Health Ministry: ‘Israeli army killed 112 Palestinians, injured 13,190 since March 30th’
IMEMC 21 May — Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, has reported Sunday that Israeli soldiers have killed 112 Palestinians, and injured 13,190 since the Great Return March protests started on the Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018. Dr. al-Qedra said that the soldiers killed 13 Palestinian children, and injured 2096 others, in addition to wounding 1029 women. He added that 332 of the wounded Palestinians suffered life-threatening injuries, 3,422 suffered moderate wounds, 9,436 suffered mild injuries, and 5,572 suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. Dr. al-Qedra said that:
502 Palestinians were shot in the head and neck.
283 were shot in the chest and back.
225 were shot in the abdomen and pelvis.
938 were shot in the arm.
325 were shot in the leg.
1,117 suffered various cuts and bruises to several parts of their bodies.
He also said that 27 of the wounded Palestinians suffered amputations in their legs, one in his arm, and four others had some fingers severed by Israeli fire. Dr. al-Qedra added that the soldiers also shot and killed one medic, and injured 323 others with live fire and gas bombs, in addition to causing damage to 37 ambulances.
Another Palestinian dies from wounds suffered on May 14
IMEMC 19 May — The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that a young Palestinian man died, Saturday, from serious wounds he suffered on Monday, May 14. It said the young man, identified as Mohammad Mazen Oleyyan, 20, was shot with live Israeli army fire, and died from his serious wounds at the Al-Quds Hospital, in Gaza. The Palestinian was shot with a live round in the head, during the Great Return March, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. He remained in critical condition before he was pronounced brain dead, and passed away Saturday.
On Saturday at dawn [as previously reported], another Palestinian identified as Mo‘in Abdul-Hamid Sa‘ey , 58 years of age, died from his serious wounds at the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza city, where he was rushed to surgery and then to the Intensive Care Unit until he succumbed to his wounds.
Palestinian dies from serious wounds suffered in northern Gaza
IMEMC 19 May — The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a third Palestinian died, on Saturday evening, from serious wounds he suffered last Monday, when Israeli soldiers shot him with live fire in northern Gaza. The Ministry said the Palestinian, Ahmad al-‘Abed Abu Samra, 21, was shot by Israeli soldiers on Monday May 14, and remained in critical condition until he succumbed to his wounds on Saturday evening, at the Shifa Medical Center. The Palestinian, from Jabalia an-Nazla, in northern Gaza, was shot by the soldiers during the Great Return March, near the border fence, east of Jabalia.
‘Sometimes dancing, sometimes furious’: a girl shot dead in Gaza
The Guardian 21 May by Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha in al-Bureij, Gaza — The family of Wesal Sheikh Khalil say that in a matter of weeks the teenager experienced a complete transformation, from a hop-scotching child to an adolescent infuriated by injustice in Gaza. “You are cowards,” she screamed at her aunts when they refused to join protests at the border, where health officials say Israeli forces have killed more than 110 and shot thousands since demonstrations began in late March. Her immediate family, impoverished even by the coastal enclave’s dire standards, had been unengaged in politics. Wesal and her 11-year-old brother were the only ones who trekked weekly to the perimeter, into the surging crowds and the black smoke of burning tyres. Their siblings tried to stop them, but they would sneak out. “She kept saying: ‘You have to go. You have to go,’” recalled one aunt, Ahlam, 30. “She was the most dedicated of all of us.” Wesal, 14, was shot dead on May 14, one of more than 60 people killed as Israeli snipers fired on protesters. The teenager has left behind a family who are grieving, but who also feel purpose in their loss. “Now she is dead, I’m ready,” said another aunt, Anwar. “After what she did, we are not afraid.” Wesal’s brother said she had been carrying wire cutters to break through the fence that day, and others say she ferried water bottles and stones to people at the front, metres from Israeli snipers….
Israeli army shells alleged Hamas sites in central Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 May — Israeli forces shelled an alleged Hamas military post east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning. Witnesses told Ma‘an that the shelling came after several Palestinian youths managed to cross the Israeli border fence and burn Israeli military tents. Israeli forces stationed in military towers along the border reportedly opened fire at several points east of al-Bureij. No injuries were reported, and the Palestinian youths allegedly crossed back into the Gaza Strip unharmed.
Israeli news website Ynet quoted the Israeli army spokesperson as saying “the army had attacked the Hamas post after a number of terrorists who had crossed the border torched a military post.” Ynet added that “the rules of engagement on the Gaza border have been stepped up in the past month and forces are permitted to open fire at Palestinians trying to vandalize military infrastructures near the fence, even if those Palestinians are unarmed.”
‘a day of gas’ inside a Gaza ambulance
ZEITOUN, Gaza (Washington Post) 19 May by Loveday Morris — The first patients don’t come until 5:39pm. They crowd around the ambulance, choking on tear gas. Israeli soldiers, just a few hundred yards away on the other side of the boundary fence, had fired a volley of hissing cans at the protesters. Hussein al Sumeiri, a 31-year-old paramedic, hands out cotton wool treated with alcohol and saline for them to wipe their stinging eyes. One 10-year-old in jeans and a yellow T-shirt has tears streaming down his cheeks and is struggling for breath. He is brought inside the ambulance to be given oxygen. Sumeiri logs it as the day’s first injury. Friday was the quietest protest day of the past eight weeks for the paramedics in ambulance No. 414. The ‘Great March of Return’, as the demonstrations have been dubbed, reached their peak Monday … Medics like Sumeiri have witnessed the brunt of the violence. His ambulance treated more than 50 patients with gunshot wounds Monday. The medics have been in the line of fire themselves, with one paramedic among those killed Monday. They list the names of several colleagues who have been shot. The crowds are thin Friday, swelling only after late-afternoon prayers, when several busloads arrive. It’s the first day of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, and temperatures are near a sweat-inducing 35°C [95°F]. The medics are working on empty … The day closes with just 56 injuries across Gaza, largely from tear gas, though some gunshot wounds are reported. A final volley of tear gas canisters lands farther back from the fence, where families have gathered in tents. Sumeiri’s brother-in-law calls to check. “A good day,” he reports back. “A day of gas.”
