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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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EU grants will allow Ramallah to pay June salaries to civil servantsAaron Boxerman - The Times of Israel - The Palestinian Authority will be able to pay the June salaries of more than 43,000 civil servants thanks to a €23 million ($27.03 million) grant provided by the European Union. PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announces that the PA is continuing to reject tax revenues which Israel collects on its behalf, in protest of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank. Refusing the revenue, which makes up around 70% of the PA’s 2020 budget, left the PA in a deep fiscal crisis. (rh)28/7/2020
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Settlers torch and vandalize mosque in Al-BirehMiddle East Eye - Israeli settlers have staged an arson attack on a Palestinian mosque in Al-Bireh. Parts of the Al-Bir wa al-Ehsan mosque were set on fire, leaving them burned and damaged, but no one was reported injured. In the close vicinity of Al-Bireh are the Israeli settlement bloc of Beit El to the north, and the Psagot settlement to the south. The arsonists are likely to have come from one of these, though past experience has shown that they are very unlikely to be ever apprehended. The arsonists sprayed graffiti on the mosque walls reading "Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) for the Jewish People" and "Closure for Arabs, not for Jews". [The latter seems to refer to the similarity between the lockdown imposed on Israeli cities due to the cornonavirus crisis and the closure imposed on Palestinian cities at various occasions sincve 1967. AK]. 28/7/2020
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Two Female Detainees Remain In Solitary Confinement, Face Harsh ConditionsIMEMC - the two women, Fadwa Hamada and Jihan Hasheema, are in solitary confinement, facing harsh conditions. The two detainees told the Committee’s lawyer that they have been transferred to solitary confinement in al-Jalama without being allowed to bring their spare clothes or any of their belongings. “We have been wearing the same clothes since we were moved here, they gave us one blouse each, in addition to toothpaste and broken toothbrushes. When we are allowed to visit with our lawyer, the soldiers place chains on our legs, and do not provide us with masks (despite the Israeli government`s insistence that everybody must wear a mask to block the spread of Kovid-19). We also have not been allowed any visits with our families for many months.” [ak] 28/7/2020
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Court denies Palestinian prisoners right to COVID-19 protectionTamara Nassar - Electronic Intifada - Israel’s highest court has ruled that Palestinian prisoners have no right to physical distancing protection against COVID-19. Thursday’s ruling came amid a coronavirus outbreak in the overcrowded Gilboa prison in northern Israel. At least 30 Israeli prison guards and seven Palestinian prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Some 500 guards and 60 prisoners have entered quarantine. An Israeli guard at Ofer military prison near Ramallah, where Israeli occupation forces imprison Palestinian children, has also tested positive. The Palestinian legal advocacy group Adalah has petitioned Israel’s high court to provide all basic health services to Palestinian political prisoners – whom Israel calls “security” prisoners. [bz]28/7/2020
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Footage Shows Border Policeman With Knee on Jerusalem Protester’s NeckNir Hasson - Nir Hasson - A border policeman was filmed late Tuesday night in Jerusalem holding a demonstrator on the ground with a knee on his neck. The demonstrator, 28-year-old Uri Yerushalmy of Tel Aviv, said he was held on the ground after trying to prevent a policeman from hitting a female protester, and that the border policeman pressed his knee on his neck for several seconds. “If he had applied just a little more force, I wouldn’t have been able to breathe,” Yerushalmy said later. For all the difference in the outcomes, the video recalled the May 26 killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota policeman who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes on end, despite Floyd’s saying “I can’t breathe,” setting off weeks of protest, much of it violent, across America. (rh)28/7/2020
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IDF says it foiled Hezbollah attack along Lebanese border; no Israeli injuriesJUDAH ARI GROSS - The Times of Israel - The Israel Defense Forces said it thwarted a Hezbollah attack in the Mount Dov area on Monday afternoon, opening fire at a number of fighters from the terror group that entered Israeli territory. No Israeli soldiers were injured, and the IDF denied Lebanese media reports that a Kornet anti-tank guided missile was fired at an Israeli tank on Mount Dov, also known as Shebaa Farms, an area that Israel, Lebanon and Syria each claim as its own.(rh)28/7/2020
