Today in Palestine: At Allenby bridge, 10-year-old Palestinian girl begs Israeli soldiers to let her father thru…

At Allenby bridge, 10-year-old Palestinian girl begs Israeli soldiers to let her father thru…

from Mondoweiss by Kate


and ther news from Today in Palestine:

Separation of families

Twilight Zone: Separation anxiety / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 1 July — Because Israel has prevented any form of family unification in the territories since 2009, mothers and fathers are torn from each other and from their children — A few days ago, the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank was again the site of one of those almost routine heartrending scenes about which Israelis are blissfully ignorant. Exactly two weeks ago, Nasser Daoud accompanied his wife and their four children to the border crossing. The wife and mother, Manal Mahamra, was returning with the children to their home in the village of Al-Karmel in the south Hebron hills. Nasser, the husband and father, was parting from them for another year of tears, sadness, longing, wrenching phone calls and worry. Just before they were separated, the father promised he would join the family soon. Just after the parting, the only daughter, Dana, a lovely girl of 10, implored one of the officers on the Israeli side of the bridge: “Uncle, bring my father.” But Dana knew, her father knew and the Israeli uncle-officer knew, too, that Dana’s begging would fall on deaf ears and an even deafer heart. Israel prohibits their father from living at home with them.
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West Bank Palestinians working in Israel

Ground zero / Tal Niv
Haaretz 8 July — This worker, who has crossed the Eyal checkpoint near Qalqilyah, is sleeping on a stone in a field before starting his workday in Israel. The Nike logo is prominent on his black shoes. His pants are white. He is not young: his hair is thinning. He is lying amid dry toothpick-like plants that grow in the summer, on the edges of fields that have been sprayed with insecticides and look like wild carrots but have no taste or smell. In the background is a tilled field and behind it houses enclosed by a fence. In this photograph, Nir Elias, who has worked for Reuters since 2001 – and whose photographs taken during his years in China are a study of the color red and a look at people crushed by totalitarianism – tells a basic story. A biblical story. Here is Jacob lying on a stone. The revolving gate at Eyal turns every morning. A few hundred Palestinian workers with permits, from around 33,000 – only 33,000 – enter Israel officially and return in the evening, so they will not become “illegally present.”
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Twilight Zone: Crippling bureaucracy / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 8 July — Three Palestinians seriously injured by work accidents in Israel have traveled here for years to receive treatment, but now they’re facing a series of insurmountable obstacles — Mohamed Awada, a disabled and sick 52-year-old man on crutches, applied to the Civil Administration to gain access to Israel for the ongoing medical treatment he requires following a work accident in Israel. This is what Second Lt. Ben Kahila, the deputy commander of the Tarqumiya branch of the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, wrote on his form: “Your request is rejected. Reason for the rejection: No application was received in order to receive the permit under the terms of a security firm.” These monstrous words were accompanied by an oral explanation: Awada has to hire a private security man, at a cost of $200 an hour, to escort him – from the moment he enters Israel until he leaves – every time he needs medical treatment. Awada, who is in need of frequent treatment, cannot afford the luxury of a security guard.
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Two marches, two futures for Jerusalem / David Shulman
Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity 8 July — One of the oddities of life in Jerusalem is that everyone knows where the future border will run between the Palestinian East and the Israeli West — despite the tiresome insistence of the Israeli government that the city will never again be divided. For example, north of the Old City the line will correspond more or less to what is now called Road Number One … On the left side of the road, heading north, are the ultra-orthodox neighborhoods Me’a Shearim and Beit Yisra’el; across the street, on the right side of the road, is the well-known Palestinian neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah and the principal Palestinian shopping street, Salah ed-Din. The communities on the two sides of the road receive vastly different levels of investment in education, transport, social services, and other infrastructure. Despite the government’s continuing attempts to evict as many Palestinians as possible from East Jerusalem neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah and plant colonies of fanatical Jewish settlers in their place, the line is still very clear. It was thus not by chance that on June 2 — Jerusalem day, and the forty-fourth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six Day War — the municipality sponsored and largely financed a mass march in favor of further Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem (and, indeed, throughout the occupied West Bank).
