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A Reuters photographer from Gaza explains what it’s like to cover the Great March of Return

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The events of this week really aren’t easily captured by a static newslist like this, which in any case can’t cover everything when Palestine is all over the news.  It would be a good idea to follow one of the live blogs on various media which keep updating. Here are three with differing points of view. They also have interesting opinion articles:

Live Blog: Massacre in Gaza as US and Israel Celebrate Embassy Move to Jerusalem (Mondoweiss)
Tens of Thousands Attend Funerals for 60 Gazans Killed in Border Protests | LIVE UPDATES (Haaretz)
Gaza protests: All the latest updates (Al Jazeera)


PHOTOS: A Gaza photographer in ‘a place of death’
GAZA (Reuters) 14 May — When Reuters photographer Ibraheem Abu Mustafa set off to cover the protests in Gaza on Monday morning he came across a wheelchair-bound acquaintance. “Today, this morning, I said ‘Hi’ to a man,” he recalls. “By the end of the day I was at his funeral.” Such is the collision of life and work for Abu Mustafa, who has spent nearly half his 35 years as a professional photographer covering a small place like the Gaza Strip. His home. And his subject. Monday was to be the single deadliest day in Gaza for years, after Israeli gunfire killed more than 50 Palestinians on the penultimate day of a six-week border protest by Gazans demanding the right to return to ancestral homes that now lie on the other side of the Gaza-Israel frontier fence. “I feel upset over what is happening. At the same time I continue to do my job,” said Abu Mustafa. “So I have to separate my job and my feelings. I cover an event, then I cover a similar event the next day, so I have developed a frame of mind that allows me to cope with the events that are happening, and the circumstances. ”The sometimes repetitive nature of the news cycle in Gaza works to his favor. After years of careful observation he has a sense for what will happen, and where it will happen, and where to stand so that he can capture dangerous events, without being caught up in them. The moment the tear gas hits, you know there will be a reaction from the protesters,” he said. Instead of them turning their back to me, they start facing me, and the gas coming out has a certain shape, white, and combined with the smoke coming from the tyres it will be a mix of white and black, and that is what makes a picture strong. “I call this place a place of death, there is death here, it is not a place of comfort, any second someone could die.”

UPDATE: Death toll 58 in Israeli military assault on Gaza protests
IMEMC 15 May — Updated: The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Monday, 58 Palestinians, including six children and four officers of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security, in the Gaza Strip, and injured 2771. Among the slain Palestinians are six children, including an infant, only eight months of age, identified as Laila al-Ghandour, who died from teargas inhalation due to the army’s use of high-velocity teargas bombs. Among the wounded are 122 children, and 44 women, the Health Ministry added. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports that 1,204 Palestinians were injured with live ammunition. 79 were shot in their necks, 161 in their arms, 62 in the back and chests, 52 in their stomachs, and 1055 in their lower limbs. At least 203 of the injured were reported to be children, and 78 women. 27 of the wounded Palestinians suffered very serious wounds, 59 serious injuries, 735 moderate wounds, and 882 suffered light wounds. Other injuries were as follows: three with rubber-coated steel bullets, 91 with shrapnel, 100 cuts and bruises and 737 suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. The Ministry of Interior and National Security said the four slain officers were performing their duties and national services when the soldiers shot them dead. The soldiers also caused damage to at least one ambulance and injured one medic and eleven journalists.
In addition, the Health Ministry called on Egypt to urgently send emergency medical supplies and specialists, mainly surgeons, intensive care physicians,  anesthesia specialists, and to allow the transfer of a large number of the wounded to Egyptian hospitals, especially those indeed of urgent surgeries, since Gaza hospitals lack the needed supplies due to the siege on the coastal region. [list of casualties so far identified follows]

Palestinian dies from wounds suffered Monday
IMEMC 15 May — The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a man died on Tuesday morning from serious wounds he suffered Monday after Israeli soldiers shot him during the “Great Return March”, east of Gaza City. Medical sources at the Shifa hospital in Gaza said the young man, Omar Abu Fol, 30, was shot by live Israeli army fire near the border fence east of Gaza city. It added that his death brings the number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli army fire and gas bombs, to 60 since Monday, including an infant, only eight months of age, identified as Laila Anwar al-Ghandour.

Critically injured Gaza journalist undergoes surgery at Makased Hospital in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 15 May  – A Gaza journalist who was critically wounded by Israeli army gunfire on Monday while covering the protests at the eastern border of Gaza underwent on Tuesday surgery at Makased Hospital in East Jerusalem, according to medical sources. Yasser Qdeih was rushed from Gaza to Makased Hospital in Jerusalem on Monday night in an effort to save his life following intervention with the Israeli military to allow him passage from the besieged Gaza Strip to Jerusalem. Two Gaza journalists were killed in the last two months by Israeli army gunfire while covering the border protests and dozens were injured, prompting the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate to call for an international probe into what it said was Israel’s intentional targeting of Palestinian journalists despite the clear PRESS letters printed on their bullet-proof vests.

