Gaza boy dies 3 months after being shot in head with teargas canister

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Palestinian child dies from serious wounds he suffered in October 2019
IMEMC 31 Jan — Palestinian medical sources have reported that a child died, Friday, from serious wounds he suffered in mid-October of 2019, after Israeli soldiers shot in southern Gaza. The sources said the child, Ala’ Hani al-Abbassi, 15, was shot by the soldiers with a high-velocity gas bomb in his head, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. After his injury, the child received the needed first aid before he was rushed to a hospital in Khan Younis. The child underwent surgeries and remained in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit, until he was pronounced dead, Friday. [He was reportedly participating in weekly Great March of Return protest when he was shot.]

Ala’ Hani al-Abbassi, 15, while in coma. Photo from the IMEMC. Feb. 1, 2020, after his death.

Soldiers injure 14 Palestinians in Gaza
IMEMC 1 Feb — Israeli soldiers shot, Friday, 14 Palestinians, including ten with live ammunition, during protests on Palestinian lands east of Jabalia city, in the northern part of the besieged coastal region. The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that the soldiers, stationed in their fortified sniper towers across the perimeter fence, shot ten Palestinians with live fire. They added that four other Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation. In addition, the soldiers fired an artillery shell into two areas east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, and al-Maghazi, causing damage. The Israeli Air Force also fired missiles into lands, east of Rafah, in southern Gaza Strip, causing damage, including in nearby homes and structures. Furthermore, Israeli war jets fired a missile into a site, east of the Sheja‘eyya neighborhood, in Gaza city.  The Israeli army claimed it was retaliating to three shells, reportedly fired from Gaza, into open areas in nearby settlements; no damage or injuries were reported.

Palestinian fighter killed in a tunnel accident in Gaza
IMEMC 30 Jan — The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has reported that one of its fighters was killed, Thursday, in an accident in a siege-busting tunnel, near Gaza city. The Brigades said the fighter, identified as Ibrahim Khalil ash-Shantaf, 21, was from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza city. It added that he was killed in an accident while working in one of its tunnels near the perimeter fence on the besieged and impoverished coastal region. It is worth mentioning that hundreds of Palestinians have been killed or injured, in similar accidents. Many of them were not members of the Brigades or any armed resistance group and were working in the tunnels to provide for their families. Most of the tunnels in Gaza are used for smuggling food, fuel, and medicine into the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli military says mortar shells fired from Gaza
JERUSALEM (Al Jazeera) 31 Jan by Arwa Ibrahim — Three mortar shells have been fired from the besieged Gaza Strip enclave into southern Israel, the country’s military has said in a statement, amid tensions in the region over US President Donald Trump’s proposed Middle East plan. The Israeli army’s statement on Friday said its Iron Dome anti-missile air defence system intercepted a projectile midair as violence continued for a second day. No casualties were reported, it added. Earlier on Friday, Israel struck Hamas targets in Gaza after three rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave, the Israeli army said. Two of the rockets fired on Thursday night were also intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system, while the third landed in an open area, the statement said. No casualties were reported in the earlier attack too and there was no claim of responsibility for it … Hamas spokesman Abdellatif al-Qanoun told Al Jazeera that Israeli air raids targeted the Gaza Strip, but challenged that Hamas had launched an attack on Israel before that. “Israel alleges that we launched rockets, but we cannot take their narrative,” said al-Qanoun, neither denying nor confirming Israel’s claim. “Israel’s airstrikes early this morning are part of the occupation’s ongoing attacks and enmity towards our people in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem.”….

Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing between North Sinai, Gaza Strip
Al-Masry Al-Youm 27 Jan — Egypt on Sunday reopened the Rafah border crossing between North Sinai and the Gaza Strip in both directions, allowing Palestinians to pass through after the crossing was closed on January 24 and 25. An official source at the crossing border said that there was coordination with the Palestinian government on opening the crossing, allowing students, patients, holders of residence in Egypt and returnees from treatment, business trips or visits from abroad to pass through the crossing. Around 214 passengers including 158 people from the Gaza strip to Egypt and 56 persons from Egypt to the Gaza strip passed through the crossing in both directions, the sources added, adding that several trucks loaded with humanitarian and food aid entered the Gaza Strip.

Israel allows cement entry to Gaza without UN observers
MEMO 29 Jan — As part of a package of goodwill postures, Israeli occupation authorities are allowing cement to enter  the besieged Gaza Strip without UN observation, Arab48 reported yesterday. Reporting the Israeli general radio, Arab48 said Gaza traders would buy and sell cement freely without restrictions. Sources in Gaza told Arab48 that the cement being allowed into the enclave without the UN observation is only used for tilling and finishing construction projects, not that used in building roofs and walls. Israeli radio also said that 6,000 tyres would be allowed to enter Gaza for the first time since March 2018, when Israel halted their entry following the start of the Great March of Return. Medicines worth $600,000 entered Gaza early this week, reports added, donated by an American organisation. While fishermen and drivers have been allowed to buy fishing boats and passenger buses.

Shin Bet security service busts two Israeli citizens in Hamas spy ring
Times of Israel 27 Jan by Judah Ari Gross — The Shin Bet security service said Monday it foiled a Hamas spy ring operating in central Israel, arresting two Israeli citizens earlier this month who allegedly provided the terror group with details about Israeli security facilities and other intelligence information. According to the agency, the two men — Rami Amoudi, 30, and Rajab Daka, 34 — were recruited by the Gaza-based terror group in October 2019 and tasked with filming security installations in central Israel, including “military bases, police stations and Iron Dome battery placements.” The Shin Bet said Daka was also asked to provide the precise locations of where rockets launched from Gaza had landed during the recent bouts of fighting, apparently to help the terror group improve its accuracy … Both Amoudi and Daka are originally from the Gaza Strip, but were able to move to Israel as they have Israeli mothers. Daka’s mother is an Arab-Israeli from the town of Lod, and Amoudi has a Jewish-Israeli mother, who helped him get the documentation necessary to move to Israel, the Shin Bet said….

