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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

Homes of 44 Palestinians, including 22 children, demolishedAmit Gilutz - B`Tselem - As part of Israel’s efforts to take over more land in the West Bank, authorities yesterday destroyed the homes of 44 Palestinians (22 of them minors) and cut off entire communities from the water supply. by Israel are conducting military training in residential and farming areas, denying Palestinians access to land, prohibiting construction, preventing connection to basic infrastructure and confiscating property. With a month left before the end of the year, Israel has demolished the homes of more than 900 Palestinians in 2020 (the figure includes the West Bank and East Jerusalem), compared with 677 in all of 2019. [ak]26/11/2020
Military colludes with settler incursions and itself intensifies house demolitions Ta`ayush - Report of the between November 15-22, 2020 in the Occupied Territories: Cases of explicit cooperation of the Civil Administration, Israeli army and police with incursions of settlers from their outposts into Palestinians’ lands and homes in the South Hebron Hills – while the pace of demolitions of Palestinian structures and property throughout Area C and East Jerusalem is steadily growing; a Palestinian activist was wounded on Friday by Israeli army fire during a violent dispersion of a protest demonstration against a new settler outpost in Samiya, in the West Bank hill range, and a paramedic was detained; activists from Palestine, Israel and abroad took part in tree planting in the lands of Sa’ir and Shuyukh, close to the settlement ‘Asfar’.26/11/2020
Gaza`s health system days away from being overwhelmedMedical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) - Health experts in Gaza have warned that the local health care system is days away from being overwhelmed, as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to rapidly spread. Cases of COVID-19 have more than tripled over the past month in Gaza, with more than 15,000 people infected and 69 deaths sadly recorded. Speaking to the BBC, Abdelnaser Soboh, the World Health Organization`s (WHO’s) Emergency Health Co-Ordinator in Gaza, warned that "within a week, we will become unable to care for critical cases." Of 100 ventilators available in Gaza, 79 are already in use, amplifying fears of the recent warning from the WHO of an increase in severe cases of COVID-19, with more cases being reported among people aged 60 and over. 26/11/2020
Israeli army launches air raids on besieged Gaza StripAl Jazeera - Israeli military says it struck Hamas positions after an alleged rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave [ry] 23/11/2020
UNRWA fears `disaster` in Gaza as funding runs dryAFP - Ynetnews - The "worst financial crisis" ever faced by the UN`s agency for Palestinian refugees could lead to "disaster" in the Gaza Strip and insecurity in Lebanon, the organization`s chief has warned on Sunday. Founded in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) runs schools and provides health services as well as other humanitarian aid to an estimated 5.7 million Palestinians with refugee status.(rh)22/11/2020
Biden may offer some key opportunities for Palestinians and their alliesNoura Erakat - Washington Post - The Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, for example, built on the steady ethnic cleansing of the city’s Palestinian population through forced removal, residency revocation, denial of permits for family reunification, retroactive application of exorbitant taxes, settler takeovers of Palestinian homes and home demolitions overseen and allowed by successive U.S. administrations from both political parties. The embassy relocation was a culmination of this policy and, frankly, removed the emperor’s clothing. Far from condemning Biden’s refusal to move the embassy back to Tel Aviv, the 2020 Democratic Party Platform insisted that Jerusalem “should remain the capital of Israel,” and, at some point in time, also be subject to the farcical peace process.(rh)22/11/2020
The Palestinian leadership chooses captivity : Devoid of strategy, the PA has returned to its role as a subcontractor of the occupation. Luckily, the richest source of Palestinian power is in its grassroots.Amjad Iraqi - +972mag - As the opening remarks began, news broke that the Palestinian Authority had decided to resume civil and security coordination with Israel, which President Mahmoud Abbas had suspended in May in protest of Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Claiming they had received assurances that Israel would adhere to their agreements, the PA’s Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh hailed the move as “a victory for our Palestinian people.” The irony was not lost on the webinar participants, who shook their heads in dismay as the news was shared. In tragic fashion, the Muqata’a had given evidence in real time to back the speakers’ criticisms of the Palestinian leadership. As Crisis Group analyst Tareq Baconi predicted, the PA’s relief over Joe Biden’s election win had “reignite[d] its misplaced faith in the U.S. to deliver statehood,” compelling it to return to the Oslo arrangements in order to curry favor with the new administration. That “outward-facing gesture,” Baconi noted, would likely come at the expense of efforts to unite the divided Palestinian factions — who were meeting in Cairo for further reconciliation talks that very same day.(rh)22/11/2020
