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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Life under occupation

A village under occupationSeth Herald - Electronic Intifada "Twenty years ago we worked with the Jerusalem municipality to organize building permits for sewer systems, streets and houses. Now there is almost no infrastructure and the occupation is the reason. The village infrastructure fits the population from 20 years ago but today it doesn’t.” Despite constant promises from the municipality to alleviate the economic deprivation, Abu al-Hummus said, redevelopment has been stagnant.“We pay taxes but we get no services.” ca 19/1/2019
Second longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israel completes 36 years behind barsM.K. - WAFA - "Maher and Karim Younis were supposed to have been freed in 2014 as part of a larger US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli peace deal that included release of Palestinian resistance prisoners in four batches with 26 prisoners in each one. The Younis cousins, along with others from inside Israel and occupied Jerusalem, were included in the fourth and last batch, before Israel reneged on the agreement and refused to release them, which eventually torpedoed the peace deal and created the stalemate that continues until today." - id 17/1/2019
Video: Israel kills dreams of Gaza boxing champion Amjad Ayman and Yousef Mashharawi - The Electronic Intifada - "Ahmad Abu Marahil, 20, is one of the best boxers in Gaza. Israeli occupation forces injured Abu Marahil three times during the Great March of Return protests, leading him to use a wheelchair." - id17/1/2019
Israel opens `apartheid road` in occupied West BankMegan Giovannetti - Aljazeera - Route 4370 has a high wall in the middle, topped with fencing that segregates the road into two separate two-way lanes. The western side is for Palestinians in the West Bank to use to go around Jerusalem, which they cannot enter without an Israeli military-issued permit, while the eastern side serves Israeli settlers going to and from Jerusalem. Palestinians from the village of Anata, which lies on the outskirts of Jerusalem but is separated from the city by Israel`s barrier wall, say part of the highway is built on Anata`s land.-rh 16/1/2019
Will 2019 see an end to the Hamas-Fatah divide?Yousef Alhelou - The Arab Weekly - Israeli soldiers storm houses and media offices — including the Palestinians’ Wafa news agency — and such acts cannot be prevented by Palestinian security forces due to signed agreements. House demolitions and confiscations of land have become almost daily occurrences. Palestinian national unity is Israel’s greatest threat and most challenging issue. Palestinians must protect their internal and external fronts and realise that the Israeli policy of divide and rule must end.-rh 16/1/2019
Don`t say we didn`t know. The bookAmos Gvirtz - Why don`t people want to know about their own country`s crimes? Why do Human Rights and Peace movements` activities evoke such strong opposition? [You can buy the book from Amazon. Also available to read it for free--bz]15/1/2019
In Three Years, Israeli Military Courts Have Fined Palestinians $16 Million Amira Hass - Haaretz - In 2016 the fines came to 21.97 million shekels, and in 2017 to 20.59 million shekels. It’s hard to find a system and uniformity in the scales of the fines, as reports by the Machsom Watch rights group reveal. Despite the meticulous breakdown in the military courts’ reports, in July 2018 the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said in response to a question by the group Combatants for Peace – based on the Freedom of Information Law – that he could not provide figures on the fines and guarantees paid in military court. [ak]15/1/2019
Defying Racism: A Palestinian musician’s ordeal at Ben Gurion AirportNai Barghouti - Mondoweiss - As furious as I am at the Israeli security officer’s ugly racism and vengefulness, I felt slightly bad for her. Despite her best efforts to humiliate me, I shall go on resisting her state’s racism and apartheid with my music, and one day I may actually make a difference in my people’s struggle for liberation. She, however, will continue to search Palestinians’ underwear, to lie about our laptops not passing security checks, and to be an insignificant tool of a system of racist oppression.-rh15/1/2019
Israeli minister calls for annexation of the West BankMiddle East Eye Staff - A newly appointed Israeli minister on Sunday dismissed the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and called for the occupied territory to be annexed. "Settlements are the new Zionism of the 21st century,” Immigration and Absorption Minister Yoav Galant said. During an election campaign stop in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, Galant said: "I am clearly saying no to a Palestinian state. It is not possible to have more than one state west of the Jordan River.”-rh15/1/2019
Israeli forces raid Beituniya, confiscate camera recordingsMa`an - According to local sources, Israeli forces raided Beituniya village and confiscated camera recordings from several commercial buildings. [bz]15/1/2019
B’Tselem: Israel Demolishes Palestinian Homes, Makes Palestinians HomelessIMEMC News & Agencies - "The Israeli occupation has demolished at least 1,401 Palestinian residential units in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, between 2006 and 2018, an Israeli rights group has revealed.According to the rights group B’Tselem, Israeli demolitions caused have caused some 6,207 people, including at least 3,134 minors, to lose their homes." ca 11/1/2019
