Violence / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Palestinian teen killed, four injured in clashes near Tulkarem
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Oct — On Sunday at night, a Palestinian teen identified as Hotheifa [or Hudhayfah] Othman Suleiman, 18 years of age, died of a serious injury he suffered earlier when Israeli soldiers shot him in the abdomen, during clashes that took place near the Nitzani roadblock, west of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem. Eyewitnesses said that residents of Bal‘a village, near Tulkarem, clashed with Israeli troops at the military roadblock, located outside the village. The army fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians, as protests continue across the West Bank and Jerusalem, against the ongoing Israeli escalation and violations. Hotheifa was injured in his chest and was moved to Thabet Thabet Hospital, where he died of his serious wounds. Surgeons performed urgent surgery in an attempt to save his life, but he succumbed to his wounds. Physicians at the hospital said four more Palestinians were also injured by live army fire, one critically, and that the hospital urgently needs blood type “O” Negative. One of the wounded Palestinians, 19 years of age, [Ma‘an: Omar Jadba] was shot with a live round in his thigh, and another Palestinian was shot in the abdomen. Six more residents were mildly injured by Israeli rubber-coated steel bullets while dozens of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. Hundreds of Palestinians marched to the hospital while chanting against the ongoing Israeli occupation and oppression.
Israeli forces shoot, kill teen in Jerusalem after 2nd alleged attack
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct – Israeli police officers shot dead a Palestinian teen near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli boy, an Israeli police spokesperson said. An Israeli police spokesperson said Israeli forces “identified the suspect who still had knife in his hand, and Israeli forces then neutralized and shot” the man. The 16-year-old is reportedly in moderate condition, according to Israeli media. The Palestinian who was shot dead has been identified as Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun, 19, from the occupied East Jerusalem village of al-‘Issawiya. Alloun is the second Palestinian to be shot dead after allegedly stabbing Israelis in the Jerusalem’s Old City in the past 24 hours.
However, Alloun’s father has denied claims that his son tried to stab anyone before he was shot dead in the street, citing a video of the incident that has been circulating the internet. “Videos from the scene show a group of settlers chasing my son and he was trying to run to an Israeli police patrol for protection,” the father told Ma‘an. The Israeli authorities, he said, will “make up pretexts to shoot and kill any Palestinian.” The father added that Israeli police detained his son’s body without giving the family any details about how he was killed and where he was being detained. He said his family was only made aware of their son’s death from media outlets. Witnesses from the scene of the incident told Ma‘an that a group of settlers surrounded Fadi and “wanted to kill him” then a police patrol arrived and shot him dead.
Video: Death-chanting Israeli mob rejoices as Palestinian teen is executed
EI 4 Oct by Ali Abunimah — Amid increasing violence in occupied Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, Israeli forces executed a Palestinian youth in cold blood early on Sunday morning . . . Israeli authorities claimed that 19-year-old Fadi Samir Alloun was killed after a stabbing attack that wounded an Israeli teenager. They presented no evidence connecting Alloun to the alleged stabbing. But videos posted online show that the youth was executed in cold blood as he was chased by a mob of Israeli Jews baying for his blood. As the video above begins, voices can be heard in Hebrew shouting – apparently at police – “Shoot him! He’s a terrorist! Shoot him!” and “Don’t wait! Shoot him!” Alloun can be seen backing away from the mob, along the tracks of the Jerusalem Light Rail. The lights of a police car can then be seen and the sound of seven gunshots heard. Alloun falls to the ground. At no time in the video was he any threat to anyone. Wattan TV says the killing occurred in the Musrara area, just outside the walls of the Old City, near the Damascus Gate. -Kill first, ask questions later- A police officer – apparently the shooter – can be seen approaching Alloun. Meanwhile celebratory voices are heard shouting “Yes! Yes! Son of a bitch!” and “Wow!” and “He’s an Arab!” “Death to the Arabs!” others shout. A police officer then asks, “Where are the injured?” This suggests that the police shot first and only asked questions afterwards. It was a cold-blooded execution at the behest of a lynch mob. This is confirmed by this second video of the same incident published by Alkhaleej Online. It shows the mob clearly inciting for Alloun to be killed as they chase him. The Palestinian youth is trying to escape. After police shoot him dead, an officer can be heard asking one of the mob, “Did he stab anyone?” The Israeli youth answers that Alloun did not.
-Beautiful voice- Friends and family told the Quds news site that Alloun was gifted with a beautiful singing voice. He often gave the call to prayer from the Martrys Mosque in the Jerusalem village of ‘Issawiyeh. Alloun’s family had long been victims of Israel’s occupation policies in Jerusalem. According to Quds, his mother had been a permit to return to Jerusalem from Jordan, where she had gone after her father died. Israel refused to allow the family to reunite, meaning Fadi and his father lived in Jerusalem, while his mother and brother Muhammad remained in Jordan. Friends said Alloun was a sensitive and quiet person who never showed anger toward anyone.
Soldiers invade home of slain Palestinian in Jerusalem, kidnap three family members
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Oct — Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday morning, the home of Fadi Samir Alloun, 19 years of age, who was shot and killed at dawn, searched the property and attacked several family members, before kidnapping three. Media sources in Jerusalem said dozens of soldiers surrounded al-Misrara area, in Bab al-‘Amoud, and fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, wounding many Palestinians, including Hana’ Hammad, a journalist working for the Al-Mayadeen TV. The wounded journalist continued the media coverage, after medics bandaged half of her face. Mahameed said the soldiers threw dozens of concussion grenades and sounds bombs at the Palestinians who flocked to the home of Fadi ‘Alloun, and also targeted her, her team, and many other reporters. The sources said the soldiers also confiscated mobile phones from the invaded home, and assaulted several women. The invasion led to clashes between the invading soldiers and dozens of local youths, especially near the al-Arba‘in Mosque, in al-Misrara. Alloun is from the al-‘Eesawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem; he was shot with seven live rounds in al-Misrara. A video published by Israeli media agencies showed a several Israelis chasing the young man, who ran towards the police, while both of his hands were clearly visible, but an officer jumped out of a police car, and shot him dead.
