Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


‘NYT’ op-ed says denial of statehood makes militant Palestinian confrontation inevitable
Jun 23, 2012
Philip Weiss
There is a very smart piece in the New York Times by Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group explaining how bleak the status quo is. Israel’s golden opportunity to make a deal with Abbas has passed, Israelis could care less, Palestinians have lost hope of ever getting a state, and armed confrontation, a third intifada, is inevitable. The piece generally elides the nonviolent option– protest and BDS– but it is very good for its tone. It doesn’t blame the Palestinians for thinking about violent resistance. After all, any other people, promised a state 65 years ago and never delivered one, would be thinking about violence.

Yuval Diskin, the recently retired head of Israel’s internal security agency: “When the concentration of gas fumes in the air is so high,” he said, “the question is only when the spark will come to light it.”
The root cause of this instability is that Palestinians have lost all hope that Israel will grant them a state. Each attempt to exert what little leverage Palestinians possess has been thwarted or has proved ineffective…
The second option is armed confrontation. Although there is widespread apathy among Palestinians, and hundreds of thousands are financially dependent on the Palestinian Authority’s continued existence, a substantial number would welcome the prospect of an escalation, especially many supporters of Hamas, who argue that violence has been the most effective tactic in forcing Israel and the international community to act.
THEY believe that rocks, Molotov cocktails and mass protests pushed Israel to sign the Oslo Accords in 1993; that deadly strikes against Israeli troops in Lebanon led Israel to withdraw in 2000; that the bloodshed of the second intifada pressured George W. Bush to declare his support for Palestinian statehood and prodded the international community to produce the Arab Peace Initiative, the Geneva Initiative, and the Road Map for Middle East Peace. They are also convinced that arms pressured Ariel Sharon, then Israel’s prime minister, to evacuate settlers and troops from Gaza in 2005. That pullout also had the effect of freezing the peace process, supplying “the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary,” as a Sharon adviser put it, “so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”
For more militant Palestinian leaders, who never believed in the peace process, the lesson was clear: “Not an inch of Palestinian land will be liberated,” Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told me, “while Israelis feel that controlling it exacts few costs.”

Latest demographic threat: 43 million Arabs on Facebook
Jun 23, 2012
Philip Weiss
In the Jerusalem Post, Ruth Eglash concedes that Israel is “losing the fight” in public relations and that traditional hasbara no longer works. One reason is the demographic threat of the internet. This is very similar to what former State Department director of policy Anne-Marie Slaughter said at J Street, Everyone on twitter just asks me about the Palestinians. Eglash:

However, what continues to be starkly apparent to me as I interact widely on social networking sites is that traditional hasbara, or the set of arguments used in the past to defend Israel’s right to exist or explain its right to act or react, is becoming less and less effective or believable.
One of the possible reasons for this could be put down to sheer online demographics. A recent study in Israel, which was funded by Google Israel and carried out by the School of Media Studies at the College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS) in Rishon Lezion, showed that while in a general sense Israelis are highly connected digitally, their online activity seems confined to mere socializing. The study showed that the majority of Israelis using social media were in their teens or pre-teens and most preferred their activities to be in Hebrew – not very useful for making Israel’s case to the world.
Additionally, statistics show that Israel is only 44th on the list of global Facebook users, with some 3,486,520 using the social networking site and only roughly 5 percent of the country appearing on Twitter, a platform used more for social action.
In contrast, an Arab Technical News Gateway report from last month shows that the overall number of Arab users on Facebook worldwide has already surpassed 43 million, and on Twitter, it’s more than 1.3 million.

Hundreds protest demolition orders in southern West Bank village
Jun 23, 2012

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Map: Segregated roads: the infrastructure of apartheid
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Hundreds protest plan to demolish Palestinian village
[with video, photos] 972mag 22 June by Mairav Zonszein — Over 500 Israelis and Palestinians from near and far gathered in Susya (southern West Bank) on Friday to protest the Israeli authorities’ plan to demolish the entire Palestinian village. Despite being a peaceful and nonviolent demonstration, the army fired stun grenades, tear gas, and threatened to use skunk water. One protester was injured in the head by a stun grenade and required stitches … The relatively large turnout of support for the tiny Palestinian village was the result of successful coordination between Palestinian individuals and committees from all over the West Bank, including Ma‘sara, Hebron, Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Bil‘in. Abdullah Abu Rahmah, leader of the grassroots, unarmed Palestinian resistance movement to Israel’s security barrier in Bil‘in, was there.  Several Israeli anti-occupation activist groups – among them Ta‘ayush, Combatants for Peace, Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah and Rabbis for Human Rights – organized six buses from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem bringing about 300 Israeli protesters.