Navy fires on fishing boats; bulldozers raze lands in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 21 May — Israeli naval forces, on Monday morning, opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza City. Witnesses told Ma‘an News Agency that Israeli naval boats opened fire at several fishing boats off the coast of Gaza City, forcing fishermen to head back to shore, in fear for their lives. No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, several Israeli military bulldozers entered into agricultural lands in the northern Gaza Strip, along the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”. Locals said that four Israeli bulldozers raided the eastern parts of the al-Shuja‘eyya neighborhood and leveled lands as Israeli drones flew overhead.
Israeli military sites in eastern Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, had also opened fire at protest camps on Monday, before dawn. No injuries were reported.
Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza
GAZA CITY (AP) 20 May by Fares Akram — A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition Sunday after publicly setting himself on fire but his motives remain unclear with family believing he was despairing over Gaza’s dire living conditions and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the territory, alleging personal problems. Suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam and cases are rare in conservative Gaza but dozens were reported last year. Several cases of self-immolation have also been reported in Gaza over the past years. This was the first time, however, that one was filmed and posted online. In the brief nighttime clip, Fathi Harb is already ablaze in front of a residential building. Onlookers rush to put out the fire with rugs and water. In the brief nighttime clip, Fathi Harb is already ablaze in front of a residential building. Onlookers rush to put out the fire with rugs and water. Majda, the young man’s mother, told The Associated Press Sunday that a day earlier her eldest son had said he was going to collect a payment. But half an hour later police came to her home saying he was in hospital after having set himself ablaze. On Sunday, Fathi was unconscious and connected to breathing tubes at the intensive care unit of Gaza city’s Shifa hospital. Majda said she doesn’t know for sure what led Fathi to hurt himself. She said he was expecting his first child soon and felt helpless due to the harsh economic situation in Gaza … Fathi’s grandfather, Said, blamed the blockade and also the Palestinian divide for “killing the dreams of youths like Fathi.”
VIDEO: Life in Gaza: Palestinians’ struggle to survive
21 May — Palestinians say the recent protests at Gaza’s border with Israel are a way for them to vent frustration after years of living under a blockade. People in Gaza are finding it increasingly difficult to survive, and children are being hit the hardest. Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid met some of the people in Gaza struggling to survive — She rarely leaves her home, overwhelmed by dark thoughts. Her husband lost his job four years ago. Since then, they have gradually sold all of their belongings to survive. Now there’s not much left, and the family’s in debt….
Gaza turns off the Ramadan lanterns
GAZA (WAFA) 19 May — Residents of the Gaza Strip (2 million people) are spending Ramadan this year without electricity, making their living conditions worse as the economic situation deteriorate year after year. Electricity reaches homes of Gazans at best four hours a day, compared to 20 hours cut off in hot and dry Ramadan weather. The electricity crisis began in the Gaza Strip in 2006 after Israeli warplanes bombed the only power generating plant and then multiplied as the 11-year-old Israeli blockade intensified. With the start of the holy fast month of Ramadan on Thursday, Gazans eat their “Sohour” (pre-fast dawn meal) and Iftar (breaking the fast meat at sunset) without electricity, which compounded their suffering. “For 12 years we have lived in suffering and crises; no electricity, no clean water, no work … Gaza is in a state of clinical death,” Hassan Qassem, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City, told WAFA. The well off in Gaza resort to large generators to light their homes at a cost of a little over $1 per kilowatt of electricity, while the cost of one kilowatt of electricity at the generating plant after it was rebuilt and became partially operating is a little over 10 cents. The poor and the destitute, however, are forced to eat their meals by candlelight or battery operating torches. “We are deprived at home – especially my children – of watching TV shows that we eagerly wait for during the holy month,” Qassem said. Absent as well this Ramadan is the lanterns that add joy to the Gazans, especially children, which are nowadays too expensive to buy, let alone light….
EU announces €3 million humanitarian aid for Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 May — The European Commission of the European Union (EU) announced on Friday that it would be sending €3 million to help civilians in need of urgent assistance in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to a press release, the funding will be channeled exclusively through international humanitarian EC partners to deliver health, water, and sanitation assistance to Palestinians in need of “critical assistance.” Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said the emergency assistance “will help provide basic supplies to civilians in need,” adding “for a smooth and continued delivery of humanitarian aid, it is essential that critical goods and equipment are allowed to enter Gaza in a timely manner.” The announcement came as the UN reached a decision to send war crimes investigators to Gaza.
Arab Israelis in Haifa protest over Gaza killings
AFP 21 May — Hundreds of Arab Israelis demonstrated Saturday evening in Haifa in solidarity with Gaza, where more than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces in recent days, an AFP reporter said. Protesters shouted “down with the occupation, stop fascism” and denounced the arrests on Friday of 19 people in the northern city during a previous rally held in solidarity with Gaza residents. They waved four large letters in bright red, making up the word “Gaza” and chanted slogans, including “Jews and Arabs, we are not enemies”. A total of 62 Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation gunfire on Monday, when thousands of Palestinians protested as the US officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after recognising the disputed city as the capital of Israel. They were among 119 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel since mass demonstrations started on March 30, according to authorities in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.
