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Terrorisme israélien


Mercredi, 22 juillet 2015 - 10h29 AM

mercredi 22 juillet 2015




Two fishermen injured by navy fire

IMEMC 22 July — Israeli navy ships opened live fire, on Tuesday at dawn, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, wounding two fishers, and kidnapped two including one of the wounded, before towing a boat to the Ashdod Port. Ahmad Ismael Sharafi, 20 years of age, was shot with a live round in the back, and several rubber-coated metal bullets in his arm, and was moved to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza, suffering a moderate injury. The two kidnapped fishers were released approximately at six in the evening, while one of them was moved to a medical center for treatment of wounds resulting from the Israeli attack, the Union for Agricultural Work Committees has reported. On Monday evening, the navy attacked a fishing boat belonging to Yousef Fayez Barakat, 22 years of age, and kidnapped him, along with Haitham Tareq Bakr, 25.

Blackouts hit Gaza as power plant shuts amid tax dispute

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 July — The Gaza Strip was reduced to eight hours of electricity per day on Tuesday after its sole power plant shut down because it was unable to afford PA-imposed taxes. The Gaza distribution network will provide just six hours of electricity for every 12 hours without, averaging eight hours of total power a day. It previously provided 12 hours a day, supplying and cutting electricity in eight-hour intervals. Sources told Ma‘an that there is currently no dialogue between Gaza’s Hamas-run energy authority and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, meaning the energy crisis is likely to continue. The energy authority said on Wednesday that it had asked the PA’s petroleum authority to transfer 1 million liters of fuel that it would pay for later, but the Ramallah-based organization reportedly refused. The authority said that its last financial allowance for purchasing fuel was made on Wednesday last week and it has not been able to make any payments since. The energy authority has in particular criticized a PA-imposed tax on fuel sold to Gaza that amounts to a 50 percent hike on the price of fuel. The energy authority said Tuesday that it has asked the unity government for an exemption from the tax for a year while it improves its bill collection and financial strategy, but the government was not reported to have responded. In the four months until the end of Ramadan, the unity government waived the tax in a show of good will, but the Gazan energy authority said in a statement Monday that since the tax had been reinstated it could no longer afford to keep the plant running.

Israel bars repair of Gaza electricity grids ; plant again threatened with closure
IMEMC/Agencies 21 July — Israeli authorities have prevented Israeli power firm from repairing electricity grids supplying Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said on Monday. A technical error in the Israeli side cut off two main power grids supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip over the weekend. The down lines provide 25 percent or 30 megawatts, of the electricity that the Israeli occupation sells to the Strip. Power grid No. 8, which provides electricity to central Gaza and parts of Khan Younis, shut down three days ago, and Al-Qubba grid, which provides electricity to the Gaza City, shut down on Sunday, according to Days of Palestine. Officials of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said the company is attempting to cooperate with the Palestinian Power Authority to repair the broken grids, but said the Israeli occupation is obstructing their efforts. Meanwhile, the occupation also is preventing the Israeli Electricity Corporation from fixing the grids on the grounds of security concerns. Gaza currently receives electricity from the Israeli occupation, Egypt, and a power station inside Gaza. However, these supply lines fall far short of the Gazan population’s needs. While the three suppliers provide 230 MW of electricity, the UN estimates that this meets only half of Gaza’s needs.

Rare cancer caused by Israeli bombs in Gaza
GAZA, Occupied Palestine 21 July by ISM, Gaza Team — During the 2012 Zionist massacre in Gaza, named by the occupation as Operation Pillar of Defense, many buildings near Mohamed’s home were bombed. Less than a year after the aggression, while playing with him, Mohamed’s mother found a lump in his neck. At this time he was eight years old. They went to Shifa hospital, where he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. There he underwent the first surgery, but the operation was not successful. After that he was allowed to travel to the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, in order to be treated in the Hospital of Haifa. Where he underwent a second surgery and received radiotherapy, unavailable in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority pays the treatment to the Israeli hospital. For this reason, according to Mohamed’s family, the Palestinian Authority tries to prevent every journey of Mohamed from Gaza to Haifa’s hospital. As Mohamed’s mother says, the Israeli doctors told them that this kind of cancer is due to the bombings near their home. They also told her that in 2016 the cancer rates in Gaza will rise 70% more, and that for the following 4 years it will keep growing ... The two oncologists interviewed by ISM in Shifa Hospital and Rantisi Children Hospital, in Gaza, agreed that these kinds of cancer are due to the Zionist bombs, and explained that they were very rare before the massive aggressions against the Gaza Strip.

Salafi groups in Gaza threaten to fire rockets at Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 July — Salafi groups in the Gaza Strip threatened on Monday to fire rockets at Israel in response to what they called “Hamas crimes and conspiracies” against Salafis living in the strip. The threat came in reaction to the arrest of militants suspected of targeting members of the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Sunday with a series of bombings on Sunday. The Salafi groups argued in a statement that Hamas’ security services were utilizing the recent attacks "to justify its arrest campaign” as an excuse for disproportionate targeting of Salafis. "The Salafis have decided to respond to these crimes and these blows dealt by Hamas by pointing rockets towards the occupation (Israel) and carrying out reprisals," the statement read. “Hamas authorities raided homes of Salafi militants and carried out an arrest campaign hours after the explosions took place, considering that the explosions targeting leaders of the al-Qassam and al-Quds Brigades were ‘deliberate,’" the statement said, referring to the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad respectively. The groups added that at least 12 Salafi members had been arrested in the last few hours. "The results will be catastrophic, will benefit no one, and it will be Hamas who shoulders the responsibility," their statement said. The threat comes amid a power struggle between Hamas and smaller extremist groups.

