Archive for April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013

Violence / Attacks / Raids / Clashes / Arrests

Israeli settler runs over Palestinian child deliberately
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 29 Apr — An Israeli settler deliberately ran over a Palestinian child on Sunday with her car near the Ibrahimi mosque in al-Khalil, in the southern West Bank. Eyewitnesses confirmed that an Israeli settler ran over the Palestinian child Youssef Bassem al-Mohtassab, 5, before fleeing the scene quickly. (The settler Anat Cohen, known for her hostility against the Palestinians in the region, had yesterday attacked two Palestinian children and brought Israeli soldiers to pick them up, the sources added.) The sources pointed out that the child was transferred to al-Khalil Government Hospital, where his injuries were described as moderate.
link to

Settlers raid Nablus village, attack locals
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — A group of settlers raided a Nablus village on Monday and attacked local residents, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that three religious settlers from Itamar raided Beit Furik and attacked residents with “sharp tools,” causing head injuries to two residents.
Fawzi Nasasra, 60, and Abdul Rahman Khatatba, 50, were taken to hospital to be treated for moderate injuries, Daghlas said.
link to

Settler stabbed to death near Nablus
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an/AFP) — A settler was stabbed to death near Nablus on Tuesday, witnesses said. Onlookers told Ma‘an that a man asked a taxi to drop him off around 60 meters from Za‘atara checkpoint south of Nablus, in an area where settlers wait to hitch-hike or for transport. “The Palestinian suspect stabbed an Israeli sitting at a bus stop. He died,” Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP, adding that the incident took place near Tapuah junction which lies south of the city of Nablus. Israeli border police sped to the area and fired towards the attacker, who grabbed his victim’s weapon and returned fire but was eventually disarmed and taken into custody, she said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the Palestinian man was taken to hospital for treatment. Following the incident, settlers descended on the area and began attacking Palestinian cars, pelting them with stones, an AFP photographer said. Israeli forces announced a state of alert in the area and erected flying checkpoints in south Nablus, with locals saying that traffic is at a standstill near Za‘atara checkpoint.
link to

Israeli forces raid home of suspect in settler stabbing
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — Israeli forces on Tuesday raided the home of a man suspected of fatally stabbing a settler in Nablus, locals said. Eight Israeli military jeeps raided the Tulkarem home of Salam al-Zaghal as well as several neighboring homes, locals told Ma‘an … The victim, a man in his 20s, lived in a settlement in the northern West Bank, Samri said, without specifying which. [Ynet: Eviatar Borovsky, 31, from Yitzhar settlement]
link to

PA condemns settler mosque attack, suspends school trips
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — Palestinian Authority officials condemned an attack by settlers on a Nablus-area mosque on Tuesday, as tensions rise in the northern West Bank following the fatal stabbing of a settler. Mahmoud al-Habbash, minister of Waqf and religious affairs, slammed the attack against al-Ribat mosque in Urif village, saying the Israeli government encouraged settler violence by providing soldiers to protect them. Villagers have begun to fix the mosque after the attack, he added, condemning Israeli aggression against Palestinian holy sites.
Meanwhile, the PA Ministry of Education issued a statement that all school trips will be suspended on Wednesday after two buses carrying schoolgirls were attacked by settlers, injuring five people. Masked settlers burned tires at road junctions in Nablus, hurled stones at Palestinian cars, and set fire to dozens of olive trees following the fatal stabbing of a settler earlier in the day.
PA official Ghassan Daghlas urged Palestinians to exercise extreme caution while driving near settlements, adding that he expects more attacks to take place during the day.
link to

Jewish settlers attack Palestinian near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 30 Apr — A number of Jewish settlers Tuesday attacked and injured a Palestinian near Bittin village, east of Ramallah, said local and security sources. They told WAFA that Israeli settlers attacked Muhammad Darwish on the main road leading to Ramallah, which led to head injury. He was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment. The attack was part of settlers’ rampage in the West Bank following the stabbing death of a settler near Za‘atara junction earlier Tuesday
link to

Several Palestinians injured near Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 1 May — Tuesday April 30 2013; Palestinian medical sources reported that several Palestinians have been injured after a group of extremist Israeli settlers hurled stones at their vehicles close to various roadblocks, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Eyewitnesses reported that dozens of settlers gathered at main junctions, especially near military roadblocks, and hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles and residents, causing damage and several injuries. They added that Israeli soldiers also detained and interrogated dozens of residents, and violently attacked several Palestinian youths.
link to

