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Terrorisme israélien


Samedi, 8 août 2015 - 22h06

samedi 8 août 2015



Jewish terrorism

Father of slain Palestinian infant dies of his wounds
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Saad Dawabsha, the father of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha who was burned alive in an arson attack by Israeli extremists on July 31, died from his injuries early Saturday morning, local sources told Ma‘an. Saad, 30, suffered from third-degree burns covering 80 percent of his body, the Palestinian Minister of Health told Ma‘an, and was fighting for his life for more than a week before succumbing to his wounds. Local sources from the family’s village of Duma in the northern West Bank told Ma‘an that the family had been notified of the death of Saad soon after he passed, and added that the 30-year-old would be laid to rest on Saturday. Saad’s wife Riham Dawabsha remains in critical condition and suffers third-degree burns across 90 percent of her body.

Extremist settlers attack another home in Duma
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian home with firebombs and rocks in the village of Duma south of Nablus in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, Palestinian officials told Ma‘an. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that “a number of extremist settlers hurled two firebombs at the home of Mahmoud Fazza al-Kaabna.” The fire bombs, Daghlas said, landed on the outer wall of the home near a window, but did not make it inside the house. The attackers also hurled stones at the house, with one of them hitting al-Kaabna in the abdomen. The settler attack took place a week after the deadly arson attack which killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha and his father Saad from the same village. The mother Riham and 4-year-old brother Ahmad are still struggling for their lives after they sustained third-degree burns on most of their bodies.

Following fatal settler attack, Israeli army raids Dawabshe family homes in the West Bank village of Duma
Mondoweiss 6 Aug by Allison Deger — While a manhunt is underway to apprehend the Israeli killers of 18-month old Ali Dawabshe, the Palestinian baby burned to death in a settler arson attack last Friday, for the past two nights more than one hundred Israeli soldiers and Shin Beit security officials have raided the homes of the Dawabshe family in the West Bank village of Duma near Nablus. Speaking to Mondoweiss via telephone, Nasser Dawabshe, an uncle of the deceased, said that at 2:00 am Wednesday morning 30 Israeli army Jeeps with approximately 150 soldiers arrived in Duma. He said they woke sleeping members of the Dawabshe family, removed them from their houses, and searched the buildings until around 4:30 am. “I was on my way home when I saw the Jeeps,” Nasser Dawabshe said, explaining that he attempted to hide, but Israeli border police noticed him and approached. “The actual soldiers, themselves, treated us like shit, but the commanders and the generals and the intelligence service were more respectful,” he said. Nasser says the security forces asked him what he thought of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Based on the line of questioning Nasser suspected the raid was to determine if any family members were considering retaliatory attacks against Israeli civilians. Earlier this week the Dawabshe family opened their homes to more than 100 Israelis from the group Tag Meir, an anti “price tag” group that protests attacks on Palestinians carried out by Israeli extremists. Nasser also spoke at a Israeli demonstration in Tel Aviv against the killing of his nephew, sharing the stage with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog and head of the leftist Israeli political party Meretz, Zahava Gal-On. According to Nasser, the Israeli military returned to Duma Wednesday night. The military parked around 20 Jeeps at a nearby settlement and then walked through the steep West Bank hills to the Palestinian village. In this overnight incursion the soldiers closed off the charred home of Ali Dawabshe.

Translating a Palestinian family’s grief for Netanyahu
+972 mag 6 Aug by Samah Salaime — The least I could do was go to the hospital to support the Dawabshe family after their 18-month-old baby was burned alive by Israeli settlers. But before I knew it I became Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Arabic translator — . . . I took the elevator to the third floor, where there were fewer uniforms and more suits. A woman with a few phones in her hand stood at the entrance to the intensive care unit and stopped me. “Who are you ?” I am Samah, a social worker, volunteer, human, it doesn’t matter. I am here, sent to bring the uncle who is accompanying the wounded mother. “He is here, come in.” She pointed to the small room where a young, teary-eyed man sat with his head down and his face in his hands. Hello, I am Samah, are you the doctor who came in the helicopter ? “Yes, yes, you’re an Arab ?” he lifted his head. I sat in that tense room with Muhammad. He was in shock, telling me how he had made it onto the helicopter with his cousin, Reham, her husband Muhammad, and their four-year-old son, Ahmad . . . After a short while, a senior doctor in the hospital arrived with a spokesperson. He asked how Muhammad was doing and inquired about me, and what I was doing there. I told him I came to help the family members who needed entry permits, a place to sleep, food and an Arabic-speaking liaison from the hospital. The deputy-director of the hospital said that everything would be okay. “The most important thing is that you explain to him that we will do everything for him ; we will not give up, and we will bring in the best doctors in the country for the child.” I translated the words for Muhammad, before the spokesperson told me to explain to him that the prime minister was coming, and that it is important that they meet. They left, leaving me and Muhammad to speak alone. Do you want to meet Netanyahu ? “What will I do ? Say no ? I have no idea what to do. They burned the child and his family, what am I going to tell this Netanyahu ?” Tell him how you feel, tell him the truth, I responded. “They let the settlers do what they want and now they feel regret ? Just don’t tell me that the people behind this are ‘crazy !’” he said . . . I got up immediately and asked the spokesperson about the photographer and what he was doing there, saying that Muhammad did not want to participate in any propaganda, or have the child photographed with anyone.

American parents of Jewish terror suspect decry arrest as ’undemocratic’
JPost 5 Aug by Ben Hartman, Lahav Harkov, Yaakov Lappin — A day after their son was arrested and placed in administrative detention as a suspected Jewish extremist, Mordechai Mayer’s parents held a press conference in Ramat Gan on Wednesday, where they decried the arrest as “undemocratic.” “We are citizens of the United States. We were born there and our children were born there and raised in a democracy,” Mordechai’s mother, Sarah, said. His father, Gedalya, said the family thought they had left one democracy for another. “They knocked on our door last night with a form saying that they are taking our son to jail for six months, without any suspicion or indictment or anything, they just took him suddenly. And now we find ourselves with our son in jail for a half a year, maybe more, we don’t know,” Gedalya said. “We thought this was a state with laws and democracy,” Gedalya added, describing his son as an 18-year-old who studies Torah and lives a healthy lifestyle “in the nature in Samaria and wants a quiet life.”

Settler violence on the rise : homes stoned near Jenin, East Jerusalem tagged with racist graffiti
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Aug — Israeli Jewish settlers last night attacked Palestinian homes with stones as they provocatively approached the outskirts of Silat ad-Daher, some 20 kilometers to the south of Jenin in northern West Bank, security sources told WAFA. The settlers, who also chanted racist slogans against Arabs and Palestinians, provoked a scuffle with angry local Palestinians who forced them out of the area. The village is close to what was known as Homesh and Sa-Nur, two Israeli settlements which were evicted after Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and four other settlements and a military base in northern West Bank in 2005. On July 30, some 200 settlers organized an overnight hike to the former settlement in an attempt to resettle there before they were forced to leave by the Israeli army. According to Israeli media, among those who attempted to reoccupy the former settlement were families who were evicted in 2005 as well as rabbis, public figures, and MK Bezalel Smotrich from the nationalist Jewish Home party . . .
In related news, the PNN reports that extremist Israeli settlers, on Wednesday morning, have sprayed hate slogans on walls of homes and shops near Damascus gate in East Jerusalem, calling for “Death of Arabs.” Jerusalem sources said that such groups have often targeted not only houses and shops, but also mosques and churches in Jerusalem, in addition to repetitive arson attacks. None of the attackers were sanctioned by Israeli government. For their part, Israeli occupation authorities claimed to have opened an investigation in the matter, but Jerusalem locals assured that these investigations are never taken seriously. They added that, if detained, the attackers are released under the claim that they have mental issues.

