Israel’s High Court freezes West Bank Bedouin village demolition until July 16
i24NEWS 10 July — The controversial scheduled demolition of a Bedouin village in a strategic area in the West Bank was pushed back on Monday after Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from carrying on with its plan to evacuate residents from the village. Palestinian lawyers representing the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village located in the Jerusalem Governorate of the West Bank, filed a petition last week claiming that no eviction orders had been given to the residents as the law requires in matters of evacuation. The lawyers claim that only demolition orders had been issued, which causes the High Court to order a response from the State by July 16, meaning the demolition will be be postponed until then….
Inside the fearful Palestinian village that could decide fate of Palestinian state
[with photos] The Guardian 7 July by Oliver Holmes in Khan al-Ahmar — Only a court order stands between Khan al-Ahmar and the bulldozers. And if it goes, the West Bank will be split in two — Commuters speeding along the four-lane highway that connects Jerusalem to Jericho might not notice this tiny Bedouin village of fewer than 200 people tucked in the dip of two hills. Tents hoisted with chipped scrap-wood and sand-covered corrugated-iron shacks are home to once-nomadic families who settled after the Israeli army expelled them from the southern desert seven decades ago. Some residents work in nearby factories owned by Israeli settlers. Others herd sheep and goats on the scorching rocky terrain. But Khan al-Ahmar’s modest appearance belies its significance to many Palestinians as the keystone of their struggle for statehood – a community whose location is so strategic that, if they were removed, it might crumble hopes for a future country. After years of resistance against Israeli demolition orders that say the makeshift village in the occupied West Bank is illegally built, last week brought what appeared to be final preparations for its destruction. Security forces declared the area a closed military zone and blocked journalists and diplomats from entering. Bulldozers with military escorts rumbled in and began levelling the ground.
In the upper part of the village, Tahreer Abu Dahouk, a mother of four children all under 10, stood in her kitchen. A large blue plastic barrel held water, charred pots and pans hung on wooden hangers, and the roof was blackened by the soot from a fire pit. “We sleep afraid; we wake up afraid. They are serious,” she said as border police in grey uniforms patrolled outside. On Wednesday, when Israeli forces first entered, they wounded 35 Palestinians and arrested others, according to the United Nations. One Israeli soldier was also reported injured. “It was war here,” said Abu Dahouk, who married into the village 14 years ago….
Israeli forces place mobile homes in Abu Dis area for relocation of Khan al-Ahmar residents
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 8 July – Israeli forces Sunday placed mobile homes in Wadi Al-Jir area in Abu Dis town to the east of occupied Jerusalem for the relocation of Khan al-Ahmar’s residents, a Palestinian Bedouin community slated for demolition by the Israeli forces to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumin … Jerusalemite activist, Hani Halabiyeh, said Israeli forces blocked a number of streets in the towns of al-Izariyeh and Abu Dis which lead to the Khan al-Ahmar community, before proceeding to place the mobile homes. WAFA correspondent in Jerusalem said Israeli bulldozers began since the early morning hours and under tight police cordon to level and open access roads that lead to Khan al-Ahmar community.
Israeli forces raid Khan al-Ahmar, hold activists inside the school
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 July – Israeli forces raided on Wednesday morning Khan al-Ahmar community east of Jerusalem, which is under threat of demolition and displacement, and held activists on a vigil at the community inside the local school, according to Walid Assaf, head of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Committee. He told WAFA that forces raided the community in the early hours and imposed a siege on it while forcing the activists to remain inside the school, which is also under threat of demolition. The activists have been keeping around the clock vigil at the community to prevent its demolition and eviction of its 190-strong Bedouin community. Israel wants to demolish the community and remove its residents to build a new settlement in its location, a step that has generated strong international protest. Assaf said the Israeli forces prevent anyone from leaving the community and reaching the main Jerusalem-Jericho road.
Israel announces Gaza sanctions in response to cross-border blazes
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 9 July by Dan Williams — Israel imposed sanctions on the Gaza Strip and its dominant Hamas Islamists on Monday in retaliation for attacks by Palestinians using burning kites and helium balloons carrying blazing rags. People taking part in more than three months of protests at the Gaza border have started scores of fires by sending the balloons and kites into Israel, vexing its advanced military which is used to dealing with more conventional weapons.
With southern residents and his far-right coalition partners calling for an end to the blazes, even if that required killing the kite- and balloon-fliers, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin announced the closure of Gaza’s main commercial border terminal. Israel also cut the area fishing boats are allowed to operate off Gaza’s Mediterranean coast and blacklisted what it described as a pro-Hamas TV channel…
Hamas decried Monday’s measures as “a new Israeli crime against humanity”. “Hamas urges the international community to immediately intervene,” said Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist group by Israel and the West. The shuttered Kerem Shalom crossing is Gaza’s main conduit for trade – albeit under years of Israeli restrictions. Israel said some humanitarian goods would still be allowed through the terminal.
An Israeli military statement said the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza would revert to 11 km (6 miles) after being temporarily expanded to 17 km (9 miles).
Al-Quds, a Palestinian satellite TV station, was declared a terrorist organization by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who called it a “Hamas propaganda arm”. That put the station’s staff – including 15 in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and a freelancer in Jerusalem – at risk of arrest by Israel.
‘Israel’s closure of Gaza crossing is like shooting a dying man’
Haaretz 10 July by Jack Khoury et al. — The Palestinian business community in the Gaza Strip is calling the Israeli decision to close the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza to all but humanitarian aid the final nail in the coffin of Gaza’s industry and trade. The results, traders told Haaretz Tuesday, will be devastating to the civilian population. On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will close the Kerem Shalom crossing over the airborne firebombs launched at Israel and the weekly protests along the border over the past few months. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the step “a new crime against humanity” that violates international law and human rights. “Israel seems to think that businesspeople have power to influence the Hamas political or military leadership, an idea that is nothing more than an illusion without a basis in reality,” a number of Gaza traders told Haaretz … “If Hamas decides to bring about a conflict how can I or others prevent it? That’s absurd, no one can influence Hamas because it is a strategic policy decision,” said Dr. Maher al-Tabaa of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Gaza. “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also thought that by imposing sanctions on the Gaza Strip he could lead to an internal uprising or apply pressure, but it didn’t work,” he added. “It is Gaza’s civilian population and businesspeople who will suffer, and this is collective punishment,” said Tabaa….