Villages of Urif, Burin, and Asira violently attacked by settlers
ISM 1 May by Team Nablus — Yesterday Israeli settlers from the Illegal settlement of Yizhar set fire to the fields of Asira al Qibliya, Burin and Urif as well as attacking the school and many homes in the villages, all while the Israeli Military and Border Police provided protection for them. The attacks were provoked by the stabbing of a settler from Yitzhar settlement this morning who died on the scene at Tappuah Junction near Nablus. This was the first Israeli to die in the West Bank since 2011. 9 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the beginning of this year and serious attacks by settlers regularly occur without punishment for the perpetrators.
At 11.15am 50 settlers from Yitzhar, named by the UN as one of the most violent settlements in the West Bank, attacked the boys high school in Urif whilst lessons were in progress. Standing outside the school the settlers threw rocks into the school breaking windows. Two students were injured by the flying glass when it hit their head, another student was injured when a rock hit his foot. Around 100 students then fled the school by jumping over the outer walls whilst the other 100 students remained inside too scared to leave. They were then trapped in the school as the settlers continued to throw rocks at the school and into the car park and at cars when anyone attempted to leave. The settlers simultaneously lit at least ten fires on the agricultural land surrounding the school….
link to

Israel closes Nablus checkpoints
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — Israeli forces closed down the Huwara and Za‘atara checkpoints Tuesday, after hundreds of settlers wreaked havoc in the area, a Ma‘an reporter said. Hundreds of settlers marched toward Za‘atara checkpoint where a settler was stabbed to death earlier in the afternoon. They repeated racist chants and called for revenge.
Meanwhile, settler-monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma‘an that settlers set fire to over seven acres of olive fields in Awarta village east of Nablus.
link to

Violence is a cruel reminder of a reality that is neither calm nor stable
972mag 30 Apr by Mairav Zonszein — Days like today, ones that start out with a Palestinian stabbing an Israeli to death and end with Israeli settlers rampaging around, starting fires and hurling stones at innocent Palestinian bystanders — many of them children: days like today are a cruel expression of the dire situation we all live in here — but more specifically, illuminate the illusion of stability that Israelis live with. A few months ago, the IDF was proud to announce that there were no fatal terror attacks in the West Bank at all in 2012, and it really is a feat. In fact, Evyatar Burovsky was the first Israeli victim of a fatal attack committed by a Palestinian in the West Bank since September 2011. During this ‘calm’ period, most Israelis continue going about their lives. They aren’t affected by the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a daily basis. But days like today, when the phrase ‘terror attack’ is back in the news, Israelis suddenly remember that we are in a violent conflict. The government, of course, does a good job of reminding us we are the victims. But on all those days when there is no violence against Israelis in the news, on all those days when Israelis can go about their business, the situation is actually not at all stable or calm. It’s definitely not calm for the Palestinian population, specifically in the West Bank where life under occupation is anything but free of violence.
link to

Palestinian stabbed in Jerusalem, Israeli police say
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — A Palestinian man was stabbed in an ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israeli police said. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Ma‘an that the unidentified man was stabbed in the Mea Shearim neighborhood, near Jerusalem’s Old City. Israeli police are carrying out an investigation into the attack, Rosenfeld said, adding that it was a local incident and unrelated to an earlier stabbing in which a settler was killed near Nablus.
link to

Jerusalem yeshiva student arrested after attacking Arabic-speaking detectives
Haaretz 30 Apr by Nir Hasson — Police are looking for the other four students involved in the attack, the latest of several nationalist-motivated assaults on Arabs — A young student from Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Kook national-religious yeshiva was arrested Tuesday, a day after he and his friends attacked two police detectives speaking Arabic to each other … After Monday’s attack on the detectives, two of the assailants ran into the yeshiva, while the other two fled into the surrounding streets. The yeshiva’s principal is being questioned to help ascertain the assailants’ identities, and searches are being conducted to locate them. The arrested suspect refuses to talk with police or cooperate with the investigation.
link to

12- and 11-year-old Palestinian children arrested after being attacked by settler children — Swedish activist also arrested
ISM 28 Apr by Team Khalil — UPDATE 29 Apr — Gustav, the arrested Swedish activist is currently being held in Givon immigration prison, having had his visa revoked by the Israeli authorities. He was beaten during his arrest and hit with a gun. Soldiers conducted two mock executions by pointing guns at his head, loading them and pretending to press the trigger. He was blindfolded and kept inside the military base in Hebron, where he could hear the crying of the arrested children next to him. He is now awaiting deportation back to Sweden by the Israeli authorities, for peacefully objecting to the arrest of two Palestinian children.
UPDATE 28th April 19:30 The two Heikel brothers were released around 18.30. Ahmed (aged 12) has had his fingerprints taken by the police and his younger brother Mouawieh (aged 11) was kicked in the stomach by an Israeli soldier.
28th April 14:.00:Israeli military today arrested Ahmed Abu Heikel, aged 12, and his brother Mouawieh, aged 11, in Hebron after they were attacked by a settler child from the illegal settlement of Beit Hadassah. One Swedish activist was also arrested after intervening in the arrests of the children. At around 1pm Palestinian children were walking home from Qortoba school when they were attacked by the child of extremist settlers living in the centre of Hebron, who was accompanied by his two older brothers. The youngest settler boy started throwing sticks, beating Ahmed and hurling insults at him.
link to

