Army shoots a child in the head ‘during training’
IMEMC 10 Jan — Israeli soldiers shot, Wednesday, a Palestinian child with a live round in the head, during “military training” near Tubas, in northeastern West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the child, only three years of age, was shot with a live round in the head, and is currently in a stable condition. It added that the child was rushed to Tubas Turkish governmental hospital, and is currently at the Intensive Care Unit. The child was shot by Israeli soldiers who were conducting live-fire training near Palestinian communities in Tubas. The Israeli military frequently conducts training in Palestinian communities in Tubas, the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank, Hebron, and several other areas. In many incidents, Palestinian families are ordered to leave their communities during the military drills, and later return after the army is done with its live-fire training, including the use of explosives, which are sometimes left behind, leading to casualties, including fatalities. In several incidents, many Palestinians, including children, were injured and even killed, when explosives dropped by the soldiers during training went off near them.
Israeli forces to open new road for settlers near Tubas
TUBAS (WAFA) 9 Jan – Israeli forces embarked on opening a new road on Tuesday to serve Israeli settlers from Rohei settlement, illegally built to the east of Tubas town in the Jordan Valley area, according to local sources. Mutaz Besharat, who monitors settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, told WAFA that Israeli authorities embarked on construction of the road, which will link the settlement with nearby agricultural lands. Israel is planning to transform the Jordan Valley, which makes up one third of the occupied West Bank, into a completely Israeli area, primarily in agriculture, which some speculate to prevent a territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world.
Violence / Detention — West Bank / Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child near Nablus
IMEMC 11 Jan — Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday evening, a Palestinian child from ‘Iraq-Burin village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after the army fired live rounds at dozens of Palestinians who intercepted an attack carried out by colonialist settlers into their village. Media sources in Nablus said many armed Israeli colonialist settlers infiltrated into the village and attacked several Palestinians before locals intercepted them and forced them out. Israeli soldiers then invaded the village and fired dozens of live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades and gas bombs at the Palestinians.
Medical sources said one child, identified as Ali Omar Nimir Qeino, 17 [Wafa: Omar Kino Qadous, 16] was shot with a live round in the head, before he was rushed to Nablus Specialized Hospital, where he died from his serious head injury. Locals said Qeino was shot by an Israeli army sharp-shooter. It is worth mentioning that, on Wednesday, the soldiers placed concrete blocks at the western entrance of the town, and installed a military roadblock. Qeino was shot in an area not far from the military roadblock, and the concrete blocks.
Army injures a Palestinian near Bethlehem
IMEMC 10 Jan — Israeli soldiers shot, on Tuesday evening, a young Palestinian man with a live round in his leg, after the army invaded Teqoua‘ [or Tuqu‘] town, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and attacked protesters marching in their town. Media sources said the soldiers invaded Teqoua’ through its western entrance, near the Local Council, and fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, at the protesters. They added that a young man, identified as Qussai Mohammad al-‘Amour, 20, was shot with a live round in one of his legs, and was moved to a hospital. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment by local medics.
Israel detains 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 9 Jan – Israeli forces detained on Tuesday 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, during wide-scale raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). It said the army detained Mohammad Samer Mansour, 14, from Ramallah, along with four from ‘Arroub refugee camp, in the Hebron district, four others from Yaabad, in the district of Jenin, four from Nablus, two from Salfit, two from Jerusalem, one from Toubas and one from Bethlehem. According to a statistic by Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, the total number of Palestinian political prisoners is 6154, with 453 of them held in administrative detention without charge or trial, 311 minors and 59 women.
Israeli forces shoot 2 Palestinians, detain minors during predawn raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Jan — Two Palestinian youths were injured with live ammunition as Israeli forces conducted predawn detention raids in several districts across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Wednesday, detaining 12 Palestinians.
Locals in the city of Jericho told Ma‘an that two youths, whose identities remained unknown, were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition during a raid on the ‘Aqbat Jaber refugee camp. Two other Palestinians were detained during the raid. According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), a 16-year-old Palestinian and his 26-year-old brother were detained from Jericho.
Meanwhile, PPS said in a statement that Israeli forces detained 10 other Palestinians during West Bank raids.
In the northern West Bank, PPS reported that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians from the Jenin district, two from the Nablus district, and one from Qalqilya.
In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, PPS said that Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the al-‘Amari refugee camp. One of the detainees was identified as Jihad Abu Hmeid, 30, whose four brothers are serving life sentence in Israeli prison. Abu Hmeid and four of his family members, including children, were reportedly “roughed up” and handcuffed during the arrest of Abu Hmeid, official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported.
PPS said Israeli forces detained two people, including a 15-year-old, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron.
Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians in Jerusalem, West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Jan – Israeli forces detained a total of 25 Palestinians in multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). Israeli police conducted multiple raids across East Jerusalem, detaining six leading Palestinian figures. Forces detained two Palestinians in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. In the central West Bank, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians, including a 17-year-old minor, after storming and ransacking their homes in Deir Nitham village, northwest of Ramallah. Another Palestinian was detained during a subsequent raid into Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. The detainees were identified as members of the extended Tamimi family. PPS added that Israeli forces detained two others during raids in the Ramallah district.