Video: Israel closure of vital Gaza commercial border takes effect
11 July The United Nations has criticised Israel’s closure of the primary passageway for basic goods to residents of the besieged Gaza Strip. Tel Aviv made the move in response to Palestinians launching incendiary kites across the border. Only humanitarian aid, medical supplies and food are being allowed in. Hamas leaders say shutting the Karam Abu Salem crossing is a crime against the Palestinian people. Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports from Gaza.
Israel seizes boat from Gaza seeking to break blockade
GAZA CITY (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 10 July — Israel’s navy seized a boat on Tuesday that had left from a Gaza port with wounded Palestinians aboard in a bid to challenge the blockade of the Hamas-run enclave. Hundreds of people had gathered to see off the boat carrying nine passengers, including four people said to have been wounded by Israeli soldiers along with students. The passengers “with specific needs are prevented from travelling, receiving care and finishing their studies,” said organiser Raed Abu Dair. “We are determined to break the blockade.” Mahmud Abu Ataya, 25, who recently suffered a leg wound east of Gaza City, said: “I am leaving to be cared for abroad.”
But the boat was seized by Israel’s navy a short time after setting off. “After the boat and the Palestinians on board are searched, the boat will be towed to the Israeli navy base in Ashdod,” Israel’s military said in a statement. “The (military) assigned medical personnel to treat Palestinians on board requiring medical assistance.” A similar attempt was made in May and also resulted in Israeli forces seizing the main protest boat several kilometres (miles) out to sea.
Israeli bulldozers raze, level lands in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 July — Several Israeli military vehicles raided the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday morning. Locals said that six Israeli military vehicles raided into the area near the eastern borders of Gaza City, razed and leveled lands while Israeli forces were putting up a security fence from inside the borders. Earlier today, a number of Israeli military vehicles raided into Al-Breij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. A Ma‘an reporter said that four large D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into lands near the “return camps” as drones flew overhead. Military bulldozers began to raze lands and setting up a security fence; no shootings were reported.
USS Liberty survivor named US delegate on Gaza flotilla
Consortium Nrew 9 July by Joe Lauria — Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, has joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. He will board the Al Awda (The Return), which left Corsica Sunday night for the final 1,000 miles to Gaza. Al Awda is one of four boats on the 75-day voyage from Scandinavia. Meadors was a signalman on the bridge of the USS Liberty, a surveillance vessel operating in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli war. Israeli war planes and torpedo boats attacked the vessel, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 174 crew members. A 2003 U.S. commission led by Admiral Thomas Moorer found: …
Meadors was aboard the Sfedoni in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. He was in Greece for the 2011 and 2015 Freedom Flotillas. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Meadors is a past president of USS Liberty Veterans Association, founded in 1982. The Flotillas aim to bring attention to the illegal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.
Turkish doctors begin surgeries in blockaded Gaza
GAZA CITY, Palestine (Anadolu Agency) 9 July — A Turkish medical delegation on Monday began carrying out surgical operations for Palestinian patients in Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital. Over the next six days, members of Doctors Worldwide Turkey, an independent charitable organization, will provide badly-needed medical services at the hospital. The five-doctor delegation consists of an anesthesiologist, two pediatric surgeons and two orthopedic surgeons. The delegation’s visit aims to provide medical assistance to the people of Gaza, who continue suffer under an 11-year Israeli blockade that has led to severe shortages of medicine and medical equipment. “Members of the delegation, in cooperation with local doctors, began conducting surgeries today,” Safa Simsek, the organization’s program director, told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Humanitarian hackathon for Gaza
HUB 9 July by Saralyn Cruickshank — Design challenge teams in Baltimore and the Gaza Strip use enhanced audiovisual technology to collaborate and innovate — … It was the final day of the Humanitarian Design Challenge presented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, or CBID, which is housed in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Participants in Baltimore and Gaza had spent the final week of June designing solutions for health care problems in humanitarian crises and conflict, with a specific focus on helping first responders in Gaza—among the most densely populated places on the planet. Health and safety problems there have many sources: political turmoil, military conflict with Israel, travel and import restrictions, and poverty. The challenge includes an unusual feature: a series of audiovisual Portals from Shared Studios that allow teams separated geographically to collaborate as though they were in the same room … The teams came up with a range of solution concepts, including: A telecom system to direct ambulance drivers to the optimal hospital and alert hospital ERs of incoming patients so they can optimize treatment; An intuitive and durable hospital bracelet for patient identification and coding of their condition that keeps this information accessible even when computer and information systems are not available; A mask to prevent tear gas inhalation and injury by health care first responders; A bandage for limb wounds that is infused with a naturally derived coagulant and antibiotics to stem the flow of blood and reduce infections; A self-stabilizing splint for limbs to prevent further injury while allowing proper blood flow; An app and educational program that teaches the fundamentals of emergency response to untrained citizens. The winning team built a text messaging system that could send detailed health and incident reports from first responders and ambulances to emergency rooms over Gaza’s 2G network, which is limited to voice and SMS…
“It is one thing to design a solution for a wealthy health care system like at Johns Hopkins, but a much higher level of creativity is needed to make something that will work in a tough place like Gaza. This team did just that,” [said Youseph Yazdi, Director of the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design]
Haniyeh’s niece seriously wounded in Gaza border protests
[with video] Ynet 7 July by Elior Levy — Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s niece was seriously wounded on Friday during “March of Return” protests on the Gaza border. The niece, 38-year-old Zahadia Khaled Haniyeh, suffered a gunshot wound to her stomach while she was taking part in the protests on the border fence. Her uncle came to visit her at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Saturday morning [photo]. He also visited other Palestinians wounded in the protests. The Palestinian people will continue with the marches despite the many wounded, until the land is purified of the filth of the occupation,” Ismail Haniyeh said.
