Violence / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman, 72, after alleged car attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces shot and killed an elderly Palestinian woman after an alleged vehicle attack in Halhul, north of Hebron on Friday. A spokesperson at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem told Ma‘an that the woman, aged 72, was dead upon arrival at the hospital. Israeli media reported that the woman attempted to run over Israeli soldiers in Halhul and was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli forces. The Jerusalem Post said that a “suspicious vehicle” drove at Israeli soldiers, with forces opening fire at the car. No Israeli injuries were reported. The victim was identified as Tharwat al-Sharawi, 72. Her husband, Fouad, was killed by Israeli forces during the First Intifada. Two Palestinian youths who were standing at a gas station nearby were injured as Israeli gunfire shattered the car’s windows. Both youths were taken to the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron to treat their injuries, which were described as moderate. Al-Sharawi was the 74th Palestinian to be killed since the beginning of last month, the majority of whom were shot dead by Israeli forces during alleged, attempted, and actual attacks on Israeli military and civilians. [Here is NYT story on Fouad al-Sharawai’s death, 27 years ago; he was a teacher who succumbed to teargas.]
Clashes broke out following al-Shawari’s death when Israeli forces were deployed across the area. In the Ras al-Jora area of Halhul, 15 Palestinians were injured by live fire and six by rubber-coated steel bullets during the clashes, a Red Crescent spokesman Said al-Khatib told Ma‘an, adding that 10 others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. Clashes also broke out near Wasaya al-Rasoul Mosque south of Hebron after Israeli forces surrounded the holy site and prevented worshippers from entering. Nine Palestinians were injured with live bullets, most of them in the lower extremities, during clashes in other areas of Halhul, head of the Health Work Committees center, Ramzi Yusif, told Ma‘an. Yusif said some of the injured had to be taken to hospitals with private cars after being given first aid due to Israeli closures in the area, while others are still waiting for ambulances to arrive on scene to evacuate them to Hebron hospitals.
Israel shoots dead 73-year-old Palestinian on her way to lunch
HEBRON (The National/Agencies) 6 Nov — Israeli soldiers shot dead a 73-year-old Palestinian woman in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, while she was on her way to her sister’s house for lunch, her son said. . . . Tharwat Sharawi was killed by army fire at a gas station in Hebron. The military claimed her car had slowed down and then sped toward the soldiers, who jumped out of the way unharmed before opening fire. But Sharawi’s son Ayoub, 52, denied that his mother intended to harm anyone. He said she had been on her way to her sister’s house for lunch when she was killed. Sharawi, a mother of seven, was widowed in 1988 when her husband died from what Ayoub said was tear gas fired by Israeli troops near a mosque. “If she had wanted to take revenge [for her husband’s death], she could have done that a long time ago,” he said. “There is no way she wanted to run over soldiers.” Palestinian medics, meanwhile, said Sharawi had been driving in pouring rain at the time. They also said she did not intend to attack the soldiers.
Palestinian shot, killed after alleged stab attack in Gush Etzion
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc southwest of Bethlehem on Thursday after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier, Israel’s army said. “Moments ago, IDF forces thwarted an attack at a crowded bus station in Gush Etzion,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an. “A Palestinian armed with a knife attempted to stab a soldier, forces on site shot the assailant,” she added, confirming that the Palestinian was killed. The Palestinian was identified as Malik Talal al-Shareef, 25. No Israelis were injured in the incident.
Health Ministry: ’78 Palestinians, including 17 children and three women, killed since October 1′
IMEMC 6 Nov by Saed Bannoura — Following the Friday deadly shooting of a young Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip, and a woman in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that the number of slain Palestinians since October 1st, has arrived to 78, including 17 children and three women, while more than 2513 Palestinians have been injured. Names of slain Palestinian listed below this article.
Mourners march at Hebron funeral of vehicle attack suspect
HEBRON (Ma‘an)5 Nov — Crowds of Palestinians marched in Hebron on Thursday for the funeral of Ibrahim Skafi, 22, who was killed by Israeli forces a day earlier after a vehicular attack which critically injured an Israeli border police officer. The funeral set off after noon prayers from the al-Hussein Bin Ali Mosque towards the al-Shuhada cemetery. Mourners chanted nationalist slogans and demanded that Israel returned the bodies of other Palestinians still being held by Israel after being killed following attacks on Israelis. Israel delivered Skafi’s body to a Red Crescent team at the Tarqumiyah checkpoint in the southern West Bank late Wednesday. His body was then taken to hospital in Hebron for medical checks before being returned to his family.
Israeli forces shot and killed Skafi after he carried out a suspected vehicular attack near the Halhul junction north of Hebron, emergency services and witnesses said.
Israel continues to withhold the bodies of 22 Palestinians killed following attacks on Israelis during the month of October. The refusal to turn over the dead to their families — a policy that Israeli authorities supposedly halted near the end of the Second Intifada — has provoked controversy among Israeli officials and led to mass protests in the occupied West Bank. Decisions regarding whether or not to hand over Palestinian bodies are now being made on a case by case basis by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in consultation with the ministers of defense and internal security, according to Israeli daily Haaretz. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the decisions would be based on the family’s’ agreement to a “quiet funeral,” and would be “in accordance with ethical and security considerations.”
