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Killings of 3 protesters brings Palestinian death toll to 155 in Great March

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Gaza

Palestinian teen dies from serious wounds suffered Friday
IMEMC 28 July — The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that a teenage boy died, on Saturday morning, from serious wounds he suffered by Israeli army fire on Friday. The Health Ministry identified the slain teen as Mo’men Fathi al-Hams, 17, and said that he suffered very serious wounds a day earlier, during the Great Return March processions in the coastal region. The teen, from Rafah, in the southern part of the coastal region, was shot with a live Israeli army round in the upper chest, east of Rafah, and remained in a critical condition until he succumbed to his wounds. On the same day of his critical injury, the soldiers killed two Palestinians, including one child, and wounded 246 others….
http://imemc.org/article/palestinian-teen-dies-from-serious-wounds-suffered-friday/

Health Ministry: ‘Israeli soldiers kill two, including a child, injured 246, in Gaza’
IMEMC 27 July — The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, two Palestinians, including one child, and injured 246 others, among them eleven who suffered serious wounds, 10 women, 4 medics, one journalist and 19 children. The Health Ministry said an Israeli army sharpshooter shot Majdi Ramzi Kamal Satri, 12, with a live round in the head, east of Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, during the Great Return March procession. The slain child is from the Shaboura refugee camp, in Rafah.
It added that the soldiers also shot Ghazi Mohammad Abu Mustafa, 45, with a live round in the head, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Ghazi is the husband of Lamia Abu Mustafa, a nurse who never left the medical tents hundreds of meters away from the parameter fence, providing medical aid to wounded Palestinians. He was injured a month ago by Israeli army fire, while helping wounding Palestinians, and received treatment by his wife and other medics, and today was fatally wounded by the army. The Health Ministry in Gaza said the soldiers injured, Friday, at least 246 Palestinians, including eleven who suffered life-threatening wounds, in addition to four medics, one journalist and nineteen children. It added that soldiers have killed 154 Palestinians since March 30th, among them 18 children, two medics and two journalists, in addition to wounding 335 medics, and causing damage to   58 ambulances.
http://imemc.org/article/health-ministry-israeli-soldiers-kill-two-including-a-child-injure-246-in-gaza/

Updated: Israeli army kills three Palestinians in Gaza
IMEMC 25 July — Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, on Wednesday evening, three Palestinians, and injured one, after the army fired artillery shells into several areas in central Gaza Strip, and east of Gaza city. Dr. al-Qedra said the three slain Palestinians have been identified as Ahmad Monir al-Basous, 28, ‘Abada As‘ad Ferwana, 29, and Mohammad Tawfiq al-‘Ar‘ir, 27; the three, from the Sheja‘eyya neighborhood in Gaza, were killed by Israeli artillery shells east of the city. Dr. al-Qedra added that one Palestinian suffered moderate wounds in an Israeli bombardment of a site in northern Gaza, and was rushed to the Indonesian Hospital. The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in an official statement that the three fighters are members of the group, and vowed retaliation.
Israeli soldiers also fired two artillery shells into another area, near Juhr ad-Deek, north of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, and two shells into an observation post east of the refugee camp, in addition to an area east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp, also in central Gaza. The army also fired several shells at an observation post east of Gaza city, causing excessive damage.
On Wednesday night, as Israeli artillery shells and drones began pounding eastern Gaza, Palestinian resistance groups reportedly fired back, wounding two Israeli soldiers. Some Israeli media sources claimed that the Palestinian resistance fired first, but live streams posted by Palestinians on Twitter and Facebook show that the drone strikes preceded the reports of Palestinians shooting toward the Israeli military base in eastern Gaza. Israeli daily Haaretz has reported that the army believes some armed groups, not affiliated with Hamas, are responsible for sniper fire against the soldiers near the border fence. It added that the soldiers exchanged fire with Hamas fighters on Wednesday evening, when the soldiers reportedly tried to remove Palestinian youngsters from the fence area, and said that the soldiers were then targeted with sniper fire.
http://imemc.org/article/at-least-3-palestinians-reported-killed-in-israeli-bombing-of-gaza-strip/

Israel braces for renewed Gaza border protests as Hamas threatens to avenge fighters killed by IDF
Haaretz 27 July by Yaniv Kubovich et al. — With Gaza border protests growing more militant, Palestinian factions in the Strip called on Thursday for mass participation and acts of “popular resistance” in marches at the border on Friday. The statement was issued a few hours after Hamas’ military wing said it was on high alert in Gaza and urged all the Palestinian forces in Gaza to cooperate via a unified command. The organization threatened to avenge the deaths of the three fighters killed on Wednesday in an Israeli attack on a Hamas outpost east of Gaza City. An IDF soldier was wounded that day, and on the previous Friday, the marches claimed their first Israeli fatality when a Palestinian sniper killed Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi. The army intends to reexamine its deployment along the fence in order to protect soldiers from such fire. The IDF said it is determined to locate the sniper who shot Levi and is not ruling out the possibility of assassinating him. Nine projectiles were fired at Israel from Gaza early Thursday, the army said, following several days of violent clashes in Gaza. Most of the rockets fell in open areas close to the border. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted one rocket, the army said. No damage or casualties were reported.
The defense establishment’s assessment is that Hamas will try to maintain a low level of violence at these demonstrations, seeking to avoid an unwanted deterioration and a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which could lead to a civil uprising there. Last weekend the IDF attacked dozens of Hamas targets and Israel expected a sharp response. The lack of response was interpreted as evidence that Hamas is not interested in stoking the flames. There is sweeping agreement in the IDF that at this stage there is no need for a large scale operation in Gaza, despite some bellicose statements by cabinet members.
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-idf-braces-for-renewed-gaza-protest-after-hamas-threatens-revenge-1.6316732

