Violence – West Bank and Jerusalem
Palestinian killed after alleged attack attempt north of Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 31 Oct — A Palestinian was shot dead Saturday after an alleged attack attempt on an Israeli security guard at the al-Jalama military checkpoint north of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army and media said. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that “the Palestinian attempted to stab security personnel at the crossing” when “forces responded to the imminent danger and shot the perpetrator.” Hebrew language news sites and the army confirmed there were no Israeli injuries. The Palestinian Red Crescent received the body, whose identity has not yet been released.
8-month-old baby dies from tear gas inhalation near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — An eight-month-old Palestinian baby died Friday from tear gas inhalation in Beit Fajjar village south of Bethlehem during clashes in the area, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. The ministry said in a statement that Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta died after inhaling tear gas when clashes erupted nearby between Palestinians and Israeli military forces. Thawabta’s body is being transported to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital. Three Palestinians were injured with 0.22 caliber bullets during clashes in the village, the ministry added . . . The eight-month-old child’s death brings the total number of Palestinians killed this month to nearly 70, at least ten of whom have been children. Sixty-nine Palestinians have been killed from clashes and attacks on Israeli military personnel and civilians, many of which have been disputed. At least nine Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians during the same time period.
Palestinian killed near light rail station in Jerusalem following alleged stabbing of soldier
IMEMC 30 Oct — A Palestinian from east Jerusalem was shot dead on Friday evening near the Jerusalem light rail station by three separate shooters after he allegedly pulled out a knife and very lightly wounded a soldier. The Palestinian was shot numerous times – by light rail security, a border policeman, and an armed paramilitary settler. Their numerous gunshots also wounded a bystander. The Palestinian who was killed was identified as Ahmad Hamada Qneibi, 23, from Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem. The 23-year old Palestinian man suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was critically wounded. He was left bleeding on the ground for an extended period of time without receiving medical treatment, and died soon after he was transferred to an ambulance. Israeli medics from the Magen David Adom medical service, which is affiliated with the International Committee of the Red Cross, told reporters from the Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper that when they arrived on the scene soon after the incident, they immediately treated the Israeli soldier, aged 22. The soldier was very lightly wounded with a shallow stab wound in the upper body. The medics told the paper, “We gave him initial medical aid on the scene and then evacuated him to a hospital quickly.” The alleged Palestinian attacker was lying on the ground nearby bleeding to death, and was left alone by the medics for a long time, bleeding to death. The other person wounded in the incident was a bystander who was hit in the leg by one of the multiple gunshots fired from three separate shooters toward the Palestinian man.
There have been more than seventy Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since October 1st. The majority of those killed were unarmed, and the number includes two babies under age two. Of the Palestinians killed this month who were armed, only one was armed with more than a small knife or stone. The one Palestinian who was armed with a gun when he was killed had grabbed that gun from an Israeli on a bus in an October 13th attack. Despite Israeli claims of a widespread wave of ‘knife attacks’ by Palestinians against Israelis, many of the alleged knife attacks were later disproved by video evidence and eyewitness accounts. There have also been several proven incidents of Israeli soldiers planting knives on the bodies of Palestinians they had killed.
Palestinian shot, killed after alleged attack at Nablus checkpoint
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — Two Palestinians were shot in the Nablus district on Friday after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli border policeman at a military checkpoint, Israel’s army said. An Israeli army spokesperson said two Palestinians tried to stab an Israeli border policeman at the Tappuah, or Zatara, checkpoint south of Nablus, with both attackers shot. Israeli police confirmed that one Palestinian was killed and the other man shot and “captured,” with his condition thought to be critical. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the man killed as Qassem Mahmoud Sabaneh from Jenin. Director of the ambulance and emergency unit of the Red Crescent, Abed al-Halim Jafreh, told Ma‘an that medics treated the critically injured man at the scene. Sabaneh died from multiple gunshot wounds, he added, with medics prohibited from reaching his body. The area, including the checkpoint, was closed following the incident. The two men had reportedly arrived at the checkpoint on a motorcycle before attempting to attack an Israeli officer. No Israeli injuries were reported.
2nd Palestinian killed in Hebron after alleged stabbing attempt
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian near the illegal Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron in the second alleged stabbing attack in the city on Thursday. Witnesses told Ma‘an the incident took place in Shuhada Street nearby the settlement. A Palestinian woman in the area at the time told Ma‘an that she “heard gunshots and saw Israeli soldiers and settlers firing at a young Palestinian man while he was walking down a staircase,” adding that she did not see anything in his hands. The Israeli army said in an initial report that a “Palestinian assailant” attempted to stab an Israeli soldier “at a security post in Hebron” before being shot on site. No Israeli injuries have been reported. The Palestinian was identified as Farouk Abdel Qader Omar Sidr, 19, from Hebron.
Hours before, 23-year-old Mahdi Mohammad Ramadan al-Muhtasib was shot dead by an Israeli border policeman near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron after an alleged attack on an Israeli soldier. A soldier received light injuries to his face before the suspect was shot dead on scene, according to reports by Israeli media that were disputed by eyewitnesses who said a soldier dropped a knife next to his dead body. Ma’an could not verify claims that a knife was planted at the scene.
Following Thursday’s second alleged attack, a Palestinian resident told Ma‘an that “Israeli soldiers have been threatening to kill us if we don’t evacuate Shuhada Street.” Israeli soldiers and settlers stormed the home of Mufid Sharabati located on the street shortly after the second Palestinian was killed, a Ma‘an reporter said, adding that a number of activists were present at the home during the raid.
Video: ‘Soldier fires fatal shot on wounded Palestinian in Hebron’
IMEMC 30 Oct — After the Israeli army shot and killed a young Palestinian man in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, October 29, 2015, a video was published by the Ramallah Mix Media Agency, showing a soldier approaching the neutralized Palestinian, before firing the fatal shot. The video shows the fatal shooting of Mahdi Mohammad Ramadan al-Mohtasib, 23 years of age, who was shot near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Al-Mohtasib was first shot and wounded, and was already on the ground in pain, when a soldier approached him and fired a second, deadly shot. The Israeli army claimed the young man was shot after stabbing and mildly wounding a settler with a cut to his arm.