2 Israelis killed, 2 injured in stabbing attack in Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — Two Israelis were killed and two others injured, including a two-year-old infant, in an attack in Jerusalem’s Old City carried out Saturday by a Palestinian who was subsequently shot dead, Israeli police and medics said. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinian stabbed and possibly opened fire on the Israelis at the Old City’s Lion’s Gate. Witnesses told Ma‘an that the Palestinian took a gun from one of his victims and fired at Israeli police when they arrived, before he was shot dead. A spokesperson at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem told Ma‘an that a 40-year-old Israeli man was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, which was also treating a two-year-old child. The child was lightly injured in the leg, and Rosenfeld said it appeared he may have been shot. The other fatality succumbed to his wounds at Hadassah hospital, where a woman who was reported as being in serious condition was also being treated. Three of the four were reportedly members of the same family, and all four were reported as being ultra-Orthodox. Rosenfeld initially said Israeli police”neutralized” the Palestinian, but added that he had “no idea” whether he was killed or injured. Israeli medics later confirmed to Ma‘an that the Palestinian was pronounced dead on scene. Israeli police named him as Mohannad Shafiq Halabi, aged 19, from a village [al-Bireh] near Ramallah in the West Bank. Islamic Jihad later claimed him as one of their members, although they did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Israel to hold bodies of Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli authorities will hold the bodies of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli forces after alleged stabbing attacks in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday night and Sunday morning, a human rights lawyer told Ma‘an. Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer with Addameer rights group, told Ma‘an that he was informed by Israeli intelligence officers at the Russian Compound detention center that the bodies of Muhannad Shafiq al-Halabi and Fadi Alloun would not be returned to their families until further notice. He said that the bodies are currently being held at Israel’s Institute of Forensic medicine in Abu Kabir near Tel Aviv in northern Israel. According to Islamic traditions, Muslims are to bury their dead before sundown, or within 24 hours of the death.
PLO slams Israel’s ‘collective punishment’ of Palestinians
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Sunday slammed the Israeli government for its “collective punishment” of Palestinians in the wake of two deadly attacks on Israelis. Ashrawi said that settler and military violence was proof “that the Israeli government is deliberately creating a situation of violence and instability that threatens to spiral out of control.” She condemned violent attacks carried out by Palestinians in recent days, including a shooting on Thursday that killed two Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and a stabbing that also claimed two Israeli lives in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday night. However, she said that since then, Palestinians have been “subject to the systematic and escalating violence of the occupation, whether in the form of settler-terrorism or at the hands of the Israeli military using live ammunition.” The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma‘an late Sunday that 96 Palestinians had been shot by Israeli forces and settlers since Saturday evening, including 28 with live rounds and 68 with rubber-coated steel bullets. Ashrawi said that the recent escalation resembled Israeli actions during Israel’s 2002 “Defensive Shield” operation, when she said Israel sealed Jerusalem and imposed hundreds of checkpoints across the occupied territory, “while giving free rein to the settlers to continue their attacks.” The senior PLO official also condemned Israel’s “alarming and deliberate escalation” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.
160 Palestinians injured by army fire in Jerusalem Sunday
IMEMC 5 Oct — Medical sources have reported that more than 160 Palestinians were injured by Israeli army fire, Sunday, during clashes in various parts of occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Jerusalem said one of the wounded suffered a very serious injury, before an Israeli ambulance took him to Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center . . . Medical sources in occupied Jerusalem said among the 160 wounded Palestinians are many residents who were shot with live rounds, while dozens were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and many suffered the effect of tear gas inhalation. At least one Palestinian suffered a gunshot injury, while several others were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets, and dozen suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, during clashes near the Qalandia Terminal, north of Jerusalem. Clashes also took place in the Sa’diyya neighborhood, the Shu‘fat town, north of Jerusalem, leading to dozens of injuries, including several by live army fire. Four more Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets in at-Tour, and were moved to local clinics. In addition, a number of Israeli extremists attacked a home belonging to Ibrahim ‘Oleyyan in Beit Safa town, in Jerusalem.
Israeli troops shoot, injure Palestinian youth in Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces on Sunday shot and injured a Palestinian youth in the occupied East Jerusalem village of ‘Issawiya, an Israeli police spokesperson said. Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an the Palestinian was hit in the leg and “fled the scene,” adding that police forces were searching for him. Rosenfeld alleged the Palestinian had thrown a Molotov cocktail at Israeli forces before he was shot. Clashes between Palestinians and Israelis were reported throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the weekend.The Palestinian Red Crescent reportedly documented at least 77 Palestinians that have been wounded by either live rounds or rubber-coated steel bullets in a 24-hour period through Saturday and Sunday.The society said in a statement that it was declaring a level 3 state of emergency and putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby.
Family: Palestinian child injured by stun grenade in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — An eight-year-old Palestinian boy sustained burns when Israeli forces reportedly threw a stun grenade in his direction on Friday evening in ‘Issawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem, the child’s parents told Ma‘an. The mother of the boy, who she identified as Rani Naim al-Tamimi, said he sustained second-degree burns on his neck, shoulder and face [photo] after the stun grenade exploded when he opened a car door at the entrance to the village. She said that Israeli forces had completely sealed the village through Friday, preventing locals from leaving or entering. She said that the family was in their car at the village entrance, when a soldier threw the a grenade. It reportedly exploded as her son, Rani, opened the door. The mother said that her son immediately panicked and started repeating: “I do not want to die from the bomb.” There were other reported instances of Israeli forces firing stun grenades at locals near the sealed entrances to ‘Issawiya on Friday.
Video: Al-Mayadeen journalist injured by Israeli forces in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Oct — Israeli forces shot and injured a reporter from the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV channel on Sunday while she was reporting from the al-‘Issawiya neighborhood of Jerusalem. Hana Mahamid was shot in the face with a stun grenade while filming a report in the neighborhood. She had been broadcasting on clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths near the home of Fadi Alloun, 19, who was shot dead overnight Saturday after allegedly attempting to stab a group of Israelis. In a video of the incident, the reporter suddenly stops talking during a live report and begins screaming after being hit in the face with a canister. She was wearing a flak-jacket with ‘PRESS’ marked clearly on both sides. After being treated in a Jerusalem hospital, Mahamid broadcast another live report with her face and neck heavily bandaged. She claims that Israeli forces fired a stun grenade directly at the Al-Mayadeen team who were covering the clashes.
