Home > Rubriques > Languages - International > English > TODAY in PALESTINE

Terrorisme israélien


Mercredi, 3 septembre 2014 - 12h58

Wednesday 3 September 2014



Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Israeli forces shoot, critically injure Jerusalem teen

JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — A Palestinian teenager was critically wounded late Sunday after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, relatives said. Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, from Wadi al-Joz suffered a fractured skull after being shot, his father said. The teenager was speaking on his mobile phone while walking to a nearby mosque for late evening prayers when he was hit, in what his father said was an unprovoked attack. He underwent emergency surgery at Hadassah Medical Center to stop bleeding on his brain and to remove bone fragments caused by the impact of the bullet. The teen is currently unconscious in an intensive care unit and is said to be in critical condition. Muhammad had been preparing for the new school year, his father said, adding that Israeli forces have been provoking local Wadi al-Joz residents in recent weeks by firing tear gas, rubber coated-bullets and skunk spray.

Palestinian killed by army fire near Qalqilia
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Tuesday, September 2: A young Palestinian man, from Nablus, was shot and killed, by Israeli army fire, at the Taybeh roadblock near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia; one was mildly wounded, and three detained. Palestinian medical sources said Mohammad Na‘im Sabri and al-Qanni?, 25, from Kufur Qalil village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, was seriously injured by army fire, and succumbed to his wounds. [PIC : Media sources identified the young man as Mohammed Sabri ... and the injured youth as Othman Omar.] Israeli sources claimed the slain man "tried to speed through the roadblock", allegedly to ram the soldiers with his car, before the soldiers shot him. A military ambulance took al-Qanni to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, before he was moved to the Rabin Medical Center. Israeli Ynetnews said several passengers were in the car that carries Israeli license plates. It added the soldier, who opened fire at the car, “felt a threat to his safety”. It added that a passenger was also shot in the leg, reportedly while “trying to escape," and suffered a minor injury. Three passengers were kidnapped by the army, and were moved to an interrogation facility.

’Suspects in brutal beating of two Palestinians tied to anti-miscegenation group’
972mag 1 Sept by Mairav Zonszein — Ten Jewish Israelis are suspected of severely beating two Palestinian men from Jerusalem in a wartime hate crime. Police believe some of the suspects are tied to right-wing anti-Arab group Lehava, Walla reports. Several Jewish Israeli suspects in the brutal attack of two Palestinians from East Jerusalem on July 25th are connected to anti-miscegenation, anti-Arab group Lehava, according to a report by Walla! News on Monday. In what Walla! describes as a “near lynch,” a group of about 10 Jewish Israelis from the East Jerusalem settlement of Neve Yaakov assaulted Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz of Beit Hanina with bats and iron rods on a Friday evening during the height of the summer’s Gaza war (known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge). Both men were beaten unconscious and hospitalized in critical condition, only only recently improving to stable condition. According to the report, the suspects had just left a shiva (Jewish ritual of seven days of mourning) for fallen IDF soldier Staff-Sgt. Moshe Malko, who was killed during an operation in Shujaiyeh in Gaza a few days earlier. From the investigation, it appears they set out looking to take revenge for Malko’s death. One of the suspects admitted in his interrogation that the motive for the assault was hatred of Arabs, according to Walla!. He added that he hates Arabs “just because. They are the enemy.” The investigation also allegedly revealed that several Jewish women who witnessed the beating did not call police, instead encouraging the attackers by screaming “death to Arabs.” Neve Yaakov is a settlement in East Jerusalem adjacent to Beit Hanina, and the two communities have had violent confrontations in the past, especially since the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir on July 2 and the subsequent Gaza war ... According to the Walla! report, police believe many of those involved in the attack are active members of Lehava, an organization whose stated mission is to combat Jewish intermarriage but in practice engages in rampant and blatant anti-Arab incitement and racism. Police also reportedly found that two of the suspects had been arrested in the past (more than once) for assaulting Palestinians (neither of them ever served time in jail)....

Palestinian teen’s murder shakes East Jerusalem school’s faith in coexistence
Haaretz 2 Sept by Nir Hasson — Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s high school was uniquely sensitive to Jewish tragedy, but that’s changed now — As was true at many high schools on Monday, students at the Amal high school in East Jerusalem saw a small memorial in the entranceway to a classmate who had died over the summer. At Amal, that student was Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by Jews in a revenge killing that shocked the country in June. Amal, located in the Atarot industrial zone, is a highly unusual school. Unlike most schools in East Jerusalem, it follows the Israeli curriculum rather than that of the Palestinian Authority. Principal Fawzi Abu Ghosh and his teachers insist on talking to their students about coexistence, human dignity and equality; Abu Ghosh’s motto is “a person should be a mensch to other people.” In this spirit, Amal is the only school in East Jerusalem whose students participate in the annual trip to the Nazi death camps in occupied Poland to learn about the Holocaust. But this year, the trip has already been canceled. Even an unquenchable optimist like Abu Ghosh knows that in the current atmosphere, it’s impossible.

Soldiers kidnap 17 Palestinians in Jenin
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, ‘Anza village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, broke into and ransacked several homes, and kidnapped 17 Palestinians. Palestinian security sources in Nablus stated that 10 Israeli military vehicles and jeeps invaded ‘Anza village, and searched dozens of homes for several hours, before kidnapping 17 Palestinians [Ma‘an: including an officer in the civil defense forces]. Soldiers also invaded Husan town, near Bethlehem, and kidnapped one Palestinian, identified as Rateb Sabateen.

Three Palestinians kidnapped in Hebron and Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday evening, two Palestinians near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and one Palestinian near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Mohammad Awad, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Hebron, stated several Israeli military jeeps, invaded Beit Ummar town, and ordered two Palestinians to head to the Etzion military and security base for interrogation. The two, Jawad Riyadh Breigheeth, 29, and Mefleh Ra’ed ‘Aady, 19, were taken prisoner by the soldiers after arriving at the military base. In related news, soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian from Deir Abu Mash‘al village, northwest of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Yazid Taha, 19, was heading back home in his village, when soldiers stopped him at a temporary roadblock, installed near the Halmesh illegal Israeli settlement, built on lands that belong to villagers of Nabi Saleh village, near Ramallah.

