Accueil > Sociétés Civiles à Parlement Européen > TODAY in PALESTINE

Terrorisme israélien


Mercredi, 15 juillet 2015 - 16h29

mercredi 15 juillet 2015



Violence / Arrests — West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestinian bystander shot by Israeli forces in Shu‘fat loses eye

[with VIDEO] JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 July — A 55-year-old Palestinian lost an eye after he was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet while seeking shelter from clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths in Shu‘fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem Sunday. Video footage caught on a surveillance camera in a grocery shop showed the moment Nafiz Dmeiri sought refuge from the clashes inside the shop and was shot in the face. He was evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem in West Jerusalem. An Israeli human rights group, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said in a statement that Dmeiri is deaf and mute, has one child and works at a tailor shop. The statement called on Israeli police to stop using "black sponge bullets during riot dispersal." Dmeiri was one of two Palestinians injured during the clashes that broke out after "undercover" Israeli forces raided a clothing store inside the camp to make an arrest. A Fatah spokesman in the camp, Thaer Fasfous, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces had opened fire on local residents "indiscriminately," hitting Dmeiri in the eye and another man in the upper body. [Haaretz : It is the latest of a series of similar incidents in which Palestinians, primarily in East Jerusalem, have lost eyes to sponge-tipped bullets fired by the Israeli security services.]

Military police : Palestinian teens killed by military live fire, although military fired only rubber bullets
B’Tselam 8 July — Photo : X-ray of Usayed Qadus’ head post-mortem, a point-nosed metal bullet that penetrated the skull is visible. On 25 February 2015, the Military Advocate General’s (MAG) Corps informed B’Tselem of the closing of the investigation into the killing of Palestinian teens Muhammad and Usayed Qadus in the West Bank village of ‘Iraq Burin in March 2010. The investigation had taken five years and its findings, as reported by the MAG Corps, are absurd : on the one hand, the investigation found that only rubber-coated metal bullets had been fired during the incident ; on the other hand it corroborated that the two teens were killed by live ammunition, and there is no dispute that they were killed by the military. On the basis of these unreasonable findings, the MAG Corps decided to file no charges. B’Tselem’s request to receive a copy of the investigation file was denied. B’Tselem re-sent its request, disputing the reason for the previous denial. Only in late May 2015 B’Tselem received approval in principle of the request.

Israel releases Khader Adnan for second time in 2 days after rearrest
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 July — The Israeli authorities released Khader Adnan for the second time in two days late Monday, after they briefly rearrested the veteran Palestinian hunger striker in East Jerusalem a day after he was released from 11 months in prison. The Palestinian liaison office had Adnan transferred from Ofer detention center in Israel to Beitunia west of Ramallah at around 1 a.m., and he was then taken by car to his home village of Arraba in southern Jenin. He was detained on Monday evening as he was heading into Jerusalem’s Old City to take part in Laylat al-Qader prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Israeli police found that he did not have the necessary permits. Adnan later told Ma‘an that he had visited four homes in East Jerusalem before he was detained, including that of Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi, which he stopped at to check on the health of Issawi’s mother. He also visited Jawad Bolous, the chief lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, who at the end of last month secured Adnan’s release from Israeli custody. Adnan said that he and his wife had both wanted to spend Laylat al-Qader in a holy place, and so they had crossed into East Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque and visit their loved ones. Laylat al-Qader, meaning the Night of Destiny, takes place toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and according to Muslim belief marks the night the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Adnan said he spent some time wandering the streets of East Jerusalem before he was arrested ... He was held for several hours for questioning before the Israeli authorities decided to release him.

Freed Adnan : Israeli attempt to dash my joy to never come true
JENIN (PIC) 12 July — “The Israeli occupation authority has done its all to mar the joy my family and myself felt the day of my release,” freed Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan said, vowing that none of such “sadistic Israeli schemes” shall ever see the day.
“The Israeli occupation made a mistake not only in arresting me the first time and the second but also in releasing me at such an early hour in an attempt to spoil my joy and that of my people,” he said. “Today Israel will not only witness its failure to do so but also the support provided by my own people from every corner of the occupied Palestinian territories,” Adnan added. “I am in good health. All praises be to Allah,” he further stated despite the remarkable weight loss and exhaustion showing on his face and body.

ISM Journal : When walking becomes a crime
AL-KHALIL [HEBRON], Occupied Palestine Peter Cunliffe — Last night at around 11:30 PM, we received a call from one of our Palestinian neighbors about an incident that was unfolding outside our window. A group of five Israeli soldiers were guarding two Palestinian youth, who did not look to be older than fifteen. The kids were sitting on concrete steps, and the soldiers had them surrounded, so they could not get away. The boys were detained around 11:15, according to our neighbor ... One of the soldiers, who seemed to be the commander, and who we have had run-ins with before, told us he does not have justify to us what he and his men are doing. Another soldier, however, who seemed to be younger and less experienced, told us the truth … the boys did not have their ID with them ... Imagine living in a place where armed men can stop you and hold you - and if they feel necessary, confine you in a jail - simply because you don’t have a document on you that can tell them at a glance your first and last name, where you live, where you are from, and what religion you follow. Palestinians are obliged to carry such ID on them at all times. Any Israeli soldier or police officer can randomly stop them, and demand to see it. If they don’t have it, things can turn ugly. The boys who were detained were not threatening anyone. They were not carrying out a suicide bombing. They aren’t terrorists. They were not even throwing rocks, which the military often uses as an excuse to do detain, arrest, beat, or even kill Palestinians. They were simply going for a walk, and some guys in uniforms thought they looked suspicious. A piece or two of forgotten ID led to an hour of stress and intimidation, and could have ended with arrests and possibly worse behind the closed doors of a police station or military base. The only crime these teens were guilty of was being Palestinian, and going for a walk. Fortunately, their ordeal ended in a lot better way than experiences of others