UNRWA announces layoffs due to Trump cut, setting off chaos in Gaza
Mondoweiss 26 July by Yumna Patel — Scenes of chaos erupted in Gaza City on Wednesday, after UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for providing services for Palestinian refugees — announced that it would be laying off hundreds of its employees following massive US budget cuts this year. One Palestinian man, an employee at UNRWA, attempted to set himself on fire. Videos of the incident show dozens of people grabbing the man, whose identity remained unknown, as he doused himself in gasoline outside the UNRWA headquarters. As he was carried away, his colleagues poured water on him, while women cried and screamed in the background. Dr. Amal al-Batsh, deputy chairperson of union for UNRWA workers, was participating in an ongoing sit-in protest at the headquarter building when the incident took place. “The man who tried to set himself on fire has been a long-term employee with UNRWA,” al-Batsh told Mondoweiss. “He has two children that are handicapped, and he is the sole breadwinner for his immediate and extended family, around 20 people,” she said. The man was one of an estimated 1,000 UNRWA employees who will be affected by the job cuts. According to al-Batsh, 125 workers from the agency’s emergency program were immediately dismissed, 570 employees were told that they would be hired only on a part time basis until the end of the year, while 270 were told that their contracts would also be terminated at the end of the year if the financial crisis is not resolved. That budget meltdown is the direct result of the US administration’s decision to suspend more than half of the annual funding – $65 million out of $125 million – which it had previously given UNRWA.
https://mondoweiss.net/2018/07/announces-layoffs-setting/

Video: Lieberman tells Gaza; Overthrow Hamas to become ‘Singapore of the Middle East’
MEMO 25 July — Israel’s Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has issued a video calling on Palestinians in Gaza to overthrow Hamas in order to turn “the refugee camps into the Singapore of the Middle East”. The video, which was spoken in Hebrew with English subtitles, was distributed by Israel’s Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) yesterday and circulated on its social media outlets. Lieberman said in the video that “my message to the people of Gaza is simple: you can choose between poverty and unemployment or work and making a livelihood, between hatred and bloodshed or coexistence and personal security.” He added: “We [Israel] can be your ideal partners in an effort to turn the refugee camps into the Singapore of the Middle East.” Lieberman continued by saying “all that is necessary for this is recognition the State of Israel’s right to exist in peace, demilitarisation and the resolution of the issue of captives and MIAs.” He claimed “if your leadership is unwilling to do so, replace your leadership.” The video also offered Gazans advice on how to begin overthrowing their leadership, referring to Hamas which has governed the besieged Strip since 2007. Lieberman explained: “Begin with a social media campaign [which says] ‘we want a livelihood, we want water, we want electricity’.”….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180725-lieberman-tells-gaza-overthrow-hamas-to-become-singapore-of-middle-east/

Israel to declare Gaza protest killings ‘operational mishaps’
MEMO 27 July — An internal investigation by the Israeli military into the killing of at least 140 Palestinians in Gaza during the Great March of Return is set to conclude all died as a result of “operational mishaps” and that “weapons fire was carried out in accordance with open-fire orders”. The investigation will also recommend that there is no need for the incidents to be referred to the Israeli Military Police for further investigation, Haaretz reported. Haaretz added that “the team found that in each incident, […] none of the Israeli army sharpshooters had deliberately targeted uninvolved Palestinian bystanders.” The report will also suggest “demonstrators intruded into the line of fire after troops had opened fire and [there were] incidents in which bullets ricocheted, subsequently hitting Palestinians.” The investigation team will now pass its recommendations to Israel’s Military Advocate General, Major General Sharon Afek, who will have final say on whether to further investigate the matter. The probe focused on the period between 30 March 2018, when the Great March of Return began, and 14 July 2018, during which time at least 140 Palestinians were killed and 15,000 injured. The investigation was initially ordered following the killing of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja in April, which caused international outcry and calls for those covering the protests to be protected….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180727-israel-to-declare-gaza-protest-killings-operational-mishaps/

Israel, Hamas trapped over prisoner exchange
Al-Monitor 23 July by Ben Caspit — Israel won’t compromise on the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers, and Hamas Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar won’t compromise on a large-scale prisoner-exchange deal — Israel and Hamas are caught up in an endless circle, made up of two conflicting narratives, each set in stone. The vectors of these two forces leave both Israel and Hamas trapped in a blood-soaked alleyway with no apparent way to get out. Both are ready for a long-term solution to reduce tensions in Gaza. A perfect example of this was the speed with which Hamas leaders pleaded with every possible mediator between them and the Israelis on July 20 to help stop the exchange of gunfire and reinstate the cease-fire. Similarly, there was the speed with which Israel had enough of its formidable wave of airstrikes and returned its sword to its sheath. Hamas knows exactly what to expect if it launches another round of warfare against Israel. Israel also knows that such a round of fighting would result in the deaths of dozens of its troops and maybe even a few civilians, too, just as its predecessor in 2014 did. Once another such round would be over, things would simply stand as they were before, back at square one. The futility of it all is frustrating, but almost inevitable. Hamas holds the bodies of two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who died in the 2014 Protective Edge operation. Israel demands that the bodies be returned. Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar cannot allow himself to return the bodies without receiving a hefty payment in Palestinian prisoners. Israel can’t allow itself to release Palestinian terrorists in exchange for the corpses of its soldiers, but it also can’t reach any agreement with Hamas before the bodies of these soldiers are returned to Israel for burial….
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/israel-palestinians-hamas-gaza-strip-prisoner-exchange-idf.html

Without Israel’s blockade, Gaza would flourish / Muhammad Shehada
The New Arab 26 July — Since Egypt’s latest re-opening of its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, almost everyone I know in this besieged enclave has either managed to escape its bleak ruins, or is fantasising about doing so. Young people, in particular those with education and drive, are desperate to exploit this opportunity before Gaza’s only gateway to the world is sealed again, perhaps indefinitely. “People no longer discuss politics,” one Gazan friend grudgingly observed about a city whose people used to talk of almost nothing else. “You hear nothing in the streets but dreams of traveling. Everyone is discussing ways to leave and destinations to pursue.” And this, in a world increasingly hostile towards migrants, where prospects of decent survival are fast diminishing. Despite that, most prefer to take a leap into the unknown than squander another minute dying a slow death in at home. Some do escape, only to give up and return, eventually rejoining the cycle of those trying to leave. “Gaza is nothing but a trap,” I am told unanimously, when I broach the idea of returning to Gaza, even for a short visit. “Returning would be the worst decision you make in your entire life. You’ll regret it so dearly that you’ll think of nothing else but escaping again.” This talk bodes ill for Gaza’s future, auguring a mass brain drain and a flight of human capital. Given present conditions there, it is unlikely that such a scenario can be averted … Gaza has so much more potential than the poverty and instability which constitute its present reality. It has proved in the past that it has the infrastructure, service industries and unique sites to make it into a tourist hotspot, if only the restrictions on movement were lifted, and the territory granted a period of respite … If Gaza is a “human rubbish heap“, this is because it was made into one by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade and a tyrannical pattern of one-off relief projects that prioritise stabilising the status quo and containing popular unrest, over making sustainable improvement to people’s living conditions….
https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2018/7/26/without-israels-blockade-gaza-would-flourish