Israeli tanks invade Tubas, kidnap one resident
IMEMC/Agencies 1 May — Tuesday evening, April 30 2013, a number of Israeli tanks, and several armored vehicles, invaded the Al-Aqaba village, north of the central West Bank city of Tubas, and kidnapped one Palestinian. The invasion caused massive destruction to property and infrastructure. Head of the Al-Aqaba village council, Sami Sadeq, told the Ma‘an News Agency that the invasion caused massive destruction to roads, property and farmlands, and added that the soldiers kidnapped one youth identified as Jihad Abdul-Karim, 23. The invasion comes in direct violation of a ruling made by the Israeli Supreme Court ordering the army not to use tanks and military vehicles that have treads when entering the village due to the massive destruction they make just by driving through.
link to

Israeli soldiers start fire in farmland near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 30 Apr — Israeli soldiers Tuesday started a fire in farmland near al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to witnesses. They told WAFA Israeli soldiers clashed with the residents and fired tear gas canisters in an attempt to disperse them, eventually starting a fire in the nearby farmland. The fire spread in a farmland located near the by-pass road 60, which connects Jerusalem and Hebron.
link to

Israeli forces arrest two, including a former prisoner
QALQILYA/BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 29 Apr — The Israeli forces Monday arrested two Palestinians from Qalqilya in the north of the West Bank, and Bethlehem, in the south, including a former prisoner, said witnesses. They told WAFA that Israeli soldiers raided the town of ‘Azzon, east of Qalqilya, and arrested a former prisoner after raiding and searching his house. In Bethlehem, security sources said that Israeli forces arrested a 20-year-old resident of Dheisheh refugee camp after raiding and searching his family home
link to

Israel arrests 6 Palestinians in West Bank raids
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 30 Apr – Israeli forces Tuesday arrested six Palestinians from Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron, according to local and security sources. Sources told WAFA that Israeli security forces raided and searched a house in Deheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and arrested two brothers aged 20 and 22. In Nablus, security sources said that Israeli forces raided the city Tuesday at dawn and arrested two Najah University teachers after raiding and searching their homes. In Hebron, Israeli soldiers arrested a 26-year-old former prisoner and an 18-year-old student. Moreover, in Yatta, south of Hebron, sources said Israeli soldiers raided and searched several houses, and summoned residents for interrogation.
link to

Hamas: PA forces detain 4 affiliates in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Hamas said Monday that Palestinian Authority security forces detained four party affiliates in the West Bank, a statement read. The arrests were made in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron, Hamas said. The detentions come ahead of an announcement Friday that President Mahmoud Abbas will head to Cairo in May to advance reconciliation between his Fatah party and Hamas, a senior Fatah official said … Both factions have accused the other of carrying out political arrests targeting rival affiliates, a claim Hamas and Fatah deny.
link to

Gaza siege

Army assassinates a Palestinian in Gaza
IMEMC 30 Apr — Tuesday April 30 2013, Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian man was assassinated by an Israeli missile northwest of Gaza city; two Palestinians have been injured in the attack. The sources said that the army fired one missile at a motorcycle driven by Haitham Mas-hal, 29, leading to instant death while two residents were injured, and were moved to the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Mas-hal is from the Ash-Shaty’ refugee camp; he worked as guard at the Ash-Shifa medical center. Both of his legs were severed due to the blast; he also suffered various injuries that led to his death.
The attack was carried out shortly before a number of armored military vehicles invaded the Ash-Shujaeyya neighborhood, east of Gaza city. The Shura Al-Mujaheddin Salafist group in Gaza, issued a press release stating that the fighter is one of its leaders. Commenting on the assassination, an Israeli military official stated that Mas-hal is a prominent fighter who is allegedly responsible for firing dozens of shells into Israel, including missiles that were recently fired into Eilat.
link to

Brigades ‘fire 5 rockets at Israel’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — The al-Ansar Brigades says it fired five rockets at Israeli targets on Tuesday in response to an airstrike that killed a 25-year-old Palestinian. An Israeli military spokeswoman was not immediately familiar with any rockets landing in Israel. The brigades, affiliated to the al-Ahrar movement, said the rockets were a response to the killing of Haitham al-Mishal and Israeli violations of a truce agreed in November. “The occupation does not respect the truce nor fulfill its commitments,” the group said in a statement. “The truce can go to hell.”
link to