The occupation arrests 5 minors from Jerusalem
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 14 July — The occupying forces arrested 3 minors early Monday morning after breaking into their houses in the village of Al-‘Isawiyeh, and handed a boy a letter for investigation. Mohammad Abu Al Humus a member in the follow up committee in Al-‘Isawiyeh village stated that the occupying forces arrested the minors Firas Nidal Mahmoud and Abd Alrazek Mousa Mustafa. Abu Al Humus said the violent clashes broke out in Al-‘Isawiyeh in conjunction with the execution of the arrest operation ; the forces threw gas bombs heavily in the direction of the houses which led to suffocation of the local residents. The lawyer of Wadi Hilwe information center stated that the Israeli forces arrested 3 minors from Al-Isawiyeh and were moved to interrogation, they are Firas Mahmoud 17 years of age and Abd Alrazek Mustafa 15 years of age and Imad Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Isbitan 16 years old. He added that the forces arrested two minors from the old city of Jerusalem whom are : Tayseer Hijazi 17 years old and Mohammad Tufaha 16 years old.

Israeli forces arrest 2 Palestinians after weapon found
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 July — Israeli forces on Tuesday arrested two young Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem after an M-16 rifle was found in their car, according to Hebrew-language news media. Israeli news site 0404 said that the two men were arrested near Zatara checkpoint in southern Nablus. The two men were reportedly driving a Golf car, in which Israeli soldiers found the weapon after an inspection. The detainees were reportedly transferred to the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet for investigation.

Punitive demolitions

The occupation army breaks into the house of the martyr Ghassan Abu Gamal
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 14 July — The occupation army broke in to the house of the Martyr Ghassan Abu Gamal on Tuesday in the village of Jabal al Mukaber south of the city of Jerusalem. Ma’awiya Abu Gamal stated to Wadi Hilwe information center that the occupying army broke into his brother’s house the Martyr Ghassan ; a team of specialists examined the house walls, its foundations and the roof in preparation to blow it up as one of the officials informed him without notifying him of the execution date. Abu Gamal added that the forces photographed his brothers’ house and the neighboring houses. Abu Gamal stated that in the Israeli Supreme Court ruling to “demolish the houses of Martyrs in Jerusalem” asked to not damage the neighboring houses. The house of the Martyr Abu Gamal is located amongst a residential building that consists of two floors, (4 apartments) and has 22 people living in it. The Martyr Ghassan Abu Gamal rose [fell] due to the occupation bullets after executing an operation in “Har Nof” synagogue in West Jerusalem ; the home front commander issued a decree to demolish his house and it was approved by the Israeli Supreme Court on 31–12–2014.

Land, property theft & destruction / Hostility toward non-Jewish religions

Israeli authorities cover up allocation of land for settlement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 July — Israel’s Civil Administration secretly allocated land for 800 housing units in an illegal settlement south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, a rights group said Tuesday. Despite orders by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2013 to cancel planning tenders for housing units in the settlement of Givat Eitam, planning continued as the land reportedly belonged to a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, Israeli watchdog Peace Now reported. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is a non-profit organization that works to "reclaim" and repurpose land for use by Jewish citizens, often at the expense of Palestinian right to land and control of resources. The planned housing units for the Givat Eitam settlement are dependent on the revocation of land belonging to Palestinian residents of the village of Al-Nahla south of Bethlehem, and north-east of the Efrat settlement. Last week Israel responded to a petition by Al-Nahla residents against the deceleration of 1,300 dunams of their lands as state land. A year and a half prior, Israel’s Ministry of Housing and Construction had published the planning tenders for 20,000 housing units in settlements, among which was a tender for units in Al-Nahla, Peace Now reported, adding that following public criticism, Netanyahu ordered to cancel the tenders. "Nevertheless, in a response submitted to court last week, the state exposed that the Civil Administration allocated approximately 300 dunams, owned by the JNF subsidiary Himanuta, to the Efrat Municipality for planning," Peace Now alleged, referring to the municipality of the nearby Efrat settlement.

Christian Affairs Committee denounces resumption of Wall construction in Cremisan monastery
IMEMC 13 July — The Presidential Committee for Christian Affairs, in Palestine, issued a statement condemning the Israeli High Court decision granting a green light for starting the construction of the Annexation wall in the Cremisan monastery valley, in Beit Jala, in the West Bank district of Bethlehem. The Committee stated that the Israeli decision is “just a racist means used by Israel to pass resolutions and rulings that violate International Law, and aim at more illegal annexation of Palestinian lands.” “The ruling will cause excessive harm to the owners, the inhabitants on the area, to the church and monastery,” the committee added, “The court asked the army not to harm the rights of the Palestinians, but this wall would split the Monastery, and isolate large swaths of lands.” Committee head Hanna ‘Amira called on the International Community, and all churches around the world, especially the Vatican, to denounce the Israeli violations, and act on stopping them, as Israel continues to violate the Palestinian rights, including their freedom of worship, ownership, and freedom of movement.