Further abductions, demolitions in West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Israeli forces kidnapped six Palestinians and physically assaulted two teenagers in West Bank districts on Monday, according to reports by security sources ... Israeli forces raided the villages of Beit Ummar and Halhul, to the north of Hebron, where they kidnapped four Palestinians between 17 and 20 years old, after breaking into and ransacking their homes. They took another 18-year-old Palestinian from Beit Ummar, following a detention at the entrance of Al-‘Arroub refugee camp. Forces also broke into and ransacked several other homes in Beit Ummar, serving three Palestinians — a father and his two sons, aged 48, 21 and 37 years — with notices to appear before Israeli intelligence, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency.

Continued clashes in West Bank, four injured, several detained
IMEMC/Agences 1 Sept — At least four Palestinians were injured during clashes which erupted Monday, at dawn, in Deheishe refugee camp, to the south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, local sources reported that clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces, after they broke into the camp. Soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas and stun grenades towards Palestinians youth, causing injury to four.

Clashes in Nablus as religious Jews visit tomb
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Clashes broke out overnight Monday between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers as hundreds of religious Jews visited a tomb in Nablus. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that 200 Jews visited Joseph’s Tomb under an armed guard of 35 military vehicles. It was the first visit of its kind since the end of the war in Gaza. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinians, who threw rocks at the soldiers. No injuries were reported.

Israeli police deny Palestinian women entry to Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli police on Tuesday denied Palestinian women entry to the al-Aqsa compound for the third consecutive day, locals said. Palestinian worshipers told Ma‘an that Israeli police officers prevented women from entering the holy site from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Does saying Allah Akbar (God is Great) out loud disturb the settlers? It is the settlers who intrude upon us and it is we who have the right to enter al-Aqsa without any Israeli restrictions," a female worshiper told Ma‘an.
Israeli police officers confiscated the identity cards of women who entered the holy site at dawn to ensure that they would not stay for longer, witnesses said. On Sunday, Israeli police officers erected checkpoints at all gates to the holy compound and denied Palestinian women access.

Israeli forces fire tear gas near East Jerusalem schools
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at schools in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Monday, with dozens of parents and children suffering gas inhalation. A member of a parents committee, Hasan Abdo, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces deployed around schools on Monday and fired tear gas in the neighborhood. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma‘an police came to the area to investigate a "local incident" in which Palestinians were preventing a new headmistress from entering a school. Rosenfeld said locals were angry that this particular headmistress was chosen. Palestinians hurled rocks at police in the area, who responded with tear gas, he said. "Three policemen were injured — one of them was taken to the hospital and two were injured lightly," Rosenfeld added. Abdo said Israel’s Jerusalem municipality deliberately neglects schools in East Jerusalem, despite the fact that parents and students have lobbied for better services for Palestinian students. Four out of eight municipality schools in Jabal al-Mukabbir have not yet started the school year because the demands of the parents’ committees have still not been met, he said. Over 6,000 students use the eight municipality schools but there is an acute shortage of classrooms, with over 60 additional rooms needed to meet demand. The Israeli municipality does not work "seriously" with the the parents committee, even though it promised to review educational issues raided by the groups, Abdo added.

Explosion rocks West Bank bus stop, no injuries
Times of Israel 31 Aug by Adiv Sterman — A makeshift bomb went off Sunday at a West Bank bus stop near the city of Ariel, in what security officials believe was an attempted terror attack. The explosion, which took place not far from the Tapuah Junction near the settlement of Rechelim, caused minor damage to the bus stop but resulted in no injuries, police said. Security forces conducted extensive searches near the junction in an attempt to locate the perpetrators of the failed attack and in order to ensure that no additional explosive devices had been placed in the area. Earlier Sunday, two pipe bombs were hurled at the Jit junction outside the West Bank city of Nablus and near the settlement of Kedumim, the army said. No damage or injuries were reported. The IDF said it was combing the area for other bombs as well, Channel 2 reported. Police said traffic was expected in the area due to the searches. On Thursday, a 2-year-old girl was lightly injured near the West Bank village of Hawara, between Nablus and the Tapuah Junction, after Palestinians hurled stones at the vehicle in which she was riding, Ynet reported. Earlier that day, three Molotov cocktails were hurled by unknown assailants at the home of a Jewish family in the [mixed] Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. No injuries were reported.

Video: The occupation in the words of Nabi Saleh
29 Aug — "I don’t want to explain to you what the occupation is", Nariman Tamimi told us, "I want you to come and see the occupation and tell me what peace is". Manal, Bassem and Nariman from Nabi Salih talk about Israel’s military occupation of the Westbank, the expanding Israeli settlements, and the resistance of their village. - Produced by Loes & Alexander, with extra footage from Bilal Tamimi / Tamimi Press. Recorded 18 July.


Israel releases MP, ex-minister from administrative detention
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli authorities released a member of the Palestinian parliament and a former minister on Tuesday after holding them in administrative detention for three months, a Ma‘an reporter said. Khalid Abu Arafa, the former Palestinian Authority Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, was freed from Ofer prison while Hamas MP Muhammad Tutah was released from Ktziot prison in the Negev desert. Some 35 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the prisoner rights group Addameer. Many of them were arrested in the past month, an Addameer employee told Ma‘an. Administrative detention refers to an Israeli policy of detaining Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial. Palestinians are typically sentenced to periods of three months in administrative detention, which can be renewed multiple times.

