Violence / Detentions — West Bank, Jerusalem
Soldiers kill a Palestinian teen in Jerusalem
IMEMC 30 Nov — Israeli soldiers fatally shot, on Sunday at night, a Palestinian teen in Ein al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Medical sources said the slain Palestinian has been identified as Ayman Sameeh al-‘Abbassi, 17 years of age, and that he was shot with a live round in his chest. Clashes took place in different parts of the town, including Ras al-Amoud and Ein al-Louza, while the soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. The soldiers also invaded Ein al-Louza Specialized Medical Center, and detained the medical staff in addition to inspecting the ID cards of many residents in the center. They attempted to snatch the body of the slain Palestinian from the center, but the residents prevented them, and took him to his family home. The army also invaded the residential building of Sami Rajabi, and searched several apartments, in addition to surrounding the al-Makassed and Augusta Victoria Hospitals, before searching all cars entering or leaving them. Despite Israeli military restrictions, the funeral of al-‘Abbassi was held at midnight, with the participation of hundreds of Palestinians. The residents marched from his home towards the graveyard in Sweih neighborhood, while carrying Palestinian flags and chanting for the liberation of Palestine and the release of all detainees. [nice photo of Ayman on Ma‘an here]
Palestinian man shot dead after alleged attack in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man on Sunday after he allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli police officer near Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesperson said. Micky Rosenfeld said the alleged attacker was a 38-year-old Palestinian from Nablus district in the northern occupied West Bank. Local sources named him as Baseem Abdul-Rahman Mustafa Salah. The Israeli police officer who was injured during the attack is reportedly in light to moderate condition, a Magen David Adom medical service spokesperson said. Witnesses near the scene told Ma‘an that Israeli police shot the Palestinian man at least 11 times during the incident, adding that Israeli forces did not allow medics to reach him.
Photos: Scenes from the funeral of Khalid Mahmoud al-Jawabreh, 19
Mondoweiss 28 Nov by Anne Paq — Hundreds of people attended the funeral on Friday of 19-year-old Khalid Mahmoud al-Jawabreh, killed the day before by the Israeli forces inside Al ‘Arroub refugee camp . . . The mother of Khalid herself helped to carry the body of her son for a few minutes, which is unusual in Muslim funerals. During the funeral, calls for responses to the Israeli attacks were made. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces or settlers, since the beginning of October. Clashes with the Israeli army followed the funeral, and at least one Palestinian was injured in the head. Clashes also occurred in Bethlehem, and lasted until the night. Scores of tear gas canisters, rubber-coated metal bullets were fired at protesters, as well as live ammunition. Several Palestinians were injured, including a journalist and a mentally handicapped person.
Palestinian security officer seriously injured near Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 30 Nov — Palestinian medical sources have reported that a security officer suffered a serious injury in his face, after Israeli soldiers opened fire on a car near Bet El settlement, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah. The sources said the wounded officer Abdullah Rostom Issa, 27, is from Burin town, south of Nablus. They added that the officer was shot in his face, below his eye, as he was in a car, heading home from work. The officer was shot approximately 700 meters way from an area of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths.
In related news, three young Palestinian men were shot with live Israeli army fire in Silwad town, east of Ramallah. Media sources said the soldiers invaded the town, and clashed with local youths, who hurled stones, empty bottles and Molotov cocktails on their vehicles.
5 Palestinians shot with live fire in West Bank clashes
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli forces shot and wounded at least five Palestinians with live rounds during clashes in the northern occupied West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian sources said. A popular committee coordinator, Murad Shtewei, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces shot three Palestinians when they dispersed a march In the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqiliya district. Shtewei identified the three as Majid Jomaa, 46, shot in his lower back, Mohammad Shtewei, 26, in the thigh, and Ayman Rafiq, 40, in the leg.
Another two Palestinians were shot and wounded with live rounds in clashes with Israeli soldiers at Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus [see also next story]. In the last week, two 16-year-old Palestinians have been shot dead at Huwwara checkpoint — one of them by an Israeli settler. The Palestinian Red Crescent said that both Palestinians wounded during Saturday’s clashes were shot in their lower extremities and were in moderate condition. At least eight others suffered excessive tear gas inhalation. The clashes erupted following a march called for by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine to demand that Israel release a number of bodies of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces over the past two months. All five Palestinians injured were taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus for treatment.
Meanwhile, clashes also erupted in the village of Faroun south of Tulkarem when Israeli forces raided the village and closed its entrances. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli forces prevented people from entering or exiting the village, and stormed a number of homes inside the village. Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians during the raid, and detained 17-year-old Ismail Khalil Iteir, taking him to an unknown destination. Soldiers also reportedly closed a gate in Israeli’s separation wall that is used by the village’s farmers to reach farmland on the other side, a Palestinian security source told Ma‘an. He said that Israeli forces claimed to have found an explosive device nearby.
Demonstration at Huwwara checkpoint demanding the return of martyr’s body violently met by Israeli forces
HUWWARA, Occupied Palestine 28 Nov by ISM, Nablus Team — Protesters from Nablus and the surrounding villages gathered in a demonstration on Saturday, November 28th, demanding the return of a young martyr’s body. Alaa Khalil Hashash, aged 16, was killed by Israeli forces after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at the Huwwara checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Monday, November 23rd. At today’s demonstration, two youths were injured by live ammunition, two were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and ten protesters suffocated after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli forces towards the crowd. Furthermore, an ambulance was attacked with tear gas while trying to give medical aid to an injured protester. The Huwwara checkpoint was closed for traffic going out of Nablus during the demonstration, causing a massive traffic jam. Locals stated that the closure of the checkpoint was collective punishment, as Palestinians from the surroundings were being punished for protesters practicing their lawful right to protest. Israel’s practice of withholding the dead bodies follows a common patter of violating both Israeli and international humanitarian law. Israel continues to evade its obligation to return the bodies of dead Palestinians to their respective families.
