Mondoweiss Online NewsLetter


Bloomberg backs Brooklyn College over BDS event as another official withdraws funding threat
Feb 06, 2013
Alex Kane

BC Press Conf
Supporters of Brooklyn College’s Students for Justice in Palestine held a press conference yesterday to speak out against the attacks on the group’s panel (Photo via @ReclaimLanguage)

The tide has suddenly turned hard against opponents of the Students for Justice in Palestine-organizedevent that is set for tomorrow night at Brooklyn College. Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly denounced attempts by legislators to threaten the college with funding cuts over the event and also came out in support of the Political Science Department’s right to sponsor the event–a position that puts him to the left of the initial position that some members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus took. Additionally, that group of progressive politicians, organized by Rep. Jerry Nadler, backed off from their pressure on the Brooklyn College Political Science Department, while another progressive who had signed on to a separate funding threat letter authored by Councilman Lew Fidler withdrew his name.
Bloomberg made the remarks defending Brooklyn College earlier today. “If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea,” he bluntly said, according to a report by Dana Rubinstein in Capital New York.
Bloomberg, an ardent Zionist who flew into Israel as the country waged a punishing assault on the Gaza Strip, emphasized that he “violently” opposed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israeli human rights violations. But he also said that he “could not agree more strongly with an academic department’s right to sponsor a forum on any topic that they choose.”
Bloomberg continued by saying:

“The last thing we need is for members of our City Council or state legislature to be micromanaging the kinds of programs that our public universities run and base funding decisions on the political views of professors. I can’t think of anything that would be more destructive to a university and its students. The freedom to discuss ideas, including ideas that people find repugnant, lies really at the heart of the university system. And take that away, and higher education in this country would certainly die.”

The New York City mayor also jabbed political opponents of the BDS movement for bringing more attention to the event that it would have gotten without the controversy. “If they just shut up, it would have gone away,” he said.
Even more striking is the new letter issued by the very same group of progressive politicians who initially demanded that the Political Science Department rescind its co-sponsorship of the event. The first letter from this group, which included signers who were members of the Progressive Caucus in the New York City Council, demanded that “Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department…withdraw their endorsement of this event.” (In fact, the department did not “endorse” the event–they explicitly and repeatedly said they agreed to co-sponsor, and not endorse.) But their new letter, posted by Brooklyn College Political Science Professor Corey Robin, backs off. The demand directed at the department now seems to be gone. Instead, they write:

The Political Science Department has put in writing its policy for considering co-sponsorship of student-organized events, making clear that requests from “any groups, departments or programs organizing lectures or events representing any point of view … will be given equal consideration.” However, as has been clear in this instance, the departmental practice of co-sponsorship of specifically student-organized events has caused real confusion among students regarding intent and endorsement of views (as evidenced by Student Body (CLAS) President Abraham Esses’ “Open Letter” in this regard). We, therefore, believe that the policy would be strengthened greatly by the explicit inclusion of language that you and the Department have used on this case – that sponsorship does not imply endorsement.

It’s not a direct repudiation of their earlier letter–you have read between the lines. But these progressives are quietly backing off from their pressure on the Department’s co-sponsorship of the event. (Still, the progressive letter continues to distort the BDS movement by claiming that “advocates of the BDS movement have called for a boycott of Israeli scholars.” In fact, the academic aspect of BDS calls for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions–and not individuals just because they are Israeli.)
Relatedly, a Councilman who was among the signers of the Nadler letter, Stephen Levin, has withdrawn his name from a separate letter written by City Council Assistant Majority Leader Lew Fidler that threatened the college’s funding over the event. Levin’s withdrawal makes him the second legislator to back off from the funding threat, after Councilwoman Letitia James, another progressive official, withdrew her name as well. That leaves eight Council members who have left their names on the Fidler letter.