Israeli soldiers kill father of three-week-old baby
EI 6 Nov by Ali Abunimah — Israeli forces shot dead Fadi Hasan al-Froukh on Sunday [1 Nov], claiming that the 27-year-old had tried to stab one of its soldiers guarding the entrance to Sa‘ir village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Al-Froukh was one of eight Palestinians, including two children, killed by Israeli occupation forces between Thursday, 29 October and Wednesday, 4 November, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported on Thursday. . . .There was no evidence that Fadi al-Froukh attempted to stab anyone before he was shot dead near Sa‘ir village on Sunday, PCHR said. Fadi al-Froukh did not pose a grave threat, PCHR adds, and “the Israeli soldiers could have arrested him as he was physically disabled.” Ma‘an News Agency’s reporter Daa Yayha reported from Sa‘ir that al-Froukh, the eldest of four sons and the father of a 20-day-old baby girl, was hit with approximately 10 bullets. An eyewitness told Ma‘an that al-Froukh had jumped down from an elevated olive grove behind a relative’s home and onto the field where he was shot. The eyewitness said that while al-Froukh would have known there were soldiers stationed in vehicles in the area, he was surprised by the ones near the field. The eyewitness said the soldiers opened fire on him directly. He added that al-Froukh was left on the ground for almost an hour without treatment, until one of the Israeli soldiers examined him and found him dead. He was later taken away by the Israelis. This video shows Israeli soldiers examining al-Froukh’s body. The soldiers can be heard shouting “son of a whore”:
One soldier speaking in Hebrew says al-Froukh “came suddenly” but there is no description of an attempted attack. A voice also says “I thought it was a soldier.” Al-Froukh is the third person from Sair village to be killed in recent weeks. On 26 October, Israeli forces killed 17-year-old Iyad Jaradat and 22-year-old Raed Jaradat. Shortly before he was killed, al-Froukh had taken part in the funeral of Raed Jaradat and there had been confrontations between occupation forces and youths in the area.
Paramilitary settlers attack houses in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Nov — A number of Paramilitary colonialist Israeli settlers attacked, on Friday evening, several Palestinian homes, near the Keryat Arba’ colony, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Soldiers open fire on a car in the city, invade a village near Jenin. The attack took place as hundreds of colonialist settlers marched towards the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the center of Hebron city. In addition, Israeli soldiers fired several rounds of live ammunition on a Palestinian car, driving on a bypass road near Halhoul town, north of Hebron.
3 Israelis injured in shooting attacks in Hebron district
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Three Israelis were shot and injured Friday evening in two separate shooting attacks in the Hebron district, Israel’s army said. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that an Israeli was shot and severely injured near Beit Einun, north of Hebron Friday evening. Israeli forces were conducting a search in the area for the suspect. Palestinian witnesses said they heard sporadic exchanges of gunfire in the area, with Israeli forces shouting loudly. Large reinforcements of military forces arrived in Beit Einun following the incident, with Israeli soldiers raiding a nearby home belonging to the al-Jabari family. Earlier, Israel’s army said that “two Israelis were shot at the Tomb of Patriarchs,” referring to the Ibrahimi Mosque. The spokesperson said that the assailant was unknown and Israeli forces were searching the area, adding that the injured had been evacuated to hospital. Israeli media identified a 16-year-old male who was seriously wounded and an 18-year-old male left with light injuries. Over 4,000 Jewish worshipers were reportedly in the city at the time for a religious holiday, accompanied by a heavy Israeli military presence in the area. Israeli media reported that both Hebron attacks were carried out by the same Palestinian group. The reports have not been confirmed.
Attack by suspected Jewish settler on Israeli rabbi in West Bank part of culture of impunity
BURIN, West Bank (AP) 5 Nov — Rabbi Arik Ascherman’s right middle finger is still bandaged from a recent confrontation in the West Bank, when a suspected extremist Jewish settler lurched at him with a knife, punching and kicking him. Almost two weeks after the Oct. 23 attack, when the liberal rabbi was helping Palestinians harvest their olive trees, no arrests have been made — part of what critics say is a culture of impunity for extremist settlers. Palestinians say that Israel’s seeming inability to prosecute settlers accused of violence is a key factor in a nearly two-month wave of violence that shows no signs of slowing down. Ascherman heads a group called Rabbis for Human Rights, which for more than a decade has been accompanying Palestinian farmers to their olive groves during the harvest season, when attacks by extremist settlers typically spike. While the presence of Israelis sometimes prevents violence, Ascherman said the attack on him shows how extremists — seemingly free from the threat of punishment — are often undeterred. “We’ve created … a Frankenstein’s monster that’s turned on its creator,” said Ascherman as he stood this week among a group of Israeli volunteers and Palestinian farmers raking olives from trees. The extremist settlers “believe that they are the lords of the land,” he added.
Video: Israeli undercover forces detain Palestinian in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli undercover forces detained a Palestinian youth during clashes near al-Azza refugee camp in Bethlehem on Friday, as three other youths were shot and injured with live fire, including one critically. Head of the ambulance and emergency department in Bethlehem, Muhammad Awad, told Ma‘an that a Palestinian youth was shot in the neck, with the bullet exiting from his chest. The unidentified youth was rushed to surgery at the Beit Jala Governmental hospital. Two other young Palestinians were shot with live fire, one in the arm and the other in the thigh, with both taken for treatment at the same hospital . . . Video footage published on Quds News Network [and apparently taken from Al Jazeera] shows Israeli forces dressed as Palestinian demonstrators force a youth to the ground before carrying him away as Israeli military forces enter the northern entrance to Bethlehem.