Army bombards Rafah in southern Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 1 May — Tuesday evening, April 30 2013, the Israeli Air Force fired at least two missiles into an area believed to be used as a training center for Popular Resistance Committees, northwest of Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Local sources reported that the Air Force bombarded the Nasser Camp, leading to excessive damage but no injuries.
link to

Occupation moves dozens of tanks to sites adjacent to Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 30 Apr — Israeli occupation military forces have transferred dozens of military vehicles and tons of equipment and ammunition to military sites adjacent to the Gaza Strip, threatening to wage a new military operation on Gaza. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian resistance fighters have been taking their advanced positions in order to repel any possible Israeli aggression. A new cold war broke out between the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian resistance along the border, which extends from Rafah in the south to Beit Hanoun in the north on nearly 40 kilometers.
link to

Formula, medicine stranded at Gaza crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Hundreds of truckloads of food and goods destined for Gaza remained stranded Monday on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the Popular Front Against the Siege said. Among the goods are infant formula, medicine, and goods destined for UNRWA, as well as agricultural and commercial goods, a statement issued by the group’s border monitoring unit read. The goods have been stranded on the Israeli side for four days, the group said, warning that prolonged exposure to heat may cause the goods to expire. Israel shut down all border crossings into the Gaza Strip on Friday after a rocket landed in the Negev.
link to

Navy opens fire at fishing boats in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 1 May — Tuesday April 30 2013, the Israeli navy opened fire at several Palestinian fishing boats along the coast in the Gaza Strip; damage was reported but no injuries. Local sources reported that, earlier on Tuesday, the Navy opened fire at several fishing boats near Gaza City, and that, on Tuesday evening, the Navy opened fire at fishing boats near the An-Nusseirat refugee camp and Deir Al-Balah in northern Gaza.
link to

Israel bans prison visits as Gaza closure continues
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Israel put a halt to prison visits for Palestinians prisoners from Gaza on Monday, in response to rocket fire from the coastal enclave, the Palestinian Authority liaison office said. Israeli authorities said the closure of all Gaza crossings would also continue, the office said. Israeli warplanes bombed two sites early Sunday in the south of the Gaza Strip belonging to the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
link to

Saudi-Egypt air bridge opens for transfer of aid to Gaza
MEMO 30 Apr — An air bridge between Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s El-Arish International Airport started on Monday to transfer medical supplies provided by the Kingdom to the Gaza Strip. The first flight carried about 10 tons of medicines and medical equipment, which will be driven from El-Arish to the Rafah border crossing. A representative of the Saudi Health Ministry, Dr. Tariq Al-Arnoosi, announced that the airlift will continue to deliver aid to El-Arish on a one flight per day basis over 14 days. A total of 140 tons of essential medicines and medical supplies worth 10 million Saudi Riyals will be delivered to Gaza. Dr Al-Arnoosi pointed out that he has coordinated with the Palestinian government in Gaza to identify the most urgent medical needs. It has been agreed that the Saudi initiative will focus on the needs of heart and eye patients and to provide comprehensive health care for wounded and sick Palestinians.
link to

In photos: Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Palm Sunday in Gaza
Mondoweiss 29 Apr by Joe Catron
link to

Fatah leader’s car bombed in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Assailants bombed the car of a Fatah leader in the southern Gaza Strip at dawn Monday, police said.
The attackers planted a 500-gram explosive device targeting the car of Monther al-Bardawil outside his home in Rafah, said police spokesman Ayman al-Bandakji. Witnesses told Ma‘an the explosion shook the neighborhood. The Fatah official’s car was damaged but no injuries were reported. Al-Bandakji said police had opened an investigation into the incident.
link to

Relatives of detained Salafists protest in Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Apr — Relatives of Salafists arrested by Hamas protested in Gaza City on Sunday to demand their release.
Families carried banners and shouted slogans to demand the release of their relatives, who they say have started hunger strike action to protest their detention without charge. “My son has been held by internal security since the beginning of this month. Until this moment, we were not allowed to visit him,” a father of one of the prisoners told Ma‘an. The families said that they have not been informed as to why their relatives have been arrested. Um Muhammad told Ma‘an that her son went missing for three days before she found out that Hamas security forces had arrested him.
link to

