November 22, 2015

Violence / Detention — West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestinian girl shot dead after alleged attack near Jerusalem market
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces shot two Palestinian teenage girls, killing one and wounding the other, after they were allegedly involved in a stabbing attack near a central Jerusalem market on Monday morning, Israeli police said. The incident took place near the Mahane Yehuda market on Jaffa Street, with Israeli media initially reporting that two Israelis were wounded in the alleged attack. However, a spokesperson for Hadassah hospital later confirmed that one of those injured was a 70-year-old Palestinian resident of Bethlehem, who had a light stabbing wound in his back, and the other was a 27-year-old Israeli security guard who was shot in the hand, possibly by friendly fire. The Palestinian girls were 16 and 14 years old, Israeli police said. One of them died soon after the incident, while the other was taken to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem. A hospital spokesperson said that she had been taken into the operating room in serious condition, with two bullet wounds in her stomach. The spokesperson was unable to confirm the girl’s age, as she was taken to the hospital without any identification. The girls were reported by Israeli media as having used scissors to carry out the alleged attack.

3 Palestinians and 1 Israeli killed Sunday; 94 Palestinians killed since 10/1 (List)
IMEMC 23 Nov — Three Palestinians, including a 16-year old girl, were shot and killed by Israelis on Sunday. All three were accused of ‘having a knife’, but in two of the three killings, eyewitnesses contradicted the Israeli military’s account that the person killed ‘had a knife’. In the third incident, an Israeli settler was stabbed multiple times and killed before the alleged assailant was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers stationed at the Gush Etzion military camp south of Bethlehem. The full list of the 94 Palestinians and 16 Israelis killed since October 1st is below.  In the latest numbers on injuries, from this past Friday, November 20th, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that more than 10,000 Palestinians were injured since October 1st, including at least 1458 who were shot with live army fire, and 1,070 shot with rubber-coated steel bullets. The Ministry also said that 300 Palestinians suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers in the West Bank, in addition to 26 Palestinians who suffered burns due to Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades, while 6,400 Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. [for some reason Shadi Zuhdi ‘Arafa from Hebron is listed among the Israeli casualties. so the total may be at least 95]
Names Of The 94 Palestinians Killed By Israeli Fire Since October 1st:

Settler runs over, shoots and kills 16-year-old Palestinian girl in Nablus
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov – A prominent Israeli settler ran over a 16-year-old Palestinian girl and then shot her dead [on Sunday], saying that he believed she intended to carry out a stabbing attack at Huwarra checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israeli media reported. The Palestinian military liaison office identified the teenager as Ashraqat Taha Ahmad Qatanani from Nablus, and said they had notified her family of their daughter’s death. Israeli news site Ynet identified the man who ran over and shot Qatanani as Gershon Mesika, the former head of the “Samaria regional council,” which represents Israel’s illegal settlements in the northern West Bank. After running the girl over with his car and landing in a ditch, Mesika reportedly got out of his car and opened fire on the girl, alongside Israeli forces who also opened fire, Israeli media reported. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked for comment. No Israelis were reported injured in the alleged attack.

Settler shoots dead 2nd Palestinian following alleged attack attempt
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A Palestinian was shot and killed near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim in the central occupied West Bank on Sunday, after the Palestinian, driving a taxi, ran into another car on a main road, an Israeli police spokesperson said. Micky Rosenfeld said that after the car incident, a Palestinian taxi driver “walked out his vehicle with a knife in his hand and was shot dead.” Rosenfeld said he was not aware whether the Palestinian was shot by a civilian or by Israeli forces, although Hebrew-language media reported the shooter was a settler from the area. Rosenfeld added that the area had been cordoned off, without adding further details. Israeli sources identified the Palestinian as Shadi Mohammed Mahmoud Khseib, 32, from al-Bireh city, near Ramallah. It was unclear whether the car crash was an attack or accidental, although following the incident, an Israeli settler corroborated the police account that Hassib [Khseib?] exited the car holding a knife. Israeli news site Ynet reported that an Israeli settler “was lightly wounded, suffering a scratch to his hand,” adding that it was unclear whether the scratch came from the car crash or the alleged attempted stabbing attack. [WAFA:  Witnesses, however, refuted the Israeli narrative, saying the settler opened fire on the Palestinian man after the latter’s car inadvertently collided with the settlers’ car.]

Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli to death near Gush Etzion
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he stabbed to death a 21-year-old Israeli woman near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion [Sunday], Israeli sources said. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that after the Palestinian stabbed the woman at the Gush Etzion junction, “forces on site responded to the imminent threat and shot the attacker, resulting in his death.” The Israeli victim, identified as 21-year-old Hadar Buchrus, was evacuated to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem where she was pronounced dead. A spokesperson for the hospital said: “She was brought to the hospital almost dead.” The Palestinian attacker was identified as 34-year-old Issa Thawabta from Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem district, just south of Gush Etzion. A Ma‘an reporter who was in the area during the attack said that he witnessed dozens of Israeli soldiers rushing to the hitchhiking station at the Gush Etzion junction, firing gunshots. The soldiers then shut down the main bypass road known as Route 60. Thawabta was the third Palestinian to be killed on Sunday, after another two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli settlers after allegedly attempting to attack Israelis.