Feature: Southern Gaza residents living amid rubbish hope for better lives
GAZA (Xinhua) 28 Jan by Sanaa Kamal — Hamza Ferwana, 12 years old, from the Palestinian Gaza Strip, spends hours every day searching through trash piles at a municipal rubbish dump to earn a living from items he may find and sell. “I am digging out rubbish in search of food or items that can be sold such as iron, aluminum, or plastic,” the little boy told Xinhua while working at a landfill site in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. Ferwana lives in the Khan Younis city’s Nahr al-Bared neighborhood, one of the poorest and most marginalized areas in the Israeli-blockaded seaside territory. The neighborhood, which is bordered by a huge landfill from the south, and a cemetery from the east, is home to more than 100 families living at shabby houses made of tin sheets. “We wait for garbage trucks so we can search for food between those piles, or collect metal tools to sell to feed my family,” Ferwana said, holding an empty flour bag. The teen boy has been living, with his 10-member family, in a one-room house for 10 years after they were driven out of their home for being unable to pay the monthly rent. Ferwana wished that he could go back to school and continue his education.
Not far from Ferwana’s house, Lina al-Barqoun, 22, was busy cooking food for her two children over wood fire. Lina, who has been pregnant for eight months, described their living conditions as “tragic and non-human,” saying that one of her children suffers from chronic asthma, while the other child suffers from atrophy of foot muscles because of scorpion sting. “My husband, my children and I live among harmful insects, scorpions, snakes and mice during summer,” the lady said. “We are very poor; sometimes we cannot buy medicines and food for my children.”….

How this Palestinian initiative helps women deal with their scars
Al-Monitor 31 Jan by Taghreed Ali — For seven years, Nour Abu al-Qaraya barely stepped from her Gaza home, except to go to a hospital, after one of her relatives threw acid on her during an argument over her father’s inheritance. This deliberate act of cruelty destroyed Abu al-Qaraya’s face and partially blinded her. She has had eight operations, but the scars on her face erected a barrier between Abu al-Qaraya and the rest of the world, turning her into a recluse. Abu al-Qaraya’s life changed, however, after she joined the Alorkedea (Orchid), an initiative in Gaza that provides psychological support, health tips and networking opportunities for women with scarring and other disfigurations. It also hosts a number of activities to integrate affected women, who often refrain from going out, providing them opportunities to comfortably socialize. The women who take part in Alorkedea have birthmarks or birth defects, burns or war-related injuries… Heba Kreiziem, a Palestinian journalist and initiative co-founder, told Al-Monitor that Alorkedea recognized that the disfigured women were being “bullied, isolated or even kept home by their relatives.” She said that Alorkedea cooperates with doctors who specialize in burns, engaging them to provide health advice via Facebook and Twitter. … According to Kreiziem, several factors specific to Gaza are responsible for burn accidents. For example, constant power cuts have lead residents to rely on candles and use potentially dangerous fuel to burn wood for cooking and heating. “This increases the risk of burns or fire in the home,” Kreiziem said. “The white phosphorous shells that Israeli forces used during its war in Gaza in 2008-09 also scarred many women and men….

Feature: Palestinians injured in anti-Israel protests struggle to restore normal lives
(with photos) GAZA (Xinhua) 25 Jan by Sanaa Kamal — Sitting in his wheelchair, Jalal Abu Hayya, from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, spends hours in front of a blacksmith machine to cut and form the iron in order to make swords, daggers and iron doors for his customers. The 40-year-old paraplegic man was wounded in his back by an Israeli soldier in May 14, 2018 while participating in the Great March of Return. He remembered that day which left him paralyzed. “I participated in the popular demonstrations to raise our voices against the arrogance of Israeli occupation,” he spoke to Xinhua, as he was forming a dagger, adding that “I did not expect to be injured … I was so far from the fence separating the Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers.” Abu Hayya spent about a month in a local hospital. “Unfortunately, all the doctors’ attempts were failed. That bullet has turned me into a lifelong disabled person, without any wishes,” he said with a breaking voice. “I became unemployed and stayed at home without doing any activities,” Abu Hayya spoke to Xinhua, as he formed a sword by using the blacksmith machine. Yet, the challenge did not break Abu Hayya’s spirit. “Before the injury I was an active person,” he said, adding the he used to work for the civil defense ministry. He decided to establish his blacksmith’s shop to earn some money, and guarantee a new income for his family. “I am insisting to continue my life as a positive person even if I will spend my life as a disabled person,” he said. He earns about 1,200 shekels (about 342.86 U.S. dollars) a month. “This money is good for me to live at a stable level,” he said. However, Abu Hayya complained about the failure of the Palestinian officials, in West Bank and Gaza Strip, to follow up the injured people’s conditions. “I am a lucky man. While I managed to restore my life, others who have been wounded, lost their way,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muhannad al-Aswad, lost his right leg after he was injured at the eastern border of Gaza. The father of six also complained about the Palestinian officials’ lack of response to the suffering of the disabled….

Feature: Visually impaired Palestinians establish radio station in Gaza
GAZA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Sumaya al-Khattab, from the city of Dir Al Balah in the central Gaza Strip, welcomes her listeners in her pleasant and attractive voice, giving them advice on how to deal with daily problems facing them. Al-Khattab, 32, works as an anchor at Shams radio station. The radio station, opened a few months ago, is considered as the first news outlet of its kind, which employs people with eye sight problems. Using her daily program as a platform, al-Khattab gives advice on how to overcome difficulties in the coastal enclave. Nevertheless, the job is not easy for al-Khattab. To prepare for the rundown, the anchor needs to first type the broadcast using a special app and then transfer it into a Braille reading device, which helps her to broadcast the topics. Difficulties, however, do not bother her. “It is a great chance for me to become a famous anchor, especially I am a disabled person,” she said joyfully. She added that in the past people, like her, who were marginalized by the society, had zero opportunities in Gaza. While the situation has changed, Shams radio station, which aims to help people with disabilities, is also facing a number of challenges, the main of which is funding….

Gideon Levy // How Israel is abusing a Gaza couple that just lost three babies
[behind paywall] Haaretz 31 Jan by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — The occupation has wrought havoc with a Gaza couple with quadruplets, only one of whom survived and now fights for her life in a Jerusalem hospital. Their father, repeatedly denied entry, never saw the other three — Wafa raises the appallingly tiny palm of her daughter, as though hoping to hold onto her so she won’t slip away like her three other newborn siblings did. Selin is a 2-month-old preemie, who weighed 500 grams (17.6 ounces) when she was born in the 25th week of her mother’s pregnancy. The physicians of the neonatal intensive care unit of Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem are still fighting for her life. Her sister and two brothers – Ilin, Daeb and Kayiz – died one after the other within a few days, after their birth on November 24. Now only Selin remains, breathing by means of an artificial respirator, inside an incubator with a network of tubes attached to her miniature body, her mother softly caressing her hand. Amazingly, it’s Selin, the smallest of the four, who is still alive. Dr. Sudqi Hamada, a physician in the unit, believes the tiny infant “can do it,” and will survive … Two months have passed since the birth that ended so tragically. Since then, the parents, Wafa and Mohammed Ralaban, have had to grapple not only with the death of their children and with the battle to save the life of their surviving daughter. They were also forced to fight for the right to be by their babies’ side in the hospital. If it had been up to the occupation authorities, they would long since have been expelled back to Gaza, leaving the preemies behind for the doctors to save. Had it not been for a determined and devoted struggle by the Physicians for Human Rights Israel NGO – along with the mobilization of the staff at Makassed – the parents and their tiny offspring would have been separated at birth…
Wafa was initially given a permit to stay in Israel for just three days and had not yet given birth when it expired. According to PHRI, there are cases in which Palestinian women who have high-risk pregnancies and give birth in Israel are forced to return to Gaza and leave their infant to struggle alone. Inhumanity knows no bounds. At least from that point of view, fate was somewhat kinder to the Ralaban family: They are finally here together, in the preemie ward at Makassed, anxiously following the slow and arduous development of Selin….

