|Life under occupation|
|Hamas seeks resumption of talks on prisoner exchange||Reuters - Hamas said today it hoped Israel would resume talks on exchanging hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for a captured Israeli soldier after two days of indirect negotiations in Egypt ended in deadlock. "I hope that Olmert will listen to the voice of reason and come back to pursue the talks to reach a deal by meeting (our) conditions," senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Reuters by telephone from Lebanon.
|Israeli soldiers reoccupy ‘House of Contention’ in Hebron||Ma`an News Agency - "Three months after Israel’s army evacuated settlers from the Ar-Rajabi building that was confiscated two years earlier, soldiers have returned to reoccupy it"||16/3/2009|
|Gazans tensely await prisoner-swap deal ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - "GAZA - Some 750 local families with relatives in Israeli prisons are hanging on every word from the media regarding a prisoner-exchange deal that may be sealed within days, if not hours"
|Defence for Children International concerned by sharp increase in detention of children||"
On 6 March 2009, the President of ...(DCI) wrote to the Israeli Minister of Justice... seeking an explanation for the sharp increase in the number of Palestinian children being detained by Israel and notified the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child of these developments.
... since the beginning of 2009, DCI-Palestine has observed an increase in the number of Palestinian children as young as 12, being arrested and detained for throwing stones, including throwing stones at the Wall.
| On 15 March 2009, the HCJ will hold a hearing – by an extended panel of 7 Justices – on petitions against the Citizenship Law||HaMoked -
submitted by HaMoked, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah and MK Zehava Galon: the petitioners demand the HCJ strike down this Law, as it is unconstitutional, motivated by racist-demographic and economic considerations, and contradicts the HCJ`s previous ruling.
|Once again, the Israeli judiciary demonstrates its subservience to the military and security authorities||AL-HAQ -
Travel Ban on Al-Haq General Director Upheld...By basing its decision on such a procedure, by disregarding fundamental legal principles, and by refusing to take a stance that would deviate from the position of the GSS even in the slightest, the Israeli High Court has yet again exposed itself as merely a rubber-stamp for the decisions of the military and intelligence authorities, rather than an independent branch of government.
|Gaza sewage flood visible from outer space||Ma’an – A massive sewage flood, caused by the impact of an Israeli shell striking a treatment plant in Gaza, is visible from outer space according to satellite images released by the United Nations this week.||14/3/2009|
|Letters of the law ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - The law demands that a detailed notification of damages be sent to the Defense Ministry within 60 days of the reported event. Accordingly, since January 18, nearly all the staff of the PCHR have been involved in the process of preparing the notifications. Twenty-five field workers collected testimonies and took photographs in all the areas that were affected. People who wanted to have reports submitted went to the center`s offices, where each of the staff`s 10 young lawyers heard 10-20 complainants a day, took detailed affidavits and received power-of-attorney||13/3/2009|
|Palestinian patients should not be used as political tools by either the PA or the Israeli government ||B`Tselem - Press Release - Following the decision of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to stop all financial coverage for the medical treatments of Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals, and given the policy of the Government of Israel (GOI) to insist on conditioning access to healthcare for Palestinians in Israel in financial coverage from the Palestinian Authority (PA), PHR-Israel, PCHR, Gisha and B`Tselem protest the use of Palestinian patients as political tools by both the PA and the GOI.
|Palestinian activist to get prize by video ||AP - Ynet - Shawan Jabarin, head of West Bank-based human rights group Al-Haq. to accept Dutch Geuzenpenning Prize via video feed after Israeli court denies his petition to leave area, citing security concerns. Jabarin said the charges are politically motivated and based on secret evidence he has never been able to see or challenge in court.
