|Life under occupation|
|Yasmin Opens the Braille Little Oxford Dictionary||Ehud Krinis: One of our Villages Group’s strongest connections is with Yasmin Gebara, a very special young woman from the village of Salem near Nablus. Yasmin is blind from birth. A younger brother, Muhammad, is also blind. In September 2004, Yasmin’s father Saael, a taxi driver, was killed in cold blood by Yehoshua Elitzur, from the nearby Itamar settlement.||27/2/2010|
|"The ground is shifting": An interview with comedian Ivor Dembina ||As the show describes, it took a slow build-up of incidents to transform Dembina from an increasingly uneasy but silent leftist to an outspoken anti-Zionist. This included comments by his hero Vanessa Redgrave on behalf of the Palestinians, horror at the 1982 massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, and a gift of Joe Sacco`s 2001 graphic journalistic work Palestine. Dembina describes his discovery that he wasn`t the only person in the Jewish community thinking this way as "such a relief ... like finding out you`re not the only gay in the village."||27/2/2010|
|San Francisco Activists protest Hebron closures ||Sarah Lazare, Aljazeera: On a normal Thursday evening, a group of protesters transformed San Francisco`s busiest shopping district into a scene which reflected the realities of Palestinian life in Hebron in the West Bank.
We closed a major street running through the financial heart of the city in hopes of raising attention of Israeli road closures and restrictions of movement that are imposed every day on Palestinians in Hebron.||27/2/2010|
|Netanyahu statement on Ibrahimi Mosque leads to unrest in Al Khalil/Hebron||CPT Hebron - For immediate release - On 21 February 2010 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the Israeli government`s intention to designate as Jewish heritage sites Rachel`s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al Khalil/Hebron. Netanyahu’s statement has led to considerable concern and outrage in the Palestinian community. The Ibrahimi Mosque is one of the most important Muslim sites, and is the one most accessible to West Bank Palestinians. The prospect of these sites becoming closed to Muslim worshippers has been particularly keenly felt in Al Khalil/Hebron, where the Ibrahimi Mosque regularly draws large numbers of Muslim worshippers and was the site on 25 February 1994 of the massacre of 29 Muslim worshippers by Dr Baruch Goldstein, an extremist Jewish settler.
|URGENT APPEAL: Mass arrest of children in Jalazun Refugee Camp||Defence for Children International - On 11 February 2010, at least 17 children were arrested from the Al Jalazun Refugee Camp in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers. The children and their families report the use of excessive force during the arrests, and ill-treatment and coercion during subsequent interrogations. The children were interrogated in the absence of a lawyer and family member, and the interrogations were not video recorded. The children are accused of throwing stones, and in some cases, Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers in 2009 and 2010. The children are being prosecuted in military courts.
|Palestinian herders fined for trespassing West Bank nature preserve ||Yuval Azoulay - Haaretz - Late last year, three Palestinian brothers who own a small herd from which they earn a living received the fine from an inspector visiting the Jordan Valley. Each brother - from the Daraghma family - was required to pay NIS 660.
The incident occurred in the Um Zuka nature preserve in the West Bank near Route 90 and the Jordan Valley settlement of Mehola. For years, Palestinian shepherds, including those from the Daraghma family, have marched their herds on their lands next to the road. Before the fining incident, no one had interrupted their routine. ||24/2/2010|
|Footnotes in Gaza: A Graphic Novel||Robin Yassin-Kassab -
Palestine Chronicle -
"Sacco depicts fear, humiliation and anger very well indeed, and often achieves far more with one picture than he could in an entire newspaper column."||24/2/2010|
|Israeli forces, warships fire on Gaza workers in north||Ma`an -
""Since the beginning of 2010, Israeli forces have killed nine Palestinians and injured 13 others in Gaza; no Israeli casualties have been reported.""
|Israeli construction ban forces Yatta children to learn in tents||Ma`an -
""The tents are inadequate ... they do not protect students from the elements in the summer or the winter. The rain leaks in and the summer heat is unbearable.""
|Israel destroying Palestinian homes in violation of International Law ||Tim McCown - Philadelphia Progressive Examiner - Regavim, a Right wing settler group has been the lobbying force behind this move. This would leave 100 Palestinian farmers homeless||23/2/2010|
|PA official: 45 olive trees chopped down near Nablus||Ma`an - Daghlas denounced what he termed the continuous aggression, particularly in villages near settlements.||23/2/2010|
|Gaza: treading on shards||Sara Roy - The Nation - "Do you know what it`s like living in Gaza?" a friend of mine asked. "It is like walking on broken glass tearing at your feet."
|A Visit to Huda’s Preschool at Umm Daraj||Ehud Krinis, Villages Group: in such conditions, all the other preschools that opened in this Bedouin peripheral area at the same time as Huda’s, had closed long ago.
