Archive for March 30, 2012

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of movement

Israel defense ministry plan earmarks 10 percent of West Bank for settlement expansion / Akiva Eldar
For years Israel’s Civil Administration has been covertly locating and mapping available land in the West Bank and naming the parcels after existing Jewish settlements, presumably with an eye toward expanding these communities. The Civil Administration, part of the Defense Ministry, released its maps only in response to a request from anti-settlement activist Dror Etkes under the Freedom of Information Law … A total of 569 parcels of land were marked out, encompassing around 620,000 dunams ‏(around 155,000 acres‏) − about 10 percent of the total area of the West Bank. Since the late 1990s, 23 of the unauthorized outposts were built on land included in the map. The Civil Administration is endeavoring to legalize some of these outposts, including Shvut Rahel, Rehelim and Hayovel. Etkes believes this indicates the settlers who built the outposts had access to the administration’s research on available land − more proof of the government’s deep involvement in the systematic violation of the law in order to expand settlements, he says. The maps name numerous communities that do not exist. These include Shlomzion, on land belonging to the Palestinian town of Aqraba, east of Nablus; Lev Hashomron, on the land of Kafr Haja, between Nablus and Qalqilyah; Mevo Adumim, on the lands of al-Azariya and Abu Dis; and Mitzpeh Zanoah and Mitzpeh Lahav, in south Mount Hebron … More than 90 percent of this land is east of the separation barrier, beyond the main settlement blocs.

Jews control 85% of historic Palestine, says Statistics Bureau
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 29 Mar – Jews constitute around 52% of the total population living in historical Palestine and utilize more than 85% of the total area of the land, press release issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. Arabs make [up] the remaining 48% but are allowed to utilize only 15% of the land, it added … The PCBS said while the Jordan Valley makes up 29% of the West Bank, Israel controls approximately 90% of it. Fewer than 65,000 Palestinians remain there today compared to 9,500 settlers … It added that While Palestinians represent 30% of the population of Jerusalem, they pay 40% of the value of the taxes collected by the municipality. Yet, the Jerusalem municipality only spends 8% on providing services to Palestinians … Data from Israeli human rights organizations indicate that about 25 thousand homes have been demolished in the occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967.

Israel has approved 1800 illegal settlement units since the beginning of the year
MEMO 30 Mar — It has been disclosed that the Israeli occupation authorities have seized hundreds of acres of agricultural land in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem for the benefit of illegal settlement and Judaisation projects. A report prepared by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to coincide with Land Day also claims that Israel has given approval for 1,800 new housing units on illegal settlements since the beginning of 2012. It seems, says the PLO, that the pace and scope of the Israeli occupation is being stepped up, with more Palestinian land being stolen by force. This year alone, Israel has seized more than 3.5 million square metres of Palestinian land to expand its illegal settlements and construct the “apartheid” wall.

Settlers expand illegal outpost in Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 29 Mar – Israeli settlers Thursday added four mobile homes to an illegal settlement outpost east of Yanoun, a village southeast of Nablus, according to a local activist. Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of settlements file in the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the West Bank, told WAFA that Israeli settlers also detained four Palestinian shepherds near the village. Settlers intensified their presence around settlements across Nablus governorate after the Palestinian municipality of Nablus announced it will plow the land around settlements on the eve of Land Day.

A little power to some Palestinian people, for now / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
SHE’B EL-BUTTUM, WEST BANK, Mar 30, 2012 (IPS) – A handful of makeshift homes built from small boulders and plastic tarps and secured with thick ropes sit in the isolated community of She’b El- Buttum in the South Hebron Hills. A few metres away, several rows of solar panels and two wind turbines are affixed to the rocky hilltop, providing electricity to the village’s 150 residents … The Israeli Civil Administration – the Israeli military body that controls Area C of the occupied West Bank – has issued stop-work orders on solar panel and wind turbine systems in six separate communities in South Mount Hebron, including She’b El-Buttum. Area C is the part of the West Bank under Israeli control, while Area A is under Palestinian control and Area B under joint control. These orders in Area C are seen as the first step to demolishing the renewable energy systems entirely. The systems were installed by Israeli group Community Electricity and Technology Middle East (COMET-ME), and funded in large part by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Israel reverses decision denying entry to British-Palestinian humanitarian doctor
Haaretz 30 Mar — The Interior Ministry on Wednesday reversed a previous decision to deny entry into the country to a British-Palestinian ophthalmologist, following an inquiry by Haaretz. Ali Dabbagh, a 57-year-old Palestinian ophthalmologist who holds British citizenship, was denied entry into the country on Monday by the Interior Ministry. Dabbagh, who holds a senior position in a hospital in Kuwait, arrived at the Allenby Bridge border crossing accompanied by his wife Sana. Dabbagh was invited to run a training course at Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital on treatment of eye diseases and the prevention of blindness in diabetics.