Army kidnaps a teenage girl in Jerusalem, two men in Hebron and Jenin
IMEMC 6 Nov — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Thursday evening, a teenage girl from her home, in the at-Tour town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and two Palestinian men on roadblocks in Hebron and Jenin. The family of the teenage girl said the army invaded the town, before undercover forces stormed their home while the soldiers surrounded it, and kidnapped their daughter, Tamara Moammar Abu Laban, 15 years of age. Her father said the soldiers took his ID card, and allowed him to accompany her, in their vehicle, to the police station in Salaheddin Street. he police in occupied Jerusalem claims the child “engages in incitement on Facebook.”
Israeli forces invade, vandalize three houses in Ramallah town
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 5 Nov – Israeli forces Thursday morning invaded and vandalized into three houses in Silwad town, east of Ramallah, said local sources. WAFA reported on local sources as saying that Israeli forces invaded four houses in the town and tried to blow up the main doors in order to force their way inside. However, they were confronted with locals who prevented them from blowing up the doors. The homeowners were identified as Fares, Khairallah and Saleh Hamed as well as Sami Wardeh. WAFA also reported on Naziha Wardeh, whose son, Feras, is sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment in Israeli detention prisons, as explaining that troops broke into their houses at 2:00 AM and locked the family into one room, before thoroughly searching the house in search for weapons. Troops emptied the family’s clothes from closets, broke furniture and destroyed bathroom tiles. They also interrogated and threatened Wardeh’s family to demolish their house if they didn’t hand over their alleged weapons within two days. Furthermore, WAFA reported on a member of Hamed family as saying that troops intentionally wrecked havoc into their house, spilling food supplies (oil, sugar, salt and flour) all together on the floor. WAFA also reported on the family of Fares as saying that troops invaded their house “hysterically” and refused to explain the reason for their invasion.
Portraits of Palestinian knife attackers
Occupied East Jerusalem (Al Jazeera) 6 Nov by Nigel Wilson — It was not politics, but the pressures of a life under occupation that drove Palestinian attackers, families say — It is men’s time in the red-and-blue cloth mourning tent that has been erected on the outdoor patio of Daoud Abu Jamal’s house, and uncles, cousins, and sons are chatting over weak coffee and cigarettes as friends and relatives come to pay their respects. The mood is sombre. Most of the visitors express quiet disbelief or sorrow. Some find comfort in the divine. Daoud’s face is tinged with yellow. He suffered a heart attack a few days after the death of his son – 33-year-old Alaa Abu Jamal – and still struggles to understand what has befallen his family. “He was a polite, popular person,” he says of the father of three young sons. “Everyone liked him. I would see him most days, [I’d] spend time with [him] and his wife and children. We would go for dinners in Jerusalem. He wasn’t motivated by events at Al-Aqsa Mosque. He wasn’t political either.” (continued)
Egyptian army shoots, kills Palestinian fisherman off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — Egyptian military forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Health in the besieged enclave said. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the ministry, said Firas Mohammad Miqdad, 18, from Rafah was shot in the abdomen by Egyptian forces while at sea and died from his injuries.It is unclear why Egyptian forces opened fire.
In May, Egyptian naval forces opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, injuring a fisherman from Rafah. Egypt upholds an Israeli military blockade on Gaza, keeping borders largely closed and limiting imports, exports, and the freedom of movement of its residents.
Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces shot and killed a 23-year-old Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip on Friday, Palestinian officials said, the second Palestinian to be killed after a 72-year-old woman was shot dead in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day. The Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the man as Salameh Moussa Abu Jame. He was shot east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip during clashes in the area. In northern Gaza, a Palestinian teenager was injured during clashes near the Erez crossing. A Ma‘an reporter said that dozens of Palestinian youths protested at the border, with Israeli forces firing tear-gas canisters at demonstrators.
Israeli forces level agricultural land inside Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Nov – Israeli forces on Thursday morning crossed the border fence between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip with bulldozers and “leveled” agricultural land in the area, locals said. Locals said Israeli forces entered the area along the al-Farahin and al-Qarara neighborhoods of the Gaza strip a few hundred meters inside the border fence and began flattening the ground there with bulldozers, and removing visual obstructions such as trees and bushes. The forces, locals said, fired gunshots into the air and created smokescreens to conceal their activities. Locals added that Israeli drones hovered over the area during the Israeli military operation.
Gaza power plant to shut down Friday
GAZA (PIC) 5 Nov — The Palestinian energy and natural resources authority has warned that the Gaza power plant will shut down on Friday evening after Hamdallah’s government stopped exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from taxes. The authority expressed disappointment over the PA unity government’s decision not to cancel the taxes on Gaza power station’s fuel permanently. “We exerted big efforts over the past days to extend exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from taxes but it was in vain”, the authority said in its statement. Due to the unity government decision, the power plant will shut down on Friday, the statement underline. The authority appealed to all concerned authorities in Ramallah to facilitate any obstacles for exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from taxes in order to avoid further humanitarian suffering for the population. For his part, deputy head of the energy authority Fathi Sheikh Khalil said that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah agreed Thursday evening on exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from taxes. Hamdallah has earlier recommended the opening of Karem Abu Salem crossing for the fuel entry to Gaza on Friday to prevent the power plant’s shutdown.
