Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem
In video – Israeli forces hold students, teachers at Hebron checkpoint
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces prevented Palestinian students and teachers from entering Qurtuba elementary mixed school, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on Tuesday. Local sources said Israeli forces prevented students and teachers from entering their school in the center of Hebron City, after demanding to take their pictures before crossing the al-Shuhada Street checkpoint. Israeli forces reportedly demanded to photograph each student and teacher upon their arrival to the school and before they cross the checkpoint. Sources pointed out that students and teachers refused to be photographed and humiliated, which led to Israeli forces holding them at the checkpoint for over an hour, before allowing them to cross through. During the past week, Israeli forces had also assaulted dozens of Palestinian school students and the principal of the same school. Palestinian residents of the Old City of Hebron face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets….
Funeral of slain Palestinian sets off near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Thousands of Palestinians marched, on Sunday, in the funeral of a Palestinian who succumbed to his wounds sustained two weeks ago by Israeli forces during clashes in the al-Mazraa al-Gharbiyeh village, north of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. Muhammad Ibrahim Shreitah, 26, succumbed to his wounds after he was shot and wounded by Israeli live ammunition during clashes that erupted in the al-Mazraa al-Gharbiyeh village about two weeks ago. Medical sources at the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah City, where Shreitah was transferred for treatment, confirmed that he was shot and wounded in the head by Israeli forces.
Israeli forces attack, injure dozens of Palestinian students in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Nov — Dozens of Palestinians students and teachers suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Sunday, after Israeli forces attacked them while participating in a peaceful rally commemorating the 14th anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, in Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank. According to local sources, Israeli forces raided Tareq Bin Zayed boys school in Hebron during a peaceful rally to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the death of Arafat and fired tear-gas bombs and stun grenades at the students and teachers. Sources confirmed that dozens of the students and teachers suffered from tear-gas inhalation, in addition to nausea and fainting.
Soldiers attack students during school celebration
IMEMC 9 Nov — Israeli soldiers invaded Thursday, Beit Ta‘mar Palestinian village, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and started firing live rounds at students, teachers and officials of the Ministry of Education, during a school celebration. Media sources said the soldiers, and many illegal colonialist settlers, surrounded the area, before the army attacked the children, staffers and families, who were celebrating, singing and performing Dabka, in the Tahadi Basic School in the village. The very presence of the soldiers and the settlers caused fear in many children, who started crying before the soldiers fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at the school, resulting in injuries, while many children suffered anxiety attacks. Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Saidam denounced the serious Israeli violations and attacks against the children. “The children were just celebrating, there are no words to describe the serious assault,” he said, “the army hurt those children, and replaced their songs with cries, tears and terror.”
The head of the Bethlehem branch of the Minister of Education, Sami Marwa, said education ministry officials and representatives of the UNESCO in Palestine, were visiting the school, before the soldiers opened fire. He added that many soldiers and illegal colonialist settlers also gathered near the main gate of al-Khansa’ School for Girls, in Teqoua town east of Bethlehem, while a UNESCO delegation was visiting it.
[In the video, see how frightened the children are]
5 Palestinians injured in settlers’ attack on West Bank school
NABLUS, West Bank, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) — At least five Palestinians were injured after a group of settlers attacked a secondary school for boys in the West Bank, local sources and official Palestinian news agency WAFA said on Wednesday. Dozens of settlers from the nearby Israeli settlement of Yitshar attacked the school in the village of Urif to the south of Nablus with stones, provoking villagers and stirring up clashes, according to report. Head of Urif village council, Mazen Shehadeh, said the settlers were backed by Israeli army, adding that Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters towards residents and their homes. He added that at least five people were injured, two of whom are in critical condition. Two people sustained head injuries after being struck in the head with stones, while another resident was injured after being shot by live fire.
17-year-old Palestinian climbs fence to Israeli police station; 4 officers and suspect wounded
IMEMC/Agencies 15 Nov — A 17-year old Palestinian allegedly climbed the fence of a police station in Jerusalem Wednesday and attempted to attack the officers stationed there, according to Israeli sources. The officers shot the young man multiple times, seriously wounding him. Three Israeli officers were allegedly ‘lightly’ wounded – and a fourth was shot by so-called ‘friendly fire’ when the officers opened fire on the suspect. All of the officers, except for the one who was shot in the arm by fellow officers, were released from the hospital shortly after being admitted. According to Israeli media sources, the suspect approached the Oz police station in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv, climbed the fence and then approached the officer stationed at the entrance. The Israeli medical service Magen David Adom arrived on the scene at 10:32 pm, and a representative of the group told the Jerusalem Post that they treated three officers who “were fully conscious and sustained minor injuries.” The medics “gave them first aid and took them to the hospital, fully conscious and in stable condition.”….