Clashes erupt in Hebron after Palestinian killed on Shuhada Street
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Clashes erupted in the Bab al-Zawiya area in central Hebron on Thursday following the earlier killing of 19-year-old Farouk Abdel Sidr on nearby Shuhada Street, locals said. Locals said several Palestinians were injured during the clashes, which are ongoing, including three protesters who were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and dozens of others who suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. In addition, the car windows of local journalist Hazem Badr were shattered when three rubber-coated steel bullets hit the vehicle during clashes. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers attacked homes of Palestinians living off Shuhada Street and the Tel Rumeida area, locals said.
Palestinian residents of Hebron required to register in preparation for severe new restrictions
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine 30 Oct by ISM, al-Khalil Team — Palestinians gather in the street to be registered in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood in occupied Hebron. It is being reported that the area will be closed off completely for people who are not residents of the area and who are not registered within the next few days. “For the people living in the area, it will become like a prison. For people living in Hebron, the closure of Tel Rumeida will mean that the city will be split in two”, says local resident to international activists. The names and ID-numbers of the people living in the area are being written down by soldiers on long lists, and there are dozens of Palestinians standing around Gilbert checkpoint waiting to hand over their information or be forced out. Even for the residents who will be allowed in the area, this will mean severe restriction of their movement. Every time Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida & the area around Ibrahimi mosque (between checkpoints 209 and 29) cross a check point to get to their home, the soldiers will have to search the long list for the name. It is not the first time the Israel has imposed such restrictions on the residents of the area. In 1994 after the Illegal settler extremist Baruch Goldstein committed a massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque, similar measures were taken. At that time, Palestinian residents refused registration and were punished with a six month 24-hour-curfew and only allowed a few hours a week during which the residents could buy food. Due to the increase in violence by army and settlers against Palestinians they do not dare to refuse registration this time.
Palestinian dies in East Jerusalem as ambulance delayed by checkpoint
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — A Palestinian man from the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem died on Thursday after suffering a heart attack, with recently erected checkpoints in the area delaying ambulances services as they tried to reach the patient. A spokesperson for the Noran Charitable Organization, Muhammad Bashir, said the group received a call at 6:33 a.m. requesting an ambulance for 52-year-old Nadim Shqeirat after he lost consciousness. Red Crescent crews arrived at the scene in 11 minutes, with Bashir estimating that closures of the neighborhood with concrete blocks delayed the journey by at least 4 minutes. Medics examined Shqeirat and determined that he had suffered a heart attack. “Medics started to resuscitate him with electric shocks (defibrillators) and they called the Israeli ambulance service (Magen David Adom) asking for an intensive care ambulance,” Bashir said. The Israeli medics refused to enter the neighborhood due to security reasons and waited by the Israeli Oz police station near Jabal al-Mukkabir. Shqeirat was eventually transferred to the Israeli ambulance, but was pronounced dead by paramedics on the way to the hospital. Earlier this month, Huda Muhammad Darwish, 65, reportedly died after she and her family were delayed from reaching the hospital due to long backups at an al-‘Issawiya checkpoint.
Israeli forces shoot rubber bullets, tear gas at Jerusalem hospital
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Israeli forces raided the Al-Makassed Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday, shooting tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets during a sit-in protest against recent Israeli actions at the hospital, sources at the scene told Ma‘an. Dozens of Palestinians, patients and employees of the Al-Makassed Hospital were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and suffered from tear gas inhalation, as Israeli forces raided the hospital “indiscriminately,” firing directly into the hospital compound, sources said. The secretary-general of the employees’ union of the hospital, Talal Sayyad, said a nurse and a patient were reportedly injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. Israeli forces also allegedly summoned a doctor for interrogation.
An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma‘an he had no information on the raid. Thursday’s protest was announced earlier this week, following Israeli raids at the hospital, in which forces demanded patient files. Earlier on Thursday, the administration of Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem said it had refused to hand over medical files to Israeli forces belonging to Palestinians treated after recent clashes that had erupted in the city.
Israel returns bodies of 5 Palestinians in Hebron, 1 near Jerusalem
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians on Friday evening received the bodies of five Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces in Hebron over the last month. The five were identified as Dania Irsheid al-Husseini, 17, Bayan Ayman al-Essili, 16, Tariq Ziyad al-Natsha,16, Hussam Ismail al-Jabari,17, and Bashar Nidal al-Jabari,15. All were involved in attacks in Hebron that the Israeli army said resulted in injury of Israeli military personnel excluding Dania, who eyewitnesses said did not attempt an attack. Hebron governor Kamil Hmeid said the bodies were returned after the intervention of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and international groups, adding that he expects remaining bodies to be returned soon. A Fatah official in central Hebron, Imad Khirwat, said the bodies will be transferred to Hebron Governmental Hospital where autopsies will be performed in order to record potential Israeli violations. A joint funeral is expected to be held Saturday when the five will be laid to rest in al-Shuhada cemetery in al-Sheikh neighborhood of Hebron.
Separately, the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma‘an on Friday that the body of Mutaz Atallah Qassem, 22, killed on Oct. 21 after injuring an Israeli soldier, had been received at the entrance of al-‘Ezariya village and taken to Abu Dis Medical Center near Jerusalem. Spokesman for a popular resistance committee in the area, Hani Halabiya, told Ma‘an that thousands of Palestinians were present to receive the body. Qassem’s funeral is expected to take place tonight.