In the northern West Bank, Israeli troops conducted a raid into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin city, detaining three Palestinians. Four others were detained during similar raids into Yaabad town, west of Jenin, and Umm al-Tut village, southeast of Jenin.
Elsewhere in the northern West Bank, troops detained two Palestinians from Nablus district.
Another was detained from Jericho.
Four minors among eight Palestinians Israeli police detain in Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Jan – Israeli police detained eight Palestinians, including four minors, during raids across occupied East Jerusalem, according to WAFA correspondent. Police detained Nasser Qous, director of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in Jerusalem, and Nasser Ajaj, an advisor to the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Governor.
Israeli undercover forces also arrested three Palestinians in al-‘Issawiya neighborhood, one of them was identified as 16-year-old Rashid Mohammad Darwish. The Jerusalem-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said the undercover forces arrested Darwish after beating him up. Police had earlier on Wednesday detained Qusai Radaydeh, 13, and Mohammad Jumaa, 13, also from al-‘Issawiya neighborhood; and Mohammad Qawasmeh, 16, from the Mount of Olives neighborhood.
Detained, arrested, and harassed: The life of Palestinian teens in Jerusalem
Haaretz 11 Jan by Dina Kraft — Under Israeli law, minors can be arrested only in rare circumstances and held for the shortest time possible. But rights groups say the security services ride roughshod over this when it comes to young Arabs in neighborhoods like Silwan — The first time the Israel Police came to arrest the Palestinian teenager with a shy half smile and thick dark eyebrows, he was 14 and sleeping in the small bedroom he shares with his younger brother. Yazan Rajabi, now 17, awoke that summer night to the sound of banging and commotion. He was disoriented but made out the order “Open up!” The clock read 3 A.M. He says several Border Policemen were in the house, their faces masked in black. They did not let him change out of his pajamas, he says, so he was still wearing them when he was bundled into the back of the police jeep and taken in for questioning. He remembers being told he was under suspicion of throwing stones at police – an accusation he denied. “I was confused and scared,” he recalls. “I asked if my father could come with me and they said no.” Rajabi says he was released the next day and, according to his family, the case ended without an indictment. The police told Haaretz they had no specific comment on the case. He recounts the story now, five months after his most recent arrest, which he says is his third, in the living room of his family home in Silwan – a densely populated, poor Palestinian neighborhood of boxy concrete houses on the southern slopes of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Mount of Olives….
[Long, informative article, unfortunately behind paywall; graphics include these statistics from data collected from B’Tselem and HaMoked in 2015- 2016: 95% of interrogations without parent present; 91% of home arrests conducted at night; 81% of teens placed in handcuffs; 80% of signed confessions written in Hebrew; 25% of teens reported violence during interrogation.]
Palestinian farmer kidnapped by Israeli soldiers during tree-planting
SALFIT (PIC) 11 Jan — The Israeli occupation forces on Thursday kidnapped a Palestinian farmer from his land tract in Salfit’s western town of Haris. Farmer Redwan al-Daoud was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers while he was planting tree seedlings on his private land, near Israel’s illegal settlement of Rafafa, his family said. The arrestee was dragged by the occupation forces to an unknown destination. The family said the farmer has been diagnosed with renal failure and hypertension.
Israeli settler killed in shooting attack near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Jan — An Israeli settler, 35, was killed late Tuesday as he succumbed to wounds sustained in a shooting attack near the Surra village, south of Nablus City in the northern occupied West Bank. Israel media identified the settler as Raziel Shevah. Reports said that Shevah came under fire while driving in his car. The assailants, who remain unknown, reportedly fired 22 shots at his vehicle. Shevah was transferred to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in central Israel, where he was declared dead.
Following the attack, Israeli forces closed the Yitzhar-Nablus road, a main road in the northern West Bank, and heavily deployed in the area. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles passing on the street with rocks and empty bottles.
Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that more than 20 Israeli military jeeps raided the Surra village following the attack in search for the shooters.
Around 500 settlers attack villages east of Qalqilia
QALQILIA (WAFA) 10 Jan – A group of around 500 Israeli settlers Wednesday attacked two villages east of Qalqilia, said eyewitnesses. According to residents of the Jit and Farata villages, a large group estimated at around 500 settlers from nearby settlements attempted to forcefully enter the two villages and attack its residents, but were chased off by the local men and youth.
Head of the Ambulance and Emergency unit in Qalqilia Munther Nazzal told WAFA that ambulance crews rushed to the area to treat a woman who suffered a panic attack in the village of Farata following the incident. Israeli forces are currently stationed at the entrance to Jit. This comes after an Israeli settler was shot dead on Tuesday night on a main road outside the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Gilad located near Nablus.