Israeli forces detain entire family of Palestinian attack suspect
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israeli forces repeatedly raided the family home of Abed al-Rahman Abu Jamal, who allegedly carried out a stabbing attack, injuring seven members from the Israeli police forces, in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, on Thursday morning. According to the family members of Abed, large numbers of Israeli forces raided the Abu Jamal family home repeatedly, firstly detaining the mother of Abed and secondly detaining his father along with his two brothers and sister. Sources added that Israeli forces violently searched the home and shouted curses at the family. Israeli forces also threatened the family with punitive demolition of their home. Abed was shot and injured by Israeli live ammunition, after he carried out a stabbing attack, injuring seven members from the Israeli police forces at the Israeli police station in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, in East Jerusalem. Abed’s medical condition remained unknown.
Paramedics among 6 detained by Israeli forces
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Israeli forces detained at least six Palestinians, including paramedics, on predawn Wednesday, from across the occupied West Bank. According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron; he was identified as Muhammad Abu Zeineh. In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained; PPS identified them as Muhammad Hassan Nawawra and Jamal Shalash. In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the ambulance and emergency center of the al-Suwwana neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and detained two Palestinian paramedics. PPS identified the two detainees as Rajeh Huwareen and Muhammad Odeh. The two paramedics were taken to an unknown location for further interrogation, however, the reason for their detention remained unknown. In the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem, one Palestinian was detained and identified as Barry Zahir Badran.
Israel army arrests 8-year-old Palestinian in West Bank
HEBRON/RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) by Qais Abu Samra — The Israeli army on Friday arrested an eight-year-old Palestinian boy in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), according to a Palestinian activist. Mohamed Awad, an anti-settlement activist, told Anadolu Agency that an Israeli military force had arrested the child, Omar Abu Ayyash [photo], in Hebron’s Beit Ummar district. According to the army, the eight-year-old was arrested for throwing stones at Israeli troops deployed in the city.
Israeli army detains dozens of American activists planting flowers in West Bank
[behind paywall] Haaretz 12 Nov by Yotam Berger — The army detained some 45 left-wing Americans in the West Bank on Saturday. It also photographed their passports and confiscated some of their equipment. The group’s leader says they were planting flowers in a Palestinian village. The IDF says they were rioting and engaged in illegal construction. The activists, from American Friends of Combatants for Peace, came to the village of Jubbet al-Dib, south of Bethlehem, Saturday morning to repair a playground. Upon leaving the village they were detained for about two hours. Beth Schuman, the organization’s executive director, said the group included about 45 foreign activists and 20 Israelis and Palestinians. “The army saw us when we arrived,” she added. While there, they worked on the playground, laying down soil and rocks and planting flowers, but “we didn’t build any buildings,” Schuman said. “The army watched us from the hill opposite the whole time …
Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank said, “On November 10, 2018, illegal construction work was done on a building about which a petition to the High Court of Justice is pending. When the [security] forces arrived, accompanied by a Civil Administration official, the activists present at the site began rioting.” … But Schuman vehemently denied that the group built anything, saying they merely laid down soil and planted flowers near the school. She also denied the claim of rioting. “We didn’t demonstrate violently at any point,” she said. “We made a garden. That’s all we did. There was no violent activity while we were there. Zero.”….
Video: Thou shalt not kill: Israel’s hilltop youth
Al Jazeera 13 Nov A film by Fatima Lianes — Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel — …Although relatively small, with only several hundred members, the Hilltop Youth are known for having incited violent acts of hatred against Palestinians and Palestinian homes, mosques and churches. They are also known for having a difficult relationship with left-wing Israelis, the Israeli army and even with Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service. “The more nationalistic you are, the more militia-like you become. All of a sudden, every idiot at the top of the hill takes a flag, sticks it down and that’s the new border of the country,” says former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg. “They’re [the Hilltop Youth] insignificant in numbers, they are insignificant ideologically … they are even insignificant as a crime gang. They are very significant in [how they are] dictating to the government a de facto policy – which is wrong.”
Long-time Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan released from prison
IMEMC 15 Nov — After a 58-day hunger strike which included several days of refusing water as well as food, Khader Adnan has been freed from Israeli prison. This was Adnan’s third such hunger strike – in 2011 he engaged in a 66-day long hunger strike, and in 2014 he again undertook a ‘hunger strike to the death’ of 55 days. He became a symbol of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners and their steadfast resistance to the horrific conditions and brutality of Israeli detention facilities. Adnan has been repeatedly imprisoned by Israeli authorities, who accuse him of being a member of a ‘banned organization’, Islamic Jihad. But he has never been accused of engaging in any violent action or taking part in armed resistance, simply of being considered a ‘security risk’, which has landed him in prison for months and even years at a time without specified charges. He has spent a total of eight years in Israeli prisons. This most recent imprisonment lasted eleven months, with no charges filed against him….