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

PHOTOS: The face of Israel’s discriminatory home demolition policy
Activestills 30 Apr — On Wednesday April 24, Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian houses in the At Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. The pretext, as usual, was that the owner had built illegally, though he had spent months applying for permits from the Jerusalem Municipality and provided all requested documentation. One of the structures demolished was an addition built to house the youngest generations of the 45-member Jaradat extended family, illustrating one of the basic quandaries facing East Jerusalem Palestinians: As families grow and children get married to start families of their own, where can they live if the government will not grant them permission to build? … A report issued by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) summarizes this discriminatory context, emphasis added: “Under Israeli zoning policy, Palestinians can build in just 13 percent of East Jerusalem and in just 1 percent of Area C. In both cases these areas are already heavily built up. More than 94 percent of all Palestinian permit applications have been rejected in recent years.…”
link to

Latin Patriarch denounces route of wall in Beit Jala
JERUSALEM (WAFA)30 Apr — Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal denounced Tuesday in a statement an Israeli ruling that allows the construction of a section of the West Bank segregation wall on land belonging to the convent of the Salesian Sisters in the Bethlehem area. Twal, in his capacity as president of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, called on Israel to change the course of the wall to follow the route of the “green line,” the 1948 armistice line between Israel and the West Bank.
link to

Israel approves 120 units in Givat Ze’ev settlement
IMEMC/Agencies 30 Apr — Monday April 29 2013, Israeli ‘News One’ news website reported that the ‘Lands Authority’ of the Israeli Housing Ministry approved the construction of additional 120 units in the Givat Ze’ev illegal settlement, in occupied Jerusalem. The news agency said that an official at the Ministry stated that the Lands Authority announced bids for the construction of new units in the settlement, and that several construction agencies submitted applications before an Israeli company, known as ‘Nathaniel’ won the new bids. The plan includes the construction of 68 units that would be built in three structures, in addition to playgrounds and other structures.
link to

IOF continues demolition police in occupied Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 30 Apr — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued its Judaization process in the occupied city of Jerusalem where they demolished on Tuesday morning a house in Ras area south of al-Aqsa mosque belonging to the lawyer Tawfiq Abu Sninah. Sources told PIC that the demolition process affected a large balcony and other facilities in the home. The occupation forces surrounded the area in large numbers and prevented the citizens from approaching the Israeli bulldozers, the sources added.
link to

Video: West Bank farmers facing water shortage
Al Jazeera 19 Apr — Life for the farming communities in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley is becoming harder. Israeli settlements are steadily reducing Palestinians’ access to water. The personal allocation for every Israeli in the area is 487 litres a day. In many neighbouring Palestinian communities, it is less than 100 litres a day. Al Jazeera’s Simon McGregor-Wood reports from the Jordan Valley… “In the good days, these fields produced enough bananas for export — but those days are gone.”
link to

UNRWA: Israeli forces demolish Hebron water well
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Israeli forces on Monday demolished a water well and utility room in the Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron, a local UN official said. Deputy director of the camp’s UNRWA office Ahmad Abu Fadda said Israeli forces declared the area a closed military zone … Over 70 percent of communities located entirely or mostly in Area C are not connected to the water network and rely on tankered water at vastly increased cost; water consumption in some of these communities is as low as 20 liters per capita per day, one-fifth of the WHO’s recommendation.
link to

Israeli army drill damages Bedouin land in Jordan Valley
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 30 Apr — Israeli army exercises scorched fields in the Wadi al-Maleh area of the northern Jordan Valley, the local village council said. The local council of the Bedouin community that was evicted from their lands and tents said the Israeli military was still performing training exercises by Monday evening. The exercises include jet fighters, tanks, and other military vehicles. The council added that people were prevented from reaching and extinguishing fires. Those who live in the area suffered huge losses, council head Aarif Daraghma said. He accused Israel of trying to drive people from the land, and end their presence in the area.
link to

Settlers plant trees in Palestinian fields near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Israeli settlers on Monday planted trees on private Palestinian land in Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said. Settlers plowed land belonging to Palestinian farmers in Azmut, east of Nablus, and planted young olive, vine and prunus trees, said Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank. He said the settlers used bulldozers to dig dirt roads, allowing tractors to access the fields. Daghlas told Ma‘an the attempt to take over the fields was unprecedented in the northern West Bank district. “This assault is the most dangerous of its kind. Settlers took a step forward. First they used to damage fields, and now they want to occupy them,” he said.
link to

Israelis seize land … near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 19 Apr — Jewish settlers Monday seized a land in the eastern part of Yatta, south of Hebron … Abdul Hadi Hantash, an expert on settlements in the Hebron area, told WAFA that a number of Jewish settlers took over a hill near Yatta and began working on the land to prepare it for building a new settlement.
link to