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IOF troops … arrest blind boy in OJ
NABLUS (PIC) 9 July …In a separate development, Israeli police arrested a blind Palestinian Jerusalemite boy on Friday evening in the Tur neighborhood along with three other minors after claiming they were sabotaging Jewish graves. The mother of Abdullah Abulhawa, 17, said that the policemen beat up her son and his brothers before taking him away to Maskobeh detention center.
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4 arrested for desecration of 20 tombs on the Mt. of Olives
JPost 8 July — Three Arab boys from A-Tur in east Jerusalem neighborhood were arrested on Thursday for allegedly destroying at least 20 tombstones on the Mount of Olives over the past few months. The damage was done in the cemetery’s American section. A fourth youth is to be arrested on Friday. [whereas if you are the State of Israel and you use bulldozers to eradicate tombstones in a Muslim cemetery (Mamilla), that’s just fine.]
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Activism / Solidarity

Israel declares Burin closed military zone
West Bank, (Pal Telegraph) 9 July — Israeli occupation forces closed Saturday all entrances leading to Irraq Burin village in the west of Nablus and subjected residents to intensive procedures. Witnesses told that Israeli soldiers prevented solidarity activists and journalists from entering the village in order to halt their participation in the weekly rally held by Palestinian youths to protest the illegal construction of the Separation Wall.
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IOF quells peaceful march at Qalandia
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 9 July — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) quelled on Saturday a peaceful march organized at the Qalandia roadblock separating occupied Jerusalem from the West Bank. The march was organized on the seventh anniversary of the ruling by the international Court of Justice in The Hague that deemed the Israeli separation wall illegal and called for its removal. The demonstrators headed from Qalandia refugee camp to the roadblock while chanting slogans calling for end to occupation and for dismantling the racist wall.
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Establishing ‘Recognition Now!’
6 July — Leaders within the Arab-Bedouins of the Negev have established a *Public Committee for the Rights of Arabs in the Negev*,  *Recognition Now!* This committee includes Negev representatives of all Arab parties, leaders from the unrecognized villages, NGOs and community activists. *Its aim*, as its name indicates, *is to protect and promote the rights of the Arab-Bedouins of the Negev.*
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Exclusive: A flotilla of Palestinian refugees to return to Palestine, ‘Israel’
Paris, (Pal Telegraph) 8 July — After many attempts of sending Boats of aid to Gaza, solidarity with Palestinians seemed to grow to the peak.  A controversial plan has been set by 9 European groups, 1 in Canada and 2 in the US to send Passenger boats boarded by huge number of Palestinian Refugees to their homes in occupied Palestine known as “Israel” … Activists will name the Flotilla as, “Ship your luggage, Return to Palestine” … The boats will carry Palestinian Refugees of dual citizenships from Europe, US and Middle East. Boats or airplanes will carry a combination of those refugees with European activists, MPs, journalists and activists. The unique aim of the plan is the direction. The ultimate direction is not Gaza and not breaking the siege as in every time. However, it will be Israeli sea ports of Haifa and Ashkelon. Activist A.D added that the refugees will implement the Right of Return as stated through International law.
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Palestinians launch campaign to embargo arms sales to Israel
Guardian – Letters – 8 July — Today, Palestinian civil society and its supporters worldwide are launching a global campaign for a comprehensive, military embargo against Israel, similar to that imposed against apartheid-era South Africa. The UK government continues to sell millions of pounds of arms to Israel in violation of its own arms export policy. In 2010, the UK government approved licences for arms exports to Israel worth £23.7m. The government also buys military equipment from Israel which is “battle-tested” against Palestinians living in the occupied territories. By selling arms to Israel the UK is giving direct material support for Israel’s aggression and sending a clear message of approval for its actions. A complete arms embargo between the UK and Israel must be implemented immediately.