Land Day

Medics: Palestinian killed in Gaza rally
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — Israeli fire killed one young Palestinian man and injured over 30 others in clashes at two sites in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian medical official said Friday evening.  Adham Abu Salmiya identified the victim as Mahmoud Zaqout, 20. He was shot and killed near the Erez crossing, the official said. Thirty-one others in the Erez area were injured and taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital. In Khan Younis, six people were hospitalized. Three people were critically injured, Abu Salmiya added.  Medics said the Israeli army used live fire to prevent protesters from approaching frontier barriers in the small coastal territory. Israeli officials said soldiers fired warning shots to deter the protesters. Hamas forces had set up checkpoints to prevent protesters reaching the border area, but many of the activists bypassed them, an activist who attended protests in Beit Hanoun said. Ebaa Rezeq says she witnessed at least six of the injuries which came after Israeli forces fired on a crowd that arrived at the border area.

In Pictures — Israeli police and Palestinians clash during Land Day protests
Guardian 30 Mar — Land Day demonstrations mark the killing of six Arabs by Israeli forces in 1976 during protests against plans to confiscate land in the Galilee region

Video: Palestine Land Day … Qalandia 30.03.2012 By
Demonstration at Qalandia checkpoint today for Palestinian Land Day. The Israeli army is ruthless against the peaceful demonstrators as usual. Seeing familiar faces, thank you all for being there and carrying on the fight for justice!

Land Day protesters plant trees near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — Demonstrators near Bethlehem marked Land Day on Friday by planting olive trees on land slated for confiscation by Israel. Protesters gathered in Beit Jala waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against land theft. The demonstration was organized by local civil society organizations.

Video: Issawiya Land Day
AIC 29 Mar — Residents of Issawiya and A-Tur — two East Jerusalem neighborhoods — planted olive trees on Thursday, March 29th, to mark the annual Land Day in Palestine. The action was organized in protest of the Jerusalem municipality’s recent decision to zone Issawiya and A-Tur lands for the purposes of building an Israeli national park. Residents say this will take away the only land available to build new Palestinian homes and accommodate the natural growth of their neighborhoods. For more information, visit

From Gaza to Sakhnin we are all united with Bil‘in
ISM Gaza posted 29 Mar by Nathan Stuckey — Today [27 Mar], in Beit Hanoun, Land Day came early.  The weekly Tuesday demonstration against the occupation and the no go zone was in honor of Land Day and the six martyrs who gave their lives defending their land thirty six years ago … We gathered on the road in front of the Beit Hanoun Agricultural College in preparation for the march into the no go zone.  There were about 50 of us, the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative, the International Solidarity Movement, other foreign activists, and Gazan activists from all over Gaza.  Palestinian flags flew high, music played over the megaphone, and we unfurled banners in memory of the martyrs of 1976.  Young men carried olive trees, hoes, shovels and water.  We would plant the trees in the no go zone today.

Land Day live report
[video, photos; events starting at 9:17 and updated through the day] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — 17:31: Demonstrations have continued all day in the Gaza Strip, where activists are reporting casualties after Israeli forces opened fire near the border. Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya reports over two dozen people injured — three of them seriously — after separate clashes near Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis. Protester Ebaa Rezeq says she witnessed at least six of the injuries which came after Israeli forces fired on a crowd that had bypassed Hamas police checkpoints to arrive at the border area. Rezeq says Israeli forces used live fire after they managed to remove a part of a metal fence near the wall. Israel says it fired warning shots at protesters near the border, but Rezeq disagrees. “People are falling here like flies,” she says. “Blood everywhere”.
16:24: Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset have joined thousands protesting in northern Israel’s Deir Hanna vilalge, Israeli media reporting….