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The cultural importance of Peter BeinartYAKOV HIRSCH - Mondoweiss - In his recent essay arguing for equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians, Peter Beinart says the Jewish dehumanization of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, and he points to the misinterpretation of the Holocaust as a reason for that dehumanization. This “Holocaust lens,” Beinart claims, is what makes it so difficult for Jews to see Palestinians as created “b’tselem Elohim,” in the image of God. That dehumanization includes the idea that Palestinians are motivated by antisemitism in their opposition to Israel. The claim, Beinart says, is a function of “Jewish trauma.” And, Beinart argues, it says more about us than it does about them (rh)28/7/2020
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Demand an end to the harassment of Palestinian scientists and academics and an immediate release of prof. Imad BarghouthiThe Action Network - On Thursday, July 16th 2020, Professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds [1] in East Jerusalem was detained [2] by Israeli military forces at a military checkpoint outside of Anata while he was travelling from the university campus to his home in Ramallah. He is now being kept in an Israeli detention facility, prohibited from contact with his dear wife and children. No charges have been brought against him and he faces the potential threat of administrative detention. Administrative detention [3], an illegal measure used arbitrarily by the Israeli military forces to detain Palestinians without any charges or trials. If charges were to be placed against him, he would face trial by an Israeli military court, which notoriously has conviction rates of almost 100% [4]. This arrest is not an isolated case. Prof. Barghouthi, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists, was placed under administrative detention for two months [5] in 2014, and was again detained for six months [6] in 2016. Mr. Ubai Aboudi (a US citizen), the director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, was abducted from his home in November 2019 and placed in administrative detention. He remains in prison to this day. Both Prof. Barghouthi and Mr. Aboudi have worked with S4P on our international meetings and schools in Palestine, and their arrest and detention seriously hinders our work supporting science in Palestine. (rh)28/7/2020
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Israel arrests two senior Hamas officials in HebronAARON BOXERMAN and AGENCIES - The Times of Israel - The Israel Defense Forces detained Hamas senior officials Nayif Rajoub and Hatem Qafisha in Hebron Sunday morning, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency. Rajoub, brother of Fatah Secretary General Jibril Rajoub, was formerly minister of religious affairs for the Gaza-based terror group, while Qafisha is the representative for Hebron in the Hamas-led Palestinian Legislative Council.(rh)28/7/2020
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Why are Palestinian citizens staying out of the anti-Netanyahu protests?Yaser Abu Areesha - +972 mag - Palestinians in Israel are at a different starting point from most of the people taking part in the current protests. From our perspective, this is a struggle for change that does not include us, and that we therefore have little interest in. As a result, even though we have a clear interest in ousting Netanyahu, our enthusiasm and hope for what might happen next is very low — and we are indifferent to the identity of whoever will lead the next government. History has taught us that no one really wants Palestinian citizens at the decision-making table. The Joint List’s dead-on-arrival recommendation of Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party, to form a governing coalition instead of Netanyahu proves that our status in Israeli society still hasn’t changed, and that we’re not part of this political game. (rh)28/7/2020
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The Forgotten History of the Jewish, Anti-Zionist LeftSarah Lazare - Portside - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to forcibly annex up to 30% of the occupied West Bank is exposing the violence inherent in imposing a Jewish ethno-state on an indigenous Palestinian population. While the plan is delayed for now, the human rights organization B’Tselem reports that, in preparation for annexation, Israel already ramped up its demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank in June, destroying 30 that month, a figure that does not include demolitions in East Jerusalem. The theft and destruction of Palestinian homes and communities, however, is just one piece of a much larger—and older—colonial project. As Palestinian organizer Sandra Tamari writes, “Palestinians have been forced to endure Israel’s policies of expulsion and land appropriation for over 70 years.” Today, this reality has evolved into an overt apartheid system: Palestinians within Israel are second-class citizens, with Israel now officially codifying that self-determination is for Jews only. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to military occupation, siege, blockade and martial law—a system of violent domination enabled by political and financial support from the United States. (rh)28/7/2020
