Video: Israeli forces detain 6-year-old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli forces detained a six-year-old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem’s ‘Aida refugee camp on Tuesday, locals said. The boy, Abdullah Youssef, was detained as clashes broke out in the area between Israeli military forces and Palestinian youths. The head of a local coordination committee for popular resistance, Munther Amireh, was also arrested while attempting to free the young boy. Youssef was released several hours later, while Amireh is still being held in Israeli custody.
The young boy told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers began firing tear gas into a children’s playground in the refugee camp, forcing him and his friends to flee the area. Israeli soldiers who had entered the camp then detained him as he was running away, and interrogated him for several hours before the Palestinian liaison office intervened to have him released. A video of the incident posted by a local activist shows Amireh attempting to intervene in the young boy’s arrest before being assaulted by an Israeli soldier.
Video: Undercover Israeli soldiers kidnap 3 children in Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — In a series of repeated brutal attacks against Palestinians, Israeli soldiers dressed as Palestinian civilians (Must‘aribeen), this morning, have kidnapped three schoolchildren from Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Wadi Al-Hilweh Information Center said that the agents infiltrated a street in the area where students were heading to school. The Must‘aribeen then opened random fire into the air and the children began running. Backed by Israeli soldiers, the agents attacked three of the children, put them into a military jeep and drove to an unknown destination. Clashes erupted following the shooting and the frenzy created by the kidnapping.
PNN reports that, during the past week, many children from Jerusalem have testified to being attacked and kidnapped by the Must‘aribeen, who blindfolded them, attacked them and, then, drove them to a far-away destination. However, this is not a one-time happening. Attacks by the Must‘aribeen Unit, AKA Death Unit, have been well-known in the Palestinian struggle for years. Their use was intensified in the clashes which have been erupting since the beginning of October, so as to infiltrate protesters and make it easier to kidnap them. Last Thursday, members of the unit broke into Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron, kidnapped a patient, Azzam Shalaldeh (21), and executed his cousin in the surgery room, Abdullah Shalaldeh (27).
Soldiers attack and kidnap a child in Hebron, invade homes
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday at night, a Palestinian child, after repeatedly kicking and beating him, and stormed many homes, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. The soldiers assaulted the child, who remained unknown until the time of this report, as he was crossing a street, in the center of Hebron city, and kidnapped him after causing various cuts and bruises. In addition, the soldiers invaded and violently searched several homes in the ar-Rahma Mountain area, in Hebron, and the nearby Be’er As-Sabe’ Street, and interrogated many families.
Israeli forces detain father and child from Jerusalem village
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Israeli forces on Monday evening detained a Palestinian child and his father from their home in al-Tur village in occupied East Jerusalem, family members told Ma‘an. Israeli forces chased Ahmad Nidal Abu Sbeitan,12, to the front of his home before detaining him, family members said. The family added that Israeli forces assaulted al-Tur residents with pepper spray and fired stun grenades in the village, before retreating with the 12-year-old in custody. Later, Israeli forces returned to detain the 12-year-old’s father, Nidal Abu Sbeitan.
Soldiers kidnap 10 children, 2 journalists and a young man in Jerusalem
[with photos of the children] IMEMC 17 Nov — Israeli soldiers and undercover units have kidnapped on Tuesday ten Palestinian children between the ages of 9 and 13, in addition to two journalists and a young man, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in occupied Jerusalem, has reported that the soldiers kidnapped the following children: 1. Islam Khamis Shweiki, 9; 2. Nabil Mazin al-Khatib, 9; 3. Ibrahim Bassam Edrees, 11; 4. Majd Majdi Abu ‘Asab, 12; 5. Nabil Rami Kamel Ghazala, 12; 6. Adham Fayez ‘Obeidat, 13; 7. Tamer Khalifa al-Maghrabi, 12; 8. Yazan Anwar Salfiti, 12; 9. Mohammad Mohannad Odah, 13′ 10. Mohammad Jabr Rajabi, 14. Some of the children were taken prisoner by undercover soldiers who invaded the Schools Street in Ras al-‘Amoud in Silwan and fired rounds of live ammunition, before chasing several students heading to school. Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud managed to visit the kidnapped children in the police station in Jabal al-Mokabber, and said that they had been beaten by the undercover soldiers, and were held in an illegal colony in Ras al-‘Amoud for several hours without access to food or water. The soldiers later moved the children to an interrogation center, where they remained without food or water, and were beaten again . . . Nabil Mazin al-Khatib, 9, was kidnapped after the soldiers invaded his home and searched it. The soldiers claimed he hurled stones at a settler’s car . . . Also on Tuesday, the soldiers kidnapped two photojournalists, identified as Mustafa al-Khatib and Eyad at-Tawil, and a young man identified as Bashar Abu Shamsiyya, in Jerusalem’s Old City, and took them to an interrogation center.
Update: Israeli forces detain 31 Palestinians from West Bank
NABLUS (WAFA) 17 Nov – Israeli forces detained Tuesday and Monday evening 31 Palestinians, including at least six minors, from West Bank districts, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC), and local and security sources. Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians in Nablus district, nine from Hebron, four from Jerusalem, four others from Jenin, in addition to two more from Ramallah and another from Tulkarem.
Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank city of Nablus, where they proceeded to detain seven Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses . . . During the predawn raids, forces opened fire at Palestinian locals, hitting and injuring a 31-year-old local with a live bullet in his thigh.
Forces stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Furik village, southeast of Nablus, detained a Palestinian local identified as Ibrahim Nasasra. Furthermore, forces stationed at Salem military checkpoint, northwest of Jenin, detained a Palestinian identified as Shawkat Naser, whereas another local identified as Ahmad Mubaraka was detained at Huwwara military checkpoint, south of the city. Another Palestinian was detained by forces while he was on a bypass road near Zawata village, north of Nablus. The detainee was identified as ‘Abdul-Salam ‘Issa. In the meantime, forces also stormed Rujeib and Qaryut villages, south of the city, where they raided and searched several houses. However, no further arrests were made. Some of the homeowners whose houses were stormed and ransacked were identified as ‘Abdul-Rahman ‘Ilayyan, a detainee from ‘Askar refugee camp, Rasem Khattab, a detainee, and ‘Amid Dweikat, a journalist from Rujeib.