12 Palestinians shot, injured as new clashes erupt across West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 29 Nov — Israeli forces shot and wounded at least 12 Palestinians with live rounds in the latest clashes to break out across the occupied West Bank on Sunday. In the al-Balou area of Bireh, north of Ramallah, locals told Ma‘an that Israeli forces shot and wounded five young Palestinian men and one elderly man with live fire . . . Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians sustained injuries during clashes between students and Israeli forces at al-Khadouri University in Tulkarem, also known as Palestine Technical University. Medics told Ma‘an that up to eight Palestinians were shot and wounded with live fire during clashes on the campus. One man was shot in his abdomen and in serious condition, medics said, while the others were hit in their lower extremities. The wounded were taken to Thabet Ibin Thabet hospital, including five who were taken there by the Palestinian Red Crescent. The Red Crescent told Ma‘an that another 50 Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation during the clashes, and a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces smashed through the window of one their ambulances. Clashes have broken out regularly at al-Khadouri University since the beginning of October, with students holding regular demonstrations, and Israeli forces storming the campus on multiple occasions.
Arbitrary arrest of local activists as settlers lay siege to Soumud House in Hebron
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine 28 Nov by ISM, al-Khalil Team — Yesterday night [Friday], Israeli forces arrested two activists from the local activist group Youth Against Settlement in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). Illegal settlers, under the protection of the Israeli forces, then laid siege to the YAS center, the Soumud house, trapping everyone inside — Israeli forces stormed the house in the evening around 7 pm, and arrested 16-year old Ahmad al-Azzeh, accusing him of ‘having a knife’. Soldiers also arrested Issa Amro under the accusation of ‘disturbing the soldiers’ and ‘hiding a terrorist in his house’. Issa Amro was detained in a bathroom for more than four hours, with his hands cuffed behind his back and blindfolded. He was interrogated for long periods of time. Whereas Issa Amro was released after more than 5 and a half hours, Ahmad al-Azzeh’s arrest was extended for another 4 days. He has been arrested merely on a soldier’s accusation of ‘seeing him with a knife’. This ridiculous allegation is clearly a means to intimidate the whole group and on the long run force them to leave the area.
After the arrest, settlers from the nearby illegal settlement approached the Soumud house, protesting and demanding Israeli forces to close it immediately. Groups of settlers have been outside the center the whole evening, and even brought mattresses to sleep in front of the house’s door the whole night. Everyone there, thus, was trapped inside without a possibility to leave. The whole time, Israeli soldiers present in large numbers allowed the settlers to do as they pleased, without ever intervening. A group of about 30 settlers camped outside the Soumud house, thus laying siege to it and forcing everyone inside to spent the night there. As of Saturday, 28th November 10:30am, settlers are still outside the center.
Jewish youths tell Palestinian farmers, ‘You’re all Dawabsha’
Times of Israel 29 Nov — Teens from Yitzhar settlement seen on video threatening residents of nearby Madama village in northern West Bank — About a dozen Jewish teenage boys on Saturday shouted racist threats at Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank in footage released by the Rabbis for Human Rights advocacy group on Sunday. The farmers were “all Abu Khdeir,” the youths yelled, in reference to an East Jerusalem Arab teenager brutally murdered by suspected Jewish terrorists in July 2014. The Abu Khdeir trial is ongoing and a main suspect is awaiting his verdict, which is expected Monday. In the video, 12 people can be seen walking in white Sabbath shirts on the side of a hill in the West Bank. Two of the people seem to be older than the rest. As the teens yell the slogans, the adults look on and do not try to stop them. According to the NGO, whose members are rabbis who do not use electronic devices on the Jewish Sabbath, the clip was filmed by an activist identified in a statement by his first name, Zakaria. The clip was filmed near the Palestinian village of Madama, adjacent to Route 60 and north of Yitzhar in the northern West Bank. The settlers can also be heard yelling “You are all Muhammad Dawabsha,” “Dawabsha 2” and “Go to Duma,” references to the terror attack in which three members of the Dawabsha family from the northern West Bank village of Duma were killed when their house was firebombed, allegedly by Jewish terrorists, in an attack that took place at the end of July.
Settlers threaten to burn family of female captive
NABLUS (PIC) 28 Nov — Settlers threatened the father of a Palestinian female captive to burn his entire family as they did with the Dawabsheh family four months ago in Douma village near Nablus. Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that a group of fanatic settlers, escorted by Israeli soldiers, Saturday morning stormed the house of the Palestinian 15-year-old girl Istabrak Nour, and threatened her father to torch the family home while cursing and insulting all family members. Palestinian residents of Douma town gathered in the vicinity of the house for the protection of the Palestinian family. Israeli forces arrested the minor girl Istabrak a month ago claiming that she attempted to carry out an anti-occupation stabbing operation in Yitzhar settlement.
Settlers spray anti-Arab graffiti near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 30 Nov – Israeli extremist settlers late Sunday night sprayed anti-Arab graffiti on a car near Bethlehem; in which they pledged to “kill” Palestinians in the area, according to local sources. Mohammad Atallah, mayor of Beit Eskarya village, south of Bethlehem, said settlers from the nearby illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc broke into the village and sprayed anti Arab graffiti such as, “Death to Arabs” on the car of a local Palestinian villager, before they slashed one of its tires. Furthermore, settlers hung the Israeli flag on vine trees in land belonging to local Palestinians in the area. Atallah said the village has been a frequent target of daily violence by Jewish settlers from nearby settlements.
Israeli army raids, wreaks havoc on Hebron kindergarten
HEBRON (WAFA) 29 Nov – Israeli forces Sunday raided and wreaked havoc into a kindergarten in the town of Beit Ummar to the south of Hebron, according to a local official. Spokesperson of the anti-settlement popular committee in Beit Ummar, Mohammed Awad, informed WAFA that armed Israeli soldiers raided a kindergarten at dawn, after breaking down its main front door and windows. He said that forces further destroyed the furniture, computers, and children’s belongings, as well as ripped up the tiles of one of the classrooms, before withdrawing from the area. Israeli army has reviously carried out numerous attacks, with the deliberate and reckless use of force, against schools and educational facilities across the West Bank, in a serious violation of international law and students’ right to pursue education in a safe environment.
Palestinian woman arrested for alleged stabbing attack
JORDAN VALLEY (PIC) 28 Nov — A Palestinian woman was detained Saturday morning at al-Hamra military checkpoint in the central Jordan Valley after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier. The local activist Dirar Sawafta said that the Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian woman while trying to pass through the Israeli checkpoint along with her husband. The woman was identified as Mariam Sawafta, 20. Israeli sources claimed that the woman tried to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint before being arrested and taken to an unknown detention center, he added. The husband was also detained for several hours before being released. He was then summoned for investigation.