New hotline offers support to Gaza’s blackmail victims
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 6 Nov by Moath al-Amoud — Gaza’s all-female police unit has launched a campaign to offer women support and protection from emotional blackmail, a crime many are afraid to report — The all-female police unit in Gaza launched a campaign in October dubbed “We Are With You” to protect girls of high school age and older from blackmail by men. Lt. Col. Nariman Adwan, chief of Gaza’s all-female police unit, told Al-Monitor, “The campaign’s primary objective is to provide women with a safe haven if ever blackmailed. We have established a free hotline and held awareness and guidance lectures that targeted schools, universities, wedding halls and workplaces such as hospitals and factories. The main problem that women face is the lack of a safe haven and confidentiality of information shared by female victims of emotional blackmail. The campaign is providing them both.” The campaign’s media coordinator, Hana Karsoue, told Al-Monitor that the unit’s officers approached 33,000 girls and women from all over the Gaza Strip and that 200 complaints have been reported over the hotline to the police unit since the campaign began on Oct. 11.
Why Gaza’s grooms are looking for a career-focused bride
GAZA CITY 4 Nov by Rasha Abou Jalal — Three years ago, Jamal Najib would have never considered marrying a girl who was employed. Due to the harsh living conditions in the Gaza Strip, however, Najib had no choice but to change his mind and marry a girl with a job. “I always thought that marrying a working girl who pays for the family needs would affect both my manliness and our happiness as a married couple, but I eventually realized that due to the current hardships and economic crisis, our life would be quite tough if I marry an unemployed girl,” Najib, 29, whose wedding is scheduled for Dec. 7, told Al-Monitor. Dardah al-Shaer, professor of social psychology at Al-Aqsa University, told Al-Monitor, “Poverty and unemployment have reached unprecedented levels in Gaza as inflation and the weak purchasing power top the list of reasons that prompt guys to marry working girls in order to adapt to the economic conditions.”
Ehud Barak served US lawsuit over Gaza flotilla slaying
EI 5 Nov by Charlotte Silver — Ehud Barak is being sued in the United States over his role in the 2010 slaying of Turkish American citizen Furkan Doğan by Israeli commandos who stormed a boat attempting to break the siege on Gaza. The former Israeli prime minister was served court documents when he was in Los Angeles, California, for a speaking event last month. Doğan, 19, was shot multiple times at point-blank range during the raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish boat in a flotilla sailing in international waters. His parents, Ahmet and Hikmet Doğan, filed the lawsuit against Barak. “It is long overdue that these officials are held to account for their actions which have devastated my family and the families of many others,” Ahmet Doğan told The Electronic Intifada by email.
Father of Israeli soldier lost in Gaza calls for Hamas’s demands to be fulfilled
MEMO 5 Nov — The father of an Israeli soldier lost in the Gaza Strip during last year’s Israeli offensive on the coastal enclave called for the government to fulfil Hamas’s demands in order that he may be returned, local media reported yesterday. Israeli newspaper Maariv reported the father of Aron Shaul, one of the Israeli soldiers lost during the offensive in Gaza, saying: “No solution for the lost soldiers is in the horizon except through the fulfilment of Hamas’s demands. Hamas must get everything it needs in return for returning our sons even if they asked for the release of thousands of prisoners… We have to give them everything even if they asked for the release of Marwan Barghouti.”
Prisoners / Court actions
Prisoners tortured in Etzion, face difficult conditions in Ashkelon
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Muhammad al-Khatib, 19, received fractures in his hands when he was beaten by Israeli forces inside of a military vehicle after being detained, Palestinian Prisoner’s Society lawyer Jacqueline Fararj said. Fararj added that the forces cursed al-Khatib for the duration of the ride to the jail. Palestinian prisoners held in the Israeli Etzion and Ashkelon jails are facing torture and assault by Israeli forces, a prisoners’ rights group said. Members of Israel’s prison service in Etzion jail pushed 19-year-old prisoner Hazem Ishaq Abu Hadwan down a flight of stairs, the lawyer said. Palestinian prisoner Sameh Mahmoud Alameh, 26, was one of five prisoners that told Fararj they were severely beaten in Etzion, often times with rifles .Two teenage Palestinian girls held In the Ashkelon prison, Jihan Erekat, 17, and Nour Istabraq, 15, told the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society that conditions were difficult as the prison does not have a women’s section.The two said they have not been not allowed to leave their cells since being transferred to Ashkelon, adding that their cells are infested with bugs and cockroaches.
Israel jails own Palestinian citizen without charge or trial
EI 6 Nov by Charlotte Silver — The Israeli high court has approved the administrative detention of a 19-year-old woman who is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. The practice of prolonged detention without charge or trial is frequently used against Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, but has seldom been invoked in the judicial system within present-day Israel. This case underscores the blurring of lines between the occupied territories on the one hand, and present-day Israel, on the other. The young woman, whose identity is under a gag order, allegedly sent a text message to her family at the beginning of October saying that she wants to become a martyr “for Jerusalem and the country.” Her father turned her in to the Nazareth police, who immediately arrested her. While the state prosecutor found there was not enough evidence to charge her with a crime, defense minister Moshe Yaalon ordered her detention as a preventive measure . . . In addition to the girl’s text message, the government presented Facebook posts she wrote over the summer as further evidence. The government also submitted secret evidence to the high court. – Widening repression- This is not an isolated case. Since October, there have been signs that Israel is using the repressive measure more frequently. At least 24 Palestinians from East Jerusalem were administratively detained last month, prisoners rights group Addameer told The Electronic Intifada. Three of them are minors.