In South Hebron, new rules are rather like the old rules
972blog 29 Apr by David Shulman — Today we have the New Rules. In some respects they’re rather like the Old Rules. The aim and sole rationale remain the same: dispossession, expulsion, taking more land. The army has, it seems, given up on its favorite device of declaring Closed Military Zones, week after week; perhaps the outright illegality of this practice ended up causing them too many problems in court. Instead, the soldiers simply chase us — Palestinian shepherds, farmers, Israeli activists — physically away, pushing, shoving, threatening, beating. They also have decided they won’t allow us to document their crimes on film; as soon as we start filming, they rush at us and block our cameras with their cell phones. It’s as if they’d decided to circumvent the whole irksome apparatus of the courts and to resort instead to brute force. It’s much simpler, and maybe more effective. At the same time, there’s been a wave of further annexations. The settlers are paving new roads, which become de facto boundaries, far beyond the settlements’ periphery. Plots of land that the Palestinian owners have worked for some years, or have reclaimed, often with our help, have been declared ‘in dispute’ — which means that settlers have access to them, but the rightful owners don’t. All over South Hebron there are attempts from above and from below to roll back the gains we’ve made in recent years
link to

Arab prisoners deported to Gaza unable to return home
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Apr — Arab former prisoners of Israel who were deported to the Gaza Strip on their release say they are not allowed to return to their homelands. In the 1990s, the Israeli government led by Ehud Barak released 42 Arab prisoners on condition they spent three years in the Gaza Strip, in a deal agreed with the Palestinian Authority. After spending three years in exile in Gaza, the prisoners were not allowed to return to their countries. They say that despite the hospitality they received in Gaza, they want to return to their loved ones,
link to

Detainees / Hunger strikers

Al-Eesawy slowly recovering following his 9-month hunger strike
IMEMC 30 Apr — Monday April 29 2013, Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe‘, stated that Palestinian detainee Samer Al-Eesawy [or Issawi] was moved from the Kapalan Israeli hospital to the Al-Ramla prison clinic, adding that the detainee is slowly recovery from his nine-month hunger strike. Qaraqe‘ stated that the Ministry’s lawyer, Hanan Al-Khatib, managed to visit al-Eesawy at the prison clinic, and stated that he is slowly recovering, and managed to walk a few steps despite his weak body. Qaraqe‘ said that the detainee is undergoing various medical tests, and is following a dietary program so that he can fully recover, and is undergoing treatment for his heart, kidneys and other vital organs. Lawyer Al-Khatib said that she objected to moving Al-Eesawy to the Al-Ramla prison clinic, and demanded that he should be sent back to the Israeli hospital as the clinic lacks basic supplies and equipment.
link to

War crimes

Israel gives up white phosphorus, because ‘it doesn’t photograph well’
[with photos] 972blog 28 Apr by Idan Landau — …So the IDF is looking for a replacement for the white phosphorus bombs. A senior officer in the ground forces explained: “As we learned during Cast Lead, it [white phosphorus] doesn’t photograph well, so we are reducing the supply and we will not purchase beyond what we already have.” “It doesn’t photograph well.” In all honesty, the man is right. This item caught me by surprise. The IDF is giving up white phosphorus? Wait a minute; the IDF never used white phosphorus during Cast Lead. So how exactly do you give up something you never had? Chemical weapons are something the Syrians use, no? Okay, after a while the army did remember that it had been confused, and it did use white phosphorus, but only in open territories and not against people. Okay, then the IDF remembered that it got it wrong again and that it did use white phosphorus in urban areas. Two hundred bombs, actually. But this was only in order to create a ‘smoke screen,’ and there is nothing wrong with that. And if there was something wrong, it’s insignificant and unintentional, and it would be thoroughly investigated, so that no stone is left unturned. That’s all well and good, except that at least 12 Gazans met their horrific death this way, burned to death by white phosphorus. Among them were three women, six children and a 15-month-old baby girl. Dozens more suffered burns from the material which continues to burn through flesh and tissue until it reaches the bone. Doctors in Gaza were helpless in treating the unfamiliar burns. Israel didn’t give them time to prepare themselves; white phosphorus shells hit Al-Quds Hospital and completely burned the top two floors.
link to

