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West Bank village celebrates Rashida Tlaib’s election to Congress

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West Bank kin cheer first Palestinian-American woman in US Congress
BEIT UR AL-FAUQA, West Bank (Reuters) 7 Nov by Rami Ayyub, Ali Sawafta — Tuning into the news at dawn on Wednesday, the extended family of Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress, celebrated her victory in their home in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Tlaib, a Democrat, ran virtually unopposed in Michigan’s 13th congressional district, which encompasses southwest Detroit and its suburbs west to the city of Dearborn. She previously served in Michigan’s state legislature. She has become “a source of pride for Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world,” her uncle, Bassam Tlaib, said in the small village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa … Tlaib’s district is home to one of the largest Arab-American populations in the United States. Her win highlights a wave of Palestinian diaspora candidates and activists who have embraced the Democratic Party’s progressive wing at a low point in U.S.-Palestinian relations under Republican President Donald Trump.


Updated: ‘Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian in central Gaza’
IMEMC 8 Nov — The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Thursday, a young man, and injured several others,  east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. It said that Mohammad ‘Ala Abu Shabin, 20, was shot with a live round in the upper chest, when the soldiers, stationed in military posts across the perimeter fence, opened fire at Palestinian protesters. Mohammad was from Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Several Palestinians were injured, and many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. Israeli occupation forces have not declared the reason for the deadly shooting. The body of the slain Palestinian was transferred to the Al-Aqsa Hospital, in Deir al-Balah, in Central Gaza.

Egyptian navy kills a Palestinian fisherman in southern Gaza
IMEMC 8 Nov — Palestinian medical sources have reported, on Wednesday evening, that Egyptian navy ships opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat in southern Gaza Strip, killing a fisherman. The fisherman has been identified as Mustafa Khader Khalil Abu Odah, 32, from the Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza city. He was shot with two live rounds in the chest and abdomen, near the Rafah shore, in the southern part of the coastal region. Odah was rushed to Abu Yousef Najjar Hospital, in Rafah, but died from his serious wounds. The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza, called on Egypt to investigate the incident. Media sources in Gaza said the fishing boat slightly drifted by the waves into Egyptian waters, before the navy opened fire at it.

Palestinian dies from serious wounds he suffered in southern Gaza
IMEMC 8 Nov — The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that a young man died, Wednesday, from serious wounds he suffered, two weeks earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him with live fire. It stated that the young man, identified as Ahmad Khaled Najjar, 21, was shot with an expanding bullet in the abdomen. The Ministry added that Najjar suffered very serious wounds, and was receiving treatment at the Gaza European Hospital, before he was transferred to the Al-Ahli Hospital, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, where he died from his wounds. The Palestinian is the cousin of both Ramzi Najjar, who was killed by Israeli army fire on June 4th 2018, and whose corpse is still held by Israel, and the medic, Razan Najjar, 22, who was killed by Israeli forces while helping treat wounded protesters, on Friday June 1st, 2018.

Palestinian man dies from serious wounds he suffered in Khan Younis
IMEMC 5 Nov — Palestinian medical sources have reported that a man died, on Monday morning, from complications resulting from wounds he suffered three weeks earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him in southern Gaza. The sources said the man, Ghanem Ibrahim Sharab, 44, from Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, was shot by the soldiers three weeks ago. Sharab died from serious complications resulting from his injury, especially after the doctors had to amputate his left foot, on October 29th. Gaza Strip hospitals have been complaining about a serious deficiency in urgent medical supplies and equipment in the besieged and improvised coastal region.

Palestinian teen dies from serious wounds suffered in Gaza
IMEMC 5 Nov — A Palestinian teenage boy died, on Sunday evening, from serious wounds he suffered a day earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot and seriously injured him, in Central Gaza. The slain Palestinian has been identified as Emad Khalil Shahin, 17, from the Nusseirat refugee camp in Central Gaza. He was shot and seriously injured by the soldiers on Saturday at night during a protest in central Gaza, after the army claimed he “breached the perimeter fence.” Palestinian sources said the teen was near the fence on the Palestinian side, when the soldiers shot and dragged him away. Shahin suffered a very serious injury, before the army later airlifted him to Soroka hospital, in Be’er as-Sabe’ city (Beersheba), where he died from his wounds. It is worth mentioning that the Shahin was injured by live Israel army fire several times, including one incident when he had several toes amputated, since the Great Return March procession started on Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018.

10 Palestinians injured as Gaza’s naval march continues
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian crowds gathered at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip to take part in the 15th naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport in an attempt to break the nearly 12-year Israeli siege, on Monday. Local sources reported that Israeli forces injured 10 Palestinians, including four injuries with Israeli live ammunition, while several others suffered from tear-gas inhalation. Those injured were transferred to the Indonesian and al-Shifa hospitals to receive the necessary medical treatment; their conditions were reported as moderate. Sources added that a number of boats set off from Gaza’s seaport towards the Israeli Zikim beach; Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear-gas bombs to suppress protesters participating in the naval march.