Palestinians across Hebron protested this week in a “rally of anger” against Israel’s decision to withhold the bodies of 11 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces since Oct. 1. Israel’s security cabinet decided earlier this month that the bodies of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces after carrying out attacks on Israeli citizens would no longer be returned to their families. The decision — one among a series of stringent security measures — was taken in order to stem protests that frequently accompany the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. Israel has kept the bodies of the majority of Palestinians killed this month, many of which were Hebron-area residents according to Israeli daily Haaretz, which reported that the cabinet now considered keeping the bodies “a burden and not an asset.”.
Israeli forces injure 55 Palestinians, 16 by live fire in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — Israeli forces injured 55 Palestinians, 16 by live fire, in clashes around Ramallah and Hebron in the occupied West Bank Friday. In clashes in al-Balou’ neighborhood in northern al-Bireh near Ramallah, 37 Palestinians were injured, including eight by live fire and 29 with rubber-coated steel bullets, medics said. Two were left in serious condition, one Palestinian who was shot with live fire in the pelvis, and another hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head. Dozens of others were hurt with tear gas and pepper-spray, including four medics and four journalists.
Israeli forces also injured 18 Palestinians, eight with live fire, during clashes with Palestinians across Hebron. In the village of Beit Ummar, one Palestinian was injured by live fire in the foot and ten others were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets, spokesman for the local resistance committee, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, told Ma‘an. The injured were taken to al-Balja Medical Complex or treated on the scene, he said. Awad added that Israeli forces sprayed houses with foul-smelling skunk water before assaulting and arresting Samir Mohammad Dawuod al-Alami, 23 In Hebron city, seven Palestinians were injured by live bullets and eight with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Several others suffered from tear-gas inhalation. Clashes broke out nearby the city’s Ibrahimi Mosque after Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinians, preventing youths from praying at the holy site. . . .
WATCH: Israeli soldiers threaten Bethlehem refugee camp over loudspeaker
BETHLEHEM, Occupied Palestinian Territories (MEE) 30 Oct by Sheren Khalel & Abed al-Qaisi — Yazan Ikhlayel, 17, was at a community centre in ‘Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem when Israeli forces stormed the camp. Ikhlayel was using his iPhone to film as Israeli jeeps rolled by on one of the camp’s main roads, shooting off tear gas, when a soldier began issuing a message to residents from one of the jeep’s loudspeakers. “People of ‘Aida refugee camp, we are the occupation army,” the message began.“If you throw stones, we will hit you with gas until you all die – the youth, the children, the old people, you will all die.” The soldier continued, speaking in Arabic and issuing more threats and insults to the people of Aida camp. But Ikhlayel says it was the first line that really shocked people. “The most important thing I want people to see when they watch this video is to realise what the Israeli ‘democracy’ really is,” Ikhlayel told Middle East Eye. “They have said it for us now, they are an occupation – they said ‘we are the occupation army’. It is proof, this is an apartheid country, it is not democratic at all.” “This is the first time I heard them say something like that over a speaker for everyone to hear,” Ikhlayel continued. “The young people aren’t accepting what the soldiers are doing particularly now. They’re going to the streets [to protest] everyday, and they aren’t stopping. They aren’t scared of them.” When asked if he thinks the soldier’s message would scare the youth enough to stop the protests, Ikhlayel shook his head adamantly. “This will not stop until the occupation ends,” he insisted. . . .
Israeli forces run over youth, assault journalists in el-Bireh clashes
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — A Palestinian youth was run over [knocked down, not run over] and detained and several journalists assaulted during clashes in el-Bireh on Friday. Video footage of the incident from Al-Aqsa TV shows an Israeli military jeep speeding at a group of Palestinian youths, hitting one person. Medics who attempt to reach the youth are pushed back and assaulted by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers then assaulted several journalists in the area as they attempted to film clashes with Palestinian youths. Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and live fire during the clashes, which started following Friday prayers. Video from another angle
Video: Assaulting press crew
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 30 Oct — The occupation forces assaulted on Friday press crews during clashes at the neighborhood of Baloo’ north of the city of Al-Bireh near the checkpoint of Bet El settlement. Videos showed Israeli Borders Control assaulting press crews by pushing and hitting them in addition to spraying them with pepper gas and detaining one journalist. Among those assaulted is the correspondent of Al-Ghad Al-Araby channel, Dia’ Hoshyeh, and photographer Munther Khatib, Eyad Jadallah the photographer of Palestinian Information and News Agency/ Wafa and others. Videos showed the forces’ assault on journalists while they were attempting to defend their colleagues.
Report: Israeli drivers refuse to let Palestinians board bus to West Bank
Haaretz 30 Oct — Bus drivers on the Tel Aviv-Ariel line are refusing to let Palestinian passengers board the bus, a Channel 10 reported on Friday, even though Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed earlier this year to freeze the plan for segregated bus lines in the West Bank. The Channel 10 footage documents drivers of the 286 bus line asking passengers for an Israeli ID and sending those lacking one to another line, even though a ticket vendor tells the passengers that the buses are not segregated. “Do you have a blue ID card? No? Go down, to the 386 line,” a driver is heard telling a Palestinian who wants to reach his home in the West Bank. “I’m not negotiating with you… go down, your bus will arrive shortly.” The driver is later overheard saying: “There’s no such thing as a good Arab. Even one who looks so nice, so quiet, he isn’t. There’s no such thing.” Afikim, the company which operates bus lines in the West Bank, responded to the report and told Channel 10 that the drivers had acted on their own initiative, which they said contradicted the company’s policy. . . .
