US officials: Israel wants up to $5 billion in annual military aid
Reuters 4 Nov — Israel has made an initial request for its annual U.S. defense aid to increase to as much as $5 billion when its current aid package, worth an average $3 billion a year, expires in 2017, US congressional sources said on Wednesday. Israel wants $5 billion per year in military aid for 10 years, for a total of $50 billion, the congressional aides said. It has been signaling that it wants more money to counter threats it says will arise as a result of the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel’s government has staunchly opposed.
Violence / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Palestinian killed by Israeli army fire in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Nov — Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Wednesday, a young Palestinian man, near Halhoul town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, allegedly after he rammed two soldiers with his car, seriously wounding one. The army claims the Palestinian driver, Ibrahim Samir Ibrahim Skafi, 23 years of age, deliberately targeted the soldiers, before they soldiers shot him dead. Eyewitnesses said the soldiers shot Skafi, from Hebron city, with at least four live rounds, although he was already injured behind the driver’s seat. Several Israeli ambulances rushed to the scene to provide medical aid to the wounded soldiers, while the army prevented a Red Crescent Palestinian ambulance from approaching the scene. Following the incident, soldiers closed the area, and sealed the Gush Etzion junction to all Palestinian traffic. Clashes later took place between the soldiers and scores of local youths.
Israeli army injures Palestinians after settlers attack Nablus village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — At least 14 Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes that erupted in Qasra village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus after settlers descended on the area in an attempt to attack residents, a local monitor said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern occupied West Bank, said clashes broke out after Israeli forces responded to a dispute between Israel settlers and local Palestinians from the village. The settlers had tried to attack the eastern area of the village, but were stopped by locals who forced them to retreat before Israeli forces arrived at the scene, Daghlas said. Two of the 14 Palestinians shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets during the subsequent clashes had to be evacuated to Rafidia hospital, while over 20 others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli forces assault elderly Palestinian at Hebron checkpoint
HEBRON (WAFA) 4 Nov – Israeli forces Wednesday assaulted a 77-year-old Palestinian at an Israeli military checkpoint set up at entrance of Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said a local activist. WAFA reported Muhammad ‘Awad, local anti-settlement activist, as saying that Israeli forces assaulted the elderly man, spraying pepper spray directly into his face following his grandson’s brief detention at the checkpoint. ‘Awad explained that after Bahr inquired about the reason behind detaining his grandson, Ahmad, 17, soldiers scuffled with him and sprayed pepper spray directly into his face. Forces also fired tear gas canisters at locals and vandalized Palestinian registered vehicles using the butts of their rifles.
Elderly Israeli injured in Netanya attack, Palestinian shot and injured
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Nov — Israeli police, on Monday, shot and wounded a Palestinian man after he allegedly stabbed and seriously injured a 70-year-old Israeli man in the northern Israeli city of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, Israeli sources said. A spokesperson for Israel’s emergency services, Magen David Adom (MDA), said that the Israeli was in a serious condition and had been taken to Laniado hospital, in Netanya. He said that MDA had also treated the injured Palestinian but had no immediate information on his condition. The Palestinian has been identified as Ziyad Ridha, 22, from Balaa village, east of Tulkarem, in the northern occupied West Bank, the head of the village local council told Ma‘an News Agency.
Jerusalem resident injured by police
AIC 1 Nov — Mazen Abu Humus, resident of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of ‘Issawiya, was injured Sunday afternoon by a rubber-coated steel bullet shot by an Israeli border police officer. The bullet, aimed directly at his home, shattered a window. Abu Humus was injured by the shattered glass and taken to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem for treatment. At approximately 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening Israeli police and border police shot copious amounts of tear gas throughout Issawiya, even though no clashes were taking place at the time. When questioned about this action by local resident Mohammad Abu Humus, police officers responded that “we are bored and have nothing else to do.”
Clashes in Nablus following entry of settlers for tomb repairs
NABLUS (PIC) 3 Nov — Violent clashes broke out at dawn Tuesday between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers after the latter escorted scores of Jewish settlers to Joseph’s tomb on the eastern side of Nablus city at the pretext of making repairs. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that large cargo vehicles carrying construction materials and passenger buses escorted by military troops arrived at the mausoleum of Joseph at an early hour in the morning. They reported seeing dozens of workmen embarking on repairing the fire damage at the mausoleum, which was attacked recently by angry local young men reacting to Israel’s escalation of its violations against the Aqsa Mosque. They added that a large number of Jewish rabbis and settlers were present at the site. The unwelcome presence of Israeli troops and settlers in the city raised the ire of local young men and provoked clashes with them in different areas, particularly in Balata refugee camp and Amman street.
Israeli soldiers set house on fire, injure several Palestinian families
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 3 Nov – Israeli army forces Tuesday fired tear gas canisters inside Palestinians’ homes in al-Miftah area in ‘Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, setting one house on fire and injuring members of another family. Deputy Director of ambulance and emergency crews in the Palestinian Red Crescent Mohammad Abu Rayan told WAFA a part of the Abu Shaira family’s house caught fire and was partially burned after Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters inside. He explained that around 30 Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation after Israeli soldiers intentionally fired three gas canisters inside three apartments belonging to the Abu Akr family.
The ‘non-lethal’ chemical weapon killing Palestinians
Mondoweiss 3 Nov by Sheren Khalel — On Thursday evening Israeli forces stormed ‘Aida refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem. Jeeps descended on the camp from all entrances shooting off tear gas rounds indiscriminately, Akkram Huessni, a young man from the camp told Mondoweiss. Families rushed to close their windows, shoving cloth in any crevice that could allow the noxious gas to seep in, a well practiced drill in homes across the occupied West Bank. While ‘Aida is known for being politically charged, generally Israeli forces focus on protesters, but on Thursday the forces seemed to be ignoring the protesters and going for the general community instead, firing copious amounts of tear gas, Huessni said . . . Tear gas is a supposedly non-lethal chemical weapon, heavily used by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and other areas of the Palestinian Territory. The gas belongs to a group of chemical agents referred to as “lachrymatory agents,” from the Latin word “lacrima,” meaning tear. The name however, is misleading for two reasons. First, tear gas is not a gas at all, but rather a solid chemical made into an aerosol that hangs in the air when released. The gas settles on surfaces, including clothes, and can be reactivated if a surface the tear gas has settled on comes into contact with skin days later. Secondly, tear gas affects much more than just the eyes, as skin and breathing passages are equally sensitive to the chemical . . .If overexposed, particularly for children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems such as asthma, the “non-lethal” gas can be deadly. Tear gas is forbidden to be used during warfare under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was was adopted by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in 1992. According to the United Nations, 98 percent of the global population has signed the agreement, including Israel. It is unknown if the chemicals in modern-day tear gas cause long-term effects, as there have been very few studies done on the matter. Regardless of its supposed illegality and unknown side effects, one would be hard pressed to find a household in the occupied Palestinian Territory that does not know how to combat symptoms of the gas due to its frequent and heavy use by Israeli forces on Palestinians . . . According to Ma‘an News Agency, the Red Crescent reported that 5,399 Palestinians were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation during the month of October — an average of 174 people a day. In addition to injuries caused by the gas, the tear gas canisters themselves sometimes hit protesters, injuring them from the force of the metal tube cutting through the air, as well as from the heat of the metal. The canisters alone can break the skin, shatter windows and catch trees and fields on fire — all things that have long-been a daily reality for Palestinians.