I have withdrawn my name frm City Council ltr on funding 4 BK College. I maintain my criticism of BDS & impression of BK College endorsement
— Stephen Levin (@StephenLevin33) February 5, 2013

All of this comes a day after Students for Justice in Palestine organized a press conference to speak out against the “escalating attacks” on their event. Donna Nevel of Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! was there to show her support, and said:

I am pleased to be here today to have the opportunity to speak out in support of Students for Justice in Palestine and all those at Brooklyn College and across the city concerned with ensuring that bullying and intimidation do not succeed in denying students and others the right to engage in critical examination and inquiry of important political ideas.
What we have seen happening here is yet another example of an attempt to suppress and vilify voices critical of Israel and Israeli government policies, a pattern that has become far too common in this city and nation-wide.
It’s bad enough that Alan Dershowitz and Dov Hikind have engaged in a smear campaign. We’ve come to expect that. But city council members who threaten to take away city funding merely because they disagree with the views expressed on a college campus should be ashamed of themselves and should be held accountable for trying to interfere in this way. And they must not prevail.

Nevel also strongly defended the BDS movement:

About the topic that has become so controversial and caused so much condemnation–it needs to be made clear that Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is a non-violent response to the Israeli government’s violation of basic principles of human rights and international law. It is, in my view, those violations that should be condemned, not strategies such as BDS that are designed to put an end to those violations, and the injustices that they inflict on the Palestinian people.

The entire controversy continues to garner media coverage. The chair of the Political Science Department, Paisley Currah, has authored a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education defending the event and calling out the hypocrisy of the panel discussion’s opponents.
And this morning, Democracy Now! had on Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian BDS activist who is one of the speakers at tomorrow’s event, and Glenn Greenwald. Watch it here:
Update: This post has been altered slightly to clarify the difference between the Lew Fidler letter and the letter organized by Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

CalPERS requests UN roundtable on ‘responsible investing in the Middle East’ as it begins to engage Veolia and Elbit over ties to occupation

Feb 06, 2013
Adam Horowitz
More big news on the BDS front as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the country’s public largest pension fund, has responded to activist pressure to divest from companies benefiting from the occupation. Industry newspaper Pensions and Investments reports the fund has begun to engage Veolia and Elbit Systems over ties to the Israeli occupation, and is pushing for a discussion of “responsible investing” in Israel/Palestine at an upcoming U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment meeting in October, 2013:

Institutional investors increasingly are inserting themselves into the Israel-Palestine dispute as they grapple with the thorny question of divesting their stock in some companies doing business in the occupied territories.
The new thrust comes as the controversy over Israel’s occupation of the land it seized from its Arab neighbors after the 1967 Six-Day War is heating up. On Jan. 31, United Nations human rights investigators called on Israel to halt its program to build Jewish settlements in the occupied territory and withdraw settlers, saying Israel was violating international law.
Recent examples of action by institutional investors include:
Staff at the $253.2 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento, the nation’s largest defined benefit plan, have an ongoing dialogue with French conglomerate Veolia Environnement SA and Israel-based military and electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. about their operations in the occupied zone. CalPERS owns $31 million of Veolia stock and $2.4 million of Elbit.
Veolia has operated a landfill catering to Jewish settlements in the occupied zone and built a light rail system that connects the settlements to Jerusalem. It also operates buses in the occupied territories that have excluded Palestinians under the orders of the Israeli military.
Elbit has installed monitoring equipment on a wall more than 400 miles long in the occupied territory that Israel says is designed to stop suicide bombers by limiting Palestinian access to the area through checkpoints. Palestinians say the wall prevents them from having free access to their land. . .
“It is an entanglement of foreign policy (which is) beyond us being able to solve,” said Anne Simpson, CalPERS’ director of global governance. Ms. Simpson said given the complexities of foreign policy issues in the Middle East, she has asked officials at the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment to hold a round table on responsible investing in the Middle East at its next signatory meeting, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in October.
Ms. Simpson said PRI officials have been receptive, but the final agenda has not yet been set.
The PRI’s guidelines on corporate behavior in war-torn or conflict-driven areas, posted on the organization’s website, say companies should act as responsible corporate citizens and do no harm in their dealings there.
Ms. Simpson said CalPERS’ staff began discussions with Veolia and Elbit after the Israel Divestment Campaign, an activist group of CalPERS and CalSTRS participants concerned about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, asked the CalPERS board in December 2011 to divest the pension fund’s holdings in those companies.
Ms. Simpson said both Veolia and Elbit have given detailed responses to allegations of human rights violations and “state that their operations in Palestine are consistent with international law.”
She said CalPERS is continuing the engagement process with the companies and is in the process of giving them an opportunity to respond to the Israel Divestment Campaign’s contention that they continue to violate the rights of Palestinians.