As USAID shutters operations in Palestine, local organizations will suffer the mostYumna Patel - Mondoweiss "In late December, dozens of humanitarian organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and local municipalities across the West Bank and Gaza were faced with a harsh reality: they would only have a few weeks, one month maximum, to come up with thousands of dollars if they wanted to keep running their respective programs." ca11/1/2019
Israel spraying herbicides inside Gaza violates int`l law, rights groups say Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The farmers have sustained massive losses in the past as a result of spraying, and been exposed to the health risks associated with the chemical agents used in the spraying,” Al Mezan, Gisha, and Adalah wrote in their letter to Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with the country’s attorney general and military advocate general." ca11/1/2019
The gifts of freedomAmjad Ayman Yaghi - The Electronic Intifada - "Imad al-Din al-Saftawi waited 18 years before he could give a doll to his daughter. In 2000, Imad traveled from Gaza to the United Arab Emirates as part of his work. “My daughter Sarah was the most precious thing I had at that time as she was the first daughter after three boys,” he said. “I was thinking of bringing her a gift from a big store in Dubai. When I saw a doll that looked like a beautiful girl, I decided to buy it.” Yet Imad did not make it home from his trip. When he arrived at the Rafah crossing which separates Egypt from Gaza, he was arrested by Israel’s occupation forces." - id 10/1/2019
Palestinian Detainees Suffer Severe Cold in Etzion Detention CenterIMEMC - "The Commission quoted its lawyer Jacqueline Fararja, following her visit to the detainees, on Tuesday, as saying that conditions of the detainees are catastrophic, adding that she met with the prisoners, and they are shivering hysterically, of intense cold. It added that the lawyer pointed out that the prisoners were wearing thin clothing that was given to them by prison administration, at a time when the administration is also depriving them of blankets, winter clothes and heating facilities." - id10/1/2019
Gaza’s public servants outraged at Hamas’ recent spending Huda Baroud - Al-Monitor - On Dec. 17, media sites circulated a leaked document from Hamas’ Popular Action Department detailing the movements’ expenses for the celebrations of its 31st anniversary in mid-December in Gaza City. The expenditures included travel and accommodation costs to bring Al-Waad band from Beirut to Gaza to participate in the festivities, buses to transport citizens to the event location, monitors at the festival site, Hamas flags and banners, promotion on social media and personal visits by Hamas members to Gaza. The movement also paid to install a stage in Katiba Square, west of Gaza City, and rented seating and generators. The leaked document said total expenditures up to Dec. 13 were some $534,350 — a bill that has angered many Hamas government employees in Gaza who have not been paid their full salary since 2013.-rh 8/1/2019
Ten years after the first war on Gaza, Israel still plans endless brute forceAvi Shlaim - The Guardian - Israel’s conduct during the first Gaza war was placed under an uncompromising lens by the UN Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, the distinguished South African judge who happened to be both a Jew and a Zionist. Goldstone and his team found that both Hamas and the Israel Defence Forces had committed violations of the laws of war by deliberately harming civilians. The IDF received more severe strictures than Hamas on account of the bigger scale and seriousness of its violations.-rh8/1/2019
Israel denies Palestinians, PA officials access to Khan al-AhmarMa`an - Following the Israeli High Court`s approval for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, the village has been in danger of being demolished by Israeli forces at any moment, which would displace 181 people, half of whom are children.[bz]8/1/2019
Unseen enemy: Doctors in Gaza battling superbug epidemicThe Bureau of Investigative Journalism - Doctors in Gaza and the West Bank warn they are battling an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, a growing problem in the world’s conflict zones and one that risks spilling over borders and diminishing the global medical arsenal against serious illness. The rise and spread of these virulent infections adds to the devastation of war, increasing medical costs, blocking hospital beds because patients need longer care and leaving people whose injuries might once have been healed with life-changing disabilities.-rh8/1/2019
Gaza’s Opioid Problem : For people living under Israeli siege, with high unemployment, tramadol is a means of escape.Miriam Berger - The Nation - The anti-drug classes, however, are something relatively new for conservative Gaza, where drug use is highly stigmatized, but widespread abuse of the synthetic opiate painkiller tramadol is now part of the coastal enclave’s many interconnected crises. Khael started giving lessons in schools (for boys only) last year to combat addiction in a police program that’s part of the Hamas-run government’s own “War on Drugs”—despite criticism that Hamas has long profited from the drug trade along the way.-rh8/1/2019
