Archive for August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013

Blockaded Gaza

 

Egypt forces shoot Palestinian fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Egyptian naval forces on Friday shot two Palestinian fishermen near the Egypt-Gaza border and detained five others, Palestinian sources in Gaza said. Egyptian forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, injuring 19-year-old Ibrahim Abdullah al-Najjar and 21-year-old Wael al-Bardawil. They were taken to the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in the Palestinian side of Rafah. Egyptian forces detained Khalid Basla, Mahmud Basla, Maher Basla, Jamal Khaled Abu Shlouf, and Ismael Basla. The fishermen are from the the al-Mawasi area of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
link to www.maannews.net

Egypt arrests five Palestinian fishermen, two injured
IMEMC — Palestinian sources in Gaza have reported that five Palestinian fishermen have been kidnapped on Friday at dawn [August 30, 2013] after members of the Egyptian navy attacked their boat claiming they crossed into Egyptian waters; a sixth fishermen was taken prisoners, and two were injured. Head of the Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate, Nizar Ayyash, stated that an Egyptian navy boat attacked a number of Palestinian fishing boats fishing in Palestinian water, but close to Egyptian territorial waters … All of the kidnapped are from Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.  The navy confiscated their boats.
He further stated that the Egyptian navy also opened fire at several Palestinian fishing boats, wounding two identified as Ismael Wael Al-Bardaweel in the arm and Ibrahim Abdullah An-Najjar in the foot…
Ayyash said that Egypt used to allow the Palestinian fishermen to fish close to its territorial waters, and described the incident as a “worrisome development”.
link to www.imemc.org

Medics: Israeli forces shoot farmer in Gaza
GAZA (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — A Palestinian farmer was shot and injured on Friday East of Jabalia north of the Gaza Strip, medics said. Israeli forces opened fire at Yousef Saad, 20, injuring him in the thigh. He was taken to Kamal Edwan hospital in Jabalia.
link to www.maannews.net

They confiscated my only source of livelihood
PCHR/Narratives 27 Aug — Khader Merwan Al Seidi (26) is one of Gaza’s fishermen and a victim of the repeated military attacks carried out by Israeli forces against fishermen in the Gaza Sea. Khader is the breadwinner for a family of 14 members. He is married with a one-year-old child, and resides with his extended family in a house in Shati refugee camp. The camp, located along the Gaza shore, is home to most of Gaza’s fishermen, for whom the sea is their main source of livelihood. On 13 August 2013, Khader left his home early in the morning, and made his way to Gaza seaport. From there, he sailed west, remaining within the Israeli-imposed limit of 6 nautical miles offshore, to fish for the day. However, Khader was attacked by Israeli naval forces, arrested, and interrogated, and his boat and fishing tools were confiscated. Khader was released 15 hours later. Khader describes the incident as follows:
link to english.pnn.ps

Egypt denies intelligence agents working in Gaza
CAIRO, Egypt (Ma‘an) 29 Aug — An Egyptian security official on Thursday denied claims by Hamas that Egyptian intelligence agents were working in the Gaza Strip. “Such false accusations are part of attempts by the Hamas movement to discharge its domestic crisis to Egypt,” the security official told Ma‘an. Earlier Thursday, Hamas security sources said a Palestinian had been arrested the southern Gaza Strip. The man, identified only as M.M., admitted to running a cell for Egyptian intelligence, Hamas security officials said. They added that the suspect and his group attempted to “disseminating rumors amongst citizens, drivers, and the Gaza society seeking to implicate Hamas and Al-Qassam Brigades in the events in Sinai and the ongoing unrest in Egypt.” Hamas sources said the group had provided Arab media outlets with fabricated stories. The cell had worked with Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian Authority intelligence services, the Hamas security officials said.
link to www.maannews.net