How Israeli taxpayers subsidize ’Jewish terror’
+972 mag 5 Aug by Natasha Roth — Honenu, an organization that provides legal services to suspected terrorists, violent settlers and gives financial support to their families, receives tax-deductible donations in both Israel and the United States — What do Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, the murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the arsonists convicted of setting fire to Jerusalem’s Jewish-Arab Hand in Hand school have in common, apart from their violent extremism ? All have received legal representation or some other form of assistance from Honenu, a self-proclaimed “Israeli Zionist legal aid organization.” Based in Kiryat Arba, a settlement next to Hebron that is home to the grave of Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein (itself located in a park named after leader of the Kach terrorist group Meir Kahane), Honenu has tasked itself with a clear vision : to come to the aid of “[s]oldiers and civilians who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel.” In Honenu’s eyes, they are defending “noble citizens” who have “acted on behalf of Am Yisrael [the people of Israel].” To explore Honenu’s past and present client list of “noble citizens” is to read a timeline of some of the most heinous acts of Jewish terrorism in recent memory. Chances are that if you have read about a “price tag” attack, a violent assault on or killing of Palestinians by Jewish Israelis, or any other “ideological crime” of this nature in recent years, the perpetrators have been assisted in some way by Honenu.

Leader of extremist Israeli organization calls for torching churches
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — The leader of a Jewish extremist group in Israel allegedly called for arson attacks on churches in front of Israeli students, Israeli media reported on Thursday. Benzi Gopstein, leader of anti-Arab group Lehava, allegedly called for the burning of churches at a panel held this week for Jewish yeshiva students, using ancient Halachic, or Jewish law, to condemn what he called Christian "idol worship." When a journalist at the panel informed Gopstein that he was on camera and could be arrested for his comments, Gopstein said he is prepared to spend 50 years in jail for his remarks, according to a video of the panel released by the Haredi website Kikar Shabbat. After the release of the video, Gopstein said he "stressed several times" that he was "not calling to take operative steps," instead he said that it is "the responsibility of the government, not of individuals" to abolish the Christian practice of idol worship.

Has Israel returned to the days of Jewish Underground ?
Al-Monitor 5 Aug by Mazal Mualem — . . . Al-Monitor : On Aug. 3, Meir Ettinger, grandson of Kach [a terror organization active in the 1980s] founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist group. At the same time, we saw the release of writings by Ettinger in which he talks about a divine commandment to rebel against the government and create anarchy, even if it leaves the Middle East in flames, in order to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel. In view of this and following the attack in Douma, what do you conclude ? Dichter : These ideas about the Battle of Armageddon are hardly new. They’ve existed in many different places and shapes. The Islamic caliphate isn’t any different. These are all fantasies. I want to remind everyone that there were much more disturbing times in which people who shared those fantasies also had impressive military records. That was the case with the Jewish Underground [a group that engaged in terrorist attacks against Palestinians, including the attempted assassination of three Palestinian mayors]. I remember that period [during the 1980s] and understand the significance of people committing strategic terrorist attacks, such as attacks against mayors, in order to ignite the whole region. And we haven’t even mentioned their plans to blow up the Temple Mount or their plans to blow up several buses simultaneously in Jerusalem. The consequence of that would have been awful. What we are seeing now is a disorganized group of young people. The adults are taking advantage of the fact that the minors have no inhibitions. They also lack a coherent guideline, apart from following some madman. In this case, it is Kahane’s grandson. He brings his legacy to the table, while others bring charisma.

Jerusalem Pride Parade stabber to undergo psychiatric evaluation
Haaretz 6 Aug by Nir Hasson — The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six people at last Thursday’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, to determine his fitness to stand trial. One of the victims, Shira Banki, 16, died on Sunday from her injuries. Schlissel does not accept the legitimacy of the courts and has refused counsel.

The mutant-alien Jewish terrorists who have nothing to do with the Israeli right
Haaretz 4 Aug by Chemi Shalev — Citing overwhelming empirical evidence is an old leftist ploy aimed at harming political rivals and weakening Israel itself — Whoever carried out the horrible arson attack that killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and nearly burned his entire family alive is a wild thorn, as Israelis like to call them. The perpetrators are in no way connected to, or inspired by, the settler movement, religious Zionism or the Israeli right wing in general. Whoever says so is slandering, defaming and inciting, as the left is wont to do. Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, was also a lone wolf. The fact that right-wing politicians had whipped up a public frenzy in the weeks before his killing, accusing Rabin of selling out Israel to terrorists, or that rabbis were discussing and some even sanctioning a religious sentence of death against Rabin, doesn’t mean they were prodding Amir in any way . . . The same is true of Baruch Goldstein, the Brooklyn-born Kiryat Arba doctor who massacred 29 Muslim worshippers at Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994 . . . Goldstein, in any case, was a native-born American, which renders him completely atypical. Baltimore-born Alan Goodman, who stormed the Temple Mount in 1982 in order to liberate the Temple Mount, killing two Palestinians in the process, is just as much your problem as he is ours. Nahshon Walls, who shot a pregnant 25-year-old Palestinian woman to death near Kiryat Arba in what he said was an act of revenge, was Ohio-born and bred. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was released in less than 10 years and spent his last years surrounded by friends in Tapuach who praise his good deeds to this very day . . . And then there’s Yaakov Teitel, originally of Florida and Virginia then of Shvut Rachel, an all-purpose man-in-one terror machine who killed Palestinians, tried to poison a village, bombed Christian churches, maimed Messianic Jews and planted the pipe bomb that injured Professor Ze’ev Sternhell in 2008 . . . .

Violence / Attacks / Raids / Suppression of protests

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian after suspected car attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an/AFP) 6 Aug — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man on Thursday after a suspected car attack which injured three Israeli soldiers, a Ma‘an reporter said. Mohammed Badwan, a Palestinian from Biddu village east of Ramallah, allegedly ran over three Israeli soldiers on Route 60 near the illegal settlement of Shilo, north of Ramallah. An army statement said two of the three wounded soldiers "sustained severe injuries." Israeli soldiers opened fire at the car, with Badwan said to be seriously injured after the vehicle overturned. Israeli forces "fired toward the vehicle in order to prevent the suspect’s escape, confirming a hit," Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP. Head of the Palestinian liaison office in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, Nader Hajjeh, told Ma‘an that Badwan’s injuries are very critical and that he is currently in an Israeli hospital under Israeli forces’ security. Palestinian security officials said Israeli forces later searched Badwan’s home. Badwan’s family members told Ma‘an that Israeli forces destroyed furniture and interrogated relatives during the raid. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Badwan as a "terrorist" and praised the army for its quick reaction.

Soldiers invade Biddu, search home of ’ramming incident suspect’
IMEMC/Agencies 7 Aug — A large military force invaded Biddu village (northwest of Jerusalem) on Thursday evening to attack the home of a Palestinian who allegedly rammed Israeli soldiers deliberately with his car, and was then shot by an Israeli soldier. Palestinian witnesses confirm the incident was just an accident. Israeli media sources said three soldiers were wounded in the incident that took place near Sinjel village, on the Ramallah-Nablus road. One of the wounded soldiers suffered a life-threatening injury, while the second suffered a moderate-to-severe injury and the third was mildly wounded. Clashes took place between the invading soldiers and dozens of Palestinians near the home of the driver, Raed Mohammad Badwan, 46 years of age. After the accident, the soldiers shot the driver with several live rounds, causing serious injuries, before he was moved to an Israeli hospital. At least 25 military vehicles invaded Biddo, violently searched the home of the wounded driver, causing excessive damage, and interrogated his family . . . Initial Israeli investigations into the ramming incident reported that the Palestinian driver was driving a Honda Civic that carries an Israeli license plate, while the police say they believe the vehicle is a stolen car that had Israeli license plates forged on it.

