Accueil > Sociétés Civiles à Parlement Européen > TODAY in PALESTINE

Terrorisme israélien


Dimancha 12 juillet 2015 - 16h29

dimanche 12 juillet 2015



Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Arrests — West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestinian teen shot, injured by Israeli forces

QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 10 July — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian teenager Friday as demonstrators were dispersed during the weekly protest in Kafr Qaddum village near Qalqiliya in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces reportedly fired live and rubber-coated-steel bullets injuring Amjad Farouq Abu Khalid,17, with a live bullet to the leg, the coordinator for the popular resistance committee in the village Murad Shtewei told Ma‘an. Khalid was taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment. Shtewei said dozens of Israeli soldiers raided homes in the village and used them as shooting posts, in addition to firing tear gas and skunk water, a foul-smelling liquid has been used by the Israeli military as a form of non-lethal crowd control that can leave individuals and homes smelling like feces and garbage for weeks. Israeli forces had declared the village a closed military zone at dawn and prevented journalists and international activists from entering, a regular practice by Israeli forces in attempt to prevent the weekly march from taking place.

A Jerusalemite lady suffers a miscarriage after she was assaulted by settlers
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 7 July — The Israeli police released on Monday Hasan Masri with a third-party bail. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation forces arrested Masri and his brother Ahmad after they were attacked by settlers in Street number 1 in Jerusalem on Saturday night. Masri and his brother were with their families at the time of the assault and Sabreen Masri suffered a miscarriage due after suffering a state of extreme fear. In a conversation with Ahmad Masri, he said : “We were on our way to Bethlehem last Saturday evening and a group of settlers were randomly throwing stones towards the vehicle. We were hit once and then against at the next intersection and then we were attacked with stones and batons.” Masri explained that he got out of the vehicle with his brother to keep the settlers away especially that there was a lot of traffic. One of the settlers ran towards a nearby house while another settler threatened him with a knife but the police was in the area and confiscated the knife.” Masri also added that a group of settlers attacked the people inside the vehicles once again. Among them were his father and his 30-year old wife Sabreen who suffered a state of extreme fear which resulted in a miscarriage ; note that she was two months pregnant.

Stabbing attack prevented in north Jerusalem
Ynet 10 July by Kobi Nahshoni — Authorities confirmed Thursday night that a stabbing attack had been prevented in northern Jerusalem where a Palestinian suspect was arrested after approaching a group of soldiers with a knife. The soldiers saw the Palestinian approach and called for him to stop without receiving a response. When the soldiers cocked their weapons, however, the suspect threw his knife to the ground in surprise and the soldiers were able to search and arrest him ... Initial investigations suggested that the suspect had intended to attack the soldiers.,7340,L-4678329,00.html

Israeli forces confiscate goods from roadside sellers, detain 1
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 July — Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon detained a Palestinian man after confiscating fruits and vegetables being sold by the side of the road in Beit Ummar near Hebron. Spokesman for the popular resistance committee Muhammad Ayad Awad said Israeli forces fired tear gas at the roadside sellers stationed on the main road of the town, before detaining Omar Walid Omar Rashid Ikhleil, 20. An Israeli army spokesperson said one Palestinian was detained shortly and then released on the spot, without giving further information regarding the rationale for the detention ... Last month, Israeli forces shut the central vegetable and fruit market in Beit Ummar for two days, with several shop owners detained and forced to close their produce stalls. The market closure coincided with increased activity in the town by Israeli forces, who carried out multiple overnight raids in June. During the raids, Israeli forces reportedly searched homes, handed out summons for interrogation, and detained several residents. Beit Ummar residents are subject to recurrent targeting by Israeli forces, with over 60 Palestinians detained from the town between January and March 2015, nearly half of whom were minors.

Twilight Zone— Sami Kosba adds the picture of a third son killed by the IDF to his wall
Haaretz 9 July by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — ...Mohammad was the third son of Fatma and Sami Kosba, indigent residents of the Qalandiyah refugee camp, to be shot dead by the IDF, all for throwing stones. His two brothers – Yasser, who was 10 at the time, and Samer, 15 – were shot and killed within a period of 40 days in the winter of 2002. Five years later, their brother Thamer was seriously wounded when he was shot by soldiers for no apparent reason. Now the IDF has killed Mohammad, too. The boy of four whom I met when I visited the doubly bereaved family 13 years ago, following the deaths of his two brothers, is now also buried in the Qalandiyah cemetery, not far away ... The father’s face hasn’t changed much since our previous meeting, during his earlier bereavement : the same fatigue and gloominess, the same anguish and pain and dry eyes – and the same inner strength, which is so hard to understand. There are no tears in this house, certainly not in the presence of strangers, only faces steeped in great suffering. In the years that passed since Sami lost two sons, he had to deal with the serious wound sustained by his son Thamer, who was shot in the stomach for no clear reason in 2007, in the supermarket where he worked in, during an IDF raid. Thamer is still suffering, both physically and mentally. After he recovered he was tried and convicted of stone-throwing ; his father says he had to pay a fine of 20,000 shekels (about $5,000). Sami continues to provide for his family from the earnings of his small kiosk next to the refugee camp’s school ... Taher, 32, now shows us photographs of his brother’s body, on his computer, with all the entry and exit points of the bullets and the congealed blood around the nose. He also has a video clip showing the removal of the bullet from his brother’s face at the hospital, after his death. Sami’s sister, Fathiya, collapsed when she heard the news and has been hospitalized since at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem ; she has a blue Israeli ID card. Fatma, the mother, is closeted in her room, and Sami received the few condolence callers who arrived during our visit. Everything is in God’s hands, he says.

Palestinian kidnapped in Hebron, two injured
IMEMC/Agencies 8 July — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday evening, a Palestinian in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and violently assaulted two others, causing various cuts and bruises. Media sources in Hebron said several army vehicles invaded the Sahla neighborhood, in Hebron’s Old City, and kidnapped Mohammad Suleiman Abu Hadid, as he was heading back home just before evening prayers. On Tuesday at night, soldiers assaulted two Palestinians in Tal Romeida neighborhood, in Hebron, causing various injuries that required hospitalization. Medical sources said Emad Abu Shamsiyya, 16 years of age, and Anas Sharabati, 23, were moved to the ‘Alia Governmental Hospital.