‘We die anyway, so let it be in front of the cameras’: conversations with Gazans
Haaretz 20 May by Amira Hass — My friends in Gaza are outraged by Israel’s claim that Hamas rules everything. ‘You people always looked down at us, so it’s hard for you to understand that no one demonstrates in anyone else’s name’ — “Our ability, the Palestinians, to be killed is greater than your ability, the Israelis, to kill,” a resident of the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem told me at the beginning of the second intifada. Ever an optimist, he meant that because of this difference, in the end the two sides would reach a fair agreement. On Tuesday this week, alongside the border fence and across from Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, his mistake once again became clear. There’s a limit to the Palestinians’ ability to be killed. In the morning after the Monday of bloodshed, the protesters took a break. Sixty fresh mourning tents and hundreds of newly wounded justified the lull they asked for. The next day, Nakba Day, which was supposed to be the peak, was actually the day they gave up on the symbolic mass March of Return to the border fence …
Hamas has lost its popularity in Gaza because of the failures and disasters of the past 10 years, a friend promised me after he reminded me that he “doesn’t like them at all.” At the beginning, they weren’t enthused by the idea of the March of Return, after young activists brought the idea to all the political factions’ leaders, he says. After that Hamas adopted the idea too. As an organization, Hamas is capable of offering what other groups can’t: rides to the March of Return camps, maybe a sandwich and a bottle of cola and tents. “But they can’t force us to come and endanger ourselves. After all, it’s dangerous to be even 300 or 400 meters away, because the soldiers shoot at us.”….
Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Army invades many neighborhoods in Jerusalem
IMEMC 20 May — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at night, many neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, and opened fire at protesters, in addition to attacking Palestinians holding social activities, celebrating the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Media sources in Jerusalem said the soldiers invaded several neighborhoods in the occupied city, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at Palestinians, who protested the invasion. The soldiers also imposed much harsher restrictions on the Palestinians in the city, while Israelis celebrate Shavuot Jewish holiday. In addition, the soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians holding social and religious activities, celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, in Bab al-‘Amoud and Bas as-Sahera of the Old City. The Palestinians were attacked by soldiers and mounted officers, who invaded the two areas, and resorted to excessive use of force against them. In addition, the soldiers invaded the many neighborhoods in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city, and attacked Palestinian protesters. The soldiers also invaded Hizma and al-‘Issawiya towns, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at many Palestinians, who protested the invasion. It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also briefly invaded the al-Makassed Hospital, in at-Tour neighborhood overlooking the Old City.
Israeli soldiers injure five Palestinians in Jenin
IMEMC 21 May — Israeli soldiers injured, on Monday at dawn, five young men, after the soldiers invaded the Eastern Neighborhood of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and fired at many Palestinians who protested the invasion. Medical sources said the soldiers shot a young man with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the neck, and another in the leg, in addition to a third Palestinian who was shot in the abdomen. They added that the soldiers also chased a fourth Palestinian, and shot him with a live round in thes leg. Another Palestinian suffered various cuts and bruises while running away from soldiers who were chasing him.
In addition, the soldiers invaded the home of former political prisoner, Ra‘ed Abu Srour, and violently searched the property before illegally confiscating 60.000 shekels.
In addition, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian child in Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, and searched many homes in the town, and in Teqou‘a, southeast of Bethlehem.
Israeli soldiers abduct three Palestinians, including one woman
IMEMC 20 May — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, three Palestinians, including one woman, in Ramallah and Tulkarem governorates, in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded and searched homes in Doura al-Qare‘ town, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and abducted Mahmoud Jamal al-Masri and Nassim Rawhi Hamdan. The PPS added that the soldiers also invaded and searched homes, before abducting a woman, identified as Rania Ahmad Ali.
5 Palestinians detained in overnight raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 May — Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians from across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem during predawn raids on Monday morning.
In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian teenager identified as Sari Muhammad Taqatqa, 18. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detain four Palestinians. One was identified as Khalid Abu Mayyaleh, 21, was detained from the Silwan neighborhood. The other three were detained from the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood. Their identities remained unknown.
Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians from West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 May — Israeli forces detained at least 14 Palestinians during predawn raids on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian and Israeli army sources. Israeli military detention raids in the occupied Palestinian territory are a near-nightly occurrence. According to prisoners rights group Addameer, as of April, 6,036 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons.
West Bank — An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that 11 Palestinians were detained from the West Bank overnight. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that nine Palestinians were detained from the West Bank. According to PPS, four Palestinians were detained from the southern West Bank district of Hebron. They were identified as Yahiya al-Hur, Ahmad Jawabreh, Muhammad al-Sharabati and Qusai Jawabreh. Locals told Ma‘an that Yahiya al-Hur, who they said was a teenager, was detained from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp. Another Palestinian, identified as Ismail Abu Rahmeh, was detained from the Ramallah-area village of Bil‘in, in the central West Bank. Locals also reported that Israeli forces raided the central West Bank town of Abu Dis, in the Jerusalem district, sparking clashes with local residents. No detentions were reported in the area.
In the northern West Bank district of Jenin, Israeli forces detained one Palestinian, identified as Omar Izz al-Din.
East Jerusalem — In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the neighborhood of ‘Issawiya. They were identified as Muhammad Jihad Elayyan, Wadie Daoud Elayyan and Muhammad Zakariyya Elayyan.
