Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Palestinian buried after body withheld by Israeli authorities for 65 days
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Feb — Israeli intelligence handed over the body of Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali to the Palestinians on Sunday night, 65 days after he was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, for him to be buried. Al-Ghazali, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was shot dead on Dec. 26 after Israeli police say he pulled a knife on an officer in Allenby Square in Jerusalem. However, a witness on the scene said that al-Ghazali had not been holding a knife when he was killed. Al-Ghazali’s family said at the time that the young man suffered from mental disabilities, and denied that he would have carried out an attack. They accused Israeli forces of “executing him in cold blood.”
Al-Ghazali’s body was returned to its family entirely covered in ice due to being kept refrigerated in Israeli custody. “The family committed to the conditions but Israel did not,” al-Ghazali’s uncle, Majd al-Ghazali, told Ma‘an. “The family asked for them to take the body out of the morgue 24 to 48 hours before handing over the body so the ice would melt, but we were shocked that the ice was still on Musab’s body.” A lawyer for prisoners rights organization Addameer said only 30 people were allowed to attend al-Ghazali’s funeral, which was held with Israeli police and army forces deployed in the area. Al-Ghazali’s sister, 22-year-old Rawan, was prevented from attending the funeral, as her name was allegedly not mentioned in the list of people allowed to be at the funeral. “Israel is using the chaos as an excuse that is why they handed him over after midnight, with a list with only 30 attending,” al-Ghazali’s uncle said. Israeli authorities also prevented any video recording or photography of the body, and seized the cell phones of people attending the funeral, the lawyer added. Israeli authorities had announced that they would release al-Ghazali’s body three weeks earlier, on Feb. 6. Al-Ghazali’s family had to comply with strict conditions regarding the time and size of the funeral, as well pay 20,000 shekels ($5,150) as collateral, before Israel released the body. Similar preconditions have been set on the families of other Palestinians whose relatives’ bodies were held by Israeli authorities.
Two Palestinians shot, critically injured by Israeli forces near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Two Palestinians were critically injured in clashes with the Israeli army south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, medical sources said. Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman Errab Foqoha told Ma‘an that two Palestinians were shot in the chest during clashes in the village of al-Khader, and that they were injured “critically.” Locals told Ma‘an that the two were shot when clashes broke out after Israeli forces began raiding the village and firing haphazardly. One of the victims, they said, is a middle-aged dentist identified as Hisham Muhammad Atwan Sbeih, who was in his car parked in his front yard near the city’s historic gate when he was shot. Locals later identified the other victim as Yazan Omar Salah,16. Foqoha said Salah was taken to the al-Yamamah hospital in al-Khader, while Sbeih was taken to the Beit Jala public hospital. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers stopped an ambulance heading towards al-Yamamah looking for the unnamed wounded man. However, medical sources at the hospital confirmed that the he arrived in a private car. Israeli forces then briefly surrounded the al-Khader hospital.
Soldiers attack and kidnap a Palestinian teen after shooting him in Jerusalem
IMEMC 29 Feb — The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported that the soldiers invaded the Abu Riyala neighborhood, in al-‘Isawiyya, before storming and violently searching a number of homes, and used their rooftops as monitoring towers. Silwanic added that the clashes that erupted in the Abu Riyala neighborhood after the army invaded it extended to the Dari neighborhood and that the soldiers fired several live rounds and dozens of gas bombs. Medical sources said resident Mohammad Waleed Obeid, 19, was shot in the thigh with a Toto [22, dumdum] hollow bullet, which detonates upon impact while many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. The soldiers assaulted Obeid after shooting him, and dragged him onto the ground before he was moved to Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center. Besides his gunshot wound, Obeid suffered a fracture in one of his legs, in addition to several cuts and bruises. The soldiers also removed his family from the hospital when they went there to see him.
In addition, the soldiers kidnapped Khaled al-‘Abbassi, 19, as he was walking home in the Central Neighborhood, in Silwan town, after repeatedly kicking and beating him. Silwanic stated that dozens of soldiers were deployed in the neighborhood, on Sunday evening, and broke into a home, before searching it, and used it as a monitoring tower. It also said that the soldiers assaulted a young man, riding his bicycle in the area, after an Israeli settler’s car collided with a Palestinian car. The soldiers used excessive force to remove the residents, who gathered in the area, and sprayed their faces with pepper-spray.
Soldiers attack and detain a child near Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Feb — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, the town of Silwad, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, detained a child for several hours and repeatedly struck and beat him, causing various injuries. Resident Ahmad al-Kharraz said the soldiers abducted his brother, Soheib, only 13 years of age, for several hours, and that they repeatedly assaulted and beat him while interrogating him. He added that the soldiers stopped his brother near the town’s western entrance, and placed him in their military vehicle, before driving away. The child was also repeatedly beaten in the military vehicle, before the soldiers released him near Tormus Ayya village, north of Ramallah. Palestinian residents of Tormus Ayya saw the child, who suffered various cuts and bruises, and called for an ambulance that took him to a local emergency center.
On Sunday at dawn, the army kidnapped a child, identified as Hamza Hammad, 15, in Silwad, and took him to a military base. Hamza is the son of Moayyad Hammad, who is serving seven life terms in an Israeli prison.