Photos: Rare fish breeds appear in Gaza after recent drop in temperature
MEMO 27 Jan by Mohammed Asad — The latest drop in temperature prevented Gaza fishermen from sailing for several days, but the intense tides brought in a large variety of fish and rare breeds. Fishermen who sailed from the Gaza port after the choppy weather caught Ocean Sunfish. It is the largest fish caught on the Gaza coast in a long time and weighs a tonne. This fish, internationally known as the Mola Mola, is not eaten as it contains harmful toxins. It is characterised by its strange appearance, as at first glance, its back half is missing because it does not have a tail fin and it has a flat horizontal body. Its skin is brown and it has small round pectoral fins and a small mouth that is difficult to close. Its eyes are relatively small compared to the size of its body and it has fused teeth that form a beak. A fish known locally as the kola fish was also caught. It is a fatty fish from the shark family and is approximately 270 centimetres in length.

West Bank / Jerusalem

Israeli police injure 10, detain 3 at Al-Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (Anadolu) 31 Jan by Abdelraouf Arnaout — Israeli police injured 10 worshippers and detained three others after storming Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque Friday morning, an official said. The Israeli police forced their way into the mosque and shot rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers, the official with Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic and Christian sites, told Anadolu Agency. This is the third Friday in a row that Israeli police stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and attacked worshippers after morning prayer. Thousands of Palestinians perform morning prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to affirm their devotion to it and their refusal to the Israeli incursions.

Israeli colonists attack village near Nablus, shoot one Palestinian
IMEMC 31 Jan — Many Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on Palestinian lands near Nablus, invaded a village and shot one man with a live round after attacking a Palestinian home. Hazem Nasser, the head of Madama Village Council, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, said the attack was carried out by more than 30 illegal colonists, including a guard. Nasser added that the soldiers tried to break into the home of Khalil Hamad Qet, in the southern area of the village, and hurled stones at its windows and doors, causing damage. Furthermore, an armed guard of the illegal colony, who was also participating in the assault, shot a young man with live fire, before Palestinian medics rushed him to Rafidia hospital, in Nablus.

Two Palestinians hospitalized after alleged attack by Jewish settlers in West Bank
Haaretz 25 Jan by Hagar Shezaf & Jack Khoury — Two Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of As-Sawiya were attacked by Jewish settlers Saturday afternoon and have been hospitalized for their injuries in Nablus, according to the non-governmental organization Yesh Din. The father and son were working on their agricultural lands when they were attacked with rocks and an iron rod by a group that had come from the direction of the Jewish settlement of Rehelim, the left-wing NGO told Haaretz.  Rahsaan Douglas, who follows the activities of settlers in the northern West Bank told Haaretz that the two victims were a 60 year old man and his son, who is in his twenties. They had gone out to work their fields, as did many other Palestinian residents of the village due to the improvement in weather conditions.
Douglas said that another family had been attacked on Friday when they went to enjoy the nature near their village. “While the world is busy worrying about Trump’s declarations and the administration’s reactions,” Douglas said, “the situation on the ground is deteriorating, and the aggression and antagonism of the settlers are only getting stronger.”
Also Saturday, a group of settlers came to the northern neighborhood of the Palestinian village of Burin, near Nablus. According to Yesh Din, the settlers threw stones at Palestinian residents, who eventually reciprocated by hurling rocks as well. A Palestinian present at the scene added that the settlers stole a hoe and a pair of shoes from a nearby construction site. Soldiers arrived at the scene, and no one was arrested.

Jewish settlers torch school in occupied West Bank
[with photo[ NABLUS, Palestine (Anadolu) 28 Jan by Qais Abu Samra — Israeli settlers on Tuesday torched a Palestinian school and sprayed racial slogans in the occupied West Bank. A group of settlers stormed Einabous Secondary School and set fire to a classroom, according to Iyad Awad, a spokesman for the Education Directorate south of the city of Nablus. “The fire broke out all over the classroom,” Awad told Anadolu Agency. The settlers also sprayed racist slurs in Hebrew on the school’s walls, according to Awad.

Israeli soldiers injure many Palestinians in Beit Ummar
IMEMC 31 Jan — Israeli soldiers invaded, Friday, Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and attacked dozens of protesters, wounding one with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and causing dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. Media sources said the soldiers invaded ‘Aseeda area, near the illegal Karmi Tzur colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands, and fired a barrage of rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades. They added that the soldiers shot Mohammad Awad, a senior nonviolent and media activist in the town, with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his leg, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Bab az-Zawiya area, in the center of Hebron city, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at Palestinian protesters, causing several injuries.

Israeli forces abduct two children near Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 31 Jan — Israeli forces, on Thursday evening, brutally arrested two children from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank, Shehab News Agency reported. Local sources said that the occupation forces abducted Hamza Samih Issa Bahr, 14, and Abdullah Fahd Ibrahim Odeh Sabarneh, 12, in the Al-Dhahr region, south of the town, after confrontations erupted in the area.

Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians in West Bank raids
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 27 Jan – Israeli forces today detained at least 19 Palestinians in multiple raids across the occupied West Bank, said security and local sources. In Jenin district, Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians in Barta‘a town, southwest of Jenin in the north of the West Bank, one from Jenin refugee camp and two former prisoners from Ya‘abad town, west of Jenin. In Ramallah district, Israeli military stormed Ein Yabrud and al-Mughayyir towns, located to the northeast of Ramallah city, where soldiers detained two Palestinians. A similar Israeli military raid in Bil‘in village, west of Ramallah, resulted in the detention of two men. In Bethlehem district, Israeli troops raided al-Doha town, west of Bethlehem, where they rounded up a Palestinian man. In Hebron district, troops conducted separate two raids in Dura town and al-Fawwar refugee camp, located to the southwest and south of Hebron respectively, resulting in the detention of two Palestinians, including a former prisoner.

