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Terrorisme israélien


Jeudi, 3 avril 2014 - 7h08

jeudi 3 avril 2014



Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Jewish extremists spray hate graffiti on convent in Israel

JERUSALEM (AFP) 1 Apr — Suspected Jewish extremists sprayed anti-Christian graffiti on the walls of a convent west of Jerusalem overnight and damaged vehicles parked nearby, Israeli police said on Tuesday. Slogans including "Mary is a cow," "price tag" and "America (is) Nazi Germany" were sprayed in Hebrew on the walls of the Roman Catholic sanctuary, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The Our Lady, Queen of Palestine convent, which was founded before the creation of Israel in 1948, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The vandals also slashed the tires of five vehicles parked in the compound, Samri added. The term "price tag" is usually applied to politically motivated attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians or their property. Moshe Dadon, head of the local council for the rural district in which the convent is located, said he was not persuaded that the vandalism was the work of hardline settlers. "It’s unusual, usually they strike at Arabs, not monasteries," Dadon told army radio. "It’s quite strange that a convent has been the target in this incident." Last July, two suspects were arrested in connection with the 2012 torching of the door of a Trappist monastery in Latrun, about six miles from the scene of the latest attack. In the 2012 attack, the arsonists scrawled "Jesus is a monkey" on a nearby wall in an incident that shocked the religious and political establishment. One of the suspects was a settler and the other a resident of a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood adjoining Tel Aviv.

Right-wing Israelis tour Aqsa compound

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr – Dozens of right-wing Israelis including Yeshiva students entered the al-Aqsa Mosque compound Tuesday morning via the Moroccan Gate escorted by Israeli police officers. Witnesses told Ma‘an that more than 100 Jews entered the compound in groups and toured its courtyards while Muslim worshipers and Sharia students shouted "Allah Akbar." A day earlier, a Muslim organization based in the Old City of Jerusalem urged all Muslim worshippers who can access the mosque to intensify their visits and to stay as long as they can to defend the holy place. The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage highlighted in a statement that its appeal came in response to calls by rabbis and scholars to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to approve the construction of a Jewish synagogue on parts of the compound. The synagogue, according to the foundation quoting a statement signed by several rabbis and scholars, will be built temporarily and should be demolished to be replaced by the Jewish Temple.

Knesset committee approves $51 million allocation to WAO’s settlement arm

Haaretz 31 Mar by Zvi Zrahiya — The Knesset Finance Committee voted to approve on Sunday, after a heated session, an allocation of 177 million shekels ($51 million) to the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division, the government’s operational arm in construction and infrastructure in the West Bank as well as Israel proper. Nine Knesset members from parties in the coalition voted in favor, including three Yesh Atid MKs who refused to support the proposal last week. Six MKs voted no : Elazar Stern (Hatnuah), from the coalition, and five opposition MKs ... The approval came despite the fact that committee members cannot monitor the disbursement of the funds, because the Freedom of Information Law does not apply to the settlement division. Only last week, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee rejected Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s request to extend the law to the settlement division in a “stealth vote.” ... According to Shaffir’s figures, since October more than 600 million shekels have been allocated to West Bank settlements in addition to the amounts allocated in the state budget at the beginning of last year.

NGO : Israel pushes tenders for 700 East Jerusalem homes

JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 Apr — Israel on Tuesday pushed tenders for more than 700 homes in an illegal settlement in annexed East Jerusalem, as Washington made intensive efforts to salvage a crisis-hit peace process, an Israeli NGO said. "The ministry of housing is trying to forcefully undermine the peace process ... and (US Secretary of State) John Kerry’s efforts to promote it," charged Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran, confirming the tenders were for 708 homes in the Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem.

Israel confiscates 300 dunums of Nablus land for settlements

NABLUS (Ma‘an) 31 Mar — The Israeli government issued confiscation orders to Palestinian land owners in Nablus on Monday to seize over 300 dunams (74 acres) of land to expand nearby illegal settlements, an official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that the Israeli government issued the seizure orders to landowners in the Ras Mues and al-Khafafish areas near the village of Jalud. The land is located between the illegal Shilo settlement and outpost of Shvut Rachel and will be used to build a Jewish cemetery, school and farm, Daghlas said. The land is owned by Tawfiq Abdullah al-Hajj Muhammad and his brother Ahmad.

Army to seize 600 dunums near Nablus ; tenders pushed for over 700 East Jerusalem homes

IMEMC 1 Apr by Chris Carlson — Israeli authorities, on Tuesday, handed a structural blueprint to the local council of Qaryout, to the south of Nablus, aimed at confiscating 600 dunums of land belonging to local villagers. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said the confiscation is for infrastructural purposes and for the construction of parking lots for settlers’ advantage, according to WAFA. He described the structural blueprint as the “most serious” than the land confiscation decision.

