Media Analysis

‘Thousands of complex gunshot wounds’ to Gaza protesters — report by Doctors Without Borders

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr


Gaza: Thousands of complex gunshot wounds require urgent treatment
PARIS/NEW YORK (MSF) 29 Nov — Thousands of people shot by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza this year are overwhelming the Gazan medical system with complex wounds, infections, and disabilities, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. MSF personnel work in four hospitals and five postoperative clinics in the Gaza Strip, providing dressing changes, physiotherapy, and plastic and orthopedic surgery. The cumulative needs of wounded patients are creating a medical emergency, as the lack of appropriate treatment in Gaza’s crippled health system leads to a high risk of infection, especially for patients with open fractures. “Osteomyelitis is a deep infection of the bone,” Dr. Mohammed Abu Mughaiseeb, MSF medical referent in Gaza, wrote recently. “If it goes untreated, it can lead to non-healing wounds and increase the risk of amputation. And as time goes on, it gets worse. These infections need to be treated as soon as possible. It’s terrifying to think they could lead to amputation for these young men. But the infection is not easy to diagnose and there is currently no structure in Gaza for analyzing bone samples to identify it.”  The vast majority of the 3,117 patients treated by MSF from March 30 to October 31 were shot in the legs, with about half suffering open fractures and others suffering severe soft tissue damage … It is not yet possible to properly diagnose many bone infections in Gaza due to the lack of laboratory facilities. However, from MSF’s experience with war trauma in the region, MSF expects that at least 25 percent of Gazan patients with open fractures have bone infections, and about 60 percent of all those injured by gunshots will need further surgery, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation. In addition, a significant proportion of those patients will require some form of reconstructive surgery to properly heal, but untreated infections will prevent that from happening. This burden is too much to bear for the health system in Gaza in its current form, weakened as it is by more than a decade of blockade….

Seven months of protests by Gaza fence: Over 5,800 Palestinians wounded by live Israeli gunfire
B’Tselem 22 Nov — Open-Fire Policy — Since the protests by the Gaza perimeter fence began on 30 March 2018, Israeli security forces have fatally shot over 180 demonstrators – including 31 minors – and injured over 5,800 demonstrators with live gunfire. The vast majority of casualties were unarmed, and were fatally shot from a distance while in the Gaza Strip itself. As a general rule, the protectively clad troops sniping at them from other side of the fence were not in any real danger. Some protesters threw stones, some damaged the fence, and a small number crossed it or threw hand grenades, IEDs and Molotov cocktails at the troops. According to figures by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), over 12,700 casualties have required treatment in Gaza hospitals. This number includes the over 5,800 who suffered live gunshot wounds as well as some 1,900 who suffered teargas inhalation injuries, and some 480 who were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets. Approximately 2,300 of the casualties are minors. Doctors have had to perform amputations on 90 protesters, including 17 minors and one woman. In the majority of cases (82), the amputations were of lower limbs….

Palestinian dies from serious wounds suffered in 2014
IMEMC 28 Nov — The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a young man died, Wednesday, from serious wounds he suffered during the Israeli war on Gaza, in the summer of 2014. The Ministry said the young man, Eyad Yousef Suleiman, 25, was injured during the extensive Israeli bombardment and shelling, and died from serious complications. Suleiman was from Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

3 Palestinians shot, injured in 17th naval march in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Nov — Three Palestinians were injured with Israeli live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, during the 17th naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport in attempt to break the nearly 12-year Israeli siege. According to local sources, Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs towards large Palestinian crowds gathered at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, while the Israeli navy opened fire at Gaza boats attempting to break the siege. Sources added that hundreds of Palestinians arrived to the northern border to participate in the 17th naval march. A Ma‘an reporter confirmed that three Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces, while others suffered from tear-gas inhalation. The medical condition of the three injured remained unknown. The National Committee for Breaking the Siege, which organized the naval march, reiterated that the naval marches would continue until the Israeli siege over Gaza is lifted.

Israeli soldiers injure 14 Palestinians in Gaza
IMEMC 23 Nov — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the Great Return March processions on Palestinian lands near the perimeter fence in the besieged Gaza Strip, and shot fourteen Palestinians, including one child. Medical sources said the soldiers stationed in their fortified posts across the fence fired dozens of live rounds and high-velocity gas bombs at the protesters. It added that the soldiers shot three Palestinians with live fire, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The soldiers also shot two Palestinians east of Gaza city, and east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the coastal region … The processions are still ongoing, while hundreds of Palestinians continue to gather in and near the Great Return March encampments across the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip. This week’s processions are dubbed “Resistance Unites Us,” and mark the 35th consecutive week of ongoing processions. Dozens of women also gathered in tents, and started baking bread and cookies on wood fire, as part of ongoing activities of the Great Return March processions.

Settlers intercept goods trucks from entering Gaza through Israeli crossing
GAZA (PNN) 26 Nov — On Sunday morning, dozens of Israeli settlers from the Gaza enclave settlements rallied to block the roads leading to the Karam Abu Salaam crossing to prevent the arrival of trucks in the Gaza Strip. According to “Kan” Hebrew website, about 100 settlers living in the Gaza Strip enclave this morning carried out demonstrations on the road to the settlement “Eshkol” to protest what they called the security situation in the south, and the continuation of Palestinian demonstrations on the border with the Gaza Strip. According to the Hebrew site, dozens of settlers closed the roads leading to the Kerem Shalom crossing and intercepted goods trucks on their way to the Gaza Strip, demanding the Israeli government to achieve calm in the south. The website said that the majority of participants in these demonstrations are students of secondary schools in the Gaza envelope settlements.

Analysis: Botched Israeli operation in Gaza endangers human rights groups
[behind paywall] Haaretz 25 Nov by Amira Hass — If members of the Israeli special operations force that Hamas exposed in the Gaza Strip this month indeed impersonated aid workers, as Walla news and the Israel Television News Company reported, it will reinforce and even retroactively justify Hamas’ longtime suspicions. Hamas has in the past claimed that, consciously or not, international humanitarian organizations assist Israel’s Shin Bet security service and the Israeli military.  This is exactly what the employees of foreign aid organizations, as well as Palestinian ones with some foreign staff, fear. A senior employee in one of these organizations told Haaretz that if Israel has abused the network of international or local aid groups, it could undermine the critical activities of organizations large and small: The Hamas government that controls the Gaza Strip might take precautions that will interfere with their entry into the Strip and their work….

