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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

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In three rulings, Jerusalem courts order eviction of Palestinian families and handing their homes to settlersTa`ayush - Report on September 13-19, 2020: This week, September 13-19, 2020, in the occupied Territories: Within days, Jerusalem courts issued three rulings in favor of evicting Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, and passing on their property to settler associations; settler gangs attacked Palestinian passersby in central Jerusalem, in the Walaje area on the outskirts of the city, and in Hebron; the occupation forces demolished Palestinian homes this week, too, in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, in the city of Hebron and its surroundings; protest demonstrations by Palestinians were held in Hares as well as in Qaddoum and Assira Al Qibliya, where the Israeli army dispersed them by force; as every year, with the High Holidays and the approaching of the olive harvest, settlers accelerate their vandalism of Palestinian olive groves – this week they uprooted and cut down dozens of olive trees around the Nablus and Salfit areas. [ak] 22/9/2020
A glimpse into the chaos’: How Israel’s COVID-19 policy neglects Palestinian citizensMakbula Nassar - +972Mag - Israel entered a weeks-long lockdown on Friday to stem a second wave of the coronavirus. As is in other parts of the world, statistics are showing that minority communities, in this case Palestinians, are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic.It is a cliche, and an inaccurate one, to say that the coronavirus does not distinguish between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Even the struggle shared by Jewish and Palestinian medical workers in hospitals and clinics is not proof that we are all in the same boat. If anything, the Arab community is on a boat that is floating to a particularly dark place. In mere weeks of the second wave gripping the country, Palestinian citizens went from constituting 10 percent of patients who tested positive to the virus, to 30 percent — and the curve is rising sharply. The English Hospital in Nazareth, which has traditionally treated mostly Palestinian citizens, has had to open another coronavirus clinic. (rh) 22/9/2020
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Israeli occupation forces detain 18 Palestinians from West BankWafa - One of the six detainees was identified as a former prisoner from Jalazone refugee camp, another as a resident of Nilin village, west of Ramallah, another as a resident of Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, and two others, including a former prisoner, as residents of Silwad town, east of Ramallah. In the northern West Bank, PPS said Israeli occupation forces raided Jenin refugee camp where they rounded up four Palestinians. Local sources added that the raid triggered violent confrontations, during which Israeli soldiers opened fire on local protestors, hitting one with a live round in the foot and causing dozens others to suffocate from teargas inhalation. Elsewhere in the northern West Bank, PPS said that Israeli forces rounded up two Palestinians from Nablus district and two others from Tubas district. In Bethlehem district in the south of the West Bank, PPS said an Israeli army raid into Aida refugee camp, north of the city, resulted in the detention of a Palestinian. It added that Israeli forces carried out two separate raids in Hindaza and Marah Rabah villages, east and south of the city, resulting in the detention of two others. A former prisoner was rearrested from Hebron district. (rh)22/9/2020
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Coronavirus is turning Gaza’s nights even darkerMohammed Moussa - +972Mag - Two weeks ago, Palestinians in Gaza were informed that the coronavirus had begun spreading throughout their community. A Palestinian woman was preparing to travel from Gaza to Jerusalem to accompany her daughter for a surgery. On the Israeli side of the Erez crossing, however, the authorities told her that her papers were incomplete, and she was forced to go back home. Upon her return, the woman tested positive for COVID-19. Four of her family members subsequently tested positive too. My heart turned over when I heard the news. When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March, many countries declared a state of emergency. And while the world was learning how to live in quarantine, we in Gaza — who have been blockaded by Israel and cut off from the world for 13 years — were already masters at it. (rh)22/9/2020
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Israel says it won’t return the bodies of slain PalestiniansYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - Israel’s security cabinet ruled on Wednesday that it would not be returning the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to their family for burial, following weeks of appeals from the family of Ahmed Erekat, who was shot dead at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank in June. Twenty-seven- year-old Erekat was on his way to his sister’s wedding when Israeli soldiers shot and killed him at the “container” checkpoint outside Bethlehem, after accusing him of committing a car-ramming attack on soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. As part of Israel’s widely- condemned policy of detaining the bodies of Palestinian “attackers” to be used as political bargaining chips, Erekat’s body has been held in a freezer since June, despite immense pressure from the family and human rights groups to have his body returned for burial.(rh)22/9/2020
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Palestinian Dentist Dies After Israeli Concussion Grenade Fell Near Him Near the Annexation Wall in JeninPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 14:30 on Friday, 18 September 2020, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) deployed by the Annexation Wall, near Barta’a checkpoint, southwestern of Jenin, shot stun grenades and tear gas canisters at Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel via holes in the annexation wall, some going to work in Israel. Several stun grenades fell near the late dentists, Nedal Mohammed Akram Jabarin (54), from al-Marah neighborhood in Jenin, while he was at least 100 meters away from the gates. Jabarin was going to his dental clinic in Barta’a village, located behind the annexation wall. As a result, he suffered a heart attack and was transported to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin where he was pronounced dead. Jabarin’s family confirmed to PCHR’s fieldworker that the deceased did not suffer any illnesses or any health problems.(rh)22/9/2020
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Disaster in Gaza’s darknessOla Mousa - EI - “That fire was similarly attributed to a candle which had been lit because of a power outage. The fire also caused the deaths of three young siblings. The Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan has documented a pattern of such incidents. It has calculated that 35 Palestinians, including 28 children, have died under comparable circumstances since 2010” [ry] 21/9/2020
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Netanyahu used doctored video of Abbas to influence Trump`s policy, Woodward revealsHaaretz - According to excerpts from `Rage` published by U.S. media, at a time when Trump was wondering if Israel was the obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, Netanyahu showed him a fake video to steer him away from pro-Palestinian sentiment Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented U.S. President Donald Trump with a doctored video which showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calling for the murder of children, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage". The incident occurred on May 22, 2017, at a time when Trump was beginning to have doubts about Netanyahu and wondering aloud if the Israeli prime minister might be the real obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, Woodward wrote, according to excerpts from the book published by U.S. media. A day after watching the "spliced-together" video intended to "counter any pro-Palestinian sentiments that were surfacing," Trump confronted Abbas, calling him a "murderer" and "liar," and shortly after ordered the closure of the Palestinian representative office in Washington and cut nearly all U.S. aid to the West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian refugees. (rh)15/9/2020