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MSM take on it:
Hundreds protest at Palestinian hamlet set for razing
AFP 22 June — Hundreds of Palestinians and peace activists on Friday held a protest at the West Bank village Susiya, which Israel has recently served demolition orders. An AFP correspondent said over 500 people demonstrated at the site, located in the southernmost part of the West Bank, carrying signs against the evacuation and demolition of the 50 structures comprising the hamlet. The Israeli army and border police were present in large numbers, the correspondent reported, adding there were minor clashes between the sides. However, there were no injuries caused or no arrests were made.
A spokesman for Israel’s Civil Administration, the military body that governs areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control, said residents of Susiya hamlet had received the demolition orders last week. The orders were the result of a petition by the right-wing Regavim organisation to the Supreme Court, which argued the structures were built without a permit and therefore illegal. Permits for Palestinians to build in the West Bank are extremely rare and the Israeli authorities routinely issue demolition orders for houses and other structures built without their approval.
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Beit Ommar residents receive seven new demolition orders
PSP 21 June — On June 18th the Israeli Civil Administration issued a new round of demolition orders for structures built on privately-owned Palestinian land in Beit Ommar, including five homes and two wells … One of the condemned wells, owned by farmer Ibrahim Arar, was built just four months ago. The well, which cost him over $15,000 of his savings, enabled him to irrigate his fields and is crucial for maintaining his trees. If carried out, the demolitions will threaten both his plants and his source of income. These demolition orders mark the sixteenth attempt by Israel to expel the residents of Beit Ommar from their lands: Beit Ommar has received 15 demolition orders prior to the June 18th orders. Over the past six months, settlers in Karmei Tzur have built over three hundred new houses while Palestinians are forbidden from building any new structures on their own land.
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IOF soldiers raze houses, animal enclosures in Al-Khalil village
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 20 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed a number of houses and animal enclosures in Rahwa hamlet near Dhaheria town, south of Al-Khalil, at noon Wednesday, locals told the PIC. They said that IOF soldiers escorted bulldozers that knocked down two houses made of asbestos in addition to a number of tents and animal enclosures and other installations.
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Photos: Tractors and water tanks confiscated in Al Maleh
JVS 21 June — On the morning on 21st June 2012 the Occupation forces have once again came to the Bedouin community of Al Maleh and are confiscating water tanks and tractors. More information to follow.
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State seeks High Court extension on Givat Assaf
Ynet 22 June — Government requests another extension on eviction of illegal West Bank outpost in order to review ‘new data’ at Ministerial committee on settlements … The eviction was originally set to take place in July 2012, but the new request sets February 2013 as the first possible date.
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Beit El land deal was based on forged documents, probe finds
Haaretz 22 June — According to documents the wives of head of the Beit El yeshiva and of a National Union MK bought land together from a dead Palestinian.
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Israel settlers agree to leave West Bank enclave
AP 21 June —  Israel’s government said Thursday that 30 Jewish families have consented to leave an unauthorized West Bank settler outpost, suggesting their court-ordered evacuation could proceed peacefully … The Israeli Supreme Court gave the government until July 1 to dismantle the Ulpana enclave, which was built on privately held Palestinian land. Israel considers such construction illegal, while authorizing construction elsewhere on West Bank lands the Palestinians claim for a future state. The five apartment buildings where the settlers live are to be uprooted and moved to a site nearby. The government said in a statement that it would ask the court for three months to move the buildings.
