Policeman faces murder charge in Nakba Day shooting of Palestinian teen

[with B’Tselem video] Haaretz 12 Nov by Chaim Levinson & Yaniv Kubovich — Border Police, soldiers had denied using live fire during protests in which two teens were killed, but bullet found in one of boys’ backpacks led to suspected gun – A Border Police officer arrested Tuesday over the killing of a Palestinian youth during Nakba Day protests six months ago is facing murder charges. His commander was also arrested for allegedly covering up the shooting. The Judea and Samaria District Police on Tuesday detained an enlisted border policeman on suspicion that he shot and killed Palestinian youth Nadim Nuwara. Two Palestinian teenagers, Nuwara and Muhammad Salameh, were killed during protests in Beitunia, near Ramallah in the West Bank, on May 15. The policeman’s commander was also arrested on suspicion that he knew that the policeman had shot the boy and not reported it. The commander was released to house arrest until Sunday. For some time, there were contradictions in the army and police versions of the killing, according to which no live fire was used but only means to disperse demonstrations. The district police, responsible for investigating the use of live fire by border policemen in the occupied territories, interrogated all the policemen present at the event. They denied using live rounds, despite Palestinian claims that the boys had been killed by live bullets … A breakthrough occurred after the Palestinians provided a bullet found in Nuwara’s backpack. The bullet prompted investigators to inspect the weapon of one of the policemen, leading to his arrest on suspicion that he had fired live bullets and had lied about his role in the shooting … A police spokesman commented that in light of recent reports the events in Bitunia are under investigation, which is under a gag order. The spokesperson stressed that the arrest of a suspect does not determine the guilt of a policeman.

Israeli gunman arrested in videotaped murder of Palestinian teen

Electronic Intifada 13 Nov by Ali Abunimah — On 15 May – the day Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine – two Palestinian children were shot dead in cold blood. The killings of Nadim Siam Nuwara and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank village of Beitunia were caught in the graphic security camera footage below, and by CNN’s cameras. The wounding of a third child, Muhammad al-Azzeh, by live ammunition, was also captured on camera. “This is an opportunity for Israel to prove to the world that it is a nation where law prevails,” Nadim’s father, Siam, told Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine), which first published the video of the shootings and has been pursuing justice for the murdered children ever since … Since the beginning of 2014, DCI-Palestine has documented ten child fatalities in the West Bank caused by live ammunition. Conspiracy theories A number of Israeli and anti-Palestinian conspiracy theorists alleged that the videotaped shootings had been faked or manipulated by Palestinians to embarrass Israel. As +972 Magazine documents, these included Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon, Israeli army spokesperson Arye Shalicar, Israel Channel 2’s “military correspondent” Roni Daniel and Jonathan S. Tobin, editor of the US-based anti-Palestinian publication Commentary. The “media watchdog” CAMERA published an article claiming: “The usual suspects are pushing the story and video of the alleged killings has gotten a huge number of hits on YouTube, but it’s pretty clear that something is amiss with the story the Palestinians have told the world about what happened at Betunia.” Michael Oren, the CNN analyst and former Israeli ambassador to the US, also suggested in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the video contained many “inconsistencies” and might have been faked. Will these propagandists and conspiracy theorists retract their statements in light of the murder indictment?

Army instructed to use live ammunition against Palestinian protesters who use fireworks

IMEMC/Agencies 13 Nov — The Israel army has been given a green light to use live ammunition against Palestinian protesters who use fireworks against during clashes, especially amidst the increase in confrontations in occupied East Jerusalem due to escalating Israeli violations, and invasions into the al-Aqsa mosque, and Palestinian areas in the city. Israeli Channel 2 quoted a senior officer of the Central Command of the army, a division running Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, stating that Israel now views the use of fireworks as a “constantly evolving threat.” Lawyer Yousef Karram of the “Association for Civil Rights in Israel,” warned that the new decision is a very serious escalation that could affect the entire situation in the occupied territories, adding that the decision violates basic human rights. Karram added that this decision could lead to a large number of casualties, an issue that would cause further confrontations and escalation. He further stated that, since the use of fireworks during protests is a new phenomenon, the army guidelines do not have any clause regarding the means of countering it. “The army and police usually fire rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades,” Karram said, “The soldiers justify the use of live rounds by claiming they felt their lives were in danger. Even the black rounded rubber-coated metal bullets are very dangerous and fatal.” The decision to use live rounds is not a new strategy, as the military frequently resorts to live ammunition to counter protests, and in many cases used live rounds against nonviolent protests against the Annexation Wall and settlement. However, the “justification” this time comes under the pretext of countering the use of fireworks by the protesters, an issue that could grant the army a green light to use deadly fire under the guise of feeling threatened by fireworks, even if such a perceived threat was baseless. It is worth mentioning that there have been numerous fatalities among Palestinian protesters who were shot by what Israel calls rubber bullets, as those bullets are rounded pieces of metal covered with a very thin coating of rubber.



Palestinian boy critically wounded at Jerusalem protest – apparently by police bullet

Haaretz 13 Nov by Nir Hasson — Saber Mahmoud, 11, was struck in the face during violent demonstration in the ‘Issawiya neighborhood — An 11-year-old Palestinian boy was critically wounded in the face, apparently by a sponge-tipped bullet, during a violent protest Thursday afternoon in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Issawiya. Haaretz reported recently that police handling disturbances in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods have begun using a type of sponge-tipped bullet that is harder and more injurious than the kind they used to employ. Saber Mahmoud, who lives in Issawiya, was struck between the eye and nose, causing him to bleed profusely. He was taken to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, then transferred to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. In the morning a violent demonstration began in Issawiya after residents blocked off the entrances to the neighborhood, in protest against the police’s decision to close entry to Issawiya from Mt. Scopus and French Hill because of the escalation in violence in the area. East Jerusalem residents have long been complaining about the police’s riot-control methods. At the end of August, Mohammed Sunuqrut, 16, was killed by a police bullet to the head during a demonstration in Wadi Joz.

Israeli forces raid Ramallah-area apartment, shoot Palestinian

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — Israeli forces early Wednesday shot and seriously injured a Palestinian man and detained another after raiding an apartment building in the town of Beituniya south of Ramallah, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers stormed the Khdeir building in the town and broke into an apartment where they opened fire at Ahmad Hussana, hitting him three times. He was shot twice in the feet and a third time in the waist. Witnesses said Hussana was left bleeding in the apartment for 30 minutes before soldiers allowed a Palestinian ambulance to take him to the hospital. The soldiers detained another man from the building, who was identified as Samir Awwad, locals said. Clashes then broke out in the area between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths, who pelted the the soldiers with stones. The soldiers responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated bullets. No injuries from the clashes were reported.