Israeli forces clash with, injure Palestinians at al-Quds University
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes outside the al-Quds University‘s campus in Abu Dis on Sunday, a local resistance committee spokesperson said. Hani Halabeya told Ma‘an that in addition to the three shot with rubber-coated bullets, dozens more Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation during the clashes. The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that Israeli soldiers attacked one of its ambulance crews tending to injured Palestinians outside the university. The clashes came amid soaring tensions across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, with dozens of Palestinians injured. While tension has been mounting for weeks over continual restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, the most recent outbreak of violence followed a series of attacks on Israelis and Israel’s subsequent reprisals. One of the Palestinian attackers, 19-year-old Mohannad Shafiq Halabi – who was shot dead on Saturday after killing two Israelis and injuring two more in a stabbing attack — was reportedly a law student at al-Quds University in Abu Dis. Several days before the attack, Israeli media reported that Halabi posted a photograph on Facebook of Diya Talahmeh, another Palestinian studying at al-Quds University who died in unclear circumstances in the West Bank village of Khursa in September.
Updated: Seven Palestinians injured by Israeli army fire near Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Oct — Seven Palestinians have been shot and injured by Israeli army fire, Sunday, after dozens of soldiers invaded ‘Orif village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Medical sources said resident ‘Amer Falah Safadi was shot with a live round in his arm, and Ahmad Yousef Safadi, with a live round in the leg. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and received treatment by local medics.
Updated from: Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, the village of ‘Orif, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and clashed with dozens of local youths, wounding five Palestinians with live ammunition. Medical sources said Khalid Walid Safadi was shot in the leg, Yousef Abdul-Karim Safadi was shot in the thigh, Mahmoud Yousef Suleiman in the abdomen, Mohammad Najeh Safadi in his leg, and Sultan Mohammad Safadi in his lower back. The invasion and clashes took place after Israeli extremists infiltrated into Palestinian farmlands, and set them ablaze. The locals rushed to extinguish the fires, and the soldiers invaded the village shortly afterwards.
27 Palestinians injured by army fire in Jenin, three kidnapped
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Oct — Palestinian medical sources in Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, have reported that 27 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli army fire in the Jenin refugee camp, and three others were kidnapped, during clashes that took place [early Sunday] after the soldiers surrounded a home and fired shells at it. The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said the soldiers surrounded the home of Qais Sa’adi, a member of the Al-Qassam Brigades the armed wing of Hamas, and used loud speakers demanding him to surrender. Three hours later, the soldiers fired a shell at the home, although they were not even sure he was there, causing heavy damage to the property. The invasion was carried out by more than 40 armored Israeli military vehicles, leading to clashes with dozens of local youths. Medical sources that 27 Palestinians were shot with live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets, while many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. Most most of the wounded were shot in the lower parts of their bodies. In addition, Palestinian armed resistance fighters exchanged fire with the invading Israeli forces, while the soldiers also invaded homes, including a residential building, and violently searched them. After failing to locate Sa’adi, the soldiers kidnapped three Palestinians, including his brother, and withdrew from the refugee camp.
On Sunday morning, the army surrounded Jenin city, and invaded several neighborhoods, before breaking into and searching homes. The soldiers also installed a roadblock on the Ya‘bad-Jenin road, and invaded the towns of Sielet al-Harethiyya, ‘Arraba, Ya‘bad, and al-Yamoun. Dozens of Israeli settlers gathered near Mabo Dothan junction, in addition to the outskirts of Ya‘bad town, Barta‘a Street, and the main road that links Ya‘bad with Barta‘a.
Red Crescent declares ‘state of emergency’ after attacks on staff
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — The Palestine Red Crescent Society on Sunday declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, including 14 attacks on the society’s ambulances in just three days. The society said in a statement that it was declaring a level 3 state of emergency and putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby. The society decried Israeli violations of international humanitarian law, saying that in a 72-hour period, it had faced 14 attacks against its staff and vehicles “in a serious escalation of violations against PRCS, its teams and the humanitarian services they render.” Most recently, the statement said that Israeli soldiers attacked one of the society’s ambulances while tending to injured Palestinians during clashes in front of al-Quds University’s Abu Dis campus earlier Sunday. Two days earlier, the statement said that Israeli forces attacked an ambulance in al-‘Issawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem, before they “proceeded to arrest an injured Palestinian from inside the ambulance.” Also on Friday, the windshield of another ambulance was smashed by settlers in Burin village in Nablus, preventing it from “discharging its humanitarian duty.” The society said that on Saturday, five paramedics “were beaten up by soldiers in Jerusalem,” while Israeli forces also attacked an ambulance crew with batons in Jerusalem’s Old City. The statement said Israeli soldiers also “severely beat another ambulance crew in Jabal Al Taweel (Al-Bireh), wounding two paramedics,” afterward detaining a wounded Palestinian from the ambulance. The Palestine Red Crescent Society, which is a full member of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, said that the incidents were “a blatant violation” of international humanitarian law.
Israeli forces detain patient from Nablus hospital, says director
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Undercover Israeli forces on Sunday morning arrested a Palestinian patient after storming al-‘Arabi Hospital in Nablus in the northern West Bank, medical sources told Ma‘an. The medical director of the hospital, Samir al-Khayyat, said that a group of undercover Israeli agents entered al-‘Arabi hospital, disguised as Palestinians escorting a patient, around 4 a.m. on Sunday. The undercover agents then reportedly went upstairs to the third floor and stormed room 302 where they detained 23-year-old Karam al-Masri at gunpoint. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. Al-Masri is an engineer who was admitted at the hospital two days previously. After he was detained, Israeli officers allegedly disabled surveillance cameras in the hospital, al-Khayyat added. [IMEMC: Also in Nablus, soldiers invaded the homes of Zeid ‘Amr, 26, and Aseed Sadeq, 24, and kidnapped them.]
