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Terrorisme israélien


Mardi, 16 juin 2015 - 7h04 AM

mardi 16 juin 2015



Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Arrests

Palestinian ’left for 3 hours’ under Israeli jeep

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 June — A Palestinian man who was killed by Israeli forces on Sunday in Kafr Malik village near Ramallah was left under an Israeli military Jeep for three hours before he died, an eyewitness said. Nabil Abd al-Karim recounted the details of the incident saying that Abdullah Iyad Ghuneimat, 22, was heading to his work in a poultry farm when Israeli forces shot him in the back and chased him down as he tried to return home. The jeep then hit Ghuneimat pushing him into a wall that collapsed on him and caused the jeep to overturn on him as well, Abd al-Karim said.Soldiers then vacated the jeep and left Ghuneimat under it with his back crushed and his leg completely severed, he added.He was left under the jeep for three hours screaming in pain while gas and oil from the jeep dripped over him and the vehicle crushing his body, the witness added. After three hours of Israeli forces preventing any assistance or medics to come to his aid, residents of the village attacked Israeli soldiers with their bare hands and managed to lift the jeep from over him, but it was too late as Ghunaimat had already died. His body was taken in an ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex. Thousands participated in his funeral which started from his village’s mosque to its graveyard where he was laid to rest. Participants in the funeral chanted calls for revenge.His mother, who broke down after hearing the news and received treatment, said her son was executed by Israeli forces in cold blood.

Israel army murders Palestinian in Kafr Malek
*** warning, graphic images *** KAFR MALEK, Occupied Palestine 14 June by ISM Khalil Team — Abdullah Eyad Ghanayem, 21 years old, was killed by the Israeli army early morning around 3:00 AM in Kafr Malek, a village north Ramallah. According to a Palestine Red Crescent Society paramedic that contacted ISM, the soldiers invaded the village around 2:30 AM. The clashes took place and they began shooting tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition. They shot the Ghanayem in the back with live ammunition after he allegedly threw stones at the army jeep. The soldiers followed him with the jeep and ran over him and then the jeep rolled over onto him and he was in critical condition and bleeding under the jeep for three hours. The soldiers didn’t allow any ambulance to come close and to give medical care

Ghannam : ’Israel falsifying facts regarding the murder of Ghanayam’
IMEMC/Agencies 14 June — Ramallah Governor Leila Ghannam stated that the autopsy of the slain young Palestinian man, killed earlier Sunday near Ramallah, proved he was shot before the soldiers’ vehicle crashed on top of him, crushing his body. Ghannam said the Israeli narrative of events leading to the murder of Abdullah Eyad Ghanayem, 22, is a fabrication and distorting of what really happened. Her statements came in a press conference in front of the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah. She stated that autopsy findings proved he was first shot, and then the soldiers drove towards him, before the army jeep flipped over him, crushing him to death. The military jeep remained on top of the body of the slain Palestinian for nearly three hours. The Governor called on media outlets to investigate the facts on the ground, instead of taking the military allegations for granted. “This occupation targets the Palestinians on a daily basis," she said, “It fabricates and falsifies facts to justify its ugly crimes against humanity.” The Israeli army alleged its soldiers invaded the village to arrest some Palestinians, and “accidentally crushed the Palestinian after he threw a Molotov cocktail.” The army said it intends to "investigate the incident." Resident Abdullah al-Hajj told Reuters that the young man did not attack the army, and that he was walking to a chicken farm, where he worked.

Israeli officers assault Palestinian prisoner on way to hospital
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 June — Israeli officers violently assaulted a Palestinian prisoner while he was being transported from to a hospital for medical tests on Sunday, the Palestinian prisoner’s society said. One of the society’s lawyers said that Muhammad Abed Rabbo, 29, from Nablus had been assaulted by about 20 Israeli officers after he refused to have both his hands and feet cuffed while they moved him from Nafha prison to Soroka hospital in Beersheba. The lawyer said the Israeli officers — belonging to the Israeli prison service, the Nahshon unit — had knocked Abed Rabbo to the ground and started beating him. They were supposed to be taking the prisoner to hospital for medical tests as he has been suffering severe stomach pains, causing frequent vomiting. He was eventually returned to his prison cell without having gone to hospital, the lawyer said.

Ma‘an’s report on this event was in Friday’s list
5 Palestinians shot in Kafr Qaddum
[with photos] AL KHALIL, Occupied Palestine 12 June by ISM, Al-Khalil Team — At Kafr Qaddum’s weekly demonstration yesterday, 12th June 2015, Israeli occupation forces invaded the village hours before the protest was set to start. Five Palestinians were shot with live ammunition. Two were shot in the leg, one was shot in the arm and two were shot in the abdomen. One of the men shot in the abdomen was in a critical condition for some hours after being transferred to hospital. The 35 year old underwent surgery to remove part of his intestines that had been damaged by the bullet. Following the operation the man’s condition stabilized. The man was not participating in the protest, he was shot while in his home standing next to the window. His injury highlights the collective punishment of the entire village for their efforts to resist the restriction of their right to freedom of movement. The local villagers said that the Israeli forces’ new tactic of extreme violence was an attempt to scare the residents into ending their weekly demonstration. After the occupation forces invaded the village they used the ‘Skunk truck’ to spray protesters and homes with foul smelling liquid. Palestinian youth began to throw stones and reflect sunlight into the eyes of the military and police by using mirrors. These actions were met with immediate use of live ammunition. Israeli police snipers targeted anyone who passed within range and which resulted in the previously mentioned injuries. The two men that were shot in the arm and leg are both still in hospital and awaiting surgery after the bullets penetrated the bone and inflicted serious damage....

Photo Story : Israel forces try to violently suppress protest in Jalazone
JALAZOUN, Occupied Palestine 14 June by ISM, Ramallah Team — On Friday, June 12, the youth of Jalazoun [refugee camp] were protesting against settlements, soldiers started shooting rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and live ammunition. The Israeli military were using cars as shields by taking the keys and leaving the people inside. They detained more than 20 cars during the protest in different time periods. [They used a taxi and a truck as shields as well, both with passengers inside. Video taken by a Palestinian cameraman can be seen on Ynet ]

Israel reprimands troops who beat Palestinian man
Al Jazeera 14 June — The Israeli army has reprimanded Israeli soldiers filmed beating a Palestinian man with a number of actions including verbal rebuke, "conditional imprisonment" and confinement to a base. The measures taken by military officials on Sunday follow the release of footage of Friday’s incident, at Jelazoun refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, which showed troops assaulting the Palestinian civilian with their fists and a rifle butt. The beating was accompanied by shouted obscenities as the detainee lay helpless on the ground. The army said that brigade commander Colonel Asher Ben Lulu, who dealt with the soldiers, concluded "that while the arrest was justified, the means were inappropriate", the AFP news agency reported. Two of the soldiers were punished with 28 days of "conditional imprisonment," while two others were confined to their base for 30 days, the army said in a statement. It said that the company commander was reprimanded and that the conduct of the soldiers "was inconsistent with the expected conduct of IDF soldiers when operating in crowd control situations", the military statement said. The Israeli army said the soldiers were responding to a violent demonstration lasting "several hours" by as many as 70 Palestinians who were throwing stones at them, wounding the company commander. The army said that during the demonstration the Palestinian who was beaten had "attempted to grasp a soldier’s weapon."

