Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
Israel demolishes two Palestinian buildings east of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 11 Sept — Israel demolished today two Palestinian buildings that were still in the construction phase in the town of Eizariya, east of occupied Jerusalem but on land considered within the Jerusalem municipal lines, under the pretext they were built without a permit and too close to the separation wall, according to the owner. Samer Abu Zayyad, owner of the two buildings, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers gave protection to Israeli Jerusalem municipality staff as they used heavy machinery to demolish the two buildings – one 540 square meters and the other 430 square meters in area – estimating his losses at more than $1 million, not including the price of the land they were built on.
VIDEO: A tour inside the cancerous tunnels under Silwan
SILWANIC 11 Sept Arabic, English subtitles 3:41 — [The tunnels have obliterated Umayyad and Abbassid layers of settlement in the search for ancient Jewish artifacts and now threaten the Palestinian houses above]
Israeli forces weld shut Palestinian house in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 12 Sept — Israeli army welded shut the main entrance to a house belonging to a Palestinian resident in Shuhada Street in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to witnesses. Witnesses said Israeli forces, accompanied by staff from the Israeli civil administration, welded shut the main entrance to Sami Zahdeh’s house, which is located in Shuhada Street. Local sources informed WAFA correspondent that the house was set on fire about two weeks ago, and the occupation forces prevented the fire crews from entering Shuhada Street, forcing them to make a hole in the wall of one of the neighboring houses to extinguish the fire. The civil administration reportedly ordered the family to enter the house from that hole, and told them not to reopen the door they welded shut.
Archbishop Atallah warns against taking over Orthodox real estate in Hebron Gate
MEMO 14 Sept — Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of Sebastia, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, stated today that the ancient Orthodox real estate in the area of Hebron Gate is under serious threat, and that extremist settlers may seize these properties at any time. “We might witness the same scenario of the building of Saint John the Beloved in the Old City, to which the settlers were allowed years ago, again here in Hebron Gate.” “This is a new and renewed calamity targeting our ancient Orthodox estates in Jerusalem. The seizure of Hebron Gate and its buildings means further weakening, and marginalising Christian presence in Jerusalem,” he declared.
Israeli soldiers confiscate 100 dunams of Palestinian lands near Nablus and Ramallah
[with map] IMEMC 8 Sept — Israeli soldiers confiscated, Sunday, approximately 100 dunams (24.7 Acres) of privately owned Palestinian lands from villages south of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and northeast of Ramallah, in central West Bank. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the soldiers handed the confiscation orders to residents of Qaryout and Jaloud villages, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. He added that similar orders were handed to residents of Turmus Ayya village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The confiscation of the lands is part of Israeli plans to expand Shilu illegal colony, which was built on private Palestinian lands. The confiscated lands are in the following areas:….
Bedouin village structures demolished for the 159th time
IMEMC 9 Sept — Israeli forces, Sunday, demolished structures of Al-Araqib village, a Bedouin community in the southern Negev region of Israel, for the 159th time. On September 3, 2019, three people, including an elderly woman, were detained by Israeli occupation soldiers, when the village was demolished for the 157th time. The village of 220 people has been the target of an ongoing effort to permanently remove them from the area, by way of constant attacks and destruction of property perpetrated by the Israeli occupation. Israel’s displacement efforts towards this village began in 2010, resulting in the community, repeatedly working together with activists to rebuild. In addition to these incursions and violations, Israeli courts imposed a 1.6 million shekel fine on the villagers, to cover the cost of the relentless demolitions by the occupation authorities.
Days after Palestinian family evicted, Israel settlers move onto West Bank land
MEMO 12 Sept — Just a few days after Israeli occupation forces expelled a Palestinian family from land in the southern occupied West Bank, an unauthorised settler outpost was established there, reported Haaretz. Last month, Israeli authorities carried out the eviction of the Cassia family near Beit Jala, demolishing their home and a restaurant they had been operating on the same site. The land is located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians are systematically denied construction permits by Israeli occupation authorities.
Soldiers confiscate two electricity generators, abduct one Palestinian, in Hebron
IMEMC 8 Sept — Israeli soldiers confiscated, Saturday, two electricity generators in Wad az-Zarzeer area, and abducted one Palestinian near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Several army jeeps and armored vehicles invaded Wad az-Zarzeer area before the soldiers broke into a property owned by a Palestinian family and confiscated two electricity generators, which he had placed on his land. The soldiers also abducted, Nabeeh Taha Abu Sneina while walking near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Old City of Hebron, and took him to an unknown destination.
Israeli soldiers bulldoze large areas of Palestinian lands near Tubas
IMEMC 12 Sept — Dozens of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands, on Thursday morning, and started uprooting them, in addition to destroying water wells. Abdullah Bisharat, the head of [Khirbet al-] Atouf Village Council, said the soldiers invaded lands in Um Kbeish area, in the western part of the village, and started bulldozing and uprooting hundreds of dunams of Palestinian farmlands. He added that the bulldozers are cutting and uprooting dozens of trees and other plants in the farmlands, without a prior notice or any justification. Bisharat also stated that the soldiers also demolished four wells, used by the farmers for irrigation for their lands….
Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley plan violates law: UN spox
ANKARA (Anadolu Agency) 12 Sept by Burak Bir — Israel’s prime minister’s statement that he plans to annex the Jordan Valley is a serious violation of the law, a UN spokesman said Wednesday. “The Secretary-General is concerned by Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s statement declaring his intention, if elected, to annex the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea as a first step to applying Israeli sovereignty over all settlements and other areas in the occupied West Bank,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. He highlighted that such steps, if implemented, would constitute a serious violation of international law which would be devastating to potential negotiations and regional peace as well as viability of a two-state solution. He also stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian issue should be dealt with in line with UN resolutions and on the basis of a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders. Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel will impose its sovereignty on the Jordan Valley and other settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week’s Israeli election. Roughly 70,000 Palestinians, along with some 9,500 Jewish settlers, currently live in the Jordan Valley — a large, fertile strip of land that accounts for roughly one-quarter of the West Bank….