Abu Marzouk calls on Egypt to end smear campaign against Hamas
CAIRO (PIC) 29 Aug — Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk called on the Egyptian leadership to put an end to the smear campaign launched by some parties in the country against his Movement and the Gaza Strip. In remarks on his Facebook page, Abu Marzouk stressed that Hamas has no interest in getting involved or causing all the security events which it was accused falsely of, noting that all accusations and claims that had been made against Hamas were unfounded and with no evidence. He also called for opening the Rafah border crossing since there is no reason to keep closing it after the Egyptian authorities destroyed the tunnels. “Hamas has affirmed on different occasions its position on the need for opening the crossing in order for the tunnels to be shut down,” the Hamas official stated. “Egypt is neither a party to the notorious agreement of crossings, nor a party to the Paris agreement which restricts the Palestinian trade and considers the Palestinian economy part of the internal economy of the Zionists,” he added, affirming his Movement’s willingness to discuss the mechanisms for the opening of the crossing after all tunnels had been destroyed.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Israeli goods enter Gaza as Egypt tightens siege
Al-Monitor 29 Aug by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Israel has slightly loosened the noose on Gaza in response to Egypt’s renewed blockade on the Hamas-ruled enclave — Many kinds of Israeli and European chocolate, biscuits and dairy products, all imported through Israeli companies, fill the shelves of the famous supermarket in al-Rammal, Gaza City. But that supermarket is not alone. A few meters away, a small grocery store is also filled with the same products. But Egyptian goods, which some time ago filled most of the shelf space, are missing. Nasser al-Helou, a Gazan merchant, told Al-Monitor that a lot of imports now come from Israel and the West Bank. “Most goods now enter through the official Karam Abu Salem crossing after the [smuggling] tunnels were destroyed. The import quantities, especially goods that we had trouble importing because of cheaper alternatives in Egypt, have increased since about June. … The goods that are the most in demand are milk, mineral water and cheese. But the consumers’ purchasing power is now weak because of the political situation.”
link to www.al-monitor.com

Is there a hierarchy of human suffering that demands action in some places but not in others? / Samira Shackle
MEMO 30 Aug — The last week has seen a major push for military action in Syria from the UK and US governments. The impetus for western involvement in the two-year civil war came from the alleged chemical attack on 21 August, for which the regime is presumed to be responsible. US secretary of state John Kerry described this use of chemical weapons as a “moral obscenity” that “defies any code of morality” and that has “shocked the conscience of the world.” … There are certainly grounds, then, for outrage at the actions of the Syrian regime. However, as the political rhetoric reached its peak this week, several individuals on social media began to ask the question: why is it sometimes acceptable to use chemical weapons? Many pointed out that the condemnation from western leaders on Syria is a striking contrast to their silence about Israel’s actions in Gaza in 2008. In 2009, Human Rights Watch alleged that Israel’s use of white phosphorous shells over densely populated areas of Gaza was evidence of war crimes. Like the napalm in those distressing images of Syria, white phosphorous causes severe chemical burns. They can extend down to the bone and can reignite when exposed to oxygen.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.com

Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

972mag 29 Aug by Noam Sheizaf — The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died “a million years ago.” — On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza (“Pillar of Defense”), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV — Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama — killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of Hamas. According to several sources, the car which the two cameramen were driving was marked with the letters ‘TV’. On December, following a Human Rights Watch report on several incidents in which the army seemed to have deliberately targeted journalists, the Israeli media watchdog site The Seventh Eye – a project of the Israeli Democracy Institute – contacted the IDF Spokesperson Unit with request for comment on the November 20th assassination.
link to 972mag.com

Land, property theft & destruction / Threats to Islamic sites

Rightists, intelligence officers enter Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Aug — Around 70 Jewish extremists, accompanied by over 40 Israeli intelligence officers, entered the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem on Thursday, escorted by police, witness said. They entered from the Moroccan gate and toured the compound. They also entered the al-Qabali mosque, the old mosque of al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock and the al-Marwani mosque. The visit coincides with the start of Jewish holidays in early September.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli extremist tries to stab a Palestinian
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 30 Aug — An Israeli extremist on Friday tried to attack Palestinian worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque while heading to perform dawn prayers, but the worshipers noticed him and prevented the attack. The Israeli was holding a knife when he tried to stab the Palestinian man who was waiting with other worshipers to enter into the mosque from Silsila Gate. Fortunately one of the worshipers noticed the knife and prevented the crime. The Israeli Police arrived at the scene, and arrested the attacker.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Army intimidates village ahead of illegal land grab
Bruqin, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 26 Aug by Nablus Team — Today, Monday 26th August, Israeli occupation forces invaded the village of Bruqin in the early hours of the morning. The Israeli army then proceeded to enter twelve houses and arrest 11 young men from the village. The men were aged between 18 and 27 and they were held for 7 hours before being released at 10:00 this morning. Mohanned, a 27-year-old music teacher was one of the young men arrested, alongside his brother, 25-year-old Hammed. The brothers and their whole family were awoken by the Israeli army entering their house at 02:30. The soldiers demanded to see the ID of all the men present and gave no reason for their commands or presence in the village … One resident of Bruqin described the invasion as “quiet” although there were at least 50 soldiers in 5 military jeeps and this was “very frightening for the villagers”. He then continued to state that he believed this was supposed to act as an intimidating warning to the people of Bruqin. It does not seem unrelated that the village is currently at risk of losing 700 dunums of land to the nearby (illegal) settlement of Bruchin. The below picture highlights the areas that are at risk and the residents have been attempting to fight this illegal theft of vital farming land over the last two months. However in order to adhere to the court process, the residents must access their land to attain the correct measurements to supply to the court. However due to violent settler attacks many people are unable to enter their own land and as such the mayor of Bruqin has had to apply for permission on behalf of the Bruqin residents.
link to palsolidarity.org