Many injured in Jerusalem overnight clashes, one kidnapped
IMEMC 14 June — Palestinian medical sources have reported that many residents have been injured, and one was kidnapped, late on Saturday at night, as Israeli soldiers invaded different neighborhoods, Silwan town, and the Shu‘fat refugee camp, in occupied Jerusalem, leading to clashes with local youths. Clashes took place close to the military roadblock leading to the Shu‘fat refugee camp, and the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated metal bullets. Many gas bombs also struck homes, causing scores of residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation. The Israeli army claimed some locals hurled Molotov cocktails, and empty bottles, at the military roadblock. Clashes also took place in various neighborhoods in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in Batn al-Hawa, and the Central Neighborhood ; the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs. Israeli military sources said local youths tried to burn structures in two settlement outposts in Silwan. ... In addition, soldiers invaded a home in Sur Baher village, southeast of Jerusalem, kidnapped a young man identified as Nour Hamada, and handed several members of his family military orders for interrogation. Soldiers also invaded the Suwwana neighborhood, in Jerusalem, and clashed with scores of local youths, who hurled stones and empty bottles at the army, and the Beit Orit illegal outpost.

Two injured, many suffer effects of teargas inhalation in Silwad
IMEMC/Agencies 13 June — Israeli soldiers invaded, Friday, Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, attacked dozens of protesters, and fired live rounds, rubber-coated metal bullets and concussion grenades at them. Medical sources said one Palestinian was shot with a Tutu [.22 dumdum] live round that explodes on impact, causing excessive bodily damage, while shrapnel of a concussion grenade injured another Palestinian. The WAFA News Agency has reported that the soldiers also invaded a home, and occupied its rooftop, before using it to fire live rounds at the protesters. The soldiers forced the family out of their home for a few hours. WAFA added that the soldiers obstructed the work of the reporters, and fired concussion grenades at them. In addition, the army fired several gas bombs and concussion grenades at local medics, and firefighters trying to extinguish fires that broke out in Palestinian farmlands, due to gas bombs and concussion grenades fired at them.

Clashes in Kafr Kanna after IOF demolish home for the second time
BETHLEHEM (PNN) 15 June — Israeli media this morning reported violent clashes between Israeli police forces and the Palestinians in occupied Kafr Kanna in the north [of Israel], after the police overnight demolished home of Tareq Al-Khatib for the second time after its reconstruction by the people of the village. Ynet news outlets said that hundreds of Palestinians in Kafr Kanna were protesting the act last night after Israeli police, border guards and private units were heavily guarding the bulldozers during the demolition. The home was demolished about two months ago, and was rebuilt by the villagers as a response to the act. Ynet quoted the owner of the house saying that he did not break any laws, and that the house was his property for years. Therefore, Israeli forces had no right whatsoever to demolish it. The pepole of Kafr Kanna announced a general strike in protest of the demolition, affirming that they will rebuild it again.

Palestinians reveal settlers’ failed attempt to attack mosque in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 13 June — Israeli settlers last week attempted, but failed, to attack a mosque during the dawn prayers in the city of Hebron, revealed local sources. Sources told WAFA that two masked settlers attempted to carry out an attack against the mosque during the dawn prayers ; however, the attack attempt failed and settlers fled the scene and were seen running toward the illegal settlement of Ramat Yishai. The attack attempt was caught on surveillance cameras placed in the area. Moreover, one of the residents living near the mosque reported his daughter as seeing the two armed settlers from her window at dawn, stating that the presence of a taxicab that stopped in front of the mosque to drop off one of the worshipers to attend the dawn prayers, prevented them from resuming with their attack plan and forced them to flee the scene. Residents chased after them, however, they did not manage to catch them.
In an analysis conducted by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) on Israeli settlers’ attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory during the year 2014, ARIJ recorded 763 Israeli settler groups’ attacks against civilians, lands, properties, livestock, and agriculture. These attacks inflicted huge losses and suffering among Palestinians. ARIJ also recorded a total of 226 attacks that were committed by settlers against mosques, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, and churches and monasteries through spray-painting racist slogans against Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike), setting mosques ablaze, attacking worshipers, which showed the feelings of hatred and extremism these settlers hold for Palestinians, reported POICA. It said that most of the violations that have been recorded during the year 2014 were in the vicinity of Israeli settlements and outposts.

Israel closes probe into police beating of Ethiopian
AFP 14 June — Israel’s justice ministry announced Sunday it was closing the criminal investigation of the police officer whose documented beating of a soldier of Ethiopian origin set off a series of protests. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to accept the recommendation of internal affairs to discontinue the proceedings against the officer, transferring the case to police for a "disciplinary examination" of his conduct, the ministry said. A video emerged late April showing an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian origin on his bike approaching two police who were blocking a road. After a short verbal exchange between the two, one of the officers is seen hitting the soldier, later identified as Damas Pakada, who fought back and was eventually subdued and handcuffed. The footage set off a series of demonstrations across the country, including one in Tel Aviv during which police used riot control means and detained dozens of protestors, some of whom threw stones and bottles. The incident also pushed Israel’s leadership to pledge action to fix the "mistakes" made in the absorbtion of the country’s 135,000-strong Ethiopian Jewish community, some of whom say they suffer racism and discrimination. The Ethiopian community in Israel responded with rage to the decision, pledging to rekindle the demonstrations that died out last month. Weinstein’s decision was "scandalous" and a "disgrace," said former lawmaker Pnina-Tamano Shata, who participated in the protests. "We have no choice but to continue the struggle for our rights," she wrote on her Facebook page. Weinstein explained that a thorough examination of the video materials proved Pakada was the first to act violently when he pushed the officer barring his passageway. "The officer used force to distance the soldier from the spot," the statement said, noting the chain of mutual violence which led to the eventual arrest of Pakada by the officer and another policeman at the site, which was "conducted flawlessly." Weinstein added he was also closing the investigation against Pakada for attacking the officer. The officer had been fired from the police shortly after the incident.

Soldiers kidnap a young man in Nablus
IMEMC/Agencies 14 June — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Sunday morning, a young Palestinian man from Beit Omren village, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Eyewitnesses said Rida Mohammad Hassouna, 19 years of age, was heading to his college, the Najah National University in Nablus, when the soldiers stopped him on a sudden roadblock, near Zawata village, and took him to an unknown destination. The kidnapped Palestinian is a political science student. On Sunday at dawn, soldiers kidnapped two Palestinians in Hebron and Yatta.