Israeli Naval Forces Arrest 2 Fishermen and Detain Fishing Boat Off Beit Lahia IMEMC - "The Israeli naval soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport in addition to detaining the fishing boat. At approximately 22:00 on the same day, the Israeli authorities released the two fishermen via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing after interrogating them while the boat is so far under custody." - id 3/1/2019
2018: Year in ReviewMohan Chen - IMEMC - "From a series of border protests in the Gaza Strip to thousands of new settlement units in the West Bank, 2018 has indeed been an eventful year in Palestine. As the year draws to a close, we have taken a moment to look back and compiled a list of ten most important news stories in the past twelve months, and many of them are certainly set to reverberate in 2019." - id3/1/2019
‘NYT’ report on killing of Gaza paramedic Rouzan al-Najjar is a big step forward, though flawedJames North - Mondoweiss - The New York Times surprised us yesterday by running a long, front-page investigation into the Israeli army’s killing last June 1 of a 20-year-old Gazan health worker, Rouzan al- Najjar. Before we criticize, let’s state clearly that this article was inconceivable in the Times up until a year, or even 6 months ago. By contrast, when Israel killed four small boys who who playing soccer on the beach during its 2014 assault on Gaza, the paper swallowed the army’s dishonest explanation, without challenge, even though one of its own photographers had been an eyewitness to the killings. This time, the Times came right out and said its inquiry showed that “. . . the shooting [of Rouzan al-Najjar] appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.” The paper waited until the 9th paragraph to say this, but better late than never.-rh1/1/2019
Israel seizes 1,200 dunams of Palestinian land for new settlementMa`an - According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, in the two years since United States President Trump took office some 14,454 unites in the West Bank has been approved, which is more then three times the amount that was approved in the year and a half before his inauguration (4,476 units). [bz]1/1/2019
The events that shook the Palestinian territories in 2018Al Jazeera - Over the past year, Palestinians have experienced no respite from the Israeli occupation, let alone a breakthrough of ending it. Although no full-scale war broke out in 2018, as some had expected, it did bring a grim year of deadly violence, illegal settlement expansion and home demolitions. At least 289 Palestinians - men, women and children - were killed throughout 2018, while thousands of others were wounded, including many who were maimed for life by Israeli gunfire. According to the Defense for Children organisation, the death toll includes 56 Palestinian children - an average of more than one child every week. At least 538 housing units and facilities were demolished in the occupied West Bank, resulting in 1,300 Palestinians losing their homes, a report by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation`s Centre for Studies and Documentation said.- rh1/1/2019
Seven hospitalized in settler attack on Hebron activistsEdo Konrad - +972 Magazine - Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinians who were attempting to rebuild part of a local youth center in the occupied city of Hebron over the weekend, sending seven of them to the hospital with minor injuries. On Saturday, according to eye witnesses, the settlers had demolished parts of a storage room being constructed at the home of local Palestinian activist Issa Amro, which also serves as a community center run by Youth Against Settlements. Amro filed a complaint with Israeli police against the settlers, who he says also tore off a metal gate from his neighbor’s house.-rh 1/1/2019
IDF in West Bank refrains from arresting Jews Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - This December was particularly dramatic. At least one price tag attack was recorded about every three days. These included the slashing of tires of cars belonging to Palestinians, anti-Arab graffiti in Palestinian villages, the throwing of stones, the cutting down of olive trees and more. After the terrorist attack at the Givat Asaf intersection on Dec. 13, dozens of price tag attacks were recorded in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In Beit Hanina, for example, assailants slashed tires and sprayed slogans like “Death to the Arabs” and “We will not sleep when blood is spilled here.” The graffiti included the Star of David, which has been adopted by price Tag activists as a symbol of their nationalist crimes. Despite the steep rise in incidents, almost no suspects have been arrested.-rh 1/1/2019
After damning report, IDF says it is probing killing of Gazan medic in JuneThe Times of Israel - New York Times investigation says Israeli snipers fired into crowd that did not pose a threat; bullet hit ground, fragmented, and fatally pierced chest of Razan al-Najjar, 21 [ry] 31/12/2018
Hebron Schools GassedAl-Khalil Team - International Solidarity Movement - "At 1pm, 4 Israeli occupation soldiers entered Salaymeh neighbourhood, Hebron. Activists were present from 12:30 pm and did not witness any stones thrown or other provocation. The soldiers fired 21 tear gas rounds in under 5 minutes into the street outside the 3 schools and into two schoolyards." - id27/12/2018