Please, Bibi, let annexation begin / Gideon Levy
IAK reposted from Haaretz 12 Sept — There’s no longer any real debate in Israel. The right wants to annex Palestinian land openly, and the center wants to annex, but deceive us. All that’s left now is to admit to the world that in reality Israel annexed the West Bank many years ago… it’s one country with an apartheid system — Here’s one campaign promise by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that we should hope will be fulfilled: annexing the Jordan Valley to Israel. So far, no other campaign promise has been as encouraging as this one. Not one Zionist party has offered even a hint of an idea that could shake up the existing situation like this annexation proposal, and the status quo is crying for a shake-up. I obviously won’t vote for Netanyahu, but I hope that this time he keeps his promise. Let him annex the Jordan Valley, and afterward the entire West Bank. Let him turn the reality in this territory into a political reality, without hiding it any longer. The time has come for truth. The time has come to put an end to the great masked ball that Israel and the world have been holding for 52 years already. The apparently eternal reality in this territory should be translated into legal language. The Jordan Valley was annexed long ago, as was the entire West Bank. The Green Line has been erased; nothing remains of it. All that’s left now is to say so officially….
PCHR Report: On 74th Friday of Great March of Return, 75 civilians injured, 35 with live ammunition
14 Sept — On 74th Friday of Great March of Return, 75 civilians were injured as a result of the Israeli military’s continued use of excessive force against peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border; 34 children, 1 woman and 1 journalist, were among those injured this Friday, 13 September 2019. Israeli forces continued to exercise excessive force against Palestinians using live ammunition and targeting protestors’ upper body; PCHR recorded 35 injuries with live bullets this week, 2 deemed extremely critical. Israel’s military has been put on high alert along the Gaza border as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened to launch a military operation against the Gaza Strip at any time. According to Israeli reports, Israeli military reinforced its presence along the Gaza borders, along with the use of the ‘Iron Dome Missile Defence’ in several nearby cities and villages…
The following is a summary of today’s events along the Gaza Strip border: ….
UN Human Rights Commissioner: 30 journalists covering protests injured by Israel
IMEMC/Anadolu 11 Sept — In Gaza alone, Israeli forces have injured 30 journalists since March 22, a UN rights body said on Monday. “30 journalists covering the protests were injured” by the Israeli army, UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said in a statement, referring to the protests held along the Israel-Gaza fence. Since the start of protests in March 2018, known as Great March of Return, a total of four Anadolu Agency journalists were also wounded, two in Gaza and two in occupied West Bank. In the same period, two other journalists working in other media organizations in Gaza were killed. Bachelet said the violations have continued since the adoption of UN Resolution 40/13 on March 22, 2019…
Israel strikes 15 Hamas targets in response to Gaza rocket attack, army says
[behind paywall] Haaretz 11 Sept by Jack Khoury et al. — Israel struck some 15 Hamas targets in the northern and central Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday in response to rockets that were fired from the coastal enclave earlier that night, the Israeli military said … The Israeli army noted that its strikes were carried out in retaliation for two rockets that were launched from the Strip toward the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod on Tuesday. The rockets were fired while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was addressing crowds at a campaign rally in Ashdod, and had to be taken off the stage mid-speech. Palestinian sources said Tuesday night that Israel had carried out several airstrikes near the city of Deir al Balah in central Gaza, in addition to striking in the northern Strip….
Al-Qassam Brigades shoot down Israeli Army drone
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has shot down an Israeli drone in the Gaza Strip, a day after the regime carried out a fresh wave of air raids against the besieged coastal enclave. Palestinian media reported, according to Press TV/Al Ray, that Hamas fighters intercepted and downed the quadcopter drone east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Monday night. The Israeli military has confirmed that a drone fell in southern Gaza, stating that an investigation into the incident is underway. The aircraft’s remains are now in the hands of al-Qassam, according to a statement by the group. This is the second unmanned aerial vehicle that the Israeli army has lost in the past 24 hours.
The downing of the drone in the Rafah area comes amid a series of exchanges between Israel and Gaza. Palestinian news agencies said, late Saturday, that Israeli airstrikes had targeted positions allegedly held by Hamas, inside the enclave. Health officials said there were no casualties from the attacks, which lasted for close to an hour. Israeli sources said that the attacks had hit Hamas naval facilities along the Mediterranean, in addition to two military compounds run by the group in central Gaza. There was no confirmation from Hamas and its affiliated groups. The relentless bombardment came after Hamas launched a drone operation targeting Israeli military equipment stationed along its border with the occupied Palestinian territories, following a wave of Israeli aerial assaults. Hamas’ raids have come in response to the Israeli army’s killing of Palestinian protesters marching along the border fence.
Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian lands in Gaza
IMEMC 9 Sept — Several Israeli army vehicles invaded, on Monday at dawn, Palestinian lands in northern and central Gaza, and bulldozed them while military drones flew overhead. Media sources said four armored military vehicles advanced dozens of meters into Palestinian agricultural lands east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the coastal region, and bulldozed them. They added that four other bulldozers invaded lands east of Juhr Ed-Deek town, northeast of the al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, and bulldozed them also while military drones hovered overhead.
Egyptian delegation hastens to Gaza to mediate as tensions increase with Israel
Times of Israel 8 Sept — An Egyptian military intelligence delegation will visit the Gaza Strip Sunday and not later this week as originally planned in light of heightened tensions in the coastal enclave, Gaza news outlets reported. The delegation, which hopes to lower tension between Israel and Gaza against a background of recent cross-border violence, was to enter the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave via the Erez crossing later in the day, the Shehab Agency reported. Egypt has in the past helped broker unofficial ceasefires between Israel and Hamas.