Foreign-born terror victim: I’ll stay in Israel
Ynet 29 Nov by Omri Efriam — Hisorai Taplaya, 31, a foreign worker from Nepal, was stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist on Sunday morning while waiting at a bus stop on Shmagar street in Jerusalem. “It was my day off, I went to Makor Baruch (a neighborhood in Jerusalem) and I was listening to music on my headphones,” she told Ynet. According to her, “Someone came up from behind me and stabbed me in the back. I was scared; I saw blood all over my hand.” Despite the injury, she plans on staying in Israel. Taplaya, who is celebrating her birthday on Tuesday, said she didn’t see anyone who could help her at that moment. “I crossed the street and found a bus driver, he helped me, put a towel on my wound and called an ambulance.” At first she didn’t understand that she had become the victim of a terror attack, “But I understood that it was a terror attack because I have been listening to the news lately.”
Settler who attacked leftist rabbi: ‘If I kill one it’ll be over’
+972 Mag 27 Nov by Natasha Roth — The Jewish extremist accused of attacking Rabbis for Human Rights president Arik Ascherman last month was charged in court two weeks ago with causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife and ammunition. The youth, 17 years old, is suspected of assaulting Ascherman near the settlement of Itamar as the rabbi was assisting Palestinians with their olive harvest. Israel’s Channel 10 news conducted an interview with the suspect, himself from Itamar, after he was released to house arrest last Friday. His back turned to the camera to protect his identity, he accused human rights activists of being the source of tension in his area, saying there needs to be “deterrence.” “If I kill one of them it’ll be over. But that isn’t legal,” he said. “We need to deter them. They need to be made fearful. They need to receive a blow.” Even the Channel 10 report, which does not appear to have sought a comment from Rabbi Ascherman, notes that given the severity of the charges against the youth, it is surprising that he was released to house arrest. The youth’s comments in the interview do little to assuage concerns over his release. So why was he allowed to proceed under house arrest? According to Channel 10, one of the reasons is the fact that he knew members of the Fogel family, Itamar residents who were murdered in their home by Palestinians four years ago . . . Railing against left-wing Jews as being the true threat to Israel is one of the key calling-cards left behind by Rabbi Meir Kahane, a virulently anti-Arab activist and member of Knesset (his Kach party was banned in the late 1980s for inciting racism and violence).
Madness in Hebron: Hashem had no enemies, yet Hashem was hated
CounterPunch 27 Nov by Mats Svensson — He gently took my hand. Almost caressed it, wishing to know how I felt. His gaze created intimacy. His eyes were kind. Both his handshake and his eyes were tender, tender but penetrating. I knew, knew immediately that he had experienced something. Something that had affected him deeply. I had had to climb over the wall from his neighbor. It was partially dismounted. There was no longer a path to the house. Everything was blocked. Directly behind the house, on top of a small hill, was a long house. Israeli flags were draping the windows. I saw a man sitting with an automatic weapon. We looked at each other. He did not seem to like my presence. He was an Israeli settler. He was my host’s neighbor. Within a few meters; one who tries to steal the land and homes, another who just wants to remain. Stay in the house that had been his family home for so long. The settler with the automatic weapon, on the other hand, had not lived there for very long. They came and went. Many did not stay long. Hashem had no enemies. But Hashem was hated, hated by the settlers. Right here, they were planning to continue the expansion. Could wait but did not want to wait too long. It was like different groups of criminal settlers were competing against each other. To win meant to be the one who expanded the fastest. But Hashem’s house was in the way . . . We sit at the table. Hashem begins to talk about the destroyed grapevines and olive trees. Nisreen sits beside him. Has her hand on his shoulder. Supporting him. Now the worry is gone. Sometimes she fills in. Adds where Hashem forgets or misses something important. That time they had also come during the night. The family had a few grapevines and olive trees along the path between the house and the wall. One morning they were all cut off. The roots remained as well as the crowns but in between there was a small gap. One can kill in many ways. The settlers use all the means at their disposal. Some young settler girls came a few nights ago. They rushed toward the house. Shouted ‘whore’ at Nisreen and ‘bastards’ at her children. They screamed like maniacs. For a while, they were on all sides. In the morning, Hashem started clearing up. Washed the walls clean of feces. They had painted Stars of David on the doors. As he cleaned the path leading to the door, with the sawed off olive trees and grapevines on one side, they continued to throw garbage and feces . . . I think about the crazy people who are allowed to continue doing what they are doing. That a few hundred individuals are protected by thousands of soldiers. It becomes so clear that they should not be here . . . A few days ago, Hashem was killed. Hashem did not come home and his wife today mourns her beloved husband. His three children, the eldest of whom is 13 years old, do not understand why their father is never coming back. In the house above theirs, they can hear celebration. Victory songs are being sung while continuing to shout ‘whore’ and ‘bastards’. The soldiers look away. (Continued)
Israeli military offensive in Hebron may be inevitable
Haaretz 27 Nov by Amos Harel — The current assumption is that sooner or later the IDF will launch a large operation in the Hebron region. The ongoing violence and the fact that nearly half the perpetrators of terror over the last two months hail from the Hebron area will compel the army to initiate a showcase move. The army has doubled its troops in Hebron and the surrounding area over the past two months. Hundreds who are suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism and violence have been arrested in Hebron and adjacent villages. Soldiers inspect about 1,500 Palestinian cars daily before allowing them to enter the main roads in the Hebron and Bethlehem region. But the ongoing violence may force the army to do more. A lethal terror attack could push the Israel Defense Forces into imposing a curfew in some neighborhoods of the city and conducting house–to–house searches and mass arrests, even if the IDF General Staff is not keen to do so. “If there’s one thing that keeps me awake at night it’s whether we’ll be able to detect turning points on time,” a senior Central Command officer said this week, when asked if the IDF’s moves are enough to stop the violence. But the government has other worries. The first concerns the political pressure from the right – the settlers, Yisrael Beiteinu, the coalition and even the cabinet. Voices from these quarters are calling for Operation Defensive Shield 2 in the West Bank to end the terror attacks once and for all. The General Staff remains skeptical. If any act on our part could bring about such results, we’d have done it already, officers say. (Continued)
Prisoners / Court actions
Abu Khdeir murder ringleader’s conviction held up