Search for justice drags on for slain Palestinian teen
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al Jazeera) 10 Jan by Ylenia Gostoli — Nearly four years after Nadeem Nawarah, 17, was killed by a single live round fired into his chest by an Israeli police officer, his family is still relentlessly pursuing justice. At a court hearing on Tuesday, the prosecutor asked for a 20 to 27-month prison sentence for the officer, Ben Deri, 21 at the time. He has pled guilty to a negligent killing charge, and sentencing is now scheduled for April 26. “The court [hearing] was like a drama. Of course there is no justice,” Siam Nawarah, Nadeem’s father, told Al Jazeera. Surrounded by large portraits of his son at his Ramallah home, Siam recounted how hope for justice progressively slipped away. “Court hearings were always postponed with no valid reason. If Nadeem had killed Ben Deri, what would have happened? I think the court would have made a decision after two or three weeks and put him in jail,” he said. At one time under house arrest, Ben Deri now walks free.
Stored on his laptop, Siam Nawarah keeps files of every video, article, blog post, and TV news segment that was ever published or broadcast about Nadeem’s killing. He sold his three hairdressing salons in order to follow the case – and perhaps because they reminded him of the time when most of his customers were Nadeem’s friends. He travelled to the US to lobby Congress because “Nadeem was killed by American weapons.” He later founded an association that offers psychological and legal support to other families who went through the same excruciating experience.
Gunned down — On May 15, 2014, Nadeem was shot and killed at a demonstration near the Ofer military prison in the West Bank on Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate the displacement of hundreds of thousands in 1948. Another teenager, Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, was shot in the back and killed in exactly the same spot an hour later….
Video: The paramedics of Jerusalem
Al Jazeera 10 Jan by HyoJin Park — In an ambulance, every second counts. A patient’s chances of survival depend on how long it takes an ambulance to respond to a case and transfer the person to the appropriate hospital. In most communities around the world, eight minutes is the recommended response time for urgent cases. But in Palestine, not even ambulances have freedom of movement. Palestinian ambulances can be stopped at every checkpoint, the vehicle searched and emergency responders interrogated. According to data provided by Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), checkpoints delay ambulances by an average of 15 minutes. This does not include the time an ambulance spends in traffic leading up to the checkpoints. There is only one lane leading to and from each checkpoint, causing a bottleneck traffic jam that gets especially bad during rush hours. PRCS ambulances respond to both emergency and transfer cases. In emergency cases, patients can only go to the hospitals in their area of residence, whether it be in the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem. If the patient requires further treatment not available in their area, they then have to submit a request to Israeli authorities for a transfer….
Restriction of movement
Israeli forces close Huwwara checkpoint in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Jan — Israeli forces on Wednesday closed the Huwwara military checkpoint in south of Nablus city in the northern occupied West Bank. The checkpoint, which connects the northern and central West Bank, was closed in both directions.
Israeli forces opened the ‘Awarta checkpoint east of Nablus as a detour. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that the closure is in effect until further notice. The closure was seemingly enforced in response to a shooting attack on Tuesday night in the area that resulted in the death of an Israeli settler….
Israel blocks off villages south of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 11 Jan – Israeli army forces Thursday closed a junction connecting between two villages south of Nablus with cement cubes, said a local government source. Ghassan Doghlas, who monitors settlements activities in the north of the West Bank told WAFA that Israeli soldiers blocked off the junction connecting Tell and ‘Iraq Burin, south of Nablus. He said Israeli military jeeps accompanied by truck carrying cement blocks were seen at the entrance of the villages of Beita and Beit Furik, while Israeli soldiers continue to close the road connecting Ramallah and Nablus. Israeli checkpoints at Huwwara and Zatara have been seeing strict measures where Israeli soldiers continue to inspect vehicles and personal identification cards after an Israeli settler was shot dead on Tuesday night on a main road outside the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Gilad located near Nablus.
Wounded prisoner, mother, appeals for release to receive proper medical treatment
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 Jan – Isra Jaabis, 32, a mother of a baby child and a resident of Jabal al-Mukkaber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, appealed to the Israeli High Court against her 11-year sentence levied against her in November 2016 after she was charged of attempting to blow up an Israeli army checkpoint outside Jerusalem in October 2015. The High Court deliberated her appeal on Thursday and said it will send its decision to Jaabis’ attorney at the end of deliberations.
Jaabis, who is married to a Palestinian from Jericho, had a gas cylinder in her car when it blew up, apparently accidently, when she was only meters away from the checkpoint to the east of Jerusalem. Her family said at the time that she was moving her stuff from Jericho to a new place in Jerusalem when the cylinder blew up by accident. The army, however, decided otherwise and said Jaabis was intending to blow up the checkpoint. The Jerusalem resident was seriously hurt in the accident with third degrees burns on 60 percent of her body and face. She also lost eight fingers. During her detention, Jaabis did not get proper medical treatment, says her family and activists, and therefore her condition has worsened. Activists launched a campaign to demand her release to get badly needed medical treatment. According to her family, their daughter’s health situation has deteriorated. She suffers from constant pain and fever and that she needs years of treatment and physical and psychological rehabilitation. Jaabis sent an urgent message from her prison cell this week complaining of pain and ache all over her body and of medical negligence in prison. She said she is suffering from cramps in her hands and feet, which prevent her from doing the most basic things of life and make her feel humiliated and ashamed because she is in constant need of assistance from her cellmates….