Report: IDF troops involved in botched Gaza operation used fake IDs
Israel Hayom 28 Nov — New details about the IDF’s covert operation inside the Gaza Strip on Nov. 11 have emerged alleging that the commandos entered the coastal enclave in different times and from different locations so as not to arouse the suspicion of Hamas security forces, a Lebanese newspaper reported Wednesday … On Wednesday, Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper, which is affiliated with the Hezbollah terrorist group, quoted a senior Hamas official as saying that the Israeli commandos entered Gaza through the Erez pedestrian crossing, in the Gaza Strip’s north, while their equipment was delivered through the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing, in its south. The Israeli troops were carrying fake IDs and once inside Gaza, they met with a Palestinian collaborator who readied two vehicles for them, the official said. He said that while the main vehicle used by the Israeli troops was destroyed by the IAF during the force’s extraction, Hamas was able to seize what he called “sensitive equipment and documents.”  The paper reported that Arab Israelis and Palestinians tipped Hamas off as to the location of the troops in Khan Yunis, and that Hamas had monitored the force’s movements and was able to expose most of its missions. The report reiterated Hamas’s claim that the Israeli commandos sought to abduct or assassinate a top operative. The IDF maintains the botched operation was a top-secret intelligence-gathering mission.

Gaza security tracking down suspects in recent Israeli raid
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip 26 Nov by Ahmad Abu Amer — In cooperation with armed factions in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security services are cracking down on Palestinians suspected of providing field and logistics services to Israeli special forces. Those forces entered the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 11, but armed Hamas fighters exposed the incursion. Nearly all the Israelis managed to escape in a helicopter after heavy clashes with Hamas. One of the Israelis was killed; seven Palestinians died … The Israeli special force apparently was seeking to collect intelligence information on the Palestinian factions’ military capabilities and to place a spying device in Khan Yunis. The crackdown has focused on the eastern parts of Khan Yunis near the border with Israel. A senior Palestinian security source who declined to be named told Al-Monitor that security services have apprehended Palestinians suspected of helping the Israeli special forces. He said other suspects are also being pursued in the large-scale crackdown….

Citing heavy cost of war, PM defends choice not to strike Hamas in Gaza
Times of Israel 26 Nov by Judah Ari Gross — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday defended his decision not to launch a large-scale military campaign in the Gaza Strip in response to a massive barrage of rocket and mortar attacks earlier this month, saying that doing so would be too costly for the country. The prime minister, who also serves as defense, foreign, health and absorption ministers, made his remarks to a group of new recruits to the Israel Defense Forces at the military’s main induction center, Tel Hashomer base, near Tel Aviv. “As prime minister, what preoccupies me is the fact that I know there’s no ‘free’ wars or ‘free’ casualties. There’s always a price to pay, and the price is very high, and I always thinks about this price,” he said….

Israel returns 25 fishing boats to Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Israel returned 25 fishing boats to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in the besieged Gaza Strip, belonging to Palestinian fishermen, on Thursday. The 25 boats were previously confiscated, on different times, by the Israeli naval forces. Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, said that the ministry received 16 small boats and 9 other boats. Ayyash added that Israel still holds 33 boats that were previously confiscated off the coast of the Gaza Strip….

Shouting in Israel’s face
EI 19 Nov by Ola Mousa — The Abu Ataya family has paid a heavy price for taking part in the Great March of Return. Fifteen members of the extended family have been injured during Gaza’s mass protests over the past seven months. Mahmoud Jihad Abu Ataya was the first member to be wounded. He was shot in the right leg on the morning of 30 March, the day the demonstrations began. The damage caused to his bones and arteries was severe and required considerable treatment. He had to have metal rods inserted in his leg. The right of return for Palestinian refugees – the main issue highlighted by the protests – is vitally important to the Abu Atayas. Now living in the Nasser neighborhood of Gaza City, the family is part of the Tiyaha Bedouin tribe. They are originally from Bir al-Saba (Beer Sheva) in the Naqab region of historic Palestine but are unable to go back there. The family was displaced during the Nakba, the mass expulsions carried out by Zionist forces in 1948. A few generations of the Abu Ataya family joined the 30 March protest. They were deeply shocked by the brutality used by Israeli forces against unarmed demonstrators. A dozen Palestinian protesters were killed and almost 1,500 injured on that day….

Israel tears love apart
EI 21 Nov by Amjad Ayman Yaghi — The only way that Moamen Asad Bashir could live with his wife was to flee Gaza. Moamen married Nermeen Hamdan in Hebron five years ago. The couple had met in Ramallah – another city in the occupied West Bank – where Moamen worked as a carpenter and Nermeen as a teacher. In June 2015, Moamen returned home to Gaza for his mother’s funeral. Afterwards he made multiple applications to cross the Erez checkpoint, which separates Gaza and Israel. But the Israeli authorities refused to give him a permit. Forced to live apart from his wife and children in the West Bank, he also lost his job in a Ramallah furniture factory because he couldn’t return to it. It wasn’t until February this year that Moamen and Nermeen were reunited. They now live in Brussels, with their two daughters, Yumna, 5, and Ayah, 4. Reaching the Belgian capital proved arduous. Moamen first traveled through Rafah, the crossing between Gaza and Egypt, and then on to Turkey. He was smuggled into western Europe. The people smuggler who arranged his trip charged him almost $3,000. Nermeen and their children flew to Brussels from Jordan. “I was extremely distressed,” said Moamen by Skype. “The Israeli occupation wouldn’t let me see my wife. I decided to emigrate after all the doors were closed in my face.”
Ahmad Shaheen is in a similar situation. A plumber from Gaza, Ahmad has been married to Nisreen Abu Arab for eight years. She and their four children live in the West Bank city of Nablus; Ahmad has been prevented from joining them. Two years ago, Ahmad left Nablus for Gaza as his mother was severely ill….

