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


Mardi, 26 juin 2012 - 9h43 AM

Tuesday 26 June 2012


UNESCO is set to discuss the dangers facing Jerusalem’s eco-systems, a new UNRWA report elaborates the harm caused to water sources and flora throughout the West Bank, and environmental NGOs warn of the impending extinction of several species — these are the wall’s effects on mother nature.

“The villages of Wadi Fukin and Battir are threatened by the construction of 13 kilometers of a barrier, which would gravely harm agricultural terraces and natural springs that have been serving man for some 3,000 years,” explains Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of Friends of the Earth — Middle East. “In Battir alone, there are about half a million stones laid down by people over the course of thousands of years, taken care of and rearranged every winter due to natural erosion. The result is a unique cultural landscape, the most perfectly preserved in all of Israel and Palestine, and the only one to be used consecutively throughout the ages.”...
The plight of Battir and Wadi Fukin may well make headlines in coming days due to the UNESCO convention. But the wall has many more damaging effects on local eco-systems, the others being severe harm to fauna and flora, the mass uprooting of trees to make room for the wall, the forced neglect of fruit-bearing trees on the “Israeli” side of the wall, and the scarring of miles of natural landscape in the country and the desert.

Occupation forces attack citizens in Ain al-Hilweh in Jordan Valley
RAMALLAH (PIC) 22 June — Five Palestinians were injured including two women, on Thursday, in Ain al-Hilweh in Wadi al-Maleh, northern Jordan Valley during clashes with the Israeli forces who tried to confiscate a water tank. Local sources told PIC that the citizens have been subjected to severe beatings when soldiers surrounded the hamlet, and tried to confiscate the water tanks in order to force the Bedouin people to leave the region under the pretext that it is a military zone.

Israeli forces shut down agriculturally used water spring
NABLUS, June 24, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday destroyed a water spring, which residents of Ein Shalabi, a village in central Jordan Valley, depend on to irrigate their crops and land, according to a local activist ... This is the second time Israeli forces destroy the spring.

More demolition orders in Al Aqaba
JVS 24 June — On Sunday 24th June the occupation authorities issued demolition orders to another four families in Al Aqaba. Three of the families have been given just 3 days to leave. Profile of village with map

More demolitions in Al Maleh
JVS 25 June — On 25th June the occupation authorities can to the community of Ein Al Mith in Al Maleh and demolished their homes. For more photos and updates see our Facebook page. This is part of the ongoing harassment and victimisation of Bedouin communities in Al Maleh area.

IOA serves demolition notices in occupied Jerusalem, Jordan Valley
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 24 June — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has served demolition notices in occupied Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley on Sunday, local sources said. They said that IOA-controlled Jerusalem municipality distributed the demolition notices to five houses in Bustan suburb in Silwan town south of the Aqsa mosque.
Meanwhile, five Palestinians in Baka village in the northern Jordan Valley received demolition orders on Sunday, locals said. They said that staffers of the construction and organization committee, escorted by Israeli forces, delivered the notices, adding that they were given three days to evacuate their homes. They said that some of those homes were built 15 years ago. They said that the IOA also told owners of a brick factory, which has been working for years, that they should stop work in their factory.

Photoblog — Susya: Standing up to the bulldozers
Al Akhbar 24 June by Lazar Simeonov, Ramallah.

Disinheritance sponsored by Oslo / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 25 June — ...The orders to destroy 52 buildings at the Palestinian village of Susya, issued by the Civil Administration following a petition by Regavim, are yet another dark chapter in the “legal disinheritance” story: the expulsion of Palestinians under the aegis of the Oslo Accords. This affair has broken the record for misuse of civilian and security authority granted Israel in the interim Oslo 2 agreement over Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control. This authority was designed to let Israel conduct settlement affairs until a final-status solution was ripe. But it has turned into a cruel mechanism of de facto annexation of “state lands” and of taking over private lands belonging to tens of thousands of Palestinians living in this area.

Palestinian PM vows to prevent Israeli demolition orders
Ramallah, June 24 (Xinhua-ANI): Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday pledged to prevent Israel from demolishing a village in the West Bank. “We will stand by our families in Susiya village to stop the final decision to remove it by all means,” Fayyad told reporters in Hebron city before he headed to visit the nearby village.