|Farmer suffers heart attack after army uproots his orchards||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC/ISM - The farmer tried to stop the soldiers and defend his land. He collapsed while arguing with the troops and the bulldozer driver. The work is part of "re-routing" the Separation Wall, to benefit the large Israeli settlement of Alfey Menashe. Ras Al Tira, the farmer`s village, is one of several villages enclosed by the Wall and made into an isolated enclave. ||11/3/2009|
|Hamas crackdown on Jihad ups tensions||Khaled Abu Toameh - Jerusalem Post - "Apparently some Palestinian parties are trying to create an excuse for Israel to resume its aggression against our people," a Hamas offical said. "Hamas will not allow this to happen."
| `Color Purple` author: Catastrophe has befallen Gaza ||AP - Haaretz - Alice Walker: "Believing that Obama is a decent person, and I do believe this, our job then is to help him see what we see, and then he can decide how he will behave." ||11/3/2009|
|Beit Umar Invasion||Kobi Snitz/ISM - If you can call the DCO that might put a little bit of pressure on the army / This most recent invasion comes after a week of almost nightly raids on Beit Ommar. On the night of 4 March, 15-year-old Mehdi Said Abu Ayyash was shot in the head with live ammunition and he remains in a coma in serious condition.
|Demolition orders issued to six homes and a mosque in Aqraba (Nablus Region)||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC - Aqraba is surrounded by four Israeli settlements - built on lands confiscated from the villagers - which continue to expand. ||10/3/2009|
|Israeli forces detain 10 across West Bank, raid Tubas and Jenin||Maâ€™an - Thirty-year-old Iyad Nawasra, from the village of Fahma, was taken at the military checkpoint of Bartaâ€™a south west of Jenin as he was passing through to go to work. [Just one day`s occupation routine - ed.] ||10/3/2009|
|Israeli army seizes 50 dunums in Hebron District - to erect settlement bypass road||RAMATTAN - The army thrust into the village of Yatta south of Hebron, reinforced with several armored vehicles, seizing more than 50 dunums.
Two peace activists were detained during their attempts to prevent the land robbery.||10/3/2009|
|Court: Probe death of Ketziot prisoner in botched `morale boosting` op||Tomer Zarchin, Avi Issacharoff and Jonathan Lis - Haaretz - The Prison Authority ordered a surprise raid on the Palestinian prisoners to "boost the prison guards` morale". 30-year old Mohammed Ashkar, incarcerated shortly before, was shot to death by a supposedly "non lethal" weapon. Following Physicians for Human Rights investigation the Be`er Sheva Magistrate`s Court ordered an official probe. ||10/3/2009|
|CPT Hebron - At-Tuwani: Palestinian land owners detained for asserting their rights; accompanying Christian Peacemaker Team members arrested|| ||9/3/2009|
|News||** Palestinian PM submits resignation - AlJazeera ** Palestinian analysts predict new government will be unity, technocrat and independently run
- Ma`an ** Israel carries out two airstrikes on Gaza, Palestinians retaliate with four projectiles fired on western Negev -
Ma`an ** Israeli TV airs interviews with long-term palestinian prisoners; says "bombings will not stop" -
Ma`an ** Abbas asks Fayyad to resume duties until dialogue bears fruit
- Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies ** Solana: "No peace without implementing Arab Peace Initiative"
- Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies ** Palestinian man, his wife, wounded by Israeli gunfire in Rafah
- Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies ** U.S. turns up heat on Israel over settlements -
Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent ** Netanyahu, Yisrael Beiteinu strike deal, Lieberman to get Foreign Ministry
Yisrael Beiteinu to receive portfolios it demanded, including Foreign Affairs, Public Security, and Justice - Lili Galili - Haaretz ** `The Color Purple` author Alice Walker to visit Gaza - AP/ Haaretz
|Homeless in Gaza ||Link to a BBC audio slideshow on Gaza homeless. Also, an article by BBC: "Human rights investigators say Israeli forces engaged in "wanton destruction" of Palestinian homes during the recent conflict in Gaza. "||7/3/2009|
|Struggle to help Gaza`s traumatised ||Heather Sharp -
BBC News, Gaza - "Omsyat, 12, has become nervous and aggressive, Hala, 7, has completely stopped speaking and Sobhy, 11, burned the toys he was brought with a candle, says their mother, Wafa Awersha...Ibrahim, 9, was hit by Israeli bullets on 4 January and died before his siblings` eyes, with their injured parents barely conscious nearby, the family say.