Israeli army wounds iconic Palestinian protester
Al Jazeera 6 Nov — Israeli soldiers have wounded a young Palestinian man whose photo has become recognised worldwide as a symbol of Palestinian resistance. With a Palestinian flag in one hand and a slingshot poised in the other, the photo of 22-year-old A’ed Abu Amro has drawn comparisons with the iconic French Revolution painting, Liberty Leading the People. On Monday, Abu Amro was taking part in protests at the northern Gaza border against Israel’s 11-year-old land, air and sea blockade when Israeli troops intervened. Abu Amro was wounded in the leg by live bullets. He protests every Friday and Monday with friends….

‘Leaving hell to live in hell’: The bribes and checkpoints from Gaza through Egypt
GAZA STRIP (MEE) 5 Nov by Kaamil Ahmed —  Exiting the besieged strip is expensive, arduous and extremely difficult for Palestinians. Once they have, they can often be cast into limbo — Scraps of cardboard, bags or the bare floor are where travelers rest their heads on their way through Rafah, the border crossing that has become the only functioning portal between blockaded Gaza and the outside world. They find little in the way of water, food or respite from the heat on the first leg of a journey through Egypt thousands have made in recent months, where they face treatment many say is humiliating: long hours spent in a series of humid, neglected waiting rooms and days on stuffy buses through the sweltering desert. To leave the Gaza Strip, its Palestinian residents spend almost a day in Rafah before buses carry them through the Sinai desert, then cross the Suez Canal by ferry and onwards to hospitals in Egypt, while some use Cairo as their gateway to healthcare or studies or work further afield. In reality, the process is not so smooth; it stutters and stalls and very few ever come close to actually making the trip anyway, frustrated at the first stages because the border is usually closed and the waiting lists to get across too long. The way to skip those lists is to pay someone, usually on the Egyptian side. Those bribes have become increasingly common over the past six months, when the border has been open for periods unprecedented in recent years, encouraging Palestinians leaving Gaza, and those hoping to return, to make the crossing. “The people who want to leave Gaza – they left hell to live in a hell in the Sinai desert,” says Ibrahim Ghunaim, a Palestinian rapper who left the blockaded enclave to focus on developing his craft, stunted in Gaza by his inability to travel for performances. Crossing the desert took him four days of waiting at and passing through checkpoints in the barren and militarised Sinai. “It feels like crossing an enemy’s territory.”….

After years in the dark, Gaza’s power woes ease
GAZA CITY (AFP) 4 Nov — The lights are going back on in the Gaza Strip, in a rare piece of positive news from the blockaded Palestinian enclave. In recent days, residents say they have received up to 16 hours of mains electricity a day, compared with as little as four previously. UN humanitarian officials report an average of between nine and 11 hours per day since October 25. It is the result of a landmark six-month deal, part of efforts to end unrest along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip that has raised fears of a fourth war since 2008. The deal emerged amid ongoing indirect negotiations between the strip’s Islamist rulers Hamas and Israel, mediated by the UN and Egypt, in hopes of reaching a long-term truce. The fuel agreement, whose first deliveries arrived on October 9, has provided the most power to Gaza residents in years. The tentative results are showing in the enclave’s beleaguered economy: companies able to work longer, restaurant costs falling, and even an increase in ice cream …  The deal was made without the backing of the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority, based in the occupied West Bank and run by president Mahmud Abbas …  Unable to get Abbas to back the deal, UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov and others worked around him….

Abbas agrees to Egypt-mediated ‘calm’ between Israel and Hamas: report
Times of Israel staff/Adam Rasgon 8 Nov — Sissi convinces PA chief to accept temporary truce, which will lead to internal reconciliation and only then to a long-term ceasefire with Israel, Arab paper reports — President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has received Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s approval for efforts to achieve an initial “period of calm” between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the London-based Arabic paper Al-Hayat newspaper reported Thursday. The first period of such a calm would last two to three weeks, followed by a longer six-month period. The paper said Sissi told Abbas that after calm is achieved, Egypt will move forward on efforts to reach reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah movement and bring the two territories back under unified rule.
Egypt would then work to reach a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s armed groups, the report said. It cited “reliable” Palestinian sources. Sissi reportedly told Abbas a deal would be “an opportunity for the people of Gaza to breathe,” a suggestion the PA chief agreed to. The paper added that Israel had agreed to transfer $90 million (likely from Qatar) over a six-month period to pay Hamas-employed government workers in the Strip, under UN monitoring. It was also said to agree, as part of the initial calm, to increase exports from Gaza including vegetables, furniture, clothing and other goods. Arabic media reports have said that if achieved, a ceasefire would include at least a partial lifting of Israel’s restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza….