Reassured by Biden Win, Palestinians Will Resume Cooperation With IsraelDavid M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon - New York Times - Palestinian leaders had abundant reasons to resume cooperation with Israel and few reasons not to. Their banks, whose liquidity had been depleted by the self-inflicted cash crunch, had informed them they could no longer lend the Palestinian Authority money, endangering its ability to operate. International donors, chiefly in Europe, had been insisting that the Palestinians resume accepting the tax transfers from Israel before seeking further aid. Israeli and Palestinian experts also said that Democrats seeking to facilitate a return to a peace process under Mr. Biden have urged the Palestinians to take specific steps to show that they will not be obstructionist if the new administration engages on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [bz]18/11/2020
Israel Evicts Palestinian Families for Military Training in Jordan ValleyThe Palestine Chronicle - "Israeli authorities ordered [...] a number of Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley region to leave their homes and make way for Israeli military training in the area" [ry] 16/11/2020
November 6, 2020. Harat Makhul. Humsa al-Foqa. David Shulman - The rains have come in force, the hills are muddy, and there is food for the goats and sheep. Over morning tea in Makhul we get the weekly litany of hurts. Walid—still a boy—was out alone with the herd, and settlers came and beat him. It’s really dangerous to be alone on the hills. A large posse of settlers attacked Qadri and several others; there were two broken legs. A few days earlier, settlers killed Qadri’s uncle’s cow. At Ibziq the army confiscated 21 Palestinian tractors, private vehicles, and water tanks. It’s hard to survive in the Jordan Valley without a tractor. At Ein Sukut there was the murdered sheep I wrote about in my last report. It goes on and on. No day passes without violence, insult, and hurt. The rains have come in force, the hills are muddy, and there is food for the goats and sheep. Over morning tea in Makhul we get the weekly litany of hurts. Walid—still a boy— was out alone with the herd, and settlers came and beat him. It’s really dangerous to be alone on the hills. A large posse of settlers attacked Qadri and several others; there were two broken legs. A few days earlier, settlers killed Qadri’s uncle’s cow. (rh) At Ibziq the army confiscated 21 Palestinian tractors, private vehicles, and water tanks. It’s hard to survive in the Jordan Valley without a tractor. At Ein Sukut there was the murdered sheep I wrote about in my last report. It goes on and on. No day passes without violence, insult, and hurt.15/11/2020
Netanyahu Responds to Biden’s Victory by Announcing New Settlement near GazaPalestine Chronicle Staff- Only hours after Democratic nominee Joe Biden was projected to be the 46th President of the United States, the Israeli government approved the construction of a new settlement adjacent to the border of the besieged Gaza Strip. The news of the Israeli cabinet’s approval of the settlement was reported on Sunday by Israel’s Channel 12, Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronoth and other sources. Prior to the cabinet meeting, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government is now set to approve of the new settlement near Gaza. “This is a great news for Israel, this is great news for the communities in the Gaza border area,” Netanyahu said. According to Yediot Ahronoth, the new settlement, which would be called “Hanun”, will initially host about 500 Israeli Jewish families. Citing Israeli media sources, Anadolu News Agency said that the Israeli government “will allocate one million NIS ($296,000) for the development of the infrastructure in the new settlement, which will be within the area of Israel’s Sdot Negev Regional Council.” (rh) 15/11/2020
Biden’s victory prompts great expectations in Ramallah, quite possibly too greatAVI ISSACHAROFF - Times of Israel - Joe Biden’s US presidential victory has restored some color to the cheeks of senior officials in the PA, Fatah, and mainly Abbas’s close circle. The hope is that four years of diplomatic drought are ending, and the expectation is that the PA is back in business. It is doubtful that Biden will prove as accommodating as the PA would like to believe, however. Ramallah will need to demonstrate an abundance of readiness to progress in order to avoid angering the incoming American administration. Now, Ramallah will not want to irritate Biden from the get-go by reconciling with the terrorists of Hamas, so that process is likely over. On Tuesday, indeed, Rajoub announced that the reconciliation was delayed “due to special circumstances.” As for parliamentary elections, those too are likely off the agenda, at least until Biden’s policies on the Palestinian issue start to become clear.//Trump may yet attempt to complicate matters for his Democratic successor by making a move Biden would find it difficult to rescind — announce official recognition of Israeli sovereignty at major settlement blocs such as Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, or in the E1 area east of Jerusalem, for instance. Along with looking to restore ties with DC, the PA may also consider restoring ties with Israel, if annexation stays off the table. In May, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that extending Israeli sovereignty to all the settlements and the Jordan Valley was imminent, Abbas cut off financial and security coordination, and also refused to accept payments from Israel of taxes and customs duties it collects on the PA’s behalf.(rh) 15/11/2020
Webinar: Annexation and the Aftermath of the US ElectionFMEP/B’Tselem USA - NB: Date change!