Gaza to Canada and back to Gaza : Why a family chose to return
NPR Audio interview 21 July by Emily Harris — What would make you move to Gaza ? The small strip of land along the Mediterranean coast is run by Hamas, the Islamist group Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization. Earlier this year the World Bank said Gaza probably had the highest rate of unemployment in the world. It can be difficult to get into Gaza, and, if you are Palestinian, very difficult to get the necessary Israeli or Egyptian permission to leave. Three wars between Israel and Hamas since 2008 killed more than 3,000 Gazans, the majority civilians. But the Aloul family was living elsewhere during those wars. In November 2008, Ihab al-Aloul and his wife, Somaya, left Gaza City and took their six children to Vancouver, British Columbia. Last fall, they moved back. The benefits and drawbacks to that decision play out differently for each family member and provide a glimpse into life in Gaza ... Aloul says a big reason was family. "I miss my parents," he says. Money, too, played a role. Aloul is a software development manager and had his own company in Gaza before moving to Canada. He says despite earning an MBA, it wasn’t so easy to get on his feet there. Here, his father helps. "Here my dad is rich, he has his land, he has business, so he can support me," Aloul says. His father bought land relatively cheaply decades ago. With the population growing and the amount of available land for building shrinking, real estate became a source of wealth....

Most Israeli Jews favour return of Gaza settlements : poll
JERUSALEM (AFP) 20 July — Most Israeli Jews favour the reconstruction of a block of settlements in the Gaza Strip, a decade after Israel withdrew from the Palestinian territory, a poll published on Monday showed. Some 51 percent of Israeli Jews said they were in favour of rebuilding the Gush Katif group of settlements, located in southern Gaza and where more than 8,000 Israelis lived prior to the 2005 withdrawal. The poll published on the NRG news website of 587 people did not include members of the Arab minority, who represent nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population. Israel evacuated Gush Katif and other Gaza settlements in 2005 under a plan launched by then prime minister Ariel Sharon. Israeli authorities have since prevented its citizens from traveling to Gaza.

Amira Hass : ’Let me be blunt : Gaza is a huge concentration camp’
Juan Cole 9 July by Julie Poucher Harbin — In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1, 800,000 people. This is not a novelty. This is not something new. This did not start, unlike what many people think, with the rise of Hamas, Hamas being elected in 2006, or Hamas taking over the security agencies and apparatus in Gaza in 2007 after the short civil war. We can almost trace it to the moment when it started, and this is the 15th of January 1991 — long before Oslo, long before Madrid, and of course long before the suicide attacks inside Israeli cities and against Israeli civilians. This policy of sealing off Gaza, of making Gazans into prisoners, defacto prisoners, started then. I’ve written extensively about it and yet I know it always surprises. In 1991 Israel started a policy, which you can compare to the past system in South Africa. Israel started to oblige Palestinians to have a permit in order to move from one place to another within the country. Until 1991, Israel more or less acknowledged the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement ... Until 1991, the country (Gaza and the West Bank) was occupied, but for Palestinians they were occupied in the entire country, so they could travel in the country as a whole. Israel respected the right of freedom of movement of all of the Palestinians except for a few, except for some exceptions, like mostly for political reasons — people who were put under house arrest, town arrest, etc. But in general the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza had freedom of movement.(From) 1991 until today, it is the reverse. The right of freedom of movement of all the Palestinians is not respected, except for some exceptions ; except a few categories. In different times it’s different numbers and different categories but yet this is the rule. No freedom of movement for Palestinians....

Mahmoud Abuquta starts stem cell campaign as he returns to Gaza
CBC News20 July by Carolyn Ray — Abuquta’s brother, Mohammed, died of cancer after his stem cell match arrived in Halifax too late — A man from Gaza whose brother died in Halifax of cancer is hoping his family’s story of loss can be used to help others as he starts an international campaign to raise awareness about stem cell donation. Mahmoud Abuquta says people in Halifax went out of their way to support his brother Mohammed, who died of acute myeloid leukemia on June 19. "I thank you for anyone in hospital. I thank you for nurses who helped. For doctors," he said. Abuquta has been trying to learn English during his time in Halifax. Abuquta was his brother’s stem cell match, but it took months to get the younger brother out of Gaza and to Halifax for the bone marrow transplant. Shortly after Abuquta’s arrival, his brother relapsed and became too sick to go through with the procedure. "I see every people in Canada help me and help my brother until the last minute," said a tearful Mahmoud Abuquta. "I need to make something to help people of Canada." - Paying it forward - Abuquta says during his time in Halifax, many strangers offered to help. Abuquta has now registered for OneMatch, Canada’s stem cell donation network. He wants others — especially ethnically diverse men — to join the list. Through an interpreter, Abuquta says he knew nothing about stem cell donations before his brother became ill. "He will never lose the cause of helping people in need for stem cell transplants," said Dr. Mohammed Almohammadi, speaking for Abuquta.

Hamas video depicting Gaza fighters behind Israeli lines goes viral
EI 20 July by Ali Abunimah — This video clip released yesterday by the military wing of Hamas shows, the group says, then Israeli army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz within its fighters’ sights one year ago. Gantz and other senior Israeli officers are seen touring an area near the boundary fence with Gaza during last summer’s Israeli assault. The clip comes from a longer video released by the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades recounting an operation last year in which its fighters infiltrated from Gaza into present-day Israel, attacked a military outpost and ambushed a patrol killing at least two Israeli soldiers and injuring several others. It is unclear why Hamas fighters did not attempt to target Gantz on this occasion. It may be that they did not have the right weapons with sufficient range in place, or other operational reasons. But the UN Human Rights Council’s independent inquiry in to the Gaza assault notes that Qassam fighters did apparently try to target Gantz during other visits to boundary areas. The longer video, below, is called Behind the Lines : Abu Mutaibiq Outpost. The 35-minute video, in Arabic, recounts the 19 July 2014 attack on an Israeli military installation near Kissufim, on the Israeli side of the boundary fence with Gaza, from the perspective of the Palestinian fighters. It includes personal testimonies of some of the participants – their names are not given – and a realistic and at times graphic reenactment of battle scenes. All of the reenactments are labeled as such, so there is no confusing them with real footage, such as that of Gantz. According to the video, a group of nine Qassam fighters infiltrated Israeli lines via tunnels ... The video is notable for several reasons. It shows that one year after the Israeli assault on Gaza, the military wing of Hamas is maintaining the media and public communications strategy it conducted during the war ... Palestinian resistance groups are necessarily secretive, so this video also aims to put a human face on some of the fighters who engaged Israel in battle.