Mass protests in Palestine slam so-called peace plan
GAZA CITY/RAMALLAH (Anadolu) 30 Jan by Nour Abu Eisha & Qaid Abu Samra — 18 Palestinians injured as Israeli army fires rubber bullets, tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters — Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank rallied on Thursday in protests against U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan. Demonstrators in Gaza organized two rallies where they displayed banners denouncing the so-called “Deal of the Century” and raised slogans demanding it be scrapped. The Hamas-run government media office staged a demonstration in front of the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), west of Gaza. The protesters held banners conveying their categorical rejection of the American plan and affirming Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Palestine.
Over in the occupied West Bank, a march was held at the northern entrance to the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh. The Israeli army fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up the protest while demonstrators responded by pelting stones and torching tires. Witnesses also reported similar clashes near the city of Al-Khalil (Hebron). Health officials said 18 Palestinians were injured in the clashes and eight of them were hospitalized for treatment. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, five of the protesters were shot with rubber bullets, another 12 were affected by tear gas, and one was hurt by a stone thrown by an Israeli settler.

Hundreds of Palestinians march through checkpoint to protest Trump plan
+072 Mag 29 Jan by Oren Ziv — Hundreds of Palestinians marched across an Israeli checkpoint in the northern West Bank to protest President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” on Wednesday afternoon. Around 500 protesters gathered Wednesday morning in the Palestinian town of Tubas and crossed the Tayseer checkpoint between Nablus and the Jordan Valley, despite attempts by the Israeli army to stop them. While Tayseer checkpoint has been unmanned over the last few years, Israeli soldiers have been stationed there after the IDF ordered reinforcements in the run-up to Trump’s announcement.  The demonstrators marched for a mile toward agricultural land between Tayseer and the Hamam al-Malih community and began protesting in an area that had been declared a closed military zone for the purpose of IDF training. The soldiers who were training at the site were forced to stop and began folding up their equipment. The protesters brought two tractors with them, which they used to plow the area, which belongs to Palestinian farmers. Last week, the army confiscated several tractors used for plowing. Border Police officers arrived at the scene and began dispersing the demonstrators with tear gas and stun grenades, as protesters sat down on the ground in an act of civil disobedience. The protesters headed back to Tubas at around noon, and the demonstration ended without arrests …
Since the nonviolent protests against the wall subsided over the last few years, many West Bank Palestinians have been speaking about the need for a new popular struggle that will challenge the occupation. According to Assaf, Wednesday’s action is only the first in a series of popular protests against Israel’s plans to annex the Jordan Valley.

60 arson attacks on churches and mosques by Jewish settlers in past decade
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Jan — Israel’s Tag Meir organisation revealed, on Monday, that extremist Jewish settlers have carried out arson attacks on 46 mosques and 12 churches in the occupied West Bank and Israel, over the past decade, Al Sabeel has reported. Tag Meir, which was established 15 years ago to counter settlers’ hate crimes and racism in Israel and the occupied West Bank, said that the perpetrators of these crimes generally went unpunished. It pointed out that most of these arson attacks were committed by an extremist settler group called “Price Tag,” and that the criminals spray graffiti such as “Death to Arabs” and other hate messages on the walls of the buildings they burn down. The latest of these attacks was on a mosque in the Beir Safafa neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem. The fire started by the illegal settlers caused severe damage to the building.

Systematic failure: Yesh Din calls upon the international community to intervene to ensure Palestinians protection from Israelis who harm them
Yesh Din [Israeli NGO] statement 30 Jan — Criminal acts by Israeli civilians (settlers and others) against Palestinians and their property are commonplace in the West Bank. Since its inception in 2005, Yesh Din has documented about 2,000 incidents of violence, assault, threats, vandalism of private property and mosques, damage to or destruction of olive trees, arson, land takeover and more. In this time, we have built an extensive knowledge base that enables an analysis of the state of law enforcement on Israeli citizens who harm Palestinians. The picture that emerges after 15 years of monitoring how complaints by Palestinians harmed by Israelis are processed points to a deep systemic failure within the law enforcement mechanisms in the West Bank and Israel’s failure to meet its obligation to protect the Palestinian population in the territories under Israeli military occupation, as required by both Israeli and international law. The common thread between the offenses investigated in these cases is that they were ideologically motivated. The perpetrators set out to intimidate their victims in an effort to drive them off their land in the service of expanding the settlement enterprise and further entrenching Israel’s control over land in the West Bank while pushing Palestinians out….

Palestinian activists seek climate justice under occupation
Al-Monitor 26 Jan by Freya Pratty — “People talk about climate a lot here,” said Awdah Hathaleen, an activist from the West Bank. “They’re scared. When we hear there is a winter storm coming, we don’t sleep. When there is wind, our houses shake.” Hathaleen told Al-Monitor that in recent years climate change has exacerbated the situation in the West Bank. “We get hotter summers and colder winters. Every year it gets worse and worse,” he added. Hathaleen lives in Umm al-Khair, a Bedouin village in the south Hebron Hills that was established in 1948, with 160 people currently living there. The village lies next to Carmel, an Israeli settlement built in 1982, separated from Umm al-Khair by a fence. “A lot of houses here are tents because of the occupation and we are not allowed to fix them for winter,” Hathaleen said. Snow used to come every five years, he noted, but it is increasingly frequent and last time there was a big snowfall, eight tents collapsed … Asked whether Israel allows them to build houses, Hathaleen said, “If we do anything, they [Israeli authorities] will give us a stop working order or demolition order immediately.” The hotter summers pose new threats for the village, too. “There is no water network allowed here,” he said. “We get seven hours a week to collect water.” Members of the community suffer increasingly from a lack of water and so does the environment around them, Hathaleen noted. “Trees don’t have enough water and they die. The village is attacked by the weather, we have no green.”
According to a paper published last year by Palestine’s Environment Quality Authority, Palestine can expect to be one degree Celsius hotter in five years, and up to 4 degrees hotter by 2090. The authority also estimates that rainfall could decrease by up to 90% by 2090 …  “Despite the effects of climate change being broadly similar across the region, the Palestinians are more vulnerable, and this is directly to do with the political situation,” Zena Agha, a researcher at Al-Shabaka research center, told Al-Monitor. The Israeli occupation is the biggest nonenvironmental threat facing the Palestinians, and one that compounds the environmental situation, Agha said….