Jordan Valley Nov 3: Israel razed an entire Palestinian community
`A patriotic leader and great fighter for his people" - President Abbas mourns Saeb ErekatWAFA / IMEMC - The departure of our brother and friend, the great fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat represents a great loss for Palestine and our people, and we feel deeply saddened by his loss, especially in light of these difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause. Palestine today bids farewell to this patriotic leader and the great fighter who played a big role in raising the banner of Palestine high and defending the rights of our people and their national constants in all international forums". [ak] 10/11/2020
11 Palestinian families – 74 people, including 41 children – were left homeless in the Jordan Valley. Finding shelter for sheep and newborn lambs was the most urgent task, as their livelihood depends itAmira Hass - Haaretz - The northern migration of the Awawda and Abu al-Kabash families began in the 1970s and 1980s, when the grazing lands near Samu’a and Yatta began to shrink and access became more difficult due to military bans and Israeli construction. In 1948, the families from Samu’a already lost a large chunk of their land that was left on the Israeli side of the Green Line. Due to population growth, the limited water supply Israel permits to the Palestinians, increasing drought and expanding settlements, more sheep breeders from Samu’a moved north to the Jenin and Tubas area. The Abu al-Kabash and Awawda families lease land owned by people from Tamun and Tubas where they also grow wheat and barley for their own needs. But Israel declared the area a “firing zone”. Since 2018, the residents of Humsa have had to evacuate at least 20 times due to military exercises in the area. “Israel didn’t leave us any land to plant. Without our sheep, we’ll become beggars,” says Yusef Abu Awad.” The demolition of each encampment lasted about half an hour. Umm Walid al-Kabash, from the third encampment, says through tears: “If only they had informed us ahead of time. We would have been able to save more things. The taboun for baking bread was also destroyed.” [bz] 10/11/2020
Israel criticized over West Bank home demolitionsY-Net - Israel has come under heavy criticism after the military demolished several homes and other structures in a Bedouin community in the West Bank this week as much of the world’s attention was focused on the U.S. election.European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, who led the delegation, said it was “very clear” that the demolition of the structures “is contrary to international law.”“Their vulnerability is further compounded by the onset of winter and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” she said of the Bedouins of Khirbet Humsu. “Some of the demolished structures had been donated as humanitarian assistance.”10/11/2020
Many Israelis mourn Erekat - and are castigated by right-wingersAaron Boxman - Times of Israel - Saeb Erekat helmed for decades successive Palestinian negotiations with Israel, including talks that led to the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Many Israeli current and former officials — including those who sat across from Erekat at the negotiating table — mourned Erekat as a moderate who sought peace. Condolences messages were issued by Peace Now, Meretz, the Labor Party`s Minister Amir Peretz and more surprisingly Likud Minister Tzahi Hanegbi. Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, offering her deepest condolences to the Palestinians and to Erekat`s family, said “Saeb dedicated his life to his people. He used to say that reaching peace was his destiny, and when falling into his final illness he still texted me: ‘I’m not finished with what I was born to do.’ He will be missed”. However, right-wingers such as Knesset Member Betzal`el Smotrich called Erekat "an anti-Semitic terror- supporter" and castigated the Israelis who mourned him, and the extreme-right agitator Bentzi Gopstein called his death "a piece of happy good news". Former Israeli negotiator Gilad Sher, who built a friendship with Erekat that outlasted the talks, said he was “appalled by right-wingers` hatred, curses and death wishes.” [ak] 10/11/2020
Israel carries out largest West Bank demolition operation in a decadeAhmad Al-Bazz and Oren Ziv - +972 - Israel demolished over 70 structures in the Humsa al-Fuqa community in the occupied West Bank, displacing 11 Palestinian families [ry] 9/11/2020
Destroying Palestinian Jerusalem, One Institution at a TimeYara Hawari - Al-Shabaka - On July 22, 2020, Israeli police raided and looted the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, the Yaboos Cultural Centre, and the Shafaq Cultural Network in East Jerusalem under the pretext that the institutions were funding terrorism. The institutions’ directors were also arrested and detained. These attacks on Palestinian cultural centers are not new and reflect the Israeli state’s continued systematic destruction of Palestinian Jerusalem. Jerusalem has historically been central to Palestinian social and political identity. But since its capture and division into an Israeli-controlled West and a Jordanian-controlled East in 1948, Israel has thoroughly obscured Jerusalem’s Palestinian identity with ethnic cleansing campaigns and an ongoing occupation that renders life unbearable for the city’s Palestinians. Indeed, since East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967, the Israeli regime has actively worked to erase the Palestinian presence in the city through the construction of the separation wall, the imposition of unworkable residency requirements, urban planning schemes that demolish and replace Palestinian structures, and frequent closures of Palestinian cultural and political institutions.(rh)8/11/2020