SEE ! Israel’s occupation in photos
Christian Peacemaker Teams 12 July — See the Israeli occupation of Hebron this past week. - No Evidence - On July 3, Israeli soldiers raided a shop close to Bab Az-Zawiyah and took a 21 year old man with them. They accused him of throwing stones without any evidence, and he was eleased after ten minutes due to the intermediation of a Palestinian man who reasoned with a commander in Hebrew (3 July 2015) ... - ’Suspicious’ wrench - This Palestinian man was stopped almost ten minutes for having a wrench as a tool he uses in his work (10 July 2015).
ttp ://

Israel ’offers’ Susiya residents to relocate
IMEMC/Agencies 13 July — Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, the village of Susiya, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and “offered” the villagers to leave their village and lands, and to relocate to different areas allocated by the “Civil Administration Office.” Army to demolish structures in the village. Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in southern Hebron, Rateb al-Jabour, said the soldiers and representatives of the Civil Administration, run by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank, invaded the village after surrounding it, and presented their plan. Jabour stated that the Palestinians rejected the Israeli plan to displace and relocate them, so that Tel Aviv can build and expand its illegal Jewish-only settlements. He also said that the villagers of Susiya are determined to challenge the illegal Israeli practices and violations, and that “they refuse to be bargained into leaving their lands that they inherited from their fathers and forefathers.” “They are determined to stay in their village, in their land,” Jabour said, “They know the challenges, but there are determined to stay on their lands, determined to remain steadfast.” In addition, the Israeli army informed the lawyer, who represents the villagers in Susiya, that it intends to demolish some structures, including residential, after Ein al-Fitr Muslim holiday.

Breaking : Three Jewish terrorist suspects in Israeli church-burning identified / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 13 July — Israel, as usual in security cases and almost any sensitive matter, has slapped a gag order on the arrest of three Jewish terror suspects in the case of the arson attack on the historic Church of Loaves and Fishes in the Galilee. The attack left a substantial portion of the edifice damaged along with degrading anti-Christian graffiti scrawled on the walls of the holy site. A knowledgeable Israeli source identified the names of the culprits are Yinon Reuveni (age 19), Mordechai Gedalia Margalit (age 18), Yehuda Yedidia Asraf (age unknown, but possibly a minor). Reuveni has been slapped by the Shin Bet with an administrative restraining order barring him from entering the Territories (possibly why he chose to “branch out” to a target inside Israel proper). Margalit too received similar treatment from the authorities. One suspect is from the Israeli town of Ofakim. At least one other is from a settlement though I haven’t yet identified which one. Two of them were arrested in Yad Benjamin. I hope any Israeli readers will spread this gagged news as widely as possibly on social media to begin the process of filleting censorship.


Army attacks fishers, villagers, and homes in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 14 July — Israeli navy ships attacked, on Tuesday morning, several fishing boats in Palestinian waters near Gaza city, while Israeli soldiers opened fire on farmlands and homes, in central Gaza. The navy fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition on fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea, northwest of Gaza city, causing damage to at least one boat. The fishers had to sail to shore fearing additional Israeli fire, no injuries were reported.
In related news, soldiers stationed across the border fence, opened fire on Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The soldiers also targeted a number of nearby homes, causing damage but no injuries.

Israel allows 800 Gazans to pray at Aqsa for Laylat al-Qader
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 July — The Israeli authorities permitted 800 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. Laylat al-Qader, meaning the Night of Destiny, takes place toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and according to Muslim belief marks the night the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Um Lyad al-Kammuni, a woman in her 50s, told Ma’an that this was the first time she had been able to travel to Al-Aqsa to take part in the prayers. "I’ll be praying Laylat al-Qadr for the first time in Al-Aqsa mosque and may all Gazans living under siege have the same opportunity," al-Kammuni said. Her husband added that he was extremely happy as the trip with his wife was the first time he had left the blockaded Gaza Strip in 25 years. Other worshipers making the short, but seldom permitted journey, spoke to Ma‘an of their excitement at being on their way to Jerusalem.

UNRWA to support rental subsidies for Gaza families
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 July — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) on Tuesday announced nearly $1.5 million of funding that would be dedicated to around 2,500 families in the beleaguered Gaza Strip. UNRWA said that about $560,000 will go toward outstanding rental subsidy payments to cover the period from September to December of last year. A further $910,000 is set to replace lost household goods. The aid, which is expected to reach 2,499 Palestinian refugee families across the Gaza Strip, can be accessed through local banks, the statement said. The agency said : "Emergency shelter — including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions — is a top priority for UNRWA." The announcement comes as UNRWA, the largest service provider for refugees in the Gaza Strip, continues to struggle to secure donor funding and residents are still unable to recover from last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups ... Tuesday’s announcement also comes as UNRWA has not been able to follow through on cash assistance programs in the past. In February a lack of funding forced the agency to stop a cash assistance program for tens of thousands of Palestinians to make repairs to damaged and destroyed homes. The agency said at the time that "the Gaza Strip only exists through external funding," adding : "People in Gaza don’t want aid, they want dignity and freedom."