Mayor: Israeli forces assault entire family during al-‘Issawiya raid
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Feb — Israeli forces physically assaulted an entire family in the occupied East Jerusalem village of al-‘Issawiya overnight Sunday after the family resisted during an arrest raid, the de facto mayor of the village said. Darwish Darwish said Israeli forces stormed the home of Tareq and Tahreer Darwish with the intention of detaining the couple’s sons Yousef, 18, and Laith, 17. The two teens, along with their father, resisted the detention, and Israeli forces attacked the three, beating them. Darwish said the family told him that when Israeli forces began beating the father and two brothers, other members of the family stepped in and tried to stop Israeli forces, who then turned on the rest of the family. According to the mayor, the mother, Tahreer, 37, her daughter, Batoul, 14, and 2-year-old son Darwish all suffered from bruises and lacerations all over their bodies. Israeli forces detained the entire family, including the toddler, after the assault. The family was detained while still barefoot and in pajamas, the mayor said. Darwish added that Israeli forces ransacked the family home, destroying valuables, before taking the family to a police station in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, and then transferring them to the Salah al-Din police station near Damascus Gate. After four hours of detention, Israeli forces released the mother and her young son, but kept the rest of the family, including the 14-year-old daughter, under detention. The 17-year-old son Laith is set to appear in Israeli court for a trial on Monday. The charges levied against him are unknown. While the mayor shares a last name with the family, Darwish is one of the most popular surnames in al-Issawiya village, and the family is not necessarily directly related to the mayor.
Photo for martyr Nayif proves being assaulted
JENIN (PIC) 29 Feb — Sources close to the family of the Palestinian martyr Omar al-Nayif published on Sunday a photo of him showing blood on his face. This proves that he was directly targeted during assassination inside the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria, they added. The photo refuted rumors claiming that there was no blood on his face, and raised questions on the purpose that made certain parties minimize the seriousness of the assassination. Nayif was murdered last Friday in the Palestinian Embassy in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. Israeli Mossad was accused in the first place. The family of the martyr also accused the Palestinian Authority as well as its Embassy of collusion with the Israeli occupation in assassinating their son. For his part, the Palestinian Ambassador to Sofia said that “Nayif was found with no shooting or beating signs on his body”.
Israeli settlers escorted by army raid village in Salfit district
SALFIT (Ma‘an) — A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli military forces raided the village of Yasuf in the northern West Bank district of Salfit on Saturday. The head of the Yasuf village council, Hafith Ebayya, said that a group of Israeli settlers raided the village and attempted to enter the al-Basatin area in central Yasuf. Ebayya said that the settlers were escorted by military vehicles and soldiers, and that a military checkpoint was set up at the entrance of the village. Clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian youths and Israeli forces. Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at youths and several farmers who were in their fields nearby. Several youths and farmers suffered from tear gas inhalation . . .
Three-quarters of Yasuf’s lands are located in Area C — under full Israeli military and administrative control. According to a report by the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), over the years, some 602 dunams (148.7 acres) of Yasuf land have been seized to establish settlement housing. Several Israeli settlements are located near Yasuf, including Ariel, the fourth largest settlement in the West Bank.
Israeli forces detain Palestinian suspected in settlement mall attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Israeli forces detained on Sunday a Palestinian suspected of having attacked a security guard in the illegal settlement of Maale Adumim three days prior. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said a 21-year-old Palestinian from the village of al-Eizariya in the Jerusalem district, identified as Saadi Ali Abu Hamid, was detained “after a joint campaign of Israeli police, general intelligence and army.” An Israeli security guard was critically wounded in a stabbing attack in a shopping mall in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim east of Jerusalem late on Thursday night. Al-Samri said a relative of Abu Hamid called Israeli police to turn him in. She added that Abu Hamid linked himself to the attack during initial interrogations, but that the investigation was still ongoing. [Jerusalem Post: The security guard, Tzvika Cohen, a father of four, is in serious condition at the critical care unit of the Hadassah-University Medical Center on Mount Scopus . . . According to Channel 2, Abu Hammad worked in the mall and had asked Cohen to open the elevator doors for him. Cohen, who knew Abu Hammad, did not suspect that he was about to be attacked. A security video that was circulated late Saturday showed an assailant striking Cohen multiple times near the mall’s elevator doors.]
Israeli soldiers kidnap thirteen Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Feb — Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, on Sunday at dawn and Saturday evening, thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including two children in occupied Jerusalem. Two of the kidnapped were shot and injured after the army ambushed their car. Media sources in Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said the soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, the Old City and Street #24, in the center of Nablus, searched many homes and kidnapped three Palestinians, identified as Said Abdul-Hakim Dbeik, 23, Mustafa Mohammad Habeesa, 22, and Zakariyya Waddah Awawda, 21. In addition, the soldiers ambushed a Palestinian car, in Qabr Hilwa area, near Dar Salah village in the Bethlehem district, and fired several live rounds at it, wounding two in their legs, and kidnapped them along with two others who were in the vehicle. Their names were unavailable at the time of this report. In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded the al-‘Eesawiyya town, searched several homes, and kidnapped two children, identified as Yousef Darwish and his brother Laith, and took them to an interrogation facility. On Saturday at night, Silwan witnessed clashes between dozens of local youths and Israeli soldiers who invaded it and assaulted many residents. The army fired gas bombs causing several Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. On Saturday evening, several Israeli army vehicles invaded Qabatia town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, installed a sudden roadblock, and kidnapped two Palestinians, identified as Amin Mohammad Zakarna and Nash’at Mohammad Hasan. In the northern West Bank district of Jenin, the soldiers kidnapped Odai Mohammad Dosouqi, from the Jenin refugee camp, and Mo’tasem Emad Darwish, from Mothallath ash-Shuhada village, both in their twenties, after stopping them on two military roadblocks installed on the main roads leading to their towns. In addition, the soldiers installed a roadblock on the Jenin-Nablus road, near Mothallath ash-Shuhada village, and fired several gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at many local youths, who hurled stones at them after the army invaded the area.