One year since Gaza, a photo a day : July 18, 2014
Activestills 18 July — This is part of a series of daily posts showing photos taken on the same date a year ago, during “Operation Protective Edge,” last summer’s assault on Gaza. Members of the ActiveStills collective documented what was happening at that time inside Gaza, Israel and the West Bank. Most of the photos that we will publish here over the next month and a half were published on +972 in real time. The average Israeli news consumer, however, did not get the full picture of the death and destruction that was taking place in Gaza, or the popular resistance against the war taking place in the West Bank and Israel. For most Israelis, the Palestinian victims had neither names nor stories. A year later, as tens of thousands of people in Gaza remain displaced, many without permanent shelter, and as thousands of wounded are still waiting for rehabilitation, we hope this project can help us all remember what happened last summer — told through the lenses of our cameras.

Permanent victims of war : Who remembers Gaza’s children ?
+972 mag 21 July by Amjad Iraqi — ...People have an odd tendency to forget that the wounds of war do not end after the guns have stopped blazing. One year may have passed since Operation Protective Edge, but there has been no rest to the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children living in Gaza. Families and communities remain torn apart by the loss of the 551 children who were killed, while also struggling to restore the lives of the 1,500 children who were made orphans. Approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them children, still have no homes to return to due to the total destruction or severe damage of their buildings — none of which have been rebuilt because of the severe lack of construction materials allowed into the territory. Nearly 3,500 children are also recovering from physical injuries incurred during the war, with tens of thousands more suffering from psychological trauma ; a statistic that is difficult to write when you realize what that entails. A girl whose arms were blown off by a nearby airstrike can never hug her parents or pick up her toys to play. A boy whose legs were pierced by shrapnel may never walk or kick a ball with his friends. A girl hearing the sound of drones above her head fears she might be killed on her way to school. A boy who watched his family crushed by a collapsing building cannot sleep as he stares at his bedroom ceiling in horror every night. These stories from Gaza have been almost completely absent from the Israeli public’s discussions of the military operation. Far from questioning the scale of last year’s deaths and destruction, many simply remark that Palestinian child casualties were “regretful” but unavoidable during times of war.

Celebrating Eid in Gaza amidst the rubble of war
+972 Blog 20 July by Jen Marlowe — Wafaa takes me back to the pile of rubble, but this time, not to show me the destruction. She points to a small shrub at the rubble’s edge, battered, but clearly alive. ‘Ibrahim’s tree,’ she says of the living reminder of her son — Wafaa Awajah’s family had scarcely taken their seats in a circle of plastic chairs when her brother hitched up his pants to show me the scars on his leg from where he had been injured by an Israeli soldier. Another brother had also sustained injuries from the army ; he, too, showed me his wounds. As Wafaa passed around a tray of chilled soft drinks and bowls of nuts and sweets (as is customary during the Eid celebration) a third brother told me of how years ago a settler had hit him with his car–intentionally, he believed–as he was riding his bike on the side of road. A fourth brother had been imprisoned on two occasions, not by the Israeli army, but by Hamas. “For speaking too much,” he told me with a grin, when I asked him why. I had arrived to the caravans where the Awajah family now lives in Beit Lahiya, Gaza a few hours earlier, in the midst of the flurry of excitement accompanying the preparation for Eid il-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan. The children were running around, brushing their hair, putting on their new Eid clothes. Meters away from us was the rubble of their home, destroyed in the 2009 war, finally rebuilt in 2013, and destroyed again in the 2014 war. The two days I spent with the family were joyful, yet still penetrated by the horror that this family (and so many families in Gaza) have experienced.

’We are not numbers’ : New project connects young writers in Gaza to the world
GAZA (MintPress) 20 July by Joe Catron — “I really want to tell the world about the other side of Gaza they never hear about,” a participant in a new project by young Palestinian writers in the Gaza Strip tells MintPress — As protests and gatherings around the world commemorate Israel’s most recent military operation against the Gaza Strip, which killed 2,251 Palestinians, 551 of them children, last summer, a new writing project by young writers in the besieged enclave aims to illustrate not only the human costs of repeated Israeli offensives, but also the daily realities of life in the Strip. Gaza “is a place where talents grow, where creativity is embraced,” Ahmed Elqattawi, a 20-year-old English literature student and participant in “We Are Not Numbers,” told MintPress News. The program, he says, “indicates the fact that each one of us has a story to tell.” - ‘Making the right ’match’ - Launched in February by the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, which has an office in Gaza City, the program connects local writers, most between the ages of 17 and 29, to mentors with substantial writing experience. “The best part is the chance to have an international mentor,” Do‘aa Mohaisen, a 19-year-old English literature student, who calls herself “a hasty chaotic brat,” told MintPress. “My mentor is Susan Abulhawa, who’s actually one of my favorite writers !” Abdulhawa, a Palestinian-American novelist and the author of “Mornings in Jenin” and “The Blue Between Sky and Water,” joins other literary writers like Nancy Kricorian, as well as journalists such as Ramzy Baroud and activists like Ann Wright, as mentors.

English study an escape for Gazans
GAZA CITY 20 July by Rasha Abou Jalal — More and more young Gazans are determined to master the English language — the key, they say, to getting jobs, studying abroad and conveying the Palestinians’ suffering to the world. Huda Droll, an American teacher at Amideast in Gaza — the area’s most famous English-language teaching center — told Al-Monitor, “There is a remarkable and constant rise in demand for English learning among Palestinians, in an effort to get a scholarship to study abroad, get a job or to discuss with the people of the world the atrocities committed by Israel against them.” Haitham Khoudari, 23, who studied electrical engineering at university, recently finished a three-month English course at a local school, al-Salam Center. The course cost 550 shekels ($142), which he borrowed from a relative.Khoudari told Al-Monitor, “Most of the jobs [in Palestine] require excellent English reading and writing skills for admission. [English] is difficult to master at elementary school or university.”