The Israeli army proposes teeny steps to help Gaza’s imploding economy
Haaretz 13 July by Amira Hass — The easing of some of the harsher conditions of the closure may help as many as 100,000 Gazans, but it ignores the basic needs and rights of the other 1.7 million Palestinians in the Strip — Israel Defense Forces officials have made an astonishing discovery which has won them much praise : The economic decay in the Gaza Strip constitutes a threat to calm and stability. They’ve also discovered that there is a connection between Israel’s policy and the economic downslide. They therefore advised the defense minister to ease the strict closure of Gaza. A Haaretz editorial called their recommendations “a new rational and practical strategy.” The plaudits are overblown. Like the old joke about the rabbi who advises the man living in the unbearably crowded house to first bring a goat into his home, then let it go, so the IDF has proposed lifting a restriction or two on Gaza — restrictions which were put in place by the military and politicians in the early 1990s. Perhaps there is more to the recommendations than what my colleague Amos Harel reported (Haaretz, July 8). But according to the report, the recommendations are quite modest in scope ... The wording of the report makes one thing very clear. IDF officials do not recommend doing the most natural thing of all : opening the Erez checkpoint so that Gaza residents could travel the 50-70 kilometers to the West Bank and so that West Bank residents could travel to Gaza ... They are not recommending what should be taken for granted : Freedom of movement for all. The IDF officials continue to treat the denial of freedom of movement for Palestinians in their homeland as the norm, as a law of nature. The difference now is in the number of exceptions to the norm that they are recommending, but is not a difference of substance.

Brave girl who suffered ’panda eye’ bruises during Gaza crisis transformed one year on
The Mirror (U.K.) 13 July by Sam Rkaina — One year on from the Gaza crisis, a girl who suffered bruising so bad it made her look like a panda is unrecognizable. Nema, [2 1/2] years old at the time, was a dramatic example of the human cost of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. Last summer she appeared in a Channel 4 News broadcast with journalist Jon Snow, in moving footage that showed the extent of her horrendous injuries. She was reportedly blown up in an Israeli artillery barrage. One year on the presenter has returned to Gaza to be reunited with Nema, whose wounds appear to have completely healed. Now she looks happy and healthy, though she does appear to have suffered some side effects from her traumatic ordeal. In a clip due to be featured on the programme tonight at 7pm, Snow says : "Her horribly bruised panda eyes were impossible to forget." Now safely in her father’s arms, her eyes recovered. "But now she twitches a little and wets the bed at night."

Gaza’s drama series hopes to compete in pan-Arab market
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 12 July by Mohammed Othman — During the month of Ramadan, Arab channels screen several TV series, and the Gaza Strip hopes to take part in this regional field by producing comedy and drama shows — Every year, Muslims fasting during Ramadan expect to watch Arab drama TV shows at the end of the day. They gather around their TV sets, as all channels start showing a great number of series. The Gazan drama made its debut through shows that were presented to local and Arab viewers. This year, a few comedy and tragedy series were presented, all characterized by the simplicity of their production. Said Betar, an actor and director of the Palestinian government-run television in the Gaza Strip, plays the leading role in a social comedy series called "Al-Hakouti Felfel" ("Felfel the Storyteller") ... Another action series, "Al-Fidaii" ("Guerrilla"), reflecting the bitter reality of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, was produced by privately owned Al-Aqsa TV, which operates from the Gaza Strip. ?

US artist’s arresting images of Gaza war
EI 14 July by Maureen Clare Murphy — The images in Jaime Scholnick’s series Gaza : Mowing the Lawn, currently being shown at the CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles, are both familiar and unsettling. The artist drew delicate lines over 50 photographs selected from the deluge of horrific news images of Gaza that flooded social media during Israel’s war last summer. With Scholnick’s intervention, the images are slightly abstracted, but also given further depth. By covering up the often gory realism of the photographs, she gives them a new weight and dimensionality. The images appear eerily suspended in time. Dead children wrapped in funeral shrouds are blanketed once more by the artist’s lines. In a description of the exhibition published on the gallery’s website, Scholnick explains that drawing on the photographs was a way to both process the violence being wrought on Gaza, and to make it more difficult to look the other way ... The exhibition title refers to the dehumanizing terminology used by Israeli strategists for the episodic violence wreaked on Palestinians to deter resistance against military rule.

Photos : Remembering Gaza’s victims
EI 13 July by Anne Paq — ...Of all the horrifying statistics, one is particularly shocking : 142 families lost three members or more in single Israeli strikes. I started the project #ObliteratedFamilies — now available for download and exhibitioning all over the world — to document such loss. It began as a project about the victims, but soon became also a project about the survivors. How can one cope with loss on this scale ? With the support of the Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan, I met more than 50 families profoundly affected by Israel’s deadly attacks. I have never been exposed to such pain. Months after the end of the attacks, many Palestinians I met were still traumatized and in deep grief ... When I visited the homes of these mourning families, the memory of their lost kin was always present, though in varying ways. In some homes, their photos were displayed atop TV sets or on the walls. Sometimes, the victims’ clothes and belongings were as they left them, months after their death, as if they would soon return. In other homes, family members constantly looked at photos and videos of their loved ones on their mobile phones. This collection of photographs contributes to the effort to remember Gaza’s victims, and to promote the calls for justice of the survivors.