Back to school: Ben-Gurion for beginners / Tom Segev
Haaretz 22 June — On more than one occasion, Israel’s first prime minister said that if he were Arab, he too would fight the Zionists — Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar has decided that during the next academic year, schools will concentrate on the leadership of David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. This week it was reported that principals of Arab schools and several Arab intellectuals are upset about the decision, claiming that it’s designed to impose the Zionist narrative on Arab students. But if the teachers know how to deal with the subject matter, Sa’ar could well come to regret his initiative.

Violence / Raids / Kidnappings / Closures

Clashes reported in Hebron after soldiers kidnapped a child
IMEMC 24 June — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, the town of Beit Ummar, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron ... Local sources reported that soldiers broke into the home of Omar Jobrael As-Sleiby, and kidnapped his son Eyad, 14. Dozens of residents clashed with the soldiers, and hurled stones at them; the army fired concussion grenades and gas bombs.
Also, soldiers assaulted resident Sharif Hasan Abu Hashem, 56, leading to a fracture in his right arm; he was moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital in the city.
Soldiers also invaded the home of Issa Abdul-Hai Wahadeen after using ladders to climb to its rooftop and broke into it through its roof door. Issa was not at home; his wife Amna, 54, and his 14-year-old daughter, were alone at home and suffered anxiety attacks.
The army went on to invade the home of Ahmad Khalil Abu Hisham, and confiscated the ID card of his son Yousef, 20. Yousef is a former political prisoner who was released nearly three months ago.
In related news, soldiers invaded the nearby towns of Ithna and Halhoul, installed roadblocks on their main entrances, and drove around in the towns for several hours.
On Sunday morning, the army installed a roadblock at the entrance of the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, detained and interrogated several residents while inspecting their ID cards.

IOF soldiers arrest youth, university student
JENIN (PIC) 25 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a number of villages to the south of Jenin in a pre-dawn raid on Monday and arrested a 23-year-old youth. Local sources said that the IOF soldiers broke into the home of Tarek Saba’na in Zababde village and took him away after searching his home. The soldiers then burst into the hostel of the Arab American University near his house, the sources said.
Other IOF units stormed the village of Maythalon and interrogated Abdul Karim Rabaya for almost an hour in his house after ransacking it.
IOF soldiers roamed the streets of the nearby village of Sirees and combed its streets and alleys until the early morning hours.
The soldiers also combed Al-Basha valley to the south of Jenin afternoon Sunday looking for what they called “unlicensed water wells.”
In Al-Khalil city, IOF soldiers arrested a 19-year-old university student after encircling his home on Monday morning. Friends of Samer Al-Juba, a student at Al-Khalil University, said that the soldiers confiscated all mobile phones and personal computers in his family home before taking him in. The IOF soldiers have thus detained ten students of that same university over the past few days.

IOF soldiers arrest liberated prisoner
RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian man in Ni‘lin village, west of Ramallah, on Saturday night, Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for human rights and prisoners’ studies, said. He said in a statement on Sunday that Shukri Al-Khawaja, 43, had served 13 years in Israeli occupation jails during which he was subjected to severe torture and almost lost his eyesight due to medical neglect. Khafsh charged the IOF with targeting liberated prisoners, adding that the ex-prisoners are usually detained in administrative custody after their re-arrest.

Israeli forces storm school, take down Palestinian flag
JENIN, June 24, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday stormed a school in the village of Imreiha, north of Ya’bad and northwest of Jenin, and took down the Palestinian flag raised at the school, according to security sources.

Zionist occupation troops storm Arub refugee camp
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed ‘Arrub refugee camp after claiming stones were thrown from the camp at passing Israeli vehicles. Local sources said that the IOF soldiers installed roadblocks inside the camp and roamed its streets and nearby areas. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told the PIC that IOF roadblocks were installed near four villages in Al-Khalil and at the northern entrance to the city.

Settlers storm land in Jenin
BETHLEHEM, June 24, 2012 (WAFA) – A number of Jewish settlers Sunday cut part of the [barbed] wire fence placed around a Palestinian agricultural land in al-Khader, a town west of Bethlehem, and stormed it, according to a local activist.