‘Let the people of Israel enter the Gates and kill Arabs’
[with VIDEO] Haaretz 4 Oct by Nir Hasson — Just like after every other terror attack in recent years, young Jews vented their anger with racist violence for several hours, attacking Arab passersby in Jerusalem on Saturday night. However, in contrast to previous incidents, this time it looked like a very big group and that Jewish residents of Jerusalem accepted their behavior with understanding, as part of the terror routine. Shortly after the terror attack, in which a Palestinian stabbed to death two Jews, hundreds of people, mostly youths, gathered at Zion Square, answering a call to demonstrate and demand revenge. Bentzi Gopstein, head of Lehava, and right-wing extremists Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel were prominent, but they only seemed to be leading the event. In practice, this crowd had no leader but was fueled by a feeling of hate and the desire to take revenge. Among the demonstrators were Lehava activists, wearing black shirts, young ultra-Orthodox Jews, well-known local right-wing activists and many foreigners, speaking English and French, who joined the mob, and at least one Evangelist preacher, who called on the people of Israel to awaken. In contrast to the past, it looked like women took a significant part in inflaming passions. “We have to kill them all, including the Arab Druze in the army,” explained one woman to her girlfriend . . . Some of the organizers sought to lead the mob through Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter in the Old City to the site of the terror attack. The police was not about to let that happen and blocked their way between Zion Square and Jaffa Road. From there, gangs of youths ran amok looking for Arab victims. But Arab workers in central Jerusalem are used to such events, and the vast majority of them fled home before the rioting. Even on the light rail cars, that often serve the Arab population, there were no Arabs. The Jewish youths blocked the rail in the square and “interviewed” passengers to determine their identity. “Are you an Arab? Are you an Arab?” they called out to a passenger who was probably wise enough to smile without answering. “Leave him alone. He’s a Jew,” said one of the attackers, and they moved on to look for the next victim. The rest of the passengers responded apathetically and tried to look the other way. There were many drivers who honked in solidarity and vocally supported them. The cafes and restaurants along Jaffa Road were full of people watching the march of hatred passing back and forth. [If you can’t access Haaretz, see some more of this article in a comment here ]
WATCH: Settlers hurl burning tires, boulders at Palestinians
+972 Mag 4 Oct by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man — Hundreds of settlers launch dozens of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, in the wake of two Palestinian attacks that left four Israelis dead. Rights groups demand the army intervene to protect Palestinians from settler violence — . . . The Israeli military has a clear obligation under international law to protect the Palestinian civilian population, including from Israeli citizens. Human rights groups like Yesh Din have long protested what they call “standing idly by,” whereby the army does nothing to stop settler attacks against Palestinians. “Yesh Din condemns the revolting murder of Itam and Na’ama Henkin and hopes that the murderers will be caught quickly, are put on trial and sentenced to prolonged sentences,” the human rights organization said in a statement. “However, the murders do not justify acts of revenge against an innocent population,” the statement continued. “We call on the army and police to fulfill their duties and protect the Palestinians from these aggressive acts.” Rabbis for Human Rights and B’Tselem put out similar statements.
Israeli army rejects involvement of Israelis in Qalqiliya shooting
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 3 Oct — The Israeli army on Saturday rejected the “involvement of Israeli civilians” in the shooting of a six-year-old Palestinian near Qalqiliya in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day, amid reports that the child was accidentally shot by a relative. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that following a military review of the shooting, “any involvement of Israeli civilians” had been ruled out, saying that any reports that said otherwise were “utterly false.” The spokesperson said that an investigation by Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories concluded that the child was wounded following the unintentional discharge of a weapon by another Palestinian. The military review conflicts with initial reports from family members that the child, Yousef Bayan al-Tabib, was standing on the side of the road when an Israeli settler stopped his car, shot the child in the stomach, and fled the scene. Palestinian Authority security sources said that they were following up on the child’s death after initial reports from relatives appeared to be false. . . .
Twilight Zone: Ahmed Khatatbeh didn’t hear the gunfire that killed him
Haaretz 1 Oct by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — Why did soldiers fire at a deaf man who arrived at a West Bank checkpoint late at night, and prevent his evacuation by ambulance for an hour? — Ahmed Khatatbeh died in silence. He lived his whole life in silence, and his death was no exception. He did not hear the soldiers’ shouts at the checkpoint – if they did actually shout – nor the sound of the rifle fire that killed him immediately afterward. The Israel Defense Forces soldiers initially fired at least three rounds, and apparently went on shooting him after he was wounded. But he heard nothing. Khatatbeh was born deaf, like his father and two of his brothers. He died in exemplary silence from his wounds, a week after being shot, on September 18. His death, too, passed in utter silence here: No one took an interest in the killing of one more Palestinian in the territories. You’d need a microscope to find any mention in the Israeli media of the killing of the deaf mute from the town of Beit Furiq, near Nablus. After all, who cares? . . . Ahmed Khatatbeh, who was 25 at the time of his death, dropped out of school in the third grade. His deafness made it impossible for him to continue going to a regular school, and his desperately poor parents – the deaf father never worked – lacked the resources to transfer him to a school for handicapped children like him, in Nablus or elsewhere. Ahmed worked in construction in Nablus over the past few years. He was saving money to get married, as his older brothers had done. He was the last of six children still living at home. On September 18, as on any other day, Ahmed went to work in Nablus. After returning home in the afternoon, he got ready to attend an evening wedding in Beit Furiq . . . He stayed until about 10 P.M., and then went with a friend to Nablus to buy clothes for Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice), the Muslim holiday that would take place the following week. Stores in Nablus were open almost day and night, ahead of the holiday. Khatatbeh arrived in Nablus in his car around 10:30, along with his friend and a relative, Mohammed Khatatbeh. At about midnight, after doing their shopping, they set out for home. The route would take them to the eastern exit from Nablus, through the Beit Furiq checkpoint, which separates the city from their town. The checkpoint, which gained notoriety in the second intifada because of incidents when soldiers refused to allow pregnant women and sick and wounded people on the way to the hospital in Nablus to pass through – some of them died as a result – is not always manned these days. But on that night, IDF soldiers were there. No testimony exists as yet about the events at the checkpoint. The sole Palestinian eyewitness who survived, Mohammed Khatatbeh, has been held in an Israeli prison since then. The family is convinced that the soldiers called out to Ahmed to stop driving, but he didn’t hear them and kept going. And then they shot him. (Continued)
Is an Israeli’s blood redder than a Palestinian’s?