Arab-Israeli woman indicted for spying in Haifa for Gaza terror group
JERUSALEM (JTA) 5 Nov — An Arab-Israeli woman was arrested and indicted for spying on Israel for a Gaza-based terror organization. Nassrin Hassan Abdallah Hassan, 40, an Israeli citizen married to a Palestinian man who resides in the Gaza Strip, where she has lived in recent years, was indicted Thursday in Beersheba District Court, the Shin Bet security agency said in a statement. Hassan was recruited in October 2013 by the Kataeb al-Mujahaddin, a terrorist organization whose members have committed several attacks – including rocket attacks – against Israeli targets in recent years. According to the Shin Bet, Hassan collected intelligence on government buildings and infrastructure in Haifa and passed it to Hamas on visits to Gaza. The intelligence included the security arrangements at sites including Haifa Port, the railway station, the Interior Ministry branch, a courthouse and a synagogue. Hassan also agreed to commit attacks in Israel for the terror group, according to the Shin Bet, who said she received training in bomb preparation. She also attempted to recruit several Israeli citizens to commit terrorist activities in Israel. “These are serious actions undertaken by an Israeli citizen, who is a member of a Gazan terrorist organization and assisted them in their efforts to commit attacks against Israel while cynically exploiting her Israeli citizenship,” the Shin Bet statement said.
Restrictions on movement
B’Tselem: Hebron district residents undergoing ‘draconian’ measures
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — As Hebron continues to be at the epicenter of recent violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli rights group B’Tselem said Friday that Israel’s response in the area is “immoral” and “awful.” At least 22 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Hebron district since the beginning of last month, many during alleged, attempted, and actual attacks. Following documentation of restrictions placed in the area by Israeli forces since the increase in violence, B’Tselem said that the moves protect Israeli settlers in the area while punishing the greater Palestinian public . . . The policy is in effect a physical and legal segregation between Israeli settlers living illegally in the area and protected by the Israeli military, and the Palestinian majority, B’Tselem said. While an army spokesperson has pledged that the Israeli military would “continue to allow as normal a fabric of life as possible for all residents,” B’Tselem said the statement is “a far cry from reality.” “There has been no ‘normal fabric of life’ in Hebron for many days, and the measures taken in the name of security are draconian and not dictated by reality.” Near Hebron’s Old City, beginning on Oct. 29, Israeli forces completely closed off the city’s Tel Rumeidah neighborhood to Palestinians. Access is being given only to “registered residents” of the area who must go through in depth security checks upon entering and leaving, the group said . . . Around 50 Palestinian families live in Tel Rumeida, three of which recently left after harassment from Israeli authorities, B’Tselem said, adding that a field researcher who visited the area said it “looks like a ghost town.” Those who remain visible in the neighborhood are Israeli settlers, many carrying firearms, who are protected by heavily-armed Israeli military forces. All Palestinian stores and businesses nearby the Ibrahimi Mosque have been forced to remain closed for over a week as owners are prevented access to the area.
Hebron-area villages and towns have also come under punitive measures from Israeli authorities. The village of Dura west of Hebron was sealed by a gate, forcing residents who wish to enter and exit the area to travel via a narrow and rough back road. South of Hebron, Israeli forces have been individually checking every person and vehicle crossing out of the city of Yatta, resulting in massive traffic backups, B’Tselem said. Gates now block the exits of Beit Einun and Bani Na‘im east of Hebron, and all men under the age of 25 have been prevented exit from the village of Sa‘ir since Nov. 1, according to documentation by the group.
Israel re-opens Jalameh checkpoint near Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 5 Nov — Israeli authorities Thursday re-opened al-Jalameh checkpoint, north of Jenin, after a day of shutdown in both directions, according to the Palestinian Military Liaison Office (PMLO). On Wednesday morning, Israel announced that the checkpoint would be shut down in both directions until further notice, hours after soldiers at the checkpoint shot dead a Palestinian youth from nearby Qabatia. Hundreds of students from inside the occupied 1948 land, Israel, use the checkpoint almost daily to reach their universities in the West Bank. The checkpoint has been shut down multiple times during the past three weeks, following Israeli soldiers’ shooting and killing of four Palestinians in four separate incidents close to the checkpoint.
PA removes steel door settlers installed inside Joseph’s Tomb
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — The Palestinian Authority removed a steel door that a group of settlers had installed inside the site of Joseph’s Tomb in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Wednesday evening, the governor of Nablus said. Governor Akram Rajoub told Ma‘an that the door, which was installed by “extremist” settlers, was a violation of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over Joseph’s Tomb, which is under PA control. The PA removed the door and sent a unique message back to Israeli authorities. “The Israeli [liaison office] sent us a copy of the door’s key,” Rajoub said. “We removed the door completely and sent them both the door and the key back.” Rajoub highlighted that the PA has been refurbishing Joseph’s Tomb to repair damage caused by dozens of young Palestinians who hurled Molotov cocktails at the shrine last month.“The PA is refurbishing the shrine at its own expense because it views this place as having religious and historic importance to the Palestinian society.”