Gaza Strip — Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, head of the documentation unit at the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Abd al-Nasser Farawneh, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces detained a man at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza. Farawneh identified the man as Bilal Ayman al-Astal from Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Al-Astal had allegedly been summoned to the crossing for an interview to receive a medical permit, and was detained after the interview.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Video: Sheikh Jarrah: A tale of eviction and resettlement
Al Jazeera Rewind 19 May — Six years on, a young Palestinian reflects on coming of age in one of the world’s most contested cities — Mohammad al-Kurd grew up in one of the world’s most contested cities. At age 13, Mohammad and his family were evicted from their home that his father built in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli settlers. Mohammad felt deep anger towards all Israelis at first, but his views began to change as he was exposed to Israelis from a variety of backgrounds who came to the neighbourhood to support the Palestinian residents in their struggle to save their homes. Al Jazeera followed Mohammad’s coming of age over two years of profound upheaval and huge change in Sheikh Jarrah.
Six years on, REWIND speaks to Mohammad, now a student in Atlanta, Georgia about his plans for the future. “I want to be able to do my masters and hopefully my PhD, but my ultimate goal would be to do something very big for Palestinian education,” he says. While he still dreams of becoming a writer, Mohammad acknowledges that, as a Palestinian, this might be an unreachable goal for him … “If you really want to make a living in Palestine, you’re going to be humiliated, building settlements for Israelis because, in Palestine, janitors who work in Israeli spaces make more than Palestinian teachers,” he says. But Mohammad sees a use for his writing in recording the rapidly fading memories of his grandmother, Rifka al-Kurd, who led her family’s defiant response to the eviction….
Opinion: The judges are hurrying / Amira Hass
Haaretz 22 May — The panel of high court justices appeared to be in a hurry to authorize the demolition of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe’s village in the Khan al-Ahmar area of the West Bank. If anyone still hoped that this impression, conveyed by the justices at a hearing on April 25, was wrong, the course of events described below suggests otherwise. When with the approval of the High Court of Justice, a bulldozer demolishes the school built of tires and the other village buildings, the nearby Jewish settlement of Kfar Adumim will celebrate. In the wake of its persistent petitions to the high court over the past nine years to remove the Bedouin nuisance from the view of its houses, the state announced the imminent expulsion of the villagers. The plan is to transfer them against their will to the West Bank Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis and to impose a semi-urban lifestyle on them. The justices also heard two other petitions filed on behalf of the Bedouin by attorney Shlomo Lecker against the demolition of the village and against the demolition of the school. The panel that heard the petitions was comprised of Justices Noam Solberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner. It is known that Solberg is a resident of the settlement of Alon Shvut. It is also known that Willner was one of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s candidates for the high court. In her youth, Willner took part in an attempt by the Gush Emunim settlement movement to settle Sebastia in the northern West Bank. What was not widely known is that she has a brother and sister who live in Kfar Adumim … Section 77a of the Courts Act states that a judge shall not sit in judgment when he knows that a relative is one of the parties to a proceeding, or if a first-degree relative has a genuine financial or personal interest in the proceeding or its outcome. On May 2, Lecker filed a motion to disqualify Willner from hearing this case. The three justices summarily dismissed his motion, and were joined last week by Justice Neal Hendel, who heard Lecker’s appeal of the three justices’ action….
Cohabitation in the Old City: Four communities vie for territory inside hallowed walls
France 24 17 May — A visit to Jerusalem’s Old City offers a glimpse of the diversity of this culturally rich metropolis and insight into the uneasy cohabitation of the communities that share this sliver of sacrosanct ground. Entry through Damascus Gate – the portal to the souk and the Arab Quarter of the Old City – requires passing in front of three security stations with a phalanx of uniformed, machine-gun-toting, steely-eyed soldiers at each one. Unconsciously, one adopts an imperceptible protective hunch, the reptilian brain on alert for potential danger. Even in the morning, the air inside the souk is redolent with the aroma of cardamom, which wafts over tourists sipping coffee at rickety tables. One doesn’t go 20 yards before encountering another duo of soldiers, seemingly hardly out of their teens. With Israel’s policy of mandatory military service for citizens over the age of 18, the peace in Jerusalem is maintained by a very young, mostly male contingent. The merchants in the quarter are primarily Palestinian, and when they talk about their daily existence in the Old City, the word “occupation” comes up consistently. There is no apparent interaction between the soldiers and the Arabs, who move silently around one another as though each is an invisible obstacle. These merchants say they feel they are treated as second-class citizens by the Israelis and that they have been abandoned by even their fellow Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia….
Prisoners / Court actions
Detainee ‘Oweisat dies from his serious wounds inflicted by Israeli soldiers
IMEMC 12 May — The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee has reported that detainee Aziz ‘Oweisat, 53, died at an Israeli hospital from serious complications after he was assaulted by several Israeli soldiers in the prison, who claimed he attacked an officer with a sharp object. The Committee said ‘Oweisat, from Jabal al-Mokabber in occupied Jerusalem, was taken prisoner on March 24, 2014, and was sentenced to a life term. The Committee added that he suffered brain hemorrhage and a heart attack after the soldiers continuously assaulting him in Eshil Israeli prison, on May 2, 2018, and went into a coma before he was moved to Ramla Israeli Medical Center. Later, the detainee was moved to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center due to the seriousness of his condition, but he suffered further deterioration, and was transferred to Tal HaShomer Medical Center. On May 10th, 2018, he underwent heart surgery at Tal HaShomer Israeli Medical Center, which lasted for nearly three hours. Despite his serious condition, he was returned a few days ago to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, after the Administration of Tal HaShomer refused to keep him hospitalized at their facility. The Detainees’ Committee said he died at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, due to the seriousness of his condition.