A Palestinian-Syrian love story crushed by Israeli air attacks
GAZA STRIP (Al Jazeera) 18 Nov by Walid Mahmoud & Muhammad Shehada — When Palestinians ventured out of their homes on Tuesday, following Israel’s latest round of air raids on Gaza, they noticed an extraordinary scene near the bombed-out remains of the al-Rahma building. Hanging in the bedroom of a partially destroyed apartment was a wedding dress, covered in dirt and punctured with shrapnel. As crowds grew and looked on in amazement, little did they know that the dress carried a five-year story of love, tragedy and determination. In 2013, Fadi al-Ghazali, a 22-year-old from Gaza, met Yara al-Zoubi, a 21-year-old from the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Facebook, a woman who he says he immediately fell in love with … “It took a miracle to get my fiancée out of Syria, let alone into Gaza,” Fadi said. “We achieved the impossible.” “When she arrived at Rafah, I was so happy that I felt like I was flying, and people were amazed by our story that they celebrated us all the way to our home,” he said. Yara’s family was unable to make it to Gaza for the wedding due to Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on freedom of movement in the occupied Palestinian Territories….

Escaping Gaza is easier now, for Palestinians who can afford it
+972 mag 27 Nov by Pam Bailey & Fadi O. Al-Naji — Um Ibrahim tried but failed to persuade her youngest son to reverse his decision to emigrate. The Gazan mother, who asked not to use her real name, has already “lost” two of her sons: one, a physician who managed to flee to Germany, and the other, also studying to be a doctor, to Portugal and then the United States. Now, her only remaining son is waiting his turn to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing into Egypt, where he hopes to obtain a visa and join one of his brothers. The young man has a relatively good job as an architect; he earns what is considered a rare, high salary of $1,000 a month. It is also tradition in Palestinian culture for at least one son to stay at home and care for his parents. Yet Um Ibrahim’s husband approves, and has even encouraged his last son’s departure. “These last harsh years have totally convinced me that Gaza will never offer a shining future. I don’t want any of my children and their children to grow up with their dreams halted in every direction by walls,” he says. This family is not unusual …
“Most Gazans who make it out are the strip’s most resourceful, highly educated, promising, accomplished and sometimes wealthiest people,” notes Muhammad Shehada, a writer who himself left Gaza for Sweden two years ago. The result is a brain drain that further endangers Palestinians’ prospects for economic prosperity or independence. Some think that Israel deliberately pushes people to leave, aided and abetted by Egypt. A July poll by al-Aqsa University found that 92.2 percent of the 1,280 Gazans surveyed believed the mass attempt to emigrate is consistent with the objectives of Israel’s occupation….

Palestinian ‘geeks’ code their way to a better future in Gaza
GAZA (Al Jazeera) 17 Nov by Fedaa al-Qedra — When Yasmin Helles was an English literature student at a Gaza college, she would spend most of her time online looking for information that could help her in academic life. She always wondered who designed these websites, making all this information available. She wanted to become that person. Six months ago, the 24-year-old saw an advertisement by Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG), a rapidly growing business and tech incubator, calling for young graduates to enrol in the first coding school in the beleaguered Palestinian territory, which only recently saw yet another round of deadly Israeli air raids. Helles took the unexpected step of quitting her job as an English teacher to spend more time pursuing her dream.  Now, she has joined the coding academy….

Heat them up: Keeping Gazan families warm this winter
The New Arab 22 Nov by Rami Almeghari — Two years ago, Wisam Bashir, a 23-year-old car wash manager from the town of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, received a message on his Facebook account from a local widow asking him whether he had any customers who were able to contribute their old blankets. It was a strange request, but the message led Wisam to launch an initiative called Heat Them Up In Winter, to help struggling families in the Gaza Strip. “The idea came to my head after this message. During that same winter, I began collecting more blankets from my neighbours, washed and cleaned them then distributed them to impoverished people in the town,” he tells The New Arab …  Husband and wife, Misleh and Rae’qa, expressed their joy at receiving their blankets. In the western parts of Deir al-Balah, Misleh and Rae’qa have been living in one room with their six children for the past seven months.  The eight member family haS experienced hard moments. Their ‘kitchen’ is only a gas stove in a small corner inside the same room they sleep in, and their bathroom is located just outside the room. “The window to our room has been smashed after our town was hit by Israeli warplanes three weeks ago,” the 36-year-old impoverished father tells The New Arab….

Days after concert, Gaza’s grand piano seized by merchant
GAZA CITY (AP) 28 Nov — A local businessman on Wednesday seized the Gaza Strip’s only grand piano, claiming he owned the instrument, just days after it made its public debut in a landmark concert following a complicated international restoration effort.  Sunday’s recital provided a lucky audience a rare opportunity to see a live concert in Gaza, whose cultural offerings have greatly dwindled since the Hamas militant group seized power in 2007. The Edward Said Conservatory, which sponsored the concert, had proudly showed off the piano, hoping to make it the centerpiece of Gaza’s only music school. But the fanfare over the piano’s revival was short-lived. The instrument is now locked up in storage amid a bitter property dispute, inaccessible to the young students who had hoped to practice on it….

RAFAH (Reuters) 29 Nov by Stephen Farrell & Nidal al-Mughrabi — On many days, Hamza Abu Shalhoub is the only person sitting inside the derelict VIP lounge of what used to be Gaza International Airport. Hemmed in by Egyptian border posts to the south and Israeli watchtowers to the east, he makes a living by trying to trap and sell songbirds, using other caught birds as lures. Goldfinches are the real prize, he says, because they still sing in captivity. He can make $30 for a goldfinch in the market, but has only ever caught one, and usually makes do with lesser catches. His older brother Shadi, 24, has had more luck, catching 12 goldfinch since he started a decade ago. It’s not much of a job, rising at dawn every day to spread their nets among the garbage-and-debris strewn former airport buildings. But with poverty rife and youth unemployment at 70 percent in Gaza, Shalhoub said he did not have much choice. He left school seven years ago at the age of nine….

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

In video – Palestinian shot, killed for alleged attack near Gush Etzion
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces killed a 32-year-old Palestinian paramedic, on Monday, near the Gush Etzion junction south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, for allegedly carrying out a car-ramming attack. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) confirmed that Israeli forces shot and killed Ramzi Abu Yabes, 32, a resident from the Dheisheh refugee camp and father of two children, while he was on his way to the southern West Bank city of Hebron for work. The alleged car-ramming attack injured three Israeli soldiers near the Karmei Tzur settlement, south of the junction. Medical crews also confirmed that one of the three soldiers suffered moderate injuries, while the two others suffered minor injuries. Israeli forces held a PRCS ambulance that was transporting Ramzi’s body and took his body by force in an Israeli military vehicle to an unknown location.

Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 25 Nov — Israeli forces attempted to raid a high school, on Saturday afternoon, in the Palestinian neighborhood of ‘Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem. Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee, said that Israeli forces stormed the ‘Issawiya neighborhood and surrounded a local all -boys high school, in attempt to raid it. Abu al-Hummus pointed out that Israeli forces fired sound bombs towards the high school, which led to several injuries among the students and teachers. Abu al-Hummus added that clashes broke out among Palestinian youths and Israeli forces, in order to prevent the raid into the high school. The Palestinian Ministry of Education released its annual report for 2017 documenting the Israeli government’s violations against Palestinian education, saying that 80,279 Palestinian children and 4,929 teachers and staff were “attacked” by Israeli settlers or soldiers.

OCHA: Israeli raids into Palestinian schools on the increase
IMEMC/Agencies 25 Nov — The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has confirmed, that since the beginning of 2018, there has been a significant increase in incidents involving the entry of Israeli forces and settlers into Palestinian schools. In OCHA’s biweekly Protection of Civilians Report, covering the period from 6th to 19th of November, it said that in the West Bank, 63 Palestinian children and nine adults were injured by Israeli forces during four separate raids into schools, one of which also involved Israeli settlers. Two of the affected schools are located in the H2 area of Hebron city, which is under full Israeli army and settler control, in Tuqu‘ village of the Bethlehem district, in the south of the West Bank, and ‘Urif village, in the north of the West Bank, near Nablus. OCHA said, in its report, that the raid into the ‘Urif school involved some 50 Israeli settlers, reportedly from Yitzhar settlement, who stormed the school accompanied by Israeli forces. Two of the injuries were by live ammunition, nine by rubber-coated metal bullets, and the rest were treated for tear gas inhalation.

Israeli settlers vandalize mosque, spray racist slogans in Beit Iksa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli settlers vandalized Palestinian-owned vehicles and spray painted racist, anti-Arab slogans, on Friday, in the Beit Iksa village, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem. According to local sources, Israeli settlers spray painted racist, anti-Arab slogans, including threats, on the neighborhood walls in the village and on many vehicles. Sources added that Israeli settlers punctured the tires of a number of Palestinian-owned vehicles. Sources mentioned that the Israeli settlers also targeted the local mosque and spray painted anti-Arab slogans on its walls, in addition the settlers attempted to set it on fire.
Although Beit Iksa is located immediately next to Jerusalem, the village’s lands have been progressively confiscated and the village is surrounded on all sides by the Israeli separation wall. Villagers can no longer travel to Jerusalem without permits, and Palestinians not resident in Beit Iksa cannot enter the single Israeli checkpoint that allows access to the village. Ninety-three percent of the village is under full Israeli military control, and a majority of the total land of the village falls in areas outside of the separation wall, meaning they have been de facto confiscated, including about 1,500 dunams (371 acres) where Jewish-only settlements have been built.

Settler attacks increase at Al Mughayyir
[with photos] AL MUGHAYYIR (ISM Ramallah Team) 27 Nov — The village of Al Mughayyir sits 27 miles north of Jerusalem. Sitting above is the settlement of Shiloh, more than a quarter of which is constructed on Palestinian land, the locals say. An elder from the village reports that the settlers now come into the village almost daily. “In the last three days they have cut [down] the olive trees, which are very important for Palestinian people.” He also reported the destruction of their property, car tires slashed, graffiti on the walls, much of it reading in Hebrew ‘Price Tag’ and ‘Revenge’. The settler violence is becoming more regular and extreme, and there is no authority- Israeli or Palestinian- that responds to the multiple assaults. “Only citizens, Palestinians,” the elder reports. It is unclear where the attackers are coming from, but it is worth noting that a military encampment was just turned into an outpost- deemed illegal by international law- for settlers, known as “Jbaayt.” Al Mughayyir is a beautiful village, situated among hundreds of olive trees, with bougainvillea that is spread across the landscape.

Colonialist settlers puncture car tires, write racist graffiti, near Nablus
IMEMC 23 Nov — A group of illegal colonialist settlers infiltrated, on Friday at dawn, Huwwara and ‘Aseera al-Qibliya villages, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, punctured tires of parked cars and wrote racist graffiti. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the Israeli assailants came from Yitzhar illegal colony, which was built on Palestinian lands near Nablus. Daghlas stated that the colonists punctured the tries of twenty cars in ‘Aseera al-Qibliya, and fifteen in Huwwara. He added that the colonists also wrote racist graffiti on the walls of a home, owned by Hasan Asayra, in Aseera al-Qibliya.

Palestinian family among 45 detained by Israeli forces
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) Updated 27 Nov — Israeli forces detained at least 45 Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday. According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained six Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. They were identified as Mahmoud Ayman Warasna, Zayed Tawfiq al-Jandi, Maher Awad, Adam Adel Huwashiya, Adam Tah Daajna, and Ahmad al-Hawar. In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained. PPS identified them as Abada Qanis and Muhammad Hassan Dariya. PPS confirmed that Israeli forces detained 30 Palestinians, whose identities remained unknown, from the central West Bank district of Jerusalem who will be taken to an Israeli court for trial. In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, seven Palestinians were detained, including a father along with his son and daughter, who were identified as Diab Saadi Musleh, Shadi Musleh, and Aya Musleh. PPS identified the remaining three detainees as Khaled Shafiq Abu Qarea, Muhammad Hussein Khasib, and Edris Hassan Sudani, and Ahmad al-Khatib, a Palestinian journalist.

Israel detains 32 Palestinians in east Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AP) 26 Nov — Israeli police have arrested 32 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, accusing them of illegally working with Palestinian security services. Interim peace accords state that residents of Israel are not allowed to cooperate with Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. Monday’s arrests come after recent tension between Israel and Palestinians in east Jerusalem, an area the Palestinians claim as their capital. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it to its capital — a move that is not internationally recognized. The suspects appeared in a Jerusalem court on Monday. On Sunday the Palestinians’ Jerusalem governor was arrested on similar charges. Police say all of the suspects will be held through Thursday.

Israeli police detain 4 Palestinians in Jerusalem
IMEMC 23 Nov — Israeli police officers abducted, Friday, four young Palestinian men at the Central Bus Station, in occupied Jerusalem. The police claimed the four Palestinians attacked Israeli soldiers, mildly wounding one of them, before they were detained. Media sources in occupied Jerusalem said the incident seemed to be an argument between the four Palestinians and the officers, before it developed into a scuffle. They added that the Palestinians were cuffed and blindfolded, before being moved to an interrogation facility in the city.
In related news, the Israeli police detained, on Thursday at dawn, two young men who reportedly fired live rounds at the Ramla and Hadarim Prisons, a week earlier. The Police said the two are from Jaljulia Arab town, north-east of Tel Aviv, and added that they fired at two guardhouses in the detention facilities.