Israeli terrorists burn Palestinian citizen of Israel to death
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Nov — A group of Israeli terrorists burnt to death [on Friday night] a 22 year old Palestinian citizen of Israel, identified as Fadi Hoosh. Israeli police found the burnt body of the Israeli-Palestinian citizen inside a car in the garbage dump of the neighbourhood of Kafr Kannah [an Arab town in the Galilee, Israel]. Israeli media sources reported that the police decided to have the body autopsied, in order to know the reason of death, and to search for any hints related to the perpetrators. Witnesses told ‘Days of Palestine’ that the car was damaged from the inside, that it did not appear to have been burned from outside. Palestinian witnesses said that they saw a number of Israeli Jews attacking the 22-year old man, then putting him inside the car and setting it on fire. “After a couple of minutes, they extinguished the fire and left him inside the car and very quickly fled the scene,” witnesses said.

Undercover police assault elderly man in Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 23 Nov — Members of Israeli special forces assaulted, on Saturday evening, 90-year-old Mohammed Abbasi, severely beating him while he was in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Silwan. Wadi Helwah Information Center said, according to Al Ray, that the elderly [man] was in front of his son’s house, in Ras al-Amud, as Israeli troops were hunting the Palestinian youth.
The old man was quoted as saying: “I did not expect, for a moment, that they would prosecute or assault me but, suddenly, they pushed me from behind. I fell to the ground, and a number of undercover police officers beat me on the head and chest, using rifles.” Abbasi’s grandson said that the neighbors responded to the family’s distress, rushing to the scene and taking Abbasi to the health center and, then, to Makassed Hospital.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian at West Bank crossing
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — Israeli forces on Saturday evening shot and wounded a Palestinian who was attempting to rush through a Qalqiliya-district checkpoint to reach a hospital in Nablus where his father had passed away, Palestinian sources said. The Palestinian was identified as Hamada Abd al-Aziz Atwani, 27, from al-Jiftlik village north of Jericho. After his family informed him that his father had passed away in Rafidia hospital in Nablus, he attempted to leave Israel, where he works, and enter the occupied West Bank through the Oranit crossing south of Qalaqiliya. Palestinian sources said that he told Israeli soldiers at the crossing that he had an emergency. However, an Israeli army spokesperson said that he “attempted to run past the crossing,” and when Israeli forces sought to stop him, he “attacked” them. She said that Israeli forces then opened fire on his “lower extremities,” and Atwani had to be evacuated for medical treatment.

Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinian youths overnight Saturday on the main road near the northern occupied West Bank village of ‘Aqraba, south of Nablus, Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an. Palestinian security sources said Ayham Deriyya and Younis Munir Bani Fadil were shot by Israeli soldiers who were stationed behind a barrier which blocked the main entrance to ‘Aqraba. Both of the injured were evacuated to a nearby hospital in moderate condition. The sources highlighted that Israeli forces closed the village’s entrance on Thursday, forcing residents to use alternate, less convenient routes. An Israeli army spokesperson said two Palestinians were “hurling rocks at Israeli vehicles” in the area, and that “Israeli forces responded to the threat, firing at the lower extremities.” The spokesperson confirmed that two Palestinians were shot and wounded in the area.  Shortly before the young men were shot, residents said Israeli forces told them they would intensify security procedures near ‘Aqraba, because of reports that Palestinian youth from the village had been throwing rocks at passing cars in the area.

Israel bars Palestinian workers from Gush Etzion settlement bloc
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israel barred Palestinians from entering illegal settlements in the Gush Etzion bloc on Monday after a 21-year-old Israeli woman was stabbed to death in the area a day earlier, Israel’s army said. “In light of the recent attacks and following situation assessments, precautionary security measures have been taken in Gush Etzion,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an. The measures will prevent Palestinians from entering settlements in Gush Etzion, home to over 90,000 Israeli settlers, as well as the Efrat and Beitar IIlit settlements nearby. An estimated 2,000 Palestinians work in the settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.

Amid escalation, IDF to check every Palestinian vehicle on roads shared with Israelis
Haaretz 22 Nov by Gili Cohen — Following the terror wave the Israeli army started checking every Palestinian vehicle on roads used by Israelis in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. Random checks were implemented in the rest of the West Bank. According to army sources, the new guidelines were accepted on Friday, and were first implemented by forces on Saturday.  In areas were no roadblocks were erected, some junctions were completely closed off. In recent days, the Israel Defense Forces reinforced its troops in Hebron and Gush Etzion, and two additional infantry battalions were deployed in those areas. The forces in the area are now at their highest level since the current unrest broke out last month . . . Meanwhile, dozens of settlers have been blocking several roads in the South Hebron Hills areas. The IDF said it deployed troops to the sites of the demonstrations.