The Israel Divestment Campaign which has been working to pressure CalPERS issued the following statement:

Campaign Update:
CalPERS Responds to Divestment Petition
Asks UN Body to Consider Mideast Investment Concerns
In December 2011, more than 5,000 California taxpayers, including almost 900 members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), appealed to CalPERS to divest its holdings in corporations that enable and profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Following the Israel Divestment Campaign (IDC) petition presentation, CalPERS initiated a yearlong series of discussions with IDC and began its own policy-driven “engagement process” with two of the five companies targeted by IDC: Elbit Systems Ltd. and Veolia Environnement‡.
Even as this engagement process and the conversations with IDC continue to unfold, CalPERS has responded meaningfully to IDC’s concerns by requesting that the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI) network of investors convene a session on responsible investing in the Middle East during the October 2013 Signatory General Meeting in Capetown, South Africa. This gathering will bring together many of the 1,144 investment managers, asset owners and professional service partners from around the world who have committed to the general principles embodied in the UN PRI initiative.
We are pleased that CalPERS, which was one of the original, “drafting” signatories of the UN PRI in 2005, has initiated this proposal and that the UN PRI staff has committed to include the session on the forthcoming Capetown agenda. Although this may not bring immediate investor sanctions against corporations complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights, it places the issue before this international body. It also puts corporations like Caterpillar, Elbit and Veolia on notice that citizens of California are watching, along with others from around the world.
Indeed, the international community is not only waiting and watching, but as reflected in the UN Human Rights Council report of January 31, 2013, has called on private companies to assess “the human rights impact of their activities and take all necessary steps — including by terminating their business interests in the settlements — to ensure they are not adversely impacting the human rights of the Palestinian People.” One way of doing that, of course, is to call on investors like CalPERS and Cal STRS to use their standing to pressure these corporations, which is precisely what the Israel Divestment Campaign has been doing.
Be sure to check back regularly to follow IDC developments as we plan the next stage of our campaign. You can help us expand the campaign by bringing divestment discussions to your social justice and faith–based organizations, your campuses, your children’s schools, and even your next door neighbors.
‡ For information about the complicity of Elbit and Veolia in human rights violations, visit the WhoProfits website (


Israel holds Palestinian activist in solitary confinement to interrogate him about Facebook activity following ‘Real Democracy’ election campaign
Feb 06, 2013
Adam Horowitz

Watch more Palestine videos on Frequency

From the Times of Israel:

Galib Ishtewi, a 21-year-old student from the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum east of Nablus, told the Times of Israel that some 15 Israeli soldiers stormed his home on January 25, accusing him of stone throwing following a weekly protest organized by Fatah in the village. He said he was watching TV when soldiers entered his home and detained him and his 11-year-old brother.
Upon his arrest, Ishtewi was asked about his activity on Facebook and that of his fellow villagers. When he denied being active on the social media site or participating in the demonstration, he was taken to the nearby Ariel police station for further interrogation. There, a police interrogator again questioned him about his online activity . . .
Ishtewi told the Times of Israel that he had “friended” a number of Israeli activists on Facebook and called on them to boycott the Israeli elections, which he considered “biased.”
Following his questioning in Ariel — where he refused to admit any Facebook activity — Ishtewi was imprisoned for four days — the first two of which were in solitary confinement — and received no access to a lawyer.
“I’ve never been arrested before,” he told The Times of Israel. “Never before was anyone in my village asked about their Facebook activity.”
Responding to an email query by the Times of Israel, the IDF spokesman’s office said on Tuesday that Ishtewi “was arrested on Friday afternoon during the course of a violent and illegal riot. Security forces apprehended the suspect because he was hurling stones.”
But Ishtewi denied that allegation, arguing that, strangely, the soldiers who entered his home already knew his name when making the arrest.
Shimri Zameret, an Israeli activist who knew Ishtewi from Qaddum, said he was shocked to learn about the arrest just three days after the elections.
“We were scared. This looks like a very clear message; the army is scared of a peaceful third Intifada like the one in Egypt, where social media played a key role,” he said.
Zameret said that Ishtewi had given a number of interviews to foreign television stations.
“I can’t be 100% sure that he was arrested because of Facebook; but if I at first suspected that, after hearing about his interrogation, I now assume that is the reason,” Zameret said.

