occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel must be extinguished. Abbas said that while the Palestinian Authority still seeks to deescalate the current upheaval, “peace, security and stability will only be reached when the occupation [of Palestine] ends and an independent state is established with East Jerusalem as its capital.” The president added that “we will continue our political, national and legal fight and we will not remain tied to agreements that Israel does not respect.” At the end of last month, during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Abbas announced that the Palestinian Authority would no longer abide by past agreements made with Israel. During his speech on Wednesday, Abbas called upon Palestinians to unite and be aware of Israeli plans to thwart national projects, adding that “we will not hesitate to defend our people and protect them.” “Offensive attacks are escalating against our people, land and religious sites,” he said, referring to the threat of a change in the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that sparked the recent upheaval. Abbas said that he would not accept a change of the status quo concerning the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound or any moves that threaten the site’s sanctity as an exclusively Muslim holy place.
Israel’s sleeping beauties have awoken from their deathly silence / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 15 Oct — What did you think, the Palestinians would sit still indefinitely? Did you really think Israel would continue on its course and they’d just bow their heads in submission? Do you know many historical examples of that? Is there one example of a brutal occupation that persisted without stoking resistance? Apparently that’s what you thought, otherwise there would have been public pressure long ago to act, because who wants terror? But Israel slid into a deathly silence, with darkness over the abyss, and now it’s acting surprised. It voted for the right, for ultra-nationalism, racism and messianism, and now its feelings are hurt. After all, what did it ask for but some quiet, to be left alone from the occupation to which it’s not even linked, and from the resistance that has fallen on it like a natural disaster. Sleeping beauty has awoken to the sound of stabbings and car-rammings, and through the cobwebs of sleep it’s asking: How did this happen? How can they be doing this to us again? You can’t blame Israelis — they were busy doing other things and knew nothing. Bar Refaeli’s wedding weighed heavily on people’s minds, as did events at the Allenby 40 nightclub. Israelis didn’t know exactly what was going on over there, beyond the dark mountains, half an hour’s drive from their homes — for the most part, they didn’t want to know. The media gladly succumbed to their wishes. They hid the crimes of the occupation from people’s sight — such pictures don’t buoy ratings. The image of a Palestinian as a human being doesn’t sell newspapers. The media never reported what those people go through and what they really desire. It sufficed with diversions, incitement and propaganda. That pays better. Politicians promised that everything would be fine, rabbis incited, settlers torched, the whole world is against us, just leave us alone. Then out of the blue those knife-wielding youngsters with murder in their eyes descended upon us. The quiet dissolved, security fizzled, businesses collapsed, dreams of jeep tours and quick vacations became uncertain. . . .
Why ‘occupation denial’ impedes Israel’s war on terror
Haaretz 14 Oct by Chemi Shalev — By ignoring the disenfranchisement of the Palestinians, Netanyahu escapes the need to explain why he’s done nothing to dilute its poison — First, let’s take a sample survey. In Prime Minister Netanyahu’s two recent addresses to the Knesset about the latest wave of terror and violence that has engulfed Israel, he uttered the word “incitement” in one way or another 14 times. The word “occupation” or any of its synonyms wasn’t mentioned even once. The same is true of statements made in recent days by other Israeli politicians, as well as communiqués issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. They all condemn Mahmoud Abbas. They all cite Palestinian incitement as a major cause of violence. None of them mention 48 years of direct Israeli control over the Palestinian people, in the West Bank and, yes, in East Jerusalem as well. But it’s not just the politicians and American Jewish activists, though they are the ones setting the tone. Ordinary Israelis and their supporters abroad have also learned to expunge the occupation, not only from their words but from their thoughts as well. Once you do that, Palestinian teens wantonly hurling themselves at unsuspecting civilians, knowing that they will face certain injury or death, turn into manifestations of unadulterated psychotic evil. Once you eliminate occupation from the equation, the world’s seemingly “balanced” attitude towards the violence, and the international media’s insistence on describing not only Israeli but Palestinian “victims” as well, can indeed seem biased, outrageous and even anti-Semitic. . .