Video: Amal Jamil is released
10 Jan — The moment a Palestinian girl Amal Jamil (17-year-old) got released from the Israeli jails today, after being sentenced more than 1 year and meeting her parents for the first time in months. Her crime? A #Facebook post.
61-year-old Palestinian detainee on hunger strike for 20th day
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 11 Jan — 61-year-old Palestinian detainee Rizq al-Rajoub has been going on an open-ended hunger strike for the 20th day in a row to protest an Israeli court rule to deport him to Sudan. According to the Palestinian human rights network in charge of prisoners’ affairs, Anin al-Qaid, Rajoub who is a native of al-Khalil’s town of Dura, in the southern occupied West Bank, said that he will not retract his decision until the Israeli prison authorities either release him or file a list of indictments against him.
The network also stated that the elderly detainee is suffering from hard health conditions. Nevertheless, he is held in a dungeon under unhealthy and inhuman conditions. He has several diseases including low blood level and problems in the heart. Israeli occupation forces arrested al-Rajoub on November 27, 2017. He had been locked up for a total of 23 years in Israeli jails, including 10 years in administrative detention, with neither charge nor trial.
Army kills a teen, injures three others in central Gaza
IMEMC 11 Jan — Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday evening, a Palestinian child, and injured three others, after the army attacked protesters, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. Palestinian medical sources said the soldiers shot Amir Abdul-Hamid Abu Mosa‘’ed, 16, with a live round in his chest. They added that the soldiers also shot three other Palestinians with live fire, including one who suffered a life-threatening injury. Media sources in Gaza said dozens of Palestinians marched on their lands, close to the border fence in central Gaza, before the soldiers fired many live rounds, in addition to gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed medical treatment.
Israeli soldiers shoot one Palestinian in southern Gaza
IMEMC 10 Jan — Israeli soldiers shot, on Tuesday evening, a young Palestinian man, and caused several others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Media sources in Gaza said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, fired live round and gas bombs at Palestinian protesters marching on their lands, near the border fence. They added that one Palestinian was shot with a live round in his leg, and was rushed to Nasser Hospital, in Khan Younis, suffering a moderate injury. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment by medics at the scene.
Israel seized Gaza fishermen featured in photostory
Electronic Intifada 10 Jan by Ali Abunimah — The new year has brought no respite for Gaza fishers, who continue to be targeted by Israeli occupation forces. On Tuesday morning, Israeli gunboats opened fire on two fishing boats as they were approximately five nautical miles from the coast of northern Gaza and one mile from the Israel-Gaza maritime boundary, according to the human rights group Al Mezan. The Israeli forces detained six fishers on board including two children. Two of those detained – Akram Abu Foul, 34 and his son Muhammad, 11 – were featured in a photostory for The Electronic Intifada last October about the annual crab catch. Israel took the fishers – all of them residents of Gaza’s Beach refugee camp – to an unknown location and seized their boats and equipment, Al Mezan stated.
In a separate incident Monday morning, Israeli forces attacked another boat in the waters off northern Gaza and detained two fishers on board, Jihad Suheil Hasan Murad, 25, and Mustafa Muhammad Mustafa Murad, 18. Both are also residents of Beach camp. Al Mezan stated that Jihad bore marks from six rubber-coated bullets fired by Israeli forces during the attack.
Israel reportedly released all but one of the eight fishers detained late Tuesday night at the Erez checkpoint on the boundary with Gaza, but has not returned their boats and equipment.
These were the latest incidents in Israel’s regular attacks on Gaza fishers. In 2017 Israel killed two fishers, detained 39, seized 13 boats and destroyed seven others, according to Al Mezan….
Almost half of Gaza patients seeking treatment abroad had their exit permit delayed: WHO report
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 10 Jan – Almost half of the Palestinian patients seeking treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip who applied for an Israeli exit permit were delayed and therefore lost their hospital appointment date, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. In its report on Health Access for Referral Patients from the Gaza Strip covering the month of November, the report said out of 2,047 patient applications for permits to exit Gaza through the Israeli Erez checkpoint for health care, 54% of applications were approved; 2% were denied; and 44% were delayed, receiving no definitive response from Israeli authorities by the date of hospital appointment. Losing the appointment date means the patients have to re-schedule their hospital appointment before they can re-apply for an exit permit, a process that can take months and therefore cause long delays for possibly badly needed treatment not available in Gaza. Most of the referrals are for hospitals in East Jerusalem and Israel, with some to the West Bank and Jordan and many are for cancer patients … The report said 58 patients (37 males; 21 females) were requested for interrogation by Israeli General Security Services at Erez during November. Only seven were approved permits to travel for health care….