MAP supports essential respirator training for Palestinian health workers battling COVID-19Medical aid for Palestinians - In September, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the International Medical Education Trust 2000 (IMET2000), supported by the British Consulate General, delivered 15 Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) respirators to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Ramallah to help save lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These highly-effective CPAP respirators were developed by University College London (UCL) and manufactured by Mercedes High Performance Powertrains in the UK. They deliver oxygen under pressure, enabling many patients to recover without intrusive ventilation. This allows ventilators to be used for the most critically ill patients. The IMET2000 team are now training doctors and nurses in the five West Bank hospitals that will receive the respirators. Trainings have been conducted at the Military Hospital in Nablus and the Hugo Chavez Hospital and the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah, with more planned in the coming weeks in Dura and Alia Hospitals in Hebron. (rh)8/11/2020
Under cover of US elections, Israel wipes entire Palestinian community off the mapYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - As the world was engulfed in the unfolding US elections on November 3rd, Israel quietly demolished an entire Bedouin enclave in the northern Jordan Valley, leaving more than 70 Palestinians homeless just as temperatures started to drop in the occupied West Bank. At around 11am on Tuesday morning, the residents of Khirbet Husna were shocked to see a caravan of Israeli military jeeps, accompanied by a number of bulldozers and excavators, heading down the dirt pathway to their village. “The soldiers often come here to evacuate us when they have military training,” Fatima Abu Awwad told Mondoweiss, as she sat amidst the rubble of what was her home just 24 hours earlier.(rh)8/11/2020
The landslide that wasn’t: What the elections say about America : It was supposed to produce a sweeping victory for Joe Biden, so why did so many Americans vote for Donald Trump?Marwan Bishara - Aljazeera - The United States presidential elections were supposed to produce a sweeping victory for Joe Biden and a decisive win for the Democrats. The vote was supposed to signal a clear break with the past; ushering in a new morning after a dark night in America. November 3 was supposed to be “judgement day” when, after four years of Donald Trump, Americans were finally seizing the chance to deliver a clear verdict befitting the crimes committed by President Trump against their democratic institutions and liberal values.// More importantly, how is it that Trump continues to be so popular after his utter mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a quarter of a million deaths, unprecedented economic decline and double-digit unemployment. How is it he remains a credible option after countless scandals and investigations into his suspicious record, from abuse of power to tax avoidance not to say evasion? (rh) 8/11/2020
Israel criticized over West Bank home demolitions : EU representative says demolition of Bedouin village in the northern Jordan Valley, housing 74 people, including 41 minors, is a violation of international lawAssociated Press -Ynetnews - On Friday, a group of European diplomats visited the community of Khirbet Humsu in the northern Jordan Valley in a show of support for the Palestinian community against what an EU representative said was a violation of international law. Israeli troops with bulldozers and heavy equipment on Tuesday — U.S. Election Day — demolished 18 tents and other structures that housed 74 people, including 41 minors, according to the Israeli rights group B’Tselem. The Israeli military said the structures were built without permission. Israeli troops with bulldozers and heavy equipment on Tuesday — U.S. Election Day — demolished 18 tents and other structures that housed 74 people, including 41 minors, according to the Israeli rights group B’Tselem. The Israeli military said the structures were built without permission. (rh)8/11/2020
Maher al-Akhras "prevails over jailer," ends 103-day hunger strikeTamara Nassar - Electronic Intifada - Al-Akhras took the decision after Israel agreed to release him on 26 November, when his current administrative detention [i.e. detention without trial-bz] ends. Such orders can be renewed indefinitely but Israel has agreed not to renew his. The 49-year-old father of six hails from the occupied West Bank town of Silat al-Dahr, near Jenin, where he owns a dairy farm. “I don’t want to die. I love life. I do not choose death,” he told Tel Aviv daily Haaretz this week. Palestinians are crediting al-Akhras’ with rallying national and global support for Palestinian political prisoners. [bz]7/11/2020
In pandemic, of all times: Number of Palestinians Israel has left homeless hits four-year record B`Tselem - In the midst of an unprecedented health and economic crisis, more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) lost their homes in the first 10 months of 2020 alone than in any full year since B’Tselem started collecting this data. 798 Palestinians have already lost their homes in 2020, including 404 minors who lived in 218 homes. In addition to all of these, yesterday, 3 November 2020, on the eve of US elections, the Civil Administration came with a military escort, two bulldozers and two diggers to the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley. The forces demolished 18 tents and sheds that housed 11 families. They also destroyed more than 30 tons of fodder for livestock and confiscated a vehicle and two tractors belonging to three residents. While Israel has formally given up on annexing the West Bank, the demolition figures indicate that on the ground, reality remains unchanged. [bz] 6/11/2020
IDF destroys Palestinian village in Jordan ValleyAFP/Ynet - According to Abdelghani Awada, left homeless by the operation, the Israelis who arrived in vehicles and with bulldozers gave people "10 minutes to evacuate our homes". "Then they started bulldozing," he told AFP. He stressed that his family had lived in the area for generations and accused Israel of trying to "empty the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian population". [bz] 6/11/2020