Ten Palestinian journalists attacked by Israeli forces
IMEMC/Agencies 14 May — About ten Palestinian journalists were injured by Israeli fire on Monday, while covering the Israeli aggression against Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border, the government media office reported, according to Al Ray. The office condemned, in a statement, deliberate Israeli attacks on Palestinian journalist crews while covering the Great March of Return. Office chairman Salam Maroof said that six Palestinian journalists were injured by live fire. They were identified as Yaser Qdaih, Omar Hamdan, Hashem Abu Hadaid, Mohammed Abu Dahrouj, Ahmad Zaqout, Mohammed, Abd Allah Ashourbajee. He also said that journalist Rabee’ Abu Nqairah was suffocated with Israeli tear gas fired against Palestinians east of Rafah. Maroof explained,  in an official statement, that Israeli occupation forces deliberately attack Palestinian journalist crews to prevent them from covering crimes against Palestinian civil protesters. He called for the formation of an international investigation committee to look into Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists, calling to cease the membership of Israel in all international forums concerned with the freedom of opinion and expression and defending the rights of journalists.

Israeli drones launch firebombs at protest tents in Gaza; army jams networks
IMEMC 14 May — Several Israeli military drones fired, Monday, dozens of firebombs at the Palestinians and the Great Return March tents, while the military started disrupting and jamming communications networks in the Gaza Strip .Eyewitnesses said the Israeli drones fired dozens of firebombs at the tents and the residents across the border area, in the northern and eastern parts of the coastal region. The attack burnt several tents, and property, before dozens of young men and firefighters rushed to extinguish the fire.
Furthermore, the army jammed cellular networks in the Gaza Strip since the early morning hours, to prevent the Palestinians from communicating with each other and the rest of the world, especially since the Israeli excessive and lethal use of force have been widely broadcast live from the coastal region, in addition to all the videos and images that have been uploaded to the Internet through social media websites.

Israeli soldiers invade southern and northern Gaza, injure two Palestinians
IMEMC 14 May — Several Israeli military vehicles, including armored bulldozers, advanced into Palestinian lands across the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip, early on Monday, and bulldozed various sections in addition to installing sand hills. The soldiers also shot two Palestinians. Media sources in Gaza said the soldiers invaded lands in Khuza‘a town, east of Khan Younis, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. During the invasion, the soldiers bulldozed the lands and installed sand hills, in addition to firing live rounds at the Return Camps, wounding one Palestinian in Jabalia, in northern Gaza, and one east of Abasan al-Jadida town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the coastal region.
At least eight military vehicles simultaneously invaded Palestinian lands east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and installed new barbed-wire fences while army war jets and drones flew overhead. The army also invaded Palestinian lands east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and east of al-Boreij, in central Gaza, bulldozed sections close to the border fence, and installed sand hills.

In Photos: Chaos and bloodshed in Gaza
The Atlantic In Focus 14 May by Alan Taylor (30 photos)

In Gaza, a day of blood and sorrow overshadows US embassy move
GAZA CITY (AFP) 14 May by Mai Yaghi & Adel Zaanoun — At Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, people search desperately for loved ones. Some already know they are dead and grimly work their way through bodies. Others have received no news so scour the wards, before descending to the morgue. There a young man cries “Why are you leaving me alone?” as the body of his older brother lies on a stretcher. But his mourning is cut short by the voice of a mortuary attendant calling to a colleague to move the corpse. “Put him in the fridge quickly, another one has arrived,” he said. The dead man was one of at least 55 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border Monday as mass protests broke out against the controversial US embassy move. It was the deadliest day in the conflict since a 2014 war between Israel and the Palestinian enclave’s Islamist rulers Hamas. In Shifa the situation is critical. Even before the day’s carnage, medical centres were running desperately low on vital medicines after seven weeks of bloody protests that have left 109 Palestinians killed. No Israelis have died. The Gaza Ministry of Health called for citizens to donate blood as supplies were running low … Inside Shifa Hospital, such is the shortage of beds that Mohammed Mekdad is being treated in a makeshift tent outside the emergency room. He was shot in both legs and they are wrapped in a light gauze that barely stems the bleeding. Passed a mobile phone, he sobs to his family: “I am in Shifa, come quickly.” On the side of the tent a woman and her daughter stand with tears filling their eyes. “They told me my son was injured in the leg. I didn’t find him here, he may have been killed and they didn’t tell me,” the mother said. As the afternoon wore on, ambulances brought more wounded to the tent, with doctors admitting they were sending people home for lack of space.