Palestinians use Israel’s weapons to sow peace
[with video, photos] MEMO 24 July — A Palestinian man in Gaza has been turning empty tear gas canisters used by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters near Gaza’s eastern border into pieces of art. Thirty-four-year-old Abdul Karim Abu Ataya regularly collects the empty gas canisters near the border fence in order to transform them into decorative prayer beads and flower pots to “send a message of peace to the world.” “We have been participating in the Great March of Return and calling for an end to the Gaza siege,” Abu Ataya told MEMO. “The occupation forces have been firing gas canisters at us, so I thought I’d use them to create prayer beads and flower pots.” “They have fired them at us to harm us, but we want to use them to send a message of life and peace,” he explained.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180724-palestinians-use-israels-weapons-to-sow-peace/

Prisoners

Ahed Tamimi to be released on Sunday
IMEMC/Agencies 28 July — 17-year-old Palestinian civil protest icon Ahed Tamimi is expected to be released from Israeli prison on Sunday, after serving eight months in detention for slapping an armed Israeli soldier who invaded her home in Nabi Saleh village, near Ramallah, late last year. Tamimi was snatched from her bed and home in the middle of a cold winter night, in December, when she was only 16 years old, after a video showed her facing and slapping a fully armed Israeli soldier, at her home. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested the next day, when she went to visit her at her a detention center, where she was charged with incitement for posting the video on social media. Both daughter and mother were sentenced, by an Israeli court, to eight months in prison, almost the same time that an Israeli soldier received for shooting and killing an incapacitated and wounded Palestinian in Hebron, and whose sentence was later reduced. The soldier received a hero’s welcome after his early release, by fellow extremist Jewish settlers in Hebron, where he committed his crime in front of cameras and soldiers. Plans are underway to give a hero’s welcome to the Tamimis upon their release, on Sunday. They are expected to be freed at a checkpoint in the north of the occupied West Bank. [See video of the painting of Ahed on the Wall]
http://imemc.org/article/ahed-tamimi-to-be-released-on-sunday/

Residency

Palestinian refuses to leave Israeli jail ahead of deportation from Jerusalem
MEMO 27 July — Palestinian mother of three, Ebtisam Obaid, yesterday rejected an Israeli court decision to release her on the condition of leaving the city of Jerusalem under the pretext that she lives in the city illegally. Her lawyer, Ya‘qub Jabr, said the  Israeli Magistrate’s Court has ordered Obaid be released on the condition that she leave Jerusalem, where she has lived for the past 16 years with her husband and three children, and move to the occupied West Bank. Obaid refused the decision as she will be separated from her family who live in the occupied city of ‘Issawiya, northeast of Jerusalem. Jabr added that over the years, Obaid has attempted to obtain the Jerusalem ID and residency but her request has been repeatedly denied for what occupation authorities have said are “security reasons”. The Israeli police arrested Obaid and her husband Wassim from their home on Tuesday.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180727-palestinian-refuses-to-leave-israel-jail-ahead-of-deportation-from-jerusalem/

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

One Israeli killed, two wounded by Palestinian teen; assailant killed on site
IMEMC 27 July — A seventeen-year old Palestinian allegedly carried out a stabbing attack in Geva Binyamin (Adam) Israeli colony, in the Occupied West Bank, killing one Israeli and wounding two others before he himself was killed by an armed paramilitary Israeli settler. Update: 8:40 AM: Israeli daily Haaretz has reported that the slain Israeli settler has been identified as Yotam Ovadia, 31, and added that Yotam succumbed to stab wounds. On its part, the “Times Of Israel” said Ovadia, a father a child, 2 years of age, and a 7-month-old infant, worked as a technician with “Brinks Security Company”. The Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Tareq dar Yousef, 17, allegedly managed to climb over the fence into the illegal Israeli settlement of “Adam”, which had been built on stolen Palestinian land which was taken from his village, Kobar, near Ramallah. He then stabbed three people before he was shot and killed.  Before going to the settlement to carry out the attack, the young Palestinian wrote on his Facebook page, “After all of the injustice the Palestinians continue to face: the killing, the diaspora, the theft of land by force, this injustice still prevails, and many Palestinians are silent – including those who have weapons, and are watching the massacres. Those are the traitors.” He goes on to say, “You [Palestinians] who own a weapon, remember this is for your enemy, not for use against your own people. Remember the children of Gaza, suffering and dying.” The statement ends, “A salute to the people who defend their land and their honor. And to those who sold their land and betrayed their country, those cowards, you must be ashamed of yourselves. The people of Gaza and Jerusalem are resisting, and you are trying to silence them.”
Dozens of soldiers in armored vehicles surrounded and invaded Kobar, near Ramallah, in the hours following this incident. Protests broke out in the village, and some teens threw stones at the invading soldiers. The troops invaded Mohammad’s home, surrounding it and demanding that the family leave. It is unknown at the time of this report if the soldiers are planning to carry out a punitive demolition of the alleged assailant’s home, but this is a known and common practice by the Israeli military.
http://imemc.org/article/one-israeli-killed-two-wounded-by-palestinian-teen-assailant-killed-on-site/

Israeli settlers torch Palestinian home, destroy another in Nablus area
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 27 July — Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian home and destroyed another in the Khillet al-Wusta area, located between the two villages of Jalud and Qusra, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Friday.  Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yesh Kodesh attacked several Palestinian homes in Khallet al-Wusta area, set fire to one home and destroyed another. Daghlas confirmed that the Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of trees surrounding the area and continued to commit vandalism to Palestinian property. He added that Israeli settlers fired several times at Palestinian residents, who attempted to prevent the settlers from carrying out such acts of vandalism, forcing them out of the area. No injuries were reported. The fires caused extensive damages in the Palestinian home.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780524