Gaza drone drops IED on Zionist occupation troops on Strip’s border
Al-Manar 7 Sept — The Zionist occupation army announced that a drone launched from Gaza dropped an IED on an Israeli military position along the border fence, claiming that no injuries among troops have been recorded. It also alleged that the drone attack caused only a slight damage to military vehicles.
Israel helps Hamas regain control over Gaza, rogue groups
Al-Monitor 10 Sept by Shlomi Eldar — It has now become routine: Almost every weekend, the Code Red alert is sounded in the Gaza envelope localities in the south of Israel, followed by what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman likes to call “airstrikes on terror targets.” This rather vague term is designed to give the sense that an important airstrike assault has taken place; in truth, however, it describes empty reprisals without any deterrent effect. In turn, this is designed to placate Israel’s public opinion. These “strikes” cost the Israeli taxpayer a lot of money but provide zero efficacy. Most of the IDF responses in recent months have been against unmanned targets such as abandoned Hamas observation posts and unimportant structures … It is a strange game in which each side is very aware of the red lines that it dares not cross in order not to be pulled into a significant escalation — certainly not into war. In other words, each side knows the extent of the “no-choice fire” it must carry out due to internal pressure. It is the extent of fire that would be considered by home public opinion as sufficient response; in reality, it is almost restraint. Israel, on its part, must strike the enemy in order to ward off criticism regarding the loss of deterrence. Hamas, on its part, must fire because it also must ward off criticism from the Strip. One of the ways anti-Hamas criticism has been expressed is through a widening of the “rogue group” phenomenon — heading toward loss of control. Thus, each side must retaliate but tries not to inflict actual harm….
The ecological war on Gaza
Jewish Currents 9 Sept by Rob Goyanes — FOR CENTURIES, the plains that comprise modern-day Gaza were lush with citrus orchards. Though early Zionists claimed to have pioneered the orange industry, Palestinian farmers had maintained orange groves—specifically of the sweet “Jaffa” orange that would later be co-opted as a symbol of Israeli ingenuity—for export since the 1800s. In some cases, these orchards were passed down by generations of Palestinian families. Arabs and Jews set up mutual orange enterprises in the early 20th century, but things started to change following Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, and especially following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Citriculture largely disappeared from Gaza in the second half of the 20th century, due in large part to Israeli bulldozing of the orange groves. Through the course of investigating the disappearance of the orchards, a researcher with Forensic Architecture—a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, composed of architects, software developers, and others who investigate human rights violations—learned that the low-lying crops that replaced the groves in recent years were potentially dying due to Israeli actions. This prompted the agency to take a closer look at crop disappearance in Gaza. In July, Forensic Architecture released a report titled “Herbicidal Warfare in Gaza,” detailing the results of their investigation, which finds that the crop deaths were caused by herbicides sprayed by Israel and carried into Gaza by the wind. The findings raise the disturbing possibility that the Israeli military has been engaging in a form of ecological warfare (a possibility first reported by +972 Magazine in 2015)….
Palestinian fighter killed in tunnel accident in Gaza
IMEMC 12 Sept — The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has reported that one of its fighters was killed, on Thursday at dawn, in an accident in a siege-busting tunnel, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. In a statement, the Brigades said the Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Fawzi Najjar, 25, was killed in what it described as an accident in a tunnel, east of Khan Younis. It added that the Palestinian was from Khuza‘a town, east of Khan Younis. It is worth mentioning that Mohammad is the brother of Abdullah Fawzi Najjar, 22, also a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, who was killed when the Israeli war jets fired missiles at a tunnel, on July 29th, 2014, during the summer offensive on Gaza.
Palestinian killed in an accidental explosion in central Gaza
IMEMC 8 Sept — The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that one fighter was killed, Sunday, in what was described as an accidental explosion in Central Gaza. It stated that the Palestinian has been identified as Mo‘in Suleiman al-‘Attar, 42, was killed in the explosion in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza. The Palestinian, from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, was first seriously wounded, before he was rushed to the al-Aqsa Hospital where he succumbed to his serious injuries. The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, said the fighter was one of its members.
Israel cuts medical permits for Gazans to halt migration to West Bank
Times of Israel 13 Sept — State prosecutors tell High Court the government is working to stem flow of ‘illegal aliens’ from Hamas-run coastal enclave to PA-controlled territory — Israel has been cutting down on the number of medical treatment permits it issues to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, fearing that they are being abused to move illegally to the West Bank, state prosecutors reportedly told the High Court of Justice this week. Prosecutors disclosed the efforts on Wednesday in a response to a High Court of Justice petition filed by Arab human rights groups, the Haaretz daily reported. According to the report, the prosecutors said cutting the number of permits issued was part of active steps to “halt the growth” of Palestinians moving from Gaza to the West Bank without a permit from Israel. The response said that Israel regards them as “illegal aliens.” Prosecutors said that since 2017, there has been a sharp uptick in the number of Gazans making the move. As of mid-2018, 2,671 Gazans were living in the West Bank without an Israeli permit. Just over half of them, 1,397, were granted a permit to leave Gaza for medical reasons but never returned. The number is a sharp increase from previous years; in 2016, the total number of Gazans who left the Strip for medical treatment and never returned was 262. Israel says entire Gaza families are illegally moving to the West Bank chain-migration style. After one family member is granted an exit permit for medical purposes, other relatives then begin applying for permits to enter Israel to visit the sick person, and never return…
The admission from state prosecutors comes less than a month after a senior Israeli official said the government was actively promoting the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and was working to find other countries who may be willing to absorb them.