Over 2,000 Gaza refugee families to receive shelter cash assistance from UNRWA
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 Jan – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will disburse in the course of this week a total of $1.3 million as Transitional Shelter Cash Assistance (TSCA) to eligible families covering the last quarter of 2017, an UNRWA statement said on Wednesday. The funds will reach a total of 2,069 refugee families across the Gaza Strip who lost their homes during the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza. “The Agency remains committed to supporting affected families with Emergency shelter – including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions, yet requires new additional funding to continue this program,” it said. UNRWA is under threat of losing financial aid from the United States, its largest donor, which could augment its already difficult financial situation and relief programs….
Islamic State declares war on Hamas as Gaza families disown sons in Sinai
Irish Times 12 Jan by Iyad Abuheweila & Isabel Kershner in Rafah — Three brothers from the dusty Gaza border town of Rafah paid smugglers to spirit them through underground tunnels across the border into Egypt. There they joined the Sinai affiliate of the Islamic State terror group, which is battling the Egyptian army in the Sinai Desert. One brother was killed about 18 months ago, at the age of 20. Last week the eldest, Hamza al-Zamli (25), showed up in a shocking video, railing against Hamas, the Islamic group that dominates Gaza, and describing its fighters as “apostates”. In the finale of the 22-minute production, al-Zamli, a firebrand with long hair flowing from a black turban, instructs another fighter clad in camouflage to shoot to death a kneeling captive accused of smuggling weapons to Hamas. The video exposed new levels of enmity between Hamas and the Sinai branch of Islamic State, injecting another layer of instability into an already volatile region. And it has roiled Gaza, prompting two families whose sons are shown in the video to disown them. The video accuses Hamas of betraying Palestinians by imprisoning extremists in Gaza, failing to prevent the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and being supported by Iran. It urges attacks on Hamas’s members, courts and security positions, as well as on Shias and Christians in Gaza, according to the Washington-based Site Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamic State propaganda…
“It pains me that bloodshed was committed by my own son, Hamza,” said al-Zamli’s father, Adel al-Zamli (51), a teacher and an imam in a local mosque. Speaking in a room lined with religious books, he said Hamza had taken his younger brothers “to perdition”. Hamza’s mother, Mariam, said that after seeing the video, she was sorry she had given birth to him. Soon after the video emerged, the al-Dajani family issued a statement saying they were proud of belonging to Hamas and its military wing and describing their son’s act as “criminal” and “contrary to our religion and our people’s values”….
Senior Hamas figure critical after shooting accident
Jacaranda FM 9 Jan — Imad al-Alami, a founding member of Hamas and former member of its highest political body, was wounded while “inspecting his personal weapon in his home and is in critical condition”, Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhoum said in a statement. There was no independent confirmation of that account. Alami was rushed to hospital in Gaza City, where he was visited by Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar and his deputy Khalil al-Hayya, an AFP photographer said. Hayya told journalists the version of events described in the statement was based on “testimony of family and witnesses at home”. He said doctors had operated on him but he remained in critical condition. Alami has for decades been a senior member of Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip….
Exclusive: 2017 goes down as worst in Gaza unemployment
GAZA (Asharq Al-Awsat) 9 Jan — Khodr Ayesh serves long watch hours at the bottom of one of Gaza’s high-rise towers while serving affluent families living in the residence. Despite the paining long work hours, he is on a low payroll that does not even come close to stacking his home’s pantry or settling big bills. Ayesh, 41, runs a 7:00 am to 7:00 pm shift for the low rate of 750 shekels ($200) a month which against skyrocketing prices, cannot make ends meet. His only solace in working long hours on low income is being able to provide, although a little, to his family. Father to six children, among which is Ahmed who goes to the Faculty of Arts at the Islamic University in Gaza, Ayesh noted that he had to borrow from some relatives to save money for his son’s education. Sending Ahmed to a four-year program at university came after a huge debt which Ayesh said he does not know how to repay. Better off than many workers and citizens in the Gaza Strip, Ayesh is lucky to be employed with hundreds of thousands of workers and citizens living with unemployment and below the poverty line….
The government of Belgium’s generous support to education in emergencies gives Gaza children a voice
UNRWA 11 Jan — “You hear my voice, you hear that sound, like thunder gonna shake your ground…’Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!” sing the Gaza teens at the UNRWA Asma School for Girls (A) over a patchy broadband connection to their peers in Brussels. Students from the Athenee Bruxelles School II are inspired to join in by voicing the Katy Perry pop-song lyrics. The online exchange is part of the My Voice-My School education project, which empowers Palestine refugee children by giving them a voice and an opportunity to communicate with their peers overseas. Gazan and Belgian students are among the 300 young people participating in these virtual exchanges, which involve fifteen schools in Gaza, Syria, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Norway. For most of the Gaza UNRWA students, this is the first time they meet ‘foreigners’. Paired with overseas partner schools, they are working to advocate for the right of every child to a quality education, wherever they are. Today, the Gaza girls are presenting the results of surveys they have designed and carried out on improving education in their school to their peers in Belgium. The class has identified noise as a factor affecting students’ education. There is a loud generator which provides electricity to the school….