Israeli protesters demand separate roads for Palestinians, Israelis
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Dozens of Israelis protested in front of an Israeli government building in Jerusalem on Sunday, demanding Palestinians be barred from using the same roads as Israelis in the occupied West Bank, Hebrew media reported. The protesters also called for increased violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Many of the protesters were reportedly from the illegal Israeli settlements of Gush Etzion and Kiryat Arba, Hebrew media reported. Additionally, Israeli students in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement on Sunday went on a strike in protest of the current security situation. On Thursday, Israeli officials agreed to increase security measures in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, located in the occupied West Bank, including increased restrictions on the movement of Palestinians . . . Israeli news site Ynet reported Friday that the measures could include the temporary restriction of movement of Palestinians in the area, the deployment of extra Israeli security forces, and the construction of a “fence” along certain roads. The discussed measures came after a meeting between the Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli army’s chief of staff, and the mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, an administrative body for illegal settlements in the area.The regional council also urged settlers who own firearms to voluntarily accompany children on school buses to assist as first responders after attacks.

Israeli forces close checkpoints, impose curfew near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces on Sunday evening imposed a curfew on the village of Huwwara south of Nablus and closed the village’s key checkpoint in addition to Beit Furik checkpoint east of Nablus. Awwad Najim, a Fatah spokesperson in Huwwara, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces had carried out the measures after saying that several Molotov cocktails were thrown at settlers’ vehicles traveling through the village. Hawwara lies along Route 60, a central artery of the northern West Bank that serves as a major thoroughfare for both Palestinians as well as Israelis living in illegal settlements. Locals said that Israeli forces also detained 13-year-old Hamid Jasir Hamid Hamayel from Beita village at Zatara checkpoint south of Nablus. The boy reportedly suffers from several medical conditions. The checkpoints were reopened about an hour later, locals said, after huge traffic congestion was reported. However, it was not clear whether the curfew had been lifted, and a Palestinian activist group, the International Solidarity Movement, said that as of 8.15 p.m. Israeli forces were still keeping stores shut, in what the group described as “collective punishment.” The group added that one local shopkeeper was “threatened with pepper spray” after he argued with Israeli forces over the closure of his store.

Israeli forces impost heavy restrictions on movement around Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces have imposed severe restrictions on movement for residents of the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank since Friday, locals told Ma‘an. Locals have reported a massive increase in flying military checkpoints on main routes, while other routes have been completely closed off with concrete blocks and earth mounds. Military checkpoints have been set up between Hebron city and many towns and villages, such as Idhna, Beit Ummar and Sair. The main roads into and out of the villages of Nabi Younis, Beit Einoun, Farsh al-Hawa and Bani Naim have all been blocked off with earth mounds, locals said. Meanwhile, the main roads of the villages of Wadi Sair, Dura al-Fawwar and Zeif-Yatta, as well as the main road into al-Fawwar refugee camp, have been closed off with iron gates. Palestinians who travel southbound from Hebron only have access to two main routes, which are closely monitored by Israeli military checkpoints, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that everyone who travels through the two routes are being thoroughly inspected by Israeli forces, adding that sometimes strip-searches are performed . . . A shop owner who lives in Hebron, but works in Bethlehem city told Ma‘an that his usual 20-30 minute drive to work now takes two to three hours. Similarly, an employee of the Bethlehem directorate of health told Ma‘an it takes more than two hours to make his usual 45 minute trip from home to work.

Settlers attack school in Nablus village of Burin
NABLUS (WAFA) 22 Nov – Israeli settlers Sunday attempted to raid and attacked with stones a secondary school in the village of Burin, south of Nablus, according to a local official. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the West Bank, informed WAFA that a group of settlers gathered near Burin Secondary Co-ed School and proceeded to pelt it with stones, in an apparent attempt to raid it. The village locals subsequently gathered near the school to fend off the settlers’ attack, at which point soldiers arrived at the scene and proceeded to attack locals, leading to clashes. Israeli forces reportedly shot live and rubber-coated steel rounds toward locals, however, there were no reports of injuries.

Settlers attack Palestinian homes in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli settlers on Sunday night attacked Palestinian homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, amid ongoing movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli army inside the city. A Ma‘an reporter said that a group of settlers attacked the Wadi al-Hussein, Wadi al-Nasara, and al-Kasara neighborhoods of the city, throwing stones at houses and Palestinian residents. Issa Amro, head of the local activist group Youth Against Settlements, said that settlers threw stones and empty bottles at Palestinian homes near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba. He said the attacks followed a pattern frequently repeated in recent weeks, with Israeli forces choosing not to protect the Palestinians, despite being “present all the time.” Last month, Israeli rights group B’Tselem released video footage that captured five straight days of settler attacks in the same area, while Israeli forces either “looked on” or actively “joined the settlers.” B’Tselem said it provided “an extreme example of the imbalance of power in the West Bank, with Israeli forces backing settler violence.”

Army kidnaps a woman and a child in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Nov — Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, Sunday, a Palestinian woman at a roadblock near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and a child in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the city. The soldiers kidnapped Ghadeer Diaeddin Sharif, 43 years of age, as she was trying to cross the roadblock while heading to pray in the Ibrahimi Mosque. The woman was ordered to go through a metal detector, and when the machine sounded, indicating the presence of metal, a female soldier asked her to try again, but before she did so the soldier assaulted her, and struck her on both her legs, before many soldiers kidnapped the woman and took her to the section of the mosque that is under full Israeli military control. Head of the Ibrahim Mosque, Monther Abu al-Felat, said the machines installed on the roadblock repeatedly malfunction, and that there have been various similar cases in the past.
In addition, the soldiers kidnapped a child as he was heading to school in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and took him to an unknown destination. The child has been identified as ‘Ala Ibrahim Mahfouth, 14 years of age; the soldiers cuffed him and took him to an unknown destination.