Missing Palestinian child found frozen to death in Jerusalem lake
MEMO 27 Jan — An eight-year-old Palestinian boy froze to death after falling into a lake near the neighbourhood of Beit Hanina in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday. Qais Abu Rmelah was reported missing on 4pm on Friday after he headed out to a local market and never returned. His body was found on Saturday at the bottom of a rainwater-filled pit next to a construction site, reported Haaretz. Although his disappearance and the circumstances that led to his death are unclear, the boy is reported to have apparently slipped while making his way to the market and drowned in the lake which was full as a result of the heavy rains last week. A devastating video which surfaced online shows the frozen body of the young boy, wearing a visible red jacket, being carried by several first responders. After being pulled from under a wooden plank with his head stuck in the mud, Qais was rushed to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, according to the Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith, suffering from hypothermia. Several attempts to revive him were made, however, was pronounced dead. The governor extended his condolences to the child’s family and thanked Palestinian residents in Beit Hanina who came together to help find the child following his disappearance, calling for unity in the face of the Israeli occupation. His family initially feared that he might be kidnapped [and killed] by Israeli settlers, as happened to the child Mohammed Abu Khdeir years ago [2014].
Israeli occupation authorities were held fully responsible for Qais’ death by the Governor, emphasising that the authorities should have blocked off the open water ditches to prevent children accessing them. The incident prompted the family and residents of Beit Hanina to call out the Jerusalem Municipality for neglecting the area and not building a fence around it, during Abu Rmelah’s funeral on Saturday. “It’s not a reservoir, it’s death trap,” stated one family member.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Israel steps up campaign against Bedouin village it has demolished 173 times
+972 Mag 28 Jan by Oren Ziv — Israeli forces raided the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib and arrested its leader, Sheikh Sayyah Abu Mdeghem, as part of a growing campaign  to try and force the residents off their land. Abu Mdeghem was released after a few hours, but he and other residents say that Israel has stepped up its activities against Al-Araqib — a tiny hamlet in the Naqab/Negev Desert that has been demolished 173 times since 2010 — in recent months. They cite more frequent demolitions, raids, arrests, and interrogations, as well as confiscation of equipment. In response, village residents and activists have launched a crowdfunding campaign that they hope will cover legal costs incurred by Al-Araqib residents who are fighting to have their claims to the land recognized in court. That process alone is likely to cost the community around NIS 400,000.
“They’re trying to drive Al-Araqib’s residents into despair and they’re not succeeding,” said Abu Mdeghem’s son, Aziz. “But they’re adding more and more pressure.” Aziz, who was attending a weekly protest against the demolitions of the village, added that the state upped its oppression around the time that his father was released from a 10-month prison sentence late last year … Abu Mdeghem was charged at the time with “unlawfully entering and trespassing on public land,” simply for insisting on remaining in his home….

West Bank settlements report rapid growth in 2019
JERUSALEM (AP) 28 Jan — The population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank surged by more than 3% in 2019, well above the growth rate of Israel’s overall population, a settler group said Tuesday. It predicted even higher growth this year thanks to a nascent building boom made possible by friendly policies of the Trump administration. The data, released ahead of President Donald Trump’s long-awaited peace plan, indicate that evacuating settlements is no longer a viable option for international peacemakers, said Baruch Gordon, director of West Bank Jewish Population Stats. “We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” he said. His group, using official Interior Ministry data, said the population of West Bank settlements rose to 463,353 people as of Jan. 1, up 3.1% from 449,508 a year earlier. In comparison, Israel’s overall population rose 1.9% in 2019 to 9,136,000 people, according to official data.  The figures do not include an estimated 300,000 Jewish Israelis living in settlements in annexed east Jerusalem …
According to Tuesday’s report, the growth rate of the settlement population last year actually dipped slightly from the 3.3% figure posted in 2018. But it still remained well ahead of the general population. The growth is driven in part by the relatively affordable housing prices found in the settlements, as well as the higher birthrate among their many religious families….

Israeli forces raid village, issue four demolition notices in West Bank
Palestine Chronicle 27 Jan — Israeli forces last night gave four Palestinian citizens from the village of Rummana, near the West Bank city of Jenin, notices of demolition against their houses under the pretext they were being built without a permit, according to the homeowners. The Palestinian citizens told WAFA that Israeli forces raided the village and handed them notices of demolition against their houses, which are still under construction, claiming that they were being built without a permit and too close to Israel’s Apartheid wall.

Palestinian demolishes own home near Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 31 Jan — A Palestinian citizen, on Friday, began tearing down his own home, near occupied Jerusalem, WAFA News Agency reported. Ibrahim Erekat, from the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, said he was informed by the Israeli municipality of the order to demolish his home, because he lacked an Israeli building permit. The municipality stated that should they demolish the home, he would be penalized with arbitrary charges. The Israeli occupation uses the lack of building permit as a pretext for demolishing Palestinian homes, while denying Palestinians permission to build, and expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Israel demolishes Palestinian store in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 28 Jan – Israeli police today morning demolished a Palestinian store in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, reported WAFA correspondent. He said that heavily armed Israeli police and staff of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem stormed Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, where they cordoned off a sanitary ware store. Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Silwan-based watchdog, posted a video showing police allowing the store owners to remove some of the sanitary fittings, before the heavy machinery tore down the store, built of tin sheets. Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes structures on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem and driven them out of the city.

Israeli forces stop rehabilitation of school’s courtyard in Hebron area
HEBRON (WAFA) 27 Jan — Israeli forces seized a bulldozer and an excavator owned by a Palestinian resident in the village of Susiya, in the south Hebron Hills, the southern occupied West Bank, said a local official. Head of Susiya village council, Jihad al-Nawaja, told WAFA Israeli forces stormed an elementary school in the village and seized a bulldozer and an excavator working on the rehabilitation of the school’s courtyard.

Israel gives demolition notices for ten more Palestinian wells in Salfit
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Jan — The Israeli authorities, on Sunday, demolished a water well in the village of al-Zawiyah in Salfit, central occupied West Bank, and delivered demolition notices to others. The mayor of al-Zawiyah, Mohmoud Muqdadi, told Quds News Network (QNN) that “over 100 Israeli soldiers accompanied by bulldozers demolished a water well owned by Muath Musleh, and notified locals of the occupation state’s plans to demolish 10 other water wells.” “The villagers gathered in the area, resulting in the prevention of the occupation forces from carrying out the demolitions,” added Muqdadi, stating that soldiers announced their plans to return to demolish the rest of the wells. Muqdadi also stressed that “the local community will continue to protest, as they have done in the past, to prevent the occupation forces from demolishing water wells.” The villagers have organized protests that prevented the occupation authorities from building the apartheid wall on the village’s land. “The locals of al-Zawiya, as well as the municipality, are determined to continue construction and cultivation in order to prevent the occupation state from confiscating it”, Muqdadi said. “If they demolish a water well, we will build another,” he concluded. Important to note that Resolution 64/292 of the United Nations General Assembly recognizes the human right to water and sanitation, and acknowledges that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.