Clashes as Israeli forces raid hometown of car attack suspect
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an/AFP) 7 Aug — Three Palestinians were injured late Thursday, including a pregnant woman, during clashes with Israeli forces northwest of Jerusalem, locals said.Clashes broke out in the Jerusalem-area town of Biddu after Israeli soldiers raided the home of Raed Muhammad Badwan, 46, who is accused of injuring three Israeli soldiers in a car attack.Three people were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets while five others suffered excessive tear-gas inhalation, including a pregnant woman.Youths threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli forces.

Israeli forces suppress weekly marches across West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Aug — Several Palestinians, Israelis and foreign activists suffered tear-gas inhalation and bruises as Israeli forces suppressed marches across the West Bank on Friday, witnesses told Ma‘an. Dozens of protesters suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the weekly marches in the West Bank villages of Bil‘in, Nabi Saleh, and al-Ma‘sara.
In Bil‘in, Israeli forces fired tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters. Protesters held Palestinian flags and signs that condemned Israeli violations, including the recent killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha, in addition to signs that demanded child protection and supported Palestinian prisoners and called for their release. Dozens of local, foreign, and Israeli activists took part in the march that set off from the village’s center.
The Nabi Saleh weekly march set off in honor of 18-month-old Dawabsha who was burned to death by suspected Israeli extremists in an arson attack in Duma village near Nablus on July 31. Protesters repeated slogans condemning Israeli policies and the killing of the 18-month-old. Dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs to prevent the march from reaching the closed iron gate that blocked the entrance of the village. A group of protesters who were able to reach the gate physically clashed with Israeli soldiers. Soldiers assaulted the protesters and pepper-sprayed them. Two of protesters who were injured by pepper-spray have been identified as Munther Amireh and Naji al-Tamimi. Additionally, an Israeli activist was detained and taken to an unidentified location. The popular resistance movement in the village said that “the crime of burning Dawabsha and the ongoing violence will increase our persistence on popular resistance.”The movement also called upon Palestinians to protest and “respond to settlers, close roads, and burn [settler’s] properties.”
Israeli forces also suppressed the al-Ma‘sara weekly march, prevented protesters from reaching confiscated lands, closed the village entrance, and declared the village a closed military zone . . . As the march reached the village entrance, dozens of Israeli soldiers closed the entrance in an attempt to prevent protesters from reaching confiscated lands, but the protesters were able to reach them from another road, local witnesses said. Protesters raised Palestinian flags on confiscated lands and opened the closed military gate in the area ; a short time later Israeli forces and police surrounded the area, delivered a notice to the protesters to evacuate, as the area was deemed a closed military zone, and Israeli forces threatened to detain protesters. Protesters attempted to continue, but Israeli forces suppressed and returned them to the village entrance. Local popular resistance committees in al-Ma‘sara said that popular resistance will continue until the Israel occupation ends. Israeli forces routinely suppress weekly marches by violent means.

Israeli forces close 3 roads in Qalqiliya village
QALQILYIA (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — Israeli military forces on Thursday closed three agricultural roads in the Qalqiliya village of Kafr Qaddum and uprooted several olive trees, locals said. A local coordinator for popular resistance, Murad Shtewe, said Israeli forces have recently escalated violations against village residents in a bid to stop weekly Friday rallies. Soldiers also uprooted three olive trees belonging to Ali Abdul-Rahim. Residents of Kafr Qaddum stage regular protests, including a weekly Friday march, to protest land confiscations as well as the closure of the village’s southern road by Israeli forces.The road, which has been closed 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Israeli policewoman protected by Palestinians as settlers throw rocks at authorities
The Independent 6 Aug by Michaek Segalov — A striking photo has surfaced online of two Palestinian men reportedly shielding an Israeli policewoman while being pelted with rocks being thrown by Israeli settlers. The picture was seemingly taken by Shaul Golan, a photographer for Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper . . . The clashes, which saw Palestinians and anti-occupation activists come to blows with right-wing settlers, took place near the settlement outpost of Aish Kodesh, and the Palestinian village of Kusra, earlier this week. Palestinians and supporters argue the settlers are living illegally on the land. As clashes broke out, two Palestinians stepped in to protect the police woman, who was reportedly having rocks thrown at by the settlers. One of the men sheltering the Israeli officer was Zakaria Sadah, a Palestinian field worker for Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), an Israeli human rights organisation that works in the area. “While it is natural that the security forces may identify more with their own people," RHR said in a statement, "procedures regarding law enforcement in situations involving violent Israelis must be clearly laid out and consistently implemented.” Israeli forces were called, as the the two groups threw stones at each other and when the IDF soldiers arrived, rioters pelted them with stones as well, the IDF said.

The story behind the photo
Rabbis for Human Rights 3 Aug — The following photo of RHR Palestinian field worker Zakaria Sadah (blue checkered shirt) went “viral” and was shared widely online (mostly Hebrew) without proper context or understanding. This situation has resulted in the vilification of our worker by settlers and some Palestinians. Please see below for the story and video behind the photo. This photo was taken when settlers had been attempting to prevent Palestinians of the village Kusra from working their agricultural lands. A settler accused a Palestinian of throwing stones, and the police attempted to make arrests of Palestinians and began using a taser gun. The Palestinians began throwing stones and the female officer froze and remained crying between the two sides after the Israeli security forces had moved. Believing she was in danger, another Israeli officer prepared to shoot at Palestinians. Zakaria shouted “don’t shoot” and he and the mayor of Kusra escorted the policewoman back to the other Israeli security forces. The incident has resulted in trouble for Zakaria who is being vilified by settlers who know his name, and by other Palestinians who only saw him returning the officer without knowing the full context. Zakaria was also injured when trying to flee from the settlers. The bottom line is that, while settlers are calling this an intentional publicity stunt, and some Palestinians are angry with Zakaria and the Kusra mayor for having helped an Israeli policewoman (the residents of Kusra and the hundreds of additional Palestinians he has helped are not angry with him), the fact is that Zakaria may very well have saved Palestinian lives, as another police officer was preparing to shoot. Zakaria is a one-person command center, who is often the first person to get a call when something happen. He is hated by settlers in the area for having foiled many attempts to attack, threaten, invade and trespass. . . .


UPDATE : 10 Palestinians kidnapped from West Bank districts
IMEMC/Agencies 5 Aug — Israeli forces, early Wednesday, abducted ten Palestinians, including at least a minor, from West Bank districts, said local security sources and Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS). WAFA correspondence reported on the Fateh District Committee, in the East Jerusalem town of al-‘Issawiya, as saying that Israeli police raided the town, where they proceeded to detain three Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses, sparking violent clashes with locals. The detainees were identified as Ayoub, ‘Anan and ‘Allan ‘Ubaid. Police also raided Hizma, a village to the north of the city, where they kidnapped one Palestinian male after breaking into his house. The detainee was identified as Muhammad Kan‘an. Meanwhile in Tulkarem district, forces took three Palestinians into custody. PPS identified the detainees as Karam Jarab, 20, Wa‘d Rizqallak, 23, and Dhaher Abu Dayyeh. In the meantime in Hebron, forces also abducted two Palestinians, a father and his son, after breaking into and ransacking their house in the Old City. The detainees were identified as Hasan An-Natsha, 51, and his son, Ma’moun, 14. Forces set up checkpoints in the Qarantina locality of the Old City, where they stopped and examined Palestinian registered vehicles and inspected passengers’ identification cards. Meanwhile, in the Jenin district, forces detained a Palestinian after storming his family’s house in Marka village to the south of the city. The detainee was identified as ‘Abdul-Ghani Mousa, 21.

Israeli forces detain 3 teenagers in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — Israeli forces detained three Palestinian teenagers on Thursday after raiding their homes in East Jerusalem, a local prisoners’ spokesperson said. Amjad Abu Asa, a representative for the families of imprisoned East Jerusalemites, told Ma‘an that Nur Castero, 17, and Muhammad Baibars, 18, were detained in Beit Hanina while Ahmad Shawish was arrested in the Bab Hutta neighborhood of the Old City.