Jurassic world comes to Gaza
AL-ZAHARA, Gaza Strip 20 July by Ahmad Abu Amer — Gazans are thrilled about the new theme park, Dinosaur City, as they lack educational and entertainment opportunities that allow them to forget about their harsh living conditions — At Dinosaur City, the first theme park of its kind in the Gaza Strip, and in fact in all of Palestine, the sounds of its prehistoric creatures can be heard from a distance. A dinosaur head is displayed above the entrance gate to the park, in which the park’s visitors are treated to an experience of what these extinct creatures may have looked and sounded like ... Abdallah Joudeh, the park’s manager and guide, told Al-Monitor that the main purpose of building the theme park was to establish a link between what students learn in school and an entertaining experience. He said that Dinosaur City was developed after a number of engineers saw similar projects around the world.

Violence / Raids / Clashes / Detentions

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 July — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during clashes that broke out after they raided the town of Birqin west of Jenin on Wednesday morning, locals said. Muhammad Ahmad Alawneh, 21, was shot with a live bullet in his chest. He was taken to a hospital for treatement, where he underwent surgery, but later succumbed to his wounds. During the clashes, Israeli forces fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at the Palestinians, as well as live rounds. Sources added that Israeli forces detained journalist Muhammad Ali Atiq during the raid. Israeli forces also detained Yasser Ghaleb Abu Jaafar from Jenin City after raiding his family home. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the two arrests, but said that the Palestinian had been injured by Israeli border police.

Palestinian family targeted in Israeli raids
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 July — The Al-Shyukh village northeast of Hebron erupted into clashes Tuesday as Israeli forces raided three homes of a Palestinian family, locals said. Al-Shyukh local Ahmad Hariqa told Ma‘an that Palestinian youth shut down entrances leading into the southern West Bank village after Israeli forces entered early Tuesday morning. Several Palestinians suffered from tear-gas fired by the forces at youths who were throwing rocks, he added. During the village raid, Israeli forces surrounded the home of Palestinian prisoner Moussa Halayqa before handcuffing his wife while they searched the house. It was the second time the home had been raided in the past five days. Last week, Moussa Halayqa’s home was raided by Israeli forces who detained his son Qassam, 25 and shot and injured his brother Muhammad, 17, with a rubber-coated steel bullet. The week prior, another son of Moussa was detained by Israeli forces from the same home. Moussa Halayqa and three of his children are currently being held in Israeli jails among over 6,000 other Palestinian detainees. Israeli forces also raided and searched the homes of Ayyub Mahmoud Halayqa and Ihsan Muhammad Halayqa. Raids by Israeli forces into Palestinian towns occur on a nightly basis, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs documenting a weekly average of 83 raids since the start of 2015. Such raids are carried out throughout the occupied West Bank including areas that fall under full Palestinian jurisdiction.

Knesset passes law giving harsher punishments to stone-throwers
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 July — The Knesset passed into law on Monday night an amendment enabling harsher punishments for stone-throwers, a Knesset press release said. The move raised outcry among Palestinian MK’s. As the law stood prior, those who throw stones at cars could be convicted and sentenced for up to 20 years without the state having to prove the throwers’ intent of trying to damage cars or harm their occupants. Under the new law approved by the Knesset — Israel’s parliament — stone-throwing violations will now fall into two categories. One category enables the state to put someone behind bars for 10 years if they are found to have thrown "a stone or any other object at a vehicle in motion in a manner liable to endanger the passengers in the vehicle or people in the vicinity." Under the "harsher category," it continues, the 20-year sentence can still be given, however imprisonment "includes the issue of intent, and forbids the throwing of stones or any other objects at a moving vehicle with the intent to seriously harm the occupants." The new law also makes it easier to punish those who throw stones at police patrol cars. Five-year sentences will now be possible where it can be proven there is "intent to interfere with the policeman’s performance of his duties or to prevent him from performing them." Of the Knesset’s 120 members, 69 voted in favor of the law, while only 17 members opposed it ... Israel detains hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone-throwing every year, and Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, "93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months." Five Palestinian youths from the West Bank village of Hares are currently facing life imprisonment after being charged with attempted murder following an alleged stone-throwing incident ... According to the Knesset statement, Palestinian MKs slammed the bill. MK Jamal Zahalka said : "Who will the judge send to prison ? He who demolished the home, seized the land, killed the brother, or the boy who threw a stone ?" "The one who demolishes the home gets a medal, but the boy whose anger is justified gets punished. There is no justice in this law."

The Occupation arrest a youth from Silwan and an old man from in front of Al-Aqsa gates
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 21 July — The Israeli forces arrested early Tuesday morning the youth Ala’ Rubein Al Qaq 17 years oldm after breaking into his house in Ein Allouza neighborhood in the town of Silwan. Wadi Hilweh Information Center learnt that the Israeli forces broke into the youth Rubein Al Qaq’s family house and arrested him then proceeded to search the house, they also confiscated his mobile phone. The forces also arrested today Kheir Shimi Abu Baker from ‘Al-Silisleh Gate’. The Magistrate Court ruled to exclude Ms. Sana’ Al Rajabi from Al-Aqsa Mosque for a duration of 45 days.

Soldiers kidnap twelve Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 21 July — Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday, various Palestinian communities in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped twelve Palestinians, including an elderly woman. Media sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, said several military vehicles invaded Bani Neim town, east of the city, and kidnapped two Palestinians, after violently searching their homes, causing property damage. The two have been identified as Mo’taz Azmi al-Khadour, 17 years of age, and Othman al-Manasra, 18. Soldiers also invaded homes in Hebron’s Old City, kidnapped a child identified as Anan Awni al-Ja’bari, 13 years of age, and took him to an unknown destination ... In addition, soldiers invaded ‘Aseera ash-Shemaliyya town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched homes and kidnapped a young man identified as Qoteiba Hamadna. Soldiers also kidnapped three Palestinians, in Kafr Qalil village, southeast of Nablus. The three have been identified as Samer Abdullah Mansour, Ghanem Hekmat ‘Amer and Fayez Naim al-Qenni. Furthermore, soldiers kidnapped an elderly Palestinian woman from Burqin town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Amina ‘Amoudi, 68, was kidnapped while visiting her detained son in the Galboa’ Israeli prison ... The Israeli army also said soldiers also arrested three “wanted Palestinians, who participated in confrontations and clashes with soldiers and settlers,” south of Tulkarem, and in Hares village, southeast of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the West Bank. An army spokesperson claimed two of the three detained Palestinians are members of the Hamas movement.

