Gazan disfigured by tear gas canister says ‘it was like death’
The National (UAE) 14 June by Nagham Mohanna — The gruesome photos show a man desperately grasping at his throat for air as smoke pours from his cheek. The young Palestinian falls to the floor, bloodied, as the gas continues to spew out of the hole in his face. A tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier had directly hit Haitham Abu Sabla in the head, penetrating the front of the left side of his skull. The incident at a Gaza border protest on 8 June left the 23-year-old on life support after the canister was surgically removed. Witnesses say he was standing hundreds of metres from the border fence, watching stone-throwers at a rally east of the southern city of Khan Younis. Haitham, who has since been taken off of critical care, speaks exclusively to The National in his first interview after the horrific injury. “It was like death, I didn’t think I would survive,” Haitham said, describing his feelings while pointing to his throat with his right hand, as though trying once again to stop the gas from entering his body. As he lies in the first floor of Khan Younis’ Nasser Hospital, a bandage covering the lower left side of his face where the canister hit and surrounded by seven family members and friends, Haitham mumbles what he remembers of the moment that would change his life. “I saw the Israeli sniper looking at me, then he fired toward me,” he said. “I was just standing, I didn’t do anything else” … He lives with 15 other family members in a small home and has no job to accrue an income. The Friday protests were his outlet and he never missed one, his family said. But that Israeli canister may now leave him unable to eat as he once did, disfigurement of the face and the long-term effects of gas entering his body. “We did not see a case like Haitham’s before,” Dr Hossam Al Majaida, head of the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Nasser Hospital told The National. “The gas canister stayed for 45 minutes in his face until we made a plan to start to operate on him. It means that the gas continued to enter to his body for a long time and that will affect him in the long term.” Haitham’s only hope now is that he can leave Gaza to receive the treatment he requires. “He has a fracture in his upper jaw, and a breakdown in his left mouth muscle, while losing most of his teeth,” the doctor continued. “He needs to get out of Gaza to continue treatment or he will have a permanent malformation in his face.” [I you can stand to look at some awful photos, look here at these from Palestinian photographer Mohammed Yasin ]
Gaza man’s face badly damaged by Israeli tear gas canister
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) 15 June by Fares Akram — A Palestinian man whose face was severely damaged by a tear gas canister that was shot into his mouth by Israeli troops during a border protest last week was allowed to leave Gaza on Thursday for treatment at a Jerusalem hospital. Haitham Abu Sabla, 24, spent three days on life support after being wounded during the protest along Gaza’s border with Israel last Friday … On Wednesday, Abu Sabla, who is unemployed, was in a hospital bed with white bandages covering the lower part of his face, surrounded by nearly a dozen friends and relatives. He complained about numbness in his back and pointed at his lungs and stomach. Typing a message on his smartphone, he wrote that he feels “gas is still inside.” His aunt, Tahani, standing at his bedside, said she still smells tear gas when she gets her head close to try to listen … Typing on his phone, Abu Sabla wrote that he wants “just to get treatment.” … On Thursday, Abu Sabla was transferred to St. Joseph’s, an Arab hospital in east Jerusalem, after being granted an Israeli permit….
Palestinian dies from serious wounds in Khan Younis
IMEMC 14 June — The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported, Thursday, that a young man who was shot and seriously injured by Israeli army fire has succumbed to his serious wounds. Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, identified the slain Palestinian man as Ahmad Ziad Tawfiq al-‘Aassi, 21. He added that the young man was shot several days ago with an Israeli gas bomb which struck him directly in his head, causing very serious wounds. The Palestinian was rushed to the Gaza European Hospital, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and remained in the Intensive Care Unit until he succumbed to his serious wounds. His death brings the number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli army fire since March 30th to 126, including two journalists and thirteen children.
Palestinian dies from wounds suffered eight years ago
IMEMC 14 June — Medical sources have reported, Wednesday, that a Palestinian man from northern Gaza died from serious complications caused by wounds he suffered after Israeli soldiers shot him eight years ago. The sources said the man, identified as Kamal Mohammad al-Yaziji, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, died from serious complications resulting from an Israeli bullet in his spine. His family said Kamal was shot by live Israeli army fire in his spine, causing paraplegia, in addition to constant complications, including serious infections and skin breakdowns. They added that Kamal also developed gangrene, followed by further serious infections that claimed his life.
Gaza turnout lowest ever as dozens demonstrate on the border
Haaretz 15 June by Yaniv Kubovich & Jack Khoury — Dozens of Palestinian demonstrators arrived on Friday to the Israel-Gaza border in what was the lowest protest turnout since the start of the border protests on March 30. Even as tens of thousands of Palestinians attended morning prayers to mark the ‘Id al-Fitr holiday, which commemorates the end of the month-long Ramadan fast, the worshipers dispersed in the afternoon and few stayed to demonstrate. The Israeli military fired warning shots at Palestinians attempting to ignite incendiary balloons in southern Gaza, also firing at their vehicle. There were several reported wounded from tear gas inhalation near the border fence in Khan Younis. As organizers planned to launch thousands of kites and balloon carrying flammable materials at Israel, the World Cup was being broadcast live from Russia. Egypt’s match against Uruguay took place at 3 P.M., which was followed by the match between Morocco and Iran at 6 P.M. These are teams embraced by many Muslim countries, as well as the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip. Israel’s military doesn’t know the reason for the quiet protest Friday, and it’s possible that ‘Id al-Fitr kept more people home. But even for the holidays, there were few demonstrators in attendance. The IDF said earlier it attacked infrastructure on Thursday near to where a terrorist cell had prepared incendiary balloons. The military said it views the use of explosive and incendiary kites and balloons seriously and will act to prevent their use….