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Shepherds, soldiers, settlers and dogs - September 6-12 in the Occupied TerritoriesTaayush - At Ras A-Tin on the West Bank Hill Range the occupation forces confiscated tin roof plates, tables and chairs of schoolchildren at the local schoolhouse; at En Samiya in the same region Palestinian and Israeli activists thwarted the founding of a new settler outpost on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Mughayar; the villagers of Hares continue to demonstrate, protesting the theft of their land, prevention of access and vandalism – recently the Israeli army has issued a confiscation order of 20 dunams of the land belonging to nearby Deir Balut, claiming that it is an archeological site; Israeli soldiers joined settlers in a night raid on sheep pens at Tuba village in the South Hebron Hills, claiming the Palestinians stole sheep, a claim that proved false; attempts to chase away Palestinian shepherds from their grazing grounds in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, the West Bank Hill Range and the South Hebron Hills regions continue; the Israeli government has allotted 20 million shekel for the mapping of illegal Palestinian construction in Area C, at the bidding of the settler association Regavim; OCHA, the UN Humanitarian Coordination Organization, has publicized the data of demolitions of Palestinian strutures by Israel during the Corona crisis: 389 structure have been demolished, averaging 65 a month – the highest rate of demolitions in the past 4 years.[ak] 15/9/2020
Israeli handed 3 life sentences for killing Palestinian familyAljazeera - An Israeli court handed a Jewish settler three life sentences on Monday for murdering a Palestinian toddler and his parents in an arson attack on their home in the occupied West Bank. Amiram Ben-Uliel, 25, was sentenced by the Lod court following his conviction in May for the 2015 killings. He was also found guilty of two counts each of attempted murder and arson, along with conspiracy to commit a hate crime. The arson attack killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh. His mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali`s four-year-old brother Ahmad survived with burns on his body. (rh) 15/9/2020
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Is the dream of Arab and Islamic unity on Palestine dead?TALLHA ABDULRAZAQ - TRTWORLD - Palestine has once again displayed the limitations of Arab and Islamic political organisations and their impotence in resolving any problems faced by Muslims around the world. It is not as though the Arab world had ascended to any notable level of might and glory after it was colonised by the British and the French for it to have fallen particularly far from grace. However, events of the past month in Palestine have shown how the political leadership of the Arab world has plumbed even greater depths of disgrace than ever before, while the coveted illusion of international Islamic unity and solidarity continues to evade Muslims who aspire for a better tomorrow away from the diktats of foreign interlopers and domestic dictators. Despite there being numerous eminently worthy causes to attract paIslamic solidarity, none quite have the same effect on the Muslim psyche than the Palestinian cause. It is that cause, once again, that has starkly displayed the limitations of Arab and Islamic political organisations and their impotence in resolving any of the pressing problems faced by Muslims around the world today. (rh) 15/9/2020
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When will the world stop ignoring what is happening in Gaza?Majed Abusalama - Aljazeera - For my family, and for the people of Gaza, August has been horrific. Israel bombed the Strip on an almost daily basis, making us feel like we were stuck at the epicentre of a never-ending earthquake. The explosions, at times barely a kilometre from our home, were so loud, my two-year-old niece could not sleep at night. Every time she heard a loud bang she quickly gathered her toys around her, as if to protect them from Israel`s bombs. Last month was indeed horrific, but it was not extraordinary in any way. Israel`s soldiers, warplanes, drones and gunships have been harassing, intimidating, and killing the people of Gaza regularly, and with impunity, for decades. Israel`s attacks are part of the daily routine in Gaza. To be able to survive, and to lead something that resembles a normal life, us Gazans have no choice but to accept as normal the violence being inflicted on us. Growing up in Gaza, I always felt a sense of emergency. My family was always prepared for the worst, because the worst could knock on our door at any time, as it did during the attacks on Gaza in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014. As a child, I knew that living in fear every single day was not normal. In my heart, I rejected the normalisation of everyday horrors, because I did not want to lose touch with my humanity. Yet I eventually had to come to terms with the situation I was born into and my surroundings. Now, my niece and thousands of other children living under Israeli siege in Gaza, are growing up with the same fears and the same sense of constant emergency. As they try to sleep through the sounds of bombs, and protect their toys from the horrors that are just outside the door, they are being forced to accept as normal a violent reality that no child should ever even witness. In recent years, there has barely been a day in which Israel did not bomb, shoot into, or physically invade what is not only one of the most densely populated areas on the planet, but also a place which has been besieged for more than 13 years, with major shortages of the basics required for normal human life. Israel`s colonial infrastructure controls the sky above us and the land and sea around us, and is even capable of penetrating into our most intimate spaces to show us its power. In Gaza, wherever you look, you see tools of oppression, occupation and urban warfare - border fences, separation walls, armoured trucks, warplanes and checkpoints shape the landscape we live in. Even when you are at home, the whirring sound of military drones remind you that you are imprisoned, and you can be attacked at any moment. I believe Israel makes a conscious effort to constantly remind Gaza Palestinians of its presence. By making its occupation so visible, and the power it has over us so obvious, it is sending us a message: We will never allow you to be normal people, and live normal lives. (rh) 15/9/2020
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Emperor Netanyahu has no clothesSima Kadmon - Ynetnews - `King Bibi` was exposed in his weakness when under pressure from the ultra-Orthodox politicians opposed to lockdown, proving that to him and his ministers, public health is no more than a political inconvenience. The man who said 11 years ago he would banish Hamas from the Gaza Strip but did not, purported to foil Iran`s nuclear ambitions and did not, even failed to deliver on his commitment to stop incendiary and explosive devices from being launched from Gaza towards Israeli fields and communities. This man, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appeared nightly on television in the early days of the pandemic to boast about his success - and his alone - in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Israel. But now when the virus is spreading out of control, he is looking around for someone to share the blame. (rh) 15/9/2020