Photo Essay : A visit to Bethlehem’s Martyr Cemetery
Mondoweiss 21 July by Rebecca George — Aalah Abu Laban remembers sitting down for an Iftar meal when he was a teenager, and hearing his cousin’s name called over the mosque’s loudspeaker. His cousin, Abed Abu Laban, had just been killed by the Israeli military in Al Khader village while throwing stones. He was 24. At that time, in December 2000, there was a heavy Israeli military presence near the main cemetery on the other side of town, and it was too dangerous to carry Abed’s body there. So a man near Dheishe Refugee Camp donated a piece of land and the Martyr’s cemetery outside Dheishe was born. For some Muslims around the world, the first morning of Eid Al-Fitr is a time to visit the graves of deceased relatives and loved ones. In Palestine, this means visiting the graves of those who have been martyred during the conflict with Israel. On the July 17, 2015, nearly 200 Bethlehem area Palestinians came to the Martyr’s Cemetery outside Dheishe Refugee Camp.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

In West Bank, Palestinians count down to their village’s demolition
SUSIYA, West Bank (Reuters) 20 July by Luke Baker — Sitting under a fig tree to escape the searing sun, Jihad Nuwaja looks out on the only land he knows - the dry expanse of the Hebron hills in the southern West Bank. Within days, his home is set to be demolished and he, his wife and 10 children expelled. "It feels like the end," says the 47-year-old, pulling a fig from the laden tree and testing its ripeness. "They will come and demolish our homes and we will have nowhere to go. In the coming days, I will see one hundred children made homeless." Nuwaja’s family is one of handful living in tents and prefabricated structures at Susiya, a Palestinian village spread across several rocky hillsides between a Jewish settlement to the south and a Jewish archaeological site to the north - land Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. The saga over Susiya has been drawn out over decades, but it reached a culmination in May when Israel’s high court rejected an injunction seeking to halt the planned demolition of the village. With appeals exhausted and Ramadan over, the bulldozing is expected any day. The Israeli general responsible for carrying it out came to tell the villagers as much last week. Israel’s 48-year occupation of the West Bank, where Jewish settlements, which most world powers regard as illegal, have expanded rapidly, has thrown up many such disputes. But Susiya stands out for the depth of its perceived injustice. Many Israelis, from former defense ministry officials to settlement activists and the group Rabbis for Human Rights, believe the Israeli government is making a mistake, pointing to documents that show the Palestinians own the land and have inhabited and farmed the area since the 1830s....

Haaretz Editorial : The misleading legal arguments that legitimize injustice in the West Bank
20 July — When it comes to the planned demolition of the village of Sussia, invoking the law is a particularly cynical move — All the homes in the West Bank Palestinian village of Sussia were built without permits. As a result, the Civil Administration’s intention to demolish the homes looks like the upholding of law, order and planning regulations. The plan even has a green light from Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg, who in early May refused to stay the demolitions until a hearing could be held on the village’s petition against the authorities’ rejection of its proposed master plan ... In Sussia, as in all of Area C (the 60 percent of the West Bank under total Israeli control), the Israeli authorities enlist planning laws to justify restricting and blocking Palestinian construction and development. This is all misleading. Parallel construction laws enable the expansion of settlements while displacing as many Palestinians as possible and forcing them into Areas A and B, where the Palestinians have civilian authority. Thus, invoking the law is a particularly cynical move. The families Israel wants to forcibly dislocate from Sussia were already expelled in 1986 from a village of caves in which they had lived for more than a century, and which was declared an archeological site. They found refuge in other caves, on lands they owned or held, and over time built homes and animal pens there. In 2001 the Civil Administration and the army began to demolish these cave dwellings, huts and cisterns. The High Court stopped the demolitions, but did not order the authorities to allow the villagers to repair their homes or build new ones. In October 2013, the Civil Administration rejected a master plan prepared by the village that would have allowed residents to apply for building permits, saying that for the benefit of the residents and in order “to improve the status” of the women, they should move to the vicinity of the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Yatta. Dismantling Palestinian Sussia would allow the settlement of Susya, founded in 1983, to expand its grab of Palestinian lands and create yet another “settlement bloc” to be part of the so-called national consensus.

[with VIDEO] Expelled for life / Jen Marlowe
TomDispatch 11 June — A Palestinian Family’s Struggle to Stay on Their Land — Nasser Nawaj’ah held Laith’s hand as, beside me, they walked down the dirt and pebble path of Old Susya. Nasser is 33 years old, his son six. Nasser’s jaw was set and every few moments he glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone was approaching. Until Laith piped up with his question, the only sounds were our footsteps and the wind, against which Nasser was wearing a wool hat and a pleated brown jacket. “Why did they take our home ?” the little boy asked. “Why did they take it ? Good question,” replied Nasser, pausing to choose his words carefully. “They don’t want Palestinians. They don’t want us here.” Laith was, in fact, asking about something that had happened 29 years ago when his father was a young boy. But he could just as well have been referring to the imminent threat of expulsion facing his family and his community today. I had spent the previous night with Nasser and his family in their tent on their farmland in Khirbet Susya in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. Since 1986, they have have lived there, one-third of a mile from their old home, which is now an Israeli archeological park. Perched on the hill above us is an Israeli settlement built on land occupied by Israel in 1967. That settlement, which is considered illegal under international law, was established in 1983 and is also called Susya. Where we now are, a few hundred meters away across the road, was once Old Susya, the former village of Nasser’s family. I had mentioned to Nasser earlier that morning that I wanted to see Old Susya. As a foreigner, I could purchase a ticket to the archaeological site and enter without any problem. For Nasser, a Palestinian, it was a different story. He had tried twice to visit the site of the village and cave where he was born without much success, but decided to try again with me. This time he would bring along his six-year old son.