Israeli forces demolish dwellings for eight families near Nablus, car wash shop in Salfit

IMEMC 1 Apr by Chris Carlson — Israeli forces demolished, on Tuesday, dwellings and sheds belonging to eight Palestinian families in Jaʻwana, near Beit Furik, to the southeast of Nablus. Forces, backed with ten military vehicles and two bulldozers, demolished tents used as dwellings and four sheds used as animal barns belonging to eight Palestinian families in Jaʻwana, according to Mayor of Beit Furik ‘Aref Hanani. Hanani added that soldiers cordoned off the area before embarking on the demolition process without any prior notice, WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency has reported. Eight tents and four sheep barns in Khirbet Tana, in the village of Beit Fureeq, southeast of Nablus, were destroyed. [Khirbet Tana is a Bedouin herder village, destroyed by the Israeli army multiple times already]
Also on Tuesday, occupation forces demolished a Palestinian-owned car wash shop at Hares juncture, in Salfit district, witnesses said. Forces removed the contents of the wash shop before demolishing it. This shop was the only source of living for Fadi Klaib, the owner.

Israeli forces demolish structures in Jordan Valley

THE JORDAN VALLEY (WAFA) 1 Apr – The Israeli Forces Tuesday destroyed more than twenty barracks and tents in the area of al-Maleh in the Jordan Valley, said Aref Daraghmeh, head of al-Maleh local council. He told WAFA that a number of military vehicles accompanied by two bulldozers arrived in the early morning and proceeded to destroy barracks, tents and animal sheds owned by local villagers. Army ordered several families out of the area for hours. Meanwhile, the coordinator of the popular campaign in the Jordan Valley, Rashid Khaderat, said the Israeli Forces declared the area a closed military zone, preventing activists and journalists from entering it. Khaderat added that the forces seized the remains of the destroyed structures to prevent reconstructing them, leaving the families and their animals homeless. Army forces then headed to the nearby area of Al-Jeftlek to demolish three structures, which have been destroyed and reconstructed several times, he said.

Israeli forces notify to demolish home in Yatta

HEBRON (WAFA) 31 Mar – The Israeli Forces Monday notified a Palestinian of their intentions to demolish his two-story house in Khallat Al-Mayyeh area, to the northeast of Yatta in Hebron district, according to a local activist. Coordinator of the anti-settlement and wall campaign, Rateb Jubur, said army forces handed Ibrahim Awad, a local resident, a notice regarding the army’s intent to demolish his 150-square-meter house. To be noted, the house is located in Area A, under full Palestinian control.

Marking Land Day, a thousand olive saplings planted in lands near Jenin

JENIN (WAFA) 31 Mar – On the occasion of Land Day, one thousand olive saplings were planted on Monday on Palestinian land threatened with seizure by Israel in ‘Arraba near Jenin. The olive saplings were jointly planted by the Palestinian Agricultural relief Committees (PARC) and ‘Arraba Municipality in lands adjacent to Mabo Dothan settlement. Assistant Governor of Jenin Kamal Abu al-Rub called for organizing more peaceful popular activities to confront settlement and land seizure and denounced the Israeli policies of building the expansionist apartheid wall in Yaʻbad and ‘Arraba. Mayor ‘Arraba Rula al-Shaʻer underscored the importance of drawing up a national program with the purpose of reinforcing the Palestinians’ steadfastness, particularly in areas threatened with settlement expansion. Coordinator of PARC Mohammad Jaradat stated that his association recruited two lawyers who would provide Palestinian farmers with legal assistance required to protect their lands against being seized by Israeli settlers.

East Jerusalem construction on hold for four years

Haaretz 31 Mar by Nir Hasson — After four years in which Mayor Nir Barkat’s plans to improve the planning situation in East Jerusalem have failed to make headway, residents of the A-Sawahra neighborhood have petitioned the Jerusalem District Court against the municipality. The residents are demanding that the local planning boards discuss a neighborhood-building plan. The plan for A-Sawahra, adjacent to the Jewish neighborhood Armon Hanatziv, is one of the biggest ever prepared for East Jerusalem. It covers 1,500 dunams (some 370 acres) and includes 2,500 housing units as well as public buildings, parks and open spaces. The plan, completed in 2008, won high praise in City Hall. Barkat has presented the plan as part of a comprehensive reform to improve East Jerusalem. “I see great importance in the plan, its implementation and in raising the residents’ quality of life,” the mayor told Haaretz nearly three years ago. Yet this plan not only failed to win approval − it didn’t even get discussed. Deputy Mayor Kobi Kahlon removed it from the agenda during the previous mayoral term, after Ultra-Orthodox and right-wing council members threatened to derail it. Meanwhile, the residents and landowners in A-Sawahra have run into a bureaucratic nightmare : Even though the plan was not approved, the city refuses to approve individual building plans, claiming the overall plan is about to be authorized.