An Israeli shell killed Amr Samour in Gaza, even though he wasn’t a protester
BANI SUHEILA, Gaza Strip (NBC News) 9 July by F. Brinley Bruton and Wajjeh Abu Zarifa — Bright green stained what was left of parsley farmer Amr Samour’s body: The Israeli tank shell that blew off much of his torso had embedded the plant onto his skin and guts, according to his father. “I recognized him through one side of his face,” said Wahid Samour, covering the left side of his own face with the palm of his hand. “I cried and cried — we all did,” Wahid said, sitting in his living room in the southern Gaza Strip. Soon after his oldest son’s death on March 30, the 55-year-old Wahid was rushed to the hospital with dangerously high blood pressure.
Even though he wasn’t a protester, Amr was the first Palestinian killed during the months-long Great March of Return demonstrations shaking the Gaza Strip and Israel. Demonstrations turned violent, and at least 142 protesters have been killed by Israeli troops, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Israel has been widely criticized for using lethal force against largely unarmed protesters. The rallies in Gaza are aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade first imposed when Hamas, the militant group that governs the enclave and is sworn to Israel’s destruction, came to power in 2007. More than 13,000 protesters have been injured. Israeli officials accuse Hamas of encouraging civilians to put themselves in harm’s way and then used them as cover to commit violence … But the 27-year-old Amr’s death in a field near the fence with Israel illustrates why tens of thousands of fellow Palestinians have for months risked bullets and tear gas to protest the blockade of the enclave. Israeli officials did not respond to requests for comment and information for this article … Despite his personal loss, Wahid said he supports the ongoing protests on the border fence, calling them “a good action.” “Israel closed everything, the sea links and air links,” he said. “In your country, you can drive from area to area — nobody stops you. Here we are in a cage.” Cages come in different sizes. The cage Amr’s widow Dunya Samour inhabits is smaller, but no less restrictive. “I cannot taste anything,” she said, sitting in her one-bedroom unfinished apartment above her father-in-law’s house. “I am hating my life.”…
US to turn focus on Gaza humanitarian relief as peace plan stalls: report
i24NEWS 8 July — With the United States’ highly-anticipated Mideast peace plan stalled amid an ongoing diplomatic freeze-out by the Palestinians, the Trump administration is shifting its focus towards efforts to improve humanitarian conditions in the impoverished Gaza Strip, The Washington Post reported Saturday. A senior US official told The Post that Washington is considering a major infusion of development aid into the blockaded Palestinian enclave, demonstrating a commitment to Palestinian well-being that would make it more difficult for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue to snub peace talks. Ties between the White House and the Palestinian Authority have been strained since President Trump announced his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after recognizing the city as Israel’s capital … We definitely have a Gaza focus right now because the situation is the way it is, and we want to try to help,” an official told the newspaper. “But it’s not as though we think we need to fix Gaza first before we would air the peace plan.” Among proposals under consideration are UN-coordinated projects to improve Gaza’s electricity and water services, most likely funded by Gulf states and other international donors. Israel has welcomed Washington’s “Gaza first” approach, a senior Israeli official told The Post, as a way to pressure both the Palestinian Authority and its rivals Hamas, who run a rival administration in the Strip….
Feature: Wave pool as pleasing alternative to polluted sea for Gazans
GAZA, July 7 (Xinhua) — An artificial wave pool in the Palestinian Gaza Strip has become an essential attraction for Gazans who have been unable to swim in the enclave’s polluted sea. At Sharm Park in Gaza city, Zakariya al-Banna and his family enjoyed swimming in Gaza’s first ever wave pool. “I resort to safe and clean swimming pools as an alternative to the sea, which is extremely polluted … this pool is just like a small sea,” al-Banna, a civil engineer, said as he observed his kids swimming. Municipalities in Gaza have been pumping sewage into the Mediterranean Sea due to the lack of wastewater treatment … Beachgoers find themselves exposed to clear health risks when swimming in sewage-contaminated seawater as the 40-km long coastline of the Gaza Strip is exposed to many kinds of pollution and harmful practices that negatively affect the marine environment and other aspects of public life. “The idea of having waves in a pool makes children so happy as if they are really swimming in the sea,” al-Banna said. Al-Banna said that none of his family has swum in the sea for two years …
Industrial wave technology is widely available in a number of countries in the Middle East, but it is unprecedented in the Gaza Strip. The pollution off the beaches along the Mediterranean was a major reason why the park owners decided to build the wave pools, despite the high costs. “Almost two years ago, we contacted major international companies specializing in water jet equipment and artificial wave technology from countries such as China, India and Germany,” Mohammed Abu Qassem, head of maintenance and development at Sharm Park, told Xinhua. However, he said, Israel banned the import of the artificial wave equipment. “Then we had to manufacture the equipment in Gaza.” “The Israeli ban doubled the cost of the project … it also took us two years to complete (construction of) the pool,” he said. Abu Qassem noted that the computer-controlled machines can produce 10 different kinds of waves. But he complained that the pool can only produce waves for 10 minutes every half an hour due to power cuts and large consumption of power generators….
Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
Palestinian teen dies from serious wounds he suffered in 2009
IMEMC 8 July — Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, said a young man died, Sunday, from very serious complications resulting from wounds he suffered in 2009 after Israeli soldiers shot him. The Palestinian, Ya‘coub Fayeq Nassar, 18, was just a child, 9 years of age, when the soldiers shot him in his spine, in the al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank, and suffered ongoing complications. His injury caused paralysis, and he spent years being transferred to various Palestinian hospitals in West Bank, and was eventually moved to an Israeli hospital where he underwent many surgeries and medical procedures. In February of last year, the doctors at Ichilov Hospital had to amputate his legs, but his condition continued to deteriorate, and he suffered a renal failure, before eventually succumbed to his wounds. [Ma‘an’s version is somewhat different: “The gunshot to Nassar’s back caused partial paralysis. Nassar was suffering from this injury for many years, also suffered from kidney failure, and recently had one of his feet amputated.”]