Gaza, Israel: They call this a truce
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 5 Nov by Hana Salah — Egypt mediated a truce between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Oct. 27. The next night, Israeli airstrikes killed three teens in the Gaza town of Qarara.  Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets demanding that Palestinian military factions avenge the deaths of the boys, identified as Khaled Saeed, 14; Muhammad al-Satari, 13; and Abdul Hamid Abu Dhaher, 13.  The Israeli army said it believed the teens were placing explosives next to the Israeli army’s post.  But the boys were neighbors who lived just a mile away from the post, near the rural border of Deir al-Balah. Saeed’s mother told Al-Monitor that her son “only cared about raising sheep and birds, and he was placing the net at night to trap birds in the morning and sell them later on.”  “This is when the Israeli aircrafts targeted him without checking what he was doing!” “This is when the Israeli aircrafts targeted him without checking what he was doing!”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab told Al-Monitor, “The occupation is fully to blame for such a hideous crime.” He added, “The resistance reserves the right to retaliate.”  Commenting on the Israeli army’s explanation, Shihab said, “The occupation is telling a misleading narrative. These children have nothing to do with any military action.” He added, “Innocent blood was shed so that the criminal army muzzles voices critical of its failure in countering the marches of return.”  The fear that a potential retaliation will ignite a new confrontation prevails. This is true particularly since the Palestinian Islamic Jihad  had  launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli settlements next to the Gaza Strip on the night of Oct. 26, in retaliation for the killing of five Palestinians in the weekly marches of return. The Friday marches have been going on since March 30….

Wintry weather, diplomacy cool down Gaza protests
GAZA, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A seasonal shift in the weather and intensified international diplomacy are prompting Palestinians mounting protests along Gaza’s border with Israel to rethink their tactics. Since the demonstrations started more than seven months ago, protesters routinely made attempts to breach Israel’s frontier fence and launched incendiary balloons and kites that have burned forests and crops inside Israel. Israeli forces have killed more than 219 Palestinians at the border protests, according to Gazan officials. An Israeli soldier was also killed by a Palestinian sniper. The protests draw tens of thousands of people after Muslim prayers on Fridays. But last week was the quietest so far, according to journalists who regularly cover the demonstrations. Smoke from burning tyres wafting towards Israel provided a measure of cover for Palestinian youngsters approaching the barrier, but a wintry change in wind direction sent the thick black clouds back into Gaza and Israeli tear gas deeper into the crowd of protesters, forcing their retreat. Stepped-up efforts by Egypt to craft a long-term ceasefire between Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and Israel that could ease an Israeli blockade are also putting a damper on the protests….

Qatar to support 50,000 impoverished Gaza families amid Israel truce talks
i24NEWS 7 Nov — Qatar has announced it will provide temporary support to 50,000 impoverished Gaza families as mediators attempt to broker a long-term truce between Israel and the Palestinian territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas. The Gulf state will provide $100 each to 50,000 poor families in the “next few days”, a statement from Qatar’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee said late Tuesday. The beneficiaries are being selected in coordination with the Hamas-led authorities. Separately on Tuesday, cash-strapped Hamas announced that civil servants would receive the majority of their salaries for the first time in months. The salary payments were approved after an agreement between Israel and Qatar to guarantee that the money would only be used for the stated purpose. Tens of thousands of Hamas civil servants have seen sporadic wage payments since 2014, as the Palestinian Authority has refused to add to its payroll some 40,000 Hamas public sector employees hired after the Islamists took control of the Gaza Strip in a near civil war in 2007 …
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Monday that Israel was involved in efforts to de-escalate tensions with the Gaza Strip, including efforts by Egypt and Qatar to reach a multilateral agreement. As part of those mediation efforts, another Israeli-approved deal has seen Qatar finance the purchase of additional fuel for Gaza’s sole power station, allowing planned outages to be reduced to their lowest level in recent years….

Israeli bulldozers raze, level lands in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — Several Israeli military vehicles raided Palestinian lands along the eastern borders of the southern Gaza Strip district of Rafah, on Monday. Locals told Ma‘an that four large D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into lands, coming from the Israeli security border fence heading north. Sources added that Israeli military bulldozers razed and leveled the lands; no shootings were reported. Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.

What is ‘Green Cake’ and why did this woman invent it?
A 2:49-minute film by Richard Kenny for BBC World Hacks. 3 Nov — A young Palestinian entrepreneur, Majd Mashharawi, has redesigned the plain old concrete block to help Gaza rebuild its infrastructure.

AP Photos: In Gaza, bodybuilding competition provides escape
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 5 Nov by Khalil Hamra — As thousands of Palestinians gathered at the border with Israel for a new weekly protest on a recent Friday, hundreds of others packed a sports hall in Gaza City for a different type of gathering — a bodybuilding competition.  Glistening with oil and toned to perfection, young men with buff bodies lined the stage, flexing their muscles and posing for the judges at a contest organized by the Palestinian Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation … Gaza’s 2 million residents are often preoccupied with other priorities as the territory has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade for more than a decade. Poverty, joblessness, polluted water, chronic power outages and limited freedom of movement characterize life in Gaza. Despite those obstacles and a lack of adequate training facilities, about 70 vigorous youths participated in the tournament after following a strict diet and training hard. In contrast to similar events elsewhere in the world, contestants wear modest long shorts consistent with Islamic law and Gaza’s mostly conservative society….