Settler seizure of Hebron house signals gov’t effort to splinter Palestinian community

Mondoweiss 31 Mar by Badia Dweik — The recent decision of the Israeli Supreme Court of March 11, authorizing the purchase of the al-Rajabi house in the H2 area in the city of Hebron by a group of settlers, has been described by some Palestinians as a clear political move, one which explicitly promotes dangerous settlement expansion in the heart of Hebron. The Rajabi house is located just east of the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs and serves as a strategic connection point between the Jewish settlement blocks in Hebron. Hebron is a city that is a powder keg – a city at the core of an ongoing ideological and emotional conflict, characterized by recurrent bouts of violence. The city is home to Majdi al-Ja‘abari, who built the building for Fayez al-Rajabi. Settlers occupied it in 2007 before it was evacuated at the end of 2008. According to al-Ja‘abari, if settlers return to this area of Hebron, the neighborhood will become a living hell to all of its inhabitants, due to attacks by settlers, who notoriously terrorized it in the past. Bassam al-Ja‘abari, who earns his living as a shoemaker and also lives a few meters’ distance from the Rajabi house, describes how settlers attacked neighboring Palestinian homes with stones and staged demonstrations full of incitement against Arabs, and demands for their expulsion from the area.

Israeli settlers burn olive trees in West Bank

Middle East Monitor 31 Mar — Israeli settlers set fire to agricultural land in the village of Qaryout south of Nablus in the north of the West Bank before dawn today. An activist with the Popular Resistance, Bashar Qaryouti, told the Anadolu Agency that a number of settlers from the Israeli settlement of Eli, located near the Palestinian village of Qaryout, sneaked on to that territory after midnight and set fire to 11 perennial olive trees. "We called on the citizens through the mosques’ speaker system to rise up to defend their land. Then we headed for the western area of the village which witnessed the attack. The fire had destroyed 11 trees, while flammable materials were being sprayed at the rest of the trees. Because of our prompt arrival the burning was prevented and the settlers withdrew toward the settlement of Eli," Qaryouti said. The activist pointed out that the settlers were guarded by the Israeli army who fired lighting bombs over the targeted land before the settlers began to set fire to the land. The Israeli army also prevented Palestinian Civil Defence personnel from entering the area and extinguishing the fire.
Settlers set fire to years-old olive trees
NABLUS (WAFA) 31 Mar – Israeli settlers Monday set fire to ten olive trees in the village of Jalud to the south of Nablus, according to an acitivist. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that a number of settlers fired flares in the land, setting fire to almost ten fully grown and years-old trees.

Jerusalem’s water crisis
Al-Monitor 31 Mar by Akiva Eldar — Because Israeli authorities are neglecting East Jerusalem residents by failing to ensure a constant water supply, both Israelis and Palestinians have to cooperate on water management as a pollution catastrophe nears — On March 4, the day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started off his speech at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington with a greeting from Jerusalem, “the eternal and undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish people,” the water was turned off in the homes of tens of thousands of families in the municipal area of the “undivided city.” The neighborhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shehadeh, as-Salam and the Shuafat refugee camp are disconnected from the municipal water supply. (Several families “enjoy” an occasional slight drip from their taps.) These houses in East Jerusalem, on the other side of the separation fence, are home to Israeli residents who hold blue Israeli identity cards. The elderly and disabled people there, who have to wash in pails of water and carry drinking water in bottles, live a 10-minute car ride away from the affluent Jewish neighborhood of Givat HaMivtar.
Violence / Raids / Attacks / Illegal arrests

Jewish man arrested on suspicion of raping Palestinian woman
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Israeli police in Jerusalem detained a Jewish man last week on suspicion of raping a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem, a police spokesperson said. Luba al-Samri, Israeli police spokesperson for Arabic media, said in a statement that a 40-year-old man was detained last Thursday. The victim told police that she met the suspect in the Armon HaNetziv neighborhood in southern Jerusalem after responding to an advert about renting an apartment. Upon arrival at a bakery in the neighborhood, the man led her to a stockroom where he raped her. The suspect forced the woman to record on videotape that they were having consensual sex. The woman immediately went to a hospital following the assault and reported the attack to Israeli police. Police said that the man is suspected of having committed several similar attacks in the past.

Settlers hurl stones, chant ’Death to Arabs’ near Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 31 Mar — Hundreds of Israeli settlers gathered on a main road in the northern West Bank on Monday and hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles, witnesses said. Locals told Ma‘an that settlers arrived in buses to an intersection near the town of Yaabad near Jenin. Under guard by Israeli troops, the settlers climbed a hill and began to hurl stones at Palestinian vehicles. While throwing the rocks, the settlers chanted "Death to Arabs," witnesses said. The stones smashed through the windshields of several Palestinian vehicles as soldiers stood by, locals told Ma‘an.