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Overcome BBC censorship of Palestine for 69p
Many will have read of how the BBC somehow beeped out the word “Palestine” from a rap and they don’t seem to be too keen to play the song, Freedom for Palestine by OneWorld. Well apparently if you buy this song on line today it could well make it into the Top 40 in which case even the Beeb will be forced to play it or openly ban it.  So go ahead and buy it for a mere 69p depending on the source.
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UNRWA halts number of projects due to lack of financing
RAMALLAH (PIC) 9 July — UNRWA has halted a number of its projects due to the lack of financing thus crippling services to 1.1 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, a UN report said on Friday. The weekly report for the UN office for coordinating humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said that UNRWA was forced to reduce grants to a number of programs as a result of a 50 million dollar shortage.
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Palestinian man succumbs to injuries he sustained during Israeli war on Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 8 July — A Palestinian man died Friday morning as a result of serious injuries he sustained during the Israeli occupation war on Gaza at the end of 2008 and start of 2009 from which he never recovered. Local sources told PIC correspondent that Abdullah Shaldan, 22 years, a resident of Zaitoun neighbourhood to the east of Gaza City, died at a Jordanian hospital where he was being treated … The Israeli occupation war on Gaza from 27 December 2008 — 18 January 2009 resulted in the death of 1,500 Palestinians and the wounding of 5,000 others, many of them were left with permanent disabilities and many are still being treated for their injuries.
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Destroyed mosques carry the scars of war / Eva Bartlett
[with photos] GAZA CITY (IPS) 7 July — “The mosque was just 100 metres from our house. We prayed there every day, five times a day. But it was more than a house of prayer,” says Mohammed, a Beit Hanoun resident, of one of the 34 mosques completely destroyed during the 23-day Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009. The Israeli bombing on Jan. 4, 2009, which flattened the Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz mosque on the main north-south street in Beit Hanoun, also damaged the numerous surrounding homes and the local sports club. “The blast sent rubble to our house,” Mohammed recalls. “Now we have to go to one 15 minutes away, one we don’t know intimately.” According to Dr Hassan Saifi, assistant to the Minister of Religious Affairs in Gaza, a quarter of the Strip’s 800 mosques were damaged or destroyed in the Israeli war on Gaza. “Two hundred damaged mosques is a shocking amount,” Saifi says … The bombings also assaulted Gaza’s historical buildings and places, among them the Nasser mosque in Beit Hanoun. Built in 736 AD, the mosque was hit by Israeli bombing on Jan. 2, 2009, completely destroying it.
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Three years of protesting Israel’s killing zone / Eva Bartlett
[with photos] BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (IPS) 8 July — It is another sweltering morning in Gaza. Despite the heat, a tenacious group of women, men and children gathers near the bombed Agricultural College in Beit Hanoun for the weekly march to the “buffer zone”, the 300 metres flanking the Gaza-Israel Green Line border which Israeli authorities have declared off-limits to Palestinians.
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In Gaza: Gaza drives
[with photos] the other day, i went to see jaber and leila at  their border-side farm in faraheen, east of khan younis.  it’s the farm that has endured 3 major israeli military invasions (not to mention those ‘minor’ ones, the routine shooting from israeli military jeeps and towers along the border roughly 500 metres away, and the ‘sweeps’ every week or two, when towering israeli military bulldozers accompanied by tanks bulldoze the land along the border).  jaber and leila always replant, and so i took a tour to see what was growing anew: corn, watermelon, onions, eggplants, mint and merrimea and zataar, tomatoes, zucchini… years ago there’d have been wheat, various fruit, nut and olive trees and chicken eggs to add to the list.