Jewish settlers storm evacuated settlement outpost south of Jenin
JENIN (PIC) 23 June – Jewish settlers stormed the evacuated Tarsala settlement outpost to the south of Jenin at dawn Saturday under protection of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), local sources said. They said that the settlers, mostly young men, remained in the site for a few hours and offered rituals and chanted anti-Arab slogans. The sources noted that the site was repeatedly stormed during the current month. Tarsala is one of four sites evacuated by the IOF in the West Bank in 2005 shortly after the withdrawal from Gaza Strip.

Israeli army ’game’ leaves Palestinian dead
RAMMUN (AFP) 24 June - As the Shawakha brothers rushed to protect their home from intruders, they had no clue they were unwitting participants in an Israeli army exercise that would leave one of them dead. “It was March 27, 1.30 in the morning,” recalls Akram Shawakha, 36, who was on watch duty on the top floor of the modest family home on a hill east of the West Bank city of Ramallah. “I saw two men dressed in ordinary clothes near the entrance,” said Akram, a cement factory worker who was taking the first shift on guard duty to keep an eye on the family’s 10 sheep and their car from would-be thieves. Clutching a stick, Akram went down to wake his brothers — 39-year-old Anwar and 28-year-old Rashad — then went outside as they got dressed and picked up a knife to protect themselves. Akram confronted the two strangers, addressing them in Arabic “which they spoke perfectly,” he recalls. “I asked them who they were ... We insisted on seeing their identity papers, and they put their hands in their pockets and pulled out their guns, not to threaten us, but with the intention of shooting.” Gunfire erupted and a confused melee ensued. The three brothers suffered bullet wounds although they managed to throw blows of their own as they fought ... The two ’intruders’ were quickly whisked away in a military vehicle as the three brothers waited, lying on the ground. At one point, “a soldier fired a round at the ground, injuring Rashad further,” Akram says. Eventually the three brothers were taken to an Israeli hospital. Rashad died on April 2. The story was picked up by the Israeli media, which soon discovered that the two ’intruders’ were in fact soldiers participating in a training exercise by the “Dudevan” military unit, which specialises in infiltrating Palestinian areas disguised as Arabs.

Undercover exercises in Palestinian villages increased in recent years
Rammun (AFP) 24 June — Using Palestinian villages as a training ground for undercover Israeli troops is not uncommon. In 2007, the practice prompted Israeli NGO Yesh Din to complain to the military’s top legal adviser, warning the exercises could endanger both Israeli and Palestinian lives. Yehuda Shaul, founder of Breaking the Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers critical of army practices in the Occupied Territories, says such exercises have increased in recent years. “As the West Bank becomes more and more secure, security-wise, there is more and more training on ‘live’ Palestinians,” he told AFP.

More Israeli military training in Palestinian areas
JVS 25 June — The Israeli Occupation Forces have returned to Ein Shibli for the third time this month to conduct yet more training in the heart of the village and the surrounding farmland. On each occasion they have effectively invaded the village with tanks, jeeps and military lorries for 2 -3 days, before leaving again.


16 Palestinians, including 4 children, killed in one week
IMEMC 24 June — Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that one resident was killed, and ten others were wounded, when the Israeli army bombarded, on Saturday evening, an area West of Gaza City. The latest attack brings the death toll to 16, including 4 children, in one week; at least 73 Palestinians, including children and women, were wounded in more than 40 strikes carried out by the Israeli military ... Speaking to the Maan News Agency, Abu Salmiyya identified the Palestinians, killed by Israeli missiles and shells in one week, as: 1. Osama Mahmoud Ali, 42, killed on Saturday June 23 by a missile fired by an Israeli drone west of Gaza City. 2. Khaled Nasser Al-Bor’ey, 25, killed on Saturday June 23 by a missile fired by the army targeting Qleibo Hill, east of Jabalia. 3. Mo’taz Ali Ash-Shawwaf, 6, killed on Saturday June 23, when the army bombarded a playground east of Khan Younis.... The Israeli bombardment targeted areas believed to be resistance training camps, in addition to densely populated neighborhoods, sports arenas, blacksmith and other workshops, homes and residential buildings.