Just another day of settler violence, IDF acquiescence
972 blog 1 Apr by Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz — A group of 10 settlers assaults two Palestinian farmers, with IDF troops standing by. Just another day of occupation — The media is in the habit of reporting “price tag” attacks : they’re rather easy to report. There’s often arson, and the arsonist generally leaves a clear message. It’s very photogenic and allows the common Israeli to dismiss those nutcases who use wild violence, not orderly violence like the army does, mutter something about the government being unable to deal with them, and move on. Those who are familiar with the subject of settler violence, however, know that “price tag” is not the important story, but merely the one that’s easy to tell. The real story, which hardly leaves any traces and therefore rarely makes headlines, is that of the daily terror intended to scare Palestinians away from their land. And in this story, the line between the violence of the settlers and the actions of the body purporting to be the sovereign, the IDF, is blurry, since the settler violence cannot exist without, at least, quiet assent from the military. Here’s a story that didn’t make the headlines. One day at the end of February, Ahmed Bassam Ahmed Uda and his cousin, Fouad Daoud Salim Shkhada, both residents of the village of Huwara, went to work on Uda’s land outside the village. They worked uninterrupted for four hours, and then, as they finished working, Uda looked up and saw, on the nearby ridge, about four Israeli civilians coming down in their direction from the settlement of Yizhar ... Shkhada had to go through several surgeries and was recently transferred to Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center for treatment. It is unclear whether his leg will recover. Uda suffered from severe pain in his jaw. The Israeli media did not report this attack. Apparently, unless there is an unusually incriminating video, an assault by Israeli civilians on Palestinians, under the aegis of the IDF, is no longer newsworthy.
Father of Palestinian youth killed by soldiers in Budrus petitions High Court to end delay in investigation
ReliefWeb 30 Mar — Ahmad ‘Awad, whose son Samir was shot and killed by soldiers near the Separation Barrier in the West Bank village of Budrus, petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice together with Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, demanding that the court oblige Military Advocate General Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni to decide whether to indict the soldiers who killed his son or close the case file. The petitioners’ legal counsel, Att. Gaby Lasky, noted that every day that goes by without a decision by the MAG reduces the chances that effective criminal procedures be taken against the perpetrators. This constitutes an ever-increasing infringement of The rights of the deceased’s family. It also results in greater harm to the rule of law and to public interest in bringing offenders to justice. Samir ‘Awad, 16, was killed on 15 January 2013. He was killed by live ammunition that soldiers fired from close range that struck him in the shoulder and in the back of the head. These bullets were fired at the unarmed ‘Awad after he had already been wounded in the leg and posed no danger to the troops. A Military Police investigation was launched the very same day and, according to media reports, the initial inquiry found that ‘Awad had been shot in contravention of open-fire regulations. The media also reported that the military had video footage of the incident from Separation Barrier surveillance cameras. Nevertheless, more than 14 months after the incident, the MAG has yet to render his decision whether to indict the offenders or close the case
2 Palestinians detained, Israeli soldier wounded in ‘Aida clashes
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Israeli forces on Tuesday evening detained two teenagers in clashes in ‘Aida refugee camp north of Bethlehem. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the camp and pronounced it a closed military zone while firing tear gas and rubber bullets, causing dozens to suffer from excessive tear-gas inhalation. One of the injured was identified as Abdullah Mohammad Hammad, 15. The other was not named. An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded after being hit by a rock in the face, witnesses said.

Clashes break out in Abu Dis
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Israeli troops on Tuesday clashed with students of al-Quds University and the Abu Dis School for Boys in Abu Dis near Jerusalem. Spokesman for the popular resistance committees Hani Halabiya told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the village “in a provocative manner,” and stopped students and inspected their IDs. This sparked clashes in which Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets. Halabiya said Israeli forces raided the boys school in the village and detained three students aged between 12 and 14. They were held and beaten in an Israeli military jeep before the school principal and other local officials intervened and managed to get them released, he said. Israeli forces also raided the house of the director of the local village council Atif Erekat and searched it for "stone-throwers."

Israeli troops detain teenage girl, man at Hebron checkpoint
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Israeli forces early Tuesday detained a young Palestinian woman and a man in the Old City of Hebron, locals told Ma‘an. Witnesses said Israeli troops stationed at a checkpoint in southern Hebron stopped a teenager, Tahani Muhammad Abu Mayyala, for inspection. Soldiers took her into custody after allegedly finding a knife in her handbag, witnesses said. Locals added that journalist Hamza Ahmad Salaymah, who was near the checkpoint at the time, tried to convince the soldiers to release the girl, and was subsequently taken into custody himself.

Israeli forces detain 10 in overnight West Bank raids
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — The Israeli army detained 10 Palestinians across the West Bank in overnight raids, locals and a military spokesman said. Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods in the Hebron district and detained six Palestinians overnight, locals told Ma‘an. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers stormed the city of Hebron and detained Amin Yusri Skafi and Zayd Majid al-Juba. Meanwhile, Israeli troops raided the village of al-Rihiya south of Hebron and detained Ibrahim Mousa Tubasi. A third arrest raid was carried out in Surif north of Hebron, where 24-year-old Eyhab Yousef al-Hur was detained. In al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, Israeli troops detained Musaab Younis Abu Hashhash, a shepherd who soldiers said had pastured his sheep too close to the nearby illegal settlement of Beit Hagai. Additionally, Raed Badawi Abu Zaanuna was detained in al-Tabaq village south of Hebron. An Israeli military spokesman said the army detained a total of 10 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight.