Other news, analysis, opinion
Palestinians divided over future of jailed Fatah leader
Al-Monitor 6 Nov by Daoud Kuttab — Family and friends say imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti is in good spirits as talk swirls about the possibility of his leading Fatah, yet some question how effective he could be from behind bars — While violence in the occupied Palestinian territories continues to spiral in an unclear direction without an end in sight, a familiar name has returned to the political agenda. Marwan Barghouti, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a senior Fatah leader, is being discussed in political and diplomatic circles. Talk of him intensified when Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in a highly publicized video conference on Nov. 4, told Gaza supporters that Hamas will call for the release of Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in a prisoner exchange deal with Israel. Barghouti — a former student leader at Birzeit University who was deported by Israel during the first intifada in 1987 and helped launch the Fatah youth movement — is a hero to many Palestinians. Public opinion polls by Arab World for Research and Development show Barghouti gaining in popularity over the years as President Mahmoud Abbas’ elected successor. Israelis have mixed feelings about Barghouti, who speaks fluent Hebrew and understands the Israeli political map. Some consider him an “arch-terrorist” and point to his multiple imprisonments and convictions related to killing of Israelis during the second intifada in 2002, while others see him as a pragmatic leader with whom they could one day possibly make peace. (continued)
There will be no peace until Israel’s occupation of Palestine ends / Marwan Barghouti
The Guardian 11 Oct 2015 — The current escalation in violence did not start with the killing of two Israeli settlers, it started a long while ago and has been going on for years. Every day Palestinians are killed, wounded, arrested. Every day colonialism advances, the siege on our people in Gaza continues, oppression persists. As many today want us to be overwhelmed by the potential consequences of a new spiral of violence, I will plead, as I did in 2002, to deal with its root causes: the denial of Palestinian freedom. Some have suggested the reason why a peace deal could not be reached was President Yasser Arafat’s unwillingness or President Mahmoud Abbas’s inability, but both of them were ready and able to sign a peace agreement. The real problem is that Israel has chosen occupation over peace, and used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project. Every government across the globe knows this simple fact and yet so many of them pretend that returning to the failed recipes of the past could achieve freedom and peace. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. There can be no negotiations without a clear Israeli commitment to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; a complete end to all colonial policies; a recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including their right to self-determination and return; and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. We cannot coexist with the occupation, and we will not surrender to it. (continued)
Hamas’ Meshaal calls for unity to support intifada
Al-Monitor 6 Nov by Adnan Abu Amer — Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal this week called for Palestinians to end the Israeli settlement and occupation by forming a united field command to ensure the success of the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In his first official appearance since Sept. 7, the head of Hamas’ political bureau participated in a Nov. 4 Skype interview organized by the Press House in Gaza — a nongovernmental organization — with a couple of Palestinian authors and media, including Al-Monitor. He outlined factors that he said had deluded Israel into thinking the time was right to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews. Those factors include the Palestinian division, weak choices made by the Palestinian Authority (PA), the region’s preoccupation with heated issues and the US’ withdrawal from the Palestinian issue to focus on other international events. But the intifada took Israel by surprise and revealed its miscalculations. In the two-hour interview, Meshaal focused mostly on Palestinian national unity. He refused to endorse any action that could weaken or foil the intifada. He said he hopes the intifada’s momentum will achieve what the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation failed to in terms of national field unity. (continued)
Palestinian government shuts Arab newspaper over report on Israel ties
RAMALLAH (Reuters) 6 Nov by Ali Sawafta — The Palestinian administration in the occupied West Bank shut down the local office of a pan-Arab newspaper this week after accusing it of “offensive” reporting on Palestinian security coordination with Israel, officials said. As Palestinian-Israeli street violence surged last month, Al Araby Al-Jadeed daily accused the administration of jailing “dozens of (Palestinian) political prisoners on charges of resisting (the Israeli) occupation”. The newspaper, which publishes a broadsheet in London, Beirut and Doha, also alleged torture within Palestinian jails. It branded the closure as politically motivated.
Obama gives up on peace treaty under his term
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — United States president Barack Obama concluded that a peace treaty or direct talks between Israel and Palestinian leadership would not be carried out in his time left in office, a White House spokesperson said Thursday. Israeli media reported that Obama’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Rob Malley, said in a press briefing that despite the failure to forge an agreement, Obama would still push Israel to forge a feasible two-state solution in the future. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet on Monday in the US.
Israel’s army, government split over root causes of Palestinian violence
JPost 6 Nov — The chasm between Israel’s civilian and military leadership over the causes of the ongoing wave of Palestinian violence is growing more apparent by the day. According to Channel 10, defense officials have expressed their view to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “a siege on Palestinian areas would simply exacerbate their frustration.” There were discussions among Israeli officials over a possible closure of Palestinian areas in a bid to deter further knife and shooting attacks, which continued on Friday . . . According to The Jerusalem Post‘s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv, the head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, was scolded by Immigration and Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin during a classified cabinet briefing in Jerusalem earlier this week. Elkin apparently did not appreciate what Halevi had to say about steps taken by the Palestinian Authority to curb violence against Israelis, namely that President Mahmoud Abbas had ordered his security forces to lower tensions on the ground and to continue defense coordination with the army. According to Ma’ariv, Halevi listed three factors to which military intelligence attributed the spate of Palestinian attacks: tensions regarding perceived attempts by Israel to violate the status quo on Temple Mount; the unsolved murder of members of the Dawabsha family; and Palestinian frustration over the stalled peace process. These remarks prompted a number of ministers to murmur in disapproval, chief among them Elkin, who chided the Military Intelligence chief for wading into a political matter while serving as a mouthpiece for the Palestinian cause. “The truth needs to be said, and that is that this wave of terrorism erupted due to the deceitful incitement by Palestinian officials and others,” Elkin said.