Palestinians fired in retaliation for protests
RAMALLAH (Al-Monitor) 23 Oct by Ahmad Abu Amer — The protests and violence that have marred the Palestinian territories since early October are now casting their shadow on all aspects of life there, including the economy and especially the working class, the first to pay the price of the ongoing unrest. Dozens of Palestinian workers have been dismissed from their jobs in Israeli settlements, in the West Bank and Israel, while tens of thousands fear they will be next. The layoffs follow an Oct. 14 decision by Israeli settlement councils in the West Bank to bar Palestinian workers from entering their workplaces in the settlements. The decision has yet to be fully enforced, but numerous Palestinian workers confirmed to Al-Monitor that their employers told them to leave their workplaces permanently. Mohammed Saeed, a resident of Ramallah in the central West Bank, worked in an aluminum plant in the settlement of Beit El, northeast of Ramallah. He told Al-Monitor that the plant owner fired him one week after the unrest broke out. Saeed, now unemployed, explained that he and a number of his coworkers were dismissed because of Israeli settlers’ fear of being attacked. He added that the firings coincided with the new security measures to prevent workers from entering the settlement . . . .
The occupation threatens to demolish the house of martyr Ala’ Abu Jamal’s sister and creates holes in its walls
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 30 Oct — The occupation forces raided the house of Safa’ Abu Jamal, Martyr Ala’ Abu Jamal’s sister, and created holes into its walls and threatened to demolish it under the pretext of being owned by Martyr Ala’. Abu Jamal family explained that the occupation forces raided the house of Safa’ and took measurements, checked the walls and created holes in them. The forces claimed that the house is owned by Ala’ Abu Jamal and that the first house they checked in which a demolition order was issued against is not actually owned by Ala’. The family refused the occupation forces’ claim and confirmed that the house they raided on Tuesday is owned by Safa’ Abu Jamal where she has been living with her husband and two children. Abu Jamal family also mentioned that the forces interrogated several family members to make sure which one is the house of Ala’. It is noteworthy that Ala’ passed away after carrying out a run-over and stabbing attack in West Jerusalem and his family received a confiscation and demolition order to his house in the village of Jabal Al-Mukabber in Jerusalem.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers and Settlements
Group: Israeli settlers lock family out of their home in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Israeli settlers on Thursday prevented a Palestinian family from entering their home in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, a local organization said. Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli settlers who live in the area prevented Rania Abu Nab and her four children, aged 4 to 14 years old, from entering the home, before Israeli police arrived at the scene reportedly in support of the settlers. An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. Abu Nab said she had left her home to meet with UNRWA employees, who were prevented from visiting her at home by Israeli settlers in the area. When Abu Nab tried to come home, the main gate of the compound where her home is was reportedly locked and the Israeli settlers did not allow her back into the house. She added that they did not provide any reason and mockingly told her “keep having meetings and interviews.” Abu Nab’s husband, Jawad, was also denied entry to the house when he arrived, and phoned his lawyer. Abu Nab’s house is in a housing compound where several houses have already been taken over by Israeli settlers this year. Peace Now, a human rights organization, has documented that during the past year, settlers have doubled their presence in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan, noting that an overnight takeover in August expanded the illegal Israeli settlement from 10 to 35 Jewish families. Around 500 settlers live in Silwan among a population of 45,000 Palestinians, one of mainly enclaves in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods surrounding the Old City, such as Ras al-Amud, al-Tur, Abu Dis, and Sheikh Jarrah. Illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem are designed to prevent any division of the city — as is called for in the two state solution — and to create a Jewish majority population in the city.
Israel legalizes hundreds of settler homes in West Bank
Al Jazeera 30 Oct — Israel has retroactively legalised about 800 homes in four settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian occupied territory, the interior ministry said. They included 377 homes in the Yakir settlement, 187 in Itamar and 94 in Shilo in the northern West Bank, as well as 97 more in Sansana in the south of the occupied Palestinian territory, it said. The decision was taken two weeks ago, but was only reported in the Israeli press on Friday . . . The international community regards all Jewish settlements in the West Bank as illegal, but the Israeli government makes a distinction between those it has authorised and those it has not . . . Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced international criticism for refusing to halt settlement expansion. “These aren’t new constructions but rather homes built in settlements recognised by Israel in areas that until now didn’t have any urban planning,” said Hagit Ofran, a spokeswoman for Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now. “Even if it doesn’t have the same impact that the announcement of new settlements would, it’s undeniably a gesture from Netanyahu,” she said. Recent violence in the West Bank has given ammunition to the Israeli pro-settlement lobby, commentators say. Israel last announced new settlements in July when the government authorised 300 new settler homes to be built in Bet El in the central West Bank.
Gaza: 46 injured by Israeli forces during Friday demonstrations
IMEMC/Agencies 30 Oct — Israeli forces injured at least 46 Palestinians during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including 17 by live fire, hours after Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast. Spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that 17 Palestinians were injured by live fire including a youth hit in the foot during clashes near the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. A medic was also injured in the hand when Israeli forces targeted a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance with live fire in the al-Farrahin area in eastern Khan Younis. Al-Qidra added that 19 were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and burns sustained from being hit by tear gas canisters. Ten more demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation.
The injured were taken to nearby hospitals. Locals told Ma‘an News Agency that the demonstrations erupted in protest of the recent killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as in support of an intifada.
Earlier on Friday, Gaza’s Ministry of Interior said that Israeli naval forces fired shells at the northern Gaza Strip, damaging land belonging to farmers near Gaza City. An Israeli army spokesperson had no reports of shelling, but said that Israeli naval forces fired warning shots into the air when vessels “breached a fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip,” adding that the vessels turned back after the warning shots.
Gaza police dismantle unexploded Israeli bomb in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — The explosives engineering department of the Gaza police force on Friday dismantled a 500 kilogram Israeli bomb left from last year’s devastating military offensive in the besieged territory. A suspicious object was reported by locals in the rubble of a destroyed building in the Khuza‘a area of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. A team of bomb disposal experts cleared the perimeter and removed the bomb to a safer area, where they initiated a controlled explosion. More than 7,000 unexploded ordnances were left throughout the Gaza Strip following last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, according to officials of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories. Even before the most recent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnances from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives were a major threat to Gazans. A 2012 report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, were casualties to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.