Illegal extremist settlement of Yitzhar expands during ‘peace talks’
‘Asira, Occupied Palestine (ISM) 28 Aug by Nablus Team — Around 80 settlers and soldiers brought diggers and steam rollers near the ‘Asira water project and started to flatten ground on private Palestinian land. Residents fear this is the first stage in an expansion of the illegal extremist settlement of Yitzhar that daily attacks ‘Asira and the unfinished water project that will provide the village with the much needed resource. Asira water project and started to flatten ground on private Palestinian land. Residents fear this is the first stage in an expansion of the illegal extremist settlement of Yitzhar that daily attacks ‘Asira and the unfinished water project that will provide the village with the much needed resource. Early in the morning on Wednesday 28th August in Asira al Qibliya around 50 soldiers and 30 settlers set up a tent on the mountain in land between the illegal settlement of Yitzhar and the Asira Water project. Machines were then brought to start work on the land including a digger and a steam roller. The land was flattened in preparation for new illegal structures that will most likely be an expansion of Yitzhar, which is of major concern to the villagers.
link to palsolidarity.org

CBS: Settler housing starts up by 141.5% this year
Jerusalem Post 30 Aug by Tovah Lazaroff — 75% of construction cases were in the five largest settlements — The number of settler housing starts in the West Bank skyrocketed by 141.5 percent in the first half of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to Central Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday. The jump from last year is so great that the work that began on 1,461 homes during the first six months of 2013 has surpassed the 1,089 starts registered by CBS for all of 2012.
link to jpost.com

Israel forced me to destroy my own house, says Jerusalem father
JERUSALEM (Electronic Intifada) 27 Aug by Patrick O. Strickland — Ziad Ameira set a thick stack of papers on a plastic table. These official notifications and threats forced the 49-year-old convenience store-owner to destroy his own house in the Sur Baher area of East Jerusalem on 18 August. “My family and I lived in that home for 13 years,” he said. “I have no idea where to go from here.” Ameira had inherited the land where the house was built from his late father. Only twenty days after Ameira and his family moved into the home in 2000, the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality delivered a demolition order. In May this year, “they gave me the choice: I demolish my own house or they do it for me,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “They gave me two and a half months.” The eight-member family is now living in two small rooms at his brother’s house. Despite the extreme circumstances, they won’t be able to stay there longer than a few months, as his nephew is getting married and needs the space. “I have three boys and two daughters, my wife and my mother,”Ameira said. “My mom is 85 years old and is no longer able to walk.”
link to electronicintifada.net

Israeli court backtracks on appropriating Jerusalemite family’s hotel
NAZARETH (PIC) 30 Aug — The occupation authorities have backtracked on its decision to confiscate the Palestinian Cliff Hotel east of Jerusalem from its Palestinian owners under the Absentee Property Law, Hebrew media sources said. The State Prosecutor’s Office informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it has reversed its previous decision to seize the Cliff Hotel from its owners, Haaretz newspaper said Thursday. The Israeli Supreme Court has discussed recently to stop using a 1950 law to confiscate east Jerusalem properties from Arabs, who were forced to live out of Palestine, for the benefit of the Jewish state. Cliff Hotel, owned by Ayad family, was expropriated under Absentee Property Law since 2003 under the pretext that its owners live outside city limits, only 200 meters away from the hotel.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Restriction of movement