Army abducts a Palestinian near Jerusalem
IMEMC 23 Nov — Israeli soldiers abducted, Friday, a Palestinian teenage boy near the Qalandia Terminal, north of occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli media sources said the Palestinian, 17 years of age, reportedly “carried Molotov cocktails which he intended to throw at the soldiers manning the terminal.” They added that the soldiers then detained the young man, before cuffing and blindfolding him, and took him to an interrogation center, in Jerusalem.
In related news, the army said that a Palestinian fired several live rounds at the al-Jalama military roadblock, north of Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank. Israeli Ynet News quoted the spokesperson’s unit of the Israeli military claiming that the soldiers located spent bullets in the area of the shooting.

Army detains Palestinian shepherds in Northern Plains
IMEMC 23 Nov — Israeli soldiers detained, Friday, three Palestinian shepherds in the al-Farisiyya area, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains. Media sources said the two shepherds took their livestock to a Palestinian grazing area, east of the al-Farisiyya area. They said the soldiers attacked the three shepherds, identified as Hilal Daraghma, Kamal Daraghma, and Jasser Qadri Daraghma. It is worth mentioning that the army frequently attacks Palestinian shepherd and farmers in the area, in addition to numerous violations by illegal colonialist settlers.


VIDEO: Israel releases Palestinian boy jailed for ‘plotting attack’
Shadi Farrah, one of the youngest Palestinian children imprisoned in Israel, has been released. Now 15, he spent almost three years in jail on the charge of plotting an attack, which he denies.  The case of Farrah, who crossed the Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, highlights concerns about the mistreatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces.  Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Ramallah.

Israel releases youngest Palestinian prisoners after 3-year imprisonment
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Two Palestinian minors from occupied East Jerusalem were released, on Thursday, after serving three years in Israeli detention. Israeli authorities released Ahmad Raed al-Zaatari and Shadi Anwar Farrah, both 15 years of age, after serving a three-year prison sentence. Al-Zaatari and Farrah were detained near the Old City of East Jerusalem on December 30th 2015, and were later convicted of “possessing sharp tools and endangering public security.” Al-Zaatari and Farrah were sentenced to three years in Israeli juvenile detention centers.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Israel ‘moving rapidly’ toward annexation: UN envoy
HEBRON, occupied West Bank (Al Jazeera) 26 Nov by Mersiha Gadzo — The Ewaiwe family home in Hebron‘s H2 district has been heavily fortified to protect them against the settlers living just next door in the illegal Avraham Avinu settlement. Rubbish thrown by settlers hangs on the wire mesh that shields the open courtyard in the centre of their home, set up by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) four years ago. Prior to that, their settler neighbours would push large water tanks from the roof of their three-story building into the open stairwell of their home, which could have seriously injured or killed someone if they had been standing there.  Other times they would throw large rocks from the same spot above, which on one occasion hit their sink, splintering it into pieces.  “I wish I could remove this mesh wire. I’m sick of it. It blocks the air, the sun,” Basma Ewaiwe said, looking at her plants lined up inside the dark stairwell.  “But at least the big stones can’t go through.”  The garden that she used to have on her roof couldn’t survive the settler attacks. Barbed wire stretches across their building in an attempt to deter settler intrusions. They’ve lost count of the number of times settlers broke into their home in an attempt to occupy it. Their son’s bedroom has been set on fire numerous times. On another occasion, their neighbours threw a tear gas canister into the room where the family was sitting. The mother, Basma Ewaiwe, pregnant at the time, suffered a miscarriage following the incident. The Israeli army outpost stationed on top of their roof witnesses attacks, but does nothing, residents say … When former Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced in October that another settlement had been approved to be built in Hebron for the first time in more than 20 years, the news wasn’t a surprise for the Ewaiwes….

Report: Israel continues with ethnic cleansing policies in occupied Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 26 Nov — In its latest report about Israeli settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, the National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements stated that, within the Israeli plans to complete the settlement belt around Jerusalem in general, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, the Israeli High Court has approved the largest settlement projects in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of  occupied Jerusalem, using the Absentee Property Law, which stipulates that Palestinian properties before 1948 were extracted away forever, unlike Jewish property, and there is no right of return according to Israeli law. The project paves the way for the construction of an 8-storey settlement, each of which consists of 12 stories. This is the largest displacement that the city has witnessed since 1948. Moreover, the Israeli High Court has rejected a petition filed by the residents of the Baten El-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan town, and have allowed the Ateret Cohnim Settlement Association to grant the necessary legal cover to expel 700 Palestinians, claiming that their homes were built on land owned by Jews before the Nakba of 1948….
At the same time, the Knesset approved a law, in the second and third readings, allowing the construction of houses and residential units in public and national parks, which means allowing the expansion of the “Ier-David” settlement, in Silwan. According to the initiators of the draft law, it is currently impossible to establish and develop residential neighborhoods in areas defined as public and national parks. The bill, which was supported by 63 Knesset Members (with 41 against), is intended to protect the population in the “national parks” and to promote the development and expansion of the population….

Israel is building a new illegal colony in Nablus
IMEMC 25 Nov — The Israeli occupation authorities are ongoing with the destruction and bulldozing of private Palestinian lands in Ein Jaloud village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, as part of the growing construction of an illegal colony. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA Palestinian News Agency that the army is ongoing with preparation work, including a new road, a concrete water reservoir and new units on Palestinian lands on the hilltops of Jaloud. He added that the colonialist settlers have already installed a large tent, and several wooden rooms in that area. Daghlas also stated that the army, and the colonists, are ongoing with preparation work to expand the illegal colonies in five areas in Nablus, especially the expansion of Shvut Rachel and Amichai colonies. “This is happening while Israel is ongoing with expansion work in Ahiya, Esh Kodesh and Kida illegal colonies, on Palestinian lands,” he added, “The constructions are even taking place on build more ‘neighborhoods’ outside of these colonies, by stealing more lands from the Palestinians.”….