Update: ‘Army kidnaps 27 Palestinians in West Bank’
IMEMC 29 Feb — The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, Monday, 27 Palestinians, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, during extensive military invasions and violent searches of homes. The PPS said the soldiers kidnapped six Palestinians from the southern West Bank district of Hebron. They have been identified as Mohammad Arafat al-Qawasma, Yousef Wahid Abu Fara, 25, Taqieddin Jamal al-Hour (his father Jamal is also a political prisoner,) Fadi Mohammad Eghneimat, 33, Rami Haddoush, Shadi Assem al-Hashlamoun, 23. In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, the soldiers kidnapped six Palestinians (Continued)
Israeli forces detain teen in Hebron’s Beit Ummar village
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Israeli forces on Sunday evening detained a Palestinian teenager at a flying checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, a local popular committee spokesperson said. Muhammad Ayyad Awad said Israeli soldiers detained an 18-year-old identified as Hamzah Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashim, after forcing him to step out of his car at the flying checkpoint.The teenager was taken to the Etzion military base, and then to Ofer prison, Awad said. The reason for the detention is unknown. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. Awad said Abu Hashim had previously spent nine months in Israeli prison, adding that during the initial arrest two years ago he was attacked by police dogs.
Palestinian resistance attacks illegal settlement of Beit El
RAMALLAH (PIC) 28 Feb — A Palestinian armed man, believed to be affiliated with the resistance, opened fire at Beit El settlement east of al-Bireh city on Saturday night. According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, several shots were fired at housing units inside Beit El settlement. Some bullets hit the walls of some units and caused panic among the residents. The source of fire is still unclear, but there is an Israeli belief that it was from the nearby refugee camp of Jalazoun. Consequently, the Israeli occupation army combed the area around the settlement in search for the attacker. Israel’s channel 10 claimed the gunman used a sniper rifle in his attack on the settlement. Several shooting attacks on Beit El happened recently in retaliation to Israeli violations against the Palestinians and their land.
Suspect arrested for deadly arson attack on Palestinians was top police target for a year
Haaretz 26 Feb by Gidi Weitz & Chaim Levinson — The chief suspect in last summer’s deadly arson attack on a Palestinian family in Duma had been declared a high-priority target by the police a year earlier – meaning the triple murder might have been prevented had police managed to arrest him during this time, Haaretz has learned. According to a senior law enforcement official, someone is declared a police target only when “a significant amount of intelligence regarding the commission of prima facie crimes has accumulated against him,” and it requires approval from the head of the national investigations department. Once that approval is obtained, police set up a special task force to collect additional intelligence and hard evidence against the suspect, including by tailing and wiretapping him, with the goal of bringing him to justice swiftly. Very few people are declared police targets, and only when “their capture is deemed essential to society,” the official added. A former senior officer in the police’s investigations department said that “When a man declared a police target manages to commit a significant crime under the law enforcement system’s nose, that’s a failure.” . . . Ben-Uliel, 21, was recently charged with murdering three members of the Dawabsheh family, including an 18-month-old toddler, and seriously wounding a fourth by firebombing the family’s home in the West Bank town of Duma on the night of July 30 . . . Ben-Uliel is originally from Karmei Zur, a settlement north of Hebron, and is the eldest son of Rabbi Reuven Ben-Uliel, who is identified with mainstream religious Zionism. Prior to the deadly firebombing, the younger Ben-Uliel lived on a bus in the Adei Ad outpost, on a hilltop that overlooks Duma. (Continued: includes police profile of a typical extremist and names about 60 key suspects)
Attorney general: Israel can’t expel terrorists’ families to Gaza
Times of Israel 28 Feb by Stuart Winer — Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has rejected the idea of expelling families of Palestinian terrorists to the Gaza Strip, shooting down an idea which has been touted by Likud ministers as a further deterrent to prevent lone wolf terror attacks. Mandelblit recently ruled that deporting the families of those who carry out attacks against Israeli citizens is against Israeli and international law, Army Radio reported on Sunday. According to the report, several Likud ministers have raised the expulsion option during cabinet meetings in recent weeks in the wake of five months of near daily attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians and security forces. A source who was present during the debates claimed that it was only Mandelblit’s objections that prevented the policy from being implemented already.
Palestinian violence bred by incitement? You mean the occupation? / Yonatan Mendel
Haaretz 29 Feb — Did the killer of Shlomit Kriegman, who lives in the Qalandiya refugee camp, need a Twitter account to know that his life was in the dumps? — “Palestinian incitement.” Sometimes I wonder what we would do without that pair of words, or without expressions such as “a tailwind for terrorism,” “defensive democracy” and “What would you have done?” In January, Dafna Meir was murdered at the entrance to her home in Otniel. Most of the media outlets in Israel highlighted the fact that the young Palestinian who murdered her was influenced by inciteful statements broadcast on Palestinian television. On visiting the site of the killing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “Palestinian incitement is what is causing terrorism.” . . . This Pavlovian response, which has led public figures to pull out a reference to “Palestinian incitement” after each attack, is very disturbing. There is no denying that there have indeed been those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip calling for the use of violence, but things must be stated accurately: These are secondary tremors. The main temblor is the reality that between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River there is only one state, Israel; only one army, the Israel Defense Forces; only one people that enjoys independence; only one Law of Return; only one hope; and also only one occupation, which will soon be 50 years old. Try for a moment to imagine a world without “Palestinian incitement.” Try to imagine that the person who carried out the terrorist attack in Otniel, 16-year-old Murad Adais from Beit Amra in the southern West Bank, had not watched television in the days prior to the attack. What insight could be drawn from that? What would he have seen from the window of his home? Which Israelis would he have met? Soldiers at a roadblock? Settlers going around with weapons whose communities were built on Palestinian land? (Continued)
Progress made in Israel-Jordan negotiations over surveillance cameras on Temple Mount
Haaretz 28 Feb by Barak Ravid — Progress has been made in the negotiations between Israel and Jordan over placing surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount. Senior Israeli and Jordanian officials said Sunday that the two sides had reached agreement on a significant number of disputed items that had delayed implementation of the understandings formulated over three months ago through the mediation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Jordan’s Minister of Religious Trusts, Hail Daoud, said Sunday that a delegation of technicians from his ministry will visit Jerusalem during the next few days to expedite the final engineering and technical arrangements involved in installing cameras on the various plazas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Senior Israeli officials confirmed his remarks. The progress in the talks was first reported Sunday by Channel 10. The Jordanian minister presented the main points of understandings reached regarding the cameras. The cameras will be installed in the large plazas and in a few other locations in the Temple Mount compound but contrary to Israel’s demand, no cameras will be installed in the mosques. The minister said that the cameras will broadcast simultaneously to Jordanian and Israeli control rooms. Transmissions will be live, 24 hours a day. The Jordanian minister said that to facilitate this, a computerized communications network would be set up to link the Temple Mount to the Ministry of Religious Trusts in Amman. Daoud added that the transmissions would be streamed online so that people anywhere in the world interested in what’s happening on the Temple Mount can tune in at any time. This, however, was denied by Israeli officials, who said that there would be no such online streaming at this stage. (Continued)
Israeli soldiers shoot, injure Gaza farmer
KHAN YOUNES (WAFA) 28 Feb – A Palestinian farmer was injured on Sunday when Israeli soldiers patrolling along the border with Gaza opened gunfire at him after he attempted to reach his farm, according to local sources. WAFA correspondent said soldiers stationed at borderline watchtowers targeted a group of farmers with gunfire when they attempted to reach their farmlands, located close to the Israeli-erected fence on Gaza-Israel border to the east of Khan Younes, in southern Gaza Strip. One of the farmers, who was not identified yet, was moderately injured in his foot, and was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.