Out of Gaza: Israel’s official policy on exit permits vs. reality

Haaretz 29 Aug by Amira Hass — The Be’er Sheva District Court has demanded that the state explain the inconsistency of its policy in granting exit permits from the Gaza Strip to Israel.  A petition filed by the B’Tselem human rights organization and two of its Palestinian field workers showed that the strict criteria for issuing the permits – restricting them to exceptional humanitarian and medical cases – are frequently not applied. Two Palestinian field workers of B’Tselem had been invited to take part in a five-day workshop the group held for its workers in Jerusalem last week. They applied to the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza for an exit permit via the Palestinian liaison committee …  In a standard refusal letter the administration said “at the present time, in view of the current diplomatic and security situation, Gaza residents’ entry to Israel is not permitted, except in exceptional humanitarian cases, with an emphasis on urgent medical cases. After examining your clients’ case it was decided to deny the request.”… Gisha’s attorney Naomi Hagar told the court that since 2010, the state had adopted a more flexible approach to giving permits. Citing the website of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, to which the administration is subordinate, she said 5,777 Palestinians had been allowed to enter Israel in June 2013 alone, only 23 percent of them for medical purposes. Also, Palestinian national soccer team members, international organization workers and traders are allowed into Israel as a matter of course. She also said a Gisha staff member has been receiving regular exit permits from Gaza to Israel for the past five years.  Judge Nechama Nezer said it did not seem reasonable that the administration claims it only allows people to enter Israel from Gaza for humanitarian reasons, while at the same time granting permits for completely different reasons.
link to www.haaretz.com

WHO says July was highest month for patient referrals
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 29 Aug — Gaza patient referrals by the Ministry of Health for treatment outside the Gaza Strip was the highest in July since 2006 with almost 1300 patients seeking permit to cross Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing with Israel to reach hospitals in Israel, East Jerusalem or the West Bank, The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday in its monthly report on Gaza patient referrals. It said 85% of patients’ applications for permits were approved, 7% lower than the 2012 average rate.
Seven patients, all males, were denied permits, compared to six denied from January through June. In addition, 186 patients (14.32%; 56 females and 130 males) received no response, including 61 children, which delayed medical treatment, said WHO. Nevertheless, the number of permits approved during July was the highest monthly total in the last eight years, it said. According to the report, the Israeli authorities interrogated 21 male patients who had applied for permits to cross Beit Hanoun checkpoint and were requested to appear for Israeli security interviews. None were later granted permits. Two patient companions were detained while travelling through Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint; one is still in detention. The report said 141 patients were referred to Egypt, a drop of more than 50% of the usual number.
link to english.wafa.ps

In photos: Palestinian resilience at Israeli checkpoints and walls
Electronic Intifada 27 Aug by Oren Ziv — The freedom of movement of approximately 2.75 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is severely curtailed by Israel’s permit regime, wall and system of checkpoints. These movement restrictions prevent Palestinians in the West Bank from freely accessing holy sites in Jerusalem and other cultural and recreation sites and family in the city and present-day Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinians from the West Bank are not able to travel to Gaza, and vice versa, with only rare exception. Documentary photographer Oren Ziv followed Palestinian families from the West Bank as they attempted to reach al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem for Friday prayers during the recently-concluded month of Ramadan and travel to the sea for the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month.
link to electronicintifada.net

Violence / Attacks / Raids / Clashes / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests

PCHR weekly report: Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinian civilians and wound 18, including 5 children
30 Aug — … Israeli attacks in the West Bank: During the reporting period, Israeli forces escalated their attacks against the Palestinian civilians, especially in the West Bank. Israeli forces killed 3 civilians and wounded 23 others, including 5 children. 3 civilians were killed and 18 others, including 5 children, were wounded during an Israeli incursion into Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem … Israeli forces conducted 49 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which at least 29 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted … Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: Israeli navy forces continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea … In the Gaza Strip, on 22 and 23 August 2013, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that approached the border about 2 nautical miles off the shore. The fishermen were frightened and fled back to the shore fearing of being abducted or injured. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported in both incidents. Full Report
link to www.imemc.org

WATCH: Bil‘in activists protest rising military oppression
972mag 30 Aug by Haggai Matar — About 250 people joined the weekly popular demonstration in Bil‘in against the wall and settlements, which was dedicated to resisting army oppression towards political activists. In the past few weeks soldiers have been crossing over the wall and chasing Bil‘in demonstrators with more violence than has been witnessed there in the last couple of years. [Video by Haitham al-Khatib. See next article for more on this protest.]
link to 972mag.com