Bethlehem: Israeli troops release dogs on prisoner’s family
IMEMC/Agencies 25 July — In a raid on the Wadi Ma‘ali neighborhood, at 4:30 a.m., near Bethlehem’s Old City, Israeli soldiers raided the homes of Palestinian prisoner Ayyad al-Hreimi’s family, resulting in two hospitalizations from dog bites, and the arrest of al-Hreimi’s 19-year-old cousin, Mohannad. Two of al-Hreimi’s brothers were already imprisoned when al-Hreimi’s cousin was arrested last night. The soldiers destroyed property belonging to the prisoners’ family and neighbors before leaving, even though the purpose of the raid remains unknown, according to the PNN.
The mother and sister of the Mohannad Hreimi, the youth who was arrested, arrived late in the morning, from the hospital, with gauze covering their hands, showing the damage that Israeli canine unit, called the “Oketz” [‘Sting’] Unit, can inflict upon the Palestinian people. The Oketz unit uses the Belgian Shepherd, or the Malinois, because of the breed’s large size. The father also showed cuts from the dogs on his legs, going from his knee to his ankle…
http://imemc.org/article/bethlehem-israeli-troops-release-dogs-on-prisoners-family/

Israeli soldiers injure two children in Kafr Qaddoum
IMEMC 27 July — Israeli soldiers invaded, Friday, Kafr Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and attacked the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and Colonies, and injured two children. The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said the soldiers assaulted the Palestinians as they nonviolently marched in front of the local mosque, in the center of the village. It added that the soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, wounding two children. Kafr Qaddoum holds ongoing weekly processions against the illegal Annexation Wall and Colonies, demanding the army to reopen the town’s main road, which was blockaded fifteen years ago to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from Kedumim illegal colony, which was built on private Palestinian lands.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-injure-two-children-in-kufur-qaddoum/

Army invades Ya‘bad near Jenin
IMEMC 27 July — Several Israeli army jeeps invaded, earlier Friday, the town of Ya‘bad southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and conducted extensive searches, in addition to installing many roadblocks in Jenin governorate. Media sources in Jenin said the soldiers conducted extensive and violent searches of homes, and lands, in addition to interrogating many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards. They added that the soldiers also installed several roadblocks near villages and towns in Jenin governorate, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, especially in the eastern part of Jenin.
http://imemc.org/article/army-invades-yabad-near-jenin/

Israeli soldiers abduct 13 Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC 25 July — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, at least thirteen Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported. The PPS office in Nablus, in northern West Bank, said the soldiers abducted Moath Thouqan, the son of imprisoned university lecturer Ghassan Thouqan, from the city, and Hasan Bakheet, from Balata refugee camp, in addition to Sameh Hammad Mansour, from Kafr Qalil village. In Jenin, in northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Ali Taiseer Zakarna, 20, from Qabatia town, south of the city. Furthermore, the soldiers installed many roadblocks around villages and towns in Jenin governorate, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards. The soldiers also invaded Birzeit town, north of Ramallah in central West Bank, searched homes and abducted Issa Eyad Shalalda. In Bethlehem, the soldiers searched several homes and abducted Farouq Abu Aker. In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted Ziad Banat, in addition to Omar Mohammad al-Heeh, from Surif town, north of the city, and Ziad Nawaj’a, from Surif town, north of Hebron.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-abduct-thirteen-palestinians-in-the-west-bank-9/

Collective punishment

In video – Israel seals hometown of killed Palestinian in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 27 July — Israeli forces imposed a siege on the Palestinian village of Kobar in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, early Friday morning, by closing its entrances and main road with dirt mounds and razing its streets. After an Israeli army spokesperson announced that immediate action would take place in the Kobar village, home to Muhammad Tareq Youssef Abu Ayyush, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was killed by an Israeli settler following a stabbing attack in the illegal Israeli settlement of Adam, large numbers of Israeli forces, backed by two bulldozers, headed towards the village to seal off and raze roads. Locals said that Israeli forces threatened to demolish the home of the Ayyush family as they raided, searched, took measures and set up marks around the house. Sources added that Israeli forces raided and thoroughly searched several homes in the village and detained three Palestinians identified as Nasrallah Youssef Mashaal, 17, and his brother Muhammad Mashaal, 21, and Khaldun Barghouthi, 42. Violent clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces on the road leading up to the Kobar village afterwards, during which Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear-gas bombs towards the youths. Israeli soldiers assaulted and detained one youth during clashes; he was not immediately identified. Continuous raids are being carried out by Israeli forces in the village.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780518

Clashes with Israeli soldiers in West Bank village leave one with critical gun wounds
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 27 July – One Palestinian was critically injured in the belly on Friday in the Ramallah-area village of Kobar during clashes with Israeli soldiers who have been harassing the village and its residents since a village member stabbed three Israelis in the illegal settlement of Adam on Thursday night, said the Ministry of Health. It said a young man was brought to Ramallah hospital with gun wounds in the stomach and was reported in critical condition.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=7xrLd3a98565444186a7xrLd3

Israeli soldiers continue the home invasions in Kobar
IMEMC 28 July — A large Israeli military force invaded, earlier Saturday, many homes in Kobar Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and illegally confiscated cash from homes. Media sources in Kobar said the soldiers stormed and ransacked several homes in the village, and interrogated many Palestinians. They added that the solders illegally confiscated 1850 Shekels from the home of Na’el al-Fahel, 2400 Shekels from the homes of Sarhan Barghouthi, and another sum of cash from the home of Mohammad Mashal. Medical sources said the soldiers also shot five young Palestinian men, during protests against the ongoing invasions. The entire village has been isolated and subject to ongoing invasions and searches of homes , and other types of collective punishment, since the death of Yotam Ovadia, 31, who was stabbed, on Thursday at night, in Adam nearby illegal colony. Israeli sources said Mohammad Tareq dar Yousef, 17, from Kobar, allegedly managed to climb over the fence into the settlement of “Adam,” and stabbed three people before he was shot and killed.
In related news, the soldiers invaded Abu Shkheidim, Abu Qash and al-Mazra‘a al-Qibliya villages, and Birzeit town, and fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at locals protesting the invasions. In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Ahmad Rokon, from his home in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, in Silwan town, and took him to an interrogation facility.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-continue-the-home-invasions-in-kobar/