Five Palestinians kidnapped in Hebron, one in Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 8 July — Israeli soldiers kidnapped, earlier on Wednesday, five Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, handed two others military warrants for interrogation, and also kidnapped one Palestinian in Bethlehem. Several military vehicles invaded different parts of Hebron city, Beit ‘Awwa town, and the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, before the soldiers stormed a number of homes and searched them. The soldiers kidnapped Hatem Nabil Juneidi and Yousef Rashed Juneidi, in Hebron city, and Mohammad Mahmoud Masalma, in Beit Awwa town, south of Hebron. In al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, soldiers kidnapped two Palestinians, identified as Mahmoud al-‘Adarba, 16, and Mohammad Hasan Sharif, 18 years of age, in addition to summoning Yousef at-Teety, 18, and Mohammad Ibrahim Jawabra, for interrogation in the Gush Etzion military base. In Bethlehem, a number of Israeli military vehicles invaded Nahhalin town, west of the city, and kidnapped a young Palestinian identified as Abdul-Rahman Yousef Shakarna, 19 years of age. The soldiers also handed Nassar Mohammad Najajra, 17 years of age, a military warrant for interrogation in the Etzion base.

Israeli forces detain three Palestinians from Bethlehem, Nablus districts
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 9 July – Israeli forces detained early Thursday three Palestinians from Bethlehem and Nablus districts, said security sources. Israeli army units raided As-Saff Street in downtown Bethlehem, where they proceeded to detain a Palestinian resident after breaking into and ransacking his home. The detainee was identified as Mu‘tasem Ash-Shwaiki, 22. Forces also detained another Palestinian after breaking into and extensively searching his home in ‘Aida refugee camp to the north of the city. The detainee was identified as Omar Odeh, 23. Meanwhile in Nablus district, forces stationed at the military checkpoint of ‘Shavi Shemron’, near the Palestinian village of Deir Sharaf to the northwest of the city, stopped and detained a Palestinian while crossing the checkpoint.

Israeli forces detain police officer, minor, 5 others on Thursday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 July — Eight Palestinians were arrested on Thursday in separate incidents across the West Bank and Jerusalem, including one Palestinian Authority (PA) police officer and a unidentified minor from Jerusalem, an Israeli spokeswoman told Ma‘an. The minor was detained after clashes erupted in the Palestinian village of Kafr ‘Aqab in north Jerusalem where Israeli forces raided several homes in the village on Thursday, according to a Ma‘an correspondent in the area. The minor was taken to an unidentified location. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests concerning the identity of the detained minor or the reason for the home raids. The police officer who was also detained by Israeli forces on Thursday has been identified as First Lieutenant Muhammad Muwaffaq Damir. Damir was detained after his home was raided in the Tulkarem refugee camp, Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an.

Prisoners / Court actions

Palestinian facing 18 months over Facebook ’incitement’
IMEMC/Agencies 9 July — An Israeli court in Jerusalem, Thursday, sentenced a Palestinian man to 18 months in prison over allegedly using the social media website Facebook as a mode of "incitement." Misbah Sbeih Abu Sbeih, 38, was given a one year sentence as well as a six month suspended sentence for incitement, and his phone was confiscated as the tool used for the crime, according to head of the Jerusalem detainees families committee Amjad Abu Asab. Abu Sbeih was detained by Israeli forces on Jan. 12, 2015, during a court hearing for his son Ezzedin. His sentencing comes as Palestinians are regularly detained by Israeli forces for posting on Facebook. On June 30, Israeli forces rearrested Tareq Qurd, 21, from his home in occupied East Jerusalem hours after he was released following a six-month detention for similar charges. Qurd was one of eight Palestinians convicted of "incitement via Facebook" in December last year. Their indictment said that Israeli intelligence had monitored the men’s Facebook postings since June 2014, after three Israeli settlers were kidnapped and killed in the occupied West Bank. The intelligence said that their online comments had raised tensions across Jerusalem and encouraged acts of "terrorism."

Knesset votes to force-feed hunger strikers
IMEMC/Agencies 8 July — Israeli politicians have voted to continue work on a bill to allow hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to be force-fed. Those who oppose it have argued that this is meant to silence convicts through torture similar to the force-feeding in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. On Monday night, the vote at the Knesset plenum passed with 53 in favor and 50 opposed. The controversial bill, which could be soon fast-tracked into law, would allow Israeli prisons commissioners to ask a court for an official permission to force-feed a prisoner when a doctor recommends doing so, should there be a risk of a grave deterioration in the prisoner’s health. According to RT/Al Ray, the court, in its turn, will have to thoroughly analyze the mental state of the prisoner, the dangers of force-feeding via an enteral tube, as well as the prisoner’s position on the matter, among other issues. If the request is given the green light by the court, the prisoner can be fed against his will, while a prison guard is allowed to resort to physical force to feed the prisoner. The Israel Medical Association (IMA) has strongly opposed the controversial bill who have said that “Force-feeding of hunger strikers is considered to be a form of torture,” along with the American Medical Association, the British Medical Association, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to name a few.

Hunger-striking detainee moved to Eshil Prison
IMEMC 9 July — The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, Thursday, that the Israeli Prison Authority in the Negev Detention Camp has moved a hunger striking detainee from solitary in the Detention Camp into solitary confinement in the Eshil prison. The PPS stated that detainee Omar Esteity, 24, started his hunger strike 22 days ago, protesting his arbitrary administrative detention, without charges or trial. The detainee was kidnapped on November 17, 2014, and received several administrative detention orders. The PPS said the Prison Authority frequently resorts to transferring striking detainees, and forcing them in solitary confinement, in an attempt to pressure them into ending their strikes.
In related news, head of the PPS Legal Unit, Lawyer Jawad Boulos, said the Prison Authority has moved detainee Khader Adnan from the Kaplan Medical Center to the Ramla prison clinic. Adnan was moved to Kaplan medical center after suffering sharp pain in his stomach. He held a 56-day hunger strike, protesting his continued Administrative Detention, and stopped his strike after Israel set his release date for July 12.

Hunger striking detainee moved into solitary confinement
IMEMC 8 July — The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, Wednesday, that the Prison Administration of the Negev Israeli Detention Camp forced a hunger-striking detainee into solitary confinement. The PPS said detainee Daoud Hamdan, from the West Bank city of Bethlehem, started his strike four days ago protesting his arbitrary Administrative Detention without charges or trial. Hamdan was kidnapped on June, 3, 2014, and was placed under repeatedly renewed Administrative Detention orders. The detainee was frequently kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel, spending more than eight years in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including being held without charges for extended periods.