Israeli forces fire at Bethlehem home, destroy room

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli soldiers on Wednesday shot a tear gas grenade into a home in Bethlehem’s ‘Aida refugee camp during clashes with youths, causing a fire to break out and destroy the room. Locals told Ma‘an that the canister was fired out of a high-velocity tear-gas canister gun and hit part of the building located on the roof. After the canister hit the room, it caught fire and destroyed all of the property inside, before locals were able to rush upstairs and put the fire out while clashes continued in the area. Locals said that Israeli forces have fired tear gas into the camp every day for the last year, with local youths throwing rocks at the soldiers in response. In April, a woman in her 40s was killed after she suffocated on tear gas fumes fired by Israeli soldiers, and in May, Samih Wahish, a 64-year-old physician, died in a similar way. Aida camp is a frequent site of clashes because it is located beside Rachel’s Tomb, which is surrounded on three sides by the Israeli separation wall despite being in the middle of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. Israeli forces have shot more than 60 youths with rubber-coated steel bullets and live bullets during clashes that have occurred almost daily over the course of the last year. There are 19 refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, within which live about a quarter of the 771,000 registered refugees in the territory.

Israel to demolish homes of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis

NABLUS (WAFA) 13 Nov – Israeli Forces Thursday raided two homes in Hebron and Nablus belonging to two Palestinians, suspected of being involved in latest attacks against Israelis, as a prelude to demolish them, while several Palestinians were injured during the Nablus raid, said local sources. Israeli forces raided ‘Askar refugee camp to the east of Nablus, where they broke into the family house of Nur al-Din Abu Hashiya, a Palestinian who was arrested by Israeli forces for allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on Monday. The soldier succumbed to his wounds later on Monday evening. Soldiers destroyed the front door of the house and took measurements of the house, as a prelude to demolish it. During the raid, forces fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters, injuring Hamdi al-‘Ud and Mahmoud ‘Ajjuri in their feet with live ammunition. They also injured several locals with rubber-coated bullets and caused many others to suffer from excessive tear gas inhalation. Meanwhile in Hebron, Israeli forces also took measurements of Maher al-Hashlamon’s house, who reportedly attacked last Monday three Israeli settlers outside the illegal settlement of Alon Shvut, part of the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements between Bethlehem and Hebron, killing a woman and injuring three other people. Maher al-Hashlamon is currently unconscious in the intensive care unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem after being shot and critically wounded by soldiers stationed near the scene.. This comes days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his cabinet approved a decision to demolish the houses of Palestinians involved in such attacks against Israelis.

Second mosque burnt in the West Bank this month

MUGHAYIR, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Ramallah Team) 12 Nov — At 18:00 yesterday, the Israeli army closed the main entrance to Mughayir village until midnight. At midnight the army infiltrated the village and patrolled its empty streets for the next four hours. Sometime between 2:30-3:30 am, villagers noticed that the mosque was on fire. Failing to put out the fire, the fire brigade was called, but by the time they had arrived from Ramallah, the fire had already spread along the ground floor of the mosque and the toilets. While local media reported Zionist settlers as the culprits, witnesses in the village did not see who was responsible. Mughayir mayor, Faraj Na’asan stated, “Of course we know who did it. They’ve done it before in 2012. Everybody was in their houses because the soldiers were patrolling the streets. It was either the soldiers, or settlers under their protection.” The Mughyir mosque is the second mosque to be burned by settlers this month. [The other was the Abu Baker Al-Siddiq mosque in Nablus city on October 13-14].

Ten torched mosques, zero indictments

Haaretz 13 Nov by Chaim Levinson — Since June 2011, 10 mosques in Israel and the West Bank have been set on fire by presumed right-wing Jewish extremists. No charges have been filed – Wednesday’s torching of a mosque in the Palestinian village of al-Mughayyir brings to 10 the number of Muslim houses of worship in Israel and the territories that have been targeted in arson attacks in less than three and a half years. No one has been charged in any of these incidents. In the first of these incidents, in June 2011, a different mosque in the Ramallah-area village was torched. The words “Price Tag – Alei Ayin” were sprayed in Hebrew at the building’s entrance, suggesting that the attack was prompted by the forcible evacuation in the previous week by the Israeli military of an unauthorized outpost of a nearby Jewish settlement. Some three months later, in October 2011, the mosque in the Galilee Bedouin village of Tuba-Zangariyye was set on fire in another presumed “price tag” action. The building was heavily damaged and a large number of religious books were destroyed in the fire….

Police failing to investigate Jewish hate crimes in West Bank, says NGO

Haaretz 13 Nov by Chaim Levinson — Some 92 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians are closed and the criminal never found, according to a report by the Yesh Din human rights group, which has been tracking 1,045 complaints filed through the organization since 2005. The list of complaints includes shooting attacks, assault, stone-throwing, arson, cutting down trees, animal abuse, crop theft, construction on Palestinian-owned land, threats and attacks. All the actions mentioned in the complaints were committed by Israeli citizens. The statistics from 2013 and 2014 have led Yesh Din officials to conclude that the establishment of the new department set up the Judea and Samaria District Police to combat nationalistically-motivated crime has led to no improvement in the investigations. In addition, Yesh Din officials say that the percentage of failures of the Israel Police to investigate ideologically-motivated crime against Palestinians has only increased. The investigative authorities have completed handling 106 of the 159 cases that Yesh Din is currently tracking. Two indictments were served against the suspects in only two of the cases (1.9 percent). In comparison, 86 cases were closed on the grounds of “criminal unknown,” seven were closed “for lack of sufficient evidence,” and two others were closed on the grounds that “no felony was committed.” After studying the investigative material, Yesh Din officials appealed the closure of nine of the latter cases….

Israeli police say youth planning ‘stabbing’ arrested near Modiin

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — A 17-year-old Palestinian was detained Wednesday near the Israeli settlement of Modiin west of Ramallah after Israeli forces claimed he was on his way to carry out a “stabbing attack” in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported early Thursday. The Hebrew-language Israeli news site Maariv reported that Israeli police were conducting a routine search in an area where Palestinian workers often attempt to cross without papers into Israel for work near the Modiin settlement when they noticed a Palestinian youth and searched him. The website said that the Israeli police found a knife and a screwdriver with the youth during the search. Police claimed that the youth confessed that he was on his way to “stab an Israeli bus driver” in Jerusalem. The youth was taken by the Israeli secret service Shabak for interrogation.