Photos: #GazaUnderAttack 23 June
Today, June 23 2012 were killed by zionist attacks
Shaheed Muatazz al-Sawwaf, 6 years old June 23, 2012
Shaheed Khaled Mohammed Nasser Borai, 25 years old. June 23, 2012
Shaheed Osama Mahmoud Ali, 42 years old

Saturday: Gazan injured in airstrike dies of his wounds
GAZA, June 23, 2012 (WAFA) – A Palestinian from Gaza who was critically injured in an Israeli airstrike late Friday night, died early Saturday of his wounds, said medical sources. They said 20-year-old Hamam Abu Qadous, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, died of his wounds after he and two others were injured when hit by a missile.
Meanwhile, 20 Palestinians were injured in separate airstrikes that targeted different locations of the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Saturday, according to various sources. Eight people were injured from shrapnel when an Israeli F16 warplane fired a missile at the national security building in the central Gaza Strip.
Another airstrike targeted the site of the civil administration east of Jabalia, northern Gaza, injuring 10 Palestinians, one reported in critical condition.
A third airstrike targeted a location west of Deir al-Balah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, injuring one passerby

Saturday: Medics: 1 killed, 10 injured as Israel strikes Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 June — A Palestinian man was killed, and ten others wounded on Saturday afternoon as Israel continued airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, medical officials said. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said an airstrike on a motorcycle west of Gaza City killed one person, and ten others were brought to Shifa hospital with injuries. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that the wall of a nearby apartment block had collapsed onto a crowd after the strike. Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya named the casualty as 42-year-old Osama Mahmoud Ali.

Saturday: Ministry: 2 killed by Israeli air raids
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 23 June — A four-year-old boy and a Gaza militant were killed on Saturday as Israeli forces targeted areas in southern and northern Gaza, medical officials said. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said Ali Muatazz al-Shawwaf, 4, was killed and three others injured, one seriously, by an Israeli air strike in the Abasan neighborhood east of Khan Younis. A militant affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committee was also killed in an airstrike east of Jabalia, northern Gaza, al-Qidra said. The casualty was identified as Khalid al-Burei, 25.
Meanwhile, three people were wounded in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, when Israeli forces opened fire at farmers tending their land, witnesses said.
Explosions were also reported in Gaza City and Rafah, witnesses said. Hamas medical officials said a baby was wounded in an attack in Rafah, at the Egypt border...
Earlier Saturday, Israel launched air strikes against three Hamas security targets in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least 17 people, Hamas medical officials said.
An Israeli man was injured in Sderot early Saturday after a rocket hit the town as he was trying to enter a concrete shelter, Israeli officials said.

Why did the Israeli military kill 13-year-old Ma‘moun al-Dam?
Mondoweiss 24 June by Hama Waqum — Shreds of black and blue cloth stained in red lay scattered across an olive grove on the outskirts of Gaza City. The remains of 13-year-old Ma‘moun al-Dam’s t-shirt lay hooked into an olive bush and his sandals flung five meters away from where he was killed. Nobody is talking about what happened at 2.30pm on Wednesday afternoon, and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), as usual, are not being questioned bout their actions. Ma‘moun was killed by a bomb dropped by the IDF while he was having a picnic with his parents in a garden in the area between Zeitoun and Tal Elhawwa neighbourhoods..

Sunday: Gaza ’truce’ takes hold overnight
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June — A truce reportedly brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militants seemed to have taken effect overnight Saturday, as airstrikes and rocket fire held off after a week of deadly fighting. An Israeli military spokeswoman said no rockets fired from the Gaza Strip had landed in Israel overnight, nor had the army conducted military operations. Hamas official Ayman Taha told Gaza-based news site Safa press on Saturday that an agreement to halt hostilities that evening had been reached following Egyptian mediation. The deal is based on “calm for calm,” Taha said.

Israel vows tough action on Gaza if truce fails
AFP 24 June — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said troops had responded “forcefully” to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and could boost their response if a fragile truce announced on Saturday failed to hold. “Regarding the situation in the south, the Israeli army acted forcefully against those who try to attack us and, if necessary, the army will act more forcefully still,” Netanyahu warned at the start of a cabinet meeting.