Ynet 30 Nov by Elior Levy & Yael Freidson — Yosef Ben-David, the confessed murderer of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir last year, was not convicted on Monday by a panel of three judges. The panel acknowledged that he committed the charges, but said he could not be convicted at this time because of his mental state. Three Israelis, including two minors, admitted to murdering Abu Khdeir last year. The two minors were convicted on Monday. The next hearing on Ben-David’s sentence was scheduled for January 14, 2016. The boy’s father, Hussein, has said he would not be satisfied with a life sentence, even saying he would turn to the International Criminal Court in The Hague if the sentence is too light . . . The central defendant in the murder is Yosef Chaim Ben-David, a 31-year-old from Jerusalem. The two other defendants are minors. The three confessed to the murder during questioning and agreed to a reenactment. They admitted to beating Abu Khdeir unconscious and then burning him to death using some kind of flammable material poured on the teen while he was alive. The trio’s indictments claimed the murder was intended as vengeance for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens. The indictment also determined that Abu Khdeir’s killers had searched for a suitable victim for three hours before seeing Abu Khdeir at around 4 AM. The boy had decided to go to his mosque to pray. According to the indictment, the two minors held Abu Khdeir, who struggled, until Ben-David ordered one of them to “end him”. One of the minors then strangled Abu Khdeir until he passed out. The group arrived in the Jerusalem Forest, where one of the minors got angry at Ben-David as they were doing most of the work. As a result, the adult took a crowbar and pounded Abu Khdeir while shouting, “this is for the Fogel family” and “this is for Shalhevet Pas” until blood ran down from his head. He also kicked the boy several times while shouting ‘this is for Gilad, Naphtali and Eyal’. They then set fire to Abu Khdeir while he was unconscious and fled the scene. They destroyed the evidence in Sacher Park in Jerusalem, and then went to Ben David’s in the West Bank settlement of Adam, played guitar and went to sleep
Injured prisoners between the injury’s aches and detention pain
[with photos] SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 29 Nov — . . .Since the beginning of October, the popular rise launched and many young men and women were injured due to being assaulted or shot only because they were suspicious of stabbing Israelis. They were arrested despite their injuries and some of them are still receiving treatment under heavy guard and restrictions on their parents’ visits; others were transferred to prison before completing the necessary treatment. Wadi Hilweh Information Center highlighted the injured prisoners through meeting their families. Injured prisoner Tarek Dweik The 22-year old prisoner Tarek Dweik is still receiving treatment at Al-Ramleh prison’s hospital after being transferred from “Beilinson” hospital in Petah Tikva. He was injured on 13/10/2015 after being assaulted by four settlers using iron pipes on his face and head. The police forces arrived at the scene and assaulted him with the butts of their guns resulting in a brain hemorrhage and fractures in the facial bones (jaw, eyes’ cavity). Dweik’s mother said that they were able to visit him last week in Al-Ramleh prison’s hospital for the first time and added: “Signs of the injury were clear; he suffers from continuous dizziness and tends to forget at times. His vision ability decreased in addition to several pains and bruises. He was mostly hit on the head and face.” (Continued)
Free Mahmoud Abujoad!
HUWWARA, Occupied Palestine 29 Nov by ISM, Nablus Team — Palestinian human rights activist and community supporter Mahmoud Abujoad, from the Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem is still in prison waiting to be reunited with his wife and family! Mahmud was arrested on September 9th 2015 whilst traveling with his newly wedded wife to Jordan on a family holiday. He is being charged by the occupation authorities under allegations of throwing stones at a demonstration against Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” massacre in Gaza, more than a year ago. A military judge ruled to release him on bail and his loved ones gathered the money that was needed with your help. However, the military prosecution appealed and the decision to release him was overturned as an act of collective punishment . . . Now, Mahmoud and his family and friends are appealing for support for 5,000 NIS (1,287 US$) for the costs of the lawyer, Khaled Al Araaj, who will be representing Mahmoud at the next court hearing on December 15th. Please donate through PayPal on our website, every contribution matters!
Israel defies international law by holding bodies of slain Palestinians
MEMO 29 Nov — As part of its collective punishment policy against the Palestinian people, Israel has refused to deliver the bodies of 38 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since the beginning of what some are calling a new Palestinian Intifada (uprising), Israel has held the bodies of 48 slain Palestinians, 38 of which remain at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute morgue in Israel. Maisa al-Khateeb is the mother of 17-year-old slain Palestinian Mustafa Al-Khateeb, who was executed in cold blood by the Israeli army near the El-Isbat (Lions) Gate in East Jerusalem last month. She told Anadolu Agency that she has not been able to see her son since he was killed. “My heart is bleeding everyday when I realise that I am warm and my love Mustafa is cold inside a morgue,” Maisa said. “This fact wrenches my heart.” “I want the body of my son to be returned so I can bury him with dignity,” she said, with tears flowing down her face. “I want to hug and kiss my baby, who was stolen from me by the human monsters.” The Palestinian National Committee for Retrieving Bodies of Martyrs said Israeli authorities are refusing to hand over the bodies under the pretext that their families will hold funerals for them, which will serve as a catalyst for “Palestinian violence.” . . . According to official Palestinian figures, Israel is still holding the bodies of 325 Palestinians and Arabs killed during several wars, in addition to the 38 bodies of Palestinians killed in recent weeks. The dead are buried in two Israeli facilities, each known as the Cemetery of Numbers. The first, located in the Galilee area in northern Israel, holds 243 bodies. The second facility in the Jordan valley holds 92 bodies. The Israeli government considers the cemeteries closed military areas and prevents Palestinian and Arab families from accessing them . . . The Palestinian families realise that Israel may want to use the bodies of their loved ones in future negotiations in exchange of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers held by Hamas since the last Gaza war. Mahmoud Ellian, father of 22-year-old Baha Ellian, who was killed last month, told Anadolu Agency that the “Israeli occupation is mistaken in thinking that it can blackmail us by using this card.” “All the families of detained slain Palestinians are in agreement to sacrifice the corpses of their loved ones if the price is the freedom of Palestinian prisoners,” Ellian said.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Closures / Apartheid wall
Israeli court orders Silwan family to demolish two apartments
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) — An Israeli court on Sunday issued a demolition order for two apartments in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, claiming they had been built without the necessary permits. The Siyam family, which owns the apartments, said they were built 21 years ago, and over the course of years they have spent 600,000 shekels ($154,000) in fines to Israeli authorities, in addition to fees paid trying to obtain a construction license. One of the owners, Dawood Abed al-Razzaq Siyam, told Ma‘an that the Israeli judge had given the family two weeks to demolish the apartments themselves. Otherwise, the family faces demolition costs and a penalty fine, while Dawood would be jailed for four months. The two apartments constitute the third and fourth stories of a five-story building. Together, they currently house 13 people, the families of Dawood’s two brothers, Ayyub and Mahir. Dawood said that the first two stories, as well as the fifth story — where he lives with his family of eight — are not included in the demolition order. Dawood said that two weeks earlier he paid the Jerusalem municipality a fine of 25,000 shekels ($6,400) for the fifth floor, but he said that the court was unconcerned by the fact that demolishing the third and fourth floors inevitably meant demolishing the fifth. He said that the judge “insulted and humiliated” him by refusing to listen to his defense, and added that the Israeli “occupation doesn’t want any Jerusalemite in the city.” Dawood said that the judge told him the demolition of his home would be “a gift to the state of Israel.”