For more on the Real Democracy campaign see ‘This is an act of refusal, a democratic rebellion’: 2,000 Israelis offer their vote to Palestinians living under occupation.


Life under the F16s in Gaza

Feb 06, 2013
Rawan Yaghi

2012 11 22 2311
The AbuKhadra governmental buildings after they were targeted in operation Pillar of Cloud   Nov 21, 2012 (Photo:Rawan Yaghi)

With F16s, it’s a scary roar like someone is mocking sounds in a water well. It also depends on the altitude of the plane, sometimes a high pitched roar, others a low distant one. F16s are harder to spot than drones or Apaches because they are always ahead of their roar. And since you never know where the plane is going and since buildings in Gaza are crammed into Gaza, you rarely get to see the metal falcon. I saw the plane once, of course Israel has many of them but I guess they all look the same.  I think the sound of F16s flying by is quite similar to normal passenger planes when taking off, not that many people in Gaza know how a passenger plane sounds when taking off. However, in Gaza people know something is wrong and that the pilot is practicing for future preys. Now the sound of the jet flying by is no problem as long as it doesn’t drop anything.
I don’t remember many raids done using F16s from my childhood, but my recent years as a teenager, and while still calling myself child, were full of them. At first, as I remember,  they used to conduct a lot of mock raids. A mock raid is far more scary than any sudden sound you’ve been startled with. Out of nowhere, a sudden blast jumps in, leaving your ears almost pierced and your heart running as quickly as it can.  You’d think it’s a real raid nearby, so you run for cover. Fortunately, your racing heartbeats and your pale face are your only injuries. In 2005, four people were reported dead because of these mock raids and panicking because of other raids on the Gaza Strip. The four had chronic diseases; heart conditions, blood pressure, diabetes. Other people were brought to hospitals when their ears started bleeding as a result of the sound pressure. In addition, hundreds of children and women were carried to hospitals as panic injuries. Mock raids are fine, as long as the plane doesn’t drop anything!

slmya2 copy
Dr. Nabeel Abu Silmeyya’s house July 12th 2006

When F16s drop something, which happens more often than mock raids and sometimes more than just passing by, the damage is shattering. Let me recall some of the attacks conducted by F16s, those that I remember. I was fourteen when the AbuSelmeyyas’ house was attacked by an F16 air strike. My body shivers as I write this. The attack killed the father and mother and seven of their children, Nasrallah 4, Aya 7, Yahya 9, Eman 12, Huda 14 who was my classmate in primary school and who had the most angelic voice I’ve ever heard, Sumayya 16, and Basma 17, leaving Awad, 19 at that time, injured and alone.  Fourteen  others were injured in that attack, since the house was located in a heavily populated neighborhood, not very far from where I live. The attack attempted to assassinate leaders of militant groups. However it failed. In October last year, The Israeli court in Jaffa refused to give any compensations to the relatives of the family and the only member if the family left, saying the house was targeted during a “combat operation”. I wasn’t allowed to see any news about the attack. I only heard some news about it. And I learned about Huda in the morning. I heard from my brother that day that the bomb was directly dropped on the room where the mother and the children were. I also heard about their body parts being found in the buildings next to their house. I was only fourteen. What did I know.