Arresting the child Haitham Khweis from Al-Tur
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 7 Aug — The occupation forces arrested on Thursday the 13-year old Haitham Nasim Khweis from Al-Tur. Nasim Khweis, the child’s father, explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the occupation forces arrested his child immediately after leaving “Mount of Olives Club” as one policeman left the police car and arrested the child when there were no clashes in the area. According to the child, the forces assaulted him while he was detained in the police vehicle and being transferred to Salah Eddin Street police station. The child’s father added that his son was accused of throwing stones at Israeli forces, and explained that his son was inside the Club’s facilities and was having lunch at his relatives’ house before that. He also pointed out that his son was detained and interrogated for seven hours. Haitham’s father explained that his son was previously arrested twice, once when he was 10 and another time last year. Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer explained that the police released the child Khweis with a 500-NIS bail and on condition of house-arrest for 5 days.


4 killed, dozens injured as Israeli ordnance explodes in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — At least four Palestinians were killed on Thursday and over 30 injured when unexploded ordnance from last summer’s Israeli military offensive went off while clearing rubble from a destroyed house in the southern Gaza Strip, medics said. Palestinian medical sources at the Abu Yousif al-Najjar hospital in Rafah said four bodies and multiple wounded Palestinians arrived at the emergency room. The victims, who were all from the same family, were identified as Bakr Hasan Abu Naqira, Abdul-Rahman Abu Naqira, Ahmad Hasan Abu Naqira, and Hassan Ahmad Abu Naqira. Medics said it is likely that the death toll will increase. Over 7,000 [pieces of] unexploded ordnance were left throughout the Gaza Strip following last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, according to officials of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories (OCHA). Even before the most frequent Israeli assault, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian teen near Gaza border
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israeli troops shot and injured a Palestinian teenager east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday night, local sources told Ma‘an. The boy, identified as 14-year-old Mahir Shatat, was hit by live fire in his cheek and was taken to a local hospital. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that Shatat was shot because he approached the border fence separating Gaza from Israeli-controlled territories.
Separately, Israeli forces opened fire Saturday morning on Palestinian farmers tending to their lands near the eastern border of the coastal enclave. No casualties have been reported.

Four Gazans wounded in Israeli air strike after rocket fire
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 7 Aug — A retaliatory Israeli air strike on Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip wounded four policemen Friday, a Palestinian official said, following a rocket attack on the Jewish state. The hospital official told AFP one was critically injured and the rest moderately hurt in the strike on a training facility of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, near El Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the strip. In an attack claimed by jihadists, Gaza militants earlier fired a rocket into southern Israel, without causing casualties, the Israeli army said. "A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel," it said in a statement. "No injuries reported." Israeli media said at least one other rocket was fired but fell short and landed in the Palestinian territory . . . Hamas is the de factor power in Gaza and Israel formally holds it responsible for any attack launched from the coastal territory . . . Earlier, a previously unheard-of group calling itself "The Grandsons of the Companions of the Prophet" claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. The rocket fire was "the first response by Salafist jihadists to Jewish attacks against Al-Aqsa", it said . . . In Gaza, Salafists have made no secret of their disdain for Hamas over its observance of a tacit ceasefire with Israel and failure to implement Islamic law.

Gaza’s homes get off the ground
MEMO 6 Aug — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES The reconstruction process has finally begun for those whose homes were completely destroyed during the war on Gaza in 2014. This is in accordance with the agreement with Qatar which has donated 1,000 residential units. Qatar’s conditions for reconstruction include that the ground floor must need rebuilding, that families with children are given priority to the homes, and that the home owners’ home was completely destroyed. The Ministry of public Works is supervising the reconstruction process, along with the UNDP for homes for residents and UNRWA for homes for refugees. Both of these agencies grant money to the residents through the banks in Gaza under the supervision of the ministry. In the past two days, 580 residents whose blueprints and paperwork have been completed received 30 per cent of the total amount granted to them for the reconstruction of their homes. This amount allows them to start building the foundation for their home, reaching above ground level. After this is completed, they will receive the second installment, which amounts to 40 per cent of the total house price. This leaves the final 30 per cent which is reserved for the finishing touches. The lists and names were sent to the Israeli authorities to be approved in order to send the amount of cement needed for residents to begin construction.

Several Gaza hospitals may shut soon
MEMO 6 Aug — A number of hospitals in the Gaza Strip may be forced to close due to a lack of funding and because of the ongoing humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave, Deputy Palestinian Minister of Health Dr Yousef Abu Al-Rish warned. Quds Press reported Abu Al-Rish saying that the situation in the medical centres and hospitals has become "catastrophic". He said the basic services are in danger of being stopped. He blamed the national unity government saying it had "giving up its responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip, mainly the healthcare sector." "The ministry in Gaza is deprived of the running and administrative expenses needed to cover all its daily needs. The problems are aggravating day after day.." He said that the biggest problem is that the employees have not received salaries for the second consecutive year. Abu Al-Rish condemned the "persistence of the government, based in Ramallah, to continue restricting the entrance of medicines and medical staff to the Strip," warning that many basic medicines have already run out.

Hamas denies Israeli claims of official’s expulsion from Turkey
MEMO 7 Aug — Hamas has denied Israel’s claims that the government in Turkey has asked a prominent official of the Palestinian faction to leave the country. The resistance movement pointed out that Shaikh Saleh Al-Arouri still travels between Turkey and Qatar and is performing his political work as usual, reported London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. According to Israel’s Channel 1, "Turkey seems to have asked Hamas leader Saleh Al-Arouri to leave the country after his involvement in terrorist acts." The television station claimed that Al-Arouri is now staying in Doha with the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal. Shaikh Saleh Al-Arouri was released from Israeli custody into exile in Turkey as part of the prisoner exchange which saw Hamas hand over Sergeant Gilad Shalit. The Israelis claim that he has "resumed" his "terrorist activities", such as the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish settlers in occupied Hebron last year. The government in Tel Aviv has long attacked Turkey for being so welcoming to the Hamas official. "Shaikh Saleh is carrying out his activities as usual and is travelling between a number of countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Lebanon," a source close to Al-Arouri told Al-Quds Al-Arabi. "He does not have a permanent place of residence. He moves when needed. There is no truth to Israel’s claims of there being a Turkish order for his expulsion." The source added that Israel makes such claims no matter how many times they are denied, so there is no point in denying or confirming what it alleges.

Hamas court issues death sentence for alleged collaborator
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — A military court in the Gaza Strip on Thursday sentenced a man to death by hanging for allegedly cooperating with "enemy entities." The court said the suspect, 30, was sentenced according to Article 131 of the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979, a statement said. An undisclosed number of fighters were killed because of information the suspect passed on to Israeli intelligence services during last summer’s war. Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel may be punishable by death. All execution orders are supposed to be approved by the president before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of incumbent Mahmoud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009. In August last year, 18 suspected collaborators were killed by Hamas when the group announced a crackdown on Palestinians alleged to be working with Israel.

IN PHOTOS : Palestinian exercise buffs use Gaza’s rubble as their gym
Haaretz 6 Aug — Bar Palestine, a Gaza City sports group, brings the growing global phenomenon of ’street workout’ to the war-ravaged Strip.