IOA to raze 10 homes and structures in Silwan neighborhood
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 28 Nov — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Friday delivered 10 administrative demolition orders against Palestinian homes and structures in the Silwan district, east of Occupied Jerusalem, at the pretext of unlicensed construction. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said that municipal employees escorted by Israeli border soldiers and policemen entered the neighborhoods of al-Bustan and Bir Ayyub in Silwan district and took photos of their buildings and measurements of several apartments and roads. The center added that seven homes received administrative demolition orders during the Israeli campaign. The homes belong to the families of Awdeh, Rajbi, Abu Shafea, Badran and Zeitoun. About 60 people, mostly children, are living in these homes, which were built in the 1990s of the last century, according to the center. Similar demolition orders were also put up on the walls of a fence, a gas station and a commercial facility in Bir Ayyub neighborhood.
Israel seizes residential tents, water pumps in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 30 Nov – Israeli troops Monday confiscated Palestinian-owned residential tents and water pumps in al-Hadidiya and Deir localities in the northern Jordan Valley, according to local sources. Aref Daraghmeh, who monitors settlement activities in Jordan Valley, said an Israeli army force broke into al-Hadidiya area and seized a number of residential tents granted by the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) and the Ministry of Local Government to local Palestinian Bedouins. Forces, during the past couple of days, have demolished a number of Palestinian-owned structures in the abovementioned area. Meanwhile, Daraghmeh said the Israeli military further seized water pumps, used for agricultural purposes, in the village of Deir. Last Thursday, Israeli army demolished residential structures that shelter local Bedouin families in al-Hadidiya.
Olive harvesters driven from lands in Burin
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Nov — Israeli forces, on Saturday, chased Palestinian olive pickers off their land in the town of Burin, to the south of Nablus, according to an official. The Director of fieldwork in Rabbis for Human Rights, Zakaria El Sdeh, informed WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency that forces chased Palestinians harvesting their olive crops in land situated near Israeli settlements illegally built in the area, following a settlers’ failed attempt to attack farmers.
Israel closes road, isolates Palestinian villages NW of Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli forces on Saturday closed a main road leading to Palestinian villages northwest of Jerusalem and prevented residents from entering or exiting the area, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that a checkpoint was set up on the road, completely blocking residents from moving through the area and isolating them from nearby areas. Locals said that Israeli soldiers were also deployed near the villages of al-Judeira and Bir Nabala, preventing Palestinians from traveling to other villages in the area northwest of Jerusalem. Residents of the two villages already face restrictions on movement due to their complete encirclement by Israel’s separation wall. The closure began at 10:00 a.m., after which no pedestrian or vehicular traffic was permitted in or out of the villages. A massive traffic jam resulted from the closures, where hundreds of vehicles were stopped for hours before eventually allowed entry.
IOF expands Zatara checkpoint
NABLUS (PIC) 28 Nov — Israeli occupation forces Saturday continued leveling works to expand Zaatara military checkpoint in southern Nablus on more confiscated Palestinian lands of Yasouf town to the east of Salfit governorate. Eyewitnesses said that a bulldozer escorted by Israeli troops was leveling a land plot adjacent to the location where a hit-and-run attack was carried out last Tuesday resulting in the injury of four Israeli soldiers. The IOF added more cement blocks at the barrier, intensified the deployment of troops, and installed more surveillance cameras, eyewitnesses pointed out.
Like sheep to the separation
Haaretz 30 Nov by Amira Hass — The separation fence in the West Bank cuts off villages from towns, and towns from cities. Now, it is also separating nursing ewes from their lambs — “It’s hardest for the mothers. They bawl the whole time. It takes them about 10 days before they forget.” — The mothers in question are the ewes who gave birth not long ago, and they are bawling because the top brass of the Israel Defense Forces has decided to separate them from their young lambs, which they have not yet forgotten. The speaker is the owner of the flock, Jamal Hanina of Qalqilyah. His sheepfold lies amid Palestinian greenhouses and plant nurseries on the northern side of the separation fence (inside the occupied West Bank, but in a strip that has been annexed de facto for the benefit of the settlement of Alfei Menashe). But his pasture lands are on the southern, “Palestinian,” side of the fence.