Note that events in Gaza are presented here in reverse order:
Hamas celebrates Lieberman resignation as ‘political victory’
Al Jazeera 15 Nov — Hamas has described the resignation of Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman as a “political victory for Gaza” amid threats to an uneasy ceasefire. The Palestinian group’s spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said on Wednesday that Lieberman’s resignation signaled a “recognition of defeat and failure to confront the Palestinian resistance”, adding “Gaza’s steadfastness sent a political shockwave” through Israel. Lieberman said he was resigning in protest against an Egypt-brokered ceasefire reached with armed groups in Gaza. The truce, announced on Tuesday by Hamas-led factions, was intended to end two days of Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza after a covert Israeli operation inside the strip, to which Palestinian factions responded with rocket fire. At least 15 Palestinians and two Israelis were killed in two days in the worst violence the strip has seen in two years. Lieberman had advocated for a more decisive blow to Hamas and quit in protest. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the truce saying the “leadership is doing the right thing”. Lieberman’s resignation significantly weakens Netanyahu’s coalition government and appears to bring about an early election.
Israel kills Gaza fisher despite ceasefire
EI 14 Nov by Maureen Clare Murphy — Israel killed a fisherman in Gaza [Wednesday evening] less than 24 hours after a ceasefire ended intensive bombing against and rocket fire from the territory. Gaza’s health ministry identified the slain man as Nawaf Ahmad al-Attar, 20. The head of Gaza’s fishers union said that Israeli soldiers positioned on land shot at al-Attar when he was only 30 meters into the sea in northern Gaza. Israel had restricted access to the sea for fishing since Monday evening, according to the rights group Gisha.
On Wednesday Israel partly lifted the restrictions but banned fishers from working in the waters of northern Gaza, accounting for one-third of the coastline.
Israeli army kills a Palestinian in Gaza
IMEMC 14 Nov — An Israeli military drone fired, on Tuesday evening, a missile at Palestinians in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one and wounding two others. The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Khaled Akram Yousef Ma‘rouf, 29, was killed by the Israeli missile, in the Shaima’ area, in Beit Lahia. It added that two Palestinians were also injured in the Israeli attack, and were all moved to the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia. In addition, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Palestinians near the al-‘Aqqad School, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, wounding two young men, before they were rushed to Abu Yousef Najjar Hospital in the city. Furthermore, the army fired missiles at an area believed to be a center for an armed resistance group in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, wounding three Palestinians, and causing damage to the building.
Cease-fire takes hold between Israel and Hamas
GAZA CITY (AP) 13 Nov by Fares Akram & Josef Federman — Hamas and other militant groups said Tuesday they had accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to end two days of intense fighting with Israel that had pushed the sworn enemies to the brink of a new war. The sudden announcement brought relief to a region that had been paralyzed by hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks in southern Israel and scores of Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. But it did not address the deeper issues that pushed Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers toward their latest violence and left doubts about international efforts to forge a broader truce agreement. Those efforts had appeared to be making progress in recent days as Israel allowed Qatar to deliver financial aid to the cash-strapped Hamas government, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he wanted to avert an “unnecessary” war in Gaza. Hamas, in turn, had scaled back its mass protests that have led to weekly bloodshed along the Israeli border.
But hours after Netanyahu spoke Sunday, an Israeli commando unit on an undercover mission was caught behind enemy lines in Gaza by Hamas militants. Their discovery set off a battle that led to the deaths of seven militants and an Israeli officer, and triggered the heaviest barrage of rocket fire since a 2014 war. The Israeli military said that Palestinian militants fired 460 rockets and mortars into Israel in a 24-hour period, while it carried out airstrikes on 160 targets in Gaza. Seven Palestinians, including five militants, were killed, and 26 people were wounded. In Israel, a 48-year-old Palestinian laborer was killed in a rocket strike on an apartment building where he was staying. Nearly 30 people were wounded, three critically. With air raid sirens wailing throughout southern Israel and the explosions of airstrikes thundering in Gaza, the sides had appeared to be headed to what would have been their fourth war in a decade….