Certainly, Huda is a local hero of the noblest kind.||20/2/2010|
|Three Villages In The Hebron Hills||Palestine Monitor - Settler violence. Drought. Tension with the Israeli military. Poverty. Palestinians in the Hebron Hills have seen their fair share of problems. The Palestine Monitor highlights the current situations in three villages located in the Hebron Hills. All photographs were taken by Brady Ng.
|Israel Bombs Gaza`s Agricultural Sector To The Brink ||Eva Bartlett -
Counter Currents -
"The United Nations agency OCHA reports that roughly one-third of Gaza`s agricultural land lies within the buffer zone, its width varying from half a kilometer to two kilometers."
|Defending Palestinian Children||Adri Nieuwhof -
"Our main work is legal assistance, monitoring and documenting violations of the rights of children, and international advocacy."||17/2/2010|
|Settlers use Molotov cocktails on Palestinian family house||In the last few months the [Itzhar] settlers have come down the hill, and attacked the Ahmad family home: breaking windows, trying to wrench out safety grills, lighting a fire on the front steps, with the family inside the house. They have used Molotov cocktails and CS gas; they shout threats and they mark their territory with graffiti stars of David. ||20/2/2010|
|Giving in to the settlers in Beit Sahur||People in Beit Sahur believe the Israeli settlers who claim that the Amira Hass - Haaretz - Israel Defense Forces was responding to the settlers` pressure when it started erecting a new guard tower last week in the eastern part of this largely Christian West Bank town. Locals do not, however, accept the army`s claim that the tower was added for professional, military reasons.||14/2/2010|
|why the pre-election polls so badly missed the 2006 Hamas victory||Dr. Nabil Kukali, Palestinian Center for Public Opinion: "The change of the voters` opinion at the last moment can be reverted to many factors. First and foremost, a big rate of about (77 %) of the voters are, in fact, independents or sympathizers of political organizations, and are not traditionally affiliated to a definite party." (h/t Angry Arab)||13/2/2010|
|Israel wields iron fist against nonviolent resisters ||Bridget Chappell: Only two family members were permitted to attend the trial, culminating in a brief glimpse of the man we came to see. Al-Faqeeh has been held without charge by the Israeli military since his arrest on 9 December 2009. The 28 January hearing that lasted approximately three minutes here in Salem court resulted in the extension of his detention by a further ten days. ...
For Myassar al-Faqeeh it was the first time to set eyes on her husband since his abduction from their home in Nablus on 9 December.||13/2/2010|
|The false sacredness of the 1967 border ||Hasan Abu Nimah: If and only if Israel adheres to all aspects of UN Security Council resolution 242 and others, could the 1967 line have any legitimacy. Until then, if Israel tells the Arabs that the West Bank settlements of Ariel and Maale Adumim are part of Israel, then the Arab position can be that Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are still part of Palestine.||13/2/2010|
|Israeli Military Destroys Five Water Cisterns And Three Farming Huts In Southern West Bank||by Ghassan Bannoura -
IMEMC News & Agencies
"Israeli military bulldozers demolished five water cisterns and three farming huts owned by farmers from Ithna village, southern West Bank, on Thursday."
|PCHR Weekly Report: 7 Palestinian civilians wounded by Israeli forces this week|| by Saed Bannoura -
"According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights` Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, during the week of 04 – 10 February 2010, 7 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists and a child, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank." ||12/2/2010|
|Arab Parliamentarians Arrive In Gaza||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC - Lebanese parliamentarian, Imad Al Hout, said that this visit aims at sending a message to the people in Gaza that they are not alone, and that Arab nations support the Palestinians and their just cause. ||16/2/2010|
|Cheated: PA trade union head details Israeli-Palestinian permit fraud||Ma`an News - Sami charged 1,000 shekels (266 US dollars) per permit, approximately 30% of a monthly salary for a worker. The permits would be canceled a few days after they were issued, with letters saying the men were not qualified to perform the work.
When the workers injured on the job went to claim insurance benefits, and when employers went to process cheques, the cancellation of the permits was discovered.||16/2/2010|
|A Palestinian arrest so ridiculous even the Israeli judges smiled ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - “With his eyes covered and hands cuffed, Bassam was taken from place to place. At the first stop, he was kept about two hours. They offered him water, but he said he did not want any. Then they drove to another place where a police interrogator asked him if he ‘had ever thrown stones on 443,’ Bassam relates. ‘I said yes - because that`s what the soldier in the jeep told me - but I didn`t know what 443 was. He asked me whether I had ever thrown stones with a sling. I asked him what a sling was. He explained to me and I said no’"||15/2/2010|
|More Attacks Against Reporters In The West Bank||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Palestinian reporters, either working for local or international agencies, were repeatedly subjected to attacks by the Israeli army, but recently such attacks witnessed a sharp increase leading to injuries, damage to equipment, and to preventing them from performing their duty. Over the past two days, three Palestinian reporters were attacked and wounded while reporting from the Shu’fat refugee camp, in Jerusalem, as the army invaded it.
|a particularly heinous practice||Aya Kaniuk - mahsanmilim.com - And once in a while they kept hitting him. And then after some time, he couldn’t say how long, they showed him some pictures, and said: Do you know them? And he said, I don’t. And they said, come work with us, Mohammad. And he said, no, I don’t want to. I’m no spy. Let me go. And they hit him again.