Gazan’s death abroad shines light on middle-class exodus
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 8 Sept — With a family of five, a two-story home and a pharmacy, Tamer al-Sultan had a life many in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip would envy, but he still felt trapped — Fed up with the heavy-handed rule of Hamas, al-Sultan braved a treacherous journey in hopes of starting a new life in the West — only to die along the way. His death has drawn attention to the growing exodus of middle-class Gazans who can no longer bear to live in the isolated coastal territory. It has also struck a nerve among many Palestinians because he appears to have fled persecution by Hamas, rather than the territory’s dire economic conditions following a 12-year blockade by Israel and Egypt, imposed when the Islamic militant group seized power….
Corpse of missing Palestinian found in Bosnia and Herzegovina
IMEMC 10 Sept — A corpse of a young Palestinian man who went missing around three weeks ago was found by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after he tried to immigrate to Europe to escape the dire conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip. The family of Saleh Hamad, 22, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, said it was officially informed that its son drowned to death. They stated that he managed to leave the Gaza Strip and was trying to seek refuge in Europe, adding that they lost contact with him three weeks ago.
Not even the beaches in Gaza are safe from the threat of conflict
[with photos from The Washington Post] The Independent 9 Sept — They are supposed to be a reprieve in one of the most tumultuous locations in the world. But the sands of Gaza are slowly becoming uninhabitable, write James McAuley and Hazem Balousha — The sea was once Gaza’s only escape – the one place in this tiny enclave where residents could depart from their entrapped lives, if only for an hour. But now a ceaseless conflict that seems to impinge on nearly every aspect of life here has claimed the Mediterranean, too. Because of skyrocketing levels of water pollution, attributable to political and economic turmoil, the 25-mile coastline is now another barrier in a place where barriers are all too common. People still come to watch the waves. They still stop to savour the salty breeze. But these days, many stop short of swimming. Even in the heat of summer, to swim is now to tempt fate … The three wars Hamas has waged with Israel since 2009 have devastated the Gaza Strip’s already weak sanitation system. On top of that, Gaza’s sewage treatment plants sit idle many hours a day without the electricity to power them … According to the World Health Organisation, waterborne diseases constitute about a quarter of all illnesses in the Strip. A 2018 study by the Rand Corporation was likewise clear in its conclusion, predicting an imminent spike in bacterial, parasitic and viral infections such as cholera, giardia and viral meningitis, respectively….
3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza
BoingBoing 11 Sept by Clive Thompson — Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where — because of distance or war — it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example. So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make. But Glia’s also developing a project that’s even more ambitious, and crazily interesting: An open-source dialysis machine. In the current issue of Logic magazine (which is amazing front to back, BTW), Loubani talked about how regulatory capture has jacked up the price of dialysis, and how to use open-source to design around it. I’ll quote it at length here, because Loubani’s description of the problem and the hack is super eloquent: … Fundamentally, dialysis machines are a pump, a controller, a flow meter, and a little bit of tubing. Nothing special. The only way for companies to make them profitable is to create vendor lock-in and collude with each other … We have rooms of machines with no disposables, and rooms of disposables with no machines How can 3D printing help? Our idea is to make a machine that’s generic, where we can create templates for each of the different companies’ disposables….
Israel arrested 120,000 Palestinians after Oslo accords
MEMO 14 Sept — The Israeli occupation has arrested 120,000 Palestinians since the announcement of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel in September 1993, Abdel-Nasser Ferwaneh, a specialist in prisoners’ issues, revealed on Friday. To absorb this large number of Palestinian prisoners, Ferwaneh explained, Israel built and opened several new prisons. He noted that detention decreased between 1993 and 2000, but has sharply risen since 2000, when the second Intifada or ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ commenced. Farwaneh, who is a former prisoner, stated that the Israeli detention included men, women, elderly and minors, confirming that about 2,000 women and more than 17,500 children have been detained since the Oslo Accords. Meanwhile, he disclosed that the Israeli occupation has arrested more than half of the Palestinian MPs, a number of ministers, hundreds of academics, NGOs and international organisations’ staff during this period….
Updated: ‘Palestinian detainee dies in Israeli prison’
IMEMC/Agencies 8 Sept — Cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner Bassam al-Sayyeh, from the northern West Bank district of Nablus, died today in an Israeli prison, due to medical negligence, said the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission. Al-Sayeh, 47, was detained on August 10, 2015, he was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2011 and blood cancer in 2013. The commission held the Israeli government fully responsible for the racist crimes committed against Palestinians, including the physical and psychological torture and medical negligence of prisoners, among other violations, calling for an investigation into these crimes. His wife, a former political prisoner, identified as Mona Hayes, said that she has been barred from visiting him for the last two years. She added that he started suffering from various serious health conditions four years ago and never received specialized medical care, and over the past year, Bassam suffered serious health issues, and was hospitalized in Israel hospitals, then to Ramla hospital. His latest setback resulted in clinical death due to renal failure and Kidney failure, due to the lack of adequate and professional medical treatment ….
The death of al-Sayyeh brings the number of Palestinian prisoners who have died in Israeli jails since 1967 to 221 prisoners. At least 700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails suffer from serious health conditions, 160 of whom are in need of urgent medical follow-up….
120 detainees to join hunger strike as tension continues to mount
IMEMC 13 Sept — Two days after 23 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons started a hunger strike, 120 others are planning to join the strike, especially if the Israeli Prison Authority continues to ignore their demands, including implementing what it agreed to in April of this year. The detainees said that the prison authority continues not only to ignore their demands, but is also refusing to implement what it agreed to this past April, after it agreed to install public phones and to remove phone signal jamming devices, it installed in various prisons, which caused health complications to several detainees. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported, Thursday, that 23 detainees started an open-ended hunger strike two days earlier, after it became clear that Israel is not interested in implementing the agreement which was reached after their strike in April of this year. The PPS added that it is unlikely that the prison service will agree to the demands in the coming hours, or days, especially since it continues to escalate its violations against them, to force them to stop the strike….