Worry grips Jerusalem residents awaiting next attack

JERUSALEM (AFP) 12 Nov by Daphne Rousseau — Rocked by weeks of deadly violence, Jerusalem is witnessing security measures not seen in years as residents try to maintain some semblance of normal life while awaiting the next attack. Raheli, who is eight months pregnant, recently stopped traveling on the city’s light railway system, which she dubs “the train of fear”, after deadly attacks at roadside stops by lone Palestinians … Earlier this month a Palestinian from east Jerusalem deliberately rammed his car into two groups of pedestrians, killing a border police officer and wounding another nine people, the second deadly car attack in two weeks … In west Jerusalem, in contrast to the darkest days of the second Palestinian intifada of 2000-2005, cafes, shops and restaurants carry on with business as usual. In a pizzeria on Ben Yehuda street — infamous as the site of several suicide attacks at the time — Ahd, a young Palestinian student chooses to spend her lunch at the table furthest away from other diners. “You can sense the aggression. That ranges from people looking at you aggressively to searching your bags at shopping malls,” she says. Jerusalem’s new daily routine has even seen a return of the so-called “yellow jackets”, private security guards who search people’s belongings at the entrances to buildings … Faced with a palpable change in the air — which some have already dubbed the “third intifada” — some Jerusalem residents have taken matters into their own hands. Yonatan, a salesman in a shop selling military equipment and self-defence gadgets, has been inundated by requests. “We’ve totally run out in recent days of pepper spray. It’s our most popular product and you can blind an attacker with it from up to three metres (yards) away,” he says.”We also sell batons and there’s been an increase in demand for tasers, which can electrocute and effectively paralyse.

Shattering a Jewish American myth: Jerusalem is no Disneyland / Jo-Ann Mort

Haaretz 13 Nov — Most American Jewish tour groups are shown a historical-religious theme park version of a nominally ‘united’ Jerusalem – in which the Arabic-speaking, Palestinian east of the city and its grievances is simply invisible — Imagine this is your city. Imagine that one of its neighborhoods is Shuafat, a walled-off refugee camp with 80,000 people and no legal order or adequate city services, where zealots who recognize the rule of a Supreme Being not a Supreme Court judge, take actions that are daily heightening tensions in the city and new tenants take over the top floor of a home under the veil of darkness and proclaim that they are “Judaizing” the street of an overwhelmingly Arab neighborhood, throwing out the belongings of the family who is living there and camping on the top floor with their children, and their guns. Welcome to Jerusalem, yes, Jerusalem. But, this isn’t the Jerusalem that most tourists see. Because this reality is invisible, not least when it’s unseen, it’s difficult to understand the eruption of violence that has pervaded the city since the summer.


Kerry says steps agreed to cool Jerusalem tempers

AMMAN (AFP) 14 Nov — US Secretary of State John Kerry said steps were agreed Thursday at talks in Amman to lower tensions between Israel and the Palestinians over the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Months-long unrest in annexed east Jerusalem has spread to the occupied West Bank and Arab communities across Israel in recent days, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising. Kerry said the confidence-building steps, which will not be publicly spelled out, were agreed at a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Firm commitments” were made to maintain the status quo at the compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, he said at a press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Israel and Jordan, which has custodial rights at the compound, also agreed to take steps to “de-escalate the situation” in Jerusalem and to “restore confidence” … The flurry of diplomatic activity, which also saw Kerry meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the morning, followed new clashes in east Jerusalem, where Israeli police fired tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian demonstrators … “President Abbas and I this morning discussed constructive steps, real steps, not rhetoric, that people can take in order to de-escalate the situation. “He made it clear that he will do everything possible to restore calm and to the prevent the incitement of violence.”

Israel police drop age limits on Muslim prayer at Temple Mount

Haaretz 14 Nov by Nir Hasson — Unlike in previous weeks, Israel will allow Muslim worshippers to enter the Temple Mount compound for Friday prayers without imposing restrictions, the police announced on Thursday, Due to the rise in violence in Jerusalem in the past months, Israel Police enforced age restriction for Muslim prayers on the holy side, usually barring entrance men under 50 from entering the site. In addition, the police decided on the removal of two checkpoints recently placed on roads leading to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyah after protests by residents. The checkpoints have been placed at the village’s entrances to due to the continued violence in area. A statement announcing the moves was published by the police a short time after the conclusion of a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman. The three discussed tensions over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Israeli minister announces facial recognition surveillance at Al-Aqsa

Middle East Monitor 13 Nov — Israel’s Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch yesterday announced that visitors to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound will soon be “scanned by a facial-recognition surveillance system that can pick out faces from a crowd.” The report in Haaretz, citing comments made by the Minister on Channel 1 News, also notes the minister’s promise to return metal detectors to the compound. Israeli news website Walla additionally reported that the Public Security Ministry has allocated 4 million shekels (just over $1 million) to carry out the new plan. Aharonovitch also said that in certain circumstances, he will prevent Members of Knesset from visiting the compound, in case of “an operational need” or if it may “lead to riots.” The minister added his voice to those urging punitive measures against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, saying that those who engage in protests and unrest could be stripped of their residency rights in the city.

Islamic councils warn against Israel’s installing of electronic gates at entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM (WAFA) 12 Nov – The council of Islamic Waqf and the Supreme Muslim Council (SMC) warned Wednesday against Israel’s plans to install electronic gates at the entrances leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem. The councils warned against a plan devised by the Israeli Internal Security Ministry to install e-gates at the mosque’s entrances, a step, they said, that is tantamount to imposing full Israeli control over the complex. Israeli media reportedly revealed that Israeli Internal Security crews are implementing in secret a plan to install checkpoints at all the gates leading to the mosque. The plan reportedly involves the installation of some metal detectors at walk-through electronic gates, in addition to the deployment of further police reinforcements. Israeli sources reportedly said that the sum of NIS 4 million (about $1 million) was allocated for the plan which is being implemented clandestinely by the Ministry crews in order not to cause a major upheaval.