UN calls on Palestinians for information on missing Israelis
UNITED NATIONS (AP) 13 July by Edith M. Lederer— Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on Palestinians in Gaza with knowledge of two missing Israeli civilians to provide information about their possible whereabouts and condition. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general also called for prompt action to facilitate their safe return to their families. Israeli defense officials identified one of the men as Avraham Mengistu, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent in his late 20s who disappeared after he "independently" entered Gaza on Sept. 7, 2014, two weeks after the end of Israel’s war with Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip. Israel said the second man was a Bedouin Arab citizen from southern Israel but refused to identify him or say how long he had been in Gaza or how he got there. Dujarric said "the secretary-general underscores the responsibility of all parties to protect and respect the rights of civilians." He said the United Nations will continue to closely monitor developments.

Prisoners / Court actions

Israeli court sentences Palestinian rocket engineer to 21 years’ jail
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 14 July — An Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian engineer on Tuesday to 21 years in prison for helping Gaza’s Hamas militant group develop and improve their weapons capabilities. Dirar Abu Sisi, detained by Israel in 2011, was a director of the Gaza Strip’s sole power station. He said he was kidnapped [off a train] during a visit to Ukraine in February and transferred secretly to Israel. In a plea-bargain agreement that sealed a court case lasting over four years, Abu Sisi pleaded guilty to five counts which included membership of a militant organization and building and modifying missiles used against Israel. "The accused has been found guilty of offences carried out over a number of years against state security that include five specific accusations carried out by him," part of the ruling by a three-judge panel at Beersheba District Court said. Abu Sisi originally denied wrongdoing and Hamas had said he was not a member of their organization but in the amended indictment which led to the plea bargain and the conviction, he admitted the charges.

Israeli prison service takes countermeasures to force prisoner to end hunger strike
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 July – Israeli prison authorities have resorted to various sanction measures to force a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails to end his strike, Monday reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC). Prisoner Udai Steiti, 25, from Jenin, has been on a hunger strike for 26 days in protest of his administrative detention. Steiti told a PPC attorney that the prison administration placed him in solitary confinement as a form of punishment for his hunger strike. The prison administration further confiscated his electronic devices, prevented him from showering for almost 12 days, and refused to give him drinking water in light of the hot weather conditions. In an attempt to counter the strike, the prison guards also set up a barbecue outside Steiti’s cell to grill meat in front of the starving hunger striking prisoner.

Israel releases Palestinian MP after year in jail
TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 13 July — The Israeli authorities on Monday released Palestinian parliament member Riyad Mahmoud Radad after he was held in an Israeli prison nearly a year, a prisoners rights group said. The 55-year-old was released from Ktziot Prison in the Negev, according to Amina Tawil,a spokesperson for the Palestine Prisoners Center for Studies. Radad was one of hundreds of Palestinians detained by Israel after three teenage settlers were kidnapped and killed last summer. Most of those arrested during the arrest campaign were members of Hamas, including leaders and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Palestine’s parliament. Tawil said that the Israeli authorities had sentenced Radad to 12 months in jail after he was charged with "taking part in enticing marches in support of prisoners." Radad previously spent seven years of his life in Israeli jails. His mother died a little over a month before his release and Radad was not given the chance to say his final goodbyes.
The Israeli authorities on Thursday released another PLC member, Nayif al-Rujoub, after he was held for a year under administrative detention. Rujoub’s release in turn followed that of 60-year old Hassan Youssef who was also held under administrative detention. Both Youssef and Rujoub were among the hundreds arrested last summer.

Islamic Jihad leader released from Israeli jail
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 July — A Palestinian administrative detainee was released Tuesday after spending 18 months in Israeli jails, his family said. Azzam al-Shweiki, 55, is a leader of the Islamic Jihad group in Hebron and had been detained four times prior, spending a total of six years in Israeli jails, his family told a local radio station, Sawt al-Asra. Shweiki was reportedly detained on Jan. 15, 2014, and issued with an order of administrative detention for 6 months that was subsequently extended. Al-Shweki’s release comes as Palestinian detainees continue to stage hunger strikes in protest of being held under administrative detention, a policy that enables Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians indefinitely without trial.

Israeli military judge says a Palestinian can defend his home, too
Haaretz 14 June by Amira Hass — Cites settler opposition to evacuations in ordering release on bail of Palestinian accused of assaulting border policemen ; accused remains in prison, though — A military judge recently cited the response of opponents of the Gaza disengagement plan, as well as the evacuation of the West Bank settlement outpost Amona, in explaining his decision to free on bail a Palestinian arrested while trying to prevent the destruction of the electricity infrastructure in his neighborhood. Mohib Zagharna, from the Bedouin village of Ramadin in the southwest West Bank, was accused of assaulting a border policeman who was part of a contingent that accompanied Civil Administration inspectors who destroyed the infrastructure on May 7. Zagharna, 17, denies the allegations. His father and other residents of the village say they had implored the Civil Administration officials to wait an hour so they could call their lawyer to try and cancel the demolition order. When the inspectors refused, a scuffle broke out, and Zagharna said he saw his father being attacked by policemen and ran to help him. The judge, Lt. Col. Shmuel Keidar, who ordered Zagharna released on 5,000 shekels ($1,324) bail on June 29, wrote, “We cannot expect a person not to resist the destruction of his home, just as [Jewish] people from all sectors in the country have done, as in the examples of Yamit [in Sinai], Gush Katif [in Gaza], Amona [in the W.B.], Givat Amal [in Tel Aviv] and elsewhere. In all these instances there were (several) homeowners who took violent measures and were arrested, but it doesn’t seem to me that they were held longer than a few days for questioning and not until the end of legal proceedings against them.” The prosecution has appealed the decision ; as a result, two weeks after the decision to release him, Zagharna is still in jail.