Photos: Damascus Gate demonstrators attacked by Israeli forces
MEMO 30 Mar – EXCLUSIVE PICTURES Thousands of Palestinians gathered earlier today at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate to take part in a rally to commemorate Palestinian Land Day. Protesters were attacked by thousands of armed Israeli forces, some of whom were on horseback. Tear gas was fired into the unarmed crowds while dozens of were arrested and taken away. The main entrance of the of the Old City was also closed off by military checkpoint to prevent people from getting to the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Protester seriously injured in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — A Palestinian protester was seriously injured in Bethlehem on Friday after being hit in the face by a tear-gas canister, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Ali Arafa, 20, was taken to hospital in Hebron. He was injured when Israeli forces fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinians who threw stones at a checkpoint in a rally marking Land Day.

Seven injured in clashes with Israeli troops in Bethlehem
IMEMC 30 Mar — Hundreds of Palestinian civilians marched towards Jerusalem marking the 36th anniversary of land day. The marchers were first stopped by the Palestinian security forces however they managed to reach the gate of the wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem. As protesters reach the gate, youth threw rocks and firebombs at the wall and the nearby military tower. Israeli troops responded by firing tear gas and sound bombs which resulted in wounding three Palestinians as they were hit with shrapnels of the sound bombs.  Their wounds were described as moderate.  Dozens others were treated for the effect of tear gas inhalation. A source from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society told IMEMC that one resident was hit with a tear gas canister in his back causing burns and bruises. The wounded was identified as Yousef Sharqawi from Bethlehem….

Tens of thousands participate in Jerusalem march in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 30 Mar — Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched on Friday towards the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip from different parts of the Strip. Different Palestinian factions participated in the march. The popular action committee of Hamas said that dozens of buses carried protesters from different parts of the Gaza Strip amidst huge participation in demonstrations which also mark Land Day. The Prime Minister of the Gaza government, Ismail Haneyya, participated in the march accompanied by the Egyptian parliamentary delegation which is visiting Gaza.

Red Crescent medics treat 339 protesters in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — The Palestinian Red Crescent treated 339 protesters on Friday at protests around the West Bank to mark Land Day, a spokesman said. Muhammad Ayyad told Ma‘an that five people were seriously injured and 55 hospitalized … Three people in Bethlehem were critically injured, one of whom was hit in the face by a tear gas canister. A protester in Jerusalem was hit in the jaw by a rubber[-coated steel] bullet and in Kafr Qaddum, near Qalqiliya, a protester was hit in the pelvis by a tear gas grenade, Ayyad said. The largest rally took place in Qalandiya, a checkpoint near Ramallah, where 249 were treated for injuries and 20 hospitalized. Ayyad said Israeli forces injured nine medics and damaged three ambulances at the protest…

A Zionist view of the day’s events
IDF: Next challenge — Prisoner Day
Ynet 30 Mar — The IDF expressed contentment with its handling of Friday’s Land Day protests, in which one Palestinian was reported killed and dozens were injured. “Overall, no dramatic incidents took place, and the security forces in the Palestinian ities did not allow the demonstrations to spread,” IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai said.,7340,L-4210306,00.html

Amnesty: Stop excessive force against demonstrators
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and north Africa called Friday for Israel to stop using excessive force against demonstrators. Ann Harrison said reports that dozens were hurt at demonstrations were “extremely worrying, particularly in the light of frequent and persistent use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters. “We are also concerned at reports that Palestinian Authority security forces have tried to prevent protests in areas under their control, while Hamas security forces have beaten protesters in Gaza. “All those involved in policing demonstrations should respect freedom of assembly and must adhere to international policing standards,” Harrison said in a statement.

Global March to Jerusalem website blocked in Israel; decoy site directs to hasbara video
Mondo 30 Mar — Yesterday, a Mondoweiss reader in Haifa sent us the following note: “…Also, in googling “Global March to Jerusalem” the first site listed is a news item from “Israel News Agency” with the headline “Iran Sponsored Global March to Jerusalem Launches Website” When you click on the link given on that page for the march’s website — you are directed to a you tube hasbara video denying Israel as an apartheid state:

Tens of thousands of Jordanians participate in Jerusalem march
KAFRAIN (PIC) 30 Mar — Tens of thousands of Jordanians and foreign and Arab solidarity activists participated in the Global March to Jerusalem at the Kafrain area in the northern Jordan valley near the Jordanian Palestinian border. Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Hammam who lead the Friday prayers said in his sermon: “The liberation of the Aqsa Mosque is getting closer as the people started to free themselves from the tyrants…” Thousands of Jordanians traveled to the place of the demonstration in an area from which Palestine can be seen at a distance to rally for Jerusalem and to mark the Palestinian Land Day. PIC correspondent in Amman said that hundreds of buses from all Jordanian districts transported  participants to Kafrain. Dr. Yahya Halloum, coordinator of the Global March said that delegates from 80 countries participated in the march.