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The killing of a Bedouin man is a weapon in Netanyahu’s war for survivalEdo Konrad - +972mag - The last 24 hours have offered a deep insight into the profound cynicism with which Israeli leaders treat the country’s Palestinian citizens. On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally apologized to the family of Yacoub Abu al- Qi’an, a Bedouin man who was gunned down by Israeli police in January 2017 during a raid on the unrecognized village of Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab/Negev Desert. Netanyahu’s apology comes after more than three years of police attempts to smear Abu al-Qi’an and his family; a purported investigation into the incident; and incontrovertible evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Abu al-Qi’an should still be alive today. For years, the party line, toed by the police and the political echelon, was that the shooting had been justified. Suddenly, as he faces growing outrage over the handling of the COVID-19 crisis and a criminal trial that threatens his political future, Netanyahu has found use for a murdered Bedouin man who was roundly viewed and condemned as a terrorist.(rh) 15/9/2020
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This summer has revealed a sharp rise in suicides in GazaHAMZA ABU AL-TARABEESH - Mondoweiss - Suleiman al-Ajoury, 23, was a handsome young man and a cherished friend. Over the last three years he found himself unemployed and had no idea how to resume his once modest, yet stable, profession as a carpenter. Like so many young people in Gaza, he was at a standstill personally, out of work with no job on the horizon, all the while our wider environment crumbling around us. Our youth unemployment rate is a staggering 65%. The age bracket that figure encompasses is up to 24. Then, on July 4, 2020 al-Ajoury killed himself at his home, leaving a message on social media that has since been removed by the platform. He described humiliation and a sense of hopelessness. (rh)15/9/2020
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Bahrain deal win-win for Trump and Israel in changing regionAFP - Ynetnews - Following an agreement with UAE, a peace deal with another Arab country is a new step in a cherished dream by Israeli and U.S. conservatives to win Arab recognition of the Jewish state without having to fully commit to the two-state solution. Bahrain announced Friday it would become the latest Arab state to recognize Israel, a triumph both for the Jewish state and U.S. President Donald Trump who is looking for pre-election wins. The deal is another step in a cherished dream by Israeli and U.S. conservatives to win Arab recognition of Israel without establishing a state for the Palestinians, who quickly denounced Bahrain.(rh) 15/9/2020
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How the UAE-Israel deal seeks to impose a `fait accompli` in JerusalemJuman Abu Arafeh - Middle East Eye - While the normalisation agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is seen by many as a historic peace deal between the two countries, analysts in Jerusalem say it will bring “everything but peace to the region”. A report by Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli organisation that tracks developments in Jerusalem that could impact political processes or spark violence, says that the phrasing of an initial joint statement between Israel and the UAE raised fears of restrictions to Muslims’ rights to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Israelis as the Temple Mount, while legitimising Jewish prayers there, in violation of a longstanding agreement. Israel-UAE deal: In Jerusalem, Palestinians feel betrayed but not surprised. (rh) 15/9/2020
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Israel`s home demolitions in West Bank spiked during pandemic: UN Al-Monitor Staff - Sep 13, 2020 The number of Palestinian homes demolished by Israel in the West Bank has increased sharply in recent months and further exposed displaced residents to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations said on Friday. From March to August, 389 Palestinian-owned structures were razed, in what the the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said was the highest average destruction rate in four years. During that period, 442 Palestinians were made homeless, the agency said. In just the month of August, 205 people lost their homes, the highest displacement figure since January 2017. The UN and human rights organizations say the policy amounts to collective punishment. According to OCHA, building permits are nearly impossible for Palestinains to obtain from Israel, describing the processing as “restrictive and discriminatory.” (rh) 15/9/2020
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Why Israelis are not excited about the normalization with the UAE : No quick trip to Abu Dhabi will make up for the irresponsible ways that Netanyahu and Trump have mishandled their health and economic policiesRon Kronish - Times of Israel - I am one of the many Israeli citizens who are not very excited about the normalization of relations that is in the works with the United Arab Emirates. Why? Let me explain. First of all, we in Israel, as in the USA and other countries, are in the midst of the worst health and economic crises in our recent history, due to the continual spread and looming spikes of the COVID- 19 virus. This is what is rightfully on our minds. We are full of anxiety about this, as well as constant dismay and disappointment, with the way that our government “leaders” are disastrously mishandling these crises, at the same time that they are very busy every day attempting to destroy what is left of our democracy. These are the main reasons why thousands of Israeli citizens have been demonstrating in the streets and on the highways of Israel all summer, especially in Jerusalem, opposite the prime minister’s official residence, and in Caesarea, near his private residence. Secondly, we are profoundly aware that this is not a “peace” agreement in the making, but simply one of normalization of relations. One can’t make peace with a country with which we were not at war. This has nothing to do with what used to be known as “the peace process.” Rather, this is what some leaders in Washington DC and in Jerusalem like to call “fake news,” or I would call it “fake peace.” Like the so-called “deal of the century” of #45 (I can’t say his name any more) which has nothing in common with a genuine peace process, since it has totally left out one of the main partners to the process, i.e. the Palestinians. From the beginning of his term of office in 2017, the current American president has consistently and purposefully ignored and insulted the Palestinian leadership by offering them no good reasons to work with him. Of course, he has done so in complete cooperation with the Prime Minister of Israel, who has refused to enter into any meaningful talks with the Palestinians for much longer than that. (rh)8/9/2020
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Two Palestinian brothers in critical condition, after army raidIMEMC - Two brothers from the Jenin Refugee Camp - Ahmad Jad’oun, 22, and Mohammad Jad’oun, 27 - were severely wounded in an Israeli army raid on the camp and are currently being treated in the Intensive Care Unit of the Israeli hospital in Afula. According to Adv. Khaled Mahajna of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, the injuries resulted from Israeli forces having wired and detonated the front door of their home. Mohammad suffered severe injuries to his left leg, a massive section of which was blown off, and lost a great amount of blood. The younger brother Ahmad suffered profound trauma from the explosion, mainly in his face and neck. Both have undergone several surgeries. [Israeli doctors are doing their best to repair the damage done by Israeli soldiers. ak] 8/9/2020