Ever since the fence was built about 13 years ago, the IDF has let Hanina and his flock pass through an agricultural gate that is opened three times a day for an hour each time. Three months ago, the IDF forbade the sheep to pass through, but that was before they began giving birth. After a short time, the ban was revoked and the ewes resumed spending their nights in the sheepfold. Last Monday morning, 120 sheep left their pens and crossed through the Habla agricultural gate to get to their pasture. They left behind “19 or 21 lambs, I forget how many,” Hanina said. But when they returned to the gate at noon, they discovered that the orders had changed. The soldiers said they were forbidden to cross . . . Hanina, who is “50, but looks 30,” according to his own testimony, ekes out his living by working also at night as a guard in one of the plant nurseries on the northern side of the fence, near his sheepfold. “We’ve had a flock since my grandfather’s time, since the Turkish era,” he said. “These lands have been ours since long before the fence bisected them. They’re always coming with a new prohibition, a new order. Now, it’s forbidden for the sheep. But the horses are still allowed to cross, and also the donkeys. May it never happen to you.” (Continued, with a description of the 38 gates in the wall for the Palestinian population – and their various Kafkaesque rules]
Palestinian fishermen forces to return to shore after Israeli gunfire
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — Israeli naval forces Saturday opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to local fishermen. The fishermen told Ma‘an that all fishing boats in the area were forced to return to the shore due to the gunfire. No casualties have been reported . . .
Two fishermen sustained moderate injuries after being targeted and shot in the same area earlier this month. Israeli forces often say that Palestinian fishermen “deviate from the designated fishing zone” allotted by Israel to the workers, posing a “security threat.” The limited zone in which Palestinian fishermen are allowed to work has historically fluctuated, and rights groups say that boats are often fired on within the zone. On Nov. 5, Egyptian military forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip.
Palestinian patients suffer as Israeli crackdown on exit permits keeps them away from hospital
GAZA CITY (The Independent) 29 Nov by Donald Macintyre — Nearly a third of applications to travel for medical treatment have been denied this year and reasons are seldom given — Since he was diagnosed in infancy with cystic fibrosis, Mahmoud Kuweifi, 24, has been allowed out of Gaza for regular treatment at Israel’s world-class Tel HaShomer hospital, for whose medical staff he and his family have nothing but praise. “I like them very much,” says Mr Kuweifi, adding only half-jokingly: “If I could claim asylum there, I would.” The warmth with which Mr Kuweifi’s parents describe “the Jews” who have cared for their son would be striking even if they didn’t live in the eastern Gaza City neighbourhood of Shejaiyia, scene of perhaps the worst death and destruction during the 2014 war. His father, Mohammed Kuweifi, 53, a tailor, talks volubly about the kindness and professionalism of Tel HaShomer’s doctors in treating his son’s incurable, but manageable, disease. During the war, he got a call from the hospital to check on how his son was doing. Which is why he is so upset that the young man had to miss two appointments last month because the Israeli military didn’t grant him a permit to cross into Israel. Especially when his fluctuating condition worsens, as it did last Wednesday when Mr Kuweifi suffered stomach pain and vomiting. With his immune system compromised, any infection could be a major threat . . . But Mr Kuweifi’s experience is also part of a pattern. While Israel almost trebled the number of exit permits from Gaza after the war to an average 13,832 per month, that number has started to decline again. And the proportion of permits refused for hospital treatment in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel has also risen. The Israeli military declined to say why Mr Kuweifi had been refused but insisted its “criteria remain unchanged”. Demand for exit permits has grown this year after Egypt closed the southern Rafah crossing for all but 19 days, yet only 69 per cent of medical applications were approved, with 11 per cent or 255 patients denied permits and 19 per cent receiving no response. Reasons are seldom given. Last week the Palestinian civil-affairs committee was told that “companions” aged 16-55 would not be allowed to accompany patients without often protracted security checks, including interviews with Israeli intelligence. It’s tempting to see the rise in denials as a security measure triggered by the recent violence in Israel and the West Bank. But in fact it began in August. (Continued).
Israel imposes age restrictions on companions of Gaza patients
GAZA CITY (Alresalah.ps) 28 Nov — Israeli occupation authorities have imposed restrictions on the age of Palestinians allowed to accompany patients when transferred to hospitals in the occupied West Bank and 1948 Occupied Palestine. Only people of 55 years old and above are allowed to travel to the West Bank and the occupied Palestinian territories. The new restrictions will have impact on many patients, especially children, having difficulties accessing treatment without the escort of their parents and other close relatives aged below 55. The Director General of the Health Minister’s Office, Maher Shamiya, on Thursday slammed the Israeli decision, saying in a press statement that it comes as part of Israeli intents to crack down on Palestinian patients and their families. Shamiya underlined that most of those transferred for treatment in the occupied territories are tumor-stricken patients. “How can a person aged 55 or over assist such a critical category of medical patients?” he wondered.
Gazan accused of killing Italian activist dies fighting for ISIS in Iraq
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 Nov — A Palestinian accused of killing an Italian activist in the Gaza Strip four years ago has been killed while fighting with the Islamic State group in Anbar province in Iraq, Palestinian security sources in Gaza said Saturday. Security sources identified the Gazan as 28-year-old Mahmoud al-Salfiti, also known by his nom de guerre, Abu Khattab. He was arrested by Hamas in 2011 along with three other Palestinians over the killing of Italian solidarity activist Vittorio Arrigoni. The sources said that he managed to escape Hamas custody in June this year and later emerged in Syria, fighting for the extremist Islamic State group. It was reported that he escaped prison while on leave to visit his family for the month of Ramadan. It was not clear how he was able to reach Syria from the blockaded Gaza Strip. Arrigoni was found hanged in a house northwest of Gaza City on April 15, 2011. He had been kidnapped by a group that identified itself as Salafist. Al-Salfiti was one of three Gazans arrested shortly afterward, following a violent standoff with Hamas security forces in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, during which two other Palestinians were shot dead. A fourth Palestinian was later arrested, and together they were tried and convicted of killing Arrigoni by Hamas.