Land, property theft & destruction

Israel demolishes Palestinian structures in West Bank
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli bulldozers demolished a dairy factory in Hebron and Bedouin homes east of Jerusalem early Tuesday, witnesses told Ma‘an. Locals said Israeli troops escorted two bulldozers and two excavators to the al-Rama neighborhood in northern Hebron and began demolishing the factory, which is owned by Hebron’s Islamic Charitable Society. Journalists and bystanders were not allowed to approach the area which the Israeli army declared a closed military zone during the demolition, witnesses said. Hatim al-Bakri, who chairs the board of directors of the Islamic Charitable Society, said the damages inflicted a loss of "about 2 million US dollars." "Services the Charitable Society offers to orphans in the Hebron district will be badly affected," al-Bakri said. He said Israeli forces had confiscated the factory’s belongings during the month of Ramadan. Israel accuses the organization of being tied to Hamas, he added.
Separately, a Ma‘an reporter said Israeli forces demolished Palestinian homes and structures near Jaba‘a village east of Jerusalem. Bulldozers demolished five houses, four steel structures, and a barn that belonged to Bedouin families. Local resident Jumaa Suleiman al-Maazi said bulldozers and military vehicles showed up without warning and demolished his house, where he said nine people lived. Al-Maazi said he had received a demolition notice weeks earlier, but that there was no official "judicial order." Eighteen Bedouin families have lived in the area since 1947, he said, adding that locals have been continuously threatened by Israeli settlers nearby. A spokeswoman for Israel’s civil administration told Ma‘an via email that Israeli forces on Tuesday "carried out the demolition of an illegal building which was built without the necessary permits in the Hebron area." ...
In May, the EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah urged Israel to halt home demolitions in Area C of the West Bank, describing such actions as "forced transfer of population and demolitions of Palestinian housing and infrastructure." Israel has demolished 359 Palestinian structures in the West Bank so far in 2014, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Some 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished by Israel since it occupied the West Bank in 1967.

Israeli forces demolish house, water well in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a house and a water well in Hebron, locals said. Muhammad Nafith al-Herbawi, the owner of the land, said that Israeli forces demolished his house with all his belongings inside and also destroyed a well and a 100-meter long wall. In a statement to Ma‘an, Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories, or COGAT, said that "security forces carried out the demolition of two buildings which were built without the necessary permits in the Hebron area."

Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grapevines in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — A group of Israeli settlers chopped down grapevines on Palestinian agricultural property in northern Beit Ummar on Monday, a popular committee spokesman said Monday. Muhammad Awwad said the settlers destroyed seven grapevines in the Wad Abu al-Rish area near the illegal settlement of Beit Ein. The vines belong to Hammad Abd al-Hamid Jaber al-Sleibi, Awwad said. In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Over 90 percent of investigations into settler violence by Israeli police fail to lead to an indictment.

Israeli forces close farmers market in Nablus area
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli forces on Tuesday closed a farmers market in Nablus, citing security concerns, locals said. The market’s director, Imad Hilal, told Ma‘an that farmers and their goods were prevented from entering the market in Beita because of reports that Palestinian youths had thrown stones at a settler vehicle, allegedly injuring one person. "The occupation forces are imposing collective punishment and the pretext is that a settler was hit by stones," Hilal said. The mayor of Beita, Othman Dweikat, attempted to persuade Israeli forces to allow the event to continue, but to no avail. Israeli forces set up checkpoints at entrances and exits to the village and inspected Palestinian vehicles.

Israel halts work on illegal road through West Bank nature reserve
Haaretz 2 Sept by Zafrir Rinat — Activists, Palestinian residents claim construction was part of a broader attempt to deepen settlers’ hold in natural area — The Civil Administration and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority have stopped illegal construction that began recently on a road that passes through a West Bank nature reserve. The construction was apparently an attempt to connect the outpost of Alonei Shiloh to various other thoroughfares. Alonei Shiloh is located on the northern slope of the Kaneh stream, in one of the most important natural areas in the northern West Bank. Dror Etkes, a veteran researcher of settlements, and Aviv Tatarsky, a human rights activist who is in contact with Palestinian farmers from the villages of Deir Istiya and Jinsafut, recently discovered the road, which is a few kilometers long. The Palestinian residents and Tatarsky recently filed a complaint with the INPA and the Civil Administration, demanding that the roadworks be stopped. Spokesmen for the authority and for the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed that the work was indeed illegal. The two bodies took steps to stop it, including confiscating mechanical equipment at the site. Tatarsky said he was concerned that the building of the road was part of a broader attempt to deepen the settlers’ hold on the area around the Kaneh stream, by implementing a master plan they have been working on for the past two years in cooperation with the INPA, the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Civil Administration. “The intent is to turn the area of the stream into an integral part of the settlements by means of a new network of roads, by blocking the road now serving Palestinian farmers and visitors,” Tatarsky said. He added that the illegal construction was done along the route of one of the roads in the master plan under discussion.

Egypt slams Israel plan to seize Palestinian land
CAIRO (AFP) 1 Sept — Egypt on Monday denounced Israeli plans to expropriate West Bank land, saying the move violates international law and is an obstacle to efforts for a lasting Palestinian-Israeli settlement. On Sunday, Israel said it would expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land around Bethlehem, and allowed 45 days for any appeal. "This is not a positive step — it contradicts international law and will have negative consequences on the peace process," a foreign ministry statement in Cairo said ... Rights watchdog Amnesty International also denounced the Israeli plans, saying that it "appears to be the largest land grab in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1980."

Kerry calls Netanyahu to protest Israeli appropriation of West Bank land
Haaretz 3 Sept by Barak Ravid — The Israeli decision to declare 1,000 acres of land belonging to Palestinian villages in Gush Etzion as ’state lands’ has drawn a deluge of international condemnation over the past few days — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry early on Wednesday spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sharply protested the decision to appropriate 4,000 dunams (1,000 acres) of land belonging to Palestinian villages in Gush Etzion and declare them state lands. Peace Now, which monitors settlements, said this was the largest seizure of West Bank land in 30 years. The United States expressed anger on Tuesday at the decision by the Israeli government to appropriate the land. Since the decision was announced on Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has conducted several conversations with senior Israeli officials to express the administration’s displeasure. A senior U.S. official said Washington is also angry that “Israel didn’t update us in advance and surprised us with this decision.” U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki on Tuesday issued a statement calling on Israel to reverse the move. She noted that the seizure of lands, together with plans for additional settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – which America fears will begin shortly – sent a “very troubling message” and were “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of a two-state solution.” European governments protested both publicly and in angry phone calls to the Prime Minister’s Office ...A senior European diplomat said the Israeli decision was especially aggravating because of its timing – only days after a cease-fire had been reached with Hamas in Gaza, and as the international community was trying to help Israel advance such issues as preventing Hamas’ rearmament. "The Israelis have found the best way to put their finger in the eyes of all their friends in around the world," said the European diplomat. He added that instead of focusing now on weakening Hamas and increasing supervision of the Strip, Israel not only makes such a move but presents it as a plan to build a whole new West Bank city, not just a “regular” settlement, as he put it.