Gaza Palestinians: Egypt ‘teaching Israel new tricks’
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Al Jazeera) 29 Oct — Eyad Musbah Abu Thar, 31, is a father of eight whose Rafah home lies within eyesight of Egyptian military positions. “When the [Egyptian army] pumps water into the tunnels … [it] reaches all the way to our home. My children can’t play outside,” Abu Thar said. He told Al Jazeera that the situation is getting “worse and worse”. The family lives in a neighbourhood pockmarked with bullet holes from Israel’s war on Gaza last year, the third major conflict since 2008. But Abu Thar says that the Egyptians are adding to the destruction: “Shots have been fired at our home” over the past weeks, and the sound of Egypt bombing the alleged positions of armed groups active in the Sinai Peninsula is “always audible”. September was a chaotic month on the embattled frontier. Egyptian forces had bombed, flooded, and shot at the Palestinian side of Rafah, the city directly across the border. In contrast, October started out calm. That changed on October 23, when Egyptian military forces in the Sinai Peninsula renewed efforts to drown out smuggling tunnels that cross its border into the besieged Gaza Strip. Along with aerial bombardments, the Egyptians resumed pumping seawater into known smuggling tunnels . . . In addition to pumping water into the smuggling tunnels previously used to transfer goods necessary for Gaza residents across the border, the Egyptian military also began construction on what some referred to as a “medieval moat” – a 20-metre-deep trench filled with water from the Mediterranean Sea. The moat would ensure that further tunnel construction would be impossible. Egypt says that this is a security measure, as the Sinai Peninsula has been wracked with armed attacks from the armed group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has pledged itself to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The Egyptian military says that the armed group receives its arms from Gaza via the tunnels, though this allegation has not been substantiated. A representative from Human Rights Watch (HRW), who spoke with Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity, says that this reasoning doesn’t hold water: “Most of the heavy weapons in use in the Sinai … have likely been smuggled from Libya and bought, stockpiled, and sold within the Sinai.” (continued)
Egypt’s siege on Gaza: ‘Rafah opens only for the dead’
GAZA (Al Jazeera) 25 Oct by Victoria Schneider — At the end of the road that leads from Gaza to Egypt is a big black gate. It’s locked. A thick layer of dirt has settled on the plastic chairs in the waiting area beside it. An empty fridge and an empty counter are dusty reminders that this is supposed to be a busy border crossing. Two men are sitting on prayer rugs in the shade. They used to work in the departures hall and are now security guards with nothing to do, as border operations were shut down by the Egyptian government after two attacks in the Sinai last year left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead. “Did you see the martyr?” asks one of them. Earlier that day, the body of Ahmed al-Khaledi, who died in the Ankara bombings a few weeks ago, was allowed to enter Gaza. “Rafah now opens only for the dead,” says photographer Ezz al-Zanoon. “Maybe I must die to get out,” he adds, laughing about his morbid joke . . . “We are tired. Fed up. We don’t have energy anymore,” says Nagham Mohanna, a senior training programme coordinator at the Gaza Center for Media Freedom. Mohanna was abroad when the crossing closed last year. Her two-week visit in Dubai turned into a 50-day nightmare. “I went crazy,” she remembers. “My visa ran out, and I couldn’t buy a ticket to Cairo because Egypt prevented Palestinians from returning because of the situation.” “You are suddenly deprived of the right to decide by yourself,” she continues. “I had to leave Dubai. I couldn’t go home and didn’t get a visa to go anywhere else. You feel like nobody wants you.” Mohanna finally succeeded to get a ticket to Egypt, where she was stuck for another week before the border was opened for two days to let stranded Palestinians cross back into the strip: “There were so many people. The Egyptian security guards beat people up; they shot [their guns] into the air. Many of the people trying to cross didn’t make it.” The experience was so bad that Mohanna says she will not try to leave again as long as the situation persists. Since last October, Egypt has only opened Rafah occasionally – for two or three days at a time – and mostly only in one direction. (continued)
Gaza aid pledges fail to materialize
EI 29 Oct by Isra Saleh el-Namey — For more than a year, Ahmad al-Hamayda, his six siblings and their elderly parents have been forced to live in a cramped apartment. Their two-story house in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, was totally destroyed by Israel during 2014. Al-Hamayda had spent all of his 24 years in that house. At the time Israel dropped its bombs, the family had just been evacuated after a neighboring building was hit by a small missile. This was interpreted as a warning that a larger assault on the surrounding area was imminent. “We turned back to see our home was reduced to rubble,” al-Hamayda said. Promises have been made by officialdom that the house and others in the neighborhood will be rebuilt with aid from Kuwait. Yet none of the $200 million pledged by Kuwait in Cairo has been made available, according to World Bank data. “Whenever I go to ask the [Gaza] housing ministry, they keep on delaying things,” al-Hamayda said. “It has been very frustrating.” As their uncertainty continues, the al-Hamayda family struggles to make ends meet. The United Nations has covered their monthly rent of $200 for the apartment where they now live on just two occasions in the past year. The rest of the time the family has had to pay the full amount themselves. Their plight is in no way unique. UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, reported last week that 13,167 refugee families in Gaza remain displaced because of the damage done to their homes by Israel’s 2014 attack. So far, just one refugee family has had its home completely rebuilt, with the agency’s support.