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Is Israel foiling Fatah-Hamas reconciliation?Khaled Abu Toameh - Jerusalem Post (quoting Al-Quds Al-Arabi) - Hatem Qafisheh, a senior Hamas official from Hebron who was briefly detained by the IDF earlier this week, said he and other Hamas representatives were warned by their Israeli interrogators not to strike any deal with Fatah. The interrogators told him he and other Hamas officials would pay a price if an agreement is reached between Hamas and Fatah. Bassem Za’areer, another Hamas official in the West Bank, said some of his colleagues received phone calls from Israeli intelligence officers warning them against taking parts in current efforts to end the Fatah-Hamas dispute. [bz]28/7/2020
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Coronavirus: Israeli court rules Palestinian prisoners have no right to social distancingMiddle East Eye - Israel`s Supreme Court accepts argument made by Israeli authorities that Palestinians held in prison are no different than family members or flatmates living in same home [ry] 27/7/2020
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Israeli Police Arrest PA’s Governor of JerusalemMaksoortiya - Palestine Chronicle - In February, Israeli occupation authorities banned him from entering the West Bank for six months and from communicating with the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite being the PA’s governor. He was previously arrested by Israeli forces in October 2019, in November 2019, and then again last April. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community. The Palestinians consider East Jerusalem as the de jure capital of the State of Palestine, although the city remains under Israeli occupation until today. (rh)22/7/2020
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Israel Releases Seriously Ailing DetaineeIMEMC - On a late night hour on June 23 Israeli soldiers had arrived at the home of Nidal Abu ‘Ahour in Bethlehem and took him off to detention. ‘Ahour, 46 years old, married and a father of seven, had already served previous terms of detention. He suffers from kidney failure, cancer and serious respiratory issues, and previously had a kidney transplant. Defense attorney Ahlam Haddad had repeatedly appealed to the military authorities, alerting them to this serious health cosndition. After three hearings on one week, the Israeli military appellate court in Ofer prison, decided to release him on payment of a bail of 12.000 Shekels (Approximately $3508). He was released and was instantly moved to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, near Bethlehem. Such consideration by the military authorities is quite rare. There were previous cases when release was denied to seriously ill Palestinian prisoners, and some of them died behind bars. [ak] 21/7/2020
No way to prove ownership in Corona period, but uprooting goes on unhinderedAmos Gvirtz - Don`t Say We Didn`t Know - Israeli soldiers came to the Baqa`a (east of Hebron) and cut down 30 olive trees. They proceeded from there to nearby, Khalet Al Aida and uprooted olive trees over an area of 2 dunams, destroyed terraces, came back to Baqa`a and destroyed 2 dunams of vegetables. [bz]21/7/2020
Demolitions in Hebron, Beit Hanina, A-Ram and Jabal Mukabar; continued attacks on IssawiyaYair Ron - ta`ayush 2013 - Demolition orders were issued for a structure designated for Corona-virus tests and treatment, at the entrance to Hebron, where 70% of all Covid-19 cases in the Palestinian Occupied Territories are concentrated - construction materials were confiscated in situ by the Israeli army; as arrests and violent suppression of demonstrations continue in West Jerusalem, the police continues to attack the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, where arrests and injuries were reported this week; home demolitions are ongoing in Beit Hanina, A-Ram and Jabal Mukabar – neighborhoods of East Jerusalem; eviction orders have been issued to two families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in favor of a settler-colonist association. [bz] 21/7/2020
Israeli Soldiers Demolish A Covid-19 Testing Center Under-Construction IMEMC - On Tuesday morning, Israeli soldiers arrived at the at the northern entrance of Hebron, and there demolished a Covid-19 testing center which was under construction. The Palestinian Health Ministry intended the facility to provide rapid testing service to reduce the overwhelming pressure on Palestinian hospitals, especially amidst the dangerously increasing number of Palestinians testing positive for the virus. It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also confiscated medical equipment from the area, prior to demolishing the facility. [ak]. 21/7/2020
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4,000 lost their jobs in Gaza during COVID-19MEMO - "In a press release sent to reporters, [head of the General Federation of Trade Unions, Sami] Al-Amassi said there are a total of 300,000-350,000 workers in Gaza, including 250,000 who are unemployed as a result of the 14-year Israeli siege on the Strip. Since the outbreak of the virus, he said, and the start of emergency measures, about 4,000 workers have lost their jobs" [ry] 20/7/2020