Army kidnaps 12 Palestinians
IMEMC/Agencies 15 June — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, late on Sunday at night and earlier on Monday, twelve Palestinians, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, searched scores of homes, and installed roadblocks near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Media sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, said the soldiers kidnapped Islam Ahmad Mheisin, 18 years of age, after invading his home in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. The soldiers also searched a home belonging to resident Ayman Ahmad Hmeidat, in Surif town, northwest of Hebron, causing excessive property damage. The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers also kidnapped a mentally challenged Palestinian, identified as Fadel Jamal al-Karaki, in Hebron city. The PPS added that al-Karaki was previously kidnapped, and imprisoned, three times. In addition, soldiers invaded Yatta and the ath-Thaheriyya nearby towns, and installed roadblocks on Hebron’s northern entrances, in addition to the main road leading to Sa‘ir town, northeast of Hebron, before stopping and searching dozens of cars while investigating the ID cards of the passengers. The army also invaded ‘Aseera ash-Shemaliyya town, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped Bara’ ‘Issam Jara’ba, 21, after searching his home. The kidnapped Palestinian is a student at the Najah National University in Nablus. In Bethlehem, soldiers invaded Teqoua‘ town, east of the city, and kidnapped three Palestinians, including two brothers, after breaking into their homes and searching them. The kidnapped have been identified as Shadi Mohammad Hajahja, 27, his brother Morad, 20, and Firas ‘Adnan al-Badan, 20 years of age. In addition, soldiers invaded al-Ferdous village, east of Bethlehem, demolished a shed used as a car wash facility, belonging to Hashem Ibrahim Abu Mahameed, and kidnapped his son Ahmad, 20 years of age. In Jerusalem, soldiers invaded and searched several homes, and kidnapped four Palestinians. Residents Bashar Mahmoud, Nassim Mheisin and Mohammad Mousa Mustafa, were all taken prisoner from their homes, in the al-‘Eesawiyya town, after the soldiers stormed their homes, and violently searched them. Soldiers also kidnapped a former political prisoner, identified as Suheib al-A‘war, 18, from Ein al-Louza neighborhood, in Silwan town in Jerusalem, after violently attacking and beating him. The kidnapped Palestinian is a former political prisoner who spent 21 months in Israeli prison, and was released earlier this year. On Sunday at night, soldiers kidnapped Tareq Ziad Abu Tabeekh, 19 years of age, for “entering Israel without a permit.” The kidnapped is from the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank district of Jenin.

IOF arrested 24 school students, wounded 200 scholars in the past two months
BETHLEHEM (PNN) 11 June — The Palestinian ministry of higher education on Thursday issued a report on Israeli violations against education in Palestine during the months of April and May. The report showed that Israeli occupation arrested about 24 students from the southern provinces of the West Bank. The ministry published the list of names of detainees in the report as well. Other than the arrests, the report showed that about 200 students and teachers were targeted and injured by Israeli forces, a majority of them who suffered teargas suffocation. Israeli occupation forces also delayed 9 teachers from reaching their places of work, by detaining them on checkpoints. The ministry pointed out that the occupation obstructed school day on the 9th of April in two schools. One because of the marathon in Al-Sawiya school, and another in Hebron since soldiers were showering the school yards with teargas.

One year after West Bank murder-kidnapping : What Israel’s security forces got wrong
Haaretz 12 June by Amos Harel & Chaim Levinson — New revelations on the mistakes that lined [?] Israel’s frantic search for three teenagers — One year after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys in the West Bank, a clearer picture has emerged of what happened that night, as well as the ensuing search for both the boys and the killers ... The Shin Bet failed to detect the kidnapping plot in advance and missed the involvement of a third man in the scheme, even though all three perpetrators were well-known Hamas operatives. As for the IDF, it only began searching for the boys four hours after one of their fathers informed it that his son was missing. A Haaretz investigation has found that the delay in solving the case stemmed largely from a misinterpretation of what happened during a 28-minute period when the kidnappers’ car stopped. Investigators wrongly assumed that the kidnappers had buried the bodies during this time, and that therefore the bodies must be nearby. Thus, the search focused mainly on this area. Only later did they discover that the third man, Hussam Qawasmeh, had driven the bodies to a hiding place some three kilometers away. The bodies were found there, largely by chance, almost three weeks after the murder. Had Qawasmeh’s involvement been discovered earlier, the bodies might have been as well, thereby easing the high tensions that contributed to sparking last summer’s war with Hamas in Gaza. That war began about a week after the bodies were found.


Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 June — Israeli forces deployed near the Sufa crossing in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at and injured a Palestinian Saturday, local sources told Ma‘an. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the report, telling Ma‘an that a "Palestinian suspect approached the security fence" and Israeli forces opened fire at his lower extremities after firing warning shots into the air. One hit was confirmed, and Israeli forces took the man to a hospital in Israel for treatment, she added. The spokesperson did not have confirmation if the injured man would be detained after treatment or returned to the Gaza Strip. Sufa was one of several crossings between Gaza and Israel to be sealed by Israeli authorities in 2007 and was permanently closed in 2009, however is sporadically opened for humanitarian needs, according to Israeli rights group Gisha : Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. The border area where Israeli forces opened fire Saturday is part of an Israeli-enforced "buffer zone" along the Gaza-Israel border as well as on the western seaside border of the strip.

Interruptions at Rafah crossing as computer systems fail
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 14 June — Passage through the Rafah border crossing on the southern Gaza border was interrupted Sunday morning after the crossing’s computer systems malfunctioned, Egyptian security serves told Ma‘an.The computer glitch came as telecommunication and internet networks were disconnected due to ongoing military activity in the northern Sinai, where the Egyptian army is pitched against a militant insurgency. Sources told Ma‘an that only seven Palestinians had passed through the terminal as of noon Sunday. They said that only 100 Palestinian travelers travelling from Egypt into Gaza were waiting at the passenger hall on the Egyptian side of the terminal. Sources added that 15 cement trucks were readying to cross into Gaza. They said that on Saturday 573 Palestinians had crossed from Gaza into Egypt, and 246 crossed from Egypt to Gaza. Meanwhile, 57 truckloads of cement and iron bars — Qatari aid for the reconstruction of the war-torn coastal enclave — had been allowed in. The Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing in both directions on Saturday for an expected period of three days — a rare occurrence in recent years.Some 15,000 Gazans registered at the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior are currently waiting to travel via Rafah, including 3,000 patients and more than 2,500 students.