Dozens hurt in protests across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Dozens of protesters were lightly injured including journalists on Friday in clashes across the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces dispersed a demonstration in al-Ma‘asara village south of Bethlehem in protests against launching an attack on Syria, and marking the 12th anniversary of the killing of PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa. Demonstrators marched toward the wall and raised Palestinian, Egyptian, and Syrian flags and pictures of prisoners in Israeli jails. Israeli forces used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Dozens suffered tear gas inhalation. Hassan Brejia, coordinator of the popular committee against the wall, said that the committee rejected plans to attack Syria, despite not agreeing with its leadership. He added that it will become like Baghdad which will negatively affect Palestinians in refugee camps.
Near Ramallah, seven people including a child were injured and dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation in clashes between protesters and Israeli forces in Bil‘in village’s weekly march against the wall and settlement activity. In addition a foreign journalist was detained, and the crew of Palestine TV channel was assaulted. Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at protesters who marched toward their lands near the wall. Lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi, Mohammad Abu Rahma, 19, Kifah Mansour, 35, Mohammad Hamad, 22, and a 19-year-old identified as Mohammad were injured with rubber coated steel bullets in different parts of the body. Khalid Khatib, 8 and Ahmad Abu Rahma, 19, were struck directly with tear gas canisters in the abdomen and hand respectively. Barghouthi said that “the Israeli suppression will not break our will. The popular resistance will not stop. It is the real alternative to the negotiations which are bound to fail.”  He added that the popular resistance and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement were the way to end settlement activity and increase the steadfastness of Palestinians. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted songs for unity with the participation of a marching band from nearby Kafr Ni‘ma village.
Dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation in clashes with Israeli forces in Nabi Salah‘s weekly protest in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Protesters chanted against the occupation and settlement activity and marched toward their confiscated lands, where they were met by Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters.
link to www.maannews.net

Settlers attack, wound two Palestinians near Nablus
IMEMC — Palestinian medical sources have reported Thursday [August 29, 2013] that two resident have been injured in Qasra village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after being attacked by a number of extremist Israeli settlers. The sources said that the two suffered cuts and bruises to various parts of their bodies, and received the needed medical treatment. The two wounded residents have been identified as Mohammad Shihada and Mahmoud Awwad. Ghassan Daghlas, Palestinian official in charge of Israeli Settlements File in the northern part of the West Bank, stated that the settlers came from the illegal outpost of “Yesh Kodish“, adjacent to Qasra. Daghlas added that the settlers also stole a tractor owned by a villager of Qasra
link to www.imemc.org

Tear-gas canister sparks fire in Abu Dis
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — A fire broke out in the backyard of a house in the Ras Qabsa neighborhood in Abu Dis after Israeli forces fired a number of tear-gas canisters at it. A Civil Defense report said firefighters managed to put of the fire before it spread to nearby lands
link to www.maannews.net

Army invades ‘Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem
IMEMC 30 Aug — [Thursday August 29, 2013] Dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded, during early night hours, the ‘Aida refugee camp, north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and invaded it leading to clashes with local youths. Local sources in the camp have reported that the army fired dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protesters, and at a number of homes at the main entrance of the camp. The Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported that the army stopped a number of ambulances trying to enter the camp to provide medical treatment for wounded Palestinians, and searched them.
link to www.imemc.org

Qalandiya incident triggers clashes in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 29 Aug — Violent clashes broke out between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers in Al-Khalil [Hebron] city on Wednesday evening, a day after a deadly attack in Qalandiya refugee camp sparked widespread outrage in the occupied West Bank. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that angry young men hurled stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with firing a hail of rubber bullets, and tear gas and smoke grenades. The events took place in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque, Al-‘Aroub refugee camp and different neighborhoods of the Old City of Al-Khalil. The clashes kept raging until a late hour after midnight, especially after the attacking Israeli soldiers persisted in their suppression. One of the smoke grenades fired by the soldiers fell inside a house in Al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Al-Khalil, causing it to catch fire, according to eyewitnesses.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