It is worth mentioning that the Detainees’ Committee filed an urgent appeal with an Israeli court asking for his release so that he could receive steady medical attention, and the court scheduled the hearing for May 25th. He did not make it to the hearing, however, since he died on May 20th. The detainees in Israeli prisons and detention camps declared a three-day mourning period, and demanded that Israel be held accountable for its violations and crimes. For its part, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) held Israel fully responsible for his death, especially since the Israeli Prison Authority refused to release him despite its knowledge of his serious condition. It added that seven Palestinian detainees have died in the last five years after being denied medical attention, in addition to ‘Oweisat….
Mohammed Tamimi released from Israeli detention
IMEMC/Agencies 21 May — Mohammed Fadel Tamimi, 15, from Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, and who was detained by the Israeli army on Sunday, was released several hours after his detention, according to Bilal Tamimi, an activist in the anti-settlements committee in the village. He told WAFA, on Monday, that the army freed the boy after it was clear his health situation does not permit holding him, and turned him over to the Palestinian liaison office. Mohammed Tamimi was shot in the face by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by Israeli soldiers in his village, in December, causing him serious damage to his skull that required surgery and removal of a part of the skull. Soldiers detained Mohammed Tamimi at the entrance to his village, and took him to a police station at Benyamin detention center, in the occupied West Bank. He is a cousin to Ahed Tamimi, an icon of Palestinian peaceful resistance, who was detained when she was only 16 years old, for slapping an Israeli soldier who raided her family home in Nabi Saleh, and was later sentenced, along with her mother, Nariman, to eight months in prison for humiliating a soldier.
Court orders the release of 19 Israeli Arab protesters arrested
Haaretz 21 May by Jack Khoury & Noa Shpigel — ‘It is inconceivable that people go out and protest and they are oppressed in such a way,’ head of Arab rights group says, claiming he was beaten by police: ‘This is not democracy’ — The Haifa District Court ordered on Monday the release of the 19 Israeli Arab demonstrators arrested on Friday who were protesting against Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, which left dozens of Palestinians dead … Jafar Farah, the head of the Mossawa Advocacy Center, was arrested Friday at a protest in Haifa against Israel’s policies in Gaza. He was filmed walking on his own feet to the protests, but was later hospitalized and on Saturday arrived in court on crutches. He told the court that after he was arrested an officer broke his knee … Police chief Roni Alsheich weighed in on the case Monday, saying that it was possible rights activist Farah was wounded at the Haifa protest contrary to Farah’s claim that he was wounded in the leg when he was detained by police. “It’s an illegitimate protest even in a tolerant country,” Alsheich said, adding that “if someone did something unusual, we will deal with it firmly.” The police reported on Sunday that a preliminary investigation did not find any link between Farah’s arrest and his injury … At the left-wing demonstration participants carried placards saying “We oppose the occupation,” “Jews and Arabs together,” “You won’t silence Haifa” and “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” They shouted: “blood-soaked regime, stop killing children,” “Fascism won’t be tolerated” and “Gaza, don’t despair, we’ll stop the occupation.” The right-wing demonstrators flew the Israeli flag, sang Hatikva and shouted “The people of Israel live” and “Our Father lives.”
Political amnesia in Washington: From the Nakba to the occupation / Khaled Elgindy
Brookings 18 May — Brookings editor’s note: Within less than a generation, both the political significance of the Nakba and the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were all but forgotten in Washington, writes Khaled Elgindy. This piece originally appeared in Foreign Policy. — … Approximately 70 percent of Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians are registered refugees from lands in what is now Israel. Israel has long denied responsibility for the Palestinian refugee problem and continues to maintain that the refugees will never be allowed to return, and American policymakers now generally accepted the Israeli view. But this was not always the case. Unlike today, in the years immediately after 1948 neither the events of the Nakba nor the U.N.-mandated right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes was considered controversial in U.S. politics … Although the term nakba never entered Washington’s political lexicon, U.S. policymakers understood the nature and scope of the calamity that befell Palestinians during Israel’s creation. At the time, U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers closely monitored and reported on developments in what was then British Mandate Palestine as events unfolded. Most senior U.S. policymakers therefore, including the president and secretary of state, had no illusions about the nature of the Palestinian exodus …
Like the rest of the international community, the United States supported U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, which among other things called on Israel to allow the Palestinian refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.” According to President Harry Truman’s Middle East peace envoy, Mark Ethridge, Israel bore “particular responsibility for those who have been driven out by terrorism, repression and forcible ejection.” Many acknowledged U.S. culpability as well. The U.S. consul in Jerusalem, William Burdett, complained that “the United States has accumulated an enormous moral and even financial responsibility in the situation in our justifiable zeal for creation of a [Jewish] state.” Even Truman, revered by many as the midwife of the modern Israeli state, conceded that he was “rather disgusted with the manner in which the Jews are approaching the refugee problem.”
Over the years, however, the sense of urgency over the Palestinian refugee crisis began to fade, as did the memory of what created it. Nevertheless, successive U.S. administrations continued to view a resolution of the refugee issue as the key to an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who marked a distinct departure from his predecessors. Unlike the three presidents who came before him, Johnson made no serious attempt to address the refugee issue. Thus, when Israelis diplomats notified the State Department in 1966 that Israel would no longer entertain any proposals that involved repatriation, which henceforth would be considered tantamount to calling for Israel’s destruction, the Johnson administration was unfazed. Indeed, Johnson’s own views tracked closely with those of Israel’s leaders….