The acquittal of a Jerusalemite child from the charges against him
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 7 July — The Magistrate judge acquitted on Tuesday the 17-year old Mohammad Abulhawa form the charges filed against him after spending more than 7 months in between actual imprisonment and house-arrest. Al-Dameer organization lawyer, Mohammad Mahmoud, explained that a witnesses hearing session was held for his minor client (Mohammad Abulhawa). After hearing the testimonies of police individuals, the contradiction was obvious and the judge decided to acquit Abulhawa from the charges against him (throwing firecrackers and assaulting police individuals). Lawyer Mahmoud also explained that his client was arrested and then released on condition of house-arrest and a financial bail and has been under house-arrest for the past six months.
On the other hand, the Magistrate judge sentenced two minors for actual imprisonment and a financial bail. Lawyer Mahmoud explained that the Magistrate judge sentenced Mohammad Risheq and Hasan Gheith for 4 and a half months of actual imprisonment, a suspended probation of 4 months for two years and a 2500-NIS bail for each ; note that they were convicted of throwing stones.


Hamas holds Gaza rally to mark one year since war
GAZA CITY (AFP) 9 July — Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, held a rally in Gaza City late Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the war on Gaza. Several hundred people crowded into a central Gaza City square after iftar, the traditional fast-breaking meal during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, for a rally by the Al-Qassam Brigades. Brigades members stood in front of what appeared to be models of two missiles about three to four meters (9 to 13 feet) in length aboard the bed of a military truck. Brigades members lifted their weapons in the air as spokesman Abu Obeida gave a speech, saying that the two new locally made missiles represented a "qualitative leap" forward, but did not provide further details ... Israel held also held a memorial on Monday for 73 Israelis killed in the war, 67 of whom were soldiers, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the military offensive

Gaza factions march in commemoration of al-Quds Day
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 July — A march organized by several Palestinian factions commemorating al-Quds Day set off from a mosque in Gaza City on Friday. Al-Quds Day, celebrated annually on the last Friday of Ramadan, was initiated in Iran in 1979 as a day to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine and celebrate the struggle for an independent Palestinian controlled Jerusalem. Marches and celebrations this Friday were reported internationally in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand and others, including the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, the march set off from the Abu Hasireh mosque in Gaza towards the al-Shawwa tower, headed by the leaders of several Palestinian factions. An official at the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the Gaza Strip, Luay al-Qaryuti, said that the holiday aims to “revive the Palestinian cause as it has been put aside for bargaining and void and which many consider as a huge burden.” Al-Qaryuti added that al-Quds day comes to confirm that the Palestinian cause is a central cause for the Arab and Islamic nations.

6 Palestinian fishermen released by Israeli forces
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday released six Palestinian fishermen one day after they were detained in the Gaza Strip, the head of the fishermen’s union said.Amjad al-Sharafi told Ma‘an that the six men had been detained by Israeli forces on Tuesday while working in the al-Sudaniya area in northern Gaza Strip, adding that the forces kept two of the boats seized from the fishermen at the time.As of April, the Israeli navy was holding at least 60 Palestinian fishing boats after routine confiscations from fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Power back in Rafah after days of blackout
RAFAH (PIC) 8 July — After a three-day outage, the power came back on in the Palestinian Rafah city on Tuesday evening, an official source in Gaza said. The three electricity lines feeding the Palestinian city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip were repaired by the Egyptian electricity company, according to the source. However, the company said it has not finished maintenance work completely on the power lines, which sustained damage as a result of the recent security events in the Sinai.

IOA suspends entry of construction materials into Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 9 July — The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) have decided Thursday to suspend the entry of construction materials into the Gaza Strip starting from Sunday, Palestinian official sources said. The Israelis informed the Palestinian crossings authority of their decision to stop all permits related to the construction materials’ access into Gaza mainly cement, the sources added. Earlier Thursday, IOA approved the entry of 46 cement trucks of more than 2,000 tons. Two hours later, the Israeli approval was canceled without providing any justification. The decision might have been taken by a high-level political official, the source said.

Justice eludes Gaza’s children, says Defense for Children International
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 8 July — Despite well-documented evidence of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during the assault on Gaza last summer, there has been no justice and accountability for grave violations against Palestinian children, said Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCIP) ... DCIP independently verified the deaths of 547 Palestinian children among the killed in Gaza, 535 of them as a direct result of Israeli attacks. The organization noted that nearly 68 percent of the children killed by Israeli forces were 12 years old or younger and that not a single perpetrator has been held accountable for any of the deaths. “Systemic impunity has enabled Israel to continue its oppressive policies in Gaza where children undoubtedly remain targets,” said DCIP’s General Director, Khaled Quzmar ... Incidents include the direct targeting of children by Israeli drone-fired missiles and attacks carried out against schools and homes. Israel, the world’s largest exporter of aerial drones, killed 164 children in drone strikes during the offensive.

Palestinian factions’ military wings ’preparing for next battle’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 July — A spokesperson for several military wings of Palestinian factions in Gaza said Friday that the armed groups "will not allow" the continuation of Israel’s policy of avoiding its duties following the ceasefire agreement. During the press conference, which was held in the Unknown Soldier’s Square in Gaza in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the war, the spokesperson said Israel’s behavior following the ceasefire agreement exhibited a "stalling policy" that is "not useful." The al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, Abu Ali Mustafa, National Resistance, Abd al-Qader al-Husseini, al-Aqsa Martyrs, al-Ansar, al-Saiqa and Sayf al-Islam Brigades took part in Friday’s conference ... At the conference, the spokesperson for the many factions referred to Israel’s failure to follow through on promises to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip as well as neglecting to allow materials into the strip for reconstruction. The spokesperson said resistance actions had, “restored [Gaza’s] military capabilities, and have gone through a lot of preparation for the next battle.” He added that resistance factions are now better prepared than they were prior to the last year’s Gaza war.

UN : 2014 Israeli offensive deadliest since 1967
IMEMC/Agencies 9 July — Israeli 51-day offensive on Gaza last year was the “deadliest” and “most destructive escalation” since 1967, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Spokesman for the office Jens Laerke held a press conference to mark first anniversary of the Israeli offensive, on Tuesday. Days of Palestine reports that, in July and August of last year, more than 2,260 Palestinians were killed and 11,000 injured, mostly women and children, during a 51-day Israeli military onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip. Laerke told the reporters in the UN Geneva office that civilians could not leave Gaza during Israeli attacks because borders were closed during the operation and they did not have safe places to hide. He underlined that 28 percent of Gaza’s population had been displaced during those clashes ; the biggest displacement so far.