Why Land Day still matters / Sam Bahour & Fida Jiryis
Haaretz 30 Mar — Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

The story of the land / Sarah Ali
Mondo 30 Mar — As we now commemorate the Land Day, we honor the people who stood up for their land back in 1976 when Israel announced thousands of Palestinian dunams to be confiscated. During marches held to protest against that declaration of Israel, six people were killed. The 30th of March brings back a memory of our Land, my father’s Land … That an Israeli soldier could bulldoze 189 olive trees on the land he claims is part of the “God-given Land” is something I will never comprehend. Did not he consider the possibility that God might get angry? Did he not realize that it was a tree he was running over? If a Palestinian bulldozer were ever invented (Haha, I know) and I were given the chance to be in an orchard in Haifa for instance, I would never uproot a tree an Israeli planted. No Palestinian would. To Palestinians, the tree is sacred, and so is the land clasping it.

Other violence

PCHR Weekly Report: 5 wounded, 19 abducted by Israeli forces this week [22-28 March]
IMEMC 30 Mar — …the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights found that Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians during an incursion into Rammoun village, northeast of Ramallah. A child was also wounded by the explosion of a mysterious object near Nablus. Additionally, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli settlers who attacked Palestinian shepherds near Ramallah…. Full report

B’Tselem — The human toll: Killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians
From 1 January‐31 December 2011, Israeli security forces killed 115 Palestinians, 18 of them minors (under age 18). One hundred and five Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip. Of these, 37 were not taking part in hostilities, 49 took part in hostilities, and 14 were the object of targeted killing. Regarding the remaining four persons, BʹTselem does not know if they were taking part in hostilities. In addition, one Palestinian policeman was killed while in a building belonging to the Hamas navy. Nineteen of the fatalities were shot near the Gaza perimeter fence; 11 of them took no part in any hostilities at the time. Israeli security forces also killed two Egyptian non‐combatants along the Gaza perimeter fence.
In 2011, Palestinians killed 11 Israeli civilians. Eight were killed in the West Bank: five members of the Fogel family … were stabbed and shot to death in their home in the Itamar settlement; A man was shot by a Palestinian policeman when he entered the area of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (which is under control of the Palestinian Authority) without prior coordination with the Israeli military; and Asher Palmer and his infant son were killed as a result of stones thrown at the car in which they were traveling on Route 60. Another Israeli civilian was shot to death in the Jenin refugee camp — the identity of the shooter and the background of the shooting remain unclear.

Report: Palestinian attacked on Jerusalem train
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — A group of Israelis attacked a Palestinian man on a train in Jerusalem on Thursday night, Israeli radio reported. Israeli police detained two attackers. Two others fled, the report said. The victim was hospitalized with light injuries, the report added.

Emergency Committee for Israel Executive Director: IDF should use protesters for ‘target practice’
Noah Pollak, the executive director of the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), tweeted his own preferences this morning: Global March to Jerusalem needs a more accurate name, like Global March to Become Target Practice for the ISF #GMJ

Gaza siege

Egypt food aid to enter Gaza, PA official says
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — A Palestinian Authority representative at the Oja crossing says Israeli authorities allowed the Egyptian Red Crescent to bring food aid into Gaza on Sunday. Omar Hadhud told Ma’an that the Red Crescent will send a shipment of food and will hand it to the UNRWA in Gaza. The shipment consists of 150 tons of flour and 500 large cartons of cooking oil.

Red Cross to fuel Gaza hospitals, official says
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — The Red Cross will provide the ministry of health in Gaza with 150,000 liters of fuel in the next few days to ease the crisis facings its hospitals, officials said Thursday.

Gaza ambulances out of service due to fuel crisis
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Mar  — The health ministry in Gaza said Thursday that 36 ambulances were offline due to the fuel crisis. Spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said the ambulances were parked because the ministry has run out of fuel needed to power them. The shortage comes despite a deal announced Tuesday by the Palestine Electricity Company Egypt to provide gas to Gaza.