Three Palestinians including child injured in Qalqilya
QALQILYA (PIC) 21 Nov — Three Palestinians including a 7-year-old girl were injured on Saturday by Israeli gunfire in Qalqilya in the West Bank. Local sources revealed that Israel forces stormed al-Neqqar district to the west of Qalqilya amid shooting of gunfire and unleashing of tear gas canisters in clashes with Palestinian youths who threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The sources pointed out that the Israeli troops stormed a number of houses, and added that the Israeli shooting caused the injury of three residents including a 7-year-old girl. She was shot by a rubber[-coated steel] bullet in her right eyelid while she was at her family’s home. Dozens of other residents choked on tear gas fired by the soldiers during clashes, the sources added.

Israeli forces detain young woman in Hebron for ‘carrying knife’
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — Israeli forces detained a young Palestinian woman at a military checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City for allegedly carrying a knife. Director of the mosque, Munthir Abu al-Feilat, told a Ma‘an reporter in Hebron that Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint detained a woman and took her to a police station in the area, al-Feilat added. An Israeli police spokesperson for Arab media, Luba al-Samri, said in a statement that a 27-year-old Palestinian woman from the Yatta area of Hebron was detained after Israeli police found a kitchen knife in her possession. Al-Samri said that Israeli border police officers “noticed a young woman approaching them in a suspicious way” and ordered her to halt. When the woman “ignored the orders,” officers handcuffed her while another officer pointed a gun at her, the spokesperson said, adding that she was taken for questioning. The woman is at least the fourth Palestinian this month to be detained at the military checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque for allegedly carrying a knife. Several alleged, attempted, and actual attacks took place on Israeli military forces in the area over the past month.

Israeli troops detain 18 in West Bank, raid homes
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — Israeli forces detained 18 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight Friday in ongoing arrest raids, local Palestinians and the Israeli army said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the Hebron areas of Ras al-Jora, al-Salam Street, Hebron University, and the neighborhood of al-Zaytoon . . . Atef al- Awawdah, the mayor of a joint municipal council for villages east of the city of Hebron, told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers turned the area into a closed military zone.The area includes the villages al-Muwarraq, al-Kum, Beit Awwa, and Deir Samit, where several homes were searched by Israeli forces and clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and soldiers. Locals reported the use of live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets by Israeli forces during the clashes. No injuries were reported. In the villages of Beit Awwa and Deir Samit, homes belonging to Palestinian prisoners Muhammad al-Hroub and Jalal Shaher Muhammad Rayyan were searched. Three Palestinian residents of the al-‘Arrub refugee camp were also detained, identified as Nael Haroun Halayka, 24, Yasser Khader abu Ghazi, 17, and Basel Yacoub Badawi, 17. In the village of Dura, forces raided the home of Palestinian prisoner Ahmad al-Sharawna before detaining Ahmad Muneer Qazzaz, locals told Ma‘an.
In the Jenin area, Palestinian security forces told Ma‘an that Anas Nihad Rafiq Qabha, 21, and Riyad Hilal Qabaa,18, were detained from the village of al-Tura, and Muhammad Omar Mahmoud abu Mualla, 23, was detained from al-Milisiya village. An ambulance driver was reportedly assaulted by Israeli forces in al-Tura as he was trying to reach a man in the village.

Soldiers kidnap 19 Palestinians in Hebron, search hundreds of homes
IMEMC/Agencies 22 Nov — The Israeli army carried out, late [Saturday] night and on Sunday at dawn, massive invasions into hundreds of Palestinian homes, in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and kidnapped at least 19 Palestinians, including a wheelchair-bound man. Media sources in Hebron said hundreds of Israeli soldiers surrounded and invaded Beit ‘Awwa town, broke into and violently searched more than 150 homes, deliberately causing damage to their furniture and property, and kidnapped five Palestinians . . . The WAFA News Agency said the soldiers caused excessive property damage to the invaded homes, and stole gold from a home belonging to resident Mahmoud Yassin, in addition to summoning Moath Jihad Abu Ghalia for interrogation in the Etzion military base. The soldiers completely isolated Beit ‘Awwa town after placing sand barriers on its entrances, and after closing its iron gate, preventing the Palestinians from entering or leaving the town . . . In addition, media spokesperson of the Popular Committee in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, said the army kidnapped five Palestinians, including two children, in the Safa area, after more than 100 soldiers invaded it and stormed homes . . . The soldiers assaulted and struck the detainees with clubs and batons, before cuffing them, and forcing them to walk with them to the Etzion military base . . . In the Shiokh [or al-Shuyukh] town, the soldiers invaded the building of the Islamic Charitable Society, for the third time in less than two weeks, and confiscated all of its furniture and equipment, including tables, chairs, files and electric supplies. Also in Shiokh, the soldiers invaded a medical center and confiscated several medical supplies and equipment in addition to deliberately destroying equipment.