Palestinians to bury their dead Tuesday after 58 killed
GAZA CITY (AP) 15 May — Palestinians observed a general strike Tuesday to mourn dozens killed by Israeli army fire in the single deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war, as organizers said the day would be set aside for funerals and that turnout for any new protests on the border with Israel would likely be low. The Islamic militant Hamas, which rules the territory, had initially said mass border protests would continue Tuesday. The day marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call their “nakba,” or catastrophe — the uprooting of hundreds of thousands in the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation …
The high casualty toll in Gaza revived international criticism of Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed protesters, while the opening of the embassy, condemned by Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel, further dimmed prospects of what President Donald Trump had once touted as plans to negotiate the Mideast “deal of the century.” The U.N. Security Council planned to meet Tuesday to discuss the violence, though it was not clear what might come out of the session. Two U.N. diplomats said members couldn’t reach unanimous agreement on issuing a proposed statement, circulated by Kuwait, that would have expressed “outrage and sorrow” over the killings and sought an independent investigation. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were supposed to be private.
The Israeli military said Tuesday that its aircraft had struck 11 “terror targets” in a Hamas military compound a day earlier, and that tanks targeted two Hamas posts. It said protesters used 10 explosive devices and firebombs against troops and that shots were fired at soldiers positioned along the border….
In recent days, there have been negotiations between Egypt and Hamas leaders summoned to Cairo, presumably on a possible easing of Gaza’s decade-long border blockade in exchange for ending the protests.

Gaza deaths spark widespread condemnation of Israel
AFP 15 May — Israel faced widespread condemnation on Monday after its forces killed at least 55 Palestinians in Gaza during protests coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Many countries including Britain, France and Russia had already slammed the US decision to move the embassy, while 128 nations have backed a UN resolution condemning Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The US came to the defence of its ally Monday, blaming Hamas for the violence and blocking a resolution at the UN calling for an international investigation, according to diplomats. Here are some of the reactions from around the world following Monday’s violence:…
– Palestinian reaction – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas condemned Israeli “massacres”, saying “the US is no longer a mediator in the Middle East,” and that the new embassy was tantamount to “a new American settler outpost” in Jerusalem. Hamas vowed the protests would continue. “We say clearly today to all the world that the peaceful march of our people lured the enemy into shedding more blood,” senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said.
– Turkey – Turkey announced it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel “for consultations”. “Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said…
– United Nations –  The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said: “Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account.” UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was “particularly worried” about the developments.
– Rights groups – Amnesty International said the bloodshed was an “abhorrent violation” of human rights, and “appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes”. Human Rights Watch also denounced the “bloodbath”…
– Egypt – Egypt’s foreign ministry called those killed “martyrs” and warned against “this serious escalation”. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest institution of Sunni Islam, called on “Arabs and Muslims and all fair and reasonable people in the world to stand by the defenseless Palestinian people”….

Turkey to call for OIC, UNGA meetings on Palestine – ambassador
RAMALLALH (WAFA) 15 May – Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan is going to call for emergency meetings for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, said Palestine’s ambassador to Turkey Fayed Mustafa. He told Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that the Turkish parliament is going to hold a special session today to discuss the general situation in Palestine, particularly in Jerusalem and Gaza, in addition to what Turkey can do to support the Palestinian cause after it had recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States in protest against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Mustafa said that Turkey has also declared three days of mourning for the Palestinians Israel has killed in the Gaza Strip on Monday.

Gaza: Avoiding a greater bloodbath
11 May — By Jason Cone, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders in the US — …Medical facilities, including our clinics, are completely overwhelmed and will soon be unable to manage additional wounded. The health system, strained by the ongoing blockade of Gaza, is on the verge of collapse. Even though there is not a war in Gaza, the injuries sustained by our patients are terribly similar to what we see in conflict zones. We estimate that more than 39 percent of our 554 current trauma patients will require long-term rehabilitation, lasting at least until the end of the year. While the majority of our patients are young men around 20 years old, we have treated 98 children and adolescents under 18. Ninety-one percent of our trauma patients were shot in the legs, many at close range. Several will be handicapped for life, putting tremendous pressure on the already beleaguered health system, impoverished families, and the whole society. The ongoing Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip and recent US funding cuts to the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA, exacerbate the dire situation. Gaza hospitals have emptied inpatient wards to make space for the influx of wounded. Patients with chronic health issues were already struggling from the lack of chemotherapy drugs, kidney dialysis, and diabetes management. Now they have been displaced, and either do not have access to health care or will be forced to turn to expensive private clinics. Most of our wounded patients say they have nothing to lose, no hope, no jobs, nothing. They tell our staff that they just want to go back and die at protest sites. Some are returning to the demonstrations with casts, on crutches, or with external fixators holding together shattered bones….

Israel bombs Gaza tunnel, closes key crossing after attack
JERUSALEM (AP) 12 May by Aron Heller & Fares Akram — The Israeli military said Saturday it was shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza after Palestinian protesters caused extensive damage to it, and that it had also destroyed an attack tunnel militants dug near its main pedestrian crossing … Once again, thousands of Palestinians protested Friday in various locations along the frontier. Later, a group of Palestinians burned a fuel complex and conveyor belt on their side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, causing more than $9 million in damages and disrupting the import of diesel fuel and building materials, the military said. It said the attack rendered the main fuel and gas lines unusable and caused further damage to electrical infrastructure and other vital equipment. The military said the Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed until further notice and not before the damage is repaired. A lengthy closing of the crossing would deliver further devastation to Gaza’s already dire humanitarian crisis. The fuel installation is the only way to bring diesel fuel into Gaza for operating generators for hospitals and other key facilities …
Late Saturday, the military carried out several airstrikes in the northern Gaza strip, near the Erez border crossing, to destroy a Hamas tunnel that was being built there. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said the tunnel was being tracked for weeks and had been destroyed just a few meters (feet) inside Gaza. It’s the sixth such Hamas tunnel Israel has destroyed in as many months thanks to the military’s new technological means to detect and destroy them. Hamas called the airstrikes a “failed attempt” to prevent its protests….,-closes-key-crossing-after-attack