UNRWA workers suspend strike as negotiations continue
AMMAN 22 May by Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto — Workers at UNRWA General Presidency and Field Office in Jordan suspended a planned open-ended strike scheduled to begin on Monday. The decision came in light of the “rapid developments” following the escalating measures aimed to sustain and improve employee and retiree benefits, according to a statement issued by the protesters. The shift in the employees’ approach began on Sunday evening after several workers at the agency ended a nine-day hunger strike, responding to mediation efforts. The Lower House’s Palestine Committee and its chair Yahya Saud pledged on Sunday to follow up on the demands of the workers stressing the deputies’ “understanding of the strikers’ requests after the reduction of the agency’s services to the Palestinian refugees”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported….
Pulverised Yarmuk testimony to bitter ‘battle of Damascus’
AFP 21 May — The road leading into southern districts of Damascus was lined by endless mounds of smashed concrete and rubble, monuments to the cost of the Syrian army’s battle for the capital. Standing on Route 30, a main street in the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk, a young Syrian soldier sighed: “This was the last battle in Damascus. I’m extremely happy.” “Damascus will go back to the way it was. We’ll forget the days of shelling and blood — this victory will help us forget it all,” said 22-year-old Lieutenant Mohsen Ismail. Syria’s army on Monday announced it was in full control of Damascus after a month-long assault that ousted the Islamic State group from Yarmuk and surrounding districts. Hours after the announcement, black clouds of smoke still hung in the air and some small fires were still raging in the abandoned neighbourhoods … Yarmuk was once a thriving district in Syria’s capital, home to some 160,000 Palestinian refugees as well as Syrians. But there were no residents in sight on Monday….
Palestinian leader’s health apparently improving in hospital
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 22 May — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be making a swift recovery in hospital from his latest health troubles. His office released a photo and a brief video clip late on Monday showing him walking in the hospital hallway, dressed in a blue bathrobe and flanked by aides. Another photo showed him sitting and reading a newspaper in Ramallah’s Istishari Hospital. Independent media outlets were banned from entering the hospital. Abbas was hospitalized on Sunday with a fever, just days after undergoing ear surgery. Palestinian officials said he had pneumonia and was on a respirator, receiving antibiotics intravenously. Top aide Saeb Erekat said Abbas was in “very good health” after spending several hours visiting the Palestinian leader and said he should be released within days. Erekat said Abbas was taking antibiotics and responding well to his treatment. It was the latest health scare for the 83-year-old, who has had health problems in the past but never designated a deputy or successor. His sudden hospitalization has revived anxiety over a potentially chaotic or even bloody succession battle that could further weaken the Palestinian cause. Abbas, who is a heavy smoker and overweight, has a long history of health issues, ranging from heart trouble to a bout with prostate cancer a decade ago. Two years ago, he underwent an emergency heart procedure after suffering exhaustion and chest pains. More recently, a cardiologist moved into the presidential compound in Ramallah to monitor the longtime leader after a mysterious hospital visit in the United States, following Abbas’ address to the United Nations Security Council, in which he appeared weak. Speaking Tuesday to reporters at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki warned against taking Abbas’ health scare out of proportion….
Palestinians ask ICC for ‘immediate’ probe against Israel
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) 22 May by Mike Corder — The Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to open an “immediate investigation” into alleged Israeli “crimes” committed against the Palestinian people. The step was sure to worsen the already troubled relations between the internationally backed Palestinian Authority and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Peace talks have been frozen for over four years, and contacts between the two sides are minimal. Speaking to reporters at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, Foreign Minister Riad Malki said he submitted the “referral” to the court during a meeting with the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. The referral sought an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since the state of Palestine accepted the ICC’s jurisdiction in 2014, he said. This includes Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as the recent round of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli fire killed over 100 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border, Malki added. “There is a culture of impunity in Israel for crimes against Palestinians,” Malki said. “This referral is Palestine’s test to the international mechanism of accountability and respect for international law.” The ICC has been conducting a preliminary probe since 2015 into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, including Israel’s settlement policy and crimes allegedly committed by both sides in the 2014 Gaza conflict. Tuesday’s referral could speed up a decision on whether to open a full-blown investigation that could ultimately lead to the indictment of high-ranking Israelis….
Israel says Palestinian request to ICC has no legal validity
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 22 May — Israel on Tuesday questioned the legal validity of a Palestinian request to the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged human rights violations linked to Israeli settlement policies in occupied territories. “The purported Palestinian referral is legally invalid, and the ICC lacks jurisdiction over the Israeli-Palestinian issue, since Israel is not a member of the Court and because the Palestinian Authority is not a state,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement, calling the move a “cynical step”.
Al-Quds University’s Faculty of Engineering gains membership in the Mediterranean Network of Engineering Schools
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 19 May — Al-Quds University’s Faculty of Engineering secured membership in the Réseau Méditerranéen des Ecoles d’Ingénieurs, the Mediterranean Network of Engineering Schools, following a unanimous vote during the conference of the public body held in Morocco, an Al-Quds University press release said on Saturday. Since its establishment in 1997, the Réseau Méditerranéen des Ecoles d’Ingénieurs has housed dozens of faculties of engineering from countries overlooking the Mediterranean. With Al-Quds University’s newly accepted membership, Palestine now joins Algeria, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey in membership in this prestigious group….