Israeli troops routinely open fire at Palestinian farmers and other civilians if they approach borderline lands. Israel has unilaterally declared a buffer zone extending between 500 meters and 1500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones. According to a United Nations’ OCHA, 17 percent of Gaza’s total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land lie within the buffer zone as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gaza residents. [Ma‘an: According the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israeli forces have injured at least 72 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the start of the year.]
IDF: Gaza infiltrators hoped to be sent to Israeli jail
Arutz Sheva [religious-zionist site] 28 Feb by Kobi Finkler — The IDF’s Southern Command has found that the Arabs who crossed the fence from Gaza yesterday (Saturday) did so in order to be sent to an Israeli prison, where they would receive a bed and food. The three infiltrators told their interrogators about the difficult economic conditions in Gaza, and that they would have better conditions in a prison in Israel.
IOF arrests Palestinian for attempting to cross Gaza security fence/details.aspx?itemid=77094
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 29 Feb — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Sunday evening a Palestinian youth for attempting to cross the security fence to the east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Quds Press quoted local sources as saying that IOF soldiers forced the arrested young man to take off his clothes under gun threat. The troops also took him to an unknown destination inside 1948 Occupied Palestine to be questioned by the Israeli Shin Bet officers. Sneaking into the 1948 Occupied Palestine by Gazans has been increased recently for the purpose of seeking work. Dozens of Gazan people have been arrested as a result.
Report: At least five Hamas men trapped in Gaza tunnel collapse
JPost 28 Feb — A Palestinian newspaper is reporting on Sunday that at least five members of Hamas’ military wing were injured when a tunnel they were in collapsed underneath the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio said. The radio network cited a report on the website of Al Quds which said that a Hamas-built tunnel collapsed in the Zeitoun quarter of southeastern Gaza City. There has yet to be official confirmation of the report. The newspaper reported that Hamas authorities in Gaza are searching for the people trapped in the tunnel collapse.
500 days in limbo: The story of two men from Gaza stuck in US immigration detention
Mondoweiss 26 Feb by Imraan Siddiqi — . . . A colleague of mine was visiting Arizona at an immigration conference, and told me about the story of Hisham Ghalia and Mounis Shaban. A Palestinian-American, she was heartbroken when she learned about the harrowing journey that these two men have endured – and asked if my organization could lend any help. Realizing that this was all happening in our backyard, I knew we had to do something. But first, I needed to know the details – and what I learned, was striking. These men left Gaza separately: Hisham in June of 2010 and Mounis in March 2011. They both went to Turkey on student visas. Eventually, they met in a refugee camp in Cyprus, where they decided to leave for Venezuela. Their travels would take them through Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico – all the way to the Nogales Port of Entry at the Arizona/Mexico Border. Imagine enduring a four-year-long journey, across 7,000+ miles, in horrific conditions – with a glimmer of hope that you may finally find a home in the land of opportunity. After this endless journey, which almost none of us could endure – let alone fathom, imagine being rejected at your final destination. You see, both Mounis and Hisham were not welcomed as asylum seekers when they surrendered to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the border. Rather, they were locked up in an Arizona immigration detention center, eventually denied asylum – and have now been held indefinitely, going on 500 days. The primary issue that has left these two men in limbo is: They’re essentially stateless. The United States government does not recognize Palestine as a country, therefore rendering them pawns in an endless diplomatic nightmare. (Continued)
Campaign of million signatures for releasing the abducted Gazans
GAZA (PIC) 28 Feb — Families of the four Gazans abducted by so far unknown Egyptian masked men gathered one million signatures demanding the release of their sons who have been kidnapped for six months. The campaign was launched by the popular committee in solidarity with the kidnapped four on Saturday. Participants sat-in before the Egyptian embassy in Gaza during the launch of the signing process. Head of the committee Mohammad Sultan said that the four abducted young men were traveling for study and treatment legally via Rafah border crossing with Egypt. He slammed the Palestinian and Egyptian authorities as well as international and humanitarian institutions for doing nothing in order to know about their fates or to work on their release. The four abducted youths are Abdudayem Abu Lebdeh, Yasser Zanoun, Abdullah Abu al-Jubain, and Hussein al-Zebdeh. They were kidnapped on August, 18, 2015 a few meters after exiting the Egyptian gate of the crossing. Until this moment, no news have been released on their fate or whereabouts.