Ahrar : ’12 killed in first quarter of 2014, 1059 kidnapped’
IMEMC 2 Apr by Saed Bannoura — In a report published on April 1, 2014, the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights has reported that Israeli soldiers have killed twelve Palestinians since the beginning of this year, kidnapped 364 in March, and 1059 since January first. The center said that Israeli army fire and shells in the Gaza Strip killed six Palestinians, and six more were killed by Israeli military fire in the West Bank. Palestinians killed In March : 1. Amna Qdeih, 57, from Khuza’a town, in southern Gaza ; she was killed by Israeli army fire on March 1, 2014. 2. Mos’ab az-Za’anin, 21, killed on March 3 in an Israeli airstrike in Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip....

Detainees / Court actions

11 Palestinian MPs and minister still in prison
IMEMC 1 Apr by Chris Carlson — Israeli occupation authorities still detain 11 Palestinian MPs and one minister. Most are administrative detainees, AHRAR Centre for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights said. The centre pointed out that Israeli forces mean to extend the detention of MPs when their service is about to end. They suffer from various diseases and very bad conditions within the prison system. Al Ray reports that the head of the centre, Foad al-Khafash, said all the detained MPs are ex-prisoners who served long terms in prison. Israeli forces took them into custody them again, after a short period of release. Al-Khafash confirmed that the detention of MPs is a blow to their efforts and status. It is not a precedent for the occupation, which has arrested more than once the head of Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik. MPs detained are : Ahmed Attoun, Mohammed Abu Teir, Yasser Mansour, Mahmoud Ramahi, Abdel Jaber Fuqaha, Ahmad Saadat, Marwan Barghouti, Nizar Ramadan, Mohammed Maher Badr, Mohammed Jamal Natshe, Hatem Kufaisheh, and Minister Issa Al-Jabari.

Israeli court extends detention of 5 lawyers
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — An Israeli court on Tuesday extended the detention of five Palestinian lawyers from Jerusalem until Thursday. The detentions of Shireen Issawi, Amr Iskafi, Nadim Gharib, Mahmoud Abu Sneineh and Amjad al-Safadi were extended after they were arrested last month. Their charges are confidential.

Gaza under double blockade

Israeli forces fire at activists planting trees in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Mar — Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinian activists planting trees in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, witnesses said. Activists told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers stationed in watchtowers near the border town of Khuza‘a shot at the activists, who were planting olive trees to mark Land Day east of Khan Younis. Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said there were no injuries. The activity was organized by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. DFLP official Talal Abu Tharifa told Ma‘an : "Farmers planted olive trees in their own fields to tell the Israeli occupation that they must leave."

Kerem Shalom crossing opens for Gaza exports to Ukraine
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Apr — Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to allow a single truckload of wooden furniture to be exported to Ukraine, a Palestinian official said. Raed Fattouh told Ma‘an that 280 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial and agricultural goods were also allowed to enter Gaza. He said eight truckloads of cement, 23 loads of concrete aggregates, and two loads of iron bars for construction would enter the Strip for UN-funded projects. Additionally, fuel was to be delivered to Gaza’s sole power plant. Domestic-use gas was also allowed to enter the besieged coastal enclave.

Gaza celebrates Erdogan’s victory
Middle East Monitor 1 Apr — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets yesterday evening to celebrate the victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Palestinians described the resounding victory of Erdogan’s party as a kind of "landslide victory" for political Islam when it has a free democratic atmosphere. Gaza residents respect Turkey because of its outspoken stances against the Israeli-Egyptian, internationally backed, siege on them. Turkey has refused to restore diplomatic relations with Israel before the latter lifts the siege on Gaza and allows Turkish aid organisations access. MEMO Photographer : Mohammed Asad
Palestinian refugees in Syria

PFLP-GC : Ceasefire reaches in Syria’s Yarmouk camp
DAMASCUS (Ma‘an) 31 Mar — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command announced Monday that a ceasefire agreement was reached in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp ... Under the terms of the agreement, all non-Palestinian militants are to leave Yarmouk and "joint forces" are to be sent to take control of the camp. The statement did [not] provide further information about the "joint forces." The ceasefire — which was reached between 14 Palestinian factions and representatives of other militant groups stationed in Yarmouk — came into effect Sunday, the statement said. UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness said that 280 food parcels were delivered to the camp on Sunday.