Meanwhile in Hebron district, forces Tuesday afternoon detained two minors identified as Wadi‘ Seder, 10, and his brother, Sa‘ed, 11, from Ash-Shuhada Street in Hebron city. Furthermore, forces raided Surif town, north of the city, where they detained three Palestinians, including a woman and a minor. Forces reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at locals’ houses, causing dozens to suffocate. WAFA correspondent reported the mayor of Surif, Muhammad Lafi, as saying that Israeli forces intentionally cut off the electricity supply to the village shortly before the raid and fired tear gas canisters inside locals’ houses, causing dozens to suffocate, especially children. Lafi also reported that forces stormed and ransacked a house belonging to Ahmad al-Qadi, where they blew up the doors, wreaked havoc inside, destroyed the floor tiles and seized a sum of NIS 65,000 ($16,750). (Continued)
Israeli forces raid Nablus school, demand removal of Arafat posters
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli forces raided al-Lubban High School for Girls in southern Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank twice on Tuesday and ordered the school to remove pictures of Yasser Arafat hung up inside the premises, a local monitor said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the school at 8 a.m. Tuesday and accused the school administration of inciting violence for having put up posters of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on the school’s walls. Israeli forces demanded the administration take down the pictures and left the school. Later that day, Israeli forces returned around 12 p.m. for the same reason, and demanded the posters be taken down. Sources told Ma‘an that the Palestinian liaison office with Israel filed an official complaint to the Israeli liaison office regarding the “provocative act.” Despite leaving the school, dozens of Israeli soldiers remained outside the premises for some time.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces also raided the nearby village of Osarin and threatened widespread arrests if youths from the area continued to throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli settler vehicles. The forces distributed flyers saying that 10 firebombs had been thrown from a nearby main road in the previous week.
Violence / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Palestinian shot dead in gunfight with Israeli soldiers
IMEMC/Agencies 17 Nov — Updated: Israeli forces have shot and killed another Palestinian during armed clashes north of Ramallah, Tuesday evening, with two others injured in an exchange of fire. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the slain Palestinian has been identified as Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24 years of age, from Ramallah. It added that the soldiers left Saleh bleeding on the ground for more than an hour, and prevented Palestinian ambulances and medics from reaching him, until he died of his wounds. The soldiers fired live rounds and gas bombs on Palestinians who tried to reach the Palestinian; the army also kidnapped two Palestinians, and completely closed the Nablus-Ramallah road. The Israeli army said that shots were fired from a pistol at an Israeli military patrol near Ramallah, with soldiers returning fire and shooting an assailant. Three armed Palestinians had reportedly exited a vehicle near an Israeli military patrol and opened fire at soldiers near Turmus Ayya, north of Ramallah.
Health Ministry: ’89 Palestinians killed, 10,000 injured since October 1′
IMEMC 17 Nov by Saed Bannoura — On Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that, following the death of a Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24, 24, from Ramallah, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since October 1st has arrived to 89, including 18 children and four women, and that 10.000 Palestinians have been injured. In a press release, the Health Ministry stated that the soldiers shot and killed, on Tuesday, Mohammad Monir Hasan Saleh, 24 years of age, from ‘Aroura village, northwest of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and injured at least two others. It said that the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli fire since October 1, has arrived to 89, including 18 in the Gaza Strip and one in the Negev, and that among the slain Palestinians are eighteen women and four children (including a mother and her baby in Gaza.) The Ministry stated that more 10.000 Palestinians have been injured in the same period in different parts of occupied Palestine. “On average, the army kills two Palestinians and injures around 217 every day,” it said.
In its report, the Ministry said that at least 1450 Palestinians have been shot with live Israeli army fire, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, since October 1. 1065 were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets, and have all been hospitalized, while more than 1100 Palestinians, who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, received treatment by medics without the need for hospitalization. 6500 Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, 255 suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers, and more than 25 suffered burns due to Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades.
Names Of The 89 Palestinians Killed By Israeli Fire Since October 1st – The following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and one in the Negev, in the period between Thursday October 1st and the end of Tuesday November 17th, 2015, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
5 Palestinians shot, injured in Bethlehem clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Two Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets, while three others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes in Bethlehem on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health said. The ministry said two protesters were shot with live bullets in their lower extremities, while one of those shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet was hit in the face. The conditions of the five are unknown. Clashes at the northern entrance of Bethlehem have been a nearly daily occurrence since the start of October, amid increased tensions in the area.
Rights groups have long criticized Israel’s excessive use of force when responding to demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territory. In the West Bank, UN Office for Humanitarian affairs reported that the total number of Palestinian injuries from Oct. 1 to Nov. 9 alone had far surpassed the total number injured during the whole of 2014. Over 7,000 Palestinians have been injured since the start of October, and 83 have been killed.