Thousands commemorate DFLP anniversary in Gaza
[photos] GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) celebrated its 47th anniversary on Saturday with a march in the Gaza Strip, as its leaders stressed the need for Palestinian unity and the importance of armed and popular resistance to end the Israeli occupation. Thousands of Palestinians, including national and Islamic leaders, took part in the march in Gaza City in support of the DFLP, which was created in 1969 after a faction broke away from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). DFLP politburo member Talal Abu Tharifeh said his movement was still holding on to the right to armed and popular resistance, the right of return according to United Nations Resolution 194, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Japan donates $220,000 for Gaza water, health projects
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Japan signed two grants on Sunday to fund projects in the Gaza Strip worth almost $220,000 combined, the Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority said in a statement. One of the grants signed by Takeshi Okubo, the Japanese representative to the PA, allocates $128,426 to the Palestinian Environmental Friends (PEF) association to improve water quality in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The project would impact 10,000 residents’ access to drinking water, the statement read, notably through the installation of a desalination plant. The other grant, worth $90,909, is to benefit the blood laboratory in Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital, the statement read . . . According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country has provided more than $1.6 billion in assistance to the Palestinians since 1993.
Prisoners / Court actions
Shalash: al-Qeiq starts taking fluids under health observation
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 29 Feb — The wife of captive Mohammad al-Qeiq, Faiha Shalash, revealed on Sunday that he has started to take fluids and supplements after he had ended his hunger strike and that he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. She told the PIC reporter that the family could not visit him as Israelis allowed them to visit him within only five hours which is quite short time to arrange for the visit, she said. Shalash expressed her happiness for the victory of her husband in his battle of hunger strike that lasted for 94 days. She also said that she was glad to know that the medical examinations which her husband conducted showed that his internal organs are still healthy. The leadership of Hamas Movement in Israeli jails declared last Friday that they reached a deal with the Israeli side that ended the hunger strike of journalist captive Mohammad al-Qeiq.
Female captive transferred to hospital
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 29 Feb — The lawyer of detainees and ex-detainees committee, Tareq Barghout, revealed that the Palestinian female captive Yasmin al-Tamimi, 21, was transferred, on Sunday, from Hasharon Israeli jail to hospital. In a statement, Barghout said that she was taken to hospital after she had suffered acute infection in her right arm due to being shot with several bullets by Israeli forces. There is a suspicion that she has gangrene, he pointed out. The lawyer added that she did not attend the court session because of her severe health condition. She underwent several surgeries in her arm and waist for removing bullets fired at her during arrest in al-Khalil on February 13.
Israel increasing use of administrative detention against Palestinian children
RAMALLAH (Defense for Children International – Palestine) 26 Feb — Israeli authorities filed charges against a Palestinian teenage boy on January 26 after holding him without charge for three months. Israeli forces summoned Basir Mohammad Al-Atrash, 17, from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on October 28 to appear for questioning at the Israeli military district coordination office in Hebron. He appeared the following day as requested and was promptly taken into custody and transported to Israel’s Ofer prison. Basir was interrogated on October 30 and was denied access to an attorney. The interrogator accused Basir of stone throwing and incitement on social media, allegations that he denied. Following interrogation, he was informed that Israeli authorities issued a three-month administrative detention order against him expiring on January 28. Two days before the order expired, the Israeli military prosecutor filed charges against Basir related to his alleged manufacturing and throwing of Molotov cocktails at an Israeli military checkpoint. “The increasing number of Palestinian children held pursuant to administrative detention orders is deeply concerning,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI- Palestine. “The use of administrative detention orders by Israeli authorities to arbitrarily detain Palestinian children must stop immediately.” After his interrogation on October 30, Israeli soldiers detained Basir in an outdoor metal cage with five adult detainees. He was taken back to Ofer prison’s juvenile section around 6 p.m., and the jailer informed him that he would be held under administrative detention until January 28, 2016.
Report alleges abuse, torture at Shin Bet interrogation facility
+972 mag 24 Feb by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man — Human Rights organizations “Hamoked — Defence of the Individual” and B’Tselem on Wednesday published a report that draws on affidavits and statements from 116 Palestinians who spent time in the Shin Bet’s (Israel Security Agency) Shikma interrogation facility. The Palestinians, all of whom were “security detainees” — which means they were suspected of political crimes or terrorism-related offenses as opposed to criminal suspicions — spent time at Shikma between August 2013 and March 2014. Some of the testimonies describe Shin Bet methods of inflicting physical pain as part of interrogations. ‘Imad Abu Seriyeh, a 22-year-old handyman from the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, described a special chair he was forced to sit in for hours: “The interrogation chair had a shorter backrest than regular chairs. It had a fifth leg – a kind of tube under the middle that was fixed to the floor. Three legs were the same length and one leg was shorter. Every movement makes the chair wobble. You can’t rest on that chair, the wobbling doesn’t let you. Each position is worse than the last. You can’t get comfortable. The wobbling makes your lower back hurt. When I stood up, I felt like my back would split in half.” Others, like T.A., whose full name is withheld, described being served uncooked, inedible food for weeks on end: “They gave me inedible food that wasn’t fit for human consumption. For example, the chicken wasn’t cooked nor were the eggs. I couldn’t eat anything except the piece of fruit I got once every three days, and the bread. I lost about 15 kilos in 40 days.”: (Continued)
‘No surprise’ as Israeli policeman escapes prosecution for shooting Palestinian girls
QALANDIYA, West Bank (The National) 28 Feb by Kate Shuttleworth — An Israeli police officer who killed a 14-year-old Palestinian girl when he repeatedly shot her as she lay on the ground has escaped prosecution. The policeman opened fire on Hadeel Awwad as she tried to carry out an attack in Jerusalem in November with a cheap pair of scissors. Her cousin Norhan, 16, was also shot several times but survived. The closing of the policeman’s case comes amid increasing anger over the number of teenage Palestinians killed in the current wave of violence and even concern within Israel’s military hierarchy. Palestinian leaders and human rights groups accuse the security forces of using excessive force and a “shoot-on-sight” policy in dealing with what Israel claims are attacks carried out or planned by Palestinians, usually with small knives. Police investigators said last week they had decided not to prosecute the officer, whose name was not released, as there was no evidence he had criminal intent in his actions, Israeli media reported . . . The decision not to prosecute the officer “came as no surprise” to Hadeel’s older sister Haya. The Awwad family had to wait more than a month for their daughter’s body to be released by the Israeli military. Hadeel’s body was among the first to be returned, after delays intended to punish the families of those accused of attacks on Israelis. “My heart was beating, I was scared – I was also incredibly sad because I remember so clearly the times when my sister was alive and walking and here I was collecting her corpse,” said Haya. “Her body had eleven bullet holes, on both sides of her body, the police officer had turned her body over and shot her again in the chest, shoulder and neck – she was riddled with gunshots.” (Continued)