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Take one za‘atar tea and call me in the morning
[with photos] InGaza —  When I was ill last year with a nasty sinus infection, I wasn’t given any nose-drops or other medication. I was made to eat lemons, peel and all, or when not eating them, stuff them up my nose and inhale. Fairly painful, but also amazingly successful. Lemons are a natural healer for a variety of ailments and are a general boon to the immune system. Not surprisingly, lemon is found in most Palestinian dishes: hummus, roasted eggplant, salad, and is added liberally to chicken and fish meals, served as a juice, or just eaten peeled like an orange. Lemon and other citrus trees flourished in Gaza until about a decade ago, when Israeli bulldozers upped their campaign of destruction, demolishing nearly all the fruit, nut and olive trees along Gaza’s border.
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Medical aid convoy lands in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 7 July — A medical aid convoy sent by the Arab Medical Union has delivered some five tons of aid to the Gaza Strip after landing on Wednesday. The convoy, headed by the AMU emergency committee secretary-general Ibrahim al-Za’faraani, entered through Rafah crossing on the Strip’s border with Egypt. On board were 24 drugs which ran out in the Strip. The total value of the shipment is US$290,000.
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A special form for Arab passengers to warn airport ahead of their arrival / Dimi Reider
972mag 9 July — Israel responded to the ‘flytilla’ with a wildly disproportionate deployment of police and extraordinary security checks. But Palestinian citizens of Israel are discriminated at the Ben Gurion Airport on an hourly basis – and are now able to racially profile themselves, using a specially provided form to warn the airport authorities of their arrival … The undisguised racism of Israeli airport security profiling is a fact of life here as much as summer weather and the impossibility to park in Tel Aviv; only recently did civil rights organisations begin to challenge the practice.
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Jerusalem ad: Beautiful apartment, breathtaking view, Jews only / Adam Horowitz
Mondoweiss 9 July — From Ofer Neiman: Yad2 is a listing of second hand stuff and flats. The flat in question is located in the French Hill neighborhood, a Jewish neighborhood built after 1967 near Mt. Scopus, in occupied East Jerusalem. Ad reads: “Beautiful apartment including table and chairs. Wall closets. Breathtaking view. For Jews.”
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Israel arrests Gaza man crossing borders for treatment
GAZA (PIC) 9 July — The Health Ministry has strongly condemned Israel’s inhumane arrest of Aaid Rafeeq Abdul-Jawwad Ziyada, 27, while he was crossing borders to get medical attention in Jordan. The ministry said in a statement on Saturday: “Not only have [Israeli] occupation authorities prevented medicines and medical consumables from entering to the Gaza Strip’s patients…but it has increased its abusive and unethical practices by extorting the patients transferred abroad who use the Beit Hanoun crossing to move to the outside world for treatment.”
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IOF soldiers round up 30 Palestinian children in Bethlehem village in two months
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 9 July — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 30 Palestinian children in the Housan village, south of Bethlehem, over the past two months, the ministry of prisoners in Gaza said in a report on Saturday. It said that the children were arrested on charges of throwing stones and resisting settlers and were interrogated in Etzion and Ofer jails. The ministry’s lawyer Hussein Al-Sheikh, who met some of those children at Etzion, said that all of them were detained after midnight in their homes after terrorizing them and their families. He quoted the children as saying that they were savagely beaten at the time of their arrest and during interrogation including painful slapping and beating with batons and rifle butts and were forced to sign documents, which they did not know their contents.
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British court denies bail for Salah
LONDON (PIC) 9 July– A British court has denied bail for Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, after the judge said Salah was a “menace to the public.” The judge in the Salah case said during a session on Friday that the country’s supreme court would examine why Salah was arrested as well as the appeal filed by the defense. Zahir Beirawi, spokesman of the Palestinian Forum in Britain, which hosted Salah in the country, called the decision “political,” and said that Britain “insists on reminding the Arab world and Palestinians that it is behind the tragedy that stretched from the mandate until the present time.”
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Fly-in / Flytilla

Israel uses social media to compile list of activists trying to reach West Bank
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) 9 July — Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of pro-Palestinian activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport and denied entry to 69, disrupting their attempts to reach the West Bank on a solidarity mission with the Palestinians. Israel had tracked the activists on social-media sites, compiled a blacklist of more than 300 names and asked airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel … Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said the list was compiled by following organizers’ preparations on social networks and websites.