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian youth, detain 2 others in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 July — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian youth and detained two others during predawn raids in the southern occupied district of Hebron on Tuesday. Locals said that Israeli forces raided the Hebron district and detained one Palestinian identifying him as Saif Bassam Murtada, 30. Sources added that following the detention, clashes broke out in the Jabal Abu Rumman area between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces; Israeli soldiers opened fire injuring one youth identified as Ahmad Abed Abu Aisha, in the leg. Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained another Palestinian, Sharhabil Nassar Khalil al-Mukharza, after they raided, thoroughly searched his home and confiscated two cars belonging to him.
Army abducts two Palestinians, injures one, in Hebron
IMEMC 10 July — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, two young Palestinian men, and injured another, in the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron. Media sources in Hebron city said dozens of soldiers invaded the Jabal Abu Rumman and al-Hawouz areas, searched homes and abducted Saif Abu Amsha. They added that the soldiers also shot Mohammad Ali Abu ‘Aisha, 24, with a live round in his leg, before he was rushed to a local hospital, suffering a moderate injury. Furthermore, the soldiers invaded and violently searched several homes in the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron, abducted Sharhabeel Nassar al-Makahrza, and confiscated two cars owned by his family. The soldiers also installed roadblocks closing the northern entrances of Hebron city, in addition to Halhoul and Sa‘ir town, before stopping and searching dozens of cars while inspecting the ID cards of the passengers. On Monday evening, the soldiers abducted a young Palestinian man, who remained unidentified at the time of this report, after stopping him at the Container military roadblock, north of Bethlehem. The army claimed the Palestinian was not carrying any form of identification, and was “concealing a knife.”
Israeli settlers cut down hundreds of vineyards in Bethlehem-area town
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday cut down hundreds of fruitful vineyards belonging to Palestinians in the town of al-Khader, in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, said a local activist. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the town, told WAFA correspondent settlers cut down around 200 fruitful vineyards located adjacent to two illegal Israeli settlements; Efrat and Eliezer. He said Israeli forces have recently intensified their measures against the town locals as a prelude to take over the land for the benefit of settlement expansion. [350 vines were cut down on Thursday in the same village]
Settler attacks on the rise in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida
AIC 10 July by Ahmad Jaradat — On Wednesday, July 4, 2018, the well-known extremist settler Baroch Marzel set up a tent in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of downtown of Hebron. The tent was next to the home of Radi Abu Aysha. Other settlers came to the tent in support of Marzel, causing nearby Palestinians to be unable to leave their houses. Israeli forces removed the tents and the settlers left the area that night. That same day in Tel Rumeida, settlers physically assaulted resident Abed Nidal al-Fakhouri. Israeli forces arrived at the scene of the attack and assaulted al-Fakhouri and then detained him. Locals report that settlers from Ramat Yishai settlement in Tel Rumeida tried to build a new road on nearby land belong to al-Bakri family early this month. They damaged part a stone wall on the land. Eyewitness Mohammed Abu Markhiyya said that Israeli police did not try to stop the vigilante settlement expansion. Imad Abu Shamsiyya, coordinator of Hebron human rights groups, affirms that settlers have escalated their attacks against Palestinian residents in the downtown Hebron this month. In Israeli occupied downtown Hebron, five small settlements that house between 500 and 1,000 Israelis continue to expand onto Palestinian land and property. A series of discriminatory policies and practices has transformed the area, where 55,000 Palestinians live, into a real ghetto governed by a system of Apartheid that benefits Israeli settlers. Local and grassroots movements, political parties, and activists have struggled to end the racist rule over the city for years….
Shots fired at West Bank settlement of Beit El
Times of Israel 10 July by Judah Ari Gross & TOI staff — Shots were fired overnight Monday at the Beit El settlement in the central West Bank, causing no injuries, the army said. The military said spent bullet casings were found outside the settlement, which is located near the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Security forces launched a search of the area to find the culprits, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
In a separate operation in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya, IDF soldiers uncovered an M-16 assault rifle, the army said. The gun was confiscated and handed over to the Shin Bet security service for further study. No arrests were made in connection with the illegally owned assault rifle, the army said.
In the village of Kifl Haris, north of the Ariel settlement, IDF troops seized thousands of shekels’ worth of “terror money”, the army said, referring to cash used to fund terror activities. “That operation was part of a campaign against funds used for terror,” the IDF said.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, security forces arrested four suspects wanted for involvement in terror activities against Israeli civilians and rioting against security forces, the army said. The suspects were handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning.
Photoessay: Occupation captured
Christian Peacemaker Teams 5 July — Photos of Palestinian life and Israeli occupation in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Rights groups: Israel detained more than 3,500 Palestinians since start of year, including 651 children
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 10 July – Israel detained 3,533 Palestinians during the first half of 2018, including 651 children, 63 women and four journalists, several Palestinian human rights organizations working on prisoners issues said on Tuesday. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights organization, The Prisoners Commission and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said in their joint report that Israel issued 502 administrative detention orders since the start of the year, including 197 new orders bringing the total number of administrative detainees held without charge or trial to 430. The report said Israel detained 449 Palestinians in June….
Israeli forces detain eight Palestinians in Jerusalem, one in Hebron
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 8 July – Israeli police overnight and early Sunday detained eight Palestinians, most of whom are minors, from the East Jerusalem town of Silwan, in addition to a man from the Hebron area, in the southern West Bank, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center. Israeli Police detained five Palestinian minors between the ages of 13 and 16, in addition to a 19-year-old, in the East Jerusalem town of Silwan. Late Saturday night, the police detained a man and his son from inside their commercial store in the Old City of Jerusalem after physically assaulting them. Meanwhile in the West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli soldiers detained a Palestinian, from Hebron’s Dura town, at the “Container” Israeli military checkpoint, north of Bethlehem.