4 hurt in Kiryat Gat stabbing attack, terrorist caught after manhunt
[with photos, videos] Ynet 21 Nov by Matam Tzuri — A Palestinian teenager stabbed four people, including a 13-year-old girl, in the southern city of Kiryat Gat [in Israel] on Saturday evening. The 18-year-old attacker managed to flee the scene, but was caught several hours later after a massive manhunt. The victims included the 13-year-old girl, a 51-year-old man and two other women aged 44 and 56, Magen David Adom said. All were in moderate condition. A Bedouin Arab man was lightly wounded when local residents mistook him for the terrorist, beat and bound him. The five were all evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. Some 250 police and Border Policemen searched the area for the terrorist who fled the scene, assisted by helicopters searching from the air. Roadblocks were erected at the entrances to Kiryat Gat for the duration of the search, effectively enforcing a complete lockdown of the city. The suspect was captured after a five-hour manhunt at the yard of a home on King David Street, where the attack took place, with the blood-soaked knife he used for the attack in his possession. The suspect was caught after two of his friends gave him up to the authorities and he was subsequently identified as Muhammad Shaker al-Tarda, an illegal worker from the village of Yatta near Hebron. Two other suspected accomplices were arrested as well.,7340,L-4728871,00.html

Bedouin near-lynching victim is not angry at his attackers
Ynet 22 Nov by Rotem Elizera –  Five people were wounded in a terrorist stabbing attack on Saturday evening, among them was Salem, a 40-year-old Bedouin Arab who was attacked when a group of locals suspected him of being the terrorist. “I’ve been working in Kiryat Gat for almost two months, and I was supposed to start working as a security guard at Intel,” Salem said, speaking from his hospital bed. He recounted the harrowing experience, “Civilians who saw me stabbed me in the back. I told them ‘I’m not the terrorist’, but they kept stabbing again and again for a long while. A policeman and another civilian stopped them, it lasted for about five minutes. “I told the people who hit me that I was an Israeli, but they didn’t listen, they went on and on,” he continued. He added that his family, which lives in Segev Shalom, doesn’t even know about his attack. “I have small children and they don’t know about what happened.”  “They know me in Kiryat Gat. There’s a shop in town that I always come to and have coffee with the shopkeeper. I also have a lot of Jewish friends in town,” Salem said.   Despite his wounds, Salem doesn’t appear to be angry. “I wouldn’t want those who hurt me to be punished. The terrorist did something bad to them, you can understand them,” he said. Salem was admitted to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. “I feel really unwell, I have injuries in my back and my leg too,” he said. “These days I feel scared to walk around, I hardly leave home, really afraid to walk down the street,” he added.,7340,L-4729142,00.html


Clashes, mock air raids reported in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 22 Nov —  Violent clashes broke out Sunday evening between Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and Palestinian youths east of al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza Strip, local sources reported. Dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered late Sunday near the Israeli border fence protesting against the Israeli continued crimes and violations in the West Bank. Israeli forces opened heavy gunfire at the protesters who responded by throwing stones. No injuries were reported during the clashes. Earlier on Sunday, Israeli warplanes carried out sudden and intense mock air raids over Gaza Strip.

IOF carries out limited incursion east of Rafah
RAFAH (PIC) 22 Nov — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday evening carried out a small-scale incursion into the eastern border area of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and detained a young man with special needs for a while before releasing him. Local sources said that Israeli soldiers opened machinegun fire close to a young man with special needs before detaining him for about two hours near the perimeter fence, east of Rafah. They added that the IOF also carried out, amid intensive gunfire, a limited incursion into an eastern area of Rafah.

Rocket fired from Gaza hits southern Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Monday, with no injuries reported, Israel’s army said. A spokesperson told Ma‘an that the rocket was launched at 6:30 a.m. and landed in an open area of the Eshkol regional council.I sraeli forces are currently searching the area. No political group in Gaza has claimed responsibility.

Closure of the Rafah crossing causing tragedies (report)
(PIC) 20 Nov — Gazan resident Mohamed Kamel has been counting with fear and anxiety the days that are going fast, getting close to the date 23-11, the day on which his residency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expires. This made him observe the news every minute in a hope to hear the good news of the opening of the Rafah crossing, since the continued closure of the crossing means the expiry of his residency and thus the loss of his work, which he got with much effort. Mohamed is not the only Gazan suffering in the besieged Gaza Strip, as hundreds of Gazans would lose their residencies soon as a result of the continued closure of the Rafah crossing, but the more difficult situation is the dispersion of families due to the expiration of the residencies, and the loss of students’ seats at universities outside the Strip, threatening their already threatened future by the practices of the Israeli occupation.

Hamas to ‘distribute land’ among Gaza’s unpaid civil servants
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Nov — Gaza’s de facto leaders Hamas on Saturday announced plans to distribute land among civil servants hired after 2007 whose salaries the Palestinian Authority has refused to pay. Hamas’ finance minister Ziad al-Thatha made the announcement during a symposium in Gaza City, where he also said the employees would be exempted from unpaid electricity and municipal bills. He said that memorandums and protocols had already been signed between his ministry, municipal councils, and Gaza’s land authority, electricity company, and banks. Al-Thatha said around 1,000 dunams (250 acres) of public property had been allocated for the purpose across Gaza, although he did not specify where. He said the land “badly needs to be inhabited for political, security, social, and economic reasons. “The decision is likely to fuel tensions between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA. The question of Gaza’s government employees has been a major point of dispute between the two rival factions. (Continued)