Gaza official says PA blocked Egypt fuel deal
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — The electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip is at least partly a result of Egypt’s refusal to deal directly with the government in Gaza, a spokesman said Thursday. Ahmad Abu al-Amarin said the government attempts to buy Egyptian fuel in official ways but “some sides” are putting up obstacles to tighten the siege on Gaza and make them buy Israeli fuel at higher rates. Al-Amarin said the authority made a deal with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum to supply Gaza with fuel through the Rafah crossing and the point of delivery was approved. His government paid $2 million to the ministry but the West Bank government moved in and blocked the deal, al-Amarin said.

Egypt security thwart Gaza fuel smuggling
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) — Egyptian police and military forces on Thursday thwarted the smuggling of fuel into the Gaza Strip from a site in the northern Sinai, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Police seized 53,000 liters of fuel en route for sale on the black market in Gaza, security sources said. A truck was stopped after a chase and the fuel on board was seized, the sources said.

Limited Israeli incursion into southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — Israeli military vehicles crossed into the Gaza Strip late Thursday in a limited incursion, witnesses said. Israeli tanks and bulldozers crossed into territory east of Rafah and aircraft fired nearby, the witnesses reported. An Israeli military spokeswomen said Israeli forces fired at open areas in the southern Gaza Strip “in order to thwart terror activity.” Hours earlier, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Eshkol regional council, the Israeli army said.

Egyptian security detain 15 Palestinians
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) — Egyptian authorities detained 15 Palestinians who infiltrated Thursday into Egypt through tunnels from Gaza, officials told Ma‘an. Security sources said the Palestinians were detained during a campaign searching a tourist site in the town of El-Arish. The Palestinians, who were not identified, were taken to the general prosecutor. They were charged of entering Egypt illegally. The Palestinians entered through the tunnels due to difficulty entering via Rafah, the sources said.

Hanaa al-Shalabi

Officials say deal reached to free Hana Shalabi
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — A deal to release Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi to the Gaza Strip temporarily was reached late Thursday, officials with knowledge of the negotiations told Ma‘an. The officials say Shalabi will be sent to Gaza for three years in exchange for giving up a 43-day strike against Israel’s policy of holding detainees without charge. The Palestinian prisoners society confirmed the deal in a statement praising Shalabi’s resolve. It expressed its appreciation for her efforts to bring attention to Israel’s policies toward prisoners.  Qadoura Fares of the prisoners society said Shalabi agreed to the deal “in return for ending her strike and being freed. … We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life,” Fares said. … Israel had previously held Shalabi for 25 months but released her in October under a prisoner swap with Hamas, which controls Gaza. Israeli authorities say Shalabi remains an active member of Islamic Jihad, but her father, Yehia, said that since the exchange his daughter had not been active in the group. An Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daoud Shihab, denied knowledge of the deal. If it exists, he said, the agreement would have been made without his group’s involvement as it rejects deportation.

Deportee urges Shalabi to reject Gaza deal
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — A Palestinian who was deported to Gaza in 2002 has urged Hana Shalabi not to accept a deal under which she will be deported … Fahmi Canaan, from Bethlehem, was one of 26 Palestinians deported to Gaza in 2002 after taking shelter in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. Israeli forces surrounded the church for 40 days before the deal was reached to deport the men inside, who were wanted by the Israeli army. But Canaan said Thursday that the deportees were told they would be allowed to return home after two years but Israel reneged on the deal. He said Israel did not abide by its agreements and warned that Shalabi may face the same fate.

PA: Israel deportation policy ‘a war crime’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — Israel’s policy of deporting Palestinians is a war crime, a top Palestinian Authority official said Thursday after a deal to send a detainee to Gaza. Prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe told Ma‘an his ministry rejects the policy which it considers a war crime. Hana Shalabi was subjected to pressure from the Israeli intelligence services and was taken advantage of due to her deteriorating condition, Qaraqe told Ma‘an following the deal … Hussein al-Sheikh told Ma‘an that the Palestinian government in Ramallah rejects the deportation policy and played no role in negotiations that would lead to such an outcome.