A check made out to ’Sussia’ / Amira Hass
Haaretz 21 July — Whether or not this Palestinian village is saved from destruction, Israeli bulldozers will continue their work on others — The United States and Europe in recent days made out a check in the name of “Sussia.” Once again they have raised expectations about their ability to put the brakes on Israel’s colonizing madness. The temptation to be optimistic is great. The fear of bitter disappointment (and the joy of the enemies of logic) are even greater. Although Sussia is not a story that moves the Israelis as a whole, the bleeding hearts among us draw encouragement from the fact that at least this particular check might be cashed. That is, that the plans to destroy the village might not be carried out. Sussia has become a symbol. And that is precisely the trap ... Because Sussia has become a symbol, along with its courageous and stubborn inhabitants who have so far thwarted plans to wipe out their community (supported for many years by Israeli organizations, chief among them Ta’ayush and Rabbis for Human Rights), it might be saved. Then the Western foreign ministries will note with satisfaction that their warning worked. But Israeli bulldozers will quietly turn, helped by Israeli public support, to continued destruction of lives and homes in other Palestinian communities, no less courageous and stubborn – just less well-known. Or, on the other hand, perhaps precisely because Sussia is a symbol, Israel will decide to arm wrestle over it, treat it as a special case, and demolish it. And what will Europe and the United States do then that they have not done yet ? Will the United States cease its security cooperation with Israel ? Will Europe recall its ambassadors and close its airports to Israeli tourists ? ....

Israeli forces demolish 3 stores in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 July — Israeli forces demolished three stores in the town of Idhna in western Hebron Tuesday morning, the local municipality told Ma‘an. Israeli military vehicles escorted three bulldozers into the town in a dawn raid, crossing through the Israeli separation wall west of Idhna. The bulldozers demolished a used goods store belonging to Said Fayiz Isleimiyeh in the western area of the town, and a garage belonging to Marwan Hilmi Tmeizeh in Ithna’s east, the municipality said. Israeli forces also confiscated garbage containers in the demolition site and demolished another store belonging to Hussan Sharawi, claiming it was not licensed. While Idhna’s built-up areas are predominantly classified as Area B under the Oslo Accords, the majority of its surrounding land is classified Area C. Under the Oslo Accord, building permits must be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration for construction to take place in Area C. As a result of rarely-approved permits, however, Palestinian residents are often forced to build structures without permits, which are liable to be torn down later by Israeli forces.

Israel ... razes land in Salfit
HEBRON (WAFA) 21 July — ... In a related story, Israeli forces razed an agricultural road in Yasuf village to the east of Salfit. Escorting two bulldozers, Israeli forces raided the village, where the bulldozers flattened a newly constructed road to the east of the village. This came ten days after Israeli units confiscated construction equipments from the construction site.

In defiance of court, Israel to issue retroactive permit for West Bank settlement
Haaretz 21 July by Chaim Levinson — The Civil Administration in the West Bank has rescinded a demand that contractor Meir Dreinoff pay, out of his own pocket, for the expenses of demolishing two buildings in the Beit El settlement that were supposed to be razed by the end of July under a High Court order. The demand will be put on hold until Dreinoff gets a new building permit. The High Court of Justice ordered the demolishing of the two buildings, which have 24 unfinished apartments, following an appeal filed by the landowner and the Yesh Din human rights organization. But in June, the Civil Administration, acting upon orders of the defense minister, opened fast-track proceedings to grant a retroactive building permit. The Civil Administration on Wednesday rejected the landowners’ opposition to the construction, which maintained that even expropriation of the land for military needs would be insufficient grounds to justify the construction. The administration’s Planning and Construction Council ruled that the construction was legitimate under established legal principles, for if the land was empty, they would have approved the exact same building plans as the existing construction. The committee will meet again on Wednesday to finally approve the legitimization of the buildings.

Shaked’s ’fast track’ panel aims to legalize West Bank outposts
JPost 22 July by Yonah Jeremy Bob — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked formed a committee on Tuesday to “address the legal status of West Bank lands” – a subtext for legalizing outposts currently considered illegal. In her announcement, the justice minister noted a provision in the coalition agreement between her Bayit Yehudi party and the Likud according to which such a committee would be quickly established and would make fast-track recommendations in a mere 60 days. Often state committees dealing with such controversial and high-profile issues take a year or more to consider an issue and their conclusions are swept under the rug ... Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, which opposes Jewish settlements and outposts in Judea and Samaria and regularly litigates on behalf of Palestinians on such issues, accused Shaked of “trying to implement the Levy Report entering through a back door.” The NGO continued that Shaked sought to do this, “without the government officially adopting” the Levy Report and “even though senior jurists in Israel and globally as well as decisions of the Supreme Court reject “the Levy Report’s “legal interpretations and conclusions.” “Even 100 committees will not succeed in fixing the contradiction of an after-the-fact legalization of outposts and neighborhoods which were established amidst continuing violations” of the rule of law, Yesh Din said. It accused the government of trying to illegally grab Palestinian land to expand the Jewish settlement enterprise.

Provocative settler demonstration in West Bank
RAMALLAH (PNN) ?20 July — Dozens of settlers yesterday evening carried out two provocative marches near to Basajut settlement and Bet El settlement north east of Ramallah and a third march near Shilo and Aili settlements south of Nablus. According to official sources, dozens of settlers participated in an incendiary march from Shilo settlement to Aili on the main road north of Ramallah, under the protection of Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), carrying banners threatening another war on Palestinians. The sources added that the IOF spread out over the main road from Senjel village to eastern Laban and Qariyout in order to give protection to the settlers as they attempted to incite clashes with Palestinians by way of provocative chants and threats. Clashes did break out between the settlers, supported by the IOF, and families from eastern Laban village. A Palestinian man in his twenties, Nadem Adnan Daraghmeh, was arrested by settlers in Laban, as well as Ahmed Abdulkarem Daraghmeh. The settlers vandalised several Palestinian properties in eastern Laban and attempted to force entry into a gas station on the main road and attack the workers, they were however prevented by civilians. The third march from Bet El passed close by Beten military checkpoint and caused huge traffic delays around al-Beera town.