A battle in Gaza neither side wanted ends quickly
ASHKELON, Israel 13 Nov by Isabel Kershner & David M. Halbfinger — The woman emerged dazed from the rubble, suffering from multiple injuries and barely able to speak. Her new husband, Mahmoud Abu Asaba, 48, had been pulled from beneath her amid the ruins of their fourth-story bedroom in an Ashkelon apartment building early Tuesday. Improbably, Mr. Abu Asaba was the only person killed in Israel in more than 24 hours of rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip, a staggering bombardment of at least 460 projectiles, many of which made it past Israel’s vaunted air defenses. Just as improbably, he was not an Israeli but a Palestinian, from Halhoul, near the West Bank city of Hebron. The randomness of his death put a fitting bookend on this latest paroxysm of violence in the bleak saga of Gaza-Israeli dysfunction, which began Monday afternoon and had run its course by Tuesday afternoon …
That the battle began at all was unexpected. Neither Israel nor Hamas wanted a fight. Both had been taking steps, with Egypt’s mediation and Qatar’s financing, to cool tensions along their border and ease Gaza’s growing economic desperation. Israel had allowed fuel to reach Gaza’s underpowered electrical plant and cash to reach Hamas’s underpaid civil servants. Hamas had promised to curtail border protests and the use of incendiary balloons that had torched vast stretches of Israeli farmland. There was cautious optimism that further progress could be made. Then, Sunday night, came the kind of military mishap that Israel boasts almost never happens. An elite undercover squad on an intelligence mission in Khan Younis had its cover blown. It was the sort of foray undertaken frequently, albeit with great planning and precaution, to plant surveillance equipment or rendezvous with a Palestinian source. Fighting their way to safety with the help of heavy airstrikes, the Israelis lost a lieutenant colonel and killed seven Palestinian fighters. For Hamas, already reeling from domestic criticism that it had sold out the Palestinian cause for a pile of cash, the battle in Khan Younis was a public-relations bonanza. Its fighters were praised for valiantly defending their territory and heroically running off the Israeli invaders. But Hamas also accused Israel of deliberately sabotaging the nascent cease-fire. And it had seven dead fighters to avenge …
In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Israel waited until the conflict’s final days to destroy tall buildings, and it deduced that doing so had a powerful effect on Hamas. So on Monday night, with rockets hitting Israeli neighborhoods, the army did not wait: It began leveling Gaza towers housing Hamas’s television and radio stations, military intelligence and other operations….
MULTIPLE VIDEOS: Israel pays dearly for botched raid on Gaza
EI 13 Nov by Maureen Clare Murphy — At least 10 Palestinian fighters have been killed since a busted commando operation in Gaza broke a ceasefire between Israel and resistance factions on Sunday night. An Israeli military officer was killed and another moderately wounded in Sunday’s botched operation that left a Hamas military commander and six other fighters dead:
Palestinian groups fired hundreds of rockets towards Israel Monday night – described by Israeli media as the largest ever projectile barrage from Gaza. The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated that resistance fighters targeted a bus transporting soldiers east of Gaza with a Kornet anti-tank guided missile. A 19-year-old soldier was severely injured, according to reports. The group said that the strike was in response to the killing of seven fighters on Sunday. Video shows the direct strike on the bus as Israeli soldiers deployed to the outskirts of Jabaliya in northern Gaza: Israeli official channels had earlier claimed falsely that the targeted vehicle was a “commuter bus” for civilians. A man was found dead in the rubble of a home, where a woman was also found critically injured, and a second woman was seriously injured when missiles fired from Gaza hit residential buildings in Ashkelon, according to early reports.
The Israeli military hit more than 70 sites in Gaza on Monday, including residential buildings and a hotel that Israel claims was used by Hamas for administrative and training purposes … Israel also targeted the headquarters of the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV in a heavily populated area of Gaza City: ….
Israeli shelling destroys al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israel shelled the headquarters of the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV in Gaza City, and completely destroyed it, overnight Monday. According to local sources, Israeli warplanes fired three missile alerts, only minutes before several F16 planes targeted the al-Aqsa TV headquarters with at least four missiles, completely destroying it and causing serious material damages to Palestinian homes nearby. No injuries were reported during the incident. Despite the destruction of the headquarters, broadcast resumed shortly after as head of the channel had confirmed that it would resume shortly following the airstrike.
Violence escalates: 6 Palestinians killed, 20 injured in Israeli airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip. Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the six killed as Muhammad Zacharia al-Tatri, 27, Muhammad Zahdi Awda, 22, Mousa Iyad Ali Abed al-Aal, 22, Hamed Muhammad al-Nahal, 22, Khaled Riad Ahmad Sultan, 26, and Musaab Hawas [or Hos], 20.
Updated: ‘Seven Palestinians, one Israeli undercover soldier, killed in Gaza’
IMEMC 12 Nov — After undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrated into the Gaza Strip, on Sunday at night, and assassinated two senior leaders of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, the army initiated a series of air strikes, firing missiles and shells to secure the retreat of its undercover soldiers, killing five other Palestinians. Hamas fighters exchanged fire with the soldiers killing one of them, Israeli sources have confirmed. Updated: The undercover soldiers were driving a Volkswagen car, and drove towards the home of Noureddin Baraka, in Bani Suheila area in Khan Younis, before stopping near the property, the al-Quds News Agency has confirmed. Fighters of the Al-Qassam Brigades then noticed the car and stopped it near a kindergarten in Abasan al-Kabeera town, and asked the passengers to step out of the vehicle and show their ID cards. It added that the undercover soldiers, who were in the backseat of the car, then opened fire at the fighters, after realizing their cover-up has been exposed. Al-Quds also stated that some of the undercover soldiers were wearing veils, pretending to be women. The senior fighter, Noureddin Baraka, was instantly killed in the initial shooting, while other fighters called for help, before chasing the car that carried the undercover forces. The Israeli army, stationed across the perimeter fence, started firing shells at cars and Palestinians who chased the undercover officers’ vehicle, before it crashed against a wall, and then headed toward the perimeter fence. So far, the Israeli soldier who was killed in the Gaza invasion has only been identified as (Lt. Col. M.). The army is still keeping other information classified, but his family has officially been notified.