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Israeli Annexation Plans : The West Bank Faces a New ReckoningAlexandra Rojkov und Raniah Salloum - Der Spiegel - Few regions of the world have been as contested in recent decades as this strip of land between Israel and Jordan. Despite the fact that it actually doesn’t really belong to any state, 3 million Palestinians live there -- along with at least 420,000 Jewish settlers. Both sides claim the area for themselves. Soon, one of them could make it so. If the Knesset permits it, the Israeli government could annex parts of the West Bank starting July 1. This is in accordance with the coalition agreement signed between Israel’s former and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partner Benny Gantz in April. Netanyahu could soon declare individual settlements as Israeli territory, or immediately annex up to 30 percent of the West Bank, as the U.S. government allows in its so-called peace plan. It could also do nothing, and merely wait. An annexation, no matter how large, would be considered a violation of international law, which forbids nation states from seizing foreign territory.(rh) 14/7/2020
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Shepherds around Auja no longer dare reach their grazing grounds unaccompanied by Israeli activistsTa`ayush - July 5-11, 2020 - in the Occupied Territories - Expulsion of Palestinian shepherds, Jewish settler-colonist incursions in Palestinian farm and grazing lands, confiscation of water pipes in the midst of summer, and Palestinian home demolitions by the occupation forces in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, in the South Hebron Hills, in Jerusalem and in Khan Al Ahmar [bz]14/7/2020
An illegitimate regime’: How a top rights group shed Israeli myths to recognize apartheidAmjad Iraqi - +972 mag - When he was a rising human rights lawyer two decades ago, Michael Sfard vehemently rejected the word “apartheid” to describe Israel’s military rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite being a fierce critic of the occupation and dedicating his career to defending Palestinian rights, he told himself that “words matter,” and that the occupation, while gravely unjust, was still a temporary structure that could be overturned with the help of international law. Years later, Sfard — now a renowned advocate — has drastically changed his tune. In what may go down as a significant moment in Israeli public discourse, human rights NGO Yesh Din released a detailed legal opinion on Thursday, chiefly authored by Sfard, who serves as the organization’s legal counsel, arguing that Israel’s 53-year occupation of the West Bank constitutes an “apartheid regime.” (rh) 14/7/2020
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Settlers trespass on Palestinian land to build a pool for their childrenAhmad Al-Bazz - +972 mag - Two weeks later, after collecting all the necessary documents showing he had inherited the plot from his father, Abu Hijleh returned to his land and found that the settlers had turned the hole in the ground into a pool. “Why are you angry? It’s just a pool for our children,” an Israeli settler reportedly told Abu Hijleh before representatives from the Civil Administration arrived and asked both the Palestinians and the settlers to evacuate “until the issue is legally resolved.” “I couldn’t trust the Israeli Civil Administration and returned to inspect the land 10 days later,” Abu Hijleh said. “I found a finished pool with some chairs. All their work was completed.” (rh)14/7/2020
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On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already AnnexedRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - Wednesday, July 1, was meant to be the day on which the Israeli government officially annexed 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the Jordan Valley. This date, however, came and went and annexation was never actualized. “I don’t know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today,” said Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, with reference to the self- imposed deadline declared earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. An alternative date was not immediately announced. But does it really matter? Whether Israel’s illegal appropriation of Palestinian land takes place with massive media fanfare and a declaration of sovereignty, or whether it happens incrementally over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months, Israel has, in reality, already annexed the West Bank – not just 30% of it but, in fact, the whole area. (rh)14/7/2020
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Hundreds of “investigations” in a decade, whitewashing and absurd punishmentEyal Sagiv - B`Tselem - On 30 May 2020, Israeli Border Police officers fatally shot 31-year-old Iyad al-Halaq, a Palestinian from Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem. The young man, who was on the autistic spectrum, was on his way to the Elwyn Al Quds Center for individuals with disabilities, which he frequented daily.This killing may be special, but it is far from the only one. The only exceptional thing is that since al-Halaq had special needs, he was not posthumously “convicted” of “terrorism”. This charge, which is automatically levelled at almost any Palestinian killed by Israeli security forces, is used to retroactively justify the shooting – even if the individual did not pose a threat that required deadly force. [ak]9/7/2020