IOF storms areas in Nablus, al-Khalil
NABLUS/AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the town of ‘Assira, north of Nablus, in the late hours of Wednesday night and raided several neighborhoods. Other IOF units tightened the military restrictions at the Israeli checkpoints deployed west and south of Nablus city where they searched the passing Palestinian vehicles. No arrests were reported in either raid.
Meanwhile, IOF soldiers stormed Wednesday different areas in al-Khalil southern West Bank and arrested a Palestinian citizen. The occupation forces raided Taffuh area west of al-Khalil and broke into a number of houses where they summoned three Palestinian liberated prisoners. In ‘Aroub refugee camp, Israeli forces violently stormed the citizen Rabhi Jawabreh’s house and destroyed furniture and other possessions. Israeli patrols also stormed Halhul and Beit Ummar, northern al-Khalil, where temporary military checkpoints were set up.
Furthermore, Israeli forces had been extensively deployed in the area near Gush Etzion settlement, built on Palestinian lands, following firing at an Israeli bus in the same area.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Two Palestinians kidnapped in West Bank
IMEMC — Israeli soldiers invaded on Thursday at dawn [August 29, 2013] various areas in the occupied West Bank, broke into and searched several homes, and a gas station, and kidnapped two residents. Local sources have reported that dozens of soldiers invaded the Al-‘Obeidiyya town, east of Bethlehem, and kidnapped one resident identified as Yahia Ismael Al-Asa, 22, and took him to an unknown destination after violently breaking into his home.
Furthermore, the army kidnapped one resident, and violently attacked and beat another resident, in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank. Local sources said that Mos’ab Bassam Qattan, 19, was kidnapped in the Old City of Hebron, and that the soldiers claimed he did not cede to their commands to stop.
Several soldiers also violently attacked a resident, identified as Yousef Khaled Shawamra, 20, near the Al-Fawwar refugee camp junction, south of Hebron.
In addition, several soldiers invaded Jalqamous village, near Jenin, broke into and searched the home of Ahmad Ghassan Al-Hajj causing excessive property damage. They also invaded a gas station in near Jenin, and violently searched it.
link to www.imemc.org

Three Palestinians kidnapped near Nablus
IMEMC — Israeli soldiers kidnapped late on Thursday at night [August 30, 2013] three Palestinians at a roadblock near Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The Israeli Police claimed that two Palestinians injured an Israeli taxi driver in Petah Tekva, near Tel Aviv, and stole his cab. The police chased them all the way, until they managed to arrest them near Nablus, according an Israeli Police spokesperson.  The spokesperson also claimed that the army and police arrested a Palestinian from Nablus after stopping his car, and alleged that he was acting as a lookout for the two.
link to www.imemc.org

Israeli forces detain Nablus man
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Israeli soldiers detained a Palestinian man in a raid on a northern West Bank village of Taluza early Friday, locals and the army said.  Witnesses said 12 Israeli military vehicles entered Taluza, north of Nablus, and detained 22-year-old Theib Jaber Jalajleh after raiding his home.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli forces detain Bethlehem man
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Aug — Israeli forces on Wednesday raided the house a Palestinian man from Bethlehem district and handed a notification for him to meet the Israeli intelligence in Etizion, locals said. Abdullah Nasri al-Qurabi, who lives in the Wadi Mali area in Bethlehem, went to meet the Israeli intelligence services and was detained there.
link to www.maannews.net

Hamas: PA detains 4 members in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Palestinian Authority security forces detained four Hamas members in the West Bank, Hamas said Friday.  PA forces detained four Hamas-affiliated teachers who work at a school in Yatta, south of Hebron, Hamas said in a statement. Forces from the Fatah-led PA also summoned several Hamas affiliates, including a former prisoner of Israel from Sa‘ir village, a young man from Ras ‘Attiya village near Qalqiliya and the Imam of a mosque in Amatin [Immatin?] village, Hamas said.
Samer al-Masri, a Hamas leader at Birzeit University, is on his fifth day of hunger strike in a PA jail to protest his detention, according to Hamas. Meanwhile, a Hamas-affiliated university student from Palestine Polytechnic University has been jailed since Tuesday. He previously spent time in Israeli jails.
Fatah accuses Hamas of detaining its members and leaders in the Gaza Strip. Both parties have agreed to end political detentions in reconciliation agreements that have yet to be implemented.
link to www.maannews.net

Detainees

Sisi stops his hunger strike in Eshil Prison
IMEMC 29 Aug — Wednesday [August 28, 2013] Palestinian detainee Dirar Abu Sisi stopped his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with the Administration of Israeli Bir Shiva (Be’er As-Sabe‘) Prison, south of the country, to remove him from his solitary confinement. The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights has reported that The Prison Administration also agreed to allow Sisi to call his family once a month, and to allow the representatives of the detainees, in the prison, to visit him at any given time. Fuad Al-Khoffash, head of the Ahrar Center, stated that Sisi ended his strike once he was removed from his cell, and added that the Prison Administration also removed eight detainees from their solitary confinement cells.  The eight detainees were forced into solitary confinement for holding hunger strike in solidarity with Sisi.
link to www.imemc.org