Christmas message from Bethlehem’s mayor: "We are staying in the Holy Land and resisting the occupation". IMEMC - As thousands gathered on at the Nativity Church in the Manger Square of Bethlehem City, and Palestinian Boy Scouts marched to welcome the Latin Patriarch, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Bethlehem’s mayor, Anton Salman read out the Palestinian Christmas Message: "Let the world know that we are staying in the Holy Land, and will maintain it, and resist the occupation until our national goals are achieved, specifically independence and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.” Meanwhile, the Palestinian Minister of Tourism Rula Maayeh had a more mundane message: "Three million tourists had arrived into Palestine in 2018". [ak]25/12/2018
Christmas in Bethlehem: Controlling the narrative through tourismMegan Giovannetti - Aljazeera - "Israel`s idea about tourism is just marketing the state of Israel," Hilu explained. "It`s a political tool." And Bethlehem is not marketed as a part of Palestine, says Hilu. To the state of Israel and its visitors, Bethlehem is just another destination in Israel. Hilu confirmed that as a tour guide, he avoids referring to himself as Palestinians - or use "The P-Word", as he jokingly referred to it. There have been countless instances, the tour guides remembered, in which Palestinians were fired or avoided by companies if they slipped up and use "The P-Word". "We can`t say anything," says Hisman Khemayes, another general tour guide from Bethlehem. "Bethlehem is under their [Israeli] control."-rh 25/12/2018
Israeli Soldiers Briefly Detain Three Schoolgirls Near RamallahIMEMCnews - Israeli soldiers detained, on Sunday morning, three schoolgirls from Betunia Basic School, west of Ramallah, in central West Bank, and threatened to attack any person who approached them after placing them in their jeep, and released them shortly afterwards.-rh25/12/2018
Israel displaces, locks up and kills Palestinian childrenMohammad Balawi - The Palestinian Information Center - Consider a 16- year-old who has lived all his life under occupation, has never a chance to travel abroad, and has watched his family members to be killed, imprisoned or forced to leave the country. Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?-rh 25/12/2018
A ‘stubborn’ Gaza photographer narrowly escapes killing but vows to return to fence next weekAhmad Kabariti - Mondoweiss - Gaza photographer Mohammed Asad tells the story of how he miraculously survived gunfire yesterday, just a few feet away from Mohammed al Jahjuh, 16, who was shot dead in the neck by a bullet fired by Israeli soldiers during the ongoing demonstrations near Israel’s fence. “Unlike the past 38 protests, everything was almost quiet except for seven to eight stone throwers, and no burning tires. I had just decided to go home with dozens of photos I took. But I felt someone thought it was time for me to leave, and he sent a bullet to my camera. He was an Israeli military sniper.”-rh25/12/2018
Israeli occupation: More of the same in 2019Ben White - Middle East Eye - Israeli politicians and "security" officials tell us that Palestinian youth are fed a diet of hatred and incitement – at schools, in mosques, and online. But Palestinian children do not need to be taught to hate when settlers attack them on their way to school, or when Israeli soldiers shoot their classmates, or when military judges jail their parents. Living under occupation is its own education – and it lasts a lifetime.-rh25/12/2018
In video - Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinian teens after schoolMa`an - Israeli forces shortly transferred the girls to the Ofer detention center after forcing them into a military jeep amid cries by their friends. The reason for their detention remained unknown. [bz]25/12/2018
Palestinian Authority losing millions annually due to Israeli restrictionsSam Bahour - +972 - The Palestinian Authority loses $350 million every year due to Israel’s violations of various agreements. It’s time to pay up [ry] 24/12/2018
Al-Haq sends urgent appeal to UN on enforced disappearance of PalestinianMa`an News Agency - " Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding the enforced disappearance of Palestinian citizen Saleh Omar Barghouthi, 29, following his detention by Israeli forces near the town of Surda, north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, on 12 December 2018." ca22/12/2018
Israeli forces suppress weekly Bilin marchMa`an News Agency - "Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs and stun grenades to suppress protesters, took footage of and chased protesters inside the village.The march was called for by the local popular resistance committee, and set off following Friday prayers at the village`s mosque; locals, international and Israeli peace activists took part in the march." ca22/12/2018
Israel: The occupation has issued a decision restricting vaccine imports to PalestineRAMALLAH/PNN - "According to UNICEF, the Israeli government is bringing into force laws that have existed since 1986. Ramlawi condemned the decision, pointing out that since the PNA took office in 1994, there have been no problems with the issue of vaccinations, and that much has changed since the establishment of those laws 32 years ago." ca22/12/2018
MOH: Israel to allow entry of children vaccines to PalestineMa`an News agency - "The Palestinian Ministry of Health succeeded in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the children’s fund, UNICEF, in pressuring the Israeli authorities to allow entry of children vaccines for 2019 into the occupied Palestinian territories." ca22/12/2018