Israel sentences Palestinian man to 10 years in prison
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Feb — Israeli courts on Monday sentenced a Palestinian man to 10 years in prison for partaking in a “Palestinian resistance movement” affiliated with Fatah, the head of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said. Amjad al-Najjar said 29-year-old Ehab Numer al-Hajouj, from the village of Bani Naim in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was sentenced in the Ofer military court. In addition to his 10-year sentence, al-Hajouj was fined 2,000 shekels ($512). Al-Hajouj, who is married, was detained in March. There were 6,900 Palestinians held in Israeli jails as of January, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.
Closures / Control mechanisms
PHOTOS: What it’s like to ‘commute’ through an Israeli army checkpoint
Activestills 27 Feb — Thousands of Palestinians who have entry permits, along with residents of East Jerusalem cut off by the separation wall, must pass through the Israeli military’s Qalandiya checkpoint every morning and evening in order to go to work, school, do shopping, receive medical care and visit family members. The following is a small snapshot of what that means for the individuals forced to endure its humiliation on just one morning
Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement after attack
MEE/Agencies 28 Feb — Palestinians have been barred from entering one of the largest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank for five days after an attack on Friday that critically wounded a security guard, an official said on Sunday. The Israeli police ban on entry to the Maale Adumim settlement is to last until Thursday and affects some 500 Palestinian labourers, a spokesman for the settlement said. Palestinians had initially been banned after the attack on Friday, and the measure has now been extended. The decision came as Israeli authorities announced that overnight they had arrested the Palestinian accused of committing the knife and hatchet attack at a shopping mall in the settlement. The suspect was identified as Saadi Ali Abu Hamad, 21, from the nearby town of al-Eizariya.
Land property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization
Silwan: Judicial reports to evacuate 12 residential apartments where 92 individuals live
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 28 Feb — The settlement organization “Ateerat Cohanim” handed the sons of late Abdel Majid Rajabi three judicial reports asking them for their land in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque which also has a building established on it with 12 residential apartments; 92 individuals live in the building. Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained in a statement on Friday night that Ateerat Cohanim organization handed Fathi Rajabi, Harbi Rajabi, Talal Rajabi and Yaccoub Rajabi judicial reports asking them for their land. The organization gave the family 20 days to respond to their claims at court; they claim that the land is owned by three Jews from Yemen who used to live and own the land before 1948. Yaccoub Rajabi, member of Batn Al-Hawa committee and one of those affected, explained that the residential apartments are between 60-70 square meters each where 93 individuals live including 64 children. Rajabi added that his grandfather Abdel Majid and his sons and grandsons live in the apartments after they had bought the land in 1966 and have all the official documents to prove that. He added that most of the families in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa are at risk of being evacuated from their home in favor of Ateerat Cohanim settlement organization that claims that Jews from Yemen own the lands.
Shhhhhh, we’re annexing
+972 blog by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — Last week Yesh Din published its position paper, “From Occupation to Annexation,” which deals with the way the Israeli government is implementing the conclusions of the Levy Commission Report without any public debate or even an official government decision — a process which is dragging Israel into de facto annexation of the West Bank, without granting the annexed people their rights. First, we must distinguish between annexation and occupation. International law recognizes the legitimacy of an occupation, i.e. a state in which one power occupies a territory where a local population lives. But the assumption of international law is that occupation is a temporary affair; the occupier is considered to be a trustee who maintains what he has conquered until the conflict is over. Furthermore, the occupier is not allowed to make long-term changes in the region. Annexation is a unilateral takeover by a state of a territory by use of force or threats of it, and is impermissible under international law — a result of lessons from the Second World War on which so much of international law is built. The new position paper does not deal with the Levy Report itself (to which we dedicated a whole report of its own) but rather with its implementation. Nevertheless, we must say a word about the report itself: it is nothing less than a revolution in the how the State of Israel has come to regard the occupied Palestinian territories. According to the report, the state’s legal position is that the occupied Palestinian territories are not occupied, since they were promised to the Jewish people by the British Mandate. (Continued)
Documentary exposes Israel’s Judaization of East J’lem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 25 Feb — The Hebrew archeologist website Emek Shaveh has released a documentary film unveiling Israel’s Judaization of the historical Islamic sites in Occupied Jerusalem. The film shows the exposure of historical Islamic sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque as well as Palestinian neighborhoods to systematic Judaization under Israeli political cover during the last ten years. This Judaization campaign is led by the Israeli nature and parks authority and noted Jewish groups like Elad association and the temple mount heritage fund, according to Emek Shaveh. Each one of these parties plays a certain role in Judaizing the Palestinian historical sites, where the heritage fund works on expanding al-Buraq wall plaza and the underground tunnels beneath the Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding. The heritage fund receives direct financial support from the office of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, the video report said. The activities of the nature and parks authority, however, focus on encircling the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem by public gardens and green areas. Elad association, for its part, presents and supports projects for settlers in Silwan district and Bab al-Amud area in east Jerusalem. [Not sure where one can view the documentary, but the Emek Shaveh website (link above) has a great deal of information about what is going on in this area, and their Facebook page has some interesting videos]
Israeli forces seize 1 million shekels’ worth of machinery in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Israeli army, police, and border forces raided a Palestinian construction company north of Hebron on Saturday, seizing machinery worth around 1 million shekels ($255,552). Activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad said Israeli forces raided the Ghazalah Building Materials company near Beit Ummar and seized electronic machines used for cutting iron. Company owner Muhammad Mustafa Ghazalah reported that the machines were bought legally from Tel Aviv, but that Israeli police insisted on seizing them until Ghazalah could bring them the ownership documents. Awad added that the raid lasted for over two and a half hours, during which they prevented people and vehicles from passing through the road where the company is located.