‘Gaza: An inquest into its martyrdom’: Norman Finkelstein on the many lies perpetuated about Gaza
Democracy Now 10 Jan — Israel faces a possible International Criminal Court war crimes probe over its 2014 assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including over 500 children. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” rush transcript of the interview
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
More than 1,000 settlement homes approved in West Bank
Al Jazeera 11 Jan — Israel has approved the construction of more than 1,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank, the Peace Now NGO has reported. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki criticised the plan, blaming the United States for “giving the green light” to Israel to do “whatever it wants with Palestinian land”. Speaking to the Voice of Palestine Radio, Maliki said that the new settlement units was “one outcome of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” The Israeli Peace Now organisation, which is opposed to settlements, said the homes would be constructed in 20 settlements.
Israeli forces inform Hebron family of home’s demolition order
HEBRON (WAFA) 10 Jan – Israeli forces Wednesday handed a family living south of Hebron a demolition order of a residential structure in use, said local sources. According to Rateb Jabour, who monitors Israeli activities in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces raided Umm al-Khair locale east of Yatta and handed Zaid Hathalin a demolition order of an in-use residential structure. He was given until the 24th of January to evict and prepare for demolition.
Israeli settlers raze land near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 10 Jan – Israeli forces Wednesday proceeded to raze large tracts of land near the village of Madama, to the south of Nablus, according to local sources. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the area, told WAFA that settlers proceeded to raze lands and open roads to server the illegal settlement of Yitzhar.
Jewish clergy urge Netanyahu not to demolish Palestinian village in West Bank
MEMO 11 Jan — More than 300 Jewish clergy have written to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him not to allow the mass demolition of Palestinian homes in Susiya, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Israeli occupation authorities have said they intend to carry out mass demolitions in Susiya, located in the southern West Bank, on the basis that the structures were built “illegally”. Palestinians are routinely denied permits in so-called “Area C” of the West Bank, some 60 per cent of the territory. “The village of Susiya, like its counterparts throughout Area C of the West Bank, has consistently had its applications for building permits denied,” said the letter sent Tuesday. “We are taught in the Torah that there must be one law for all, yet the settlers living alongside Susiya are allowed to participate in the planning and development of their own communities.” The 315 signatories “covered the gamut of religious streams, including Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist clergy,” reported JTA.
‘You want a girl? How many?’: Tapes reveal how right-wing group tried to make East Jerusalem Jewish
Haaretz 10 Jan by Nir Hasson — “You want a girl? One, two, how many do you want … how old do you want?” The speaker is Matityahu Dan, chairman of the Ateret Cohanim organization and a driving force behind Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. He is offering a girl, plus Viagra if needed, to the Palestinian owner of a property his organization seeks to acquire. The above conversation took place about two decades ago. Since then, Ateret Cohanim has acquired many properties. This and other recordings obtained by Haaretz offer a glimpse into how Jewish groups acquire Palestinian property in East Jerusalem. In them, Dan and other Ateret Cohanim employees, including the group’s attorney, Eitan Geva, speak freely about how their end justifies any means. Aside from offering sex services (as long as the girls aren’t Jewish), they threaten to publicize the negotiations, which could endanger the Palestinian owner’s life, if he refuses to sell….
Party of Nelson Mandela calls to increase boycott of Israel
MEMO 11 Jan — The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has called for greater solidarity with the Palestinian people while urging South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Comrade Ayanda Dlodlo, to re-evaluate the country’s visa policy with Israel following the decision by the government in Tel Aviv to blacklist BDS South Africa along with dozens of other organisations. The party of Nelson Mandela, which voted to downgrade South Africa’s embassy in Israel last month, cautioned the Israeli government for blacklisting supporters of the BDS movement. The organisations listed, including a Quaker group that helped save Jews from Hitler’s Nazi regime, will not be allowed entry to Israel-Palestine due to their support for BDS. The list also singles out BDS South Africa, whose members include prominent figures from the ANC. In its statement, released following the publication of the blacklist, the ANC denounced its inclusion, pointing to many of its members that are currently serving as government ministers and who have been appointed to senior positions within the Parliament of South Africa. These MPs, premiers and mayors, said the ANC, are “vocal” in their “public supporters of Palestine”….
French NGOs call for firm action against Israel over entry bar
MEMO 11 Jan — The France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS) and BDS-France have denounced the Israeli government’s decision to include them on a list of 21 foreign NGOs whose members are banned from entry. AFPS, the largest French organisation supporting the Palestinian cause, issued a statement denouncing the Israeli government’s decision, describing it as “political” saying the Netanyahu government wants to silence all voices that uncover its daily policies and violations against the Palestinian people’s rights. The association said the decision officially targets foreign citizens which is a flagrant violation of international conventions and treaties, stressing that it will not be intimidated and will continue its actions and activities in order to defend the Palestinian people’s rights and expose Israel to the French and European public. Bertrand Heilbronn, the organisation’s president, called on the French government to respond firmly to Israel by calling for the immediate cancellation of these measures….