When Israel grabs land, the US grabs a thesaurus (satire)
972mag 2 Sept by Ami Kaufman — The U.S. State Department spokesperson and her deputy are finding it difficult to continue condemning Israeli plans to build more settlements in the West Bank — Marie Harf, Deputy State Department Spokesperson: Hi Jen. Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: Hi Marie, sup? Harf: Not much. Hey, did you see Obama’s suit? Psaki: I know, right?? What’s UP with THAT? Harf: I literally spilled my vente pumpkin spice latte. Psaki: I know, right?? Anyway, sup? Harf: So, the Israelis announced they’re gonna do this huge land appropriation. Psaki: Fuck. Not again. Harf: I know, right?? Psaki: So listen, type me up something along the lines of “We condemn in the strongest terms, the –” Harf: — sorry, we can’t use “condemn”. Psaki: Why not? Harf: Used it before. Psaki: Oh. OK. So, let’s do “decry”. Harf: Nope. Psaki: We did “decry”? Harf: Yup. Just before the Biden visit, remember? Psaki: OK, OK. How about “denounce”? Harf: Nope. Psaki: “Deplore”? Harf: Sorry. Psaki: Wait, how many times have they done this? Harf: Do you really want me to answer that? Psaki: No, no… I don’t. OK, “bemoan”? Harf: Nah....

Land grab erodes Israel support, finance minister warns
JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 Sept — Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned Tuesday that Israel was eroding its international support, as criticism abroad mounted of its biggest grab of Palestinian land since the 1980s. Lapid complained the security cabinet had not been consulted about Sunday’s announcement of the confiscation of 400 hectares (988 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank to pave the way for further settlement building. "The announcement, which wasn’t brought to the security cabinet, regarding 900 acres of land for building in Gush Etzion (between Jerusalem and Hebron) harms the State of Israel," Lapid told an economic conference in Tel Aviv. "Maintaining the support of the world was already challenging, so why was it so urgent to create another crisis with the United States and the world?" he asked. Lapid, a centrist within the governing coalition, was alluding to widespread international condemnation of the high Palestinian civilian death toll during Israel’s 50-day war in Gaza. However, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, himself a resident of Tekoa in the Gush Etzion settlement zone, defended the expropriation. "The official policy of the government of Israel is first of all to focus on those settlement blocs which it is understood will under any agreement to come remain under Israeli sovereignty," he said in remarks broadcast by public radio. I think that Gush Etzion expresses the broadest consensus in Israeli society and it is understood by everyone that in any agreement Gush Etzion will be part of the state of Israel". But Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, a cabinet moderate who served as chief negotiator in abortive US-brokered talks with the Palestinians, slammed the land grab. "It weakens Israel and threatens its security," she said. On the other side, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, whose far-right Jewish Home party draws much of its support from the settler lobby, defended the move as retaliation for the murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. It’s 120 years that the world has opposed our construction, and we’ll continue to do it," he said, equating settlement building in the West Bank with construction in the years before Israel’s creation in 1948."

Other West Bank news

Police rescue unemployed Hebron man who tried to hang himself
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Palestinian police rescued a man who tried to commit suicide in Hebron on Monday because he couldn’t find work, police said. Mahmoud Nimir al-Humouz, 29, from al-Fawwar refugee camp, went to the roof of a building belonging to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Hebron and tied a rope around his neck before trying to hang himself off the side of the building. Palestinian police and civil defense officers spoke with him for an hour and a half before managing to pull him back from the building edge after he tried to jump. Al-Humouz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic language six years ago and has not been able to find work since. The unemployment rate for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is 21.2 percent for men as of 2013, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The Hebron district has the worst rate of unemployment for men at 26.1 percent.

18-year-old from Nablus reported missing
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — An 18-year-old from Balata refugee camp in Nablus has been reported missing for seven days, his family said. Karim Abd al-Hashash last spoke to his brother in August and told him via telephone that he planned to commit suicide from a well known area in Nablus, his uncle told Ma‘an. The family has not received any information as to his whereabouts since and called upon the public to give any information they had to police.


9-year-old child dies from wounds sustained in Gaza war
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — A nine-year-old boy died in Gaza on Monday from wounds sustained during Israel’s recent offensive on the besieged enclave, medics said. Ziad al-Rifi was injured on Aug. 21 in an Israeli airstrike near his family home in Gaza City which killed Tariq al-Rifi, 35, his sons Omar and Muhammad, and seven-year-old Abdullah Tariq al-Rifi. The victims were watering trees in fields the family owned when they were targeted by two missiles.Al-Rifi’s death brought the total death during Israel’s offensive to 2,158 Palestinians.

Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in Gaza offensive
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — A Palestinian man early Tuesday succumbed to wounds sustained during Israel’s offensive on Gaza, family members told Ma‘an. Basim Ajjur, 55, died in a hospital in Jerusalem, bringing the death toll from the Israeli assault to 2,159. Ajjur was transferred to the hospital after being critically injured approximately two weeks ago, when an Israeli airstrike hit his home near the al-Zahra school in central Gaza City, a relative told Ma‘an. His 20-year-old son Saad was killed in the same airstrike, which injured a number of Palestinians from the same family. At least six Palestinians have died of their wounds since the announcement of a long-term ceasefire in Gaza on Aug. 26. Over 11,000 Palestinians sustained injuries in Israeli attacks throughout the seven-week assault.

Israeli warships open fire at fishermen off Gaza coast
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — Israeli forces opened fire at fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, in apparent violation of the ceasefire agreement reached with Palestinian factions a week ago, fishermen said. Palestinian fishermen told Ma‘an that Israeli warships used machine guns to fire at their boats while they were sailing within the agreed-upon six-nautical-mile limit near Rafah. No injuries were reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman said fishermen "deviated from the designated fishing zone," and that navy soldiers fired warning shots into the air. The fishermen then "backed away," the spokeswoman said. Asked how far the fishermen were sailing from shore, the spokeswoman said she did not know the exact distance, but that it was further than six nautical miles. Prior to the recent agreement, Israeli forces maintained a limit of three nautical miles on all Gaza fishermen, opening fire at fishermen who strayed further, despite earlier Israeli agreements which had settled on a 20-mile limit. The restrictions crippled Gaza’s fishing industry and impoverished local fishermen. A ceasefire agreement reached on Aug. 26 stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as many as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually. Under the terms of the deal, Israel also agreed to ease its siege on the coastal enclave.