Evidence casts doubt on IDF version of deadly West Bank shooting
+972 Blog 16 Nov by John Brown* — The IDF Spokesperson and Israeli media outlets said that a young Palestinian man from the village of Budrus was shot while trying to snatch a soldier’s weapon. An eyewitness, photographs and the autopsy tell a different story — that he was shot in the back, from some distance — Soldiers from the Israeli Border Police and the IDF’s Home Front Command shot and killed 22-year-old Yousef Awad in the West Bank village of Budrus last Friday. “During a violent and illegal riot in the village Budrus, in which approximately 80 Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails toward the security fence, a main rioter who resisted arrest was detained and even tried to grab the weapon of one of the soldiers. The troops responded by shooting him and a hit was confirmed. The incident will be investigated.” That’s how the IDF responded to the event. Walla! News reported the IDF’s version as fact, without any real evidence to back up the claim: ”A Palestinian tried to grab a weapon from a soldier and was shot to death.” A number of findings obtained by Local Call, +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, cast doubt on the the army’s version of the events. First and foremost, Awad was shot in the back, and likely from a distance — which seemingly contradicts the army’s claim that he attempted to snatch a soldier’s weapon. One would think that after soldiers from the Home Front Command lied in March 2013 about an incident at Allenby Bridge — in which they claimed the exact same thing happened — and Ynet reported that a “Palestinian tried to grab the soldier’s weapon and was shot to death,” a claim that was later found to be untrue (the soldiers will likely be charged), journalists would be a bit more careful when it comes to these kinds of reports . . . – So what happened in Budrus? – First, the Palestinian testimony (Continued)
Family of Palestinian murder suspect denies he was turned in by his father
Haaretz 16 Nov by Jack Khoury — The family of a Palestinian suspected of killing two Israelis in the West Bank last Friday has denied that he was turned in by his father out of concern that the family home might be demolished. Shadi Ahmed Mataua from Hebron was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of carrying out the shooting in which Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son Netanel were killed. The attack occurred near the settlement of Othniel, south of Hebron in the West Bank. The Shin Bet said after Mataua’s detention that he had been turned in by his father to prevent the subsequent demolition of the family home. Mataua, 28, is married and the father of two. One of Mataua’s uncles told Haaretz that the father, a merchant, was on his way back to Hebron on Friday when he was stopped at a military checkpoint between Halhoul and Hebron. “The soldiers stopped him and asked for his identity card. When they saw the name Mataua he was arrested and taken in for questioning. They went over the names of his children on his identity card, and when they got to the name of Shadi they asked where he was. The father told them he was at home. Then they transferred the father to a military vehicle and a convoy left in the direction of the house. They surrounded it and arrested Shadi, and after a few hours the father was released,” he said. Having heard of the reports in Israel that Mataua’s father had turned in his son, the family decided to respond, the uncle said. “We heard it and I reject it vehemently. The father was detained at the checkpoint and we know nothing about what is happening and whether Shadi was really involved in it or not.
Palestinians in Israel fear Jewish extremists
EI 17 Nov by Robin Jones — Most Palestinian citizens of Israel fear attacks by Jewish extremists, according to a new survey. The poll by the Haifa-based research center Mada al-Carmel indicates a climate of fear faced by the Palestinian minority in present-day Israel. Of its 307 respondents, 72 percent reported a moderate or high fear of violence by Jewish extremists against Palestinian towns in Israel. Palestinian citizens’ concerns about violence by right-wing extremists are not misplaced. A spate of anti-Palestinian attacks have been committed in recent weeks inside Israel . . . Unlike Palestinians allegedly involved in violence, Jewish attackers are not shot by authorities on the spot, but rather apprehended or even granted impunity . . . You feel scared because there is no implementation of the law. If anyone assaulted me, no one would intervene, the state won’t intervene,” said Alhan Nahhas-Daoud, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a research assistant at Mada al-Carmel . . .Further increasing fear, officials such as Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat have made appeals for Israeli Jews to carry firearms in public and act as vigilantes . . . In the survey, 70 percent of Palestinians in Israel also reported avoiding Jewish towns and areas to various degrees in recent weeks for fear of their safety. “As a result of fear, people avoid being in Jewish areas even when it’s important for their work or daily lives,” Saabneh said. Many Palestinians also feel unsafe on Israeli public transit. “My wife used to go to Tel Aviv for work on the train, but lately she has been using the car instead, because of recent events,” Saabneh added. Others avoid speaking in Arabic while taking public transportation. “I get afraid when talking in Arabic to my kids,” Nahhas-Daoud said. “If I take the train to Tel Aviv, I won’t speak at all.” . . . Though all Palestinian citizens are affected, Israel is particularly intent on fostering fear among those who speak out against state policies. Hundreds of Palestinian protesters have been arrested inside present-day Israel in recent weeks, with many finding themselves subject to “preventive arrests” by police before even attending demonstrations . . . Many Palestinian citizens fear for their future as a community within Israel, according to the Mada al-Carmel survey. Nearly half of the poll’s respondents reported feeling a low sense of security, or none at all, about the future of the Palestinian community in Israel. Only 15 percent feel that a future Palestinian presence in Israel is highly secure.
Israel outlaws Islamic Movement’s northern branch
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israel’s security cabinet on Monday outlawed the Islamic Movement’s northern branch in Israel in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said was a bid to end “dangerous incitement.” A statement from Netanyahu’s office said the declaration would allow Israel to imprison anyone who acts on the movement’s behalf and also to seize any property belonging to the organization. Within hours, Israeli forces had detained at least one senior member of the movement and stormed offices of news organizations affiliated to it in the northern Israeli town of Umm Fahm.
The Islamic Movement’s northern branch, led by Sheikh Raed Salah, has been a vocal critic of Israeli activity at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem — the third holiest site in Islam. Israeli forces repeatedly stormed the compound in September, while facilitating daily visits by right-wing Jews over a succession of Jewish holidays. Palestinian fears that Israel was seeking to divide the holy site between Muslims and Jews helped to trigger mass demonstrations across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel at the beginning of October. Following Monday’s announcement, a Palestinian member of Israel’s Knesset, Talab Abu Arar, said that Israel had “declared war on the Arab community in Israel, and Israel had to bear the consequences.” He said that Netanyahu’s decision to ban the northern branch — which he said operates in accordance with law — was a bid to distract from “his failure in all fields.” . . . Just hours after the declaration, Israeli forces detained Yousef Awawda, the northern branch’s head of external relations, and issued a police summons to Kamal al-Khatib, the branch’s deputy head. Israeli forces also stormed the offices of three news organizations affiliated to the Islamic Movement’s northern branch — Q-Press, Sawt al-Haq newspaper, and Filasteenyo 48 — all in the Israeli city of Umm Fahm. Israeli forces reportedly seized computers belonging to the organizations.
Israel previously banned the Murabitun and Murabitat from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and the northern branch’s head, Sheikh Salah, was imprisoned for eight months last year for inciting “all Muslims and Arabs” in 2007 to “start an intifada” over Al-Aqsa.