Israeli forces wound dozens of Palestinian students
MEMO 3 Nov — Dozens of Palestinians were injured during clashes yesterday evening around Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Association, 21 Palestinian youths were wounded by rubber coated bullets and around 40 others suffered breathing problems as a result of inhaling tear gas. Before the clashes, Palestinians burnt tyres, broke through the illegal Israeli Separation Wall in the town and threw stones at an Israeli military jeep in the area. Earlier, university students organised a festival commemorating 40 days since Israel killed Diyaa Talahmeh, 21, in the town of Kharsa near Hebron
GMO: 89 Israeli violations against journalists
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Nov — The Palestinian ministry of Information-Government Media Office (GMO) released, on Monday, a report documenting Israeli violations committed against Palestinian journalists and taking place in the last month (since the beginning of “Jerusalem Intifada”, from 1st, Oct. to 31, Oct, 2015). According to Al Ray, the report cited 89 violations against Palestinian journalists including shootings with live and rubber bullets, physical assault, arresting or being banned from covering news. All these violations are represented in the attached info-graphic. For more details, use this link.
Israeli forces assault Palestinian cameraman, seize filming gear near Jenin checkpoint
JENIN (WAFA) 4 Nov – Israeli forces Wednesday afternoon physically assaulted a Palestinian cameraman and confiscated his filming equipment near al-Jalama military checkpoint, north of Jenin. WAFA reported on Muhammad Badarneh, who works as a reporter with Palestine TV station, as saying that while he and his colleague, Sakhr Zawatiya, who works as a cameraman, were about one kilometer far from al-Jalama checkpoint getting ready to film a report, Israeli forces assaulted them. Badarneh and his colleague were working on a report documenting current situation of agriculture in the northern West Bank district of Jenin and conditions of Palestinian workers following the closure of the checkpoint. Israeli soldiers reportedly assaulted Zawatiya using the butts of their riffles, shouted obscenities at him, and detained the crew for over half an hour. They also seized two videotapes and the camera stand before threatening the crew to beat them up if they approach the checkpoint.
Israeli forces storm, shut down Hebron radio station
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 3 Nov — Israeli forces on Tuesday morning stormed the offices of a Palestinian radio station in Hebron, where they destroyed equipment and ordered the station’s closure, in the latest violation of press freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory. Manbar al-Hurriyya (Freedom Tribune) radio station, which is reportedly affiliated with Fatah, wrote on its website that Israeli forces had destroyed equipment inside the offices and confiscated other equipment. The soldiers then issued a military order notifying employees that the station was to be closed and its broadcast banned. The Israeli army said in a statement that the station was shut down “as part of the ongoing battle against incitement.” It continued: “Forces confiscated broadcasting equipment in order to prevent the incitement which has caused a flare of violence in the region over recent weeks.” It accused the radio station of encouraging “stabbing attacks” and “violent riots,” and reporting “false and malicious claims of security forces executing and kidnapping Palestinians in order to provoke violence.” The statement said that Israeli forces had shut down the station twice before, in 2002 and again in 2008. The incident comes a day after a Palestinian press freedoms watchdog condemned more than 450 violations of media freedoms since the beginning of the year.
Silwan: Targeting schools in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 4 Nov — Clashes broke out on Wednesday morning in the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud in Silwan after the occupation forces closed “Al-Mahdadeh” checkpoint for vehicles and busses and proceeded with provocative searching operations against the locals. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation forces closed Al-Mahdadeh checkpoint established near the entrance of Ras Al-Amoud and leading to the schools’ neighborhood under the pretext of throwing stones towards the soldiers stationed at the checkpoint which led to heavy traffic jams. The closure coincided with hundreds of students going to their schools as well as employees and workers heading to work outside the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud in addition to many people entering the neighborhood; this street is considered a main street connecting the neighborhood of Wad Qaddoum, village of Jabal Al-Mukabber and Al-Sal’a neighborhood. Witnesses explained to the center that several students were injured with rubber bullets in their legs during the clashes that broke out after the closure of the checkpoint; Israeli forces randomly fired sound grenades and rubber bullets in the area. The secretary of students’ parents’ district committee, Isam Abbasi, explained that the forces targeted Al-Shamilah Schools (Boys and Girls) in the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud with tear gas canisters and targeted Ras Al-Amoud Elementary and Secondary schools in the last two days with grenades. Abbasi denounced the Israeli targeting of Ras Al-Amoud schools and endangering the students’ lives under the pretext of “security and throwing stones” not to mention searching and harassing students in the morning and afternoon hours (while head to school and after leaving), and closing checkpoints in Ras Al-Amoud for no reason which negatively affects the flow of educational process on one hand and the academic achievement on the other hand.
The occupation raids a medical center in Esawyeh
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 4 Nov — In a new violation against medical institutions, the occupation forces raided “Baladna” medical center in the village of Esawyeh. Mohammad Abu Hummos, member of follow-up committee in the village of Esawyeh, explained that Special Forces personnel raided Baladna medical center looking for files of people injured during clashes in the village; they checked the patients’ files. Abu Hummos added that the director of the medical center, Mahmoud Shami, confirmed to the occupation forces that the medical staff provides medical services to injured people without taking their personal information. They handed him a call for interrogation; he pointed out that the forces had an order from the Israeli court to raid the center. Abu Hummos denounced the Israeli violation against medical institutions in Jerusalem and considered it a dangerous escalation and a new violation against patients and doctors. He said: “Israeli is targeting anything that is Palestinian inside Jerusalem and does not exclude medical of educational institutions. Today they raided a medical center and messed with the patients’ files and violated their privacy. They also violated the right of doctors creating a state of fear among the patients inside the center . . . He also pointed out that the forces arrested Amir Khaldoun Mustafa after they exited the medical center and randomly fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets in the area.
Israeli forces turn family home into military barrack near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home in al-Maniya village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and turned it into a military barrack on Wednesday, locals said. Muhammad Froukh, a resident of the home, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the house and expelled the family out of their home. Israeli forces fire tear-gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullet and live fire at Palestinians in the streets, as clashes erupted during the home raid . . . It is common practice for Israeli forces to take over roofs of houses, as well as entire homes in order to set up military positions during raids. According to sources at the Palestine Technical University in western Tulkarem, Israeli forces have set up a temporary military base inside the university for the past several weeks, as clashes near the university have been frequent.
Settler unleashes stray dogs near Bethlehem town
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 3 Nov – An Israeli settler early Tuesday was seen unleashing a number of stray dogs at the eastern entrance of the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, before he fled the scene, according to local sources. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the village, said an Israeli settler was seen releasing a number of dogs from his car as he approached the entrance of the village in the early morning hours. The settler then forced his way out of the village immediately. Salah said villagers in al-Khader recently experienced growing numbers of stray dogs; many locals have been attacked by dogs in the past few days.