Vittorio Arrigoni, Onadekum (Calling You) – DARG Team
Al Jazeera documentary about Vittorio Arrigoni
Egypt discovers iron tunnel network under Gaza border
Ynet 27 Nov by Roi Kais — Massive network of ‘extremely expensive’ tunnels with 40cm-thick iron walls discovered on Egyptian side of the border, which Cairo claims was built by Hamas and funded by Qatar — Egyptian border guards discovered a first of its kind underground tunnel network made of iron under the country’s border with Gaza on Friday, according to Egyptian security officials. The tunnel was discovered at a depth of 10 meters near the northern part of the Rafah crossing which connects the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian forces destroyed the tunnel using vast quantities of explosives. The Egyptian officials said the tunnels were discovered when water that had been pumped from the ocean to flood the tunnels on the border, as the Egyptians have been doing in recent weeks, failed to seep into the ground. Security officials realized that something must have been blocking the water from being absorbed, and thus discovered the network of tunnels. Egyptian engineering forces promptly began excavations in the area and discovered an iron tunnel at a depth of 10 meters. A quick examination of the tunnel revealed that its walls were made of 40cm-thick iron. The Egyptian officials said that building such a tunnel would be an extremely expensive endeavor. It was later discovered that the tunnel reached 200 meters into Egyptian territory and was presumably still under construction. The tunnel stretched 70 meters into Palestinian territory as well. According to Egyptian intelligence, the advanced tunnel network includes some 17 iron tunnels from Gaza, which are meant to service Hamas and other armed groups in their fight against the Egyptian flooding operations against the tunnels.
QC celebrates wedding of athletes from Gaza
[photo of bridegrooms] Gulf-Times 28 Nov — Qatar Charity (QC) has celebrated the wedding of 20 young athletes in the Gaza Strip as part of its social and relief projects. QC funded the project for the benefit of talented athletes from different sport clubs across the Gaza Strip. It was implemented at a cost of QR120,500 in co-operation with Amwaj Sport. QC’s social and relief projects aim to improve the conditions of the poor and the needy as well as support the youth and help them enjoy a stable life both psychologically and physically, according to a statement. Mohamed Abu Halloub, QC’s office director in the Gaza Strip and supervisor of the project, said: “We wish the couples a life full of faith and hope. QC will continue to support the different categories of Palestinian people.” He also stressed that QC had been supporting athletes in the besieged Strip for nine years.
Palestinian refugees – Lebanon
Palestinians in Lebanon are excluded on many levels
MEMO 26 Nov by Saqr Abu Fakhr — Over three years ago, the International Civil Aviation Organisation issued a regulation that all passports must be issued to a standard unified internationally and be able to be read electronically. The Lebanese authorities made the necessary changes immediately and issued biometric passports with watermarks, but excluded the travel documents issued to Palestinian refugees from these measures; they are still handwritten. This makes these travel documents unreadable by international airport systems, thus hindering the travel of Palestinians to the already very few countries that allow them to enter. It also makes their work permits in the countries they work in less likely to be renewed. In the event that the ICAO insists on enforcing this regulation, starting from the deadline yesterday, 24 November, this will result in a new humanitarian disaster for the Palestinians in Lebanon . . . The image of the Palestinians has changed many times in the eyes of the Lebanese people. Some see them as forced refugees who deserve being welcomed and helped. Others believe that they do not deserve any support because they sold their land and fled their country on purpose, one of the many myths in circulation. In the eyes of the Lebanese Christians they are Muslims, and they are Sunnis in the eyes of the Lebanese Shia. Even Palestinian Christians remain outsiders as far as the Christian community in Lebanon is concerned. Amid the chaos of Lebanese politics, the Palestinians are seen as devils by some groups and as a mercy by rival groups. Many have called for them to be spread around all of the Arab countries, but this is a Stalinist kind of solution. Others, meanwhile, have said that they should be re-settled further afield; this is an evil solution that ultimately relieves Israel of its legal responsibilities. Nothing has changed over the past forty years. The official position is the same as always: no facilitation or ease for the life of Palestinians; rather keep the situation the same so as to push them to migrate elsewhere. This happens on a daily basis, and the Lebanese believe that, in time, the refugee burden on Lebanon will be eased. This is being said openly by people in power. Out of the original 490,000 Palestinians registered as refugees by the UN (UNRWA and UNHCR), only 250,000 remain. At one point, President Elias Hrawi had a Palestinian wife, Mona Jamal; so too did Prime Minister Hariri, Nazik Hariri; . . . Other prominent politicians’ wives were also Palestinians . . . Minister Nayla Moawad’s mother is from the Palestinian Roch family. If those women had an ounce of Palestinian nationalism within them, they would have forced the entire Lebanese government, as well as the parliament, to issue laws and declarations in favour of justice and the Palestinians in Lebanon.
November 29: International Day of Solidarity with Palestine
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Nov — . . . Today, messages from the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority are being seen across the internet. Below is a press release from PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. “Three years ago, 138 countries overwhelmingly voted in support of Palestine’s enhancement of status at the United Nations. The international community made a powerful statement that Palestinian self-determination and freedom trump Israel’s military occupation, and voted in favor of Palestine as a non-member observer state. Three years later, we, the Palestinian people, are witnessing an end to the two-state solution as Israel works to destroy the chances for peace and stability with its systematic and deliberate plans to establish “Greater Israel” on historical Palestine. In spite of the disastrous and alarming conditions on the ground, we extend our gratitude to the members of the international community that have expressed their genuine solidarity with us, courageously stood on the right side of peace, justice and dignity, and actively supported Palestinian aspirations for independence and liberty. (Continued)
Africa: Palestinian flag raised at UN headquarters [in Ethiopia]
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Nov — On Friday, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) — the UN’s biggest entity in Africa — hoisted the flag of the state of Palestine at its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, to show solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people in securing their right to statehood. World Bulletin/Al Ray reports that resident ambassadors of numerous countries, UN and African Union officials, as well as Ethiopian government representatives, attended the flag-raising ceremony that was accompanied by the Palestinian anthem. “On this international day of solidarity, let us reaffirm our commitment to bring about the justice and peace that the people of Israel and Palestine deserve,” said United nations General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon through his representative. “Today, 136 countries recognize the state of Palestine and its flag flies at the United Nation next to those of member states. However, these advances are not felt by children in Gaza or by residents of Nablus, Hebron and east Jerusalem,” he said.