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Don`t Say We Didn`t Know! Chronicling the routine of oppressionAmos Gvirtz - The news which no network will carry: On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Israeli soldiers came to Palestinian village Jinba (in the South Hebron Hills) and demolished two homes and a sheep pen. Twelve persons remained homeless. In addition, they destroyed the village`s solar electricity system. [ak] 8/9/2020
Soldiers plant explosives on outskirts of Palestinian village day before weekly protestsB`Tselem - On Thursday, 20 August 2020, residents of the village of Kafr Qadum in the West Bank discovered camouflaged improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted in an area where weekly protests take place, on the outskirts of the village. A group of women and children strolling in the area came upon a suspicious object covered in stones and fabric and alerted a relative. In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi, Wasim a-Shteiwi (31) related: I went over to the suspicious-looking object, which was covered with small stones and Israeli military camouflage. I took the stones off and found a closed orange box wrapped with wires and duct tape. I just managed to pick up the box and remove the wires, and then it exploded with a flash and caught fire. Bits of shrapnel hit my right arm and eye.(rh8/9/2020
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Virus puts new strain on Gaza’s overwhelmed health systemFARES AKRAM - AP NEWS - Dr. Ahmed el-Rabii spent years treating Palestinians wounded by Israeli fire during wars and clashes in the Gaza Strip. Now that the coronavirus has reached the blockaded territory, the 37-year-old physician finds himself in the unfamiliar role of patient. El-Rabii is the first Gaza doctor diagnosed with COVID-19 and is among dozens of health-care workers infected during the local outbreak, which was detected late last month. The spread among front-line workers has further strained an already overburdened health-care system. Speaking from one of the two hospitals designated to treat coronavirus cases, el-Rabii said the threat in many ways is more terrifying than war. During fighting, “you only fear being hit by shrapnel by mistake,” he said. “But with the virus, you constantly worry because you do not know how or from where it will hit you: from a patient, from your colleague, or by touching the elevator or any other surface.” (rh)8/9/2020
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This Israeli Soldier Had No Idea He Put His Knee to the Head of a Palestinian George FloydRogel Alpher - Haaretz - On the day the Israeli delegation flew to Abu Dhabi to make peace without Khairi Hanoun, he protested the confiscation of land near Tul Karm in the West Bank. What happened there was filmed and uploaded to social media. I watched and my stomach turned. Helpless fury overcame me. I apologize, Khairi. Your life is no less important than mine. A young officer in the Israeli army, the age of my daughter, threw 60-year-old Hanoun to the ground. His kaffiyeh fell off from the force of the fall. The officer sat on Hanoun. He held him down on the ground, pushing Hanoun’s face in the sand. And he put his knee on his head. That’s how a soldier doing “meaningful service” in the Israel Defense Forces looks today. And this is exactly how George Floyd was killed by a policeman in Minneapolis, in an incident that led to a worldwide protest against police brutality in the United States against Black people. (rh) 8/9/2020
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It never ends: another week of settler assaults Ta`ayush - Another attempt by settlers to raise a new outpost near Birin (Hebron District) was thwarted; the Israeli army violently quenched a protest vigil by farmers of the Palestinian village of Shufa (Tul Karm District) against their land being taken over for the sake of paving an access road to the illegal outpost Avnei Hefetz, built on their land – an army officer was documented wildly beating a 60-year old Palestinian; settlers have been assaulting Palestinian shepherds from Deir Jarir in the West Bank hill range for some time now, and harassing their flocks – Israeli activists are needed for daily accompaniement there, as well as in Hamra and Auja in the Palesitnian Jordan Valley; a Palestinian woman, 9-months pregnant, was wounded by stones thrown by dozens of settlers at Palestinian vehicles on road 60; confiscation of equipment, damage and structure demolitions by Israeli army forces at Zif and Jinba in the South Hebron Hills, as well as near Taqu’a (Bethlehem District), Wadi Al Siq in the West Bank hill range, and in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. [ak] 8/9/2020
Palestinian holy sites are crumbling under Israeli rule : Israeli land grabs are preventing Palestinians from accessing Muslim shrines in the West Bank, with some falling into ruin or being deliberately destroyed.Irit Segoli - +972mag - Israel’s takeover of the mountain ranges and hills throughout the occupied West Bank has not spared sacred places of worship for Palestinian Muslims. According to a new report by Israeli anti-occupation group Machsom Watch, maqams — tombs or shrines built on a site associated with a Muslim saint or religious figure — across the West Bank have been informally annexed to Israeli settlements through military orders, the expansion of IDF open-fire zones, and entrapment in nature reserves and antiquity sites. These houses of worship served as religious, cultural, and community centers in the rural areas of Palestine long before villages had their own mosques. Palestinians would make pilgrimages to maqams and the sacred woods that surrounded them on holidays, and during family celebrations and weddings. (rh)8/9/2020
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When a Palestinian life is worth 3 months menial laborAmit Gilutz - Ynetnews - Ahmad Manasrah had stopped to help a woman whose husband had been shot by an IDF soldier when he himself was killed by the same shooter; the soldier copped a plea deal and he is not the only one, for how else can Israel maintain the occupation? (rh)1/9/2020
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Israel’s Annexation Plan, a New Era in Palestinian ResistanceTareq Baconi - New York Review of Books - From July 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the power to bring to the Knesset a vote on whether to extend his country’s sovereignty over portions of the West Bank, in accordance with the Trump administration’s so- called peace plan, a 181-page document that, in essence, gives a US seal of approval to Israel’s expansionist agenda. Extending sovereignty, otherwise known as annexation, entails the further application of Israeli jurisdiction to territory that Palestinians had envisioned would make up part of their future state. The Trump plan has given a green light to the integration into Israel of up to 30 percent of the West Bank, including more than two hundred Israeli settlements and settler outposts and the larger part of the Jordan Valley, removing the illusion that the occupation is temporary. In the name of a “realistic” two-state solution, the plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian entity in the areas not annexed by Israel, entirely surrounded by Israeli territory in the West Bank; this putatively independent state would comprise a patchwork of urban enclaves connected by an as-yet-unbuilt complex of bridges, buried highways, and tunnels. (rh) 1/9/2020
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Is Israel’s Reluctance to Prosecute Suspected Criminals an Opportunity?Dana Farraj, Asem Khalil - Alshabaka - In the five years since the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened her preliminary examination into possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli army has killed more than 700 Palestinians and injured tens of thousands, expanded illegal settlements, and continued to deny freedom of movement to Palestinians, amongst many other abuses. Despite these ongoing violations, however, the ICC remains the only independent judicial body that is capable of ending impunity for past crimes and preventing future crimes from being perpetrated. The ICC is established on the principle of complementarity, which means it is only entitled to exercise jurisdiction when national legal systems fail to do so in line with international standards. Significantly, this includes situations where these systems purport to act but are unwilling and/or unable to conduct genuine proceedings.(rh)1/9/2020