Khan al-Ahmar: Setting the record straightAngela Godfrey-Goldstein - +972 "The story of Khan al-Ahmar has been told countless times in the media in recent months. The way it is being told, however, is chock full of misconceptions. Here’s the real story behind the embattled village." ca22/12/2018
No Vaccination for Palestinian Children, Decides the Occupying Power, IsraelIhab Rimawi - IMEMC - "Lara Hamdan had no idea, when she went to the health services center in Ramallah, to vaccinate her one-year-old daughter, that the vaccination was not available and that she had to wait until Israeli authorities allow the vaccines to enter Palestine before her daughter can be vaccinated." - id20/12/2018
Child Abductions by Israeli Forces in Hebron, 4-11 Dec 2018Al-Khalil Team - International Solidarity Movement - "7 children were abducted on 3 different days in the Qeitun and Salaymeh neighbourhoods of al Khalil (Hebron) so far in December. ISM activists were present on these 3 occasions and this report contains video footage from all 3 incidents." - id 20/12/2018
Israel doctored video to hide killing of Gaza boysAli Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - "The Israeli military claims that its warning missiles are a “loud but non-lethal” means to give civilians time to escape before a much bigger and more lethal strike. But a joint investigation by University of London-based multidisciplinary research group Forensic Architecture and the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found that the munition that killed the boys was “likely an anti-personnel missile armed with lethal fragments.”" - id20/12/2018
As West Bank violence continues, Netanyahu calls for settlement expansion, punitive demolition of Palestinian homesYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, Israeli forces had shot and killed four Palestinians in separate incidents, while two Israeli soldiers were killed by a still unidentified Palestinian shooter, all in and around the central West Bank district of Ramallah. By Thursday afternoon, Israeli forces had enforced vast closures across the central and northern West Bank, heavily deploying troops at checkpoints, major highways, and inside Palestinian towns and cities. The intensified presence of soldiers across the occupied territory sparked clashes with Palestinian youth in several cities that lasted well into Friday.-rh 18/12/2018
18-year-old Palestinian sentenced to 35 years for killing a soldier Ma`an - The Israeli military court of Ofer sentenced the 18-year old Bassem Sabbah, from the Qalandiya Refugee Camp, to 35 years of prison, as well as imposing a fine of one and a quarter million (1,250,000) Shekels which he and his family have no means of paying. Sabbah had been charged with carrying out a February 2016 stabbing attack on Israeli soldiers shopping in a supermarket at the Shaarey Binyamin settlement northwest of Jerusalem. One soldier was killed in the attack, while another sustained injuries. [Israeli citizens found guilty of murder are often set free after about twenty years in prison, but for Palestinian prisoners like Sabbah, the only hope of early release is a prisoner exchange in the coming decades. ak]18/12/2018
Violence escalates amid Israeli raid of RamallahDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Many Palestinians believe that the heavy- handed Israeli army incursion into the center of Ramallah on Dec. 10 is the most important reason behind this escalation. While the Oslo Accord forbids Israeli soldiers from unilaterally entering areas that are under full Palestinian security and administrative control — known as “Area A” — Israeli security forces have repeatedly breached that agreement. Two factors make this particular Israeli army incursion into Area A different — namely, its strength and location. Eyewitnesses told Al-Monitor that a very large army convoy entered Ramallah Dec. 10 and headed for the offices of the Palestinian News Agency WAFA, which is located a few hundred yards from the home of President Mahmoud Abbas and across the street from the official Palestinian presidential headquarters, Al-Muqata. The Israelis barged into the state-run news agency and confiscated copies of the security camera footage.-rh 18/12/2018
Can The Occupation’s Cheerleader Win Over American Jews? Q&A With Naftali BennettBatya Ungar-Sargon - The Forward - It’s no secret that American Jews and their Israeli counterparts have less in common with every passing day. But where you locate the source of that chasm depends on which side of the Atlantic you’re standing on. For American Jews, Israel’s dispossession of Palestinian civil rights, the monopoly of the ultra- Orthodox over religious matters, and the increasing commitment to ethno-nationalism over civil rights have chipped away at erstwhile unconditional support for the Jewish State. Not so for Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett. “Israel-Diaspora relations are in an unprecedented crisis,” he said recently. “We’re often told this is because of the Western Wall and because of the Palestinian issue and because of other ideological disagreements. That’s not true. There’s a dire assimilation crisis and growing apathy among Jews in the Diaspora toward their Judaism and toward Israel.”-rh 18/12/2018