EU official Martina Anderson calls for international protection of Palestinians
IMEMC/Agencies 28 Nov — On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a European Union official, Friday, called for placing Palestine and the Palestinian people under international protection. “Ahead of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people I would like to reiterate my call to place Palestine and its people under international protection, ” said Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, MEP Martina Anderson. “The occupiers will not protect the occupied,” stressed the EU official, according to WAFA. Anderson began her video statement noting that, since the UN resolution which partitioned Palestine, “the right of the people of Palestine have eroded away to nothing” following successive Israeli military aggressions, land confiscation, settlement construction and Palestinians’ freedom restrictions. Commenting on the latest Israeli spree of killings perpetrated against Palestinians, Anderson stated: “Today Palestinians face as much as hardships as they have throughout their history. (Continued)
Jews, Arabs march on Israeli checkpoint to demand an end to occupation
+972 mag 28 Nov by Haggai Matar — Some 300 Israelis and Palestinians marched on the Israeli army’s “tunnels checkpoint” south of Jerusalem Friday to demonstrate against the occupation, against the ongoing violence, and in support of two states. The demonstrators gathered on Route 60, the southern West Bank’s main north-south artery that connects Jerusalem, Beit Jala, the Gush Etzion settlements, and Hebron. For an hour, the demonstrators marched north along the side of the road to drums while chanting political slogans. Israeli and Palestinian drivers passing the protest along Route 60 couldn’t miss the long procession and many reacted — either by yelling and curses, or with calls of support . . . The protest was organized by “Combatants for Peace” as part of its new initiative, “standing together,” an attempt to organize various movements and political parties in the name of Jewish-Arab cooperation against violence and the occupation.
Thousands protest in solidarity with northern branch of Islamic Movement
Ynet 28 Nov by Hassan Shaalan — Thousands protested in Umm al-Fahm on Saturday afternoon in solidarity with the northern branch of the Islamic Movement following the decision to outlaw it. The protest was organized by the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel. Large police forces were deployed to the entrance of the city to secure the protest. Among the protesters were many Arab MKs and hundreds of Arab leaders condemning the decision to ban the group and calling on the Arab public in Israel to continue and expand the protest until Israel backtracks on its decision . . . Police did not say how many people attended the protest, but a Reuters photographer said there were about 15,000 demonstrators in what was one of the largest Arab rallies in Israel in recent years . . . “The entire Arab leadership opposes the outlawing of the Islamic Movement, and it shows in today’s protest,” said MK Jamal Zahalka of the Joint Arab List. “This is a protest of unity. We won’t allow the Islamic Movement to be isolated. Hurting the movement is hurting the entire Arab public, it is a provocation against us. Instead of saying thank you that we’re all participating in a non-violent legal struggle, they outlaw the movement and push parts of our public to illegal activity. The repercussions could be dangerous. This is not just wickedness, but complete stupidity.”
WATCH: Holy Land Custodian launches Christmas season from Jesus’ birthplace in Bethlehem
Reuters 28 Nov — Christian worshipers on Saturday welcomed the Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and other senior priests on their arrival in Bethlehem. The West Bank town is recorded in the Bible as the birthplace of Jesus. Pizzaballa’s arrival in the biblical town marks the beginning of the festive season of Advent, when millions of Christians around the world make their preparations for Christmas. Colorful flags decorated Manger Square outside the Church of Nativity and a marching band played as high-ranking religious clerics arrived in the town. Three Christian denominations – the Armenians, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox – share control of the church in the West Bank town. The Custodian of the Holy Land is the Pope’s envoy to the Middle East. He is the major superior of the friars in the Palestinian territories, as well as in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Rhodes.
Netanyahu: Not one meter of Area C to be conceded
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Nov — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that there are no plans to deliver any lands from West Bank Area C to Palestinians. In a meeting for Likud ministers, on Sunday, Netanyahu stressed that there will be no transfer of land to the Palestinian Authority, “not 40 thousand dunams, not 10 thousand, not one meter,” he said. The Cabinet demanded answers, Sunday, after reports surfaced that Civil Administration, under orders from Netanyahu, was preparing to deliver 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres) of land from Area C to the PA, as a confidence-building measure. According to Al Ray, the Yesha Council also strongly denounced the plan, accusing Netanyahu of giving “concessions” instead of attacking the PA and its leaders who “encourage terrorism.”
No need for West Bank invasion, targeted assassinations, says Ya’alon
Times of Israel 29 Nov — Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday brushed off demands from politicians for a dramatic escalation in IDF operations in the West Bank to end the wave of terror attacks that has killed at least 20 Israelis over the past two months. Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, a longstanding critic of the government’s policy toward the West Bank and Gaza, on Saturday demanded a new policy of “decisive victory,” including targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip against those inciting Palestinians to kill Israelis and ground incursions into Palestinian population centers similar to those that ended the Second Intifada in 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield. Ya’alon, who served as IDF chief of staff during Defensive Shield, rejected the demands as “sloganeering.” “Ever since Defensive Shield, when we again began entering Area A,” the parts of the West Bank that include Palestinian population centers, “we haven’t stopped doing so,” he told Israel Radio Sunday morning. IDF forces “go into Area A. So there’s no need for targeted assassinations. If there’s information about a terrorist in some place, we just go in and arrest him, even in the heart of Area A, in the refugee camp of Jenin or the Qasbah in Nablus. This time we don’t need another Operation Defensive Shield. I love these slogans. There’s no need for divisions [to invade Palestinian cities]. An undercover unit goes in, carries out the arrest and leaves. Such operations take place dozens of times a day.” Ya’alon called for resilience and patience in dealing with the latest terror wave.
Israeli forces shut down 3rd Palestinian radio station
IMEMC/Agencies 29 Nov — This Sunday morning, Israeli military forces issued an order for the closure of a Hebron radio station, the third Palestinian news outlet to be shut by Israeli authorities, this month, in Hebron. The director of of Dream Radio station, Talab Al-Jaabri, stated that soldiers stormed the station, destroying equipment and damaging offices. Al-Jaabri said, according to the PNN, that the military told him the radio station would be closed for six months, due to “incitement against Israel.” Earlier this month, the army shut down Radio Hebron and Al-Huriya, two other Palestinian radio stations which have been accused of broadcasting anti-Israeli content.
Israel suspends EU role in peace process with Palestinians
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 29 Nov by Ori Lewis — Israel said on Sunday it was suspending contacts with European Union bodies involved in peace efforts with the Palestinians after the bloc started requiring the labeling of exports from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the foreign ministry to carry out “a reassessment of the involvement of EU bodies in everything that is connected to the diplomatic process with the Palestinians”, a ministry statement said. “Until completion of the reassessment, the Prime Minister has ordered a suspension of diplomatic contacts with the EU and its representatives in this matter.”