The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper hand / Asher Schechter

Haaretz 14 Nov — The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism and the third holiest for Islam. It’s one of the most sensitive religious sites in the world — a massive powder keg, if you will. Now that this powder keg looks to be on the verge of exploding, note that this was no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job. The immediate suspects, as many observers have pointed out, are the Israeli right-wing politicians challenging the decades-old status quo on the Temple Mount, over which the Muslim Waqf trust has retained religious control since Israel took over East Jerusalem in 1967. The right-wingers are insisting that Jews be allowed to pray there; they include Knesset members like Likud’s Miri Regev and Moshe Feiglin. These two, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and others have been key to the incredible resurgence of the Jewish Temple Mount movement in recent years, a resurgence that led to rumors that Israel sought to change the delicate status quo … Over the years, maintaining the status quo there by prohibiting Jewish prayer was critical to preventing an all-out religious war. The status quo wasn’t perfect by any means, but it allowed a delicate balance between the national and the religious. That balance is now eroding fast. Tension since 1929 The history of the Temple Mount is, of course, fraught with conflict … In 1929, 133 Jews were killed by Arabs partly motivated by rumors of a planned Jewish takeover of the mount. In 1996, riots broke out there following Netanyahu’s decision to open the Western Wall tunnels — a decision that again led to rumors of an imminent threat to Islamic control of the site. Seventeen Israeli soldiers and more than 100 Palestinians died, and scores were wounded. In the 1980s, the Jewish underground, a terrorist organization formed by members of the right-wing movement Gush Emunim, almost blew up the mosques on the mount, including the Dome of the Rock. The idea was to further a messianic redemption that would culminate with the construction of a Third Temple. In September 2000, Ariel Sharon (then opposition leader) made a high-profile visit to the mount. The day after, riots broke out there following Friday prayers, launching the second intifada. But now, at the outset of what may or may not be a third intifada, something is different. It’s not the violence as much as the way the events are being framed. For the most part, the movement to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount has been limited to extremists … Not anymore. These days there appears to be a wider acceptance for a Jewish Temple Mount, tracking Israel’s right-wing shift and the erosion of its resistance to messianic rhetoric….


Israeli forces detain 2 young Palestinian men from the Old City

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 12 Nov – Israeli forces detained two young Palestinians while they were standing in front of their homes in Ras al-Amud neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday. Members of al-Ali family identified the detainees as Alaa al-Ali and his cousin Muhammad Amin al-Ghoul. They said that both young men were in front of their home while fierce clashes were ongoing in the al-Shayyah area of Ras al-Amud. Suddenly, a group of special force officers arrived and detained the two after beating them “brutally.” The family said that Alaa was released from Israeli custody on April 4 2013 after serving 12 years on the charge of being an activist with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians in Jerusalem, Jenin

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — Israeli forces detained 10 young Palestinian men from East Jerusalem and one from Jenin in the northern West Bank overnight, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said. A statement said that early Wednesday morning, Israeli forces detained five young men from the Old City identified as Ibrahim Shweiki, Ahmad Odah, Rami Abu Gharbiyya, Muhammad Abu Sneina and Nur al-Din Abu Zneid, who was released only hours earlier. On Tuesday evening, Israeli forces detained Ahmad Abu Gharbiyya, Raed al-Ammuri … Furthermore, Israeli forces detained 18-year-old Muhammad Rashid al-Sheikh and 18-year-old Mahmoud Tawfiq Dar Abu Ismail from an agricultural field in the village of Beit Surik in northwest Jerusalem. In the Jenin district in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained 23-year-old Muhammad Sami Ghuneim from the village of Burqa. The Prisoner’s Society noted that Ghuneim is an officer in the Palestinian national security services.

Israeli police release 2 women, detain 2 teens

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — The Israeli police released late Wednesday two Palestinian women from Akka who were detained earlier that day when leaving the Al-Aqsa mosque. Hamza Qutteineh from Lawyers for Jerusalem said that during interrogation Asmahan Ali, 36, and Zeinab Aswad, 62, in the al-Qashla detention center, Ali was taken to the Hadassa Hospital in the al-Isawiya for treatment after she fainted. A day earlier Israeli police detained 11-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa and Muhammad Khalid Odeh Abu Isbitan, 13, from the al-Tur town on Wednesday.

Clashes as Israeli forces detain 27 across Jerusalem and West Bank

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces arrested 27 Palestinians across East Jerusalem and the West Bank overnight, while clashes erupted again in the flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya. Israeli authorities conducted detention raids in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, al-Tur, al-Suwwana, and Jabal al-Mukabbir early Thursday, arresting nine Palestinians…

On Thursday, Palestinian residents of the village of al-‘Issawiya protested against the Israeli authorities’ recent decision to shut the main entrance to the village with cement blocks. Although the neighborhood is located directly beside the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus, the cement blocks placed by police at the top of the village has led to major headaches for local residents. Local activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said on Thursday that villagers protested the closure by blocking the eastern entrance of the village. He said that Israeli soldiers had shut the main entrance to the village three times during the last two months, and the southern entrance to the village has been closed for three months. Abu al-Hummus said that dozens of students, teachers, and workers gathered at the entrances of al-‘Issawiya demanding Israeli forces to open the closed entrance. He added that clashes erupted at the eastern entrance between youths and Israeli soldiers. Dozens of locals suffered severe suffocation as soldiers fired tear-gas grenades at the crowds and leashed police dogs on them…

Also on Thursday, Israeli forces engaged in home raids across the West Bank, arresting 18 people. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the arrests, saying 15 were “suspected of involvement in terror and violent riots,” while three were suspected of “involvement in illegal activities.” The spokeswoman said that three of the Palestinians detained overnight were “Hamas operatives,” including two individuals taken from a village she called “Khirbat Bneizi” northwest of Ramallah as well one from Sa‘ir, southwest of Bethlehem. Of the remaining Palestinians detained overnight, she said that three were taken from homes in Beit Lid near Nablus, one from ‘Anabta east of Tulkaram, one from Rafidia northwest of Nablus, one from Beit Liqia southwest of Ramallah, four from Deir Ballut, three from Hizma southeast of Ramallah, and two from al-Rihiya, south of Hebron. Of those arrests, Ma‘an was able to independently verify 10 of the detainees … In the Bethlehem governorate in the southern West Bank, meanwhile, Israeli forces detained Fouad Omar Salah, 20, from the village of al-Khader and took him to the nearby Etzion detention center for interrogation on Thursday. Muhammad Salah, Fouad’s brother, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided their home around 1:00 a.m. and detained his brother after they had “wrecked” the home during the raid….


Group: Barghouthi in solitary after calling for ‘armed resistance’

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Nov – The Israeli Prison Service on Wednesday moved jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi to solitary confinement in Hadareim prison, a day after he sent a widely published letter from prison calling for armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, a rights group said. In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said that Barghouthi was being punished for the letter he sent Tuesday, on the 10th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. “Moving Barghouthi to solitary confinement because of a statement he sent on the Arafat anniversary is evidence that Arafat is still scaring them (the Israelis) from his grave,” said PPS chairman Qaddura Faris. “Marwan is scaring them from his prison cell,” Faris added. An IPS spokeswoman did not answer calls seeking comment. Barghouthi said in the letter that “choosing global and armed resistance” was being “faithful to Arafat’s legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs.” … Barghouthi is serving five life sentences for alleged involvement in attacks on Israeli targets.