Mapping Israel’s strikes on Gaza
Al Jazeera 8 July — An interactive map details the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip during the 50-day assault during July and August 2014 — Plotted pixel by pixel, a new interactive map presents viewers with the most comprehensive record of the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza to date. The Gaza Platform, released by Amnesty International and the University of London-based research project Forensic Architecture, unfurls into a spread of data, photos, testimonies and video that work to map out the Israeli military’s strikes on the Palestinian territory during the conflict. The goal is to thread together individual attacks into visible patterns that can better illustrate the destruction caused by Israel’s assault on the territory and potentially reveal the "systematic nature of Israeli violations committed during the conflict", according to Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

A window to hell in Gaza
Electronic Intifada 10 July by Max Blumenthal — Spending the day of 17 August in Khuza‘a was like peering through a window to hell. But what we witnessed in the landscape of apocalyptic oblivion paled in comparison to the experience described to me by two Palestine Red Crescent volunteers who had attempted to break through the Israeli military cordon during the siege of the town. Twenty-five-year-old Ahmed Awad and 24-year-old Ala’a Alkusofi arrived at the edge of Khuzaa at a time when Red Cross ambulance crews refused to travel anywhere near the town. They said they had come to collect the body of a man whom soldiers had lashed to a tree by both arms and shot in the leg. When they arrived at the site, the soldiers ordered the driver of their ambulance, Muhammed Abadla, to exit the vehicle. When he obliged, they told him to walk five meters forward and switch on a flashlight. As soon as he flicked the light on, the soldiers shot him in the chest and killed him. “It was something I’ll never forget,” Awad recalled, “seeing a colleague killed like that in front of me. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed.” The two Red Crescent volunteers told me they later found a man in Khuzaa in rigor mortis, holding both hands over his head in surrender, his body filled with bullets. Deeper in the town, they discovered an entire family so badly decomposed they had to be shoveled with a bulldozer into a mass grave. In a field on the other side of town, Awad and Alkusofi found a shell-shocked woman at least 80 years of age hiding in a chicken coop. She had taken shelter there for nine days during the siege, living off of nothing but chicken feed and rain water. “She couldn’t believe it when we found her,” said Alkusofi. “She was sure she would die with the chickens.” ...This essay is excerpted from Max Blumenthal’s new book, The 51 Day War : Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, published by Nation Books.

In Photos : Gaza one year on, life amid the ruins
Vice News 8 July by Harriet Salem — ...One year on from the war, hundreds of Gaza’s poorest are still living in makeshift accommodation. In Khuza‘a, a town nestling the Gaza-Israel border and the scene of the ferocious fighting, scores of families still live in metal containers without electricity or running water. In the winter temperatures sink to below zero while in summer they can soar to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, posing a major health risk for the young and elderly. Last winter one four month old baby died after suffering complications resulting from the cold and damp living conditions in the caravans. Many families living here depend entirely on international aid and other charitable donations. Most cooking is done outside on fuel stoves.

For Gazans, fence with Israel is a leap into the unknown
GAZA-ISRAEL BORDER (Reuters) 10 July by Maayan Lubell and Nidal al-Mughrabi — From his spartan room in the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, 18-year-old Abdalla al-Haddad could glimpse a narrow chance at a better life : it was less than a mile and a 3-1/2-metre fence away. So on a chilly night in February, he and a friend made a dash for it, scrambling over the heavily secured steel and wire barrier that separates Gaza from Israel. "I was not thinking," he told Reuters, back in the three-room home he shares with 11 family members. "Ten minutes after we jumped, illumination rounds were fired, there was a lot of gunfire and we were surrounded by Israeli army forces, who arrested us," he said. He spent the next three months in an Israeli jail. "I was desperate because there is no work in Gaza," he explained, describing his daily life as sleeping and playing football, with little prospect of finding a job. While it is by no means a mass phenomenon, a rising number of Palestinians are trying their luck at jumping the fence from Gaza into Israel. Barely a week goes by without a report from Israeli security forces of another attempt. The Israeli military says it has caught 130 in the past year. It won’t provide comparative figures, but the anecdotal evidence from Gazans and organizations that monitor the trend is that numbers have been climbing steadily ... An Israeli military officer in the Gaza Division said most border-jumpers are unarmed teens looking for work or to escape family hardship. For some, jail may be more appealing than life in Gaza, with three meals a day and a chance to study. "Sometimes they cross with a knife or a grenade in their pocket, they don’t come with the intent of doing anything with it, they cross the fence, raise their arms and show you the grenade so that the sentence they get will be higher and they spend more time in jail," the officer said ... Hamas has its own reasons for trying to stop them and has increased security along the border, according to Hamas interior ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozom. The fear is that some of the fence jumpers will be pressured by Israel into becoming collaborators - supplying intelligence on Hamas.

Israeli MK recounts his time on Gaza flotilla
Al-Monitor 7 July by Mazal Mualem — In an interview with Al-Monitor, Israeli-Arab Knesset member Basel Ghattas says that contrary to claims by right-wing Knesset members, the Marianne flotilla was not an act of violence, but a political one, drawing international attention to Gaza by peaceful means.

Gaza’s Ramadan drummers
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Children wait on their balconies for the musaharati, the man who roams the roads, beating drums to wake up the neighborhood to have the predawn suhoor meal and get ready to fast until sunset. Both children and adults watch for the musaharati, as people stay up all night long during Ramadan. When he appears, he is greeted with cheers and some even go out on the street to offer him gifts. However, things are not always what they seem, and those who bring others joy might not necessarily be happy themselves. This is the case of 23-year-old Louay Jaber, who chants religious hymns as he roams the streets of al-Rammal to wake up the neighborhood’s residents. Jaber waits all year to work during Ramadan, as he has never found any other secure job. “We wait all year long for this month. During the rest of the year, we take up jobs here and there, mostly in construction. However, with the ban on cement into Gaza, it is almost impossible to find a job nowadays,” he told Al-Monitor. Jaber said he goes out every night from 2 a.m. until 3:30 a.m., roaming the streets of al-Rammal from the Shati refugee camp, where he lives. “We wake people up throughout the month of Ramadan. On the first and last day of Ramadan we go knocking on doors to collect money from families who would like to offer us some,” he said. [In Nov. 2002, to the shock and outrage of Palestinians, a musaharati making his rounds was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in ‘Askar refugee camp in Nablus for ’breaking the curfew’]

Netanyahu vows to bring back Israelis held captive in Gaza
JERUSALEM (AP) 10 July — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Friday to bring back home two Israeli citizens held captive in Gaza as he visited the family of one of the men. Netanyahu’s remarks came a day after Israel’s stunning announcement that two men — Avraham Mengistu, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent, and a Bedouin from Israel’s Arab minority whose identity is still under a gag order — are being held captive in the Gaza Strip ... According to COGAT, the defense body that handles civilian issues with the Palestinians, Mengistu disappeared after he "independently" crossed the border fence and entered Gaza on Sept. 7, two weeks after the end of last summer’s war between the Islamic militant group Hamas and Israel. Israeli media reported he had been distraught at the time of his disappearance. The second man is a Bedouin Arab citizen from southern Israel. Israeli officials have refused to identify him or say how long he had been in Gaza or how he got there. They also would not say which group had him in custody ... Earlier Friday, the man identified as a relative of the missing Bedouin told Israel Radio that "nobody is talking to us, this isn’t nice." The relative’s identity also falls under the same gag order. Another man, only identified by his first name Khaid and said to be someone who knows the Bedouin man well, told Army Radio that the Bedouin had gone missing several times before in Gaza but had been sent back.