IOA hides the arrest of PA officer for 6 months
JENIN (PIC) 29 Aug — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) have informed the family of the missing citizen Ahmad Abu Arra, from Jenin, that their son is being held in Israeli jails after six months of denial during which the family lived in a state of anxiety. Abu Arra, an officer with the PA security forces, had disappeared on February 28, after he went out of his house. His family searched for him throughout the West Bank villages and provinces in vain. The family had contacted the Israeli authorities that denied his arrest. Abu Arra’s brother accused the PA of neglect in performing their duty in searching for his brother. Due to the human rights organizations’ intervention, the Israeli authorities informed the family that their son was arrested six months ago, the brother added.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Israel extends administrative detention of Atabish and Prof. Shannar
RAMALLAH (PIC) 29 Aug — The Israeli military prosecutor’s office issued a four-month extension of the administrative detention of prisoner Ayman Atabish, who has been on hunger strike since May 23. Palestinian human rights sources said the Israeli prosecutor ignored the difficult health condition of prisoner Atabish and extended his detention with no reason. Prisoner Atabish is detained in Kaplan hospital along with his fellow hunger striker Adel Hureibat
For its part, the Israeli military commandership in the West Bank on Wednesday extended for four months the administrative detention of social science professor Mustafa Shannar, who works as a lecturer at Al-Najah university in Nablus, according to Tadamun foundation for human rights. The foundation said that professor Shannar suffers from a serious heart condition and was transferred to Afula hospital two months ago after suffering two heart attacks.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Other news

British writers back Palestinian villagers against Israel army
Jinba (The Telegraph) 28 Aug by Robert Tait –  Ian McEwan, John le Carré and Julian Barnes are among British authors backing impoverished Palestinian villagers against Israeli army attempts to evict them to make way for a shooting range. They are among a coalition of 44 internationally-acclaimed writers to have signed a petition supporting the campaign of around 1,300 inhabitants of eight West Bank hamlets to remain in their homes in the run-up to a landmark court hearing next week. The villagers – many of whom live in caves – will confront Israel’s armed forces in the country’s supreme court in Jerusalem on Monday.
link to www.telegraph.co.uk

İhsanoğlu in WB tour affirms OIC support for Palestinians
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has affirmed that all OIC member countries support the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights. İhsanoğlu, who was visiting Al-Khalil city on Wednesday within a tour of the West Bank that took him also to occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque on Tuesday, said that his organization was committed to providing political and financial support for the Palestinians. İhsanoğlu said that the OIC supported the Palestinian people’s demand for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Former PA tourism minister appointed ambassador to Germany
BERLIN (Ma‘an) 29 Aug — Former tourism minister Khuloud Deibes was appointed ambassador to Germany on Wednesday, replacing Salah Abdul-Shafi. Deibes handed her credentials to the chief of protocol at the German foreign ministry before meeting with German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.
link to www.maannews.net

West Bank: Girl, 16, ‘made minister for a day’
BBC 28 Aug — A Palestinian minister gave his job to a 16-year-old girl for the day, it’s reported. And Bashaer Othman used her position as minister of local administration in the Palestinian Authority government to lobby UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on local issues, reports the daily paper al-Quds. She was given the opportunity on her birthday by the ministry’s head, Saed al-Kawni, and it seems he chose her because she’d already acted as mayor in her home municipality of Ellar for two months last year. ” In these experiences she became the perfect example and model for young Palestinians,” he reportedly said, adding that he wanted young people to play a greater role in professional life.
link to www.bbc.co.uk

Israel rehabilitates Qalandia Airport with eye on Syria
RAMALLAH (Al-Akhbar) 30 Aug by Malik Samara — For the first time since the second intifada, Qalandia airport was the scene of intense activity by both Israeli civilian and military vehicles over the past two days, according to eyewitnesses in the area who spoke to Al-Akhbar. It is believed that the Israeli occupation forces are repurposing the airport to receive civilian and military aircraft, on the back of mounting talk about an imminent region-wide war. The Jerusalem International Airport, or Qalandia airport as it is commonly called, overlooks the road linking Ramallah to occupied Jerusalem. The airport is located between populated Palestinian areas under the control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The British Mandate authorities built the airport in the 1920s. Under the Jordanian administration, the airport became a hub for tourism and commerce. Following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, it was used in a limited fashion for civil aviation, before the Israelis turned it into an army base during the second intifada. Israel closed down the airport completely in 2000.
link to english.al-akhbar.com