In July 2012, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain (AOHR) revealed that illegal Jewish settlers and the Israeli forces in the West Bank release wild pigs on Palestinian farmlands. The organization noted that this was part of the settlers’ efforts to drive the Palestinians from their land in an act of “ethnic cleansing”. According to the human rights group, the pigs generally begin their ‘task’ at sunset; Palestinian residents living near the illegal settlements are usually taken by surprise when they are attacked by groups of the pigs, which go on to damage their crops and terrorize their children.
The occupation arrests two children from Silwan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 3 Nov — The occupation police released two Jerusalemite children [photos] after arresting and interrogating them on charges of throwing stones. The two children are the 8-year old Amir Mohammad Abbasi and the 8-year old Mohammad Abdullah Shweiki. The children’s families explained that that the occupation forces arrested their children while they were coming back home in Silwan. The soldiers chased and arrested them and fired sound grenades towards the locals who attempted to protect the children. The interrogator at O’z police center tried to extend the arrest of the children and threatened to detain them until they are presented to the Magistrate court tomorrow morning; the Israeli law prohibits arresting any child under 12 years old “age of responsibility” under any circumstances. The lawyer intervened and made the necessary calls and headed towards the police center where the two children were released on condition of attending interrogation tomorrow morning.
House arrest against 13-year-old Jerusalemite girl
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 3 Nov — The Israeli Occupation Authority (IOA) placed a 13-year-old Palestinian girl under house arrest until next Sunday and on a bail of three thousand shekels. The order of release on bail and house arrest was issued at a late hour on Monday evening by the magistrate court of Jerusalem against Reem Mohammad Qanbar from Mount Scopus southeast of Occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces arrested Qanbar Monday evening while she was in a health center in the city and transferred her to a police station to be questioned before being trialed at court.
Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians from West Bank
HEBRON (WAFA) 3 Nov – Israeli forces overnight [Tuesday] detained 25 Palestinians from West Bank districts, said Palestine Prisoners’ Club (PPC) and security sources. Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians from Hebron, seven from Jerusalem, four from Jenin, two from Nablus, two from Tulkarem and two others from Ramallah. In Hebron, forces raided Yatta town, south of the city, where they proceeded to detain three Palestinians, including two children, after breaking into and ransacking their houses. [details follow]
UPDATE: Israeli forces detain 33 Palestinians from West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Nov – Israeli forces Tuesday evening and Wednesday detained at least 33 Palestinians in predawn raids into various West Bank districts, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) in a press release. Israeli forces detained 14 Palestinians from Jerusalem, ten from Hebron, six from Ramallah, and three others from Jenin, in addition to two more from Nablus. Police detained Wednesday afternoon a Palestinian from Al-Aqsa Mosque compound purportedly for “incitement”. The man, in his 50s, from the Old City of Jerusalem, was detained under the pretext that his sermons and religious lessons contained incitement. Earlier Wednesday, Israeli police raided the Old City’s neighborhoods of Silwan and al-Sa‘diya, where they detained six Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses. [details of arrests follow]
Henkin murders were revenge for fatal West Bank arson attack, shooters confess
Haaretz 3 Nov by Sharon Pulwer — The two Palestinian men who confessed to the shooting deaths of Naama and Eitam Henkin in the West Bank last month carried out the attack to avenge a fatal arson attack on the home of a Palestinian family in July, presumably carried out by Jewish settlers. This, according to suspect statements that were made public Monday. Yehye Muhammad Naif Abdallah Haj Hamed and Kerem Lutfy Fathi Razek told police they chose not to shoot the Henkins’ four children, who were in the backseat of the family car when their parents, in the front seat, were killed, because “Islam prohibits the murder of children.” The Henkins were driving near the Itamar settlement on October 1 when their car was ambushed . . . Haj Hamed said the attack was revenge for the arson attack in the village of Duma in late July, presumably by Jews. Ali Dawabsheh, aged 18 months, died in the fire. His father, Sa’ad Dawabsheh, died eight days later, while his mother, Reham Dawabsheh, died in early September, both in Israeli hospitals. A 4-year-old boy remains hospitalized . . . Asked why it was decided to attack a civilian vehicle and not a military one, he said, “The attack in Duma was carried out by settlers, not the army; that’s why we sought to kill settlers in revenge. I am not sorry and have no regrets, because in my eyes the people we killed are not innocent.”
Israel passes ‘minimum sentence’ for stone-throwers
Al Jazeera 3 Nov by Patrick Strickland — New legislation establishes three-year minimum sentence and will also punish parents of children convicted of offence —Israel has passed an amendment to the country’s civil law establishing a minimum prison sentence of three years for people who throw rocks at Israeli troops, civilians or vehicles. Passed late on Monday night by a vote of 51-17, the legislation includes a number of provisions, among them one that permits the government to strip those convicted of stone throwing of their state benefits. In effect, the move will further entrench Israeli civil law in occupied East Jerusalem, according to rights groups. Palestinians in the rest of the occupied West Bank, however, are subject to Israeli military law. The law also enables Israel to cancel national health insurance and other social programmes for the parents of an imprisoned minor. Rima Awad, a member of the Campaign for Jerusalem, a Palestinian rights group, said that Israel is “collectively punishing” Palestinian Jerusalemites. “The families of the accused are also being punished,” Awad told Al Jazeera.
Prisoners – living and dead
My friend is in jail for something he wrote on Facebook
+972 Blog 2 Nov by Ariel Schendar — My friend Anes Khatibi is 19 years old. We met at ‘peace school.’ If he were Jewish he would not have been arrested for a Facebook status. Alas, he is Palestinian — Two police officers arrested Anes Khatib, 19, from his home in Shefa-’Amr on a Friday evening last month, and took him to the police station in the city. The original reason for the arrest was “a clarification.” Anes has yet to be returned home. It later became clear that Anes was arrested for publishing a status on Facebook, in which he wrote, among other things, that kind words should be written about the Palestinians who died, and included slogans such as “long life the intifada,” “Jerusalem is Arab,” and “and eye for an eye.” I had read about chilling arrests like these during “Operation Protective Edge” on “leftist” websites. This time it was personal; I know Anes and love him like a brother.
IOA releases Mohammad Allan
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 4 Nov — The Israeli Occupation Authority (IOA) Wednesday released Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan from Ofer jail after going on 65 consecutive days of hunger strike which only ended when the Israeli prison service agreed to release him. Captive Allan is a lawyer from Einabous town in Nablus governorate. He waged a 65-day hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention, without trial or charge. The Israeli Supreme Court had previously decided to release detainee Allan after his health condition worsened and reached a serious stage; however, his detention was extended while he was receiving treatment at Barzilai Hospital. Finally an agreement was reached on his release on November 04.