PPS: ‘Israeli soldiers abduct 17 Palestinians in West Bank’
IMEMC 10 July — The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, seventeen Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank. The soldiers stormed and violently searched dozens of homes, across the West Bank, interrogated many Palestinians and abducted at least sixteen. The army also installed many roadblocks, especially in and around Hebron, in southern West Bank, stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards. The PPS identified the abducted Palestinians as: Tareq Ziad Gharbiyya, Jenin; Laith Fuad Gharbiyya, Jenin; … [Other places where people were abducted were Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqilia, Hebron, Salfit, and Northern Plains]
British activist to Ma‘an on being assaulted, detained at Khan al-Ahmar
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 July — Steven Dhiman, a British solidarity activist, was detained alongside several other international solidarity activists, during a protest against the demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, last Thursday. Dhiman spoke to Ma‘an regarding the treatment of activists detained by Israeli forces at Khan al-Ahmar.
On Thursday at around 7:30 a.m. Dhiman and another 10 activists, one of whom is an Israeli, made a human chain with actual chains, their arms were linked and their hands were chained together as they saw the excavator and soldiers approaching; a senior Israeli soldier had approached the activists and smiled while slow clapping at them, before he walked away to decide what to do about the protesters. Dhiman mentioned that the “human chain” sat down in front of the excavator to stop it from moving forward, which was a temporary success. “It was a very scary moment.” He added that “three of the soldiers jumped on me, one of them stamping on my arm, almost breaking it. Another soldier came towards me with a huge pair of bolt cutters and jammed it into the gap where he cut the chain, he almost cut my thumb off with it.” Meanwhile, an American activist, Liam Wheeler, chained himself to the excavator, to which the Israeli soldiers responded by beating him as he was still chained, causing him a sprain on the inside of his elbow. Israeli soldiers detained a Canadian activist, Michaela Allana, 21, dragging her to the trucks for transfer alongside the others.
“One senior Israeli soldier started shouting at me. I told him we are peaceful people and this is a non-violent protest against the village being demolished. The soldier looked me dead in the eyes and said ‘YOU’RE PEACE, I’M WAR.'” Dhiman and the other activists were humiliated by the Israeli soldiers as they were taking photos and laughing at them, while they dragged them with cable ties around their wrists causing them to bleed. Dhiman described it as “an animal trophy hunting shot.”….
In video – Three Knesset members storm Al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 9 July — Three Israeli members of the Israeli Knesset stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque under armed security by Israeli forces on Monday morning. A Ma‘an reporter said that three Israeli members of the Knesset, Shuli Mualem of the Jewish Home, a far-right Jewish political party, and Yehuda Glick and Amir Ohana, both of the Likud, a right-wing political party, stormed the Al-Aqsa together through the Moroccans Gate. Sources added that large numbers of Israeli forces and police were deployed at the Al-Aqsa compound during the MKs’ visit. The Israeli Mks sang the Israeli national anthem “Hakitvah” as they were leaving the compound through the Chain Gate. Sheikh Omar al-Kisawni, Director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, warned of the repercussions of Netanyahu’s decision to allow entry to right-wing extremists and labeled the decision as “irresponsible” and “provocative” towards the feelings of Muslims … The Knesset has set out a detailed document detailing the instructions that Knesset members seeking to visit the AL-Aqsa Mosque must comply with. The document states that every member of the Knesset who wishes to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque must inform the security official of the parliament 24 hours prior to the visit….
Prisoners / Court actions
Detained woman briefly loses consciousness due to constant interrogation
IMEMC 10 July — A detained Palestinian woman informed a lawyer of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee that she lost consciousness for several minutes, two days ago, due to constant and lengthy interrogations. Lawyer Karim Ajwa, of the Detainees’ Committee, managed to visit the detained woman, Deema al-Karmi, 38, on Monday, who informed him that she lost consciousness for several minutes, two days earlier, due to extended interrogation sessions, and sleep deprivation. He added that al-Karmi is also suffering from severe abdominal pain and respiratory issues. Last Thursday, the Asqalan Israeli court order al-Karmi under further interrogation for eight additional days. The Palestinian woman, a mother of an eight-year-old girl, was abducted by the soldiers, on July 3rd, 2018, after they invaded her home in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank
Israeli court sentences a Palestinian woman to ten years
IMEMC 10 July — The Israeli Central Court in occupied Jerusalem sentenced, Tuesday, a Palestinian woman to 10 years in prison and a 30.000 Shekels fine, after convicting her of “attempting to stab Israeli soldiers.” The woman, Fadwa Nazeeh Hamada, 31, was taken prisoner on August 12th 2017, in Bab al-Amoud area (Damascus Gate) in occupied Jerusalem. The army claimed she attempted a stabbing attack near the bus station, in front of al-Misrara neighborhood. Fadwa is a married mother of five children; the oldest of them is eight years, and the youngest is 18 months. She was repeatedly transferred to various prisons, detention and interrogation centers.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israeli ministers to vote on allowing Jews to purchase West Bank land plots
Haaretz 8 July by Jonathan Lis — The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will consider a bill on Sunday that would allow Jews to acquire land rights in the West Bank. The explanatory notes to the bill, which is sponsored by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), say that the current situation is based on a 1953 Jordanian law, which prevented anyone from buying land in the West Bank unless they were Jordanian citizens or citizens of another Arab country. That law remained in force after Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. In the early 1970s, a way was found to circumvent the law and allow Jews to buy land there via a special order stating that anybody could buy land through a company registered in the West Bank, regardless of who owned the company. That enabled Jews to set up companies registered in the West Bank and use them to buy land. Smotrich’s bill aims to eliminate this disparity and simply state that anyone can buy land in the West Bank. The fact that an Israeli currently can’t buy land there “just because he is an Israeli is unacceptable,” the explanatory notes continued….
State funds being used to build up illegal outposts, auditor charges
Times of Israel 9 July by Jacob Magid — The state comptroller blasted a West Bank regional council Monday for using state funds to bankroll construction projects in illegal outposts, in cooperation with various government ministries, as well as the Jewish National Fund. “The activities of the Binyamin Regional Council should be viewed with great severity,” wrote Yosef Shapira in a new report, lambasting the West Bank’s largest regional body, which governs over 50 settlements in the central West Bank. “A public body that is charged with protecting the law is acting to allow the construction of illegal outposts,” he added. “The council… permits illegal construction in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and even promotes it.” While the international community considers all settlement activity illegal, Israel differentiates between legal settlement homes built and permitted by the Defense Ministry on land owned by the state, and illegal outposts built without necessary permits, often on private Palestinian land….