Israeli Government ‘Puzzled’ Over Australia’s Recognition Of ‘West’ Jerusalem As CapitalCharles Bybelezer - The Medialine - The Israeli government welcomed with minimal enthusiasm Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision over the weekend to recognize “West” Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital. Notably, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu failed to release a statement on the matter, whereas the Foreign Ministry described the prospective opening of a trade and defense office in Jerusalem as a “step in the right direction.” For his part, Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein called the ordeal “puzzling.” Observers are attributing the modest response to Canberra’s decision to not formally relocate its embassy to the holy city and, perhaps more significantly, due to Morrison’s stated commitment to recognizing the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state in the eventuality of a peace agreement.-rh18/12/2018
What an Israeli army closure on Ramallah looks likeZena Tahhan - +972 - The Israeli army imposed a military closure on the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, and closed major checkpoints between cities. The closure, raids, and restrictions on movement followed two drive-by shootings carried out by Palestinians this week near illegal settlements. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in one of the shootings, and in the other, several Israeli settlers were wounded, including a pregnant woman whose baby was delivered prematurely and later died.-rh18/12/2018
As one Palestinian family’s history shows, home demolitions won’t stop attacksAVI ISSACHAROFF - The Times of Israel - The family’s history shows that home demolitions are, unfortunately, highly unlikely to deter would-be attackers. Although some seem to believe destroying assailants’ homes is a comprehensive solution to preventing terrorism, the case of the Abu Hamid family shows that not only do they not prevent attacks — they can sometimes even fuel motivation for revenge The Abu Hamid home will be rebuilt within a few years, likely with Palestinian Authority funding, as one Fatah leader has said. Even if the Fatah money is not forthcoming, someone else — perhaps Hamas — will provide the funds.-rh18/12/2018
Hebron Schools Gassed (VIDEO)International Solidarity Movement, Al-Khalil Team - IMEMC News & Agencies - "Activists were present from 12:30 pm and did not witness any stones thrown or other provocation. The soldiers fired 21 tear gas rounds in under 5 minutes into the street outside the 3 schools and into two schoolyards" [ry] 17/12/2018
Palestine: Two schools evacuated as Israeli gunman open fires outsideMEMO - "An Israeli settler opened fire on Sunday outside two schools in the West Bank, as other settlers rampaged through the street under the protection of Israeli forces, reports Wafa News Agency" [ry] 17/12/2018
Israeli army shatters the illusion of normalcy in RamallahDalal Erekat - +972 - Leading a normal, safe life is a juggling act for any Palestinian family. Even the prospect of enjoying a Christmas dinner with your loved ones and neighbors must take into account the risk of an Israeli army raid, invasion, or closure [ry] 17/12/2018
Palestinian patients at Ramallah hospital suffocate by tear-gasMa`an News Agency - "...the Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad Awwad said that he sent urgent letters to international health organizations, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Crescent and other human rights organizations to immediately intervene to provide safety to Palestinians, medical teams, ambulances and health centers." ca16/12/2018
Four-year-old Palestinian boy dies of wounds from Israeli fireAl-Jazeera - ""It all happened so fast. From the moment we arrived until the moment we were shot at, only less than two minutes had passed," he said. "All we ever wanted was to see the blockade on Gaza come to an end"." - id13/12/2018
Ahmad Sa’adat: Palestine Will Be Freed By The People, Not The ElitesInterview - Via the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network- IMEMC - "The following interview with imprisoned Palestinian leftist leader, Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was published first in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto on November 9, 2018. Sa’adat has been imprisoned in Israeli prison since 2006, when he was seized along with several comrades in a violent Israeli attack on the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison." - id 13/12/2018
This ice cream shop is so good that Israelis sneak into Palestine to eat thereJustin Fornal - Munchies - At the bustling heart of Ramallah is the famous Rukab’s Ice Cream Parlor, in business since 1941. Rukab’s is renowned for its homemade dondurma, a Turkish-style ice cream based on a recipe created by the present owner`s great-grandmother. Jimmy Rukab, the current owner, points to where the Norman Rockwell style neon sign was recently hit by Israeli rubber and live bullets. “The Israeli Army came to Ramallah to confiscate some chemicals from a bookstore that sells supplies to schools for chemistry classes. The Palestinians threw rocks, and the army shot rubber bullets and a few live rounds. Four people got hit. I came into work and there were a few big pools of blood on the sidewalk. Then the next day, it was as if it never happened. This is the cycle here.(...) An Israeli woman whom I met on the plane to Tel Aviv had recalled with longing having eaten the Rukab ice cream as a child. Although Israeli military forces regularly enter Ramallah to conduct raids and arrests, the Israeli government made it illegal for Israeli civilians to enter the city. "Every once in a while, a group of Israelis will sneak into Ramallah with foreign passports, and they come to eat my ice cream" says Rukab. "Even though they try to blend in, I can always pick them out from their accents. We just created a new banana caramel ice cream based on my sister’s toffee recipe." [ak] 11/12/2018