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A Striking Difference Between Palestinian and Israeli ProtestsGideon Levy - Haaretz - People are demonstrating against injustice and for justice both in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum and outside the prime minister’s residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street. In both places, the protesters are imbued with a sense of mission. It’s more pleasant on Balfour, more dangerous in Qaddum. There’s more sacrifice in Qaddum, more art on Balfour. Balfour gets exhaustive media coverage; Qaddum is completely excluded from the Israeli media. (rh)1/9/2020
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‘Historic’ flight from Tel Aviv to UAE reminds Palestinians of painful historyYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - ‘Historic’ flight from Tel Aviv to UAE reminds Palestinians of painful history. For Palestinians, however, watching the flight take off on Monday signified the opposite of hope and prosperity, instead serving as a reminder of the “betrayal” of their cause by the UAE, and their painful history since the Nakba. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh described the event as a “very painful” sight, adding that he would have much preferred to see a UAE flight landing in Jerusalem, “after it is liberated.”(rh)1/9/2020
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Mahmoud Nawajaa: Without you, I would have suffered much more!Mahmoud Nawajaa - BDS Movement - It was 3:30 am, just before Eid al- Adha. We had prepared ourselves to celebrate the holiday in our new dream home, which took us years to finish. Tens of Israeli soldiers, with dogs, stormed our home, terrifying our three children. They took me blindfolded and handcuffed to a military interrogation center near Haifa.They put me in a tiny underground cell with no windows, with rough concrete walls, and a large metal door. A bright light that was always on. I couldn’t tell day from night, so time was creeping by. During my 19 days of interrogation, I never saw the sun, except for a total of 20 minutes, when taken to the military court hearings. I resisted the degrading conditions of detention by remembering the laughter of my two-year-old son Ahmad, my conversations with my wife, friends and colleagues, and many little life details that I had not paid any attention to before.Today, I am free! Were it not for your solidarity, my incarceration would have been immeasurably worse. I do not have the words to express my deep gratitude to everyone who participated in the campaign to release me.[ak]1/9/2020
A hunger striking detainee achieves success, another striker`s health deteriorates Palestinian Prisoners’ Society / IMEMC - After he had been on hunger strike for 15 days of hunger strike, the Israeli authorities agreed not renew the Administrative Detention order of 53 year old Musa Zahran, when his current six-month term comes to its end. Zahran, from Deir Abu Mesh’al, has already served a total of five years in Israeli prisons, without ever being accused of any specific act - solely on the basis of an Israeli general asserting that his detention is "needed for security reasons". Another administrative detainee - 49 year old Maher al-Akhras from the town of Silat al- Dhahr in the Jenin District - is already on 35 consecutive days of hunger strike, is suffering from weight loss, severe fatigue, headaches and joint pains, and was transferred to Ramla Clinic when his condition deteriorated.[ak] 1/9/2020
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COVID-19 in Palestine: Refugee Camps At RiskMondoweiss - What would you do if you were living in a refugee camp during a global pandemic? The Dheisheh refugee camp is one of nineteen Palestinian refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, and is the largest of three refugee camps in the city of Bethlehem. It’s home to 13,000 refugees, living in an area of less than half a square kilometer. Since June, Palestinians in the West Bank, including the residents of Dheisheh camp, have been fighting a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that’s spreading like wildfire through the occupied territory. For the first time in months, Palestinian refugee camps are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases raising concerns over the potentially devastating effects the virus can have on disadvantaged communities Dheisheh camp. (rh)1/9/2020
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IDF troops accused of firing tear gas into Palestinian hospitalAaron Boxerman - The Times of Israel - Army says it has ‘no knowledge of what happened inside the hospital,’ after Hebron facility head says soldiers gassed coronavirus ward Sunday morning, hurting 25 [ry] 31/8/2020
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Biden’s party just crushed Palestinian rights. But it won’t holdPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - If you care about Palestinian human rights, the virtual Democratic Convention last week was dispiriting. The issue was never mentioned in any of the primetime speeches; the party leadership crushed the party’s leftwing base on the question. It was all but removed from the platform, per the instructions of Joe Biden himself reportedly… Kamala Harris is an AIPAC-style Israel supporter who famously was dumbfounded when the New York Times asked her about problems with Israel’s human rights record… Joe Biden has been visiting Israel for nearly 50 years and counts every Israeli prime minister including Netanyahu as a dear friend, and he went out of his way to stomp on Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour. The Dems’ message is clear. Joe Biden is the most pro-Israel nominee for president, ever. We will not be out-Israel’d by Donald Trump. Joe Biden is no Barack Obama who is going to be a “troublemaker” on Israel–why he just penned a platform to the right of Likud! Reports that the Democratic Party is fracturing over the issue are the fantasies of a few hotheads on the left, as Ted Deutch and Nancy Pelosi continually assure us. (Or as Pelosi told an Israel lobby group during the last cycle, the Capitol will crumble and fall before the Democrats walk away from Israel.)(rh)25/8/2020
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How Far Can Israel Go in Trying to Erase Palestinians? Mariam Barghouti - Quds News Network - IMEMC - Living in Ramallah, I recognise that the imminent threat to be expelled is less acute than for Palestinians living in Area C or in East Jerusalem, who are regularly evicted and their land and property confiscated to make way for Israeli settlers. I also know that unlike Palestinians in Gaza, I am safe from Israeli bombardment, because the West Bank is surrounded by Israeli settlers and settlements. Bombing is not an option. Preserving my identity and the Palestinian character of my immediate surroundings is relatively easier than it is for Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. The systematic erasure they face within the Israeli state is coupled with a broad range of discriminatory laws, ensuring they remain second-class citizens. Living in Ramallah also means that I do not face the hostility of a host nation, denied the right to work or receive healthcare, like millions of Palestinian refugees in Arab countries. Living in Ramallah, also means that I do not experience the discrimination faced by Palestinians living in Western society. Yet, I too face the violence of the occupation and the insecurity of being Palestinian in this world. If I am not shot randomly at a checkpoint, my home can still be raided at any Israeli official’s whim, or attacked by settlers surrounding our villages. [ak]25/8/2020