Photos: Disabled Palestinian football players
MEMO 15 June — Disabled Palestinian football players who lost their legs during Israel’s assaults, during a friendly match organized by Supreme National Commission of the Return March regarding to 2018 FIFA World Cup, in Gaza City, Gaza
Palestinian teen shot by Israeli soldier: ‘My leg is gone’
Al Jazeera 14 June by Maram Humaid — More than one month later, sadness and anger still grip Rania al-Anqar’s heart every time she thinks about her son Abdullah, whose leg was amputated after he was shot by an Israeli soldier. The 13-year-old had made his way to an area east of Gaza City, near the Israeli fence and close to his home in the al-Shujayea neighbourhood, on a quiet Thursday morning in early May. “I took my slingshot with me,” Abdullah, a skinny boy of 13, told Al Jazeera. “A few people were in the area, and everything was calm.” “I went near the fence and starting throwing rocks,” he said, sitting in his wheelchair. “Then as I started to climb the fence, I saw an Israeli soldier hiding in the bushes.” Abdullah’s immediate reaction was to step down from the fence and run away, but before he could do that, the soldier shot him in the left thigh with an explosive bullet at close range … The doctors tried to transfer a major vein from his uninjured leg but were unsuccessful, leaving them no choice but to amputate his left leg from the upper thigh, five days after he was shot … “The staff – doctors, nurses and other people – in the Israeli hospital denounced the incident,” he added bitterly. “They were asking the same question I had on my mind: why did the Israeli soldier shoot my son, a mere child, in this way?” Abdullah’s parents have called on international child protection organisations to open an investigation into their son’s incident and to prosecute the soldier who shot him …
Dr Ayman al-Sahbani, head of the emergency departments at the Shifa Hospital, told Al Jazeera he believes that the Israeli army is using new weaponry based on the types of injuries the wounded protesters from the Great March of Return demonstrations have sustained since March 30. “Israeli snipers use explosive bullets that shatter the bones, the tissues, and slice the veins and arteries,” al-Sahbani said, adding that 51 percent of the injuries sustained in the demonstrations were the result of these bullets. “In numbers, they are 7,500 injured with explosive bullets out of 15,000, which is the total number of injuries since March 30,” Sahbani said … Many patients need to be urgently transferred outside Gaza, the doctor continued … Yet in the month of Ramadan, where Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the Rafah border crossing would be open, only three cases of amputees were transferred via Egypt, al-Sahbani said.
In Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, paralyzed protesters left without hope
The National (UAE) 20 May by Nagham Mohanna — In Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, the only welcome you get is from the sounds of support machines. Numerous wounded patients walk on crutches, others roll by in wheelchairs. Dozens of family members line the corridors, waiting for any news that can bring them comfort. Sarry Al Shobaky, a 22-year-old Palestinian, lies motionless on a hospital bed in the intensive care unit, looking up at the white ceiling. He cannot move, only blinking to answer yes or no questions. Located on the second floor of the enclave’s largest and oldest medical facility, the young man is now a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down and kept alive by a web of tubes. Sarry is one of hundreds wounded last week and one of eight serious cases in the unit, its head Dr Jehad Al Jaidi tells The National. Israeli soldiers opened fire on protesters along the territory’s border fence in what Palestinian leaders called a “massacre”. An Israeli bullet pierced his neck, breaking his third cervical vertebrae – located at the top of the spinal cord – before exiting. Next to him is Yaser Habeed, 25, who can only make contact by moving his head. Questions are met by attempts to speak, but his voice never comes, only expressions of hopelessness and pain. Yaser, who was also shot in the neck by an Israeli soldier, is attached to an artificial respiration machine and is now paralysed in the legs, according to his nurse. There are no family members at his side. Gaza’s overwhelmed surgeons say both cases are so serious they cannot operate. Sarry’s father, 55-year-old Dr Dawood Al Shobaky, calls for urgent international medical assistance to save his son from a life of disability. “No one wants to operate on him, they are afraid to cause more damage to him,” the public health consultant says, his spectacles perched on the end of his nose. “I hope to not lose my son, that we can cure him and that he can live his life again like any other youth,” he says, fighting back tears. His brother, 26-year-old Sajed, says Sarry was shot hundreds of feet from the Israeli border fence, and travelled to the protests for the first time to see what was happening there. The account is one of many which indicate Israeli snipers targeted protesters far from the border fence, not only those who attempted to breach the barricade….
UNRWA: Gaza’s infant mortality rate no longer in decline
IMEMC/Agencies 13 June — According to a new study by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) infant mortality, which in most parts of the world is in decreasing, has not declined for the last decade in Gaza. The paper entitled “Stalled decline in infant mortality among Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip since 2006” was published today in the Plos One journal. According to the Director of UNRWA’s Health Department, Dr Akihiro Seita, “This is an extraordinary warning sign, an alarming trend in the overall situation not only of health for infants but also the health of entire Palestine refugee population in Gaza. Moreover, it is a warning sign on the overall social and economic situation of Gaza, as the Palestine refugees account for more than seventy per cent of the entire populations in Gaza. Infant mortality is a barometer of the health of an entire population.” The new study found that the infant mortality rate among Palestine refugees in Gaza was 22.7 per 1000 live births. This is within the same range of the previously reported rate of 22.4 per 1000 live births in 2015 and 20.2 per 1000 live births from the study conducted in 2006. “This finding needs our attention since the ultimate goal is to maintain a continuing decline of infant mortality and to stop preventable infant deaths….
Gaza women fight for fairer, faster divorces
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Al-Monitor) 14 June by Ahmad Melhem — Rima from Gaza City has been struggling for more than 18 months to obtain her divorce papers from the Sharia Court. Six years ago, her husband left for Libya to work there, only to abandon her later on without divorcing her, leaving her with four boys and one little girl. The 45-year-old Gazan learned that her husband had married another woman in Libya when he sent the message through some Palestinians working there. Rima found herself in a miserable situation: With no money to support her children, she was dependent on the aid of her relatives. She applied for assistance from the Ministry of Social Development, which offers divorced women a $200 monthly allowance. But as she is unable to provide divorce papers or proof of separation, she has gotten nothing so far. “I applied to the court more than a year and a half ago to obtain divorce papers from my absent husband. My case is still sitting on the shelf there. I also went to the Women’s Health Center of the Culture and Free Thought Association, which engaged one of its lawyers to look into my case. They promised me that I will get the papers soon. I am still waiting,” Rima told Al-Monitor … Women in the Gaza Strip are often unable to finalize their divorce in the courts because of all the bureaucracy and legal procedures entailed by a law passed in 1954. Judges sometimes delay their decisions to give couples even more time to rethink the divorce. Separation is different. If a man chooses to separate from his wife, he can do so without appearing before a court or providing a legal reason. A woman who can prove that she is separated — either with written testimony from her husband that he has departed or testimony from family and neighbors that he has left her — can ask for aid if she does not have any income….