Lieberman decides to expand ‘Adam’ illegal colony
IMEMC 27 July — Following the fatal stabbing incident in Geva Binyamin “Adam” illegal Israeli colony, built on Palestinian lands, southeast of Ramallah in central West Bank, Israeli “Defense Minister” Avigdor Lieberman decided to approve the construction of 400 new units to expand the colony. Lieberman said that he decided to prepare a plan for adding 400 new housing units to “Adam” illegal colony, and that he will make sure all approvals by relevant departments are finalized within the coming few weeks. Although Israel has been ongoing with the illegal construction and expansion of its colonies in occupied Palestine, including in and around occupied Jerusalem, in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, Liberman claimed that the decision was made as a response for the fatal stabbing …  Lieberman’s fast decision came just hours after an Israeli colonialist settler, identified as Yotam Ovadia, 31, was killed in a stabbing incident carried out by Mohammad Tareq dar Yousef, 17, who allegedly managed to climb over the fence into the illegal settlement, and stabbed three people before he was shot and killed.
http://imemc.org/article/lieberman-decides-to-expand-adam-illegal-colony/

Restriction of movement

Israeli forces close entrance of Nabi Saleh
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 27July — Israeli forces closed the entrance gate of the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, on Thursday evening, preventing the entry and exit of the residents. According to local sources, a large number of Israeli forces was deployed in the village and completely closed the entrance of the village forcefully preventing residents from entering or exiting the village. Locals added that the closed gate forced them to take longer, alternative routes to enter or exit their village. With less than a thousand residents, Nabi Saleh is one of the smaller villages in the occupied West Bank, however the community is a flashpoint site in village protests.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780517

Afro-Palestine: ‘Israel has banned yet another African from entering Occupied Palestine’
26 July by Afro-Palestine Newswire Service: On Wednesday, South African model and actress, Shashi Naidoo, received a 10-year ban from Israel after she tried to enter the West Bank to educate herself about Israel’s occupation of Palestine. After visiting Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, Naidoo was to enter the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) through the Allenby Border Crossing in Jordan. Speaking from Jordan to journalist Paula Slier, Naidoo said she had been interrogated at the border, and her passport was stamped – preventing her from returning for a decade. [As the occupying power, Israel controls almost all access to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) which comprises the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Since Israel controls virtually every entry point into the OPT, anyone wishing to enter these occupied Palestinian areas, must go through Israeli-controlled checkpoints.] Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to South Africa, Ayellet Black, told South African media that Naidoo was denied entry at the Israeli checkpoint because her trip was planned by the South African branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), and that it would “harm” Israel.
Naidoo, however, is travelling at her own expense, and the itinerary of her trip was planned by the South African Council of Churches and South African Jews for a Free Palestine. The trip materialised after Naidoo used text – prepared and supplied by a friend – to defend Israel’s violent response to peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip that resulted in the death of over 100 Palestinians. Following a backlash for her use of pro-Israel propaganda, Naidoo deleted the posts and issued an apology. She then announced her intention to educate herself about the reality of the Israeli occupation by going to “see for herself”. Although Naidoo appeared at a press conference hosted by BDS South Africa, she has never advocated or endorsed a boycott of Israel. Naidoo’s banning is not an isolated incident, and she joins a growing list of Africans who have been denied entry into the OPT and banned by Israel. …
http://imemc.org/article/israel-has-banned-yet-another-african-from-entering-occupied-palestine/

Iarael bans Spanish BDS activist from entering country
MEMO 25 July — Israel yesterday banned prominent Spanish BDS activist Ana Sanchez Mera from entering the country, accusing her of aiming “to cause great damage to Israel”. The ban came at the behest of two high-profile members of Israel’s establishment, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. In a statement Deri said: “I once again exercised my authority and prevented the entry of a boycott activist who wanted to enter Israel and act against the state. This is a senior activist in a prominent boycott organisation that aims to cause great damage to Israel….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180725-israel-bans-spanish-bds-activist-from-entering-country/

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Palestinian village left without water after army shuts down tap
NABLUS (WAFA) 25 July – The Israeli army shut down on Wednesday water supply to Foroush Beit Dajan village, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Tawfiq el-Haj Mohammad, head of the village council. He said the army had shut down the water line to the village, which the residents rely on for their water supply, claiming that the pipelines were not legal. He said Israel is trying to push the Palestinians out of their village using all means, including shutting water supply to the village. He warned that without water, agricultural and the livestock will be affected.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=mc7ZVpa98529277572amc7ZVp

Israeli forces demolish water pipeline in Jordan Valley village
IMEMC/Agencies 26 July — Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline supplying the northern Jordan Valley village of Ras al-Ahmar with fresh drinking water, before dawn on Wednesday. According to a local official, Mutaz Bisharat, four Israeli bulldozers raided the Ras al-Ahmar village, along with seven Israeli military jeeps, and began to destroy the pipeline. Bisharat added, according to Ma‘an, that Israeli bulldozers razed the land for five hours, in order to create a military road. He pointed out that the destroyed pipeline was used by local Palestinian farmers, for drinking water and crop irrigation. Israeli forces destroyed a water pipeline of 1,500 meters and 6 inches in length, and created a 2.5 kilometer-long road linking the main road of Ras al-Ahmar village to the Msheibek area, which Israel declared a closed military zone….
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-forces-demolish-water-pipeline-in-jordan-valley-village/

Israeli authorities to demolish four homes, two mosques in Bethlehem area
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 25 July – Israeli authorities Wednesday notified Palestinians to the southeast of Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, of their intentions to demolish four inhabited homes along with two mosques in the area, said a local activist. Coordinator of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, Hassan Brijiyeh, told WAFA Israeli authorities notified to demolish four Palestinian-owned homes and a mosque in the village of Kisan, in addition to a mosque in al-Halaqeen area, under the pretext of being built without an Israeli-issued permit.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=mc7ZVpa98534036337amc7ZVp

Israeli forces erect tent on Palestinian family’s land in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 25 July – Israeli forces Wednesday erected a tent in Wadi al- Hussein area to the east of Hebron city, in the southern West Bank, said WAFA correspondent. They set up the tent on a privately owned Palestinian land that belongs to the Jaber family, causing panic among locals in the area over the imminent takeover of the land for the benefit of establishing a new Israeli settlement outpost in the area.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=mc7ZVpa98531181078amc7ZVp

Israeli forces order stop to construction on building in West Bank
JENIN (WAFA) 25 July – Israeli forces Wednesday handed a Palestinian resident a notice ordering him to stop construction on his privately owned three-story building in the village of Jalaboun, east of Jenin, in occupied West Bank, said a local source. A source in Jalaboun village council told WAFA Israeli forces along with staff from the so-called Israeli civil administration, an arm of the military government, stormed the village and handed Khaled Abu al-Rub an order to stop construction on his building citing unpermitted construction as a pretext.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=mc7ZVpa98530229325amc7ZVp