Expulsion of the Sumarin Family - Jerusalem Offers a Grim Model for a Post-Annexation Future New York Times / Associated Press - The Sumarin family has been locked in a 30-year legal battle to prove ownership of their home in Silwan, an east Jerusalem neighborhood coveted by Jewish settlers because of its proximity to holy sites. When the original owner died in the 1980s, the property was deemed to have "an absentee landlord" because his four children lived in Jordan. The Israeli branch of the Jewish National Fund then purchased the property from the state in 1991. Last week, a court ordered the family to vacate the property by mid-August and to pay around $5,800 in court fees. Family members say the original owner left it to his nephew, who was born and raised there, and from whom they are descended. The extended family living in the home, which now includes 15 men, women and children, says it will appeal the decision. “Who’s absent? We’re right here. I’ve been here for 40 years," said Amal Sumarin, the wife of the nephew`s son. “Where are the families with their children supposed to go? Every house built in Silwan is under threat.” [ak] 9/7/2020
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A Family to be Evicted from their HomeIr Amim - The Sumarin family`s home was built by Musa Sumarin during the time of Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem and he lived there until his death in 1984. (...) In the late 1980`s, an affidavit was filed with the Custodian of Absentee Property, an authority within the Ministry of Finance, attesting that Musa Sumarin was an "absentee" landowner (...) and his property [inhabited by his family] was transferred to the Keren Kayemet L`Yisrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) who demanded the property empty - the beginning of a 30-year legal debate. [bz]7/7/2020
PM rejects Likud ally’s dismissal of claim some Israelis can’t afford foodTOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday distanced himself from comments made by his Likud party ally Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who dismissed claims that some Israelis don’t have enough money for food amid the economic crisis as “bullshit. ”The coronavirus crisis sent unemployment skyrocketing in Israel and Netanyahu has come under increasing fire for his handling of the ongoing economic woes. (rh)7/7/2020
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‘Opposing apartheid is the only way this struggle can go’Meron Rapoport - +972 - Tareq Baconi, a Palestinian political analyst, sees few reasons for optimism about the outcome of the annexation debacle — whether it comes to pass or not. Like many other experts, Baconi doubts the Palestinian Authority’s ability to stop annexation, and worries that even if de jure annexation does not take place, the European Union will heave a sigh of relief and go back to ignoring Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the West Bank. The only good thing that can come out of the current state of affairs, says Baconi, is the transition from a Palestinian struggle for independence and a state of their own, to an anti-colonial struggle. (rh)7/7/2020
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‘Gaza is a one-way ticket’: How Israel’s relocation policy is separating Palestinian communitiesHenriette Chacar - +972 - On March 4, Samar Saoud finally got the call she had been waiting for. She was told to show up with her three children at the Erez crossing that coming Sunday, and the family would leave the Gaza Strip and move to the West Bank city of Nablus, where Saoud’s parents live. But at Erez, Saoud was told to go back home. Pleading with the Israeli army officers did not help. The crossing, which separates Israel from the Gaza Strip, was closed for the day, likely for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Only exits for exceptional “humanitarian cases” — such as urgent medical care — would be permitted. (rh) 7/7/2020
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The mechanics of Israel’s annexation in the West BankJONATHAN KUTTAB - Mondoweiss - At a minimum, annexation—or extending Israeli law and administration to parts of the Jordan Valley—will require that Israel update, change, adapt, or reaffirm decrees, laws, and military orders that, since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, have governed how the occupying power administers the territory and its inhabitants. Such laws, decrees, and military orders address relations with the Palestinians––especially as pertaining to the post-Oslo Accords and Areas A, B, and C––as well as Israeli settlers in illegal settlements, the status of these settlements in Israel’s military doctrine, and economic and social affairs, among other things. But whatever the new regulations may be, annexation is bringing new conditions that are likely to sow the seeds for extended conflict in the future, especially that the Israeli army itself has apparently been kept in the dark as to the particulars of the annexation.(rh) 7/7/2020
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Despite coronavirus outbreak: Israel ramps up demolition of West Bank Palestinian homes in JuneB`Tselem - In April, Israel pledged before the UN not to demolish homes as long as the health crisis was underway and isolation guidelines were in place... [bz]7/7/2020
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