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

Army attacks school principal in Hebron
IMEMC 8 Nov — Israeli soldiers attacked, Thursday, the principal of Qortoba Basic School, in the Shuhada Street, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after she tried to prevent them from attacking her students. Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers chased several schoolchildren, and tried to prevent the students from entering their school. The soldiers then assaulted the school principal after she tried to stop them from attacking the students. They added that the soldiers detained another woman, while trying to reach her home in the Shuhada Street.

Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in Jenin City
JENIN (Ma‘an) 8 Nov– Two Palestinian youths were injured, on predawn Thursday, with Israeli live ammunition, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation during clashes that broke out in the Jenin refugee camp in Jenin City in the northern occupied West Bank. Locals said that large numbers of Israeli forces raided several Palestinian homes inside the refugee camp. Sources confirmed that the raided homes belonged to Rajeb and Ahmad Abu Khalifa, Abu Ubada al-Shalabi, Nassim Qassar and al-Saadi family. Israeli forces detained Muhammad Suleiman al-Saadi during the raid to his family home; the reason for his detention remained unknown. Sources pointed out that violent clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths during the raid. Israeli forces fired live ammunition, stun canisters and tear-gas bombs towards the youths, injuring two of them; the medical condition of those injured remained unknown. The two injured were identified as Muhammad Ahmad al-Hasri and Ahmad Muhammad Abu al-Hija….

4-month-old injured as Israeli settlers attack vehicle in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — A four-month-old infant was injured, on late Sunday, after Israeli settlers attacked her parents’ vehicle as they passed by near the illegal Israeli settlement of Havat Gilad, west of the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus. A Ma‘an reporter confirmed that a four-month-old infant was admitted to a hospital in Nablus City, where she was treated for a head injury. The injury was reported as mild. Reports said that Ali Shawahneh, from the Kafr Thulth village, east of the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya, was heading home along with his family when Israeli settlers attacked their vehicle as they passed near the illegal Havat Gilad settlement. Israeli settlers threw rocks at the vehicle, forcing Shawahneh to suddenly stop, resulting in his infant daughter’s head hitting the glass and leading to her injury. Locals said that an Israeli military vehicle arrived to the scene to take statements from the family regarding the incident; No ambulance was called to the scene.

2 Israeli settlers injured after bus attack near Beit El
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Two Israeli settlers were injured, late Wednesday, while passing by the DCO military checkpoint in the northern part of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh. Hebrew-language news outlets reported that shots were fired targeting a bus carrying Israeli settlers as it was passing by near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, one of the biggest settlements in the West Bank, which led to two Israeli settlers sustaining injuries. The identity of the shooters remained unknown, and the motives behind the attack were not clear yet. According to reports, Israeli forces and Israeli military vehicles were deployed across the area in search of the suspects.

Palestinians injured as Israeli forces storm East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) updated 5 Nov — Large numbers of Israeli forces stormed the headquarters of the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and the Jerusalem governorate, on Sunday, and attacked Palestinian staff members in occupied East Jerusalem. According to medical sources, Israeli forces stormed the headquarters of the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and the Jerusalem governorate in the al-Dahiya neighborhood, in East Jerusalem, attacking staff members present inside both buildings. Sources confirmed that Israeli forces repeatedly fired tear-gas bombs into the offices and physically attacked the staff, causing five Palestinians to suffer from tear-gas inhalation and various bruises. Sources added that ambulances belonging to the Palestinian Civil Defense and the Palestinian Red Crescent, transferred the injured to a nearby hospital. The injured were reported to be in mild to moderate condition. The reason behind the two raids remained unknown.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian woman after stabbing attempt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian woman, on Tuesday, who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack against an Israeli soldier at a gas station near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim, east of Jerusalem. According to Hebrew-language news outlets, Israeli forces received a report about a suspicious Palestinian woman who was carrying a knife near a falafel stand in the gas station, and was reportedly requested to leave; however, she refused. Israeli forces arrived to find that the woman had left, after conducting a search, the woman was found in a nearby area shortly after. Sources added that as Israeli forces began the procedure to detain the woman, she pulled out a pair of scissors and ran towards them yelling in Arabic. Israeli forces shot and injured the woman, causing her to fall to the ground. Medical sources confirmed that the Palestinian woman is a 37-year-old resident from Yatta City, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, and she was transferred to the HaDassah Medical Center – Mount Scopus to receive medical treatment.

In video – Palestinian shot, injured for stabbing attempt in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian, on Monday, for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack near the gate of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the east of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. According to Hebrew-language news outlets, a Palestinian was shot and injured in his leg by Israeli forces … No other injuries were reported. Local sources identified the Palestinian as Ahmad Abed al-Nasser Adais, in his thirties, a resident from the Bani Naim village in the Hebron district. Sources added that Adais reportedly suffers from a psychiatric disorder. An Israeli settler, Ofer Yohna, who was present at the scene, filmed a video of Adais as he was lying injured on the ground. Throughout the video, Yohna cursed and shouted at injured Adais, “This is the one who attempted to stab Israeli soldiers. He was shot and now he is injured. He is bleeding on the ground.” Yohna continued, “Shoot him in the head, shoot him in the head.” Watch the video below:

Everyone knows settlers cut down Palestinian olive trees, but Israel doesn’t care
[behind paywall] Haaretz 5 Nov by Amira Hass — The October 4 video looks like the scene of an olive harvest. After all, it’s that season. Two young people, at least one of whom is a minor, are holding a large tarp. The smaller of the two of them is holding a stick and hitting a tree, but rather than knocking off the olives, the blows break the tree’s branches. The olive trees in the West Bank Palestinian village of Burin in the northern West Bank do not belong to these young men, and no one gave them permission to harvest olives in this grove west of the Hawara checkpoint. They are unmistakably Jewish. Their white skullcaps, sidecurls and tzitzit ritual fringes make that clear. A Burin resident who will be identified only as N. was asked to film what was happening. He managed to get to the scene around 20 minutes later. He called the police, and by the time they arrived, 15 to 20 minutes later, he had managed to film the young men hitting three trees. When the intruders saw a police vehicle, they fled. Three sacks of olives would later be found by police in one of two abandoned houses in the grove, one of which belongs to the owner of the grove. The second house belongs to a family from Nablus whom Jews evicted, tossing out all their furniture and belongings, at the beginning of the second intifada, around two decades ago, N. said. That family has never returned to live there … According to United Nations figures and information supplied by N., the recent olive theft was one of 48 acts of violence and vandalism by Israeli civilians in Burin alone in the past three years. There were six attacks in 2016; 18 in 2017; and 24 so far this year. The nature of the incidents has varied: raids by civilians accompanied by soldiers who have provided them cover; stone throwing at people, including shepherds and houses; the torching of fields and orchards; the theft of olives; trees that have been chopped down or damaged; and attacks on farmers at work …
Yesh Din has documented 275 attacks against these six villages between 2008 and 2018 that were allegedly committed by Israeli citizens. There are other such cases in this area, but these are the ones that Yesh Din documented. In 167 of the documented cases, the Palestinian victims filed complaints with the police. As of May of this year, 152 complaints had been processed. Only five (3 percent) ended in an indictment, while 117 (77 percent) were closed because the perpetrator could not be identified. Another 22 cases (14 percent) were closed due to insufficient evidence.

Lieberman agrees to return body of slain Palestinian
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — The Israeli Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, agreed, on Thursday, on returning the body of a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces last month to his family for burial. Hebrew-language news sites reported that Lieberman agreed on returning the body of Muhammad Youssef Elayyan from Qalandiya, north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, to his family.  Elayyan was shot and killed by Israeli forces in September, in the al-Musrara neighborhood near Damascus Gate for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack. Sources added that the body would be returned at the Beituniya checkpoint on Friday.

Israeli army demolishes memorial for slain anti-occupation youth
OCCUPIED JERUSALAM (PIC) 8 Nov — Israeli army forces raided on Thursday Abu Dis town, east of occupied Jerusalem, and demolished a memorial for a young Palestinian protester killed by Israeli forces. Israeli soldiers knocked down the memorial the locals had built to commemorate Mohammad Lafi who was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in July 2017 while participating in anti-occupation protests. The occupation army threatened severe punishment over the projected reconstruction of the memorial or the construction of others. At the same time, Israeli forces targeted Palestinian locals with spates of bullet fire and teargas, sparking clashes.

PLC member among 11 detained by Israeli forces
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — Israeli forces detained at least 11 Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Wednesday.  Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained a member of the PLC, Muhammad Abu Jhesheh, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, one Palestinian was detained and identified as Salah Ibrahim Salah, 28. In the northern West Bank district of Jenin, two former Palestinian prisoners were detained by Israeli forces and identified as Ahmad Balal Abu Bakr and Ahmad Tareq Abu Bakr….

Injured Palestinian among 18 detained by Israeli forces
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces detained at least 18 Palestinians, including an injured, during predawn raids on Tuesday throughout the occupied West Bank. According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. They were identified as Muhammad Taysir al-Atrash, Hamza Tareq Ghaith, Muhammad Samir Abu Aram, Falah Hamdi Abu Maria, Mahya al-Din, and Khatab Wahid Abu Maria, in addition to an injured Palestinian, who was detained while receiving treatment for injuries he had previously sustained by Israeli live ammunition; PPS identified him as Muhannad Abed al-Fatah al-Rajbi. In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, two Palestinians were detained; they were identified as Muhammad Hamza Salah al-Din and Mussab Abed al-Rahman al-Khatib. In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians; PPS identified them as Maher Ahmad Thaher, 21, along with his brother Mahdi, 24, and Shadi Dar Khalil, 21….


Netanyahu approves death penalty targeting Palestinian prisoners
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approved passing a bill into law that allows execution of Palestinian prisoners, Hebrew-language news sites reported on Monday.  Netanyahu reportedly gave the green light, on Sunday, to members of his Likud political party to support the law on the execution of Palestinian prisoners, a law introduced in 2017 by the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which is headed by the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. At the time, Lieberman said that the bill would be a powerful deterrent to Palestinians, “We must not allow terrorists to know that after a murder they have committed, they will sit in prison, enjoy the conditions and may be released in the future.” Despite that Israel currently has a law allowing death penalty, it has not been carried out since 1962 when the Jewish state executed Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann. However, the current law allows Israeli military courts to only hand down the death penalty if a panel of three judges impose a unanimous decision. The proposed bill would remove this condition….