National beverage company Coca-Cola funds food parcels for Yarmouk
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 31 Mar – The National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) signed Monday a memorandum of understanding for the donation of NIS 350,000, a joint press release stated. “This donation will fund food parcels in support of Palestinian refugees who have been besieged in Yarmouk Camp for more than seven months,” the press release said. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Dina al-Masri, Vice-president of the Board of Directors at NBC, and Lionello Boscardi, Chief of the Partnerships Unit at UNRWA ... Al-Masri affirmed that this support comes as part of the company’s responsibilities towards the Palestinian people wherever they may be, especially those in Yarmouk camp.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Israel jails Druze conscientious objector for sixth time
Electronic Intifada 31 Mar by Maureen Clare Murphy — Eighteen-year-old Omar Saad was recently handed down a sixth prison sentence for his ongoing refusal to serve in Israel’s occupation army. “I declare that I will refuse to serve in the army even if I’m jailed sixty times,” Saad stated in Arabic on his Facebook page on 23 March. The anti-militarization group New Profile is encouraging letters of support to Omar Saad, as well as letters to the Israeli authorities calling for Saad’s release, and letters to the media to bring attention to Saad’s imprisonment (see here for more details). Saad, a violist, was first jailed in early December last year after he and his siblings performed a musical protest outside of an Israeli military induction center in the Galilee, where the majority of Palestinians in present-day Israel reside. He has since been handed down six consecutive sentences of twenty days’ imprisonment. The Israeli authorities also denied visiting rights to Saad’s attorneys until these arbitrary restrictions were successfully challenged by Adalah : The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel ... "As an Arab Druze I consider myself part of the Palestinian people — so how can I be part of the army that occupies my people ? I won’t sell all my beliefs and my identity to anyone.”
WATCH : Druze draft resister sentenced to 6th prison term
Israeli Social TV 31 Mar — ...Dozens of supporters gathered on a hillside overlooking the prison to show their support and solidarity with Sa’ad earlier this month. Members of a new group of Jewish refusers also joined the protest and described Sa’ad as a role model who gave them strength in their own struggle against military conscription.
Bedouin soldier in Israeli uniform at Land Day festival in Negev
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 1 Apr – An Arab Bedouin soldier from the Negev who serves in the Israeli army on Sunday showed up in the audience during a festival marking Land Day in the Negev village of Surin. The soldier’s appearance was taken as very provocative by the audience. Palestinian Bedouin member of the Israeli Knesset Talab Abu Arar delivered a speech during the commemoration urging Bedouin soldiers who serve in the Israeli forces to take off their military uniform in protest against confiscation of Bedouin lands and demolition of their houses in Negev. There are very few Bedouin soldiers in the Israeli army, he added, highlighting that the phenomenon of Arabs joining the Israeli army has reduced considerably ... Addressing Bedouin young men who join the Israeli army, he said that “those who wear the military uniform must take it off in protest against land confiscation and home demolition. How can you wear a military uniform when you see your mother mercilessly left homeless in the open ?”

Northeastern rallies against censorship, racism
Electronic Intifada 2 Apr by Ali Abunimah — This afternoon I spoke at Northeastern University in Boston, which earlier this month suspended Northeastern Students for Justice (SJP), the first such sanction against a campus Palestine solidarity group in the United States. A short distance away, in another campus building, university administrators welcomed a delegation of members of the Israeli parliament. The university-sponsored town hall was expected to include representatives from Habayit Hayehudi, or the “Jewish Home,” according to a Northeastern SJP press release. On its official website, the party refers to Sudanese and Eritrean refugees as “infiltrators” which threaten the “Jewish demographic constitution of Israel.” Habayit Hayehudi, a member of Israel’s ruling coalition, advocates the annexation of most Palestinian land and subjecting Palestinians to permanent military rule and apartheid. ... After my talk, Northeastern students and supporters held a rally outside the university to protest the Israeli lawmakers. University police did not allow the rally to take place on campus property. The rally was endorsed by some twenty organizations and was attended among others by members of campus Palestine solidarity groups from Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts–Boston, Tufts University and Jewish Voice for Peace Boston. This statement of solidarity from Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti was read out at the rally :

Anti-boycott measure slipped into Maryland state budget
Electronic Intifada 1 Apr by Ali Abunimah — The American Studies Association (ASA) is calling for “immediate” action by the public to oppose a measure making its way through the Maryland legislature. This is one of several measures introduced in US state legislatures and in Congress to punish or condemn universities or organizations that endorse academic boycott of Israel. The initiatives were prompted by the ASA’s vote last December to endorse the Palestinian call for boycott of Israeli institutions. Slipped into budget “Proponents of the anti-boycott legislation failed to secure passage of the unconstitutional attack on academic freedom, so they have used the tried and true method of getting positions to be approved by the legislature by including their language in the state budget bill,” the ASA explains in a statement.
Other news

Abbas signs applications to join more UN institutions, treaties
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Apr by Saed Bannoura — [Tuesday Evening, April 1, 2014] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed fifteen applications that would be submitted to the United Nations, aiming at joining more UN bodies and treaties. The president signed the applications during a meeting held with various officials at his headquarters in the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Following the meeting, Abbas said the Palestinian leadership is ready to continue its international campaign aiming at obliging Israel to abide by International Law and all related UN and Security Council resolutions. “We aren’t trying to pressure any party, we seek no confrontation with Tel Aviv and Washington,” the Palestinian President said. “Our legitimate activities do not target any country, this is our right, and we are going to use it.” Abbas further stated that the Palestinian leadership held more than 39 meetings with the U.S. mediator, Secretary of State John Kerry, but Israel did not show readiness to advance direct peace talks, and continued its violations and illegitimate settlement activities.