Factions reject Hamas plans to allocate land to unpaid civil servants
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Palestinian factions in Gaza on Sunday slammed a decision announced by Hamas the day before to distribute public land among civil servants hired after 2007, whose salaries the Palestinian Authority has refused to pay. Representatives of several Palestinian factions, including Fatah and the Palestinian People’s Party, called the move illegal, adding that it would threaten the already contentious relationship between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA. Walid al-Awad, a senior leader of the Palestinian People’s Party, told Ma‘an that a meeting had been arranged between a number of political factions in Gaza later on Sunday to discuss Hamas’ plans. He added that factions would use the meeting to reiterate their position that the decision to distribute public land was “illegal” and “unacceptable.” Al-Awad said that faction leaders believed the plan “demonstrates that Hamas, not the Palestinian national consensus government, is still controlling the Gaza Strip, and that they are controlling it by military force.” . . . On Sunday, al-Awad told Ma‘an that while he sympathizes with the rights of unpaid civil servants, he disagreed with Hamas’ decision primarily because public land is “owned by the Palestinian people — not by Hamas or any other faction.”Fatah officials also expressed opposition to Hamas’ decision, describing it as a “dangerous and illegal procedure, lacking any nationalistic or political standards.” The deputy speaker of the Union of Palestinian Lawyers, Safi al-Dahdouh, also described the move as illegal under Palestinian law, saying that public property could not be “touched by any individual, even if they have certain jurisdiction.”

QRCS holds emergency drill in southern Gaza
DOHA 22 Nov — The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has conducted a mock drill in Gaza as part of its $135,000 projects to give psychological support to victims of the 2014 Gaza War. At the beach of Khan Younes in southern Gaza, the drill recreated tsunami sweeping homes and shops amid ambulance sirens, victims everywhere and volunteers rushing to help. As typical in such cases, the stricken areas were evacuated and the casualties were moved to hospitals. Psychological support, protection, and restoring family links staff were deployed to help victims, move them to safe places and provide socio-psychological support for the people, especially women and children. Some 120 psychological, ambulance and emergency management staff from Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) took part in the drill, in collaboration with QRCS and Spanish Red Cross. Azmi Al Akhtal, Psychological Programme Manager, QRCS, said: “Now, our staff are better prepared for any disaster.

Gaza: The power plant needs a permanent fuel tax exemption
GAZA (PIC) 23 Nov — The Palestinian authority of energy and natural resources in Gaza has called on the unity government in Ramallah to permanently exempt the besieged Strip’s power plant from the “blue tax” on industrial fuel. In a press release on Sunday, the energy authority described the Palestinian cabinet’s decision to give the Gaza power plant a one-month tax exemption on fuel shipments “insufficient to address the longstanding electricity problem in Gaza.” The authority expressed hope that the tax exemption on Gaza fuel could be permanent in order for the power plant to work without stop, especially during the current winter months and until a durable solution to the problem was found.

Exclusive: Hamas foils mass ISIS prison break in Gaza
JAFFA, Israel (Breitbart – not one of our usual sources) 22 Nov by Ali Waked — Salafists allied with ISIS ideology were caught in the act of planning a mass escape from a Hamas prison in the Gaza Strip last week, according to Hamas sources speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem. The event spotlights the continued rise of support for ISIS in the Hamas-controlled territory. The escape attempt was planned by a former leader of Hamas’ so-called military wing who joined the ISIS-aligned Salafists in recent years. He was imprisoned by Hamas last May during deadly clashes between the two jihadist groups when ISIS challenged Hamas’s rule in Gaza. The Hamas sources said the management of the prison discovered the escape plot and decided to let the Salafists continue with their plans until a short time before the ISIS ideologues were set to carry out the operation. On Friday, Breitbart Jerusalem obtained and published exclusive images of what jihadists said was an ISIS training camp in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. One of the most significant elements of the camp is the Gaza-centric imagery. One image contains a sign bearing the name Sheikh Imam Abu Noor al-Maqdisi, also known as Sheikh Abdul Latif Musa. Maqdisi was the leader of a Salafist group in Gaza who proclaimed the formation of the “Islamic Emirate of Gaza” on August 14, 2009. One day later he was killed by Hamas forces.

In Gaza, wealthy elite casts spotlight on inequality
GAZA CITY (Channel NewsAsia) 22 Nov by Halla Alsafadi — Eight in 10 people in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, but among them a wealthy elite co-exists — For eight years, Gaza’s economy has plummeted under an Israeli blockade. The construction sector is paralysed and tens of thousands are unemployed. Those who do work like Mohammed Abu Bassi, survive on less than US$10 a day. This 27-year-old sells corn, coffee and tea in a vending cart by the sea, and times are so tough that he has attempted suicide twice . . . But the situation is not bleak for everyone. An unequal society exists in Gaza. While many are barely earning enough to survive, there are pockets of wealth here that own investments worth millions of dollars.”Nine years of a blockade and three wars on Gaza created a class who benefited and made very high incomes,” said Sameer Abu Mudalala, an economics professor at Al-Azhar University . . . It is a different story for wealthy Gazans, whose businesses are built on real estate worth millions of dollars. Those willing to pay for a lavish lifestyle keep the hotels and restaurants, by the Gaza beach and close to the refugee camps, busy at night. Tourism has taken off too . . . As Gazan investors continue to pour money in the strip fancy resorts, hotels, and restaurants continue to open as if in defiance of a deteriorating economy, political instability, and the risks of war and violence.