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Ahead of West Bank outpost evacuations, the IDF gets some help from the police
Haaretz 22 June — The police’s operations chief, Nissim Mor, met this week with his counterpart in the Israel Defense Forces, Yaakov Ayish, to work out a deal. The main item they discussed was the evacuation of neighborhoods in disputed areas of the West Bank. One flash point, of course, is the Beit El settlement’s Ulpana neighborhood; it’s unclear whether an agreement with the local residents will be honored or whether newcomers will try to settle there. Another flash point is the settlement of Migron. The IDF is the sovereign power in the territories; the police operate there as assistants. Within the Green Line, the lines of authority are the opposite, as is the case in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which Israel has annexed. But in other places, the lines are unclear; for example, police roadblocks near the border, or areas closed off by an IDF regional commander. Drawing conclusions from past pullouts, the IDF would like to fob off responsibility for uprooting settlers to the police. No thanks, the police say.
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Settlers demand to cancel lecture by Att. Michael Sfard
AIC 22 June — Yehuda Eliyahu of the settlers association “Regavim” sent a letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, Friday, asking him to immediately cancel a lecture on “Innovations in Land Law” by attorney Michael Sfard, scheduled for an upcoming in-service seminar for state attorneys. According to Regavim association Attorney Sfard is unfit for the lecture because he represents human rights organizations.
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Violence / Raids / Arrests / Provocations
PCHR Weekly Report: 10 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers this week [14-20 June]
IMEMC 22 June — …Israeli settlement activities: In the West Bank, on 17 June 2012, two Palestinians were killed by an Israeli settler south of Hebron … On 17 June 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Qidoumim” settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, set fire to an area of agricultural land in Kufor Qaddoum village … On 18 June 2012, Israeli forces handed notices ordering the demolition of four houses in Sha‘ab al-Sair area near ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron … On 19 June 2012, Israeli settlers set fire to Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque in Jaba‘ village, northeast of Jerusalem.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:  Israeli forces conducted 54 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 17 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children….Full Report
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IOF soldiers engage in clashes with civilians in Al-Khalil village
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Doura village in Al-Khalil on Thursday and engaged in violent clashes with civilians, eyewitnesses said. They told the PIC reporter that a number of IOF jeeps stormed the city from three axes as military ambulances escorted by a patrol stationed near a building in Abu Hilal area. The witnesses said that the IOF jeeps roamed the village streets and fired teargas canisters and metal bullets at the villagers who tried to confront them.
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Hundreds of settlers break into Yussef’s Tomb performing Talmudic rituals
NABLUS (PIC) 21 June — Eyewitnesses said that 15 military vehicles stormed the eastern part of Nablus, and headed towards Yussef’s tomb to secure the entry of buses and cars carrying hundreds of Jewish settlers who came to perform religious Talmudic rituals. The sources affirmed that the occupation forces fired stun grenades and tear gas against Palestinian houses in the area. They continued in their rituals till the morning hours, using loudspeakers and loud music during their prayers, caused great nuisance to the residents who threw stones and empty bottles as a response to their provocation.
It should be noted that the Israeli settlers have repeatedly stormed the Tomb which was an Islamic mosque built over a tomb of an Islamic Sheikh named Youssef Dweikat from the town of Balata. It was seized by Israeli settlers just after the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 under the pretext that it contains Tomb of Prophet Youssef.
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Israeli minister’s visit to Al-Aqsa draws fire
RAMALLAH (ArabNews) 23 June — Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch of rightist Israel Beiteinu party, who made headlines last week for racist remarks about Arabs, paid a visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, prompting condemnation from Palestinian religious leaders. According to Aharonovitch’s media adviser, Tal Harel, he went to Islam’s third holiest site to review police deployments in the flashpoint area. He said the visit was a routine tour of the site, lasting some two hours. “The intention of the visit was to see how the police would deploy in case of an emergency,” Tal Harel said.
During the visit, Aharonovitch entered the mosque, which sits in a complex in the Old City known as Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Aharonovitch said the visit was coordinated with Muslim authorities, a remark contradicted by the city’s leading cleric. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein responded angrily, calling the tour a “provocative entry to the holy site, which may complicate the sensitive situation.”
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Jihad proposes formation of popular committees to protect mosques
RAMALLAH (PIC) 20 June — Islamic Jihad movement has proposed the formation of popular committees to protect mosques in face of Jewish settlers’ attacks. Jihad, in a statement on Tuesday, described the latest arson attack on Jaba‘ mosque near Ramallah as a “crime”, and the latest incident in a series of attacks on the Palestinian people and their holy shrines.