Haaretz 4 Oct by Gideon Levy – Naama and Eitam Henkin were murdered a few hundred meters from where soldiers killed Ahmed Khatatbeh. Their blood does not cry out louder than his –On the road to Elon Moreh, near the Beit Furik junction, Naama and Eitam Henkin were murdered in their car on Thursday night, in front of their children. It was a shocking crime. On the road to Elon Moreh, near the Beit Furik junction, Ahmed Khatatbeh was shot to death in his car a few days earlier. That too was a shocking crime. Everyone bleeds red. Revenge murder is never justified, but the context cannot be ignored. Both sides kill innocents, and not in equal proportions. The blood of the Henkins does not cry out louder than that of Khatatbeh. A young deaf man with a hardscrabble life, he was eliminated by soldiers with three shots from behind and a few more into his car, at the Beit Furik checkpoint late at night, in circumstances that are still unclear.
The deserted road to Elon Moreh invites outrage from its starting point, near the Hawara checkpoint: The signs point only to settlements, Itamar and Elon Moreh. The Palestinian towns of Beit Furik and Beit Dajan — much older and larger than the settlements — go unmentioned, as if they don’t exist. It’s the same with most road signs in the West Bank, in the covert and institutionalized apartheid, which discriminates between one person and another, between one community and another. The Henkins were murdered a few hundred meters from where the soldiers killed Khatatbeh. He was returning from Nablus, after buying clothes for the ‘Id al-Adha holiday. Born deaf, he died in silence. They shot at his car, perhaps because he didn’t hear their calls to stop. They also prevented an ambulance from removing him for about an hour, and the doctors at Rafidia Hospital said it might have been possible to save his life, had he been admitted earlier. His father doesn’t even know that his son was killed. Deaf as well, he lost touch with reality a few years ago due to a stroke. I saw him last week, lying motionless in bed, staring at posters of his son.
Ten bullets, and she never got near the Israeli soldiers
Haaretz 4 Oct by Amira Hass — The IDF says the young woman killed at a Hebron checkpoint last month [22 Sept] came to commit a terror act, an accusation her family vehemently denies — With a matter-of-fact, almost technical tone, the doctor described the wounds from Israeli army guns that led to the death of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, 18. One bullet entered her left ankle and exited out the back. Shrapnel lodged in her right knee, with a broken bone and a bullet in her inner right thigh, and a large exit wound on the side. The bone is shattered. Another bullet to her waist exploded on the left side; there is no sign of an exit wound. There is a bullet in her left arm, a bullet in the right hand and a bullet on the right side of the stomach, as well as two bullets in the chest, right next to the heart. There’s also a bullet under her left ribs, with an exit wound in the back. And the doctor counted: all in all, 10 bullets; seven of them hit her upper body. The doctor also concluded, based on the various angles of entry, that at least two soldiers shot her. He knows from the videos and eyewitness reports that after the first shots wounded Hashlamoun, she collapsed and lay on the ground at the checkpoint separating the bustling A-Zawiyyeh neighborhood and the ghost neighborhoods in Hebron’s Old City, under Israel control. In other words, he said, the soldiers shot her while she was lying on the ground wounded. About two to four meters separated the soldiers and the teenager, at different stages. In that same matter-of-fact, almost technical approach, the doctor showed close-ups of the wounds, which he took with his cellphone. He reported on the large amount of blood that filled the young woman’s left lung, the damage to her internal organs and showed the signs of the operations at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in vain attempts to save her. She was pronounced dead at around 4 P.M. on September 22. The detached tone only broke sometimes, as the doctor’s voice shook or was raised for a moment. After all, Dr. Saleh al-Hashlamoun is the young woman’s father. He described her fatal wounds last week at Hebron’s Al-Ahli Hospital. A 55-year-old anesthesiologist and former hospital director, he received his daughter’s body at the entrance of the “tunnels” checkpoint near Bethlehem on Yom Kippur eve. The following day, he and colleagues examined the body and conducted a CT scan. He knows that Shaare Zedek doctors did all they could to save her, but he’s convinced it was already too late. He says she was left bleeding at the checkpoint for 30 to 45 minutes. When Israeli medics evacuated her, they didn’t do the first thing “that any student knows” — help her breathe to keep oxygen flowing to the brain, he claimed. “They put her on a stretcher like a sack, just for the show in front of the television cameras,” he said. Video by the Palestinian news company Palmedia from the other side of the checkpoint shows how the soldiers dragged the wounded teen on the ground, away from the camera’s range. The camera shows Israelis wearing kippot, some of them smiling, as well as policeman and soldiers leisurely walking around the checkpoint area. It also shows the Palestinian medical team with a stretcher not being allowed to enter the Israeli-controlled side . . . Quiet and modest is how her parents described her last week. She was an enthusiast of literary Arabic, always trying to promote its use. “We all speak the spoken language,” her oldest brother Arafat said. “She would answer in literary Arabic.” She specialized in science in high school but decided to study Arabic at university, enrolling first in the sharia law faculty. In the three weeks before her death, she started covering her face with a veil. The family was surprised. The father tried to convince her to put the practice off until she got married, but she insisted. She used to encourage kids to pray in the mosque, she was in touch with children from the Old City. She would walk to save on travel costs and gave the money to the needy. It’s not the first time she crossed the checkpoint to the Old City, but her family doesn’t know exactly where she was headed that morning.
Report: Over 1,996 Palestinian children killed since outbreak of second Intifada
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Oct – Israeli forces have killed over 1,996 Palestinian children since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000, according to Defense of Children International-Palestine (DCIP). DCIP commenced the report noting that since the eruption of the second intifada (uprising) in September 2000, “instability and violence has defined much” of the lives of Palestinian children, who represent 46.2 percent of the 4.68 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The five-year period of conflict erupted after Ariel Sharon, then opposition leader of the Likud party, visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site, in Jerusalem’s Old City accompanied by 1,000 Israeli police officers on September 28, 2000. Citing conclusions of its research, DCIP reported that “more than 700 Palestinian children died at the hands of Israeli forces and settlers between September 2000 and February 2005. “Since then, at least 1,296 Palestinian children have been killed, including 551 in 2014 alone, the majority during Israeli military offensives on the Gaza Strip.” Regarding the 2014 summer Israeli aggression on Gaza, which lasted 50 days between July 8 and August 26, 2014 and claimed the lives of at least 2,220 Palestinians, DCIP said that it has independently verified the deaths of 547 Palestinian children among the killed in Gaza, 535 of them as a direct result of Israeli attacks. “Nearly 68 percent of the children killed by Israeli forces were 12 years old or younger,” DCIP said . . . .