Israeli army dismantles West Bank school made of caravans
HEBRON (WAFA) 11 July – The Israeli army dismantled on Wednesday Khillet al-Dabe school in Masafer Yatta, in the south of the occupied West Bank, and seized the caravans that make up the school, according to Rateb Jbour, a local activist. He said that the army returned to the village early Wednesday, a day after declaring an intention to remove the school, and took away the caravans that were supposed to make up the classrooms for the school which was planned to be opened with the start of the new school year. The Palestinian Ministry of Education has been building schools in Area C of the West Bank, the most vulnerable area due to full Israeli control over it, as a mean to support the steadfastness of the local Palestinian population and prevent Israeli takeover of the lands for the sole benefit of Jewish settlers.
Palestinian ordered by army to demolish shelters and barn in West Bank
HEBRON (WAFA) 10 July– The Israeli military Tuesday ordered Fawzi Khalil Abu Tabeekh, from Yatta, in the south of the West Bank, to demolish three shelters and a barn for sheep he owns near his town, according to Rateb Jbour, a local activist. He told WAFA that the army informed Abu Tabeekh to demolish the three shelters he uses as homes and the barn located in Masafer Yatta in an area close to the illegal settlement of Otnail.
Israeli forces confiscate Palestinian-owned land in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 9 July — Israeli forces confiscated 10 dunums (2.4 acres) of Palestinian land in the Wad al-Hussain area near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern occupied city of Hebron on Monday. Activist, Jamal Siefan, a resident of the area, told Ma‘an that the Israeli forces confiscated the 10-dunum land in order to build an army camp. The land belongs to Palestinian Mahmoud al-Bouti. Israeli forces had set up a camp opposite the land confiscated, about a month ago, which is located beside the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, where they placed concrete cubes and mobile homes within the area. Siefan added that Israeli forces seem to be attempting closing off the whole area and turning it into a military zone, preventing Palestinians from reaching their homes and moving freely through their lands.
Twelve Palestinian homes and five stores in Jenin face threat of demolition
IMEMC 9 July — Israeli soldiers invaded, Monday, the town of Barta‘a ash-Sharqiya, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and summoned the owners of twelve Palestinian homes and five stores, for interrogation in Beit El, near Ramallah in central West Bank, allegedly for building without permits. Tawfiq Kabaha, a member of Barta‘a Town Council, said the soldiers, and personnel of the Israeli “Construction and Planning Committee,” took pictures of two homes owned by Mohammad Wasfi Kabaha and Falah Hasan Kabaha in the al-Wad area, and summoned them for interrogation in Beit El, near Ramallah. Kabaha added that the soldiers also summoned the owners of ten homes, and five stores, for interrogation in Beit El.
In video – Israeli forces demolish two Palestinian houses in Qalansuwa
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 July — Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian-owned homes on Tuesday in the Qalansuwa city in central Israel, under armed security by Israeli police and special forces. Locals said that while Israeli bulldozers began the demolition of the two homes, Israeli police surrounded the area and prevented people from approaching. Sources added that the homes were demolished under the pretext of being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli-issued construction permits. The houses belonged to the Wardeh Palestinian family. The Wardeh family mentioned that Israeli authorities gave no prior notice of the demolition.
Israeli forces demolish four Palestinian-owned houses in Haifa district
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 July — Israeli bulldozers demolished four Palestinian houses in al-Zuhur neighborhood in Umm al-Fahm city, in Israeli Haifa district, on Sunday morning. According to local sources, Israeli bulldozers raided the area in the morning and demolished four houses still under construction, on the pretext of building without the nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli building permit. Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned houses without warning.
UN agency for Palestinian refugees warns of cuts to key programmes over US funding freeze
JERUSALEM (AFP) 9 July — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has warned that cuts to key programmes in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank are planned over the coming weeks if a US funding freeze cannot be overcome. Figures were not yet available on the cuts being planned if the major gap in financing is not resolved, but a letter sent to agency staff at the weekend and seen by AFP on Monday highlights areas targeted. A source familiar with the plans described the areas expected to be affected in further detail, saying they included employment programmes, housing assistance and mental health support, among others. Most of the cuts were expected in the West Bank. Some programmes were due to run out of funds by the end of July, according to the source.
The letter said the agency, known as UNRWA, would work to maintain vital food assistance programmes, particularly for the impoverished Gaza Strip. But the source said those too could face reductions in the coming months if additional financing was not found. UNRWA head Pierre Krahenbuhl said in the letter to staff that he had called on donors that had already helped out with pledges to assist further so the agency could “overcome the rest of the shortfall,” currently at $217 million. “I said to them and I say to you now with great honesty: A shortfall of $217 million is still far higher than any UNRWA has ever faced in its history,” the letter said. The agency would decide in the first half of August whether it would open the schools it operates on time following the summer break, Krahenbuhl said in the letter. More than 500,000 children study at UNRWA schools and 54 percent of the agency’s budget goes to education.
UNRWA was established after the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled. It offers support for these refugees and their descendants in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza, providing services for more than three million people.
Palestinians to keep paying prisoner stipend despite Israeli penalty
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) 8 July — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday his government would keep paying stipends to Palestinians jailed by Israel, their families, and the families of those killed by Israeli forces despite a new Israeli law to penalize the policy. Israel has repeatedly demanded that the Palestinians, who view prisoners as national heroes, stop paying stipends to them and their families, saying they are a reward and encouragement for the prisoners’ actions against it. The Palestinians say they are welfare payments to support them and their families. A week ago Israel enacted a law that orders holding back part of the roughly $130 million in tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians each month under interim peace agreements as a penalty. “The money we pay to families of prisoners and martyrs, which Israel opposes, we will not allow anyone to intervene with it,” said Abbas, whose Western-backed Palestinian Authority has limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank. “We will continue to pay for them.” “We are watching and are waiting and we will take the appropriate measures that suit our interest,” Abbas said in comments published by the official Palestinian Wafa News Agency.