Making aliyah, Chinese Jews forge link to ancient Kaifeng community
Forward 27 Feb by Sophie Lavine — On Monday, February 29, five women from the ancient Chinese Jewish community of Kaifeng plan to make aliyah with the help of the nonprofit organization Shavei Israel. After studying Hebrew and Judaics over the past few years, the five are excited to assimilate into Jewish culture after moving to Israel. Li Jing, one of the new immigrants, said that on a previous visit to Israel, she put a note in the Western Wall in which she asked to have the chance to be able to return to Israel and live there one day. “Now, my prayer has been answered,” she said . . . “Kaifeng’s Jewish descendants are a living link between China and the Jewish people,” said Freund. “After centuries of assimilation, a growing number of the Kaifeng Jews in recent years have begun seeking to return to their roots and embrace their Jewish identity.”
Palestinian refugees – Syria
Aid reaches Damascus-area Palestinian refugees for 2nd week
[photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Humanitarian aid workers for the second week in a row had access to Palestinian refugees in Syria’s war-torn Damascus area, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said Friday. The agency said in a statement that humanitarian assistance was delivered to refugee families from Yarmouk, Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham through a distribution center in the Yalda neighborhood. Refugees reported to UNRWA that recurring low temperatures during the winter season had taken a toll on their families, as repeated clashes and armed violence over the past three years has left many homes without windows or electricity. UN aid workers on Feb. 14 gained access to Palestinian refugees in the Damascus area for the first time in over seven months following approval by the Syrian government to open a limited number of besieged areas across the war-torn country. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Ma‘an at the time that the go-ahead enabled crucial access, but added that aid workers have still not been able to access the Yarmouk camp itself since March 28 of last year. Palestinian residents of Yarmouk refugee camp who traveled to the neighborhood of Yalda in order to receive aid at the time said the situation in the camp was “beyond inhumane,” Gunness said.
Despite the recent aid access, thousands of Palestinian refugees in camps across Syria remain cut off. The around 450,000 Palestinians estimated to remain in Syria are among the millions to come under repeated attacks and sieges since fighting began in Syria five years ago. UNRWA reported at least 120 people killed — including an estimated 31 Palestinians — on Feb. 21 after the market area of Sayyuda Zeinab in southern Damascus was targeted with explosives. A further 150 Syrians and Palestinians were injured in the attack, of whom 13 were Palestinian children.
PLC lawmaker puts PA minister under fire for corruption charges
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — Political controversy erupted in the occupied Palestinian territory this week when Palestinian Authority security forces reportedly attempted to detain lawmaker Najat Abu Bakir for casting corruption charges against a Palestinian minister. Abu Bakir, a Fatah-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), began a sit-in inside the headquarters of the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah on Thursday after the Palestinian attorney general reportedly summoned her for interrogation. Her summons came shortly after she issued a statement on Feb. 16 regarding “evidence” proving that a Palestinian minister had illegally utilized 800,000 shekels ($205,331) for private use. “I told the attorney general that his decision to question me was illegal because I am a lawmaker,” Abu Bakir told Ma‘an on Wednesday, adding that she requested to be summoned only via the PLC. Palestinian Minister of Local Governance Hussein al-Aaraj, the official facing Abu Bakir’s allegations, denied charges of corruption. The official — reportedly close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — said the money had been used for a public well-building project approved by the Palestinian Water Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip on Saturday organized a picket in solidarity with Abu Bakir. (Continued)
PA slams Iran after official calls Palestinian government ‘not reliable’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 27 Feb — The Palestinian Authority criticized Iran on Saturday for comments made by its parliament international advisor, who said Iran would send funds to Palestinians families through its own channels rather than through the PA. Earlier on Saturday, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam was quoted by website al-Resalah as saying that “experience has proven that the [Palestinian] Authority is not reliable, so Tehran will send the money in its own way.” “Unfortunately, donations that were sent to the Authority did not reach the right people,” al-Islam said. Palestinian Presidency Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said it would have been better for Iran to officially transfer the funds to the PA’s organizations, instead of sending them through “twisted ways and illegitimate means.” Abu Rudeineh said the Iranian official’s comments were “unacceptable,” and that they did not help the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation or its ability to preserve holy sites. Abu Rudeineh added that he saw the possible circumvention of the Palestinian Authority as an interference in internal Palestinian and Arab issues, and that such a move would constitute a violation of international laws regarding relations between countries.