Al-Araqib village destroyed for 131st time
IMEMC/Agencies 26 July — Israeli authorities demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev desert of southern Israel, for the 131st time, on Wednesday. According to local sources, Israeli authorities and military vehicles stormed the village and evicted the women, children, and the elderly of the village, leaving them without shelter. Wednesday’s demolition of the Bedouin village marked the fourth time that the community was targeted since April of 2018, according to Ma‘an News Agency. Israeli demolitions of al-Araqib are carried out in the attempt to force the Bedouin population to relocate to government-zoned townships. Like the 34 other Bedouin villages “unrecognized” by Israel, al-Araqib does not receive any services from the Israeli government, and is constantly subjected to the threats of expulsion and home demolition.
http://imemc.org/article/al-araqib-village-destroyed-for-131st-time/

Hundreds hold Friday prayer at Khan al-Ahmar in a show of solidarity
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 July – Hundreds of Palestinians held the Friday prayer at Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, in a show of solidarity with its residents who are fighting Israeli attempts to displace them and demolish their village. Palestinians have been holding regular support rallies at the village since Israel announced last month its intention to demolish it in order to build a Jewish settlement on its ruins. Khan al-Ahmar residents have contested the Israeli plans in court and are waiting for the Israeli High Court to give a ruling on their demand to stay on their land early next month.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=09cRTga98555926656a09cRTg

UN rights expert: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar could amount to war crime
IMEMC/Agencies 26 July — Under the 1998 Rome Statute, the proposed demolition of Khan al-Ahmar by Israeli occupying forces could amount to war crimes if the demolition proceeds. Khan al-Ahmar has been under intense pressure from Israeli forces to abandon its land, after Israel’s government expressed the desire to connect the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement to Jerusalem, annexing an area inside the Palestinian West Bank known as the E1 area. Michael Lynk said, in a statement, on Tuesday, that forcing the transfer of a protected community would be a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israeli Courts approved the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar in May, but, after weeks of intense protest, the same courts halted the plan until Aug. 1.
However, PNN reports, this has not stopped other areas from being demolished, as residents of the Bedouin village on the Mount of Olives could not stop the demolition of a kindergarten and women’s center, by Israeli forces. The Bedouin village on the Mount of Olives is also part of the E1 area between Ma’ale Adumim and East Jerusalem.
The relevant crimes, under the 1998 Rome Statute, include: (a) (iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; (vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; (b) (viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory….
http://imemc.org/article/un-rights-expert-demolition-of-khan-al-ahmar-could-amount-to-war-crime/

Once again, Israel denies the Bedouin what it grants the settlers
Haaretz 27 July by Amira Hass — Two Palestinian villages, basing their request on Civil Administration data, are asking the Israeli authorities to demolish illegal structures in the settlement of Kfar Adumim and outposts around it. In question are about 120 villas and other buildings in the settlement against which demolition orders have been issued (though, as of the beginning of 2017, at least half the structures had been approved retroactively), and in four outposts. In the outposts, most of the structures have been built on land defined as state land back in the days of Jordanian rule, and a smaller number have been built on land privately owned by village residents. This past Tuesday, at the Justice Ministry High Court department, Attorney Tawfiq Jabareen filed this request for the villages of Deir Dibwan and ‘Anata, east of Ramallah, as the prelude to petitioning for the villages and some of their residents, owners of private land. In a preliminary argument, Jabareen talks about Israel’s “selective enforcement” policy. And as a reverse example — of “legalizing” the illegal construction in Kfar Adumim — he mentions the Bedouin village at Khan al-Ahmar, which existed long before the settlements were established and is now threatened by demolition, along with the expulsion of its residents. Before this request, a team of lawyers headed by Jabareen submitted two new petitions on behalf of the residents of Khan al-Ahmar … Thus, three months before the law comes into effect denying the High Court authority to deliberate on matters concerning West Bank land and techniques for grabbing it from the Palestinians, a team of Palestinian lawyers who are Israeli citizens insists on bringing to the High Court matters of principle concerning discrimination, inequality and government arbitrariness….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-once-again-israel-denies-the-bedouin-what-it-grants-the-settlers-1.6317363

Al-Aqsa

In video – Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa, fire sound bombs at worshipers
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 27 July — Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem via the Moroccans Gate and heavily fired sound bombs at Palestinian worshipers following Friday payers. A Ma‘an reporter said that dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and spread out across the compound and on the way leading to the Chain Gate. Israeli forces fired sound bombs immediately after Friday prayers ended in order to remove worshipers from the mosque.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780523

Protest and prayer outside Al-Aqsa gates force Israel to reopen Mosque for prayer
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 July – After dozens of Palestinians heeded calls to hold the afternoon prayer on Friday outside the closed gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City and calls were made to hold all other prayers at the gates to protest Israeli closure of their holy place, Israeli police reopened the holy compound and allowed free entry into it, according to Muslim officials. They said police that were present in large numbers in the Muslim holy site since noon had left the compound and reopened all gates. Immediately after police had left it and its gates reopened, hundreds of Palestinians waiting outside entered it chanting slogans of support for their holy site and held prayer inside it.
Large number of Israeli police in full riot gear broke into the Muslim holy place immediately after the Friday noon prayer to quell participants in a peaceful march marking one year since forcing Israel to remove metal detectors it had placed at its gates, and brutally attacked worshippers, men and women of all ages, causing dozens of injuries, all light. Police then evacuated by force the compound from all worshippers after breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque building where prayers are usually held, and closed all gates to the entire compound preventing people from entering it. Religious leaders made immediate calls on the public to hold the five daily prayers at the gates in protest against the Israeli measure, a step reminiscent of the protests last year to force Israel to remove the metal detectors.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=09cRTga98561637174a09cRTg