Poll: Most Jewish Israelis say terrorists should be killed on the spot
Times of Israel (JTA) 6 Nov — More than half of Jewish-Israelis say they believe any Palestinian “who has perpetrated a terror attack against Jews should be killed on the spot,” according to a new survey. The Peace Index, a monthly poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, released a report Thursday focusing on views about the current wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks on Jewish-Israelis and Israel’s efforts to stem the violence. In addition to finding that 53 percent of Jewish-Israelis support extrajudicial killing of Palestinian terrorists, the survey revealed that Arab-Israelis are more fearful than Jewish-Israelis as a result of the increasing violence. The survey did not ask Arab-Israelis about extrajudicial killing. According to the poll, 57 percent of Jewish-Israelis fear they or someone close to them will be harmed, compared to 78 percent of Arab-Israelis. In addition, more Arab-Israelis (53 percent compared to 36 percent of Jewish-Israelis) say they have changed their daily habits in response to the security situation. The survey also found dramatic Arab-Jewish differences on which terrorists to punish — and how. Eighty percent of Jewish-Israelis said Palestinian homes should be razed if the homeowner or a family member carries out an attack “for nationalist reasons,” while 53 percent see this as an appropriate punishment for a Jewish person who carries out a nationalist-motivated terror attack. (Seventy-seven percent of Arab-Israelis oppose razing Palestinian homes, and 67 percent oppose razing Jewish ones.) While 70 percent of Jewish-Israelis believe the punishments for terrorist are too light, 60 percent of Arab-Israelis believe the punishments are too heavy.
Poll: 64% of Palestinians support abolishment of Oslo Accords
MEMO 6 Nov — The majority of Palestinians support the abolition of the Oslo Accords and its economic protocol, a new poll revealed yesterday. According to the poll, conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), as many as 64 per cent of Palestinians support the abolishment of the Oslo Accords and its economic protocols compared to 28 per cent who want it to remain in place and eight per cent who were undecided. Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Wasel Abu Yousef, told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that the committee approved stopping security, political and economic coordination with Israel on Wednesday. However, economic expert Samir Abdullah told the news agency that the Palestinians do not have the tools to annul the Paris Economic Protocol or to carry out an economic war against Israel . . .
According to the poll, 30 per cent of respondents believe the Palestinian Authority’s priority now is to stop security coordination with Israel, while 27 per cent believe the priority is to form a national unity government.
Palestine-Saudi World Cup qualifier to be played in Jordan
RAMALLAH (AFP) 5 Nov — Palestine’s football association on Thursday said it had reluctantly agreed to play upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia at neutral venues, with the games set for Jordan. The association however is also requesting a postponement of the match against Saudi Arabia set for November 9 to allow it more time to organise, association head Jibril Rajoub told reporters. FIFA on Wednesday ordered Palestine to play the matches at neutral venues because of security fears. “I spoke to (Jordan’s) Prince Ali over the last two days and we will play the two matches in Jordan,” Rajoub said. “We will ask to postpone the match (with Saudi Arabia) for logistical reasons.” The Palestine-Malaysia match is scheduled for November 12.
Israel withheld NIS 1.5 billion from workers
AIC 5 Nov by Amanda Edmonton — Kav LaOved, an organisation protecting disempowered workers’ rights in Israel, filed an appeal against the Israeli government, the Population, Borders and Immigration Authority, and the Ministry of Finance for mismanaging Palestinian workers’ pension funds. The organisation determined that Israel has withheld NIS 1.5 billion in Palestinian workers’ pension funds. The Israeli government deducts a set amount from workers’ paychecks for pension plans. Then, when a worker encounters an insurance-qualifying life event, such as disability, old age, or the death of a partner, they can claim pension insurance. However, Palestinians working in Israel seldom have access to their pension insurance, even though the state deducts money from their paychecks in an identical fashion. Kav LaOved found this is largely because Israel neglects to inform Palestinians that they even have pension plans. The little information that is provided to Palestinians is not in Arabic, and erroneously reclassifies pension plans as “insurance savings.” By masking Palestinians’ pension plans as “savings,” Kav LaOved claims the state covertly encourages Palestinians to prematurely withdraw money from their pension plans. Not only does this result in Palestinians paying extremely high taxes on such withdrawals, but they also unknowingly disqualify themselves from claiming pension insurance later on. The state’s negligence and manipulations have resulted in only one Palestinian receiving pension funds for old age in 2013, three in 2014, and 113 in 2015. There are approximately 50,000 Palestinians working in Israel.
Solar energy access drives new wedge into Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ABU KBEITA, West Bank (Takepart) 6 Nov by Uri Blau — Driving around the West Bank it’s easy to tell if you are among Jewish settlements or Palestinian communities. Red roofing tiles on concrete houses, paved roads, playgrounds for children, and other indicators of Western-style suburbia mean you are in a settlement. If houses are densely packed together, and the road is bumpy, it’s Palestinian land. And where the roads between villages are dirt or nonexistent, the roofs are tin, and homes lack water or electricity, you are almost certainly in the twilight zone of Area C, a technical designation for parts of the West Bank where Jewish settlements lie — and where Palestinians live in conditions reminiscent of the developing world. In Area C . . . Israel is the sovereign power on both security and civilian matters. In Area B, the Palestinian authority handles civil issues and Israel is in charge of the security aspects; Area A has reverted to full Palestinian control. The different rules translate into very different living conditions for Palestinians. In Area C’s Abu Kbeita community, in the Southern Hebron Hills, a few dozen Palestinians live lives similar to those of their ancestors centuries ago; they are typically shepherds. The community lies just outside a security fence surrounding the Jewish Beit Yatir settlement; electricity lines pass above the Palestinian homes, which are little more than sheds, connecting the settlers’ concrete houses to the Israeli electrical grid and the outside world.The wires are a reminder of the new wedge dividing Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank: renewable energy development. Israelis in settlements that international law says are illegal are investing in solar farms to sell electricity to Israel’s grid; meanwhile, the Israeli Civil Administration that supports the settlements places significant obstacles before Palestinians wanting to access electricity. In the past few months construction on at least four solar farms has begun in Area C, all of them on settlement land. Human rights lawyers say these facilities, because they aim to support the settlement economy, violate international law. Meanwhile, Palestinians here who hope to benefit from solar electricity have seen their installations damaged by vandals and threatened with destruction by Israeli authorities.
