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Terrorisme israélien


Samedi,13 septembre 2014 - 18h

samedi 13 septembre 2014



Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Hundreds of Palestinian homes await demolition decision
Middle East Monitor 9 Sept — The people of Arrabeh Al-Battouf , in the Upper Galilee, and Wadi Hasin neighbourhood, in the eastern part of Hebron, await the results of the local planning session, expected to end today, due to determine whether or not their houses will be demolished. The families’ houses have been threatened with demolition ; however, in the case of a final ratification of the neighbourhood’s master map, the danger will be removed in its entirety for the hundred homes. It would also enable owners to obtain the necessary permits for the houses to prevent long court cases and heavy fines being imposed. Residents, especially those of Wadi Hasin, underwent a long struggle protesting against the demolition and demanding licenses to be granted for their homes and to stop the exorbitant fines. Activist Salam Shalash, who built his house without any permits, said : "We are awaiting the decision that should be coming out on Tuesday, and we hope the final ratification of the map of the neighbourhood will put an end to the nightmare and suffering the residents have endured for years, not to mention the prosecution and heavy fines and lack of stability." Shalash affirmed that the residents are living in cautious optimism and anticipation of the final decision for the commission approving the master plan, eagerly awaiting the moment they can end their suffering and stress, which has been ongoing for over 20 years....

Palestinians condemn plan to forcibly transfer thousands of Bedouins
[very informative article] RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — The Palestinian minister of agriculture and 42 organizations on Thursday condemned newly unveiled Israeli plans to demolish dozens of villages and "forcibly transfer" thousands of Bedouin Palestinians from their homes. Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Shawqi al-Ayasa said in a statement that the six Israeli plans publicized this week would have serious negative impacts on Palestinian society and would severely harm the Bedouin way of life, "shaking the economic and social structure of the Palestinian community." Al-Ayasa accused Israel of "wanting to create segregated areas, killing any possibility of a two-state solution by preventing Palestinian sovereignty on all of the territory occupied in 1967." The minister’s remarks came Thursday after Israel’s military coordinator of civilian affairs in the West Bank announced a plan to construct two towns meant to house all of the Bedouins of the West Bank far from their currently-existing villages. The Israeli plans calls for the permanent towns to be located near Al-Nuweima, north of Jericho, and Al-Rashayda, south of Bethlehem, forcing thousands of Palestinian Bedouins to leave areas where they currently live. 42 Palestinian, Israeli, and international organizations active in Palestine released a statement on Thursday "urgently calling on world leaders" to stop the plans, saying that they would force thousands to live in a "designated township" — a reference to the areas Black Africans were forced to live in during the apartheid regime in South Africa. The statement highlighted that the plans "include moving Bedouins out of the politically sensitive area referred to as the Jerusalem Periphery or ’E1,’ where Israel has long-intended to demolish 23 Bedouin villages in order to expand and link settlements, established in violation of international law." "Settlement expansion in this area would cut the West Bank in two, further disrupting movement and social and economic ties between major Palestinian cities and limiting the little access Palestinians in the West Bank have to Jerusalem." ... The statement said that Israeli authorities had escalated a campaign of "coercive tactics to heighten the pressure" on the communities in recent months, including eviction orders and home demolitions. "Israel has also obstructed aid agencies from delivering assistance to these communities, including by seizing and destroying emergency shelters that international donors provided for families whose homes were demolished and confiscating a swing-set and a slide for a Bedouin school," the statement added....

Update : Jerusalem to reexamine planned national park
AIC 10 Sept — Following an appeal submitted by the Israeli planning rights group Bimkom, the municipal appeals committee decided to send the plan for the Eastern Slopes National Park, to be constructed on land between ‘Issawiya and A-Tur, back for an additional hearing at the district committee. The appeals committee approved the future existence of the national park, but clarified that park borders cannot be set without examining the needs of the village residents in the two villages. In the words of the committee : "Concerning the borders of the park - a sufficient infrastructure was not presented to us which includes an analysis of the needs of the population of the appealing neighbourhoods and an examination of the existing reserves for development. Such an examination is an obligatory condition for taking a decision concerning the borders of the national park on the basis of the necessary considerations in the matter. The Follow-Up Committee of Issawiya and A-Tur has explicitly requested to thank the Israeli and international organisations and activists who worked alongside the residents to make this happen. The area taken for the park is the small parcel of land which remains for the two communities to expand and live a life of dignity. Through the creation of this national park, Israel aims to create a territorial continuity from Jerusalem in the direction of E1, and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

PHOTOS : Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron
AIC 11 Sept by Ahmad Jaradat — Activists succeeded in temporarily halting Israel’s archeological dig in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida. As in other occupied Palestinian territory, such as East Jerusalem’s City of David, Israel is using archaeology to expand and legitimise settlements in the heart of the West Bank’s largest city — Led by the Hebron municipality and governor’s office, together with members of the Committee for the Defense of Hebron, Palestinian and international activists protested Wednesday morning against what they call the "theft of land by settler ’archaeologists’". The protesters succeeded in halting for several hours the earthmoving and excavation of land in Tel Rumeida, excavations which extruded into land on which the Abu Haikal family have lived as protected tenants since 1949. Local residents know the archaeologists will be back. Speaking with the AIC, Hisham Sharabati of the Hebron Defense Committee stated that Hebronites "will continue to protest against this project, and all rights violations perpetuated by settlers in the city". This resistance is conducted in tandem with a petition against the dig, submitted to Israel’s High Court. A verdict has yet to be issued in the case, and the court has not ordered the dig to be delayed until a decision is rendered. While financed by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, the dig was undertaken at the initiative of Israeli settlers in Hebron. The dig, the fourth in Tel Rumeida, is carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the University of Ariel, located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel ... The Israeli archaeologists’ group Emek Shave reports that many of the remains discovered in this previous excavation are now located under settlers’ houses and are features of a guided tour led by the settlers. Palestinians note that the current excavation in Tel Rumedia will likely be used in the future to connect between the settlement outposts in Hebron’s Old City....

Israel dismantles provocative new Al-Aqsa ramp
JERUSALEM (AFP) 10 Sept - Israel on Wednesday dismantled a newly erected wooden access ramp to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound that would have increased access for non-Muslims but angered Jordan, an AFP correspondent said. The half-built structure was erected by Israel in the midst of its conflict with Gaza in early August, triggering outrage from Jordan, which overseas Muslim heritage sites in Jerusalem. It ran alongside a bigger wooden structure — the Mughrabi ramp — that leads from the Western Wall plaza up to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. The Mughrabi ramp is the only access to the plaza for non-Muslims. Anything that is viewed as changing the status quo in or around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound, which houses the third-holiest site in Islam, is highly sensitive and triggers a strong response from Jordan. Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the new structure be removed, saying its construction was "illegal" and had never received the proper authorisation, a government source said. That move was hailed by Jordan and by Wednesday afternoon most of the new ramp had been taken down, an AFP correspondent said. The ramp’s construction is a politically charged issue because each side claims authority over it. Israel argues that because the ramp is located outside the Al-Aqsa compound, it should oversee the construction. And Jordan insists that since the ramp leads to the mosque compound, it should manage or at least be consulted over any new construction plans.

More home demolitions in South Hebron Hills
AIC 11 Sept — Israeli forces demolished five homes and structures Wednesday in the village of Khashem al-Daraj, located in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills [or Masafer Yatta]. Israeli authorities contend the homes were built without permits — A large number of Israeli troops, escorting military bulldozers, cordoned off Khashem al-Daraj before the bulldozers demolished five homes and structures belonging to the Hadaleen family. Head of the Local Council Ibrahim al-Hathalin condemned the demolition as ‘an arbitrary and retaliatory action that forms a part of an Israeli plan to displace the Palestinians as a prelude for expropriating their lands for settlement construction". The official Palestinian news agency Wafa notes that Israel has refused to issue permits for the area, considered Area C under the Oslo accords and thus under full Israeli control, such that residents were forced to built without them. Khashem al-Daraj is located 18 km southeast of Hebron the southern West Bank. The village is primarily agriculture and over 85 percent of the residents rely on livestock rearing and dairy production for their livelihood. This is the second round of demolitions in the South Hebron Hills in less than two weeks. Three tent-homes, three animal shelters and three toilets in the village of Khirbet ar-Rahwa were demolished on September 1 by Israeli military and civil administration forces. And just last week Israeli authorities confirmed confiscation of 2,000 dunams of Palestinian-owned land in the South Hebron Hills area. The Palestinian Authority noted that this land confiscation constitutes a "new stab" by Israel against efforts to achieve peace and the two-state solution.

Five homes, structures demolished in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — Dozens of Israeli military vehicles and armored bulldozers invaded, on Wednesday morning, the al-Hathalin area, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, demolishing five homes and structures. Ibrahim al-Hathalin, an activist in nonviolent resistance against Israeli Settlements and the Annexation Wall, stated that several armored vehicles surrounded the homes and demolished them after declaring the entire area a closed military zone. Al-Hathalin added that the five structures were inhabited by Palestinian families, and that the attack rendered dozens homeless. The families recently received notices informing them the army intends to demolish their structures “because they are located outside the structural zoning plan."
He said the residents, members of at-Tibna family, are part of the al-Hathalin Bedouin tribe, living in the eastern area of the Hebron district.

How much money goes to Israel’s settlements each year ?
Al-Monitor 12 Sept by Daniel Ben Simon — Of the thousands of clauses in the Israeli state’s annual budget, allocations to settlements in the territories remain the most concealed — a kind of state secret. While allocations to education, welfare and security are (to a certain degree) public information, no one in Israel has been able to decipher the secret of settlement allocations. So how much money is distributed to the settlements every year ? Who holds the purse strings ? And is the money transferred to the settlements over or under the table ? Conventional wisdom holds that we are talking about billions. Full disclosure of the amount is liable to enrage the world, since the international community regards the settlements as illegal entities built on conquered land. Not only is the world likely to protest, but the Israeli public would, too, if they knew the true amount transferred to the settlers, and at whose expense. We have to be honest and admit that settlement allocations reflect the state’s priorities. On Sept. 8, the Adva Center published a special report that dares to reveal one facet of the deep, dark secret : the inequality in governmental funding for municipal budgets from 1991-2012 ... But visitors to the Etzion settlement bloc or the northern Jerusalem area on the way to Ramallah will marvel over the magnitude of construction in the settlements. Heavy machinery operates around the clock. While the populations of development towns in Israel’s south have not increased over the last two decades, most settlements have seen their populations multiply several times over. Ofra and Beit El, near Ramallah, have become real towns, each boasting thousands of inhabitants. From almost every window, one can look out on the neighboring Palestinians. The distance between Ramallah and its surrounding settlements has gone from hundreds of meters to mere dozens ... The Peace Now movement, which keeps close track of settlement expansion, posted the following on its Facebook page : “It is important to remember that the settlers represent only 4% of Israeli citizens. Yet the budgetary allocations and national priority they receive come at the expense of the education, housing, welfare and infrastructure allocations of the rest of Israeli citizens — the other 96%.”....

At West Bank rally, settlers demand Palestinian-free buses
ARIEL, West Bank (Times of Israel) 7 Sept by Elhanan Miller — “Don’t focus on us, look over there !” cried Ilanit Sheikh, pointing excitedly at a row of Palestinian laborers who had just alighted from an Israeli bus and were making their way to a nearby village. “Imagine forty of them and one soldier on a bus.” Sheikh was among some two dozen residents of Ariel gathered at an intersection outside the West Bank city on Thursday evening to protest the fact that the IDF had given permission for Palestinian laborers to travel on public buses to and from central Israel. In the past, Palestinian laborers did not ride the same buses as did Samaria settlers to get to work. But that changed three years ago, when Major General Nitzan Alon, then commander of the Judea and Samaria Division and now head of the IDF’s Central Command, decided to do away with the separate transportation systems and allow the Palestinians to ride alongside Israelis, said Ofer Inbar, a spokesman for the Samaria Settlers’ Committee. “Over the past three years they’ve occupied the buses, not out of malice. They’ve scared away the Jews, for whom this bus service was created,” Inbar told The Times of Israel. “People are scared to travel on these buses next to their neighbors who don’t exactly love them.”

Video : Israeli officer tosses Palestinian shepherds from their land so settlers don’t have to hear Arabic
Mondoweiss 7 Sept - Video by Ta’ayush. Shot by Guy Butavia in the South Hebron Hills outside the illegal Jewish settlement Otniel. “If Palestinians come near, this will disrupt the [settlers’] intact fabric… They don’t want to hear Arabic being spoken in a Jewish town.”

West Bank : Violence / Raids / Clashes / Illegal arrests

Anger in Jerusalem as Israel kills another Palestinian teen
JERUSALEM (Electronic Intifada) 12 Sept by Budour Youssef Hassan — His picture was hanging on the wall of his classroom in Jerusalem’s al-Rashidiya school, but his desk remained empty. Muhammad Sinokrot, who would have turned sixteen years old on 9 December, was not particularly fond of school and his grades were not great. But he was a hard-working boy and was keen on improving. A few months earlier, he had borrowed his cousin’s graduation gown to wear while posing in front of a camera. He had two years left to graduate from high school, and this portrait emboldened him to work even harder. An Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, however, decimated his dreams and cut short his very young life. On 31 August, Sinokrot was shot in the head by Israeli police on his way to the Abdeen mosque in Wadi al-Joz, a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. It was an unusually calm evening despite the presence of Israeli soldiers and border police who have made a habit out of raiding Wadi al-Joz during the last two months. “Screams at our doorstep” At the time that Muhammad was shot, there were absolutely no clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth, residents interviewed by The Electronic Intifada asserted. “It was around 8:15pm. I was making salad and asked [Muhammad] to buy us bread after he finishes evening prayers in the mosque and he left the house abruptly,” Ilham Sinokrot, Muhammad’s mother, told The Electronic Intifada. “A few minutes later, I heard yells and screams at our doorstep [saying] ‘Your son was shot in the head.’ I ran quickly — the scene of my son bleeding on the street, his head fractured and face disfigured, was shocking,” she recalled. Israeli police told reporters that Muhammad was throwing stones during clashes when he was shot in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet and fell and hurt his head. His mother vigorously rejects this version of events and a preliminary autopsy report indicates that the boy died of injuries from being shot in the head. “Nonsense ! You think if there were clashes I would have allowed him to go out ? No way. And it’s ludicrous to say he was shot in the leg when there is no sign of injury or shooting in his legs,” Muhammad’s mother said....

Sources : Palestinian teen killed by bullet to head, despite Israeli police denial
Haaretz 12 Sept by Nir Hasson — Israeli pathologists who performed autopsy said to agree ; death of Mohammed Sunuqrut, 16, has sparked violent protests in capital’s eastside. — The Palestinian teenager who died Sunday of injuries incurred during a demonstration in East Jerusalem could only have been killed by a plastic or sponge-tipped bullet, not by a fall as police have claimed, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources. Mohammed Sunuqrut, 16, was seriously injured during a demonstration in the Wadi Joz neighborhood on August 31. His family claimed he was shot in the head at close range with a rubber-coated bullet. But police insisted he had been shot in the leg, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. After he died, his family commissioned a Palestinian pathologist, Dr. Saber al-Aloul, to attend the autopsy, which was performed at Israel’s Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir. According to Aloul, Sunuqrut died of a fractured skull and cerebral hemorrhage from the projectile fired from less than 10 meters away, said sources close to the Palestinian pathologist who performed the autopsy. The Israeli pathologist who conducted the autopsy has not yet published his report. But Israeli sources agreed the boy’s fatal injury was caused by a nonmetal bullet rather than a fall, based on both the size of the wound and the nature of the fracture. The autopsy report has not yet been released. If Sunuqrut was killed by a sponge-tipped bullet, he would be the first person in Israel killed by this ammunition. In recent months Jerusalem police have been using a larger, heavier sponge-tipped bullet. Medical teams, journalists and Palestinian activists say the new bullet causes graver bodily harm than the previous kind and may even be fatal, as it appears in Mohammed Sunuqrut’s case. The use of sponge-tipped bullets as a non-lethal weapon in Jerusalem demonstrations is very widespread. Police started using these bullets several years ago after the Or Commission banned the use of rubber-coated bullets in its report about the police’s killing of 13 Arab demonstrators in October 2000. The IDF still uses rubber-coated bullets in the West Bank. Symbols of the conflict The sponge-tipped bullet chains that Jerusalem police wear in a cross on their chests have become one of the conflict symbols in East Jerusalem. Palestinian officials say police officers hide these chains under their shirts and pull them out when deemed necessary. Sponge-tipped bullets are made of 40-mm-diameter plastic with a sponge tip intended to reduce the bodily injury it causes....

In pictures : The Israeli forces attack the funeral of the martyr Mohammad Sinokrot, dozens of injuries
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Sept — The Israeli forces attacked the funeral of the Martyr Mohammad Abdelmajeed Sinokrot using sound and tear gas grenades and rubber bullets near Herod’s Gate and also raided the “Mujahedeen” cemetery in Salah Eddin Street concurrently with the burying of the Martyr Sinokrot. Injuries According to the information available to Wadi Hilweh Information Center, hundreds of Jerusalemites suffocated after they were directly hit with tear gas grenades and dozens were injured with shrapnel of sound grenades and rubber bullets in addition to injuries with bruises after they were assaulted with batons. The Palestinian Red Crescent explained that 11 injuries were transferred to Al-Maqased hospital for treatment including two injuries that were described as “critical”. Arrests In another violation of the sanctity of the funeral, the Israeli forces broke into “Mujahedeen” cemetery and assaulted the participants arrested some of them in addition to chasing the young men inside the cemetery without taking into account the sanctity of the burial of the Martyr ; note that they also fired sound grenades inside the cemetery....

At least ten injured, one seriously, near Ramallah
IMEMC/Agencies 13 Sept by Saed Bannoura — Palestinian medical sources have reported, Saturday, that ten Palestinians were injured, one seriously, during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The sources said the Osama Bseiso, 37, suffered a serious injury after being shot in the head, from a very close distance, by a rubber-coated metal bullet, fired by the soldiers from a short distance. He was moved to the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah.
Around nine Palestinians suffered mild injuries, and received treatment at a local clinic in the town. In addition, soldiers kidnapped a young man, identified as Issa Farooq and took him to an unknown destination. Farooq carries an international license as a soccer referee.
On Saturday at dawn, soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, and Teqoua‘ town, east of the city, broke into and searched several homes, and handed three Palestinians military warrants for interrogation.

Israeli settler runs over Hebron child with car
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — An Israeli settler, on Wednesday, ran over a child in Hebron City, according to local sources. 6-year-old Mohammad al-Jabari, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, was run over by an Israeli settler driving his car in the city. Mohammad suffered multiple injuries throughout his body, and has been transferred to hospital for medical treatment.

Israeli forces detain wounded Palestinian in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — Israeli forces detained a wounded Palestinian teenager from his house in Beit Ummar in northern Hebron on Thursday. Muhammad Awad, spokesman of a local popular committee, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces detained Muhammad Hussein Mustafa Abu Maria, 16, after they raided his house early Thursday. Abu Maria was injured with an Israeli bullet in his thigh during clashes two weeks earlier.

Silwan : Clashes, and the forces arrest a child and assault him leaving him with bruises and wounds
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 12 Sept — Clashes broke out on Friday in the neighborhoods of Ein Al-Lozeh, Al-Hara Al-Wusta and Bi’er Ayoub [or Beer Ayoub] in Silwan where the Israeli occupation forces used sound and tear gas grenades in addition to rubber bullets. The arrest of the child Odai Rajabi and assaulting him The residents of the neighborhood of Al-Hara Al-Wusta in Silwan explained that the Special Forces suddenly raided the neighborhood and chased a group of children who were near their houses. The forces arrested the 10-year old Odai Hazem Khader Rajabi and assaulted him and beat him with the butts of their guns. The child’s mother explained that the soldier beat her child and took his shoes off and said : “While trying to chase him with my neighbor (Um Walid Al-Shaer) in order to release him from the soldiers, the forces fired a sound grenade towards us to prevent us from moving forward.” He added that the forces took her child using violence to Salah Eddin Street police center and the investigator called us three hours later to inform us of his arrest ; note that he was interrogated alone. The mother also explained that the investigator threatened her son in order to get a confession of throwing stones, and the forces took the child’s shirt off during the arrest in order to put it on his face to claim that he was masked during the arrest but the child refused and the forces then beat him with the butts of their guns near his eye in addition to holding him from his neck. She added that the police released her child at 6 p.m. on his father’s guarantee and the family then took him to receive treatment for the wound (four stitches). After thy arrest, the soldiers damaged the residents’cars using the butts of their guns for no reason. Bi’er Ayoub Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the Israeli forces were stationed in the neighborhood of Bi’er Ayoub since the early morning hours and were randomly stopping passers-by which led to the breakout of clashes where grenades and rubber bullets were randomly fired....

Israeli police detain Jerusalem child, 12, for several hours
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) 10 Sept — Israeli police arrested a 12-year-old boy in Jerusalem on Tuesday for several hours, relatives said. Mizyid Muhammad al-Abbasi, 12, was detained Tuesday afternoon while walking home from school, relatives told Ma‘an. Israeli police officers chased Mizyid and several other children before taking the boy to a police station on Saladin Street without an accompanying adult. His father found out about his arrest through the boy’s friends and immediately went to the police station. Police interrogated Mizyid for several hours on suspicion of throwing stones and released him under house arrest for five days.

Five Palestinians kidnapped, one injured, in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept by Saed Bannoura — A number of armored Israeli military vehicles and jeeps invaded, on Wednesday morning, various communities in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, injured one Palestinian and kidnapped two. Local sources said the soldiers invaded Sa‘ir town, northeast of Hebron, and fired a number of concussion grenades wounding a Palestinian man in the head. The wounded man, Ishaq Shalalda, 42, suffered cuts and burns on his head, and was moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital suffering a moderate injury. Soldiers also kidnapped Tha‘er Rida Shalalda from Sa’ir, and Salah Hasaniyya, 20, from the al-‘Arroub nearby refugee camp.
In addition, several military jeeps invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, and kidnapped two Palestinians from Safa area, in the northern part of the town. The kidnapped have been identified as Mohammad Nawwaf ‘Aadi, 18, and Ali Sami ‘Aadi, 17. They were harvesting their almond trees in their own land when the soldiers took them to the Etzion military and security base. At least 16 Palestinians, including seven children, have been kidnapped in Beit Ummar since the beginning of this month.
Soldiers also installed several roadblocks at the northern entrance of Hebron city, and the main entrances of the town of Sa’ir and Bani Ne‘im, searching dozens of cars and interrogating residents while inspecting their ID cards.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Israeli police abducted a 13-year-old Palestinian from the Old City, according to WAFA. Police interrogated the teen at 11:00 pm, without the presence of his legal custodian and in violation of the law, Palestinian Prisoners’ Society attorney Mufid al-Haj stated.
Furthermore, in Bethlehem, Israeli troops raided Wadi Shahin neighborhood, where they served one Palestinian with a notice to appear for interrogation before Israeli intelligence, after breaking into and ransacking his home.

Army kidnaps 26 Palestinians in Jenin, 3 in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 11 Sept by Saed Bannoura — [Thursday ?] The Jenin office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded Fahma village, south of Jenin, fired rounds of live ammunition, concussion grenades and gas bombs before breaking into and ransacking dozens of homes. The soldiers then kidnapped 26 Palestinians, including five brothers, and took them to a nearby Israeli military base.
Local sources in Hebron said that the soldiers kidnapped Mahmoud Majed Zghayyar, 24, from his home in Farsh al-Hawa area in the city, and Ghazi Saleh Erfa‘eyya, 40, in Wad as-Samn area. The soldiers also invaded and ransacked several homes in Abu Kteila area, broke into a cement masonry and confiscated equipment from it.
In Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, soldiers invaded the home of Hussein Mustafa Abu Maria, and kidnapped his son Mohammad, 16 years of age, who was shot and injured by Israeli army fire last month, and is still in recovery.
The soldiers also invaded Deir Samet town, south of Hebron, installed a roadblock at its entrance, stopped and searched dozens of cars while interrogating several Palestinians and investigating their ID cards.

Soldiers kidnap four Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 12 Sept — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Friday, four Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and handed a father and his son military warrants for interrogation. The Israeli army said that it kidnapped one Palestinian in after breaking into his home, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank. Local sources said the soldiers also invaded and ransacked two homes belonging to members of Gheith and al-Qawasmi families in the city.
The soldiers also invaded Surif town, west of Hebron, and kidnapped one Palestinian after violently searching his home.
Also in Hebron, soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, kidnapped one Palestinian and handed another a military warrant for interrogation. Local sources said the soldiers kidnapped Mohammad Jamal ‘Ady, 18, after breaking into his family home and ransacking it, and handed resident Mohammad Ahmad ‘Ady a military warrant ordering him to head to the Etzion base for interrogation.
In addition, soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian, identified as Mahmoud ‘Aqel Dar al-Hajj, at the Za’tara military roadblock, in the northern part of the West Bank. The kidnapped Palestinian is from Bethlehem.
On Thursday at night, soldiers installed a sudden roadblock close to the Belal Ben Rabah mosque, north of Bethlehem, stopped and searched dozens of cars and interrogated several Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards. The soldiers also handed resident Mohammad Salam ‘Obeyyat, 60, and his son, Faisal, 35, military warrants ordering them to head to the Etzion military base for interrogation.

Prisoners / Court actions

Autopsy shows Palestinian prisoner died after being tortured
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Palestinian detainee Raed al-Jabari, 35, died after being tortured while in Israeli prison custody, a Palestinian official said Thursday. Issa Qaraqe, former minister of prisoner affairs, said in a news conference that the results of an autopsy showed that internal bleeding and a concussion were the cause of death. Israeli Prisons spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP Tuesday that he had hanged himself in a bathroom at Eshel prison. She said a medical team had tried to revive him but that he was pronounced dead on arrival at Soroka hospital in the city. Qaraqe said the autopsy did not find any signs of bruising around al-Jabari’s neck and that the main cause of death was bleeding and concussion likely to have been caused by blows to the head. The victim also had bruising on his face and lips. Dr. Saber al-Alul took part in the autopsy on Thursday at the Israeli forensic science institute but was prevented from revealing the autopsy results. Another committee then conducted an autopsy on the body at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Dis.

Thousands mourn Palestinian prisoner dead in jail
HEBRON, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 12 Sept — Some 4,000 mourners turned out Friday for the West Bank funeral of a man whose controversial death in an Israeli jail earlier this week has incensed the Palestinians. Mourners crowded around the body of Raed al-Jaabari, which was wrapped in a Palestinian flag, shouting in grief during the funeral procession in his hometown of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, an AFP correspondent said. The Palestinians said on Thursday that Jaabari, 35, had died from a severe blow to the head, and blamed Israel for his death, but Israeli authorities said he hanged himself. "It’s a crime, he was killed. The coroners confirmed it, he died from a violent blow to the head," former Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe, who attended the funeral, said in his eulogy to Jaabari. Jaabari’s body was taken for post-mortems by both Israel and the Palestinians after his death on Tuesday, with Israel not yet publishing its findings. The Israel Prisons Service has said that Jaabari hanged himself in a bathroom at Eshel prison in southern Israel and died en route to hospital. Israel has appointed a judge to investigate the death.

Israel charges officer with beating Palestinian-American
Jerusalem (AFP) 11 Sept — Israel’s justice ministry has charged a border policeman with assaulting and injuring a 15-year-old Palestinian-American dual national in July, according to the indictment seen by AFP Thursday. The policeman, whose name remains under a gag order, was indicted at Jerusalem magistrate’s court on Wednesday for using "excessive force" that could not be justified against Tariq Abu Khder at a July 3 demonstration in the annexed east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat. The incident took place as tensions peaked a day after the abduction and burning alive of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder from Shuafat, Tariq’s cousin. Three Israelis were eventually charged with the killing, saying it was in revenge for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank by what Israel says was Hamas militants, an incident that later led to the start on July 8 of the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. According to a justice ministry statement, "evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes, committed after the arrest of the minor, who was handcuffed at the time". Tariq Abu Khder has denied taking part in the demonstration, saying he was only an observer but fled when police began chasing suspects, fell and was cuffed and beaten. A YouTube video showing Israeli border police beating and kicking a handcuffed semi-conscious figure on the ground before dragging him away sparked a US State Department call for a "speedy, transparent and credible investigation". An uncle of Tariq, who has since returned home to Florida, called the indictment a "cover up" of the beating and an Israeli attempt to appease the United States. "If Tariq wasn’t an American citizen we would have never seen an investigation," Yassin Abu Khder told AFP, noting that his nephew was attacked by a "group" of policemen who had also "attacked dozens of other kids". "But we won’t see any further indictment because those kids are not American citizens," he added.

Judge orders IDF to reveal protocol for arresting Jews who attack Palestinians
Haaretz 12 Sept by Amira Hass — Ruling comes in case charging border policemen with ignoring alleged stabbing attempt by settler — A court has ordered the Israel Defense Forces to reveal its protocol for arresting Jews suspected of attacking Palestinians in the West Bank. The ruling was issued as part of a damage suit filed against the state by a Palestinian assault victim. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court gave the IDF until next week to comply. The suit was filed by Mahmoud Awad, 38, a resident of the West Bank village of Tuba. Awad says that in March 2011, a masked man tried to stab him to death and then fled in the direction of Havat Maon, an illegal settlement outpost located nearby. Awad was stabbed in the hand and chest, and an Israeli doctor diagnosed him as having suffered a permanent 10-percent disability. Awad sued the state for negligence because, according to a police report, border policemen were stationed in a jeep nearby at the time of the assault and saw a masked man fleeing past them. So even if they didn’t see the stabbing, argued Awad’s lawyer, Eitay Mack, their seeing a masked man running but making no move to detain him constitutes negligence. Moreover, the lawsuit said, the stabbing was reported to the IDF on the morning it occurred, and trackers were sent to the scene. The trackers found a stocking cap along the route the assailant took when he fled, as well as fresh footprints leading to Havat Maon. Yet the police and soldiers didn’t search the outpost’s houses or question any of the residents. While police did check the DNA found on the stocking cap against that of a few outpost residents who were on file, they made no other efforts to solve the case, the suit claimed. “There’s no doubt that had this been a case of a Palestinian assailant who attacked an Israeli and fled into a Palestinian town, the law enforcement agencies would have left no stone unturned in that town, and would also have tried to prevent the incident and/or arrest the assailant on the spot,” Mack wrote. Instead, the police investigation was eventually closed on the grounds that the assailant’s identity was unknown.

Israel jailed influential Palestinian writer ’to remove him from society’
Al-Bireh (Electronic Intifada) 12 Sept by Patrick O. Strickland — Prominent Palestinian professor and writer Ahmad Qatamesh spent a total of eight and a half years in Israeli prison without being charged or brought to trial. During two separate stints in Israeli lockup, Qatamesh was held in administrative detention, a draconian practice in which Israel imprisons Palestinians for infinitely renewable six-month terms without charge or trial, using “secret evidence” against them. “Administrative detention is one of the most difficult of Israel’s tactics because prisoners have nothing but uncertainty,” Qatamesh told The Electronic Intifada. “They never know when or if they will go home, and neither do their families.” Sitting in the living room of his home in al-Bireh, a central West Bank city near Ramallah, the veteran prisoner explained the Israeli occupation’s use of administrative detention as a method of targeting influential Palestinians — resistance and civil society figures alike ... Gavan Kelly, an advocacy officer for Addameer, a Ramallah-based group that monitors Israel’s arrests of Palestinians and advocates for prisoners’ rights, said that “Qatamesh is the clearest case of Israel using administrative detention to remove influential people from Palestinian society.” International law permits the use of administrative detention in exceptional cases, but Israeli policy flies in the face of international law, according to Kelly, who said the number of Palestinians locked up without trial has “hovered between 200 and 300 over the last couple years.” According to the Israeli legislation titled Emergency Powers Law Detention (also known as the 1979 Emergency Law), the defense minister can order the detention of a citizen for indefinitely renewable six-month periods. Though it is only supposed to be applicable during a state of emergency, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has considered the country in a state of emergency since its establishment in 1948.


11-year-old boy dies from Gaza war injuries
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — An 11-year-old boy died on Thursday after being critically injured during Israel’s military offensive on the besieged coastal enclave. Yousif Muhammad Jmeiat al-Shalafa was pronounced dead at the European Hospital in Khan Younis after suffering from severe head wounds sustained in an Israeli airstrike on his family home in Rafah. Both his parents were killed in the attack and five other family members were injured.

Palestinian woman succumbs to wounds sustained in Gaza war
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 10 Sept - A Palestinian woman injured during the Israeli offensive on Gaza died of her wounds in a hospital in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Medical sources told Ma‘an that 40-year-old Samira Hasan al-Luh from Rafah had a heart attack as she was getting ready to leave al-Maqasid Hospital in Jerusalem following a stay recovering from severe injuries she sustained during an Israeli attack airstrike. Medics immediately sent her to the emergency room, but she died shortly after. Sources added that al-Luh was being treated for severe burns all over her body that she sustained when an Israeli missile hit her house during the Israeli assault on Gaza Strip over July and August. More than, 2,150 Palestinians were killed during the offensive, which also left more than 11,000 injured and 100,000 homeless. Since the end of hostilities in late August, nearly two dozen of those who were severely injured have since perished.

Gaza man, 63, dies of wounds sustained during war
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — A 63-year-old Palestinian died on Thursday from wounds sustained in Israel’s military offensive. Abd al-Fattah Abu Salmiya died in an Egyptian hospital where he was receiving treatment. At least six Palestinians have died in the past week from injuries sustained during Israel’s devastating military assault.

Cleaning staff in Gaza hospitals on strike for 3rd day
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Sept — Cleaning staff in Gaza entered the third day of strike action on Wednesday in protest at not being paid for five months, a representative said. Nabil Abu Aqlein, who represents staff in al-Shifa hospital, told Ma‘an that cleaning staff in all Gaza hospitals will continue strike action until they are paid. "If cleaning staff quit working there will be a disaster and diseases will spread in all hospitals," Abu Aqlein added. Around 170 workers are on partial strike, which could escalate to a full general strike if salaries are not paid. President Abbas must intervene to resolve the crisis, Abu Aqlein added. A committee member representing the cleaning staff told Ma‘an this week that both the Ministry of Health in Gaza and the PA are holding each other responsible for the salary payments.

Gaza fishermen say Israel not honoring cease-fire terms
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 11 Sept by Asmaa al-Ghoul — The situation along Gaza’s beach isn’t rosy, contrary to the nighttime scene on the horizon, which since the end of the war sparkles with the lights from fishermen’s boats. The markets are now packed with all kinds of seafood. Everyone thinks, mistakenly, that this is because Gaza fishermen have been allowed to enter new areas after the Aug. 26 cease-fire agreement, which is supposed to allow them to operate within six nautical miles and eventually 12. This is not yet the case, however ... This correspondent boarded a small boat before sunrise Sept. 7 and headed out to sea off the Gaza coast ... Issa al-Sharafi, shouting to be heard above the waves and wind, said, “I’ve been working as a fisherman since I was 12. I have never experienced a situation as tough as the past two years.” “Don’t believe anyone who tells you that the fishermen’s situation has changed or that the cease-fire agreement has reduced their accumulated debt. Those were just empty words and media talk. We cannot go past the 5-mile [limit], and sometimes we cannot even go beyond four. We aren’t catching more fish either,” Sharafi told Al-Monitor. We came upon a motorboat with some 10 fishermen aboard and containers filled with fish. Fish scales were everywhere, and the smell of fish permeated the air. Nafez Bardawil, the motorboat’s owner, said, “We caught half a ton of fish. We went around 600 meters beyond the 5-mile [limit]. The Israeli occupation has set up a 300-meter buffer zone, and sometimes it fires at us to go 3 miles back.” The fishing boats return one after the other from the sea. Most of the fishermen use old, basic techniques. Only a few of the fishermen have modern devices to detect the presence of schools of fish. Massoud Abu Aude is one of the few who has such technology. “I sail away, and as soon as I see fish on the screen, I stop and throw out the net. The further we go into the sea, the more fish we are bound to catch, but the occupation does not allow us to do that,” he said. He told Al-Monitor that because of all the fish in the market everybody thought that after the war, the fishermen were benefiting from the extra miles they were allowed to cover. “But the reason was simply that during the war, the sea was calm, and the fishermen were not active. The fish accumulated. But, after two days of competition [and intense fishing], the number of fish dropped again.”

Israeli forces again open fire on Gaza fishermen
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Sept — Israeli navy forces opened fire at a boat engaged in fishing off the coast of southern Gaza, on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Furthermore, Ma’an reports that forces escorted the fishermen back to five nautical miles from the coast after firing on them. The previous day, four fishermen were detained by Israeli forces and later released on Wednesday. The recent ceasefire agreement brokered by Egyptian officials stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles off the shore, and would expand the area gradually up to 12 miles.

Israeli navy forces open fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Israeli navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen in Gaza early Friday, witnesses said, in the third incident off Gaza’s coast this week. Naval boats opened fire at fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, with no injuries reported. Fishermen fled the area immediately.

Israeli vehicles invade al-Qarara in southern Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 11 Sept — A number of armored military vehicles and bulldozers invaded Palestinian agricultural lands east of the al-Qarara town, near Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, bulldozed and uprooted the lands, and fired rounds of live ammunition. Local sources said that three armored vehicles and four tanks invaded the area, advancing approximately 300 meters into the Palestinian lands before starting to bulldoze and uproot them. The sources added that the soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition at random during the invasion. The Israeli invasion is yet another violation of the ceasefire agreement that was reached under Egyptian mediation on August 27 following 50 days on ongoing bombardment and shelling of the coastal region.

Gaza beach massacre commemorated by child survivors
GAZA CITY (Electronic Intifada) 10 Sept by Joe Catron — On Sunday evening, as the sun slipped behind the Mediterranean Sea, members of the Bakr family, a sprawling clan of fishermen in Gaza City’s Beach refugee camp, gathered with hundreds of supporters on the beach next to the Gaza seaport. Their assembly commemorated the lives of nine-year-old Ismail Muhammad Subhi Bakr, ten-year-old Ahed Atef Ahed Bakr, ten-year-old Zakariya Ahed Subhi Bakr and eleven-year-old Muhammad Ramez Ezzat Bakr. All four were killed in Israeli strikes as they played football on the beach on 16 July. The first blast killed Ismail as he ran to retrieve a ball. Ahed, Zakariya and Muhammad died in the second explosion. The Israeli munitions that ended their lives struck the beach directly behind a row of hotels which, in mid-July, housed many of the foreign reporters then present in Gaza. Along with statements by members of their family and the painting of colorful murals at the site of the boys’ killings, the event also included a football match, intended to complete the one interrupted by the lethal blasts almost two months ago. “It was never finished,” Bayan al-Zumaili of the Safadi Group, the youth organization that worked with the Bakr family to organize the event, told The Electronic Intifada. “So we decided to complete it with the survivors of the massacre.” ... Along with two other survivors of the attack, Motasem joined three other boys from the Bakr family and six others from the devastated Shujaiya neighborhood, on the eastern edge of Gaza City, to complete the football match they had never finished on 16 July. “In the place of the martyrs who couldn’t attend, we brought survivors of the Shujaiya massacre to complete the match for them,” al-Zumaili said.

PHOTOS : Portraits from Gaza
GAZA STRIP (Electronic Intifada) 12 Sept by Anne Paq — It was not the first large-scale Israeli military assault on Gaza that I have documented for the photography collective ActiveStills. But this summer’s was the worst. From Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah in the south, devastation and death were on every corner. Entire families were wiped out, such as the Abu Jami family in Khan Younis, with 26 members killed, among them 18 children. There was not enough space to bury all the victims in the family tomb. Entire areas of Gaza were leveled to the ground. Nearly one out of three of the approximately 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza were forced out of their homes during the onslaught. The scale of destruction and killing far surpassed what I saw in November 2012. I took so many photos of dead and injured people that I could not gather all of their names or stories. They became anonymous bloody faces, robbed of their humanity and their lives reduced to casualty statistics.This series attempts to tell some of the individual stories of Palestinians in Gaza and aims to highlight the extraordinary solidarity and unsung heroism which was shown in so many ways during the 51 days of bombing and terror.

Gaza schools still filled with displaced despite school year start
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Sept — 63,000 Palestinians are still living in temporary shelters for displaced located in Gaza schools even though the academic year is set to begin in four days, a UN official said on Tuesday. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees public information officer Adnan Abu Hasnah told Ma‘n that 29 of the agency’s schools were still being used to house the displaced more than two weeks after the end of the Israeli offensive, despite efforts to find other shelter. At the height of the Israeli offensive in late July and August, around 485,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes in the biggest sudden mass displacement in the region since Israel’s 1967 invasion of neighboring countries, including Gaza. At the end of hostilities, it was estimated by the UN that 110,000 had become permanently homeless due to the destruction of their homes. Abu Hasnah told Ma‘an that UNRWA is working to concentrate those who are still staying in schools in just 15 schools to allow the other 14 schools to be used for classes beginning Sunday. Double-shift schooling will be put into operation in the 252 schools affiliated to the UNRWA, he added. 7,800 teachers have received a two-day training on how to deal with individuals traumatized by disaster so as to be able to equipped to handle their students.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that 373,000 children across the tiny coastal enclave will require direct and specialized psychosocial support and that "children are showing symptoms of increasing distress, including bed wetting, clinging to parents and nightmares." The numbers include 1,500 children who were orphaned during the war.

Blockaded Gaza faces huge challenge to rebuild after the war
GAZA/NAHAL OZ Israel (Reuters) 12 Sept by Nidal al-Mughrabi & Maayan Lubell — Fifty days of war in one of the most densely populated parts of the world have left swaths of Gaza in ruins. With the economy reeling under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, the enclave now faces an almost impossible task of rebuilding. To do it, Gaza will have to find billions of foreign dollars, contend with Israeli limits on construction materials entering the territory, resolve internal political strife and keep aid flowing to the battered population as it rebuilds. One fact stands out : before the war, an average of 30 tonnes of cement crossed into Gaza each week. Now, an estimated 10,000 tonnes will be needed every day for the next six months ... "Some of the areas here in Gaza, unbelievably enough, look as if they were hit by an earthquake," said Borge Brende, the foreign minister of Norway, who visited the area this week to try to assess the humanitarian and reconstruction needs. The Palestinian Authority said in a study last week the work would cost $7.8 billion, two and a half times Gaza’s gross domestic product, including $2.5 billion for the reconstruction of homes and $250 million for energy. Gaza economist Maher al-Tabbaa puts rebuilding costs at a lower $5 billion. Either way, international donors meeting in Cairo on Oct. 12 for a rebuilding conference - including the EU, Turkey and Qatar - know one thing : it will be expensive.

Hamas begins paying workers backdated wages
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 11 Sept — Palestinian movement Hamas on Thursday began paying a months-long backlog of salaries to more than 40,000 of its employees in the Gaza Strip, the finance ministry announced. Hamas, which formally governed Gaza until early June, had been unable to pay many of its employees from October 2013 due to a biting financial crisis caused by Egypt’s closure of cross-border tunnels through which most of Islamist movement’s financial support was delivered. Other employees had received only a partial salary. It was the first time in months the employees had been paid, with workers each receiving between 1,000-4,500 shekels ($276-$1,240/€215-€960), depending on their pay grade, the finance ministry said. Although the Hamas government technically stood down on June 2, handing over power to a Ramallah-based government of national consensus, it has remained the de facto power in Gaza. Hamas officials, who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP it was able to begin paying the backlog due to tax monies it had collected, enabling it to cover partial payment of all salaries from October through to May. Political analyst Mukhaimer Abu Saada said funds were also likely to have come from aid pouring into Gaza during and after a bloody 50-day conflict with Israel that ended August 26, as well as from friendly donors such as Qatar.Hamas has insisted that the national consensus government headed by prime minister Rami Hamdallah take the employees onto its payroll.

IDF opens criminal probe into 5 cases in wake of Gaza op
Times of Israel 10 Sept by Mitch Ginsburg — Army investigating shelling of UNRWA school and attack that killed 4 children on a beach, among others incidents ; no indication of war crimes, senior officer says — Two weeks after the 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict ended, the Military Advocate General Corps has ordered an investigation into five cases, ranging from high-profile airstrikes to a simple case of alleged theft, a senior IDF officer said Wednesday. He said that thus far the IDF was unaware of any cases that might constitute a war crime. He said that a fact-finding team headed by Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon and staffed with officers with the rank of colonel and above is in the process of investigating 44 “exceptional incidents.” Of those, 12 have already been referred to the Military Advocate General’s office for a final decision, with seven cases closed, three pending, and two resulting in criminal investigations. Three other cases, in which there was a prima facie “reasonable suspicion” of violations of the law, resulted in immediate investigations without further review. The speed with which the MAG Corps is operating stands in contrast to the army’s actions in the wake of the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, when an international panel headed by Judge Richard Goldstone began investigating cases that the army had yet to fully address. The two cases recommended by Tibon’s team of high-ranking reserves officers are a July 24 strike on an UNRWA school in the northern part of the Strip, in which 14 people were killed, and a July 16 airstrike that killed four children on a beach in Gaza. The beach attack happened near a hotel housing several foreign journalists, who reported that there did not appear to be military activity in the area when the airstrike hit, killing the four and injuring several others. The other three cases are a July 18 case in which a woman was shot in Dahaniyeh, allegedly by army troops, even though “her movements were previously coordinated” with IDF troops, a senior officer said ; a July 23-27 incident in which teenager Ahmad Abu Raida contended, in a New York Times report, that he was subjected to unlawful acts while in IDF custody in Gaza ; and a suspicion of theft by a soldier in Shejaiya on July 20. The military has also forwarded the particulars of 55 other cases to Tibon’s preliminary commission for further investigation.

Israel says it is investigating dozens of Gaza shootings
National Public Radio 12 Sept by Emily Harris — ...In Gaza, Jamila Eleywa, the director of a home for disabled people that was hit in July, killing two residents, hopes she’ll learn why her building was hit. "Why ?" she said at Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital, where the injured residents were taken. "Why they did that ?" The burn unit director of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital, Dr. Nafiz Abushan, said in July that four victims of the Israeli airstrike on a home for disabled people suffered lacerations from shrapnel and burns on 15 to 25 percent of their bodies, including their lungs. He said all four faced extra challenges because of their physical condition. "Twenty-five percent (burns) itself is life threatening, but because of their disability, the risk is doubled for them," Abushan said then. The four have survived. One, a caretaker just went through plastic surgery in Cairo. Another one, Mai Hamada, 30, is at a new home for the disabled. As she lay in the hospital two days after the July attack, she remembered it was almost dawn when the bomb exploded. "Suddenly I was hit from every direction," she said in a high-pitched voice. "I called out for my caretaker but she didn’t answer. I screamed for our neighbor to help." ... Eleywa, the director of the home, started a society to care for disabled people years ago when she saw families in Gaza struggling to provide for disabled members. The residential home that was bombed was two stories tall, with eight bedrooms and gardens on two sides. Eleywa said if Israel first dropped a non-explosive, warning rocket, no one heard it, and no one on the staff imagined the home would be hit. Anyway, she said, a warning rocket wouldn’t have allowed time to carry residents to safety. "No time, no time. Five minutes, seven minutes they give all the people, not more," she added.

Giving up on the system : Leading Israeli human rights groups reject army request to file investigations on crimes in Gaza
Mondoweiss 9 Sept by Allison Deger — Israel’s leading human rights groups will no longer provide information on soldier misconduct to army investigators. After years of delayed military investigations for two Israeli wars in Gaza, the last without any army abuse convictions, the Israeli legal rights group Yesh Din and the human rights organization B’Tselem said, “the military law enforcement system is a complete failure” and is “incapable of conducting professional investigations.” In the past B’Tselem and Yesh Din submitted evaluations of “irregular” army practices to internal investigations.

Evidence growing that Hamas used residential areas
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 12 Sept by Hamza Hendawi & Josef Federman — Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, there is growing evidence that Hamas militants used residential areas as cover for launching rockets at Israel, at least at times. Even Hamas now admits "mistakes" were made. But Hamas says it had little choice in Gaza’s crowded urban landscape, took safeguards to keep people away from the fighting, and that a heavy-handed Israeli response is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians. "Gaza, from Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah in the south, is one uninterrupted urban chain that Israel has turned into a war zone," said Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official in Gaza. Increasingly, the discussion is not about whether the Hamas rockets were fired from civilian areas, but exactly how close they were to the actual buildings. "The Israelis kept saying rockets were fired from schools or hospitals when in fact they were fired 200 or 300 meters (yards) away. Still, there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with," Hamad told The Associated Press, offering the first acknowledgment by a Hamas official that, in some cases, militants fired rockets from or near residential areas or civilian facilities. The questions lie at the heart of a brewing international legal confrontation : Did Hamas deliberately and systematically fire rockets at Israel from homes, hospitals and schools in the hope that Israel would be deterred from retaliating, as Israel claims ? Or did Israel use force excessively, resulting in deaths among people not involved in combat operations ? The answers could help determine whether Israel — or Hamas — or both are ultimately accused of violating the international laws of war in a conflict that caused tremendous damage. According to Palestinian figures, nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed — roughly three quarters of them civilians and including more than 500 children — and 11,000 were wounded. The war also left some 100,000 homeless. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including six civilians....

Walking amid the rubble of Gaza
The Jewish Daily Forward 12 Sept by Kathleen Peratis — No Hope for Reconstruction In This Vast Expanse of Debris — I just returned from a visit to Gaza — my first since the war’s end — and found it ruined on a scale that I was not prepared for, despite all the pictures. On the ground it can take you suddenly and squeeze the breath out of you. You drive through an area that is merely decrepit and derelict and crumbling, and then you come upon destruction that is of Hieronymus Bosch proportions. Over the course of two days I spoke with many people who live in houses and apartment blocks near the Israeli border. Even before the war, Gazans called the first 300 meters beyond the border the “dead zone,” where no one except Israeli soldiers may go. In the next swath, farm animals could graze, and beyond that is where people live. As hostilities commenced, as a ground war seemed likely, the buffer zone got broader, and whole neighborhoods had to leave. I spoke to people who had lived in those neighborhoods. I spent time in the village Shejaiya. It is a total ruin with no habitable house left. It is a vast expanse of gray rock and debris, rubble and ruin, welter and waste. Anything that is upright is barely so ; everything is blown to bits on every side. There is a putrid smell in the air, and I was told that it is rotting animal carcasses not yet removed from the debris. As I walked around Shejaiya taking pictures, a woman named Rusayla Abu Emer and her little daughter, Reem, approached me and pointed out their house — the orange one, she said — and asked if I wanted to come and see. I did. She took me on a proud tour of this uninhabitable house that she and 30 others nevertheless inhabited, showing me the wide gaping holes in the walls and ceilings from tank shells, gaping holes the many kids could easily fall through. The family has cleared a few rooms and swept the stairs, and tidied the kitchen so it is as neat as a pin (though unusable). It is hard to believe they are living in this pile of broken concrete and twisted metal, kids running around on floors with no walls, and a two-story drop if they slip. They rely upon the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for food and other necessities ; Rusayla’s husband earns a few shekels most days, driving a taxi. She would not let me leave until I accepted a glass of juice....

Israeli officer admits ordering lethal strike on own soldier during Gaza massacre
Electronic Intifada 10 Sept by Rania Khalek — The civilian population in Gaza is “a partner of terror” that “gets what they choose,” the top commander of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade told the Israeli press recently, after orchestrating some of the deadliest episodes of butchery visited upon the Gaza Strip this summer. Colonel Ofer Winter also admitted to ordering the mass bombardment of an area where an Israeli soldier was known to be in order to prevent his capture alive by Palestinian resistance fighters — an army policy known as the Hannibal Directive.These are just two of the many incriminating comments made by Winter in a lengthy and candid interview published in a paper-only edition of the Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot on 15 August. The interview took place near the end of Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign which killed more than 2,100 people in Gaza, the vast majority of them civilians — including more than 500 children. Israel expert Dena Shunra translated the interview for The Electronic Intifada. In addition to justifying the mass killing of civilians in Gaza, Winter applauded the carpet bombing he ordered in Rafah as a necessary punishment and repeatedly invoked religious supremacy as a leading factor in what he views as a Jewish victory in Gaza ... The Hannibal Directive is an unwritten Israeli military protocol for executing captured Israeli soldiers to avoid politically painful prisoner swaps. Although its existence has been reported in the Israeli press since the 1980s, this interview with Winter appears to be the most frank acknowledgement of its use. The idea is to prevent the captors from taking the soldier alive, effectively denying Palestinian or other Arab resistance groups a bargaining chip down the line and relieving Israeli leaders of the political fallout from having to make concessions (such as prisoner swaps) to secure the soldier’s release. Executing their own According to blogger Richard Silverstein, the Israeli army has implemented the Hannibal Directive on at least three occasions during this latest war on Gaza, deploying massive firepower with the intention of executing three of their own.

Other news and analysis

Haniyeh urges Abbas to stop ’stalling’ on ICC
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh on Friday urged the Palestinian leadership to sign the Rome Statute and hold Israel accountable for its crimes in Gaza at the International Criminal Court. Haniyeh said in a statement that "signing the Rome Statute is the right for every victim and stalling is neglecting their rights and an offense to the image of Palestinians." The Palestinian leadership must not "neglect" the rights of the victims of Israel’s military assault on Gaza, Haniyeh said, urging President Mahmoud Abbas to sign the Rome Statute. Hamas signed a proposal for the Palestinians to apply to join the ICC in August.

Is the PA stalling Gaza war crimes probe ?
Al Jazeera 12 Sept — There has been no international investigation into war crimes in Gaza so far. Leaked document may hold clues as to why — The Palestinian Authority has so far prevented the launch of a formal investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinian factions during the 50-day Gaza war last July and August, according to officials at the International Criminal Court. In a confidential letter obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, ICC’s top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she "did not receive a positive confirmation" from PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki that the request, submitted by the Palestinian justice minister for an international investigation, had the Palestinian government’s approval. Both the PA and Hamas have publicly called for an investigation by the ICC into the alleged war crimes. On July 25, PA Justice Minister Saleem al-Saqqa and Palestinian General Prosecutor Ismaeil Jabr submitted a letter to the ICC via a French law firm calling for an investigation. However, according to ICC regulations, "only the Head of State, Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs" can grant the international body jurisdiction to investigate. Twelve days later, FM Malki travelled to The Hague to meet top ICC officials : "We must do everything within our power to enable the International Criminal Court to bring to justice those responsible for committing war crimes," Malki said. The document obtained by Al Jazeera is in line with an article written by Bensouda in The Guardian on August 29, where the ICC prosecutor states that the Palestinian leadership has not granted her office jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes in its territory.

Washington threatens sanctions should PA approach UN with proposal to dismantle Israeli occupation
IMEMC/Agencies 11 Sept — The United States government has reportedly threatened the Palestinian Authority (PA) with economic sanctions if Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continue to insist on presenting his plan for the end of Israel’s illegal occupation to the United Nations ... According to the PNN, presenting the Palestinian case to the UN is seen by Washington as a unilateral decision on the Palestinian State, which goes against its vision of negotiations with Israel as being fundamental. Economic sanctions, thus, serve to discourage such a move by the PA ... Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, in speaking to the PNN, dismissed the threat and asserted that the PA is within its legitimate rights in approaching the UN and can go equally to the International Criminal Court. Barghouti additionally highlighted the fact that the United States "talks about the need to respect human rights everywhere and respect international law," and now asks : "Why is it forbidden for Palestine to exercise this right ?"

Cairo truce talks to resume mid-September : Hamas
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 10 Sept — Hamas’s exiled deputy leader said Wednesday that indirect talks with Israel to consolidate a Gaza ceasefire are to resume in Cairo in mid-September. Fifty days of deadly fighting between Israel and Gaza militants which killed more than 2,140 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side, ended on August 26 with an open-ended truce agreement. Under terms of the deal, the parties agreed to resume Egyptian-brokered negotiations within a month to discuss key issues, including a Hamas demand for a port and an airport, a prisoner swap and Israel’s insistence on Gaza militants disarming. Speaking to reporters in Gaza City during a visit from his base in Cairo, Mussa Abu Marzuq said it was "expected that the talks would resume in mid-September." Israel agreed as part of the initial ceasefire to immediately ease restrictions on the entry of goods, humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, and to expand the fishing zone off Gaza to six nautical miles. All other issues would be delayed until the negotiators returned to Cairo, although there has been no official word on when that would happen ... There was no official comment from Israel on when the Cairo talks would resume.

Hamas denies running ’shadow government’ in Gaza
TUNIS (Agence France Presse) 12 Sept — The exiled leader of Hamas denied Friday that the Islamist movement was running a "shadow government" in Gaza as charged by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Khaled Meshaal was speaking in the Tunisian capital days after Abbas threatened to break off a unity agreement with Hamas, saying it was not allowing the government to operate in the Gaza Strip. "There is a national unity government ; talk of a parallel government is totally against reality," Meshaal said after meeting Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki. He said government ministries were still "operating normally" in Gaza even if the "government is absent from" the coastal enclave and urged the cabinet to be present. "We welcome the government of national unity to work in Gaza, to take charge of crossing points and assume all its responsibilities in line with what we agreed upon."

Dahlan calls for Palestinian govt center to be moved to Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Sept — Former Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan on Friday called for the center of the Palestinian presidency and government to be moved to the Gaza Strip in order to aid national reconciliation. Dahlan said in a statement that "Gaza’s wounds will not heal through trading political and media accusations. Our people hoped and still hope for a different action after their heroic fight against the Israeli offensive." He added that "by renewing the atmospheres of division we are wasting time, resources, and the Arab and international attitudes that insist on rebuilding Gaza and providing the minimum requirements for human life for some two million Palestinians." A former security chief in the Gaza Strip under Fatah, Dahlan fled the West Bank after his ouster from the party in 2011, after which security forces raided his home. Fatah’s Central Committee said at the time that he was expelled for harming Palestinian national interests and coercing outside parties to commit crimes over a number of years. The committee said that Dahlan had led a racket which stole money from the Palestinian Investment Fund and controlled crossings and the movement of goods and people. Leaked reports also said that the former Fatah strongman in Gaza was building a private armed militia in the West Bank. Dahlan denied the allegations.

World Bank : Palestine private sector hostage to Israeli restrictions
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — The Palestinian private sector is hostage to instability and Israel’s restrictions on movement, access and trade in the occupied territories, according to a new World Bank report. The report, Investment Climate Assessment : Fragmentation and Uncertainty, which was released Thursday, blames Israel’s restrictions and the Mideast conflict for holding Palestinian enterprises back. “An active private sector is much needed to fuel economic and social progress in the Palestinian territories already faced with declining income and increasing unemployment,” said Steen Jorgensen, World Bank country director for West Bank and Gaza. “Allowing mobility and access to resources is crucial to building investor confidence and developing industry and high value-added service sectors that would support a prosperous Palestinian economy and protect against future violence.” The World Bank says its new report provides "empirical evidence" that instability, military rule, violence, political division, and lack of free movement and access to resources and markets are Palestine’s key obstacles to growth.

Watch : Area C ’future of Palestinian economy’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — The World Bank on Thursday released an animation calling attention to the impact of Israel’s restrictions on Area C, which makes up the majority of the occupied West Bank. The short animation says that if businesses and farms were permitted to develop on Area C land, it would add as much as 35 percent to the Palestinian gross domestic product.

After Gaza offensive, West Bank boycott of Israel gains strength
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — The boycott of Israeli products across the West Bank has led to a noticeable difference for Palestinian industries, as many Palestinians have shunned Israeli products in favor of local equivalents. Although calls for an economic boycott have existed for decades, the movement has been revived in the wake of the Israeli assault on Gaza. Hundreds have taken to the streets to express their opposition to Israeli products, including in Ramallah, where members of families of those killed by Israeli forces launched a campaign entitle "Boycott the suppliers of our children’s killers." The secretary-general of the National Gathering of Palestinian Martyrs’ Families, the group that organized the campaign, said that "the children of those killed are the most capable of expressing this cause and encouraging Palestinians to boycott Israeli products."

Head of TIPH mission in Hebron replaced
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Sept — Brigadier-General Geir Holmenes has replaced police commissioner Christine Fossen as head of mission for the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Fossen left the mission as scheduled after serving 18 months as its head, TIPH said in a statement Thursday. It said Holmenes will lead a group 68 civilian observers from six countries — Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey — observing and reporting on the situation in Hebron ... The mission was set up in 1997 as an observer force in the city. It reports on breaches of agreements and other matters which are reported to Israel and Palestine as well as member countries.

Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories
[with video] The Guardian 12 Sept by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem — Forty-three veterans of one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units – many of them still active reservists – have signed a public letter refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents. The signatories include officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country’s equivalent of America’s NSA or Britain’s GCHQ, known as Unit 8200 – or in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim. They allege that the “all-encompassing” intelligence the unit gathers on Palestinians – much of it concerning innocent people – is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society. The largest intelligence unit in the Israeli military, Unit 8200 intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic. The signatories say, however, that a large part of their work was unrelated to Israel’s security or defence, but appeared designed to perpetuate the occupation by “infiltrating” and “controlling” all aspects of Palestinian life ... Personnel were instructed to keep any damaging details of Palestinians’ lives they came across, including information on sexual preferences, infidelities, financial problems or family illnesses that could be “used to extort/blackmail the person and turn them into a collaborator”. Former members claim some intelligence gathered by the unit was not collected in the service of the Israeli state but in pursuit of the “agendas” of individual Israeli politicians ... Unit members swapped intercepts they gathered involving “sex talk” for their own entertainment ... Unit 8200 is one of the most prestigious in the Israeli public’s mind, with many who serve in it going on to high-flying jobs after their military service, many in Israel’s hi-tech sector.

’Any Palestinian is exposed to monitoring by Big Brother’
The Guardian 12 Sept — Testimonies from people who worked in the Israeli Intelligence Corps tell of a system where there were no boundaries — I enlisted in the Intelligence Corps with a clear understanding that regarding anything that involves the Palestinian arena, I will engage in self-defence. Throughout my service in my unit I did and encountered things that seemed irrelevant from a security standpoint, and I did not have a clear conscience participating in such activities. Contrary to my expectations, our database included not only security-related intelligence but also personal and political information. That is to say, on a personal level, there is no respect for Palestinian privacy. From a political standpoint, information is collected that can serve to manipulate Israeli, Palestinian and international politics ... Since we’re so focused on not missing any important developments, we always prefer to assume the worst. For example, if anyone is suspected, even very faintly, it is possible that the stain will never fade, and that person will suffer sanctions as a result. Our daily service dulls everyone’s sensitivity and this is reflected, for example, in running jokes about very personal things that come up in our intelligence material. Or, for instance, in the expression “blood on the headset”, or X’s marked on our headsets after assassinations ... Palestinians’ sex talks were always a hot item to pass on from one person in the unit to the other, for a good laugh. One person would call over another to come listen. Or some other entertaining talks. For example, “funny” medical conditions like haemorrhoids. It’s part of the unit’s morale. You also pass on photos for laughs that belong to targets, or just to Palestinians. Just photos, family photos, and the guys have a laugh when the children are ugly. There are also private photos, for example, that couples took for one another....

Twilight Zone : Carjackers in Israeli army uniform
Haaretz 13 Sept by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — Of the private cars the IDF confiscated in the West Bank during the search for the three kidnapped yeshiva students this summer, only some have been returned - after payment of hefty sums — In those days almost everything was allowed in that lawless land : During Operation Brother’s Keeper in June, the prelude to (and in large measure the cause of) Operation Protective Edge, the Israel Defense Forces ran amok in the West Bank. Soldiers raided thousands of homes in the middle of the night and arrested nearly 500 Hamas activists, most of them political figures who had no connection to the kidnap and murder of the three Israeli yeshiva students. The soldiers also confiscated property. Often they took computers, sometimes cash, and now it emerges that they also took private cars as part of their war against terrorism. The IDF has never cared about Palestinian property, and private cars were being confiscated again – as they had been frequently during the intifada ... Unlike his brothers, Noor, who is 27 and runs a car-wash and tire-repair business, has never been arrested. At 1:30 A.M. on June 22, soldiers arrived at the Ashkars’ home, looking for him. They turned the house upside down and found 3,220 shekels (about $920), which they seized, counting the notes in front of their camera. The soldiers told Noor that because they hadn’t found more money in the house they had to confiscate his car. According to Noor, the soldiers didn’t show him any order or other document allowing them to do this. Noor was ordered to drive his car – a 1998 Peugeot 106 – to the police station in the Israeli part of Barta’a, a village on the edge of Wadi Ara that straddles the Green Line. He would have to take a taxi home, the soldiers said. Noor reminded them that they had taken all his cash ; they told him to get money from his father. Some military vehicles and a police car escorted him on his bizarre, forced drive into Israel, after they crossed the Zeita checkpoint. At the police station in Barta’a, the car underwent a security check. Noor was taken to the checkpoint and left to fend for himself in the middle of the night. The next day he went to the District Coordination and Liaison office in Sha’ar Ephraim to recoup the car, but was unceremoniously chased off. After a few more failed efforts, he too hired an Israeli lawyer to try to get his car back. The authorities informed the lawyer that Noor had to show a confiscation order to prove that the car had in fact been taken. He says that the soldiers did not give him any such document. Almost three months later, the car still hasn’t been returned.

Refugees reshape their camp, at the risk of feeling at home
AL FAWWAR, West Bank (NY Times) 6 Sept by Michael Kimmelman — Up a rutted alley, mothers in head scarves, seated under flapping cloth canopies, sip tea and weave baskets. They’ve gathered in a dusty, sun-bleached square, not much bigger than a pocket park, made of limestone and concrete, shoehorned into a warren of low, concrete and cinder-block houses. The square isn’t much to look at. But, years in the making, it has stirred some profound debates here at this old and deeply conservative Palestinian refugee camp, about hot-button topics like the role of women and the right of return. Along with headline sites like Tahrir Square in Cairo and Gezi Park in Istanbul, it’s another example, small and off the radar, of how even the most unlikely public space can become a testing ground for entrenched political authority and the social status quo. Public space like the plaza in Al Fawwar is mostly unheard-of in Palestinian camps across the West Bank. Architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations. The lack of normal amenities, like squares and parks in the camps, commonplace in Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank, was originally by design : Camps were conceived as temporary quarters. The absence of public space was then preserved over the years to fortify residents’ self-identification as refugees, displaced and stateless ... Established in 1950, Al Fawwar, covering less than a quarter of a square mile, just south of Hebron, is crammed with nearly 7,000 people, many of whom are the descendants of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in 1948. The square has given children in the camp a place to play other than in crowded streets. Families have begun to use the space as a gathering spot. Young couples are getting married in the square. Mothers who rarely felt free to leave their homes to socialize in public now meet there twice a week to talk, study a little English and weave, selling what they make at a market that they occasionally open in the square, an enterprise that one of the mothers told me “gives us self-esteem and a sense of worth, like the men have.”