Baskin : Hamas says Mengistu refused to go back to Israel
JPost 9 July by Lahav Harkov — Hamas released Avera Mengistu and thinks he left Gaza, Jerusalem Post columnist Gershon Baskin said Thursday ... Baskin recounted that roughly six months ago, Ethiopian-Israeli activists told him about Mengistu’s disappearance and asked him to use his contacts to find out about his situation. “Hamas told me that [Mengistu] crossed into Gaza, was arrested and then interrogated by the police and the military wing,” he said. “They determined that he was not mentally stable, and decided to return him to Israel. He refused to go back to Israel and was released in Gaza.” Hamas sources told Baskin that they did not keep track of Mengistu and they believe he went to Sinai via a tunnel and have no knowledge of where he is, as opposed to the Beduin Israeli, whom Hamas says they are holding captive.

Hamas calls Israel ’racist’ amid news of gag order
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 July — The Hamas movement criticized Israel as "racist" Thursday after news broke that Israeli media was put under a gag order regarding two Israeli citizens allegedly being held by the group in Gaza. A Palestinian Bedouin citizen of Israel is believed to have been held in Gaza since April, and a Jewish Israeli of Ethiopian descent has reportedly been held in Gaza since September 2014, although details of their exact whereabouts remain vague. "Obviously, the real Israeli motto is ’leave no ’Ashkenazi’ man behind’. #RacistIsrael," Hamas posted through its English-language Twitter account, referring to the Ashkenazi Jewish population of Israel originating from central and eastern Europe. Abandonment of the gag order put on Israeli media regarding the missing Israelis Thursday launched an outcry from the Israeli public. Local media reported that the family of Mengistu was angered by the Israeli military’s reaction to their relative’s disappearance, alleging that more effort would have been put into finding him if he were white ... While Hamas has yet to comment directly on accusations that the movement is holding the two Israelis hostage, a Hamas leader said Friday that talks will only take place with Israel regarding an exchange deal after Israel releases Palestinians who have been rearrested despite being released in past prisoner swaps.

Palestinian found hanged near Gaza-Israeli border
IMEMC/Agencies 11 July — The body of an unidentified hanged man was found Friday morning, close to the checkpoint Nahal Oz, on the border between Israel and Gaza. The body has been moved to Shifa hospital [in Gaza], PNN reports. The identity of the person found is unknown, as are the circumstances under which he died. Walla news agency reported that, late last night, Israeli officers saw the body of a Palestinian “believed to be hanged from a tree near the border fence of the Gaza Strip.” According to the Israeli source, “you could see the corpse with the naked eye half a kilometer from the border.” No reports have yet been made as to what happened to the man.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Restrictions on movement

Israeli Knesset to address shelved plan to relocate Negev Bedouins
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 11 July – Bedouin residents of the Negev are gearing up to take last minute measures as the Israeli Knesset is slated Sunday to discuss a plan to forcibly relocate thousands of Bedouin Palestinians. The Prawer Plan was approved by the Israeli government in 2011 but shelved in in 2013 amid widespread protest among Palestinians within Israel and international condemnation. Israeli minister of agriculture Uri Ariel of the Habayit Hayehudi party (Jewish Home) has since reintroduced the plan to the Knesset. Palestinian Bedouin member of the Israeli Knesset Talab Abu Arar on Saturday urged a committee representing Bedouin residents of the Negev to have an emergency meeting to discuss preventive measures that could be taken to prevent displacement. “We call upon our people to roll sleeves up and join the struggle," Abu Arar said. Approved without any consultation with the Bedouin community, the plan would evict nearly 40,000 Bedouins from their villages and force them to live in concentrated areas that critics called "reservations." Israel refuses to recognize 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev, which collectively house nearly 90,000 people.

Israel issues multiple demolition orders to Bedouins near Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 9 July — Israel’s Civil Administration on Thursday delivered dozens of eviction and stop-work orders to Palestinian Bedouins east of Jerusalem, a lawyer told Ma‘an. Bassab Bahar, who chairs an East Jerusalem committee to protect Palestinian land, said Civil Administration officers accompanied by Israel’s military raided the Abu al-Nawwar dwellings, which house members of the al-Jahalin Bedouin community. The officers issued orders notifying Bedouin families that they must move to the Bawwabat al-Quds (Jerusalem Gate) area within a month. The area is on the outskirts of Abu Dis where Israeli authorities plan to relocate Bedouin families currently living in the E1 zone, an area northeast of Jerusalem and west of the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. The orders also stipulated that the families attend a session at the Civil Administration’s office on July 22 to discuss the relocation of the local community. Israeli officers also issued stop-work orders for temporary housing in the area and summoned families to attend a court hearing in the Beit El settlement on Aug. 8. Bahar said that the warrants mark an escalation by Israel in terms of relocating Bedouin communities, saying that the Bawwabat al-Quds area is inappropriate for human settlement due to a nearby dumping ground for waste ... Younis Muhammadin, a dignitary from the Muhammadin family, a branch of the al-Jahalin community, told Ma‘an that Civil Administration officials also took photos of the area with a small drone, before issuing stop work and demolition orders to 40 families and two to a kindergarten and guest house.

Administrative demolition orders in the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 July — The occupation municipality’s crews distributed on Wednesday administrative demolition orders to a commercial establishment and a residential house in the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan. Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation municipality raided the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh and hung administrative demolition orders on a house and commercial establishment and took pictures of the establishment and the roads leading to them. Witnesses said that the municipality hung an administrative demolition order on a house built four years ago where a family of seven individuals lives. They also hung an administrative demolition order on a 50-square-meter car-repair shop built three years ago from tin plates and iron ; note that five families depend on the shop for income. The municipality’s crews also raided an empty land and hung an administrative demolition order ; note that the land doesn’t have anything built on it.