Israeli pilots train over southern US, with focus on mountainous areas
Times of Israel 7 Nov by Judah Ari Gross — IAF sends transport planes to America for ‘Southern Strike’ exercise to forge ties, prepare for missions; officer mum on any Iran relevance — . . . The exercise did not feature action-packed simulated dogfights or bombing runs, but rather the less glamorous, but no less important, transport and logistical missions involving the Israeli Air Forces’s C-130 Hercules airplanes — both the older “Karnaf” model, and the new “Shimshon” version which Israel received from Lockheed just last year. This is the third year in a row that Israel has participated in the exercise at the Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. The drill aims to give IAF pilots practice in unfamiliar geographic areas, and to forge stronger connections between Israeli and American pilots, Brig. Gen. (res.) Eden, the IAF officer who led the Israeli delegation, told The Times of Israel.
Far-fetched? See this next article, from 2009
Israel steals slain Palestinians’ organs
RAMALLAH (PIC) 5 Nov — The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Riyad Mansour said that Israel is harvesting the organs of Palestinians killed during the ongoing Jerusalem Intifada. Riyad Mansour said in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that the bodies of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces are “returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.” “A medical examination conducted on bodies of Palestinians returned after they were killed by the occupying power found that they were missing organs,” Mansour wrote in the letter. The issue of organ theft by Israel was first brought to the fore in a report published by Sweden’s most highly-circulated daily Aftonbladet in 2009.
Doctors admit Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent
The Guardian 21 Dec 2009 by Ian Black — Israel has admitted pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families – a practice it said ended in the 1990s – it emerged at the weekend. The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic”. The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. (continued)
Late at night at an IDF checkpoint, one Palestinian finds a little hope / Gideon Levy & Alex Levac
Haaretz 6 Nov — The experience of a B’Tselem field researcher began in great fear, but ended with rare dialogue — It was long after midnight. The last car had passed by three hours earlier, and since then the road had been empty. Neither settlers nor Palestinians dare any longer to drive here at this hour. It’s as though a voluntary nighttime curfew is in effect. It’s dark here, and scary. Suddenly a car approaches. The three soldiers at the checkpoint tense up. Seven Israel Defense Forces soldiers and three Israeli civilians were killed here in the previous intifada by a Palestinian sniper who picked them off from the hillside across the way. The soldiers who are here now were just children then, but they know that it’s dangerous on Highway 60 these days, dangerous for everyone. The highway runs through the center of the West Bank along its entire length, and this Haramiya checkpoint used to slice it in two. It was unmanned for some years, but now the army is back at the checkpoint, which lies on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus, between the settlements of Ofra and Shiloh. The car approached slowly. The soldiers cocked their weapons. The driver was afraid; the soldiers too, it seemed.
Abed Al-Karim a-Saadi is the northern West Bank field researcher for B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. A 52-year-old father of four, Saadi still lives in the same village – Atil, north of Tul Karm – where he was born. He holds a degree in psychology from An-Najah National University in Nablus, and is perceptive and sociable. His professional career is marked by interaction with both Israelis and Palestinians: He worked on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the District Coordination Office as a liaison with Israel, at Allenby Bridge, in Palestinian and international human rights organizations, and for the past decade has been with B’Tselem. Saadi is that rare and endangered breed: a Palestinian who has never been arrested. Last week, he decided to go to Ramallah to see a play. The events of that night, which he related to us vividly, still visibly moved, are a minor tale of West Bank routine, without blood or violence, though perhaps with a moral . . .
He left Ramallah a little after 12:30 A.M. The road was deserted and threatening. “There weren’t even any dogs out, just me alone.” Soon he came to Wadi Haramiya, where the checkpoint was manned. He immediately slowed down. From a distance he made out three soldiers, who signaled him with flashlights to stop. He pulled over on the right side of the road. Their rifles aimed at him, they ordered him to stop on the opposite side of the road, turn off the engine and get out of the car. The next seven to 10 seconds were the longest of his life, Saadi says now: “I said to myself: This is the moment to be killed. They will find a reason to shoot me. There are three of them, there are no eyewitnesses, they will always be able to say that I tried to attack them, even show a knife. No one will ever know what really happened.” Then he adds, “But I was lucky.” . . . He told the soldiers that B’Tselem is a human rights organization, using the Hebrew term for “human rights.” The conversation was conducted in three fragmented languages: Hebrew, Arabic and English. What does human rights mean, the officer asked. “That was an opportunity for me to talk as much as possible,” Saadi relates. A dialogue then began that lasted deep into the night. An IDF officer and two soldiers on one side, a Palestinian civilian on the other. The soldiers were trying to relieve their boredom, he was trying to dissipate his fear. He also knew that opportunities like this almost never arise. . . .