Israeli troops raid Palestinian news agency looking for footage, fire tear gasRT - Unlike their usual custom of late night raids, Israeli forces entered Ramallah in broad daylight and raided the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA. Soldiers fired tear gas inside the building and locked journalists in a single room as they were looking for CCTV footage. They withdrew after around an hour, taking copies of videos. Meanwhile, clashes erupted outside the WAFA headquarters and at other Ramallah locations, Palestinian civilians throwing stones at the soldiers, who employed teargas and stun grenades against the crowds. Two Palestinians were also injured with live bullets. The raid was supposedly part of the investigation into the shooting of Israeli settlers standing at q West Bank bus stop, seven of whom were injured. [ak] 11/12/2018
Israeli army kills a Palestinian near HebronIMEMC News - Israeli soldiers killed a young Palestinian driving his car in the town of Ethna, west of Hebron. Identified as Omar Hasan al-‘Awawda, 27, he was hit by live rounds in his back. The Red Crescent medics rushed the young man was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition, but he succumbed to his serious wounds. The army asserted that the soldiers The Israeli army claimed that the soldiers opened fire at the car, after its driver “failed to stop for inspection,” and “endangered the lives of the soldiers.” No impartial investigation is ever likely to take place. [ak]11/12/2018
New footage proves: Israeli soldiers’ fatal shooting of Muhammad Habali unjustified and illegal Amit Gilutz - B’Tselem - On Tuesday, 4 December 2018, at 2:25 A.M., Israeli soldiers fatally shot Muhammad Habali, a mentally challenged 22-year-old Palestinian from Tulkarm Refugee Camp. B’Tselem has obtained additional video footage from security cameras located at two other spots on the street. These clips, together with footage already broadcast by the media, allow for a full analysis of the scene. It clearly shows that there was no disturbance whatsoever in Habali’s immediate vicinity at the time he was shot. Contrary to the military’s claims, the soldiers who fired at Habali were not responding to a “violent disturbance of the peace” and were in no danger: the shooting was unjustified and illegal. Yet even in such clear-cut circumstances, the Military Police investigated ordered by the MAG, Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek, is merely the first stage in the process of whitewashing this killing - as has been the case in thousands of other instances in which soldiers harmed Palestinians. [ak] 11/12/2018
Israel’s War on Protesting Children and Other CiviliansTODD PITMAN - Truthdig - Israeli forces deployed along the volatile border with the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations against Israel’s long-running blockade of Gaza began in March. And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other — the legs. The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. The military says it opens fire only as a last resort, and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.-rh11/12/2018
US, Israeli, Palestinian leaders more hawkish than their peoples Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - A survey conducted a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion at Beit Sahour, among Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which has been since quoted in a publication of the Washington Institute, shows that the positions of the Palestinian public are significantly more moderate than those of its leaders; this is the case in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the Fatah-led West Bank and East Jerusalem.-rh 11/12/2018
When will the mainstream Jewish community call us to ‘light a candle’ for the Palestinian people?Howard Horowitz - Mondoweiss - Chanukah calls us to stand up against religious persecution. As Jews and global citizens, we are all too familiar with the horrors of violence against religious and ethnic minorities—and we cannot stand idly by as the senseless brutality of the Occupation of Palestine continues for more 50 years, a continuation of the crisis (the Nakba) that forced more than 700,000 Palestinian people to flee to refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, leaving everything behind in 1947 and 1948. Join us by dedicating the 8th candle on the 8th night of Chanukah to the Palestinian people. Together, Jews will illuminate our support for the Palestinian people and share their stories for our communities to hear.-rh 11/12/2018
We Shouldn’t Lie to Ourselves: Nonviolent Resistance Is Alive and Powerful in Gaza : It’s time for the international community to recognize and support it.Muhammad Shehada - The Nation - The international community justifies its idleness during these periods by maintaining a strict no-contact policy towards the authorities in Gaza. “We can’t talk to Hamas,” the Europeans and Americans insist. But reality reveals the opposite: They obviously can and do talk to Hamas, but only when a war or an armed escalation is taking place, or when Hamas captures Israeli soldiers. Then the international community hastens to Gaza, one after the other, to restore stability.-rh11/12/2018