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House demolitions in occupied Jerusalem continue at full forceWafa - Tuesday, August 25, 2020 (WAFA) – Two Palestinian-owned houses were demolished this morning and last night in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to various sources.In Silwan neighborhood, south of Jerusalem, staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished a house owned by Khaled al-Khales, said witnesses. Israeli occupation forces cordoned off the area before the staff began to knock down the one-story house using manual tools because of its location inside a narrow closed-in area. In Sur Baher, another East Jerusalem neighborhood, Mohammad Amira was forced last night to knock down his own house to avoid having to pay a heavy fine and costs if the West Jerusalem municipality would tear it down.(rh)25/8/2020
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The Palestinian’s ultimate guide to crossing an Israeli checkpointGeorge Zeidan - +972mag -So as not to trouble our oppressors, here`s a 10-step guide to help Palestinians avoid racial profiling at checkpoints — and perhaps get to places on time.(rh)25/8/2020
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‘Betrayal,’ with a personal touch: Why the PA is so angry at the Israel-UAE dealAVI ISSACHAROFF - The Times of Israel - The Palestinian Authority is fuming, incensed at the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. It is so angry it reminds one of a three-year-old having a tantrum, throwing himself on the floor and screaming for no real reason. Ostensibly this should have been a wonderful week for the PA. Its number one goal in recent months – thwarting Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank – was achieved, with the help of none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, backed by the Trump administration. Enormous diplomatic effort, demonstrations prepared weeks in advance, trips abroad to persuade the European Union and Arab countries — all seem to have borne fruit. (rh) 25/8/2020
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Israel Pushes to Remove ‘Occupation’ from the Discourse, and Biden Duly ObligesRamona Wadi - The Palestine Chronicle - In perfect synchronization with Israeli lobbying at an international level, pro-Israel organizations in the US have influenced Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden to remove references to the “occupation” from the party’s political platform. Biden’s intervention to ensure this change was interpreted as influencing party policy; any reference to the occupation will now be counted as a move against Biden’s position. Prior to this intervention, Democrat progressives had “secured an agreement to include the word for the first time,” the Times of Israel reported. (rh)25/8/2020
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Is Abbas Rival Mohammed Dahlan the Secret Broker of the Israel-UAE Deal?Amira Hass - Haaretz - When the Palestinian people are betrayed there has to be a public manifestation of national unity – that was the message of the rally that took place last Wednesday and focused on opposition to “normalization for free,” as the recent agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is being dubbed. Fatah sent its officials to the gathering: Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh spoke, and his colleagues, including Sabri Seidam, Rawhi Fattouh and Jibril Rajoub, sat on plastic chairs around the stage, alongside the perpetual representatives of other Palestinian organizations (some of them minuscule and negligent). They all listened patiently to the speeches. And who was absent from the demonstration of unity? Members of Fatah’s Democratic Reform Bloc, in other words, supporters of Mohammed Dahlan, who together with Fatah’s former security chief were expelled from the movement – but reject Abbas’ right to expel them. Dahlan’s name was not mentioned, but it was hovering in the air. The rumors and assumptions that are rife in Palestinian discourse are that Dahlan, adviser to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, is the broker of the agreement with Israel and a favorite of the Israelis and the Americans, who are planning to crown him the next Palestinian leader.(rh) 25/8/2020
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Soldiers assault Hebron resident at flying checkpoint, mocking and beating him severelyB`Tselem - "I got home at around 4:00 A.M. My wife and my eldest son, Saqer, 4, were awake, waiting for me. I hugged Saqer and burst out crying. I was exhausted and felt helpless. My wife kept trying to calm me down" [ry] 24/8/2020
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‘I ask you for your support and solidarity’: Prof. Imad Barghouthi writes from Ofer prisonMAD BARGHOUTHI - Mondoweiss - Dear colleagues, Israeli authorities arrested me on July 16th 2020 simply because of my publicly-expressed opinions and social media activity. I am currently in the Ofer prison camp, located near Ramallah city. I consider this arrest to be against my right to freedom of speech which is protected by international law. I have the right to express my own opinion and speak up to defend my country from military occupation. Also, my detention infringes on the rights of my students, my research and scientific activities. I do not expect any justice from the Israel military court system which is designed to subjugate the Palestinian population and lacks any credibility./// Dear scholars, I appeal to you to support the rights of myself and my students to continue pursuing our research. I therefore ask you for your support and solidarity to call for either my release from Israeli prison or, at minimum, demand that they provide me with the necessary tools to be able to teach online and set up my own lectures. Preferably located in my house in order to be able to teach and supervise my students. In advance, thank you very much for your help and support.(rh)18/8/2020
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Shalom, Abu Dhabi! Why the Israel-UAE agreement changes (almost) everythingDAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel - It was always widely believed in Israel that much of the Arab world, and certainly many in the Gulf, were fairly indifferent to the plight of the Palestinians, and, at worst, not particularly ill-willed toward Israel. My trip in 2016 anecdotally indicated the same, though I stress it was a brief visit, I was speaking with local citizens as opposed to foreign workers, and I know other Israelis have had less pleasant interactions. It was also widely believed in Israel that much of the Arab world, including the Gulf, would nonetheless not overtly partner with Israel, much less fully normalize relations with Israel, so long as the Israel- Palestinian conflict went unresolved. And so it proved. Until Thursday. The UAE-Israel deal has not yet even formally been consummated, but we have already entered the honeymoon period. After endless domestic political deadlock, and months of a pandemic and a collapsing economy, Israeli media is understandably delighted to be reporting some good news, and the coverage is downright giddy — thanks, in great part, to interviewees in the UAE itself mirroring the Israeli delight.///A complex process led to Thursday’s extraordinary diplomatic bombshell. In the mix was the Gulf’s shared concern with Israel at the ongoing strengthening of Iran, and the awareness that Israel simply cannot and will not allow itself to be cowed by an Islamist regime aiming for our demise and bent on achieving nuclear weapon capability. Somewhere in the mix, too, was that indifference to the Palestinians, or at least impatience with them, and ultimately a decision no longer to be constricted by the Palestinian conflict in their dealings with Israel.(rh) 18/8/2020