Gunfire, bans, ship seizures: Israel army is destroying a staple of Gaza’s economy
Haaretz Magazine 16 June by Yaniv Kubovich — At a time when 90 percent of Gazans are under the poverty line, fishing isn’t a pastime but an existential necessity, even beyond the zone allowed by the IDF — One early morning in February, Ismaʻil Saleh Muhammad Abu Ryalah left his house in the Gaza Strip’s Al-Shati refugee camp as usual. With two friends, the 18-year-old boarded a rickety boat and set sail to try to catch some fish, earn a little money and put some food on the table. At some point, the three fell asleep and the boat drifted far from the shore. They awoke to the sound of shooting. As they told the rights group B’Tselem, when they looked up they saw soldiers aboard a naval ship aim their rifles at them and shoot. Abu Ryalah was hit in the head by a bullet and died. The two others were wounded by sponge-tipped bullets. The Israel Defense Forces later said the soldiers sought to halt the boat, which had left the waters where Gazans are permitted to fish. The lethal outcome may have been a bit unusual, but shooting at Palestinian fishing boats isn’t. Even though senior IDF officers talk about the need to attend to Gaza’s humanitarian woes, naval ships take a hard line against Gaza fishermen, ruining the territory’s second most important source of income. (On average, each day a Gaza fisherman earns a little more than 20 shekels, or $5.55.) The story of Abu Ryalah’s boat is the story of many other boats. It’s the story of thousands of poor Gazans trying to make a living by fishing … Israel’s confiscations of boats tell only a small part of the story. The many boats that once anchored in Gaza have been badly damaged over the years. Sometimes it’s the weather and damage to the pier, sometimes it’s damage caused by the navy’s shooting, and sometimes it’s mechanical problems. But unlike boat owners in Israel, the Gazans have very few opportunities to mend their vessels. The IDF forbids the bringing of maintenance materials for these boats into the Strip. They’re considered “dual-use” materials that could be used for terror activities. Fiberglass, for example, the material from which most of the boats are made, is used to make missiles, the IDF says….
At home in Gaza and London: one show on two stages — 2,000 miles apart
[with VIDEO] GAZA (The Guardian) 13 June by Oliver Holmes — Artists in London and Gaza are to launch a series of simultaneous, live-streamed performances this month in an attempt to connect people living under severe blockade in the coastal enclave with international audiences in Britain. Performers will use video projection as a backdrop to simulate walking through each other’s homes and streets, and interact as if they were in the same room, even as they are separated by 2,000 miles. The show’s producers say At Home in Gaza and London explores “survival tactics, creative impulses and coping mechanisms that sustain those living in Gaza, while at the same time celebrating a temporary release via the technological innovation of a working space, a playing space, without borders”. It is led by Station House Opera, a UK-based theatre group that has operated concurrent performances across the globe, including in Brazil and Singapore. However, Gaza is one of the most inaccessible places on earth, with neighbouring countries Israel and Egypt strictly limiting freedom of movement. Many Palestinians living there have never left the 140 sq mile strip of land. Co-director Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso said the idea was to see how “people in radically different circumstances, with different cultural circumstances, come to collaborate”. Palestinian artists involved in the forthcoming performance are not professional actors but from Gaza’s creative community, including a musician and a dancer. They have helped draft the show, which is semi-autobiographical….
Settlers obstruct Palestinian access to al-Aqsa on last night of Ramadan
AIC 15 June by Ahmad Jaradat — On Thursday night, June 14, 2018, a group of settlers tried to invade al-Aqsa Mosque through the Hotta and Faisal gates. Palestinians inside the Mosque’s courtyard confronted them and prevented them from entering. Shortly after, Israeli police arrived and removed the settlers, all of whom were young women. Thursday night was the last evening of Ramadan. Though Israeli authorities usually ban settlers from provocatively touring al-Aqsa Mosque for the last 10 days of Ramadan, this year they shortened that time period to seven days. Settler groups, nevertheless, protest any restrictions on their access to the holy site, where they seek to perform religious rituals – a practice forbidden by the agreement between Israeli authorities and Jordan regarding the compound. Also on Thursday night, around 30 settlers performed religious rituals at al-Aqsa’s al-Asbat Gate. Palestinians gathered there in protest of the provocative action, which delayed Palestinians from entering the al-Aqsa compound and praying and breaking their fasts. Israeli police forced the Palestinians to go away and protected the settlers. Waqf officials condemned the settler provocations and emphasized them as an organized effort to unilaterally change the political status quo at al-Aqsa.
Detainee from ‘Amari camp near Ramallah says he was tortured during interrogation
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 14 June – A Palestinian from ‘Amari refugee camp near Ramallah who was detained by the Israeli army on June 6 said he was tortured during interrogation at the Russian Compound prison in West Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday. It said the army first detained Islam Abu Hmeid, 32, during a raid at ‘Amari camp on May 28, two days after an Israeli soldier from an elite unit was killed when a big tile was dropped on his head from a roof during an army operation at the camp, then released him. The army re-arrested Abu Hmeid on June 6 during another raid on the camp and accused him of throwing the rock that killed the soldier. PPS attorney Mamoun Hasheem said Abu Hmeid informed him that he was tortured during interrogation at the Russian Compound. Abu Hmeid said in an affidavit that eight interrogators questioned him constantly for six consecutive days when he was deprived of full sleep and while he was handcuffed and his feet shackled. The interrogator also used the shaking method against him as well as used curse words and threats against him. Hasheem said a military court remanded Abu Hmeid in custody for eight more days for further interrogation…
Sheikh Raed Salah sends Eid message from prison
MEMO 14 June — The leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, has sent a message from his prison on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr which is marked this weekend. Sheikh Salah said in his message that he was grateful to God despite all the ordeals and hardship he has endured including being transferred from solitary confinement in one prison to isolation in another and then finally being left in solitary in Ashkelon prison. “But I say what I have gone through is only a victory for my Islamic, Arab and Palestinian values which I grew up with and lived on,” he said. Sheikh Salah ended his message by wishing all Muslims Ramadan Kareem and Happy Eid.