His body lay for four days outside their house before the fighting waned enough for neighbours to take it away on a donkey cart."
|Supporting efforts to form a national consensus government, Fayyad submits the government`s resignation to President Abbas||Prime Minister`s Office - Palestinian Authority - Press release||7/3/2009|
|Pots of urine, feces on the walls - how IDF troops vandalized Gaza homes||Amira Hass - Haaretz - When the Abu Eidas returned to house No. 5 in Jabalya, they discovered pots of urine and excrement in the refrigerator. ||7/3/2009|
|Head of Palestinian rights group banned from travelling to accept award ||Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "For the past 22 years, the Shin Bet has argued that I am an active member in the Popular Front. During this entire period, I was never tried for this and obviously was never given an opportunity to defend myself against such a charge. Their evidence is secret and classified and is hidden from me and my lawyers. I have been an activist in Al-Haq since 1987, and I am not an activist for the Popular Front," Jabarin said.
|Aftermath (4) Hammad’s death barely made the news||Palestinian Centre of Human Rights - On the 14 of February 2009, almost a month after Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, thirteen year old Hammad Silmiya was grazing his sheep and goats in northeast Gaza, about 500 metres from the border with Israel. An Israeli military jeep patrolling the border opened fire on him and his teenage friends. Hammad was shot in the head and he died almost instantly. ||4/3/2009|
|The pasta, paper and hearing aids that could threaten Israeli security||Anne Penketh - The Independent - "`When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?` asked Congressman Brian Laird. It was only after Senator John Kerry, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, raised the issue with Defence Minister Ehud Barak after their trip last month that Israel allowed the pasta in"||2/3/2009|
|23 Palestinians killed in February||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - "The International Solidarity for Human Rights reported Sunday that the Israeli army carried repeated violations in the occupied territories in February and killed 23 Palestinians, including four children and three women"||2/3/2009|
|Arab League probes Israel for `war crimes` committed in Gaza ||Amira Hass – Haaretz – “A committee of jurists hired by the Arab League completed a six-day tour of the Gaza Strip on Friday. The fact-finding mission was meant to investigate alleged war crimes as well as crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israel during its offensive against Hamas earlier this year” ||2/3/2009|
|US shuns Hamas in Gaza aid pledge ||Al Jazeera - "The United States is set to pledge $900m for the Palestinians at a donors` conference in Egypt, but only a third of that will go towards reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and none of the money will go to Hamas, who rule the territory"||2/3/2009|
| Israel`s death squads: A soldiers story||A former member of an Israeli assassination squad has broken his silence for the first time. He spoke to Donald Macintyre - The Independent||1/3/2009|
|News||Gazan man wounded during war succumbs to his wounds in Egypt; war`s death toll reaches 1,453 -
Ma`an; A general strike to protest against Israel`s plans to evict 1,500 Palestinians from their homes in the Silwan district of Jerusalem has paralysed much of the occupied West Bank.- Aljazzera;
Gaza rockets target Israeli town -
Aljazeera; Livni not persuaded to join Netanyahu coalition -
AP - The Independent; Olmert rejected Palestinian attempts to set up talks through go-between before Gaza invasion - The Observer; Spanish court green-lights Gaza probe -
AFP / YNET||1/3/2009|
|Return to Gaza||Amira Hass - London Review of Books / The People`s Forum - "What the siege has done is reduce an entire society to the status of beggars, denying it nearly all productive activity, suffocating it in an open-air prison, disconnected from the rest of the world. The denial of the right to a livelihood, and the denial of freedom of movement: that is the essence of the siege, the foundation block of the separation policy. The closure policy is an assault on the human dignity of the Palestinians, and especially those in Gaza. Now, Israel has shown that the cage can also be a deathtrap. "
|Gazans need more than aid||Nick Young in Gaza [chief executive of the British Red Cross] - The Guardian - "As one father said: "Cement alone is not enough. What use to rebuild if we don`t have a guarantee of peace and safety?"