Young Palestinians struggle to surf in Gaza
[with photos] NEW DELHI (The Citizen) 5 Aug — Surfing, in any part of the world, can be a dangerous activity. The sea off the coast of Gaza, however, is inhospitable in a unique way. Long stretches of the beach smell like sewage after Israeli bombs damaged the wastewater system in 2014. Enter the water and the situation gets more perilous — Gazan fishermen are only allowed to go up to three nautical miles offshore, and are routinely shot at or detained by the Israeli navy. Despite the above, the sea off Gaza remains the one of the only ‘open’ spaces that the people of Gaza can enjoy. A small group of Gazans, known as the ‘Gaza surf club’ are changing how the people in the besieged city enjoy the sea. “I play this sport since I was 12,” says Taha Baker, 26 years old, known among his friends as “the dolphin”. “This is the only way I can express myself freely” Taha told Five years ago Taha’s cousin was killed next to him while the two were out fishing ; he was shot at from an Israeli boat. “The navy boat came and without saying, for example, ‘go south’ or ‘this area if forbidden,’ they didn’t say anything. They just shot immediately,” Taha told the Global Post. Hailing from a family of fishermen, the incident motivated Taha to turn to journalism focusing on documenting the perils of life on the sea in Gaza. In his spare time, Taha follows his passion : surfing.

Restriction on movement / Bannings

Israel issues 3-month travel ban for Palestinian journalist
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Aug — Israeli authorities on Wednesday banned a Palestinian journalist from Jerusalem from travellling for three months. Amjad Arafeh, a freelance cameraman, told Ma‘an that he was summoned for interrogation at the Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem where he was told that his travel documents would be confiscated as part of a three month travel ban. The ban was reportedly imposed for "security purposes," with no further details provided by Israeli authorities.

Israeli court releases 5 Al-Aqsa employees from jail
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 5 Aug — An Israeli court on Wednesday ordered the release of five Al-Aqsa Mosque employees a day after they were detained at the holy site. Lawyer Ramzi Kteilat from the Qudsuna Human Rights Center said that Radwan Amr, Raed Zughayyar, Hussam Sider, Fadi Bakir and Majdi al-Abbasi were released on condition of a 90 day ban from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, five days detention, and a total bail of 6,500 shekels ($1,700) each.

Israeli court issues 10-day entry ban on Aqsa Mosque employees
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 Aug — The district court in occupied Jerusalem on Thursday issued a verdict banning Palestinians from entering the Aqsa Mosque, where they work as guards and administrators, until August 16. The court judge refused to describe her decision as a ban on the entry of Aqsa Mosque employees and claimed that the defendants would be given leave of absence for 10 days, during which they would not be allowed to enter or approach the Mosque. The court hearing was held to look into the appeal filed by the Israeli police against an earlier decision by the magistrate’s court in Jerusalem refusing its request to prevent a number of guards and administrators working at the Aqsa Mosque as well as one Jerusalemite young man from entering the Islamic holy place for several days. The district court also gave the Israeli police 10 days to study the possibility of filing indictments against the defendants.

The Americans who aren’t allowed to visit Israel
Haaretz 6 Aug by Gideon Levy — U.S. citizens of Palestinian origin are routinely humiliated upon entry to Israel, yet representatives of their country refuse to come to their aid. — Susan Abulhawa is a successful American writer. Her first novel, “Mornings in Jenin,” was translated into 30 languages and was an international best seller. Her new book, “The Blue Between Sky and Water,” has already been sold for translation into 19 languages, even before publication in the United States next month. Life is smiling on the 45-year-old. There’s only one problem : Her home is in Pennsylvania, but her heart is in Palestine. Her parents are Jerusalemites from the A-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem. They became refugees against their will in 1967, after being barred from returning to their home city. After they separated, their daughter went from place to place – from an orphanage in East Jerusalem to a foster family in South Carolina. A traumatic visit to Jenin after Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 provided the inspiration for her first novel and her political involvement. Abulhawa established a nonprofit, to build playgrounds for children in the occupied territories and Lebanon, and has become an open supporter of the BDS movement. That is her crime. Last week, she arrived at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and Israel, en route to see her family in Jerusalem, visit the playgrounds she has built and conduct interviews in honor of the publication of her latest novel. Her U.S. passport was in her pocket. After seven hours of waiting, and an exhausting and humiliating interrogation by six security officials, Abulhawa was expelled in disgrace – allegedly because she hadn’t cooperated with her interrogators . . . A week earlier, Jerusalem native Dr. George Khoury landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Khoury is a professor of languages with a doctorate in theology from Berkeley, a U.S. citizen who decided to travel with a priest, Father Bernard Poggi, on a pilgrimage and family visit. Khoury is 70 and hadn’t visited his homeland in 21 years. He also thought his U.S. passport would grant him entry into Israel, and he too was mistaken. The security official at Ben-Gurion told him, “This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel.” Khoury tried to explain that he’s American, but there was nobody to talk to. The security official informed him he would be deported to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.

Israeli forces deny Palestinian professor, his family, entry into West Bank
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 5 Aug — Israeli forces Wednesday afternoon denied a Palestinian professor and his family entry into occupied Palestinian Territories to work for Birzeit University in Ramallah. According to a press release issued by Birzeit University, professor Omar al-Surani and his family were denied entry into the West Bank through the Allenby Bridge border crossing. Al-Surani was planning to work as a lecturer at the Birzeit University Faculty of Architecture. The university’s administration decried the Israeli “arbitrary actions” against Palestinian academics wishing to join Palestinian universities and called upon relevant international and local human rights organizations to pressure the Israeli authorities into halting “racist measures” that violate Palestinians’ right to education . . . Al-Surani, who holds Palestinian and British passports, is originally from Gaza and is currently based in the United Kingdom.

American Palestinians speak out about being denied entry to Israel
Al-Monitor 5 Aug by Daoud Kuttab — American Palestinians traveling to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport are increasingly detained and sent back, and told they should contact the Palestinian Authority to have their Palestinian IDs revoked, which would allow them entry to Israel — Over the course of a few days in July, three US citizens of Palestinian descent were denied entry into Israel. All three have published detailed testimonials of their experiences — . . . Brooklyn-based businessman and pharmacist Habeeb Joudeh, 62, traveled to Israel to attend a wedding of a friend there. Joudeh, who is the vice president of the Arab American Association of New York, arrived in Israel with his two adult sons on July 23. In a telephone conversation with Al-Monitor, Joudeh said, “After hours of questioning, my entry visa to Israel was revoked based on their claim that I had been issued an identification card by the Palestinian Authority in 1995, although I left in 1994 for the last time on a travel permit issued by the Israeli military.” What angered Joudeh was the way that he and his sons were treated. “My son Ronnie, 28 years old, was interrogated in a very rude manner. During his interrogation, he was threatened by the Israeli airport official. Ronnie was called many disrespectful names, and he was threatened to be sent back to the United States. All of us were interrogated separately. Each officer humiliated us and threatened that our lives would be made miserable by the Israeli authorities. They called us liars and they left us without food or water. We were even denied privacy as each of us was privately escorted to the restroom. Let me emphasize that we each attempted to behave in a civilized manner. We continuously tried to explain ourselves and the reasons for our travel, but unfortunately each time we tried we were yelled at and kept in isolation in a small room.” Joudeh said that after six hours of interrogation he and his sons were given an ultimatum. “Either be deported to Jordan, or sign a document of deportation — stating as the reason for denial : prevention of illegal immigration considerations — and travel back to the United States on Delta flight 469, the same aircraft we arrived on.” Joudeh, Ramsey and Ronnie had spent $12,000 on three first-class tickets and were sent back in economy class. “We were stuck in seats next to the restroom,” Joudeh said.