WATCH: Actors mimic Israeli violations at Aqsa Mosque — in Malaysia
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Nov (Video from Al Jazeera Malaysia)– Al-Quds Foundation in Malaysia on Friday organized a theatrical show simulating what the Palestinians are exposed to at the Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in Occupied Jerusalem. Several actors from Arab countries participated in the simulation, which was staged in cooperation with the association of Palestinian students at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. The show simulated several Israeli violations and aggressive practices committed against the Palestinians on a daily basis inside and outside the Aqsa Mosque compound. The performance of the actors was applauded by thousands of Malaysian citizens who attended the show and many of them expressed their condemnation of the Israeli violations at the Islamic holy site. The following is a video clip of the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqe33ri2zWc
Turkish Ambassador: Preventing entry to Aqsa affects the whole Islamic world
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Nov — The Turkish Consul General in Jerusalem, Ambassador Mustafa Sarnıç, praised the close relationship between his country and Palestine historically and culturally. He drew attention to the big concern given by the Turkish people to the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem. He also stressed that preventing entry to al-Aqsa Mosque will affect the whole Islamic world. Sarnıç pointed out in an exclusive interview with QPress that the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque is very important to the Muslim world, as it is related to the incident of “Isra and Mi’raj ” and is the third [holy mosque after] the Two Holy Mosques (the Holy Kaaba at Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque at Madina), stressing that the sanctity of al-Aqsa is of great importance for the Turkish people, so it must be preserved with all its peculiarities. He said also: “The humanitarian and moral obligation on those who care about al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem is to maintain its distinctiveness.” He stressed that the protection of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa is the responsibility of all Muslims. He emphasized that preventing the entry of Muslims to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque, does not affect only Palestinians, but the entire Muslim world as a whole. Sarnıç stressed the right of all Muslims of various nationalities and the Palestinians to enter al-Aqsa Mosque and to perform their religious rituals in full freedom and comfort without any restrictions . . . The Turkish ambassador pointed to the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs’ interest in the success of a major project, which is to send the Turkish visitors to the city of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, before they go to perform Umrah. He pointed out that it is expected that the number of Turkish visitors to Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque during one year would reach up to 100 thousand, which helps to support and improve the tourism industry and the economic conditions of the Palestinians
3 Palestinians held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israel’s Prison Service is holding at least three Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said Tuesday. The three Palestinians have been held in solitary confinement in Megiddo jail for periods of five months, two months and one month, the lawyer told Ma‘an. The extended periods of solitary confinement are contrary to the United Nation’s recommendations on the practice, which say a prisoner should not be held in solitary confinement for more than 15 days. The PPS lawyer representing the three men said they are being held in solitary confinement on the grounds of being “threats” to Israeli security.A spokesperson with the Israeli Prison Service was unable to be immediately contacted for comment. The men have been identified as: Hassan Khaizaran, 55, who has been held in solitary confinement since June 21 under the charge of collaborating with Hezbollah. Khaizaran is reportedly a dual Palestinian-Swedish citizen. Majed al-Juba, a Palestinian prisoner from Jerusalem, has been held in solitary confinement for two months. Al-Juba, who has already served two years in Israeli prison, is being held in a “very narrow cell” with no access to sunlight and is only released from the cell for an hour each day, his lawyer said. Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Naifa, from Tulkarem, has been held in solidarity confinement since the start of October. Naifa’s PPS lawyer said he was informed by Israeli authorities that Naifa would soon be transferred from Megiddo prison’s solitary confinement to a confinement cell in Ramon prison. Naifa, who is serving 15 life sentences plus 50 years, has been on hunger strike for 10 days in protest of his solitary confinement.
The occupation continues to arrest the child Ali Alqam in a private room at the hospital
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 17 Nov — The occupation authorities continue to detain the 12-year old ‘Ali Ihab ‘Ali Alqam in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital despite the law that prohibits detaining and arresting those under the age of 12 years old. The forces arrested ‘Ali last Tuesday (10/11/2015) after he was shot by the light rail’s guard under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack with his cousin Mouawya; the child was injured with three bullets and was in critical condition. Ihab Alqam, the child’s father, explained that the occupation forces continue to detain his son in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in a private room in the children’s department. He is receiving treatment after being shot with three bullets in the pelvis, stomach and hand. He added that the occupation authorities allowed him and his wife to visit their son last Thursday for 20 minutes after the social affairs office intervened; the visit was in the presence of Special Forces and Israeli police. Ali’s father added that his son underwent surgery to remove the bullet from his intestines last Tuesday and recently underwent another surgery in the pelvis after suffering some fractures. He pointed out that the third bullet hit his right hand and his nails were removed due to being assaulted during the arrest; surveillance cameras’ recordings showed the light rail’s guards assaulting the child after being injured. He added that signs of fear and fatigue were clear on his child who has been detained for one week now and also mentioned that the police interrogated him in the hospital despite the law that prohibits arresting those under the age of 12 under any circumstances.
UN calls for end to Israel’s punitive home demolition policy
NEW YORK (WAFA) 17 Nov – The United Nations’ Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Robert Riper, contended that Israel’s punitive home demolition policy taken against Palestinians suspected of carrying attacks against Israelis violates international law, calling for its cessation. “I am distressed by reports of punitive demolitions carried out by Israeli security forces of five homes in the Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah governorates in the last few days,” said UN Riper. “We recognize Israel’s serious security challenges today, but any law enforcement response must be consistent with international law,” maintaining that, “Punitive demolitions are inherently unjust, punishing innocent people for the acts of others.” “Punitive demolitions are a form of collective penalty as they effectively punish not only the alleged perpetrators but also people (relatives, neighbors) for acts they have not individually committed,” stressed the statement. The statement explained that, “In operations to “deter others”, the family homes of five alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in 2015 have been demolished by Israeli security forces since 14 November.” At least nine additional adjacent apartments have been damaged and rendered unsafe, added the statement.