Look who wants to divide Jerusalem now
Haaretz 16 Oct by Nehemia Shtrasler — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that great defender of a ‘unified’ city, is having second thoughts — I thought I was confused, that I didn’t hear correctly. The great patriots, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ze’ev Elkin and Gilad Erdan, who don’t go to bed at night before praying for a unified, undivided, greater Jerusalem, are now proposing to dissect it, divide it and return it 48 years back in time, by means of 180 concrete blocks and checkpoints set up at the Arab neighborhoods’ entrances. Netanyahu is dividing Jerusalem. This was a pioneer. A city that is the future. What happens in it today, will happen to us all tomorrow. Jerusalem is the micro cosmos of everything that we’ve been going through in the last 48 years since the Six-Day War – victory, occupation, euphoria, radicalization and madness. As soon as the Six-Day War was over Moshe Dayan appointed a committee to set Jerusalem’s borders. He did not appoint urban, historic and geographic experts but three generals who were deputies only to God – Chaim Herzog, Shlomo Lahat and Rehavam Zeevi. They drafted an insane map, following which Israel annexed to Jerusalem not only the Old City within the walls, and not only the Jordanian part of the city outside the walls (6,000 dunams), but another 64,000 dunams – expansive West Bank territories which had never been part of Jerusalem in history. They consisted of 28 villages whose population today numbers 330,000 – all of whom have blue (Israeli) ID cards and make up 35 percent of the city’s population. This is a certain recipe for an explosion. Israel’s discrimination against them cries out to heaven. . .
Arab-Jewish restaurant refuses to stop serving its coexistence recipe
HAIFA (Haaretz) 17 Oct by July Maltz — It’s lunchtime at Maxim and what would normally be a packed restaurant bustling with the chatter of customers and orders for falafel and kebabs is half empty. The wave of violence that is prompting many Israelis to stay home has hit this Haifa eatery hard. But Maxim is not just another hummus joint. This jointly owned Arab-Jewish restaurant is a rarity in the Israeli business landscape and is currently marking two important anniversaries – one happy, the other tragic. It was 50 years ago this month that the Arab-Christian Mattar family and the Jewish Tayar family opened this folksy, Middle Eastern restaurant at the entrance to the northern Israeli city. The two families, both from Haifa and with roots in Lebanon, have remained in partnership ever since, through good and bad times. It was 12 years ago this month, during the height of the second intifada, that one of the worst terror attacks in Israeli history was carried out at this very restaurant. A female suicide bomber from the West Bank city of Jenin walked in on Saturday October 4, when it was jam-packed with lunchtime customers, and blew herself up. Twenty-one Israelis were killed in that attack, including five restaurant employees, and another 100 people were wounded. For many Israelis since then, Maxim has come to symbolize the best and worst in Arab-Jewish relations. When the second generation of owners looks around today at the latest wave of violence engulfing the country, they are sad, yet simultaneously optimistic. “If I had no hope, I would have closed this place down long ago,” says Tony Mattar, son of the original Arab partner . . . Tony believes the biggest problem facing Jews and Arabs today is lack of leadership. “They’re all afraid of making decisions – both the Jewish leaders and the Arab leaders,” he says. “Ever since this latest round of violence erupted, all we’ve heard from our leaders is how we need to defend ourselves. Not a word about how we resolve this situation.”
WATCH: Lauryn Hill, Angela Davis call for black-Palestinian solidarity
+972 blog 15 Oct by Rami Younis — On the heels of attacks by both the Israeli army and settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank over the past year, a coalition of African-American organizations have come together to produce a new video promoting black-Palestinian solidarity. The video, titled “When I See Them I See Us,” juxtaposes the police killings of African-Americans with Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers, and features over 60 major figures in both the black community in America, including Lauryn Hill — who canceled her performance in Israel several months ago following pressure by the BDS movement — actor Danny Glover, author Alice Walker, academic and former Black Panther Angela Davis and public intellectual Cornel West. They are joined by prominent Palestinian figures such as academic Noura Erekat, poet Remi Kanazi, and BDS movement leader Omar Barghouti. Famed Palestinian hip hop group DAM also makes an appearance in the video.