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4 fly-in activists released
Ynet 9 July 21:05 — More than 124 pro-Palestinian activists held in Israeli prison over weekend; four of them allowed to enter Israel following in-depth interrogations; officials to discuss expulsions with foreign airlines
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Airlines: We cannot return pro-Palestinian activists denied entry to Israel
Haaretz 9 July 11:58 — The foreign airlines operating in Israel say they will have a hard time flying large groups of pro-Palestinian activists who were refused entry into the country back to their destinations of origin. A senior official for one of the large European carriers told Haaretz on Saturday that “The airlines will have a hard time dealing all at once with large groups of pro-Palestinian activists that Israel wants to deport. We’re talking about the peak of summer traveling season and the flights are full.”
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50 ‘Flytilla’ activists enter West Bank
Ynet 9 July 11:16 — Hundreds of the pro-Palestinian activists who tried to fly to Israel in recent days were blocked in Europe and dozens were arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport, but it turns out that some of them have managed to evade the police and reach the Palestinian Authority territories. Palestinian sources told Ynet that some 50 foreign activists who landed in Israel on Friday have already entered the West Bank. On Saturday they are expected to travel to the village of Bil‘in and the Qalandiya Checkpoint in a bid to reach Jerusalem. “We know there are additional activists making their way to Israel, and they may arrive tonight,” Fadi Katan, one of the fly-in’s Palestinian organizers, told Ynet on Friday night. He said the 50 activists joined 50 others who had already entered the West Bank over the past week.
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Israel media: ‘Fly-in’ passengers at West Bank protests
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 July — …A report by Israel’s Channel 10 said activists attended demonstrations in Nabi Saleh and Qalandia, where hundreds gathered to mark the anniversary of a key court ruling against Israel’s separation wall. In Qalandia, some foreign protesters declined to say how they arrived in the West Bank, a Ma‘an correspondent said. One foreigner would say only that he arrived via Ben Gurion, but it was not clear when.
A group of elderly foreign nationals attended the demonstration in Nabi Saleh, the same correspondent said. He reported that the army refused to allow journalists to approach the demonstrators. Israeli activist Kobi Snitz, who was in Nabi Saleh on Saturday, disputed the media reports in an interview with the Israeli website 972 Magazine. Snitz said he had not seen a single “air flotilla” passenger there.
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Twelve pro-Palestinian Britons ‘detained’ in Israel
BBC 9 July 15:32 — Twelve Britons have been held in Israel while making an attempt to visit the West Bank town of Bethlehem, according to campaigners. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organised the visit, said the specific charges were unclear … Sofiah Macleod, the UK-based representative for the campaign, said she spoke to consular staff who told her the arrests had been “quite rough”. She said: “They were all handcuffed and shackled and put into vans after standing around for quite a long time, and you can see from their ages that a lot of them are retired. Otherwise they’re all fine.”
The Scottish people arrested included; Frank Thomas, 66, a retired statistician from Edinburgh; Ian Stewart-Hargreaves, who lives on Isle of Lewis; and Joy Cherkaoui, a community worker from Dumfries and Galloway. The English plane passengers included John Lynes, 83, a retired university lecturer from East Sussex; Audrey Gray, 77, a retired nurse from West Chiltington, West Sussex, and Val Kitchen, 68, from Tonbridge. Anne Gray, 66, a retired academic from London and Les Levidow, 61, an Open University research fellow who works in Milton Keynes, were the other English passengers.
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PA envoy slams European complicity in blocking ‘Flytilla’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — The Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the European Union Leila Shahid slammed European airlines on Friday for preventing European citizens from traveling to Tel Aviv to join solidarity protests with the Palestinian people. “Is Europe blockaded just like Palestine? On what basis are European solidarity activists blacklisted at airports in European countries to prevent them from flying to Al-Lud [Ben Gurion] airport?” Shahid said in a statement Friday … Shahid added that solidarity activists would have preferred to go straight to Gaza airport instead of going to Tel Aviv first “if Israel had not destroyed Gaza airport in 2002.”