Gaza: ICRC delivers urgent medical supplies
Tel Aviv/Gaza 13 May Today the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) managed an emergency humanitarian crossing through Kerem Shalom, despite its shutdown. Today’s relief shipment supplements the ICRC’s previous support to the medical infrastructure in Gaza. ‘It was a great relief for us to receive these two truckloads of supplies urgently needed by the medical facilities here, said Guislain Defurne, ICRC Head of Sub Delegation in Gaza. ‘Lives and limbs are at stake. Even prior to the recent events, hospitals and medical facilities in Gaza were suffering from shortages” he added. “The influx of casualties has strained the system further.” Today’s crossing was organized in close coordination with authorities in Israel, and in cooperation with authorities in Gaza and Ramallah. The ICRC calls on all parties to protect humanitarian space at all times.

Turkey to give food aid to Gaza during Ramadan
ANKARA (AA) 15 May — Deputy Premier Hakan Cavusoglu on Tuesday said Turkey aims to feed 100,000 Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip during the holy month of Ramadan. In a series of tweets, Cavusoglu said: “We aim to feed 100,000 of our brothers during Ramadan, by providing hot meals to 1,000 families daily through TIKA [Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency].” “A total of $1 million in humanitarian aid will be completed during the month of Ramadan via our TIKA office in Ramallah,” Cavusoglu said. “The distribution of 12,000 food packages is among the emergency aid projects in Gaza we have through TIKA. I hope that a total of 100,000 Palestinian brothers will benefit from it.” The deputy premier said $200,000 worth of medicines and medical equipment will also be given to Palestinians. I hope that the blessing of Ramadan will spread to Gaza. We will continue to do whatever is required by the law of brotherhood,” he added.

Rocket warning siren in southern Israel was false alarm: Israeli military
JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) 15 May — A rocket siren that sounded in southern Israel near the Gaza border on Tuesday was a false alarm, the Israeli military said. It went off on the day Palestinians mark the “Nakba”, or “Catastrophe” of their dispossession when Israel was founded 70 years ago, and the day after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests at the border.

Nakba Day

General strike in force in the occupied Palestinian territories
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 May –The occupied Palestinian territories are observing on Tuesday a general strike affecting all aspects of life and called for by President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian government marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the dispersion and uprooting of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, and in mourning of the 59 Palestinians murdered by the Israeli army massacre in Gaza on Monday. Shops remained shuttered as public servants, students and many employed by the private sector stayed home in observation of the strike call. The strike affected the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, which was the center of attention on Monday when the United States opened its embassy in the city provoking the wide-scale protests in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem that led to the Israeli carnage.
The Higher Follow-Up Committee for the Arab Community in Israel has also called for a general strike on Tuesday in the Arab towns in protest against the Gaza massacre and in observing the Nakba anniversary.

‘Bury me in Beit Daras’: My right of return is sacred / Ramzy Baroud
AlJazeera 15 May — Israelis tried to destroy and erase my Palestinian village, Beit Daras, but they did not and will not succeed — This is the story of four Palestinian peasants who have been dead and buried for many years, but whose legacy continues to define the collective aspirations of a whole nation. It is also the story of a village that was erased from existence 70 years ago. The peasants are my grandparents, and the village of Beit Daras will always be my home. My maternal grandfather, Mohammed died a few months after he was expelled from his village. All I know of Mohammed is what I learned about him from my grandmother, Mariyam. Just 37 years old, he passed away on the canvas floor of a tent provided by the Quakers for refugees arriving to the Gaza Strip from all over Palestine. His ailment was never diagnosed, let alone treated.”He died from a broken heart,” Mariyam often told us … My paternal grandparents are also from Beit Daras. Thus, being a Badrasawi – as the people of my village are called – became an integral part of my character. Born into a family of refugees in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza, I took pride in being a Badrasawi. Our tough resistance – back in the village and later in refugee camps – gave us the reputation of being “tenacious”. We truly are stubborn, proud and generous. Beit Daras was erased, but the collective identity it has given us remains intact, regardless of whatever exile ensnares us … What Israel must understand is that the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees is not just a political or even legal right to challenge the ever-unfair status quo. It has long surpassed that. For the refugees, Palestine is so much more than a piece of earth; it is a perpetual fight for justice – in the name of those who died along the dusty trails of exile and those who are yet to be born.