Israeli extremists uproot 80 olive trees in Salfit
IMEMC/Agencies 11 July — A group of colonialist Israeli settlers, driving a number of bulldozers, invaded earlier Saturday Palestinian orchards belonging to residents of Deir Estia village, northwest of the central West Bank district of Salfit, and uprooted more than 80 olive trees. Local villagers said the settlers uprooted the olive trees in order to expand a bypass road leading to illegal Israeli settlements, built on Palestinian lands. Head of the Deir Estia Village Council Amal Kokash said Israel is ongoing with the expansion of its illegal colonies in the Salfit district, especially the eight settlements overlooking the Qana Valley ... Palestinian researcher Khaled Ma’aly said Israel is trying to expand all of its 24 colonies in the Salfit district, and is ongoing with bulldozing and uprooting farmlands and olive orchards to achieve this goal. Ma’aly added that Israel is also expanding all four Industrial Zones in its illegal settlements in Salfit, and is working on building several factories.

Settlers impede road rehabilitation works near Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 8 July – Israeli settlers on Wednesday obstructed Palestinian workers and prevented them from resuming works on a road rehabilitation project near the village of ‘Awarta to the south of Nablus, according to local sources. Yousef Deriya, member of the Anti-Settlement Committee, said a group of settlers broke into the area and prevented municipality workers from carrying out rehabilitation work on the ‘Awarta-Yaun road. The road, which is in very bad shape, was shut down by the Israeli army in 2000 and reopened in 2013.

Foreign ministry denounces Israel’s decision to extend Apartheid Wall into Cremisan Valley
IMEMC/Agencies 9 July — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement released on Wednesday, condemned the Israeli government’s decision to build a new section of the Apartheid Wall in the Cremisan Valley near the town of Beit Jala. It said the decision allows the confiscation of large swathes of private and state land, undermines the potential of a viable Palestinian state and paves the way for further settlement activities. “The building [of the fence] is an ‘assassination’ of the principle of a two-state solution in the full view of the world and the different countries,” the statement said, according to WAFA.

UNESCO : Israeli occupation poses threat to Jerusalem’s Islamic heritage
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 8 July — The UNESCO issued Tuesday a resolution condemning the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for attempting to change the Islamic character of Jerusalem’s historical sites. The UNESCO said it is deeply concerned by the persistence of the Israeli illegal excavations and works conducted by settler groups in the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls and the failure of Israel to cease such harmful interventions. The organization urged Israel to timely stop all such violations, in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of related UNESCO conventions and recommendations. It further spoke out against the damaging effect of the Jerusalem Light rail (tram line) at few meters from the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the construction of the so called “City of David National Park” in Silwan at a distance of twenty meters from the Walls of the Old City, which severely affects the visual integrity and the authentic character of the area ... The group further denounced Israeli extremist groups’ continuous incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, urging Israel to take necessary measures to prevent such provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and inflame tension on the ground. The resolution sparked rage among Israelis. Israeli Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold claimed Tuesday the text "deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital."

Settlers : Ban Muslim entry to Al-Aqsa from July 26
JERUSALEM (PNN) ?8 July — ‘Temple Mount’ organisations and groups have demanded in an official letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu that Al-Aqsa Mosque be closed to Muslims for a week from July 26. The closure of the mosque compound would include the week of ‘The destruction of the Temple’, a Jewish holiday which comes a week after Eid al-Fatr at the end of Ramadan. Al-Aqsa Foundation said that settlers had demanded Al-Aqsa Mosque be closed to Muslims during this week, and that settlers be permitted to enter, from July 26. In the letter, the Temple organisations and groups said : “Due to the closure of Temple Mount [the Israeli name for Al-Aqsa Mosque], the Muslims’ prevention of Jewish entry, and their inability to protect the holy site, the citizens of Israel propose that Temple Mount be opened only to Jews during the Jewish holiday and closed to the Muslims who riot at the Jewish entrance”. The letter came as a response to the Israeli police’s closure of al-Mughrabi Gate to settlers for the final ten nights of Ramadan, as a large number of Muslim worshipers flood the mosque compound. The police said that they closed the gate to avoid altercations arising as a result of settler incursions.

Israel cites boycotts, foreign relations in refusal to divulge West Bank archaeology info
Haaretz 8 July by Nir Hasson — The State of Israel has argued in court it cannot comply with the Freedom of Information Law regarding the identities of archaeologists who excavate in the West Bank because doing so could endanger their professional future. It also refused to give any information about what has become of artifacts excavated in the territories, for fear of “undermining the state’s foreign relations,” according to a brief filed with the Jerusalem District Court earlier this year. The case began two years ago, when two left-wing organizations, Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh, filed a freedom of information request seeking data about digs in the West Bank ... The state also refused to say where artifacts excavated in these digs were being stored or to which institutions, if any, they had been given, arguing this could “undermine Israel’s foreign relations in two ways : First, it reveals the way Israel is currently implementing the Interim Agreement [with the Palestinians], and second, it is liable to harm Israel’s position in future negotiations over a permanent agreement.” This is so because the Oslo Accords require Israel to give the Palestinians a list of all archaeological digs and findings in areas that are eventually ceded to them ... Meanwhile, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Tuesday released a report on the state of Israeli archaeology that criticized the political use made of archeology, the close cooperation between the right-wing organization Elad and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the ban on excavating human remains, imposed at the demand of the ultra-Orthodox. It also charged that Israel has become a center for illegal trade in antiquities.

300 Gazans head to pray in Al-Aqsa
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 July — Hundreds of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip headed to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on for the second Friday in a row this Ramadan, officials said. An official at the Palestinian liaison told Ma‘an that 300 Gazans above the age of 60 traveled to the holy city via the Erez crossing and would return following Friday prayers. Last Friday Israeli authorities resumed permits for Palestinians in Gaza to travel to pray in the compound. The permits had been revoked the week prior after a rocket allegedly fired from the strip hit an open area near the town of Ashkelon in the western Negev earlier that week.

In photos : 250,000 pray at Al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 July — Thousands of Palestinians performed Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa mosque despite Israeli restrictions on entering Jerusalem, the general director of Jerusalem Endowment and Al-Aqsa Affairs told Ma‘an. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to severe limitations on movement into East Jerusalem, part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and Israel has historically made gestures ahead of and during Ramadan, partially easing restrictions at the start of this year’s holy month in mid-June. Israeli authorities implemented new restrictions on worshipers last week, allegedly in response to attacks targeting Israeli military and settlers, revoking the entry permits of hundreds set to travel.