Palestinian succumbs to wounds sustained in Kerem Shalom explosion

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — A Palestinian man on Thursday succumbed to wounds sustained two days before when a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel from Israel to the Gaza Strip exploded on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, medical sources said. Spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma’an that Ahmad Youssef Bahlul succumbed to his wounds in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.  Bahlul had sustained serious burns during the explosion in Kerem Shalom. Bahlul’s son, 17-year-old Muhammad, was killed in the explosion last Tuesday. An unidentified 60-year-old man also sustained moderate wounds in the explosion, whose cause has not yet been identified.

Israeli navy sinks Palestinian fishing boat off Gaza coast

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — Israeli naval boats on Wednesday evening fired at and sank a Palestinian fishing boat in the sea off the coast of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said that army boats fired shells at a boat belonging to the al-Bardaweel family, completely destroying it in the process. People aboard the boat had jumped in the water by the time the shells hit, and as a result no injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment. An Israeli army radio report, however, appeared to confirm the incident, adding that the fishermen had strayed more than six nautical miles from the shore.Since the signing of a ceasefire agreement that ended 50 days of fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza on Aug. 26, the Israeli navy has fired at Gaza fishermen more than a dozen times under the pretext that they had surpassed fishing zone limits. The Aug. 26 agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually. The fisherman who have been shot at, and even at times detained by Israeli forces, have insisted that they were well within the six-mile limit.

Palestinian injured as Israeli ordnance explodes in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — A Palestinian man in Gaza was injured on Wednesday after Israeli ordnance exploded in Khan Younis, medics said. The man, identified only as M.A and said to be in his 20s, was taken to a hospital in the Khuzaa neighborhood with moderate injuries. Witnesses said he was removing rubble from a building destroyed during Israel’s summer military offensive when the explosion occurred. In October, four-year-old Muhammad Sami Abu Jrad was killed after he touched an unexploded Israeli ordnance in northern Gaza. The Gaza Strip is currently littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli ordnance, a constant reminder of the over 50-day Israeli offensive that left more than 2,150 dead, 11,200 injured, and more than 110,000 homeless.

Sweden to spend $3m to remove Gaza rubble

Middle East Monitor 13 Nov — The Palestinian government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with the support of Sweden, yesterday signed an agreement aimed at removing the rubble and debris in the Gaza Strip.The project will be implemented by the UNDP and funded by Sweden, and is set to cost $3 million. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said this agreement is an important and positive step, paving the way for accelerating the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, especially with the onset of winter. A study issued by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), a semi-governmental institution which implements infrastructure and superstructure projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, estimated that there is approximately 2.8 million tonnes of debris in Gaza. Hamdallah said the debris removal project will provide job opportunities and help reduce the unemployment rate in the sector.

Hamas warns of ‘explosion’ if Israel prevents Gaza reconstruction

RAFAH (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) 14 Nov — The military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas warned Thursday of renewed violence unless Israel allows the reconstruction of the war-battered Gaza Strip. “We are saying to all sides — if the siege on Gaza and the obstacles for reconstruction remain, there will be a new explosion,” said Abu Obeida, spokesman of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades … The United Nations brokered a deal allowing the delivery of construction materials to Gaza by ensuring they will not be diverted by Hamas militants. Last week, the UN announced the temporary reconstruction mechanism was to be launched under the auspices of a newly formed Palestinian unity government. “We hold the enemy fully responsible for an explosion if the reconstruction does not begin,” Abu Obeida said at a rally in Gaza City, warning that “the fight is not over.”

Palestinians stuck at closed Rafah border for last 3 weeks

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — A group of Palestinians stuck on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing into Gaza on Thursday called upon Egypt to open the crossing after three weeks of closure in order to allow them to return to the Gaza Strip. “We have been stuck in Egypt for 20 days, but no one has helped us or even talks about us,” Talal Salim, one of those stuck at the crossing, told Ma‘an. The Palestinians stuck at the border are victims of the Egyptian government’s policies regarding the crossing’s opening hours, which can be sealed shut for weeks at a time with little notice. The most recent closure came after a bomb hit Egyptian soldiers in el-Arish, 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the Gaza border. The crossing was closed in response, despite the lack of a clear relationship between the incident and Gaza.

UN human rights investigators denied entry to Israel for Gaza inquiry

JERUSALEM (Los Angeles Times) 12 Nov by Laura King & Batsheva Sobelman — Israel said late Wednesday that it would deny entry to representatives of the U.N. Human Rights Council who are investigating potential war crimes committed during the summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While widely expected, the decision was likely to trigger fresh international criticism of Israel. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already on the defensive over plans for expanding settlements in the West Bank and a growing Jewish presence in traditionally Arab areas of east Jerusalem, which Palestinians want to be the capital of their future state … The Foreign Ministry said the Geneva-based rights council’s “obsessive hostility toward Israel” would make an impartial investigation impossible. Israel has long had a tense relationship with the council, accusing it of ignoring or downplaying rights violations emanating from the Palestinian side. The main practical effect of Israel’s decision to deny entry to the investigators is that they will be unable to travel to Gaza via the main Erez crossing, which Israel controls. It would be theoretically possible for the council’s representatives to reach the coastal enclave via Egypt, but the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side has been closed amid confrontations between Egyptian forces and Islamic militants operating in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Israel to allow goods into Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov – The Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southeastern Gaza Strip to allow aid and goods into the enclave on Thursday. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official responsible for the entry of goods into Gaza, said that the Israeli authorities will allow 350 truckloads of goods for the trade, agricultural, transportation and aid sectors. Fattouh added that Israel will also allow five trucks of cement for international construction projects.

Israel says won’t cooperate with UN Gaza inquiry

Jerusalem (AFP) 12 Nov — Israel will not cooperate with a United Nations inquiry into its 50-day war with rocket-firing militants in Gaza this summer, a government spokesman said Wednesday. “Since the Schabas commission is not an inquiry but a commission that gives its conclusions in advance, Israel will not cooperate with the commission of the UN Human Rights Council over the last conflict with Hamas,” foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement. The decision had been taken because of the “obsessive hostility against Israel of this commission and the words of its president against Israel and its leaders,” he added.

Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods can’t be erased from the map – or history / Yudith Oppenhimer

Haaretz 13 Nov — Backed by Netanyahu, Israeli settlers are plundering Palestinian neighborhoods under cover of the law, raising up community against community — The spoils of Silwan were there to be taken long ago, in ancient times. In Silwan/City of David, King David was strolling on the roof of his house when he saw Bathsheba bathing on a nearby roof. The rest is known. The prophet Nathan rebuked him with the beautiful parable of the poor man’s ewe, in which a rich man slaughtered a poor man’s sole sheep rather than one from his vast flock to serve a traveler. King David, the poet of psalms, did not argue that all was legal but rather hastened to say, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel, 12:13). The leaders of the State of Israel do not speak in the language of psalms. When settler organizations enter Palestinian homes in Silwan in the dark of night — homes apparently purchased through labyrinthine transactions involving straw men and shadow companies, with anything but good faith — the prime minister of Israel responds with narrow legalistic arguments instead of showing true moral and political leadership. After the Bathsheba affair, the house of David had not one peaceful day. As the prophet Nathan foresaw, what David had done in the dark, his sons did in broad daylight … As in the past, so today, the curse of the parable’s poor man hovers over the city, where plundering under the cover of the law has become routine in Silwan, on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, in Sheikh Jarrah, in Palestinian neighborhoods coopted by national parks and Israeli settlements

Yasser Arafat: Why he still matters / Hussein Agha & Ahmad Samih Khalidi

The Guardian 13 Nov — Hated and venerated in equal measure, Yasser Arafat dominated the Palestinian landscape, and with it, much of the Middle East’s political map for almost five decades. His death 10 years ago, besieged and in miserable isolation, marked the beginning of the end of the revolution that reawakened the national consciousness of Palestinians and allowed them the possibility of determining their own fate on their own land. Authentic national leaders do not arise often. They are forged more by fate and circumstance than by human design. Ten years on, the full implications of Arafat’s era – a period in which he acted as founder of the political movement Fatah, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and president of the Palestinian National Authority – have yet to be understood. His most enduring legacy was to lead the Palestinians out of the material, political and moral devastation of the 1948 Nakba – the catastrophe which saw more than 700,000 Palestinians lose their homes in what became Israel – as a people and a cause. The fact that the Palestinian problem today occupies a central place in world affairs is in no little measure due to the man and his work. His other legacies may be open to dispute and it may also be too early to pass a final verdict on them. Arafat’s supporters would claim that without armed struggle, the Palestinian issue would have remained no more than yet another refugee problem alongside the many other displacements lingering on the periphery of the world’s conscience. His detractors would claim that the use of violence marred his reputation, and that his idiosyncratic rule did not serve his people well…

Remembering Abu Ammar 10 years on

[PHOTOS] Middle East Monitor 12 Nov by Rich Wiles — Last week, a caller to a local radio talk show in Ramallah vented his anger: “People are dying in Jerusalem, al-Aqsa is being attacked and no-one is demonstrating here, no-one is doing anything. Next week thousands of you will go and dance in al-Muqata‘a to remember Abu Ammar, but you do nothing for Jerusalem…” As thousands of Fatah flags filled Ramallah yesterday to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (known locally as ‘Abu Ammar’), these words began to play out. The Palestine that Abu Ammar was finally airlifted away from by helicopter, on his way to a hospital in Paris where he finally died, was quite different to today’s – the Apartheid Wall was in its early stages back in 2004 and ten more years of Israeli colonisation have seen Palestinian land dwindle even further and ghettoisation increase. Jerusalem is today no longer even a memory for Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza – most of the young have never visited the city or watched the waves crash against the rocks in Jaffa or Akka. Concurrently, Palestinian society and its cities and institutions have changed too….

Hamas co-founder dies at 77

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — Muhammad Salih Taha, a co-founder of the Hamas movement, died in Gaza late Tuesday after a long struggle with illness, medics said. Palestinian medical sources told reporters that Taha was taken from his home in al-Bureij refugee camp to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, where doctors announced his death upon arrival. Taha, often called Abu Ayman, was deported by Israel to Marj al-Zuhur in southern Lebanon in 1992 along with about 400 Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas inside Israel. The Hamas leader later served as mayor of al-Bureij camp for four years. His son Yasser was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike in June 2003.

Hamas MP: Elections best solution for political divide

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament Khalil al-Hayya said Thursday that elections offer the best solution for the current divide between Palestinian factions, a statement from the official said. Presidential, parliamentary, and local council elections are the best option for the current impasse in reconciliation, he said, adding that President Abbas did not give the unity government the “needed political cover” to succeed. The national unity government, formed earlier this year, is “weak,” he added.

New Hamas anthem calls to banish Zionists from Israel

Ynetnews 13 Nov — After Hamas scored a summer hit with their unofficial terror anthem entitled “Up, do terror attacks” – a song that urged the extermination of Jews – the Gaza-based group has now released a new track vowing to banish Zionists from Israel … The lyrics of the song, which like previous releases was sung in Hebrew, revealed a surprisingly proficient knowledge of the IDF and Israel’s historical defense organizations: “Let Etzel and Lehi (pre-State military groups) who are in their graves feel the taste… Finish off Yasam (the Israel Police Special Patrol Unit) and Yamam (SWAT),” the song goes on to say. After the previous song became a viral hit on social media due to its poor Hebrew enunciation, famously replacing, for example, “piguim” (terror attacks in Hebrew) with “biguim”, the new song makes a special rhetorical effort. Phrases declaring Palestinians will cause Zionists “to beat their breasts” and other which call Zionism “an incurable disease”, are perfectly pronounced in eloquent Hebrew that would have made Ben Yehuda proud. In the video clip, dominoes with insignia of different military elite units including Nahal, Givati, Golani and others, topple down one after the other, later catching on fire, while the words “do not leave a single soldier of them” are sung.,7340,L-4591242,00.html

Top labor union officials released from PA jail

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the release of two top union officials from jail on Thursday after a week in detention, an official told Ma‘an. The secretary of the Palestinian government employees union, Mohamed al-Araj, and union chief Bassam Zakarneh handed themselves in to PA authorities last Thursday after receiving arrest warrants from the PA. President Mahmoud Abbas’ bureau said in a statement at the time of their detention that the union of civil servants was an illegal body established without legal basis. The presidential statement said that the union continued to operate despite warnings, which “resulted in harm to state properties and to the interests of homeland and citizens.” An official told Ma‘an that the union officials were released on bail and further legal proceedings against them will continue. Zakarneh and the union had recently called for strikes to protest the government’s “failure to meet the union’s demands.”