The movement charged that the settlers’ attacks were protected by the Israeli occupation forces, and hence held the Israeli occupation government fully responsible for such aggressions.
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Israeli soldier fires gun to terrorize nine-year-old boy
[with video] Elect. Int. 21 June by Adri Nieuwhof — An Israeli soldier fired at a bag to terrorize a nine-year-old Palestinian after the boy was unable to open it, according to a new report. Defence for Children International (DCI) in Palestine has published the report on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children. The report – which covers the period of October 2002 to May 2012 – was submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 4 June … The video above illustrates the behavior of Israeli soldiers and settlers towards Palestinian children. It was made in 2009 and tells the story of 16-year-old Jameel from occupied Hebron. Jameel testifies about his arrest by Israeli soldiers while he accompanied two electricians to his home. Jameel was beaten by the soldiers and taken blindfolded and handcuffed to a checkpoint nearby. He was forced to stand near the checkpoint while a group of 40 to 50 settlers threw stones and brutally beat him. When the soldier in command appeared, he released Jameel. However, he threatened Jameel not to talk about what had happened; otherwise he would personally kill Jameel.
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Palestinian from Jaffa badly wounded in blade attack by Jewish fanatics
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 21 June — Extremist Jewish settlers on Thursday morning stabbed a Palestinian young man from Jaffa city causing him a serious injury. A Palestinian source said the Palestinian young man was stabbed by three Jewish settlers while he was working inside his shop in Rishon Lezion city. The source added that the young man was badly wounded in the upper part of his body and was transferred to Asaf Harofeh hospital. The Israeli occupation police claimed in a press release that that a group of Jews quarreled with the owner of the store and stabbed the young man before they fled the scene.
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The IOF arrest 16 citizens in occupied West Bank
RAMALLAH/GAZA,(PIC) 21 June — IOF troops arrested at dawn on Thursday, 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Local sources in West Bank said that Israeli Occupation Forces have stormed Al-Khalil and Ramallah and Jenin, where they carried out search and raid campaigns that affected dozens of homes before arresting several citizens.
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Occupation arrests three Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Bethlehem
RAMALLAH (PIC) 22 June — Occupation forces arrested two boys at dawn on Friday after raiding their homes in the town of Beit Ommar and Arrub camp north of Al-Khalil in the West Bank, while the third citizen was arrested at a military checkpoint west of Bethlehem in the West Bank.
The occupation forces raided at dawn the towns of Bani Naim and Dora where they deployed in the neighborhoods for several hours.
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PA security arrest 4 Hamas supporters
OCCUPIED WEST BANK (PIC) 20 June — The PA Preventive Security arrested four supporters of Hamas in Al-Khalil and Tubas, including two students affiliated with the Islamic bloc, while the occupation detained an ex-prisoner in PA jails in Tulkarm. Sources from the Islamic bloc at Al-Khalil University stated that the Preventive Security arrested the bloc’s spokesman at the University, Ala al-Zakazik, from Surif town north of al-Khalil, noting that Ala is a liberated captive from occupation jails and was previously detained by PA’s apparatuses during the election campaign of the students’ blocks at the university and was then released thanks to the intervention of the Freedoms Committee … In addition, the preventive security also arrested another student in the technical college of Arroub, Alaa Yousef Halaiqa who is an ex-prisoner in the Israeli jails, after raiding his home in the east of al-Shouyoukh town, his family stated. Meanwhile, the PA General Intelligence  arrested, in Surif town north of al-Khalil, the youth Bahaa Eddin Yousef Ar’ar, a liberated captive who served four years in occupation jails.
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Medics: 1 killed as Israel bombs Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 June — An Israeli airstrike on Friday killed one man in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. Israel warplanes bombed an area east of al-Bureij camp, signaling an end to an Egyptian-brokered truce reached Wednesday. Qassem Abdullah Ahmad, 24, was killed and two people were injured in the strike, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said … In Gaza, the Popular Resistance Committees said the man killed in the attack belonged to their group.
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Israeli forces detain 6 fishermen off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June — Israeli forces detained six fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night, a local official said. Mahfouz al-Kabariti, Chairman of the Palestinian Association for Fishing and Marine Sports, said in a statement that Israeli troops detained six fishermen from three boats near Beit Lahiya … The incident was Israel’s 14th attack on fishermen over the last month, Kabariti said.