Israeli High Court allows army to keep bodies of dead Palestinians as bargaining chip
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Sept — The Israeli High Court today gave the Israeli military the greenlight to keep bodies of Palestinians killed by Israelis as a bargaining chip in any future exchange negotiations, according to the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC). It said an expanded High Court hearing of seven judges ruled 4 to 3 in favor of giving the military governor the power to withhold bodies of dead Palestinians and bury them for a period of time and use them in the future as a bargaining chip. The court said that Israeli emergency regulations permit the Israeli military to order the interim burial of bodies designated as deceased enemies, based on considerations that take into account state security, civil order, and the need to negotiate for the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers, according to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.. The new ruling overturns an earlier decision by a regular High Court which said the military ruler does not have the power to keep the bodies of the dead Palestinians.
Israel to hand over body of slain Palestinian after withholding it for five months
RAMALLAH, Monday, September 09, 2019 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Commission said the Israeli prosecution has decided to hand over the body of martyr Omar Abdel Karim Younis, from Qalqilia’s village of Siniriya, within a maximum period of two weeks. The body of Younis has been withheld by the Israeli authorities for over five months, along with the bodies of dozens of other martyrs, including the bodies of four Palestinian prisoners who died while in Israeli custody. Younis died on April 4th while in custody at an Israeli hospital, a week after he was shot by Israeli soldiers near Za’atara checkpoint, south of Nablus.
Israel bans ‘dangerous’ settler from northern West Bank home
Ynet 11 Sept by Elisha Ben Kimon — Israel has issued an administrative order banning a settler from entering the northern West Bank, including his home in the settlement of Yitzhar, for three months. Neria Zarug is also forbidden from contacting 16 of his friends. According to defense sources, “Zarug is a dangerous, violent and extreme activist, who is well known to security forces in the area. He was banned from entering the region because of recent violent acts against both Palestinians and the security forces.” Zarug, who is a goatherd in the area, told Ynet that he was, “working against the Palestinian efforts to take control in the region.” “Every time my herd and I get to the area between us and the Arabs, I’m harassed by Border Police forces. I wasn’t a part of any price tags,” he said, referring to attacks by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in response to settlement freezes or demolitions, or Palestinian attacks on Jews. According to Zarug, friction between Palestinians and settlers has actually reduced since he started herding in the area. “The Palestinians see me with my herd, and they understand this is our land,” he claimed. The residents of Yitzhar, where Zarug lives with his wife and two children, decided to protest the decision, with dozens protesting in front of the house of the IDF’s GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan. On Monday, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich joined the protest and appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reverse the order….
Three family members charged in killing of Palestinian woman
News Agencies 12 Sept — Palestinian AG says ‘honor killing’ not a factor in death of Israa Ghrayeb, a makeup artist from Bethlehem area, who died last month after being hospitalized with severe wounds; women’s rights activists suspect male relatives beat her over video showing with a man who had proposed … In conservative parts of the Middle East, women have been murdered by male relatives over suspicions they violated strict rules on relationships and marriage. Such killings are rare in the Palestinian territories, and the case sparked an outcry online and in Arab media, leading to widespread calls for justice … The family said in a statement that police took testimony from them and interviewed Ghrayeb in hospital prior to her death.
West Bank: 3 doctors resign after ‘anomalies’ in Israa Gharib’s autopsy
MEMO 11 Sept — Three Palestinian doctors have retired in protest against the improper handling of the murder and autopsy of Israa Gharib. Israaa was purportedly murdered at the end of August at the hands of her brothers after she reportedly posted a picture with her fiancé, in what has been labeled an “honour killing”. Palestinian newspaper Al-Hadath revealed that official bodies cooperated in the murder. The Undersecretary of State of the Palestine Ministry of Justice, Mohammad Abu Al-Sondos, had allegedly misled the attorney general by claiming that samples of Israa’s body was sent for examination, when only samples of body fluids were issued, causing serious violations in the forensic department. As a result, three doctors in the Department of Forensic Medicine retired and accused Abu Al-Sondos of failing to announce the autopsy and laboratory results. Al-Hadath said the officials were meant to participate in writing the medical report, but didn’t. They also said that the violations that occurred in the forensic department affected their work and caused major delays in carrying out the procedure. Abu Al-Sondos denied any involvement in the investigation. With US-backed Alhurra news station reporting that Abu Al-Sondos expressed that the doctors’ resignations were because “some of them were on charges of corruption, including some who were about to be dismissed, and they used public opinion to escape the measures that were taken against them and trying to arouse public opinion”… The official medical report carried out in Bethlehem by the Ministry confirmed that Israa’s death was due to “severe respiratory failure” which were a result of multiple injuries. According to Egyptian newspaper El Dostor, Israa also suffered from “old and recent bruises on the upper limbs” and fractures on her wrist.
West Bank / Jerusalem
Army injures many Palestinians, including children, in Jerusalem
IMEMC 14 Sept — Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, dozens of Palestinians, among them children, including a girl with special needs, in the al-‘Issawiya town, in occupied East Jerusalem. Media sources said the soldiers invaded the town and fired gas bombs at many homes and streets without any provocation, causing dozens of Palestinians, including children, to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. One of the wounded children is a little girl with special needs, who passed out for around three minutes while in her room after suffering the severe effects of teargas inhalation, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported.