IDF, Shin Bet oppose plan to crack down on security prisoners over fear of unrest
[behind paywall] Haaretz 6 Nov by Amos Harel & Josh Breiner — There is wide opposition in the security establishment to Interior Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s plans to worsen the prison conditions for Palestinian security prisoners. In a debate this week, representatives of the various security organizations warned about the possible consequences of such a move, saying it could escalate tensions within the prisons and agitate the Palestinian public in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Last July, Erdan appointed a committee to review the conditions of security prisoners, under the leadership of two former senior officers of the Prison Service and police, retired warden Avi Vaknin and retired district commander Shlomi Kaatbi. The committee recommended removing the customary division in various branches between prisoners identified with Fatah and those identified with Hamas, reduction in family visits for prisoners from the West Bank, prohibiting purchase of food items from outside the prison and revocation of privileges to make purchases at the prison canteen …  In the course of the discussion, representatives of the IDF, Shin Bet and, to a lesser degree, the police raised reservations regarding implementation of the panel’s recommendations. Their argument, accepted by most of the relevant organizations, is that the conditions in the prisons are sufficiently harsh and that making them worse, and removing the separation between prisoners of different movements, will exacerbate the tension between Hamas and Fatah and the atmosphere in the territories, given the important status of prisoners in the eyes of the Palestinian public….

Israel releases sister of Palestinian attack suspect
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — An Israeli military court ruled decided to release Fayrouz Naalwa, 35, on Thursday, sister of Palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack in the Barkan industrial area in Israel. Ashraf Naalwa, who carried out the Barkan shooting attack, on October 7, had left two Israelis killed. Lawyer of the Addameer for prisoners’ rights, Samer Samaan, said that Israel ruled for Fayrouz’s release after she spent 28 days in detention. He added that the court also imposed a fine of 4500 Israeli shekels ($1225) on Naalwa. Fayrouz, who is a university teacher, was detained on October 11, two days after the Israeli army had detained members of her family to pressure his brother to turn himself in. The lawyer added that Fayrouz has undergone intense interrogation for 20 hours a day, was mistreated and threatened while undergoing psychological duress during detention. Fayrouz was denied the right to meet with her lawyer for nine days. Israeli forces are still conducting wide-scale searches for Ashraf….

Punitive demolitions

Israel issues punitive demolition order for Palestinian family
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — The Israeli army issued a punitive demolition order to the Naawla family in the Shweika village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on Tuesday. The order to demolish the Naawla family home comes as a punitive measure for their son, Ashraf Naawla, 23, carrying out a shooting attack in the Israeli Barkan industrial area last month, in which two Israelis died and another sustained serious injuries. An Israeli army spokesperson said that the “pre-demolition order” delivered said that the family would have to evacuate by Sunday, November 11th or submit an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court before that. Appeals against punitive demolitions are rarely successful, even in cases in which the relatives of actual or alleged attackers have not been charged with any wrongdoing. Israeli forces are still conducting wide-scale searches for Ashraf, who fled the scene following the shooting attack.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Israel delivers demolition notices to school, 3 structures in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — The Israeli authorities delivered demolition notices to one school and three housing structures in the Masafer Yatta area in the south Hebron hills in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, on Monday.  Coordinator of a local settlement against the Israeli separation wall, Rateb al-Jbour, reported that Israeli forces stormed the Khillet al-Dabe school, which constructs of steel structures, and forced the school’s staff and its 12 students to evacuate. Al-Jbour added that Israeli forces then handed the school staff a demolition notice for the school. It is noteworthy that the Palestinian Ministry of Education had just opened the school last month. Israeli soldiers raided the Khirbet al-Mufaqara area as well, also in Masafer Yatta, and handed demolition notices to three housing structures. Al-Jbour identified owners of the structures as Numan Shihadeh Hamamda, Hussein Ahmad Hamamda and Adli Hamamda. Israeli forces also delivered a demolition notice to owner of a room adjacent to a cave in the Khirbet Sarura area, where local and international anti-settlement activists were residing.

Israel demolishes Palestinian residential building in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building in the Shu‘fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday. A Ma‘an reporter confirmed that more than 300 Israeli soldiers along with several bulldozers stormed the Shu‘fat refugee camp and turned an entire street into a military base. According to reports, Israeli forces isolated the four-story residential building before bulldozers proceeded to demolish it. Locals told Ma‘an that the building was demolished under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit. The four-storey residential building, which is located near the Israeli separation barrier, belonged to Mahmoud Jaradat and measured 2400 square meters; the building included 12 apartments and a garage.

Israel commences demolitions east of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Nov — Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building, on Thursday morning, in the al-Zaayim village, east of Jerusalem. Locals reported that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village and were deployed near the building.  Israeli soldiers prevented residents, locals and reporters from approaching the area. Sources confirmed that the building consisted of several floors….