images 1
Gaza Massacre 08-09

Another attack, which is more recent, is the attack of the AlDalous’ house.  An F16 targeted the house while it was full of children and women. I had no electricity that day, and I was listening to the radio trying to figure out what the last huge explosion was.  The attack took the lives of four siblings, Sarah 7, Yousef 4, Jamal 6, and Ibrahim who was nearly a year old, in addition to their grandmother Suhaila 73 and their mother and aunts, Samah 27, Raneem 22, and Tahani 52. Two neighbors of the family were also killed, grandmother and grandson, Ameena AlMzannar, 81, and Abdallah Al Mzannar, 18. Four days after the attack and after digging in the rubble of the three story house which was dug to a hole in the ground by the attack, two other bodies were found. One belonged to Mohammed Al Dalou, 29, and the other was his sister Yara, 17. This house is also located in Al Sheikh Radwan area not very far from the first one I mentioned and not very far from where I live.  The explosion was very huge that so many people in that neighborhood couldn’t breathe when the smoke sneaked into their houses and nine were injured. The houses around the Al Dalou house were also damaged.
F16s are usually used to destroy targets that are very important for Israel. During the latest attacks, Israel used them to destroy civilian houses and to target empty farm lands. They were used to destroy a Palestine playground, two extremely important governmental buildings with more than five rockets each in addition to other police stations. Many houses were warned by drone rockets 5 minutes before F16s practically blew them to pieces. Residents of these houses may get injured on the way out or in the street while running away from the house. Many families weren’t warned. The house would be targeted while civilians are still inside.  And the attack would end up killing half or all of the family members, as in the Hijazi family when an attack killed the father and his children, with their mother left severely injured.
The damage caused by F16 explosives is incomprehensible. The house targeted is completely destroyed and turned to rubble. Sometimes, if the plane dropped more than one bomb, like the AlRayyan family attack in Operation Cast Lead, a whole block would be destroyed. Houses around would be partially damaged, losing front walls and having bricks falling on their residents . The glass of the windows of the houses in a range of 50 meters around the house breaks and injures people inside. If the target is an empty lot, a huge hole is left after the attack, leaving houses around with broken windows and dirt all over their walls. Sometimes, houses around are not that strong. When they don’t have concrete roofs, and have tin roofs, they collapse or at the least the roof flies away, even if the target was empty land. If the target is farm land, trees die. The land becomes unfit for cultivation for several years.
The psychological effect the planes leave is also devastating. Like I said, the explosions are sudden and very loud. During the latest offensive, we couldn’t hear the planes before they dropped their bombs. The impacts cause earthquake like effects. The houses start shaking back and forth, the windows and mirrors shiver, and sometimes you hear your bed moving too. Sometimes, we would hear the whoosh of the bomb while it’s falling and wait for the explosion to rock the ground. Other times we heard nothing. Only the ground shook. Since at times the ground shakes before the explosion, the sound is never as loud as you expect it to be. It’s always louder. And you blink or jump from your seat no matter how many times a minute an F16 drops a bomb. After a number of days of incessant loud explosions and air pressure pressing on your ears and making sure you’re still alive every five minutes, you start cursing Israel, the US government, your political leaders and everyone participating in the daily act of terrorizing you.

Israeli police give Jerusalem family 10 minutes to evacuate before demolishing their home
Feb 06, 2013