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Palestinian killed after a stabbing attack near the the al-Aqsa Mosque IMEMC / Y-Net - Ashraf Halasa, a 30-year old Palestinian from the town of Sawahra ash-Sharqiya, was shot and killed near a gate of the al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, after pulling a knife and trying to stab an officer of the Israeli "Border Guard" riot police. The essential facts of the event were repeated in both the Israeli and the Palestinian media, but with considerable difference in emphasis. The Palestinians note that Halasa was hit by a barrage of Israeli bullets, that he bled to death, denied medical treatment, while Israeli medics tended to the officer`s moderate injury, and that the army later detained Halasa`s mother, and two of his brothers. Conversely, Israeli reports focused on the officer being stabbed, assured the public that the officer was "in moderate condition, stable and fully conscious" and noted that "the quick and determined response resulted in the threat being neutralized within seconds". Only causally was it mentioned that "neutralized" meant "killed". [ak]18/8/2020
Israel will have to reckon with the occupation one way or anotherHenry Siegman - Responsible Statecraft - Far from being an unprecedented breakthrough, the UAE initiative is a pale repeat of an initiative by the Saudis and by the entire Arab League already in 2002. The difference between the two is that the earlier one required Israel to accept UN decisions and international law regarding Palestinian rights, and that negotiations between the parties begin at the pre 1967 armistice internationally recognized borders, while the UAE’s offer was made contemporaneously with Netanyahu’s defiant declaration that Israel intends to annex parts of the West Bank whenever it chooses to do so. Saudi Arabia and the Arab League were in constant consultation with the Palestinians, but the UAE never even bothered to inform the Palestinians of their intentions. Consequently, the self-righteous indignation of Beinart’s critics, most of whom are also outraged by any proposed punishment of Israel for its transgressions, are entirely hypocritical. For his critics know that no future Israeli government is prepared to agree to a Palestinian state that would end Israel’s current de facto apartheid rule in the West Bank. (rh)18/8/2020
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Water in Gaza: Scarce, polluted and mostly unfit for useB`Tselem - Some two million Gazans suffer from a constant shortage of water, which gets worse in summer. The tap water is salty and polluted and is not fit for drinking. In the absence of other alternatives, residents are forced to use this water for bathing and washing, yet the supply is irregular and unpredictable. For drinking and cooking, they no choice to buy water privately – despite severe financial hardship – and even then it is usually substandard. The shortage of water in the Gaza Strip and the substandard quality of tap water have been known for years. The coastal aquifer, which Gaza relies on as its only water source, has been polluted by over-pumping and wastewater contamination. As a result, 96.2% of household water from the aquifer is non-potable. Moreover, about 40% of the domestic water supply is lost on the way to consumers because of Gaza’s outdated infrastructure. Due to irregularities in supply, residents have to stock water in containers in their rooftops to use on days when the supply is cut off. The power supply in Gaza is also intermittent, and often does not come on at the same time as the water supply. This limits residents’ ability to operate pumps to fill up the containers. Families that do not get a chance to pump water to the roof before the power supply runs out find themselves with no running water. (rh) 18/8/2020
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Erekat: I never expected this poison dagger to come from an Arab countryJOSEF FEDERMAN - The Times of Israel - AP — Israel’s agreement to establish diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates marks a watershed moment in its relations with Arab countries, but the Palestinians say it puts a just resolution of the Middle East conflict even farther out of reach. The UAE presented its decision to upgrade longstanding ties to Israel as a way of encouraging peace efforts by taking Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank off the table, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly rebuffed by insisting the pause was “temporary.” From the Palestinian perspective, the UAE not only failed to stop annexation, which would dash any remaining hopes of establishing a viable, independent state (rh)18/8/2020
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Beirut`s tragedy may befall Israel as wellLior El-Hai - YnetNews - The horrendous images of the explosion at Beirut`s port, especially the enormous mushroom cloud enveloping Lebanon`s capital all as it slowly rises, should terrify many around the globe. For the residents of the city of Haifa- where Israel`s largest seaport is located - these sights represent a nightmare that one day might actually come to live. There is hardly a single person living in Haifa, whose body did not tremble at the sight of the footage emerging from Lebanon. The word ammonia is the single most terrifying word for the residents of the cities of Haifa, the Krayot, Neshser and the town of Kiryat Tiv`on, which is connected to Haifa`s port. (rh)18/8/2020
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Attention UAE Leaders: Israel Is Advancing De Facto AnnexationAmira Hass - HAARETZ - So there’s no official annexation. However, one should bring to the attention of Hend al-Otaiba, spokeswoman of the UAE Foreign Ministry, and Yousef al-Otaiba, the country’s ambassador to the U.S., who are so proud of their diplomatic achievement, that at any given moment Israel is advancing de facto annexation. You didn’t know? When you come visiting, members of the Otaiba family, drive eastward towards the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). You’ll see that it’s hard to tell where sovereign Israel ends and where the West Bank begins. Route 443, the Shiloh valley, the western and eastern Etzion blocs, the “tunnel road,” the Binyamin district, the “sovereignty road,” the Jordan Valley, the Trans- Samaria highway, the Givat Ze’ev bloc, the Adumim bloc, the Talmonim bloc, the Gilo bloc, the Karnei Shomron bloc and its environs, the City of David, the Har Homa neighborhood, the seam line area, etc. etc. All of these are emblematic of the way Israel has encroached on Palestinian space that was intended to be part of their state under a peace agreement. All of these have become ever-expanding Israeli- Jewish areas – arrogant, imperious, enclosing Palestinian enclaves that are becoming less and less visible.(rh)18/8/2020
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Ta`ayush report: Occupied Territories, August 2-9, 2020:Taa`ayush - A new settler outpost in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley /// Home demolitions and uprooting of palm trees in Jiftlik village /// Settlers steal and vandalize equipment, water systems and solar electricity systems in Sarura, South Hebron Hills /// Daily harassment of Palestinian communities by the new settler outpost at Umm Zaitouna /// Palestinians manage to prevent confiscation of vehicles by police and army near Tawane /// Israeli activists join local protests against settler incursions and tree uprooting, activist detained at Hares, Palestinians and Israeli activists together targeted by teargas and stun grenades at Turmus Aia; Nine activists arrested at protest in JNF (KKL) building in Jerusalem, re threatened expulsion of the Somarin family in Silwan. [ak]11/8/2020