Stateless in Gaza
RAFAH (Al-Monitor) 23 Oct by Fadi Shafei — There are Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip without legal status; their identification cards are not recognized by Israel for various reasons, nor do they have official status in any other country. In fact, those Palestinians bear the “Blue ID,” which is nothing more than a personal identification card that classifies its holder as “stateless.” The card was given by the former Hamas government to Palestinians who entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with visitor permits after the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2005, or those with temporary travel documents issued by Arab or foreign countries. Blue ID cardholders see themselves as refugees and without legal status. The Palestinian Authority (PA) was founded in 1993 as per the Oslo Accord, which is a set of agreements between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). However, Israel has only complied with the part related to security — the withdrawal from Gaza and the Jericho area — and is yet to transfer authority to Palestinians in civil and social affairs, such as the population registry . . . In 2000, Israel discontinued updating its copy of the population registry, and it no longer recognizes the changes made by the PA. According to the B’Tselem report, Israel allows the PA to register only births and deaths and to replace damaged documents. As a result, neither the PA nor the Hamas government can issue ID cards to stateless residents nor approve applications for family reunification. In 2012, media reports by the former Hamas government, which is currently the main authority in Gaza, stated that the government had so far issued 22,365 Blue IDs, the first of which was issued on Jan. 31, 2007. Meanwhile, B’Tselem mentioned in its report that 40,000-50,000 individuals in Gaza had no legal status. The center held Israel responsible for the situation due to its policy regarding the Palestinian population registry. Those Palestinians are not allowed to travel nor can they conduct any civil transactions. (continued)
The real blackout throughout Israel can’t be blamed on Israel Electric
Haaretz 28 Oct by Gideon Levy — While parts of Israel suffered a two-day blackout, Gazans have been living with minimal electricity for years — . . . True, a power blackout is not something pleasant. When it extends to a few days, it is even hard. It should not happen and there is a need for an immediate commission of inquiry. But when a country responds hysterically to a two-day blackout, at a time when that same country is responsible for depriving millions of people of electricity for years; when a country loses it after a single night of candles, at a time when the fate of millions of its subjects and neighbors, who have lived this way for years, does not interest it in the least – then the true blackout is not that caused by the Israel Electric Corporation. That is how they live in Gaza, just an hour-and-a-half from Bnei Zion. In most houses, the power is out 12 to 16 hours a day, every day. That has been the case for nine years already – winter and summer, at night and during the day. Over 70% of the households in Gaza receive water only every two to four days, and then for only six to eight hours. That, too, is due to the shortage of electricity . . . When a country turns itself into a victim because of a power outage and is insensitive to the millions of people alongside it for whom such a life is routine – it is not the electric company that is sick.
GV Face from Gaza: Living and blogging under the occupation
GV 28 Oct — Since October 1 knife attacks, shootings and protests have become near-daily occurrences in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. At least 57 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed since the beginning of the month. During these tense times what is life like for Gaza’s 1.8 million residents? The 40 kilometer-long strip is still reeling from the effects of the 50-day Israeli offensive in 2014 that killed 2,100 people and reduced 40% of the area to rubble. In this episode we speak to Omar Ghraieb, a popular blogger and journalist based in Gaza. Omar talks about documenting life in the occupied strip since 2007.
UpFront – Reality Check – Gaza is still occupied
Al Jazeera English 23 Oct — Israel says it no longer occupies Gaza after disengaging from the strip of land in 2005.But Palestinians, international organisations, human rights groups and governments, including the United States, argue Gaza is still occupied. In the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan challenges Israel’s narrative, arguing the country still controls Gaza’s borders, airspace and territorial waters. He also points to the fact Israel controls the population register, meaning the government defines who is and who is not a resident of Gaza.
Prisoners / Courts
Israeli court charges Palestinian teen, 13, with attempted murder
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 30 Oct — Israel’s Jerusalem District Court on Friday indicted 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra on charges of attempted murder following an attack on two Israelis on Oct. 12 in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported. The stabbing attack took place near the illegal Pisgat Zeev settlement in East Jerusalem, with Israeli police reporting that two Israelis, aged 13 and 21, were seriously injured. Ahmad’s 15-year-old cousin, Hassan, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces, while Ahmad was knocked over by a car and seriously wounded. A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, an Israeli onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, son of a whore! Die!” while another tells the police officer to shoot him. Ahmad will be held in a closed facility until prosecution, with the court rejecting the family’s request that he be placed under house arrest. Israeli news site Ynet said that the cousins committed the attack after returning from school and discussing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Gaza, before deciding to be “martyrs.” Due to his age, Ahmad cannot face jail time until he turns 14 in January.
PLO warns against new security court proposal as violation of law
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi on Thursday warned that Israel would violate “any kind of rule of law” if a new security court proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is implemented. Netanyahu on Wednesday proposed in a meeting the establishment of a “special court” to deal with security issues. The court would likely process cases of punitive home demolitions, administrative detention, revoking residency from Palestinians involved in attacks, and holding the remains of Palestinians. Ashrawi accused Netanyahu of following in the footsteps of Arab dictators Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein if he were to create the court. “This is a blatant attempt at circumventing the law and the regular courts in Israel, and avoiding accountability, no matter how minimal it is, by the Supreme Court.”
‘Suicidal’ Israeli Arab woman mistaken for terrorist charged with possessing a knife
Haaretz 29 Oct by Noa Shpigel — An Israeli Arab woman from Nazareth, who was shot and arrested after brandishing a knife at the central bus station in Afula a few weeks ago, was charged on Thursday with possessing a knife and making threats. According to the indictment Asra‘a [or Isra‘a] Zidan Abed, 29, did not intend to carry out an attack, but was suicidal when she arrived at the bus station on October 9 and began waving a knife in the air. The State Prosecutor said that Abed, who had attempted to kill herself in the past, had planned to commit suicide by getting herself shot by security forces in Afula, and asked the court to detain her until the end of proceedings . . . “The facts in the indictment indicate that Abed tried to commit suicide in the past, and three weeks ago she decided to try again, one reason being the end of a relationship. On the morning of the incident Abed sent text messages in which she hinted at her intentions. During her interrogation she said she wanted to kill herself, and preferred to do so in a manner that would make her a shahida (Islamic martyr).” . . . Abed, the daughter of a well-known imam, had reportedly lost custody of her child following her recent divorce.