Amnesty: Palestinian detainee in Gaza deportation deal should be released to West Bank
AI 30 Mar — A deal that led to Palestinian Hana Shalabi halting her hunger strike and moving to the Gaza Strip for a three year period could amount to a forcible deportation, Amnesty International said …”The fact that Hana Shalabi was denied access to her independent lawyers raises serious concerns about her deportation to the Gaza Strip,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Other political detainees

Female detainee freed after 2 weeks of questioning
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — Israeli authorities released detainee Amani al-Khandakji, 27, after two weeks in Israeli detention, a prisoners rights group reported Friday. The detainees center in Nablus said Israel freed Amani after intensive investigations at Bitah Tikva detention center. Amani was detained in a raid on her home.

Israeli court orders six-month administrative detention of Sheikh Hadid
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 29 Mar — The Israeli court of Ofer prison on Wednesday issued a six-month administrative detention against Hamas-affiliated reformer Sheikh Hussein Abu Hadid, aged 65 from Al-Khalil city.

Occupation arrests Muhammad Amr 24 hours after his release from PA jail
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 30 Mar — Israeli Occupation Forces, on Friday morning, arrested Muhammad Amr (24 years) from the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil just 24 hours after he was released from a PA jail. Sources close to the family of Amr told PIC correspondent that IOF troops raided the home of Amr at 2:00 am and arrested the young man who spent 20 months in PA jails. In an interview with the PIC conducted hours before his arrest,  Amr held the PA preventive security fully responsible if he gets arrested by the IOF because he said he was not known to the IOF and that during his imprisonment by the PA he was tortured to make confessions regarding his relationship with Ma’moun al-Natshe who was assassinated by the IOF.

Hamas warns over condition of detained militant
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Mar — Hamas warned Wednesday that it holds Israel responsible for the mistreatment of a militant leader in Israeli jail who refused to undergo a DNA test. Imprisoned Al-Qassam Brigades leader Abbas al-Sayyed was assaulted three times last week, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement, calling al-Sayyed’s treatment an assassination attempt.

Captive Bilal Diab hospitalized
JENIN (PIC) 30 Mar — Human Rights sources said that hunger strike captive Bilal Diab was moved to Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tel Aviv after the deterioration of his health. Diab has been on hunger strike for a month. The head of the legal department at the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), lawyer Jawad Boulus said that the captive collapsed several times, the last of which was on Thursday morning. He noted that the captive was in critical health, aggravated by the detention conditions.

Israeli police detain 14 Palestinians in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — Israeli police detained 14 Palestinians in Jerusalem on Friday at demonstrations to mark Land Day, officials said. Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdul Qader was among the 14 detained, said prisoner society director in Jerusalem Naser Qaws. He was released after several hours, Qaws said. The detainees were taken to the Russian Compound where they were beaten by Israeli officers, he added.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

National M.S.Ch.A. endorses BDS!
March 30, 2012 — At the 18th annual national conference of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán), the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, chapter leaders voted by a landslide decision to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, due to its military occupation and settlement of Palestine. The announcement that M.E.Ch.A. chapter leaders endorsed BDS comes on the coinciding international observances of ‘César Chávez Day’ and ‘Land Day’, commemorating ongoing civil rights and anti-colonial struggles for Latin@s and Palestinians. The chapter delegations (including some 600 delegates) met in Phoenix, AZ, last weekend, the site of the very first M.E.Ch.A. conference in 1993.

Report: New ‘fly-in’ planned for April
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — Pro-Palestinian activists plan to hold a second ‘fly-in’ to Ben-Gurion International Airport in mid-April, an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday, quoting an organizer.  Mazin Qumsiyeh told The Jerusalem Post that some 1,500 to 2,500 participants from 15 countries were planning to join the initiative, which includes educational and volunteer activities in the West Bank. Last summer Israeli authorities detained and expelled more than 100 people who came on a similar trip. Many others were barred from flight lists by airlines following complaints by Israel. “The point is to show the world that Israel is preventing people from visiting Palestine,” Qumsiyeh, an academic at Bethlehem University, told the English-language newspaper.

Video: Students in Palestine and the US mark Land Day by calling on TIAA-CREF to to divest
30 Mar — Marking Palestinian “Land Day”, students from Palestine and colleges and universities around the United States have joined the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in sending a video message to one of the largest financial services companies in the United States: divest from corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation. A three minute video calls on TIAA-CREF to end its investments in corporations that profit from Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Fatah to support boycott of settlement produce and promote Palestinian goods
MEMO 30 Mar — Fatah has declared that purchasing goods and produce made on Israeli settlements constitutes “a national crime against the rights of the Palestinians”. Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi added that a boycott of such produce is a “national duty” for all Palestinians. “The Israeli occupation is trying to break the will of the Palestinian people and thwart all attempts to build a national economy,” said Mr. Al-Qawasmi … The Fatah official stressed that his movement will launch a national campaign on Sunday to support Palestinian products, with backing from local unions and trade associations.