24-year old Dalia Sammoudi killed by army fire inside her Jenin homeIMEMC - Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Jenin at dawn on Friday, broke into the home of former political prisoner Khaled Abu Hasan - some of them interrogating him while ransacking the property. Meanwhile, many local youngsters gathered and started hurling stones at the invading soldiers and military vehicles. The soldiers then fired a barrage of live rounds at random, in addition to dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades. Later, army tried to justify the excessive use of force by claiming that some Palestinians fired live bullets at the soldiers, but locals denied the allegation and confirmed that the protesters had no weapons, and only hurled stones and empty bottles at the army jeeps. The 24-year old Dalia Sammoudi, who was in her home and took no part in the confrontation, woke up to feed her hungry newborn, and tried to close a window to prevent the tear-gas from seeping into her home - whereupon she was shot with a live round in the chest. A Palestinian ambulance rushed to the scene, but the soldiers fired several live rounds at it, delaying its arrival at the home of the seriously wounded woman. She died soon after arriving at the hospital. [ak] 11/8/2020
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Israel issues demolition notice for Palestinian cave homeAFP / Times of Israel - "I tried twice to build (a house), but the occupation authorities told me it was forbidden to build here” says Ahmed Amarneh, a 30-year-old civil engineer. In the village of Farasin, where he lives, Palestinians are forbidden to build without an Israeli permit - but Israel virtually never grants such a permit. Convinced he would never get Israeli approval to build a home in his village, Amarneh set his sights on a cave in the foothills overlooking Farasin. He sealed the entrance to the cave with a stone wall and installed a wooden door at its center. He fashioned a kitchen, a living room and sleeping areas for himself, his pregnant wife, and their young daughter. There is even lodging for guests. But after living there for a year and half, he received a demolition notice from the Israeli authorities, along with 20 other Palestinian families who built more conventional homes in Farasin."How can they say I have built anything illegally? I didn’t make the cave. It has existed since antiquity. Animals live in caves and are not thrown out. So, let them treat me like an animal and let me live in the cave.” [ak] 11/8/2020
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Providing latrines in the southern West Bank - an oPt Humanitarian Fund success storyOCHA (UN Humanitarian Affairs Office) - “For many people, this might be simply a latrine. For us, women living here, it means the world.” (Thurayya, a resident of Khirbet ar Ratheem) Sanitation is a basic need, without which health, hygiene, privacy, safety and dignity are undermined. But for many Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, access to sanitation is scarce. [ak]4/8/2020
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‘I want Battir to go to hell’: Settlers move in on Palestinian World Heritage siteYuval Abraham - +972 mag - Khaled and Miriam Muammar live in Battir, an agricultural village in the occupied West Bank, just south of Jerusalem. Khaled works in construction and Miriam in the family’s field, where she grows eggplants, for which Battir — which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage and World Heritage in Danger lists in 2014 — is known. “Every eggplant is 40 centimeters [16 inches]. They are huge. The entire world wants them,” says Khaled. A month ago, when Miriam came to work in the fields, she saw something that made her immediately turn around and run back home: eight armed Israeli settlers and a Doberman walking around the field. They built a tent in a nearby plot of land belonging to Battir resident Ghassan Alyan, where they tethered their sheep. They stayed until sundown before leaving.(rh)4/8/2020
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List of Israeli Targets Leaked: Tel Aviv Fears the Worst in ICC Investigation of War CrimesRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - When International Court of Justice (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, confirmed last December that the Court has ample evidence to pursue a war crimes investigation in occupied Palestine, the Israeli government responded with the usual rhetoric, accusing the international community of bias and insisting on Israel’s ‘right to defend itself.’ Beneath the platitudes and typical Israeli discourse, the Israeli government knew too well that an ICC investigation into war crimes in Palestine could be quite costly. An investigation, in itself, represents an indictment of sorts. If Israeli individuals were to be indicted for war crimes, that is a different story, as it becomes a legal obligation of ICC members to apprehend the criminals and hand them over to the Court. (rh)4/8/2020
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Israel facing tensions on northern, southern bordersRina Bassist - Al-Monitor - Aug 3, 2020 The last time Israel’s south was hit was on July 5, when Gaza assailants fired three rockets into Israel. In response, the Israel Defense Fores (IDF) then bombed a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. But after almost a month of relative quiet on that front, the situation is now evolving. Israel’s security system must currently focus not only on its northern borders but also on the south. As a reminder, on June 20, Hezbollah operative Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad was killed in an airstrike outside Damascus. The group blamed Israel for the attack and vowed to retaliate. Since then, tensions on Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon have intensified, with Israel deploying additional forces in the Galilee. (rh) 4/8/2020
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What Comes First, an Israeli Army Firing Zone or Palestinian Villages?Amira Hass - Haaretz - For about 40 years the Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration did everything in their power to make these communities disappear, while they, in their heroic and prolonged battle against the order to become extinct, also turned to legal channels and to petitions. In military Hebrew, the area designated for demolition and the eviction of its Palestinian residents is known as Firing Zone 918. In ordinary Arabic and Hebrew it is Masafer Yatta.(rh) 4/8/2020
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Emboldened by promises of annexation, Israeli settler attacks soared in JulyYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - t has been one month since Israel’s unofficial July 1st deadline to annex the West Bank passed. The media attention leading up to the date reached a fevered pitch by June 30th, as international condemnations rolled in, and US congress members began floating the idea of conditioning aid to Israel. By the time July 1st rolled around, after weeks of intense build up, Israel had begun to backtrack, and eventually, talk of annexation seemed to fizzle out. But while the world may have moved on from annexation, for the time being, the consequences of Israel’s promises are being felt on the ground in the West Bank, as reports of settler attacks on Palestinians and their property surged in July, as well as in June in the lead up to annexation. Almost every day since July 1st has seen reports of settler attacks and incursions on Palestinian towns and villages across the West Bank. (rh) 4/8/2020
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Israel Confiscates 327 Dunams Near Bethlehem To Build Colonialist UnitsIMEMCnews - The Israeli occupation authorities have issued orders from the confiscation of 327 Dunams (80.8 Acres) of Palestinian lands to build hundreds of units in an illegal colony east of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank. Hasan Breijiyya, the head of the Bethlehem office of the Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission, said that Israel recently decided to confiscate 327 Dunams of Palestinian lands to build 224 units in Abie Hanahal colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.(rh)4/8/2020
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