The Israeli military justice system — an assembly line for mass detentions
Haaretz 15 July by Amira Hass — Man bites dog — that’s how the matter of Mohib Zagharna came to our attention. There’s a judge on the Ofer Military Court who considers equality an acceptable value. Lt. Col. Shmuel Keidar ruled that Zagharna should be released on bail after he and others scuffled with Border Police forces and Civil Administration inspectors who had come to dismantle a power line in his neighborhood in the southern West Bank village of Ramadin. “When the security forces come to destroy the infrastructure of a person’s home, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which that person will stand aside and merely wave posters against the demolition, and that tempers won’t rise, particularly when it comes as a surprise,” Keidar wrote in his June 29 ruling ... Any joy at Keidar’s ruling was premature ; the usual order of things was restored immediately. The military prosecutors appealed his release on bail, and the deputy president of the Military Appeals Court, Lt. Col Zvi Lekah, decided that Zagharna, who was arrested on May 7, should remain in custody until the end of the legal proceedings. This is the way the military justice system forces plea bargains on Palestinians. The defendant pleads guilty because if he waits for a trial at which witnesses are questioned properly, he’ll probably end up in jail for longer than whatever sentence he would have received if convicted. Exceptions like Keidar make headlines, and the headlines make us forget that the military justice system is an assembly line for mass detentions, an integral part of the elaborate and sophisticated abuse mechanism for quashing any desire and ability of a people to win back its land and freedom.

Palestinian refugees - Jordan, Syria

Born & bred without rights : Gaza Strip refugees in Jordan
Peace Noe 10 July — 2 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan but they are not all afforded the same legal status. Dario Sabaghi explains how those originating from the Gaza Strip are not considered citizens leaving them in a very precarious position ... Jerash Camp, also known locally as Gaza camp, was established in 1968 for 11,500 Palestine refugees who fled from the Gaza strip, as a consequence of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It is located not far from the Roman stone ruins of Jerash. Currently, it hosts about 28,000 registered refugees, who live in an area of 0.75 square kilometres. If you want to understand its overcrowding, you have to take in consideration that Gaza Camp is almost twice as large as Vatican City populated by 845 inhabitants ... Palestine refugees are not all the same in Jordan. Unlike refugees from the West Bank those from the Gaza Strip are not considered citizens. This legal disparity has huge consequences in terms of protection of civil rights and on living conditions of the people. Indeed, according to UNRWA “ex-Gazans lack legal status in Jordan and are denied many of the basic services and rights afforded to pre-67 refugees, including access to state schools, government employment, and healthcare”. To understand the sense of this inequality is necessary to look to 1967. After the Arab-Israli war, thousands of Gazans flocked to Jordan from the Gaza Strip, which was then ruled by Egypt. This is the reason why Gazans received temporary Jordanian passports, while most of Palestine refugees from the West Bank were naturalized. Indeed, the West Bank was a Jordanian territory since 1950, when it had been annexed.

Believing in yourself promotes change
MARKA CAMP, Jordan (UNRWA) 13 July — Thirty-nine-year-old Hana Abdul Salam Abu-Azzoum, a Palestine refugee from Gaza, lives with her three children in a rented house in Marka camp (locally known as Hittin). She moved back to Marka from Amman three years ago after she was dismissed by her husband when he decided to marry another woman ... Hana explains how she suffered from physical and psychological abuse while living with her husband, which in turn affected her relationship with her family : “The life with my husband caused ​​me psychological illness, and this was reflected in my behaviour with my children. I used to hit them severely.” She also recalls her limited education ; due to the difficult living conditions and poverty her family faced in the camp when she was young, Hana had no choice but to leave school in the fourth grade. It was her sister who first told Hana about the Child and Family Protection Project in Marka camp, also known as the Marka Project.

2,910 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria
LONDON (PIC) 13 July — At least 2,910 Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria since the outbreak of the ongoing events there, the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria (AGPS) reported Sunday. The reported deaths were victims of starvation, torture, bombing, and drowning at sea while on their way to Europe fleeing the horrors of the conflict in Syria, the group clarified. 1,860 victims were confirmed to have been killed in the Palestinian refugee camps throughout Syria, while the rest were reported outside the country. 78 Palestinians were tortured to death during March in the Syrian regime prisons, the AGPS added. 46 others were killed after the ISIS’s attack on Yarmouk refugee camp.