Thousands of Palestinians march in Ramallah
IMEMC 15 May — Thousand of Palestinians marched, Monday, from Martyr Yasser Arafat Square in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and headed towards Qalandia terminal, north of Jerusalem. The protesters marched while carrying Palestinian flags, and signs affirming their legitimate, internationally guaranteed rights of Freedom, independence and the Right of Return to all refugees. They also chanted against the illegal U.S. policies supporting and financing this illegal occupation, and the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to the occupied city, in direct violation of International Law. Ramallah Governor Laila Ghannam, said the Palestinians will continue their struggle for liberation and independence, until the establishment of their state with Jerusalem as its capital…
During the Nakba of 1948, prior to the establishment of Israel is the historic land of Palestine, 1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 towns and villages all over historical Palestine. More than 800,000 of the population were driven out of their homeland to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries, and other countries of the world. Thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homes but stayed within the Israeli-controlled 1948 territory. According to documentary evidence, the Israelis controlled 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba. The atrocities of Zionist forces also included more than 70 massacres in which at least 15 thousand Palestinians were killed.  [For information about the Nakba and individual villages, erased and surviving, see Palestine Remembered]

Jordanians hold pro-Palestine rally near West Bank border
AA 12 May — Thousands of people on Friday staged rallies in  Sweimeh in the Dead Sea region — near the border with the Israeli-occupied West Bank — to protest Israel’s decades-long occupation. Demonstrators chanted pro-Palestine slogans, stressing the Palestinians’ right to return to their homes in historical Palestine. “We will return!” protesters shouted. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives for Palestine!” Several prominent political figures took part in Friday’s rally, including Mohamed Zayoud, the head of the Islamic Action Front Party. Friday’s demonstration in Sweimeh coincides with ongoing Palestinian rallies along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel that have been ongoing since March 30.

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

Army injures many Palestinians north of Jerusalem
IMEMC 14 May — Israeli soldiers injured, Monday, dozens of Palestinians after the army assaulted protesters near Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinians marched from the refugee camp towards the Qalandia terminal, before the soldiers started firing live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at them, while many protesters hurled stones and empty bottles at the army. The Palestinians marched marking the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) when Israel was created in the historic land of Palestine, and carried Palestinian flags in addition to signs written in several languages. They also chanted against the opening of the U.S. embassy in occupied Jerusalem, in direct violations of International Law and Numerous United Nations resolutions.

Army injures many Palestinians in Hebron
IMEMC 15 May — Israeli soldiers injured, on Monday at night, many Palestinians in the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians who marched against the ongoing illegal occupation, marking the Nakba Day. The soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets, causing scores of Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. In addition, the army invaded and ransacked many homes in the southern part of Hebron city, and interrogated many Palestinians for hours, after the soldiers claimed shots were fired at their vehicles in the area. The invasions also targeted the Ibrahimiyya area, and Jaber neighborhood, allegedly looking for the Palestinians who fired at them.

Israeli army injures two youths in Jericho refugee camp
JERICHO (WAFA) 14 May – Israeli soldiers Monday shot two Palestinian youths during clashes in ‘Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, south of the city of Jericho, said local sources. The ministry of health said the two were transferred to Jericho government hospital to receive medical care.

Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians in West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 May – Israeli forces overnight and early Sunday detained 16 Palestinians, including two minors, from several areas in the occupied West Bank, according to a statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). Israeli soldiers detained six Palestinians from the city of Ramallah, three from Qalqilya, two from Jenin, two 17-year-olds from Bethlehem, and one more from Nablus. PPS said two Palestinians were also detained in the town of Abu Dis, east of occupied East Jerusalem, in addition to one of the Islamic Waqf guards of al-Aqsa mosque. PPS said at least 10 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces in the past two days.

Israeli army shoots, detains protesters in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 May – The Israeli army Monday shot and detained a number of Palestinians in Jerusalem during protests that erupted against the opening of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to local sources in Abu Dis town, a Palestinian was hit in the neck while another sustained an injury in the foot. Both were transferred to hospital to receive medical treatment. Israeli forces raided Shu‘fat refugee camp and fired gas canisters and rubber bullets at Palestinians protesting the opening of the embassy. Meanwhile, Israeli forces suppressed a protest in the area between al-Ezzariya and Abu Dis towns, injuring dozens and detaining a young Palestinian after physically assaulting him.

Israeli army detains 38 Palestinians, including 20 in Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 May – The Israeli army detained at least 38 Palestinians during overnight raids [Mon-Tues] in the West Bank and protests in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday. Those included 20 detained in occupied East Jerusalem during protests against the opening of the US embassy in the holy city, said PPS, and included residents of Jerusalem and Palestinians from inside the “green line,” some of whom were later released and others remained in custody. The PPS said 18 were detained in the West Bank in early Tuesday raids at their homes, most of them former prisoners, including eight in the Nablus district, five from the Bethlehem district, four from the Hebron district and one from the Jenin district.