Sheikh Salah was arrested from his house on 25 August 2017 and was indicted nine days later by the Israeli Public Prosecution. He was accused of 12 charges, including violating the law and inciting terror. An Israeli court in Haifa has decided that he remain in prison until the end of the judicial proceedings against him. His defence team appealed against the ruling, but the appeal was turned down by the court. He had previously been released on 17 January 2016 after spending nine months in jail. But his release was subject to restrictions on his movement, including travel bans and a ban on entering Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Legislator Jarrar receives a third administrative detention order
IMEMC 16 June — The Israeli Ofer military court renewed, Friday, the Administrative Detention of leftist Palestinian legislator Khaleda Jarrar for six more months, without charges. Jarrar, a democratically elected legislator and a senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was abducted from her home in Ramallah on July 2nd, 2017, and was held under Administrative Detention orders since then. Jarrar was also imprisoned for ten months between the years of 2015 and 2016, and was released on June 3rd, 2016.
Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers shoot two Palestinians near Ramallah
IMEMC 15 June — Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday morning, two young Palestinian men at the main entrance of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah in central West Bank. Mohammad Tamimi, a nonviolent activist against the Annexation Wall and Colonies, said the soldiers, stationed on a military tower at the main entrance of the town, shot the two Palestinians while entering the town. Tamimi added that one Palestinian was shot with two live rounds in the legs, and the other was injured by shrapnel in the head and shoulders. The two, from Kafr Ein village, northwest of Ramallah, were rushed to Yasser Arafat Hospital in Salfit city in the northwestern West Bank, suffering moderate wounds.
On June 6, 2018, the soldiers killed Ezzeddin Abdul-Hafith Tamimi, 21, in Nabi Saleh after shooting him with three live rounds from a very close range in an extrajudicial assassination. The soldiers then prevented Palestinian medics from approaching Ezzeddin as he lay, critically injured, on the ground. Nabi Saleh village witnesses weekly nonviolent procession against the Annexation Wall and colonies and is subject to constant invasions and military violations.
Soldiers abduct one Palestinian, ram another with their jeep in Jenin
IMEMC 14 June — Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, abducted a child and rammed a young man with one of their jeeps, during protests against the invasion. The soldiers invaded and searched many homes in the refugee camp, and abducted a child, identified as Luay Emad ‘Amer, 16. They added that many youngsters protested the invasion, and hurled stones at the military jeeps, and added that the soldiers fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades; many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. Medical sources said the soldiers rammed a young man, identified as Ali Mohammad Taleb, with their jeep, causing various cuts and bruises, before he was rushed to Khalil Suleiman Hospital, in Jenin city.
Army abducts four Palestinians near Ramallah, one near Qalqilia
IMEMC 13 June — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, four young Palestinian men from Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and one in Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Media sources in Ramallah said the soldiers invaded Silwad town, before storming and ransacking many homes, and abducted four Palestinians, identified as Mohannad Samir Tawil, Mohammad Soheil Hamed, Mohammad ‘Aahed Hamed and Eyad Ahmad Majed. The soldiers also fired gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians, who hurled stones at the invading army jeeps. In addition, the soldiers invaded ‘Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, also searched homes, and abducted a young man, identified as Sa‘ad Bilal Sweidan, after assaulting and wounding him.
Israeli colonizers cut 200 olive trees near Bethlehem
IMEMC 14 June — A group of illegal Israeli colonizers invaded, Thursday, Palestinian olive orchards in Khirbet Beit Iskariya village, southwest of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, and cut [down] 200 trees. Hasan Breijiyya, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bethlehem, said the Israeli assailants cut at least 200 olive trees, owned by Kamil Khalil Sa‘ad and ‘Amer Hussein Odah. He stated that the attack is second of its kind in less than two weeks and added that the village is subject to frequent violations … Beit Iskariya village contains five residential communities; Khirbit Iskariya, Khallet al-Ballout, Wadi Shakhit, Khallet Afffana and Shafe‘ey area. Its size used to be 9000 Dunams and lost 2000 for the illegal construction and expansion of Israel’s colonies, and is currently surrounded by colonies in addition to being subject to constant violations amidst attempts to remove its population. The villagers live in old small brick homes, as Israel does not permit the families to build or develop their communities, in addition to demolishing seven homes since 2007.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Settlements / Racism
How bulldozers, Bedouin and ethnic cleansing herald the death of the two-state solution
KHAN AL-AHMAR, Occupied West Bank 15 June by Peter Oborne — It takes barely 30 minutes to drive from Jerusalem to the doomed Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, situated on the main road to Jericho on the West Bank. But there’s no turning off the main road. We have to park in a nearby lay-by, jump over metal barriers, dodge fast oncoming traffic, then scramble up a steep slope to reach the village. Khan al-Ahmar is home to 173 people, many of them Bedouin shepherds who have lived in the area since time immemorial. But the Israeli state is determined to demolish it to make way for the expansion of the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim. Three weeks ago, after years of legal battles, the government received clearance from the Supreme Court to relocate the Bedouin. The judges ruled that the demolition can go ahead because the Bedouin do not have building permits. But this is a sham: the Bedouin have no way of getting permits. As far as the Bedouin are concerned, now it’s just a case of waiting for the arrival of bulldozers and the Israeli army to drive them out. They have been designated a new home next to a garbage dump in east Jerusalem. In this urban location, about which they were not consulted, there is no room to graze their flocks and little prospect of other work. Indeed, the Bedouin say that their proposed new home is foul-smelling, contaminated, toxic and unfit for human habitation. I travel with a guide from the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. When we reach the village we meet Ibrahim Jahalin, a shepherd. His 11-year daughter plays nearby. What will he do, I ask, when the bulldozers come? “Why should I even have to go anywhere?” he says. “I was born here. They are the ones who came afterwards. We won’t leave, whatever happens. We will stay here.” This threat of resettlement is just the latest in a series of humiliations meted out towards the Palestinian Bedouin by the Israelis. Jahalin belongs to a tribe who were expelled from the Negev desert by the Israeli military during the 1950s. They moved to where the neighbouring settlement of Kfar Adumim is now, but were then expelled from there as well….