Short Video : Egypt reopens Rafah crossing into Gaza
Reuters 13 June — For Palestinians in Gaza, the long wait is over, and they are able once again to pass through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt. The crossing has only been open once in recent months, and that was only to allow people to enter Gaza. Those who needed to leave were stuck. This man lost his job in Jordan, and because he lost his job, he lost his Jordanian residency, and he couldn’t pay his rent. But border authorities said the crossing will only be open for three days. Families line up to take advantage of it.

Attacks on fishermen continue in Gaza
GAZA, Occupied Paletine 13 June by ISM, Gaza Team — During the last weeks, the Israeli military has been shooting at the fishermen of Gaza almost daily with rubber coated steel-bullets and live ammunition. They also kidnapped 15 fishermen. Three of the injured and seven of the kidnapped belong to the Baker family, who are also the family of the 4 boys who were murdered by the Israeli military while they were playing football on the beach during the last massacre in Gaza. Yesterday, in Deir el Balah, the army stole 37 fishing nets and today the shooting went on all along the Strip. ISM met some of the recently released fishermen from Baker family. One of members of the family is Ziad Fahed Baker, 21 years old. Three weeks ago, he left the port on his small boat along with four other fishermen. As they were fishing at less than three miles away, the Israeli navy approached and ordered them to leave without taking the nets with them. They answered that they would leave but not without the nets. Ziad knew that abandoning the nets would leave his family without any income, so they ignored the soldiers and started collecting them. At this point the soldiers shot Ziad in the leg, and the 5 fishermen decided to flee to the port. Unfortunately the Israeli gunboat followed them and when they were just a mile and a half from the shore shot the engine of Ziad’s boat. With the boat stopped they ordered Ziad and the other four fishermen, two of whom were also injured, to swim towards their ship. Once in the gunboat they were blindfolded and handcuffed to a metal bar, “What are they afraid of ? That we would leave flying ?” They were then taken to Ashdod, where Israeli forces subjected them to the usual routine of insults and humiliations before sending them back to Gaza. They also explain how the Israeli military bombs the waters where they are working in order to scare away the fish and how the blockade prevents the entrance of all the tools needed for their activity, engines, fiberglass, hooks.…

Emotional scars run deep for the prisoners of the Gaza Strip
The National 13 June by Khaled Diab — Entering Gaza feels a little like infiltrating the world’s largest prison, home to 1.8 million inmates, living on 360 square kilometres of land. Small, impoverished, overcrowded and trapped between the sea and the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, Gaza is a stifling and suffocating place. Already confronted with a severe housing shortage before the Israeli military offensive in 2014, the displaced live in whatever spaces are available : United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools, tents, heat-intensifying tin-plate or zinc containers, even in damaged buildings ... Beneath the Gazans’ smiling, welcoming facades, you find bubbling despair and overwhelming distress. “This is no life. No one cares about us,” says Samer, a teenager forced to collect and sell rubble to help his now-homeless family. With large families the norm, people seek whatever escape they can. Gaza’s teeming beaches are popular day and night, even in areas where raw sewage flows straight into the sea. “We go to sleep, we wake up, we take walks on the beach – we fill the time,” says unemployed graduate Saleh Ashour, 24, describing a typical day. Everywhere you turn, there are many, many children, but few genuine childhoods are visible. With the exception of flashy, brightly lit toy cars on the beach promenade and a few makeshift football pitches, there is little in the way of child’s play, but a rising amount of child labour. And these poor young souls, who make up the majority of Gaza’s population, are the most vulnerable psychologically. “Children are the most sensitive group and they are the most likely to be affected by the sociopolitical reality,” explains Dr Zeyada....

In Gaza Strip, fish farms relieve seafood lovers
[with photo gallery] KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) 9 June by Fares Akram — The Gaza Strip, with a 25-mile Mediterranean coastline, was always known for its seafood until Israel restricted the fishing area. As a result, Palestinians have begun importing fish and other seafood from Israel or Egypt and building fish farms ... The fish farms have helped bring down prices of the popular sea bream fish. But another popular item, shrimp, remains extremely expensive, costing up to $11 a pound. Rezek al-Salmi, who worked at an Israeli fishery for 20 years, is trying to change this. He has built Gaza’s first shrimp farm in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Freedom Flotilla : This time we will reach Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 June by Anna Kokko — This summer, Swedish seaman Joel Opperdoes, 32, is not piloting cargo ships in the Baltic Sea. Instead, he is the sailing across Europe with five permanent crew members on a fishing trawler named Marianne. Their final destination is the main seaport of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a jointly enforced Israeli and Egyptian blockade for the last eight years. “I strongly believe in international solidarity,” Opperdoes told Ma‘an from Lisbon, Portugal, where the boat stopped last week. “I am happy to use my professional skills for something good.” Marianne, which left from Sweden on May 10, is one of the boats taking part in the third Freedom Flotilla Coalition ... Two other boats will join Marianne in the Eastern Mediterranean. To avoid problems of sabotage, details of the journey are being kept secret. The coalition expects to reach Gaza by the end of June. Yet the two previous Freedom Flotillas never made it to the besieged enclave. In 2010, Israeli forces killed nine activists on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara while it was still in international waters. In 2012, the Israeli army boarded another pro-Palestinian vessel, Estelle, off Gaza’s coast and took all 30 passengers to the shore in Ashdod, Israel. Opperdoes was one of them. “After long interrogations, they accused us of entering the country illegally and deported us,” he told Ma’an. Deportation came with a 10-year ban from re-entering Israel. Although a long-time Palestinian activist, Opperdoes has never set foot in the occupied Palestinian territories ... The Israeli Foreign Ministry declared in May that Israel “will not allow unauthorized vessels to enter its territorial waters,” the Jerusalem Post reported ... But Ann Ighe, a spokesperson from the Ship to Gaza Sweden, said the flotilla coalition would enter Palestinian, not Israeli, waters.

IDF extends criminal investigations into Protective Edge
Ynet 12 June by Yoav Zitun & Itamar Eichner — In light of the UN report to be submitted next week, IDF advocate general opens three more probes into alleged unsanctioned use of weapons by IDF soldiers during Gaza war last summer — ...The most serious of the three incidents involves the death of nine Palestinians who were sitting at a café on the Khan Younis beach on July 9, 2014, and were killed by Israeli Air Force bombs. The IDF said that a military investigative team that examined the incident following complaints from pro-Palestinian groups has delivered its findings to the military advocate general. The findings reveal that the attack was carried out based on reasonable suspicion, but not in accordance with IDF’s rules of engagement. Another serious incident involves a suspected unsanctioned firing by IDF soldiers at a Palestinian clinic. Captain Dima Levitas, company commander of the 7th Armored Brigade, was killed by a Palestinian sniper on July 22, along with Captain Natan Cohen. Dima’s fellow soldiers, who were unable to attend his funeral because of continued fighting in the Gaza Strip, decided, as a tribute, to fire tank shells at the Palestinian clinic from which the sniper fire originated. His comrades-in-arms said the barrage was a salute in memory of their friend ... The third investigation concerns the beating of a Palestinian detainee by IDF soldiers.,7340,L-4667770,00.html

At last minute, NIS 3 million added to psychological services for [Israeli] kids in Gaza periphery
JPost 14 June — The treatment money was set to run out on Sunday before the transfer ; MK Haim Jelin : "Anyone who thinks we can forget the emotional wounds…does not understand the human soul." The exceptions committee in the Prime Minister’s Office met in emergency session on Sunday evening to approve NIS 3 million to pay for psychological treatment of children living near Gaza. Less than 10 months since Operation Protective Edge, the NIS 4.6m the ministry originally budgeted for psychological treatment of children in the Gaza periphery had been used up.