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Israel demolishes 19 structures in Jordan Valley, Hebron, notifies 20 families of demolition
WEST BANK (WAFA) 5 Aug – Israeli authorities Wednesday demolished 18 Palestinian-owned agricultural structures in the northern Jordan Valley, as well as handed Palestinians near Hebron demolition notices for 20 houses, and demolished a home in Beit Ummar, according to local sources. Motaz Bisharat, in charge of the Jordan Valley settlements file in the Palestinian Authority, said Israeli army forces broke into al-‘Aqaba, Mayta, and Yazra, small villages in the northern Jordan Valley, and demolished agricultural structures used as storage sheds and as animal shelters, in addition to two residential structures. Forces further uprooted an electricity pole in the village of al-‘Aqaba. In Hebron, forces demolished a 60-square-meter house in the town of Beit Ummar without any prior notice, displacing 8 family members. The house belongs to local Azmi al-Ajloni. Meanwhile in al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, Israeli army and bulldozers demolished a house under construction, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext. The army also notified Palestinians in the camp of their intentions to demolish 20 homes under the same pretext.

Bethlehem : Soldiers demolish tire repair shop, structure
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Aug — Israeli forces, on Thursday, demolished a tire repair shop and another structure in Bethlehem district, said two local activists. Taha Hamamra, a local activist, told WAFA correspondence that Israeli forces demolished a tire repair shop at the western entrance of Husan village to the west of the city purportedly for being built without an Israeli building permit. The Palestinian owner of the shop was identified as Bajes Shusha. This was the second time Israeli forces demolished a property for Shusha. Almost a year ago, a flower shop belonging to Shusha was demolished. Moreover, forces demolished a structure belonging to a Palestinian in the area opposite to the tunnel checkpoint between Beit Jala and Jerusalem. The Palestinian owner was identified as Tareq al-Walaji.

The silent transfer of Palestinians from Jerusalem
+972 blog 4 Aug by Betty Herschman — It is no accident that eight Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem wound up beyond the separation barrier. Since annexing Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has manipulated migratory trends toward an unstated goal : absorbing the land without the people — There are many ways to test the notion of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. One could do a comparative analysis of how much the municipality invests in East and West Jerusalem — roughly 1:9. One could drive up the road that neatly divides the bougainvillea draped neighborhood/settlement of East Talpiot and Palestinian Jabal Mukaber, a model of a neighborhood excluded from the city planning process ; or consider that Palestinians, nearly 40 percent of the population of the city, are second-class residents denied the right to vote in national elections. For absolute clarity, one need only look at the eight Jerusalem neighborhoods that are located squarely within the municipal borders…but relegated to the other side of the separation barrier. Findings from Ir Amim’s comprehensive new report, “Displaced in their Own City,” reveal that at least 80,000 and possibly more than 100,000 Palestinians — between one-fourth to one-third of the entire Palestinian population of Jerusalem, linked to the city for generations by ties of family, livelihood, economics, identity, culture, and religion — now live in these abandoned enclaves. The area of Kufr Aqab and Semiramis as well as the Shu‘afat refugee camp, including the neighborhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shehadeh, and Dahiyat al-Salaam, are totally, indisputably divided from Jerusalem by a concrete wall and checkpoints, as well as the municipality’s near complete abdication of responsibility for providing basic services, safety oversight and law enforcement.

Israeli Police orders two Jerusalemite families out of their homes
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 5 Aug – Israeli police Wednesday asked two East Jerusalem Palestinian families to leave their homes, under the pretext of absentee ownership, according to a WAFA correspondent. Israeli police ordered Sabri Abu-Nab and Abdullah Abu-Nab, two Jerusalemite Palestinians, and their families to leave their homes before August 11, because the two properties are “absentee”. Jewish settler organizations claim the two homes are located on the site of an abandoned Jewish synagogue. Abdullah Abu-Nab described the order a “manipulation” by the Israeli judiciary which was biased toward the settlers. He said settler groups had no proof of ownership of the two homes, which have been inhabited by the Abu-Nab family for hundreds of years, even before the establishment of Israel. Zuhair Rajabi, a pro-Jerusalemites activist and advocate, said a number of lawyers and him were planning to gather as much legal documents as needed to prove the Abu-Nab family’s ownership of the two homes. He said the lawyers will travel to Turkey to obtain paperwork from the Ottoman era that proves the Abu-Nab’s ownership of the two homes.

Four Palestinian families face eviction from East Jerusalem home next week
Haaretz 6 Aug by Nir Hasson — Court ruled that Silwan home where Abu Nab clan has lived since 1948 is built on land owned by Jewish organization ; eviction is first stage in move to evict dozens of families and replace them with Jewish ones — The notice followed court rulings that recognized the Jewish ownership of the land on which the Abu Nab house was built. The far-right settler group Ateret Cohanim, which represents the owners, told the courts the plot had been bought more than 100 years ago by the Hekdesh Benvenisti organization for the purpose of building a Jewish neighborhood there. The extended Abu Nab family lives in Batn al-Hawa, a neighborhood in the heart of Silwan, adjacent to the contentious Jewish settlement of Beit Yonatan. The families have been living there since they were expelled from their home in Sultan’s Pool due to the War of Independence in 1948. They rented the house from another Palestinian family that claims ownership. However, some 15 years ago, Jerusalem District Court recognized Hekdesh Benvenisti’s ownership of the land. Hekdesh Benvenisti inherited the land at the end of the 19th century for building a neighborhood for immigrants from Yemen. The immigrants lived there until the beginning of the 20th century, and the Abu Nab house apparently served as the neighborhood’s synagogue. The law enables Jewish heirs to reclaim property they left on the eastern side of the Green Line due to the war, but does not enable Palestinian owners to reclaim their property in West Jerusalem.

The occupation forces confiscate a donkey from Al-Tur
SILWAN, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 7 Aug — The occupation forces confiscated a “donkey” on Thursday night from some children in the village of Al-Tur under the pretext of annoying the settlers in the settlement outpost established in that area. Witnesses explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the occupation forces confiscated a donkey owned by Abulhawa family while some children were walking along with the donkey in Al-Khalleh Street near the settlement outpost. Witnesses also added that the settlers living in the settlement outpost called the occupation forces that immediately arrived to the area, confiscated the donkey and transferred it to an unknown place using a special vehicle.

Israel cuts water to Palestinian village, causing deaths of hundreds of farm animals
IMEMC 8 Aug by Celine Hagbard — As an exceptionally hot summer heatwave continues to drain the region’s water supplies, this week Israeli water company Mekorot took the situation to a new level with the villagers of Kafr Qaddoum when the company cut off the village’s water supply. The village is almost entirely dependent on agriculture, and the cutoff of water left hundreds of animals without water. The human population of the village numbers around 4,000, and only those who had water tanks or stored water bottles were able to have anything to drink during the Israeli water cutoff. The animals which died include a number of cattle, and hundreds of chickens and other domestic birds. According to the head of the village council of Kafr Qaddoum, located in the northern West Bank near Nablus, the Israeli company cut off the village’s water with no warning or reason. Hamzeh Jomaa, the village council head, said that he has been trying to contact Mekorot to find out why the water was cut and when it will return. Mekorot pumps water from underground reservoirs on Palestinian-owned land, essentially stealing water from Palestinians and then selling it back to them at high prices . . . The amount of water allocated to Israelis is nearly four times the amount provided to Palestinian residents. Just 70 liters a day is provided to Palestinians, even during heat waves such as the current one, and this is less than the 100 liters a day recommended as a minimum by the World Health Organization. And the allocation also does not include agricultural uses, despite the fact that the majority of Palestinians are dependent on agriculture for survival.

For one Palestinian, no money can compensate for his land
RAMALLAH (Al-Monitor) 5 Aug by Aziza Nofal — A Palestinian man is celebrating his victory in Israel’s Supreme Court after a three-decade battle for land he still can’t use — and won’t sell — Al-Hage Abdul Rahman al-Qassem stood near the land he owns on the outskirts of the Beit El Israeli settlement, which was built on Palestinian land in northern Ramallah. He distributed sweets to passers-by, celebrating the ruling of the Supreme Court of Israel against the illegal construction there. Qassem had been engaged in a six-year legal battle with the settlers who constructed two residential buildings on his land. On July 16, he won a ruling for the demolition of the buildings. “It is a great joy that I managed to preserve my land, despite it being located within the settlement and my inability to have access to it. I am sure that one day we will restore it. Even when I die, my grandchildren will have it,” he told Al-Monitor. Qassem has 25 grandchildren who, along with his six children, shared his joy at having regained the land they might never truly call their own. They can only catch a glimpse of it from behind the wall of the settlement. He and his family are happy, even though the ruling does not include all, or even most, of Qassem’s parcel.