PPS: Kids in Etzion jail exposed to different abuses
RAMALLAH (PIC) 3 Nov — The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said that six Palestinian prisoners, including minors and children, were exposed during their detention to physical abuse and maltreatment at the hands of Israeli soldiers and interrogators. 17-year-old Malek Maghnam complained to PPS lawyer Jacqueline Fararjeh that he was severely beaten by Israeli soldiers when they arrested him recently. His 15-year-old brother Sanad, who went along with his mother to Kiryat Arba settlement in al-Khalil in response to a summons from the Shin Bet, also said he was physically assaulted by four Israeli interrogators and forced at gunpoint to make a confession and sign papers. Their cousin Fares, 14, was severely beaten as well and battered with rifle butts by his interrogators in order to force him into confessing to throwing stones. Malek, Sanad and Fares were all forced by Shin Bet interrogators to sign papers without knowing what was written on them. Another teenager named Musaab Nawaj’ah suffered an injury when Israeli soldiers beat him on his head during the detention, the lawyer said.
PA hands 2 political detainees to Israel
JENIN (PIC) 3 Nov — The Palestinian Authority (PA) handed at dawn Tuesday two Palestinian political prisoners to Israeli authorities at Za‘tara checkpoint. The two political prisoners were identified as Kamel Hamdan, from Jenin, and Yahya Abu Muamar, from Tulkarem. Hamdan’s wife affirmed that her husband called her at 10 p.m. Monday from PA Jericho prison and told her that he will be released in few hours. “We were so happy to hear the good news”, the wife said. “We then received a second phone call at midnight saying that my husband is being taken to Za‘tara checkpoint to be handed to the Israeli occupation forces”, she added. Hamdan, a father of two children, was arrested by PA security forces in June 2015 from his workplace. The political prisoner Yahya Abu Muamar was also arrested in May 2015 after PA forces brutally stormed his workplace. The two political prisoners were held in PA jails for several months although they got a court’s order for their release. They launched a hunger strike for days before being suspended after they received promises to be released in few days.
Israel issues administrative detention orders against 24 Palestinian detainees
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Nov – The Israeli authorities Wednesday issued administrative detention orders; without charge or trial, against 24 Palestinian detainees, including a female. PPC lawyer, Mahmoud al-Halabi, said that administrative detention orders were issued for the first time against 15 new detainees, whereas the remaining nine received renewed orders.
Minor Palestinian detainee undergoes leg amputation
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Nov – A 17-year-old Palestinian detainee incarcerated in Israeli jails had his leg amputated as a result of severe injuries he sustained in early October after he was shot by Israeli settlers, revealed an official. WAFA reported on Chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees committee ‘Issa Qaraqe‘ as saying that Jalal Sharawna, 17, had his right leg amputated at Assaf Harofeh hospital in Israel. Prior to his detention, Jalal suffered severe injuries in his right leg after he was shot and injured by Israeli settlers’ gunfire during clashes in the Hebron town of Dura. Since his detention, Jalal reportedly underwent several surgeries to remove the bullets from his leg before it rotted, resulting in its amputation. This came a day after the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) said in a press release that Jalal underwent leg amputation as a result of intentional medical negligence and misinformation about his medical condition by Israeli Prison Service. PPC explained that the Israeli Prison Service had been intentionally transferring Palestinian detainees, including Jalal, from hospitals back to jails before completing their medical treatments.
Mother waits 36 years for Israel to return son’s body
EI 2 Nov by Budour Youssef Hassan — For the last 36 years, Raoufa Khattab has refused to believe that her son Abd al-Rahman is dead until she sees his remains with her own eyes. “They haven’t returned his body to us, so perhaps he’s alive, perhaps he’s in jail,” she keeps telling Ahmad, another son. Ahmad was only 13 when his brother Abd al-Rahman was killed in April 1979 during an armed confrontation with Israeli forces near Bisan, a town located in the north of present-day Israel. Abd al-Rahman led a small group of resistance fighters who tried to carry out an attack against an Israeli military post in the area. After his killing, his body was transferred to one of Israel’s “cemeteries of numbers,” where Palestinian combatants are buried in secret and are identified only by numbers etched on metal plates. Israel has designated these cemeteries as closed military zones. With every prisoner exchange between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups, Abd al-Rahman’s mother would wait for him to be released as if she was waiting for a living man to get out of jail . . . If Israel’s aim of burying Palestinian fighters in cemeteries of numbers was to drive their legacy into oblivion, it has largely failed . . . In August 2008, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center launched a national campaign to return the bodies in cooperation with martyrs’ families. The campaign sought to reclaim the bodies of martyrs both through legal channels and public and international pressure . . . Detaining the bodies of Palestinian martyrs and later burying them in secret cemeteries is designed to achieve multiple purposes. The policy imposes an additional punishment on the dead and collective punishment on their families. Martyrs’ bodies have also been used as potential bargaining chips in prisoner exchange deals. The policy also has more existential implications. But by withholding the bodies, Israel is targeting the collective Palestinian memory and dehumanizing those living under its colonial rule who dare to challenge its occupation. (continued)
Israel’s chilled corpses and frozen thinking / Zvi Bar-el
Haaretz 3 Nov — The terrorists’ bodies can’t be handed over to the families because the corpses’ chilling cold might ignite a fire that inflames the territories — Chilled merchandise is stored in the police’s refrigeration rooms waiting for the go-ahead to be sold. There are buyers but the sellers are afraid. They will only deliver the goods under the table and only on condition that the merchandise doesn’t create a commotion. Clearly the goods – the bodies of Palestinian attackers – require a funeral, and funerals are attended by mourners filled with emotion, railing against Israel and those who in Israeli parlance “neutralized” the attackers. The outbursts foment further waves of anger and hatred, and all this could disturb the serene relations that would continue uninterrupted if it weren’t for the bodies. How can this reasoning be hidden from the public? The Israeli government says Palestinian incitement is the only cause of the Palestinian revolt, the lone-wolf attacks. It’s as if the incitement had no background or historical context. It isn’t based on “truth” or “facts.” It’s an act of nature, just as the attacks by Palestinians before they became bodies had no rational explanation . . . Once again, incitement has been trotted out as an explanation for every phenomenon. That’s what’s motivating the terrorists, what’s halting the peace talks and depriving Israel of a negotiating partner. And most importantly, incitement can obscure the existence of the occupation and neutralize the party to blame. After all, it’s not the occupation’s fault, it’s the incitement’s fault.