Man killed by celebratory gunfire in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 June — A 25-year-old man was killed Sunday by shots fired to celebrate the victory of Muslim Brother Muhammad Mursi in Egypt’s presidential elections. Mohammad Qishta was killed and five others were injured by the celebratory gunfire, including two girls who sustained serious injuries, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an ... Palestinian security services have repeatedly warned the public not to use weapons or fireworks during celebrations to avoid tragedies.

Israel shuts Gaza border crossing
RIA Novosti 25 June — Israeli authorities have halted the operation of the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the Gaza Strip on Monday, an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said. The decision was caused by “the situation in the south” - in Gaza and near its borders, where Palestinian militants and the Israeli military have exchanged missile and rocket strikes for the last week, she said. Palestinian authorities confirmed that the cargo flow has been suspended.

Egypt closes Gaza’s Rafah crossing
EL-ARISH (Ma‘an) 24 June — Egyptian authorities on Sunday closed the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border, as Egypt awaits the results of its presidential election. Egyptian security sources told Ma‘an the crossing may reopen Monday, depending on the security situation in Sinai after the results of Egypt’s presidential election are announced. The terminal, which is the sole crossing open to residents of Gaza, closed for four days last week during the Egyptian elections creating a huge backlog of travelers waiting to leave or return to Gaza.


Israeli military court sentences 14 yr old Palestinian child to 8 years
QALQILIA (PIC) 24 June – The Israeli military court in Salem has sentenced a Palestinian child from Azzun village, Qalqilia province, to eight years behind bars. Quds Press quoted Hassan Shubaita, in charge of recording Israeli violations in Azzun, as saying that the ’convicted’ child Ihab Hani Mishaal is only 14 years old. He said that the Israeli military prosecution asked for similar harsh sentences against a group of children from the same village.

15-year-old Mohamed Abu Hashem released from prison
PSP 23 June — On April 23, Mohamad (Hamouda) Jamal Abu Hashem was woken up in the middle of a night raid by his brother, who told him that soldiers had broken into the house and were there to arrest him. Soldiers took 15-year-old Hamouda, charged with throwing stones at a recent demonstration, first to the military base in the nearby settlement Karmei Tzur and from there to the Gush Etzion detention center two hours later, where they began to interrogate him. They slapped him and demanded to know why he and his family, many of whom are involved in the resistance movement, participated in the local Beit Ommar protests. They showed Hamouda pictures of other Palestinians and demanded that he identify and give information on them ... Hamouda was held in prison for over two months, finally being released June 20th after paying a 2,000 shekel charge ... Even now, Muhammad is still dealing with the effects of his imprisonment: Since his return home, he has not been able to sleep, and he may have to repeat his junior year because of missing so much school ... Despite his arrest and experiences in prison, Muhammad said he will continue participating in demonstrations.

Urgent action appeal: My friend is still in jail! / Sam Bahour
ePalestine 24 June — Dear friends, I could not make up the below update even if I were a world-class fiction writer. You will recall my friend Walid Abu Rass who was taken in the middle of the night on November 22, 2011 when Israeli occupation soldiers arrived at his home at 1:30 A.M. His wife, Bayan, and two daughters, Mays, 13 years old, and Malak, 4 years old, were all frighteningly awakened with soldiers in their bedrooms as Walid was blindfolded and taken away. At the time, I wrote this: http://bit.ly/walidaburass

Something else happened after my last update that I was not aware of until a few days ago. Two weeks ago, during a case Walid brought forward to request to be released, the Israeli military “judge” REDUCED his administrative detention sentence by a month, making his new date of release June 22, this past Friday. His wife was relieved, again, finally! His daughters were in their glories. Dad was coming home, again, finally! Then, on Thur, June 21, Walid was orally informed that his administrative detention order was being EXTENDED for 3 more months! Tomorrow, 25/6 , he will be brought in front of an Israeli military “judge” to formally have his detention extended ... WE WANT THE COURT TO RELEASE WALID TOMORROW!
You can do any or all of the following to make your voice heard:


Israel extends administrative detention of Hamas official
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 23 June — An Israeli court on Friday extended the administrative detention of Palestinian legislator Issa Khairy al-Jabari, a Ma‘an correspondent said. The Hamas member will serve another four months in an Israeli prison on the basis that he poses a threat to security. Al-Jabari was arrested by Israeli forces in May 2011, having been released from Israeli custody in March 2010, after 14 months in jail.