Israel recognizes ‘Aramaics’ as separate ethnic group

JISH, Israel (Reuters) 9 Nov — Population registry adds classification; Christian sect was previously labeled ‘Arab’; move causes controversy as some accuse government of trying to split Arab population — In the green hills of the Galilee, where Jesus is said to have preached two thousand years ago, a group of Aramaic speakers looking to revive the language of Christ are celebrating a victory in their quest to safeguard their heritage. In a place where tensions run high on issues of ethnicity, faith and citizenship, members of the Christian sect have won the right to change their designation in the population registry from “Arab” to a newly-created ethnic classification: “Aramaic.” The group that sought the change is small, a few hundred people at most, but their campaign is part of a larger debate on issues of identity in the Holy Land and Israel’s treatment of its Arab minority … The campaigners are all residents of the village of Jish and belong to the Maronite Church, which took root in fifth-century Lebanon. Its liturgical language is Aramaic, dialects of which are spoken by no more than a few hundred thousand people across the world … But not everyone in the Arab village of 3,000 is pleased. “They are ashamed of their ethnicity,” said Marvat Marun, 39. “I’m Arab, a Christian Maronite Arab, and proud of it. My roots are Palestinian.”,7340,L-4589974,00.html

Report: Israeli officer arrested on charges of accepting bribes

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Nov — Israeli police on Monday arrested an officer in the liaison and coordination department of the Israeli Civil Administration on charges of accepting bribes from Palestinians in return for helping them obtain permits to enter Israel, reports said. The Hebrew-language Israeli news site Walla said Wednesday that the officer was being investigated by the Israeli military police. According to the report, the case is the third of its kind in 2014.

In search of fame, Shin Bet got caught in a blunder

Ynet 14 Nov —  Analysis: After enviously watching media worship IDF during and after Operation Protective Edge, General Security Service officials decided to boost their morale by going on an investigative television program. It ended in humiliation — At times when the Knesset filled up with former Shin Bet officials, smug and foolish, Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi used to deliver the following witticism: “Shin Bet officials who come out pose a threat to Israel’s security. The moment the Arabs realize who they’re dealing with, they’ll no longer be afraid.” Well, he was right. It was true at the time and it’s unfortunately still true now. During and after Operation Protective Edge, the Shin Bet enviously watched the media worship of the IDF …  The Shin Bet was left in the shadow, and felt its weight. An exposure, Shin Bet officials convinced themselves, would boost the organization’s morale and widen its pool of recruits. We will finally have a flattering report too; historical justice will finally be done.,7340,L-4591680,00.html

Long delays in gun license renewals cause unease among residents of Israeli settlements

Ynet 12 Nov by Omri Efraim — During a period of increased terror attacks in Israel, and despite guidelines for gun owners living in Israeli settlements to carry their firearms with them, Ynet received reports that the Ministry of Public Security’s office has delayed renewal of arms licenses for months at a time, a problematic wait for those who feel they need extra protection in a tumultuous period of violence. “This is a widespread phenomenon,” said the manager of a shooting range located in an Israeli settlement, who says he knows dozens of gun owners who are waiting for their licenses to be renewed. “The Ministry of Public Security’s office has an atomic mess regarding the issue,” he said.,7340,L-4591442,00.html

French lawmakers to vote Nov 28 on recognising Palestine

PARIS (AFP) 12 Nov by Eric Randolph — French lawmakers will vote later this month on a proposal urging the government to recognise Palestine as a state, a parliamentary source said Wednesday, as diplomatic tensions continue to rise between Europe and Israel. The non-binding but highly symbolic vote on November 28 was proposed by the ruling Socialist party, and follows a similar resolution by the British parliament and an official decision to recognise Palestine by the Swedish government. A draft of the new proposal states that the lower house National Assembly “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict.”

Spain plans to hold symbolic Palestinian vote

MADRID (AP) 13 Nov — Spain’s parliament plans to hold a largely symbolic vote next week on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state. The non-binding resolution, presented by the Socialist opposition party, will be debated in parliament on Tuesday, and it appears the governing conservatives will support it. It would follow moves in other European countries intended to increase pressure for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Britain and Ireland approved similar motions last month. Sweden’s new left-leaning government went a step further and officially recognized a Palestinian state on Oct. 30, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The efforts in Europe reflect growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

First 119 Palestinian medical students begin Venezuelan scholarship program

NSNBC International 12 Nov — Over 1,000 Palestinians will be granted scholarship programs in various disciplines in Venezuela, said Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro. The Venezuelan government decided to expand the “Yasser Arafat Scholarship Program” from 199 to over 1,000 Palestinian students after the first 119 Palestinian medical students arrived in Caracas last Thursday … The Venezuelan TV channel Telesur reported that the first 119 Palestinian students, on Thursday, began their studies at the Dr. Salvador Allende Latin American Medical School. Speaking to Telesur from the Venezuelan capital Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “We’ll train at least 1,000 Palestinian students. … I just ordered the Ministry of Education to expand the program beyond medicine, so we also will enable studies in engineering, architecture, and every field of knowledge”. The program is of great importance for Palestine, which has an above average need for medical doctors due to repeated Israeli – Palestinian conflicts … Ninety-nine of the Palestinian medical students are reportedly from Palestine’s West Bank while twenty reportedly come from the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Israel and PA hold secret meeting to stop escalation in West Bank

Middle East Monitor 13 Nov — A secret meeting was held on Tuesday between security officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hebrew news website Walla reported. The meeting centred on their joint efforts to stop the escalation of events in the West Bank by preventing the outbreak of a third Intifada. The site confirmed that the Palestinian Authority assured Israel of its ability to contain the situation in the West Bank and that it would be able to exert the extent of its control there. However, PA officials warned that they would not be able to prevent the reactions to Israel’s continued violations and policies in Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinian Authority pointed to the seriousness of Israel’s actions in the West Bank, especially settler attacks on Palestinians, including land confiscations and the burning of Palestinian property.

Israeli security official: Arab countries have intervened to stop protests in Jerusalem

Middle East Monitor 12 Nov — Arab states have intervened to stop the “incitement” to demonstrate in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, a senior Israeli official revealed yesterday. In an interview on Israeli Army Radio, the Director of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau at Israel’s Defence Ministry, Amos Gilad, explained that the efforts of the Arab countries that intervened in response to a political movement in Jerusalem “yielded positive results”, claiming that “the level of incitement” may decline. Gilad stressed that the efforts of Arab countries “are followed up” by the efforts of Israeli forces to contain Palestinian protests, mainly through political arrests, home demolitions and blocking worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. Gilad said he had been giving strict orders by the Israeli government not to embarrass the Arab countries that came to Israel’s aid. He emphasised that many Arab countries are not interested in seeing a conflict ignite in the region and this explains their enthusiasm to help contain Palestinian resistance efforts. Gilad explained that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is also not keen on seeing the uprising in Jerusalem spread into the West Bank.