Ex-Jewish Agency chief slams fellow settlers over eviction of neighboring Bedouin
Haaretz 13 June — The former Jewish Agency chief and Israel’s ex-ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor, published an open letter condemning petitions to the High Court by his settlement in support of the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank. Meridor, who is one of the founders of the West Bank settlement of Kfar Adumim, prefaced his reproach by saying how proud he used be of his community, and its contribution to the strength of Israel. “I was proud of what we created here,” Meridor wrote. “Proud of the wonderful social tapestry of the whole of Israel, of the joint lives of religious and secular (Jews) all these years while maintaining a sense of humanity.” The letter goes on to describe Meridor’s dismay over the High Court’s decision to approve the demolition and Kfar Adumim’s role in the decision. “It is clear that the four petitions filed by the union (of the settlement) contributed to the decision which will allow the forceful evacuation of our Bedouin neighbors,” it said. “What morality drove us to wish for the banishment of people for the second time, after their families were banished from the State of Israel in the 1950s?” reads the letter … “The Bedouin were here when we arrived,” Meridor wrote, adding that their presence never prevented the state from giving Kfar Adumim 10,000 acres to develop. “What has become of us that we now demand the poor man’s lamb for ourselves as well?”….
Israel lifts last veil disguising its West Bank planning policy
B’Tselem 14 June — On 17 June 2018, a new military order (Order No. 1797) will enter into effect. The order removes any option for Palestinians to challenge demolition orders that the Civil Administration issues for new structures, allowing Israel to demolish homes summarily … In essence, the new military order is simply another aspect of Israel’s planning and building policy in the West Bank, which serves mainly to deny Palestinian development almost completely and dispossess Palestinians of their land, with the goal of using as much of the West Bank as possible for Israeli needs … In essence, the new military order removes the façade of judicial review over demolition orders and over Israel’s planning and building policy in the West Bank. This is no trifling matter: upholding the regime of occupation requires façades and Israel goes to great lengths to maintain them. This is true of the military law enforcement system, the military courts and the takeover of tens of thousands of hectares in the West Bank. Israel’s readiness to lift the veil on this matter indicates its plan to accelerate and expand the dispossession of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, and a conviction that it will not be called to task over this either internationally or locally.
This Jerusalem suburb is expanding — into the West Bank
Haaretz 14 June by Nir Hasson — The Israel Lands Authority is advancing plans to build a new neighborhood for a Jerusalem suburb even though a large part of the neighborhood would be located in the West Bank, where the agency has no planning authority whatsoever. Last week, Haaretz Magazine reported that 20 years ago, when the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion expanded northward, about 20 houses in the Reches Halilim neighborhood were built on the West Bank side of the Green Line, which demarcates Israel from the West Bank. It now turns out that the Lands Authority is advancing a plan for a whole new neighborhood of which about 40 percent will be located in the West Bank … The southern part of the new neighborhood will lie within Mevasseret’s existing municipal borders, and some of the northern portion will lie on uncultivated land. But the remainder of the northern portion will lie on agricultural land formerly owned by residents of the neighboring Palestinian village of Beit Surik. Aerial photographs analyzed by Dror Etkes, a researcher for the Kerem Navot settlement watchdog, show that until the 1980s, this land was farmed using terraces….
Israelis protest against sale of home to non-Jewish citizens
MEMO 14 June — Residents of northern Israeli town Afula demonstrated yesterday against the sale of a house to a family of Palestinian citizens, reported Haaretz. The protest, which was attended by Afula Mayor Avi Elkabetz and Deputy Mayor Shlomo Malihi, saw some 150 local residents wave Israeli flags and carry signs condemning those who sold their house to Palestinians; one sign read: “Traitors against the Jews will get no rest.” Mayor Elkabetz declared: “The residents of Afula don’t want a mixed city, but rather a Jewish city, and it’s their right. This is not racism.” Deputy Malihi added: “I hope that the house sale will be cancelled so that this city won’t begin to be mixed. We do not have admittance committees like in the towns and kibbutzim around us, but we will not allow the character of the city to change.” Admittance committees review potential residents in hundreds of Israeli communities, a mechanism used to filter out non-Jewish citizens and maintain segregation. The committees’ role is enshrined in legislation in roughly 43 per cent of Israeli communities…
Responding to the Afula protest, MK Yousef Jabareen of the Joint List said that “racism, ethnic superiority has become a legitimate reality under this right-wing government. This protest should rock the political system and keep up at night all those who care about equality and human dignity.” MK Ayman Odeh said: “It is not a surprise that in a country that has founded 700 towns for Jews and not even one for Arabs, the idea that Arabs should be pushed aside does not shock citizens.” In March, Kfar Vradim’s local council head Sivan Yehieli “ordered to halt bids for selling building plots of land in his community, after 50 per cent of the winners so far turned out to be Arabs”, Haaretz noted.
Israeli army orders work on European-funded solar panels stopped
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 14 June – The Israeli army, represented by the so-called Civil Administration, ordered on Wednesday night work to be stopped on a European-funded solar panel in the Jordan Valley village of Bardalla, according to an official. Mutaz Bisharat, from the Toubas Governorate, said the army ordered to stop work on a solar panel project intended to supply electricity to an artesian well near the village and funded by the Italian GVC non-profit organization, which is active in international development aid projects in areas of conflict. Israel does not allow the Palestinians to build anything in the Jordan Valley, which is part of Area C that makes more than 60 percent of the area of the occupied West Bank and which is under full Israeli control, as a prelude for its eventual takeover.