Prisoner Barghouthi wounded by jailer’s police dog
NABLUS (PIC) 25 June — Ahrar center for prisoner studies and human rights said a police dog unleashed by an Israeli jailer bit prisoner Abdullah Al-Barghouthi in his feet, but the severity of the injury is still unknown. Director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh said the incident happened on Sunday during Barghouthi’s return from the court hearing that was held in the presence of American officers. Khafsh said the dog attack was deliberate and aimed at physically harming the prisoner after he refused to deal with the Israeli judges and the American interrogators.

Palestinian minister calls for UN boycott of Israel over torture claims
MEMO 21 June — The absence of any obvious commitment to human rights and the terms of the UN Charter has led the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs to call for a UN boycott of Israel. Isa Qaraq’e pointed out that 178 UN Resolutions condemning Israeli violence against Palestinian prisoners since 1967 have not convinced Israel to end its illegal policies and practices. “Torture, abuse and ritual humiliation against Palestinians in Israeli jails suggests the corruption of the security and military institutions,” claims a ministry report issued to mark the Universal Day against Torture. In recent years, alleges the report, torture has become not only a means to extract confessions from prisoners, but also a “methodology to humiliate and degrade their humanity”.

Palestinian prisoners arrested in PA sweep report torture, mistreatment / Amira Hass
Haaretz 25 June — Over a hundred Palestinians were arrested in recent weeks following an assassination attempt on a PA official, many of them with no connection to the crime — Many family members of detainees from the Jenin refugee camp have been having trouble sleeping in recent weeks. Not because of their relatives held in Israeli prisons but rather because of their relatives held in Palestinian Authority prisons, and mainly because of rumors - which have been confirmed - of torture at the Preventative Security detention facility in Jericho. -

Abbas meets PA security commanders
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 23 June — President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday met commanders of the Palestinian Authority security services for a briefing on their crackdown in the West Bank ... The security forces have detained dozens throughout the West Bank in recent weeks, saying they are interrogating military officers and civilians over lawlessness. They have also cracked down on weapons-holders, saying arms must be re-licensed. Abbas applauded the security services efforts to maintain order, saying it would provide a secure environment for citizens, enable them to remain steadfast on their land, and serve as a step to ending Israel’s occupation. The security crackdown was first launched after a shooting on the Jenin governor’s home in May

Why did Palestinian leadership neglect hunger striking athlete?
972mag 23 June by Mosab Qashoo — The Palestinian leadership’s silence regarding the plight of national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak and other Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike derives from the fear that the more empowered Palestinians become in their opposition to Israeli occupation, the more likely they are to overthrow the Palestinian Authority ... It seems very bizarre that the PA and PLO ignored one of their national heroes, a rising star in the society’s most popular sport, who was on the brink of death. He was the easiest person to defend. He has never been involved in politics, is not a member of a political party, and had all the necessary Israel-issued permits. He was one of the youngest people to make the Palestinian national soccer team. Above all, he has not been charged or convicted by Israel of any wrongdoing, although Israel held him for three years.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Beit Ommar popular committee member Younes Arar arrested at weekly demonstration
PSP 23 June — On the afternoon of June 23rd, Palestinian residents and international activists took part in the weekly Beit Ommar demonstration against the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement which is built on stolen Palestinian land.
Carrying signs calling for the release of Emad and Ahmed Abu Hashem and condemning the recent killings in Gaza, protesters made their way across Beit Ommar farmland, where they were blocked by IOF forces. Soldiers declared the Palestinian land a ’closed military zone’, and after twenty minutes, they began to violently attack the activists in an attempt to force them off the land. During the violence, IOF forces surrounded and arrested Younes Arar, a Beit Ommar resident and Popular Committee member. Two international activists were also arrested. All three are currently being held in a police station in Kiryat Arba settlement. In this month alone, IOF forces have beaten and arrested four Beit Ommar residents and activists.