The Al-Qassam Brigades said the undercover soldiers who infiltrated into an area, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, assassinated one of its senior leaders, identified as Noureddin Mohammad Salama Baraka, 37. It said that the undercover soldiers used a civilian car to drive three kilometers into the area of Abu Shanab Mosque, east of Khan Younis, and assassinated Baraka. The group added that its fighters then chased the undercover forces after they assassinated Baraka, and exchanged fire with them. Al-Qassam stated that the Israeli Air Force then started firing missiles, killing five Palestinians, and wounding at least seven [from the?] armed wing of Hamas. The army also fired several shells into lands, east of Khuza‘a town, east of Khan Younis, in addition to firing many flares.
The Palestinians who were killed in the Israeli offensive have been identified as:
Noureddin Mohammad Salama Baraka, 37, Mohammad Majed Mousa al-Qarra, 23, Khaled Mohammad Ali Qweider, 29, Mustafa Hasan Mohammad Abu Odah, 21, Mahmoud Atallah Misbih, 25, Ala‘eddin Fawzi Mohammad Fseifis, 24, and Omar Naji Musallam Abu Khater, 21. It is worth mentioning that al-Qarra just got married a few days ago. Both Baraka and al-Qarra are senior leaders of the al-Qassam Brigades.
Netanyahu says Israel owes ‘enormous debt’ to soldier killed in Gaza mission
i24NEWS 12 Nov — “I bow my head in sadness at the loss of Lt. Col. M., a glorious fighter who fell during an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu tweeted as he arrived back in Israel Monday, having cut short a visit to Paris in light of the dramatic overnight escalation. “The day will come when we can tell of all his valor. The citizens of Israel owe him an enormous debt,” the prime minister added. The officer will be laid to rest in a private funeral at 15:00 on Monday. The IDF revealed Monday morning that Lt. Col “M” had been killed and another soldier injured while operating east of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip in what had been intended as an “intelligence-gathering operation”. At some point during the mission, Israeli soldiers became engaged in a firefight with local Hamas fighters before an IDF aircraft struck the nearby area allowing the unit to escape … Seven Hamas members were killed in the clash, including a local commander for Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, identified as Nour Baraka. The IDF rejected reports that the aim of the mission had been to assassinate or abduct terrorists. But details of the raid, including the full identity of the officer killed during the mission, remained subject to military censor. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, extending his condolences to the family of Lt. Col “M”, said that the soldier’s contributions to the nation may never be known to the public….
Updated: Army kills one Palestinian, injures at least 37 in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Nov — The Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has confirmed that one Palestinian was killed by Israeli army fire, Friday, while 37 others were injured, during the Great Return March processions near the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip. Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, has reported that a young man, identified as Rami Wael Ishaq Qahman, 28, was shot and seriously injured, before he was rushed to the Gaza European Hospital, where he died from his wounds. The Palestinian was shot with a live round in the neck, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip., Dr. al-Qedra added. He also confirmed that at least 37 Palestinians were injured with Israeli live ammunition, including six children, nine women and one female paramedic, identified as Falasteen Qdeih, who was shot in the leg. Hundreds of Palestinian protesters held protests close to the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip; tires were set on fire across several areas while Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear-gas bombs to suppress protesters….
Gaza protests: Futures of nearly 1,000 children shot by live ammunition hangs in the balance amid strained health system
Save the Children 9 Nov — Link to video and photo content here. — Save the Children urge for an end to violence at border which has seen 948 children hit by live ammunition and for support for those who have been wounded. While early signs are that an agreement could bring relative calm to Gaza, months of violence leave behind almost 1,000 Palestinian children shot and maimed by live ammunition. As they struggle in a crippled health system, it is vital to support these children in recovering from their physical and mental wounds and ensure no further children are injured, Save the Children warns. To date more than 5,100 Palestinian children have been injured since the protests began, according to the UN. In total, it says 24,362 Palestinians have been injured and 228 killed since 30th March. In the same period 40 Israelis have been injured and one soldier killed. Even for the most seriously injured, there is little chance they can leave Gaza to get the treatment that could, in some cases, save their limbs….
Euro-Med: Israeli airstrikes displaced 100 families across Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — The raids, targeting various areas of the besieged Gaza Strip, destroyed nine civilian buildings, displaced 100 families across the enclave, and resulted in killing seven and wounding 26 others, including at least 10 civilian casualties, the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) said on Wednesday. According to a press release by Euro-Med Monitor, the first estimates of the damage incurred by the Israeli airstrikes across Gaza until the evening of November 13th (with the announcement of a cease-fire agreement at 6:00 p.m.) indicate the destruction of nine civilian buildings, including 80 housing units and offices, thus resulting in the displacement of 100 Palestinian families from their homes. The Israeli airstrikes resulted in dozens of shops being partially destroyed.