23 Jerusalemites under administrative arrest
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 27 Oct — The occupation authorities turned to the policy of administrative arrests which is based on weak confidential evidence and intelligence information to detain a person and shut the hopes of defending him in the Israeli courts. The administrative arrest orders recently increased against Jerusalemites in an attempt to slow down the Palestinians’ rise and break their steadfastness party of the policy of collective punishment practiced against Jerusalemites. Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the occupation authorities transferred 23 Jerusalemites including three minors to administrative arrest during one week following an order from the Minister of Occupation Army. The center added that the Jerusalemite young men who were transferred to administrative arrest are from the village of ‘Esawyeh, Silwan, Old City of Jerusalem, Sur Baher and Jabal Al-Mukabber; note that freed prisoners are among them. The center also pointed out that transferring several prisoners to administrative arrest falls within the collective punishment policy recently practiced against Jerusalemites. Abdel Salam Abu Ghazaleh, father of Martyr Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, was transferred to administrative arrest while his son’s body is still being detained who passed away on the 8th of the current month in Tel Aviv after being shot under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack. Also, the brother of prisoner Shurouq Dwayyat was also transferred to administrative arrest. Shurouq was accused of attempting to stab a settler in the Old City of Jerusalem on the 7th of October and was injured in her shoulder; she underwent a surgery and is currently imprisoned in Hasharon prison.
Staffordshire: Israeli drone maker Elbit loses injunction blocking Gaza protests
IBT 29 Oct by Ewan Palmer — A drone factory in Staffordshire owned by an Israeli arms manufacturer has had its attempt to block all protests on its site thrown out by a High Court after a judge ruled an injunction imposed in June should never have been put in place. Activists have staged several protests down the years at the UAV Engines Limited factory in Shenstone, which produces parts for drones which were used for attacks on Gaza. UAV states that it produces “engines for various size tactical UAVs, target drones and single mission platforms”, and is owned by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems . . . A spokesperson for the coalition that organised the Block the Factory protests, who challenged the injunction, said: “This injunction should never have been imposed. It seems to have been designed to deter protest and campaigning around ending the UK’s deadly arms trade with Israel.” “It’s Elbit Systems and its arms factories that should be facing a ban, not our protests. Today’s decision will bring even more energy to our campaigning in solidarity with ongoing Palestinian resistance and for a two-way arms embargo on Israel.”
Palestinians hand fresh alleged war crimes evidence to ICC
THE HAGUE (Reuters)31 Oct — The Palestinians handed a fresh dossier of evidence to the International Criminal Court in an attempt to get the war crimes tribunal to expand its existing probe of last year’s Gaza conflict to include the upsurge in violence of the past month. Emerging from the court, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the new dossier, the third he has submitted this year, contained evidence of “extrajudicial killing, home demolition, collective punishment” including from the past 40 days.
Report: Shin Bet opposed to Netanyahu’s plan to outlaw Islamic Movement
JPost 30 Oct — The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) is recommending that the Israeli government refrain from outlawing the northern branch of the Islamic Movement even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the service to help state prosecutors lay the legal groundwork for such a move. According to Channel 10, the domestic spy agency believes that a government edict banning the Islamist group – which is considered to be the ideological cousin of the Palestinian Hamas movement – increases the risk of an escalation in Jewish-Arab tensions.
Jailed PFLP leader calls for continuing ‘intifada’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Jailed Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Saadat, on Thursday called for continuing what he termed the intifada, calling for support from the leadership. In a letter to the PFLP office in Gaza, Saadat called for a united national leadership to support the current popular mood in Palestine. The continued occupation of the Palestinian people calls for only resistance, he added, urging the leadership to halt security coordination with Israel. The PFLP leader called for international protection of Palestinians in occupied territory, under supervision from the UN, and a transitional time frame for Palestinians to obtain an independent state.
Why some Palestinian journalists struggle with when to put down the camera
Al-Monitor 28 Oct by Aziza Nofal — Palestinian journalists covering the current events in Jerusalem and the West Bank are torn between the professionalism their jobs require and their sense of nationalism, often conveying a subjective image of the news. While filming the events taking place at the northern entrance to the city of Bethlehem, photojournalist Jad Gado put his camera aside to help an elderly lady who was trying to cross the road before Israeli soldiers threw tear gas bombs at demonstrators there. The woman was unable to breathe and took cover behind a tree on the side of the road; that is when Gado saw her and ran toward her. Gado, 32, a cameraman for the Palestinian News Network, took off the mask he was wearing to protect himself from the tear gas and gave it to the woman. He then asked the paramedics to come and take her somewhere safe . . .Gado was the only bystander who could reach the woman, and he believed what he did was his duty as a human being, as it did not interfere with his job as a journalist. “The lady was simply passing by, and she was not participating in the confrontations. She wasn’t carrying any weapon or stones,” he said. However, Gado was criticized by some journalists under the pretext that his actions did not show professionalism as a journalist in the field . . . Journalist Hussam Izz al-Din, an Agence France-Presse correspondent in the West Bank, believes that when it comes to the Palestinian situation, there is a clear challenge for journalists to separate their professional work from their sense of belonging to the Palestinian cause as well as their national duty. “There is nothing wrong with helping out an injured person or a passerby, but it is not right for a journalist to become part of the event [he is covering],” he said. Izz al-Din, who is also president of the Ethics Committee in the Palestinian Press Syndicate, said that despite the developments in Palestinian journalism, the journalists’ nationalistic feelings still dominate their mission and affect their credibility internationally.