Video: Samah Sabawi responds to Liberal Zionists: Boycott Israel on both sides of the Green Line
24 June — Leading Liberal Zionists have come out in impressive numbers calling for the boycott of settlements, but I have to warn you there is something to dread; they want you to buy Israeli products instead! They say they want to save Israel from a dangerous extremist threat. Namely, the Israeli gov’t and the BDS! Yes, they have lumped us together as two extreme versions calling for one state. Both? Extreme? In this absurd reality BDS’s call for equality is apparently as extreme as ethnic cleansing. In what world is this convincing?

Politics / Diplomacy

Negotiator: UN bid underway, US asked for delay
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 June — PLO negotiator Muhammad Ishtayya said Monday that the US and other foreign nations were pressing the Palestinian leadership to suspend its campaign for membership of UN bodies until after the US presidential election. Ishtayya told the official PA radio Voice of Palestine that the leadership had initiated the process of obtaining a UN General Assembly resolution which recognizes a Palestinian state on borders prior to Israel’s occupation in 1967. Palestinian officials have opened talks with Arab states and France to get the process started, he said.

Hamas: Abbas changing requirements of reconciliation
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 June - Hamas on Sunday accused President Mahmoud Abbas of changing the requirements of reconciliation by insisting for an election date before forming a unity government.

Fatah leader in Gaza resigns over new appointments
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 June — A top Fatah leader and several other officials in the Gaza Strip submitted their resignations on Friday following the appointment of new officials within the party, Fatah sources said. Yazid al-Huweihi tendered his resignation because he objected to changes within the Fatah movement in Gaza, sources said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad says for first time he may run against President Abbas
Haaretz 23 June by Barak Ravid — Tension between the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is expected to reach new heights following an interview Fayyad gave Washington Post, and that was published over the weekend. In the interview — which bore the marks of a political campaign launch, Fayyad claimed that Abbas and Hamas are working in unison to prevent elections, and declares for the first time that he does not rule out running as a presidential candidate.

PLO, Vatican to fast-forward concluding agreement
RAMALLAH, June 24, 2012 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas and the Vatican’s Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, Antonio Franco, Sunday agreed to fast-forward concluding the agreement between Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Holy See.

Racism / Discrimination

Ivorian migrants lose appear against deportation orders
Haaretz 25 June — Situation in Ivory Coast has seen ’gradual but significant improvement in recent months,’ writes judge; an estimated 1,500-2,000 Ivorians will be deported from Israel starting in July.

Film festival posters depicting a drawing of a woman vandalized in Jerusalem
Haaretz 25 June — Festival director defends depiction of woman riding bicycle, calls vandalism ’anti-Jewish’. — Posters depicting a drawing of a woman riding a bicycle were vandalized during the weekend, as part of an ongoing struggle in Jerusalem concerning female figures in the public domain. The figure of the woman in the posters, wearing a dress and holding a bouquet of balloons, was torn out or painted white.

Tel Aviv protest: Stop anti-gay incitement
Ynet 23 June — Homophobia, incitement, and hurtful statements by Knesset members were the focus of a “Small Gay Pride Parade” held Saturday night in Tel Aviv.

US consulate claims diplomatic immunity, ignores labor court ruling
Haaretz 24 June — Almost four years after an Israeli labor court ordered the U.S. consulate to pay a former employee NIS 114,000, the consulate is still refusing to pay up, citing diplomatic immunity ... The former employee, B.M., is a 50-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem. He is currently employed by the United Nations in Jerusalem. B.M. had been employed by the consulate, in various posts in Jerusalem, for almost 15 years before he was fired one day without any hearing or warning, he says ... B.M. says the reason he was given for his dismissal was that he had failed to inform his employers, in keeping with procedure, that his son had been imprisoned two and a half years earlier. “That just isn’t true,” B.M. says. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/u-s-consulate-claims-diplomatic-immunity-ignores-labor-court-ruling.premium-1.443397