Israeli court orders Palestinians to leave Jerusalem building and turn it over to Israeli settlers
IMEMC/Agencies 27 Jan An Israeli court, yesterday, ruled in favor of evicting a Palestinian-owned building in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied  Jerusalem and turn it over to an Israeli settler organization, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center. It said that the Israeli court rejected all objections by the Dweik family, which owns the building, against a previous court ruling issued at the request of the Ateret Cohanim settlement organization, ordering the Dweik family to evacuate the building and turn over the land it is built on, to Ateret Cohanim, and giving the Palestinian family until August to comply with the eviction order. Mazen Dweik, one of the owners, said that the building consists of five apartments on five floors where five families currently reside, noting that his grandfather bought the land on which the building was built in 1963. The Center further stated, according to Days of Palestine, that 84 Palestinian families in Silwan have received, over past years, notices to leave the land where their homes are built and turn them over to the settler organization. The families are currently battling these orders in Israeli courts.

Palestinian refugees – Lebanon

Palestinian refugees insulted by Trump’s ‘shameful’ deal
BEIRUT (AP) 29 Jan by Malak Harb — “Insulting.” “Shameful.” “A disgrace.” Those were some of the words used by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on Wednesday to describe a White House plan for ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict. At refugee camps across the country, Palestinians staged strikes, protests and sit-ins a day after U.S. President Donald trump revealed the long-awaited details of the plan, denouncing it as ridiculously lop-sided and saying it gives them no rights. “Trump’s words mean nothing to us. This isn’t his land for him to bargain or sell or give to someone else,” said Sawsan Warde, a middle-aged Palestinian woman at the crowded Bourj al-Barajneh camp in the Lebanese capital. “He can give the Jewish people or Netanyahu a part of his land, but Palestine is for us. It was, it is and will always be ours.” The words reflected the deep bitterness felt by Palestinians at the plan unveiled by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday. The plan supports the Israeli position on nearly all of the most contentious issues in the decades-old conflict and falls far short of Palestinian demands, leaving them with disjointed areas and allowing Israel to annex its settlements in the occupied territory. “A thousand no’s,” said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in response. Among Palestinian refugees, many likened the plan to the Balfour Declaration, the British government’s promise in 1917 to Zionists to create a Jewish home in Palestine. “This is an extension of the Balfour declaration,” said Mariam Gebril, who took part in a protest at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp — an overpopulated, sprawling territory just south of Beirut that houses up to 70,000 refugees and their descendants….

BDS / Repression of pro-Palestinian speech

New York high school sparks public storm over free speech on Israel
+972 Mag 26 Jan by Mairav Zonszein — The firing of a teacher in an elite private school is part of a significant rise in incidents targeting pro-Palestine speech in secondary education —  On January 9, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School — an elite private school in the Bronx known for its diversity and progressive values — fired JB Brager, a 31-year-old history teacher. Brager, who is Jewish, had expressed views on Twitter that were anti-Zionist and in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Brager’s firing appears to be the latest instance in a trend, trickling down from colleges to high schools, in which educators whose politics challenge the mainstream Zionist narrative about Israel are punished for their political views … In a video of the talk posted by the right-wing Washington Free Beacon, which has played a key role in drawing national attention to this incident, Ahmed said that “the Jews suffered in the Holocaust and established the State of Israel. Today they perpetuate violence against the Palestinians that are unthinkable… the victims of the Holocaust and violence have become perpetrators of injustice against Palestinians.” The Free Beacon and Tablet reported that some parents took issue with the comments. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), told the Free Beacon, “To blame the victim in this manner was really outrageous and these virulent views — saying that Jews who escaped the Holocaust are now the perpetrators of injustice — has [sic] no place in our society and certainly not in our schools where we’re educating young people.” (The ADL did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)

Israel lobby prompts federal investigations over Palestine events
EI Lobby Watch 30 Jan by Nora Barrows-Friedman — The US Department of Education has opened two separate investigations into the University of California at Los Angeles because of events that discussed advocacy for Palestinian rights. The investigations have been prompted by complaints filed by Israel lobby groups, which allege that Palestine-related education or advocacy on campus is inherently anti-Semitic and discriminates against Jewish students. They follow US President Donald Trump’s executive order, signed in December, which allows mere accusations of anti-Semitism against campus critics of Israel to result in lengthy inquisitions by the government. Israel lobby groups recently filed similar complaints against Columbia University and Georgia Tech. In November, before the executive order, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into New York University, after an Israel-aligned student claimed that the presence of Students for Justice in Palestine created a “hostile atmosphere.”  The Middle East Studies Association’s committee on academic freedom has called on NYU’s president to reject “all efforts to weaponize allegations of anti-Semitism in order to advance a political agenda.”…  The complaints typically allege that universities fail to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on Palestine solidarity activism or teaching about Palestine….

GoFundMe shuts US-based Palestinian group’s account
MEMO 31 Jan — The popular charitable online giving platform GoFundMe has closed down the account of Palestinian advocacy organisation Al-Awda without providing any reason. Based in the US, Al-Awda is a non-profit organisation of activists and students who are dedicated to the education of the public on the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Palestine. According to screen shots of the social media posts from GoFundMe and Abbas Hamideh, the head of Al-Awda, the crowdsourcing platform closed the account this month, reported the Jerusalem Post. Abbas wrote: “Apparently GoFundMe doesn’t want to do business with Al-Awda – Right of Return.” “We are an American non-profit (501c3) organisation advocating for Palestinian refugees. They refuse requests to disclose reasons why they shut down a legitimate fund raiser after using them successfully for the past four years. Why did they shut us down? Could it be because we are advocates of the BDS movement and one of its founders?”….