Israel demolishes part of Palestinian cemetery in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 7 Nov — Israeli bulldozers demolished the outer wall of a Palestinian cemetery, on Wednesday, in the Thahr al-Malih village, in the southwest of the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin. According to local sources, Israeli forces along with bulldozers stormed the village and demolished the outer wall of a local cemetery without any prior notice. The reason for the demolition remained unknown.

Israel orders stop-construction of Palestinian homes near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Nov — Israeli forces delivered stop-construction orders, on Sunday, to four Palestinian-owned houses that were recently renovated in Shushahla area, in the al-Khader village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem. According to local sources, large numbers of Israeli forces along with several Israeli Civil Administration staff members, stormed the area and delivered stop-construction orders to the Palestinian residents of the four houses. Sources added that the orders were delivered under the pretext of being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit. Sources mentioned that the residents were ordered to evacuate the area after 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and were threatened of being detained if they do not evacuate. The Shushahla area is located in Area C — the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, where Israel refuses to permit Palestinian construction.

Israeli authorities to seize 356 dunums of Palestinian land in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 5 Nov – Israeli authorities Monday notified Palestinians in Khilet Makhoul, a locale in the northern Jordan Valley, of their intentions to seize around 356 dunums of land, according to Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist. Earlier Monday, Israeli authorities seized 155 dunums of lands belonging to the village of al-Lubban al-Gharbieh, near the city of Ramallah, the occupied West Bank, for the benefit of a nearby illegal Israeli settlement.

Israeli military orders Jordan Valley farmer to uproot olive trees
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 6 Nov – The Israeli military Tuesday ordered farmers in the village of Bardala, in the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, to uproot about 260 olive trees planted in their land under the pretext the land was state owned, according to Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist. He said that soldiers left notices during the night in the land ordering the farmers to uproot them within 45 days. Some of the trees date back 20 years and some are located close to homes.

Closures / Restrictions on movement

Israel prevents Palestinian workers from entry into Bethlehem-area settlement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Nov — Israeli forces prevented Palestinian workers from entering the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat south of Bethlehem district in the southern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday dawn, on suspicions of a possible “infiltration.” Hebrew-language news sites reported that settlement security forces suspected an “infiltration” into the settlement at around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday. Israeli forces then carried out searched across and around the area. A state of alert was declared inside the settlement as settlers were requested not to leave their homes. Israeli forces also prevented settlers from opening the gates of a religious school inside a nearby settlement outpost and closed the road leading to the school in fear of possible attacks.

Israeli forces seal off West Bank village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Nov — Israeli forces sealed off the al-Lubban al-Sharqiya village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Monday. Local sources said that Israeli forces set up a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya and turned back Palestinian residents attempting to enter or exit the village. Israeli forces also prevented Palestinian students from reaching their high school, located on the Ramallah-Nablus main road. Palestinian students are regularly harassed by Israeli forces in that area, which often disrupts their education.

Palestinian refugees

Syria to ‘allow’ Yarmouk Palestinians to return
DAMASCUS (Agencies) 7 Nov — The United Nations on Wednesday welcomed a Syrian regime plan to allow Palestinians back home to the ravaged Damascus suburb of Yarmouk after expelling Daesh. Tens of thousands of pre-war residents have been unable to return to the large Palestinian refugee camp in the south of the capital since regime forces ousted Daesh in May. On Tuesday, deputy foreign minister Faisal Al Meqdad said Damascus had created a “plan for the return of all refugees to the camp”, though he did not give a date. The UN agency for Palestinians refugees, UNRWA, on Wednesday applauded the decision. “UNRWA welcomes the decision by the Syrian government to allow Palestine refugees to return to their homes in Yarmouk camp,” spokesman Chris Gunness said. Some 160,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk before the start of Syria’s seven-year conflict. After years of devastating fighting, siege and bombardment, much of the district has been reduced to a sea of grey rubble and mangled steel, though main roads have been cleared of debris. Only a few dozen families now live amid its bombed-out buildings. UNRWA has 23 premises there including 16 schools, all of which have been damaged….


Top chef withdraws from Israel’s Round Tables culinary propaganda festival
IMEMC/Agencies 8 Nov — Chef Gabrielle Hamilton and her team withdrew from Israel’s Round Tables Festival, scheduled to start this Sunday, November 11 in Tel Aviv. 90 chefs and culinary figures appealed to Hamilton and other chefs to withdraw from Round Tables, heeding the call from leading Palestinian women, farmer, and worker organizations. Round Tables is part of the Israeli government’s “gastro-diplomacy” efforts, aimed at distracting attention from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and food resources. Hamilton is owner of PRUNE in New York. She received the James Beard award for best chef in NYC in 2011 and for outstanding chef in 2018. Hamilton is the third chef to withdraw from Round Tables 2018 – Female Edition. Ana Roš, chef at Hiša Franko in Slovenia, cancelled her participation and events for Isa Mazzocchi, chef at Ristorante La Palta in Italy, are no longer listed on the Round Tables website. Round Tables is partnered with the far-right Israeli government, and with companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlements built on stolen land. But Israel’s “gastro-diplomacy” mask is wearing thin as the state entrenches its extremely violent policies and racist laws. The number of participating chefs in Round Tables has steadily decreased, from 16 in 2016, to only eight in 2018. Each edition saw prominent chefs withdraw following appeals from human rights organizations and culinary figures….