Palestinian refugees — Syria

In Yarmouk, hope is the only currency with value
The Guardian 9 July by Kareem Shaheen — Abdullah al-Khateeb pondered the sniper bullet that had pierced the window of his home close to the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp. Astonishingly, he was grateful. “The sniper had wanted to kill someone, but that hole has allowed a thread of sunlight to pierce through,” he said. “Everything has two sides. There is nothing that lacks beauty.” For several months, Khateeb has been writing an account of life amid deprivation and starvation to mirror the Forty Rules of Love by the 13th century Persian poet and mystic Rumi. In his 35th entry, he wrote : “Under siege, beauty is an exceptional thing. Search for it, and if you happen to find it do not let it go, and if you do not find it, then try yourself to be beautiful.” Yarmouk, Khateeb’s home, a once-bustling neighbourhood in southern Damascus and a symbol of Bashar al-Assad’s regime’s supposed dedication to the Palestinian cause, is in ruins after being starved of food, water and electricity by the government in a brutal three-year siege ... The Forty Rules of Siege, of which 36 have been published so far on his Facebook page, draw from Khateeb’s experiences. One rule describes how the besieged must “walk on wind” because every tread may crush something that once provided nourishment. He hesitates before stepping on a plant in a nearby orchard that the animals usually eat, and which people in Yarmouk had to eat, because he may be faced with that hunger again. He remembers nights when all they had was boiling water flavored with spices because they could not have soup ... The brutality of the siege has left Khateeb with a desire for “personal revenge” against a regime whose violence has meant that he had to personally bury about 10 of his friends. It was that brutality, he said, that had led to the rise of extremism in Syria, where Isis now controls roughly half the country’s landmass and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate, reigns as one of the most powerful rebel groups....

Other news

PCHR report on Israeli human rights violations in the oPt (2-8 July 2015)
PCHR-Gaza 9 July — Shootings : Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip sea. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child north of occupied Jerusalem in an excessive use of force. They also wounded 8 civilians, 7 of whom including 2 children and 4 journalists were wounded in the West Bank, while the 8th was a fisherman from the Gaza Strip ... Incursions : During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 45 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 in East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 40 Palestinians, including 8 children. Eleven of these civilians, including the 5 children, were arrested in East Jerusalem.....

Gaza : One year after 2014 war, abject misery across Gaza and West Bank
PARIS/NEW YORK (Doctors without Borders) 8 July — One year after the 51-day war in Gaza, neighborhoods destroyed during the fighting have not been rebuilt and hundreds of Palestinians with devastating injuries stemming from the Israeli assault still fill the waiting rooms of the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), many of them needing complex reconstructive surgeries and physical rehabilitation. With the continued blockade and siege of Gaza, it is as if the war had just ended, MSF said. Today, MSF sees, perhaps more than at any time in its 20-year history of providing medical and psychological care in Gaza and the West Bank, how the suffering wrought by the Israeli occupation has become normalized and how the status quo will only lead to more of the same...
While the devastation of the war in Gaza and the ongoing blockade of the strip have garnered the most international attention, the occupation of the West Bank also has widespread public health consequences. The Palestinian population in the West Bank is subjected to indignities, threats, and humiliations on a daily basis. Today, due to settlements, byways, checkpoints, and military deployments, Palestinians can only inhabit less than 40 percent of the West Bank. MSF mental health programs are filled with patients suffering from psychological disorders as a result of being subjected to endless harassment, frequent (and unpunished) settler violence against individuals and property, night raids, administrative detention, or other acts. “The stories our teams tell us are such that merely stating the facts should be enough to denounce them,” says Grillon. “On a daily basis we see patients, a third of whom are younger than 13, in a constant state of anxiety and terror because of night-time incursions by Israeli soldiers and settler attacks. We’ve been treating the same families presenting the same symptoms for the past 10 years. Nothing has changed.”

Israel bars Palestinian-funded TV channel from operating
JERUSALEM (AP) 9 July — An Israeli Cabinet minister signed an order Thursday barring a Palestinian TV channel geared toward Israel’s Arab citizens from operating inside the Jewish state for the next six months. In the order, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says F48 — or Palestine 48 — television didn’t have proper authorization to operate in Israel. The channel, which is funded by the Palestinian Authority, began broadcasting from the predominantly Arab Israeli city of Nazareth last month. Erdan said he won’t allow "Israel’s sovereignty to be harmed" or for the Palestinian Authority to gain a "foothold" in the country. He said the channel will be prevented from operating "anywhere within the state of Israel" for six months. Riad al-Hassan, the head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, called the decision "illegal." He said it would affect Israeli production companies who produce two programs for the channel in Nazareth. He said those companies would challenge the decision in Israel’s Supreme Court. The satellite channel produces the remainder of its programs in Ramallah, in the West Bank, and will continue broadcasting its other shows from there.

Palestine, Israel commit 48 violations against media freedoms in June
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 July — Forty-eight violations against media freedoms were documented during the month of June in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the majority committed by Palestinian forces, a Palestinian watchdog reported Thursday. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said that of the 48 violations, 27 were committed by Palestinian forces. Twelve of those violations were committed in the West Bank, while 15 were reported from Gaza. The other 21 violations were committed by Israeli forces. The center described higher levels of violations against the press by Palestinian forces as "rare," as Israeli forces have historically carried out both the most numerous and severe violations in the occupied Palestinian territory. MADA alleged that Palestinian officials in June "took a concerning path where it was easy to violate the media." Violations by Palestinian forces range from exclusion of particular journalists from events such as the International Tourism Conference in Bethlehem, West Bank — where a few journalists were dragged from the premises — to more serious concerns, most of which took place in Gaza. On June 16, the Internal Security Forces in Gaza allegedly summoned Al-Nahar Palestinian News Agency director Mr. Hani al-Agha three times in a row. Al-Agha was interrogated, his home raided and his equipment seized. The 21 violations committed by Israeli forces ranged from detention, physical assault, travel bans and forced censorship.

PA reverses seizure of former PM’s funds
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 July — The Palestinian High Court of Justice decided on Wednesday to cancel the seizure of funds belonging to an NGO headed by ex-prime minister and former IMF and World Bank official Salam Fayyad. The Palestinian Authority seized the funds from Fayyad’s non-profit Future for Palestine organization on June 22, without giving any reason. A security services official was said it was "suspected that the funds seized were to be used for political means," without elaborating. Fayyad’s office did not specify the amount seized from the organisation at the time, but said he would take legal action to ensure the money was returned, without saying if he would directly sue the PA. Speaking to Ma‘an last month, Fayyad insisted that Future for Palestine’s funds were completely lawful. He founded Future for Palestine in 2013 with the aim of supporting development projects in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in Area C.