Other news

Erekat takes office as PLO secretary-general
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 July — Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat took office as secretary-general of the PLO on Monday, prompting speculation he is being lined up to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian president. Erekat, who has served on the PLO negotiating team on and off for more than two decades, replaced Yasser Abed Rabbo after he was dismissed nearly two weeks ago.The position of secretary-general is second only to that of chair — held by Abbas — within the PLO Executive Committee, and media reports suggested that the promotion is a vote of confidence in Erekat as a future leader. However, Ashraf Khatib, a senior adviser for the PLO negotiations affairs department, said that there was "no fact behind" the speculation. He said that Erekat’s current priority would be focused on the PLO and "restructuring" its internal organization. He said that it was "up to the decision of the Palestinian leadership and Fatah" whether Erekat would later run in presidential elections. Abbas was popularly elected as president in 2005, but in the absence of elections he has remained in power long after his term ended in 2009. Erekat said Monday that it was necessary to activate all bodies of the PLO, and for the Palestinian National Council to convene as soon as possible ... Abed Rabbo, whom Erekat replaced, was fired from his post nearly two weeks ago following a decision by the PLO Executive Committee.

Why is Israel trying to shut down this Palestinian TV station ?
Al-Monitor 13 July by Daoud Kuttab — For years, Palestine TV has dedicated some programming to their Palestinian brethren in Israel, and it was well received — When writer-lawyer Sabri Jiryis wrote in 1968 his research about the 165,000 non-Jews that remained in their country when Israel was created in 1948, he called his book “The Arabs in Israel.” For many years, the national identity of non-Jewish Arab citizens of Israel has been in flux. They are usually called "Israeli Arabs." Arabs, including those of nearby Jordan, call them 1948 Arabs. But in recent years, they have settled on the term Palestinian citizens of Israel as the agreed-upon identity for themselves. According to the Israeli Statistics Bureau, Palestinian citizens in Israel today number 1.7 million, 20.7% of the state’s 8.3 million citizens. When the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. (PBC) decided to dedicate one of its many satellite stations to Israel’s Arab population, it called the new station F48, angering the right-wing Israeli government. The Falastin 48 station was begun during a June 17 news conference on the eve of Ramadan in Nazareth and in the presence of Ramallah-based Palestinian government Communications Minister Riad al-Hassan. Israeli media reported June 18 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the station to be shut down, although nothing specifically was done to close it ... By broadcasting out of Ramallah to their brethren in Nazareth, Haifa and the Negev, Palestinians have been united despite the walls and legal obstacles that separate them.

In West Bank Snapchat story, life under occupation was the elephant in the room
Mondoweiss 13 July by Graham Liddell — Featuring Tel Aviv and West Bank “stories” this past week, the popular smartphone app Snapchat took a dramatic step in the direction that many social media tools seem to be heading – a much greater emphasis on story-telling and the inevitable politics that come with it. Having recently returned to the US after spending over a year working in Palestine, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that the app was featuring the West Bank on Thursday. My initial reaction as I cycled through the collection of clips was simply to smile. I recognized a man working at one of my favorite felafel shops in Bethlehem. And a video of young boys playing soccer in Dheisheh refugee camp was for me a vivid flashback to similar matches I’d pass by on a daily basis in the graffitied alleys of Azza camp, just miles away, where I lived with a host family in 2014. It was quite surreal to suddenly be given a window into a place I’d so recently lived, with familiar faces, foods, landmarks, and activities. So when I saw a few Twitter users criticizing the Snapchat story for its under-emphasis of the Israeli occupation, at first I felt a little defensive ...However, the more I watched the West Bank Snapchat story, the more I agreed that it was being crafted to downplay the occupation and the ongoing struggle that is daily life for many Palestinians.

EU continues monetary support for the PA
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 14 July — The European Union is set to make a payment of over $15 million to the Palestinian Authority to support poor Palestinian families living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, an EU representative said Tuesday. The contribution is the second towards EU’s commitment of providing $46 million this year to the PA. According to pledges at the Cairo Gaza Reconstruction Conference last October, the aid includes quarterly payments distributed via the PA to an estimated 10,000 households in Gaza. "One year after the escalation of hostilities and its disastrous consequences in Gaza, regular cash and in-kind assistance puts predictability into the lives of the poorest," EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter said. "This payment bears a special social significance as it is made ahead of Eid al-Fitr, permitting those in need to provide for their families," he added, referring to a festival which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The assistance is channeled directly to the PA and covers 40 percent of the total cost of cash assistance to over 122,000 Palestinian households living in poverty. More than 64 percent of the beneficiaries live in Gaza.

Israeli-EU dialogue over Palestinian economy next Sept.
JERUSALEM (Andalu Agency) 13 July by Anees Barghouthy — Israel agreed to discuss the economic situation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with the EU next September, on the condition that the settlements issue is not brought up, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday. “Israel told the European Union last week that it is willing to open talks about the economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza,” the newspaper quoted an anonymous Israeli official as saying. “The EU wanted to discuss settlement construction and steps that might jeopardize the two-state solution,” the senior official said. “Israel has made it clear that it is only ready to negotiate improving the economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he added. He also pointed out that Israel would be willing to discuss issues raised by the European Union in the past, including infrastructure projects for Palestinians living in Area C regions in the West Bank, which are under full Israeli civil and security control.