Israeli army orders Jordan Valley farmers to evacuate land in order to raze it
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 June– Israeli army forces reportedly ordered a Palestinian farmer in the Jordan Valley to evacuate his land on Tuesday, with forces saying they were going to raze the land, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency. Wafa reported that Ahmad Assi Damra, from Hijlet al-Zour, east of Jericho, was ordered to evacuate his 25-dunum (six-acre) plot of land, which is planted with palm trees, in order to raze it. A similar order was reportedly made to another Palestinian farmer, Suleiman al-Zayed, who according to Wafa, has planted his four-dunum plot in the village of Nuweimeh, north of Jericho, with olive trees. “The army ordered Zayed to evacuate his land in order to level it,” Wafa said.
Israeli forces arrest Palestinians breaking Ramadan fast at the Jerusalem Hotel
AIC 12 June by Ahmad Jaradat — On Saturday evening, June 8, 2018, Israeli security and intelligence forces invaded the Jerusalem Hotel, located in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Musrara. They arrested hotel manager Raed Sa‘ada as well as chairman of the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce (EJCC) Kamal Obeidat. The raid disrupted an iftar event organized by the EJCC called “The Activities of the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce.” Israeli forces invaded the hotel per the orders of Israeli public security minister, Gilad Erdan, who decided to shut the event down citing the EJCC’s affiliation with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Everyone at the hotel was required to leave the premises. Israeli authorities evicted the EJCC from Jerusalem in 2001, which has severely limited its ability to support Palestinian merchants in occupied Jerusalem. Moreover, Israeli authorities continue to criminalize and ban a wide range of Palestinian events and organizations in the holy city under the pretext of PA, Palestinian political party and “terrorist” involvement.
Israeli forces take over archaeological house in Hebron, turn it into outpost
HEBRON (WAFA) 13 June – Israeli forces Wednesday took over an archaeological house in the Old City of Hebron and turned it into a military outpost. The house is located in an area that has been under full Israeli military control for over 15 years now. The house, which is located in an area that was declared a closed military zone and belongs to two Palestinian families; al-Qudsi and al-Kard, is considered one of the oldest heritage houses in the area. Hebron Rehabilitation Committee said Israeli forces blocked the windows with sand bags and turned the roof into a military outpost. Director General of the committee, Imad Hamdan, said archaeological buildings in Hebron’s Old City are considered a strategic target for both the Israeli authorities and settlers. He explained that Israeli authorities take over the archaeological buildings in the area, turn them into military outposts and prevent Palestinians from living there and from rehabilitating them, while settlers steal their stones and use them on their own homes to give the houses a historic landmark status in an attempt to falsify history.
India’s largest student federation calls for boycotting HP for its dealings in Israel
NEW DELHI (WAFA) 12 June — India’s largest student federation passed a resolution on Saturday to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that calls for boycotting Hewlett Packard (HP) companies over their well-documented complicity in Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian human rights, Apoorva Gautam, the India-based South Asia coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, said on Wednesday. Gautam said the four million members strong Students Federation of India (SFI) has joined the global campaign to boycott HP. “This means that Hewlett Packard companies now risk losing over four million potential clients in India because of their complicity in Israel’s gross violations of Palestinian human rights.” Given that the cheapest HP laptop in India costs about $300, this means that HP may be losing a potential student market of over $120 million … “HP has provided technology and services that support Israel’s military occupation and racial discrimination policies, including its devastating siege suffocating nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, and illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.” ….
Sinn Féin to consider motion urging Irish boycott of Eurovision in Israel
MEMO 15 June — Sinn Féin will consider a motion this weekend calling on RTÉ and the Irish government to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest next year, which is set to be held in Israel, reported TheJournal.ie. The motion, which calls for the boycott in light of “Israel’s ongoing and grievous violations of international law and international humanitarian law” and the “apartheid policies being applied to the Palestinian people”, is reportedly expected to pass. Pearse Doherty, TD for Donegal, told TheJournal.ie: “The delegates of Sinn Féin are very clear – there is a role for the arts, music and indeed sport, in sending a very strong message internationally”. “As it happens, Israel is hosting the Eurovision and just like the Olympic Games in Germany or the Rugby World Cup during the apartheid era, there is a time to stand on the right side of history here”. He added: “This is an opportune moment to shine the spotlight on the slaughter of the Palestinian people. While the government are refusing to expel the Israeli ambassador, there is an opportunity for others to take a stand so I think this campaign will gain momentum”. Doherty also said he did not want this to be solely a Sinn Féin campaign and encouraged other parties to join the call for a boycott. “We have a history and we understand more than most what is happening in Palestine. We know in our own history where innocent protesters have been gunned down on the streets of Derry and elsewhere, so there is an affinity there. I think that this has the potential to grow”….
Can PA’s push for e-payments help ease its cash crunch?
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 15 June by Ahmad Abu Amer — In a weekly Cabinet meeting held June 5, the Palestinian Authority (PA) approved a national plan to promote the use of electronic payment methods. The plan calls for developing the legal environment for e-payment, promoting electronic payment in the finance and banking sectors and strengthening the regulatory framework for clearance system and electronic payment services providers. E-payment systems cover transactions using credit, debit and shopping cards and online bank transfers, reducing reliance on cash and checks. The plan aims to support diverse and accessible e-payment options so they become more widely available and meet the needs of the finance and banking sectors as well as individuals and consumers.
The plan stems in part from several obstacles the Palestinian banking system faces. In 2017, banks in the West Bank and Gaza sometimes ran low on US dollars and Jordanian dinars and were unable to replace damaged and worn bills, which Israeli banks also reject. In addition, a severe cash liquidity shortage ensued after a 50% cut in salaries for PA employees in Gaza and restrictions placed on hard currency and the shekel by Israel as part of the ongoing blockade of the besieged enclave….