Orthodox Jewish newspaper asks Arabs to avoid killing Haredi Jews
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 Oct – An orthodox Jewish Israeli newspaper Mishpacha published on Thursday an appeal to “potential Palestinian attackers” asking them to avoid killing Haredi Jews on the grounds that the sect does not visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Published both in Hebrew and poor Arabic, the pieces read: “We, the Haredi public, have no interest in going up to the Temple Mount at this time,” using the term used in Judaism for the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. “We vehemently oppose doing so. Even more: Jewish law severely proscribes such an act — on penalty of spiritual excommunication. Therefore you will never see Haredim ascending the mount, with the exception of one single family, acting on its own, which is condemned for the practice.” Many believe that Jewish law forbids entry to the Temple Mount due to a lack of knowledge regarding the exact location of sites holy to Judaism, risking religious transgressions. The publication emphasized that recent sentiment by right-wing Israelis to change the status quo on the holy site was not shared by the Haredi community.
Are Israel’s war crimes no longer good for business?
EI 30 Oct by Michael Deas — Israeli arms companies promote their products as “combat proven.” That choice of words suggests Israel’s ability to test weapons on Palestinians has become a selling point. Such a ploy was in evidence following Israel’s 51-day attack on Gaza last year. Once the attack had been completed, Israel’s arms industry rushed to try and impress prospective clients by telling them that new drone technology had been showcased during it. While drawing attention to the effectiveness of its weapons may have filled the order books of Israeli arms companies in the recent past, it now seems that growing public opposition to the brutal oppression of Palestinians is starting to hit Israel’s military exports. The heads of Israel’s four biggest arms companies have written to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to notify him that Israeli military exports have declined from $7.5 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion in 2014. These exports could fall as low as $4 billion this year, according to their letter. The arms dealers cite “less desire for Israeli-made products” as one of the factors causing this dramatic drop. An urgent meeting with Netanyahu has been sought to address what they say is “a significant crisis in the defense industries.” This seems to be an admission that at least some governments around the world are becoming more wary of buying Israeli weapons.
Jewish-Muslim couples tell their stories
Al-Monitor 26 Oct by Nurit Canetti — Two mixed Jewish-Muslim couples, one residing in Jaffa and another in Umm al-Fahm, talk to Al-Monitor about how the current unrest is complicating their already cautious lives. It was a real challenge to find people who agreed to be interviewed for this piece. While there are quite a few mixed couples in Israel, with one partner Jewish and the other Muslim, many of them are afraid to provide a glimpse into their fascinating lives. Now especially, when the street is becoming a jungle and hatred is bubbling over and blinding so many people from both religions, these families prefer to seclude themselves until the rage passes.
Rightwing Israelis celebrate murder of a Jewish activist (and NYT won’t tell you so)
Mondoweiss 29 Oct by James North & Philip Weiss — Maybe you have read about the murder in Jerusalem of Richard Lakin, 76, an American idealist who moved to Israel in 1984 and became active in the peace movement there and then was shot and stabbed by young Palestinians on a Jerusalem bus two weeks ago, succumbing to his wounds on Tuesday. The Hartford Courant says Lakin “spent a lifetime trying to bring people of different religions and races together.” The New York Times has a moving report from Lakin’s funeral saying he was a civil rights activist in the U.S. before moving to Israel to be a teacher. Peace Now also has a report on the case, apparently based on a translation of a report in the Hebrew press: “Less than a day after Richard Lakin passed away Tuesday from the wounds he suffered in an attack by two Palestinians two weeks ago, thousands of right-wingers on the Internet celebrated his death. The flood of hate posts began after the right-wing Israeli rapper, ‘The Shadow,’ wrote on Facebook that the murder of Lakin, an activist with the ‘Tag Meir’ group, which visits Palestinians who were attacked by Jews, should be a wake-up call to left-wingers. “He needs to be buried in Gaza and people should shit on his gravestone,” posted one on Facebook over a picture of Lakin’s face. “Another dead terrorist,” wrote another. “So it turns out Arabs do good things sometimes.” “For me he is another terrorist.” “Since I really love the left-wing, I want to wish them the same thing,” others wrote.”
Labour veteran Sir Gerald Kaufman claims ‘Jewish money’ has influenced Conservatives
The Jewish Chronicle (U.K.) 28 Oct by Josh Jackman & Sandy Rashty — Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has accused Israel of fabricating the recent knife attacks in the country and claimed the Conservative Party has been influenced by “Jewish money”. Speaking at a Palestine Return Centre event in Parliament on Tuesday, Sir Gerald said that the British government had become more pro-Israel in recent years. He said: “It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives. “There is now a big group of Conservative members of parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does. “They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t care.” Sir Gerald, Father of the House of Commons, then told the audience of 45 people that the Israeli government had made up the recent spate of violent attacks in order to allow it to “execute Palestinians”. The Manchester Gorton MP said “a friend of mine who lives in East Jerusalem” had emailed him with the accusations about Israel fabricating the attacks. Sir Gerald then read from the letter: “More than half the stabbing claims were definitely fabricated. The other half, some were true, the others there was no way to tell since they executed Palestinians and no one asked questions. ” (continued)
Adolf, Amin and Bibi / Uri Avnery
IT IS not very pleasant when serious people around the world – historians, psychiatrists, diplomats – ask themselves if my prime minister is completely sane. But this is happening now. And not only abroad. More and more people in Israel are asking themselves the same question. All this is the result of one event. But people are now looking at many other events – past and present – in a new light. Until now, many strange actions and utterances by Binyamin Netanyahu have been seen as the manipulations of a clever politician, a talented demagogue who knows the soul of his constituents and supplies them with ample lies. Not anymore. A troubling suspicion is getting around: that our prime minister has serious mental problems. Is he losing his marbles? IT ALL started two weeks ago, when Netanyahu made a speech to a world-wide Zionist assembly. What he said was shocking. Adolf Hitler, he pontificated, did not really want to exterminate the Jews. He just wanted to expel them. But then he met the Mufti of Jerusalem, who convinced him to “burn” the Jews. Thus the Holocaust was born. The conclusion? Hitler was not so bad after all. The Germans are not really to blame. It was the Palestinians who were the instigators of the murder of six million Jews . . . This particular utterance of Netanyahu’s was not just stupid, not just ignorant. It borders on the insane. . . .