Prisoners / Courts

Israel cabinet approves bill to force feed prisoners
AFP 14 June — Israeli ministers approved a bill Sunday that would allow prisoners on hunger strike to be force fed if their life is in danger, sparking criticism from health experts and rights groups. The cabinet’s endorsement of the controversial bill was led by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who said that prisoners observing a hunger strike, namely Palestinians, pose a "threat" to Israel. "Alongside attempts to boycott and delegitimize Israel, hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel," Erdan said on his Facebook page. The same bill was approved by the Israeli government last year and sent to parliament for debate but the Knesset was dissolved before it could start deliberating. The bill was initially approved in June 2014 at the height of a mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners during which 80 were hospitalised. Chairman of the Israeli Medical Association, Leonid Eidelman, slammed the bill, saying force feeding prisoners against their will is ’unethical’. In a letter addressed to Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Eidelman also insisted that the IMA would "order doctors to act solely according to the rules of ethics, and not feed or nourish hunger strikers against their will." The Association for Civil Rights in Israel stressed that force feeding was forbidden. "Any decision on medical procedure, including feeding or nourishing a person, should be made by an independent medical team and in according to the legal rights of the patient," which include the need for consent, ACRI said in a statement. "Hunger strikes for prisoners are a legitimate means of objection," ACRI said. The majority of prisoners who go on hunger strike in Israeli are Palestinians in administrative detention, under which they held for renewable six-month periods without charge, ACRI said. The Palestinian government last week warned Israel it was responsible for the health of Khadar Adnan, a detainee on hunger strike for over 40 days.

Hamas demands release of hunger-striking prisoners
AFP 14 June — Palestinian militant group Hamas on Sunday called for the immediate release of hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Gaza’s former Hamas premier Ismail Haniya appealed for the release of Khadar Adnan, who was imprisoned without trial by Israel and has been refusing food for about 40 days. He also called for the release of Islam Hamad, who has been held by Hamas’s rival in the West Bank and has been reportedly on hunger strike for 63 days. Adnan is being held in "administrative detention", a procedure under which Israel holds Palestinian prisoners indefinitely for renewable six-month periods. Haniya said that Israel "arrests and kills our sons and our brothers, while our brothers use the same means." The West Bank-based administration of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is the bitter rival of Hamas, the de facto power in the Gaza Strip, despite repeated reconciliation efforts.

A court of non-convictions when the victim is Palestinian
+972 blog 13 June by Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din — When Israelis are accused of victimizing Palestinians, nearly 25% of convictions are simply thrown out — to avoid tarring the criminal with a criminal record — Every year Yesh Din publishes data about police investigative failures regarding crimes carried out by Israelis against Palestinians in the West Bank. They are usually quite similar : the police fails to investigate approximately 85 percent of complaints by Palestinians who report being harmed by Israelis. The rate becomes much higher when it comes to the destruction of Palestinian trees by Israeli civilians : that’s when the police failure rate reaches 97.4 percent. The average Israeli may not be surprised to find that the police failure rates are so high, but he or she still has some expectations of the courts. After all, we are told time and again that Israel is governed by the rule of law. Okay, the average citizen says to himself, we seem to have a problem when it comes to investigations, and naturally, if the investigation is a mess we are not likely to get to court. But once we step into the halls of justice, everything should be fine. Or not.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Closures / Restriction of movement

Israeli forces level Palestinian land near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 14 June — Israeli forces on Sunday leveled private Palestinian farmland in Khirbet Tana, a small community in the northern West Bank village of Beit Furik east of Nablus. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that several bulldozers under Israeli army escort had leveled more than 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of land between Khirbet Tana and Khirbet Yanoon. The bulldozers then blocked off the area with mounds of earth and cement blocks. No explanation was given for the action.
According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, about 55 percent of Beit Furik’s village lands are classified Area C, giving Israel full military and civil control. Across the village, a 2014 report by ARIJ says, "hundreds of dunams of land belonging to Beit Furik town have been confiscated by the Israeli authorities, primarily for the purpose of establishing settlements, military bases and the construction of Israeli settlement roads. However, the report particularly highlights difficulties faced by Khirbet Tana, writing : "This community has been subjected to increased harassment and human rights violations by the occupation authorities stationed in Nablus." The community, which comprises around 40 houses, mainly tents and houses made of tin, has been demolished by Israeli forces "several times between 2005 and 2011." The report adds : "Khirbet Tana has a severe lack of basic services such as water infrastructure, electricity, roads and communications. Despite this, Khirbet Tana community members have rebuilt their homes each time they have been demolished and have remained in their community."

Israeli forces uproot olive saplings, demolish car wash in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 15 June – Israeli forces Monday uprooted several olive saplings and demolished a car wash belonging to Palestinians in the Bethlehem area, according to a local official. Head of Husan village council, Mohammed Shosheh, told WAFA that forces proceeded in the early morning to uproot and seize the olive saplings in Ein al-Hawyeh area in the village of Husan. He said that the targeted land, which occupies an area of 20 dunums, belongs to local residents Ibrahim and Adel Shosheh. Meanwhile, forces demolished a shed used as a car wash in the village of al-Fureidis to the east of Bethlehem. Forces further confiscated the building blocks, which were stored in the shed, before demolishing the structure.

Israeli forces close farmers market near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 14 June — Israeli forces on Sunday closed a farmers market in the northern West Bank town of Beita claiming that Palestinian gunmen had fired shots at Israeli vehicles overnight Saturday on the main road near the town. A Ma‘an reporter in Nablus said that a large number of Israeli soldiers arrived at the farmers market and sealed the main entrance, preventing local residents and traders from going in or out. Local sources told Ma‘an that local Palestinian officials were doing their best to re-open the farmers market. Israeli forces said the market would remain closed "until further notice."