|Activist for detainees detained herself ||Saed Bannoura/Ghassan Bannoura/Maysaa Jarour - IMEMC - The 45-year old Montaha Taweel - an activist who works to defend the rights of the Palestinian detainees, and is the wife of the mayor of al-Bireh - was among 16 Palestinians caught in last night`s army sweep of the Palestinian West Bank communities. In the past week there were 19 invasions, in which 51 civilians are known to have been taken off to detention.
|Unrest continues in Shu`fat; overnight raids, youth detained||Ma`an - Overnight raids on Shu`fat continued and pupils on their way to shcool clashed with police and were dispersed by tear gas. The 15-year old Ahmad Abu Hamda was taken off to detention. Of those arrested the previous night, some were remanded in custody while others were released and told of having been severely beaten.
|Israel slaps six-month travel ban on Palestinian map expert ||Citing "security reasons" -- the ubiquitous and unanswerable catch-all phrase against which it is almost impossible to mount any defense -- Israel`s Ministry of the Interior has just issued a six-month travel ban on map expert Khalil Tafakji (Electronic Intifada, h/t Mondoweiss).||6/2/2010|
|Don`t Say We Didn`t Know # 199||The Israeli Navy continues to attack Gaza fishing boats (Re don`t say No. 131, 193).||6/2/2010|
|Amnesty: Ban Ki-moon misses crucial opportunity to advance accountability for Gaza conflict||...Amnesty International believes that the information [Ban Ki-moon] had received was sufficient to show that steps being taken by both sides were clearly inadequate, and that this message should have been conveyed to them in the report.||6/2/2010|
|PCHR Weekly Report: Palestinian child injured, 20 civilians abducted by Israeli forces this week||by Saed Bannoura -
" a Palestinian child was wounded in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. In addition, busloads of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers with the support of Israeli forces. Israeli forces conducted 19 incursions into the West Bank and 2 into the Gaza Strip, abducting 29 civilians. "||5/2/2010|
|David Shulman: A Shepherd’s day in South Mt. Hebron||“You know what you are doing is illegal,” we say, “the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the Army cannot declare a Closed Military Zone arbitrarily, and it is expressly forbidden to do so if this means denying Palestinian shepherds and farmers access to their lands.”
[officer`s answer:] “Doesn’t interest me.”||2/2/2010|
|Israel denies Gaza war crimes in report to UN||Rory McCarthy - The Guardian - Israel insists troops did not violate international law despite `operational lapses and errors`||1/2/2010|
|In the West Bank`s stony hills, Palestine is slowly dying||The Independent - In the richest of the Occupied lands, Israeli bureaucracy is driving Palestinians out of their homes. Robert Fisk reports from Jiftlik||1/2/2010|
|Fishing Under Fire||by Pam Bailey -
"Ten years ago, Gaza’s approximately 3,600 fishermen were hauling approximately 3,000 tons of fresh fish a year, supporting an even larger 30,000 people in Gaza. Since then, violent clashes with — and ever-tightening restrictions by — the Israeli army have virtually destroyed the once booming business. Today, just 20 percent of Gaza fishermen are still able to make a living in the industry most of them grew up with, and their total catch is 3-5 percent of what it used to be. And those who stick it out are putting their lives on the line."
|Nine German Physicians Arrive In the West Bank To Perform Sensitive Surgeries||by Saed Bannoura -
IMEMC & Agencies
"Palestinian sources reported Thursday that nine physicians, including a professor in medicine, arrived in the central West Bank city of Ramallah to perform sensitive surgeries."||19/2/2010|
|`At least there`s food in prison!` ||Joy Ellison - Electronic Intifada - Between 15 and 20 settlers accompanied by more soldiers arrived. Mona`s husband tried to convince the soldiers to make the settlers leave the village. "We`ll go back into our houses if they leave," he said. But then the settlers started throwing stones at a group of Palestinian women and children. The next thing I knew, the soldiers were pointing their guns at my neighbors. One of them drew back his fist and punched someone in the face. It was Mfadi, the quietest, least imposing man in the village. His nose was bleeding. Another soldier raised his gun and fired. For a moment I was stunned and dumbly wondered why no one seemed to be shot. Then I realized that he had fired a sound bomb and the soldiers were likely to start using tear gas next||17/2/2010|
|Two Palestinians & One American Detained Following Pre-Dawn Incursion in Bil`in||Circare Parrhesia - IMEMC News & Agencies - At approximately 3:30 am, a military convoy of 7 jeeps entered Bil’in and Bornat’s home was thoroughly searched. Items belonging to the family were removed, including Bornat’s computer and documents belonging to his brother, Mohammed. During the search, the military closed the area of the home, and established a perimeter of 50 meters. The soldiers declared the area a closed military zone, and when requested to show the court order allowing this action, produced a document that was written in Hebrew only. Local journalist, Hamde Abu Rahmah, also a volunteer with Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, approached the house, in an attempt to take photographs and was subsequently arrested. During this incident, an international journalist of U.S. citizenship, known to locals as ‘Stormy’, was also detained.
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