Latin Patriarchate objects to Israel’s seizure of its land in Jordan Valley
[with map] JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem objected, on Wednesday, to Israel’s seizure of land that belongs to the church, in the northern Jordan Valley.The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said in a statement that it received a copy of the appropriation of hundreds of dunams of land belonging to the church in the northern Jordan Valley. The statement said, “The Patriarchate is looking into the aspects of this decision in order to address it in the appropriate manner, have it contested and to stop further damage.” In addition, the Islamic Christian Council said that the Israeli authorities seized 267 dunams (66 acres) of church land in the Palestinian villages of Bardala and Tayasir in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas and the northern Jordan Valley. The council added Israel claimed the appropriation of the land was for “military purposes,” in order to turn it into an army camp, which is a “blatant violation of humanitarian law.” Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), said that the seizure is a strategy which seeks to control the land and expand illegal Israeli settlements across the Jordan Valley.

Israeli demolition leaves Palestinian family homeless
[with photos] JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home and a commercial building, on Wednesday, in the Jabal Al-Mukabbir neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. A Ma‘an reporter said that dozens of Israeli forces along with staff from the Israeli Civil Administration and several bulldozers stormed the neighborhood and blocked a number of streets. According to local sources, prior to the demolition, Israeli forces raided a residential building, belonging to Mahran al-Mughrabi, and forced him along with his wife and two children out of their home. Sources added that Israeli bulldozers demolished the home under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit. Al-Mughrabi pointed out that the demolished home measured 200-square-meters and was built nearly two years ago.
Meanwhile, local sources told Ma‘an that Israeli forces surrounded a commercial building in the same neighborhood and removed its contents, including computers, desks, and chairs, before the demolition commenced. The commercial building, which measured 50 square meters, was also demolished under the pretext that it was built without an Israeli permit. Sources mentioned that the owner had previously attempted to obtain an Israeli permit three months ago while building, and that he had received no prior demolition notice from the Israeli authorities.

Israeli forces demolish Palestinian structure in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned structure, on Tuesday, in Suba village, west of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Local sources said that the demolished structure was a larger caravan, which was donated by an international organization to Palestinian resident Nabil al-Hayla. Sources added that Israeli forces had previously demolished al-Hayla’s home several years ago. No reason was given for the demolition.

Israel to demolish 3 Palestinian homes in Yatta
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 27 Nov — Israeli forces delivered demolition notices, on Monday evening, to three Palestinian homes and a shed in al-Khalidiya area, southeast of Yatta City, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of a local committee that resists settlement activity, said that Israeli forces delivered demolition notices to three homes and a shed, which is used as an animal shelter. Al-Jabour mentioned that the homes belong to three brothers, who were identified as Mahmoud, Muhammad, and Khalil Issa Rubei. Al-Jabour stressed, “The measures carried out by Israeli authorities aim at taking over the land for the benefit of Israeli settlement expansion in the southern areas of the Hebron district.”

Israel seizes land for expansion near Salfit
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 26 Nov — Israeli authorities carried out expansion work, on Monday, near an Israeli observation tower at the entrance of Kifl Hares village, in the north of the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit. The mayor of Kifl Hares village, Abed al-Rahim Buziya, told Ma‘an that due to an Israeli army order, Israeli forces started to carry out the expansion work of an Israeli observation tower at the main entrance of the village, seizing a part of Palestinian-owned land. Buziya pointed out that the expansion was carried out before the end of the period granted for the Palestinian owner of the land to legally object to the move. Buziya added that this form of expansion seeks to obstruct and control the movement of the residents of the village.

Closures / Restriction of movement

Israeli forces seal off entrance to Ramallah-area village
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Israeli forces sealed off the Deir Abu Mash‘al village, in the northwest of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, on Thursday. The mayor of Deir Abu Mash‘al, Fawwaz al-Barghouthi, said that Israeli forces continue to seal off the village daily for over a month now. Al-Barghouthi added that Israel’s systematic sanctions and collective punishments have been practiced on a daily basis against the residents of the village without any exceptions. Al-Barghouthi pointed out that the seal-off prevents Palestinian patients from accessing hospitals, as well as teachers and labor workers who cannot reach work outside the village. He called on international human rights organizations to intervene into this “tragedy” that 4,500 Palestinians have to face daily.

Israeli forces close Beit El checkpoint in both directions
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 27 Nov — Israeli forces closed the Beit El “DCO” military checkpoint in the northern part of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in both directions, on Monday. The checkpoint was closed to Palestinian traffic passing through in both directions due to a suspicious object on the road between the illegal Israeli settlements of Beit El and Psagot. Israeli forces blew up the suspicious object. Locals told Ma‘an that a loud explosion was heard from the area.


Netanyahu aims to complete total annexation of Jerusalem from Palestine
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — In light of the recent grave developments in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation’s accelerated and egregious violations committed against the Palestinian people’s national and human rights in the occupied city, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said on Wednesday that “the reality and future of Jerusalem is a litmus test for the world.” Ashrawi appealed to governments around the world and all members of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal actions in occupied Jerusalem. Ashrawi said, “Since the beginning of the year, Israel has accelerated and intensified its efforts to entrench its colonial military occupation, especially in and around occupied Jerusalem. Such measures include Israel’s theft of Palestinian lands, the expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise, the arrest of Palestinian representatives and officials and the deliberate targeting of Palestinian ministries and institutions, the revocation the IDs and residency status of Palestinians, the demolition of commercial and residential Palestinian-owned properties and other structures, and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, among other flagrant violations of international law and relevant conventions.”….

Israeli court extends detention of Jerusalem governor
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — The Israeli Magistrate Court of Jerusalem extended the detention of the governor of Jerusalem for three days, along with other Fatah movement members, on Thursday. Sources told Ma‘an that the Israeli Magistrate Court of Jerusalem extended the detention of Adnan Ghaith, the governor of Jerusalem, until Sunday. Ghaith was detained last Sunday after Israeli forces raided his home in Silwan town. The court also extended the detention of the Fatah movement’s secretary in Jerusalem, Adel Abu Zneid, until Monday. The detentions of nine other Palestinians from Jerusalem, who were detained last Monday during a campaign that targeted Fatah members in the city, were also extended. The nine detainees were identified as Alaa Abu al-Hawa, Amer Awwad, Fadi Mahmoud, Hussam Abu Isnineh, Khalil Bashir, Muhammad al-Qaq, Ahmad Mustafa, Iyad Hadra and Hatem Mahlus.
The court had released three of those detained last Monday on Wednesday, and 21 others earlier Thursday, on the condition of being banned from entry to the West Bank for two weeks, being held under house arrest for five days, and paying a bail of 1000 ILS each.