Israeli soldiers injure several Palestinians in Kufur Qaddoum
IMEMC 14 Sept — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and Colonies, in Kufur Qaddoum village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, causing many injuries. The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said the Palestinians, accompanied by international peace activists, marched from the center of the village, heading towards the village’s main road, which has been blockaded for the last sixteen years. It added that the soldiers attacked the protesters immediately after they started marching in their village, an fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. Medical sources said dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and others suffered cuts and bruises, before receiving treatment at the local clinic. The soldiers also tried to ambush and abducted the protesters by hiding behind trees, or around homes and their yards … the main road was blockaded by the military fifteen years ago, to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from the Kedumim colony, built on private Palestinian lands.
Illegal Israeli colonists attack Palestinian cars and homes near Nablus
IMEMC 8 Sept — Many fanatic illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, on Sunday at dawn, Palestinian homes and cars in Aseera al-Qibliyya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, causing property damage. Hafeth Saleh, the mayor of Aseera al-Qibliyya village, said the attack was carried out by at least twenty assailants, who came from the nearby illegal Yitzhar colony, which was built on Palestinian lands near the village. He added that the Israeli assailants targeted many homes and cars in the eastern area of the village, causing damage to a few homes and three cars, in addition to puncturing car tires. Owners of some of the attacked homes and cars have been identified as Abdul-Basset Mohammad Abdul-Rahman, Rafiq Abdul-Basset Ahmad and Abdul-Wahab Abdul-Rahman Ahmad. Saleh also stated that the attacks were carried out approximately at five in the early morning, and added that some of the assailants were masked, and others were armed.
Israeli soldiers abduct a university student near Ramallah
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday at dawn, a young female student of Birzeit University, after storming her home in al-Biereh city, near Ramallah. Media sources in Ramallah said several army jeeps invaded al-Biereh, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked the home of Samah Jaradat, and abducted her. It Is worth mentioning that, a week ago, the soldiers abducted Mais Abu Ghosh, a journalism student at Bir Zeit University, from her home in Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, in addition to abducting another woman, who teaches journalism at Bir Zeit University, from her home in Kobar town, northwest of Ramallah.
In related news, the soldiers invaded Ein Qiniya village, northwest of Ramallah, before storming the home of a political prisoner, identified as Aysar Ma‘rouf, in addition to the home of his brother, Tal‘at, and several homes of their relatives. Aysar’s wife, Nour Hamed, said the soldiers caused excessive damage to her home while violently searching it, and confiscated a memory card from the property.
Teenager injured, three students among 15 detained in West Bank, Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 9 Sept – Israeli forces shot and injured a teenager today and detained three students who were among at least 15 Palestinians detained in various raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Local sources said Israeli military stormed Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers ransacked two houses and detained three children who were on their way to school. During ensuing confrontations, soldiers opened fire towards local youngsters injuring one in the neck with a rubber-coated steel bullet. Israeli forces also raided Silwad and al-Mazra‘a al-Sharqiya towns, northeast of Ramallah, rounding up six Palestinians, including a former prisoner. In the northern West Bank, local sources said the Israeli military raided Qabatya town, south of Jenin city, and detained two Palestinians. In Hebron district in the south of the West Bank, local sources confirmed that two Palestinians were rounded up in an Israeli military raid in Beit Kahel town, west of Hebron city. Israeli forces also raided ‘Issawyieh in occupied East Jerusalem and detained two young men after raiding and searching their homes.
A clean energy scheme to entrench a dirty occupation
EI 12 Sept by Maureen Clare Murphy — An Israeli renewable energy company is suing a human rights group over its investigation of a wind farm the firm plans to build in the occupied Golan Heights with government backing. Al-Marsad, the group which Energix is suing, has found that the Tel Aviv-based company’s wind turbine project violates the indigenous Syrian population’s right to self-determination. The scheme also serves to strengthen Israel’s control over the territory. The group says Energix’s filing against it sets “an extraordinarily dangerous precedent.” Along with 15 other organizations, the group is urgently requesting that United Nations experts “intervene immediately to protect human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan.” The Energix lawsuit is the first to be brought forward by an Israeli firm under Israel’s anti-boycott law to suppress the activity of a human rights group. That law, enacted in 2011, imposes sanctions on groups advocating boycotts of Israel or its settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.
Canada appeals court ruling against settlement wines labeled ‘Product of Israel’
MEE 9 Sept by Jillian Kestler-D’Amour — The Canadian government is appealing a court’s recent decision against Israeli settlement wines, which it said should no longer be labeled “Product of Israel” when sold in Canada. The Federal Court of Canada found on 29 July that “Product of Israel” labels on wines made in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are “false, misleading and deceptive”. The court said it was “unreasonable” to continue selling the wines under that label, ordering the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to find an alternative – a decision that was hailed by pro-Palestine advocates across the country. But Canadian media first reported over the weekend that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government planned to appeal the ruling, amid pressure from pro-Israel lobby groups … In its appeal, the federal government is also challenging whether the court applied a stricter standard of review than is necessary at the CFIA’s Complaints and Appeal Office, the agency’s spokesperson said. While pro-Israel group B’nai Brith Canada welcomed the government’s plan to appeal as “the only reasonable option”, Palestine advocates decried the decision as politically motivated. A federal election will be held in Canada next month and Trudeau’s biggest challenge for re-election comes from the right-wing Conservative Party, which is staunchly pro-Israel….