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Threats to non-Jewish sites
Israeli bulldozers demolish residential shed north of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (WAFA) 5 Feb –Bulldozers of the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished on Tuesday a residential shed in Al-Ashqariyeh area in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of Jerusalem, under the pretext of “building without permit,” according to the owner. Ibrahim al- Kiswani told WAFA that Israeli bulldozers, protected by Israeli police, entered the area at dawn, surrounded the house and gave the family of six members 10 minutes to evacuate the shed before demolishing it over its contents. Kiswani said he had paid more than $160,000 trying to obtain a permit for his 170-square-meter home, which houses him, his wife and his four children, whose ages fall between 8 to 12. Kiswani’s 10-year-old child said, “I am very sad because the Israeli forces destroyed our home where we grew up without giving us a chance to get out our stuff, clothes and computer, which we used for fun and school.”
link to
Israel bulldozes West Bank homes: VIDEO
Al-Akhbar 5 Feb — Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday demolished two West Bank homes under the pretext that they were built without permits, local media reported … In the same neighborhood [Al-Ashqariyeh] later Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished a building housing 30 members of the Castero family. One of the residents, Mohammed Saleh Castero, said that the 420 square meter, two-story building included four apartments. He added that the family was given a 50-day demolition notice, and was unable to secure a permit in that time … Roughly 94 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits are rejected, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The group estimates that Israeli authorities have demolished about 27,000 Palestinian structures in the West Bank since 1967. Ziad Hamouri, Director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Human Rights, told WAFA that Jerusalem in particular is witnessing a “demographic war” by the occupation forces to make Palestinians a minority.
link to
Israeli municipality hands Jerusalem residents demolition order
JERUSALEM (WAFA)  4 Feb — Crews from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Monday handed a number of residents in a building in al-Sawwanah neighborhood in East Jerusalem a demolishing notice, said witnesses. Chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, and one of the residents told WAFA that Israeli authorities pasted demolishing notices at all the doors of all apartments, without specifying a date or a deadline, under the pretext of construction without obtaining a permit. Sabri said that the families living in the 16-storey building which houses about 80 individuals will be appointing a lawyer to represent the case against the Municipality’s arbitrary rule.
Meanwhile, Israeli police handed several residents in the town of Anata northeast of Jerusalem demolition notices of houses, stores, and cattle sheds. One of the town’s residents told WAFA that Israeli police raided the town and handed about 20 demolition notices under the pretext of construction without permits. The police gave the residents until February 19 to appeal the decision of the Municipality. Witnesses pointed out that the town has been witnessing land confiscation and homes demolition in order to build and expand illegal nearby settlements.
link to
Changes in Jerusalem police brass bring crackdown on Arab residents
Haaretz 4 Feb — Changes at the top of the Jerusalem District police are being felt in the eastern part of the capital. Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem have complained that the police, under New district commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Prienti, have been implementing an almost declared policy of collective punishment against neighborhoods considered too disruptive. Two weeks ago such an enforcement/punishment operation ended in Isawiya in north Jerusalem, and a week ago a new operation started in Silwan. The operations included numerous arrests, roadblocks to inspect vehicles, tax collection, house demolitions, shutting off water, various fines, searches and random checks of identification, and more. Residents said police officers and commanders have admitted to them that in practice it is punishment in response to rock-throwing and other disturbances.
link to
IOA deprives 20,000 Jerusalemite children from reuniting with their families
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 4 Feb — The Israeli occupation authorities (IIOA) have deprived more than 20,000 Jerusalemite children from the right of reuniting with their families in occupied Jerusalem. The secretary general of the Islamic Christian commission for supporting Jerusalem and the holy shrines, Dr. Hanna Issa, pointed to a sharp rise in the number of Palestinians who were denied residence permission in occupied Jerusalem. Issa, a professor in international law, said in a press release on Monday that Israel was exerting all efforts possible to reduce the number of Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
link to
Army to demolish structures near Nablus
IMEMC — Tuesday February 5; Israeli soldiers invaded Sabastia town, northwest of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and handed several residents military orders demanding them to demolish structures built in their town and property. Nahedh Riziq, one of the residents who was handed a demolish order for his two-story building, stated that the army and employees of the ““Construction and Planning Committee” invaded the town and handed him an order demanding him to demolish his restaurant under the pretext that it was built without a construction permit … Army informed the residents that they have three days to demolish their own property; otherwise the soldiers will demolish the properties and bill the owners.
link to
Haj Sami Sadeq and the struggle for Al Aqraba