US : Kerry cancels trip to Ramallah
BRUSSELS (AFP) 1 Apr — US Secretary of State John Kerry canceled plans to travel Wednesday to Ramallah after both the Israelis and the Palestinians announced moves likely to scuttle the peace talks.

Hamas rejects extension of negotiations
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 1 Apr — Hamas said on Tuesday that it rejects the extension of negotiations with Israel, and called on the Palestinian Authority to “stop this travesty.” The extension of talks would mark the “genuine ending of the Palestinian cause”, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. US peace efforts are teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free a fourth and final group of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners which would have completed an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013.

Obama weighs costs, benefits of spy release
WASHINGTON (AFP) 2 Apr — President Barack Obama faces a classic costs versus benefits conundrum as he considers whether to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to save failing Middle East talks. On the one hand, US-born Pollard, 59, is a trump card fast losing its value given that after 28 years behind bars, he may be freed on parole anyway next year. However, the former naval intelligence analyst who turned over suitcases stuffed with US Cold War era secrets to the Israelis in the mid-1980s, is a cause célèbre. The intelligence and defense community for years dug in its heels over Pollard, on the grounds he was a US native son who took foreign cash to betray his country. And there is no guarantee that his release now would buy anything more than a stay of execution for a peace process that appears to be going nowhere.

Hamas, Jordan probe possibility of better ties
Al-Monitor 31 Mar by Adnan Abu Amer — The March 10 killing of Jordanian judge Raed Zuaiter by an Israeli soldier at a West Bank border crossing strained Israeli-Jordanian relations, and now a third party has entered into the crisis between Amman and Tel Aviv : Hamas. Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ head of international relations, condemned the killing and expressed his "deep appreciation for the popular movement in Jordan that is raising the issue of reopening Hamas offices in Amman in response to the incident." The reconciliation file Ahmed Youssef, the former political adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, announced that the movement "is looking to transfer its political bureau to Jordan, as it is keen to have a presence in the country. Jordan is the best location for [this office], considering it is an open arena and close to Palestine. Given the special and reliable relations that link the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples, it is an option the movement is inclined to choose." This statement came in response to a March 12 request by Jordanian parliament member Musa Abu Sweilem, who called on the government to reopen Hamas offices in Amman. Sweilem also expressed his readiness to mediate a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

Palestinian envoy’s death not from safe explosion
PRAGUE (AP) 31 Mar — The explosion that killed the ambassador at the Palestinian Embassy complex in Prague was not caused by a booby-trapped safe as previously believed, Czech investigators said Monday. Police said that their investigation has revealed that the blast that killed Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal on Jan. 1 did not occur inside the safe and no explosive device was part of the safe. The cause of the explosion remains unclear. Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told The Association Press that "mishandling remains the most likely option." "There’s a question whether he knew what he was dealing with," she added. Police said in a statement that they need several more weeks to complete their investigation. Police say they discovered 12 illegal weapons and explosives at the embassy dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Palestinian authorities have said the weapons were gifts from officials in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.

32,177 animal and mixed holdings in Palestine during 2012/2013, says Statistics Bureau
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Apr — There were 32,177 animal and mixed holdings in Palestine during the agricultural year 2012/2013 : of these 79.8% were in the West Bank and 20.2% in Gaza Strip. The largest percentage of animal and mixed holdings was in Hebron governorate with 21.1%, said a release on Tuesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Around 25.3% of holders of animal and mixed holdings in Palestine had completed preparatory education and 29.4% were aged 40-49 years during the agricultural year 2012/2013, said the release. There were 33,980 head of cattle in Palestine : 75.4% in the West Bank and 24.6% in Gaza Strip. Jenin governorate raised the most cattle (15.5%) on the enumeration day, 01 October 2013. It said there were 215,335 head of goats in Palestine : 95.2% in the West Bank and 4.8% in Gaza Strip. Hebron governorate raised the highest percentage of goats with 21.0% on the enumeration day, 01 October 2013 ... Data showed that 41.7% of animal and mixed holdings with beehives split their beehives (for production of swarm bees) during the agricultural year 2012/2013. The results indicate that 90.6% of employees in animal and mixed holdings in Palestine are unpaid family members : 83.3% in the West Bank and 16.7% in Gaza Strip.

Israel has largest gaps in student achievement of all OECD countries, study shows
Haaretz 2 Apr by Yarden Skop — Grade distribution in PISA tests far higher among Jewish students than among Arabs — The wide grade distribution between students is reflected in the sizable gaps among students of various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds : The stronger the background, the higher the achievements. For example, the gap between students from strong backgrounds and those from weak backgrounds is about 100 points for Hebrew speakers and about 36 points for Arabic speakers. There is also a very large gap of 133 points (about a standard deviation plus one third) in the average grades of students studying in Hebrew-speaking schools as compared to students in Arabic-speaking schools.