… The nonprofit human rights organization condemned Israel’s targeting of the headquarters of the al-Aqsa TV channel, in Gaza City. “Although these facilities belong to Hamas and do broadcast propaganda messages supporting the movement, they remain civilian objects that should not be targeted unless they play a direct role in the hostilities.” Euro-Med Monitor said “Israel’s targeting of a media facilities indicates its country’s fear of possible documentation of its army’s violations,”….
Gaza timeline: Main events in years of Israel-Hamas clashes
JERUSALEM (AP) 13 Nov by Isabel Debre — The latest round of fighting in Gaza is rooted in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and comes after Israel and the territory’s Hamas rulers have fought three wars in the past decade. The fighting in recent years has killed thousands of Palestinians and scores of Israelis, but has yet to dislodge the Islamic militant group or resolve any of the other underlying disputes between the two sides. Here is a look at some key events in the Israel-Hamas conflict:….
Palestinian refugees / UNRWA
UN Palestinian air agency narrows funding gap after Trump exit
GENEVA (Reuters) 15 Nov — The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees has almost closed a funding gap caused by the loss of $300 million in U.S. contributions, its chief said on Tuesday. The Trump administration pulled the bulk of U.S. funding of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in January after a U.N. General Assembly vote rejected Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since President Donald Trump’s move, the EU has become UNRWA’s largest single donor, Japan had increased its funding, and four Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – had contributed $200 million, according to UNRWA chief Pierre Kraehenbuehl … “We have mobilized until now $382 million of additional funding, which means we brought the shortfall down to $64 million, and we are still in contact with a number of countries; we are hopeful that this shortfall will be brought down further in couple of weeks,” said Kraehenbuehl….
UNRWA stops rent payments for 1612 families in Gaza
MEMO 9 Nov — UNRWA has taken the “painful” decision to stop paying the rent for 1,612 Palestinian families in Gaza whose homes were demolished during Israel’s 2014 assault on the Strip, the organisation’s head of operations said. “We need between $300-400 million to provide our services in 2019,” Matthias Schmale said, pointing out that the current year has been difficult for UNRWA at the political and financial levels, especially after the United States cut off its support to the agency. He added that despite the financial crisis, UNRWA continues to provide services to Palestinian refugees. According to Schmale, the measures also include dismissing 116 UNRWA staff. Schmale said the school year would not be affected by the cuts, adding that there is “a strong sign of a collective effort to safeguard its [UNRWA’s] programmes”.
Czech Republic to contribute over €200,000 to UNRWA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister, Tomas Petricek, announced earlier that the Czech Republic will contribute 220,000 Euros to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) … Petricek also posted a tweet on his Twitter account, saying, “With FM al-Malki, we have discussed the possibilities to expand our bilateral economic relations and promote business growth in order to contribute to the sustainable economic development of Palestinian Territories.” Petricek added, “In the last few years, the Czech Republic has been active in the Palestinian energy sector. We intend to continue working in this field and to see more of Palestinian schools and hospitals with solar energy.”
Yasser Arafat: why he still matters
The Guardian 13 Nov by Hussein Agha & Ahmad Samih Khalidi — Hated and venerated in equal measure, Yasser Arafat dominated the Palestinian landscape, and with it, much of the Middle East’s political map for almost five decades. His death 10 years ago, besieged and in miserable isolation, marked the beginning of the end of the revolution that reawakened the national consciousness of Palestinians and allowed them the possibility of determining their own fate on their own land. Authentic national leaders do not arise often. They are forged more by fate and circumstance than by human design. Ten years on, the full implications of Arafat’s era – a period in which he acted as founder of the political movement Fatah, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and president of the Palestinian National Authority – have yet to be understood. His most enduring legacy was to lead the Palestinians out of the material, political and moral devastation of the 1948 Nakba – the catastrophe which saw more than 700,000 Palestinians lose their homes in what became Israel – as a people and a cause. The fact that the Palestinian problem today occupies a central place in world affairs is in no little measure due to the man and his work.
Palestinian suspended for helping Israelis fix flat tire
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) 15 Nov — A local Palestinian police chief has been suspended for helping Israeli soldiers fix a flat tire in the West Bank. Police spokesman Loae Izrekat said on Thursday that Col. Ahmad Abu al-Rub was suspended and referred to an “investigative committee.” Earlier this week, pictures emerged of the Hebron district chief helping Israelis change their jeep’s flat tire. The images were widely shared on social media and sparked anger among Palestinians who considered it collaboration with the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority has come under domestic fire for its longtime security cooperation with Israel. It has threatened to cut ties several times, but never followed through. The Israeli vehicle was apparently blocking a road and the Israeli soldiers were struggling to fix the tire when Abu al-Rub offered to help.