Politics / Diplomacy

UN Security Council members ‘to visit Palestine’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Mar — All members of the UN Security Council have accepted an invitation to visit the occupied Palestinian territory except the US, PLO observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said Thursday.The US is still considering the visit but all other countries in the 15-member council have confirmed they will send delegations, Mansour told Ma‘an. “The American delegation is studying the issue in Washington,” he said. The US blocked a Council visit to Palestine in 2011. The visit would be historic because the Council has not visited Palestine for 30 years, Mansour said. But if Washington refuses to send a delegation, an informal visit will be arranged for the other Council members, he added.

UK election sees stunning upset, as pro-Palestinian, anti-war candidate returns to Parliament
The UK’s Labour Party has just been dealt a massive blow. While they’ve been crowing about the Conservative government’s handling of the budget and the ongoing fuel panic and strike threats, George Galloway, a former party member and current leader of the far-left Respect Party (which stood fifth in the elections last year) has snatched a parliament seat that Labour has held for the last forty years from under Ed Miliband’s nose, the Guardian reports.

Press freedom and the PA

PA foreign minister defends arrest of journalist
BAGHDAD (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — The Palestinian Authority foreign minister on Thursday defended his role in the arrest of a journalist who the government is accusing of defamation and libel over a January newspaper story. Riyad al-Malki told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Iraq that the arrest of Yousef al-Shayeb was justified, and suggested he and the government were victims.

Media group urges PA to stop arresting journalists
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Mar — A Palestinian free media watchdog expressed concern Thursday after a court in Ramallah extended the detention of a correspondent for a Jordanian newspaper. Yousef al-Shayeb must remain behind bars another 15 days while the government investigates allegations of “slander” and “defamation” over a report published in al-Ghad alleging high-level corruption. The Palestinian center for development and media freedoms, known as Mada, demanded al-Shayeb’s release and called for an end to “the policy of arrest and detention of journalists” in Palestine.

Prison officers conclude training course in quelling prison disorder
JERICHO (WAFA) 28 Mar — Twenty Palestinian prison officers from the Corrections and Rehabilitations Centers Department (CRCD) concluded on Wednesday multi-skills training courses in combating hreatening situations in the West Bank city of Jericho, an EUPOL COPPS press release said. The Palestinian Special Police Force (SPF) trainers taught the participants how to deal with inmates in the event of a challenging situation, but without inflicting injury and violating inmates’ rights.

Analysis / Opinion

Words! A Poem / Samah Sabawi
EI 30 Mar — I’ve been down this road before: Someone tries to teach me how to use words that can ‘open doors’. Offering me tips in communication. “Instead of saying ‘Apartheid’ try a ‘system of segregation’”. “Downplay the ‘Nabka’ and focus on the occupation”. And “if you write a statement, make sure you start every paragraph with clear support for the two state solution and don’t forget to end it with a Hamas condemnation. I stand / Dispossessed / No congress behind me / No statesmen surround me / No lobby to breathe hellfire / No media eager to appease….

The real danger / Adam Keller
30 Mar — …The entire might of the great IDF, mobilized to face the unarmed Palestinian march on Land Day. Does it look ridiculous? Preposterous? Disproportionate? Not at all. For the  most powerful army in the Middle East which is one of the strongest in the world is facing something which all its might cannot defeat. Facing the array of tanks and artillery and gunboats and fighter planes and nuclear bombs is the boy with the stone at a checkpoint and the detainee on hunger strike in a prison cell, to the brink of death. Facing this army is a people living already for several generations under conditions of occupation and oppression and exile and humiliation, and who did not give up — nor will they give up — the dream of being a free people in their country. It is the Palestinian little David who is nowadays facing the Goliath who stands armored from head to toe.

Liberty and justice for non-Muslims / Andrew Rosenthal
NY Times 30 Mar — Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, genuine concerns about national security as well as politically-motivated concerns about the same thing have led to a fundamental shift in the balance between civil liberties and law enforcement. That much is indisputable, and widely discussed. Yet it’s rarely acknowledged that this shift has led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all.