His words struck home as we found a dozen large cement trucks in a builder`s yard, all turned over on their sides and smashed, tank tracks still visible in the sand. Any hope of rebuilding seems a distant dream."||1/3/2009|
|Slim pickings for young scavengers in Gaza Strip||Nidal al-Mughrabi -
North American News Service -
"Local scrap merchants pay one Israeli shekel ($.25) for every 10 kg (22 lb) of plastic or metal the youngsters collect."
|Qalqiliya: Israeli forces hand out another eviction order ||Maâ€™an - The home of 80-year-old Hajj Abdul Muâ€™ti Salah in Kafr Jammal is on Jewish land, the elderly West Banker was told Sunday, and he must evacuate the property immediately. Salah grew up in the home, inherited it from his father, and raised his own children there. The area claimed to be Jewish property is an archeological site dating back to more than two thousand years.||17/3/2009|
|International figures call for a criminal investigation into war crimes in Gaza||Dina Kraft/Saed Bannoura - Silobreaker/Telegraph/IMEMC - Leading human rights figures including Archbishop Desmund Tutu have called for the United Nations to launch a war crimes inquiry into the conduct of both Israel and Hamas in the recent fighting in Gaza. Among the signtories are South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Richard Goldstone, who was the prosecutor in two criminal courts on war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rawadna. The letter is also endorsed by Amnesty International.
|Gazans want open borders, not handouts||AP - Ynet News - "I want a ceasefire and open borders. Crossings are better than tunnels," said 22-year-old smuggler Abu Mahmoud, leaning over a shaft as workers tried to clear a 100-meter stretch of tunnel that had collapsed under a recent Israeli air strike.||3/3/2009|
|Despair and rage among Gaza`s youths ||Heather Sharp - BBC News - "We`re dead - either by Israeli weapons or as the living dead," says Mahmoud Abuqammar, 22.||3/3/2009|
|Hamas undeterred by West Bank arrests - Egypt still hopes to restart prisoner swap negotiations ||Ramattan - The Egyptians believe that Binyamin Netanyahu delaying by two week the formation of his new government gives a chance to still strike a deal with outgoing PM Olmert, and point out the the prisoner swap negotiations have not been definitely called off by either Israel or Hamas.
|More Allegations Surface in Israeli Accounts of Gaza War ||ETHAN BRONNER -
The soldier was quoted as saying that the rabbis had “brought in a lot of booklets and articles,” adding, “their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”||21/3/2009|
|AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Lunch as Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance||Jessica Frederick - CPT Hebron - Recently, my teammate Jan and I were accompanying some Palestinian shepherds from the village of Tuba, one of the many villages in the area committed to nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation. The shepherds were a man and his nephew; I’ll call the man Samoud, which means “steadfastness,” because that is what he embodies.||22/3/2009|
|Detailed list of goods needed by Gazans, with Israeli rejection of requests for some elementary food products||OCHA||31/3/2009|
|Aftermath (6) “The only BMW shop in Gaza.”||PCHR - Nasser Al ‘Amoudi, with his biker’s jacket and sunglasses, embodies the essence of a car enthusiast. For years he has been the proud owner of the only BMW spare parts shop in the Gaza Strip. People would travel from every corner to purchase second hand parts from his shop. Now Nasser’s workshop and garage, which were worth $300,000 before the Israeli army destroyed them during their latest offensive, lie in tatters, and his financial security has gone.
|The Water Crisis||B`Tselem - "The UN`s World Water Day, commemorated this week, is dedicated to cross-border waters. The division of the Israeli and Palestinian shared water sources is characterized by blatant discrimination, causing a severe water shortage in the West Bank."||28/3/2009|
|Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza||Clancy Chassay and Julian Borger - "The Guardian has compiled detailed evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, involving the use of Palestinian children as human shields and the targeting of medics and hospitals."