“Thank God… another day has gone by without being expelled”Musa Abu Hashhash - B`Tselem - “Thank God… another day has gone by without being expelled”, a 50-year-old Palestinian woman from the area of Masafer Yatta said to me. She lives in the South Hebron Hills, in an area the Israeli military has designated “Firing Zone 918”. When I asked how she and the rest of the community were holding up, she said, “We’re used to the harsh life of the desert. We’re used to living without electricity or water and walking for many miles. We shelter against the cold of winter and the heat of summer in our tents. We’re used to leading a simple life on our land, by our sheep. We don’t have grand dreams about castles, playgrounds, or swimming pools for our children. Our dreams are small: to live in peace on our land, without fear or worry.” [ak] 3/11/2020
Palestinians Don’t Need a ‘Victim Status’ They Have a Right to an Anti-colonial StruggleRamona Wadi - Palestine Chronicle - The US-Israeli narrative on Palestine goes a step further than the designated humanitarian label which the international community imposed upon the Palestinian people. As US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman predicted that up to ten Arab countries would normalize relations with the settler- colonial state, Palestinians, he said “must stop clinging to their victim narrative”. Friedman was speaking during an online event for members of Friends of Tel Aviv University. The “victim status”, which was also made popular by US Senior Adviser Jared Kushner in the prelude to the Trump administration’s so-called ‘deal of the century’, is not only a political slur against Palestinian history and narratives. It eliminates the political claims which the UN has already diluted through its useless resolutions and humanitarian propaganda. Furthermore, Friedman failed to link the Palestinian Authority’s corruption with US, Israeli and international complicity. According to Friedman, the PA’s hoarding of wealth contributes to the “victim narrative”. Since the Oslo Accords, it was the international community’s decision to support a compliant political entity that would divest Palestinians of the opportunity to seek their political rights. The manner in which the PA exploits the Palestinian people runs deeper than generating a purported victim status. The PA is an extension of Israeli colonialism, supported by pro-Israel institutions and entities, reviled by many Palestinians who are aware of how their lives and land have been exploited to maintain the two- state policy myth. (rh)1/11/2020
Ashrawi: US decision to label Jerusalem as Israel is attempt to erase PalestiniansWafa News Agency- Following is the full statement by Dr. Hanan Ashrawi: "The US State Department`s new decision to allow the labeling of Jerusalem as part of Israel in official US documents is a falsification of the City´s history and identity, in line with Israeli criminality and lawlessness. It is also a continuation of this administration`s sinister scramble to compound injustice and create new oppressive facts in Palestine ahead of upcoming elections. This decision comes while Israel is taking unprecedented illegal measures to displace and replace Palestinians in Jerusalem, including home demolitions, exile orders, and revoking the ID`s of Palestinians. By adopting this measure, the US administration is also retroactively recognizing other illegal Israeli actions, including the ethnic cleansing of West Jerusalem and the grand theft of Palestinian property. This is an affront to the City`s history and identity. It is also a clear violation of UN resolutions 181 II (1948) and 194 III (1948), which affirmed the status of the whole city of Jerusalem as Corpus separatum, as well as UN General Assembly resolution 303 IV (1949) and others that affirmed the inviolability of Jerusalem`s status. (rh 1/11/2020
Destroying Palestinian Jerusalem, One Institution at a Time Yara Hawari - Al Shabaka - The Israeli state has actively sought to destroy Palestinian Jerusalem since its creation in 1948. Al- Shabaka’s Senior Palestine Policy Fellow, Yara Hawari, examines the July 2020 attacks on three Palestinian cultural institutions in East Jerusalem as part of the Israeli regime’s systematic destruction of the city’s Palestinian identity. She offers policy recommendations for protecting Jerusalem’s Palestinian cultural and political institutions. (rh) 1/11/2020
West Bank Palestinians` olive trees burn as U.N. urges protection for harvestReuters/Ynet - In normal years peace monitors accompany the farmers to protect the harvest. But the coronavirus pandemic has made this harder. Some Israeli activists are still deploying. "With COVID-19 it is impossible for foreigners to come, harder for Israelis," said one activist, Guy Butavia. Olive farmers in areas near some Israeli settlements say they face problems each year. "When we try to reach our fields, the army protects the settlers and prevents us from accessing our olives," said Adnan Barakat, council head of Burqa village, near Ramallah. In Burqa, Israeli settlers "stoned and physically assaulted Palestinian olive pickers on three occasions, triggering clashes." [bz] 30/10/2020
The Annexation That Was And Still IsB`Tselem - both the uproar when annexation seemed imminent and the sigh of relief and renewed indifference afterwards overlook a crucial fact: for years, Israeli governments have treated the West Bank as their sovereign territory, to do with as they please in pursuit of long term goals – without official declaration or legislation. This position paper focuses on that reality and provides updates on the current situation. [bz]27/10/2020
October 18-24, 2020 - in the Occupied Palestinian TerritoriesTaayush - Also this week settler attacks against Palestinian olive harvesters, with the robbing of olive crops and heavy damages to olive trees, and the ongoing harassment and chasing away of shepherds from their grazing grounds. The army demolished structures in the South Hebron Hills and in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, in the Bethlehem district, in Qalqiliya and Beit Iqsa. A new settler outpost was established on "antenna hill", on the lands of Birin village. Activists accompanied shepherds on Saturday at Umm Al Amad, and helped with the olive harvest at Susya. To join Ta`ayush this Saturday call 055-2770168 [bz]27/10/2020
Palestinian teen dies after being ‘beaten by Israeli soldiers’Al Jazeera - Director of medical centre says Snobar died of neck injuries sustained while being beaten by Israeli forces [ry] 26/10/2020