17-year-old from Gaza shot in the leg by Israeli army [with dum-dum bullet]
IAP 18 Apr by Rosa Schiano — Jamil Wael Risha, 17 years old, Palestinian youth of Gaza City, was injured on the afternoon of the 26th April by the Israeli army at the Jabalia border, North Gaza Strip … At Shifa hospital international activists met Jamil, who had been admitted to the orthopedic ward. Beside him was one of his brothers and his father Wael. Jamil told us that usually on Friday he went with his friends to the cemetery that lies to the east of Jabalia, near the barrier separating Gaza from the territories Israel occupied in 1948. This Friday they headed to the cemetery after Friday prayers, around 15:00. Suddenly they saw Israeli soldiers out next to two jeeps. Four soldiers, Jamil told us. So the boys, at the height of the separation barrier, started throwing stones at the soldiers. The Israeli soldiers started shooting heavily at the Palestinian youth. Jamil hit a soldier with a stone, but the soldier responded by shooting and injuring him in his left leg at around 17.00, when he was transported by car to Kamal Odwan hospital. A nurse told us he could leave the hospital in a week.
An x-ray of Jamil’s leg shows the fracture and the presence of fragments of explosives inside of the leg. All the muscle had been damaged. The bullet used by Israeli soldiers was a dum-dum bullet, also known as an expanding bullet, which is prohibited by international law. The expanding or dum-dum bullet, expands inside the body causing fractures and huge damage to internal organs, bleeding and in many cases death. Despite the international ban on the use of these bullets, the Israeli army continues to use them.
link to

WATCH: A new look at the massacre of Deir Yassin
Israel Social TV 30 Apr — On the night of April 9, 1948, over 100 men, women, children and elderly Palestinians were killed in Deir Yassin during an operation by Israeli underground militias. In contrast to the Palestinian narrative, which claims that the massacre was motivated by hatred and vengeance, the Isralei narrative describes another of the necessary battles of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. But recent, other voices in Israel are coming out — voices that raise many questions about the historical truth behind the story of Deir Yassin. Recently, ‘Zochrot’ organized a tour to the village that included meetings with village residents and relatives of the Israeli combatants.
link to

Refugees outside Palestine

UNRWA condemns mass displacement of Palestinian refugees in Syria
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 30 Aug — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) condemned in a statement issued Tuesday the mass displacement of Palestine refugees in war-torn Syria. “Palestine refugees in Syria are being killed, injured and displaced in greater numbers than ever before, as the armed conflict continues to overwhelm refugee camps across the country,” said the statement, estimating that approximately 235,000 Palestine refugees have been displaced inside Syria.
It said it was particularly concerned about news that some 6,000 Palestinians have been displaced on Friday from Ein El Tal refugee camp some 12 kilometers from Aleppo in northern Syria. UNRWA said armed opposition groups occupied Ein El Tal camp in the early morning hours of Friday, declared it a ‘military zone’ and exchanged gunfire with forces loyal to the government who were inside the camp. Mortars and small arms were reportedly used, damaging and destroying refugee homes and contributing to dozens of fatalities and injuries, including among Palestinian civilians. In the aftermath of the fighting, a number of young Palestine refugee men were reportedly taken away by the armed opposition groups who now remain in Ein El Tal camp, where a situation of high tension prevails … “Events in Ein El Tal mirror the tragic experience of other Palestine refugee camps – Dera‘a Camp, Yarmouk in Damascus City and Husseiniyeh, Khan Eshieh, Sbeineh, and Seida Zaynab Camps in the wider Damascus area…”
link to

Baraka: Reconstruction of refugee camps reinforces their steadfastness
BEIRUT (PIC) 30 Apr — A Hamas delegation headed by its representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, participated on Monday in the inauguration of the infrastructure project in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh. The inauguration was attended by Japanese ambassador in Lebanon Seche Otsuka, the UNRWA director in Lebanon, Ann Desmor, and the Governor of Southern Lebanon Nicola Bou Daher and representatives of the Lebanese army and internal Security Forces and the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee in addition to representatives of the Palestinian factions.
link to

Boycott / Divestment / Sanctions

BDS roundup: US scholars group unanimously passes boycott of Israeli institutions
EI 30 Apr by nora –In this latest roundup of news from the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement:
– Association for Asian American Studies in US unanimously approves academic boycott resolution
– Sussex University students pass referenda to continue boycott of Israeli goods, urge administration to boycott Veolia
– Faculty at Columbia University and Barnard College launch divestment campaign
– Belgian students call for academic boycott
– UC Davis to vote on divestment
– Sodastream protest leads to boycott victory at Milan bar
– Melbourne activists hold boycott action against Sodastream
link to

Political, economic, other news

On Labor Day, unemployment in Palestine stands at 23%
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 30 Apr — Marking Labor Day, which coincides on May 1, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Tuesday that unemployment rate in Palestine in 2012 was 23%, or 256,000 people were unemployed. It said 21% of the unemployed were males and 33% females. In addition, unemployment rate in the West Bank was 19% (about 141,000) compared to 31% in Gaza Strip (115,000). The report said participation of men in the labor force was four times higher than the participation of women at a rate of 69% males to 17% females … Regarding wage employees in the West Bank, more than half of them at about 55% worked in the private sector compared with 25% in the public sector and 20% in Israel and Israeli settlements. The public sector was the largest employer in Gaza Strip with 52% compared with 48% in the private sector.
link to