Netanyahu: Israel will expedite demolition of terrorists’ homes
Haaretz 4 Oct by Barak Ravid & Nir Hasson — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following a meeting with top security officials at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv Sunday that he has instructed that the demolition of the homes of Palestinian terrorists be expedited as one of the steps to curb the wave of terrorist attacks. Netanyahu said that he has also instructed to step up administrative detentions, deploy more forces in Jerusalem and in the West Bank and to remove agitators from Jerusalem’s Old City and Temple Mount. Meanwhile, widespread clashes erupted across East Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. One Palestinian was lightly wounded and at least five were arrested. The meeting was held shortly after Netanyahu arrived in Israel from the UN General Assembly in New York. The four-hour-long discussion was attended by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen. “We’re running an all-out war against Palestinian terrorism,” Netanyahu said in a statement after the meeting. “I’ve instructed further measures to prevent terror and deter and punish the terrorists,” he said. A senior official who attended the meeting told Haaretz that senior IDF and Shin Bet officers don’t’ think there are any large-scale preparations for an ‘Intifada’ (an uprising) in the West Bank, stating that what is taking place is a wave of terror to which Palestinian Authority incitement has contributed.
Senior Fatah official: Palestinian factions not behind recent attacks
Haaretz 4 Oct by Jack Khoury — Terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of several Israelis recently were the actions of youths responding to ‘Israeli aggression,’ officials tell Haaretz; Fatah ground commander: Palestinians not interested in escalation — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who returned to Ramallah from the UN General Assembly in New York over the weekend, have yet to respond to recent events and haven’t convened the Palestinian leadership as of Sunday. Two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian assailant on Saturday evening in Jerusalem’s Old City, and on Thursday an Israeli couple was shot dead in their car while driving in the West Bank. Saturday’s assailant was shot dead on the scene, but the West Bank shooters are still at large. A senior Fatah official said that “Israelis are crying out as if the murder of the couple Thursday evening and the stabbing yesterday came from nowhere.” He added that “Israelis are ignoring the way the settlers act and their treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, sometimes under the watchful eye of soldiers and police officers.” The official stressed that “Israel’s government must make a decision and stop the unrestrained settler attacks. Otherwise, any diplomatic or security effort on the part of the [Palestinian] Authority is irrelevant.”One of the Fatah security force commanders on the ground told Haaretz Sunday morning that at this stage, Palestinian factions were not inciting violence and that no one was interested in escalation. “All that is happening is the response of people, mostly youths.” He stressed that most of the incidents were taking place in areas that are under full control of Israeli security forces, including Jerusalem, and that the Authority and the Palestinian factions have no presence there.
Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa Mosque after deadly stabbing
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and evicted dozens of Palestinians from its southern mosque on Saturday evening following a stabbing attack in East Jerusalem’s Old City that claimed two Israelis’ lives. Witnesses told Ma‘an that dozens of Israeli police entered the compound after evening prayers and forcibly evicted up to 70 Palestinians from inside the southern mosque, some of whom were planning to spend the night there. Israeli forces were reported to have climbed on the mosque’s roof and caused damage to one of its minarets. Witnesses said that 12 Palestinians were still inside the mosque, and that Israeli police had set a deadline for them to leave. After evicting the other Palestinians, Israeli police reportedly withdrew from the holy site, while a group of officers remained at the compound’s Chain Gate.
Restriction of movement
Israeli authorities issue 48-hour ban on Palestinian entry to Old City
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli authorities have issued a 48-hour ban on Palestinians from entering the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, following two [?] stabbing attacks in which two Israelis were killed and three injured at the site, an Israeli police spokesperson said. The two Palestinians who allegedly committed the stabbing attacks were shot dead on scene in the separate incidents, hours apart. Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an that the ban on Palestinians entering the Old City was put in place in order to “prevent any further incidents or attacks.” He said that extra police officers have been deployed across East Jerusalem. An official in the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment, which is responsible for the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, told Ma‘an that more than 100 right-wing Jews toured the compound on Sunday morning escorted by Israeli officers, while Palestinians were banned. Before the restriction on Palestinian entry was announced, Palestinian shop owners in the Old City declared a closure of all businesses at the request of Islamic and nationalistic factions and in protest against the recent escalations around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Meanwhile, clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem continued.
In the East Jerusalem village of al-‘Issawiya, Israeli forces raided the home of Fadi Alloun, a 19-year-old who was allegedly responsible for Sunday morning’s stabbing attack on a 16-year-old Israeli during the earliest hours of Sunday morning. At the home, Israeli forces reportedly assaulted women with rods and police tasers, damaged furniture and seized seven mobile phones, family members said. Alloun’s aunt, Haifa Alloun, told Ma‘an that the family rejected the accusation that her nephew had stabbed an Israeli teen before being shot dead by Israeli forces, saying Alloun was instead “targeted and killed in cold blood.”
However the family of Mohannad Halabi, the young man responsible for Saturday’s attack in which two ultra-orthodox Israelis were killed and two more wounded, including a 2-year-old child, accepted and praised Halabi’s attack, calling him a “martyr” for Al-Aqsa.
Israeli forces close checkpoints, detain two Palestinians in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 4 Oct – Israeli forces detained two young Palestinian men from the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus after raiding their homes before dawn on Sunday, local sources told Ma‘an. Locals identified the detained men as Ziad Amir and Usayd Fathi al-Sadiq. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. Tensions have soared in the northern district in recent days, following an attack south of Nablus that left two settlers dead on Thursday. Since the attack freedom of movement within the district has been severely restricted, settler attacks have escalated and clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces have been ongoing . . . A Palestinian security source said Israeli forces have announced that the Beit Furik village checkpoint east of Nablus will be closed daily between the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. until further notice.
Beit Furik has been heavily raided for several days, as witnesses reported that Thursday’s attackers fled to the village after the shooting. and Israeli forces continue to search for the shooters. Israeli forces also closed the main entrance to the village of Beit Dajan near Nablus in the northern West Bank with concrete barricades and earth mounds, according to the head of the village’s local council, Nasr Abu Jish. Israeli settlers have launched a range of violent reprisals on Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during the last several days, while Israeli soldiers shot and injured at least 10 Palestinians with live rounds on Saturday as they searched for those behind the shooting.