Israeli police arrest three female relatives of Sheikh Raed Salah
MEMO 26 July — Israeli police arrested, Wednesday, the sister of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, along with to her daughter and daughter-in-law after leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muntaha Amara, a niece of Sheikh Salah, told Anadolu that while she noticed Israeli police filming while she was with her family and a group of other Palestinian women in Bab Al-Rahma (east of Al-Aqsa Mosque). Amara added that they did nothing to disrupt public order, as the Israeli police claim. They sat, prayed and read the Koran, before crossing that area. She confirmed that during a round of morning raids, a Jewish settler blamed Israeli police and told them: “You have to arrest these women. This is our territory.” Muntaha Amara explained that the police force operating at Bab Al-Majlis (one of the doors of the Al-Aqsa Mosque) detained her for an hour. They then released her without any condition or restriction. The Israeli police explained that her detention was under the pretext of “disturbing public order and rioting.” She said police also arrested several other women at the same time.
Israeli police also arrested Nahida Abu Shakra, 65, and Fatima Kilani, Muntaha Amara’s sister-in-law, as they left Bab Al-Huta today. The police took them to Qishlah police station west of Jerusalem where they remained until 14:40 GMT. Amara called on all Palestinian residents of the occupied Palestinian territories and the city of Jerusalem to go to Bab Al-Rahma, to reject settlers’ claims to that area.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180726-israeli-police-arrest-three-female-relatives-of-sheikh-raed-salah/

Jordan says Israel’s moving of Jerusalem Wall stone an infringement on Islamic rights
AMMAN (WAFA) 26 July – Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat denounced on Wednesday Israel’s moving of a stone that fell from Jerusalem’s Old City Wall to Al-Buraq plaza, also known as the Western Wall plaza, saying this act is an infringement on the rights of the Islamic Awqaf (endowment) department that is in charge of the Wall and area surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque. A large stone fell from the Wall west of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a Jewish praying area without causing any harm. Israel later moved the stone into the plaza below the wall. According to the Jordanian news agency, Petra, Ghneimat expressed Jordan’s “absolute rejection of the Israeli authorities’ moving of the stone,” saying it “constitutes an interference in the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, which is the national body that has the authority over all the affairs of the Al Aqsa Mosque / the Al Haram al-Sharif under international law.”….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=mc7ZVpa98540698608amc7ZVp

Other news

PLO, Fateh: UNRWA financial crisis part of plan to close the Palestinian refugee issue
IMEMC/Agencies 26 July — Palestinian officials warned, on Thursday, that the financial crisis facing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is part of a scheme aimed at ending the Palestinian refugee issue. UNRWA sent, on Wednesday, work termination letters to 1,000 of its Gaza-based employees who were working on contract bases, citing financial reasons for its action. At least 20,000 others are also under threat of termination after UNRWA reported over $200 million deficit following a decision by the United States, the biggest donor to UNRWA, with $300 million a year, to significantly slash its annual contribution to punish the Palestinians for refusing to accept its so-called “peace plan”. Hundreds of UNRWA employees demonstrated in Gaza, at the agency’s headquarters, against its dismissal policy.
Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, Saleh Rafat, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said UNRWA should not be blamed for what is happening, but rather the US, for cutting the agency funds and pressuring other countries to do the same, as part of pressure on the Palestinian Authority to give in to its and Israel’s dictates. Spokesman for the Fateh movement in the Gaza Strip, Atef Abu Saif, also told Voice of Palestine radio said that UNRWA’s decision to end the services of a number of its Gaza employees comes within the policy of gradual reduction of its work, which is part of a larger plan aimed at ending the refugee issue. He said that the international community is pushing Gaza into further economic deterioration in order to pass the American deal.
http://imemc.org/article/plo-fateh-unrwa-financial-crisis-part-of-plan-to-close-the-palestinian-refugee-issue/

Palestinian security forces arrest Palestinian photojournalist in West Bank
BEIRUT (CPJ) 25 July 25 — The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern about the arrest of Huthifa Abu Jamous, a Palestinian photojournalist and opinion writer for the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network. Palestinian Preventive Security Forces on July 22 detained Abu Jamous after he was summoned without charge earlier that day for questioning at their headquarters in Abu Dis in the West Bank, according to the regional press freedom group Journalists Support Committee, his employer, and news reports. Abu Jamous’ employer on July 24 quoted the journalist’s mother as saying that her son’s detention was extended for two days and she was not aware of any charges against him. She also said that the security forces, on previous occasions, had summoned her son for questioning in relation to his Facebook posts, Quds reported. “We are concerned about the arrest of Huthifa Abu Jamous given the Palestinian Authority’s record on respecting the rights of journalists,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour, from Washington, D.C. …
https://cpj.org/2018/07/palestinian-security-forces-arrest-palestinian-pho.php

Palestinians face jail for taking part in ‘Kiki’ dance challenge
MEMO 27 July — Palestinians who take part in a dance challenge which sees people dancing besides a slow-moving vehicle while being recorded face a fine and jail, Palestinian police warned yesterday. The “Kiki” challenge, which sees participants dancing to Drake’s “In My Feelings”, has been an online sensation with social media users uploading videos of themselves and others dancing to the tune. Authorities in a number of countries have banned the challenge claiming to is endangers road users. According to Palestinian police: “Participation in such unacceptable practices constitutes a crime punishable by law with imprisonment for a period ranging from two months to one year and a fine of 120 Jordanian dinars ($180).” It added that the driving licenses of participants will be withdrawn and cars may be impounded as a result. The penalty will be doubled if the convicted person commits the same offense within two years. Indonesia, the UAE and Egypt are among a number of countries which have already outlawed the challenge.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180727-palestinians-face-jail-for-taking-part-in-kiki-dance-challenge/

UN bloc of developing countries elects Palestine as next leader in snub to US and Israel
The Independent 26 July by Bethan McKernan — A United Nations bloc of developing countries has elected the observer state of Palestine as its next leader in a symbolic snub to the US and its ally Israel. The Group of 77, which has grown to encompass 135 countries since its formation in 1964, was formed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity. It now represents a total 80 per cent of the world’s population. The choice of the Palestinians as the group’s chair for 2019 is a diplomatic win for Ramallah at the expense of Israel and Washington DC. Both have argued against strengthening the Palestinians’ international political clout until a peace settlement is reached in the intractable Arab-Israeli conflict which agrees on the formation of an independent Palestinian state.  The permanent Palestinian observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, confirmed news of the Group 77 decision in a phone interview on Tuesday with The New York Times.  “[The US and Israel] are still denying we are a state,” Mr Mansour told The New York Times. “We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”….
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/un-bloc-palestine-leader-snub-israel-us-a8463466.html