So did over 2,000 people die for nothing? This should not surprise anyone who has been following the Situation for any length of time
Gaza blockade — no signs of loosening
DUBAI (IRIN) 2 Sept — Nearly a week after a ceasefire agreement that was believed to include the partially lifting of the blockade on Gaza, no restrictions have been eased, say humanitarians and border guards. NGOs are eager to increase aid to the Palestinian region after a 50-day Israeli bombing campaign left over 2,000 dead, thousands wounded and much of the enclave’s infrastructure in ruins, but access rules continue to present huge challenges. While the exact terms of the ceasefire agreement, reached last week between Israel and various Palestinian factions, have not been released, it was widely reported that Tel Aviv committed to easing its border sanctions in exchange for a cessation of hostilities, while Egypt, too, was expected to ease its blockade. Though many of the most contentious issues were left for further negotiations due to take place in three weeks, humanitarian workers were hopeful aid and other access policies would be eased quickly ... Yet at the three main crossings - the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Israel and the Rafah border post to Egypt - the previous policies have remained in place. “At both Erez and Kerem Shalom for now there hasn’t been any change in the regime of allowing passage for people and goods,” said Maria Jose Torres, deputy head of office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory branch of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). She said the organization had hoped for more clarity on the opening up. “We were expecting that the agreement of the ceasefire would have some kind of timeline for easing and lifting the blockade but so far we have nothing publicly. There might be something we are not aware of,” she said, referencing ongoing indirect talks between Palestinian factions and Israel ... Fikr Shaltoot, director of programmes in Gaza for the UK-based Medical Aid for the Palestinians (MAP), said they too had been disappointed by the lack of change. “We were hoping to see immediate change on all the crossings. So far I don’t see any kind of improvement on this,” she said, adding that the medical need in Gaza was acute. “Even before the aggression, there were severe shortages of drugs - 28 percent of essential goods were at zero stock,” she said. “Now the situation is critical.”
Yet Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, told IRIN that as the exact terms of the ceasefire agreement had not been made public, much of the expectation had been based upon conjecture ...
At the Egyptian border, too, similar stringent restrictions remain, though hopes were raised for an easing on 28 August when the World Food Programme (WFP) was granted permission to send 18 food trucks through the Rafah crossing. The deal was the first time since 2007 that the organization had used the crossing to deliver aid, which is normally limited to entry through Israel. Yet WFP officials stressed that the deal was negotiated in recent weeks before the ceasefire. “Our regional bureau has been negotiating with the ministries in Cairo for five weeks for those 18 trucks,” Sune Kent, WFP Palestine’s head of logistics, emergency preparedness and security, said. “Getting goods through Rafah requires continued and very close negotiations with the Egyptian authorities.”
Seeking dual use agreements As fears that the blockade will not be eased grow, the people of Gaza could be forgiven for experiencing a sense of déjà vu. In November 2012, following eight days of fighting, an agreement was struck between Hamas and Israel that was supposed to ease the blockade. Many of the basic tenets of that deal were similar to what was reported of the newly-agreed one. Following the agreement, border policies were briefly eased with Palestinians in Gaza having freer movement both to Egypt and Israel. Yet while there were initial promising signs, the deal was never fully implemented - particularly after the pro-Hamas Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt was overthrown by the country’s military, a move supported by mass public demonstrations. The country’s new leader, former military general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is hostile to Hamas and sanctions have increased. This time, too, the threat of the deal collapsing is real, especially as there appear to be few enforcing mechanisms. Hirschson confirmed to IRIN that the terms of the agreement included no guarantees that either side would fulfil their side of the bargain.

Report: Netanyahu says will not send delegation to Cairo talks
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not plan to send a delegation for negotiations in Cairo as stipulated by the ceasefire agreement that ended seven weeks of fighting in Gaza, Israeli media reported Monday. Channel 10 said in a TV report that Netanyahu told his cabinet in a closed session that he would not send as agreed a delegation to Egypt for further talks regarding a seaport and airport in Gaza, the release of Palestinian prisoners, the demilitarization of Gaza factions, and the delivery of bodies of Israeli soldiers presumed held by Hamas, among other unresolved issues. Netanyahu spoke proudly to his cabinet about the Gaza offensive, saying Hamas had not achieved any of its demands, according to the report. Qais Abd al-Karim, member of the Palestinian negotiation team to be sent to Cairo, told Ma‘an that any Israeli step that shows a lack of commitment to the ceasefire’s terms would render the ceasefire null and void.

Haniyeh discusses next steps in Gaza with Egypt, Qatar
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday urged Egyptian intelligence officials to hold Israel to the stipulations of the ceasefire agreement it signed to end hostilities in Gaza, a statement from Haniyeh’s office said. Haniyeh told Egyptian officials it would be necessary to follow up with Israel regarding unresolved issues. He added that the reconstruction of Gaza was a top priority. The Egyptian officials told Haniyeh Egypt would continue its efforts to work out solutions for Gaza, the statement said. Separately, Haniyeh telephoned Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, who said his country had made several arrangements for Gaza reconstruction.

Egypt official: No date set for renewed ceasefire talks
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — Egypt is in contact with Palestinian and Israeli officials to determine a date for further ceasefire talks following a cessation to hostilities last week, an Egyptian diplomat said. Wael Atiyeh, Egypt’s ambassador to Palestine, told Ma‘an that a date has not yet been set for a return to negotiations and an agenda still needs to be finalized for upcoming meetings in Cairo, he added. Egypt and Palestinian officials are still discussing arrangements to deploy presidential guards at the Rafah crossing and along Gaza’s border with Egypt, he added.