Desperate for tech talent, Israel turns to an untapped labor pool: Palestinians
TEL AVIV (Wall St. Journal) 10 Nov by Felicia Schwartz & Dov Lieber –An intense labor shortage is pushing Israeli tech firms to hire Palestinians in the West Bank, establishing new economic links between the two sides despite persistent political tension and the continuing absence of a peace agreement. Israel’s innovative technology sector — which inspired the nickname “Startup Nation” — faces a shortage of 10,000 software programmers and engineers, the government says, posing one of the biggest threats to economic growth outside of war with its neighbors … About 1,000 Palestinian engineers currently work for Israeli and international companies, an increase of roughly 10% from last year, said Murad Tahboub of West Bank-based Asal Technologies, which matches Palestinian workers with employers … The average Israeli engineer in the tech sector makes around $130,000 annually while their Palestinian peers make on average $42,000, according to Israeli business newspaper TheMarker….
FILM: Palestine Underground shines a light on the West Bank’s underground music scene
It’s Nice That 13 Nov by Jyni Ong — Palestine Underground is a 25 minute documentary released by Boiler Room today. The film documents the flourishing underground music scene in Occupied Palestinian Territory, the West Bank. Shot last June, the film follows alternative Palestinian music collectives, including techno DJs, hip-hop producers and rappers, over a week in the lead up to Boiler Room’s first party in Ramallah. The Palestinian artists are blossoming in their creativity despite enforced constraints from the Israeli government; and although their movements are restricted and there is a midnight curfew, the Palestinian music scene refuses to dwindle, as seen in the film’s interviewees, who are brimming with musical passion and freedom of expression. Produced by Boiler Room’s Anaïs Brémond and directed by BBC and Channel 4 documentary filmmaker Jess Kelly, Palestine Underground “connects the dots between club culture and cinema to stretch the boundaries of what a film experience can be”, recording a musical subculture that is little known in the West … Members of the production team spent a year getting to know some of the artists online before going out to the West Bank as a lot of the musicians are rightfully suspicious of the Western media misrepresenting the complicated political situation. The level of trust between the film crew and the artists is evident, particularly in the opening scene where the DJ Oddz jumps the separation wall into Israel….
Architects, activists slam Jerusalem Old City cable car plan
JERUSALEM (AP) 14 Nov — An Israeli plan to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s historic Old City has united architects and Palestinian activists in opposition to a project they say is both an eyesore and a ploy to entrench Israeli control over the city’s contested eastern sector. Developers say the proposed project is meant to relieve snarling traffic and will ferry some 3,000 tourists an hour from the western sector directly to the Old City, in east Jerusalem. It follows a series of Israeli projects in the combustible city that have enraged the Palestinians.
The project is associated with the Elad Foundation, a group that has settled Jewish nationalists in the heart of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. The final cable car station will be integrated into a future tourist center run by the organization. “The cable car will send oblivious tourists flying over the heads of Palestinians and drop them off in the middle of occupied east Jerusalem, the eye of the storm, the …. center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Betty Herschman of Ir Amim, an advocacy group that promotes equality in the city. “This cable car is putting new facts on the ground that undermine any possibility for a peace process.” ….
World Bank will continue to provide budget support to PA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — The World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Ferid Belhaj, said on Wednesday after completing a three-day visit to the occupied West Bank that the World Bank will continue to provide budget support to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Belhaj’s visit to Palestine was aimed at reviewing first-hand the territory’s current economic and social challenges. Accompanied by Merza Hassan, Dean of the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, Belhaj visited project sites and met with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara, Minister of Local Government Hussein al-Araj, and Head of the Palestinian Water Authority Mazen Ghneim….
Israeli-Palestinian orchestra brings message of peace to divided America
WASHINGTON (AFP) 9 Nov by Olivia Hampton — Israeli, Palestinian and other Middle Eastern musicians brought a message of peace this week to an America torn by caustic political discourse. For nearly 20 years, youths from sworn enemy countries have performed classical music together at the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the brainchild of conductor Daniel Barenboim and late Palestinian American scholar Edward Said … Quixotic as it may be, the project is making its first coast-to-coast American tour just as the United States reels from a series of deadly hate crimes. Politics and war have thwarted a goal to perform in all the members’ home countries. There was a concert in the West Bank city of Ramallah, in 2005, and none in Israel. “It’s a pity,” violist Miriam Manasherov, 37, told AFP. “The day that will come that we can all play in Israel or in the other Arab countries that I can’t go to, that will be a huge success.” … “It is a conflict between two people who are deeply convinced they have a right to the same little piece of land, preferably without the other,” Barenboim said about the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Banksy recreates divisive West Bank wall in London (PHOTOS)
RT 7 Nov — Famous street artist Banksy has recreated a piece of the separation wall between Palestine and Israel for a London world travel exhibit to promote Palestinian tourism. The artist painted a replica of the 400-mile wall built by Israel along the West Bank. He erected the exhibit at the Palestine stand in the World Travel Market on Tuesday, urging art lovers to “pretend to be a travel agent” and attend the two-day event at London’s Excel Center. The Palestine stand, one of the smallest exhibits at the event, was thronged with Banksy fans queuing to catch a glimpse of the artwork which features two cherubs, one representing Palestine and the other Israel. Banksy posters, Palestinian scarves and traditional Palestinian food were handed out to those waiting in line.