Israel increases relief measures to Palestinians in West Bank
Ynet 14 June by Yoav Zitun — Palestinian men over 55 and women over 50 will be allowed to enter freely, freeing up 2,000 work permits for Palestinians in Israel ; 100 Palestinian doctors working in Jerusalem can now enter Israel with their cars — Israeli security forces are preparing to expand relief measures for Palestinians in the West Bank in an attempt to maintain the relative calm in the territories ... Owners of Palestinian quarries in the West Bank have been, for the first time in years, allowed to use explosives for controlled explosions in order to save months of quarrying. The explosions are carried out solely by Israeli contractors. Large Palestinian factories in the West Bank received permits to use multipurpose fertilizer, which could be used to make explosive devices. The upshot is a notable increase in the number of workers. Additionally, organized groups of Palestinians are allowed to leave for day trips around the country on buses. Three buses from the village of Ni‘lin traveled north on the recent Nakba Day, while the village demonstrated against Israel. Rawabi, the first Palestinian city built since 1967, is expected to begin housing its first family in about a month. The city has finally been connected to Israel’s water supply after lengthy delays, and the paving of a new road from Rawabi to Bir Zeit is expected to be approved soon. An event celebrating the first time a family moves in will take place in the city’s large theater hall. Any Palestinian man over 55 and woman over 50 can enter Israel freely – a potential 400,000 people. This is an unprecedented step not seen even in the early 1980s ... Furthermore, the age required for married Palestinians to go to Israel for a few days to look for employment has been lowered from 24 to 22. Access roads have been opened or paved to shorten journeys. Nine plans to expand Palestinian villages in Gush Etzion and around Hebron have been approved. However, pro-Palestinian organizations claim that Israel does not allow the expansion of cities and villages and stops construction of many buildings....,7340,L-4668404,00.html

Israeli forces reopen 2 streets in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 June — Israeli forces agreed to re-open shops on al-Sahla street in Hebron which has been closed since the massacre in the Ibrahimi mosque in 1994. Hebron mayor Dawoud al-Zaatari said the municipality has lodged several requests to ease the suffering of people in the city, which has resulted in finally re-opening al-Sahla street in the Old City. Al-Zaatari said Israeli forces also agreed to re-open the entrance of Jabal Jowhar, which was closed since the start of the Second Intifada, and which leads to the main intercity road, at the start of Ramadan. He added that the municipality still awaits several other “facilitations” that they requested.


Government report : Arab villages have no arts center, museum or cinematheque
Haaretz 14 June by Jack Khoury — Culture Ministry is yet to file seemingly damning report with High Court following 2012 petition that claimed only 3 percent of cultural budget reaches Arab cultural organizations, despite Israeli Arabs comprising 20% of population — ...The Culture and Sports Ministry’s report, completed about a year ago, was supposed to be submitted to the High Court of Justice. However, it remains in a desk drawer at the ministry, which has reportedly postponed submitting it numerous times ... The report also found that only 19 percent of the towns and villages surveyed actually received budgeting for cultural events or activities. “Nazareth has no arts center and our funds are sent to the cultural hall in the settlement of Ariel,” said Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center. “It’s shameful that a national and linguistic minority that comprises a fifth of the nation’s citizens receives 3 percent of the cultural budget – no more than 16 million shekels – and even then, politicians get involved in the content.”

Israel’s High Court : No proof of discrimination against Palestinians in Area C
Haaretz 13 June by Amira Hass — Court rejects petition that claimed it was illegal and discriminatory for settlers to have planning authority for Palestinian towns and villages in West Bank — Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected a petition earlier this week that sought to reinstate planning authority in Area C of the West Bank to local Palestinians, a power which was revoked in 1971. Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Neal Hendel and Noam Sohlberg ruled on Tuesday that the petition did not prove that Palestinians in Area C [which is under full Israeli civil and security control] are discriminated against in comparison to the “Israeli population” there, just because the Civil Administration’s planning council is planning both for Israeli settlers and Palestinians. The justices based their ruling on the Oslo Accords, and their unwillingness to disrupt the reality that the Israeli government has created between itself and the Palestinian Authority. In August 2011, representatives of the village of Dirat-Rafiah in the South Hebron Hills, along with four other Israeli and Palestinian organizations, filed a petition seeking to reinstate local and district planning councils in villages and municipalities in Area C. These councils, based on Jordanian law, were canceled in 1971 by military order 418, which subsequently became the basis for creating two separate, and unequal, planning systems for Jews and Palestinians, under the mandate of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration.

Haaretz editorial : Israel’s High Court is sponsoring anti-Palestinian discrimination
14 June — Rejection of petition that sought to restore Palestinian authority over planning in West Bank’s Area C shirks court’s responsibility to guarantee equality for all — The High Court of Justice rejected a petition on Tuesday from the Palestinian village of Dirat-Rafiah, Rabbis for Human Rights and other organizations, which sought to restore authority over planning in the West Bank’s Area C to Palestinian councils, something that was revoked in 1971. At that time, local and district Palestinian planning councils, created by Jordanian law, were disbanded by the Israel Defense Forces, which created a special planning system for the Palestinians run by the Civil Administration. Despite being presented with studies showing the various methods in which planning policy in the West Bank negatively affects Palestinians and the development of their villages and towns – as opposed to Israeli settlements, which have a different system for planning – Justice Elyakim Rubinstein ruled that no information was presented indicating discrimination ... This follows a previous ruling Rubinstein handed down last month, which stated there was no discrimination in evacuating the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran to make way for a Jewish settlement ... Denial of discrimination in both these cases reflects a narrow, extremely formalist position on equality. In adopting such a position, the courts have shirked their responsibility to guarantee equality for all – Jews and Palestinians alike. No less troubling is the High Court declaration that it must not intervene because of the political nature of the issue, and possible ramifications to the “sensitive relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” This ruling negates the court’s role in protecting human rights for all, including the Palestinian population in the occupied territories. This ruling also allows the High Court to refrain from safeguarding human rights at all in similar contexts.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Norwegian insurance giant divests from multinational firms operating in West Bank settlements
Haaretz 12 June by Barak Ravid — Companies excluded for exploiting resources in occupied territory, KLP says, in unusual ’tertiary’ boycott ; meanwhile, Orange CEO meets Netanyahu, apologizes for ’misunderstanding.’ — Norwegian insurance giant KLP Kapitalforvaltning has excluded two multinational building material companies from its investment portfolio because of their operations in the West Bank. “KLP is excluding Heidelberg Cement and Cemex on the grounds of their exploitation of natural resources in occupied territory on the West Bank,” the company announced Thursday. “In KLP’s opinion this activity constitutes an unacceptable risk of violating fundamental ethical norms.” KLP divested of its shares in these companies effective June 1, citing international law as set in the Hague and Geneva conventions. The Norwegian firm insures all municipal workers in the Scandinavian nation and holds 35 billion dollars worth of assets. The decision is relatively unusual for divesting from companies operating in the West Bank because it constitutes a tertiary boycott – not on acquiring a product made in the West Bank or from an Israeli company producing it but rather a multinational company involved in a financial relationship with an Israeli company operating over the Green Line.