US welcomes ‘modified’ Arab peace initiative
IMEMC 1 May — The Arab League modified it Peace Initiative of 2002, allowing the principle of land swap between Israel and the Palestinians under a comprehensive peace agreement sponsored by the United States. The U.S. welcomed the decision and considered it a step forward. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, welcomed the modified initiative, and stated that this is an essential step that would help boost the efforts to resume the stalled direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Kerry told the France Press news agency that, unlike the original initiative that only referred to the Palestinian territories Israel occupied in 1967, and the full Israeli withdrawal in exchange for Arab normalization with Israel, the modified version suggests an agreed-upon land swap.
Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated that the Arab League’s decision is not new, and that it reflects the official Palestinian stance.
link to

Israeli chief negotiator welcomes Arab peace plan
JERUSALEM (AP) 30 Apr — Israel’s chief peace negotiator on Tuesday welcomed the Arab League’s decision to sweeten a decade-old initiative offering comprehensive peace with Israel, hoping the gesture would help get peace talks back on track after years of standstill. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s comments revealed the beginnings of what could become a rift in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government. Livni, a former foreign minister known to support broad concessions to the Palestinians, is eager to restart peace negotiations. Netanyahu says he wants to resume negotiations, but he has given no indication that he is prepared to make the concessions demanded by the Palestinians and the international community.
link to

RIP Rabea
Tales of a City by the Sea 1 May by Samah Sabawi — Reblogged from Sarah Irving: A few hours ago the Freedom Theatre in Jenin put out this short statement: The Freedom Theatre mourns the death of one of our graduated Acting School students, the brave resistance fighter who chose to replace the gun with the stage, Rabea Turkman. Under Juliano‘s guidance Rabea developed his talent as an actor and later as a stand-up comedian. Our thoughts go to Rabea’s loved ones at this difficult time. May you rest in peace Rabea, you will be greatly missed and you will always be part of The Freedom Theatre..
link to

Other Analysis / Opinion

A reluctant reader: ‘Haaretz’, paywalls, and liberal Zionism / Hakim Bishara
972blog 29 Apr — One Palestinian journalist’s meditation on being forced to pay for Haaretz, the only paper he can rely on, but one that also espouses a nationalist ideology he cannot accept. ‘I’m fated to be a reluctant reader — and a reluctant citizen.’ — It’s morning, and I need a source to rely on. Without much thought, I type my way into the Israeli Haartez news website. Yes, I’m a Palestinian, but I live in Israel and I need to know the inner workings of the political and social structures here. Nevertheless, the task of jigsawing a fundamental — however relative — truth falls solely on my shoulders. How can I possibly trust the Israeli news? But then again, how can I do without them? Relying only on the local Arab press, poor, bitter and disenfranchised, is below the needs of my disposition. You cannot fully perform the role of the victim while living in the belly of the beast. So, it is morning and I enter the Haaretz website, “The paper for thinking people,” as its slogan reads. But what has long become a default choice, a habitual and involuntary tapping of my fingers on the keyboard, is now blocked by an unequivocal demand for commitment. Just like its role model, The New York Times, Haaretz decided to charge money for a subscription to its website. A dilemma now hovers above this helplessly passive pattern of consumption …
Like all media outlets in Israel, the paper is subject to a government and security-apparatus censorship on security issues, fortified by self-censorship. And although it is not as nationalistic as in its counterparts, the language Haaretz uses consistently fails to be unbiased. … If I were to summarize the editorial stance of Haaretz, I would say that it calls for the end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and for a two-state solution, primarily to discharge Israel from the moral hunchback of controlling more than 1.5 million Palestinians. Once the Palestinians are left to their own devices, Israel can then focus on the task of promoting an egalitarian society based on the tired notion of “respect for the other” (like in any banal children’s book, the Palestinian joins the African and Asian work immigrants in being the “other”). It’s a classic liberal thought that fails to understand its shortcomings.
link to

As Jews, we say ‘Birthright’ trips must end / Aviva Stahl, Sarah Woolf & Sam Elliott Bick
EI 29 Apr — As the summer months approach, thousands of young Jews from more than 60 countries prepare to participate in the Taglit-Birthright program. Since 1999, Birthright has brought 340,000 young Jews to Israel on free ten-day trips. In the midst of the fervor to sign up for this bi-annual program, we have launched the website Renounce Birthright ( with the aim of providing a space for potential participants to engage with critiques of Birthright and of Zionism. We are non-Israeli Jews who oppose the program because it promotes and supports Israel’s ongoing colonialism and apartheid policies, and marginalizes Jewish experiences in the diaspora. We are calling for the end of the Birthright program, and encourage individuals to boycott the trips.
link to