Israeli settlers obstruct West Bank roads
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 4 Oct — Israeli settlers reportedly obstructed a major highway in the Jordan Valley on Sunday, denying passage to all Palestinians, while another group of settlers was reported to have obstructed a road north of Ramallah. Hebrew-language media reported that Israeli settlers blocked Route 90 at a point near Jericho, cutting off one of the main routes between the northern and southern occupied West Bank. The action was reportedly taken in response to recent Palestinian attacks on Israelis, including a shooting near Nablus on Thursday that left two Israeli settlers dead, as well as a stabbing that killed another two Israelis in East Jerusalem on Saturday. Meanwhile,Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Hallamish, also known as Neve Zuf, were also reported to have obstructed an important road in the northern Ramallah district. Israeli news sources reported that some 250 settlers, both in cars and on foot, moved in a procession along the road in order to obstruct Palestinian traffic. The Israeli army reportedly closed the entrances to several Palestinian villages — Nabi Saleh, Deir Nidham, and Deir Abu Mashal — in order to allow the settlers to pass.
Israeli forces hand out house demolition order during Nablus refugee camp raid
NABLUS (WAFA)- Israeli forces Saturday delivered a house demolition order as they raided the Nablus refugee camp of ‘Askar, according to security sources. Forces raided ‘Askar camp, home to almost 16,000 Palestinians, where they broke into the home of Nour ad-Din Hashiya, who is currently incarcerated in Israeli jails. Israeli forces handed Hashiya’s family a demolition notice, notifying them of the imminent demolition of their house. During the raid into the refugee camp, forces broke into and ransacked several other homes. However, no further notices were handed out.
Israel strikes Hamas targets in response to rocket fire
Haaretz 5 Oct by Almog Ben Zikri & Amos Harel — The Israel Air Force struck Hamas military facilities in the Gaza Strip’s north early on Monday in response to rocket fire from the enclave. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that it had targeted “terror infrastructure” belonging to Hamas, adding that it holds the organization responsible for the escalation. According to sources in Gaza, the strike targeted a training facility used by the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. The facility, located south of Gaza City, was severely damaged, but no one was hurt. Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel late Sunday evening, one hitting an open area in southern Israel while another exploded within the Strip. The first rocket hit an open area in Eshkol Regional Council, near the border, causing no damage. Sirens were not sounded because the projectile did not pose a threat to communities. A few minutes later, rocket sirens were sounded in the Nahal Oz and Alumim communities. The rocket did not make it over the border, exploding within the Gaza Strip.
Israel detains two Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli naval forces on Monday detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, witnesses said.Israeli forces reportedly forced the fishermen to jump from their boat and swim [naked, as usual?] to the Israeli naval boat, before taking them to shore. Israeli forces also seized the boat and took it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return respond when asked for comment. According to documentation by the Gaza fishing union, Israel’s navy has committed at least 1,370 assaults on fishermen since the signing of the July 2014 ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s most recent military offensive. The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), found that the blockade has seriously undermined the ability of Gazan fishermen to make a living at sea. The difficulties have lead to a severe drop in those attempting to pursue the career. According to OCHA, the number of fishermen in Gaza has declined from about 10,000 in 2000, to only 3,500 in 2013 — 95 percent of whom receive international aid to supplement their income.
Even the blind do karate in Gaza
MEMO 3 Oct — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES & VIDEO — As you enter the hall of Al-Mashtal Stadium in Gaza City, it is good to see boys doing karate. You will be surprised to learn, though, that the youngsters are all blind. Karate is a very popular sport in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. There are many championships every year across Palestine. The idea of involving visually-impaired and blind people in karate came from Captain Hassan Al-Ra’ei. Speaking to MEMO, he said that he suggested the idea to the administration of the club and it was approved. “We started with five youngsters,” said Hassan. “It was a very strange idea and it looked impossible at first glance, but when the five achieved yellow belt status the families of other blind boys were encouraged to bring them to join in.” Karate is beneficial for the blind, insisted Hassan. “Blind people have limited access to entertainment facilities and always feel lonely. However, being involved in this rigorous sport, they become more involved in the social life at the club and mix more with others.” His message to stakeholders and organisations working with the visually impaired and blind is that they should support karate as much as possible, as well as those who get involved. In closing, Hassan said that he is planning to start new training courses for blind ladies in the same club, but he stressed that this needs much effort and external support.
Erekat: Israel’s culture of impunity killed Oslo
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Oct — Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, said, ‘Israel’s culture of impunity killed the Oslo concept by tripling the number of settlers, stripping the Palestinian government of its attributes, and implementing various other contravening policies in breach of the agreement.’ In a statement received by WAFA, Erekat said, “Oslo was supposed to be an interim phase of five years to coordinate Israeli withdrawal from the territories it occupied in 1967, leading to a final status agreement.” He said commitments were made to ‘assure us’ of the sincerity of the agreement, such as maintaining the status quo of the territory and keeping Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem. However, “sparked by the brutal assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, all agreements were violated,” he explained. In the early nineties, the majority of Palestinians were hopeful that in a few years, a final status agreement would be achieved; the first years saw the return of 250,000 Palestinians from exile and the beginning of institution-building for our new state, said Erekat. He added that late leader Yasser Arafat led the process with strong determination and reminded us that our struggle would not end until the Palestinian flag was raised in our capital’s Old City.’ However, Twenty-three years later, we are witnessing the opposite. Erekat stressed that Israel wants apartheid. He added, “Rather than two states, Israel seeks ‘one-state/two-systems.”
It is Israel that abrogated Oslo Peace Accords, as Netanyahu boasted (Video)
Juan Cole 1 Oct — Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, renounced the Oslo Peace accords Wednesday, on the grounds that Israel itself has long since reneged on every key provision in that agreement . . . As one might expect, the American press reported in its headlines that Abbas was tearing up the accords (NYT), that he had hurt his reputation (Chicago Tribune), that it didn’t matter what he did (The Atlantic), that his complaints about the ethnic cleansing of and Apartheid imposed on Palestinians were unreasonable (The Atlantic), etc., etc. Most of these headlines and articles are frankly dishonest, and a form of pro-Israel propaganda. In return for recognizing Israel and making peace, the Palestine Liberation Organization was promised by Israel in the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995 that Israel would withdraw from the occupied West Bank in three phases, ending by 1999, that it would cease sending in Israeli colonists to steal Palestinian land, that it would release Palestinian political prisoners, that it would allow a corridor for Gaza-West Bank connections, and so forth. The agreement implied that the newly created Palestine Authority (which Palestinians now prefer to call simply Palestine) would police Palestinians for Israel. That expectation is the only thing in the agreements to which Israel is still committed, and Abbas is threatening to stop serving Israel in this way . . .