Jerusalem and the US Embassy

Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem
Al Jazeera takes you through a brief tour of East Jerusalem – with a mostly Palestinian population – and West Jerusalem, which is entirely Jewish, to highlight the disparity in infrastructure and quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians. By: Showkat Shafi and Zena al-Tahhan for @AJLabs

Jerusalem celebrates 51 years of unification
Ynet 13 May by Elisha Ben Kimon et al. — Jerusalem Day, marking the unification of the capital 51 years ago [that is, the 1967 seizing of East Jerusalem from Jordan], will commence on Sunday, with many special events planned, culminating with the US Embassy‘s long-anticipated inauguration on Monday …   Jerusalem’s [Jewish] residents traditionally mark Jerusalem Day with the “Flag Dance” march across the city, beginning at the city center and ending at the Western Wall …  In light of Monday’s ceremony for the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, teenagers and yeshiva students from across the country stood in front of the American consulate building and sang hymns to Jerusalem. The march then advanced to the Damascus Gate, where large police and Border Guard forces isolated the parade route from the Arab population in east Jerusalem.
During the march, some 200 Tag Meir activists took part in the “Flower March” in the Old City of Jerusalem, handing flowers to both Jewish and Muslim residents of the city to promote tolerance and unity. In the past, racist incidents overshadowed the march as it passed through the Muslim Quarter, with participants vandalizing Muslim merchants’ stores and singing racist songs. The Muslim merchants have announced they will keep their stores open during this year’s Flag Dance march, despite the police’s order to close them. Activists of the organization Tag Meir—Light in Place of Terror will hold an alternative event, the March of Flowers, during which flowers will be handed out to the Old City’s residents as a token of tolerance and solidarity several hours prior to the Flag Dance march….,7340,L-5259196,00.html

Tolerance groups look to foster a more inclusive Jerusalem Day
Times of Israel 13 May by Jessica Steinberg — The Jerusalem Tolerance organization aims to reclaim the minor holiday – mostly known for provocative right-wing march -as one where city’s diversity is celebrated — Jerusalem Day, marking the reunification of the city under Israeli rule on Sunday, has become a tricky day to celebrate for many Israelis, and Jerusalemites, in particular. Commemorating the date when Israel won control over the Old City from the Jordanians in the 1967 Six Day War, including Judaism’s holiest sites, it also marks the start of military rule in the West Bank and the beginning of a new stage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. For years, the holiday has been punctuated by a right-wing march through the city. Thousands parade with Israeli flags through downtown Jerusalem and into the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, where some taunt and fling insults at Arab residents who are forced indoors by the marching crowds. For a day meant to mark the unification of the city, the march and other events can seem to highlight the capital’s divisions, and many Jerusalemites seek other, more tolerant ways to mark the date. The Jerusalem Tolerance group says its Jerusalem Day of Diversity, a two-day event that began on Saturday, is meant to reclaim the festival as one of tolerance, rather than division….  Video: Jerusalem Day of Diversity 2018

Fury, resignation, silence in region as US opens Jerusalem embassy
RIYADH/BEIRUT (Reuters) 14 May by Stephen Kalin & Lisa Barrington- – The opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Monday sparked outrage in much of the Middle East – but virtual silence among Washington’s closest Gulf allies. In recent years the bitter regional rivalry that pits Shi’ite Iran and its allies against a bloc led by Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia has increasingly pushed the decades-old Arab-Israeli struggle into the background. While Saudi Arabia and its fellow monarchies have previously criticized the embassy decision, they have also welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s harder line against Iran, which has cast itself as the guardian of Palestinian rights.
Among many ordinary people in the region, however, there was fury, dismay and bitter resignation at the news that Israeli gunfire had killed at least 43 Palestinians, the highest toll in a single day since protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes in Israel began on March 30. “We are against the embassy move because this is our country. They haven’t left us with anything,” said Zeinab, a woman in the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajneh in Lebanon. “As an Egyptian and an Arab, I feel humiliated,” said Sami Badreddin, 40, a state company employee in Cairo, whose country made peace with Israel in 1978. “They transfer the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem while all the Arabs are silent.” “Trump hates Muslims and he is showing it every day,” said Salim Hamlaoui, a student at Algiers university….

Erekat: celebration for transfer of US embassy is a celebration for the burial of peace
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 14 May — Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said the celebrations for the illegal transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem is a celebration for the burial of the peace process and the two-state solution. In an interview with Palestine TV, Erekat said the attendees of the celebration for the transfer of the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem are the Americans and Congress, who are paid by Americans. He said that the absence of 70 countries who have refrained from attending the ceremony, proves  that the policy of imposing facts on the ground will not lead to any results. Erekat stressed that the US Embassy in Jerusalem is a new settlement outpost that will disappear, stressing that the massacres committed against the Palestinian people will only increase their steadfastness….

Trump faith adviser who said Jews go to hell to speak at Jerusalem US embassy opening
WASHINGTON 14 May by Amir Tibon and Noa Landau– One of the speakers at Monday’s ceremony marking the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will be a Christian leader with a history of hateful comments against Muslims, Mormons, gay people and Jews. Dallas-based Robert Jeffress, a Baptist pastor with a large following in Texas, told Fox News that he would be leading a prayer during the ceremony. Jeffress serves as an informal advisor to Trump on faith-based issues of U.S. President Donald Trump, and is also known for his support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. As Mother Jones reported, during a 2010 lecture, Jeffress claimed, “God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism–not only do they lead people away from from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell.”… Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate, called on Monday to remove Jeffress from his participation in the embassy opening ceremony. Romney, one of the most prominent Mormon politicians in the United States, said Jeffress was a “religious fanatic” and accused him of incitement against religious minorities. “Such a person should not lead the service at the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem,” added Romney….