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Hamas says ready for truce
GAZA CITY (Reuters) 20 June — Hamas’ military wing said on Wednesday it was ready to sign up to an Egyptian-brokered truce to end cross-border fighting after Israeli air strikes killed eight Palestinians in three days. In a statement, the Al-Qassam Brigades said: “Responding to the Egyptian efforts, we and the armed resistance announce our commitment to stop this round of confrontation as long as the occupation stops this aggression.” Israel had no immediate comment.
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Islamic Jihad ‘committed to truce’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June — Islamic Jihad is committed to a truce with Israel in the interests of the Palestinian people, politburo member Sheikh Nafeth Azzam said Thursday. Islamic Jihad’s military wing the Al-Quds Brigades did not announce any rocket fire into Israel in the recent escalation in violence, although two of its members were killed in an Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza on Monday.
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Militant groups claim rocket fire despite truce talk
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 June — Nine rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday, Israel’s army said … No damage or injuries were reported. Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, fired eight rockets at Israel before midnight on Wednesday, a Ma‘an correspondent said. The Popular Resistance Committee’s military wing, the Nasser al-Salah al-Din Brigades, said it had fired three missiles at southern Israel overnight, but said it will commit to a truce as long as Israel does. A lesser-known Gaza-based faction, the al-Mujahedin Brigades, also claimed responsibility for rocket fire overnight Wednesday, as did the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command, the Jihad Jibril Brigades, Ma‘an’s correspondent said.
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PFLP brigades ‘fired 8 rockets into Israel’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June — Militants in Gaza said they fired eight rockets into Israel on Thursday afternoon, after Hamas’ military wing agreed to a truce overnight Wednesday … Witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire at civilians from a military tower in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. No injuries were reported … Israel had no immediate comment. It customarily avoids responding whenever intermediaries reach an accord with Gaza militants as Israel refuses to recognize them citing the Islamists’ refusal to acknowledge Israel’s existence.
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Remembering Mamoun, killed by an Israeli missile as he played football
Elect. Int. 22 June by Rami Almeghari —  “I can never forget his image with blood all over his little body and both his legs badly injured,” Umm Mamoun Hassouna told The Electronic Intifada as she sat at a relative’s house in Gaza City. “I am a preacher [for women] at a local mosque and used to preach against harming innocent Israeli children, women or the elderly, and even cutting down a tree,” she said.  “After I have seen my son killed by an Israeli warplane in front of my eyes, I wonder what my only son did against Israel [for them to] kill him,” Umm Mamoun added. Thirteen-year-old Mamoun Zuhdi al-Dam was killed on Wednesday, 20 June, during an Israeli attack on Gaza … At approximately 3pm, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at members of a Palestinian family who were having a picnic behind the campus of the University College of Applied Sciences in the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa. As a result, Mamoun al-Dam was killed. His blind father, Muhammad Zuhdi al-Dam, 67, was wounded by shrapnel to the head and the neck. 
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2 killed, many injured by collapse of bombed-out buildings in Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 21 June– Two Palestinians were killed and more than 15 injured on Thursday as the bombed-out buildings by Israeli warplanes collapsed while residents were checking what was left of their properties in Beit Lahya, north of Gaza, according to medical sources. Sources at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya said the site collapsed killing Mohammad al-Khaldi, 23, and Thaer al-Baik, 32, and injuring more than 15 Palestinians.
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Brigades: 2 Hamas militants die inspecting bombed tunnel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June — Two Hamas militants died Thursday after inhaling gas in a tunnel bombed by Israel two days earlier, the Al-Qassam Brigades said. Thaer al-Bik, 30, and Muhammad al-Khalidi, 26, on Thursday went to inspect a tunnel in northern Gaza that was damaged Tuesday by an Israeli airstrike, the brigades said in a statement.
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12 injured in tunnel accident
IMEMC 21 June — Palestinian medical sources reported that twelve residents were wounded, on Thursday before noon, after a siege-busting tunnel collapsed, east of the Sheikh Zayed area in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Quds Net News Agency reported that twelve residents were rescued from the rubble and transferred to Kamal Adwan Hospital suffering moderate injuries. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in similar tunnel incidents, and more than 800 have been injured since 2006.