Militant or poet? US sanctions Hezbollah leader’s son
BEIRUT (AP) 15 Nov by Zeina Karam & Bassem Mroue — The son of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader designated by the U.S. State Department this week as a “global terrorist” is a poet and music lover who is said to move around without security and whose role within the group is shrouded in secrecy. Jawad Nasrallah, the 37-year-old father of four, is the second eldest son of Hassan Nasrallah who has been at the helm of the Iran-backed Shiite group since 1992. In its designation on Tuesday, the State Department described him as “the rising star of Hezbollah,” saying he has recruited people to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel in the West Bank, and in January 2016 tried to activate a suicide bombing and shooting cell based there. The sanctions freeze any assets that those designated may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit Americans from doing business with them. The action followed the Trump administration’s decision this month to re-impose oil and banking sanctions on Iran over its financing of militant groups like Hezbollah, its military engagement in Syria and its nuclear program. In May, the U.S. and some of its Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, imposed sanctions on 10 top Hezbollah officials including its leader Nasrallah, his deputy Naim Kassem and top officials Hashem Safieddine, Ibrahim Aim al-Sayyed, Hussein Khalil and Mohammed Yazbek. People who know Jawad Nasrallah, however, disputed the State Department’s description of his role within Hezbollah, with one resident of Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, saying Nasrallah is not even a senior official within the group … Hezbollah declined a request by The Associated Press to comment on the State Department action….
Palestinians condemn Hollywood stars’ fundraiser for Israeli army
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Nov — Palestinian people condemned several Hollywood stars who celebrated and raised millions of dollars to fund the Israeli army last week. The Middle East Eye London-based news outlet reported that the gala was organized on November 1st, by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, adding that Hollywood stars such as Ashton Kutcher, Gerard Butler and Andy Garcia attended and celebrated the event. The site added that the gala was praised by Israel and its supporters for raising a record $60 million and bringing together more than 1,200 people … The event was met with condemnation in Palestine and by Palestinians on social media.
Billboard honoring first responders of Gaza removed
IMEMC/Agencies 15 Nov — Nearly 3 weeks into its planned 4-week run, an electronic billboard honoring first responders in the Gaza Strip was pulled on November 13th when the billboard company received phone calls and email complaints labeling their staff as terrorists and anti-Semites, and threatening a boycott. The Palestine Advocacy Project sponsored the billboard on Interstate 93, near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to highlight the desperate situation in the Gaza Strip, and to emphasize the humanity and agency of the people of Gaza, who are often portrayed as terrorists or victims. The billboard included a photo of deceased Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar, and text reading: “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza. Saving Lives. Rescuing Hope.” It was estimated to be viewed by over a half million motorists each week of its planned 4-week run, beginning 24 October. The billboard was met with positive media coverage. This week, a coordinated, aggressive campaign was launched against the billboard company with accusations of anti-Semitism, intended to damage the company for hosting this billboard … Richard Colbath-Hess, founder of the Palestine Advocacy Project, remarked that “The billboard was extremely positive and does not even mention Israel. Instead it was a celebration of Palestinian heroes. Apparently, there cannot be Palestinian heroes without some advocates of Israel feeling attacked.”
Ikhan Omar: Why advocating for Palestine is not anti-semitic
MG 12 Nov — This past week, the U.S. midterms made history, electing an unprecedented wave of women leaders tasked with taking back our democracy. Amongst them is 36-year-old Ilhan Omar, elected to Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. Omar, a Black Muslim woman and a Somali-American refugee, has made history three-fold: as the first hijabi in Congress, the first Somali-American legislator, and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. While on the campaign trail, Omar faced vicious Islamophobic attacks from the far right, conservative media, and random citizens. Her predecessor, Keith Ellison, may have been Muslim – and he faced his share of Islamophobic vitriol as well – but he wasn’t a visibly Muslim woman, and a Black Muslim woman at that, who is also an immigrant and a refugee, from a country on the Muslim ban list; a conglomerate of traits and identities that are seemingly targeted by the GOP with various policies such as the Muslim ban and current immigration policies. …
Some of Omar’s naysayers have attacked her because of her criticism of the Israeli government. Charges of “anti-Semitism” were lobbed at her because of her condemnations of the Israeli government for their actions in Palestine. In May 2018, Omar’s 2012 tweet was cited yet again, when a Twitter user posted a screen shot of the 2012 tweet and called Omar a “proud Jew hater.” Omar responded that “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews,” confirming that her tweet was indeed a condemnation of the Israeli government….