Jerusalem Municipality suing Jewish-Arab school arsonists for over NIS 500,000
JPost 4 Nov by Daniel K. Eisenbud — The Jerusalem Municipality on Wednesday filed a claim of NIS 518,000 [about US$128,409] against the three Jewish extremists convicted of vandalizing and setting fire to the capital’s Jewish- Arab Max Rayne Hand in Hand School last November. In a statement, the municipality said the action was filed due to the serious damages caused to the school, including two classrooms and the equipment in them, windows, an alarm, and fire extinguishing systems. Additionally, the claim includes ancillary expenses caused as a result of the arson attack, including the destruction of books, toys, clothing and the costs of psychological counseling for traumatized students, the municipality said. “In light of the defendants’ admission of guilt, and their conviction for the arson attack on the school, the municipality decided to sue them directly for the costs of the damages caused as a result of the crime they committed,” the statement said. The fire was set in a preschool classroom at the Pat neighborhood institution on the night of November 29, with Hebrew graffiti, including “Kahane was right,” “You can’t coexist with a cancer,” “Enough with assimilation,” and “Death to Arabs,” affixed to the walls. Three members of the Jewish extremist group Lehava, Yitzhak Gabai and brothers Nahman and Shlomo Twito, ages 18 to 22, and all from the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit, have been arrested in the case.
Israeli arrested after death threat to Arab MK
JPost 3 Nov by Raanan Ben Zur — A 24-year-old resident of Rosh HaAyin was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of making death threats against MK Ahamd Tibi (Joint List). The individual is currently being interrogated by Rosh HaAyin police following his message to Tibi on Facebook. “I’m the one who will kill you,” the suspect wrote to Tibi. “You have no place in this world, we hate you and even your people hate you, not to mention your terrorist brothers. Inshallah they will die today, as well as those who hate you. Ahmad your time is nearly up, enjoy it while you can.” The full Facebook message read: “Very soon I will kill you Ahmad…and in your grave there will be a pig’s head in order to show your true face you dog . . . MK Tibi declined to issue a response.
Israel to punitively demolish family home of alleged Palestinian suspect
NABLUS (WAFA) 4 Nov – Israeli forces Wednesday informed the family of a Palestinian prisoner incarcerated in Israeli jails about their intention to demolish their home located in the village of Beita, south of Nablus, according to local sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in northern West Bank, said an army force broke into the village and informed the family of 26-year-old Tamer Khdeir about their intention to demolish their home. Soldiers also took measurements of the house in preparation of the demolition. On October 25, 2015, Khdeir was stabbed and injured by Israeli settlers outside the illegal settlement of Ariel in central West Bank. Despite this, and hours after the incident, Israeli army and security forces detained him from his village, claiming he had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack in the settlement before the incident occurred . . . 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.”
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel demolishes 2nd Palestinian home in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Nov — Israeli forces demolished a building in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Monday, the second Palestinian house demolition of the day. Israeli forces escorted bulldozers to the neighborhood and surrounded a housing complex containing three apartments belonging to the Disouqi and Najm families. Lawyer Khaldoun Najm, owner of one of the apartments, told Ma‘an that each apartment was 120 square meters in size, and that a total of eight people, including three children, had been made homeless. There was no prior notification for the demolition, Najm said, adding that the Israeli municipality had agreed on Sunday to change the order to a notification instead. Israeli forces demolished the home with all of the families’ belongings inside, he said. The destruction severed water and electricity to nearby properties in the neighborhood. Najm said the families had been living there since April.
Jerusalem municipality issues demolition warrants in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — The Jerusalem municipality on Tuesday posted demolition warrants outside a mosque and a commercial structure in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, a Silwan-based Israeli watchdog said. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center told Ma‘an that inspectors from the municipality entered Silwan’s Abu Tayih quarter and posted “administrative demolition warrants” on the entrance to Al-Qaaqaa Mosque. The warrant read that the mosque was built without the necessary licensing from the Jerusalem municipality. Manager of the mosque, Hani Abu Tayih, told Ma‘an that the 120 square-meter mosque was built three years ago and serves around 5,000 residents. The premises, he added, is built of bricks and includes a prayer hall, restrooms, and a room to perform ablutions. A previous warrant was issued to the mosque on August 20, warning that its demolition would be carried out in the next 30 to 90 days, the Wadi Hilweh center said. Another demolition order was posted on a carwash in the Beer Ayyoub quarter of Silwan before municipality inspectors took photos of surrounding commercial structures and residential buildings. The center told Ma‘an that such demolitions are regularly carried out under Article 212 of the Israeli Planning and Building Law of 1965. Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, the Israeli government has enacted extensive demographic and physical changes to the city in effort to “Judaize” the area.
Israel issues eviction, demolition orders to 10 families in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 3 Nov — Israeli forces issued eviction notices to 10 Palestinian families from Jaloud village in the norhtern occupied West Bank district of Nablus,with the intent of demolishing the homes, a local monitor said. Ghassan Daghlas,who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said the families received orders from Israeli forces that state the families should leave their homes within 15 days, so they can be demolished due to their proximity to a nearby settlement. Daghlas said the area has been populated by the 10 families since the 1970s, while the settlement is new, adding that the decision is “racist,” and aims to appease settlers at the expense of the Palestinian population. Daghlas said the homes to be demolished belong to Muhammad Kamal Abbad, Muhammad Kamil Abbad, Hussein Kamal Abbad, Farhan Kamal Abbad, Farah Farhan Abbad, Nassim Farah Abbad, Mahmoud Farhan Abbad, Fawzi Sami Abbad, Mahmoud Sami Abbad, Salam Sami Abbad. Over 80 people live in the homes, Daghlas said. Families can generally file objections to demolition orders and appeal to Israel’s high court, but Human Rights Watch reported last year that in such appeals, “Israel’s High Court of Justice has refused to apply the absolute prohibition in customary international law against the collective punishment of civilians.”
Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in Negev region
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 3 Nov — Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes in the Negev region on Tuesday, Palestinian sources said. One of the homes was in Um Btein village, while the other was in the Um Ritam village, both south of Arara city in the Negev. Arab Knesset member, Talab Abu Arar, said that “demolishing homes under the tense security atmosphere and the cold rainy weather proves the racist lines of this rightist suppressing government that focuses on tightening the noose and humiliating Arab citizens. ”“Demolishing aims to harm,” Abu Arar added. “It only makes the cause more complicated, and not recognizing villages and confiscating lands shows that the [Israeli] government works for the improvement of Jews only.”
Israel court delays razing settler synagogue fearing reprisals
JERUSALEM (AFP) 4 Nov — Israel’s High Court on Wednesday said it agreed to briefly postpone demolition of a settler synagogue and seminary built on Palestinian land, after police requested a delay on security grounds. The court ruled last year that the building in Givat Zeev, northwest of Jerusalem, must be pulled down by November 5, 2015 and around 200 young men set up barricades around it early Wednesday in a bid to stop the order being carried out, an AFP photographer at the scene said. Police on Tuesday took the rare step of asking for a delay in demolition, saying that deploying security forces to enforce the operation would be a drain on manpower at a time of almost daily Palestinian attacks and clashes. A motion filed on behalf of the police by the state attorney’s office cited potentially “significant consequences on the security of Jerusalem”, as well as the danger of reprisal attacks by Jews. A court statement said it was extending the deadline for 13 days, while rejecting a request for a three-week postponement.
IOF soldiers shoot at protesters in central Gaza, injure two
GAZA (PIC) 3 Nov — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian protesters east of Breij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip Tuesday evening wounding two with live bullets. Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers fired live bullets and teargas canisters in a bid to disperse the protesters. Two young men were wounded with live bullets while others were treated on the field for breathing difficulty.