Hamas-Fatah squabble put future of 25,000 Gazan students at risk
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 20 Nov by Moath al-Amoudi — The Fatah-Hamas dispute over the chairmanship of Al-Aqsa University has raised major concerns among students. In a statement issued Sept 7, the Education Ministry threatened to revoke the university’s accreditation if the board of trustees does not agree on appointing a consensus chairman within a week of the issuance of the statement. The situation escalated after the resignation of former chairman Ali Abu Zuhri in early August, when Hamas appointed Mohammed Radwan as acting chairman of the university without input from the ministry . . . Marah al-Batta, a freshman Arabic-language studies student, told Al-Monitor, “Both parties are willing to take control over the university without taking into consideration its exalted educational mission. I’m afraid that the conflict will result in the university being unaccredited, which will prevent many high-school graduates — especially female students — from completing their university studies. The difficult economic situation is prompting the parents to deny education to their daughters, due to the high cost at other private universities.” (Continued)

Other news

Israeli Arabs protest ban on Israeli Movement
JPost 21 Nov by Ariel Ben Solomon — Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka said Saturday the government decision to ban the northern branch of the Islamic Movement could push Arabs to join more extremist groups. “This is a stupid move because it harms the mainstream Islamic Movement, which will strengthen extremists, and pushes people into the arms of Islamic State,” the Balad party head told The Jerusalem Post Saturday night. “We condemn the ban of the Islamic Movement,” he said, adding, “The decision will harm everyone.” Israeli-Arabs protested the ban in various Arab localities over the weekend . . . The northern and southern branches of the movement are highly integrated into Arab society and have the support of most Muslim citizens.

How Israel is erasing Arabic from its public landscape
Haokets 22 Nov by Umar Al-GhubariDriving towards Jerusalem on Highway 1, you may notice a relatively new phenomenon taking place on the road signs directing you to the city. Readers of Arabic will see that the name of Jerusalem in Arabic has undergone a change: the word in brackets, القدس, Al-Quds, which appeared there until very recently, no longer exists on the new signs that have recently been put up by the roadsides in those sections where highway’s recent expansion been completed . . . The State of Israel, and the Zionist movement before that, have acted, and are still acting, to erase the Arabic names from the land and to replace them with Jewish–Hebrew names . . . Although there are more methods than one for determining the names, the purpose is one: the Judaization of the land and the erasure of Arab identity from it and from the mind. At times the committee has based its decision on names from historical Jewish sources — which it has revived — as in the case of Yerushalayīm [Jerusalem], Modi’in, Gezer, etc. It has also replaced Arabic names with names mentioned in the Jewish sources even if the difference between them is minor, as in Akko [Acre] instead of Akka, Yafo [Jaffa] instead of Yafa, and Tzora instead of the Arab village Sora’a (by the way, these names are not necessarily Jewish or Hebrew, they existed before the Israelites arrived in Canaan). (Continued)

Kerry visit to Israel and Palestine not about peace accord, says US official
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 21 Nov — Secretary of State John Kerry will meet next week with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the region to try to stop ongoing violence, although a senior US official insisted on Saturday the visit was not a renewed effort to broker a peace accord. The State Department said Kerry would travel to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah on a trip that will also include a stop in the United Arab Emirates to discuss the Syrian conflict . . . With the latest visit, Kerry hopes to move things in a “more positive direction” and prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the official said. The talks will explore a “variety of ideas” on how to ease tensions, the official said without elaborating.

Fatah official banned from entering Turkey
JPost 22 Nov by Khaled Abu Toameh — Turkish authorities on Friday banned a senior Fatah official from entering the country citing security concerns. Gen. Tawfik Tirawi, member of the Fatah Central Committee and former head of the Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Force who had been invited to an event organized by the Palestinian Embassy in Turkey to mark the 11th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, was detained for five hours at Istanbul Airport before he was deported to Jordan. Tirawi, who also heads a Palestinian commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Arafat’s death, said the Turkish authorities considered him persona non-grata and refused to allow him to enter the country. “I don’t think this has to do with security-related issues,” Tirawi said. “The only reason I can think of is my position toward the Muslim Brotherhood and my criticism of the group on TV.” Tirawi’s Fatah faction strongly condemned the decision, saying it was directed against all Palestinians, and that the ban was in violation of all diplomatic norms and exposes Turkey’s bias in favor of Hamas.