Whose fault is all this. Unambiguously, it is that of the Israeli government. Entirely. It met none of its obligations. Current Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, an extremist and supremacist, virulently opposed the accords at the time and has done everything he could to destroy them, because he wants to annex the West Bank to Israel and expel its millions of Palestinians or keep them in a chattel-like state of statelessness. Netanyahu was caught on video boasting about how he had derailed the accords, already in 2001, and his tenure as prime minister has allowed him to finish the job.
Israeli exports hit hard by Palestinian boycott, World Bank says
EI 2 Oct by Maureen Clare Murphy — The Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has exacted a major cost on Israel’s exports to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. This victory is quietly acknowledged in a World Bank report released this week. Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent during the first quarter of 2015, the report states. The World Bank explains that the drop “is the result of reduced economic activity, but also a growing trend among Palestinian consumers to substitute products imported from Israel by those from other countries, as a result of which non-Israeli imports were up 22 percent.” Israel controls the movement of people and goods to and from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Those territories are a captive market for its goods and one of Israel’s primary export destinations. The value of Israeli goods sold to the West Bank and Gaza Strip stood at $3.4 billion in 2013, according to Israeli government statistics. In 2014, it fell to $2.9 billion – a drop of almost one fifth. The further fall in 2015, indicated in the World Bank report, suggests the boycott by Palestinians alone could cost Israel hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Despite the drop this year, Israeli goods still represent 58 percent of total imports to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
ME Quartet seeking to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Oct — In the wake of rising tension and riots over the al-Aqsa mosque, as well as Abbas’s speech for the UN that he held on Wednesday, the Middle East Quartet has decided to revive the commencement of peace talks between Palestine and the Israeli occupying power. The Quartet, consisting of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia, has stated that the Palestinian-Israeli situation is not sustainable for any parties, and stresses the importance of both sides expressing a sincere commitment to the establishment of a two state-solution. The most recent peace talks ended in April last year after nine months of fruitless negotiations. Now European foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, expresses the need for the Quartet to take concrete steps toward a solution: “We have decided to work together … on concrete steps on the ground in the absence of the peace process in the Middle East and have decided to reutilize the Quartet’s activities”, she says. PNN further reports that France had been urging the creation of a more influential, international contact group, consisting of UN Security Council members, the European Union as well as Arab states in order to start the peace process once again.
What Abbas should have told the United Nations
+972 Blog 3 Oct by Rida Abu Rass — What if Abbas had announced this was his last UN speech as Israel’s security contractor? A reimagined version of the speech that wasn’t. (Read or watch Abbas’s actual speech.) — . . . I come before you today from Palestine to sound the alarm about what is happening in Jerusalem, about what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza and about what is happening in Israel. I come before you to sound the alarm about what has been happening to Palestinians for 67 years, in our own homeland. We are often accused of refusing. Of refusing to negotiate, of refusing to settle, of refusing to compromise. In 1948, we were a naive, agrarian, developing people. 100 years after the spring of nations — that glorified winter of failed revolutions that gave rise to nationalism in Europe — we still knew nothing of nationalism and self determination. In 1948, when the Jewish people declared the establishment of the state of Israel in Mandatory Palestine, partition was out of the question for us. In the eyes of our forefathers, there was not a single doubt that this land belonged to us, for we have been living in it and nourishing it for longer than we can remember. We had no other land. But we no longer refuse. For over 20 years, we have done nothing but reach out our hands for peace . . .We have had enough. We Palestinians understand the Jewish people’s unparalleled trauma. We realize the Jewish need for a safe homeland. But must their safety come at our expense? Contrary to Netanyahu’s false accusations, we have continuously recognized Israel’s right to exist peacefully in its internationally recognized borders for over 20 years — despite the fact that those borders were drawn to include many of our home towns, and our own people. We wanted nothing more than a state within the 1967 borders . . . I come before you today for the last time. As you know, our struggle has been focused on you, the international community in recent years. We thought you could help us, and I hope you still can. But what is clear to me and to the Palestinian people is that the Palestinian National Authority can no longer exist as Israel’s contractor in the West Bank. We refuse to continue playing the role of Israel’s riot police. Half a state is not a state at all . . . I can no longer bear the enormous responsibility of speaking for a voiceless people, for you have rendered me mute. I hereby announce the dismantlement of the Palestinian National Authority, in order to reflect the reality on the ground: 6 million Palestinians between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean are systematically discriminated against, and they are voiceless. . . .
Thirteen killed, no one punished: Remembering October 2000
+972 mag 4 Oct by Amjad Iraqi — During a single week in October of 2000, Israeli Police shot dead 13 Palestinians — 12 of them Israeli citizens — who took to the streets to show solidarity with demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza. The violence profoundly impacted the Palestinian community in Israel. Just as devastating, however, has been the complete absence of accountability. A series of photos circulated on social media last week showing people holding portraits of 13 young men. The 13 men were Palestinian Arabs – 12 citizens of Israel and one resident of Gaza – who were killed by Israeli Police in what became known as the “October 2000 events.” The photos read in Arabic: “We carry the memory, we continue the struggle.” This week Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the state’s population, are marking the 15th anniversary of those killings. The events were a significant turning point in the community’s history; but most people in Israel and abroad have long forgotten them, or are completely unaware of the victims’ stories, or have many misconceptions about what occurred that month. On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon, then-leader of the opposition Likud party, made his infamous visit to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound escorted by hundreds of Israeli police officers. The move was viewed as a deliberate provocation both against the Palestinian people and against Israel’s negotiations with the PLO, and became the final spark that unleashed the Second Intifada after months of worsening tensions. Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories immediately demonstrated against Sharon’s bellicose move, but were met by Israeli security forces that used lethal force to suppress the protests, killing several Palestinians and injuring scores more. [Continued]