Settlers set banners in Bethlehem calling for confiscating more Palestinian lands
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 20 July – Israeli settlers Monday put up banners in multiple areas in Bethlehem district calling for more Palestinian lands to be confiscated for the purpose of settlement construction and expansion, according to local and security sources. Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the village of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, said a group of settlers arrived at the entrance of the village and set up large banners warning of a new round of “struggle for land” and a rise in settlements activity. The incident came a day after Jewish settlers organized three provocative rallies near Ramallah and Bethlehem in call-up for more settlement activity in the occupied West Bank. One of the rallies was organized at road 60 between Nablus and Ramallah, and developed into a riot and a clash with Palestinians from the village of Lubban e-Sharkiya. WAFA correspondent said the settlers waved slogans and banners that threaten Palestinians of an imminent war.

Settlers resume raids on Al-Aqsa as Ramadan ends
IMEMC/Agencies 21 July — Unable to organize provocative visits to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque during the fasting month of Ramadan, when Palestinian Muslims maintain a permanent presence in the holy site, Jewish settlers resumed their regular daily visits to the holy site, on Monday. WAFA correspondence reports that groups of settlers entered the site gradually in the morning, almost two weeks since they were last allowed entry into the site by the Israeli police, which prohibits entry of Jews into the site during the last 10 days of Ramadan given the large numbers of Muslim worshipers who fill the yards for prayers. The settlers toured the site before a number of worshipers present there shouted religious chants to demonstrate their anger against the Jewish presence at the site, the third holiest place in Islam ... Many Palestinian worshipers who stay at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan and throughout the year have received banning orders from the Israeli court, preventing them from entering or praying at the holy site. Sources in Jerusalem reported that Israel has put together a blacklist of all activists and worshipers who remain at Al-Aqsa Mosque and threatened to impose grave sanctions on them and their families, including the demolition of their homes. Zena Amro, a female activist and one of the worshipers staying at Al-Aqsa Mosque has received a demolition order of her house which was built in 1964, before Jerusalem was occupied ... Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards daily, it would eventually lead to a permanent change, which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslims’ entry and prayer.


Israel lambasted over ’abusive arrests’ of Palestinian children
JERUSALEM (AFP) 20 July — Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Israel of "abusive arrests" of Palestinian children as young as 11 and of using threats to force them to sign confessions. Israeli authorities failed to inform parents of their children’s arrest or whereabouts, the New York-based watchdog added, drawing on accounts of several children detained during intense unrest in east Jerusalem and the West Bank late last year. HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson urged the United States to pressure its Israeli ally to end what it said were long-standing "abusive practices." The rights group issued the accusations as US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter began a visit to Israel. "Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children," it said in a report giving details of the "abusive arrests" of six children. "Forces have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts." Israel’s army, when contacted by AFP, had no immediate comment on the report ... In every case HRW documented, the Palestinian families said Israeli authorities "did not inform parents of the child’s arrest and interrogated the children without permitting them to speak to a parent or lawyer prior to the interrogation." Three children "said they signed confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand, after interrogators threatened them." Children urinated on themselves out of fear during the arrests, and had nightmares afterwards, it said.

Prisoner’s wife gives birth to twins using smuggled sperm
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 July — A Gazan woman gave birth on Monday to twins conceived using sperm smuggled from her husband inside an Israeli prison, her family said. The woman, who was not identified, reportedly named the twins Mutaz and Siwar. Her 35-year-old husband, Ahmad al-Sakani, also known as Abu Tareq, was detained in 2002 and sentenced to 27 years in prison. He was accused of being a member of the Islamic Jihad movement, the family said. The couple’s elder son, Tareq, was killed in a car accident about a year ago on the way back from a conference where he spoke on behalf of prisoners’ children. A Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, the Ahrar Center, said on Monday that it was aware of 30 other babies in the last two years that had been born through artificial insemination using sperm smuggled out of Israeli jails. The Razan Medical Center for Infertility and IVF said in March that it knew of 35 such births. The first reportedly took place in 2012, when Dalal al-Zein had a baby using sperm smuggled from her husband who had been jailed in Israel for 15 years. Palestinian prisoners are denied conjugal visits by the Israeli Prison Service.

Three hunger strikers in Israeli jails denied medical check-up
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 21 July – Two hunger striking Palestinian prisoners and a Jordanian in Israeli jails have been denied medical check-up and healthcare by the prison authorities, Tuesday said Issa Qaraqe, Chairman of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee (PAC). The three prisoners are Mohammad Allan from Nablus, Udai Steiti from Jenin, and Abdullah Abu Jaber, a Jordanian citizen. Allan has been on hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention, without indictment or trial, since June 14 ; Steiti has been hunger striking since June 29, also against administrative detention ; while Abu Jaber just began a hunger strike on Monday in hopes to be sent back to Jordan after spending 15 out of 20 years in prison ... In the meantime, the medical condition of a Palestinian prisoner from Gaza in Israeli Eshel prison has significantly deteriorated due to deliberate medical negligence, an attorney with the PAC told WAFA. He said the Israeli prison authorities have deliberately denied medical care to prisoner Zamel Abu Shallouf, 34, from Gaza who is suffering various health troubles, including partial paralysis, weight loss, and low heart beats. Medical negligence has widely been reported as a systematic policy by the Israeli Prison Authority. Palestinian prisoners are held in overcrowded cells that lack basic health standards, including the infestation of insects and rats, extreme cold and lack of heating methods, and wastewater leakage into their cells, which further aggravates their already poor conditions. According to Addameer human rights association, “Israeli authorities responsible for prisoners regularly neglect their duties to provide medical support for Palestinian prisoners in their care, as required by the Geneva Conventions.”

Israel denies family visits to jailed Palestinian despite permit
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 July — The Israeli authorities prevented a Gazan family from visiting their son in an Israeli prison despite having been issued a visit permit, a rights group said Tuesday. The Muhjat al-Quds Foundation said that the Israeli authorities refused to allow the family of Palestinian prisoner Majdi Riyad Muhammad Yassin to visit him, even though they were given the necessary permission. The group said that Israeli forces detained 30-year-old Yassin on April 5, 2007 and that he was sentenced to 18 years in jail for being a member of Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, as well as taking part in resistance operations against Israeli forces. Yassin’s family is from the al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.