Otherwise Occupied // Fadi and Kathy, who invented you?
Haaretz 23 Nov by Amira Hass — Fadi and Kathy care deeply about the Palestinian cause, which is why, they wrote, they reported suspicions of corruption at Al-Haq, one of the oldest and most prominent Palestinian human rights organizations. Al-Haq is among the leading nongovernmental organizations that has pressured the Palestinian Authority to appeal to the International Criminal Court, and it takes action against Israel’s impunity over war crimes and the systematic violation of international law. Al-Haq is also very active in the international effort to ban settlement products. Thus, it is particularly embarrassing for allegations of corruption against the organization to arise just as the European Union decided on the mandatory labeling of products made in settlements. Kathy and Fadi have maintained their anonymity, including with the recipients of the emails in which they detailed their allegations, foreign diplomats and directors of Palestinian human rights organizations. Haaretz has obtained copies of the emails, but Kathy and Fadi have not responded to our requests for comments . . .  Both claim the international accounting firm Ernst & Young is investigating allegations of “financial irregularities, corruption, fraud and misuse of donations and funds.” . . . So, is there anything to the allegations? Checks by Haaretz have determined the following: • On September 2, the Ramallah office of Ernst & Young received an anonymous communication alleging “systemic dishonest behavior” at Al-Haq. The firm asked for further details, but the anonymous sender of the communication disappeared. As did Kathy and Fadi. • In contrast to Fadi and Kathy’s claims, Ernst & Young is not investigating and has not investigated Al-Haq. • Ernst & Young found no evidence of fraud in its most recent annual audit of Al-Haq’s financial reports. • On the request of Al-Haq, the Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau last week began an audit of the NGO’s operations, for which purpose Al-Haq has given access to the accounts of the organization, its management and employees. This, following Ernst & Young’s clarification that a routine review cannot fully guarantee the absence of fraud. • Hamdallah has made it clear that Al-Haq was not among the organizations he had complained about. (Continued)

How Israel pressures BBC into changing headlines 
EI 19 Nov by Amena Saleem — In the early hours of 12 November, approximately two dozen Israeli gunmen, one disguised as a pregnant Palestinian woman, others wearing fake beards, invaded a hospital in Hebron and gunned down a 28-year-old man.  In a rare burst of reporting on an Israeli atrocity, the BBC ran an article on its website headlined: “Israelis shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron hospital raid.” It was a straightforward headline which summed up the story. But later in the day, a different headline appeared above the report, reading: “Israelis in disguise raid Hebron hospital, seizing suspect.” As is standard practice for the BBC, the amendment was not noted at the bottom of the page, so newcomers to the story would not have known the headline had been altered. It was spotted, however, by the watchdog Media Lens, which posted a screengrab of the two headlines on its Facebook page, asking: “What happened? Pro-Israeli flak? Bending to pro-Israeli pressure?”
These questions are even more pertinent in the light of a documented exchange which took place between the BBC, the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) and the Israeli embassy in London at the beginning of October about another of the broadcaster’s headlines . . . The Times of Israel reported then on Israeli fury sparked by the 4 October BBC Online headline “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” The headline is factually correct, but offense was caused to Israel’s PR machine because the killing of 19-year-old Muhannad Halabi took precedence in the headline over the slaying of two Israelis.  The Times of Israel wrote: “The [Israeli] Government Press Office on Sunday warned the BBC it could face sanctions for running a news headline highlighting the death of the Palestinian terrorist shot by the police Saturday after fatally stabbing two Israelis, rather than the attack itself.” . . . Whatever the GPO’s harsh words were, they appear to have been enough to scare the BBC into changing the headline . . . In its report of 4 October, The Times of Israel noted: “According to a GPO official, Israel expects an official apology from the network, and said the office was considering annulling the press cards of BBC journalists, a decision that if implemented would not allow the network to continue operating in Israel.” This is not an idle threat, and BBC staff know it . . . In 2003, the Israeli government severed ties with the corporation, accusing it of the “worst of Nazi propaganda” after it broadcast the documentary Israel’s Secret Weapon which shed light on the country’s nuclear and chemical arsenal (Continued)

AAA conference passes BDS resolution
IMEMC/Agencies 23 Nov — With over 10,000 members, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has become the largest scholarly institution in the United States to endorse the academic boycott of Israel when its general conference voted overwhelmingly, last night, for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution. The historic vote attracted an unprecedented 1176 votes, with 1,040 votes for the motion (88.5%) to boycott Israeli academic institutions and 136 votes (11.5%) against the motion. This paves the way for the entire AAA membership to vote on the resolution in the coming months. An anti-BDS resolution was resoundingly defeated at the conference just before the vote for the BDS resolution.

for comparison
Checkpoints isolate many immigrants in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley
BROWNSVILLE, Texas 22 Nov by Manny Fernandez — Elizabeth Lopez swam across the Rio Grande 19 years ago to come to America, where she began cleaning houses and raising three daughters in this city of swaying palm trees at the southern tip of Texas. It did not matter to her that her life was confined to a narrow sliver of the country — a zone north of the Mexican border but south of traffic checkpoints that the Border Patrol operates within Texas. Everything changed in 2010 when her fourth child, Angel, was born with Down syndrome and colon and heart problems. Living in what some call “la jaula de oro” — the golden cage —  suddenly took on a whole new meaning. For decades, these interior checkpoints up to 100 miles north of the border have left thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families in the Rio Grande Valley in something of a twilight zone. Their isolation has only intensified as border security has tightened. And though neither side of the debate about immigration has focused on the issue so far, that may be changing. Those stuck here have little choice but to stay put. They cannot go north for fear of either being caught while trying to cross the checkpoints by car or dying in the vast expanses of brush while trying to walk around them. And they will not go south for the same reasons they left Mexico in the first place.(Continued) (listserv)