African-Palestinian community’s deep roots in liberation struggle
EI 10 July by Budour Youssef Hassan — In early June the African Community Club in Jerusalem’s Old City was crammed with mourners. They had come to pay their respects to the late Subhiyeh Sharaf, an amiable woman and community elder. The club serves as the headquarters of the African Community Society. It is a gathering place for the African community and a social and cultural center for Palestinians, screening films and hosting debates and other activities ... Interviews with members of the community and the society’s Arabic website reveal a rich history. African migration to Jerusalem dates back to 634 when Omar Bin al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, conquered Jerusalem. But it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that Africans started settling in Jerusalem in significant numbers. Coming mainly from Chad, Sudan, Nigeria and Senegal, Africans flocked to Jerusalem for two main reasons. The first was religious : some considered Jerusalem the final destination of their pilgrimage. The second reason was their willingness to fight along with Palestinians against British and Zionist colonialism....

Israel barred from viewing treaty between Vatican and Palestine
IMEMC/Agencies 9 July — Appeals submitted by Israeli officials to view the treaty signed between Palestine and the Vatican have been refused by the Holy See, the representation of the Roman Catholic Church abroad. According to the PNN, Haaretz reported yesterday that the Vatican rejected four separate appeals by Israeli officials to read details of the treaty agreed June 26 between the Holy See and the State of Palestine. The agreement was signed two weeks ago in Vatican City, Rome, by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malaki and Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher. It includes the official recognition by the Vatican of Palestine as an independent state. Israel has only been permitted to view the first three pages of the agreement, according to DC News, which compose the preface asserting the right to a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. The Israeli Foreign Ministry greeted news of the treaty with concern, saying that they believed it could contradict the terms of an agreement already signed between Israel and the Vatican. Haaretz reported that there was particular concern regarding the section on the status of ‘Christian holy places beyond the Green Line… where there is Israeli sovereignty or military control’.

PalFest : Connecting Ireland and Palestine through art
DUBLIN (WAFA) 9 July – Marking the first anniversary of the 50-day devastating Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, hundreds of international and Palestinian activists organized a four-day long arts festival to demonstrate firm solidarity and denounce and remind the world about the deadly Gaza aggression through art as a universal language ... PalFest Ireland, which will last until Saturday, is a voluntary-run arts festival featuring over 50 events organized by Irish artists in support of Palestine. These events include talks, music and theater performances, films, exhibitions, poetry and storytelling among other activities, covering the full spectrum of art forms in Dublin and throughout Ireland. According to the organizers, the festival is intended to promote a cultural connection between Ireland and Palestine and to raise awareness and much needed funds for Palestinian charities. The festival boasts itself as “representing a resounding challenge from Ireland’s arts community to long-term Israeli aggression against Palestine.” The festival grand opening highlighted the large death toll among Palestinian children in Gaza during the last Israeli onslaught with the installation “NO MORE - Dublin Remembers”.

Israel says will ’engage’ with ICC on war crime probe
Jerusalem (AFP) 9 July — Israel will "engage" with the International Criminal Court probing alleged war crimes, but only to question the tribunal’s right to investigate Palestinian complaints, an official said Thursday. "We’ve decided to engage with the ICC, the engagement will be limited solely to the question of authority" to deal with Palestine, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The Palestinian Authority last month submitted a first dossier of evidence to the ICC, following a decision by the court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to launch a preliminary probe. The probe, ordered in January, was set up to establish whether there was enough evidence for a full-blown war crimes investigation into last year’s conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. Israel, which has not signed up to the ICC, had rejected Bensouda’s "absurd decision" with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the ICC was ignoring "international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don’t have a state." Netanyahu also noted that Israel’s actions were subject to the review of its own legal system. The Palestinian appeal to the ICC is part of an increased focus on diplomatic manoeuvring following mounting frustration with the lack of progress in creating their own independent state.

Saudi joins Israel as target of Jerusalem Day protests
TEHRAN (AFP) 10 July by Ali Noorani — Tens of thousands marched in Tehran and Baghdad Friday in annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day demonstrations in support of Palestinians, with Saudi Arabia joining arch-foe Israel as a target for protesters. President Hassan Rouhani attended but did not speak at the main rally in Tehran, which coincided with still seemingly deadlocked nuclear talks between Iran and world powers led by the United States. In Iraq, thousands of people marched including hundreds of fighters in military uniform on Palestine Street in Baghdad to mark the annual day of solidarity inaugurated by the late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In Lebanon, the leader of the powerful Shiite militia Hezbollah told thousands of supporters that Iran was the only hope of liberating the Palestinians. While Iran does not recognise Israel’s existence, and supports Palestinian militant groups that fight it, Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen drew anger.

’Black Friday’ : The day Israel officially adopted is ’anything goes’ morality / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 9 July — Israel remembers only the three soldiers who died on Black Friday and erases from its consciousness the dozens of innocent Palestinians who also died that day — “Black Friday” should be considered as such first and foremost because, on that day, Israel Defense Forces soldiers went wild as never before and killed dozens of innocents, perhaps too as never before. IDF sources admitted at the time that “it was the most aggressive Hannibal procedure that the IDF had ever implemented,” referring to the protocol employed when an IDF soldier is believed captured. According to Palestinian sources, about 150 people were killed on that accursed day, most of them civilians. The IDF admits to killing 41. The soldiers bombarded every car in motion and every building in a number of neighborhoods in Rafah, the most blighted city in the Gaza Strip. August 1, 2014 was indeed a day blacker than black. That day was also black because it was the day that three IDF soldiers – Maj. Benaya Sarel, Staff Sgt. Liel Gidoni and Lt. Hadar Goldin – were killed. The editor-in-chief of the Israeli media for military and security matters, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz, decided that their deaths would be the centerpiece of the first anniversary of the war. And when the army spokesman decides, who would dare disobey ? IDF video clips of sentimental and military significance, but with no relevance to current events, were dispatched to editorial desks – and the media, as usual, gave itself over devotedly. The item opened (!) the main news broadcasts and current events shows and constituted the main headline in a mass circulation daily. The message was simplistic and clear : Operation Protective Edge was (still) a heroic war. Way to go, IDF (and its spokesman.)