Other news

Israeli forces violated international law 262 times in past week (23-29 Jan)
reposted from Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
22 Palestinian civilians wounded, including 4 children and a girl, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip –
16 civilians injured in peaceful protests in the West Bank and one injured with settlers’ fire 5 shootings reported against Palestinian agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip  During 102 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 101 civilians arrested, including 11 children and 8 women….
[long article, with PCHR’s typical detailed descriptions of violations, well worth reading]

Trump vilifies Palestinians for using the same violence that birthed Israel / Edo Konrad
+972 Mag 30 Jan — Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ speech condemned Palestinians for terrorism and praised Israel for peace — all while ignoring Israel’s own violent history. — President Trump has hardly attempted to hide his contempt for the Palestinian people. His unveiling of the “Deal of the Century” on Tuesday revealed in the clearest way possible what he thinks of the millions of Palestinians — in the occupied territories, inside Israel, and in the diaspora — who would be affected by his “peace deal.” Trump’s remarks dripped with classic racist imagery. For one, he used the words “terrorism” and “terror” nine times when referring to Palestinians in his speech. This is in contrast to the praise he showered upon Israel, which the president described as an island of democracy and prosperity. In the president’s eyes, Palestinians are “trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence,” and must renounce terrorism as a condition for establishing their own state.
The president’s caricature of Palestinians as terrorists is also familiar. From Israel’s very founding, Palestinians were portrayed as violent revolutionaries whose sole purpose in life was to annihilate the Jewish state and Jews writ large … What is peculiar about these mantras of Arabs as “violent savages” is that they elide Zionism’s own history of terrorism, which played a central role in Israel’s establishment. This amnesia, particularly among the Israeli public, is what cultural studies scholar Marita Sturken terms “strategic forgetting,” in which nations choose what histories to overlook while favoring more positive national or cultural memories. For example, Israelis prefer to forget that before they were prime ministers, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir were zealous militants who orchestrated brutal acts of terror against Palestinian civilians, attacked British soldiers and high-ranking officials, and even assassinated foreign dignitaries….

The apartheid deal of the century / Jeff Halper
MEMO 31 Jan — The Trump “deal of the century” is nothing if not predictable. The product of a small group of Orthodox Jewish Americans willingly adopting the long-standing plans of the Israeli right, it merely reaffirms what Israeli policy has in fact done “on the ground” over the past 53 years. In fact, we in the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) made a map 15 years ago that corresponds closely to Trump’s map. Once we knew the route of the Separation Wall, the Apartheid Wall, it was easy to draw the map that would eventually emerge. (See the maps below: the “two-state solution” on the left, the ICAHD map of 2005 in the centre, Trump’s Plan on the right.)
Needless to say, the plan is a non-starter. Rather than even a mini-state on 22 per cent of historic Palestine as proposed in the two-state option, the Palestinians – who are both the indigenous and the majority population in the country – will have to do with only 15 per cent of their country, and that truncated into four cantons: three in the West Bank separated by Israeli settlements, and Gaza. The “refugee problem” will be solved by denying them the right to return to their homeland, or to somehow squeeze the 5-6 million strong refugee population to the tiny enclaves of the Palestinian “state”. Few, if any, of the 700,000 Israeli settlers in the OPT will be removed, nor will the matrix of control of massive settlement blocks, highways and military bases be dismantled….

Abbas: Palestine free to end security cooperation with Israel
IMEMC/Agencies 31 Jan —Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly sent a note to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning that Palestine now feels free to stop security cooperation with the regime as part of the Oslo accords, which are “disavowed” by a contentious US-devised Middle East plan. Israel’s Channel 12 TV reported, on Wednesday, that a Palestinian Authority delegation, led by Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, had met with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and handed him a handwritten letter, in Arabic, from Abbas to Netanyahu. In his note, the report said, Abbas stressed that the plan US President Donald Trump unveiled on Tuesday, as a proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, disregards the 1993 Oslo accords that divided the West Bank into areas under Israeli, Palestinian and joint controls. “The plan is an American and Israeli disavowal of the Oslo accords, and so the Palestinian Authority now sees itself as free to disregard the agreements with Israel, including security cooperation,” the report quoted the letter as saying, according to the PNN. The Palestinian president wanted to inform Israel of his position before he traveled to Cairo to attend an urgent meeting of the Arab League on Trump’s so-called “deal of the century,” according to the report. Sheikh told Kahlon that Abbas had not only refused to take a call from Trump ahead of the release of his Mideast deal, he had also refused to accept a letter the US president had sent him.

US envoy warns Palestinians against raising opposition to US peace plan at UN
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) 31 Jan by Michelle Nichols — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft warned the Palestinians on Friday that bringing their displeasure with the U.S. peace plan to the world body would only “repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will speak in the U.N. Security Council in the next two weeks about the plan, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the 15-member council would also vote on a draft resolution on the issue. However, the United States is certain to veto any such resolution, diplomats said. That would allow the Palestinians to take the draft text to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where a vote would publicly show how the Trump administration’s peace plan has been received internationally … Craft said the United States was ready to facilitate talks and that she was “happy to play any role” that contributes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday. Mansour said on Thursday: “There is not a single Palestinian official (who) will meet with American officials now after they submitted an earthquake, the essence of it the destruction of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. This is unacceptable.”….

Islamic Jihad, Hamas accept Abbas invitation to meet following US deal
MEMO 29 Jan — Chief of National Relations of Islamic Jihad, Khaled Al-Batsh, said yesterday that his movement had accepted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ invitation to meet in Ramallah to discuss action against the US’ “deal of the century”. In a press release, Al-Batsh said: “This meeting will not be an alternative to the planned meeting announced by all the Palestinian factions to lay out a comprehensive plan against Trump’s deal.” This came following Abbas’ invitation to all the Palestinians factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, to meet in Ramallah in order to discuss practical measures against the deal of the century. Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah bloc in the parliament, told Anadolu that Hamas would also attend the meeting.

Israel to seize $1.2m in assets from the Palestinian Authority
MEMO 28 Jan — Israel’s acting Justice Minister Amir Ohana last night issued an order to seize 4.2 million shekels ($1.2 million) in assets from the Palestinian Authority (PA) “as compensation for terror victims”. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli government has “made such moves in the past, especially by temporarily freezing the transfer of money to the PA or deducting funds from its customs tax revenues”. However, the paper added, this development marks “the first time that a justice minister has taken things into his own hands” in such a way. Given the lack of precedent, the Jerusalem Post continued, “it was unclear whether Ohana’s authority was sufficient and what the ultimate outcome would be of his order”, especially “given the unique diplomatic circumstances.” A further report noted that eight Palestinians convicted by Israeli occupation authorities between the period 2014 and 2017 were specifically “named in the decision”. When the eight Palestinians were convicted, they were “ordered to pay compensation in addition to [receiving] prison sentences”. “This legal-financial measure is important for the war on terror. The state of Israel has a paramount obligation to stand by the victims of terrorism, and it will do so,” the report quoted Ohana as saying. “As long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pay compensation to terrorists and their families, we will continue to collect from them money to compensate the victims.”