Pal. Mon. 5 Feb — Al Aqaba is a small Palestinian village located in the northern Jordan Valley, home to around 300 residents.  Since 1999 Haj Sami Sadeq has been the mayor of this town, facing a constant struggle against the Israeli forces and authorities. Al Aqaba is located within Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli military and civil control. Like many other villages in Area C the land on which Al Aqaba resides has been designated as an Israeli military firing zone. Training within the village of Al Aqaba with live ammunition, which has been occurring since the beginning of the occupation has become commonplace.
link to
Israel to demolish 10 homes in Jordan Valley
JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 5 Feb — Israeli forces Tuesday handed 10 Palestinian families demolition notices of their homes in the Jordan Valley, said an official. Aref Daragmeh, head of Wadi al-Maleh village council, told WAFA that the Israeli soldiers informed the families living in Wadi al-MalehEin Hilwa, and Al-Hammamat to leave their homes because they want to them. This is not the first time these families, which are mainly children, women and elderly, have been forced to leave their homes to make room for army training, said Daragmeh. He pointed out that last month the demolitions in AL-Hammamat area were very hard and brutal on residents, especially in this cold weather.
link to
Who’s really taking over the Negev?
Haaretz 6 Feb by Moriel Rothman and Yariv Mohar — The Bedouin are often portrayed as foreign invaders bent on seizing control of Israel’s Negev Desert, but Zionist history suggests a different narrative — …The myth of the takeover of the Negev Desert is being spread by an orchestrated campaign of supposed facts and biased research suggesting that the Bedouin are invaders — nomads who not very long ago came from Saudi Arabia or the Sinai Peninsula and are not native inhabitants of the Negev. The people behind this myth claim they are speaking in the name of Zionism and against its opponents … But to see how ungrateful and ungracious Israel’s attitude toward the Bedouin is today, you need only peruse the writing of Zalman David Levontin, a Zionist activist and leader from the beginning of the First Aliyah, or Jewish immigration to Palestine around the turn of the 19th century. In his book “To the Land of Our Fathers,” Levontin writes about the encounters between the first Zionist immigrants and the Negev Bedouin. It turns out that even before Theodor Herzl wrote “The Jewish State,” the Bedouin had invited the Zionist immigrants to settle alongside them. Today, though, the descendants of these Jews are brazenly calling the Bedouin “invaders,” and doing so in the name of Zionism. … 
link to
Israeli MK storms al-Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 Feb — MK Moshe Feiglin, from the Likud Beiteinu party, stormed Al Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday at 1:30 pm, guarded by the occupation forces, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage reported. Al-Aqsa mosque witnessed a state of alert by the occupation forces, while hundreds of Muslim worshipers, Jerusalemites, residents of 1948-occupied territories and students gathered in al-Aqsa mosque Squares expressing their anger and rejection of such raids. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces arrested five of Jerusalemite female students; three of whom were arrested in the morning while the other two were arrested in the afternoon. According to the Foundation for Maintenance of Aqsa and the Holy Sites groups of the settlers and Israeli female soldiers, in their military uniforms, have also stormed al-Aqsa mosque today and toured in different parts of it.
link to
Report: IOA established 482 outposts last year
RAMALLAH (PIC) 4 Feb — The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) demolished 465 Palestinian buildings and established 482 outposts in the West Bank and the occupied city of Jerusalem during the last year, a Palestinian official statistical report documented. The PA Ministry for Settlement and Wall Affairs stated in its report issued on Sunday that the occupation authorities have set up over the past year 185 settlements and 175 outposts, in addition to other 29 settlement sites. The report pointed out that the Israeli authorities completed 444 kilometers of a total 757 kilometers currently under construction of the Apartheid Wall that will isolate 10.2 per cent of the occupied West Bank.
link to
Israeli mayor of Ramallah-area settlement wants to annex Palestinian city as ‘South Beit El’
EI 1 Feb — In a recent interview with a British journalist, an Israeli mayor expressed the wish to annex the whole Palestinian city of Ramallah to his illegal West Bank settlement. Moshe Rosenbaum said: “We hope that one day, Ramallah will be ‘South Beit El,’ ” reported Ruth MichaelsonBeit El is a Jews-only colony of about 6,000 settlers, while nearby Ramallah is a Palestinian city of tens of thousands of people (300,000 including all the villages and camps of the Ramallah region). Rosenbaum’s comment amounts to a wish to ethnically cleanse the city. The comment is a stark reminder that Israeli moves towards annexing the West Bank will not cease until all Palestinians are removed — or it is stopped by Palestinian resistance.
link to
Settlers burn two cars near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 5 Feb – Jewish settlers Tuesday set fire to two Palestinian vehicles in the village of Deir Jreer, northeast of Ramallah, as well as sprayed anti-Palestinian graffiti in the area, according to witnesses. They told WAFA that settlers burned the two cars and sprayed graffiti that calls to kick Palestinians out, in addition to graffiti saying this land is their promised land and belongs to Israel.
link to
Settlers escalate their attacks in Nablus
NABLUS (PIC) 5 Feb — Israeli settlers attacked on Monday evening Palestinian citizens on the road reopened by the occupation authorities near Nablus after being closed for 13 years. Hamza Diriya, member of the Committee for the Defense of Aqraba lands, confirmed that a group of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian citizens on Monday while passing through the road, where they smashed their vehicles’ windscreens.