Activists to shut down Israeli arms factory in Gaza war anniversary protest
RT 11 June — Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems’ UK factory will become the target of a protest to mark the anniversary of the Gaza conflict in July. Anti-arms trade campaigners will join forces with students unions and pro-Palestinian groups in a bid to shut down the factory, which they say manufactures drones. Activists occupied the same factory in Shenstone, near Birmingham, last year, causing it to close down for two days and reportedly cost Elbit over £100,000 in damages. Campaigners are calling for the UK to stop selling arms to Israel, highlighting the state’s role in last year’s Gaza conflict, which caused the death of over 2,200 Palestinians. Elbit Systems’ British subsidiary UAV Engines manufactures engines for the Hermes, one of Israel’s primary armed drones according to a Human Rights Watch report ... A diverse group of organizations will join the protest on July 6, including the Boycott Israel Network, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), London Palestine Action, War on Want and the NUS Black Students’ Campaign. Organizers say the space around the arms factory will be converted from a “site of destruction into a fun, creative and child-friendly environment.”

Breaking the Silence exhibition thwarted in Germany
Ynet 11 June by Itamar Eichner — Israeli Embassy in Germany succeeded in having the exhibition cancelled claiming it had no connection with the celebration of the jubilee anniversary of Israeli-German relations — The Israeli Embassy in Germany succeeded in thwarting an exhibition by a left-wing NGO that was supposed to take place in Cologne as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of relations between Israel and Germany. Breaking the Silence is an organization that has been collecting testimony from IDF soldiers serving in Palestinian territories since the Second Intifada. In line with the organization’s highly publicized actions, they tried, among other things, to stage an exhibition of photographs taken by soldiers during their service in Palestinian territories, which do not always paint Israel in a positive light ...
Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs tried to cancel a similar Breaking the Silence exhibition in Switzerland, but the Swiss rejected the Israeli request and argued that they would not harm freedom of expression.,7340,L-4667322,00.html

US House of Reps : Europe can’t boycott Israel
IMEMC/Agencies 13 June — The United States House of Representatives has fast-tracked a bill regarding a free trade agreement between the US and Europe which would include a section barring EU countries from any form of commercial boycott against Israel and Israeli goods. According to the PNN, Israel’s Ynetnews indicated that two versions of the law had been presented to the House of Representatives and the Senate, clarifying that both versions included the section obligating EU countries to refrain from the boycott of Israeli products. This section states that any affiliation and cooperation with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the part of EU countries is in violation of the “principle of non-discrimination’ statute in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). According to Ynetnews, the second law did not pass at this stage due to disputes with respect to compensation for businesses in Europe. There was also severe opposition from Obama’s own Democrats, but it is expected that an agreement will be reached between the House of Representatives and the Senate during the coming days.

Interview : The man behind the BDS movement
+972mag 14 June — As the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement grows, its co-founder, Omar Barghouti, has become a target for Israeli demonization. +972’s Rami Younis sits down with Barghouti for a rare discussion about BDS — Omar Barghouti is one of the most infamous names in pro-Israel and Israeli government circles at the moment. Officials have portrayed this Palestinian human rights activist and leader of the BDS movement — which he co-founded a decade ago and now leads — as a threat to the State of Israel. How big of a threat ? Well, just last week the country’s best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, featured a front-page story about him, dubbing him “Explosive Omar.” And if he and his boycott movement are giving both Zionist officials and their media a panic attack, one can only assume he is doing something right.

Other news

Abbas welcomes appointment of Sexwale to lead FIFA monitoring committee
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 June – President Mahmoud Abbas Saturday welcomed the appointment of former South African cabinet minister and African National Congress leader Tokyo Sexwale to lead the committee charged with monitoring Israeli violations against Palestinian football players. Abbas expressed his confidence that Tokyo, former South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela’s comrade, who has been awarded medals for his role in ending the era of apartheid, terrorism and oppression in South Africa, is capable of protecting Palestinian sports. During its 65th congress in Zurich, FIFA voted in favor of the formation of the committee after the bid to suspend Israel’s membership in FIFA was dropped by Chairman of Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub. The football governing body voted instead on an amendment proposing the formation of a committee to monitor the movement of Palestinian football players, Israeli racism, as well as the status of Israeli league teams based in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Israelis go on offensive ahead of UN report
JERUSALEM (AP) 14 June by Josef Federman — Israel on Sunday launched a pre-emptive assault on an upcoming U.N. report into last year’s war in the Gaza Strip, saying the report is unfairly biased and issuing its own report that blames Gaza’s Hamas militant rulers for the heavy civilian casualties. The diplomatic offensive set the stage for what is expected to be a contentious showdown with U.N. officials over allegations that Israel committed war crimes during the 50-day war. Israel has long had a contentious relationship with the United Nations, saying the world body is biased. A similar report conducted by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council following a 2008-2009 war against in Gaza was harshly critical of both Israel and Hamas. But this time around, the stakes are higher. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court and are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel. The council’s new report, expected as soon as this week, could play a key role in the case against Israel. "Having on the record our view of this war is extremely important, and we have nothing to hide," Dore Gold, the new director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a special briefing held to unveil Israel’s own 242-page investigation into the war.Gold was accompanied by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and governmental and military legal experts who worked on the report ... Palestinians have said that the Israeli army violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. They have pointed to the high civilian casualty count as evidence. In Sunday’s report, Israel defended itself with the same arguments it has been making since the fighting ended, albeit with a level of detail never shown before. Israel’s core claim is that Hamas is responsible for the civilian casualties because it used Gaza’s residents as "human shields" by firing rockets from residential areas and operating in schools, hospitals and mosques. It also notes that Hamas’ rockets and mortar shells were aimed at Israeli population centers. The report includes what Israel says are seized Hamas documents encouraging its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act. "We were a bit struck and surprised with the amount of documentation that we managed to recover during the operation actually indicating that this is a strategy of Hamas," said Eran Shamir-Borer, a lawyer in the Israeli military’s international law department. Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, called the latest Israeli reports "sickening and outrageous" and said they strengthened the need for the Palestinians to seek international justice....

Israel’s UN mission accused of deceiving member states
IMEMC/Agencies 13 June — The permanent Israeli mission at the UN was accused, on Saturday, of misleading envoys of permanent missions of other member states in New York. An official at one of the permanent missions for a European country told Days of Palestine that the Israeli mission had circulated misleading information about its human rights record in occupied Palestine. “We received emails from the Israeli mission, including direct instructions, which is against our sovereignty as a state, not to believe the recent Human Rights Watch report and rely only on two organisations they recommended,” the official said. "When we googled these NGOs, we knew that they were Israelis,” the official, who preferred to keep the name of his Western European country unknown, added. He further criticised the Israeli behaviour at the UN, which is often supported by the United States. “We are disgusted in some of the European countries about what Israel and the US are doing,” he said, “It is rather shameful that Israel attempts to mislead us.”