UN picks American to lead investigation into Gaza protest killings
GENEVA (Reuters) 25 July — A former senior U.S. legal official, David Crane, will lead a U.N. investigation into violence in Gaza, the United Nations said on Wednesday. At least 140 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in what it has called border protection. One Israeli soldier has been killed during the weekly protests that began on March 30. The U.N. Human Rights Council voted in May to set up the probe into the killings, to the fury of Israel, which said it was being demonized. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday declined immediate comment. Israel has a long history of not cooperating with U.N. human rights inquiries or allowing them access to Gaza. Crane, who leads the three-person Commission of Inquiry, is a law professor at Syracuse University who the U.N. said had over 30 years’ experience in the U.S. federal government, including as Senior Inspector General in the Department of Defense. “Professor Crane served as Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from April 2002 until 15 July 2005, during which period he indicted, among others, the then-President of Liberia, Charles Taylor,” a U.N. statement said. His co-commissioners will be Sara Hossain, a Bangladeshi barrister who formerly worked on U.N. investigations into human rights in North Korea, and Kaari Betty Murungi, a board member of the Kenya Human Rights Commission and previously a legal adviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The commissioners will present a final written report in March next year….
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinans-un/un-picks-american-to-lead-investigation-into-gaza-protest-killings-idUSKBN1KF244

Explained // Why Israel’s model minority is leading the protest against the nation-state law
Haaretz 26 July by Kyle S. Mackie — A rare moment of dissent has catapulted the generally well-integrated, army-serving Israeli Druze community to the forefront of opposition against the controversial new legislation that officially defines Israel as the Jewish nation-state. On Sunday, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will hold a meeting next week to discuss the impact of the new law on Israel’s Druze community. Despite only making up about 2 percent of Israel’s population (according to the most recent government data), Netanyahu’s quick response to Druze concerns shows it is a minority the Israeli government cannot afford to ignore.
-Who are Israel’s Druze?- The Druze are a unique religious and ethnic group that broke away from Shi‘a Islam in the 11th century … Israel’s roughly 136,000 Druze live primarily in the northern regions of the Galilee, Carmel and the Golan Heights. Druze practice a monotheistic, Abrahamic and secretive religion that is closely guarded by its spiritual leaders. However, it is known that the Druze do not have set holy days, liturgy or pilgrimage obligations. The faith instead values philosophy, spiritual purity and an individual connection to God …  Druze are not Muslim, obviously, but they are Arabic speakers: In Israel, they represent about 8 percent of the country’s Arab population. But unlike other Arab citizens, Druze men are subject to the army draft and the community’s soldiers have long been venerated for their distinguished service …  The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People approved by the Knesset on July 19 affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-why-israel-s-druze-community-is-up-in-arms-1.6316228

Opinion // Israel’s nation-state law: Teaching Jews that the world is flat / Amira Hass
Haaretz 24 July — From a balcony in Ramallah, surrounded by friends and acquaintances, the nation-state law shrinks to its proper ludicrous proportions. The creationists erased a nation from the written text. And yet, nine indisputable representatives of that nation sat and joked, turned serious, reminisced, traded political gossip about senior Palestinian Authority officials, voiced fears and concerns, made predictions and retracted them. What a privilege it was for me to sit among them and enjoy what is so natural to them that they don’t even categorize it — a rootedness and a belonging that don’t need verbal trappings; a zest for life; unimaginable strength and courage. They were born in a village that was destroyed; in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip; in Damascus, Jaffa, Nablus, Ramallah, Nazareth, Acre. They’re the first, second and third generations of the 1948 refugees. Some are third-class citizens — fifth-class, now — of the state that robbed them of their homeland. Some returned to their homeland after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 and settled down in the West Bank, subject to Israeli military orders. All are members of the same nation, regardless of what is written on their identity cards. They escaped Israeli bombings in Beirut and in Gaza; they lived under Israeli-imposed curfew, siege and house arrest; they were jailed in Israeli prisons for political activity; they were interrogated by Israel’s Shin Bet security service; they raised themselves from poverty; they wandered, studied, worked in left-wing organizations …
Not far, yet very far from there — under a lean-to in Khan al-Ahmar — women sit on thin mattresses placed on the ground and talk about the attack by police officers two weeks ago and a wedding party that is scheduled for this week. The strength and courage of these women from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe are equally evident …
Palestinians from both urban and rural communities are liberating themselves from the alienation they used to feel toward the Bedouin. Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line are meeting. What they have in common is growing stronger, despite their differences. And the Arabic language — with its wealth of Palestinian slang and pronunciations — is spoken without the seal of approval of Israeli Knesset members….
https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-world-isn-t-flat-1.6310944

Israel says Trump sought Turkish detainee’s release; Ankara denies deal
JERUSALEM/ANKARA (Reuters) 27 July by Dan Williams & Tulay Karadeniz — Israel confirmed on Friday a U.S. newspaper report that President Donald Trump had requested its release of a Turkish woman accused of Hamas ties, while Ankara denied ever agreeing to free a detained American pastor in return.  Israel deported Ebru Ozkan on July 15, a week after indicting her for smuggling money and goods to the Palestinian Islamist militant group while visiting as a tourist – charges her lawyer denied and which angered Turkey. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a July 14 phone call to let Ozkan go in what the White House envisaged as an indirect trade for Pastor Andrew Brunson….
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-usa-trump/israel-says-trump-sought-turkish-detainees-release-ankara-denies-deal-idUSKBN1KH0PW

Video: Palestinian-Canadian comes to see Akka, her father’s home before the Nakba
English subtitles. Zeina comes with her fiancé to the Old City of Akka for the first time, to get married and to try to find her family’s former house. Her father follows her journey via Facetime.
https://www.facebook.com/Tarek.Ziad.Bakri/videos/10156193420115845/

Saving the last Arab fishing village in Israel
Haaretz 24 July by Moshe Gilad — It’s one of Israel’s poorest towns, but a new plan to make Jisr al-Zarqa’s picturesque, old fishing village the centerpiece of a tourism industry aims to change that — The small fishing village near Jisr al-Zarqa is a dreamlike place. It’s a circular bay with fishing boats anchored in the water, a few shacks on the beach, greenish fishing nets and children running through it all. Anywhere else in the world, it would be called “picturesque.” But in Jisr al-Zarqa, that description sounds like a bad joke. The town has a population of just 10,000, and it’s ranked one of the lowest in Israel on the socioeconomic scale. Only 23 percent of its high-school students receive matriculation certificates (which are generally required for admission to university in Israel), an extremely low proportion. Nevertheless, one of Israel’s poorest and most troubled places is also stunningly beautiful….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-saving-one-of-the-last-arab-fishing-villages-in-israel-1.6292351

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Kate
About Kate

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

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