Link to an article + three videos||28/3/2009|
|Interviews back IDF misconduct in Gaza||Associated Press - Ynet News||28/3/2009|
|Video: Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard||Guardian - Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles – the dreaded drones – caused at least 48 deaths in Gaza during the 23-day offensive||26/3/2009|
|Israeli military in PR offensive to explain civilian deaths in Gaza||Donald Macintyre - The Independent - Senior officers have met reporters to insist offensive was `moral and ethical`||30/3/2009|
|Rafah Border||Daanish Faruqi - Lebanon Daily Star/ZMag - What makes the situation particularly frustrating is that the Egyptian government`s policy towards Rafah utterly contradicts popular attitudes in Egypt. Upon learning of our mission to support Gazan women, everyday Egyptians fully opened their hearts to us and our cause. Merchants insisted on charging us wholesale prices for supplies we purchased, as a token gesture of goodwill. After hearing our press conference in Cairo, the bus company we had commissioned refused to charge us for our journey into Gaza—not even for fuel costs. Clearly Egyptians are deeply sympathetic to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which makes the closure of the Rafah border all the more vexing.||29/3/2009|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel : "The Military repeatedly violated Codes of Medical Ethics during the Gaza Offensive"||Prevention of medical assistance from the trapped and the wounded, severe difficulties to emergency medical evacuation, attacks on medical personnel and medical facilties, and de facto prevention from the chronically ill and gravely wounded referral to medical care outside Gaza. "We call for an outside independent body to investigate the events" say representatives of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.||26/3/2009|
|Driving the truth home ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - `"He`s not normal, Ehud Barak... Is he waging war against the workers? This whole area here - no one who lives here ever went to jail... If Barak had a family with 10 children and was unemployed, what would he do? I didn`t want cocaine and I didn`t want sabotage. I started a poultry farm. I started a marble factory. The marble factory closed because there is no marble and there is no cement. So I opened a grocery store. For food. Now they came and destroyed the grocery store and the poultry farm. It`s as if they are purposely pushing me to work with Hamas."
|Remote control death ||Laila El-Haddad -
A Mother from Gaza -
"But even without permanent garrisons, Israel continues to control Gaza`s economy and infrastructure, from its borders and airspace to its power grid and monetary policy."
|Gaza witness: "go south or you`ll get shot"||Haaretz - When Israel Defense Forces soldiers expelled Abir Hijeh, her five children and their neighbors from homes in a Gaza war zone, she said they warned her in broken Arabic: Go south or you might get shot. The group went the wrong way and came under fire from Israeli soldiers. Hijeh was wounded and her 2-year-old daughter was killed. ||29/3/2009|
|Israeli blockade prevents EU cash from reaching Gazans||Ma’an/Agencies - "Israel’s refusal to allow cash into the Gaza Strip is preventing the payment of Italian-sponsored social welfare benefits for 24,500 Palestinian families facing hardship, indended to be ready Monday"||30/3/2009|
|Falk: Cast Lead not legally justified||TOVAH LAZAROFF -
J-lem Post -
"He faulted Israel for attacking densely populated areas and for sealing Gaza`s borders so that civilians were not able to flee the fighting."
|IDF soldiers ordered to shoot at Gaza rescuers, note says ||Amira Hass -
"The following is written: "Rules of Engagement: Fire also upon rescue. Not on women and children.""||25/3/2009|
|Gaza group wins world`s largest prize for children`s literature ||Reuters -
""We dedicate this award to the children of Palestine who have faced many painful events throughout the past 60 years."" ||25/3/2009|
|`IDF troops used 11-year-old boy as human shield in Gaza` ||AP - Haaretz - Jan. 15, IDF troops ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the UN secretary-general`s envoy for protecting children in armed conflict. This is but one of the verified human rights atrocities included in the 43-page UN report published Monday. ||24/3/2009|
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