IDF probes shooting of Palestinian in the backAssociated Press - Ynet - Military Police opens investigation into the death of 22 year-old Palestinian man after a video surfaced appearing to show him being shot in the back; his brother says he suffered from mental and physical disabilities, and used a stick to help him walk [ry] 10/12/2018
After School in Hebron, A Journal – 6 boys detained by Israeli forces in 2 DaysFeatures - ISM - "For two days running, Israeli occupation soldiers and Border Police ambushed young children aged 10-14 years after school in Hebron. Tuesday, 24thDec. 2 boys were detained at Salaymeh checkpoint after being ambushed by a group of soldiers sneaking around in gardens and through a garage before bursting out behind the boys who were standing in a driveway. The boys were not throwing any the stones but were just randomly grabbed by the soldiers as they ambushed them." - id6/12/2018
Political vacuum in Palestine leaves fertile ground for radical groups Read more: Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The failure of the major Palestinian movements to produce any concrete results in ending the occupation has given an international Islamic movement a chance to shine. Hizb ut- Tahrir (Party of Liberation) is a unique organization that seeks the establishment of an Islamic state. They hope to recreate the caliphate system that initially ruled Islam after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The party does not partake in or support violent or military resistance activities.-rh 5/12/2018
Settlers v. AirbnbNicola Perugini and Neve Gordon - London Review of Books - The timing of Airbnb’s announcement probably wasn’t coincidental. The next day, Human Rights Watch released a report, Bed and Breakfast on Stolen Land, in which Palestinians testify that dozens of properties listed on Airbnb and were built on their expropriated land. The human rights group concludes that by making settlements profitable and thus facilitating the unlawful transfer of Israel’s citizens to colonised land, the companies are complicit in war crimes.-rh5/12/2018
The Netanyahu paradox: Guarding Israel from enemies without, causing harm withinDAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel - Attention in Israel swiftly shifted on Tuesday from the allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his attack on the police who recommend he be put on trial — the big, big news of the past two days — to the launch on the northern border of a major IDF operation neutralizing tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israeli territory.-rh4/12/2018
Anti-tunnel operation in north kicks up coalition’s political dirtMarissa Newman - The Times of Israel - Israeli action in the north fleshes out Liberman’s ostensibly straightforward reason for quitting the post and the coalition on November 14. The former defense minister had cited the ceasefire agreement with Hamas, calling it a “capitulation to terror” and accusing Israel of sacrificing long-term security in favor of short-term quiet. But according to leaks from the high-level security cabinet on Tuesday, Liberman had clashed with the Israel Defense Forces chief on whether the tunnel threat in the north was deemed serious enough to hold off on a Gaza reprisal — and may have been overruled. Hamas or Hezbollah? According to the leaks, the upcoming plan to dismantle the Hezbollah tunnels was a consideration — though not the primary one — in Israel’s decision to exercise restraint in Gaza last month. “The IDF chief of staff’s position and that of officers at the meeting was unequivocally that we must immediately act against the tunnels in Lebanon for operational reasons,” an unnamed security cabinet minister told Channel 10 on Tuesday.-rh4/12/2018
Palestinian demolishes own structures in JerusalemMa`an - The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Ahmad Siyam was forced to demolish his property of a storehouse, a garage and stairs, in the Ein al-Luza area, upon order by the Israeli municipality under the pretext that the structures were built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit. (...) For Jewish Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem`s illegal settlements, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars. [bz]4/12/2018
Israeli Soldiers Kill A Mentally Disabled Palestinian In TulkaremIMEMC - At dawn, dozens of soldiers, many of them in jeeps and others on foot, invaded several neighborhoods in the refugee camp, and Tulkarem city, especially in the Western Neighborhood, and fired dozens of live rounds and gas bombs, during ensuing protests. The soldiers were said to have shot Mohammad, who was mentally disabled, from a very close range, and that he died almost instantly, from gunshot wounds to his head and limbs. [bz]4/12/2018
Army Carries Out A Limited Invasion Into Central GazaIMEMC News - "Media sources have reported that the vehicles, accompanied by four armored military bulldozers, carried out a limited invasion into the Palestinian farmlands in the area east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp" [ry]3/12/2018
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