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Israeli gunboats ‘shell Gaza beach’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 June — Israeli gunboats shelled a beach in northern Gaza late Thursday night, witnesses said. The shelling caused two explosions but not injuries were reported, a Ma‘an correspondent said.
The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired four rockets from Gaza on Friday. An Israeli army spokeswoman said two rockets landed in southern Israel, causing no injuries.
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Collective wedding of seriously injured Palestinians in Gaza
MEMO 22 June — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES The collective wedding of 50 seriously injured Palestinians has been held in the Gaza Strip. Sponsored by an Italian charity, the event took place on Thursday under the heading of “The victory of the will”. All of the grooms who took part are Palestinians who have suffered terrible injuries sustained during Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip. Some of them have serious problems such as paralysis, blindness and amputated limbs. A spokesman for the organising charity and other speakers said that the celebration is a form of defiance of Israel’s punitive measures against the besieged territory.
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A child killed and 5 others wounded due to the accidental landing of homemade rockets on their houses when Palestinian resistance groups launched rockets on Israeli targets
PCHR 21 June — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned about the killing of Hadeel Haddad, and the wounding of five others, as 5 home-made rockets have landed on 4 houses and an empty area of land in several parts of the Gaza Strip in the past few days.  PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to seriously investigate these incidents, and to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilian life and the safety of their property.  According to investigations conducted by PCHR and testimony from eyewitnesses, at approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2012, Hadeel Ahmed Sa‘eed al-Haddad (1.5) was struck in the head by shrapnel while she was standing in the entrance of the house of her grandfather…
In Deir al-Balah, at approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 20 June 2012, a home-made rocket exploded in the vicinity of land belonging to Abu Khattab family on Salah al-Deen Street, south of Deir al-Balah.  As a result of the explosion, Yahia Mohammed Abu Khattab’s (16) left shoulder was wounded by shrapnel…
In Rafah, at approximately 20:30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2012, a home-made rocket landed on the house of Suleiman Abed Rabbu Abu Shabab, in al-Nasser village, southwest of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.  As a result, the house sustained damage and its 15 residents were terrified…
Previously, at approximately 21:50 on Monday, 18 June 2012, a home-made rocket landed on the house of  ‘Azzam Yusef Hamad on al-Qurman Street, east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, 3 of Hamad’s children were wounded
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Amid growing poverty, payment card provides dignity, nutrition for some Gaza families
Gaza City (EI) 19 June by Rami Almeghari — Aida Abu Jabal and Fadel Abuelatta were among the customers shopping at al-Ailat grocery store in the Shujaiya neighborhood in easternGaza City around midday on a recent Monday. It was a perfectly ordinary scene, except that instead of paying for their purchases with cash, they were using their blue Sahtein payment cards. Sahtein — an Arabic expression equivalent to ‘bon appetit‘ or ‘to your health’ — is the name of a card scheme funded by the UN’s World Food Program and administered by the UK-based development organization Oxfam along with the Palestinian group Ma’an Development Center.  “This card has been very beneficial for the past six months. Prior to receiving it, I used to line up in a long queue to get a sack of flour for my five children,” Abu Jabal told The Electronic Intifada as she packed eggs, yogurt, lentils and rice into her bag. “But now, I come every week to this grocery store to buy a variety of things, as you see.”
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Al-Wafa aid convoy arrives to Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 21 June — Al-Wafa 2 aid convoy arrived to the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing, on Wednesday evening, received by several senior government officials and representatives of civil society. Sources at Rafah crossing affirmed that the convoy, organized by the Charitable Association for Supporting Palestinian People (ABSPP) in Italy, includes 23 solidarity activists from Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. Mohammed Hanoun, the convoy’s coordinator stated that the convoy came to complete the Al-Wafa 1 vital projects that were launched from the European continent from 27 February until 2 March to the Gaza Strip, under the European Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Palestinian.
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Latest health hazard in Gaza: water that’s not fit to drink
Brisbane Times 23 June — TOO contaminated to drink and never in continuous supply because of the hours-long daily power shortages, the water in Gaza is causing widespread, chronic health problems and contributing to high rates of child mortality. One of the most densely populated places in the world – its population of 1.6 million people crowds more than 4545 inhabitants per square kilometre – Gaza is in the grip of a water crisis that will affect the health of its residents for years, a new report warns.