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Nunu: Western countries’ ban on travel of activists bias in favor of Israel
GAZA (PIC) 9 July — The Palestinian government in Gaza has lashed out at the western governments for barring travel of foreign solidarity activists to occupied Palestine via air route. Taher Al-Nunu, the government’s spokesman, said in a press release on Friday night that the step revealed the real image of those western countries and unmasked their blind bias in favor of Israel.
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Israeli pressure blocks sail of Sierra Leone-flagged ship to Gaza
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 9 July — Israeli pressures on Freetown succeeded in foiling the sail of a Sierra Leone flagged ship, a part of the Freedom Flotilla II, from Greece to the Gaza Strip. The Hebrew radio said on Saturday that Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman made a telephone contact with the president of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma and asked him to take whatever steps necessary to block the sail of the Juliano ship, which is flying the flag of his country and which is anchoring at a Greek port, claiming that its sail to Gaza would be a provocation. It pointed out that Koroma ordered the removal of the ship’s flag which gave the Greek authorities the pretext to deny it sailing rights.
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Political / Diplomatic / International news

US push for Middle East peace talks foundering
WASHINGTON (AP) 9 July — The Obama administration’s furious efforts to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks this summer are going nowhere, and a looming U.N. confrontation could further set back prospects for a negotiated settlement any time soon. Despite attempts to get the parties back to the table based on parameters that President Barack Obama outlined in a May speech, U.S. and other officials say neither side appears willing to commit to new discussions.
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New US ambassador to Israel sworn in
Ynet 8 July — Jewish American diplomat Dan Shapiro says will act to prevent isolation of Israel around world … Shapiro, 42, arrived in Israel for the first time at the age of four during the Yom Kippur War and later on studied in Jerusalem … During his speech, Shapiro said his first instruction from US President Barack Obama was to maintain Israel’s security, adding that he will act against attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.
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Erekat: Dismantle wall 7 years since ICJ ruling
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 July — PLO official Saeb Erekat urged the international community to abide by its commitment to international law on Saturday while marking the seventh anniversary of an International Court of Justice ruling condemning the Israeli separation wall … “The ICJ Advisory Opinion was clear: The Wall is unjustified, it is illegal, it violates the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination, and therefore, it must be dismantled. Unfortunately, seven years after the ICJ’s ruling, the construction of the Wall is almost complete in flagrant violation of international law and the will of the international community.”
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‘Israel-Turkey talks to resume in NY’
Ynet 9 July — After failing to resolve their differences during three-day talks this week, Israel and Turkey will resume negotiations later this month in New York, Özdem Sanberk, the Turkish member of the UN panel investigating the Israeli raid on the aid ship Mavi Marmara, told the Hürriyet daily on Friday.
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Other news

PA may not pay salaries next month
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 July — Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas revealed on Saturday that the PA is encountering a serious financial crisis and might not be able to pay civil servant salaries next month.
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Waste not, want not / Zafrir Rinat
Haaretz 8 July — Monitoring efforts by the Civil Administration are not preventing large amounts of refuse from Israel proper from being dumped illegally in the West Bank … Three years ago, the IDF Central Command issued an order banning the unauthorized transport of garbage into Judea and Samaria, and to that end its officials began monitoring crossing points between the territories and Israel proper. However, at present, operators of waste-disposal facilities in Israel complain that while they themselves run orderly, authorized dumps at high cost, large quantities of refuse from construction sites, in particular, are still being smuggled frequently and illegally across the Green Line and discarded in the territories on an ongoing basis.