Palestine: Amnesty staff member detained and tortured by West Bank security forces
Amnesty 15 June — Responding to the arbitrary detention and beating during arrest of scores of demonstrators and bystanders, including Amnesty International staff member Laith Abu Zeyad, by Palestinian security forces, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, said: “The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank revealed a dark underbelly of violence and dysfunction on Wednesday, when its security forces launched a vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters demonstrating against sanctions on Gaza. “Palestinian security officers, many in civilian clothes, assaulted and arrested dozens of demonstrators and bystanders and beat them while in custody, including Amnesty International campaigner Laith Abu Zayed, who was there to monitor the protest. “Laith Abu Zayed spent several hours in police custody where he was severely beaten. Upon his release, he recalled seeing 18 other fellow detainees receive the same treatment. His plight is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mass show of excessive force and torture unleashed by the Palestinian security forces on Wednesday night. “We demand a full, independent investigation into these violations, and call for all those responsible to be held to account….
Opinion: The PA is attacking its own people over Gaza sanctions
Al Jazeera 15 June by Yara Hawari — PA security forces used tear gas, stun grenades and batons to disperse demonstrators denouncing sanctions on the strip — On Wednesday night in Ramallah, people mobilised once again around a new campaign calling for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to lift the sanctions it imposed on Gaza. The sanctions include slashing the salaries of government employees by over 30 percent and the forced early retirement of nearly a third of PA employees in Gaza. Drastic moves at any time, these sanctions are made even more brutal in the context of the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza, which has aggravated unemployment and poverty. The protesters view the sanctions as a tool in the siege of Gaza and a mechanism of collective punishment. They also reject political polarisation and the power struggle between Fatah and Hamas.
Wednesday’s demonstration came on the back of a similar demonstration that took place in Ramallah on Sunday and was attended by nearly two thousand people. There was very little violence in Sunday’s demonstration, but what happened on Wednesday night was another story. On Tuesday, one day before the planned demonstration, the PA announced a ban on all forms of protests until the end of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the month of Ramadan. This allowed the PA to brand the planned demonstration “illegal” and organise its forces to shut it down. Prior to the protest, the streets of Ramallah were filled with police. Officers were placed in strategic locations in an obvious effort to intimidate activists. Soon after the protesters started to gather, armed with nothing but posters that read “Gaza unites us”, security forces started to fire tear gas and throw stun grenades. Heavily armed police officers in riot gear also wielded batons and used tasers against unarmed protesters. By the end of the night, over 40 protesters had been arrested. Detained protesters suffered beatings in police vehicles and police stations. Most detainees were released promptly, but they sustained injuries. The worst violence came not from the police, but the paid thugs loyal to the Fatah party, known colloquially as “baltajiyeh”, who showed up to beat and intimidate protesters. Identifiable by the white caps they wore, these men were incredibly violent towards protesters and sexually harassed and assaulted several women in the crowd….
PLO official calls for subverting Hamas rule in Gaza unless it agrees to signed understandings
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 14 June — Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, Azzam al-Ahmad, called on Thursday for subverting what he referred to as “the facto authority” in the Gaza Strip, in reference to Hamas, if it persists in refusing to implement the understandings reached in Cairo in 2011 and 2017. He said the Gaza Committee, which was formed by the PLO’s Executive Committee, has stressed this point. Ahmad told Voice of Palestine radio that the Palestinian leadership is still waiting for Hamas to say whether or not it wants to implement the signed understandings. “It (Hamas) either assumes full responsibility as a de facto authority or turn over everything in Gaza to the Government of National Conciliation, which it has participated in its formation,” he said. Ahmad said that the time has come to stop talking about sanctions against the Gaza Strip, describing it as “fabrications.” He pointed out that it was made clear to all that there are no such things as sanctions, but rather there are some procedures related to salaries and the first victim of the delay was Fatah movement….
East Jerusalem Palestinians are ready to take back their city
+972 Blog 14 June by Meron Rapoport — One need not be an expert on Jerusalem to recognize that only few Palestinians will participate in the upcoming municipal elections, to be held in October. Perhaps no more than a few thousand. A low voter turnout among the close to 400,000 Palestinians who live in the neighborhoods, towns, and villages that were annexed by Israel following the occupation of 1967. And yet, the sense is that something has changed. After 50 years of a near-total election boycott by Palestinians, some are now calling for a new strategy. The most open challenge to that status quo has been posed by Gershon Baskin, a veteran left-wing Israeli activist, and Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian activist and +972 writer, who announced their decision to form a new Jewish-Arab list for the upcoming elections. “Palestinians in Jerusalem have no father,” said Baskin in a recent interview. “The Palestinian Authority cannot function, in East Jerusalem people understand that the strategy of non-participation in the elections has not done them much good.” Baskin and Abu Sarah are in talks with other groups of young Palestinians in the city. Meanwhile, Ramadan Dabash, a social activist from the Sur Baher neighborhood, also announced his decision to run. The harsh responses were almost immediate. Muhammad Hussein, the mufti of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that participating in the elections is akin to removing oneself from “the religion, the nation, and the homeland.” Walid Salem, who runs the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Community Development, wrote a scathing article against voting, calling the idea of participating in the elections “rotten.”….
Rights group: Israeli lethal force in Gaza may be war crime
JERUSALEM (AP) 13 June by Ilan Ben Zion — Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks may constitute war crimes. The statement was issued Wednesday ahead of an emergency U.N. General Assembly meeting to vote on a resolution condemning Israel’s “excessive use of force.”… Palestinians have held near-weekly protests since March 30, calling for a “right of return” to ancestral homes now in Israel. At least 120 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,800 wounded by Israeli fire in protests along the border. The overwhelming majority of the dead and wounded have been unarmed, according to Gaza health officials. The Israeli military has said its soldiers adhere to the rules of engagement to defend Israeli civilians and security infrastructure from attacks cloaked by the protests. Human Rights Watch contended in its statement that the mostly unarmed protesters didn’t pose an imminent threat to Israeli troops or civilians, and therefore the use of live fire suggests a violation of international law. The organization said eyewitnesses recounted Palestinians were shot from a great distance from the fence, and others who “had not thrown stones or otherwise tried to harm Israeli soldiers” were shot from a closer range. Israel has been accused of committing war crimes in its three wars in the Gaza Strip in the last decade. Last month the Palestinians urged the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation into Israeli policies and actions in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, accusing Israel of systemic crimes. Israel has called the Palestinian move “legally invalid.” Israel is not a member of the ICC and argues the court does not have jurisdiction….