CNN fires analyst Marc Lamont Hill after UN speech on Israel
NEW YORK (AP) 29 Nov — CNN on Thursday parted ways with contributor Marc Lamont Hill after a speech the college professor made on Israel and Palestine at the United Nations. A CNN spokesperson confirmed Hill is no longer under contract. The network did not give a reason, but the move comes amid objections to Hill’s speech by the Anti-Defamation League and other groups. Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in the Wednesday speech given for the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Bill boycotting Israeli settlement goods passes first reading in Irish Senate
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — A bill prohibiting the importation and sale of goods and services originating in illegal Israeli settlements approved in July by the Irish Senate, was passed in its first reading, on Wednesday. The Control of Economic Activities (occupied territories) Bill 2018, which was sponsored by Senator Frances Black, seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. According to local reports, 25 Irish senators voted in favor, while 20 opposed and 14 abstained. However, the bill still needs to pass through another two readings before it becomes a law.

Other news

The Judge – film  trailer
PBS Independent Lens — Showing Shari‘a law in a way we’ve never seen before–through the story of the first-ever female judge in Palestine’s religious courts –The Judge is a portrait of a remarkable woman and an eye-opening look at Middle East religious courts, including the Shari‘a courts of Islam. Adjudicating domestic and family matters, they have traditionally banned women from serving as judges – until Kholoud Al-Faqih dared to challenge that history.
[Watch the full film (1 hour 20 minutes) here until December 4.  Not to be missed.  See Palestine as an Arab society without reference to Israel or the occupation.]
Read also this article on the first female shari‘a judge for Palestinians in Israel.

Erekat applauds Chilean parliament for standing by Palestinian rights
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, applauded the Chilean parliament, on Wednesday, for standing by Palestinian rights in a resolution it had passed calling on its government to review all agreements between Chile and Israel to ensure their applicability to the 1967 borders. At the invitation of the PLO, a delegation of 11 Chilean lawmakers, from all the political parties represented in the parliament, visited the occupied Palestinian territories in September. The Chilean parliament voted, on Tuesday, 99 in favor to 7 against with 31 abstentions on a resolution, which it called on its government to review agreements with Israel to ensure that there are specific references to the borders of the State of Israel and their applicability to the 1967 borders are in accordance with Security Council resolution 2334….

Hamas leader says he has been invited to Moscow
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 28 Nov — The top leader of the Hamas militant group says he has received an invitation to make an official visit to Moscow. The office of Ismail Haniyeh said the invitation was delivered Wednesday by a visiting Russian diplomat. Its statement did not elaborate on the purpose of the visit. Russia maintains high-level contact with Hamas, which Israel, the U.S. and the European Union classify as a terrorist group. Haniyeh was elected as Hamas’ top leader last year. His predecessor, Khaled Mashaal, visited Moscow frequently. In 2007, a year after winning parliamentary elections, Hamas drove out the Western-backed Palestinian Authority from Gaza and took over the coastal enclave. Russia has hosted several rounds of talks aimed at forging reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

UN SG: ‘Demolitions, illegal settlements, evictions will not bring peace’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — “More than 40 years ago, the General Assembly established an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people to remind us of our collective, unfinished task of resolving the question of Palestine,” said the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “Over the decades, this has become one of the most intractable challenges for the international community, and we know only too well the tragic results,” Guterres said in his annual address marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which coincides on November 29, the day the General Assembly voted in 1947 to partition Palestine and create Israel that led to the majority of Palestinians losing their homes and land and become refugees. Guterres added, “Demolitions, illegal continued settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive measures will not bring peace.” “Unilateral steps will not resolve final status issues or the conflict. Only constructive negotiations, in good faith, and adhering to the long-established and agreed parameters for a two-state solution, will bring the desired, long-lasting solution. Containing the situation is not sufficient.”….

ICC prosecutors ordered to reexamine Gaza flotilla incident for the third time
Times of Israel 22 Nov by Raphael Ahren — Judges at the International Criminal Court have ordered the court’s chief prosecutor to reopen for the third time her probe into the May 2010 flotilla incident, during which Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish citizens aboard a naval vessel that was aiming to break the Gaza blockade. Israel has reacted scornfully to the pre-trial chamber’s decision last week to require Fatou Bensouda to reconsider a case that she had repeatedly sought to close due to lack of gravity….

Feature: Palestinian female artist creates miniature replica of 2,000-year-old Roman-style city in West Bank
[with photos] NABLUS (Xinhua) 1 Nov by Fatima Aruri — The bustling city of Nablus in the West Bank, with a long history of more than 2,000 years, is still alive with visible Roman remains, Christian marks and Islamic features. Nicknamed as minor Damascus, or uncrowned queen, the city got its name from the Roman ancient city of Neapolis. The Roman-style city, founded by the Flavian emperors in 72 AD, features distinctive traditional urban architecture despite its bloody history after the Israeli military incursions. In order to demonstrate the structure of the city in detail, the Palestinian female artist Noura Jardaneh created a miniature replica of the nearly one-square-km old city, using simple materials such as cartons, stones and concrete. The project took Jardaneh almost three years, driven by her original idea to unravel the maze of the old city’s narrow alleys as an informative and interesting tour for children. “In this project, we aimed at promoting the heritage and tourism by encouraging people to walk into the old city again,” Jardaneh said. “In essence, it employs art at the service of history … seeing the miniature has provoked curiosity and eagerness toward knowledge and questions,” she added….

Israel cabinet approves appointment of new army chief of staff
JERUSALEM (AFP) 25 Nov – Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of Aviv Kochavi, a former military intelligence head, as the army’s new chief of staff, a government source said. Kochavi will take up his new position at the start of 2019, succeeding General Gadi Eisenkot. He was selected for the job by now former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman in October. Kochavi has served as head of the army’s northern command and as military intelligence chief during the 2014 war against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza. He was also deputy chief of staff since 2017. Kochavi, 54, is a graduate of the prestigious universities of Harvard and John Hopkins in the United States and holds a degree in international relations….