The enduring power of Rachel CorriePHILIP WEISS - Mondoweiss - Two Saturdays ago, a theater company near me presented a reading of the play, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” with four young women speaking Rachel’s words on a simple stage 50 feet from commuter rails. About 60 people were in the audience, and there was none of the political drama that accompanied the play’s New York premiere in 2006. Israel’s friends did not succeed in shutting down a progressive theater company‘s production of the show… When the show did get staged, no one handed out flyers outside the theater with pictures of Israeli girls killed in suicide bombings. Yet in a way the play had more raw power last Saturday night than it did when I first saw it 14 years ago. Director Christine Bokhour chose the work because she was looking for a piece that would tie into Black Lives Matter and other protests. “[Rachel Corrie’s] passion for social activism, and willingness to put her own life on the line for it, is what is inspiring to me,” Bokhour wrote in the program. “I cannot imagine a time when I would have had the courage to do what she did. (rh)25/10/2020
Return to school rekindles fear of Israeli soldier and settler violence Oct 14, 2020Defence for Children Palestine - Ramallah, October 14, 2020—“I was scared at school,” 15-year-old Amir H. told Defense for Children International - Palestine. “Whenever I saw soldiers, while on the way to school, I would be scared and try to get away from them as much as possible because I had been stopped before, more than once.” A return to school in September meant that for Palestinian students living near illegal Israeli settlements, journeys to school and schooldays would once again be marred by violence at the hands of Israeli soldiers and settlers. Amir, currently a ninth-grader at Tuqu Secondary School for Boys, located east of the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, has been subjected to numerous attempted arrests on his way to and from school by the Israeli military. (rh)25/10/2020
Cop who killed Palestinian with autism faces chargesAssociated Press,Ynet - Ynetnews - Prosecutors on Wednesday recommended charging a police officer with reckless killing in the deadly shooting of a Palestinian man with autism in Jerusalem earlier this year. The decision came nearly five months after the shooting of 32-year-old Iyad Halak, a resident of East Jerusalem, who had been heading to his school for students with special needs when he was killed. Halak`s family, which had criticized the slow pace of the investigation and prosecutors` claim that security cameras in the area had malfunctioned, condemned the decision. They said prosecutors should have filed much tougher charges.The Justice Ministry said the officer, who was not identified, would be charged with reckless killing, pending a hearing in which he can dispute the charges.(rh) 25/10/2020
Palestinian Volunteers Help Olive Harvesters in Ways the Palestinian Authority Can’tAmira Hass - Haaretz - In dozens of villages, the harvest has become life-threatening, and Israel prevents Palestinian security forces from protecting farmers. Volunteers have fill the vacuum – but settler violence isn’t limited to three weeks a year.(rh)25/10/2020
New Israeli aggression puts life of Palestinian hunger striker Maher al-Akhras in immediate dangerYOAV HAIFAWI - Mondoweiss - Maher al-Akhras, who has been on a hunger strike since his administrative detention on July 27, is waging a battle against the mighty Israeli occupation apparatus. Every day brings him closer to death, as Israel seems to be trying to prove through his case that the life of Palestinians, like their freedom and human rights, are worth nothing. But the formidable insistence of his hunger strike against the principle of administrative detention, and his determination that the strike will end only once he is free or becomes a martyr, is mobilizing more and more people to his support. On Friday, the 89th day of his hunger strike, it seemed that his Israeli torturers finally lost their nerve./However, on September 22, taking into account al-Akhras’ medical condition, they decided that in his current health condition he couldn’t constitute any “danger to state security”. On this basis they suspended his detention, but said that even though he was not a detainee, he was still not allowed to go to his home or to a hospital in the West Bank. This was to make it easy to renew his detention once his health improved. Al-Akhras was then actually detained as a “potential- administrative-detainee” in Kaplan hospital. His wife joined him in the hospital, and there were several demonstrations in solidarity with him front of the hospital. His hospital bed became a center of attention to activists who traveled to stand in solidarity with him. (rh) 25/10/2020
Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem intends to demolish 13 Palestinians houses in East JerusalemWAFA - The municipality ordered the demolition of the houses under the pretext they were built without a permit, but there are in the same area of Silwan equally unauthorized houses taken over and illegally inhabited by Israeli settlers, but none of them received demolition orders... [bz]20/10/2020
Gaza Eases COVID Restrictions: Tawjihi Students Back in School (PHOTOS)Wafa Aludaini - Palestine Chronicle - Gaza authorities began easing up COVID-19 restrictions Saturday, allowing Tawjihi students (final year of high school) to resume their studies, although under strict safety measures. Gaza’s Ministry of Education issued a statement stating that they will evaluate the decision one week from now, to assess whether other students are allowed to return to school under similarly strict measures. Tawjihi is a critical year for Palestinian students, for the results of the final exams alone determine future college placement. Failure to obtain high grades can make a great difference for students, who can either join good universities or have to repeat the final year of high school (rh)20/10/2020