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Mysterious policy seeks meaningful explanation for long-term commitment
Gisha — Gaza Gateway 21 June — It was just this week that we discovered that the National Security Council’s plan for easing the closure was never raised for discussion by the cabinet, and we now learn of another instance where an important policy has never came up for public debate. An officer involved in coordination with the Palestinian Authority told the Jewish Chronicle that the purpose of the separation policy is to “stop Hamas from infiltrating the West Bank”. The officer added that, “The two ways of preventing Hamas personnel and ideology from entering [the West Bank] are not allowing commercial ties or movement of civilians”. How does banning the sale of strawberries prevent Hamas from infiltrating the West Bank or how does separating families and forbidding students from travelling stop ideology from being disseminated, especially given this is the age of the internet? This is the third explanation we have heard so far justifying the separation policy and yet still, there has been no public debate about this policy and the impact it has on the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis.
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Hunger strikes / Detention / Court actions
Outrage as Israel breaks prisoner agreement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 June — Prisoner rights group Addameer on Thursday said it was outraged by Israel’s decision to renew the administrative detention of a former hunger striker. Hassan Safadi ended a 71-day hunger strike on May 14 after Israel promised not to renew his detention without charge or trial. Israel’s decision to renew Safadi’s administrative detention by six months “is a blatant violation of the agreement between the prisoners’ hunger strike committee and Israeli officials,” Addameer said.
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Palestinian who went 71 days without food restarts hunger strike after Israel breaches deal to free him
Elec. Int. 21 June by Ali Abunimah — Hassan Safadi, who ended a 71 day hunger strike on 14 May, restarted his hunger strike today after Israel blatantly breached a deal to free him from so-called “administrative detention” in which he is held without charge or trial. Prisoners’ rights group Addameer issued the following urgent release a short time ago: Urgent: Hunger striker’s administrative detention order renewed in violation of recent agreement.
Note: following publication of this press release, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad phoned after visiting Hadarim prison and confirmed that Hassan Safadi has re-launched his hunger strike and is currently being held in solitary confinement in Hadarim.
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Another Palestinian political prisoner near death as the ‘battle of the stomachs’ rages
Mondoweiss 21 June by Ira Glunts — …Akram Rikhawi, who has been on a hunger-strike for 71 days, is in imminent danger of death. Rikhawi is requesting that the Israeli Prison Service release him on humanitarian grounds due to declining health.  Rikhawi, who has long suffered from asthma and diabetes, has been in an Israeli prison since 2004. The Palestinian prisoner rights organization, Addameer, is demanding that Rikhawi be immediately admitted to a civilian hospital so that he may receive the appropriate care. According to a June 20th posting on the Addameer web site: Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) reiterate their grave concern for Akram Rikhawi…
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Political detainees go on hunger strike to demand their release from PA jails
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 June — The families of five political prisoners being held by the Palestinian Authority intelligence agency in Jericho city said their sons went on indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday morning to demand their release. According to the families, Mohamed Al-Atrash, Mohamed Abu Hadid, Othman Qawasmi and Moatassem Natsheh from Al-Khalil city and Islam Hamed from Ramallah city all received release orders from courts more than one year ago, but the PA intelligence agency still refuses to release them from Jericho jail…
In another incident, a number of families in Al-Khalil city accused the PA preventive security of maltreating their relatives and fabricating charges against them. Samar Dweik, the wife of political prisoner Ghassan Karja, said she was able to attend the court hearing of her husband on Wednesday morning and was shocked to see him in a poor health condition. Ghassan Karja and 30 others citizens affiliated with Hamas Movement were kidnapped earlier this month by the PA security apparatuses in Halhoul town north of Al-Khalil.
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Ofer military court renews administrative detention of MP Salhab
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 20 June — The Israeli military court in Ofer on Wednesday agreed to the military prosecutor’s request for renewing the administrative detention of MP Azzam Salhab. Family of the lawmaker told the PIC that the Israeli intelligence officer in Al-Khalil had demanded a two-month extension of Salhab’s administrative custody. The Israeli occupation forces detained Salhab, from Al-Khalil, on 2/3/2011 after storming his home, and his custody, without charge, was renewed for four times.

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