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Palestinian Gandhis Part VI: Breakdancing
Similar to the last segment in our profiles of “Palestinian Gandhis” which looked at “resistance Hip-hop” in the Arab World, the Camp Breakerz are using their love of breakdancing as their form of nonviolent protest. It’s a way for them to take the negative energy stemming from the stresses of constant siege and turn it into an art form that they can show the world. They are putting their own spin on it, teaching it to the youth of Gaza, and starting a peaceful revolution of their own.
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Virtual bridge allows strangers in Mideast to seem less strange / Ethan Bronner
NYTimes 9 July — RAMALLAH, West Bank — Moad Arqoub, a Palestinian graduate student, was bouncing around the Internet the other day and came across a site that surprised and attracted him. It was a Facebook page where Israelis and Palestinians and other Arabs were talking about everything at once: the prospects of peace, of course, but also soccer, photography and music … over the past month, the Facebook page has surprised those involved by the enthusiasm it has generated, suggesting that the Facebook-driven revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt may offer guidance for coexistence efforts as well. site, created by a former Israeli diplomat and unambiguous about its links toIsrael, has had 91,000 views in its first month. Of its 22,500 active users, 60 percent are Arabs  — mostly Palestinians, followed by Egyptians, Jordanians, Tunisians, Moroccans, Lebanese and Saudis.
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Analysis / Opinion

Israel’s message: Hate thy pro-Palestinian activist / Bradley Burston
Haaretz 7 July — Where Israel is concerned, a democracy that cannot bring itself to allow non-violent protest has already turned on itself — This weekend in synagogues the world over, Jews will be reading the story of Balak. In Israel, this will also be Shabbat Mashat, the Sabbath of the Pro-Palestinian Flightilla. As luck would have it, both stories are about occupation. And about hatred.
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Instilled memory, and ten little boats / Uri Avnery
For several weeks now, our army and navy have been in a state of high alert, bravely facing a deadly threat to our very existence: ten little boats trying to reach Gaza. These vessels are carrying a dangerous gang of vicious terrorists, in the form of elderly veterans of peace campaigns. Binyamin Netanyahu has affirmed our unshakable determination to defend our country: We shall not let anyone break the blockade to smuggle rockets to the terrorists in Gaza, who will then launch them to kill our innocent children. This is a kind of record even for Netanyahu: not a single word is true … All of these unthinking knee-jerk reactions: We must be strong. Everywhere there lurk mortal dangers. Israel must defend itself. Otherwise there will be a second Holocaust. This is an interesting phenomenon: people see innocent-looking elderly human-rights activists on their TV screens and believe they are seeing dangerous provocateurs, because the government and most of the media tell them so … There is a mental disorder called ‘paranoia vera’. Patients adopt a crazy assumption — e.g. “everybody hates me” — and then build an elaborate structure around it … Among the accompanying symptoms are belligerent behavior, recurrent suspicions, disconnection from the real world, conspiracy theories and narcissism. It seems that whole nations can fall victim to this illness. Ours certainly appears to have.
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‘Air flotilla’ successful at exposing Israeli blockade of the West Bank / Noam Sheizaf
TEL AVIV 7 July — Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists—no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates — to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived  (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad. Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police officers and special units both inside and outside the terminals, “in case one of the arrivals tries to set himself on fire.” The Petach Tikva court, in charge of the airport area, is to have more arrest judges on alert, and the minister for Hasbara (propaganda) Yuli Edelstein demanded that the government take no chances, “because we should remember what happened on 9/11.” All this, let’s not forget, in order to welcome between a few dozen to a few hundred Westerners (most of them quite old, according to reports), who would arrive on separate flights and on different hours, who went through extensive security checks before boarding their planes, and who openly declared their intentions to visit the Palestinian territories. This is the national threat that has captured all the headlines for some days now in a country armed with one of the strongest armies in the world as well as an extensive arsenal of nuclear bombs.
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This entry was posted in Apartheid, BDS, Gaza, Gaza Flotilla, Israel, Israel Lobby, Palestine, US Foreign Policy, War Crimes, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink.

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