Netanyahu: disarming Gaza is an unachievable goal
Middle East Monitor 2 Sept — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a closed session with senior Israeli officials that the disarmament of Gaza would not be possible in the near or distant future, Israel’s Channel 10 reported. The channel quoted officials who said that Netanyahu ruled out taking a final decision on a few issues in Gaza, such as the airport and seaport at this stage. The channel said that contrary to public statements, Netanyahu confirmed that Hamas had gained some privileges as a result of the cease-fire, including the mitigation of the crossings and increasing the ​​fishing area to more than 6 miles. The channel quoted Netanyahu as saying that there were no preparations to hold a new round of indirect talks with the Palestinian factions in Cairo scheduled at the end of the month. He remarked on the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, saying, "the withdrawal from the West Bank will lead to tunnels that could reach Kfar Saba and Sharon", hinting that he does not intend to evacuate areas from the West Bank within a future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Hamdallah discusses Gaza reconstruction with UN rep
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met with a representative of the UN’s Office for Project Services on Monday to discuss the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the Israeli assault, a statement said. Hamdallah and UNOPS representative Nick O’Regan discussed plans for reforming Gaza’s infrastructure and shipping in construction material. The Prime Minister said there needed to be full cooperation between the West Bank-Gaza unity government and various international organizations and institutions in order to reconstruct that which was destroyed during the assault. O’Regan said that the unity government and the international community should work together not only to rebuild Gaza but to transform its infrastructure to improve standards of living for Palestinians in the Strip. "The critical short-term humanitarian needs (must) have, as much as possible, linkages to longer-term infrastructure network planning," O’Regan said.

Video: Gaza City’s devastated Al-Shuja‘eyya suburb
IMEMC/Agencies 2 Sept — The scale of the devastation caused by Israeli shelling on Gaza during the recent two-month assault has been shown in an online video, Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency reports. The brief footage, archived by Palestinian-based production company Media Town, was taken above Gaza City’s eastern suburb of Al-Shuja‘eyya. A series of buildings shattered or completely reduced to rubble can be seen in this footage, recorded at the end of Augus. An independently sourced photomontage of the devastation can be seen here. (Warning — extremely graphic images - but this is the reality.)

Tens of thousands remain homeless in Gaza
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Electronic Intifada) 1 Sept by Joe Catron — One week after a ceasefire halting an Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Palestinians remain displaced, sheltered in United Nations schools and other facilities. On Sunday, 58,071 people still lived in 36 UN schools across the coastal enclave, according to Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees. With 15,670 housing units damaged, including 2,276 completely destroyed, and up to 500,000 Palestinians displaced over the 51-day onslaught, the number staying with extended families, in temporary rentals and at government and informal shelters is probably higher. An estimated 108,000 Palestinians will need long-term solutions because their homes were too severely damaged to inhabit or destroyed altogether, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). The crisis is compounded by the fact that there was already a deficit of 71,000 housing units for Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million residents even prior to the Israeli attack, UN OCHA estimates. And with reconstruction yet to begin, and likely to prove difficult due to ongoing Israeli restrictions on the importation of building materials, displaced Palestinians face uncertain futures.

Gaza destroys five tonnes of unexploded Israeli bombs
Middle East Monitor 2 Sept — The explosives engineering division in the Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip yesterday destroyed around five tonnes of unexploded bombs that were launched by the Israeli army on the sector during their latest assault. Imad Al-Amasi, director of the division, told the Anadolu news agency: "Today, we were able to successfully destroy the remnants of the Israeli occupation’s bombs, which were dropped during Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip on the cities of Rafah and Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, but did not explode." An Anadolu reporter was present during when the bombs were destroyed, which occurred in an open area, west of Khan Yunis. Al-Amasi said that the materials, which were "heavy bombs, missiles of different sizes, types and shapes, and artillery shells" were collected from different residential and border areas that were subject to bombing or ground invasion. He said approximately "five tonnes" of munitions had been collected from the areas of Khan Yunis and Rafah as a first stage. Work is still being carried out to retrieve unexploded bombs from other areas in the Gaza Strip in order to destroy them. On August 13, five people were killed, including two explosives engineers and two journalists, and six others were injured when an unexploded Israeli rocket detonated in the northern Gaza Strip.

Iran sends 95 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza via Egypt
Haaretz 2 Sept — Iran’s Red Crescent Society has sent 95 tons of aid – including medicine, medical equipment, food, tents and blankets – to the Gaza Strip, the country’s Fars News Agency reported, quoting a senior official of the humanitarian organization. Egypt has agreed to forward Iranian humanitarian aid to Gaza, Fars said. It quoted the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s deputy head for international affairs, Mohammad Shahabeddin Mohammadi Araqi, as saying that the Red Crescent also coordinated with its peer organizations in Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to help get the aid to the residents of Gaza. Egypt also issued has visas to an Iranian medical team to enter the Strip, the report quoted Mohammadi Araqi as saying.

Other news

Palestinians to seek UN resolution for Israeli occupation end date
UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) 2 Sept — The Palestinian leadership intends to seek a UN Security Council resolution setting a three year deadline for ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, a PLO official said Tuesday. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, acknowledged at a news conference that the United States would veto such a resolution. Nevertheless, she told reporters, "We will be seeking a Security Council resolution on ending the occupation on a specific date." "We should know that the occupation will end within three years," she added. She raised the possibility of also seeking passage of a similar but non-binding resolution by the UN General Assembly. Ashrawi once again also brandished a threat to take Israel before the International Criminal Court over its 50-day military offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza. But she did not say when it might do so. The Palestinians were granted observer status at the court in 2012, giving them access to the court.

Abbas to propose timetable for peace talks with Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Sept — President Mahmoud Abbas is set to propose a timetable for peace negotiations with Israel during an upcoming meeting with Arab foreign ministers, a Palestinian official said Tuesday. Speaking to Jordan’s al-Ghad newspaper, Palestinian supreme judge Mahmoud al-Habbash said Abbas wants to garner support from Arab countries for nine months of talks with Israel. The plan, which Abbas will present in Cairo on Sept. 7, includes three months of negotiations dedicated to agreeing on borders, with the remaining six months focused on refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, security and water, al-Habbash said. Israel would be expected to freeze illegal settlement construction during the duration of the talks and release the last group of pre-Oslo prisoners. The talks will aim to set a three-year time-frame for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory. "If the Israeli occupation doesn’t agree on the plan, the Palestinian side will take legal, diplomatic and political moves to impose peace by force," al-Habbash added.