Other news

Jerusalem Arab libraries get together online
JERUSALEM, June 23, 2012 (WAFA) - European Union Representative to the Palestinian Territory John Gatt-Rutter launched on Wednesday the Arabic Manuscripts Digital Library of Jerusalem at the Khalidi Library in the Old City of Jerusalem ... The partners of the Arabic Manuscripts Digital Library of Jerusalem are the Khalidi Library, the Budeiri Library, the Al-Aqsa Library, the Ansari Library and the Waqf Restoration Center. In few weeks, thanks to a simple internet connection, this on-line library will be able to offer a free-of- charge, multilingual access to dozens of thousands of images

Council of Arab mayors urges Israeli Arabs to do national service with municipalities
Haaretz 24 June — Recommendation made in response to Knesset’s Plesner Committee, which is seeking ways to integrate Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews into military or civilian service ... The council represents all of Israel’s Arab communities, with the exception of Bedouin and Druze communities.

Palestinian judoka Abu Rmeileh makes Games history
AFP 21 June — In the tiny locker room of a small sports club in east Jerusalem, Maher Abu Rmeileh carefully ties the black belt around his blue judo gi before beginning an intense training session ahead of the 2012 Olympics. Participating in this year’s Olympic Games, which start in London next month, is a double honour for Abu Rmeileh, who last month became the first-ever Palestinian to qualify to compete in the world tournament.

Official: Palestinian refugees in Lebanon not taking sides
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 24 June — Senior Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad said Sunday that he was working with Lebanese political and security officials to defuse the situation in a Palestinian refugee camp, where fighting had recently erupted. Al-Ahmad told official PA radio station Voice of Palestine that he agreed with Lebanese officials that Palestinian refugees were not taking sides in any political disagreements in Lebanon. The official blamed an unnamed third party for trying to stir troubles taking advantage of the internal turmoil in Lebanon and the ongoing disorder in Syria.

Medics: 15 injured in road accident near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June — Abdul Halim al-Jaafra, head of emergency services in Bethlehem, told Ma‘an that 15 workers were injured [Sunday] when a minibus flipped over near the Bitar crossing. He said Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service alerted Palestinian medics, who arrived in seven ambulances and transferred the injured to hospitals in Bethlehem. Israeli medics refused to take the victims to Israeli hospitals because they said they had been working in Israel without permits, al-Jaffra added.

Jordanian farmers threaten to sue Israeli government over border fires
MEMO 23 June — Farmers in Jordan have hinted that they may escalate their protests against frequent fires started in occupied Palestinian territory and sue the Israeli government, which they hold responsible for the blazes. The farmers appealed to the Jordanian government to take a firm stand against the fires started in the Jordan Valley area. Amman, they say, should demand that Tel Aviv should pay compensation to the farmers for the losses they have suffered. The move comes in the wake of a massive fire that broke out on Wednesday evening in the border Mansheya area. The Jordanian civil defence force confirmed that the fire spread from the Israeli-held side of the River Jordan. Informed agriculture sources told the Jordanian newspaper Alghad that most of the fires that had broken out during the past years along the border started as a result of military exercises by the Israeli army under the pretext of “security concerns”.

Violent protests in Tel Aviv; banks vandalized
Ynet updated 24 June — Violent night in Tel Aviv: Social activists in Tel Aviv clashed with police across the city Saturday evening, at one point shattering windows and charging into banks in what is shaping up as unprecedented socioeconomic riots. Some 85 people were arrested throughout the night. The night started with a rally against police violence, as some 2,000 protestors gathered in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square a day after 12 activists were detained by police during a social protest.

Israel power stations get nod to use heavier polluting fuels
Haaretz 24 June — In light of the expected shortage of natural gas in coming months, the Environmental Protection Ministry has given the Israel Electric Corporation the green light to use fuels that emit greater pollution, even at power stations in the densely populated areas of Tel Aviv and Haifa. One stipulation is that the fuels are only to be used after all other options for supplying electric power from other stations have been exhausted.

PCBS: Imports to Palestine fall 16.8 percent
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June — Imports to the Palestinian territory decreased by some 16.8 percent in April 2012 compared to a year earlier, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. Exports also declined, but much less at just 1.6 percent during the same period, PCBS said. The value of imports exceeded exported goods, leaving a trade deficit of $306.9 million. This marks a decrease of 11.4 percent compared to April 2011, it said.