‘I watched my father and brother killed by Israeli bombs. For me, the UK arms trade is deeply personal’
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — …In the midst of the bombings on 4 January, 2009, Israeli forces stormed my family home, ordered my father out, and shot and killed him at our front door. Then, they set fire to our home and starting shooting at the rest of us, injuring my four-year-old brother Ahmed and two other children. Next, over 100 extended family members were rounded up and forced into the house of my uncle Wa’el al-Samouni, where we stayed for a day and a half, with only the food or water that was in the house. It was there where my little brother succumbed to his injuries, as none of the injured were allowed to leave, and one of my aunts gave birth during the ordeal. A cousin and two of my uncles were bombed and killed while looking for firewood, or standing at the door. The Israeli government denies that it ordered residents to gather in one house. Finally, Israeli forces bombed the building, killing 23 family members and leaving me trapped under rubble, next to their bodies, for three days. On 7 January, I was somehow found alive. Over 29 members of my extended family were killed over these days, with many others permanently injured. Shrapnel, which I can still feel, has remained lodged in my brain, which, as I grew up, left me to endure nose bleeds, pain in my eyes and ears, and headaches that continue today … The UK has, for the first time, officially invited the Israeli government to the world’s largest arms fair at DSEI, set to take place in London, this month. This is despite my story, thousands of other Palestinian testimonies and even a UN Commission of Inquiry report, earlier this year, which found that Israeli forces had committed grave violations against protesters in Gaza, which, in the words of the report, may have constituted “war crimes or crimes against humanity.” By welcoming Israeli arms companies which market their weapons as “battle-tested” –- due to them being tested on us Palestinians in Gaza -– the UK government is directly complicit in the Israeli government’s ongoing crimes against us, well-documented by all the major human rights organisations. But, this is only half the story. Since the bombing of Gaza, in 2009, Britain has also increased its arms imports and exports to and from Israel….
Abbas meets family of Israeli held in Gaza, offers to help
Times of Israel 12 Sept by Adam Rasgon — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Wednesday with the father of an Israeli Ethiopian widely believed to be held in Hamas’s captivity and vowed to speak to parties that maintain influence with the terror group to secure his release, according to two former Israeli lawmakers who attended the gathering in Ramallah. Avera Mengistu, whose family has said he suffers from a mental illness, crossed into northern Gaza in September 2014 by way of the beach. After he entered the coastal enclave, Hamas authorities were thought to have arrested him. “Abbas said that he sees Avera’s case as a humanitarian one and that he does not believe in taking civilians captive,” former Hatnua MK Shlomo Molla told The Times of Israel in phone call. “He said he will do everything directly and indirectly to obtain information on his whereabouts and bring him back to his family including working with parties that hold influence with Hamas.”….
Netanyahu says Israel [will] ‘probably’ start war in Gaza
JERUSALEM (Xinhua) 12 Sept — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel “will probably have no choice” but to launch a war in Gaza to halt rocket fire at its southern part. Speaking on Kan Bet Israel’s national radio four days before the parliamentary elections, Netanyahu said a war “would be the last option.” However, he said Israel “will probably have no choice but to set out on a full-scale military campaign, a war, against the terror forces in Gaza.” The recent projectiles, including two rockets launched towards the southern city of Ashdod while Netanyahu was on a campaign rally there, were apparently fired by militants not affiliated with Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian movement that runs Gaza. However, Netanyahu said he holds Hamas accountable for the fire, vowing to “bring down the Hamas regime in Gaza” in order to remove the threat of more rocket attacks….
Ex-Shin Bet chief Dichter says an IDF operation in Gaza could take 3 years
JPost 9 Sept by Yonah Jeremy Bob — A massive IDF ground operation into Gaza, even lasting up to three years, is needed to uproot Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorism there, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman and former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief said on Monday. Speaking at the ICT-IDC Herzliya conference, Dichter said that “there is no diplomatic solution” to terrorism emanating from Gaza. He said he wished that a diplomatic solution with help from Egypt and the Saudis to moderate Gazan terrorism would be possible, but he thinks that it is as likely as Israel winning the World Cup (Israel rarely making even the final round of 32 teams). Dichter continued that the Gaza operation “would not be two weeks, and would not be two months [slightly longer than the 2014 Gaza war, which was viewed as long for Israel]… but as long as three years” – like Israel’s continuous operation in the West Bank that ended the Second Intifada. When questioned about what would happen after such an operation and whether Israel would need to reconquer Gaza, Dichter said that Israel would not reconquer, but would spend an extended period there as it did in the West Bank during the Second Intifada
As Israel returns to polls, Palestinian democracy in stasis
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 9 Sept — When Israelis vote next week it will be their sixth general election since Palestinians last had the chance to cast ballots in parliamentary polls more than 13 years ago. Whether in Ramallah, Nablus or Gaza, 30-year-old Palestinians have never had the opportunity to choose their leadership. In the Palestinian territories, where unemployment is around 30 percent, a combination of factional rivalries, infighting and Israeli restrictions mean no elections have been held since 2006. Following a 2007 split, two governments effectively rule separate territories — with president Mahmud Abbas leading the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and Islamists Hamas in control in Gaza. A decade of reconciliation talks have brought no results, while both are accused of centralising power and seeking to quash criticism. Polls show Palestinians are angry with their political leaders and want them to put aside their differences to resist the Israeli occupation. “For both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas governing without elections is very comfortable. The split provides a cover — you can say you want elections but the other side doesn’t,” Khalil Shikaki, a prominent Palestinian pollster and political analyst, said. “This has been used as a pretext and most people believe it is a pretext — that there is no seriousness involved in seeking to organise elections.”….
What do Palestinians in Gaza really think about the Israeli elections?
+972 Mag 12 Sept by Yuval Abraham — On the eve of the elections, four young Palestinians in Gaza open up about their thoughts on Israeli political parties, whether they think there’s hope for change, and what life is like under siege — …I’ve known Muhammad for a little over a year. He was the first person from Gaza I ever spoke to. He works as a physiotherapist at a government hospital, and has experienced Gaza’s wars through the injuries he’s had to treat. He starts our conversation with a warning: “I’m not worth your while interviewing. I don’t have anything to say about the Israeli elections, because they don’t interest me,” he says. “Firstly, because I’m drowning in day-to-day problems in Gaza. We’re not being paid our doctors’ wages, and the noise from the drones is driving me crazy.” He glances upwards, and imitates the humming of Israeli military drones. “The buzzing won’t leave me alone. It’s there constantly, over my head, in the sky. I hear it in my room, in the office — everywhere. “The second reason I’m not interested in the elections,” Muhammad continues, smiling bitterly, “is that I don’t think it matters who wins. [Israel’s] policy toward Gaza won’t change … Yet for Muhammad, the most painful aspect of the elections is how “Israeli leaders use Gaza to drum up votes” during the campaign. “Every leader tries to seem like a bigger hero than the next one, promising to strike us and defeat Hamas,” he says. “Do you know how challenging that is, psychologically, for the people living here? Not just because of the wars, but because of the sense that they’re exploiting us. That they’re exploiting our death.”