United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians
AFP 14 June — The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted by a strong majority of 120 countries an Arab-backed resolution condemning Israel for Palestinian deaths in Gaza and rejected a US bid to blame Hamas for the violence. The resolution deplores Israel‘s use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against Palestinian civilians and calls for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. At least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Gaza that began at the end of March. No Israelis have died. Presented by Algeria and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, the measure won a decisive 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions. US Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as “one-sided” and accused Arab countries of trying to score political points at home by seeking to condemn Israel at the United Nations. “For some, attacking Israel is their favorite political sport. That’s why we are here today,” Haley told the assembly. An amendment presented by the United States that condemned Hamas for “inciting violence” along the border with Gaza failed to garner the two-third majority needed for adoption …
The resolution tasks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the drafting of proposals for an “international protection mechanism” for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. These could range from setting up an observer mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force, but action on any option would require backing from the Security Council, where the United States has veto power. “We are asking for a simple thing,” Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the assembly. “We want our civilian population to be protected.” …
France was among 12 EU countries that backed the resolution, but Britain abstained along with Italy, Poland and 13 other EU member-states. Russia and China voted in favor. Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution….
US expected to retreat from main UN rights forum: activists, diplomats
GENEVA (Reuters) 14 June by Stephanie Nebehay — Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the Geneva forum whose session opens on Monday. A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats from the Human Rights Council, which is holding a three-week session through July 6. A separate U.S. official in Geneva had no information about a looming pull-out during the upcoming talks, saying: “We are still moving ahead with our engagement for the coming session.” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, publicly told the Council a year ago that Washington might leave the body unless a “chronic anti-Israel bias” were removed. The forum, set up in 2006, has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, which Washington wants removed….
Bay area Muslim leader has her award rescinded by interfaith group after pro-Israel activists objected
The Intercept 14 June by Glenn Greenwald — The executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, has had an award rescinded by an interfaith group after pro-Israel activists vehemently objected to the award due to her criticisms of the Israeli government and various pro-Israel groups. Zahra Billoo is a lawyer and longtime Muslim civil rights activist. She has led CAIR’s Bay Area affiliate — the group’s oldest and third-largest chapter — for almost nine years. In March, she was notified that she would be one of two honorees at the annual event held by the group People Acting in Community Together, or PACT, which describes itself as “a multi-faith, grassroots organization that provides leadership training and experience to community members of many different ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.” Billoo told the Intercept that when PACT, an affiliate of the PICO National Network, notified her that they had chosen her for the award, they emphasized that their intent with the award was “to build a stronger relationship with Muslim community.” PACT then announced the award and began promoting the event to its members and the public: ….
Paris mayor is warned he will be ‘blown up’ after naming a street in honour of Palestinians
PARIS (MailOnline) 13 June by Peter Allen — A Paris mayor has been warned he will be ‘blown up’ after naming a street in honour of thousands of Palestinians forced out of their homes by the creation of Israel. Dominique Lesparre, 71, has also been hounded by assailants wearing black face masks who vandalised the new road sign within hours of it being unveiled on Tuesday. The thoroughfare in Bezons, in the northwest suburbs of the French capital, is now called Nakba Alley. It commemorates the ‘Catastrophe’ (Nakba in Arabic) of 1948, when some 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land because of the foundation of the Jewish State. Amid scenes of immense violence, many of the Palestinians’ towns and villages were razed to the ground, and they were forced into refugee camps which exist to this day. On Monday, the mayor posted on Facebook: ‘Very proud tonight [June 11] to inaugurate a Nakba alley (“the disaster”) … Referring to Israel’s first prime minister, plaques placed around Nakba Alley read: ‘In memory of the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 532 villages in 1948 by the war criminal David Ben Gurion for the creation of the state of Israel.’ This sparked fury among Israel supporters in Paris, and by this morning, the plaques were covered in graffiti, and the road sign blacked out. All were then removed by local government officials who said they could ‘seriously disrupt public order’ … Reports have now been filed to the police, who suspect extremist pro-Israel groups for the threats. One, the Jewish Defence League, has been behind a number of violent attacks around Paris in recent years, with key members ending up in court for their crimes….
Gone but not forgotten: The case of missing Palestinians
Al Jazeera 12 June by Shatha Hammad — At least 78 Palestinians have been documented missing since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1948 — Mulki was four years old when his father went to war, and has one sole memory of him. “He came into the house wearing his military uniform and carrying a box of red apples,” the 55-year-old told Al Jazeera. His older siblings would always tell him how their father was always in uniform, and was the first person in the village to own a radio. One photograph is all that Mulki and his siblings have left of their father, Mahmoud Suleiman. Mahmoud left to fight in what has become to be known as the 1967 Six Day War, and promised his young children at the time he would be back. Fifty-one years later, he still has not returned, and none of his family members have heard anything from him … Decades later, towards the end of the 90s, Mulki brought his father’s case to the attention of local media, which coincided with statements made by the Israeli government that it had killed scores of Palestinians who had crept back into the country from Jordan and carried out military operations. Several war survivors told the Ouri family that they had seen Mahmoud, slightly injured, during the battle, confirming that he was indeed a participant during the war. Yet Mulki said that after years of searching, he barely has any other confirmed accounts of what happened to his father. “We do not know if my father was martyred and buried in the cemeteries of numbers,” he said, referring to Israeli closed military zones that contain mass graves of unknown Palestinian and Arab bodies that are marked with numbers … “We now only ask for a simple human right, to know where my father was buried, to visit his grave and read the Quran to him,” Mulki said. During the 1967 war, soldiers were not the only ones who went missing at the border, but civilians too, who tried to return from Jordan to their families in Palestine. This was the case with the parents of Abdel-Majeed Mustafa Hamdan, from the village of Aroura, north of Ramallah….