Support for two-state solution decreases among Israelis, Palestinians
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 July — Support for the two-state solution has decreased among both Palestinians and Israelis over the past year with just 51 percent of both populations vouching support, a recent poll showed. Since June 2014, support for the two-state solution has decreased among Israelis from 62 percent to 51 percent and among Palestinians from 54 percent to 51 percent, according to a poll conducted jointly by the Harry Truman Research Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Perception by both groups of the other as an existential threat remained the same. The poll reported that 56 percent of Palestinians believe that Israel’s long term goals are to extend its borders to cover the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, expelling all Palestinian citizens. Forty three percent of Israelis polled, meanwhile, think that Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

Anti-Arab racism up after Gaza war and election campaign, report says
Haaretz 14 July by Jack Khoury — Survey by Coalition Against Racism also shows increase in racist comments by elected officials — ...Over the past year there have been 237 racist incidents, 160 of them during the war, the report states. It cites 192 anti-Arab incidents, compared with 113 in 2013. The report discusses both physical and verbal incidents. “We are living in this country and are aware of the increase in racist violent incidents, but the report uses statistics to confirm the deep sense and danger,” said MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint Arab List), who with Michal Biran (Zionist Union) heads the new Knesset caucus. “The report shows a disturbing increase in incidents of incitement and expressions of racism by elected officials and decision makers,” she said.

PM says Israel not bound by Iran deal, will defend itself
JERUSALEM (AFP) 14 July — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday Israel was not bound by the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, calling it a "historic mistake" and signaling he remained ready to order military action. His harsh criticism of the agreement came after he warned for months that the deal being negotiated would not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons that could be used to target Israel. He also argued that lifting sanctions would allow Iran to further support proxy militants and add to the instability rocking parts of the Middle East. While analysts say unilateral military action by Israel seems unlikely for now, Netanyahu and other officials have kept the option on the table ... He has taken his campaign to the US Congress and the UN General Assembly, but ultimately failed to block the agreement. In a bid to reassure Netanyahu, US President Barack Obama spoke with him by phone Tuesday, telling him the deal was in Israel’s "national security interest." ... The deal puts strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least a decade and calls for stringent UN oversight, with world powers hoping that this will make any dash to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible. In return, painful international sanctions that have slashed the oil exports of OPEC’s fifth-largest producer by a quarter and choked its economy will be lifted and billions of dollars in frozen assets unblocked.

Palestinians welcome Iran deal, expect similar international pressure on Israel
Haaretz 14 July by Jack Khoury & Reuters — The Arab world’s reaction to Tuesday’s signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers was mostly positive, namely Syria’s assertion that the accord constitutes "a great victory." Turkey and Egypt were similarly enthusiastic. The Palestinians also welcomed the deal, but a senior official told Haaretz that Ramallah also expects the international community to show similar resolve vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Just like the powers – especially the U.S. – were determined to conclude the negotiations [with Iran] and went to great lengths," the official said, "so do we see the Palestinian issue as an equally important matter and expect the U.S. and world powers to exert the same efforts."

No evidence, but UN says Jesus baptized on Jordan’s side of river, not Israel’s
AL-MAGHTAS, Jordan (AP) 13 July — For years, Christian pilgrims have waded into the Jordan River from both its eastern and western banks to connect with a core event of their faith — the baptism of Jesus. The parallel traditions allowed Jordan and Israel to compete for tourism dollars in marketing one of Christianity’s most important sites. But now UNESCO has weighed in on the rivalry, designating Jordan’s baptismal area on the eastern bank a World Heritage Site. The UN cultural agency declared this month that the site “is believed to be” the location of Jesus’ baptism, based on what it said is a view shared by most Christian churches. The decision drew cheers in Jordan, where the number of tourists has dropped sharply since the 2011 Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State group. Israel has kept silent while a Palestinian official said the western baptismal site, located in the West Bank, should have been included. The UNESCO decision also raised eyebrows among some scholars. It “has nothing to do with archaeological reality,” said Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We don’t have any sites with evidence or archaeological remains that were continuously venerated from the first century on.” Experts who reviewed the Jordanian application for UNESCO acknowledged that there is no solid archaeological evidence confirming that “Bethany Beyond the Jordan,” also known as al-Maghtas, Arabic for baptism, is the authentic site.

Israel and Palestine need a joint truth commission
Haaretz 14 July by M. Cherif Bassiouni — My experience chairing UN commissions of inquiry has led me to conclude that there is no peace without justice. Israel and Palestine need to work together toward this goal — Multiple peace initiatives have been launched over the past 80 years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet none of them address reconciliation or issues of justice. My experience has led me to conclude that there is no peace without justice. I have chaired several United Nations commissions of inquiry as well as national commissions investigating violations of international criminal law and human rights in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Bahrain, and I contributed to Iraq’s post-conflict reconstruction of its legal system. In Israel and Palestine as well, reconciliation and justice are essential to achieving long-lasting peace between the two nations and their peoples ... What is recommended is that the governments of Israel and of Palestine agree to establish a joint fact-finding commission. Such a commission could be modeled in part on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or on the many others established in South America and elsewhere. The two parties should agree upon the mandate, rules of procedure and evidence, processes and funding of the joint truth commission before it begins its work. The commission’s members could include a limited number of Israelis and Palestinians, public officials or not, and perhaps one or more international experts experienced with these matters and whose integrity and objectivity both sides can accept. The commission’s report would be jointly published and made publicly available, but more importantly it would contain a provision that each side would commit to prosecute those who have committed violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law.