There can be no Palestinian state without Palestinian police
Irish Times 19 May by Ruadhán Mac Cormaic — The EU is helping to rebuild a police force on the West Bank —The police jeep emerges from the traffic-choked streets of central Nablus and picks up speed as we climb towards the city limits. Squashed into the vehicle are four officers from the Palestinian Civilian Police (PCP) and your columnist, who has been allowed to join the patrol dispatched this afternoon from the central Nablus barracks – a station that serves a population of almost 300,000 in Nablus, its refugee camps and the city’s hinterland, in the heart of the West Bank. What the sergeant wishes to show me is a spot that isn’t marked by a sign, let alone a checkpoint. A couple of kilometres from the city centre, the jeep pulls in at the side of the road, next to a school. Two of the officers step out for a smoke, while the sergeant places a radio call to the operations centre to ask if we can go any further. A short while later, the voice appears on the crackly line. “No co-ordination. Return to barracks.” This unmarked, arbitrary border is the point at which Area A, where Palestinians are in control of security, becomes Area C, over which the Israelis assert authority. Even though the same Palestinian police force has a station in the next town along the road, Asira ash-Shamaliya, the patrol cannot continue beyond the invisible demarcation line without having coordinated with the Israelis and secured their permission in advance.
— Legacy — The division of the occupied West Bank into three areas is a legacy of the Oslo peace accords in the mid-1990s … As a general rule, the emptier the land in the West Bank, the more likely it is to be in Area C, because Israel has used its control to block any Palestinian construction and has rezoned land extensively into illegal settlements, state parks, and nature reserves where no building can take place. Restrictions on movement are just one of many obstacles standing in the way the development of the PCP, an 8,000-strong force that had to be rebuilt from the wreckage of the second intifada in the mid-2000s, when the Israelis destroyed much of the Palestinians security services’ infrastructure. But the development of the force is widely seen as a vital part of the project to ensure a viable future Palestinian state can one day be established….
VIDEO: Palestinian activists expel an American delegation from Bethlehem district
IMEMC/Agencies 21 May — A group of Palestinian resistance activists expelled a US Consulate delegation from a graduation ceremony for Palestinian students who were studying in US study programs, at one of Beit Jala city restaurant in the Bethlehem Governorate. The activists intercepted the convoy of cars belonging to the US Consulate in Beit Jala, threw eggs at the cars and raised slogans condemning US policies towards the Palestinian people and cause. “Our message today is that there is no place for the US government in Palestine. This government, which is consistent with the occupation and participates in all of its projects, will have no place in Palestine. We love the American people,” said activist Mazen al-Azza. For his part, activist Mahmoud Zawahra said: ”Our message is clear that the Palestinian people do not welcome this delegation and say to them, ‘This delegation is not welcome in Palestine’.” Zawahra added :”This delegation is not welcome in our land after the United States recognized that Jerusalem is the capital of the Zionist entity that is raping our land and our people.” Activist of the Popular Resistance Committees to confront the Wall and the settlements Ahmad Odeh said, in an interview with a PNN reporter: ”The message of all Palestinian people, on this day, is that the Palestinian people do not accept injustice or persecution.”….
Paraguay president inaugurates Israel embassy in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AFP) 21 May — Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes inaugurated his country’s Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, making it the third nation to make the deeply controversial move after the United States and Guatemala. Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the inauguration of the new embassy in a Jerusalem office park. The Paraguayan leader called it a “historic event”. “This act has profound significance in the sense that it expresses Paraguay’s sincere friendship and full solidarity with Israel,” he said. Netanyahu said cooperation between the two countries would become “greater,” naming areas such as agriculture, security and technology. The South American nation of some seven million people follows in the footsteps of the United States, which broke with decades of international consensus when it declared Jerusalem Israel’s capital in December. Washington followed up on the declaration by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14….
Rabat suspends twin city plan with Guatemala over Jerusalem move
RABAT, Morocco 19 May — Rabat has shelved plans to for a twin city partnership with Guatemala City in protest against Guatemala’s transfer of its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Moroccan capital’s deputy mayor said on Saturday. “Following Guatemala’s decision to establish an embassy in Al Quds (Jerusalem), Rabat’s city council unanimously decided to suspend the examination of a twinning project with Guatemala City in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” deputy mayor Lahcen El Amrani of the Islamist PJD party told Reuters. Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site there, a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation….
Over 10,000 Moroccans protest Gaza deaths, US embassy move
Times of Israel 21 May — Demonstrators chant ‘Death to Israel,’ a day after Rabat scraps twinning project with Guatemala City over its new Jerusalem mission; protests also held in Kashmir — A mass protest was held on Sunday in Morocco against the relocation of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and against the Jewish state’s policy in Gaza, with more than 10,000 people attending. Demonstrators chanted “Death to Israel” during the rally in Casablanca, which was organized by four parties, including the powerful Islamist organization al-Adl Wal Ihsan, Reuters reported. Many protesters carried Palestinian flags and some had signs saying “Al Quds [Jerusalem] Palestine’s eternal capital.”….
Israel summons Spanish, Slovenian envoys over vote at UN human rights body backing Gaza probe
Haaretz 21 May by Noa Landau — Spanish Ambassador to Israel Manuel Gómez-Acebo and Slovenian Ambassador to Israel Barbara Sušnik were summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday after their countries’ respective votes at the UN Human Rights Council on Friday in favor of an international inquiry into the state of human rights in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Belgian Ambassador to Israel Olivier Belle will be summoned on Tuesday. Jerusalem blasted the decision and the council as being biased against Israel following the vote. The special session of the Human Rights Council was convened after the bloodiest day for Palestinians in years last Monday, when 60 were killed by Israeli gunfire during demonstrations that Israel said included attempts to breach its frontier fence…
The council voted 29-2 with 14 abstentions to back a resolution that also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.” The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March. “Nobody has been made safer by the horrific events of the past week,” UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein told the Council … “They [Gazans] are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanized by the Israeli authorities to such a point it appears officials do not even consider that these men and women have a right, as well as every reason, to protest,” al-Hussein said.