Israel Electric Corporation threatens to discontinue supply due to PA debt
IMEMC/Agencies 9 Sept — The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) threatened that it will begin cutting off the electricity supply to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the upcoming September 17th Israeli elections due to ‘outstanding debts’, Kan Israeli website reported Sunday. According to the website, the IEC will discontinue the electricity supply to Palestinian villages in the West Bank to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to pay its 1.7 billion New Israeli Shekel (NIS) debt. 2 weeks ago, the IEC reportedly notified Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Energy, the Electricity Authority, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories about the decision to stop the electricity supply because of the PA’s outstanding debt. An Israeli High Court decision, 2 months ago stated that starting from the date of the notification to the relevant parties, the IEC has to wait 35 days until being permitted to cut off the electricity supply….
Hague to discuss trial for Israeli ex-army chief
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — Haaretz Israeli newspaper reported that the Dutch Central Court in The Hague will discuss, next Tuesday — which coincides with Israeli elections — whether it is within its competence to try Israeli politician Benny Gantz for war crimes committed during the 2014 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. A civil lawsuit was filed last year, against the former Israeli Chief of Staff Gantz and former Commander of the Air Force Amir Eichel, by Dutch citizen Ismail Ziada, a resident of Gaza’s al-Bureij refugee camp and whose home was bombed by Israeli forces on July 20th, 2014. At the time, Gantz served as the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israeli army. In the bombing, Ziada lost his mother, three of his brothers, his sister-in-law, a nephew, and a friend who was visiting the family. Because of the Egyptian-backed Israeli blockade on Gaza, Ziada, who was in the Netherlands at the time, was unable to attend the funeral. Ziada said, in his case, that Israeli courts do not allow a fair and genuine trial for war crimes, and, so, the case was filed under Dutch law, which upholds the principle of universal trial, in cases of citizens who have been denied access to justice elsewhere. This is the first time that a Palestinian has been able to use civil prosecution for war crimes. PNN further reports that Gantz and Eichel have asked the court to dismiss the case once and for all….
Health ministry: 14% rise in number of suicides in West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 9 Se[t –Suicide cases increased by 14% in the West Bank last year compared to the previous year and one of the main reasons for committing suicide is psychological, especially depression, said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in a report published today. Samah Jabr, head of the mental health unit at the Ministry of Health, said several studies have concluded that faith and religious belief help reduce depression and anxiety, facilitate healing, and prevent suicide. She called for the introduction of mental health and counseling courses in the Sharia faculties in order to train religious scholars in psychological counseling and dealing with life threatening situations, explaining that Palestine is witnessing a rise in suicide cases. According to statistics from the Police Research and Planning Department, the number of suicides in the West Bank last year increased by 14% compared to the previous year to reach 25 suicides. In 2017, there were 22 cases. Statistics showed that of last year’s 25 cases, 10 were males and 15 were females….
Oxfam faces $160 million legal threat over Palestine aid project
GENEVA (New Humanitarian) 12 Sept by Ben Parker — Oxfam faces a $160 million counter-terror claim in a New York court. The case, brought by a pro-Israel lawyer and activist, alleges that the NGO contravened US law during its work in the Palestinian territory of Gaza. The lawyer behind the case told The New Humanitarian he has filed five other similar cases, which remain under seal in the US courts. David Abrams, who runs the Zionist Advocacy Center, alleges that Oxfam’s work on an agriculture policy project in Gaza constituted “material support” to Hamas, a US-designated terrorist group. The seven-page filing claims that Oxfam should have acknowledged the Gaza project when signing other grants with USAID, the US federal government department that administers aid and development projects, amounting to $53 million. The agriculture project was largely funded by the Swiss government and the USAID grants mentioned include projects in Iraq, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Under the alleged offence, the other USAID contracts don’t need to be related to the alleged material support; what matters legally is that Oxfam signed agreements to receive US government monies. In response to questions, Oxfam emailed TNH a statement saying, “Oxfam takes such matters extremely seriously. We are aware of the lawsuit and reject the allegation made in it.”
The Zionist Advocacy Center has successfully brought two lawsuits against other non-profits, leading to financial penalties on similar grounds of failure to disclose material support, but at a more modest scale. Another related case, against the Carter Center, was dismissed. The cases are based on the fact that USAID grant agreements contain a clause in which the grantee provides assurances that it does not provide support to terrorism or US-designated terror groups – signing the contract and failing to disclose contravenes the US False Claims Act.
Gantz: Tlaib, Omar would have seen West Bank is ‘second best place’ for Mideast Arabs
[behind paywall] Haaretz 10 Sept by Allison Kaplan Sommer — Benny Gantz said on Monday that his election rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made a mistake in barring Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from the country, adding that the congresswomen would have seen that the West Bank is “the second best place” for Mideast Arabs. Speaking at an English-language event in Tel Aviv, the Kahol Lavan leader said the two Democratic representatives should have been allowed to enter Israel and “see with their own eyes” that, if one is not a Saudi billionaire, “The best place to be an Arab in the Middle East is in Israel … and the second best place to be an Arab in the Middle East is the West Bank.”….
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