Diplomatic Bullying: Israel Won`t Renew Visas to UN Workers in West Bank and GazaAmira Hass - Haaretz - Back in February, then-Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz promised to carry out an act of reprisal against OHCHR in the guise of freezing ties with it – because it dared to publish an (incomplete) list of mainly Israeli businesses and corporations (and a few from abroad) that are mired up to their ears in the Israeli settlement enterprise. Katz made a promise, and the Foreign Ministry headed by Kahol Lavan member Gabi Ashkenazi is keeping that promise. Do other countries who are annoyed by your criticism act the way Israel does, I asked OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville. He replied that on occasion, the work visas of one of the employees is not extended, but "I am not aware of any truly comparable situation anywhere else, where every single visa coming up for renewal has not been renewed." He added: “And this is a unique situation in that the office and staff are not functioning in Israel itself, but they need Israeli visas in order to enter and exit the occupied Palestinian territory.” [bz] 20/10/2020
Government to High Court: Dying Palestinian Still a Security Risk Amit Gilutz - btselem - Maher al-Akhras, a 49-year-old father of six, has been on hunger strike for nearly 80 days to protest his administrative detention. The state offers to "suspend" his detention order, which means that it would not be renewed when ending on 26 November 2020, but that al-Akhra will remain imprisoned without trial until then, sice he is "still dangerous" (but this danger from him will cease on November 26?). al-Akhras rejected this compromise, annoncing he will only end his hunger strike on complete and immediate release from prison. [ak]13/10/2020
Palestinian Prisoner Continues Hunger Strike as Israeli Court Rejects Petition Calling for Immediate ReleasePalestine Chronicle - Palestinian hunger striker, Maher al-Akhras, who has been on a 78-day long fast protesting his administrative detention, today rejected a deal from the Israeli High Court that recommends his release from prison in return for ending his hungerstrike. Al-Akhras rejected the Israeli High Court deal after only recommending his release by November 26 instead of ruling in favor of his release as requested by his lawyer in the petition submitted to the Court and rejected today. As a result, according to his lawyer, al-Akhras decided to continue with his hunger strike until there is a definite and clear position from the High Court or the Israeli occupation authorities setting a specific date for his release and not only a recommendation.(rh)13/10/2020
Woman Dies After Police Arrested Her Son for Violating Curfew Rules in Nuseirat Refugee CampPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Sunday, 20 September 2020, medical sources at Shuhada’ al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah announced the death of a woman from Nuseirat refugee camp, Central Gaza Strip, 30 minutes after she arrived to the hospital unconscious; the cause of death was a severe heart attack that she suffered in a police assault on her sons and attempt to arrest one of them. The police arrived at her son’s shop because he had opened his shop after curfew hours (20:00).(rh) 13/10/2020
For Israel, tens of thousands of Palestinian newborns don’t existHenriette Chacar - +972mag - After giving birth in April, Shabaro registered her daughter with the Palestinian Authority. She made sure the baby had a birth certificate and passport, and that she was listed on Shabaro’s identification card. When travel was possible again, Shabaro made plans to leave on July 22. She applied for and received a UAE visa for her daughter, and bought tickets to fly out of Jordan. What Shabaro could not anticipate was that, in May, the Palestinian Authority would halt civil and security coordination with Israel, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government announced plans to formally annex large swaths of the West Bank. The move meant that the PA would also end its decades-long practice of passing on its record of the population registry to Israel. That included the information of Shabaro’s daughter. More than 35,000 Palestinian newborns have been registered with the PA since May 20, according to Palestinian Deputy Interior Minister Yousef Harb. But for Israel, these children simply do not exist, and therefore cannot travel freely out of the occupied territories. (rh) 13/10/2020
People in Gaza sifting through rubbish for food, UN head saysOliver Holmes - The Guardian - Palestinians across Middle East suffering unprecedented poverty, says Philippe Lazzarini [ry] 12/10/2020
76 days on hunger strike! 11/10/2020
Seventy six days on  hunger strike! Free Administrative detainee Maher al Akhras NOW!  We appeal to you, requesting urgent intervention to save the life of the administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras, since all contacts for his release have come to naught. Al-Akhras is in dire straits, on the 76th day of his hunger strike. Al-Akhras is entitled to the basic human right: to know what he is accused of and to be able to respond to the accusations. If there are no charges, he must be released immediately. This right is given to every person in Israel, and to every person in a free society. Why would al-Akhras not be entitled to this basic right? The State of Israel has made the administrative detentions, which allow it to imprison people without a release date, and without an indictment, a tool used against Palestinians in an arbitrary and common way. Al-Akhras, a father of six from Jenin, is on hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention. [ak]11/10/2020
Palestinians face constant COVID-19 testing shortage YUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - As the coronavirus continues to spread across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), local news this week was inundated with warnings of testing kit shortages in the West Bank and Gaza, the latter of which has seen a worrying spike in cases recently. The Palestinian Minister of Health Mai al-Kalia told the Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that Israel “obstructed” the entry of 100,000 COVID-19 testing swabs that were destined for the West Bank in coordination with the United Nations (UN). As a result, she said, the MOH will only have enough swabs to last them for three days, after which time the West Bank would run out of the testing kits. (rh)6/10/2020