Israel concludes war games simulating conflict with Gaza
Anadolu Agency 29 Nov — The Israeli army on Thursday wrapped up a two-month-long military exercise simulating conflict with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media reports. The Jerusalem Post quoted a military official as saying that the Israeli army’s Kfir Brigade had conducted the drills, which were carried out at the brigade level and which “simulated a conflict with Gaza”. The infantry brigade was established in 2005 to put down Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. In a Thursday statement, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adrae said the just-concluded drills had included “ground maneuvers” and “urban combat scenarios”.  The Jerusalem Post quoted Kfir Brigade Commander Zion Ratzon as saying: “I’m confident that after two months of intensive training… we are better prepared for the next campaign”….

USAID to shutter West Bank, Gaza operation by early 2019: report
i24NEWS 25 Nov — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is expected to lay off half of its West Bank and Gaza operation employees in the coming weeks before shuttering the mission completely in early 2019, the Haaretz daily reported Sunday. According to the report, the humanitarian agency was informed by the US State Department last week that it would have to present a list of 60 employees to be let go by next month as part of the first phase in shutting down the operation. USAID began operating in the West Bank and Gaza in 1994, with an emphasis on economic growth and infrastructure; water, health and education; and governance and civil engagement. The gradual shutdown of the agency comes as the United States’ previously generous federal aid to the Palestinians has been reduced to a trickle by a series of punitive measures taken by the Trump administration against the Palestinians, who have been refusing to play ball with the US’s efforts to negotiate a peace deal with Israel….

US circulates UN resolution that would condemn Hamas rockets
UNITED NATIONS (AP) 29 Nov by Edith M. Lederer — The United States circulated a U.N. resolution Thursday condemning the militant Islamic group Hamas, which controls Gaza, “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence” that puts civilians at risk. The draft General Assembly resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, “demands that Hamas and other militant actors including Palestinian Islamic Jihad cease activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices.” It was circulated as the 193-member world body was preparing to vote on four pro-Palestinian resolutions. The U.S. Mission said it expected a vote on the Hamas resolution, which is not legally binding, as early as Monday. If adopted, it would be the first resolution condemning Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias, citing the General Assembly’s annual adoption of numerous resolutions supporting the Palestinians. In June, the U.S. withdrew from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, with Haley citing it for longstanding bias against Israel….

Jewish Americans sue Airbnb over West Bank listing ban
Reuters 28 Nov — A group of Jewish Americans sued Airbnb Inc on Wednesday in U.S. federal court, accusing the home rental company of religious discrimination over its decision last week to remove listings for about 200 homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The 18 plaintiffs, including Israeli-American families and individuals who said they own or wish to rent affected homes, accused Airbnb of “redlining” Jewish-owned properties while letting Muslims and Christians rent their homes. They said this effectively left Airbnb taking sides in the dispute over the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to establish an independent state and which Israel captured in 1967, along with East Jerusalem. “We don’t believe this lawsuit will succeed in court, but we know that people will disagree with our decision and appreciate their perspective,” Airbnb said in a statement….

US urges Palestinians to free dual national suspected of Jerusalem land deal
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 28 Nov by Dan Williams & Ali Sawafta — The U.S. ambassador to Israel called on Palestinians on Wednesday to free an American-Palestinian who, the envoy said, was detained for “selling land to a Jew”, apparently violating a long-standing Palestinian ban on selling land to Israelis. Through its official Wafa news agency, the Palestinian Authority has accused property dealer Issam Akel, a U.S. citizen, of attempting to sell a property in East Jerusalem without permission of his business partners or the authorities. The Wafa report did not identify the intended buyer. Palestinian law bars selling land to “a hostile state or any of its citizens”, and requires the permission of the Palestinain Authority for all land sales in East Jerusalem. Land sales in the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are highly fraught for Palestinians, who see Israeli efforts to buy up land as part of a plot to cement control….

British minister promotes post-Brexit trade in Israel
Jerusalem (AFP) – British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox met Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as his country prepares to leave the European Union and pursue an independent trade policy. Britain’s exports to Israel already grew by 75 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, Fox’s office said, citing Israeli official figures. Last year saw more than $9 billion in trade between the two nations, a record high, it said. “And as we leave the European Union and Britain takes up its place as an independent state of (the World Trade Organisation), we want to push our concept of free trade even further,” Fox told Netanyahu ahead of free trade even further,” Fox told Netanyahu ahead of their meeting. “In a world where the siren calls of protectionism are rising, two free-trade nations like ours need to make the case for global free trade because trade spreads prosperity.” Netanyahu said: “Britain is in fact our largest trade partner in Europe — one of our most important trading partners in the world — and we value the friendship.”….

Trump peace plan to be unveiled in early 2019: Israel’s UN envoy
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) 27 Nov — US President Donald Trump’s administration has told Israel that it will present its long-awaited Middle East peace plan early next year, Israel’s UN envoy said Tuesday. Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon told journalists that the peace plan was “completed” and that the administration had discussed timing with Israel to unveil the proposals. “As far as we know, they speak with us about beginning of ’19, which is coming soon,” Danon said. “We don’t know the details of the plan but we know that it’s completed.” The ambassador said early next year was considered the best timing because it will be several months before expected elections in Israel….

Iran vows to fight Trump’s Israel-Palestinian deal
TEHRAN (AFP) 27 Nov – Iran is determined to fight against US Donald Trump’s anticipated Israel-Palestinian peace plan, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Tuesday according to semi-official news agency ISNA. Trump has dubbed his administration’s long-awaited plan the “ultimate deal”, which has already unsettled the Palestinians although no details have yet been disclosed. Speaking in Tehran, Larijani said the “deal of the century” was a “plot” between Iran’s arch foe Israel and the United States to establish the Jewish state’s domination in the Middle East. “We will stand against the regime of Israel and won’t let this deal take place in the region,” Larijani said at an annual conference on Islamic unity…. (listserv)

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How can a real Democracy juggle Democracy for a chosen group of the people, but a Military Dictatorship for another group be called Democracy? The Leaders of temporal Israel may wish the Palestinians away, and actively displace them, but the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob-Israel has a role in… Read more »

CC of e-mail to Canada’s Prime minister Justin Trudeau, Sir, From a recent post (Nov 29) at Médecins Sans Frontières’ web site one can read – “The huge numbers of patients with complex and serious gunshot wounds are overwhelming the healthcare system in Gaza Untreated wounds could lead to… Read more »

What this article is suggesting is that if the IDF would shot to kill, instead of shooting at the legs, that the net result would be better for the Gazan economy and health system.