Israeli-Arab town haunted by history of violence looks for way out
Haaretz 28 Feb by Noa Shpigel — Anwar Amash, 11, is playing in the street near his home in the town of Jisr al-Zarqa, as he always does. It is almost impossible to discern that he finds some movements difficult. Yet only two weeks ago, some 100 meters (328 feet) from where he is playing now, Anwar was shot in the stomach. He and his friends had been caught in the crossfire between cars. Anwar is the latest in a long line of gunshot victims in the Arab town, located north of Caesarea and with a population of some 14,000. Since the beginning of the year, the police have been called to the village 30 times following reported gunfire. In the past two months alone, seven people have been shot in Jisr al-Zarqa – one of them 13 – and taken to the Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center, Hadera. Four others have been stabbed. The town, located on the Mediterranean coastline, is used to frequent acts of violence. But things have become insufferable in the last two months, Kahir says. Nasham Amash, another relative, says Jisr al-Zarqa was once a quiet town. “Today there are problems,” he says. “All the children are out in the street.” . . . The authorities appear to be aware that the town’s situation has become untenable. At the town entrance, a police car checks identity cards, while a helicopter hovers overhead. Numerous police cars now patrol the town. In the evening, a 40-minute traffic jam is formed in the town center because a police car is stopping and searching people. Contrary to expectations, nobody hoots and no one seems irritable. Youngsters stand on the road to help direct the traffic. “It’s good that the police are here,” one of them says. . . . Ali says the townsfolk have been consumed by frustration ever since the state’s foundation, but more so recently in view of the ongoing neglect and discriminatory policies. “Sixty percent of the residents live below the poverty line. In 1994, the first school was built in the town. I think we’re two decades behind Arab society [in the rest of the country],” he reflects. (Continued)
Israeli governments flaunt ‘United Jerusalem’ while doing nothing for its Arab residents / Moshe Arens
Haaretz 28 Feb — If Jerusalem has remained ‘divided’ it is because the Arab neighborhoods have been neglected for the past 49 years — Now that there seems to be close to universal agreement that the two-state solution is not going to be realized in the foreseeable future, attention has begun to be focused on Jerusalem. If something has to be done to move out of the present impasse, why not start in Jerusalem? To the fore come all the preconceived notions and prejudices, hidden behind a veil of liberalism and a presumed concern for the Palestinian people. Leading the pack is the leader of the opposition, Isaac Herzog. Jerusalem, he says, is in any case not united, so let’s really separate it. We don’t need the Arabs’ sections incorporated in Jerusalem in 1967 – and sotto voce he says we don’t need the Arabs living there either. Let’s build some more walls and let them fend to their own devices . . . Before we get too enamored with Herzog’s proposal to “really” divide Jerusalem, we’d better take a look at the feasibility of his proposal. Can the population of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods really be disentangled from “Jewish” Jerusalem, or has the integration of this population in the fabric of Jerusalem’s day-to-day life proceeded to such an extent in the past 49 years as to have reached a point of no return? A quick look at the number of Arab taxi drivers and Arab bus drivers, and hotel and restaurant employees in Jerusalem, and doctors and service personnel in Hadassah’s two hospitals in Jerusalem, and of course the number of Arab patients in these hospitals, will make it clear that disintegrating “Arab” Jerusalem from “Jewish” Jerusalem has become essentially impossible. In addition, annulling the Israeli residency permits and withdrawing the right to apply for Israeli citizenship granted to the population of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods in 1967 would be legally questionable and morally reprehensible. (Continued)
How Arab women fought female genital mutilation in Israel
+972 Blog 28 Feb by Eli Aminov — Just 20 years ago, female genital mutilation was an accepted practice in six Bedouin tribes in southern Israel. Jewish researchers couldn’t figure out why the practice disappeared — because they didn’t talk to the Arab women’s group fighting it — . . . It is time, then, to reveal exactly how and why this dramatic change took place: a feminist Palestinian organization, Al-Fanar, exposed the phenomenon to the public and went to war against it. Al-Fanar was established by Palestinian women from Israel, with the goal of struggling against the ills of Palestinian society and the Israeli authorities that cultivate them for their own reasons. Al-Fanar’s main struggle was against the murder of Arab women, what is often called “honor killings” — a codename for crimes committed in the name of maintaining male supremacy. The organization also fought against a series of injustices, whether they stemmed from Arab patriarchy or the Jewish state. The fight against female genital mutilation among these Bedouin tribes was one of Al-Fanar’s most important struggles. In June 1992, the organization distributed flyers in Arabic condemning the phenomenon, criticizing the silence around it, and calling for an end to FGM.
Frozen in their grief: On the bereavement of Palestinian families / Dr. Samah Jabr
Palestine Chronicle 25 Feb — While the world was celebrating New Year’s Eve in 2015, with all of its promise for the coming year, dozens of Palestinian families were receiving the frozen bodies of their Shaheeds (martyrs): children killed by Israelis in the recent political upheaval. Let me state at the outset that this article is an attempt to explore the experience of grief among victims of our political reality- not an essay on the meaning of martyrdom or an analysis of the label “Shaheed”, a status which both secular and religious Palestinians give to children killed by the occupation. I simply make the observation that the Palestinian community, like many groups who glorify soldiers who die on their behalf, glorifies the individuals who have been killed resisting the occupation and use the term “Shaheed” to draw attention to the circumstances of their death. Much silence surrounds the grief of the families of Palestinian fighters. The Palestinians perceive the Israeli authorities as taking sadistic satisfaction in our suffering. In response, the Palestinians often present a tough exterior, masking their emotions and effacing all signs of vulnerability in the face of those who killed their loved ones. Some Palestinians go further, trying to avoid inflicting further pain on their family members by holding their grief to themselves. A young woman came to see me for palpitations and shortness of breath, symptoms for which no organic cause was found. When I inquired when her symptoms began, she replied: “Since my brother’s heart stopped beating.” Her brother had been shot in a demonstration two years previously; she had been holding this loss bound up in her chest for fear that her entire household would collapse if anyone acknowledged it out loud. (Continued)