Analysis: Messianic US-Israel axis at Jerusalem embassy opening is a gut punch for US Jews
Haaretz 15 May by Chemi Shalev — The stark contrast that played out on split screens throughout the world Monday, between the Israeli celebration in Jerusalem and the Palestinian casualties in Gaza, was worthy of Charles Dickens’ immortal opening to “A Tale of Two Cities:” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Whether one accepts the Palestinian narrative of hungry masses demonstrating for dignity, or the Israeli version of a cynical exploitation of human lives as cover for homicidal intent, there is no doubt that the scores of dead and many hundreds of wounded on the Gaza border spoiled Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump’s extravaganza. The more the casualties in Gaza mounted, the more those assembled at the site of the new American embassy in Jerusalem seemed arrogant, detached and mainly devoid of compassion. As more and more reports and tweets came in about the mounting casualties in Gaza’s day of bloodshed, the worst since the 2014 Protective Edge operation, the more the claim that the embassy move could actually help achieve peace seemed both cynical and ridiculous … For most American Jews, especially those who still see themselves as supporters of Israel, the ceremony was nothing less than a punch in the gut. Not only do they consider Hagee and Jeffress beyond the pale, but the tumultuous standing ovation that preceded Trump’s videotaped greetings highlighted the growing schism between Israel and the largest Jewish Diaspora. For American liberals, Jews and non-Jews alike, there is no more incriminating evidence of their distance from Netanyahu’s Israel and its steady veer toward the rabid right than Israel’s adoring embrace of a president who is seen as a clear and present threat to the enlightened values they cherish….

Singing Washington protesters denounce US’ Israel embassy move
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 14 May — Dozens of chanting, singing Jewish demonstrators blocked a major Washington thoroughfare on Monday to denounce President Donald Trump’s order moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border. Chanting “Stop the violence,” about 100 protesters from the IfNotNow movement blocked Pennsylvania Avenue, which links the White House and the white-domed Capitol, for about two hours in front of the Trump International Hotel. “The shelter of peace must extend to Palestinians as well,” Sarah Brammer-Shlay, a 26-year-old rabbinical student from Philadelphia and a protest organizer, told the demonstrators. Protesters, many wearing skullcaps and black T-shirts stating that “the Jewish future demands Palestinian freedom,” sang “We will build this world with love.” They also carried mock building parts and directional signs for an “Embassy of Freedom” to replace what they called the “Embassy of Occupation” in Jerusalem….

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Opinion: In the Jordan Valley I saw ethnic cleansing with my bare eyes / Ilana Hammerman
Haaretz 11 May — Israel is persistently and systematically destroying the lives of the Bedouin communities throughout the Jordan Rift Valley, who once numbered in the tens of thousands, in order to limit these areas to Jews alone — …Almost daily, a handful of Israeli men and women pull themselves out of a car or two very early in the morning, stretch and yawn and gaze with pleasure at the hills and desert plains of the Jordan Valley, happily drinking in the silence and the still-slightly chilly air, look up at the feathery clouds floating in the bright blue sky above and at the gazelles prancing about on the ground below and at the birds that alight here and there on the rocks, and cock their ears for the sound of the bells from the flocks that are coming their way with the shepherds and dogs and donkeys. If fortune shines on all of these creatures – a lot of animals and a few people – that have gathered here, they will get to enjoy an hour, maybe two, of marvelous tranquility. The shepherds tend their flocks, the sheep graze, the dogs scamper about, the donkeys stand around idly, and the Israelis, after greeting the shepherds, have sat down somewhat heavily on the ground, wiping sharp bits of gravel from their hands and rears, and proceeded to let the let their minds wander or tune into their feelings or chat a little with the others. Suddenly they have the time and quiet for it. Far from the eye, and especially from the heart, sit the large green pastures of Mevo’ot Yeriho and Havat Omer. From there they come, the expellers – whether it’s people from Mevo’ot Yeriho who run wildly into the flocks of sheep and scare the animals with shouting and shofar-blowing and the beating of pot lids, or the army jeeps and the soldiers that emerge from them, brandishing orders declaring the area a closed military zone. …the Jewish settlers here, under the patronage of and with the support of a fanatical Israeli government, with its laws and military ordinances, are not standing still. The ethnic cleansing is taking place here and now, with increasing vigor and violence by the week, and may well reach its culmination shortly. Opposing it stand a handful of Israelis, arriving there through the graces of an even smaller group of Ta’ayush activists responding to calls by these shepherds, coordinating meetings with them. The shepherds no longer go out and graze their flocks without Israelis accompanying them….