Once inside Israel’s hospitals, the terrorist becomes the patient

Times of Israel 12 Nov by Renee Ghert-Zand — Accused Hamas terrorist Abdelrahman al-Shaludi was brought with severe gunshot wounds by ambulance to Shaare Zedek Medical Center on October 22. He had been shot by police as he tried to flee the scene at a crowded Jerusalem light rail station where he had allegedly run over bystanders, killing two of them, including a 3-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun. One of Shaludi’s victims, an injured woman, was transported to the hospital at the same time. Doctors at Shaare Zedek opted to treat the terrorist first. As the doctors saw it, it wasn’t really a choice. Shaludi’s condition was more critical, so he needed more urgent medical attention, regardless of what he had done. Whatever their opinions about what happens outside the hospital, once they stand within its walls, Israeli physicians, sworn by oath to do no harm and save lives, say they manage to put aside their emotions and treat each and every patient equally….

The Palestinians’ warnings keep falling on deaf ears / Amira Hass

Haaretz 13 Nov — The more Israeli society closes its ears, the more the Palestinians search for ‘noisier’ ways to convey their message of suffering both as a nation and individuals — …The teller of the above joke also discussed Nur al-Din al-Hashiya, the teenager from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus who stabbed soldier Almog Shilony to death on Monday. The PFLP supporter, having watched a video showing Hashiya’s capture, said he saw despair in the 17-year-old’s eyes. “That young man didn’t care if he was killed, wounded or caught,” said my Palestinian interlocutor, who remembers himself at the same age. That was some 15 years ago; he had already sobered up from the delusion that a Palestinian state was on the way. But at least he still had a chance to support himself respectably. The World Bank has repeatedly warned about the link between two things. On the one hand, there are the restrictions Israel places on Palestinian movement and Israel’s full control over the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C. On the other, there’s the chronic weakness of the Palestinian economy and the potential for unrest among young people. Important here is the implicit connection between repression on the national level and the fact that many people lack professional and personal horizons. Warnings are also statements, backed by data and facts. Yet they continue to fall on deaf ears – not just those of the Israeli government, but also those of Israeli society. The more Israeli society closes its ears, the more the Palestinians search for “noisier” ways to convey the message. When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas complained on Tuesday that Israel was dragging both sides into a religious war, he was speaking from his knowledge of the dynamics of Palestinian society, as well as, of course, his knowledge of Israel’s actions that are changing the status quo on Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. To label Abbas’ statements as “fanning the flames” is to miss his desperate call for Israelis to come to their senses, restrain themselves and return the conflict to its “normal,” political dimensions.

Labour funding crisis: Jewish donors drop ‘toxic’ Ed Miliband

The Independent (U.K.) 9 Nov by Oliver Wright — The Labour party is facing desertion by Jewishdonors and supporters because of Ed Miliband’s “toxic” anti-Israeli stance over Gaza and Palestine. In a fresh headache for the Labour leader, it is understood that Mr Miliband has been warned that Jewish backers are deserting the party in droves over what community leaders perceive to be a new, aggressive pro-Palestine policy at the expense of Israeli interests. One prominent Jewish financial backer, a lifelong Labour supporter, said he no longer wanted to “see Mr Miliband in Downing Street or Douglas Alexander as Foreign Secretary”. A senior Labour MP warned that Mr Miliband now had a “huge if not insurmountable challenge” to maintain support from parts of the Jewish community that had both backed and helped fund Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s election campaigns.

Pentagon denies seeking advice from Israel on limiting civilian deaths

Electronic Intifada 12 Nov by Rania Khalek — The Pentagon has distanced itself from claims made by a top-ranking military official that the US has received advice from Israel on limiting civilian deaths. Speaking at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York on 6 November, Martin Dempsey, chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised the Israeli army for going to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties” during its summertime operation against Gaza … Dempsey added that the Pentagon was so impressed with the Israeli army’s conduct in Gaza that it sent a “lessons-learned team” to Israel three months ago to study and emulate “the measures they took to prevent civilian casualties.” “We asked [Israeli army Chief of Staff] Benny [Gantz] if we could send a lessons learned team,” said Dempsey, telling the audience, “We sent a team of senior officers and non-commissioned officers over to work with the [Israeli army] to get the lessons from that particular operation in Gaza.” But in a statement emailed to the The Electronic Intifada, Commander Elissa Smith, a Department of Defense spokesperson, denied that the US believed Israel did everything it could to spare civilians. “Deeply troubled” “Following the conflict, as the chairman [Dempsey] noted, we engaged in a routine military exchange with the Israeli Defense Forces. Representatives from the Joint Staff and services traveled to Israel to receive a briefing from military counterparts on the conflict,” Smith writes. “It is important to note that this exchange was not a commentary or affirmation of Israeli actions in Gaza.” Asked whether Dempsey’s praise of Israel’s conduct in Gaza reflects the position of the Pentagon, Smith predictably reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself but clarifies that the Pentagon remains “deeply” troubled by the high civilian death toll.

Why is a Colorado firm selling apartments in Israel’s illegal settlements?

Electronic Intifada 13 Nov by Ben Norton — The Colorado-based real estate firm RE/MAX is profiting from Israel’s relentless theft of Palestinian land. Active in the Israeli market since 1995, RE/MAX sells and rents houses and apartments in colonies reserved exclusively for Jews in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Much of that work is coordinated in an office that the Israeli subsidiary of RE/MAX runs in Maale Adumim, a major settlement in the West Bank. A United Nations report published last year suggested that the firm’s parent company in the US could be “held accountable” for assisting Israel’s crimes. RE/MAX International, which is headquartered in Denver, “has constant interaction and influence” over its franchises around the world. The company also provides “brand name affiliation,” training and other services, according to Richard Falk, the report’s author, who was then the UN special rapporteur for the West Bank and Gaza.

85 per cent of Arabs hold negative views of Islamic State

Middle East Monitor 13 Nov — A new survey conducted by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies at the Doha Institute shows that 85 per cent of Arabs polled hold negative views of the Islamic State (ISIS). The survey results also suggest that while the majority of Arabs, 59 per cent, support the aims of the international military campaign against ISIS, only 22 per cent of the respondents expressed “unqualified confidence in the ability of the US-led coalition to fulfil its mission”. According to As-Sabeel newspaper, the survey is considered to be the first of its kind regarding ISIS and took a wide-ranging look at the phenomenon. The results were announced at a press conference held in Doha. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews with 5,100 respondents in seven Arab countries, Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq, as well as in Syrian refugee camps located in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Only 11 per cent of respondents said that they hold positive or relatively positive views towards ISIS.


Leave a Reply

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