Proportionate Israeli revenge / Amira Hass
Haaretz 18 Nov –. . . The High Court of Justice ruling that authorized demolishing the houses of people suspected in the recent murders of Jews isn’t called revenge, but deterrence. Well, that is intriguing. After 50 years of Israeli rule that was forced on the Palestinians, and which has included every possible type of “deterrent” action, how is it that those dimwits still haven’t learned that they’re supposed to be deterred? So let’s dispense with the wrapping paper and call things by their proper name. Most of the fathers of revenge aren’t known by name: for example, the numerous soldiers serving in the Binyamin Brigade, the Duvdevan undercover unit, the Shaked Battalion and the engineering corps who invaded the Qalandiyah refugee camp sometime after midnight on Monday. Their assignment was to demolish an apartment in the Al-Jabal neighborhood, the home of Mohammed Abu Shahin, who is accused of murdering Danny Gonen at a spring in the West Bank village of Deir Ibzi’a. Accused, mind you; his guilt hasn’t yet been proven. And we, poor fools, learned back in elementary school that he is innocent until proven guilty. What’s surprising here is that when the suspect is a Palestinian, the High Court justices don’t even tried to conceal the gross violation of this basic legal presumption. . . Fifty years of rule, and the state and the honored justice and the engineer truly don’t know that it’s impossible to blow up a flat in a refugee camp without causing collateral damage? And now for the collateral damage: At least nine other apartments were damaged in the explosion. Here the damage totaled tens of thousands of shekels, there it was merely thousands. Cracked supporting walls are in danger of collapsing. These people worked in Israel, built for Israelis, removed Israelis’ trash and saved for years to build a multistory home in which the overcrowding could be forgotten — one with an air conditioner and pictures of Disney characters in the children’s rooms. The lynchers can rub their hands with glee: It’s not just the family of the accused that is paying for the murder, but also 50 or 60 of its neighbors. Revenge in the guise of deterrence may work in the short term. For a month. For half a year. But in the long term, it creates new generations of Palestinians who will conclude they have no future with Israel and the Israelis.
When Israel demolishes a Palestinian home, does it deter terror or encourage it? / Shira Rubin
The Forward 17 Nov — Muawiyah Abu Jamal, a slight 42-year-old construction worker, recalls vividly the night that Israeli security forces came to his East Jerusalem neighborhood to demolish the nearby home of his younger brother, Ghassan Abu Jamal. The October 6 demolition came, he recalled, almost one year after his brother and his cousin, Odai Abu Jamal, attacked a synagogue in Har Nof, using axes, knives and a pistol to murder four worshipers and a Druze policeman. As the soldiers evacuated the family from their apartment, they evicted others living elsewhere in the same building. According to Muawiyah Abu Jamal, they cursed the mothers and grandmothers, and beat another cousin, Alaa Abu Jamal, on his arms, shoulders and chest, though he wouldn’t allow the soldiers to leave marks on his face. Israel’s declared intention in implementing the demolition was to deter future potential terrorists. From the government’s perspective, anyone contemplating violence against Israelis should know that his or her own family members would suffer, too. But if that was the purpose, it seems to have backfired in this case. A week later, Alaa Abu Jamal drove his company car into a crowded bus station in Jerusalem and used a meat cleaver to hack to death an Israeli man and leave another man seriously injured. He was shot dead at the scene, though Israel is still holding his body, despite the fact that the defense minister said such a move would not deter further terror. “Alaa knew what the consequences for the family were for an operation,” Muawiyah Abu Jamal said. “But when he was humiliated in front of his three sons, it obviously hurt his sense of pride.” . . . In 2005, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz froze the policy based on a military commission recommendation that found the demolitions were more likely to promote hatred of Israel than to achieve deterrence.
Israeli army fire injures one Palestinian in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov — Israeli soldiers shot and moderately injured, on Tuesday evening, a young Palestinian man, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. Medical sources said clashes took place near the border fence, in central Gaza, between many Palestinians who hurled stones and empty bottles at military vehicles and watch towers across the border fence, and Israeli soldiers who fired live rounds, gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets. One Palestinian was shot with a live round in his leg, and was moved to the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, suffering a moderate injury.
In addition, Israeli navy ships fired two shells into an area west of Gaza City, causing damage but no injuries. The navy also fired several live rounds on Palestinian fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea, northwest of Gaza City, forcing the fishers back to shore.
In related news, Israeli soldiers stationed across the border fence east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, fired several live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands east of the city. The Israeli army said it struck two targets in Gaza, allegedly “after rockets were fired from Gaza, and landed near the border fence,” and that the “shells did not cause the rocket sirens to sound.” The army added that the targeted sites are run by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. Earlier on Tuesday, Israel claimed that the al-Qassam fired shells into two kibbutzim close to the border, and later denied its own report.
Israeli forces hit Hamas infrastructure in Gaza Strip
GAZA STRIP (Ma‘an) 18 Nov — Israeli forces early Wednesday launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip damaging infrastructure belonging to Hamas’ military wing, locals said. Local sources told Ma‘an that the strikes targeted two locations in western Gaza City used for training by Hamas’ military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, causing material damages to nearby homes. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces hit an area known as “Brigade 13” used by the militant group, locals said, adding that no injuries were reported. The strikes came after the Israeli army said a rocket fired from the besieged strip exploded near the border fence. The Israeli air force “targeted two Hamas sites in the Northern and Central Gaza Strip,” the army confirmed, adding that Israel holds Hamas responsible for “any act of terror” from the strip. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket launched from the strip Tuesday, and no injuries or damages were reported.
Rainwater floods homes, streets in war-torn Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 17 Nov – As winter approaches, with the postwar reconstruction of Gaza continuing at a slow pace, Palestinian homes and residential neighborhoods across Gaza were flooded on Tuesday by heavy torrents of rainwater, according to local sources. Witnesses said that as heavy rains continued to fall incessantly during the past few hours across the battered coastal enclave, many roads, neighborhoods and homes were flooded with rainwater. Several family homes and shops in downtown Gaza were also submerged under the heavy downpours. No casualties have been reported until the moment.
Classes suspended in Gaza City due to heavy rain
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Schools were closed across Gaza City on Tuesday due to heavy rains and flooding, the Ministry of Education in Gaza said in a statement. The ministry said that heavy rains began at midnight in Gaza City, and all classes had been canceled across the city. It was left to the discretion of district directors across the beleaguered coastal enclave whether schools were closed elsewhere.
Earlier this month, Gaza’s Civil Defense evacuated 90 Palestinians from their homes when rain brought flooding to parts of the southern Gaza Strip. Several weeks before that, another 20 other families were evacuated due to flooding . . . The floods are exacerbated by a chronic lack of fuel that limits how much water can be pumped out of flood-stricken areas. These fuel shortages are the result of an eight-year Israeli blockade, which also limits the import of other kinds of machinery related to pumping and sewage management that Gazans require to combat the floods.
Palestinian official says Gaza border deal is reached with Egypt to bypass Hamas
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 16 Nov — A senior Palestinian official on Monday said the Palestinian Authority has reached an agreement with Egypt to reopen the Gaza Strip’s main border crossing in an arrangement meant to bypass the territory’s Hamas rulers. Azzam al-Ahmad, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the deal was reached recently in Cairo. He said it aims to open the Rafah crossing “to the maximum possible” to allow the movement of students, laborers, medical patients and even commercial goods. Such a deal could bring great relief to Gaza, whose borders are largely sealed by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. It could also mark a setback for Hamas, which seized control of Gaza from Abbas in 2007. However, a top Hamas official gave the plan a cool reception, raising questions about its viability. Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was a close ally of Hamas. Due to the closure, thousands of Gazans are waiting to travel abroad. Azzam said the deal would be implemented in stages beginning in the near future, but he gave no further details. . .
With his announcement, Azzam appeared to be trying to put pressure on Hamas to accept the deal. If Hamas doesn’t agree, he said, “Hamas will have to answer to the Gazan people.” Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, said the group has not been officially informed of the deal, but indicated it would oppose it. “Any arrangement in Rafah cannot be done without proper coordination,” he said. Egyptian officials could not immediately be reached for comment. But in a statement issued after a Nov. 8 meeting between Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Cairo confirmed the issue had been discussed. El-Sissi “made it clear that the return of the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip and its assumption of supervision over the crossings, in line with international resolutions, will have a positive impact,” it said at the time.
Qatar launches initiative to ease power crisis in Gaza
All-Monitor 16 Nov by Adnan Abu Amer — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been suffering from electricity outages since June 28, 2006, when Israel shelled the only electrical power plant in Gaza, in retaliation of the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas. Since then, Gazans have not had a power supply that exceeds eight hours in a row on any given day. In early September, the electricity crisis came to a head, and Gazans demonstrated demanding that electricity services be improved. Hamas and the unity government subsequently started blaming one another for the power shortages in Gaza, as the unity government accuses Hamas of not forwarding the money it collects from the electricity bills payed by Gazans. In turn, Hamas accuses the unity government of imposing high taxes on fuel dedicated to the power plant. During a press conference in Gaza on Sept. 10, Mohammed al-Emadi, Qatari ambassador to Gaza and chairman of the National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, said that the committee discussed with Israel the supply of natural gas to Gaza; Israelis expressed their initial consent to this proposal. He added that the Quartet has appointed a special consultant for the project of building a gas pipeline to the Gaza power plant . . . Many questions can be raised on the reason why Israel gave its consent to the Qatari proposal, which will alleviate the Palestinians’ burden, at a time when it is the one that has imposed a tight siege by land, sea and air on the Gaza Strip since Hamas won the legislative elections in 2006 (Continued)
450 liters of chemicals used in rocket production uncovered on way to Gaza
JPost 16 Nov — A Palestinian truck was discovered smuggling hundreds of liters of the banned substance TDI, with the intention of transporting the goods to the Gaza Strip, the Defense Ministry revealed on Monday. The truck, which was crossing from Judea into Green Line Israel through the Tarkumiya crossing, was registered as carrying a delivery of “soybean oil.” The vehicle aroused the suspicion of inspectors from the Defense Ministry’s Crossings Authority, and a preliminary chemical test on the oil containers discovered an unidentified substance. The material was confiscated and sent to a lab for detailed testing, where it became clear that the liquid inside the containers was the dual-use material TDI, prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip . . . The 450 liters of TDI would have been sufficient for the production of a “large quantity” of rocket fuel for various projectiles, according to the Defense Ministry. [2,4-Toluene diisocyanate is apparently primarily used as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyurenthane products such as foams, coatings, and elastomers.]
Gaza’s unemployed youth look online for work
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 17 Nov by Hana Salah — Online freelancing platforms are a major source of income for young professionals in the Gaza Strip who are freelancing in different fields via websites that connect them with potential clients from around the world. These websites present an alternative to the local labor market, where the unemployment rate is skyrocketing. In light of the continuation of the Israeli blockade on Gaza for the ninth year in a row, these platforms may have turned into a permanent solution to unemployment . . . Young Gazans are trying to create temporary employment opportunities to escape the clutches of poverty by all means available. Every day there is a new way and a job opportunity created by these young professionals. After failing to find employment opportunities in the local market, Hamdan Abu Taima, 30, has been developing and designing professional websites and electronic systems for companies since 2008, via numerous international freelance platforms, such as Upwork (formerly oDesk), Freelancer and Elance, and regional freelance platforms, such as Mostaql and Nabbesh, to the point that these freelance jobs became his primary and only source of income. (Continued)
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel forces demolish housing structures in Hebron village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Israeli forces on Monday demolished a number of Palestinian structures in the village of Sa‘ir in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, the structures’ owner told Ma‘an. Muhammad Abed al-Fattah al-Shaladah said that Israeli forces demolished three corrugated metal housing structures, home to 15 people, and a sheep barn belonging to him and his son in the Khirbet Jurat al-Kheil and al-Qanub areas of eastern Sair. He said that a day earlier, on Sunday, Israeli authorities informed them that the structures would be demolished. He said two bulldozers then arrived on Monday and carried out the demolitions. Al-Shaladah added that Israeli authorities had torn down a number of structures in the area, but that locals would “always resist.” Al-Shaladah said the demolitions were part of Israel’s bid to force locals from their land. Last year, Israel issued demolition notices for houses, tents, and wells in the village, in plans that would have made up to 50 Palestinians homeless, locals said at the time.
Palestinians banned from land as Route 60 expands
[with map] BURIN, Occupied Palestine 17 Nov by ISM, Huwwara Team — On Monday morning, Mahmoud Yasser Eid, a 22 year-old Palestinian from the village of Burin, was stopped by the Israeli forces as he went to pick olives with his mother, near the Huwwara checkpoint. The land that the family has been harvesting for three years along with another family is located between route 60 from Ramallah to Nablus, and the road leading to the Bracha illegal settlement. The family did not get a permit to harvest this year : “they don’t want us to work near this road because of the situation. They say it’s for safety”, said Mohammed, Mahmoud’s older brother. The family tried to access their land anyway, as olives are an important income to the family of nine children. “People here need the olives”, added Mohammed. The Israeli forces came at around 8 am, as the mother and son were having breakfast in the field. They controlled and searched Mahmoud and made them both sit there for a few hours while they searched all their belongings. Mahmoud’s mother, Raeda, cried until the soldiers accepted not to arrest her son. They warned him that they would come to arrest him at his house if he tried to access the field again. “We didn’t sleep that night!” said Mahmoud. During the last three years, the Yasser family was allowed to harvest on this field, but this year they were not granted permission to do so. A neighbour who was picking olives in his field nearby saw the scene and said “they [the Israeli army] don’t want anyone to go to this land anymore”. The family thinks that they won’t be allowed to harvest the olives on their land in the next few years, as it is strategically located a few meters away from the main road, route 60, between Ramallah and Nablus, and near the Huwwara checkpoint . . . The “bypass-roads system” was thought to enable “access to settlements and travel between settlements without having to pass through Palestinian villages”, according to B’tselem research from 2004. It has become a way to reinforce apartheid within the West Bank. According to the study from the Israeli organization, many of these roads had as a goal to refrain [restrain?] Palestinian villages from expanding. And it had indeed refrained them. . . .
State seeks another delay in demolition of West Bank synagogue
Times of Israel 17 Nov by Tamar Pileggi — Fearing violent backlash, prosecutors submit request to the High Court for extension on its ruling to raze the shul — The state prosecutor on Monday asked the High Court of Justice to again delay the razing of a synagogue in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev that it previously determined was illegally built on private Palestinian land and ordered demolished. The request said a three-week extension was warranted due to the potential for violent backlash by far-right activists who oppose the demolition of the Ayelet Hashahar synagogue, the Ynet news site reported. “The prime minister and defense minister have received intelligence from security sources which point to significant concerns following the evacuation of the synagogue without an agreement,” the request said, according to Ynet news site. The report also said the Palestinian owner of the land in question requested a response to the court petition by Tuesday. The court’s July ruling was met with waves of opposition. Protesters barricaded themselves in the house of worship, threatening to harm themselves and security forces, and saying they were prepared to fight troops and even use weapons to stop the demolition . . . In a new effort aimed at relieving some of the contention surrounding the structure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with religious cabinet ministers, agreed on Sunday to build a replacement house of worship nearby. However, some protesters — including the synagogue’s rabbi — have vowed to continue fighting against the demolition order.
Israeli PM approves over 450 new settler homes in East Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of 454 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, lifting a freeze on their construction in place since 2013, Israeli officials were reported as saying Tuesday. Unnamed officials told Reuters and Associated Press that Netanyahu had approved 436 housing units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo in northern East Jerusalem, and another 18 homes in nearby Ramot. The homes in Ramat Shlomo were among 1,500 homes first announced in 2010 during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to Israel. The announcement caused a diplomatic rift between the US and Israel, and Netanyahu later froze the housing project in a bid to improve relations.
Hagit Ofran, a settlement expert with Israeli rights group Peace Now, told Ma‘an that she had not received independent information on the reports but said she believed they were true. She said that it was likely building contractors would begin bidding for contracts on the projects “in coming days.” Ofran said there was no longer a “high political price” for the settlement plans and Netanyahu was likely to come under minimal domestic and international pressure over them. “I think he’s testing the water,” she said, adding that he appeared to be taking advantage of timing, at a point when the international community was concerned with last week’s deadly attacks in Paris. She expressed concerns that a limited reaction to these settlement plans could be “the opening of floodgates.”
Settlers set up tent near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 17 Nov – Israeli settlers from Otniel settlement, illegally built on Palestinian land south of Hebron, Tuesday set up a tent at the site where two Jewish settlers were killed on November 13, local sources reported. Witnesses told WAFA that a group of settlers from Otniel set up a tent where a settler father and his teenage son, both from Otniel, were shot dead last Friday at the western entrance of the town of Samou‘. Locals expressed concern that this step might come as a prelude to establish a Jewish outpost at the site.
Israeli plan to build new outpost for settlers in Old City of J’lem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Nov — The Hebrew radio has revealed an Israeli official plan to build a new outpost for Jewish settlers in Bab al-Sahera (Herod’s Gate) in the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli government on Sunday published on one of its websites a tender for the building of 21 housing units for settlers as well as a synagogue and a Jewish school in the Old City, according to the Israeli army’s radio station. The radio station quoted an Israeli official from the ministry of construction and housing as saying that the plan was deleted from the website after it was posted by mistake due to its sensitivity and the serious political repercussions that might result from it. For its part, the Israeli settlement monitor group in Jerusalem Ir Amim denied the plan was announced by mistake and affirmed that it reflected the real intents of premier Benjamin Netanyahu in the holy city.
Palestinian refugees – Syria, Lebanon
The destruction of the Palestinian presence in Syria
MEMO 16 Nov by Sameer Al-Zain — . . . The Palestinians in Syria suffered from the same things that Syrian citizens suffered from, whether with regards to living conditions, economic status or the regime’s iron grip on social life. The Palestinian refugee camps across the country were affected by the same things as the rest of the Syrian population; they were viewed and treated as one by the Syrian security agencies. The Palestinians were not seen as an outside entity but part of the society and so the authoritarian regime controlled both groups equally. In contrast, Palestinians and their camps in the south of Lebanon are considered to be a threat to Lebanese security. There was no particular threat to Palestinian life in Syria despite the many political and ideological differences between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Assad regime. The only thing that would lead Palestinians to leave Syria would be the chance to return to Palestine itself. Now, though, it looks as if this once unshakeable constant is falling apart. It is impossible for a refugee’s status to remain secure when the host country itself is disintegrating; the Palestinian presence in Syria cannot stay the same under the country’s current conditions . . . With the collapse of the Palestinian community in Yarmouk, the fragility of the refugee experience has been exposed. The refugees have rarely enjoyed the fruits of their labour and they took little with them when they left the camp under siege. Their life has changed forever, for the second and even third time. Something has broken inside of them, and it is doubtful if they will ever be the same again.
Palestinian refugee burns himself in Beirut
BEIRUT (PIC) 16 Nov — A Palestinian refugee in Lebanon burned himself and his car in Beirut Monday morning in protest against being stopped by Lebanese police who fined him despite his too bad economic condition. Local sources revealed that the Palestinian refugee was identified as Amin Salah Sukkar. He was transferred to hospital in Beirut sustaining injuries in his chest, back, neck and hands. The wife of refugee Sukkar told Quds Press that Lebanese police stopped her husband and asked for licence and registration and told him as a refugee he is not allowed to drive a taxi [or engage in many other occupations] The policemen asked him to get out of the taxi and issued him a penalty of $3000 which made him immediately set fire to himself and to the car, she elaborated. Lebanese rules forbid Palestinian refugees from driving taxis and impose very heavy fines on those who violate the rules.
PLO denounces Netanyahu for ‘exploiting’ Paris attacks
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Monday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “cynically exploiting” last week’s deadly attacks in Paris by comparing them to Palestinian acts of violence. “Netanyahu is cynically exploiting the pain of the innocent victims of Daesh (Islamic State) terrorism in Paris in order to create a misleading linkage and to justify Israeli state terror against the Palestinian people, while presenting Israel as the victim,” Ashrawi said in a statement. “In fact, Israel is an occupying power,” she said, noting that Israel’s occupation “has habitually terrorized Palestinian civilians, stolen their land and resources, and demolished their homes.” At Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu likened Palestinian attacks on Israelis to the deadly attacks in Paris that claimed the lives of 129 civilians. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility. “In Israel, as in France, terrorism is terrorism and standing behind it is radical Islam and its desire to destroy its victims,” Netanyahu said. Ashrawi slammed the Israeli prime minister for “disingenuously claim(ing) self-defense while labeling any form of Palestinian reaction as ‘terrorism.’ . . . Nowhere else is a ruthless occupier presenting itself as the victim and justifying its atrocities as self-defense.”
US ambassador: settlement product labels not boycott
AIC 17 Nov — American Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro has said that the labeling of Israeli settlement products is not a boycott. Ambassador Shapiro was speaking Monday at the Israel Journalists Association conference in the southern city of Eilat. In remarks not part of his official speech, Shapiro was reported by the settler-affiliated new site Arutz 7 to have said that “Our position concerning settlements is clear and has not changed – we oppose them. Yet on the other hand, we oppose boycotts of any kind against Israel. We do not see the labeling of products as boycott – it is information provided to consumers and they can decide alone.” Shapiro added that “as long as the settlements continue it will not be surprising if there are reactions such as labeling products”. Shapiro’s remarks come on the same morning as those of Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who told the Israel Council on Foreign Relations that Hungary will not label products originating from Israeli settlements, characterising the EU decision in this matter as “irrational”. Echoing Israeli hasbara, the Hungarian foreign minister claimed such labels would be detrimental to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Swedish FM likens Israel to ISIS, accused of being ‘hostile’
IMEMC/Agencies 18 Nov –– Following the Paris attacks on Friday, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom made a connection between Islamic State extremism and the Israeli occupation, causing a feud between the two governments, [so] that the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned its Swedish envoy on Monday. In an interview with a Swedish TV channel, following the Paris attack, Wallstron said she is concerned that Swedish youth will be radicalized to fight for the so called Islamic State group (Daesh or ISIS), and that the situation reminds her of Palestinians who resort to violence because they see no future for themselves. “Of course we have cause for concern, not just in Sweden but throughout the world, because there are so many being radicalized, and again, it reminds us of the situation in the Middle East, where the Palestinians see that there is no future for them and have to either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.” . . . The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded to Wallstrom’s comments by saying that her statements were “hostile” and “appallingly imprudent,” then summoned their Swedish envoy.
Palestinian killed in Syria while fighting with Islamic State
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Nov — Officials announced Tuesday that a Palestinian from Gaza had been killed in Syria while fighting with the Islamic State group. The Palestinian sources identified the man as Ismail Hirzallah from the al-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, without providing further details about how, or where, he was killed. In July, Israel arrested six Palestinian Bedouins from the Negev, including four teachers, for allegedly supporting the Islamic State group. The six men, all members of the same family, were relatives of two people who reportedly traveled to Syria to fight alongside IS militants, Israeli media said. Around 30 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have made their way to Syria to fight for militant groups against President Bashar Assad’s regime in the country’s more than four-year civil war, according to the Israeli authorities. IS purportedly executed a Palestinian in March who had gone to join the group, accusing him of being an Israeli spy.
No truth to Gaza ship warrants of arrest – South African police
TMG Digital 17 Nov — South African authorities have not issued warrants of arrest against officers in the Israeli military in connection with the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” of ships attempting to break a blockade in the Gaza strip region in 2010. This is contrary to claims earlier on Tuesday by the Media Review Network (MRN) and BDS South Africa. National police spokesman‚ Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi‚ denied the MRN claims. “There is no truth to this. No arrest warrants have been issued for any of the people mentioned‚” he said. “We have checked with our Interpol and our Crimes Against The State officials and they deny any such thing.”
VIDEO: Israel studies director assaults Texas students
EI 16 Nov by Ali Abunimah — Students at the University of Texas at Austin are calling for a professor to be investigated after he assaulted a group of students staging a Palestine solidarity protest. The incident occurred just before a lecture on Friday promoting the Israeli military as an “offensive, daring, highly effective and initiative-driven army.” The video above shows the students, members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, attempting to make a protest statement. One man assaults them, while another, Professor Ami Pedahzur, director of the Institute for Israel Studies, aggressively confronts them, at one point pushing his face up to one of the students, before being restrained. Since the incident, Pedahzur has tried to link the students to Friday’s attacks in Paris that killed more than 120 people.