Special 90 million grant for West Bank settlements included in new budget
Haaretz 6 Aug by Chaim Levinson — A special grant of 340 million shekels ($90 million) for West Bank settlements was included in the 2015-2016 state budget that was approved by the government early Thursday morning. The grant, which was part of Likud’s coalition agreement with Habayit Hayehudi and understandings with the Yesha Council, will be divided equally between the Defense Ministry and the Transport Ministry. The budget specified 14 purposes for which the funds will be used, including road works and road security, development of national parks, access roads, tourism, security provisions for local authorities, public buildings and student villages . . . the state continues to transfer hundreds of millions of shekels to the regional councils in the territories — despite a state undertaking to the High Court of Justice to cut the funding.


Palestinian hunger striker ’at risk of death’ : ICRC
JERUSALEM (AFP) 7 Aug — A Palestinian detainee on hunger strike in an Israeli jail for 50 days is now "at immediate risk" of death, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Friday. The ICRC said Mohammed Allaan was in critical condition in an Israeli hospital and called on the authorities to allow an immediate family visit. "We believe that Mr Allaan’s life is at immediate risk," wrote Jacques de Maio, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. "His family has been unable to visit him since 22 March, and they are very anxious about him. Given the current circumstances, we ask the Israeli authorities to allow them to see him as a matter of urgency."

Israel to force-feed hunger striking detainee beginning Saturday evening
IMEMC 7 Aug by Saed Bannoura — The Head of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, Issa Qaraqe‘, reported,on Friday evening, that the Israeli Prison Administration will begin force-feeding hunger striking detainee, lawyer Mohammad ‘Allan, who started his hunger strike fifty-four days ago. Qaraqe‘ said that ‘Allan is in a very serious health condition, but despite that fact, he is insisting on continuing his hunger strike. He is demanding his unconditional release, as he is being held illegally under what Israel calls ‘Administrative Detention’, in which they hold Palestinians prisoner without charges or trial. Qaraqe’ added that ‘Allan’s mother and his siblings are protesting in front of the Soroka Israeli Hospital, and that his mother has also started a hunger strike in solidarity with her detained son. The Israeli Police are threatening to imprison Allan’s mother and his brothers, if they continue to protest in front of the hospital. The mother told Ehna TV that she will not leave the hospital, and will remain close to her son, and also threatened to set herself on fire, if Israeli troops attempt to forcibly remove her from the hospital. “My son is a lawyer, he never did anything to them to be treated like this, now he is dying,” she said, “Have some humanity, some mercy on him, he has been on strike for the 54th consecutive day, he is dying, please release my son, you can cut me into pieces, but I will never leave, I will burn myself instead” . . . The Israeli military has in the past force-fed hunger-striking prisoners, despite a prohibition on the practice by both international and Israeli law. A recent bill passed by the Israeli Knesset allows force-feeding. But the Association of Israeli Physicians said they will refuse to carry out the practice, which is considered a form of torture under international law.

120 Palestinian prisoners enter 3rd day on hunger strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Aug — Over 100 Fatah-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails entered their third day on hunger strike on Friday, prisoner representatives said. The 120 prisoners, all held in Nafha jail, are demanding that detainees be returned to their former wings after being moved to other sections last week. They are also demanding family visits, an end to solitary confinement, public telephones, a kitchen and bakery, and the return of a cantina. A spokesperson for Fatah prisoners, Nashat al-Wahidi, said that the prison leadership of all political factions met on Thursday in Nafha to discuss conditions for detainees and Israeli escalations. Fatah-affiliated detainees said in a letter that their open hunger strike will continue until their demands are achieved.
National and Islamic factions in the Gaza Strip are planning a series of activities to support prisoners at the beginning of next week, al-Wahidi added. Earlier this week, Hamas-affiliated detainees in prisons across Israel threatened a campaign of disobedience after the Israeli Prison Service said it plans to separate prisoners affiliated to Hamas in Nafha prison from those affiliated to Fatah, a prisoners’ rights group said. There are currently at least seven [other] Palestinian detainees on hunger strike

Hamas-affiliated prisoners threaten ’disobedience’ in Israeli jails
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 5 Aug — Hamas-affiliated detainees in prisons across Israel threatened a campaign of disobedience Wednesday after the Israeli Prison Service said it plans to separate prisoners affiliated to Hamas in Nafha prison from those affiliated to Fatah, a prisoners’ rights group said. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, the Israeli prison authorities decided on Tuesday to move Hamas-affiliated prisoners from Nafha prison in southern Israel to Gilboa prison in the country’s north. The decision came after more than a week of trouble inside Nafha, where Palestinian prisoners began a campaign of disobedience last week to demand that the prison authorities end violations against them. A spokesperson for the Palestinian prisoners center, Amina Tawil, said that the Israeli Prison Service did not give an explanation for their decision to transfer Hamas-affiliated prisoners. However, she said that the decision reportedly came after the prison authorities reached an agreement with representatives of Fatah-affiliated prisoners inside Nafha.

A forgotten Palestinian kidnap victim
MEMO 29 July by Asa Winstanley — Dirar Abu Sisi was once the technical director of Gaza’s only electricity plant. One night in February 2011, traveling on a train to visit his brother in Ukraine he was kidnapped and disappeared. His frantic family could find no word of him. A month and a half later he turned up in an Israel jail. The Mossad, Israel’s notorious and brutal spy agency, had kidnapped him. The groups seems to have been aided by the Ukrainian authorities, who had intimated to his family they knew where he was being held, but would give no confirmation. The Israeli press, acting under orders from the military censor were gagged from reporting on the case for 45 days. Abu Sisi has now been in solitary confinement for more than four years. His case has been largely forgotten and there are no western human rights organizations championing his case and calling for his freedom. The real reason for the imprisonment of Abu Sisi, it seems to me, is that his technical expertise as a civil engineer made it harder for Israel to strangle the Gaza Strip with its unjust siege. During the 2008-09 war on Gaza, Israel bombed the power plant, but afterwards Abu Sisi helped get it running again. What’s more, he was responsible for refining a new fuel system that made the plant far less dependent on Israeli-supplied diesel . . . When the Israeli military finally lifted the censor’s gag on Abu Sisi’s case, it was only then that they started to make the claim that he was secretly a member in the top ranks of Hamas’s armed wing (something Hamas denies).

Other news, reviews

Abbas : Israeli government responsible for settler violence
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 6 Aug — The Israeli government bears full responsibility for settler violence and maintains a "culture of terrorism and apartheid" against Palestinians, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday during a meeting of Arab foreign ministers. Wednesday’s meeting had initially been called to discuss clashes late last month at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem but the brutal murder of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha last week has turned attention to settler violence in the occupied territories. "If the Israeli government does not take steps to catch the perpetrators of the crime against the Dawabsha family it will be a partner of these crimes," Abbas said.