Marking International Population Day, 4.78 million the population of Palestine in 2017
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 11 July – As the world marks International Population Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said on Wednesday that based on the results of the Population, Housing and Establishments Census 2017, the total population of Palestine in 2017 was about 4.78 million: 2.43 million males and 2.35 million females. The number of population of the West Bank was 2.88 million, of which 1.47 million were males and 1.41 million females, while the number of population of Gaza Strip was 1.90 million of which 963,000 were males and 936,000 females. The percentage of individuals aged 0 to 14 years constituted 38.9% of the total population in 2017 of which 36.9% were in the West Bank and 41.8% in Gaza Strip. The elderly population aged 65 years and above constituted 3.2% of the total population of which 3.6% were in the West Bank and 2.8% in Gaza Strip in 2017….
High school ‘tawjihi’ results show almost 66.69 percent success rate
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 8 July – Results of the high school matriculation exams, the tawjihi, announced on Sunday showed almost 66.69 percent success rate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In announcing the results, the ministry of education said while 72,604 students sat for the tawjihi exam this year, 48,420 students have passed, a rate of 66.69 percent. He said success rate in the science stream was 82.40 percent and 61.27 percent passed in the arts stream. President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated the successful students and wished those who failed better luck in the future. Celebrations were held throughout the West Bank and Gaza as the results were announced simultaneously in both locations.
Murder rates drop by 47 percent in first half of 2018, say police
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 7 July – Analytical results carried out by the Palestinian police indicated that murder rates in Palestine have dropped by 47 percent during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. In a press statement, police spokesman Col. Loay Erzekat said eight murder cases occurred during the said period. Police were able to solve seven of the eight cases. the statement indicated that during the same period in 2017, the police recorded 15 murder cases, some of which were solved. Regarding suicide rates, Erzekat confirmed that suicide attempts that led to death fell by eight percent during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. He added that 12 cases of suicide occurred in the first six months of the year 2018, while 13 others occurred during the same period last year.
National Observatory: 100 earthquakes hit northern Tiberius and the Dead Sea, 15 on Monday
NABLUS (WAFA) 10 July – Over 100 earthquakes were monitored in the northern areas of Lake Tiberius and the Dead Sea since last Tuesday, 15 of them occurred in the last 24 hours, the Nablus-based National Earthquake Observatory reported on Tuesday. Walaa Ajaj, who monitors earthquake activities, told WAFA that the earthquakes that hit the region since last Tuesday ranged between 1 and 4.5 degrees on the Richter scale and that the vast majority were in the northern regions of Tiberius, while little tremors hit the Dead Sea area and Eilat. He said 11 earthquakes hit the northern region of Tiberius during the past 24 hours, ranging between 1.5 and 3.1 degrees on the Richter scale….
Pope says walls, occupation and fundamentalism hamper Mideast peace
BARI, Italy (Reuters) 7 July by Philip Pullella — Pope Francis led a summit of Christian leaders on how to promote peace in the Middle East on Saturday and said building walls, occupying territories and religious fanaticism would not resolve conflict in the region. Francis also repeated his view that the “status quo” of the contested city of Jerusalem should be respected, and backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute … “Truces maintained by walls and displays of power will not lead to peace, but only the concrete desire to listen and to engage in dialogue will,” he said in his second speech of the day, after a private meeting among the religious leaders. “Let there be an end to the few profiting from the sufferings of many. No more occupying territories and thus tearing people apart,” he said … Francis said every community in the Middle East should be protected, “not simply the majority”….
Israel plans to curb Turkish aid agency in occupied territories
albawaba 8 July — Israel is reportedly planning to limit the activities of a Turkish aid agency in occupied territories, including Jerusalem al-Quds, amid concerns over Ankara’s growing influence among Palestinians. Israel’s Hadashot TV reported on Saturday that Israel’s top security body had drafted possible measures against the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) that is active in the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip. Among the measures being considered against TIKA are imposing a general restriction on all its activities and requiring the agency to obtain individual permits for its projects, the report said. Israeli officials, the report added, believe that TIKA hosts members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement at its offices, and that several of its staff have transferred funds and information to the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement. Tel Aviv’s decision to target the Turkish organization came after the recent uptick in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel positions.
Ankara angry as Israel charges Turkish tourist with aiding Hamas
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 8 July by Dan Williams — Israel charged a detained Turkish tourist on Sunday with helping smuggle money and packages to Palestinian militant group Hamas, in a case that has angered Ankara, which has vowed to retaliate. Ebru Ozkan, 27, has been held since last month when she was detained trying to board a flight in Tel Aviv. One of the charges she faces is for smuggling five bottles of perfume, which her lawyer ridiculed as trivial, saying she should be released. The case has further strained relations between Israel and Turkey, both U.S. allies, who once enjoyed friendly ties but have seen them become acrimonious in recent years as Islamist President Tayyip Erdogan has solidified his power in Turkey. Ozkan was led, manacled, to the dock in an Israeli military court on the boundary with the occupied West Bank, where she was indicted on two counts of acting in the service of a proscribed group, one count of transferring money for enemy agents, and one count of threatening public order. If convicted, she could face several years in jail. Though she is accused of having also brought other items, prosecutors put at the top of the list her smuggling of five bottles of perfume to be sold to raise funds for Hamas. In response to that charge, her lawyer Omara Khamaisi told Reuters outside the court: “Come on, really?” … Khamaisi said Ozkan had been denied access to legal counsel for most of her detention and had not been interrogated in Turkish, leading to distortions in the way her answers to questions were recorded … There was no immediate comment from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip under de facto Israeli blockade … Muslims account for just a small percentage of incoming tourists to Israel. In 2016, most of them, around 100,000, came from Turkey.