US officials reportedly visit Mideast to hold talks on Gaza crisis, advance peace negotiations
Haaretz 19 May by Jack Khoury — Administration officials discuss the establishing of an independent committee that would overlook affairs in the Strip, receive funding from Europe, U.S. — Senior U.S. officials recently paid a visit to an unnamed Arab country where they held talks on how to improve the humanitarian, political and security crisis in the Gaza Strip, London-based daily Al-Hayat reported. According to the report, a suggestion was raised during the talks to pass on the management of the Strip’s affairs to an independent committee that would receive financial aid from Europe and the U.S. in order to ameliorate living conditions in Gaza. Hamas, the report alleged, will be requested to take political steps to enable the promotion of a peace deal.
The Palestinian Authority was reportedly enraged by the offer that could potentially help the U.S. to increase pressure applied on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiations table. Earlier on Saturday it was reported that the Trump administration is aiming to roll out its much-hyped but long-delayed Middle East peace plan next month … Nonetheless, no Palestinian or Arab officials have confirmed the report. Hamas is very careful in making political statements, and deny every report on peace deals brewing behind the scenes….
US peace plan to offer Palestinians half West Bank, Abu Dis as capital: report
Press TV (Iran) 21 May — US President Donald Trump has proposed to establish a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty over around half of the West Bank and Abu Dis as its capital, an Israeli intelligence website reports — The plan, due to be revealed next month, is reportedly intended to serve as a springboard for more negotiations between Israel and Arab governments, DEBKAfile reported Sunday. Five administration officials told US media on Friday that Trump was preparing to reveal the “peace” plan after the end of the holy month of Ramadan in mid-June. His son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, are the main authors of the text, it added. Trump had discussed the text with three Arab leaders, namely Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, UAE emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh el-Sisi. However, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declined an offer to come aboard even before tensions rose between Tel Aviv and Ankara over Israeli massacres in the Gaza Strip, the report said. DEBKA revealed on April 27 some of the elements incorporated in the US plan, saying that it would be unveiled on the date scheduled by Washington, regardless of a Palestinian boycott….
Far away from Gaza, a showdown in NYC’s Times Square
New York City, US (Al Jazeera) 19 May by Azad Essa — Hundreds protest in New York City in solidarity with Palestinians after another week of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip — Iris Tatian remembers the first time she splashed red paint on an Israeli flag. Horrified by an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, Tatian says she stitched a mini American flag on to the Israeli one and flicked red paint on both so that the flags would look drenched in blood. She says she did it to showcase Israeli brutality and US complicity. Now in her late sixties, she didn’t expect to be still carrying it to Palestine protests all these years later. “That was 16 years ago, and nothing has changed. I have carried this flag for years to protests,” the soft-spoken Tatian told Al Jazeera during a Palestinian solidarity rally in New York City on Friday. “And yes, I am tired of carrying this flag, but imagine the Palestinians. It has been 70 years for them, imagine how they must feel,” she said. Tatian was one of at least 800 people who descended on Times Square on Friday to join a demonstration organised by the NY4Palestine coalition in solidarity with Palestinians after another week of bloodshed in Gaza … IfNotNow, a Jewish movement that focusses on urging Jewish Americans to withdraw support for Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory, also held a vigil on Friday night for the Palestinians killed in Gaza….
Furor after New York school holds minute of silence for Gaza victims
Haaretz 21 May — ZOA President Morton Klein blasts Beacon High School for move, calling it ‘disgraceful to mourn the death of Hamas terrorists’ — A New York school’s decision to hold a minute’s silence for the 62 Palestinian protesters who were killed by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza Strip border last Monday has been slammed online after the story went viral. The New York Post reported Saturday that students at Beacon High School in Manhattan were asked on Tuesday “to pause from their studies to pay tribute to the victims of violence in Gaza.” The move triggered complaints from Jewish parents at the school. They voiced outrage that the children were seemingly being asked to mourn some victims who had been identified as members of Hamas … Some people responding to the Fox story on Twitter highlighted the difference between Hamas and the Palestinians. One woman wrote, “This is such a perfect example of fake news. They had a moment of silence for the 60+ Palestinians recently killed by Israeli defense forces. Palestinians are not interchangeable with Hamas, even though that’s the only way your narrative works.”….
Dearborn mosque considers banning Israeli military from entering
Detroit Free Press 19 May by Niraj Warikoo — After protests from some congregants, one of Michigan’s biggest and oldest mosques may ban Israeli military officers from visiting. The Islamic Center of America (ICA) released a statement on its Facebook page reading in part: “Our Board of Trustees and administration will take the necessary measures to ensure that no Israeli military personnel will be received at the ICA in the future, as we continue our interfaith outreach program.” Leaders with the mosque told the Free Press Friday that the mosque’s board will later make a final decision on the issue. For the past decade, the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn has hosted a delegation of military officers from various nations as part of a program through the U.S. State Department and National Defense University, which is supported by the Pentagon. The purpose of the annual event, usually held in the spring, is to educate the visitors about Islam in the U.S. Founded in 1963, the Shia mosque with a predominantly Lebanese-American congregation often attracts guests of diverse backgrounds. It’s one of the largest mosques in the U.S., with about 1,200 members attending Friday prayer services and leaders who interact with U.S. officials, including presidents. On April 14, a military officer from Israel was one of about 70 military officers from foreign nations visiting the mosque as part of the annual event, according to leaders at the Islamic Center of America….