Israel to construct bridge to connect two illegal West Bank settlements
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 13 May – The Israeli authorities approved the construction of a bridge to connect two illegal Israeli settlements in the Bethlehem area in the southern West Bank Sunday said a local activist. Coordinator of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, Hassan Brijiyeh, told WAFA the Israeli authorities decided to build a 355-meter long suspended bridge that would connect the settlement of Beitar Illit A with the settlement of Beitar Illit B. The bridge would see land belonging to Palestinians in the village of Husan to the west of Bethlehem being taken over for the benefit of the bridge.

Other news

Two-thirds of UN Security Council upset by non-implementation of Mideast resolution
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) 14 May by Michelle Nichols — Two-thirds of the United Nations Security Council expressed “profound concern” on Monday that a 2016 resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on land that Palestinians want for an independent state was not being implemented. “The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system,” wrote Bolivia, China, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Sweden in the letter seen by Reuters. A month before U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, with 14 votes in favor and one abstention by former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. Trump had denounced the resolution and called for the United States to wield its veto….

President Abbas to undergo minor surgery
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 May – President Mahmoud Abbas was admitted to Istishari Hospital in Ramallah on Tuesday and is going to undergo minor surgery in the middle ear. The president is going to be released from the hospital in few hours.

When is Ramadan?
Al Jazeera 8 May — The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will begin either on the eve of May 15 or May 16, depending on the sighting of the moon. The first day of Ramadan is observed according to the local visibility of the new crescent moon. In the United States and Europe, Muslim communities rely on astronomical calculations and will thus observe Ramadan from the eve of May 15, with the first day of fasting being May 16. While Saudi Arabia and most Arab countries are expected to sight the new moon on May 15, Morocco, Iran and Pakistan may see it on the following day because they started the current lunar month one day later … For Muslims, Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to sunset. This fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam …  In Muslim-majority countries, offices are required by law to reduce working hours, and many restaurants are closed during daylight hours…. (listserv)


American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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8 Responses

  1. Boomer on May 15, 2018, 2:23 pm

    Thanks again Kate. Your work is generally hard to read, often heart-braking, but never more than now.

    • Kate on May 16, 2018, 12:09 am

      You’re welcome, Boomer. I’ve rarely been so unsure of how to do a newslist as I was this time. During the terrible Israeli attack on Gaza in 2014 there were two of us working on the lists, which helped – the other was Seham, who did so many of these lists in past years. Sometimes I just think: Where to begin? And how can I possibly make sure to get all of the important articles? And does anyone really want to read this when it’s so tragic?

      • RoHa on May 16, 2018, 1:10 am

        “And does anyone really want to read this when it’s so tragic?”

        I certainly don’t.

        But I think it is important for it to be published, and I admire your fortitude in sticking to it.

    • Citizen on May 21, 2018, 8:36 pm

      Yes, the work is overwhelming merely to read, even skim read–Kate has a difficult job. But it lays out a factual record and I think the archive will be very useful. Meanwhile, I use it to pass on some of her provided information on social media. Kudos to Kate!

  2. drhmay on July 8, 2018, 4:23 pm

    The real tragedy of Gaza lies in the fact that none of this had to happen. No thinking person can deny the fact that the Palestinian leaders perpetuate this conflict for their own selfish ends.
    Statehood is less and less a possibility because of decades of refusal by these same leaders.
    To paraphrase a trite but true statement, “If the Palestinians wanted peace (instead of Israel’s destruction) there would be peace. If Israel were bent on genocide, there would be no palestinians.”

    • Mooser on July 8, 2018, 5:27 pm

      “If Israel were bent on genocide, there would be no palestinians.”

      So the possibility of the Jewish State committing a vast genocide to clear the land of Palestinians is always a possibility? One we should be grateful the Jewish State hasn’t exercised?

    • annie on July 8, 2018, 5:59 pm

      drh, when you’re paraphrasing you don’t need double quotemarks. and your “trite but true statement” doesn’t come up on a google search.

      If Israel were bent on genocide, there would be no palestinians.

      not if they wanted to get away with it or disguise it or set up a pretext to deny it. like all those myths they made up and the founding of the state. the same way a murderer might try to disguise their crime. a massacre by any other name is still a massacre. plus, there’s a definition for the crime of genocide. nothing in there about a timeframe.

    • lonely rico on July 8, 2018, 8:32 pm

      > drhmay

      The real tragedy of Gaza lies in the fact that none of this had to happen.

      I agree, so why did it happen?

      [t]he Palestinian leaders perpetuate this conflict for their own selfish ends.”

      The historical record says otherwise.
      The Palestinian leadership again and again accepted compromise,
      a way forward.

      Forward with Palestinians,
      Israel doesn’t do.

      Israel, as bullies are wont, will only accept the total subjugation of the owners of Palestine,
      their existence proving the lie of the Zionist settler/colonialism in the Middle East;

      Israel, a criminal fraud,
      will drive itself to destruction,
      as thugs always do.

      Consumed by hate,
      will Zionists utterly destroy the Palestinians?
      the Middle East?
      the world?

      A few (too may) practice runs
      On the defenseless population of Gaza.
      The Zionists practice daily on a defenseless population
      are ready for another conflict,
      for their own sadistic ends

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