Jerusalem tram seeks to fast track Arabic learning for Israeli Jews
Al-Monitor 5 July by Ilan Ben Zion — Jerusalem Light Rail launched an initiative this week to promote Arabic language learning among Israelis in the city. It’s the first such campaign in the tram system’s seven years of operation. Although around 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, Arabic comprehension among Israeli Jews is very low. A survey published July 4 by Israeli-Arab coexistence group Sikkuy found that a mere 8.6% of Israeli Jewish adults have a working knowledge of Arabic compared to more than 60% with the same competence in English. The tram, which began operating in 2011, runs through the heart of the contested holy city, from Jewish neighborhoods in the west to Palestinian neighborhoods in the east. Along the way, it passes the Old City with its holy sites, the bustling Mahane Yehuda Market, Palestinian refugee camps and Israeli settlements. Though construction of the light rail was fiercely opposed by Palestinians, it has become the city’s main artery, carrying about 160,000 passengers a day, a large portion of them Palestinian residents of the city … The campaign to promote Arabic is being sponsored by the privately owned CityPass, which operates the light rail, the Jerusalem Intercultural Center (JICC) and Madrasa, an online Arabic school for Hebrew speakers. JICC director Hagai Agmon-Snir called Jerusalem a “center of tolerance” in the day-to-day lives of Jews and Arabs, a fact sometimes obscured by occasional outbreaks of violence. “A short ride on the train shows that there are passengers of every sort on the train. There are Jews and Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, secular, religious, Muslims, Christians, Armenians, tourists, young and old, students,” CityPass spokesman and marketing director Ozel Vatik told Al-Monitor. With the train serving all the city’s populations, he said, the initiative’s goal is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together….
Science minister blocks academic from panel over her views on army service
Times of Israel 9 July by Stuart Winer — Politicians and academy officials on Monday slammed Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis for blocking the appointment of an Israeli neuroscientist to a grant foundation because she had once signed a petition urging Israel Defense Forces soldiers to refuse to serve in the Palestinian territories. Akunis prevented the appointment of Professor Yael Amitai to the board of the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, explaining that in 2005 she had signed a petition supporting soldiers who refused to serve beyond the Green Line, the limit of Israel’s pre-1967 territory. “The science minister believes it is inappropriate for someone who supports refusing orders to represent the State of Israel in international forums,” an aide said. Critics said Akunis made the move simply in order to gain points with his political base.
‘Could harm Jews’ // Israeli president warns Jewish-only communities undermine Zionist vision
Haaretz 10 July by Jonathan Lis — Nation-State Bill allows ‘discrimination and exclusion based on ethnic origin,’ Rivlin says in damning letter. Knesset legal advisor agrees: ‘no equivalent clause in any constitution in the world’ — Israel’s president issued a public call against new legislation that could allow separate communities to be established for Jews only, calling it discriminatory. In a letter published Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin expressed concern that approving the contentious article of the so-called Nation-state Bill would harm Jews around the world.
Israel’s culture minister urges finance chief to cancel Tel Aviv event on Gaza
Haaretz 8 July by Maya Asheri — Regev calls on Kahlon to withhold funds from gov’t-supported institutions if they hold events which deny Israel’s right to exist: ‘For how long will you give a pass to those who tar Israel’s image as a cruel and racist country?’ — The event, organized by Meretz MK Mossi Raz and Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman, will mark four years since Israel’s 2014 offensive in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge. Zionist Union MK Omer Bar-Lev, former Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon and Brigadier General (ret.) Shlomo Brom, as well as representatives from human rights organizations Breaking the Silence, Doctors for Human Rights and B’Tselem will also participate. The Facebook post for the event highlights the time since the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, saying that “the right has been repeating the same mantra for 13 years: ‘We’ve left Gaza, we’ve left Gaza,’ but did Israel really disengage from Gaza? Thirteen years later, what effect has it had on Gaza and the surrounding area? What solutions are there and how are we to break the cycle of conflict? Until when will the siege of Gaza continue?”
Opinion — Miri Regev found another enemy: Bedouin women with cameras / Vered Lee
Haaretz 5 June — Hastily, at 20 minutes to midnight last Wednesday, Culture Minister Miri Regev published an inflammatory post on Facebook against an event held Monday as part of the Cinema South International Film Festival in Sderot. It included the screening of short films created by Bedouin women from unrecognized villages in the Negev. The films included a documentary about house demolitions in the unrecognized village of Al-Araqib, an artistic silent feature film and a film showing the step-by-step preparation of Bedouin pita. All were created as part of a workshop on video documentation founded by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, which gave these women their initial grounding in the basics of photography. In a series of articles starting in 2015, I have described this digital photography project, which included holding exhibitions and publishing books. Through it, Bedouin women document their lives in the unrecognized villages. It’s hard to believe that Regev perceives a threat from women, most of them mothers, some of whom don’t know how to read or write, who have learned, for the first time in their lives, to hold a camera and look through its lens at the reality of their lives. The project’s manager, Sabreen Abu Kaf, is a young journalist from the Bedouin village of Umm Batin, which received government recognition in 2000. She wears a hijab, in line with her community’s traditions, but represents the new spirit beginning to infuse Bedouin society, a spirit that must be given space in which to act. “All you have to do is teach them about social equality in the broad sense, and they already start thinking about their rights on their own,” Abu Kaf said, explaining the revolution she’s fomenting by giving cameras to Bedouin women….
Ten days in Spain, ten days of hard work for Palestine
AIC 8 July — The Al-Quds Association and other Palestine solidarity groups hosted the Alternative Information Center (AIC) and activists from Palestinian popular resistance movements in Spain. The group held presentations in Malaga, Cadiz, Barcelona, Madrid, Valladolid and the Basque Country. The focal point of these events was the debut of the documentary film Existence is Resistance [see trailer], produced by Al-Quds Association and AIC, along with the booklet Hebron: the Impossible City. The documentary screening was followed by productive discussions on the issue of Palestinian rights and the entrenchment of Israeli occupation. Participants discussed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), the political situation, and new strategies to end the occupation in light of the failure of the Oslo Accords and the two state solution … Some members of parliament attended the discussions….