Israeli artists up in arms over culture minister remarks
AFP 14 June — Israeli artists and leading cultural figures gathered Sunday to try and consolidate an approach against Culture Minister Miri Regev’s declared intent to withdraw support from institutes that "delegitimize" Israel, a move critics say would amount to censorship. Hundreds of cultural icons crammed into a performance venue in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, to discuss a joint response after Regev sparked a furore last week when she threatened to defund a theatre managed by an Arab Israeli if he refused to perform in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The debate was also fired up by Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent decision to overrule a professional committee and pull an Arab play from a state-funded educational programme. But Regev was the main focus of the ire of many speakers at the event, including stage actor Oded Kottler who compared the people who had voted for her ruling Likud party to "cattle" who risked being led meekly into a world where culture was silenced. Michael Gurevitch, artistic director of the prestigious Khan theatre in Jerusalem, was greeted with thundering applause when he proposed a "strike of all cultural institutions" in case of any censorship, which he said would cause "international damage" to Israel’s image. Others, such as prominent lawyer Eli Zohar, chairman of the Gesher theatre, called for dialogue with Regev ... Regev on Saturday reiterated on her Facebook page that alongside her intention to encourage cultural activities across Israeli society, "the border should be clear — I won’t support cultural institutions that delegitimize and advance boycotts on Israel." Gurevitch said there could be no dialogue with Regev so long as she sought to influence the content of artworks.

A day in the life of a Palestinian child laborer
Haaretz 13 June by Or Kashti — According to a Human Rights Watch report, hundreds of Palestinian youths, some as young as 11, are being employed on settlement farms. The work is hard, and conditions even harder. Three youngsters describe an average workday — Around 5 A.M., before sunrise, a Palestinian in the Jordan Valley leaves for work. There’s not much time. He has to reach the junction a few hundred meters away by 5:30. From there, he’ll go to work in one of the area’s Jewish settlements. Some go by foot, others in a vehicle usually belonging to a Palestinian subcontractor. They gather at the Moshav Tomer entrance, hop on a big wagon tied to a tractor, and head down a dirt road toward the vineyard. Among the workers are Yusef, Mohammed and Ali, all aged 14-15. The boys use fake names out of fear of retribution from their employer. Others on the crowded wagon look even younger. It’s hard to know for sure, but no one’s checking. Moshav Tomer’s security guard stands watching on the side. The workday begins. Not even the Palestinian middlemen are concerned by the children’s ages. Their ability to survive economically depends almost entirely on working in the settlements. In April, Human Rights Watch issued a 74-page report (“Ripe for Abuse : Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank”), stating that the settlements, primarily ones in the Jordan Valley, employ hundreds of Palestinian youths, many of them under the age of 15 (the legal working age).

13 municipality employees go on hunger strike in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 14 June — Thirteen employees working for the Jenin municipality began an open-ended hunger strike on Saturday to protest work conditions and deductions from their salaries. In a statement, the hunger strikers called on the municipality to promote employees based on their experience, not to take deductions from their salaries, and to ensure they received discounts on municipality services. They said they would not end their hunger strike until the municipality complies with their “legal demands.” The mayor of Jenin, Mamdouh Assaf, told Ma‘an that the "municipal council will hold a meeting to discuss the employees’ demands… and that the municipality is doing the best it can to solve the problem." The 13 employees are part of the municipality’s 450 staff members, who have collectively carried out a partial work strike over the past few weeks. Jenin municipality staff have in the past carried out hunger strikes to protest poor work conditions.

Israel refuses entry to UN special investigator Wibisono
JPost 14 June by Tovah Lazaroff — Israel last week refused entry to Makarim Wibisono, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who is working on a report on rights violations in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Wibisono plans to submit the report to the 70th session of the General Assembly this fall in New York. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said, “Israel cooperates with most human rights mechanisms of the UN. Israel does not cooperate with unfair and unbalanced mandates such as the UNHRC rapporteur’s mandate, and consequently his entry to Israel is not allowed.” Israel remains the only country for which a special investigator is permanently assigned. The investigator is mandated to focus on Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians and is not assigned to explore Palestinian ones. Xabier Celaya, from the media unit of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that Wibisono had hoped to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from June 9 to 12. Instead, he conducted his investigation from neighboring Amman.

Jerusalem Night Run on eve of Ramadan excludes Muslims, Jewish-Arabs running NGO says
JPost 14 June by Daniel Eisenbud — By scheduling Thursday’s fourth annual Jerusalem Night Run on the first day of Ramadan, the municipality has excluded Muslim runners in the city who hoped to participate, the head of the Jewish- Arab running NGO, Runners without Borders, said on Sunday. The popular 10K foot race through the Old City and other historic sites of the capital begins at 8:30 p.m., and is expected to draw thousands of amateur and professional runners throughout the country to the First Train Station. However, according to Israel Haas, CEO of Runners without Borders, dedicated to peaceful coexistence through running, the start time coincides with what will be the end of the first day of fasting, precluding observant Muslims from participating. “The run begins exactly when the first day of the fast for Ramadan ends and the meal begins, so running is out of the question for our Muslim members,” said Haas. Runners without Borders, which has two male and female youth and adult groups comprised of 70 Arabs and Jews who train together weekly in the western part of the capital, is divided evenly along racial lines, he said.

1,500 Jordanian laborers to work in Israeli resort city
QALQILYA (Ma‘an) 13 June – Israel has agreed to allow 1,500 Jordanian laborers to work in the Israeli resort city of Eilat, according to an Israeli official. Israeli Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayyub Kara signed the agreement with Jordanian officials last week, Kara told Ma‘an Friday, adding the agreement will give workers from the nearby Jordanian city of ‘Aqaba special permits in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Labor. The agreement is expected to be followed by additional projects including the creation of new border crossings between Israel and Jordan, and a joint industrial zone in the northern Jordan Valley. Kara says the agreements are part of an Israeli plan to replace foreign workers with Jordanian and Palestinian workers, with the number of work permits given to Palestinians expected to see noticeable increase by the end of 2015. Until now, Palestinians have been banned from working in Eilat, though tens of thousands have been given permits to work in other Israeli cities. All work permits Israel issues for Palestinian workers include the phrase “allowed to enter Israel excluding Eilat." Israel’s professed efforts to replace foreign workers with Jordanians and Palestinians comes as an Israeli official told AFP earlier this month that Israel is hoping to bring in thousands of foreign workers to accelerate the pace of construction across the country and in the occupied West Bank. "We are negotiating with China for an agreement on the arrival of thousands of additional workers," the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.