Palestinian civilian injured by Israeli bullet fire in blockaded Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 3 Nov — A Palestinian citizen sustained wounds afternoon Monday in a wave of violent confrontations with the Israeli occupation patrols in eastern al-Bureij refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip. Spokesperson for the Gaza-based Health Ministry, Ashraf al-Qudra, said a Palestinian youngster was shot and injured by the Israeli occupation troops in his feet and was rushed to hospital shortly afterwards. Over recent weeks, violent clashes with the heavily-armed occupation soldiers have rocked eastern al-Bureij refugee camp, leaving scores of Palestinian civilians, including children, severely wounded.
Israeli navy opens machinegun fire at fishermen in Gaza sea
GAZA (PIC) 2 Nov — Israeli navy forces on Monday opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza sea. Local sources reported that a number of Israeli navy gunboats fired in the morning hours at the Palestinian fishing boats which were sailing in Gaza sea. The heavy shooting forced the Gazan fishermen to leave the sea and end fishing with no casualties reported, the sources added.
Israel floods Palestinian lands in central Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 4 Nov — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened a water dam on Tuesday morning for several hours towards the Palestinian lands in central Gaza Strip despite lack of rain water. Palestinians of Wadi al-Salqa to the east of Deir al-Balah city said that great damage and financial losses were resulting from flooding of their lands and winter plantings. Israeli forces opened the same dam along with other dams on Gaza borders last winter causing severe damage to the houses and lands of inhabitants.
Egyptian flooding drowns Gaza’s tunnel business
GAZA (Reuters) 4 Nov by Nidal al-Mughrabi — Mahmoud Bakeer speaks with despair about the night of the flash flood, when he screamed at his wife and five children to flee their home on Gaza’s border with Egypt as the water rushed in. They made it to safety during the flooding last week, but a network of Palestinian tunnels running under the frontier town of Rafah is now water-logged, destroyed by Cairo to sever what it says is a weapons smuggling route out of Gaza for Islamist insurgents in Egypt’s Sinai desert . . . Tunnel-builders said Egypt has pumped in water several times since September, and that over the course of a few weeks had done more damage to the network, which once accounted for an estimated 30 percent of Gaza’s imports, than Israeli bombing had caused over the past two decades. Now, the diggers said, fewer than 20 tunnels remain for commercial goods, with easy-to-smuggle cigarettes the main contraband. – MUDDY MESS – What is left is an environmental mess, residents and local officials said, with the sea water polluting underground drinking reserves. The overflow has reached streets and homes within 100 meters (yards) of the border fence. Vast puddles and mud are everywhere. “One cubic meter of sea water pollutes 40 cubic meters of underground water,” said Tamer al-Sleibi, water department director in the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority in Gaza, who is concerned about long-term environmental damage. (continued)
Calls for saving children with kidney failure in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 4 Nov — Dozens of Palestinian doctors and patients participated on Tuesday in a solidarity sit-in with children with kidney failure outside Rantisi Hospital for children. The participants warned that the dialysis service provided for nearly 30 children with kidney failure in the hospital might stop by the end of this week, due to an acute shortage of spare filters and blood transfusion tubes. Dr. Mustafa al-Aqila stated that halting the service will deprive 28 children of dialysis sessions, which means that they will enter into the real risk stage of the disease. He pointed out that Hamdallah’s government did not provide the hospital with the dialysis supplies since being in office one year and a half ago.
All-women flotilla to Gaza next year
AIC 2 Nov — An all-women boat to Gaza will set sail next year to challenge Israel’s ongoing blockade of the coastal enclave — This was one of the strategic decisions taken by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, which met in Barcelona this past weekend to plan future actions against Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Additional actions planned include a focus on solidarity with Gaza fishermen in 2017, as well as a flotilla to Gaza “carrying hundreds of supporters from around the world” in 2018. The weekend meeting in Barcelona, in which seven national and international campaigns for Gaza were represented, was the first face to face meeting after this past summer’s Freedom Flotilla III, in which the boat Marianne was captured, and all delegates on board detained by Israeli authorities. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition announced that it will continue to focus its work “on actively challenging the blockade of Gaza, call upon and pressure governments worldwide to take action against this illegal blockade and at the same time supports various forms of non violent struggle adopted by the Palestinian people against oppression and injustice.
Palestinians protest outside UN offices in Gaza amid tensions with Israel
GAZA (Cihan) 2 Nov — Dozens of Palestinians protested in front of the offices of the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Gaza on Monday, calling upon the international organization to assume its responsibilities of protecting Palestinians. The protesters prevented UN employees from entering or leaving the building in response to a call by a group known as “Intifada youth coalition.” The group called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to act and stop the Israeli “attacks” against the Palestinian people. A spokesperson of the “Intifada youth coalition” told Xinhua that the event was organized “to send a message of anger and denunciation to the UN for being biased towards Israel and not assuming its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people.”
Qatar offers 100 new scholarships for Gaza university students
MEMO 2 Nov — Qatar has announced 100 new scholarships for Gaza’s university students through Al-Fakhoora organisation, Qatar’s Al-Raya newspaper reported yesterday. The scholarships are an extension of previous subsidies provided by Qatar, Al-Raya added, these include the reconstruction of the Strip in partnership with UNICEF, UNRWA and other international organisations. Al-Fakhoora has already offered 600 scholarships and is due to offer 1,000 extra scholarships by 2016, in effort aimed at paving the way to educate future leaders in Gaza.
FAO and Belgium collaborate after shocks in Gaza Strip
Vaccine News 2 Nov — The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is part of the United Nations’ emergency programs, recently received contributions from Belgium to finance an emergency project in the Gaza Strip that will improve domestic food production and fight against avian influenza. The funds, which amount to $475,000, will help the organizations support household and institutional resilience after the region experienced natural and man-made shocks. The funds will also help the veterinary and animal health services unit of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture to respond to the avian influenza outbreak occurring throughout the Gaza Strip. The emergency response requires laboratory materials, supplies and technical veterinary expertise. The goal is to prevent the illness from spreading and causing new avian influenza cases. The staff will implement the standard operation procedures of the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure the safety of the people in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians burn US, UK and Israeli flags as they mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration along the Gaza Strip
[with photos] Daily Mail 3 Nov by Imogen Calderwood — Palestinians burned British, American and Israeli flags today during a demonstration to mark the anniversary of the controversial Balfour Declaration. Militants belonging to the al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, waved weapons including guns, swords and axes at the demonstration in the southern town of Rafah, in Gaza Strip. The armed demonstrators then set fire to flags belonging to the U.S., the UK and Israel in a sign of defiance against the 1917 declaration which agreed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine . . . The Balfour Declaration remains a contentious and controversial subject, nearly a hundred years on from the original agreement . . . The Balfour Declaration refers to a letter sent in 1917 by the then Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. Balfour promised in the letter, dated November 2, that the British government would support ‘a national home for the Jewish people’ in the heart of Palestine. He continued that His Majesty’s government ‘will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country’. The sixty-seven word document ‘completely transformed’ the position of the then fledging Zionist movement.