Repression of speech and scholarship on Palestine needs to endAzeezah Kanji, Dania Majid, David Palumbo-Liu - Aljazeera - s lawyers and academics, we are deeply troubled and exasperated by the pervasive repression of speech and scholarship on Palestine. This includes recent reports that the University of Toronto’s Faculty of law rescinded an employment offer to noted international human rights scholar Valentina Azarova, following a complaint by a sitting judge regarding her research on Israel’s occupation policies*. The reported treatment of Azarova is consistent with a broader and intensifying climate of suppression. Lawyers, academics, journalists, teachers, artists, students, activists, and trade unions in Canada have been subjected to smear campaigns, event cancellations, physical violence, professional disciplinary measures, and condemnation by the prime minister and other political leaders for opposing Israel’s gross violations of international law and expressing solidarity with Palestinians. In August, Indigenous CBC journalist Duncan McCue was required to apologise simply for using the word “Palestine” on-air. (rh)6/10/2020
Israel to put temporary freeze on demolitions in East JerusalemYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - According to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Israeli government will be freezing demolitions “across the country,” a move that the government had reportedly taken at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis back in March. After COVID-19 death rates declined inside Israel during the summer months, Adalah noted that Israel “amped” its demolitions of Palestinian homes back up. Following a letter to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, sent by Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara, “demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s accelerated policy of home demolitions” in East Jerusalem, the Israeli Justice Ministry announced it would “adjust” the policy to reflect the actions taken back in March./After re-examining things – and given the restrictions recently imposed by the government following the further spread of COVID-19 –it has been decided at this stage, to adjust the enforcement policy of planning and construction offenses to align with the state of emergency, similar to the policy decided upon in March 2020,” the ministry said.(rh)6/10/2020
Normalizing the abnormal : Forget the normalization efforts of Gulf state oligarchies. as the South African struggle against apartheid showed it is the power of ordinary people that matters.HAIDAR EID - Mondoweiss - The official Arab World seems to be intent on betraying the Palestinian people through an ongoing process of normalization that was launched by the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the late 1970s, and continued by the Jordanians and the PLO in the early 1990s. This led to the UAE and Bahrain joining in, giving legitimacy to a settler colonial project in the heart of the Middle East. It has become crystal clear for the Palestinian people that we have to give up on relying on most Arab governments. Only civil society–including opposition parties, syndicates, unions, clubs, women’s organizations and others — is able to mobilize true support for an end to Israel’s unprecedented crimes against the three components of the Palestinian people: the Palestinians in the 1967 occupied territories, 1948 Palestinian citizens of Israel, and refugees in the diaspora. (rh) 6/10/2020
Israeli settler sets up a tent south of Hebron as a nucleus for a new settlementWAFA news agency - Tuesday, October 06, 2020 (WAFA) – An Israeli settler set up a tent on Palestinian-owned land in Birin village, located to the east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to a local activist. Member of the Popular Committees in Southern Hebron, Rateb al-Jbour, said that a settler set up a tent on a plot of land belonging the Burqan family from Birin, east of Yatta, and hoisted the Israeli flag in the vicinity as a prelude to seizing the land for the construction of a new colonial settlement. Located to the southwest of Bani Na‘im, Birin has a population of 160 and is flanked by Bani Haiver colonial settlement from the east and the settler-only bypass Road No. 60 from the west. Its residents were originally expelled from Naqab desert in the south of the country following Israel’s creation in 1948 and now depend on agriculture and livestock as their main source of livelihood. Yet, Israel is trying to end Palestinian presence in Birin and in the south of the West Bank in its effort to take over the Palestinian land for its settlement schemes. (rh)6/10/2020
UAE - Israel agreement: Palestinians charge Arab World with betrayal, but also blame themselves Dr. Khalil Shikaki / Walid Ladadweh - Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) - The overwhelming majority of the Palestinians views the decision of the UAE to normalize relations with Israel as a betrayal or abandonment of the Palestinian cause, one that serves only the interests of Israel. A similar majority thinks that Saudi Arabia and Egypt, by endorsing that normalization, have in effect abandoned the Palestinian leadership. But most Palestinians also place the blame on themselves because they are divided and have normalized relations with Israel long before others. [ak]6/10/2020
Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Soldiers near TulkaremIMEMC / the Jerusalem Press - Three Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces east of Tulkarem. Two of them managed to flee the scene, but the third died shortly after being shot. The dead man was identified as Samir Ahmad Hmeidi, 28, a university student and former political prisoner, from Beit Lid, who had spent three years in Israeli prisons. According to the Israeli army communique, the three "terrorists" were shot while throwing Molotov cocktails at an army post, established to protect the nearby Israeli settlement of Einav. The communique noted with relief that no Israeli soldiers were hurt. [ak] 6/10/2020
Al-Akhras Continues Hunger Strike For 70th DayIMEMC News - "The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, Sunday, that Maher al-Akhras, a political prisoner held by Israel without charges or trial, is ongoing with the hunger strike for the seventieth consecutive day despite his seriously deteriorating health condition" [ry] 5/10/2020
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