Uganda migrants deal signed, as military, business ties with Israel balloon
Haaretz 29 Aug by Anshel Pfeffer — Human rights groups say migrants from Israel most likely destined for isolated ’warehouses for human beings’ in Uganda  — The secret agreement between the governments of Israel and Uganda over the deportation of African migrants to Uganda is not surprising considering the warm relations between the two countries in the seventeen years since Yoweri Museveni came to power … The local media in Uganda has not yet reported on the refugee deal with Israel. Dismas Nkunda, a journalist and human rights activist who focuses on refugee issues told Haaretz that he had heard rumors … The migrants from Israel will most likely be sent to the camps run by the United Nations Refugee Agency. “There are terrible conditions in these places,” says Nkunda. “They are basically large prisons and the refugees are not allowed out without permission from the authorities. We call them ‘warehouses for human beings.’” Nkunda says that “the human rights organizations here have not yet begun to prepare for the arrival of refugees from Israel but when we receive confirmation, we will lodge our protest. This is a clear infringement on their human rights. These people did not choose to travel to Uganda, there is a clear reason why they sought asylum in Israel.”
link to www.haaretz.com

Analysis / Opinion

Shin Bet reign of error: it arrests Gaza youth invited to US tech conference, calls him terrorist
Tikun Olam 28 Aug by Richard Silverstein — A few days ago, the media reported that a Gaza youth leader, Alaa Miqbel, was headed to a U.S. State Department-hosted conference in Ramallah.  The event was designed to inform Palestinians NGOs how to promote technology and communication of their mission to the public.  It was part of a stale U.S. diplomatic initiative meant to show that Palestinians could be empowered economically, even if not politically. Miqbel, director of the Gaza office of the Palestinian youth organization, Pyalara, had his invitation with him and was directed by U.S. diplomats to the Erez crossing where he’d received a permit from Israeli authorities that would allow him to travel to the West Bank.  When he arrived, instead of getting his permit and being on his way to the prestigious conference, Miqbel was arrested and thrown in an Israeli prison.  The Shin Bet announced they’d caught a dangerous Palestinian terrorist red-handed.  Miqbel, if Israeli security geniuses could be believed was a member of the banned militant Islamic Jihad. The only problem was that Miqbel was not the person the Shin Bet thought he was: not a member of Islamic Jihad, not a militant.  The Israeli security cops never bothered to ask why a wanted militant would travel to an Israeli crossing and apply for an Israeli travel permit … an Israeli source tells me that the arrest was a security fashlah (error) on the part of the Shin Bet, which staffs the crossings.  They arrested the wrong man. But now, rather than releasing him and admitting their mistake as any respectable security agency (I know there are few!) in a western nation might do, the Shin Bet refuses to concede its mistake.  That leaves Miqbel to suffer as yet another victim of the outrages of the Israeli national security state.  So an entirely innocent man will, my source tells me, likely be charged with some made-up offense and forced to get a lawyer and remain in prison until he cops a plea. A similar case is that of Dirar Abusisi, the kidnapped Gaza civil engineer who’s nearing his second anniversary in Israeli captivity (without being brought to trial).
link to www.richardsilverstein.com

Likud solution is to annex West Bank and establish Palestinian state in Gaza
MEMO 28 Aug — Likud Party MK and Israeli Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely has suggested that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is the annexation of the West Bank and creation of a Palestinian State in the Gaza Strip. Arab citizens of Israel, would she claims, be granted equal rights in the extended state. The Knesset member was speaking at the Professors’ Forum for Political and Economic Immunity when she made the suggestion. The programme covered several proposals to resolve the conflict. According to Maariv newspaper, the forum also touched on the idea of turning the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan into a Palestinian state. The problem with that, said the MK, is that Jordan is not under Israeli control.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.com


Media Watch: BBC editor urged colleagues to downplay Israel’s siege of Gaza

Electronic Intifada 30 Aug by Amena Saleem — The new Middle East online editor for BBC News has been praised by a pro-Israeli website for being “willing to listen to his critics” after he sent internal emails guiding BBC staff to write more favorably about Israel. Raffi Berg was promoted to head the BBC website’s Middle East desk earlier this month, having already worked as a journalist with that desk. His emails, which have been posted on a pro-Israeli site, were sent during Israel’s eight day assault on Gaza in November 2012, which killed nearly 200 Palestinians.
link to electronicintifada.net