Israel lacks ’day after Abbas’ plan
Al-Monitor 5 Aug by Ben Caspit — A wave of rumors and news reports has swept Israel and its environs regarding the possible imminent resignation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials and associates of Abbas vehemently deny the rumor, saying that this is yet another stage in the psychological war being waged by Israel against the president . . . Opinion polls in the territories clearly point, with near certainty, to the identity of Abbas’ successor — according to the popularity index, it will be Marwan Barghouti, sentenced to consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison after being caught masterminding terrorist acts that led to the murder of numerous Israelis in the course of the second intifada. “He leads in the polls with a large margin over all the others,” a member of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee told Al-Monitor this week, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It is worth our while to be ready for such a scenario.” He was talking about the following nightmare scene : Abbas announces his resignation, elections take place in the West Bank and the new PA chairman, elected by a wide margin, is none other than a prisoner serving multiple life sentences in the Israeli prison system. “There are no intentions of freeing him, ever,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon apparently said when Barghouti’s name was brought up, according to an Israeli security official who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. The conclusion is that Israel may find itself, in the not too distant future, in a Nelson Mandela-type situation : a Palestinian leader elected by a large majority who enjoys widespread international support and is sitting in an Israeli prison. How can Israel extricate itself from this mess ?

West Bank and Gaza battle it out on the football field
MEMO 7 Aug — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES Members of the West Bank-based Ahli Al-Khalil football team entered the blockaded Gaza Strip late Tuesday – via Israel’s Erez border crossing – for the first time in 15 years . . . Images by MEMO photographer : Mohammad Asad.

Palestinians make play at reconciliation with football match
GAZA CITY (AFP) 6 Aug by Yahya Hassouna — Thousands of enthusiastic football fans converged on a stadium in war-torn Gaza on Thursday for a match seen as a symbolic victory over bitter political divisions and an Israeli blockade. The encounter between West Bank-based Ahli al-Khalil and Gaza’s Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh — their first in 15 years — was technically to determine who will go on to represent Palestine in international competitions. Players and fans, however, saw it as much more than a sporting event, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip only 60 kilometers apart but separated by politics and Israeli territory. Hamas rules Gaza, which is under a strict Israeli blockade, while the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas is based in the West Bank. Attempts at reconciliation between the two Palestinian political factions have proved futile — but that was not the case for Thursday’s football match. The match which ended in a 0-0 draw was a relief for Gazans from the poverty and destruction surrounding them, especially after last year’s war with Israel . . . The West Bank and Gaza Strip compete in separate leagues, of which the two teams which faced off on Thursday are the champions. A return leg is to be played in Hebron in the West Bank on Sunday. - Bringing people together - For Al-Ahli goalkeeper Azmi Shweiki, "football has succeeded where the politicians have failed. It brings people together." He said he was "moved by people’s smiles despite the living conditions." Ahmed Mahajni, who also plays for Al-Ahli, was visiting Gaza for the first time, with the coastal enclave largely cut off from the world by the Israeli blockade and a closed border with Egypt. He said that was "already a victory." Restrictions on the movement of its players is one of the reasons officials from the Palestinian federation have pushed FIFA, of which Palestine has been a member since 1998, to sanction Israel. To reach Gaza, the West Bank team had to cross Israeli territory, and the Jewish state had to grant approval for its players to enter the strip.

Israel denies Gaza football team barred from West Bank
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Aug — Gaza-based football club Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh said Friday that Israeli authorities prevented players and staff from leaving the besieged enclave to face West Bank rivals Ahli al-Khalil, while Israel denied the allegations and blamed Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub. The Gaza-based team was scheduled to leave the coastal territory together with Hebron’s Ahli al-Khalil after having played an historic game a day earlier at the Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. But four of the players and three of the team’s staff were refused travel permits, club spokesperson Alaa Shamali said. The players were identified as Hussam Wadi, Maysara al-Bawwab, Omar al-Arier and Hashem Abed Rabbu. The second leg of the cup game, scheduled for Sunday, has now been postponed and the next 24 hours will prove crucial as to whether talks with FIFA can lift Israel’s travel restrictions,Shamali said. Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh had agreed before the game that they would not leave Gaza unless the entire team was allowed to travel, Shamali added. But the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT) said in a statement that it had coordinated travel permission for 37 players from Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh and had required four players to attend a preliminary inquiry and so arranged their crossing a day earlier. Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub canceled their permission to cross, COGAT’s statement added, saying that coordination was once again arranged for Friday but canceled by the Palestinian official.

World Jewish Congress outraged by Indonesia’s denial of visa to Israeli athlete
JPost 7 Aug — The decision by Indonesian authorities to refuse a visa request to an Israeli badminton player competing in the World Championships there has sparked outrage among Jewish organizations. In a statement released by the Geneva-based World Jewish Congress, the Indonesian government is accused of "unfairly mixing politics and sports" by denying a visa to Misha Zilberman, the badminton player who hopes to compete in the World Badminton Championships in Jakarta next week.

Israeli appoints former leader of West Bank settlers as new ambassador to Brazil
GlobalVoices 5 Aug — Israel has appointed prominent settler-advocate Dani Dayan as new ambassador to Brazil. Dayan publicly opposes the two-state solution and has previously told the press that ‘those who do are either naive or liars’. Brazil officially recognized the Palestinian state in December, 2010. However, Brazil has not established full diplomatic ties with Palestinians. Following the disproportionate use of force during the Israeli offensive in Gaza in July 2014, Brazil called back its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultation. This prompted Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor to lament Brazil’s decision and call it a “diplomatic dwarf” and an “irrelevant diplomatic partner”. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Dayan’s appointment on Twitter . . . Argentina native Dani Dayan, 59, acts as foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, an organization formed to promote Jewish settlement in the West Bank and, before 2005, in the Gaza Strip as well. He served as chairman of the organization between 2007 and 2013. In 2012, he signed an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Settlers are here to stay”, in which he argued Israel “legitimately seized” the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 and has a “moral claim” to these areas

Return : A Palestinian Memoir by Ghada Karmi review — good intentions turn to bitterness and isolation
The Guardian 5 Aug by Avi Shlaim — An exile returns to her homeland to contribute to building a viable state. But what she finds is ‘flotsam and jetsam, scattered and divided’ — In 2005, Karmi returned to her homeland not as a tourist but as a consultant to the ministry of media and communications of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. She wanted to be at the heart of things, to be part of the community, to make her contribution to state-building. But the actual experience she records in this memoir is one of pretty comprehensive disappointment and disillusion. The reader is invited to see through her eyes this angst-filled, rollercoaster journey. Working for the PA turned out to be at once exhilarating and exhausting. It behaved as if it were the government of a state, with departments of finance, transport, education, health, etc ; but, in reality, everything in the Palestinian occupied territories was controlled by Israel. By being on the inside, Karmi became aware of the profound and pervasive impact of Israeli power. She places both Israel and the PA under an harsh lens. The PA, she argues, assumed the trappings of a sovereignty over its lands while in reality it was subservient to the occupying power in every sense and at every level. With practically no sources of income of its own, it is heavily dependent on foreign aid from a variety of places. To Karmi’s way of thinking, the PA’s only honourable path is to abandon its empty, posturing display of power and to assume its proper role as the leadership of a people under colonial occupation.

The Blue between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa review — a displaced Palestinian family’s bid for suvival
The Guardian 6 Aug by Atef Abu Saif — In the follow-up to her debut novel Mornings in Jenin, Susan Abulhawa excavates the ruins of the Middle East conflict, examining it through the lives of an extended family in southern Palestine from the early 20th century until the present day. The novel centres on the sufferings of the Baraka family, forced to leave their idyllic village of Beit Daras in 1948 for a refugee camp near Gaza’s southern shores. After that, the family scatters. Some remain in the camp, where the majority of the novel takes place, while others emigrate to the Gulf and then to the US. But this is not only a story about displacement. It takes in love, hatred, sex, rape, survival, death, loss and belonging. It is full of celebratory dances, partying on the beach, mourning, fear, mysteries, dirty jokes and national heroism. The family’s main characters include those who stayed in Gaza and must face the difficulties of life in the refugee camp. The second part of the novel revolves around Nur Valdez, who is born in America. She returns to Gaza to live with her aunt, giving the novel a fresh perspective and introducing new themes of identity, belonging, personal freedom and salvation.