Dutch court grants immunity for Israeli war crimes
EI 29 Jan by Adri Nieuwhof — A court in the Netherlands has denied Ismail Ziada the chance to pursue justice for Israel’s killing of his mother and other members of his family. The Palestinian-Dutch citizen has been suing Benny Gantz, Israeli army chief at the time, and Amir Eshel, then air force chief, for the decision to bomb his family’s home during Israel’s assault on Gaza nearly six years ago. The Dutch judges ruled that the two commanders enjoy immunity for their alleged crimes because they committed them while acting in an official capacity. The Israeli attack on 20 July 2014 reduced the three-floor building in al-Bureij refugee camp to rubble. It killed Ziada’s 70-year-old mother Muftia, his brothers Jamil, Yousif and Omar, sister-in-law Bayan, and 12-year-old nephew Shaban, as well as a seventh person visiting the family. Ziada sued the Israeli generals for more than $600,000 in damages plus court costs….

Hamas urges Islamic, Arab worlds to reject Trump plan
GAZA CITY, Palestine (Anadolu) 30 Jan — Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh has sent letters to all presidents, kings, and princes of the Islamic and Arab worlds urging them to reject the U.S.’ so-called “Deal of the Century.” Haniyeh called on the leaders of the Arab and Islamic world in his letters to “urgently act to reject what the U.S. President announced in the terms and plans of the project of the so-called deal of the century,” according to a press statement issued by Hamas. Haniyeh stressed the need to stand against all attempts to “harmonize with the approach of the American administration in dealing with the Palestinian issue and to take a firm stand against the blatant bias practiced by the American administration from the Zionist settler and occupation schemes against the land, the people and the sanctities.” The top Hamas figure said he had contacted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “in order to unify the Palestinian ranks in the face of this aggressive deal,” adding that “we discussed with him agreement on joint action to address this disastrous announcement.” “All options have become legitimate in front of our Palestinian people and their living forces in the face of the decisions of this aggressive and unfair deal which targets the Palestinian presence, land, people, history and identity,” Haniyeh added …
The hashtag #FreePalestine also quickly topped the world trending list on Twitter.

Israel bans import of Palestinian agricultural products
MEMO 31 Jan  — Israel has imposed a ban on the import of agricultural products from Palestine, local media reported on Friday. “[Israeli] Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Friday that Israel would implement a ban on importing agricultural products from the Palestinian Authority,” according to Israeli daily Jerusalem Post. Last September, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had prohibited the import of Israeli cattle and other livestock to the Palestinian territories as part of his efforts for “economic disengagement” from Israel, the daily said. In October, Israel threatened to halt the import of Palestinian agricultural products in response to the decision.

Netanyahu officially indicted
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Jan — Israel’s attorney general, on Tuesday, filed the indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three corruption cases to a district court, effectively launching the trial against the premier, Haaretz Israeli daily reports. Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu announced he was withdrawing his request for immunity from prosecution in the cases, in which he is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. His decision allowed Israel’s attorney general to file the indictment with the Jerusalem District Court, instead of having to wait for the conclusion of immunity deliberations in the Israeli parliament. It also means Netanyahu won’t be able seek protection from prosecution again in any of the three cases.

How the first Palestinian woman is disrupting the finance industry with her fintech start-up
MEMO 17 Jan by Anjuman Rahman — Fuelled by a supportive ecosystem and a tech-savvy population, the fintech industry in the Middle East has been growing rapidly in the last few years, disrupting the financial landscape and attracting billions in investment globally. In the future, it’s believed that the whole world will move to the digital space in terms of finance, and the idea of physical money will disappear completely. The catalyst of such a development will be the various fintech companies and start-ups that are starting to pop up all over the world. Taking part in this monumental shift is the founder of Rumman, Shurouq Qawariq, together with her friends Nabil Parkar and Juan Manuel Balcazar, who met in Indiana whilst completing their undergraduate degrees. Founded in 2018, Rumman is one of the first fintech companies in the region to offer personalised, digital wealth management and automatic ways and methods to save money effortlessly. Shurouq said: “We hope to facilitate saving and investment for those who are having trouble saving and planning for their future, and increase financial literacy and inclusion in the region to go beyond owning a bank account.”….

Mass protest in Amman against US so-called peace plan
AMMAN, Jordan 31 Jan by Laith al-Jounadi — Thousands of Jordanians on Friday rallied in the capital Amman against the U.S.’ so-called “deal of the century” Mideast plan. Despite the heavy rain, thousands of Jordanians responded to the calls by the Jordanian Islamist Movement and other Jordanian parties.  The protesters rallied for Palestine and chanted slogans calling for the protection of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque and burned the Israeli flag. Abdul Hamid Thunaibat, the leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, was among the protesters and gave a speech warning of “a U.S. conspiracy against the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples.” Other activities and events in support of Palestinians and against the U.S. plan took place in various Jordanian cities.

Qatar charity signs MoU with Palestinian Ministry of Local Government
ReliefWeb 22 Jan — Qatar Charity’s office in Palestine signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Local Government in Ramallah, to complete a project of establishing and operating a medical waste management system in the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), at an estimated cost of more than one million Qatari riyals….

Eden Place Arts Centre, Derry, Ireland
[with photos] IMEMC 28 Jan  by Niall Ó Brolcháin — As part of The Bloody Sunday March Committee’s annual events, Eden Place Arts Centre launched an exhibition of paintings and fine art prints by artist Nadia Kaczmarczuk  on the theme of the oppression of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. The exhibition, entitled ‘Occupation’, was opened by Kate Nash, whose brother William was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, and Catherine Hutton, chairperson of the Derry branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) … Thirteen unarmed civilians were murdered  in the Bogside, Derry, by the British Parachute Regiment on what became known as Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972.  A fourteenth victim would die several months later as a result of the injuries he sustained on that fateful day. Bloody Sunday began as a peaceful demonstration by some 10,000 men, women and children, organized by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) in opposition to the British government’s policy of interning suspected Irish Republicans without trial. Within hours, thirteen innocent people would be dead and many more injured at the hands of the Paras.


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Oh, but it must have been a rubber teargas canister, fired by the most moral army in the world! “Prince Charles’ words on Palestine must not go unnoticed” Middle East Monitor, Jan. 26/20 “Prince Charles’ visit to the occupied Palestinian territories has garnered media attention. Words of sympathy, far from a political message, were the subject of his speech in Bethlehem after touring historical sites and meeting with Palestinian refugees at the Aida refugee camp. Nevertheless, his statement has resonated with Palestinians. “The media is describing Prince Charles’ address as ‘the strongest’ ever,… Read more »

Thank you, Kate. One has only to read through this (or any) of your compilations to realize the daily, minute by minute suffering of the Palestinian people. It goes on unnoticed by millions (including their nearest neighbors~ the Israelis) and unabated, aided by governments all over the world. Of course, the US leads this pack of immoral and ravenous parasites and thirsty vampires. Please someone explain WHY the US has the right to give another… Read more »