Gazans demand right of passage to West Bank
Haaretz 2 Sept by Amira Hass — Ahead of Cairo talks on easing restrictions at border crossings, residents of Strip want end to ’checkpoint visas’ — ... Of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, only a few thousand are permitted to apply for an Israeli exit permit allowing them to leave Gaza through the Erez checkpoint. If their declared destination is the West Bank, they are also required to get a sort of Israeli “tourist visa” for the West Bank. The situation is similar to that of a resident of Yeruham or Arad being permitted to visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem only if he’s obtained a special internal visa. The permit has been dubbed the “checkpoints visa” – and is shown to soldiers so they do not order the Gazan ID-holder’s deportation to Gaza. HaMoked – the Center for the Defense of the Individual, an Israeli human rights NGO, discovered the existence of this visa to visit the West Bank quite coincidentally, when it was representing some Gaza natives about to be deported from the West Bank. Inquiries by HaMoked revealed that the Civil Administration had begun to issue the permits without any formal procedure or new legislation. There was no public notice, official or unofficial, of the new policy, which was adopted by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. It read as follows: “As of November 2007, any resident of Gaza who is in the West Bank must hold a ‘permit to stay in Judea and Samaria,’ and the permit is intended for that purpose only.” The visa for Gazans visiting the West Bank is yet another logical step in the bureaucratic evolution of restrictions on movement that Israel has imposed on the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. Here are a few of the major chapters in this campaign: Since 2005 (“disengagement”), there has been a sharp decline in the number of Palestinians, as well as in the categories of Palestinians, whom Israel permits to leave Gaza via the Erez checkpoint for the West Bank. Since the early 2000s, Gazans in the West Bank whose date of return in their permit to cross Israel has expired have been declared “illegal visitors” in the West Bank. Since 1997, residents of the Gaza Strip have been forbidden to enter the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge crossing. Since the early 1990s, Palestinians have only been permitted to leave the Gaza Strip (or the West Bank) with an Israeli permit (a restriction that did not exist in the 1970s and 1980s)....

Post-Gaza war poll: Hamas, Haniyeh and rockets popularity at all-time high
972mag 2 Sept by Mairav Zonszein — More than two-thirds of Palestinians favor bringing Hamas’ armed resistance model to the West Bank, although majorities in Gaza prefer that the PA take over key aspects of security and governance of Gaza — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli military leaders may have boasted of victory over Hamas last week following 50 days of warfare in Gaza, but a new poll shows Hamas with its highest-ever approval ratings among Palestinians since it took control of Gaza in 2006. In contrast, Netanyahu’s approval ratings have plummeted: 50 percent of Israelis said they are dissatisfied with his conduct, compared with an 82-percent approval rating at the beginning of the ground operation in mid-July, according to a Channel 2 poll. If presidential elections were held today, Hamas leader and former PA prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would defeat Fatah leader and current PA President Mahmoud Abbas by a large margin (61 percent to 32 percent), according to the poll. In addition, for the first time in eight years, Haniyeh would also come in slightly ahead of imprisoned Fatah veteran Marwan Barghouti (49:45), who is serving two life sentences in Israeli prison. The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) among a sample of 1,270 adults in person in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between August 26-30, 2014, indicates that 79 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas won the war, 94 percent are satisfied with its military performance against Israel and a majority — 53 percent — believes that armed confrontation is the most effective means for establishing a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. Eighty-six percent of Palestinians support launching of rockets from Gaza if the siege and blockade are not ended, according to the poll. Half of those polled believe that launching rockets from populated areas is unjustified, but that number increases to 59 percent among Gazans; only 38 percent of those polled in the West Bank believe it is unjustified. When broken down geographically, Abbas’ approval rating rises in the Gaza Strip to 49 percent but drops to 33 percent in the West Bank. By contrast, Khaled Meshaal’s approval rating drops in the Gaza Strip to 70 percent but rises to 83 percent in the West Bank. (Each is slightly more popular in the territory which they do not actually rule.)....

Wednesday talks propel Kerry back into Mideast tumult
Washington (AFP) 3 Sept — US Secretary of State John Kerry wades back into the tumult of the Israel-Palestinian peace process Wednesday, meeting Palestinian negotiators for the first time since the 50-day war in Gaza ended. The talks come just days after Israel announced its biggest grab of Palestinian land since the 1980s, and as a new showdown looms at the United Nations with the increasingly frustrated Palestinians planning to push a resolution setting a three-year deadline to end the Israeli occupation. It will be Kerry’s first face-to-face talks with Palestinian negotiators since Washington found itself sidelined from the Gaza ceasefire talks in July, when Kerry, the top US diplomat, failed to broker a truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip … The veteran diplomat was expected to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone on Tuesday before meeting Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erakat and Majid Faraj, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Smoking gun missing from Shin Bet transcript on Hamas coup plot
Haaretz 2 Sept by Chaim Levinson — Dozens of investigators questioned lead suspect Riad Nasser almost around the clock, amounting to hundreds of pages of transcripts, far more than the norm — Last month the Shin Bet announced that a high-ranking Hamas operative was the head of a Hamas network planning to overthrow the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. But transcripts of the Shin Bet’s interrogation indicate that the operative, Riad Nasser, told Israeli security officials that Hamas’ plan was to wait for the PA to collapse and then fill in the power vacuum, not to actively stage a coup. After several sessions in the Shin Bet’s interrogation room at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, where Nasser sat for 51 days, the Hamas official provided details about the Islamist group’s plans in the West Bank ... Contrary to the Shin Bet’s announcement, he did not say Hamas wanted to actively carry out a coup in order to get rid of the PA ... During his interrogation, Nasser gave precise information about Hamas’ situation in the West Bank: the names of operatives, its political situation, contacts abroad and plans for the future. When the interrogation was completed, at the height of Operation Protective Edge, the Shin Bet security service announced that it had prevented a Hamas network from continuing to build the infrastructure needed to carry out a coup in the West Bank, in which Hamas would overthrow the Palestinian Authority and take over in its stead.