Play focused on Gaza woman turns despair into hope
EI 3 Nov by Sarah Irving — The Shroud Maker, a satirical new play set in Gaza, will premiere in London this month. Written by novelist Ahmed Masoud – a native of Gaza, based in the UK – The Shroud Maker focuses on the character of Hajja Souad, an elderly woman living in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City. Shujaiya, lying close to Gaza’s boundary with Israel, has suffered appalling violence in many of Israel’s attacks on the area. – Grim but vital trade – Hajja Souad has spent decades selling shrouds for the dead. Her grim but vital trade makes Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza during the summer of 2014 highly lucrative for Hajja. But it also forces her to confront her past, taking her back to her home village of Aqqur, near Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 1948, and her time working for the British authorities that governed Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel that same year. Loosely based on a real-life character still living in Gaza, Masoud’s new play brings together true stories told to the author with touches of satire and comic fantasy.
PA Ministry of Health sends $1.3 million of medical supplies to Gaza
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health sent a medical aid convoy worth over five million shekels ($1,289,720) to Gaza from the ministry’s warehouse in Nablus, a statement said Wednesday. The shipment included ten truckloads worth of medical supplies and was sent under direct orders from Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. The supplies included cancer treatment medications, kidney medications and other supplies needed by residents in the besieged coastal enclave. The ministry noted that the PA has sent numerous truckloads of medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, totaling at least $5.2 million in 2015, not including the most recent shipment.
Palestinian chargd with diverting Gaza rehabilitation materials to Hamas terrorists
JPost 4 Nov by Ben Hartman — A Gazan has been indicted for diverting building materials meant for reconstruction in the Strip directly to Hamas’s armed wing, the Shin Bet said on Wednesday. The suspect, named by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) as 36-year-old Tamer Ahmed Muhammad Barim of Bani Suheila, was arrested trying to enter Israel at the Erez crossing on the northern Gaza border on August 31. His arrest remained under a gag order until Wednesday. A Shin Bet spokesman said the agency did not clear the arrest for publication until Wednesday because there were additional “investigative steps” necessary for the case that required it be kept confidential. The case was reported more than a month after Barim was indicted in the Beersheba District Court on security charges including assisting a terrorist organization. The spokesman added that Barim “knew why he was being arrested” and that the investigation was in process for some time before the arrest. The Shin Bet would not reveal how many times Barim made these shipments to the Gaza Strip or if he has any suspected accomplices in Israel. The Shin Bet said that Barim managed to circumvent UN inspectors who supervise imports to the Strip, allowing him to divert hundreds of tons of building materials provided by foreign donors for the rehabilitation of civilian infrastructure damaged during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
18 Parliament members call for Abbas to hold legislative session
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — Eighteen Palestinian National Council (PNC) members of the Fatah bloc on Wednesday sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling for a Palestine National Council (PNC) session to be held. The PNC — the PLO’s legislative body — had planned to convene in September, in order to elect a new PLO Executive Committee, after 11 of the committee’s members, including President Mahmoud Abbas, announced their resignation in August. Abbas acts as Palestinian president as well as the head of the PNC and leader of the Fatah party. The previously planned PNC meeting was canceled after Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, condemned the plans and called for a boycott of the PNC session.
PA to spend $7m to support Palestinians in Hebron
JPost 4 Nov by Khaled Abu Toameh — The Palestinian Authority government on Tuesday announced a series of moves to support Palestinians in Hebron, including the launch of 20 projects in the fields of education, health and infrastructure at a cost of $7 million. The government also decided to pay a monthly grant of $100 to more than 1,000 families living in the Israeli-controlled part of the city and to establish a special fund to support the Old City of Hebron, whose residents also would receive various privileges including a raise in salary for PA employees and financial aid to merchants. The decisions come amid criticism the PA has not been doing enough to support Hebron’s residents, especially in light of the IDF’s recent security measures and settler “provocations.” Palestinians living in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron have long complained that the PA government hasn’t given them enough support to enable them to stay in their homes, claiming that Israel’s policy over the past few decades has been to evict them from the Old City of Hebron to pave the way for settling Jews there. The government also decided to help renovate Palestinian houses in Hebron’s Old City, and said the PA Foreign Ministry will increase visits of foreign diplomats to the city to keep them updated on the latest developments there given the mounting tensions between Palestinians and IDF soldiers and settlers. Hebron has long been considered a Hamas stronghold; 26 of the Palestinians who carried out stabbing attacks in the past few weeks are from the city and its surroundings.
EU to donate $20.8 million toward PA salaries , pensions
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — The European Union announced in a statement on Wednesday that the body is making a $20.8 million contribution to cover the salaries of over 67,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for the month of October. The contribution is being channeled through PEGASE, a European mechanism launched in 2008 by the European Commission to help build a Palestinian state.
EU to publish guidelines for labeling goods produced in West Bank settlements
I24NEWS 2 Nov — Brussels will publish guidelines next Wednesday for the labeling of goods produced in the West Bank and sold in shops across the continent, Israeli daily Haaretz reports. A European official told i24news‘ diplomatic correspondent Tal Shalev that the guidelines could be published “any day now.” In response to the EU’s move, an Israeli official said that “Israel has been preparing for this for a while, to deal with it diplomatically. We are trying to convince the EU and member states that this is a wrong decision, with a clear discriminating aspect, which does not help the diplomatic process at all. On the contrary, European directives -at this time – are a prize for Palestinian terror and rejectionism and encourage boycotts. We hope Europe will understand these directives are useless.”
Jordanian campaign to renovate Jerusalem’s Old City
AMMAN, Jordan (PIC) 3 Nov — The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) on Monday held its annual fundraising campaign with the aim of collecting money to renovate old houses and schools in occupied Jerusalem, a JEA official said. The campaign was held in cooperation with Hayat FM with the aim of reaching JD one million. Dozens of Jordanian citizens and national personalities have also participated in the campaign that aims to support the Jerusalemite steadfastness. Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement within the Green Line, praised the step and the efforts made by the Jordanian Engineers Association in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Occupied Jerusalem is in urgent need of an Arab and Islamic protection as it is witnessing a sensitive stage, he stressed. “This is the fifth year that we have held such an event… we have managed to raise JD 1.8 million that enabled us to cover 39 projects, which included the rehabilitation of 68 buildings and two schools,” Bader Naser, the campaign’s supervisor, said. “A total of 326 Palestinians have benefited from these projects,” Naser added. The renovation of two schools has had a positive impact on their 150 students as well, he said.