The Tamimi family
‘I’m not sorry’: Nur Tamimi explains why she slapped an Israeli soldier
[includes video of interview with Mohammed] Haaretz 12 Jan by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — A not-unexpected guest arrived at Nur Tamimi’s house last weekend: Mohammed Tamimi, the 15-year-old cousin and neighbor, who was shot in the head. He came over to congratulate Nur on her release on bail from an Israeli prison. She was delighted to see him standing there, despite his serious head wound. Last week, when we visited Mohammed, he hadn’t yet been told that Nur, 21, and their 16-year-old cousin Ahed, had been detained. Nor did he know that it was the bullet fired into his head from short range that had prompted the two cousins to go outside and attack two trespassing soldiers. Now, at home, surrounded by television cameras, Nur confirms that the assault on the two soldiers was partly motivated by the fact that they invaded Ahed’s yard on December 15 – but the main reason was that they had just then read on Facebook that Mohammed had suffered an apparently mortal wound. He was shot a few dozen meters from Nur’s home. Ahed’s home is also a few steps away – all of the cousins live close to the entrance of the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Ahed and her mother, Nariman, have now been in prison for three weeks, Mohammed is recovering from his wound and Nur is back home after 16 days in detention – an ordeal she would never have had to endure if she weren’t a Palestinian. Nur was involved in the incident with the soldiers, but the video of it shows clearly that she was far less aggressive than Ahed: She barely touched the soldiers….
[Nur’s father] Naji is 55 and speaks Hebrew quite well, having picked up the language in the 1980s when he worked in Israel polishing floor tiles. You have to spend time with Naji and Bushra – and also Ahed’s parents, Bassem and Nariman – to grasp how degrading, inflammatory and ignorant the Israeli right-wing propaganda is that has labeled these impressive people a “family of murderers.” Naji works in the Palestinian Authority’s Coordination and Liaison Office, but stresses that has no direct contact with Israelis. A pleasant, sociable individual and a veteran member of Fatah, he’s the father of three daughters and two sons. The text on the newly coined poster above his head in the spacious living room states: “No one will turn off the light [nur, in Arabic]. #FreeNur.”…
Lieberman imposes collective punishment on Tamimi family
MEMO 11 Jan — Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, issued orders to the concerned occupation authority to impose collective punishment and punitive measures against the Tamimi family. The move comes after video footage circulated showing members of the family driving away occupation soldiers from in front of their home in the village of Nabi Saleh on 15 December. The punitive measures imposed by the occupation authorities on Lieberman’s orders include isolating the family by revoking the entry visas of 20 of its members. This is under the pretext of the entire family being involved in acts of “violence and incitement of terrorism”. In addition to this, Lieberman signed an order banning Ahed Tamimi’s father, Bassem, from travelling, according to the security institution. Her father is a former security prisoner due to his acts of resistance against the occupation. According to Israel Hayom newspaper, Lieberman signed Bassem’s travel ban because “he has a long history of imprisonment due to his involvement in past security cases”. The newspaper quoted Lieberman saying: “Dealing with Tamimi and her family has to be severe, exhaust all legal measures and generate deterrence,” adding, that his office “would not tolerate incidents where Palestinian protesters accost Israeli soldiers and incite terrorism.” The military prosecution presented an indictment against Ahed Tamimi to the Military Court in the occupied West Bank, on two counts of assaulting an Israeli army soldier. A similar indictment was presented against her cousins Iman and Nur Tamimi, on counts of assaulting occupation soldiers and threatening to throw stones at them.
Israeli army sues Palestinian family for damages caused to vehicle that killed their son
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 Jan by Ihab Rimawi – In an unprecedented and bizarre move, the Israeli army is suing a Palestinian family for damages caused to a military vehicle that ran into a wall while chasing their son at high speed and then flipped over him and killed him. Abdullah Ghneimat, 22, from the village of Kufr Malik, east of Ramallah, was chased by an army jeep in the early morning hour on June 14, 2015 when he was returning home from work. He was surprised to see soldiers in his village and therefore ran away, prompting the soldiers to go after him. Ghneimat took cover behind a wall, but the jeep ran into the wall and then turned over and fell on him, killing him. Not only that, the soldiers also opened fire at a bulldozer the village residents had brought to lift the army jeep to release Ghneimat’s body and they refused to remove the jeep for three hours, according to witnesses. The family wanted to sue the army for killing its son in that manner. Attorney Naela Attiyeh filed a lawsuit against the army in a military court hoping to bring some justice and comfort to the bereaved family.