Other news

French prosecutor requests dropping Arafat death probe
Al Jazeera 21 July — A French prosecutor has said there was no case to answer regarding the death of former Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat in 2004. The request to drop the probe into the leader’s death on Tuesday comes two years after French investigators said the level of polonium 210 in Arafat’s body was the result of naturally occurring processes involving radon gas, not deliberate poisoning ... Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in the Occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. - Swiss findings - Speaking to Al Jazeera in late 2013, Francois Bochud, director of the Institute of Radiophysics in Lausanne, said that his team, unlike the French one, took radon measurements from the tomb. "For us, radon could be ruled out because actually we did measure radon in the tomb before opening it, and the values we found were about the same as we would find in any tomb," Bochud said. "Actually, it was a bit lower than what we could expect in normal soil. For us, radon is really an explanation that cannot be used." Al Jazeera’s investigation What Killed Arafat ? reported how the same Swiss scientists in July 2012 found elevated levels of polonium 210, one of the element’s isotopes, in blood, sweat and urine stains on Arafat’s clothes. Suha Arafat, the leader’s wife, filed a murder complaint with a French court that same month. The Swiss found 18 times the expected levels of polonium in Arafat’s remains following the exhumation of his body in late 2012.

Israeli right-wing party drops bid to have labor law apply in West Bank
Haaretz 21 July by Chaim Levinson — Farmers argue they can’t afford to pay Palestinians the wages paid in Israel — Habayit Hayehudi is halting a two-year effort to have Israeli labor law apply in the West Bank, after farmers argued that improving Palestinian work terms to Israeli levels would bankrupt them. Legislation to use Israeli labor law in the West Bank was one of the right-wing party’s flagship bills in the previous Knesset. It was sponsored by former MK Orit Strock. She initiated it after hearing that a pregnant worker in the Barkan industrial zone had been fired, even though firing a pregnant woman is illegal without special permission from the Economy Ministry. When the woman complained to the ministry, she was told Israeli laws protecting pregnant women do not apply in the West Bank. When Strock submitted her bill in August 2013, it caused a political storm and a clash with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who opposed it on grounds it could be interpreted as annexation of the territories. Habayit Hayehudi argued that it addressed an important human rights and women’s rights issue. In the cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the bill. “Israeli citizens, including those who live in Judea and Samaria, must have equal rights,” he said. “I am committed to this.”

Palestinian Return Centre sues Israel for defamation
EI 20 July by Asa Winstanley — The Palestinian Return Centre revealed on Friday that it had initiated a lawsuit against Israel for defamation. Israel’s United Nations mission in June opposed the PRC being granted special consultative status, claiming it had “known links to terrorism” and was “affiliated to Hamas.” PRC is a civil society group aimed at promoting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to historical Palestine. It says it is not affiliated to any particular Palestinian faction. In a statement, PRC said its lawyers had given the Israeli foreign ministry until 29 July to retract its claims and apologize. A letter to the Israeli embassy from the PRC’s representatives at Westminster Law Chambers names Israel’s UN envoy Ron Prosor and demands statements defaming the PRC be removed from Israeli government websites. Despite Israeli objections, the committee in June voted to recommend the PRC for special consultative status. And today, the 54-nation UN Economic and Social Council narrowly voted to approve the recommendation. Sixteen member states voted against an Israeli motion to reject the PRC and 13 voted for, with 18 abstaining.

IN PHOTOS : Palestinians celebrate Id al-Fitr on Tel Aviv beach
Haaretz 20 July — Thousands of Palestinians used permits given by the Israeli authorities allowing many to enjoy the beaches along Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline during the holiday.

US signals further military aid to Israel after Iran deal
TEL AVIV (AFP) 20 July — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Monday signaled that Washington was ready to boost military cooperation with Israel during a visit aimed at easing Israeli concerns over the nuclear deal with Iran. Israel was Carter’s first stop on a regional tour following last week’s historic agreement between Iran and world powers, intending to reaffirm the relationship between the two countries despite frictions over the accord.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the deal with Iran, claiming it is not enough to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.He has also indicated that military force remains on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, though experts say unilateral strikes by Israel appear highly unlikely.Despite the tension, Carter said Israel remained "the bedrock of American strategy in the Middle East."At a joint news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, he noted aspects of military aid the United States already supplies to Israel and said "there is a lot more that we can do" related to cooperation.

Israel closes TV station on Palestinian identity
RAMALLAH (Al Jazeera) 17 July by Shira Rubin — Israel has ordered a six-month closure of Palestine 48, a new Palestinian television channel funded by the Palestinian Authority and catering to Palestinian citizens of Israel. "I will not allow for Israel’s sovereignty to be harmed or for the Palestinian Authority to gain a foothold in Israeli territory," said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who on Thursday signed an order claiming that the channel did not have the authorisation to operate in Israel. Mirroring the outrage expressed by a number of Palestinian lawmakers in Israel, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation President Riad al-Hassan said the move against the channel - which is broadcast through the Palestinian company PalSat - was "illegal" and that it would be contested in the supreme court. The announcement made good on a threat in a government statement last month, just hours after the channel’s launch on June 18, the first evening of Ramadan. The Communications Ministry, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defined the channel as a vehicle for Palestinian Authority propaganda, intended to incite anti-Israel hate among its Arab population. Those behind the project were "wolves in sheep’s clothing," said Communications Ministry spokesperson Yechiel Shavi, adding that Palestinians would never achieve statehood, but "can continue to dream forever" of realising it. Creators say the channel has been no stranger to controversy, even in the choice of its name. Palestine 48 - or P48 - refers to the some 700,000 people who fled or were forcibly evicted from their homes in the context of the 1948 war with Israel, and whose descendants in recent years have balanced their identities as Israeli citizens and Palestinian nationals. Their stories have begun to shed light on long-suppressed national narratives. P48 director Firas Abdelrahman said he was especially proud of programmes that would have examined the ways families were, and continue to be, shaped by the protracted conflict. "We have stories which we are just thirsting to tell, and Palestinians are also eager to discover and learn about themselves," Abdelrahman said... With a staff mostly in their 20s and 30s, P48 has also aimed to develop a political and cultural consciousness among young Palestinians, using social media to advance a national dialogue on the realities, taboos and priorities of various Palestinian communities....