Other news

Government to compensate Jerusalem hospitals for funds cut by US
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 6 Nov – The Palestinian government decided on Tuesday to provide East Jerusalem hospitals with $12.5 million to compensate them for the funds the United States has decided to cut from the hospitals, said Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. “It is our national duty toward Jerusalem, its institutions and people, and to prevent attempts to bury its identity and the heritage of our holy city … the cabinet decided today to allocate $12.5 million as a grant to cover the deficit caused by the US decision to halt financing of our hospitals in Jerusalem,” he said….

Muslim family will not give up keys to iconic Jerusalem church despite pressure
Al-Monitor 8 Nov b Daoud Kuttab — A Jerusalem family that holds the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is resisting community and political pressure to relinquish them. Adeeb Joudeh al-Husseini, who says his family was granted the keys in the 12th century, told Al-Monitor there is no reason he should give them up. The key holder says his family’s custodianship dates back to the time of Saladin, the Muslim leader who liberated Jerusalem … But if local Palestinian politicians have their way, the keys will be stripped from Adeeb and given to another member of the Joudeh family. Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian government Adnan Husseini told Al-Monitor that considering problems involving Adeeb’s home, it would be best if the symbolic keys to the church were no longer with him. “What happened with his family home can’t be ignored,” he said.  Adeeb, whose family home in the Old City of Jerusalem ended up in the hands of the extremist Jewish organization Attert Cohanim Oct. 3, told Al-Monitor that he should not be blamed for it … Adeeb is adamant about his innocence of the accusations leveled against him, saying, “I sold our family home to a respected Palestinian businessman who was recommended by officials from the Palestinian Authority and local leaders.” Records do in fact show that the house was sold to a Palestinian banker named Khaled Attari who has since disappeared, but it is unclear how the house ended up in the hands of the extremist Jewish group. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has set up a committee to look into what happened….

Israel raids office of Palestinian Jerusalem governor
RAMALLAH (AFP) 4 Nov — Israeli forces raided the offices of the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday, authorities said, after reports of an investigation related to a land sale. Israeli authorities confirmed the raid in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, but provided few details. It came after Israel’s detention of the Palestinian governor, Adnan Gheith, on October 20. He was released two days later. The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Jerusalem affairs minister, Adnan al-Husseini, told AFP that Israeli forces confiscated documents and material during the raid. The same building houses his ministry and the governor’s office, both of which he said were raided in the first such Israeli action. Palestinian government spokesman Yusuf Mahmud said it was a “dangerous escalation of the occupation and a flagrant violation of all international laws and agreements”. Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency said in a statement a joint raid with police and the army was over “illegal activity by the PA in Jerusalem”. It said “various materials were seized which will be examined by security bodies.” Asked to specify which illegal activity, the Shin Bet said only that all PA activity in Jerusalem was illegal. Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community….

Abbas raises taxes on trucks bringing goods to Gaza
MEMO 6 Nov — Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday raised taxes paid by truck drivers who transport commodities through the Karm Abu Salem crossing to Gaza, the Private Transportation Association said. Head of the Private Transportation Association in Gaza Nahed Shuhibar said that Abbas increased the levies by 30 shekels ($8). Drivers are already charged 1,200 ($325) to use the crossing. Speaking to the Shehab News Agency, Shuhibar said that this tax is paid to the PA at Karm Abu Salem Crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian drivers in the West Bank have no taxes imposed on them. “This is a political decision imposed by President Mahmoud Abbas,” the General Director of Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority Nazmi Muhanna said. Import taxes have increased four-fold since the PA took control of Gaza’s crossing as a result of the reconciliation deal agreed between the Palestinian factions in October last year. Truck drivers held a strike in protest against the increased taxes.

Palestinian leaders slam Israel for playing ‘tax card’ again
TML 6 Nov by Dima Abumaria — The Palestine Liberation Organization revealed on Monday that Israel has decided to transfer tax and tariff funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) directly to the Gaza Strip. The move would effectively offset the sanctions PA President Mahmoud Abbas imposed on the enclave in an attempt to wrest political control from Hamas, the group controlling it. The PLO is recognized as the official voice of the Palestinian people and the dominant movement within the PA. Last year, Abbas imposed a set of sanctions on the Gaza Strip in hope of achieving reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. The punitive measures included cutting Gaza’s monthly allowance, including the salaries and social benefits of the PA’s Gaza-based employees. During a recent conference in Ramallah, Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s Executive Committee secretary, stressed that Israel made clear its decision in a letter sent to the PA in recent days.  Erekat did not provide any details about Gaza’s share of the Palestinian funds—which analysts say amounts to some $130 million per month in taxes and tariffs Israel collects on behalf of the PA and then transfers to Ramallah pursuant to terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords…. (listserv)


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

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