Saudi-Palestinian soccer match moved out of West Bank
Times of Israel 4 Nov by Avi Issacharoff — The international soccer body FIFA announced Wednesday that a Saudi-Palestinian game that has been the cause of unprecedented tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Riyadh cannot take place in the West Bank as scheduled on Thursday, and must be moved to a different venue in Asia. FIFA cited security reasons in its decision. The announcement follows weeks of strained relations between the PA and Saudi Arabia over the location of the World Cup qualifier, with tensions reaching a fever pitch in recent days. Under FIFA rules, the match should have taken place in Palestinian Authority territory, at the stadium in a-Ram north of Jerusalem. But Saudi officials have refused to allow their national soccer team to travel through Israel to the Palestinian town, saying it amounted to recognizing the Israeli occupation and normalizing the kingdom’s relations with the Jewish state. Saudi soccer players also could not be seen passing through Israeli military checkpoints, the officials said. But the Palestinians viewed holding the game in the West Bank as an act of recognition of their claims to statehood, a claim recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2012 . . . One solution suggested by the Palestinians was to delay the game indefinitely. Another, developed after bilateral discussions, was to bring the Saudi team in Jordanian helicopters to the PA headquarters in Ramallah’s Muqata compound, and from there to proceed to the stadium in a-Ram without passing through Israeli checkpoints. The Saudis rejected the latter plan and FIFA notified the parties that it would not agree to delay the game indefinitely . . . Riyadh was said to be incensed at Palestinian intransigence on the issue, with Saudi television on Tuesday airing insulting videos about Rajoub, the Palestinian soccer chief. (continued)
West Bank – Palestinian lawyer talks about viral photo of tear gas kick
West Bank (vosizneias.com) 2 Nov — One of the most memorable images of the current Israeli-Palestinian confrontations shows a young Palestinian lawyer in dark shades, a suit and formal legal robe as he kicks away an Israeli tear gas canister, his legs flying high above billowing white gas. Part of the appeal is the unexpected: Palestinians clashing with Israeli soldiers are typically masked stone-throwers in scruffy jeans, not nattily dressed professionals. But Hassan Ajaj, the lawyer, believes the Oct. 12 image by Associated Press photographer Majdi Mohammed — with more than 1.8 million views on one photo-sharing site alone — also resonated because his spontaneous act of defiance expressed the extent of Palestinian frustration. Many Palestinians say five decades of Israeli occupation hover like a dark cloud over every part of life, with Israeli restrictions imposed on even the most mundane activities people elsewhere take for granted, such as being able to drive to a beach or fly from the nearest airport. “It shows that as a Palestinian lawyer, I am part of my people, part of the Palestinian wish for liberation,” said Ajaj, 26, speaking in an interview Saturday at a rooftop restaurant owned by his well-to-do family in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Palestinians say amateur video backs claims of Israeli abuse
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 3 Nov by Karin Laub & Josef Federman — Recent videos show Israeli troops shooting a wounded Palestinian at close range, pepper-spraying Palestinian medics, ramming a Palestinian with a jeep and threatening refugee camp residents with tear gas “until you die” unless they stop throwing stones. Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups contend the images, many captured by amateur smartphone users, buttress long-standing allegations of excessive force — particularly amid a wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks in which top Israeli politicians and security commanders have encouraged forces to shoot to kill suspected assailants . . . Video footage is increasingly central in the competition over international opinion — a contest Palestinians say they often lost in the past when it came down to their word against that of the Israeli military or Jewish settlers. In 2007, B’Tselem began distributing video cameras to Palestinians in West Bank hot spots, such as the Israeli-controlled center of Hebron, carved out for 850 Jewish settlers. (continued)
Oslo architect: Netanyahu will withdraw unilaterally from much of West Bank
Times of Israel 3 Nov by Raphael Ahren — Former minister and veteran peace activist Yossi Beilin on Monday called for the creation of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation as a long-term strategic goal for the solution of the conflict. Such a solution will have to be preceded by an interim agreement that would create a Palestinian state in provisional borders, he said. However, he predicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, anxious to avoid a binational state but unwilling to meet Palestinian demands, would instead wind up unilaterally withdrawing from much of the West Bank to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel. Any current attempt to achieve a final-status agreement between Jerusalem and Ramallah is not only doomed to fail but actually counterproductive, Beilin added . . . While a permanent peace accord is currently out of reach, Beilin said an interim agreement — if linked to a timetable leading to a comprehensive peace deal — is a realistic and worthwhile objective.
Israeli minister weighs population transfer — of kittens
+972 mag 2 Nov by Micharl Schaeffer Omer-Man — We knew it would happen sooner or later. The occupation has finally come home to roost. The darkest of Israel’s injustices, mass displacement and population transfer, is now threatening the Tel Aviv left-wing establishment’s holiest of holies — cute, little kittens. Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is proposing a full-fledged population transfer of Israel’s stray feline population, or rather all of its males, or females. No, seriously. We’re not making this up. The transfer plan was revealed in a letter from the minister that was published by Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday. According to the report, Ariel, a religious Jew, is looking for alternatives to spaying and neutering the cute little creatures because he believes doing so violates Jewish law. In the letter, Ariel suggests taking the budget for neutering and spaying and instead using it to “transfer dogs and cats of a single gender (all the males or females) to a foreign country that is willing to accept them.” The wording, “finding a foreign country that would agree to take” them, is, of course, reminiscent of Israel’s efforts to deport African asylum seekers to third countries, often times in exchange for weapons or other unpublished quid pro quo arrangements. (continued)
Uri Ariel is no animal lover, he’s not even a humanist / B. Michael
Haaretz 5 Nov — Must we demand that all the female cats dress modestly and cover their heads? And what about the spectacular abuse of Palestinians, what does the halakha dictate for them? — One can only marvel at the concern demonstrated by Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel for the testicles of tomcats. Who would have believed the cool, wily, ruthless macher is nothing but a sentimental softy. He won’t allow such abuse. While experts believe that neutering is crucial to the welfare of Israel’s feral cat population, Ariel isn’t buying their nonsense. Neither halakha — Jewish religious law — nor his own compassionate heart would allow it. The wonderment at the cabinet member’s flexible compassion grows when we recall that this is the same man who walks around the Temple Mount glassy-eyed, hoping for the rebuilding of the temple. Praying for the opportunity to witness as the throats of thousands of beasts are slit and the necks of tens of thousands of birds are broken. In his dreams he sees the workers of the Temple grill sprinkling the hot blood of all the slaughtered bulls, sheep, goats, cows, rams and doves on the corners of the altar — at the behest of the merciful commandments. . .
It’s also worth remembering that the honorable minister, like all Israeli citizens, routinely participates in the spectacular abuse of three million Palestinians. They too are some animal subspecies, but praise God, they are not felines. Therefore the minister can continue to abuse them without betraying his compassionate soul or violating his halakha . . .
But let’s get back to the cat problem. The honorable minister — presumably in consultation with the immigration police and the Interior Ministry — suggested transferring the cats to a country “willing to take them.” After all, that’s how we deal with unwanted creatures. But until we find such a state (South Sudan? Eritrea? Nigeria?), what shall we do? Here are a few suggestions. We could build them a holding pen in the Negev. We could call it … Argaz Holot (litter box); after all, we have a Holot holding pen for unwanted humans. There the males and the females will be separated, to keep them from reproducing while waiting for a country to take them. (continued)