Analysis / Opinion

The most surreal place in the occupied territories / Gideon Levy & Alex Levac
Haaretz 30 Mar — It is perhaps the lowest point in the occupied territories : the roof of the home of the Abu Aqar family in the Al-Aida refugee camp outside Bethlehem, which Israel Defense Forces soldiers took control over earlier this week. Briefly, it was also perhaps the most phantasmagorical place in the occupied territories. The roof was the setting for an incongruous gathering : Israeli soldiers under the command of “Major Yazid,” a Druze officer ; activists from the camp’s Popular Struggle Coordination Committee ; a few of the building’s inhabitants ; and a Jewish-American photojournalist from an ultra-Orthodox family, who had come as a child to celebrate his bar mitzvah at the Western Wall, later visited Israel on a Birthright trip, and until recently resided in Al-Aida as an act of solidarity ... The street below was littered with spent cartridges, tear-gas grenades, rubber bullets, “tutu” (0.22-inch) rounds and other ammunition. The soldiers’ rifles, of a bewildering variety of models, were placed on the improvised position created on the roof, along with their protective gear. A short time earlier, a 12-year-old boy, Khaled Saker, had been wounded on the street below – local residents say he is mentally handicapped, the soldiers said he was holding a stone. Now he’s in the hospital in nearby Beit Jalla, with a plastic-covered metal bullet in his leg. The day before, a soldier was lightly wounded here. But amid all this, the spontaneous conversation on the roof proceeded. It revolved around the military service of Maj. Yazid in the IDF, an army that shoots children who throw stones.

When it comes to racist border police, Israel has no leg to stand on / Anna Lekas Miller
972blog 31 Mar — The fuss ‘The Jerusalem Post’ made about its correspondent being denied entry to Saudi Arabia on religious, racial or national grounds is too much for one Arab-American journalist who was denied entry to Israel — On Friday, United States President Barack Obama landed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ... However, a funny thing happened on the way to the desert camp. Although most of President Obama’s press entourage received the necessary visas to accompany the presidential visit without a problem, Jerusalem Post White House correspondent Michael Wilner was denied a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia. The Jerusalem Post quickly condemned the action as exclusionary and anti-Semitic. In one of no fewer than four articles on its reporter’s exclusion, the paper’s editorial board asked, “How are we to understand the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s crass treatment of The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s only English language daily ?” We need look no further than the Kingdom of Israel’s crass treatment of a certain Open Zion reporter, who shall remain nameless. Just kidding, it’s me. It was midnight on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport when my plane touched down. The applause of overeager American visitors and Israelis returning home filled the cabin. I was busy trying not to vomit. A few months earlier, after a seven-hour-long interrogation at the Israeli border, I had sworn I would never again set foot in Ben-Gurion Airport. However, after being invited to attend a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, I was back, Hebrew-language invitation letter in hand, along with the phone numbers of four good Jewish boys who promised to vouch for me. It wasn’t good enough. Four hours later, I was on a plane to Istanbul and banned from Israel for 10 years. I will spare you the details of the interrogation, as I have written about them here, here and here. Let’s just say that journalist or no journalist, U.S. citizen or no U.S. citizen, I am a few shades too brown for the only democracy in the Middle East. Like Michael Wilner, I am a professional journalist and had a professional purpose for my visit to Israel. Like Michael Wilner, I was most likely denied entry based on my racial and religious background or affiliation with a certain looked-down-upon nation (in my case Palestine, in his case Israel). Both Saudi Arabia and Israel are renowned for doing this.
Dad’s in prison : a young Palestinian woman speaks / Mya Guarnieri
972mag 31 Mar — I teach writing at a Palestinian university in the West Bank. Several of my students have been gracious enough to share their experiences with +972, albeit anonymously. This is the first of four short essays.
"It was a sunny day. I woke up at six o’clock to get ready for my new life because it day was a big day ; it was my first day of college, so I was super excited and nervous at the same time. I wore my new clothes and asked mom for her blessing. When I arrived at the college I took some lectures and met new people. The whole day was super awkward ; it is natural because it is a new thing, new experiences and finally, I went back to home. When I entered I started to yell, “hey I’m back, I am here.” But it was like nobody was there. I thought that I would find my mother waiting for me and she would start asking about my day but that did not happen. I was like, “hello, does anyone hear me ?” I went to the living room ; my family was sitting there and they were sad. I asked them what is wrong. Did something bad happen ? After a while they said, your dad, Israel took him to jail after they hit him and broke his pelvis. I was totally shocked. I asked them, why ? What did he do ? As I know, he has a permit, right ! Mom answers he had one but his permit was not extended it is not valid, so that is why. But they could give him a chance to make new one ... Seven months have passed without seeing my dad, without hearing his voice. My father is my hero. I cannot imagine my life without him, without his blessing. Every moment I think about him. Is he okay ? Because of nothing they took him away. I just wonder about his crime. Did he kill someone ? No. Did he assault someone ? No. So what was it ? Going to his work for his children, in order to ensure them a dignified life ? He is suffering not only because of the jail but because of his kids. He could not sleep without coming to our bedrooms and saying goodnight, sweet dreams and giving us a kiss. While I was writing this paper, I imagined his face, his smile, and I smile back."