However, the attorney and family where surprised when two days ago they got an email telling them that the army is suing Abu Ghneimat’s family for $28,000 to pay for damages caused to the army vehicle that killed their son. “This is the first time that the army sues a family of a Palestinian its forces have killed demanding financial compensation,” said Attiyeh. “They kill him and then they ask for reparations.” “If they want reparations, they should first bring our son back,” said Ghneimat’s father, Iyad. “This case is pure extortion,” he said. “They want to pressure us to drop the lawsuit against them, but we insist on it regardless of the price even though we know that the army and the court are two faces of the same coin.”
[This version of the story is being included here since it wasn’t clear in the IMEMC story (in the 8 Jan newslist) how much the army is suing for in damages. The IMEMC story said 95.260 Israeli shekels, which depending on whether the period in the amount was being used in the American or the European sense could have been either about $28 or about $28,000.]
Palestinian refugees live in fear of Trump aid cuts
BETHLEHEM, occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera) 10 Jan by Ibrahim Husseini — Palestinians living in refugee camps have expressed deep alarm over US threats to potentially cut funding for a relief agency tasked with providing aid and services to them. For nearly 70 years, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries. It offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment. “Today, more than two-thirds of refugees are children who go to UNRWA schools. If the schools shut down, there will be a big problem,” Salah Ajarmeh, a 44-year-old living in Aida refugee camp outside of Bethlehem, told Al Jazeera. “The refugee issue is a red line.” The US is the largest contributor to UNRWA – in 2016, it donated more than $364m to the agency. It also provides the Palestinian Authority – the governmental body which administers pockets of the West Bank – with some $400m annually. But on January 3, less than a month after prompting Palestinian anger and international outcry for naming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Palestinians …
Al Jazeera visited the ‘Aida and Dheisheh refugee camps in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem and asked several Palestinians living there about their reaction to the potential cuts. Many of them hail from Palestinian villages that were ethnically cleansed during the establishment of Israel in 1948, known to Palestinians as the Nakba – or “catastrophe”….
EU, Norway to hold emergency meeting on Palestine aid
MEMO 11 Jan — The EU and Norway will be convening an emergency meeting at the end of this month for donor groups providing aid to Palestinians, following the US’ threat to cut funding to UNRWA, according to Haaretz. The conference is due to take place on 31 January, with Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai representing Israel. Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Soreide and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini are also expected to be in attendance. The meeting comes amid US President Donald Trump’s threat to cut funding to the Palestinians if they do not resume negotiations with the US. The Palestinian Authority (PA) cut ties with the Trump Administration following America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel … Earlier this week, UNWRA warned that US funding cuts, which amount to some $300 million – a third of the agency’s budget – will hurt half a million Palestinian children.
Ahmad Tibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump
JERUSALEM (Al Jazeera) 9 Jan by Ali Younes — Ahmad Tibi, a prominent Arab member of Israel’s Parliament, said a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under US President Donald Trump would be impossible. Speaking to Al Jazeera from his office in the Knesset, Tibi said there is no political solution in the cards, despite US statements to the contrary. “There was nothing on the horizon when Trump came to power, and now that he is in power, a solution is impossible,” he said. Tibi also dismissed the so-called “deal-of the-century”, which, according to media reports offers the Palestinians a state in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, minus Jerusalem. According to Tibi, Trump and his allies have made a radical departure from previous US policies, especially on the issues of Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements. Prior to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US policy considered the city occupied territory and a subject to final status talks between the two sides. “No doubt that the Trump decision is a complete adaptation of the Israeli narrative about Jerusalem and is a complete departure from the US foreign policy on the Middle East,” Tibi said. In 1947, the UN’s partition plan in Palestine envisioned dividing the territory into two separate states, but would have left Jerusalem under an international administration.
However, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s minister of regional cooperation, told Al Jazeera that Trump’s decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital. “We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s Likud party, told Al Jazeera. “Palestinians can claim East Jerusalem as their capital and we can negotiate a settlement. Although we annexed East Jerusalem, it is still up for negotiations,” said Hanegbi. Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict….
Palestinian education ministry denies UC incitement claims
MEMO 11 Jan — The Palestinian Ministry of Education yesterday denied US claims that Palestinian textbooks are riddled with incitement and call for violence, Quds Press reported. Curriculum chief Tharwat Zeid said: “We reject American criteria to evaluate and degrade the Palestinian textbooks based on the Israeli vision.” The Palestinian education ministry “is not ready to have any side check Palestinian textbooks and compare them with the Israelis which clearly include incitement and calls for violence.” Zeid stressed that the Palestinian syllabus “maintains the Palestinian principles”, adding: “We are in the stage of a national liberation. The oppressed Palestinians have been suffering from Israeli violations for tens of years and they are calling for the return of their rights.” He also said that the Palestinian syllabus “reinforces the Palestinian national culture, history, values and heritage.” He called for Israeli textbooks to be checked for their use of “dirty words to describe the Arabs and frankly call for killing them, practicing violence and racism against them.” The Palestinian education ministry said that this “violent attack on the Palestinian syllabus aims to undermine the Palestinian national identity and the role of education in reinforcing this identity.”