EU threatens to boycott Israeli settlement-produced poultry, dairy
RAMALLAH,(PIC) 3 Sept — The European Union (EU) has warned that it would halt its poultry and dairy imports from Israel if the latter does not separate “Israeli-made” products from those processed within the illegal West Bank settlements. The Israeli Maariv newspaper said on Tuesday the EU gave Israel a few weeks’ time to set a plan for the projected separation between the settlement-produced food items and those manufactured inside of the Green Line. In case the plan is not put into effect, the EU vowed to boycott all of the aforementioned Israeli products. The EU Commission sent a letter to the Israeli Minister of Agriculture on August 28 warning Israel against exporting settlement-based poultry. The ministry has been taking time to consider the appeal for fear that the EU would blacklist such Israeli products.

Opinion / Analysis

The real threat in Israel has been discovered / Zvi Bar’el

Haaretz 3 Sept — Only a frightened nation sees the minority’s language as a threat. Only a racist government seizes on language as a pretext for excluding about a fifth of the country’s population — MK Hamad Amar is a Druze member of the Yisrael Beiteinu party. The online publication Al-Amama, which focuses on Druze affairs, has lavished praise on him, describing him as a new kind of leader, one that wants to advance the Druze community and nurture its youth while also preserving traditional values. It will be interesting to see what Al-Amama writes about him now, after Amar added his signature last week to the imbecilic bill sponsored by his party colleague, MK Shimon Ohayon, which has also been signed by MKs David Rotem, Orit Strock and Moshe Feiglin. This bill would abolish Arabic’s status as an official language in Israel, meaning inter alia that government offices would no longer be obliged to publish regulations and instructions in that language. Even George Orwell would find it hard to improve on the explanatory notes to the bill. “Passing this bill will contribute to social cohesion in the State of Israel and to building the collective identity needed to create mutual trust in society and preserve the values of democracy,” it asserts. “Collective identity”? “Mutual trust”? “Social cohesion”? There could be no better description of a racist society that is panicked over the possibility of being taken over by the minority’s language, and which would therefore rob it of its identity and, in the next step, destroy its culture ... If we just eradicate the Arabic language – if we erase it from the Jewish school curriculum and stop printing traffic tickets and electric bills in Arabic as well – the “threat” posed by the Arab nation will disappear and Jewish identity will be saved. Hebrew is for the Jewish nation state, and Arabic is for its enemies. That way we’ll know who is who, and will no longer get confused between the enemy and mere imposters. That’s also what Turkey thought for generations, during which it forbade the study of the Kurdish language and persecuted everyone who wrote music or books in the language of its largest ethnic minority. But Ataturk’s extreme nationalism didn’t make the Kurdish problem go away; quite the contrary....

What can ’forensic architecture’ reveal about the conflict in Gaza? / Ellie Violet Bramley
The Guardian 1 Sept — Bulldozing new roads, using buildings as weapons ... to the Israeli architect Eyal Weizman, city warfare leaves clues in the very architecture. He’s piecing together the evidence — ...Weizman has also made a name for himself as the chief proponent of “forensic architecture”, by which he analyses the impacts of urban warfare for clues about the crimes that were perpetrated there. To Weizman, buildings are weapons. When he looks out across the landscape of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, as he does in the film The Architecture of Violence, to be aired on Al Jazeera today, he sees a battlefield. “The weapons and ammunitions are very simple elements: they are trees, they are terraces, they are houses. They are barriers.” In the kitchen of his east London home, feeding me home-pickled cucumbers and endless cups of coffee, he says the most obvious and contentious aspect of what he calls the “architecture of occupation” is the system of Israeli settlements. Perched on West Bank hilltops, they are strategically positioned, according to Weizman, so that they look out over the Palestinian valleys and towns below, in order “to dominate”. Each of the uniformly suburban-looking houses – all with mandatory red roofs so that on flyovers the Israeli army know not to target them – is “itself like an optical instrument,” he tells me. “When it is laid in rings around the hilltops, it is like a suburban-scale optical device that can survey the entire territory around it.” Around them, “settler only” roads operate as borders, connecting settlements with each other but splitting valleys in two, separating Palestinian farms, towns and cities from each other ... Weizman now leads the Forensic Architecture team at Goldsmiths, University of London – a unique project that provides “architectural evidence” for international prosecution teams, political organisations, NGOs and the UN. Their investigations include drone strikes, violence by state security forces on the Ixil Maya people in Guatemala and the use of white phosphorus in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. They’ve also looked at Israel’s tactic of “knock on roof” warnings, which has been used extensively in the most recent conflict in Gaza. “Cities are always about the links between buildings in the street, networks, infrastructure. When war happens in the city, people die in buildings, the majority in their own homes,” Weizman tells me. By carefully examining those buildings, you can find architectural evidence. If the Gaza conflict were ever to make it to the International Criminal Court, Weizman supposes he’d work with the prosecution: “We would show where there’s a violation of international law in the way in which buildings are attacked.” In this way, architects could play a role in reconstructing and therefore resisting violence....

Israel, a state of armed robbery / Amira Hass
Haaretz 2 Sept — The surprising thing is that some people are still making noises of surprise upon hearing of another successful act of armed robbery, known in bureaucratic terms as declaring a parcel of land to be state-owned. They seem astonished that the Defense Ministry has been made a priority when it comes to the state budget, and that education has suffered the largest government cutback. Our regime has three foundations: grabbing land and driving out those who live upon it; nurturing the apparatus of bodyguards — the army, in the local argot — who secure the plunder; and crushing the welfare state while wiping out the principle of mutual civic responsibility. If it did not have these three fundamental principles, it would not be our regime. But dealing with the details, the ad hoc amazement, the one-off surprise, makes us forget the big picture. It makes us forget that this is the regime. If three Israeli teenagers had not been kidnapped from Gush Etzion and murdered in June, our armed robbers would have found a different excuse to build another huge settlement and, through it, to create more enclaves, open-sky cages (a secondary fundamental principle of our regime) for the members of the other nation. If the war in Gaza had not taken place, the bodyguards would have used other ways to persuade the government that their coffers had to be filled. Even without the need to fill the security coffers after a military operation, the current Israeli government would still have failed to heed the principles of socioeconomic equality. In an ideal and rational world, all those who had been harmed by the regime would join hands and demand change together. In an even more ideal and rational world, they would also bring about that change. But in the real world, the burden of bringing about change is placed upon the Palestinians....