link to
Israel orders West Bank settlement to stop polluting nearby Palestinian village
[with video] Haaretz 5 Feb — The Environmental Protection Ministry has instructed the Betar Ilit municipality in the West Bank to stop the repeated sewage contamination of a nearby Palestinian village’s fields, after a group of settlers interceded on the villagers’ behalf. Last week, farmers from the Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin asked the staff of the field school in the West Bank settlement of Kfar Etzion for their help in stopping the sewage flow from Betar Ilit, which had flooded their fields and contaminated them. Members of the school’s staff came to the village and photographed the sewage flooding the cultivated fields. School principal Yaron Rosenthal immediately contacted the environmental officer in the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration and asked him to deal with the problem … Wadi Foquin has become famous as one of the last villages to preserve traditional agricultural methods, such as using a canal network to funnel spring water to small plots.
link to
Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests
Nablus teen dies after 8 years in coma
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Feb — A Nablus teen died on Tuesday after spending eight years in a coma, locals said. Qassam Said Mahmud al-Damidi, 18, was hit by a settler car in Huwwara, south Nablus, eight years ago and had been in a coma ever since. He passed away in hospital.
link to
Palestinian injured after being hit by Israeli army jeep
IMEMC 5 Feb — Palestinian medical sources reported, on Monday evening, that one youth was moderately injured after being rammed by an Israeli military jeep in Za‘atara village, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The young man, identified as Khalifa Mohammad Mahameed, 23, suffered several fractures and bruises to various parts of his body. He was moved by a Palestinian ambulance to the Arab Society Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, in Bethlehem. There have been numerous similar incidents, sometimes leading to fatalities and very serious injuries, including hit and run incidents caused by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem. On Sunday, January 13, a Palestinian child, 7, was moderately injured after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler near the Kidar illegal settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem; the settler fled the scene.
link to
Israeli army arrests 24 people in West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 4 Feb — The Israeli army arrested Monday 24 Palestinians from throughout the West Bank in a wide scope campaign that included parliament members, according to various sources. They said soldiers raided several West Bank cities, arresting activists and political figures that included Ahmad Attoun, a lawmaker from Jerusalem whom Israel had expelled to Ramallah last year after revoking his Jerusalem residency status. Those arrested included also Hatem Qufeisheh, from Hebron, and Muhammad al-Tul, from Dahrieh, in the Hebron area; both along with Attoun, are lawmakers from the Hamas-backed Change and Reform bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council. The long list of names of those arrested included several Hamas members, such as Adnan Asfour, from Nablus, where 10 of those arrested came from, and university instructor from Hebron Zein al-Din Shabaneh. Arrests included cities such as Bethlehem, Tulkarm and Ramallah.
The Prisoners Club said Israel arrested 40 Palestinians in the West Bank in the last 48 hours.
link to
Israeli forces detain more Palestinians in West Bank
MEMO 5 Feb — Israel’s occupation forces have arrested another five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank following a sweep through Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron. Witnesses said that the Israelis used an explosive device to break into homes in Hebron. Several properties and personal belongings were damaged by the security forces before two men were taken away. Well-known activist Adnan Abu-Tabbaneh, who was released from a Palestinian prison one month ago, said that his 18-year-old son was one of two men detained in Hebron and had been released by the Palestinian authorities just last week; 23 year old Mohammed Salaymeh was named as the other.
link to
IOF soldiers nab seven Palestinians including Hamas leader
RAMALLAH (PIC) 5 Feb — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued on Tuesday the campaign of arrests in lines of Hamas cadres and activists and rounded up seven Palestinians. Local sources said that IOF soldiers stormed Assira Al-Shamaliya, south of Nablus, and searched many homes before taking away Hamas leader Sheikh Dirar Hamdne after wreaking havoc on his home. Other soldiers stormed Zawata town to the west of Nablus and arrested Zaher Mousa, a Hamas activist.IOF soldiers nabbed two other Palestinians one in Ramallah and the other in Al-Khalil, the latter was released only a weekearlier from the PA preventive security jail. In the Jordan Valley, IOF troops manning Al-Hamra roadblock arrested three young men on Monday night and closed the checkpoint after the incident. The Israeli radio claimed that the soldiers found two homemade explosive devices in the car in which the three Palestinians were riding
link to
IOA detains son of MP on return from abroad
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 4 Feb — The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) detained Hudhaifa, the eldest son of detained MP Nayef Al-Rejoub, on his return from studying abroad via Jordan. The Rejoub family said that the IOA detained Hudhaifa Sunday afternoon at the bridge linking Jordan to the occupied West Bank and took him to Ofer jail, west of Ramallah. They said that Hudhaifa had completed his MSc in engineering in the United Arab Emirates three days earlier and was on his way to his hometown of Dura in Al-Khalil. The father, MP Nayef Rejoub is held in the Israeli Negev jail under administrative detention, without trial or charge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *